What is it like
To be nameless
Is it as if you were faceless?
What is a title but a proclamation
Of who you are.
Is it your position?
Who is that?
Who is that over there?
Is it John?
Or is it Michael?
It is untitled
What are they like?
What DO they like?
What is their religion?
No one knows
And no one cares
For in this world
You are untitled
And you are invisible
In a sea of untitleds
You are night song
The ocean in breeze
In my truth
Is where you belong
A touch in the morning
And I am down on my knees
Speaking of destiney
I am not wrong
Your smile to sustain me
Though kingdom may come
Nightstars fall into the sea
Lifeblood of my soul
You are become
I am no longer
sometimes there are mornings
when I wake up
and feel nothing
the day ahead is nothing but an expired routine
painted faces and abused places
and not even you can
catch my attention
sometimes I find myself drowning
in this sea of apathy
and it rushes over my body
threatening to pull me under
all I need
is a lifeguard
I have once been told that I am a deep person
that my roots extend into the earth
that I am vast
that I know.
I do not wish to be the sea
accepting the bullet
as the sea accepts
the shipping lanes
They spoke of bears, I saw one last year while skating
And these women were chatting of their recent experiences.
Suppose I am lucky to have been only friendly with deer in the forest
To be bear meat would be rather traumatic
Last time I saw bears, they were getting ready to sleep
I could have stood there and watched them for hours
But it was the lovey dovey sea otters on a later, snowy visit
That captivated me more
They were so tender and violent, incredibly adamant, ardent lovers
I was embarrassed to be watching them mate while next to...
The children were confused, it was played off as parents tend to do
As nothing more than play and rough housing
The nearby people are in a heated relationship
I care not either side or their issues
But it is at such times as I see one of the mom's kids
Struggling silently with the boyfriend/half-brother/relationship crisis dramas
that I am more resolute than ever
to keep any potential relationship that one day may happen
Private, far away, from my children
As this has yet to be an issue,
no personl relationship of such a type
I am thankful for where I am in my life
You are a distant dream
that when in thought,
twists my stomach into knots.
I can still see your eyes
as they twinkled at night,
under the sky's starlight.
And still feel your skin
brushed up against mine,
as we laid together entwined.
You are a deafening scream
that brings a shock,
to everything I had forgot.
I can still hear your voice
and the love it rejoiced,
while I still had a choice.
And still smell your scent
on the last day we left,
with an old life to reinvent.
You are a distant sea
that kisses the shores
I rest upon no more.
I can still taste the air
and the grapes we had shared,
when the summer was bare.
And still it all swells
whispering of it's tales,
as I struggle these spells.
You are a distant dream
who always returns to me
and robs me of my sleep,
while I try to break free
and come at peace
with all of the love that once loved me.
Three seventy-five. At my current muscle weight, that’s the amount of force, in pounds, with which my fist smashes into my opponent’s face. Flesh molds against my knuckles, vessels rupture under the impact; I am that unstoppable object, that destruction you can only watch. I am that confused, hurt, angry child. I channel it through my arms, conduct it through my knuckles, watch it spark and jump from fist to cheekbone. This is the therapy I so wantonly crave, so needed. The only place I can vent the full wrath of my frustration upon the world; or…at least, a single member of it….
Jump back three days.
Why can’t I see you more? I text her. Because I don’t want a relationship. She says. I don’t need a relationship. I just want to see more of you. I tell her. I’m afraid I’ll invest too much. She says. I don’t understand. Is that a bad thing? Seven years of friendship, two of off-on dates and rendezvous. How could you get more invested? What else can you spill after your hearts in a pool at my feet?
I drank a lot that night.
Jump back four days.
I’m coming out that way. What are you doing tonight? I always initiate…everything. Always the first question, the first proposal, the first, the first, the first. Am I that threatening? Going out with friends. Homework and going out is all this woman seems to do. Maybe one less night with friends, one more with me wouldn’t hurt? Cool. Celebrating a birthday with friends, we’ll be out and about. Maybe we should meet up? If I’m here, she’s got no reason to refuse me…right? I thought distance was our only problem. Maybe it isn’t. I don’t know. I don’t want you to see me stupid drunk. What a stupid excuse. I actually want to see you stupid drunk. I will at some point if we keep things up.
Long story short, a guy she sometimes fucks is going to be wherever it is they’re going, and she doesn’t want to have two guys she’s seeing in the same vicinity. What does that make me? I’m getting frustrated with all this confusion and sideways talking. My group incidentally ends up at the same place they are. I don’t even talk to her face-to-face. I’m such a sporting guy. She goes home...alone, to my relief. I get stupid drunk with friends. But never forget to message her back and act like everything’s cool.
Jump ahead a week.
More conversations to clear up why I fill only one void in her life lead to more confusion. I’m frothing with it. It’ll be in my mouth soon. Wait…I taste it already.
“Let’s drink and pick fights,” I say to a couple buds. Two hours out, we’re sloshed and trading licks in a back alley. The guy that had taunted and jostled me in the bar follows us out and picks a fight. Says I’m too drunk. Not worth it. I hide a smile, raise my arms, “Let’s see.”
Shirts are off. Left hook to my ribs, I pivot an elbow, deflect with forearm. This leaves his side open. I duck his wild right-hand and drive a straight hit into his open spleen. He hits the alley wall. “Still want to take a drunk?” I taunt from my knee. He comes back, still sure of himself. I’ll show you what confidence does to us, my friend. He puts up a boxer’s guard and comes back, more cautious. Friends and enemies cheer and joan around me. I don’t hear a thing. There are thoughts. Dark, confused, smashed together, waiting to be dealt with. I focus on all of it. I focus on his face. I listen to the conversations that leave me more hurt and alone than they should. I lean into a false waltz stance, he doesn’t notice the feet. I notice his. He’s more drunk, on less, than I. Every time you breathe, I hope you think of me. The mass in my mind flows through my arms and legs. I charge and he punches straight where my head should go. I dodge right, grab his wrist, snap in and pull out, stringing him in an invisible flaying bed; my left elbow crosses his solar plexus, throwing him to the ground. Knees pin his arms. The hate, and anger, and confusion, and helplessness dissolve between fist and flesh, arc across the pain in my heart and the bruises and blood flowing freely from a fool....
Never entice a man with a need to portray his problems upon a heedless world.
His friend steps in and plants a well-thought-out fist against my jaw. The one on the ground is down for the count. My friends don’t step in. They know me. I roll off him before his friend’s hit can follow through. Now I have physical pain to channel, too. I grin and my assailant isn’t comforted. This is the release I need. This is my way out. This is what will help. Fuck you, world. Fuck you girl. Damn all of you for your games and your feelings and your mysteries. To hell with why you think you need to hide your heart. Wear it on your goddamn sleeves. Fuck your dishonesty and your insincerity. Fuck your exes. May you all drowned in your lies and guilt and shame. Damn you for assuming I’d ever judge any of you, for not taking my love at face-value, for thinking I had anywhere near the ulterior motives you all harbored. My left hand grabs his left elbow, simultaneously blocking a right jab and flipping his arm out of the way for the full force of my right arm into his ribs. A cacophony of bone and flesh giving way to my wrath meets my ears. He yelps. Never yelp when you’re trying to be strong for a friend. Keep your damned lips closed, asshole. He recovers only slightly before my right meets his face. My arc is perfect: the momentum of muscle as it curves the natural twist of a muscled arm, the darkness of my life gathering on knuckle-tips like obsidian gems glinting in the dirty hallway between worlds of vice and vindication, the cording muscle releasing the pent-up rage of a thousand lives gathered in one body.
Connection shatters worlds. The horror of life bleeds across his broken window to the world. The reflection of my jeweled nirvana wink across his eyes. See the world I live in, failed rescuer. See the hopeless honor I hold in my bosom. Sleep with the knowledge that even when you try, someone will always be there to flash the dark, jaded realities across your eyes…and bring you to my level.
The other friends won’t budge ‘till I’ve stepped past. They part like the Red Sea for me. My ark is empty until I interact with the world tomorrow.
Brief peace is better than none.
I sit in the sun room, I am shaded for the sun
is only newly risen, low slung, just above the horizon,
behind me, over my shoulder, early morn warm
Slivers of sun rays yellow highlight the wild green lawn,
freshly nourished by torrential rains of the prior eve
The wind gusts are residuals, memoirs of the hurricane
that came for a peripheral visit, your unwanted cousin Earl,
in town for the day, too bad your schedule
is fully booked, but he keeps raining on you,
staying on the phone for so long, that the goodbye,
go away, hang up relief is palpable
The oak trees are top heavy with leaves frothy like a new cappuccino,
the leaves resist the sun silvers, guard the grasses
from browning out, by knocking the rookie rays to and fro,
just for now, just for a few minutes more,
it is advantage trees, for they stand taller in the sky
than the youthful teenage yellow ball
I sit in the sun room buffered from nature's battles external,
by white lace curtains which are the hallmark
of all that is fine in Western Civilization,
and my thoughts drift to suicide.
I have sat in the sun room of my mind, unprotected.
with front row seats, first hand witness to a battle unceasing
Such that my investigations, my travails along the boundary line
between internal madness and infernal relief from mental pain
so crippling, is such that you recall begging for cancer or Aids
Such that my investigations, my travails along the sanity boundary
are substantive, modestly put, not inconsiderable
Point your finger at me, demanding like every
needy neurotic moderne, reassurance total,
proof negative in this instance, of relevant expertise!
Tell us you bona fides, what is your knowing in these matters?
Show us the wrist scars, evidential,
prove to us your "hands on" experiential!
True, true, I am without demonstrable proofs
of the first hand, my resume is absent of
razors and pills, poisons and daredevil spills,
guns, knives, utensils purposed for taking lives
Here are my truths, here are my sums;
If the numerator is the minutes spent resisting the promised relief
of the East River currents from the crushing loneliness that
consumed my every waking second of every night of my years of despair
a denominator that is my unitary, solitary name,
then my fraction, my remainder, is greater than one,
the one step away from supposed salvation...
Yet, here I am sitting in the sun room buffered from
nature's battles by white lace curtains which are the hallmark
of all that is fine in Western Civilization
I am a survivor of mine own World War III,
carnaged battlefields, where white lace curtains,
were not buffers but dividers tween mis en scenes,
variegated veins of colored nightmares, reenactments of
death heroics worthy of Shakespeare
Did I lack for courage?
Was my fear/despair ratio insufficient?
These are questions for which the answers matter only to me,
tho the questions are fair ones, my unsolicited voyeur,
they are not the ones for which I herein write,
for they no longer have relevance, meaning or validity,
for yours truly
I write poetry by command, by request, good or bad,
this one is a bequest to myself, and also a sidecar for an old friend,
who asked in passing to write what I know of suicide,
unaware that the damage of hurricanes is not always
visible to the naked heart
These hands, that type these words are the resume of a life
life line remains scarred, but after an inter-mission, after an inter-diction, an inter-re-invention
in a play where I was an actor who could not speak
but knew every line, I am now the approving audience too...
But I speak now and I say this:
There are natural toxins in us all,
if you wish to understand the whys, the reasons,
of the nearness of taking/giving away what belongs to you,
do your own sums, admit your own truths
query not the lives of others, approach the mirror...
If you want to understand suicide,
no need to phone a friend, ask the expert,
ask yourself, parse the curtains of the
sun room and admit, that you do understand,
that you once swung one leg over the roof,
gauged the currents speed and direction,
went deep sea fishing without rod or reel
and you recall it all too well, for you did the math
and here I am, tho the tug ne'er fully disappears,
here I am, here I am writing to you,
as I sit in the sun room.
Memorial Day, 2011
I am getting tired of the sea
every morning, whispering, “duermete”
like we are lovers
who kept each other awake all night.
To wish her goodbye…
say, I am leaving Miami, him, not you.
Reminded it is not just love that can sweep
someone off their feet –
also thinking I left some of my food
in his refrigerator, two gallons of milk gift.
I believe I will return,
not for liquid, not for anything tangible
just a redo of our last embrace
without an ocean of salt lulling every
and I believe I exist in there somewhere –
sea-wide, seaside, we rest just us.