Do they sleep
I wonder now,
As I pass out alone again
with whiskey on my breath
Thinking to myself:
I will always ruin everything I have—
Dicentras in static dance
Roses reticulately arrayed, think of anything--else but her
You can plant a tree in Israel
Wash your hair in holy water
Take nightshade & fall fast asleep
Won't make a bit of difference to me
I knew I wasn't like the other kids when I masturbated in my front yard to see if I could finish before my father got home from work
That's not true, but I wish it was
Would make for a funny anecdote
I used to get beat with switches as a kid
So I'm not into being flogged
But the other stuff I'm cool with
I just want to tune the world out but you keep chirping in my ears all your perilous violences, devastation and dismal notions
Like purificatory maxims long disproven
Sexless clinical aesthetics of articulate animals
Now everything I look at just makes me sadder
And I wish I could forget this sense of senseless worry
Why'd the ghost go to the bar?
For the boos
"Pretty cool rictus"
You said to round man on the triple
And left me facedown—
Here upon this crippled forest of a bed
With swayed wings and beer blotted mind
And more than just a few demons left to find
But they were just here I thought—
You said they'd keep me company
My coffee's cold, my throat it hacks
But all I want is to see your bones spread upon their back
Let's see: suicide V. self harm
Went and bought a Syrian body farm
And that puts Songdoh in the lead with - 45 self worth points
I wonder what we'll be.
i imagine we'll simply be
the stuff of summer wonder
me, a meager lightning bug
and your smile, the jar that captures me
let's make that summer night shine
And choir practice is over
and you and the others
leave by the vestry door
and look at the night sky
and she says
wait a while
and so you wait
while the others
towards the cars
or for the long walk
down the drive
from the church
and you see her there
in the moonlight
and she is standing
by one of the graves
and you go to her
and she draws you
to her and you kiss
and the warm lips
are on yours
and she has
her arms around you
and you smell
and feel her there
her body close
her hands touching
and her lips
and you touch her
and sense her
and it's as if
time has stopped
and nothing else
is in the world
except you and she
and the moonlight
and that slight wind
and her fingers
through your hair
and your hand
and no thoughts
none of that stuff
just you and she there
and the kissing
and time moving
but you both unaware
that some other guy
would have her
and marry her
and that cancer
would take her off
into its deadly grasp
and there was moonlight
and she saying
she loved you
and you saying words
that floated there
and her lips
soft as cotton
and her tongue
and O boy
that was hot
in the dark hours
when her shadow
do you see
You said I’d always be your Pricilla
Our love would be the stuff of legend,
a force to be reckoned with,
a love for the story books.
I read every word till the very last page
& I believed in our strength and future,
like Johnny and Cilla
but love is war, even in times of peace
& you weren’t willing to fight
So Johnny boy,
I dare you to look me in the eye.
see the promises you broke
every time you touch that book,
I hope you think of me.
I couldn't be your Cilla,
because you were never Johnny.
But I hope you go on,
find a girl
who makes you want to fight,
who makes you brave,
who makes you Johnny.
Our love wasn't meant to weather storms,
or start revolutions.
Hold your tears little man,
Ignore the hurtful things they say.
Rest your head here, with me.
Ten year old kids can be cruel,
Say things they should not say,
Hurt even their friends for no reason,
As yours have done today,
Thoughtless and mean words they were,
Said without thinking,
using bad judgment no doubt.
This thing they called you, “Fat Boy”
Or words to that effect, they mean nothing
Unless you let them, unless you don’t
Understand. . . Let me explain,
You are a growing boy, nearing what is
Called puberty, a physical change of
Your body from a little boy, on the way
to being a full grown man. Your body
will be ever changing, it’s how it is,
how it’s supposed to be, how it is for all people.
When I was your age, I had a more rounded
Shape as did your Dad at your age as well,
We too heard those mean thoughtless
Words directed at us. And I cannot lie
it hurt every bit as much as these words
and names hurt you today.
Rest assured son of my son, dearest friend,
This chubby stuff, it’s only temporary not a
Now as to the stupidity of Mean people,
that hurt other people so thoughtlessly,
for them that state of Ignorance and
stupidity might just last forever.
Now dry your eyes and go get the ball
and Gloves and let’s play us some catch.
Here wipe your eyes and blow your nose
on my sleeve and think no more about it.
Some things never change when it comes to dealing with other people.
Meanness and ignorance it seems is generational.
To my grandson "W" you won't see this 'till you're more
grown up, until what I have told you has become a truth
apparent even to you.
With Love Poppy
Cocky yet humble,
Yelling at a mumble.
just another contradiction,
Self destructive predilection.
Smart enough to know better,
Yet too dumb to care whether,
I'm dead inside and rotting out,
Or simply just living with doubt.
So the story goes,
Only heaven knows
Why I do the things I do.
I just wish I knew.
Tall, small build,
Not strong willed.
yet willing to finish the mission.
Watch my plans reach their fruition.
Stuff four friends in a white panel van,
Keep them on the road as long as I can.
So we can fit our piece in the puzzle plan.
Cause I'm nothing, simply nothing without any fans.
So my hair, it grows,
And the wind it blows,
Hopefully in the right direction.
To the next intersection.
Evil, yet good,
Idle hands, busy mind
Produce horrific crimes.
Play with emotions to sway
People's affections swing my way.
Yet never carry out the dirty deed at hand.
I'll call it a conscience, say never again, but I'm just a man.
My eyes wander,
Will's getting stronger.
But it's just too hard not to see
Or adequately appreciate beauty.
Calm and enthusiastic,
Dull but charismatic,
Maybe a dash of eccentricity.
Throw in Some single minded duplicity,
Add in a heaping helping of guilt to top it off.
Let cool for twenty years and let the odor waft,
Then you get a blue eyed, brown haired douche bag.
Who wants nothing more than his childhood back.
So much for growing up.
So much for no regrets.
I wouldn't mind staying young,
But time just won't relent.
The kid whose mom always prefaced his introduction with "he's a little shy". He wasn't shy, he was careful, careful from an early age to speak only the most particular of words after seeing how it was a careless choice of words that tore his parents apart. This was the kid who could hear his father yelling and his mother crying but lacked the courage to leave his post at the bottom of the stairs and give his mom a hug. He knew that was all she really needed.
He knew from an early age all he required for a sound nights sleep was a hug and kiss from his dad. This is the kid who would stay up, wordless, into the night wondering if he was safe. As the evening waned and the hours passed he'd never think that his dad forgot. Daddy never forgets. It became his mantra and as he fell into a deep meditative state he would have the same dream as he ever had on those hug less nights. Waking up the next morning he could always recall that warm blanket of a hug because after all, daddy never forgets..
Be the kid who held his hand over his heart during the morning pledge but never volunteered to say it over the speakers because he hated the sound of his own voice. His teacher would bring it up at parent teacher night but his mom always stood up for him "he's just shy". Upon returning home they would ask how his day was and he would smile, shrug, and fall into them, simply awaiting that embrace.
Be the kid who, when his parents finally divorced, never asked them what happened. He never asked them because what if his words had the same effect? Words were lava and if you fell into them you would die. So instead you choose life. On walks home from school, hopping from stone to stone, you never squished an ant or trashed a nest, you cried for the first time when your dog died because nothing ever loved you like he did. He never said a word yet he understood you better than anyone ever did and the thought of coming home and not seeing him basking in the sunlight under his favorite spot in the living room made you bawl.
That night you would have a dream about heaven, place where you could visit in your sleep, a place where upon opening ones mouth sunbeams burst forth hot enough to bask in but never enough to burn.
Be the kid whose most anxious night was spent at that first middle school dance. Boys and girls dancing and the compulsion within him to do the same was palpable. Sure he could have danced alone but He didn't want to dance alone. He wanted to dance with that little girl sitting down by the Coke machine. The one with the frilly dress down to her knees, red band in her hair, and bangs that begged the question "where do i get me one of those. You should be this kid because he actually paid attention when his parents were watching their old movies. You would walk up to that girl and without a word look down into her eyes and for a moment forget why it is that you walked over, but when you finally came too you'd remember that scene from that old black and white movie and put your hand out just like Humphrey bugarr did - at least you think that was his name.
Be this kid because while everyone else was awkwardly moving and swaying like branches in the wind you knew how to hold someone. You knew how to have a conversation without words and this night you two were writing novels. What song was playing? No clue, she'll get mad at you one day for not remembering and you'll be surprised when it was something as stupid as 'I want it that way'.
This is the kid whose favorite nights were spent in her car after driving you home. This is the same kid who when she told him she loved him all he could think was "how can I see you so well when the porch light isn't even on?” She says again, hey - you silly goose, did you hear me? I said I love you. Be this kid because you weren't stupid like everyone else and said "I think I love you too". You grabbed her face and kissed her and for that moment both your worlds stood still. Stagnant in that pregnant pause, just before you broke, you’d catch her gaze and simply smile, warm as heaven.
Be this kid because you would never have a problem with people not liking you. You were far too observant to fall into that trap. Everyone hated the bullies and just called them jerks. The class clown was entertaining but everyone said he was dumb. The girls in the lunchroom seemed never to have anything nice to say about Jennifer and Lindsey and you couldn't even finish your lunch because you just wanted to slam your hands on the table and yell "no Sam, he doesn't like you. Maybe you should actually let him talk instead of complaining about how you don't like his friends. Next time you see him don't beg him for his jacket because, fuck, it’s really cold at the skating rink in December. He told you he was taking you to the rinks, why didn't you bring your own damn jacket?
But you would never actually say that, because people would label you judgmental. Rather, remain in peace as the quiet kid because no one could ever put a label on you with any certainty. Sure they could say you were mean, more likely they would say you're weird, but you had loyal friends. Friends who upon hearing that would ask "Really? He's weird? Why is he weird hmm?” Their rebuttal was always "I mean...I dunno, he just really weird, I guess". You would never give them an actual reason to hate you. The meanest things they could ever say about you would be opinion. Opinions are like really big tits. Full and generally well rounded, but in the end it was the real stuff you were after.
Be the quiet kid because your silence would show strength. When she breaks up with you through oceans and sands miles away over the phone you won't say a word. She won't be able to see the look of devastation in your eyes and she'll feel terrible for doing it. She would tell her friends that you were so strong. "He didn't yell he, he didn't argue, he didn't ask me if there was another guy, he didn't even cry". Yeah. You cried. But she would never know how much.
Be the quiet kid who always meets someone else. The quiet kid who will draw in strangers because they can feel his energy, they're figuratively and literally moved by it. They sit down next to you across the bench and introduce themselves with a perfectly innocent "whatcha reading?” Which you think is a dumb question because the words “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” were clearly printed in large yellow text on both the front and back covers. Simple trivialities.
Be the quiet kid because the quiet kid will become a quiet man, a quiet man who people could always turn to as their rock. You are stable, you are certain, and you always display your emotions because how else would you speak?
Be the quiet kid because the quiet man will have quiet children, and their children will be quiet and the children after them will be quiet too. Be the quiet kid because you and all your quiet children will never forget to give your kids their goodnight hug.
I have had it all wrong,
I wonder if my grandfather
thought that, when on a steamer
he arrived a dreamer
of moving west from Montreal
single trying to find a life, better,
opened and tasted peanut butter,
and never did ever eat that again,
I have had it wrong, all of it
He kept dreaming and trying,
took the train to the northern Alberta,
saw his dreams take shape as he built
homes for other dreamers,
he met his wife, but that is a poem for another story,
he was a pacifist, he did not support, killing another,
but he sure had a temper,
for a peaceful man, he decided to retire, and that
let him get old, I admired him for what he stood for and sit at
a desk he built with my dad.
I still have had it all wrong.
The desk is nothing special
other than the hands and
knowledge that built it
and something a father and a son
did together, one of the last things
of each other, that
would be remembered, they worked well with their hands.
Both men were dreamers.
My dad had his dreams, he mostly kept to himself,
but you just knew that they were to do with
things outside of the house.
Oh don't misunderstand, he loved working with wood,
he knew firearms, he recieved a Medal for Military Merit,
for dedication above and beyond what a militiaman was
to do, he wasn't a pacifist, in many ways he was different
from his dad and so many more he was exactly the same.
Shame, I have had it all wrong.
I was not an A student, but Gee, I tried hard,
my potential was palpable we just needed to resuscitate it from time to time,
I joined the CAF, married and had three who have amazed me,
with their strong beliefs, so different from one another, see?
I have worked twenty jobs and not one among them defined as a career...
oh and yes, I have spent time in an unemployment line.
I am not a carpenter, like the other two could, my grandfather as a career
my dad took it on as a hobby, I am a pacifist, yes, but don't push to hard,
I might write you into a poem...
I have written so many serious and sombre pieces,
There is already so much sadness in the world,
If planet Earth could cry a tear, standby with the tissue,
I deal with my stuff in words, I try not to hang onto them,
Rather free them like birds, Ravens and Crows with Hummingbirds and Eagles,
My soul is sore and
Animus would rather soar,
so I pour the toxins from my mind, my skin, from my day
you already know I am not perfect I sin, from my way of life,
so I pour the garbage I live and beauty as I see
it is around me for you all to read, shame on me
I have had it all wrong.
I don't have to get it right, I must write.
i want a good heart .
i want it to be made of good stuff .
i want the stain glass window builder to be my drinking buddy .
i want to drink only the punch of a million gender queer school kids taking free martial arts lessons to survive recess .
i stopped calling myself a pacifist when I heard gandhi told women they should not physically fight off their rapists .
i believe there is such a thing as a non violent fist .
i believe the earth is a woman muzzled , beaten , tied to the cold slinging tracks .
i believe the muzzled have every right to rip off the bible belt and take it to the patriarchy’s ass .
i know these words are going to get me in trouble .
it is never polite to throw back the tear gas .
just like its never polite to bring enough life rafts .
they crowd the balconies where the wealthy shine their jewels .
but sometimes love ..
sometimes real love
is fucking rude .
is interrupting a wedding mid vow just as the congregation is about to cry .
to stand up in your pew to say
“ is everyone here clear on how diamonds are mined ?”
hallelujah to every drag queen at stonewall who made weapons out of her stiletto shoes .
hallelujah to the blues keeping the neighborhood awake .
to the activist standing in the snow outside of the circus
holding a ten foot photograph
of a baby elephant in chains ,
when it’s probably some little kid’s birthday .
hallelujah to making everyone uncomfortable .
to the terrible manners of truth .
to refusing to clean the blood off the plate .
bend this spine into a bow
i can pull across the cello of my speech .
love readies its heart’s teeth ,
chews through the etiquette leash .
takes down the cellphone tower after millions of people die in wars in the congo fighting for the minerals that make our cellphones .
love blows up the dam .
chains itself to the redwood tree ,
to the capital building when a trailer of mexican immigrants are found dead on the south texas roadside .
love insists well intentioned white people officially stop calling themselves color blind .
insists hope lace it’s fucking boots
always calls out the misogynist , racist , homophobic joke .
refuses to be a welcome mat where hate wipes its feet .
love asks questions at the most inappropriate times .
overturns the defense of marriage act then walks a pride parade . asking when the plight of poor single mothers will ignite our hearts into action like that .
love is not polite .
deadlocks our rush hour traffic with a hundred stubborn screaming bikes .
hallelujah to every suffrage movement , hunger strike .
hallelujah to insisting they get your pronouns right .
hallelujah to tact never winning our spines .
to taking our power all the way back to that first glacier that had to learn how to swim .
to not turning our heads from a single ugly truth .
to knowing we live in a time when beauty recruits its models outside the doors of eating disorder clients .
that is not a metaphor .
this is not a line to a poem .
an indian farmer walks into a crowd of people and stab himself in his chest to protest
the poisoning of his land .
a buddhist monk burns himself alive on the streets of saigon .
a united states' soldier hangs himself wearing his enemy’s dog tags around his holy neck .
may my heart be as heavy
as a tuba in the front row of the mardi gras parade five months after katrina .
may it weigh the weight of the world
so it might anchor the sun
so it might hold me to my own light until i am willing to sweat as much as i cry .
until i am willing to press into the clay of our precious lives .
a window .
might our grace riot the walls down .
may the drought howl us awake
may we rush into the streets
to do the work of opening each other’s eyes .
may our good hearts forever be
too loud to let the neighbors sleep .
I wish we could go back to over 3 or 4 yrs ago.....the beginning of summer....right after Michael Jackson died. The year was 2010. I was going to go to the art gallery in Beverly Hills that was displaying Michael jacksons personal items. I was on facebook watching all these Hoax videos and was becoming one to think maybe, just maybe he did fake his death. Then I saw in one of the videos that was showing the names of prescriptions that Michael Jackson would use over the years to obtain his meds. SOOOOOO I went on face book and was looking up the names.....(like mj is really going to use one of those if he did infact fake his death and start talking to me..) One of the names was Soule Shawn. I typed it in and a photo of Michael Jackson popped up but it wasn't the normal photo...it was a dark pic with a figure and you could tell it was Mj cus u could see the curl hanging down from the tip of the fedora. I clicked on the name and it said it was a private acct and u had to request the person to see if they wanted to let you on to their page and basically into their life. I clicked it and didn't think anything of it. A day or two later I went to go see what was going on with my buds and co workers and it said my friend request was accepted. I was all excited. The person wasn't on right then and I was so hoping it would be Mj....I left a message saying that I was grateful that he accepted it.....and did what I was on there to do and left. The next day I was on and it said I had a message. I clicked on it and it was from the person...I was all excited. all it said was a response to my message...it said and I wont ever forget it......."my pleasure". I was typing a response to his and was also saying that my friend and I were going to see mjs stuff on display and I made the comment of how I wish I had lots of money cus id want to buy some of his personal stuff......just then an instant thing popped up(I didn't even know u could talk like that to people that way on there) and it said "hello, how are u?" I got so nervous but answered.. "im fine and you?" We exchanged words for like an hour until he said he had to go. I was really interested in talking to him and seeing if he was infact Mj. He told me that I shouldn't waste my money on buying things of mjs cus I cant take it with me when I 'go' and I should cherish the memories I made and make and not be into materialistic artifacts. SO I didn't go see the display of things. Because the person was right , and I knew if I went I would blow all my money on a matchbook for like $400.00 or something really stupid. I couldn't wait until the next time we'd have a chance to talk cus I was bored and it was summer and I like to talk so I was really intrigued by my newly found friend. (more later)