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Dan Nov 2019
There was a great sadness that enveloped us
A great gladness
A certain beautiful glorious madness
In our dreams is a world without pollution or decay
A world where our ancestors stood tall and strong and proud because all that was done was done with their hands and the work they did they could truly call honest and good

We will never have flying cars
We will never have green cities
We will never explore the far reaches of space because we don’t deserve it
We were given an earth of wonder by God our creator and we have forsaken it to live in middle class comfort
Every Bluetooth signal and Current Year Ford Focus is an affront to God
Every industrial creation is a sin in which limited forgiveness can be given
Every day I am losing patience

Deep in the woods of community park East there is a tree
Completely stripped of bark and branches it stands as a spire, White as bone and without blemish
Around the base of this tree there grows vines and bushes of mysterious variety
If I were not Christian I would feel compelled to bow in worship or in reverence to this holy spire of nature
Oh Elder column of wood
Oh spirit of Earth, if such spirits exist
As I stare at its silent power as 100 or more feet behind me lies a wealthy suburban neighborhood
Unknowing of the sacred ground on which their McMansions are built

There is an idea deep inside those of us who see the writing on the wall
Those of us not deluded by the myth of progress
The arc of history is long and it bends ever towards that day when Nature finally conquer the last human endeavor to subjugate it
And on that day we will stand tall and strong and proud because all that was done was done with our hands and the work we did we could truly call honest and good
Just like those who came before us long long ago
And God will see it
And He will see it is good
Dan Oct 2019
The First World War destroyed anything beautiful that existed within the human spirit
You cannot simply walk away from industrial mass slaughter unaltered
You cannot hide it behind decades later mass slaughters of equal importance
You cannot hide behind getting excited for next mass slaughter
WW1 may have been the force that killed anyone’s feelings of honor or bravery in war
And that’s almost as great a tragedy as all the bloodlines severed
War and violence and conflict will always be with us
It is deep within all animal DNA and no matter how many daisies are put into the barrels of rifles you will never escape it
There is a great tragedy to violence but at times there is a beauty and there is a necessity
When the Soviet forces finally breached the walls of the Führerbunker
Don’t you think they were smiling?
Reality is never black and white
It is shades of tragedy, shame, beauty, and glory

It may be seen as “Eurocentric” of me, among other things, to carry WW1 with this weight
It was not a purely European conflict of course, but the main theater was
Besides, I am descended from Europeans, and some nights when all is silent I wonder if I can hear my ancestors weeping
Or are they screaming?
We as a species have allowed our greatest inheritance to be squandered
Pure wild nature
We have sold it for same Starbucks coffee shop in every college town, Kroger, and corner of New York City
We sold the forests for New York City
Are some sins unforgivable?
In the place of the old growths we build buildings of subjective beauty
Subjective beauty always bows to objective beauty
Yes, there is objective beauty
Buildings that are built in the Brutalist style are subjectively beautiful
Forests, undeveloped fields of flowers, the rushing flow of a river
To argue otherwise makes you a liar or a coward

Unironic nihilists have none of my respect
They simply do not deserve it
If you want to be taken seriously find something greater than yourself
Something outside yourself
Something that came before you, exists above you, and will be there long after you are not
That’s why I chose God and Nature
Some see these as interchangeable
I do not but I’m not here to split hairs
The problem with modern society is we have become ironic nihilists, which is almost as bad
Everything becomes chalked up to subjectivity
We crack jokes about how it’s all meaningless and eventually down the line we believe it
This is a pathetic cope
The meaning of our lives, like the objectively beauty of nature, has been bought or stolen
You were not born to consume product
You were not born to work and make things of cheap plastic
You were not born to enjoy next superhero movie, twice a year, every year, until you die
To our ancestors our lives now must seem like decades long suicide pacts
I want out of this state of unliving
We were born to be physically strong
We were born to create things of beauty
We were born to meet hardships, embrace conflict, overcome them, conquer them become something superior to what you once were
Just please
Don’t be a nihilist

I try to take my multivitamin and multi mineral vitamin every single morning
Maybe a fish oil pill or two throughout the day
I have become consumed with the idea of getting more sun on my skin
I have been consumed with the idea of improving my gut bacteria
I want to talk about these things without sounding like Patrick Bateman
To improve your inner flora it is recommended you replace processed and fried foods with sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, or something along those lines
I know sunshine and sauerkraut aren’t going to fix your depression or rid you of your years of trauma
But there’s no shame in trying
On Friday I bought a full 16oz jar of kimchi and proceeded to eat the entire thing in less than 24 hours
I will never apologize
I will never feel shame

I scream all of these things into a bathroom mirror when I am alone
I wrote this poem for myself
I wrote it for all of you
I want out of this soul crushing alienating techno industrial hellscape
I want the nightmare to end but I’m in too deep
If I melt down my cell phone, crash my car into an empty Wendy’s, and make it my moral and ethical duty to take down the power grid, I may get expelled from grad school
I might get arrested
I might just be forgotten
So for sake of legality I cannot endorse looking up how a cheap bandsaw can cut down a cell tower
I do no endorse bringing the technological nightmare to its knees for the good of all living things
I do not endorse arson, even when no one gets hurt
It’s a mean world out there
I only endorse breaking free
Any way you can
Aug 2019 · 283
View From the Peaks
Dan Aug 2019
Our ancestors once believed that their gods lived at the tops of mountains
Unobtainable heights with metaphysical mystique
But like all esoteric secrets we’ve neutered them
Everest has become littered in tragedies
Testaments to our hubris
We need to learn again to respect those spiritual journeys
Made for the aristocrats of nothing more than the struggle
Re-learn to respect that struggle of step after step
Growing danger without the fear of a death that sits at sea level with arms outstretched ready to welcome you
These mountains were not made for all to experience their mystery
Not all are welcome to shake the hands of the gods of mythology
And that’s ok
But if you can do it
If you can slay the dragon like Sigurd
If you can sacrifice yourself to yourself  like Óðinn
If you can reach that mountaintop
Tell me
How did you enjoy the view?
Dan Jul 2019
The violent end of worlds you’re pagan ancestors feared
Watch as the strikes from Thor steal your comrades from you
No Valkyries to guide you
No Valhalla to welcome you
Ankle deep in mud and rats and **** you load your rifle begging the God you believe in that you won’t have to **** another man

How did you find yourself here?
An Englishman fighting Germans in France
Because a Serbian killed an Austrian in Bosnia
Or an Italian, 43 years after your country was unified
Or a Serbian, longing to free your countrymen from Austro-Hungarian oppression
Or maybe your a Russian, a Frenchman, a Turk

Hear the whistle blow
Now is your time to storm from the trenches into razor wire and the the hail of bullets
You will likely be slaughtered
Like the 40,000 French soldier during one week of the war
This is a tragedy
But this is also a holy experience
Like for T E Lawrence
Fighting for a cause he never thought he would believe in
Or Ernst Jünger
Surviving bullet after bullet
Endless bombardments
This is the heroes journey
Do not let your children’s children take away from your sacrifice
When they say you died for nothing
You believed in your nation and you believed in yourself

Do not let them take that away from you
You who returned home and were ignored if not simply forgotten
Who returned home missing limbs, missing homes, missing loved ones
You who were traumatized shell shocked
Who could not return home
Who returned to what was supposed to be home
But life went on without you
So you found those who fought with you
From your bonds you formed brotherhoods
Formed paramilitaries

But that all comes later
Right now you look death in the eyes and can’t help but laugh
Laugh to keep yourself from crying
Laugh because you have never felt more alive than in this moment and never will again
And in this moment you can’t help but cry out
Jun 2019 · 105
Feral Midnight Visions
Dan Jun 2019
There’s no blood droplets that drip from fingertips anymore
Those were childhood expectations played on car radio CD players
on highways to Charleston I vaguely remember
Now all that’s left is final dregs of beer and all the mead my ancestors can bestow upon me
Christ didn’t die for laying on ground ***** by the air conditioning unit
Except for the fact that He did
No ***** on the camouflage recite your Hail Mary’s and go inside

This is the new nation
It is growing inside this tired brain every moment
A greater ambition we can finally be proud of
Great lengths we have fought died bled now no more no more
This is the new path
Not above not below
No more deep Buddha Zen middle path
This is the true straight and narrow
Breathe deep in the fellowship männerbund
This is the path of action no more cowardice never again
We shall watch the city on the hill finally burn itself down the cycle closes Kali Yuga ends
And on that hill we will build a house to last until New Jerusalem heaven again Amen
We are awake now
Christ didn’t die for me to wreck my greater ambitions on empty promises or vacant supports
Except Christ died for all greater lesser transgressions
Rosaries in hands
Jun 2019 · 205
On Boldness
Dan Jun 2019
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood”

It is written in the Hagakure
That when faced with situations
Of life and death
To choose death
For it is more honorable to do so and die
Than to choose life
And then die all the same

Is this what it means to be bold?
To strike out
Against odds that seem impossible?
To stand strong and shout out the eternal phrase of
“I don’t give a ****”
The one in the arena
The ultimate stoic
Uncompromising but not cruel

I must become a man of action
And though it is not the singular soul that drives history forward
Those who do so are not passive
Not timid
They do what must be done
Like Lenin
They are reasonable people
Even when pushed to do things that seem unreasonable at the time

This is how one must be bold
Taking hold of that great spirit that drives all great people of action
To be determined, strong, discipline,
More virtues to be explored
Legs strong as sequoias
I stand on stage in front of you
Reminding myself
And urging those of you who need to hear this
Stand in that arena
Do not choose retreat
Be bold
And leave your mark on the world around you
First of a series on virtues. Quote at the beginning from Theodore Roosevelt
Dan Apr 2019
One of the only redeemable qualities
Of the mass transportation system know as the modern highway
Is occasionally I’ll catch a glimpse of a hawk on a light pole
Patiently standing watch for the next in a long history of casualties
A majority of these casualties are non-human and so acceptable as long as we all still get to work on time

And I still remember the hawk in the woods
Clutching a blue jay in its talons
Not far from where months later I’ll find the body of a deer
I stand and observe it for quite awhile
Half expecting it to get up and start walking again
There is a strange feeling you get when seeing the lifeless body of an animal that large
Almost as if you are being entrusted with a secret
Between me and he trees and the flies that buzz around it’s head

Every time I pass the body now I leave a stone as a sign of respect
A silly thing to do maybe
But I’d hope people would do the same for me after I’m 6 feet under
And the question always arises in my mind if I will ever live a life
That matches the freedom that deer experienced until it met its end
These are not topics to dwell on too often or for two long
Something this existential is best left for the coffeehouse crowds
whether you choose to join them or not
Instead I think I’m more jealous of the community of the pack,
the group,
not a mindless collective blindly following the one next to them but the conscious collective
How together they are stronger
Maybe I’ll bring back the way of the warrior poet
Enlightened, but without the boastfulness
Strong, but without need to prove it
But maybe for now,
I’ll just keep an eye out for any hawks by the highway
And the deer hidden deep beneath the trees
Dan Feb 2019
I saw the best minds of my generation
Brutally isolated from those around them
Surrounded by series of boxes
Some meant to relay
Some meant to contain
All passively made to control

And past all of these boxes we can see
The place where the grass is greener
Where the trees are taller and stronger
Where the animals live
We call that place wilderness
Some say we used to call it home
Some others say that when we did
Life was nasty
Many of these days I would prefer that to
But it really depends on ones perspective

See the problem with Civilization is that somewhere down the line someone has to take the full force of the trauma
Whether that’s indigenous people
Robbed of their land
Forced to work in Rare Earth Mineral mines
Or sweatshop factories in foreign countries
Or Facebook content moderators in Arizona
Forced to be subjected to violent murders and graphic *******
Their bathroom breaks are monitored
They are ordered to stop praying if it takes too long
All so your racist uncle can share news articles from
And people who haven’t interacted with you in years can wish you a happy birthday
This is the price we pay for our convenience
This is the passive acceptance that our comfort is more valuable than their lives
I heard that the first megamachine was made with human parts
Now we witness that machine cannibalize itself

What is the alternative to this concrete techno-Hell?
I hope that one day we cast off this Leviathan whose tentacles wrap around our necks
To live a life of lower standards but higher meanings and ambitions
To live simply
With nature and not at its expense
It’s not a past to return to
But a future we fight for
Where the grass will be greener
But only because
We let it grow
Dec 2018 · 175
Ode to Edward Abbey
Dan Dec 2018
I first saw you as
Old grey beard desert mountain man
Smoking a cigar
You called yourself an anarchist
A democrat with a small d
I dig that
You talked of the importance of the wild
The nature that’s out there somewhere on the edge of the madness we are all stuck with in the day to day drudgery we call “modern living”
You were well spoken and funny, and while I didn’t agree with everything you said, I felt I could go along with most of it

So then I, as fellow lover of nature and person without much else to do, dug deeper
You talked about fire watch towers, Arizona redneck bars, Nietzsche, Einstein, and watching the birds
You talked about sabotaging bulldozers and wanting to reach out and touch the mountain lion
You talked a lot about freedom too
How each person should be their own leader
And no one should be a boss
And about how whatever great expanse of wilderness, or wildness, we have left is the last refuges of our freedom

The freedom to be that very thing we crave more death, to be wild
To feel alive
We only crave death now because we never feel truly alive
Grinded down in alienated ******* “jobs”
Promise of nothing more than light pollution noise pollution and the regular plain old pollutions of modernity
We search for some kind of meaning
And the struggle to survive with our own two hands has always been the most meaningful action of the human spirit

So we need this wilderness to ******* and get lost in
To breath in deep and trip and fall and get a little *****
We need that wilderness for us to go postal in, however you take that to mean
And finally we need this wilderness because we are this wilderness
It’s in our bones and in our blood
Oh Ed, you and I aren’t alone in this call to the wild
Ask Fredy Perlman about the freedom of the insect and the bird
Ask Kevin Tucker what he thinks of predicide
Whether it’s shooting wolves from helicopters or poisoning carcasses with stric9 so coyotes die when they eat it
We defend coyotes here
And as a good Christian boy I believe that anyone who kills a wolf, except in self defense, should go to Hell

And maybe one day
I’ll go off into your Arizona deserts
Or Chris McCandless’s Alaskan expanse
And maybe I’ll live and maybe I’ll die
But I will be home
I will be free
And I will be thinking of you, Edward Abbey

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”
Dec 2018 · 157
An Appeal to Heaven
Dan Dec 2018
“The tame, the domesticated, try to monopolize the word freedom; they'd like to apply it to their own condition. They apply the word "wild" to the free.” -Fredy Perlman

This is my appeal to Heaven
I was not made
For this
I was made for a little a-frame house in the forest
Using as little electricity as I can manage
I would build fires and send prayers to ancestors that were never mine
But I send prayers to them anyway
Because I don’t know if their children will do the same

I dream of a world that lies on the cusp of tomorrow and yesterday
Where all we have learned can come together with how we were meant to live
We exchanged that world for a lie we live in everyday
A lie that tells us what we are and what is nature are separate
A lie that has allowed us to continue tearing down all the things around us leaving us 12 years until all that we built begins to crumble
The Greeks wrote tragedies where people were punished for their hubris
How will our tragedy play out?

This is my appeal to Heaven
I was not made
For this
I begun exercising because I was inspired by those who came before me
Those who could throw spears hard enough to pierce animal hides
Or could pull back the entire draw of a bow
I hope for a simpler life where all the people I care for are within a short walk
I hope for things made by hand
I want to know how the gnats dance
I want to love the ways the winds move the trees
And I want to know the secrets of the birds and the forest creatures

This is my appeal to Heaven
I want to live wild
I want to be free

“Why this cult of wilderness?
Because we like the taste of freedom
Because we like the smell of danger” -Edward Abbey
Aug 2018 · 967
A Genealogy of Corals
Dan Aug 2018
Everyone is anxious
For Chekhov’s gun is still on the wall
It has not been fired
And we are soon approaching the next act

What do they wait for?
A provocation?!

Dear college age white boy
(Not unlike myself)
Your pseudo-nihilism bores them
We all know these things are just for show
Besides we see how much of an elitist you are
And how little you understand the words you are saying
If Nietzsche’s life were recast
You’d be the man beating the Turin Horse

Why does he say such things?
Does he understand the human mind, the human condition?!

We all wait for the collapse to come
And all of its children to return home
For we are already all aliens to each other
And we know what sweet flowers can grow from ashes
If life is to be a garden
I intend to be a worm

Does he really mean that?
We can see in his eyes he is not convinced

How long have we been going in these circles?
Or is it true that I am unique in this regard alone?
Every philosopher
Every poet
Every self perpetuating artist has their bag of tricks
I have whatever I can pillage

Everything that can be said
Has already been said
He am going back into the gallery
And drawing mustaches on all the faces

And as the audience leaves
Chekhov’s gun remains untouched, suspended by a thread

And this time only
There are no deeper meanings
Aug 2018 · 265
Not Another Poem About Love
Dan Aug 2018
And it is

Birds perched upon golden violin strings
Within grayscale trees and off-white leaves
Their chirps are replaced with funeral dirges and long extinct sea shanties
And well
I’m no ethnomusicologist
But I feel their eyes watching me
And they are here for blood

But it is

Your fathers teeth are
An alabaster white
Despite the nights you hear him retching in the bathroom
It makes you sick
It makes me sick
What makes him sick is the alcohol and the one Mirror in the house whose reflections won’t stop laughing

And I am having a hell of a time

The railroad track beside your apartment keeps knocking books off your shelf
Books you never remember buying whose pages are a deep purple and the writing seems not quite Greek, not quite Cyrillic, and not quite human
When you try putting them back on the shelf they catch fire
And the next day your boss asks you about the strange tattoo on the back of your neck that wasn’t there yesterday
And won’t be tomorrow

All these words sound the same

You found it in an abandoned building
In the middle of an old growth forest
The buildings walls were covered in blood and concrete
And the object is always warm, sounds like it’s humming, and is covered in strange markings
You are excited and afraid of what will happen next
But what will actually happen is the worst of all
The greatest curse of a life uninterrupted and uninteresting

But I must be everything
Dan Jul 2018
Rocks from the gravel road jab through my converse
As I do figure 8s through fields of black eyed Susan’s and purple flowers whose names I do not know
My eyes meet dark forests full of old trash
Beer cans and water bottles
Or they witness bees butterflies and dragonflies
It’s these moments that make me understand this music even more
Because in my mind it produces pictures of wheat fields and Pacific Northwestern forests
Montana mountains and maybe a ship just barely on the horizon
It’s these moments I exist outside of ideology and struggle
Outside of theory and praxis
Bushes instead of barricades
Grass brushing against my feet instead of city concrete
It reminds me of other songs
Of old Kentucky Anarchists
Of bread and roses
I am always so hesitant to leave these fields and forests
Because while I’m there I don’t have to say a thing to or for anyone
I don’t have anywhere to be except there
And no one to impress or disappoint
So I trade my Bella Ciaos for “3 a.m.”s
Freedom in theory for freedom in actuality
No matter how fleeting
And then
When I feel the time is right
I simply go back home
Dan Jun 2018
I think I’m like a firecracker
Just less impressive
In a moment I can explode into a creative fervor
But it only lasts for a moment
And I’m left lighting more and more matches hoping that the ashes will spark and take flame

I guess I’m waiting for that big moment
Where the whole truth is clear and everything changes
That big moment will be my big moment
But the problem with this waiting is you miss all the little moments in between
The little moments that give the big one context if not meaning
You can’t be a movement if you’re always standing still

The chasm between thought and action is wide
And although I tell myself I can make it, I never seem to have the energy to make it across
Or is it simply that I’m never sure if I honestly intended to try

Tonight the sky is a dark grey
It rained all up to this point and you can still see some collected puddles on the ground
But the temperature is perfect
Except for the breeze you can’t tell where the air ends and your skin begins
I hope the beach is like this
I wish it could always be like this
Dan Jun 2018
I suppose I should say
It’s 5:30 on a summer day
The temperature is 82 but it still feels nice

When José Martí chose to return to Cuba did he know he would die?
Certainly not, but he knew that he might
It almost certainly crossed his mind
But still he returned to die on horseback forever immortalized in New York statues and mediocre poems
I feel I’m ok without that level of courage
I feel I’m ok with where I’m at right now as long as I’m aware that some day I’ll be moving forward
No sense in rushing in to free fall leaps of faith
They don’t often tell you this, but in order to be a martyr someone has to see your life as important
And don’t take that the wrong way
But I don’t see anyone raising any statues if I died

The students from May ‘68 look back upon the events, 50 years later, and claim they never expected it to become a revolution
And they were right, because it didn’t
Oh what fiery idealism drove them
“The Communist Party saw the Workers for who they were”
The interviewee states
“The students saw them as what they should be”
And in my eyes there lies the fatal trap
To hold any earthly thing as sacred is to build upon a foundation of ice
When things get hot ice tends to melt

When Nestor Makhno fled to Paris did he feel that he would ever return to Ukraine?
It had happened before in February 1917 when he was released from prison, but certainly he must of knew his anarchist revolution was over
I look at the pages of how the Makhnovists said this and Trotsky said this and I’m much too tired to take sides
Makhno, Trotsky, Lenin are all dead now and the wheels around us keep turning
There’s no use dwelling on the past when the future creeps up a second at a time
I could end here on an optimistic note
And say something about the strength of the human spirit or the power of us working together or something you have heard a million times before
So instead I’ll leave you with this

It’s 5:47 on a summer day
It’s 82 degrees, but it still feels nice
Dan May 2018
And maybe I haven’t felt alive since those summers
When I close my eyes I can feel a warmth that is not quite sunshine not quite nostalgia not quite bittersweet heartbreaks so long removed from my thoughts
I was so much younger then
Or at least I feel older now
And though I’ve never moved from this room or this house I’ve never really felt at home since then
Memories flash through before graduations both college and high school flashes of me at my desk on a laptop long since deceased
And I remember Death Cab for Cutie of all bands
Grapevine Fires and that song that made me want to wear cardigans
And I remember Fanfarlo trumpet fanfare, Decemberist Crane Wives, and that moment that the song Little Lion Man first felt new
Maybe I haven’t felt the same because I’ve never been in love quite like I felt in those days
But that doesn’t explain the more recent, the drives with Jazz and beat Poet souls, long after romance had faded
Black and white footage of Pull My Daisy and all the familiar faces in New York apartment and you could almost hear Dave Van Ronk or Bob Dylan in the background folk alleyways
Oh the emotions I had then
The passion I had for life
It didn’t seem much then, but now it’s like I hide in the shadow of it
I’ve considered giving up writing because the words don’t come
It’s taken me 3 poems to get this emotion right and I still won’t be happy with it when I end up reading it
But maybe I’m remembering because those parts of me are not forever gone in long past memories buried by political odes and the need to be serious I tell myself I need to be serious all the time because I never could take myself seriously
I always saw myself as a parody of what I wanted to be
A parody of the Doctor a parody of Guthrie a parody of Dylan, of Ginsberg, of Kerouac, of Lenin, a parody of the parody that is myself
But hopefully that is all over now
Hopefully I’ll be able to feel the warm heart deep feelings of those summers past
Without anyone’s help or anyone’s sympathy or well wishes

And maybe I haven’t felt alive since those summers
But I sure as hell ain’t dead yet
Dan Apr 2018
It’s time for me to leave this place
But then you walk in with glasses and curls
(At least that’s how I remember you)
And me, too inebriated to remember but I remember talking to you about poems and liquor licenses and a request for return but only when I could be present
I thought you were cute but never said and would’ve never said
But C’est la vie
Such is life
You can’t go back to that party again

In the woods I am distracted until I make eye contact with a deer
You are probably 8 feet from the trail just laying there and all of your herd are there with you scattered around the foliage
I talk to you
You do not talk back
But in my heart I wish you did I wish we could have a connection that no other human can make I so much want to be a part of nature apart from all the things that make me human the things that tell me to consume without feeling to be forever without feeling to love for the sake of making the next generations work force to eat so that big corporation bosses can pocket the money to buy buy buy until the planet is dead and the rich ***** like Elon musk are living among the stars
But C’est la vie
Such is life
You can’t win this fight on your own

And so here I sit
Still kinda drunk
Writing this poem for the next time I can read it
Read it for you cute girl at a party
Read it for you revolutionary soul disillusioned by the Spectacle of it all
Read it for me drunken poet who begs himself each night to write but whose life is so serious so serious with State and Revolution and Lenin and Bookchin and Stirner and Ocalan and can I be vulnerable?
Can I love again like I did in high school with the one girl and the one girl only?
Can my heart blaze in the fires of Lenin and Bookchin?
Ocalan, Stirner, Connelly and Mao?
Or is it simply time for me to sleep?
C’est la vie
Such is life
Maybe I’ll convince myself I’m home

I was told you can’t go home again
But a wise man once said to me
“If home is where the heart is
Then I live in my upper chest”
Dan Mar 2018
The noisy clothes dryer has made me fall back in love with the quiet
Now even the hum of the air conditioner is painfully noticeable
And the ticking of the analog clocks scratch at my brain until I retreat somewhere anywhere else

There are ants on my bathroom floor but I try not to notice them
They don’t bug me all that much and I don’t really want to see them killed
Maybe it’s the wilderness reclaiming my lower middle class suburban home

I’m getting better at walking in the woods with my headphones off
While the words of some green anarchist or social ecologist compliment well with the feeling of dirt and branches beneath my boots
Sometimes it’s nice to hear the birds or the footsteps of some unknown animal at other side of this wall of brush and bushes

There are many days now where I want to escape from the modern world
Maybe if only for a little while
In countless poems past I threaten cabins in the woods
I threaten retreat from society
I threaten quote “primitive” technology
I threaten an escape I’m afraid to make
And often I’m afraid to say all this
For fear of being compared to Ted Kaczynski
So for now I’ll just search for the quiet
Far from everyday life
And then...
Dan Feb 2018
I know that one day I will die
As all people must
And I have learned not to fear it
Not only because I believe in an existence after death
But because I am getting over my fear
Of being forgotten by those I’ve left behind
I hope I have left seeds of hope
Some shred of understanding in this world
I hope my life will be seen as an expressive moment
Of joy
Of strength
Of compassion
And if I am to be forgotten
I pray I am not left in a grave to rot in a cemetery
I pray that I am buried beneath a sapling
So that the roots will surround me and the tree will grow from my decay
And then one day someone will look at that tree
And compliment it’s long branches
It’s sturdy trunk
And I will find peace knowing my greatest contribution to the world will be this tree about my grave

I know that one day I will die
As all people must
But that day is not today
Dan Jan 2018
Close your eyes now and you can see it
A quietly flowing stream
The sunlight through tree limbs
You are in the mountains again, if only in your mind
And if only for a moment

Time and time again I would think about it
And other times I would write about it
I’m in a cabin in the woods alone and nobody knows and I’ll come back to civilization when I want to if I ever want to again
I will grow what I need or steal it if I have to
That’s my dream I guess
The kind of solitude that drove Kerouac to Big Sur
“Something good will come of all things yet”
He whispered to me
“Golden and eternal just like that”
That’s the dream I hope to wake up to
But for now I wake up to closed curtains and toilets that won’t flush properly and all the weight I have gained since high school
I’m a wanderer but not in the way I hoped
I wonder down aisles at work
I wander back and forth from my living room to my bedroom
And my mind wanders every moment
The words that leave my mouth are never what they were in my head
I wonder if anyone takes me seriously
And sometimes I’m afraid to write it because I don’t want anyone I know throwing back any validation I don’t need
I’m a **** good man but I sure as hell ain’t happy
Happiness is so fleeting regardless
I’m not happy but I am content
Let that be my concern
Don’t fret over me
And don’t remind me who I am or tell me what I do
I know that
I live that
Let me talk **** about myself if I want to
Let me pat my own back by myself
If I need I’ll ask
Just give me the space I need
To introduce myself
Give it Time
You’ll understand

Close your eyes now and you can see it
A quietly flowing stream
The sunlight through tree limbs
You are in the mountains again, if only in your mind
And if only for a moment
Dan Dec 2017
““Whoever will be free must make himself free. Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a man's lap. What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one's self”

They tell me life is good
And I believe them
But life is a heavy affair
They tell me to seek out beauty
They tell me to attain love
But love, life, beauty these things are heavy
I ask to be unburdened from the love that they try to sell me
Let me love without romance
Let me love without having to say a word
Let me see the beauty in the garbage and the rubble and the decay
Allow me a life on my own terms
A life unburdened by expectations good or bad

They tell us a better world is impossible
They tell us we are greedy
Well let us be greedy together!
Let us be greedy for laughter
Greedy for joy
Let our collective greed take the land from the landlord
So that all may have a place to live
Let our greed take the food that waits to rot
So that all may have a bite to eat
Let our greed pave the way to a better future
For the enjoyment of all

I look into my reflection
And I remark how alien it is to me
This skin is not me
These eyes are not me
This smile is not me
All these things I see in the reflection belong to me
They are mine
But they are not me
I am nothing in the best way possible
I am the limits of what I allow myself to be
I wish to reject any conception of myself that is based on
An identity I did not make
I wish to undue any conception of myself that is based on
A piece of cloth on a pole, where I was born based on lines I did not draw,
Even the details of this body I call my own
I wish to be an expressive moment
Of joy and of freedom
I am nothing in the best way possible
I wish to be nothing if not Unique

“Have the courage to be destructive and you will soon see which wonderful flowers grow out of the ashes of what you have torn down”
Dan Oct 2017
An empty page is a perfect reflection
Of my empty mind

And who took the life away from the words I write?
Who has cursed me to pace nervously around dining rooms with the hope that something meaningful will appear on a page
Some words that are worthy of being said that will be met by crowds with adoration and applause
Yet I am not worthy
I am not worthy of adoration or applause or words with meaning
I am stuck in this flat affair
Because while others seek for meaning with action my hours are stained with a deep black oil that keeps me standing still
When I think about writing my head feels so empty
And I wonder if I have wasted all my pretty words on meaningless sayings in the hopes someone would look at me and say “now there is a good and articulate revolutionary soul, a good man with good answers”
Now, for once, the whole truth is clear
I cannot write sacred words for there are no sacred words
I cannot write a sacred poem for sacred poems do not exist
And I think this is what growing up feels like
The day you realize that just because you read Allen Ginsbergs Howl,
and wanted to write a poem just like that, and you spend two years attempting to create a facsimile of “I saw the best minds of my generation”,
None of that can make you a poet
Just as refusing to have a drivers license does not make one an anarchist
And how much have I grown away from that once holy phrase “I saw the best minds of my generation”?
Since then I have heard Marius Jacobs declare “I saw the world and it was not beautiful”
Max Stirner cry out “All things are nothing to me”
And Johnny Hobo singing “you wish that the world was clean/but I’m in love with the way it’s *****”
None of these words are holy
None of these sayings are sacred
But I hold each one in my heart as if they are my property, or rather, a property of me
I decided to write poetry because of people like Carl Sandburg and Jack Kerouac
I loved the words they wrote to the point that my words were lost
I celebrated their words as if they were holy
But growing up means I understand that, at the end of the day, they are just words
I tried so hard to write the words that came from them
And it’s about **** time I start writing the words
That can only come from me
Dan Sep 2017
Aesthetic accounts on Twitter elicit long lost emotions I never thought I would feel again
I have never written a love poem
I don't know if I have even been in love since I've started writing some 3 or 4 years ago
There were always those few moments where I thought someone would come along and everything would change
But maybe I am fooling myself
Maybe I'm not ready for this idea of love
Or if it's more that I don't care to have it
I know I've never been the romantic type and surely I have said it before
But maybe it has gotten worse
Because no more do I write about people as angels or romanticize the passing of time
This poem itself is so matter of fact
There is no emotion here
I don't know what happened

Let us raise our glasses to toast
To the hope that I can write better poems in the future
To the hope that I can write about my emotions outside whatever political frenzy I work myself into
Let us raise a toast to love, the concept
Love, the flower that is always out of reach
Love, the conversation I have in dreams asleep that make it so much harder to get out of bed each morning
Love: the songs I refuse to sing, the poems I cannot write, the emotion I have forgotten, that one thing I don't necessarily want right now, but probably need, that I will reach on my own terms one day don't you worry it will all be wine and roses then
Let us raise a toast to love
Dan Aug 2017
It's too late for me my friends
Pacing around my kitchen with a half empty bottle of Red Stripe I write this poem to you
To anyone who gives a **** enough to pay attention and listen to all the nonsense that leaves my lips
I am a man with no realistic goals
I am a man who does not listen to the battle cry that beats in his chest and forces it's way through his veins
Instead I plug my ears because I know what danger would come from action
I am a slave to inaction
And I've been told that a slave that doesn't defy their master is not yet deserving of their freedom
While I don't believe that's the truth, I let it apply to me
Because I am a coward
Nothing I want is attainable
None of my dreams are feasible
I have lost more times than I can count
But maybe if I lose enough, it will mean someday I've won
Because I don't want to live a quantifiable life of wins and losses
Successes and failures
I want a life that is worth getting up each morning
A life of joy that is armed to the teeth
Because from John Brown to Emiliano Zapata
From Spanish barricades to French communes
I believe that the heroes who fail are the only one's worth having
Because in failure there is always action
There is sincerity and the feeling that what one is doing must happen eventually
So why not now?
What is stopping me from saying "no more shall I live a life that isn't according to the what I believe"
I believe in a life like the hardships of Paul
"Sorrowful but always rejoicing
Poor yet making many rich
Having nothing yet possessing everything"
Alone I must build for myself a life worth living
And together we can build a world we can finally call home
Bible reference in this poem is from 2 Corinthians 6:10
Dan Jul 2017
If you ask me on a good day
What we need to change the world
I'll tell you "each other"
If you ask me on a bad day
I'll look you in the eyes and tell you
"What we need are more riots"
We need people out in the streets
We need a little fire, chaos, and to embrace our friends like its the end
And I would say both answers are realistic
Realistic in the way that I don't have an actual plan

There's a reason I'm not an insurrectionist
Because while freedom is out there
If I only reach out and take it
You don't know how hard it is for me to reach out and turn off my alarm in the mornings
So I tip my hats to all the Dean Moriartys out in the world
Those beautiful adventurous people who go to marches and take a stand or take their whole life and move across states
People who know what it means to "live like you mean it"
I have trouble knowing if I really mean anything I say anymore, much less what I do
I've always been more of a Sal Paradise anyways
The background character in my own story
Writing the chronicles of all the Roman candle people
Beautifully illuminating in the night sky

But I still haven't wrote myself off completely
And I hope you haven't either
Because there are still times where there's power in my step and fire in my mouth
I was born a militant apathetic
All that's left for me is the right catalyst and I promise I'll burn brighter than all the molotovs thrown in Greece
And while I can't promise to make total destroy
I can promise that I'll try my best to fight when I'm needed
Because all we need is each other
Today's gonna be
A good day
Dan Jul 2017
What in this world can I understand but me?
Whose pain is this if not mine?
Whose voice is this if not mine?
All I can ever be is my Self
All I can ever truly know is me and mine
I live in the shadow of my own Ego and I know **** well I cannot escape it
Max Stirner you tell me I should only act in my self interest
You tell me that all things are my property if only I reach out and take them
But do you know what it is I want Max?
You have never met me
I worry that what I want would be a hell for the people I care about
You must have had the luxury to not have anger like mine
You must have not ever experienced the fire in the back of your mind and the bricks in the pit of your stomach when life throws you for a loop
You don't know how bitter I can become
Can your egoism really help me?

Max I look into the mirror and wonder if that's you I see
Hiding in my mind behind my irises peering back
I had such distaste for the things you preach but why was I so fixated on letting the world know that?
And suddenly it's all clear
Max Stirner you are my shadow
You are everything about myself that I have trouble accepting
You are every clenched fist at the thought of someone I love loving someone else
You are every scowl on my face when I feel like I'm surrounded by people who don't give a **** about what I have to say
You are every night I stewed in my own mind because nothing went how I wanted

When I first wrote this poem,
I wanted to be rid of my ego
I want to live a life where I'm never in the way of anyone pursuing what they want
And I still do
So what do I do now?
Because you aren't entirely wrong Max
I am free when I take responsibility for my actions it's true
Maybe I am the unique one, the creative nothing, the indescribable qualities that make me who I am
And so is everyone else
And just because I say something is "mine" doesn't mean that it can't also be "ours"
Do I want to be a good man because it is in my self interest to do so?
Do I possess the tools to set myself free?
And is love nothing but a ghost of my mind?
A spectre that disappears as soon as I reach my hand out to it?
Do I love because it pleases me to do so?
They tell me love is just a bunch of chemicals in my brain anyway
But ****** it's my brain and it's my chemicals
They are mine
They are my property

So Max, we might not agree in our anarchism
At the end of the day I believe in causes and powers bigger than myself
But I have a respect for your beliefs
Because I know all too well
All I can ever be is me
All I can ever understand is my self
Recent edit because my opinions have changed
Dan Jul 2017
How many regrets are you allowed to hold before its better to lay them down and forget them?
I'm spending a lot of time looking back
Back to when I was in high school and I felt that I knew who I was
Back before the heartbreak that made me rethink all of my actions and motivations
I have reevaluated, reexamined, reminded, and rewrote so much of who I am
I see that past as a stranger
I'm on the outside looking in
And what I see is a skinny boy with a lot of acne and a big heart that he tried to hide under layers of boisterous and loud nonsense and misanthropic dispositions
There are apologies I wish I could give but I know it's better if I didn't
But it's the music tonight that brings me back again
It hasn't been all that long since I took the stars down from my ceiling and whenever I look up at the night sky I can only imagine myself, age 16, looking back and wondering what the future would hold
It's baggage I intend to leave at the station
It's bitterness I want to erase from my heart but haven't figured out just how to do yet
Back then I put a lot more hope in love
But what did I know then of love?
Will love be more kind to me in the future?  
I had only loved one other and since then I have not yet reached that emotion even when recently I had gotten closer than ever before
But I am different now and don't know how to process such emotions and I feel all the dark moods waiting in the corners to once again make my mind consumed by their doubts
So tonight
As songs from high school and miscellaneous memories fly through my head I decide not to hide the dark moods but rather allow them to pass quietly in peaceful alone moments before they cause the dam to burst
It's been three years and I have changed
It's been three years and I am better
It's been three years and it's approaching four and I'm beginning to realize now who I'm truly meant to be
Dan Jul 2017
What in this world can I understand but me?
Whose pain is this if not mine?
Whose voice is this if not mine?
All I can ever be is my Self
All I can ever truly know is me and mine
I'm trapped in the chains of my own Ego and I know **** well that those chains are ones you can't shake off
Max Stirner you tell me I should only act in my self interest
You tell me that all things are my property if I exert my will over them
But you don't know a **** thing about me Max
How many hells would I create for the people I know if I exerted that will?
You must have had the luxury to not have anger like mine
You must have not ever experienced the fire in the back of your mind and the bricks in the pit of your stomach when life throws you for a loop
You don't know how bitter I can become
Your egoism would be poison in my blood

Max I look into the mirror and wonder if that's you I see
Hiding in my mind behind my irises peering back and laughing
I have such distaste for the things you preach but why am I so fixated on letting the world know that?
And suddenly it's all clear
Max Stirner you are my shadow
You are everything about myself that I cannot accept
You are every clenched fist at the thought of someone I love loving someone else
You are every scowl on my face when I feel like I'm surrounded by people who don't give a **** about what I have to say
You are every night I stewed in my own mind because nothing went how I wanted

I want to be rid of my ego
I want to live a life where I'm never in the way of anyone pursuing what they want
So what do I do now?
Because maybe you aren't entirely wrong Max
I am free when I take responsibility for my actions it's true
Do I want to be a good man because it is in my self interest to do so?
And is love nothing but a ghost of my mind?
A spectre that disappears as soon as I reach my hand out to it
They tell me love is just a bunch of chemicals in my brain anyway
But ****** it's my brain and it's my chemicals
They are mine and so my property

So Max, we'll never agree in our anarchism
At the end of the day I believe in causes and powers bigger than my ego
But I have a respect for your beliefs
Because I know all too well
All I can ever be is me
All I can ever understand is my self
Dan Jun 2017
When you ask the right question and get the answer you hoped wouldn't come
When you find the truth and it's what you wished you'd never see
You can feel it in the back of your mind
The tension
That feeling in your head that things aren't what you thought and they probably never were
It's something you gotta sweat out before it clogs up your brain and your heart
All learning is alleviation of tension
All decisions too
You can't run from it and you shouldn't want to
In dialectics you have thesis, antithesis, and synthesis
What is, why it shouldn't, and what must come next

I promise that I'll never come to a final conclusion about what Anarchism really means
Because anarchy means standing up for your neighbors
Anarchy means letting the people you care about have the choice to not have you in their life
Anarchy means embracing what you love even when it kills you
And maybe it's up to me to make each day worth living
To get out of bed and have a good reason for doing so
Because some of us have to carry the baggage of being awake each day
And some of us live their days painfully sober carrying the pain of emotions unhindered
But the pain I feel now is as meaningless as the imaginary lines that separate countries or the flags that fly over them
My pain is meaningless compared to the knowledge I stepped back so that you could live life according to what you want
Because being an anarchist means living life in accordance to what you think
And that's always been hard for me
For once I knew exactly what I wanted
But I also knew deep down you weren't ever as sure as I was
And here we return to the tension
The tension that has kept me up a few nights and forced be to go on long walks until my feet hurt instead of my heart
The tension that left me feeling like nothing, but not in the way Max Stirner intended it
So instead of hiding this tension or letting it eat away at me like so many times before
I have to live according to what I think
So we have the thesis: looking for stars through a wall of clouds and the hope I had in my heart
The antithesis: uncertainty and a sentimental past two steps ahead of me
The synthesis: Realizing that I need to let you go
Dan Jun 2017
And on that day I decided
I wasn't going to go home
Or at least not yet
And so I got in my car and drove the opposite direction and surrounded myself with books and not with the silence and solitude my house offers when no one is home
Where I sit and force myself to believe that there is nothing to do
But on that day I didn't go home
And the days after that I went on walks around neighborhoods with music drowning out all else like I was in Nirvana walking down streets nodding to old men on porches and watching trees sway in gentle breezes
And a few nights later I sat on an old swing in my back yard
And it was in that moment that I thought of you Allen
Allen Ginsberg big beat poet with Buddhist beard and round belly always smiling always there to help a friend whether it's money for Corso or a walk with Kerouac by all the locomotive sunflower days in California
Or Tangiers sipping on mint tea
Or ghats in India
Lost notebooks in Russia or was it Cuba
Oh Allen I think of you now on this summer night
Allen you would have turned 91 today isn't that crazy
The world has only gotten crazier since you left it and there are times I wish you were here because, though I never knew you, you seemed to have a lot of the answers
Like "you'll die when you die there's no use worrying about it"
And Allen wherever you are now I hope you are with Naomi and Peter and Neal and all the other angels you loved so deeply
Allen I wish I could love with half the strength you could
I wish I could see the world through your eyes or at the very least through your eyeglasses
But tonight I will have to make do with the jazz that's coming through my headphones
And the gentle summer breeze through my bedroom window
Dan May 2017
"I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD."

There's a storm brewing in the pit of my stomach
There's a war knocking at my door
But the thing is
I never open the door for strangers and I don't know if I'm going to start today
When I was young I loved the civil war
In my closet sits my great great great great great grandfather's musket
I read about Ironsides and cornfields matted down with the blood of hundreds of soldiers
In my mind I would fix bayonets at little round top
I would fill fort Sumter with hours of cannon fire
I could see the mural of John Brown
John Brown who I couldn't fully appreciate in my youth
John Brown the wild man who knew that slavery was a sin that would be payed in blood
There he stands between two armies and fires and tornadoes
A book in one hand and a rifle in another
And on the pages of the book simply printed is alpha and omega
Beginning and end
His story shall end where ours begins
While John Brown's body may be lying in that grave they were only able to **** the man
His truth is marching on in every struggle against oppression
In every fight against people who have the audacity to think they can own another
I don't think John Brown would ever be an anarchist
But regardless he was in the business of setting people free
Freedom is a word I still grapple with
I struggle on nights like these to try and imagine what it truly means
And maybe we are afraid of freedom and maybe we all die alone
But if that's the truth you won't hear me preach it
Because only truth I will fight for is well being for all
Food clothing and housing for all
All things for all people
And we shouldn't settle for less
And one day we will achieve it
But for now
The least we can do is be there for each other
I myself, will always be a loser
But that doesn't mean I'll never win
So tonight I'll dream of Ironsides and cannon fire
And I'll live my days standing up for a world that is made for the benefit of all
Because the truth is out there marching on
And with it we can build that perfect future

"Struggle so that all may live this rich, overflowing life. And be sure that in this struggle you will find a joy greater than anything else can give"
The first quote belongs to William Lloyd Garrison, and the second to Peter Kropotkin
Dan May 2017
May comes with all the showers who, like me, have slept in through April
They hurriedly empty themselves on the dry earth while flowers sit quietly beneath topsoil
My eyes are brown like the topsoil
Patiently waiting for flowers to bloom forth
All of my friends like flowers
And I sit and wonder if I have failed to appreciate the tulips and carnations and black eyed Susan's I have seen
And I wonder what May showers bring

It's quiet now
Deep into the morning and I'm still wide awake
I spent the whole day day-dreaming instead of living it
But that's a problem I have had for awhile now
I'm letting my life pass by before my eyes
Eyes that are like windows and if you look close enough you can just barely see a sign that says "out for lunch" or something along those lines
And the clock on the sign is without hands so you can't tell if I only just left for if I have been gone for 2 or 21 years

Every poem I have been writing has sounded the same
I need help
I need to get out of this purgatory
Either I can't write or I can't help but write the same circles endlessly
I need bolts of lighting
I need a John Brown fiery passion and a thousand tons of gunpowder to blast me out of this ******* rut I'm in
I need Kerouac's railroad earth
I need something I haven't had in a long time
Maybe it's love
Maybe it's hope
Maybe it's a sunflower growing somewhere
So maybe I just need to welcome a few more May showers
And then let the flowers grow
Hopefully I'll be happy with my next poem
Dan Apr 2017
This poem is a list of things I wish weren't true
This poem is meant to hold myself accountable
I'm just another sad white boy who plays guitar
Please do not trust me
I have a lot of trouble putting my convictions where my mouth is
Please don't take me seriously
I have never been able to defend what I believe
I can barely defend myself
In my heart I'm a idealistic anarchist
But my brain knows better
It knows that oppression doesn't disappear overnight
And it knows that when push comes to shove I won't be able to take the heat
I talk a big game
I talk all the time about raising some sort of hell
About taking a stand for the world I want to live in
But I've only ever been good at lying to myself
I'm not a saint and I won't be a martyr
I'm having a hard enough time being a decent person
I'm deathly afraid of what others think of me
I have trouble making eye contact
I have trouble knowing how to act around anybody

I just hope one day I can get ahold of myself
That one day I can finally help those who may need me
I can sit in a room and not feel like everyone is staring at me
One day I will be strong
One day I will be sincere
One day I will stop lying to myself that I am helpless to fix all my problems
That day I'll understand the truth when I see it
The words I will write and speak on stage won't feel so meaningless
I'll finally take my stand
That day will come

But for today
All I can do is be honest with myself
And remind myself to keep working
My revolution must start inside
A better future requires me to take responsibility for who I am
Because freedom without responsibility is at best meaningless and at worst dangerous
So I ask of you
Don't feel sorry for me
But don't judge me too harshly
Because I'm trying my hardest
There's a bright future in the back of my mind
And I intend to reach it
Anarchy means being honest with myself
And Anarchy means facing your fears and insecurities
And taking that step
Mar 2017 · 250
Black Cat
Dan Mar 2017
I drove back out to Yellow Springs
Because I didn't want to go home
And in the darkness I sat alone on a wet bench
Then a black cat crossed my path
And in that moment I felt more blessed than I have in months
The cat came over to sit with me
And quietly we sat there for a half hour or more

There are some days where I truly wake up
In those few moments I feel completely aware
I can feel my self fill every inch of my weary skin and bones
Everything I hear is finally clear
Everything I see is truly real and alive and once again beautiful
But most days feel like I'm half asleep
And everything is a dream
And if it's all a dream then I mourn the loss of all my creativity and curse myself for making this dream reality feel so dull
I am a house
The lights are on but no one's home
Nothing but four walls a roof and echoes of laughter and tears
Echoes that have been bouncing off walls for years
I am an abandoned ship
A sloop floating far far far from the coast
The old man is long gone and I'm lost in the waves
Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up again for a few fleeting moments in the sun
Maybe I'll continue this dreary dream walk
And then I'll dream of a wet bench in the quiet dark
With a black cat on my lap
And tomorrow an eternity away
Mar 2017 · 732
A New World In Our Hearts
Dan Mar 2017
I won't write a letter to some president
Whoever they may be
Because if they ever truly wanted freedom
They would tear down the fences
And make the White House a shelter for the  homeless  
Or they would fill all the empty houses on my street
And every other empty house on every other street with empty houses
If there is something I've learned from 21 years
Is that its the common people who make the real change in this world
It's the common people who build the world for all to life in
For me this started at Peekskill
When 20 thousand men and women
formed a wall so Paul Robeson could sing safe from harm
Then I learned of Spain in the 30s
From the Asturian miners to the Catalan anarchists
The guns that protected Madrid and thousands of voices singing A Las Barricadas and No Pasarán
And some nights I whisper a curse for every bomb that struck Guernica
Meanwhile in West Virginia common people fought for equality at Harper's Ferry and for the rights of the workers at Blair Mountain
And even today in southern Mexico, it's the common people who are creating Zapata's great dream of a world where land belongs to those who work it
The people of this world are capable of such beautiful things
All the dollars in all the banks can't buy out the human spirit
And all the bullets in all the guns can't lessen the strength of us all standing together
And just as a wise man once said:
"We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing in this minute."
The quote belongs to the Spanish anarchist  Buenaventura Durruti
Mar 2017 · 276
No Later Than Midnight
Dan Mar 2017
A year ago I could have told you
That the words I wrote were true
That they came from my heart
But today I can't lie to you
Not like that
Tell it to me straight
What I have been writing lately hasn't been poetry
It's the same cry for help in different shades of meaning
Different fists beating against different walls
The only thing that's constant is having to wake up and go to work or go to class and the feeling that everything is entirely utterly empty
I used to drive down highways with windows down blasting jazz
Music I played and music I heard used to stimulate every inch of skin like the breeze that blows leaves through mountain forests
I would rather another summer heartbreak than this emptiness
That old summer heartbreak has become the solemn resolution "well she's happy now forgotten all about me it's all past"
Please won't somebody break my heart
Because that would mean that I had fallen in love again
Which would mean I felt something again

I told you I would get home
No later than midnight
And I did
But instead of sleep I listened to beauty through two headphone speakers
I could feel the rays of sunlight coming down between the gaps of branches
I dream again of my shack in the forest
I dream again of streams and solitude
The love I once had for the world I'm in
And the people I meet
Is not too far gone
And someday I will reach it again
And I will breathe in the morning air
And again I will be alive
And I'll go to sleep no later than midnight
Dan Feb 2017
Do I have to love anybody?
Like I mean in particular
Do I have to pick and choose one soul to love for X amount of years until they die or I die or one of us becomes "dead" to each other?
Do I have to pick and choose
Or can I love everyone?
Can I love the idea of people
The idea of being alive
The idea that we are working everyday for a brighter future
The idea that we won't stop fighting as long as there's somebody left to save
Almost every girl I have ever had a thing for
Is in a happy relationship now
And I'm thankful for that
Can I love the sun?
Even though I say I hate how it gets in my eyes and makes everything too **** hot or too **** bright
Can I love the moon?
Even if I barely take any moments to appreciate it
At night all my blinds are shut tight because of silly paranoia I know is silly
But can I still love the moon?
I have love for a million boxcars thundering down train tracks and a million semi's whose occupants will make it home just in time for the weekend
I love Gordon Downie and his infinite courage and strength
I love the spirit of Catalonia that comforts me when I start to get sick of the world around me
Today I can't think of anyone I hold too much animosity towards to say I love them in some regard
And if this is wrong
And I can only love one thing out of all the things in creation
Then I'll love "us"
All 7 billion
Of us

I'm sure St. Valentine was coerced
He doesn't seem like a box of chocolates and flowers kind of guy
I'm sure somebody bought him out
Dan Feb 2017
When I look into the mirror
I see the fragments of all the people I used to be
I have written enough poems about this
But it never seems to escape my mind
I used to be obsessed with time
In love with passing days and ticking clocks
Treated each day like a chapter in a book
But now everything just blurs into one unending cycle of the same events again and again
I have no inspiration for art
I haven't touched the typewriter for months
I've forgotten the smell of incense
Books of poetry sit unread and uncared for
Someone needs to go back to this summer
And tell me to slow it down
Don't take all of this for granted
Don't move so fast
You're not burning out
You're burning up
Setting fire to your sanity and crying deep in the back of your skull
You won't get out of bed anymore
You sit in the dark in your car
Not wanting to go inside not wanting to face anyone else not wanting the cycle to make its next round

If I could talk to my younger self
I'd say don't lose sight of what is beautiful
Listen to Woody Guthrie odes to all smiling people
Think about Kerouac meditations under pine trees
Love each friend like Ginsberg would want you to
Take the wild Hunter S Thompson ride
Don't lose who you are
Because it will take some time to find yourself again
Dan Feb 2017
~Dedicated to the memory of the brave men and women of the Spanish Republican Militias, who bravely fought in the name of true freedom and a better world for all people~

Are we good enough to see the sun rise tomorrow?
Are we good enough to ever be free?
Can we forgive those who we think crossed us?
Can we ever convince ourselves that some people are worth protecting?
Will I remember to pray to God when I need to?
Maybe for me the revolution has to be personal
I was always more of an Allen Ginsberg than a Che Guevara
I worry that if I don't look like I'm fighting I'll never be taken seriously
They need to see me bleed to know I'm serious
But even when I was younger I acted different than everyone I knew
And I always get to the parties late
And I always have to leave early
My revolution is within me
The barricades are around my heart
This is a bad strategy and I'm getting nowhere fast
My life is passing me by as I count the days until a war entirely in my head
Are we good enough to live in a better world?
Well I sure as hell know we aren't perfect
But Joe Strummer thought we were good enough
And Woody Guthrie thought we were good enough
And Peter Kropotkin thought we were good enough
And maybe that's going to have to be good enough

If you have no windows
No windows will get broken
But then again
How will you let the sun come in?
Dan Feb 2017
If writing poetry is like giving blood
That would explain why I'm so dizzy half the time
And why I haven't written anything worth saying since December
I have been listening to the same songs
And over
And over again
I stopped asking myself if my life's worth living and started asking if I'm even living
I keep getting angry to the point my nerves have worn down to nothing
And let me tell you
There are few feelings worse than feeling helpless when you know you shouldn't
Feeling helpless when you've got plenty more privileges than the next person in line
Should I allow myself to feel this way when my life was never in danger and I still live at home?
Just another egalitarian with empty hands
Plagiarizing my manifestos from the lips of people I've never met
Beating my feet on the ground or fist on my chest thinking anyone gives enough of a **** to know what song is stuck in my head today or yesterday or for all eternity
Every love song or song of peace or song of quiet is gone
All that's left are songs for battle
But the more I sing the words the more I question if they mean anything to me or if they will last beyond my life
Maybe we could build a better world if I wasn't such a coward
Maybe we could all be free if I wasn't such a hypocrite
Maybe I'm being to ******* myself but nights like these I can't allow myself to be too comfortable or it could mean death

You sent me a message the other day
It had been two years since we really spoke honestly
Two years and many angry poems about it all
It was really good to hear from you
You're younger than me, but you know much more about being an adult than I do
You know a lot more about being an honest person than I do
But today I tried to do better
Not for your sake (or my memory of you)
But for my own
Dan Jan 2017
I tried to write a poem today
But I wrote nothing
Because I feel nothing
Nothing's on my mind

Winona Ryder looks so young
Driving a cab smoking a cigarette
I don't watch movies with plots anymore
Coffee and Cigarettes and Slacker
All random episodes
Hundreds of people I'll forget by the morning
But it isn't like I'll remember if I met them
Or that they'll remember me
We're all stuck in this night on earth

And as the train drove past I rolled down my windows to listen
I was driving the opposite direction
And maybe there's a poem in that
Maybe I'm delusional at this point
And out this newly open window I sing
Of "all my cocktails be Molotov"
But I don't mean it
I don't mean what I say anymore

Maybe things were beautiful then
Maybe they should be now
Maybe they really are and I can't see it
But what prescription makes the people smile back?

My life is a series of random events
No plot no explanation no chaser
Knee **** reactions to every 24 hours and tomorrow I'm a new character somewhere else

I finally wrote a poem today
But it wasn't any good
But I don't feel bad about it
Because I feel nothing
And nothing's on my mind
Dan Jan 2017
Only a matter of time
Is what I muttered to myself
For the better part of a week now
But that day has come
That day has come
And no one knows but me
And you
But you really knew all along
Didn't you?
Holidays tend to spell the end for me
And the writing on the walls is the same color as the warning lights I ignored for months
No one knows but us
No one knows but us
And only I know what these nights can do to me
Blasting Dead Kennedys to write this poem
Carve my doubts and solace into walls
I warned the both of us
but we were too young and proud to listen
We were warned
And tonight
If the devil goes down to Georgia
He will take Sherman with him
But the hand of war is here
And I can only keep it out of my heart for so long
State lines are prison walls
Only if you want them to be
An incarceration in my mind
Solitary confinement in my head
My heart beats like a gavel
Darling I'm here for life
Dan Dec 2016
Somewhere now cars dance on the highway
All of my heroes long asleep under dirt or drifting around with the dust
I sit on the floor of my room
Drinking water that has sat on my desk for a day
Beside me sits "Ode to Common Things" by Pablo Neruda
My room is filling to the brim with common things
Like clothes I either never wear or wear too much
Books never read
Chalk and safety pins

Lately the inability to write has left me feeling a lot of dread
My inability to write comes from my inability to know what to say which comes from feeling really really far down that no ones really listening or caring
My time is split between library aisles, folk punk music, wild poet friends, the Spanish Civil War and talking to a girl who lives in Georgia
I'm here looking into mirrors only to see a different person each day
So I take pictures of each stranger and put them on the Internet for friends to decipher
But I won't be getting any answers tonight
I fall asleep under enough covers for now
I fall asleep in the silent nights of December
Dan Dec 2016
I take deep breaths inches away from the pillow
I take deep breaths to center myself
I am here
I am now
But have I forgotten who I am?
   Am I the boy who went to New York on a weekend trip and visited MacDougal street and Washington Square park and didn't see a single folk singer?
   Who ate a date cookie in Chinatown and a cannoli and little Italy because it felt right and good at the time
   Am I the Woody Guthrie Pete Seeger wannabe who asked the audience to sing along to a song they didn't know and no one sang but you didn't care because the words were yours yet you didn't write them?
   Who freshman year read On The Road and Howl and told himself he would be a poet and saw beauty in the world and thought about all the people with beating hearts
   Who sophomore year got his heart smashed against the pavement but decided not to blame himself for convenience sake and is still reeling from his poor choices
   Who took a trip with friends to the Ohio river and held rocks in his pocket because he was prepared to fight his way out if he had to
   who fed his own delusion that he would ever fight his way out
    who lied to himself that he had the spine to fight
   Am I the one who read Siddhartha and vowed to be better and looked toward a golden and eternal time where the words would be simple
   Who cried at Ginsberg who cried at Wolfe and who cried at the Bible because he knew what things were holy
   Who drank tea to center himself who ran to keep himself in shape who had a good time because the world was full of love

Or am I nothing more than what I am now
Breathing inches away from my pillow
Breathing to center myself
So I can be here
So I can be now
Dan Dec 2016
I woke up the other morning
And when I rose from my bed I stepped
Into a puddle of enlightenment
That had poured from my ears
And pooled on the floor
From the night before

Webster's dictionary contains a definition for freedom
But I will never read it
The Constitution mentions justice
But I'm not sure if anyone knows what that means
One of my biggest fears is a people's revolution without any humanity
Any great revolution must be an act of humanity

One day we won't bite the hands that feed us
Because the hands that feed us will be our own
Most mornings I have coffee for breakfast
I like the coffee pitch black and too strong to stomach
I like my coffee so strong that the truth is easier to swallow
I am no true revolutionary
I'm a middle class white boy from the suburbs  
Born the day Malcolm X died
31 years later
I have no more that $200 in the bank
I still live with my parents
I'm a poet who is afraid of running out of words
I'm a beat wannabe who's never hitched the highways and has never seen California
I'm a *** with a job
I'm a punk with a tie
I'm a lefty folk singer who believes in God

I am no true revolutionary
But at this point we have had enough of those
I am a man with fire in his blood
Child of John Brown and Joe Hill
The wayward ghost of Tom Joad
I am incredibly tired

If enlightenment is clarity
And clarity is being honest with yourself
I am enlightened
These hands have worked
This skin has sweat
This tongue has spoke
This man has bled
I have sung the songs that come from the deepest depths of the human heart
And the day will come when I write my own
I am no true revolutionary
But my heart beats the revolution
Dan Nov 2016
I remember when I was a poet
Crafting honest stanzas from a fire in my soul
Now I'm just a ***
Casting words into the ocean hoping to get a bite

I remember when I was a folk singer
Carl Sandburg-type, singing about long dusty roads and hard traveling and weeping willow trees
Now the guitar sits most days in my closet and all I ever end up singing is a cry for freedom

I remember when I was a hipster
I bought hats and loved obscure bands and couldn't wait to grow up
But now

I don't know who I am anymore
Siddhartha taught me that life is transient but I was never told I would get to a point where I don't know what I have become
I was once a lover
Late night texts and whispered words and quiet appreciation
I was once an artist
I used to be a dreamer
I had ideas that didn't weigh me down
But I realize that they lacked weight because they lacked substance
They were pretty and felt good but they wouldn't do anyone any good
I still pray every night because I still believe someone is listening
I still believe in life after death even if it sometimes scares the **** out of me
I remember dying metaphorically and waking up literally 7 or 70 times
I have gotten mad, sad, quiet, scared, elated, and everything a person can get
I am a new man
But I still listen to Bob Dylan
I am a new man
I've shot a gun before and I'll sure as hell do it again
I am a new man
I have never cried at a funeral but not from lack of trying
I am a new man
I make the same mistakes as before and sometimes I'm not sorry
I'm a new man
But I still blow a kiss to Ginsberg if I get a chance
I'm a new man
And I will take it easy
But sure as hell I'm going to take it
Oct 2016 · 263
Dan Oct 2016
What can I add that isn't already there?
What have I said that really needed to be?
What drove me to write poetry outside of Steinbeck, Ginsberg, and you, Thomas
I have seen endless rivers
I have had my fill of stones leaves and unfound doors
My roots are of a shallow depth
My branches do not reach as yours did
My inspiration is a well run dry
My words are saliva on sidewalk
Is there a fate for me in California?
Is there a place more kind than home?
Is there a life for those who seek angels made of stone?
Thomas you saw an America I never could
You reached great heights I may never touch
But Thomas your legacy rests in my heart
I will never forget you
Angel child of Asheville
Wild man of words and words
Pages and pages
Thomas the river will always welcome you home
Dan Oct 2016
I haven't written in weeks
And when I did before the words read empty
As they tend to do
Again I find myself sitting alone
A table for one facing the wall
Lost in the sea of a college campus
Hundreds of miles away LRADs blast away  protesters protecting sacred land
Stock prices unthinking and unfeeling
Are obsessed over by men in suits who won't have to worry about if they get to eat tonight
On my arms I carve the words I learned in a women's studies class freshman year
"The personal is political"
Personally I am desolate
Disillusioned with anything I've ever had to say
Unable to bring myself to say more
Politically I am livid
In my veins are the Sacco and Vanzetti electricity
So I spit
Look to the ground
and walk
With a look of righteous anger
And I read
Collected works of Huey Newton and an article about Marxism and Class

When the personal and the political meet I feel hopeless
Disoriented and disillusioned
Not two halves at war but two puzzle pieces desperately trying to fit
I think of a heaven after I die
While advocating for a heaven on earth for everyone
I want to stand and fight
While I feel uncomfortable speaking up in class
I don't believe there is freedom in a free market
But what do I really know about it anyways?
Freedom and hope and art and love
Words that swim around in my head
They lack solidity
I can't grasp them
The meaning drips out of my ears as if they were bleeding
I can't fall asleep at night because I keep coughing
I think about Woody Guthrie
Singing about the powers of the working class and dreaming of what America could one day become
I think of his better world and I can console myself with the ringing of guitar in my ears
I think about Pat
Looking for times worth living in whatever car or house he lives in
Breaking windows to redemption if not freedom and holding on with all that's left
I think about myself
One year of poetry under my belt
Still struggling with what I want to say
Centuries of politics in my head
Still struggling with who I want to be
Personal and political are more than just words to me
Dan Oct 2016
I can feel the air beginning its chill
Fall is upon us while old man winter waits in the wings for his spotlight
Holy October
A year since I first kissed your cheek with a poem
Kerouac's October
Your nights remind me of my ghost
Ghost of my past love that comes in cigarette smoke
Cigarette smoke I watched on a back porch that wasn't mine
Smoke like memory that floats away in whisps
I spit the regrets out with saliva and turn my attention to better paths
October I will write you a song
More beautiful than a spiritual hymn
And more powerful than a folk ballad

I have dreams of living alone
In an old shack
Surrounded by the peaks of Montana mountains
I sit on a porch playing guitar and watch tall grass blowing in the wind
Everything is as beautiful as I know it can be
There is no pain here
Maybe that is my heaven and I have to wait
If that's the case I don't  mind
Maybe that's my idea of freedom
Freedom is a word that always eludes me
Freedom to me is never being held back
Freedom is good company
And sometimes freedom is silence

Oh October evening
I am 20 years old
My bones are young but my heart feels much older
Give me gentle Montana plains
Quiet Virginian forests
The waves hitting Carolina shores
October I hope you love me as I love you
It's been hard for me to love lately
But October you are anything but cruel
You understand
October I'm glad to see you again
Dan Sep 2016
Can you have decent political opinions and still be a bad person?
I'm asking for a friend
How much theory does it take to build up the courage to stand in a protest?
Does a bandana covering your face make you a coward or does it make you careful?
See my friend knows which side he stands on
But when he looks in the mirror there seems to be a different person on each side
The most direct action he takes is sitting alone reading Marx
He's never left the sidelines long enough to understand the front lines
Dignity and freedom are nothing more than dictionary definitions
Liberation is too hard to grasp
He wants to know if it's ok to be timid when the marchers pass him by
If it's ok to doubt his own strength  

My friend spends too much time driving around singing folk punk anarchist hymns
And not enough time living the lyrics
Deep down inside he is still afraid of what people will say about him
He hates that he can be so self centered
He usually doesn't wash his dishes
My friend talks about shedding chains when he never really had that many to start with
He asks if anarchists are allowed to watch shows about cops
He wants to know if anyone will ever truly see him as an ally

Every night I take a moment to tell him not to be so afraid of taking the stand
That what he thinks will only go so far as what he does
My friend wants everyone to live in a better world and he wants to be a better person
I tell him that no one will hear you until you yell loud enough
I tell him that the there's no better place to stand than where he is
He knows better than to give up
He knows he is enough
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