i can recall these regular tendencies,
all the way until my seventies.
i adore your little habits,
like smiling—with teeth sticking out like a rabbit’s.
daily recollections of your actions,
pop up in my mind like a distraction.
like moments when you cover your mouth as you laugh,
i perfectly capture them like a photograph.
like when your eyes turn into crescents,
no matter the time; past or present.
the way the corners of your mouth are curled,
it makes my heart swirl and twirl,
for it is as precious as a pearl.
the faint laugh you produce,
echoing around the room to diffuse—
a sound so sweet, so pure;
to my unhappiness, it's a cure
as it puts a smile back onto my face for sure!
from your clasped hands in your regular stance,
to your endless showcase of your “pin drop” dance,
i cant seem to pick a favourite one!
but i believe it’s when you make a pun.
the trees seemed to peer over us, a story that could begin,
with their leaves falling like autumn
in a country where there was no fall
the wind seemed to give me a little nudge—
in between our laughter i could have told you
i wanted to hold your hand
right when yours brushed mine
i could have asked you to tell me
if you had gotten home safely that night
right there and then i could have told you
that at night i pray for you,
that i always wish we had more time.
We are the kids
Who want to feel alive
We want to feel liberated and beautiful and young.
We are the sad youth.
Praying for some one to save us
When our minds are dark
And we are alone.
We are the wild youth.
Of late nights
And city lights
With our lungs filled with smoke
And adrenaline pumping through our veins.
We are the lonely youth.
Where no one knows our thoughts
And no one understands
But God, how we wish they would.
We are the hipster indie youth.
We don't do it for the aesthetic
Because this is who we are
We live our lives in black white
And sometimes, someone beautiful
Adds in the most vibrant color.
We are the wandering youth.
Searching, exploring, running, grasping
At whatever we can
That make us see
There is hope
And brilliance in the world.
We are the youth of today
We are different
But we are human.
We are the youth.
And even if our youth is fading,
The memories we made aren't.
Only seven winters to my name
Moused by my fathers presence.
The very fear of it
Pressing the notion of gallows
Into the wooden casing
of our Iowa doorworks.
Challenging the gateway,
John wayne gacey
Barely hiding his knives
Behind bruise cloaked eyes.
His corner man?
The no shit taking mother?
There were words
Little parental valkyrie fighting
In the air, encircling my head
With clashing shield and spear.
And finally the question.
Why did you do it?
All stared at the tiny
Self proclaimed savior of worms, snakes, and birds.
Bill was attempting to make an end.
The end of yet another small life.
And so when seeing bill peddling
Toward the beginnings of a robin
Upon surely what was that robins ending.
Seven winters brave flew across
The grand expanse of 7th st
Slamming into the animal antichrist,
Scooping up that prey,
And retreating to the stanktity
That was our garage.
While that poured from my mind,
Like a voiceless demigod
Left to statue in the garden
Only this escaped,
A horse and cracked,
Solid stab at the truth.
"Because my heart told me to"
Behind the then untamed fiery youth
In my fathers eyes, the fury...
Was the golden pride
In that one
I first saw John sitting in the third desk of the first row.
I sat in the second, my new jeans cracking,
No curling iron-on patches as of yet.
A pin from my baby blue shirt pricked my neck.
I stepped in red ball Jets, before the soles became flapping tongues,
And the insignia peeled from the ankles.
Our well-used, wooden desks had pull-out drawers for stuff,
And always in need of re-arranging.
We invited our Guardian Angels to sit there, on the wooden drawer.
John sat, with black-rimmed glasses, on his pull out,
Graciously giving up the well-worn seat for his angel.
I liked him already.
His specs fit my sight. I could see the alphabet above the blackboard.
My first friend. Not a brother or sister. Someone who heard me.
Someone I listened to.
He was the oldest of six.
Had grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins in Canada.
He had instinct. Knew my lacking, shared his relations.
We studied the Catechism, had Confessions, First Communion, altar duties, patrol boy corners, sports, jerks and girls.
We learned to smoke and drink, drive and thrive.
We were Best Men, fathers and grandfathers.
I am not eulogizing John,
But celebrating while alive.
If all goes well,
I'll die before losing him.
Why would I do that
To my life long friend.
I’ll never forget.
I had long graduated, the mortarboard
now a naked head of hair. The gown
now dilapidated jeans, and an overfitting
shirt. The fancy shoes now knockoffs
caked with mud and grime.
The little store was hot. Small.
On walls: baby cockroaches took chances.
Trash bags dog-eared below snack concessions.
A brown goop spun, the tungsten overhead
made no noise. Was there music? Was there
some commentary about love or crudeness on the radio?
Always self-conscious, I retreat to
the inner racks. Magazines lay there vacuumed, unpurchased.
Outside the picture window, an afternoon beamed its sun kiss.
I think I didn’t end up buying anything, because before I could,
some college boys entered. At the instant, I turned to them
and felt curiously incensed. This odd duality of envy and sympathy.
I was you, I’m me now. I want you, I’m not you now.
To look that young yet mature, to have a schedule.
To saunter inside the store before, during, after class. The
choice to enter, to parade, to be so vital.
The college boys, their plackets, collars,
their image. These hot-blooded men finer than me, stronger
than me. All handsome, winsome, reckless and brimmed with
swagger. Me? I stood examining the force, the association.
We’re all merely similar men, and I’m at a similar age, and I can
be a similar form factor. Mimic their teflon skin; shed my stucco,
And as soon as I attempted to undermine their specificity,
I lost my own place. I found that there’s no connection at all.
Other than I know nothing about the boys,
and the boys know nothing of me.
We sit on a rock,
overlooking someone's fields
and pretend we are somewhere far
not just a few blocks away from home
It's Cinderella-like the way it happens.
The lush reeds turn to palm trees
fertile farmlands into sandy beaches
A sad attempt to accomodate our imagination.
I know we have always been too big for this country,
but right now it reeks of desperation.
So we look to the skies for validation
but in the dam we find motivation
from the water that flows without a destination.
"Does it hope to become river?", we wonder.
If it hopes to grow from it's current state.
Like a butterfly from a catterpillar.
Is it's movement a show of faith?
That the reeds and plants will open
and clear a path for it's murky waters.
This is why the dam feels like home:
Though we can't see our reflections,
the dam is able to reflect our ambition
to succeed regardless of our location.