Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
16.4k · Jul 2018
San Francisco
v V v Jul 2018
I have been to where
the lonely go, and I’ve
seen their luring towers,
calling those who
have no hope, who come
from far away to see

if coming was a mistake.

Will we ever know
who doesn’t go?
and what of those that go
but remain unknown?
Perhaps they go at night.

The horror of it.

To not be able to see the end
but still it comes and quickly.
A silent floating moment
in a winter of regret,
a springtime of longing,
a summer of sunshine,
Or a fall to the end

of the world in 7 seconds.

A super cosmic collider of
meticulous destruction.

Whether we stay or go
its all the same,
multi-layered levels of
no one is immune.
No one is immune.

Some spend time putting
things back together,
the spacing between levels allows it.
Others break over and over
and over again,
not enough space for repair

while the pull of the towers,
the flaming red towers and
the fog rolling down
from the west promise silence.

When I stood at the edge and looked over,
the noise was deafening.

The ones without space
cannot hear.
6.6k · Jul 2012
Eleven, no Twelve
v V v Jul 2012
If I were only me I would drive to San Francisco
and jump off the big orange bridge.

I might do it if I knew it
wouldn’t hurt them,
but I can't because it would
so I keep fighting all
this **** that haunts me.

I have eleven reasons not to do it,
eleven people I will not name,
eleven reasons

not to hit the water at 86 mph,
eleven reasons to avoid massive internal bleeding,
to avoid broken ribs and punctured lungs,
to avoid …telescoping fractures……
asphyxiation by blood and……
….telescoping fractures……..
Eleven reasons to avoid 4 seconds
of second guessing.....and telescoping fractures…..
Eleven reasons…… …....................OK twelve.
Eleven people in my life I couldn’t do it to.
Twelve including me because I know I won’t like
the sound of what it might sound like,
the difference in my mind between the sound
of fractures and the sound of telescoping fractures,
a terrifying sound, enough to keep me away from
San Francisco, not to mention the big orange bridge.

I lie awake at night with numbers racing around inside
my head, 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour,
4 seconds from rail to water, 220 feet to fall,
24 hours in a day, 86 miles per hour at impact.

I keep counting and sleeping fitful frightening sleep,
endure nightmares of falling, flying off the big orange bridge,
reaching upward, the bridge getting smaller and smaller,

and every morning I wake before impact still a martyr

for all of us.
6.1k · Mar 2011
The Dream of Captain McVay
v V v Mar 2011
His nights are restless, endless dreams
of young men climbing ladders.
The ones who stop to fix their vests
are left below, row after row
there seems no end, distorted faces,
silent screams through bottle bottom glass.

Twenty winters wishing that
the dream might finally end,
he tilts his head and looks at God
above his bed, a crucifix upon the wall,
his Jesus hangs and bleeds for sins
of lesser men but for him there is no comfort,
he can't escape the scene of drifting death
and flotsam, sailors drinking blood
from swollen corpses, greedy
in the eyes like the sharks
that encircle them.

When daylight comes
still no relief, he sits among
his salty sheets and chokes
on waves of guilt. Deceit
will always be his master,
every day no different
than the rest
today he’s had enough,
the dead,
they will not cease their torment.

Twenty winters waiting
but the dead won’t go away.

The boys who stopped to fix their vests
The man with gaping wound in chest
The burning wreckage going down
The screams of those who soon would drown
The oily water thick as mud
The utter chaos, flesh and blood
The rabid thirst he could not quench
afloat in pools of human stench

He goes outside and lies upon
the grass, a Navy Colt revolver
in one hand, a toy soldier in the other,
he puts the gun against his head
and pulls the trigger.

Twenty winters

Twenty winters

In memory of Charles B. McVay,  Rear Admiral US Navy, commanding officer of the USS Indianapolis, sunk buy a Japanese torpedo, July 30, 1945 III
5.3k · Apr 2013
v V v Apr 2013
The autumn sun slides low
against the hours,
peaking over the day
as if barely begun
and almost finished.
There is something familiar
here in the half light,
not quite vertical yet
bright enough to see
the path I ride is not as rough,
the wind is not as strong
and my heart is not as hard
nor encumbered
as days since passed
where in hind-sight
I peddled for sanctuary;
sanctuary from
a morbid kind of half-sight
held tight by a half-life of
loneliness and lies
now long lost
and finally made right.
This poem has been published multiple times in multiple places.
4.5k · Dec 2011
Spirit(ual) Deceit
v V v Dec 2011
He used to think he had it all
and then he did -  and didn't want it anymore,
so he gave it up to climb the rocky coast inside his mind,
where days and nights were lost between
his thoughts and empty bottles.

He sat and listened to the surf collide below,
the years would pass, in time
the wind would tell him he could fly,
her voice the voice of angels with the dawn,
he stood and leapt into her arms
4.3k · Feb 2011
The Church has Sold its Soul
v V v Feb 2011
The Catholic church
endorsed the world today
for a dollar ninety nine.


Every iPhone owner!
sinner, saint or stoner!
Come now have your sins forgiven!
forgiven if you spill your guts,
if you just confess,
then watch technology do the rest.
Absolution for you and me!
Send your sins across the sea!
your sins will fly up through the sky
encrypted on waves to reach the almighty,
the Vatican! the Pope!

A man of God appointed by the church
yet is he any different than you and me?
We know he sins the same as us,
the book of Romans says its so,*
and do you really think his tall hat
and flowing dress can make him
any more chosen than us?
Can he really hold back lust?
Will he not eventually turn to dust
Just like the rest of us?
is he really any different than us?

How ironic he receives a royalty from
a symbol of the fallen world,
The Apple
computer company,
payment for our absolution…

...So the world fell
by the fruit of a tree
and now expects to be
redeemed the same way.

The truth is not in a man.
the truth is not in the Apple.
The truth is not in the white smoke rising
from the stacks on Sistine Chapel.
The truth cannot be dried up.
The truth cannot be cured.
the truth is not the Pope's to smoke,
To believe it is absurd.

If you want to know the truth,
the truth is in the blood.
The blood covers everything.

Including what is written here.

*Romans 3:23 Galatians 3:25-26
Galatians 4:17 Hebrews 4:14-16
3.3k · Aug 2015
All That I Have Felt
v V v Aug 2015
(In some semblance of order)

(1967 to 1975)

carpet burns
WGN presents “One-Eyed Jacks” starring Marlon Brando
my grandmother’s basement
slaps from my mother
kicks from my father
Nerf basketball
10CC “I'm Not in Love”

(1976 to 1980)

sunny, cool, fall days
the woods on Sundays
tall green grass
raised red seams on a baseball
Tickle Pink wine
the smell of hashish
the buzz of high tension wires
Stroh's beer, pull tab tall boys
the woods at night
the breeze through the car window
her breath in my ear

(1981 to 1988)

“Footloose” starring Kevin Bacon
Michelob Light in bottles
extra spicy guacamole
“Members Only” black jacket
para mutual wagering
4 seam fastball
the garlic taste of Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO)
a 91 mph fastball
Feldene dissolved in Dimethyl Sulfoxide and applied to my skin via a tongue depressor
my 93.5 mph fastball
the roar of the crowd
the swirling light and sound of a west Texas freight train at night in fog
Jesus Christ

(1989 to 1999)

the anticipation of child #1
the birth of child #2
6 hours of uninterrupted sleep after child #3
an 8mm obstructed kidney stone
sunny, cool, fall days
“The Road Less Traveled” by M Scott Peck
the woods in fall
the woods in winter
the rumble of Niagara Falls
“Ruthless Trust” by Brennan Manning
the woods in spring
The Stanley Cup

(2000 to 2004)

nostalgia of my youth
photos of my children as children
Jose Cuervo silver tequila
sunny, cool, spring days
Major League Baseball opening day
Jose Cuervo Gold tequila
Chinaco Reposado tequila
the stench of pavement
Gran Patron tequila
the heat of pavement
Herradura Anejo tequila
Marca Negra Mezcal
AA meetings
Alice in Chains “Down in a Hole”
nostalgia for opiates

(2005 to 2007)

AA meetings
Camel 99's
her infidelity
photos of my children as children
Camel 99's
the sweet, sweet voice of Martin Sexton
AA meetings

(2008 to 2010)

the tenderness of your touch
a king size memory foam mattress
the tenderness of your touch
Amerique Verte Absinthe
discussions with the dead
the tenderness of your touch
Ray Lamontagne “Winter Birds”
the tenderness of your touch
ablution by Amerique Verte Absinthe
visions of the dead
visits from the dead

(2011 to 2014)

their forgiveness
AA meetings
Camel 99's
my inability to sleep
the tenderness of your touch
the tenderness of your touch
the tenderness of your touch
the tenderness of your touch
Centenario Reposado tequila
Tramadol in large amounts
thoughts of you leaving me
thoughts of me being left alone
thoughts of you being left alone


the words I have just written


I am excited to announce that this poem was recently published in print in "Storm Cycle 2014" The Best of Kind of a Hurricane Press, copyright 2015 A.J. Huffman and April Salzano, editors. The anthology is available online at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
3.2k · Feb 2011
Purple Fog Nothingness
v V v Feb 2011
I continue in darkness while
supposed light shines in the distance;

distant and unattainable
beyond a purple fog on its hands and knees
feeling its way through the night
like an angel of death.

Where is the light so many refer to?

I’ve died a thousand deaths but only seen
the purple fog nothingness creeping like
a rising river

tumbling over sand bags.

I have not seen light.
Published at Pyrokinection in January 2013
3.2k · Oct 2018
Comparing DNA
v V v Oct 2018
Evidently it was meant to be.
Long before I was born my DNA
sat on a shelf in God's laboratory,
a sticky note attached,
name, date of birth, perhaps
a tiny alarm to notify the lab
of inception.

God doesn't lose things
and God doesn’t forget.
It must be for a reason and
it must be meant to be.

A critical piece of who I am.

I should show a little pride because
as they say God don't make no junk(ie)..

But I’m a little late to the party..

The party that celebrates those who choose to be identified
by a gender other than the one they were born with,
but shames anyone who struggles with substance abuse.

I'm having trouble understanding the difference.

If I were to gather my drug addled friends
and march down the street with banners and signs
demanding the right to openly inject mind altering
substances into my veins I would be seen as
a criminal and a derelict even though my constant struggle
came right off the shelf of God’s laboratory where

my sticky noted DNA sat right next to yours.

I guess I shouldn't care what people think..
I know my rights, and I demand to be accepted,
NO, praised for coming out so bravely,
carrying a new flag, flaunting in the streets,
paving the way for future generations of addicts.

I will take my God given DNA out of the dark
and go out into light,

light so bright you'll be forced to accept it.

accept my sickness!
embrace it!
this is in my DNA,
God made me this way
so it must be ok.
I feel better now.
I no longer feel guilty,
or depressed,
or weak,
or wrong,
or immoral,

No longer do I need to contain it.

no longer do I need to be shamed.

I am an addict and I am beautiful.

Just like you.
The stigma of addiction is as strong as ever. I apologize to my LGBTQ friends for any offense taken to this poem. No offense is intended rather food for thought. I have often wondered why society dictates what is politically correct and what is not... and where good old fashioned morals fit in, and how something that at one time was so right can now be so wrong,    and vice versa.
3.0k · Sep 2010
Cotton Candy
v V v Sep 2010
If only the crucified trees
could speak or scream
and tell us where to cast our gaze.
“To the sky!” they’d say,
where cotton candy clouds
are pink plumes of possibility.

If only these crucified trees
could speak or scream
above the howling wind
then maybe just maybe
our salty sweat of toil
could somehow be sweetened
by their resolute will.

What the trees once were
will always be,
their scars remain the tortured skin,
weathered trunks, empty souls
and empty pockets… yet still
they find a way to feed and
nurture blossoming buds.

….if only we might lift our eyes
and learn from the trees…
Landscape with Pollard Willows - Vincent Van Gogh, 1884
v V v Aug 2014
I read enough to know that
a life of balance is ideal,
far removed from deprivation,
equally distant from excess.

Atheism is excess.

So is Theism.

But if you said you were agnostic
it would be easier for me
to swallow...

    I thought about a pink sky tonight
when the mystery of ancient man
didn't move me but
         the light from a dead star did,
and I realized in an instant why
your sky isn't pink.
Your sky isn't pink because
           following the crowd
is not your style, and
what they see you see right through
to depths a bit deeper and
          more complex.

                If I were a god
I would show myself pink
by painting the sky for the masses

                     but not for you.

For you I would do more because
I know you would need more,
and because I    (as a god)
would know you more than
        you know yourself.

I would meet you where you are
      because I know who you are.

You are the one
who walks into a room
full of strangers at a party
and in very short order
the world slows down
and almost stops
and you ask yourself
why am I the only person
conscious at this very moment?
and while laughter and gaiety
surround you, closes in on you,
the only way to survive it is
to escape it,
escape the constant chatter
of dysfunctional consciousness,
the volatile shifting from
yes to no,
simple things that should
be known you don’t know
because your boundaries are
You may very easily know
that her dress is out of season
and his Affliction shirt
screams *****, or that she
shouldn’t wear white
before Easter and for sure
he’d be smart to shave the
back of his neck,
while on a deeper level
you recognize every fear
and every failure in the lives
of these party goers,
you know who is hurting
and you know which ones cheat
and you know the good lovers
and the fathers and mothers,
you can pick out the sinners by
the look in their eye
and all of this is easy until
the spotlight shines on you
and It always shines on you
and when it does
your fears and frauds
will be revealed
and the only way
to make it all go away
is to run,
run to the bottom of a bottle,
run to the white gold and pearls,
run to where the numbness sets in
and maybe you'll fit in for a bit,
but you know it never lasts,
and you curse yourself
and you look to the sky for
the pink(like everyone else)
but it never works
and why should it?

Its easy for them
to see the sky as pink.....

Its easy to admit it
because they want to fit in..

for you I would jump in
      and read your mind
and give your secrets to
a fellow poet who might tell you
           what I told him so
you might struggle with
the recollection of never
having told anyone.

Next I would show you
how I listen to your heart
by writing pink words like these
but I would make sure that
there was no other explanation
                      and there isn’t.

Or maybe, just maybe, less subtle,
I'd reveal myself through
another troubled soul singing
                  “Down in a Hole”
I was right there with him
     but he didn't see me
          and now he's gone,
but you didn't see me either
    because maybe
              I was too easy to see,
look again and see me now

                       I am
the pink hair on top of his head.

I have been there for you to see
                        so many times
I will be there for you
so many more

You have seen me in
the wrinkled pink palm
of Frank's hand,

you have seen me in flamingos
back dropped by a blue sky,

you have seen me in
grilled cheese sandwiches
and pink dandelions,
(yes there are pink dandelions,
you just never noticed)

you have seen me in
pink guardrails,

you have seen me in
the pink morning of
the day after you didn't
**** yourself,

you have seen me in the
pink and narrow edges
around the musts,

and how about your
estranged husband
touching the pink of
your bare knee?

Yep, that was me too.

I could go on and on
       but this must end
so I leave you with words
you’ve likely read before,

“If then, I were asked for the most
important advice I could give,
that which I considered to be the
most useful to the men of our
century, I should simply say: In the
name of God, stop a moment,
cease your work, look around you”

-Leo Tolstoy
Essays, Letters and Miscellanies

In other words,

Look for the pink in everything.
A much thought out response to Jamie Johnson's poem "Atheism (maybe now you'll understand)"
v V v Aug 2014
These are the days
when my heart can’t speak
and my days pass by in a fog.

At night I look to the sky for her flame
and she shows me, up through the pines,
she’s the burning harvest moon tonight.

Do you see how she shines like the sun?
She shines in the night just for me.
She leads me to the edge and
whispers like a lover in the dark,
she wants me to burn just for her.

My harvest moon she seems so close
I reach up to touch her but she’s
too far away,  she’s so far away but

Oh, how she burns so bright!

          Naivety’s gotten the better of me
          she’s not the burner she’s the “burnee”

          and if we met we’d burn white hot
          we’d melt like a ******* supernova

          but then we’d die

          My beautiful white harvest moon
          and I, we know what to do to get by

          We know what needs to be done

          Shall we close the buckle in the door?

          Shall we swallow the white gold and pearls?

          No, not likely, instead
          run to her at midnight
          in the bright white light,
          climb upon the rail between
          ocher beams on Golden Gate
          and look up.

          She seems so close.
          Look up!
          I reach for her slowly
          Look up!
          I reach for her softly
          Look up!



          I step to the edge and fly home.
v V v Aug 2013
It was simple at first
I did it on a dare

There's a certain easiness
to difficult dares
when senses are dulled
by alcohol and fame

show me how
that color tastes

It was like
biting into the sun
it burned my tongue
and nothing else
would ever taste the same
or be the same
it calmed the storm
of daddy leaving
it was as if my
new found Catholicism
was a purgatory from where
I could see the bright white
pearly gates of heaven
and feel the chill
of their snow clad bars

colder than
the coldest winter chill

one night in a dream
my father told me
to meet him at the gates
and from that point
I went every night
but he never came
instead he died
and when he died
my dreams died
with him.

bury me softly
in this tomb

I continued to go there
night after night
I desperately wanted
to believe the gates
would lead to heaven
because in hell there's heat
and this place was cold
so cold with no sound
and no light only darkness

I would sit in the cold
for hours, losing all sense
of time, obligations
responsibilities, shivering
and sweating at the foot of
the gates, obsessed with the
furry luster of frozen pearls
the sound of silence and
the subtle shifting of
the weather

holding rare
flowers in bloom

a week, a month
a year would pass
the snow began to slip
in clumps and tumble
to the ground again
and again and again
and then
all hell broke loose
the heat was hot
the gates were gone
and I began to run

every path
led me to nowhere

the blue cold went red hot
and then turned black
I tried to leave that place
13 times I left and
13 times returned
there was nowhere else to go
no place to call home
I burned within my sick head

I wanted to peel
the skin from my face

so hot
I was bleeding for you
soaked in sweat
my calloused heart
would not ask for help

was far away

my hands were bruised
from breaking rocks all day
far from the chill
I couldn't remember
anymore anyway
so desperate
for a glimpse of snow
it all came down
to this

I could not live apart
from that place
and I could not live
within it

so tonight

I will marry the two
the here and the now with
the there and the then

mix the snow with the fire
mix the snow add the fire
mix   snow  with    fire
mix   snow  add    fire


I am burning
momma I am cold
mother please save me
don't leave me alone
I see you but
you've come too late
can you hold me anyway?
whisper in my ear
I'm so sorry mother
I haven't bathed in 2 weeks
momma come hold me please

I'm down in a hole mother
feeling so low mother

I'm so cold mother
come save me
take me home
I am dying

I am dead
sit with me
in silence
sit with me
I am dead

mommy I'm scared

black is all I feel
so this must be how it feels
to be free

I am dead
In Memory of Layne Stayley
born August 22, 1967 died April 5, 2002
Re-Dedicated today on what would have been his 50th Birthday..
2.7k · Nov 2015
The Death of Routine
v V v Nov 2015

She’ll drive through the parking lot
at quarter past eight tonight;
but first she’ll put up the gravy
and throw away salad.

There is something amiss with the sun.
The angle through the window,
she’s never noticed it on
her plate before

because by now
they were usually seated in the den
where the sun would greet them there,
not here.

It’s not like him to be late.
She worries while she sits,
waits a little longer,
watches the sun slide over
the edge of the table
and drift toward the empty den.

She feels as if she’s
stepped off a spaceship
after landing on a different planet
and the simple act of breathing
requires exaggerated effort.

She looks around at nothing that’s familiar.

She gets up and clears the plates,
feeds the dog, loads the wash
then heads for the door.

Its no surprise
she finds his car parked
in space 138.
The same place he always parks
when he goes for a run.

She shakes her head  
and checks her watch,
confused by the clock
on the dash, 8:31 pm.

It doesn’t make sense.

25 years of routine behavior
makes her think that it is morning.
He parks in space 138
in the morning.

Troubled by her fractured norm
she calls 911 and waits for
the police to arrive.
They tell her that they found a man
and ask her to go with them but
she cannot, or will not go with them
to identify a dead man,

lifeless on a concrete slab
in a cold city basement
under blue neon buzz
above refrigerated drawers.

They will need to find another way
to break her heart tonight.

She refuses to hear what happened,
how a mental patient ran from
behind a tree and hacked him
with a rusty machete.

She will not go with them,
she will not listen to their story,
she will not turn on the television,
she will not speak to anyone but

she will hang on to routine.

She will hold it tightly
for as long as she can.


On a random Saturday at 5:15
she rushes to prepare dinner by 5:30.
At 5:35 she stares at the kitchen clock,
the one they calibrate with Greenwich
once a month.

At 5:36 she takes off her apron,
folds it carefully so as not to wrinkle it,
wipes a bead of sweat from her upper lip
and wonders if its menopause.

Her heart is racing as
she jumps at the sound of the telephone.
When she hangs up she is calm.

The coroner has confirmed.

She heads toward the back door,
spots her keys on the left hook while
the right hook sits empty
and she begins to cry.
She takes her keys into the garage
but leaves her purse behind.
She won’t be driving anywhere tonight.
She starts the car,
leaves it running and gets out,
lies down on the cold cement floor,
curls into a fetal position and
slowly drifts toward sleep.

She finally admits the truth.

He sleeps on cold cement as well.
A very sad story that has stayed with me now for several weeks... I wake up thinking about it, I am haunted by this story..
2.5k · May 2013
(St) Ben(edict)
v V v May 2013
We have a cat named Ben who doesn’t wear a collar.
I know a saint named Ben whose picture's on a medal.

I wear it for safety, a bigger one we hang above the door for
superstitious reasons like a black cat that isn't ours
walking across our path, Ben is ours but Ben is brown not black
and Ben won't wear a collar so he stays indoors.

     St Benedict of Nursia the patron saint of lots of things,
     of remedies for poisoning, of evil witchcraft,  suffering,
     a patron saint of lots of things, of aggies, engineers,
     spelunkers and those with fever near the gates of death.

     He is the patron saint of gall stones but not kidney stones
     if so his medal would have saved me from significant pain,
     but still I wear his medal when I go out to keep myself
     protected from whatever it is he protects us against.

     before he became a good luck charm, before he was a medal
     he lived in a cave in Italy in the year 400 a.d. where for
     three years the townsfolk brought him food to eat and finally
     talked him into coming out. No, not that kind of coming out
     he wasn’t gay, he was a priestly hermit who was celibate.

     They put him in charge of a monastery when no one else
     wanted the job, but when he made the rules that still stick today
     they didn’t want to listen so they tried to poison him twice
     both unsuccessful. This is where he gets the nod for sainthood.

     Divine intervention saved the day, a raven stole the
     poisoned bread and a spasm smashed the poisoned cup.
     if they wanted him to go away they could have asked him  
     but I guess they needed a saint, someone to martyr, so
     he went back to his cave and was promptly forgotten

     until the Connecticut witch trials of 1647 when a captured
     witch confessed that her powers were contained by a
     conspicuous medal that she’d never seen before mounted
     over doorways, and she heard the whispers of the townsfolk say
     the medal was the medal of a saint they called St. Benedict.

I can personally attest that the medal is quite unique with
Latin inscriptions on both the front and the back. On one side
of the medal he stands and holds the holy rules, at his feet
a raven and a broken cup. An inscription on the medal reads:

            “May we at our death be fortified by his presence”

Flip it over and you’ll see:

          C  S   S
       N D S M D
          P  M   B

“May the holy cross be my light”
          “Let not the dragon be my overlord”
                      “This is the cross of Father Benedict”
                             “yadda   yadda   yadda”

Along the outer edge it looks like this, strangely similar
to a Ouija board.

                    B                    V
                V ­                           R
               I                    ­             S
                L                             N
                 Q                          S  
                     M                 V  

PAX  for Peace

The rest is this:
“Begone Satan yadda yadda yadda
          for evil is what you prefer yadda yadda
              so drink your own poison yadda”

350 some years since its inception and the medals popularity
still flourishes.  I reach down and finger the medal beneath
my t-shirt and I realize what the strangeness feels like.

It feels like witchcraft.

I guess I’ll wait and see if anything happens
before I pass judgment.

I hang it near our bed at night and while
we sleep

our brown cat Ben likes to bat it around.
Recently published in Storm Cycle 2013: The Best of Kind of a Hurricane Press
[Paperback] A. J. Huffman (Author)
2.4k · Dec 2010
A Swirling Memory of Loss
v V v Dec 2010
She placed a scarf in my hand
on a cold and rainy day,
lavender lace
laden with the scent
of Oscar de la Renta.
That would be
the last of us,
I lost her on that day.

She always had a penchant
for fine fragrances,
I always had a penchant
for elusion.

I ran to hide my secrets
in a place I couldn’t be loved
and zombied along for
two decades and then some.

when women pass in
crowded halls or shopping malls
their trailing wake radiates
a breezy scent,

a swirling memory
of what's been lost,

a stinging pain
for that which
slipped away.
2.4k · Mar 2016
That Sacred Balance
v V v Mar 2016

Everything meets
in the middle,

all that is
and was
and done
or said


So they say while
the fulcrum creaks
and the lever sags.

     That’s where
     lost there way.

Take two magnets and
try to push them together
to meet at center, instead
they slide from side to side
and go around, no force
can bring them together.

     I say everything
     that goes around
     comes back this way,

the wrong way,
to haunt or remind us
but never to the middle,
never offering peace.

Maybe that's why
some say suicide
is a valid option,
as if to trick
the sacred balance,
sneak up on
magnetic rejection
and force your way
to center.

     Sometimes I dwell
     on the mystery of
     Golden Gate.

Such a sacred place,
the breeze, the sun,
her hypnotic beauty
and the fact that
no one jumps at


Nero:    "Jax, do you believe in Karma?"
Jax:       "Not today"
     But I believe.
     I believe because
     I have lived it.

     My Karma is Grace
     and I can’t tell you
     how many times she
     has found me,

always where I didn’t go willingly,
dragged by a massive darkness
and held up high while the weight
of death sat across the divide
on the other end of the teeter-totter.
v V v Sep 2015
We bury them in flat graves
or convert them to ash
and wear them around our necks,
or place them in urns.

And what’s this about burial pods?
Your rotting corpse providing nutrients
to a tree that will one day be
cut down to make a casket
for the person that hung themselves
with their necklace of ash.

I recently read about
mechanically pressed ash
pressed so hard and
with so much pressure
that your loved one becomes
a diamond.
Albeit grey and dull,
and quite expensive.

Effectively if you die first
you can still be buried
with the one you love,
its almost like dying twice…

why do we no longer honor the dead?

Please don’t say an urn or a pod
or a flat marked grave honor the dead.
Google Highgate Cemetery.
Google The Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno
and you will understand the difference.

It is good to honor the dead.  

A death so honored that
a hundred years later
They’re as beautiful as ever.

look and see how beautiful it is
to honor the dead.
I'm sure it comes down to expense, but oh how I wish we still honored our dead in this way. Google images of Highgate Cemetery and the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno for specific examples of such beauty.
2.1k · Apr 2019
A Safe Place
v V v Apr 2019
She told me to
"Imagine a safe place",
a quiet place, somewhere to go
when the fog is at my feet.

But everywhere I went was
crowded with doubt
and a lingering loitering
presence on my shoulder,
come out from the fog to
hurl accusations and taunt.

I can only assume
it's a he on my shoulder,
an enigma,
my father's doppelganger
come to dredge my mind
of all the **** he dished out
when I was a child,

and feed it back to me again.

I tell her I'll need more tools
and stronger ideas.

So she gives me a seat at
the head of the table
where my ****** committee meets,
and a gavel to establish order
or bash in their brains.

She arms my dreams
with weapons and courage,
gives me REM when I'm wide awake.

We fashion a furnace of love,
hot enough to vaporize the
cold darkness pouring into my gut,
customized with levers and pulleys
to push and to pull in the fight.

We tally
Alpha and Beta waves,
trained and retrained,
hard coded messages
sanded smooth by repetition.

       Through it all I give too,
       and what I give is all I can give,
       it is the warmth of what enslaves me,
       and the thought of letting it go….  
       Well.... lets not go there right now.

In the long run I'm not sure that
any of it will be enough,
I am weakened by the war.

But occasionally there
are shiny spots that simmer,

You see,
I may have found that place,
the place she first told me to find
way back at the beginning,
the place to feel safe, although
it isn't really a place per se.

If it were true
I could finally ascend to
where no fog can go.
Where my father's voice
cannot be heard,
nor the ghosts I grew
up with.

A place of love and honesty,
where my furnace would sit idle in awe.

There is a picture of us
on our bedroom wall.
It is the perfect depiction of
all that is safe for me.

I look at your smile
and I see peace.
Nothing can penetrate
your radiance,
you are everything
I've never had,
double layered and
by all of it.

By all of the ****.

I am learning to go there
when the fog is at my feet,
and the ghosts are in my ear.

When the accusations come
I can escape there with you,

and together we can drown them out

if only for a little while.
Recently began therapy for my "issues"  related to PTSD.  Needless to say the therapeutic tools available today are much better than they were 20 years ago.
2.1k · Oct 2011
Red Neck Grocery Shopping
v V v Oct 2011
Fat footed
two ton tessies
tattooed with
tigers, growling
under bulging hips,
bustin' out shocks
on Datsuns K cars
Le Sabres, 1998
primer gray bondo
and duct tape,
taking up two spots
with a smile.

Streaky squeaky 
automatic doors
bump your nose
to make em go
1972 linoleum
grab a cart
hope you don’t
catch death
from the handle
or worse

last weeks ads
mixed with new,
who buys 10
of anything?
except beers
and smokes
fried chicken
and maybe
frozen burritos.

“Hey why’s that chicken smell like fish?
How old is that grease anyway?
Ooh there’s a ten-fer on a two-fer pack
of coconut orange sno-*****!”

Mr. I love
Jeff Gordon
mesh hat
and shirt
wants to know

“Does that ten-fer on those two-fers
mean I have to buy 20?”

I don’t know sir,
but Go! Go! Go!
Jeff Gordon #24
hours a day,
always open

“Is that the chicken-fish I smell?
Or am I smellin’ the guy in flippy flops?”

bunions and
scabby hammers
mister please
cover that **** up
asks his wife
or daughter
not sure which

“Are them white bag bar code
cheesey puffs any good? too bad
they aint got a ten-fer!”

back woods

“mama can we get ice cream?”

red neck
united nations
macaroni and
cheesey tank tops
“Why cain’t we go barefoots in here?”

pork rinds
stew meat
chicken parts
nothing tender
never lean and
never ever 
from New York.
Big beer belly
buying beer
gotta count
coin careful
cart carries
cases of Miller
not Lite
not Genuine Draft
Hi-Life and ‘Ol Roy,

“**** mister, you must have a big dog!”
Two tone
skunk hair
holds the Tussin
grabs a
“what page is my Taurus-scope on?”

power carts
powered down

“why cain’t they keep these thangs juiced up?”
basket bulging
that’s why,
two-liter Tab
Twinkies and

Time to
check out
10 items
or less
don’t matter,
checker has
checked out
bagger brags
more than bags
“I sees you folks got a kitty cat! My kitties
just love the leftover chicken-fish!”

big deal lady
we have 4 cats too
my pajama bottoms
have been worn
3 times
my hair was
washed yesterday
and yes I am
wearing slippers
but at least
they are
closed- toe.
pay the bill
ring the bell

load the car

drive away

mutter under breath,

I am so much better than these people…
I apologize in advance to my friends across the pond, and to to my American friends in the North, these visions I share may be misunderstood and/or unrecognized....As for my friends who live south of the Mason-Dixon line, enjoy...
2.0k · Jun 2014
A Dichotomous Love
v V v Jun 2014
There’s a place of perfect simmer
where the flame runs just so high,
never quite to boiling over,
neither still a tepid bath.
At least that’s what you insisted to me
in your frustration at my inability
to find a soft place to land between
pulses of ecstasy and re-heated casserole.
Even still you love me
like a whirlwind loves the dust,
gathering it in by picking it up,
steadying it's spin by collecting debris.
I thought we would make a respectable tornado,
together, instead I find myself
breaking loose from your gentleness
and destroying homes, alone.
If only the weather could tell us whether
we were headed for perfection or destruction.
If only the *** I stir could be a crystal ball.

If only I could love you
as much as I do.
A co-write with my good friend Jamie Johnson.
v V v Jan 2012
I wanted to see you where the years were kind,
inescapably etched and displayed like
smooth stones spread out on velvet;
but I wouldn't ask. I rummaged through zippers
and heavy things.

On a cool summer night we heard a hiss of
broken stars across the desert sky
and looked up in time to see one pass over head
like a science fiction rocket ship.
It was a moment with you I will never forget.

It's funny how things are settled or settling
and divided by extremes,
jealousy   -   anger   -   hurt   -  houses  -  
etched stones  -  broken stars,
stuff  you  can't  find  words  for,  
stuff  you  wish  y­ou'd  written  down,
words  that  end  up  on  gravestones.

So leave me  with my imagination and your beauty,
maybe some nostalgia as my muse, add one more thing
for sure, make my children our children
not   half - me - half - devil - children
and maybe I wouldn't have to run,
wouldn't have to start a war.

Maybe I could be happy without
your etched stones.

Maybe all I really need is a broken star.
1.7k · May 2011
A Frigid Woman
v V v May 2011
Beware the frigid woman
who can lean upon the stars
but never gather light
or comprehend heat.

She hides what to reveal
would turn her lover’s eyes away,
the scars her daddy left,
the guilt thrown at the pews,
the touch of too many,
the touch of too few.

For strangers she
will fly the moon, for you
she comes home tired
to sleep on nails.

A master of conditional love
she heaps her baggage on the ones
who love her most,
the only truth she breathes.

She never goes to where
you'd  take her

she only commits to

and stacks of Bibles do nothing
to bring forth truth

I tell you this much

the light across the dawn is more
than just the sun
and everything you give her
will rust.
Previously published at ****** and Novocaine, December 2012
1.6k · Sep 2010
A Sonnet for Euphoria
v V v Sep 2010
I always feel my best with pulsing veins
of Absolut or Johnnie Walker neat,
or devil’s dust to take away my pain,
a thin syringe injecting hell’s deceit.
Though sorrow loses strength with needle sting
and moods arise with belts of liquid heat,
I know the tingling twitch will always bring
electric blood when morning comes to greet.
But still I struggle with the current’s craze,
euphoric numb that always plugs and sways
the battle in-between the nights and days,
the sunset hour with all its shades of grays
where all the choices made are surely wrong-
I wake at dusk and start my morning strong.
1.6k · Sep 2010
Rainy Day
v V v Sep 2010
Rainy day rain
runs the roof-line
like a beaded curtain
pittering and pattering
in puddles beneath our window
while I wait.
You say you’re working late
but you lie; I know better,
I found his letter.
1.5k · Jan 2017
Somehow They Still Have Hope
v V v Jan 2017
I never really felt as if
my mother had it all together.  
Her torch was
a brittle twig she couldn’t keep lit,
never enough stick to burn bright,
but just enough tip
for random flare-ups
violently fueled by
nobody knew what.

Her lack of light meant
she could not be trusted,
and her strained attempts at
love and affection felt like
a bad dream where
everyone’s speaking Japanese.

Her marriage to my father was
the modern day equivalent
of an interracial same *** marriage,
Catholics and Protestants
weren't supposed to mix,
and a toothless trumpet player
with an alcoholic bent
shouldn’t have lasted the honeymoon
with a spoiled, sheltered oldest child.

But father made it seem as if
they had it all together,
at least in public.
At home it was different,
he passed through our lives
like the winter wind,
everybody scrambling for cover
when he showed up.

He slept at odd hours
and worked and drank
and drank and worked,
blowing quickly from one
to the other, 
never standing still long enough
to notice the demons at his heals,
the demons that took forever to catch him,

but not mother.
They caught her when I was quite young.
I could see them in her eyes
from a very early age and
father could see them too,
but he did nothing
to protect her.

They’ve been together
over 60 years now, overrun by what
I would call a thick purple nothingness
an eerie, detached existence within
the smothering cadence of monotony,
yet somehow, unbelievably,
they still have hope.

Hope for God knows what

all they have is their
unspoken hatred of each
wrapped up in a make believe
so strong and lived so long
that their demons are now
a huge white elephant
lounging about the house
loosening their bed screws,
pounding on the bed springs,
moving through the vents
and interfering with
the reception of Catholic radio.

You might call it insanity,

I say everything that
once mattered to them is lost,
yet again,
they still have hope.

we overachieving children
suffer our own maladies,
a misfit bunch of
dysfunctional lovers running so fast
we’ll be 80 before the demons catch us.

But who am I kidding?
From father to mother to me,
their demons have been my closest friends
as long as I can remember,

ever since the first day
I saw them in her eyes.
1.5k · Jan 2014
Twice as Much Love
v V v Jan 2014
(Or Bi-Polar Disorder)

I. Depressive phase- 
I love you for your kindness first,
then for the peace in your eyes.
How could anyone as sure as you
not be the one sent to save me?
But save me from what?  
From doubt?  From myself?
You are God’s gift to me yet
I can't help it sometimes
I picture myself ten years down
the line with you not caring
and me destitute and homeless,
living on the streets, alone.

           When the transition comes
            I see it come and embrace it,
            picking up speed it screams over me
            like a snow white avalanche,
           a huge chemical ****** in my brain
           that cannot be stopped.

II. Manic phase-

Here I like to entertain myself
with vain fantasies of sainthood.
I’m standing and waving
to the faithful in Piazza San Pietro,
doing what’s necessary to secure
my martyr’s destiny in the after life
where I’ll have a place of honor
in the great hall of God, and through
a window in the floor I’ll be able
to see my mourners
filing past my gaudy reliquary,
crossing themselves as they gaze through
the philatory glass at the peaceful repose
of my sequin studded bones.

           *I have come to understand that
           this matter may never be settled.  
           I’d truly give anything for you
           to have  power enough to hold me
           in the middle, to hold me in
           the purple fog nothingness
           but I believe it tires you
           to prop up a puppet all day.
           You’d rather love me in each moment
           which is the truest love there is
           and that makes me the luckiest
           man on the face of the Earth.
Piazza San Pietro = St Peter's Square, the Vatican
Reliquary = A shrine for the storing of religious artifacts, especially relating to saints
Philatory = A box in a reliquary with a glass top or side for viewing the boxes contents

For more information check out this link, I promise it is worth a look!
1.5k · Jan 2019
His Perpetual Stare
v V v Jan 2019
The nurse said he
seemed confused today,
with a faraway look as
if trying to remember…

But I know the
look she speaks of,
he's in a constant state
of panic and despair,  

as if he’s just missed the
train and now he knows
there won’t be enough time
To catch the next one and still
make it to the liquor store
before it closes.
1.4k · Aug 2012
The One
v V v Aug 2012
When I get lost I depend on you
to help me find my way but lately
I can't see because of the weight
of what I'm missing.
Will it ever cease?
For a while your love was enough;
****, it should still be enough but
my brain’s imbalance
is ******* me over with
constant neediness of something,
like a craving for citrus or salt…
I’ll try anything to make
the need go away
and I already have.

Many work well but not for long,
others work fast but aren't as strong,
The best work fast and leave no trace,
but ask for more, and more,
and more until without
you just might die,
and with,  
you're just getting by,
the deceptive little *******
will eat you up in the end,
while you chase the need  
and wish you could go back
to where you didn't know
what you know now.
but would it matter?

They say to be partial to only one
is fortunate. I don’t buy it.
I try to replace the one with
combinations of 3 or 4
but ****, they will never do
for me what one did.
I won’t say what one is for me
but you know what one is for you,
and if by chance
your one is more than one
I pray God have mercy on you
because fighting one battle
is battle enough.

Have you ever considered that
to be clean means to live
every day for the rest of your life
with complete knowledge that
you will never, ever, as long as you live
feel as good as you did the first time?

I give in once in a while,
then go cold and sweat for a week.

You know you’re ******
When the suffering is worth it.
1.3k · Jan 2011
The Madness in the Hollow
v V v Jan 2011
Question those thoughts that
pop into your head uninvited,

shattering the silence.

Random revelations while
walking, reading or driving,

shocking zaps to the back
of your head like bullets
from a book bin building,
cleaving your skull,
exposing your brain.

Question them all…..

Are they directives from above?
From deep inside your ghost?
Your soul? Where do they come from?

Study the darkness of your pupils in a mirror.

Look deep and long.

The answer is in the hollow.
1.3k · Feb 2011
Dead Bones Don't Die
v V v Feb 2011
The skeletons my father keeps in his closet
are not my own,
those bones would be far too obvious.
The demons he fought I've put in the ground,
the bones his daddy gave him,
the ones I said would not be mine.

But dead bones don’t die,
at least the bones that pass from fathers to sons,
instead they fester and stew
and boil below the surface
where barely a sound is heard.
Meanwhile my boys are busy digging them up.

Its true
boys tend to dig and get *****;
my boys dig up bones
and drum them on my door.

I worked so hard to break the cycle,
to raise my boys without the pain,
to protect their fragile hearts from heartache,

I kept telling myself to keep the dead dead,
but its hard to do when the dead don't really die,
instead they lie about the absence of pain,
the pain I knew so well,
the fear that motivated me to be something more,
to push myself beyond
what I thought I could be,
to a place where I might be a man.

But here at the end
my boys are still boys drumming up bones,
no fear, they expect the world to be easy.

I have learned that fear can be a great motivator.
It worked for me
but not my boys
I never gave them anything to fear.
I gave them boats with oars
and straw to make brick
and lots of love and plenty of hugs
and always told them I was proud of them

but I never gave them fear.

Now my boys fear nothing
but expect everything

dead bones don't die

they just look different
Published at Pyrokinection, June, 2013
1.3k · Apr 2013
Fire Hydrant
v V v Apr 2013
gushing out
waves of drowning
deceit, drenching the people
who   pass   in   front
of me, knocking them down, forcing them
away- or locked up
tight,    heavy   with
layers    of    colorful
cover    where    even
your wrenching  love
is        not          enough
to       pry    me       loose.
Previously published in Storm Cycle 2012: The Best of Kind of a Hurricane Press
[Paperback] A. J. Huffman (Author)
1.3k · Sep 2011
v V v Sep 2011
20 years felt more like if
she slowed the Earth’s rotation with
the magnetic malfunction of her moral compass.
Previously published at ****** and Novocaine, December , 2012
1.3k · Oct 2011
Marriage and Sobriety
v V v Oct 2011
There has to be a better reason
to face each day buzz-less smoke-less sober
than simply not wanting to hurt her.
She tells me I'm a gutless feckless ******,
and if I'm not careful, wifeless,
which reiterates my point.
v V v Dec 2015
Mother tried to be a decent mother
in the weeks ahead of Christmas.
she’d fill the month with Advent calendars,
finger countdowns and splotchy
un-successful attempts to create a
joyful face with lipstick.

In hindsight maybe the weight
of her guilt was especially heavy during
the one month of the year that God
could not be ignored.

Its different now.
God is no longer privy to X-mas,
and guilt is not an appropriate emotion
to be taught to children.  

I was more afraid
of mother during Christmas
than at any other time of the year,
all that fake smiling and brittle kindness,
her strings could snap at any moment,
and you knew they would
you just didn’t know when,
or how, or on who.

“It always snows at Christmas!”
mother said as she reached
out my bedroom window to
gather a handful of fresh powder.
She’d bring it in to show me
and I’d wince and cringe because
her movements were  erratic
and unpredictable
like a puppet on strings, her
arms swinging wildly
from side to side,
knees jerking up and down
across the floor
she’d always end up
spilling snow on my bed.

I think the snow helped numb
what it was that she hid,
helped her hide behind
that painted wooden smile,
if only for a little while.

My memories of snow
are quite vivid.
I’d shovel snow into
tall piles, taller than I stood
then build tunnels
to the other side.
I jumped off of rooftops
into huge snowdrifts
and come up with
sleeves full of snow.
My friends and I would
latch onto bumpers of
slow moving cars
and “skeech” through
the neighborhood,
or careen down toboggan
runs on our feet,
face planting
at the bottom where
the ice gave way
to fresh snow.

When I turned 16
we’d hide Old Style Beer
in snow drifts,
build ice forts in the forest
and spin donuts in
St. Mary’s parking lot with
open beers in our laps
and never get caught.

As I see it now
all of these things
helped ease the
burden of confusion
with my mother’s
dis- interested
wooden puppet

but her guilt ridden
attempts at
Christmas niceties
were never going
to be enough
to keep me from

You see its all about the snow.  
A life embraced by snow.

snow cut into lines,
Encapsulated snow,
spoon melted snow,

any kind of snow
to numb the extremities
and freeze the nerve endings,

a temporary escape from
the Christmas gift
of mother’s guilt.
1.3k · Jan 2016
I Like to Drive at Night
v V v Jan 2016
Sometimes I awaken to
a hovering swarm of
stinging can’t be sures.

I have learned from experience
that on those days
it is best to avoid all reflection.

Mental or optical,
either one if given rope
will string you up,
tie you down to guilt
like a sinking ship
where the longer you
stay on board
the harder it is to get off.

I’d like to think
a long drive
would clear my mind.

A long drive driven at night.

I’d head out west toward
the widening sky and
reflective green mile markers,
400 to be exact.

They have seen
their fair share of
my failures.

Dallas - Ft Worth
To New Mexico,
I could drive it
eyes closed
and never miss
a turn.

But in years past
It wasn't so easy.
Back then I missed
a lot of turns
and messed up a lot of life.

From the guilt
of the sinking ship
to the heat of
midnight pavement,

at least the pavement
brought a tiny bit of pleasure,
still brings a tiny bit of pleasure.

For 30 years
I’ve gone this way
leaving ashes of me,
bits and pieces here and there

while white reflective numbers
count out the many milestones
I’d rather soon forget:

                    Tears of regret at mile markers
                    349, 288, 275, 263, 217, etc.

                    Swerved to miss a deer
                    at mile marker 321,

                    First on the scene of a 2am
                    accident.  Quiet moaning,
                    mile marker 285,

                    met my guardian angel
                    on a cliff with no guardrail,
                    mile marker 250,

                    panic attack at 249,

                    219 in drifting snow,
                    invisible except for green paint
                    found on my bumper,

                    Stopped the car to *****
                    at 216, 201, 185, that’s all,
                    wait, one more time,
                    mile marker 59.

                    Attacked by giant frogs
                    at 213,

                    The wind whipped giants at
                    the gates of Fluvanna, 201,

                    saw Christ come forth
                    from a swirling fog
                    at 192,  barefoot,
                    dragging a cross uphill,
                    I had seen him in the dark
                    at marker 195 at 4am,
                    so I stopped and waited
                    for the suns to rise over
                    an eastern hill,
                    and when they did
                    I went on.

                    The suicidal lure of
                    velvety pillowed
                    train tracks at 155,
                    unfortunately inaccessible
                    from the road,
                    occasionally they still call my name.

                    at 140 I threw away everything
                    that was true about love,
                    the repercussions of such
                    are still felt 3 decades later,                         
                    so be careful of the promises      
                    you make, and stay away from
                    mile marker 140,
                    Satan lives there beneath a rock.
                    Smothering loneliness
                    at mile marker 125, 101, 94.

                    76 total emptiness.

                    Nothingness  45, 44, 43, 42, 41.

                    Amnesia from 40 to 1.

                    At the state line
                    there are no numbers
                    only a huge red and yellow sign
                    that says  “Bienvenido!”

                    I breathe a sigh of relief
                    and roll up my window,

                    no more hovering swarms
                    past or present
                    at least for tonight,

                    at least on this side of the line.
1.2k · Apr 2011
v V v Apr 2011
I call myself a poet
but not today.
Today I blow smoke
into March winds
and powder the sky
with exhale.
Chaos my muse
has gone away,
she’s left me here
with deck chairs
and wind chimes,
cigarettes and ash,
the epic poem
I planned to write
will have to wait.
Wait for the wave
of self-loathing
and remorse
to come along
as inspiration,
it always comes,
its just
a matter of time,
but not today.
Today i sit.
Today I smoke.

Today I exhale
what tomorrow
I breathe.
v V v Feb 2011
He walks across the great expanse as if a ghost.
He walks alone and out of place as two by two
the joggers pass and barely glance as if its normal

to behold a ghost.  What they don’t see defines
his life, the tortured demon voice inside his head
that taunts and teases all day long and
tells him he “ain’t spit” and “ugly is forever”.

He’d been neglected all his life but now that he’s
become a man he thought the love he sought
would save him from the way it was when he
was young. His problem now is wrapped around
his backward thought that love is his to find and take
instead of his to give and share, if only he had
learned this in his childhood.

He slowly mounts the rail between the ocher beams
on Golden Gate and looks at murky water far below.
His clothes are black, his hair is long and black,
his skin as white as snow. He stands ***** while
looking back to see if one might lend a hand but
no one does.  He smiles a smile and turns around and
then as if he’s been cut down he leans, unbending,
and falls.

            A hundred miles away a mother knows her child
is dead.  She bows her head in shame and cries,
the why at war with guilt. A part of her is gone,
a part she can’t deny or blame as someone else's fault
instead she hates herself for never having loved the boy,
but even more she hates the hurt.  If only she had
fought the urge to drink, if only she had loved him half
as much as that crazy **** she used to smoke, the ****
she called her ‘crystal blue persuasion’. If only she
could turn the hands of time and rearrange the things
that mattered most.

A flare is dropped to mark the spot where he went in,
the flaming red a beacon on a bay of mother’s tears.
Another soul engulfed in grief is gone, the deed is done.
A crowd is gathered at the rail to point and stare
as boats approach the flare where men with hooks
will pull him out while mother drinks 100 miles away.
Inspired by the 2007 documentary "The Bridge", and written
in memory of over 1200 troubled souls who have committed suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge since it opened in 1937
1.2k · Dec 2010
Freight Train
v V v Dec 2010
Mother thunders toward the bedroom door;
a great steam locomotive huffing and
puffing on piston churning hips,
head of steam and flashing lights
sweep a red warning.
I heed
but she jumps the track,
and suddenly I am beneath
the cold wheels of her wrath,
flailing away,
flesh and bone grinding in the dust,
while her shrill whistle blows.
1.2k · Jan 2012
I Went to See the Wizard
v V v Jan 2012
and waited an hour
while six dead deep we stood and stared.
It never used to be this way,
I used to get in right away,
but now the zombies come
and wait, and stay.

I want to tell them what they'll find
when inhibitions thaw,
that once they eat the wizard’s fruit
their eyes will see, its what I saw,

a paradise in white pill pageantry.

I cant go back, its better this way,
he’s changed my neuro-chemistry,
defied my ****** up ancestry,
  The slayer of boredom
and mediocrity mastered,

I raise a toast to my new idolatry!

to the wizard!

He who holds the key; 

my doctor of psychiatry.
1.2k · Dec 2010
The Book on David
v V v Dec 2010
I’ve read the Psalms of David
at least a hundred times,
today a revelation,
he must have lost his mind.
He went to fight a ten foot giant
with nothing but a sling,
in faith?
Or retardation?
Yet chosen to be king!

I guess he was bi-polar.
Just a *****.
Like apes or dogs with no restraint
and always wanting more.
He saw her bathing on the roof,
her alabaster skin,
the beauty of what wasn’t his
became a sin to him.

But I can’t believe she didn’t play
a part in this affair,
like girls in low cut sweaters
that get ****** when people stare.
The end result?
Its all the same
when someone winds up dead,
and all because
a crazy king
forgot to take his meds.
1.1k · Oct 2010
Always the Bells
v V v Oct 2010
Old men in dresses wave hands across baskets
casting magic spells on sausage and oranges
then hocus pocus over horseradish root as
thick as a forearm, potato-peeled later
we'll garnish meats with mystical power.

They expect us to kiss the ****** feet of
a God immortalized in plaster while granite
saints stand watching a procession of misty-eyed
martyrs shuffling down the aisle like sheep,
and all the while the bells are ringing.

Always the ringing of bells.

Bells rung by boys standing still
ring like angels.

The old men hold crackers up to the light,
then more bells and drinking of blood
and finally its done. They waddle down
the nave casting incense in a metronome spray.

The boys follow behind the hypnotic smoke,
their bells have been put away,
pall bearers of the crucified Christ
they lead us not into temptation,
rather deliver us out the doors
and into the street,
redeemed and safe behind
the hedge of numbing ritual.
JK November 2010

Memories  of growing up Roman Catholic. My grandmother believed in having the priests "bless"  food  at Easter. I always found that a bit odd...
1.1k · Oct 2011
Sometimes I Miss the Shit
v V v Oct 2011
Tonight I'm thinking about how much
I love HP and all the people I've met here
and even though it isn’t perfect neither
are any of us but its pretty **** close
and funny how we're all getting along right now
there doesn’t seem to be any chaos
or drama just a lot of love flying around
and I started to compare it to my life and how
my life has always been chaotic
kinda like HP used to be
and if you’re like me
you get used to the chaos
and when things are perfect
you kinda wish they weren’t
cuz perfection doesn’t ever feel
quite right
A dysfunctional childhood makes
for great poetry a wounded heart the same
but most of us are here as survivors of sorts
finding ways to overcome the ****
but sometimes I miss the ****
even though I'm too old for it
the **** has always been there for me
and now its not and
I worry I can’t feel without it
I know what to expect from the ****
the tingle at the tip of my nose
the rumble in my gut that brings up *****
I know where these feelings come from
from infidelity and feigning sobriety
from the blistering hiss of steaming words
******* ******* and kiss my *** *****

I once threw a baseball through a sheetrock wall four feet from her head
and it made her doubt me just a little bit just enough
to give me that little boost a little bump you know
I've never struck a woman in her case I probably should have
but you don't need to hear that **** she’s long gone
and thankfully you're asleep  
my **** never needs to be your ****
or even our **** for that matter
you don't deserve it
and could never understand it
I would never expect you too

Its late and I'm tired but all is well
and somehow deep I know
it always will be well with you and me
wrapped up in all this peacefulness
but sometimes I miss the ****
1.1k · Aug 2011
Ewing Avenue
v V v Aug 2011
I remember the slamming screen doors,
the rattle of the stained glass monster,
and the drafty shadowed nights beneath chenille bedspreads.
I remember the sun soaked cloak room with its reek of wet woolen mittens,
the un-impeded flight down stairs in tomato basket bobsleds,
and the bouncing at the bottom in a frenzy of strawberry carpet burns.

I remember church bingo basements smoky on Friday nights,
Saturday morning sounds from her kitchen,
and a mile of sulfur dusted sidewalk in between.
I remember the damp musty smell of the low lit basement,
the passing of Black Label beer through semi-circle windows,
and the nauseating hangover from Mogen David wine kept in the cellar.
I remember hearing how they kicked in the door while she slept and beat her
and took her things, her rings, the gifts from my grandfather,
and how she stubbornly refused to leave the home my mother was born in.

A half century book ended on one end by the great depression,
which she survived,
on the other end the kicked in door
which she did not.
I remember my mother’s wavering voice when she told me she was dead,
how Uncle Ed found her sitting in her chair, rosary beads wrapped
around arthritic hands.
I remember hot on the left and cold on the right,
the smell of her sweat,
the breeze off the lake,
the creak of the old steam radiator,
and the way she slept in her chair with her mouth wide-open.
The way Uncle Ed found her.
1.1k · May 2012
A Dichotomous Love
v V v May 2012
There’s a place of perfect simmer
where the flame runs just so high,
never quite to boiling over,
neither still a tepid bath.
At least that’s what you insisted to me
in your frustration at my inability
to find a soft place to land between
pulses of ecstasy and re-heated casserole.
Even still you love me
like a whirlwind loves the dust,
gathering it in by picking it up,
steadying it's spin by collecting debris.
I thought we would make a respectable tornado,
together, instead I find myself
breaking loose from your gentleness
and destroying homes, alone.
If only the weather could tell us whether
we were headed for perfection or destruction.
If only the *** I stir could be a crystal ball.

If only I could love you
as much as I do.
A huge thank-you to Jamie L. Johnson for co-authoring this poem with me and for providing a ton of encouragement during an extended period of "nothingness".  Please read Jamie's work if you haven't already done so, she is an amazing poet who I admire greatly.
1.1k · Sep 2014
Bonfire in a Jar
v V v Sep 2014
Like a bonfire you are
hard to look away from.
I feel your warmth
even from afar.

Get too close
and your intensity
is vaporizing.

If only you could be
a firefly in a jar,
I ‘d let you out at night
to spread your light,

and I'd bask in the burn you ignite,

but by day
I’d keep you away

in a jar on a shelf.
1.1k · Nov 2011
Autobiography (in 10 words)
v V v Nov 2011
A raging inner surf,
I blame it on the moon.
1.1k · Nov 2010
I Need You
v V v Nov 2010
Like anchors
need a stormy sea
like windows
need a wall
Like stuntmen
need a hole to see
where barrel
meets the falls
like hairless heads
that need a hat
like chess games
need a pawn
like bright stars
need the shepherds
to announce the
birth of dawn
like windswept plains
need summer rain
like bitter
cuts the sweet
like coursing blood
needs purple vein's
continuous repeat
like roadside stands
need fresh picked fruit
like music
needs the mind
like no more striving
in pursuit of
love I cannot find

because I found you
JK  November 2010
1.1k · Sep 2010
2 AM
v V v Sep 2010
I do not cloak weakness
                       nor dagger with words,
                   not afraid of dark hours,
                                     to be so absurd,
                           the suffering silence
                     where symphonies sing,
through windows the wind chimes
                           colliding, they bring
                     the red soldiers striding
                                    on digital clocks,
                             electronic moments
             each click they unlock and
                           un-tether breathing
                             so sweetly sublime,
                         I relish these moments
                            this passing of time
                         delivering me peaceful
                        to reticent repose, my
                         symphony of silence,
                           life songs I suppose
1.1k · Nov 2010
v V v Nov 2010
I don’t intend to die
before my time
but often
feel the sting
of dead intentions
Next page