Monday, June 18, 2018




--THANKS FOR STOPPING BY


…Sometimes I don’t what I need until I need it.

…The only thing is I don’t know where to start.

…It’s easy to miss someone.  It’s another thing to do something about it.

…All these years have passed and there are still people who have a different version to tell.

…I am pretty gentle if you have enough patience to get through all the layers.

…All this shuffling from place to place often feels pointless, yet I keep doing it.

…Can I tell you how unbearably cold this room is?

…I don’t punish my nightmares for being nightmares, but that doesn’t mean I like them.

…Let’s go to the edge and look at it.  Let’s be that brave.

…Money talks but people don’t always listen and some people don’t even wear deodorant.

…We all have to fight to conquer our demons, but for some of us it’s hard to come up with right strategy.

…My skin isn’t all that thick.  I can’t be touched just any way and not suffer.

…It’s difficult to answer to ambiguity.  It’s hard to know if it’s even worth the effort.

…The last word always rings in the ear even if the eye is empty.

…I know what it’s like to be in the throat of something that very much wants to swallow.

…Look son, you can’t go around in circles all your life.

…Sometimes my own thoughts threaten me with extinction.

…I don’t always back on and ride the horse.  Sometimes I sent it to the glue factory.

…B.B. King gave some good advice: “Remember, everyone has the blues.

…Hey, we all have to tell a story somehow, even if it’s not always true.



Friday, June 15, 2018



--THERE’S A LAST TIME FOR EVERYTHING



  The Things They Don’t Tell You About Real Horror Films

I hear someone in the bottom of Mother’s voice box rearranging furniture again, toppling the warped grandfather clock, dragging the toe-clawed bathtub across the ceiling while the light fixtures sizzle, burst and sweat red-black-red.
I’m in a bathtub myself right now, holding breath, which is holding time, which is holding nothing, holding the quarter-shaped stopper with the rusted metal chain, holding it down and tight so the water won’t escape, drain and expose me. 
My other hand is holding onto the neck of a faucet spewing sour, lemonade-looking water across my knobby knees, which, most times, flash a NO VACANCY sign with bulbs that need changing.
Now I hear my father herding bulls across the kitchen counter, using a heated prod, no doubt.  Dishes fly and clack.  Cupboards crunch.  Every room or seat or safe space I thought I knew goes inside out, turning cannibal, and just before I feel one sink its teeth into the back of my neck, there’s a sudden outage.
What a relief.
What’s a horror movie without the dark? 




Wednesday, June 13, 2018



--NICE JOB.  IT WORKED.


                             The Thing About Beautiful Things

 I am clinging. I am holding on. Or trying to.
I am holding every beautiful thing I have ever felt in the vase of my little boy hands.
There are four of them, four beautiful things in total, and each is so lovely and radiant that they hurt my eyes, and still I do not cry. I will not cry. I will never cry again.
         I turn one beautiful thing over and examine its backside and see it is beautiful even that way, even from behind, though it seems somehow contrived or counterfeit.
         I make the second beautiful thing shimmy its shoulders across a dance floor or grade school gym. I make it sing crisp and chirpy and then I chirp chirp chirp right back in my small, Helen Keller head.
         Number three and four beautiful things are far more than beautiful, but I am dumb and don’t know a word for more than beautiful, so I just remain sitting and staring as the screams/fists/flares/flames take down the hall, the ceiling rafters, my bedroom, the kitchen and the fridge where tomorrow I will be too scared to look for milk and will instead run to the big burping school bus already leaving without me.



                  

Monday, June 11, 2018


   
--IT COULD MEAN PEOPLE ARE CLEARLY NOT IN THE SAME TIME PERIOD OR PLACE


                              

                                   The Thing About My Depression
 
My depression is irritable, antsy, having a lousy day, so I burrow into the charred ether, chin strapped to chest, another stooge impaled by Stockholm Syndrome. 
I watch the Shaman shape-shift into an eye tic, or deer tick distended on the front of my corneas that keep swelling, won’t stop pulsing, won’t have a thing to do with me.  Such cunning theatrics should be applauded and syndicated.
There’s an explosion above and beneath me like two planets crashing headlong while my chair splinters into a thousand jagged toothpicks.
And so I am lying flat-backed on the floor again, cold sober, feeling last, least, lost, shuddering stock-still, as the menagerie around me shatters like a sledgehammer to the teeth.
You’ve told me to call.  After all, the phone’s right there, a small chirping brick by my cheek, but it might as well be the boulders strapped to my ankles as I’m thrown overboard.  Still, I watch my fingers twitch stretch inch then curl right back, like a radish root turning conveniently in on itself, so that my depression need not snip off the loose ends this time.
In the walls, a herd of rats scamper and wrestle through the husky insulation, drunk on derision.  The lights percolate and pop like a migraine that means business.  Every atom wants a piece of the action, chuckling at the drowning clown.
It doesn’t have to be this way, but it is.  A bad hamburger could send a drill through Anthony’s skull.  Air and space is all it takes for me.
Sound of a plane engine rattling inside my head.  Sound of someone saying, Please take care.  Sound of someone else screaming in an alley perfumed with piss.  Sound of fourth grade, hooligans ringed around me, chanting hieroglyphics I can’t decipher.
Birds keep slamming into the window, smearing the view.  A dog driving my car takes a corner too sharp and cannonballs into the lake, killing every last fish.  An eagle flies by with another bloody jugular in its talons, not even bothering to wink this time around.
My neck is a stump, my legs two railroad ties, my body duct-taped to the swooning ground while a ticker tape parade rains down noose after noose, each one just my size.  
The clock looks aged and has psoriasis or leprosy, its hands now filaments of dust.  I look through a hole in the roof, at all that black black black expanding, the angels that were once there now too hungover to look below and see the flashing red lights, hear the wailing sirens, hear the wailing silence, hear the wail wail wail of nothing.
Sometimes this is what it feels like to carry a day, what it feels like feels like to lose it, and not even know why.



Friday, June 8, 2018




—ABOVE THE STATION WALLS, THE COLORS BLEED AND RUN
        

…Yesterday I sat under a shade tree trying to forget all my mistakes.  I read rousing poetry that made me re-read lines, slower the second and third time around, while the wind did its work in the branches overhead.  Yesterday, before that, I swerved to miss a dainty, black squirrel that sat too far out on the road, chewing its fingernails like a Nervous Nelly.  Yesterday, before that, while I was on a run, a rabbit darted out in front of me, out into the road, hop hop hop, then stopped, paralyzed by fear as a pickup ran straight over it, making the rabbit’s heart ratchet up faster, no doubt, while the bunny realized how lucky it was not to be smashed.  Yesterday was all kinds of near life and death.  


…The comment, “You’re lucky; it could have been worse,” is the kind of helpfulness I can do without.  After all, it also could have been better.


…People like to make comparisons, but some things are completely incomparable.  Completely.


…One less thing to be confused about—now that’s funny.


…Time heals all wounds—I don’t buy it for one minute.


…Other people’s anger has done a hell of a lot for me.  I just never knew it at the time.


…Don’t push.  Don’t hang on.  Lean back and let reality happen.


…Fear is usually the static that prevents a person from hearing their intuition.  Fear is often an indication that they’re avoiding themselves.  And that includes me.


…If something you do rankles me, I should know that your fault is my fault, too.


…I like a man or woman with faults, especially when he/she knows it.


…No one is really ever wrong.  At most, someone is un-informed.  “You’re wrong,” usually means “I don’t understand you, I’m just not seeing what you’re seeing right now.”  


…I am a fan of sporadic profanity when used to fire up speech, but the truth is, it fixes the other person’s attention on your words instead of your thoughts.


…When you’re a train wreck and someone still loves you anyway, that’s when you know you’re one lucky sonofabitch.


…I hope I’m not ever not curious.  If that should ever happen, feel free to use a hammer, toss me in a box and then dump said box somewhere no one ever goes.


…There’s something about compliments that scares me.  Part of the reason may be that I’m afraid of getting something that can subsequently be taken away.  I put myself in the hands of this other person if I let my emotions hang on their statement.  Another reason: I am being put on the spot and now must watch my actions to keep them thinking this way about me.  Another:  There is a part of me that knows good and well I’m not as great as their compliment implies.  Another:  I’m sometimes insincere when saying similar things.


…When you’re young, you feel invincible.  It’s easy to say things like, “Sleep is overrated.  I’ll sleep when I die.”  When you’re older, with more skin in the game, you don’t really even want to think about dying.


…And still it’s past 1am, and I’m wide awake, and the only thing showing in my window is an exact replica of me staring back at me wondering why I’m here.  Perhaps that’s the definition of a death wish.  

…If I couldn’t write, I’d die.  I’ve come to the place where I am now comfortable knowing I should write what I want, regardless of how other people view it.  It’s writing for me.  And that is so fucking selfish, but it feels good and it feels right.  I realize how lucky I am.  I wish everyone as much luck, if not more.


…I’m alone a lot.  But when I’m alone and awake late at night, that’s when the world makes the most sense to me.  It’s as if the stars are trying to knock some sense into me because they know that’s when I’m most vulnerable and open-minded.


…I don’t want to just listen to what you say.  I want to feel what you mean.


...“You ought to” really just means “I want you to.”  So why not say so?


…“I don’t care what people think”—that is, by far, the most dishonest sentence in the English language.


…When someone is silent it can be a little unnerving.  I think:  maybe they’ve become bored with me, maybe they’ve moved on because they’re losing interest.  But maybe silence means live and let live, trust, or I appreciate that I am I and you are you.


…I am already me.  And that is both the easiest and the hardest thing for me to realize.



Wednesday, June 6, 2018





--IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING, IT’S NOT GETTING ANY EASIER


…Someone recently told me, “When everything feels like it’s falling apart, it might actually be coming together.”  I’m not so sure.

…Somebody else told me to stand on my toes because they didn’t have any.

…I still look every day.  True story.  Most times, more than once. 

…Everyone gets scared, but the question is: Do you see what I see?

…These things are a two-way street.

…More and more I find myself talking to the dog, saying, “Hey, what’s up?” or, “Hey, are you happy down there?”

…So the elephant said, “Never mind, he’s with me.”

…I’m trying to believe that there are things that you can enjoy, but being the kind of person I am, having the type of brain I have, you don’t really think about happiness as much as you think about relief.  Still, I guess we’d all like to be a little better off.  Happiness, though, that’s a whole other ball of wax.

…People tend to prepare an awful lot, and they’ve got an idea of how things are going to go based on their over-preparation.

…Are you kidding?  I don’t have anxiety dreams: I’m living my anxiety dream.

…I think the idea that you should take whatever comes your way is bad advice, but I tend to do it a lot.

…Sometimes you have to follow your gut about not doing something.  But then there’s that voice that urges you to play it safe, and sometimes you have to ignore it.

…There’s always a struggle to live up to expectations—and a reality.

…Where are all of the angels when you need one?

…That accident on the side of the road was me.  No, really, it was.

…Poor choices.  Man, they can really do you in.

…I take the softest rain with me when I leave.  It rests now as a mist in my hair, my ears, every available socket.  It smells like you, like fresh air, like nothing at all.

…I keep crawling under my shadow, but it keeps shimmying away.

…I don’t know if it’s true or not, but someone once said: The rainbow is more beautiful than the pot at the end of it, because the rainbow is now.  And the pot never turns out to be quite what I expected.

…Sometimes these allergies really knock me around.  All up in my nose, my head, my psyche.

…An editor read some things I sent him and said, “I really like these pieces, but the blog isn’t for fiction.”  That was funny. 

…All I want to do is just keep pace with myself.

…I’ll be what I’ll be.  Where is the anxiety in that?

…As I look back on my life, one of the most constant and powerful things I have experienced is the desire to be more than I am at the moment—a desire to do more, learn more, express more—a desire to grow, improve, accomplish, expand.  I haven’t always hit the mark, but I’ve mostly tried. 

….A sure way for me to have a disastrous experience is to do something because “it will be good for me.”

…Because I assume there is something unnatural about my having a problem, I attempt to present a problem-free appearance, which, as we all know, is a joke.

 …Sometimes I read things I wrote a while back and go, “Who wrote those?  No really, who?  It couldn’t have been me.  If it was, what was I thinking?”

…”Next time I will…”  “From now on I will…” --What makes me think I am wiser today than I will be tomorrow?

…I’ll admit, I’m a little suspicious of people who have no bad habits.

…I live from one tentative conclusions to the next, thinking each one is final.  The only thing I know for sure is that I am confused.

…You never know, do you?  You just never do.




Monday, June 4, 2018




--SET MY FEET UPON THE SEA, TILL I’M DANCING IN THE DEEP

                             The Thing About Birthdays

It’s my birthday, but the clouds are offended again because of something I’ve said or thought.  Their bellies are full of dark-sick, gauzy vomit, pushing away the sky which doesn’t remember I’m nine today.
People are talking about the moon, how there are men on it for the first time, but people have told me lots of other things that weren’t true, like what a miracle it is to be a kid and have your whole life ahead of you.
The imaginary clown I had for a friend disappeared or was kidnapped or killed so now the moon is my surrogate best friend, but those bushy gray clouds are pissed off and won’t let me see Luna, let alone talk to her to find out if there really are spacemen pouncing around on her chest and forehead, so I toss rocks in the air, one after the other, thinking about gravity and the things I’ve already learned that can hurt me.
It’s my birthday, which feels both boring and burdensome, as if I have a massive boil on my back the way lonely Quasimodo did.  I need a bad habit or some crime to commit so the guilt I wear will have a purpose.  One thing I know already is how guilt is like fire smoke—you don’t have to be the one to start the fire, but if you get near it, its smoke claims you just the same, weaving into your skin for all time.
At school, there are lots of happy noses and shiny tongues that answer the teacher’s questions perfectly.  Every weekday it’s the same cheerful chorus of precision.  I sit at my desk, which is the size of combine, wodden like Pinocchio, me feeling wee wee wee tiny tiny tiny.  I pretend I’m mute because it’s easier that way, the same as it is at home.  Only a loon would talk to a stuffed animal, especially one with no plush.
But last week my brothers ditched me at the carnival, and that was fine, that was all right.  I had enough coins with me to have the turbanned Madame read my palm.  She peered in, watchmaker close, and kept asking me if I was tricking her.  “Where’s your life line?” she kept asking, her voice picking up pitch each time until I scampered off while she screamed, “WHERE’S YOUR LIFE LINE?!!!”
My grandmother had seventy-nine birthdays, but not eighty.  A train hit her going too fast while Gran was sitting in her stalled car going nowhere.  Before that, I used to visit some.  She was German and looked it, would wear floral bonnets and tent sack dresses that could create their own breeze if she swung around quick, like the time she thought I was lying about what had happened at home.  That was the day I learned how to lie or just play deaf, dumb and blind, three monkeys all rolled into one boy.
Gran kept trying to feed me, even when my bones were already full.  “You’re too skinny.  You’re a rung,” she’d say.  I thought she was saying I’m a wrong, because her accent was thick and scratchy, and sometimes she butchered words the way Mom did chickens and other things.
So, it’s my birthday, and I’m a wrong.  I can’t see the moon, but she can’t see me back either.  Nobody can, if I don’t want them to.  At least that’s what I’m going to believe.  Maybe when I’m ten, things will be different.