Friday, February 22, 2019



--BEFORE YOU GO, CAN YOU READ MY MIND?


                                        The Swimming Pool

We are stick figures now.  Blunt matches.  Raggedy Ann and Andy.
But nobody knows.
When the kids call, we marry our fictile voices.  Find excuses for lack of laughter.  Paint our days in Technicolor. 
If one of them asks, we shade the edges.  Haze meaning.  Throw tarps over the residual debris.  
If the other asks, we wrap ourselves in ropes of gleaming tinsel.  Attach a bow.  Say, “See?  Everything is shiny here.”
This morning, I study the empty pool.  Its moss and leaf-clogged drain.  Corroded step ladder.  Flaccid diving board. 
A stench comes off it.  So strong, that even the rats avoid it.
Through the barren trees, a diffident sun struggles to yawn.  Reluctant to rise.  As if it’s like us, and doesn’t want to face the truth.
A squirrel scurries by.  Stops to pick up what looks like a spent Band-Aid.  Flaps it at me.  Flings it in the shallow end while chittering like a cartoon.
Upstairs you are putting on a bathing suit.  Applying suntan lotion.  Taking a towel from the rack, as oblivious as a broken mirror.
The wind swirls shawls of dust and pine needles when you show up.  Older, but still beautiful.  Still defiant.
You look my way.  Smile.  Curtsey.  Smile.  Smile.
You dip your toe in the deep end.  Adjust your swim cap.  Adjust your nose plugs.  Take a huge breath.
I watch you float through the air.  Diving in slow-motion.  Arms outstretched.  Palms pressed together.  As if in prayer.
Seated on a lawn chair, I mimic your hands.  Bow my head.  Say, “Amen.”  So be it.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019



—THAT’S ME IN THE CORNER


“Celebrate what makes you unique.  Embrace your darkness.” –Good advice from a close friend.

“Art is what you get away with.” --Andy Warhol

“All children are artists.  Then they turn into adults.” –Picasso

…It's not even noon yet, but this was one of the scarier mornings I’ve had in a while.  I’ll probably have a migraine tomorrow.  But hey, you do the crime, you gotta do the time.

…You’re still there.  You’re always there.  Always will be.

…Life feels a little boring when you stop drinking, but your body doesn’t think so.

…But if you close your eyes, doesn’t it seem like nothing’s changed at all?

…Call us anything, but don’t call us finished just yet.

…Dear Melancholy.  You look cute as hell.  Do you know that?  You look good in blue.

…Here’s something to be listened to, closely and repeatedly:

…Here’s something I wrote for the good people at Ghost Parachute:

…And here are two pieces I had up at FLASH BOULEVARD:

…Some people use affirmations effectively.  They tell themselves something repeatedly so that their subconscious will believe it.  Others of us write it down repeatedly.  Whether that’s effective or not, I’m unsure.  So far it hasn't worked.

…Who shall I say is calling?

“You don’t have to be scared you’re not enough, because what we have going is good.”

…Continuity.  Yeah, sure.

…Did you close the piano to keep the music in, or were you simply through with your songs?

…I tried.  You tried.  All a person can do is try.  But, believe it or not, even in silence, I’m still trying.

…It’s not about a little bit.  I get it.  It’s about all of it.

…This makes me happy:

…She’s pretty.  He’s lucky.  They both know it.  I can tell by the way they looked in those pictures.  I can tell by the way they looked in those photos that she's going to stay.

…Sometimes don’t you just wish you could go back to being a kid again?  Depends, doesn’t it?

…Do you ever wonder what it looks like now?

…Frankly, I’m not sure who they are either.

…Your instructions are sweet and all, but ultimately, they’re not that helpful.  Sorry.

…You think you do it for me, but what if it was the other way around?

…Of course, you wouldn’t believe it.

…For most of my childhood I was invisible.  There are a lot of good things about being invisible.  It’s not so bad to be unseen.

…That was a really hard year.  I made so many mistakes.  I was a fool.  I got duped and crashed and broke the law.  It was a tough year, but it was my own fault.  I'm no victim in any of it.

…The problems, they pile up like un-shoveled snow.  But, you gotta clear that walk eventually.

…Sometimes you go searching and it’s not there.  It was there once, but now it’s gone.  And right there is the answer, just not in the form you thought.

…Shoveling snow for seven hours straight can really mess you up.  It’s like people stoning your back for seven hours straight.  Afterward you can feel it in your sleep.

…How are those new glasses treating you?  I bet you look adorbs.

…You can have goodbye.  It’s all yours.

…Dear God.  I wonder what you’re thinking.  I don’t understand how the game can be any fun if you already know what’s going to happen.  Feels like cheating in a way.  But it’s your game.  You came up with it.  It’s all in your hands.