Friday, July 1, 2016


…My daughter says interesting things a lot of times.  I held onto these for a while, thinking I’d use them in a story, but I never have:
-This year I learned who my friends are.
-This year I let go of hate.
-I decided I’m going to let my babies fly.

     …There’s a lot of talk about immigration these days.  In Switzerland you can be denied citizenship for these reasons:
1.      Refusing to shake a teacher’s hand
2.      Refusing to take compulsory swimming lessons
3.      Wearing sweatpants in town
4.      Refusing to greet a passerby
5.      Failing to name any Swiss friends or neighboring communities
That sounds a little odd, as well as harsh.  If the same were true for Americans, we’d have no citizens whatsoever.

      …Why do I always write dark or said stuff?  I wish I knew.  Most of the time when I start a sentence I don’t know where it’s going, I just like something in the words, the cadence or implied meaning.  But then things always take a turn midway through, sometimes not even that late.
Here are a few of examples from yesterday’s writing:


And if it ends here
With the sun and moon
In their contra dance
I’ll only ask that you
Pick flowers for me
Any kind will do
Place them in a vase on the table
And watch them wilt and die
The way our marriage has
When they’re nothing more
Than mere kindling
Set the remains on fire and
Let the smoke wash over you
Like a gray ghost
With nowhere else to go 


A Starling Message

You are tired of being tired
Heavy weight pressing down
Sky smothered with gray dust motes
Everything moving in slow-motion
Backward or sideways
Even utter chaos would be a welcome change
The walls stare back at you like bored cattle
A single bare ceiling bulb the only source of light
Too much and not enough air to manage
Then one morning a starling
Lands on the sill tapping against glass
And you think this is it I’ve lost my mind
Until the bird flies off and you notice
What it has scratched across the window
A lifeline of sorts
Hoax or not it’s the very thing you’ve needed
Words you haven’t heard or seen in years
You are loved



And if you find yourself in a mall
When the shooter shows up
Brandishing an AK-47 and body armor
Trails of bullets dripping off him
Like a metallic wedding train
You should not do what I did
Don’t dive into a nearby shop
And hide behind the counter
With a jackrabbit heart in your ears
Screams, sounds of shooting,
Everything ricocheting,
A collision of terror and fear
Making you piss yourself
No, what you should do instead
Is run straight at him
Lunge and do your best
To wrest the weapon away
Die like that instead of how I did
Cowering behind a counter
Without purpose or resolve
Praying he’d miss me when
He had my number all along
Three or four shots to the head
Maybe more, I can’t recall
Ghosts sometimes have
Hazy memories



Because there are mornings when the lake is a flat blue plate
Because clouds sometimes become dancing elephants on roller skates
Because the sound of the wind in the trees is dizzying
Because just now a hummingbird levitated outside the window
Because Vivaldi has The Four Seasons all cued up with a glass of wine at the ready
Because the sun is a toddler who doesn’t want to go to bed and she’s staring me right in the eye
Because the smell of baked bread has flooded the kitchen
And I’m lonely and you haven’t been out of bed in days
Come, Darling, let me help you.  It’ll all be worth it, I promise

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