Monday, October 30, 2017


…Sometimes it doesn’t seem like much when it’s more than anyone could really comprehend.

…I built my life out of what was left of me, on a map of an old horizon.

…God thinks you’re wonderful.  He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.

…The moon sings to me its familiar song.  I’ve almost got it memorized.

…It would be wonderful to beat time.  Sometimes I think I kind of do.

…Loving people, and telling them you do--while you can--that’s what’s most important.

…I’ve got no problem with pink.  Or blue, for that matter.

…My whole career, I’ve been a hired hand.  That’s actually not too shabby.

…“If you don’t have the gun, we ain’t talking.”

...I can get a little bull-headed when I want something really bad.

…We all want something beautiful.  Man, I wish I was beautiful.

…We all get lost sometimes.  It’s how we cope, and how we grow from that which matters.

…I fail and I fail, but then I get up, and I keep at it.

…What matters is figuring out what matters most, and, well, that’s not always so easy.

…Sometimes it’s best to admit you’re a silly boy.  Silly isn’t that bad, after all.

…I’m not that good at a lot of things that men are supposed to be good at.  My only tools are screwdrivers and hammers.  I still don’t know what a carburetor is.  Or an alternator.  Or a timing belt.  But I do like the sound of timing belt.  It could make for a good title, or a line in a poem.

…A vivid memory I have is getting drunk off of Jack Daniel’s when I was nine years old.  I danced a jig, or something like that, in front of corn rows, as well as my mother and the foreman she was having a fling with.  I’m pretty sure I was pretty embarrassing.  I’m pretty sure it was pretty tragic in all sorts of ways.

…The truth is, eventually, we run out of space.  It’s preordained.

…If it’s yours, you should take it, right?

…I never feel like I have enough authority to answer all the questions I’m asked.  Makes me look like I’m copping out, but I’m actually not.  I’m just waiting for permission when I probably shouldn’t be.

…As you probably know, I started picking fruit in summers, when I was nine.  It was a cash money gig.  Mom drove us at 4:30 am in the Plymouth station wagon.  You started picking early because, by noon or so, the temperatures would rise so high the fruit would split and smoosh if you picked any later.  Even back then, Mom deducted the cost of gas out of our earnings each day.  That taught me quite a few things.

…We placed our berry-stained bills in an envelope where my mother studiously added sums on the back flap.  I remember watching with delight as summer neared to a close and that envelope swelled with singles and fives.

…One late summer, for some odd reason, or because my brothers were doing it, I signed up for football training.  It cost $110, which was a fortune back then.  I recall handing the coach a stack of berry-stained bills.  He just smiled.  It took me a while to understand why.

…I am my own accomplice, aiding and abetting all the way.

…Sometimes, late at night, I can hear myself tell myself that I’m almost ready.

…“I’ve got two tickets to paradise.”  Not a lot of people can say that, but Eddie Money can.

…Time makes you bolder... Not always, but it sounds good enough in a song.

…Guns, pills and money.  What could go wrong there?

…It’s dangerous to speak and sigh.

…When you’re up this late it can be problematic, and yet the body is an amazing machine.

…You wanna talk about that guy?  Don’t get me started.

…When you’re a father, you have a front row seat to see wonder.

…Nobody I know likes patience, yet it’s more or less required most of the time.

…My best friend, not my father, taught me how to shave while we were in college.  It was gruesome.  I didn’t understand levity.  I pressed too hard (symbolism).  My whole face was a bloody mess afterward.  The second time, I was a lot better.  I let the blade glide.

…I’m pretty certain that the worst thing to happen to me hasn’t happened yet, and I’m grateful and a bit scared at the same time.

…Shouldn’t we all just be cremated?  I mean, let’s save some land.

…Jupiter has 67 moons.  Sixty-seven.  We have one, and yet I’m entirely enamored with it.

…A lot gets said in a hot tub.  The key is to listen carefully and read between the lines.

…Vices are merely crutches, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need them, that we don’t enjoy them.  

…Do you every wonder why you’re spending time reading these nonsensical scribbles?  You should.  I know I do.

…Maybe I’m not a broken toy after all.  Maybe I just have something different to offer.

…I’m going to be up a while, so you might want to hit the hay.

…Don’t give up on me just yet.

…Whoa.  What time is it?

…Here comes the sun.

Friday, October 27, 2017


 …I check my junk mail folder because often submission responses end up there.  Lately there haven’t been any of those, but instead there were these:






-Kitty just send you $3,450,000 using PayPal

-Burn FAT Fast.  No diet or exercise needed

--Wonder Why You’re Not Making Friends At Work?

…Apparently the internet is trying to find me women, pot, and a way to lose weight, not to mention some rich chick named Kitty who sent me over $3 million....  Lucky me.  (I also just got an email from “Esmerelda” who said her “visionary power could change my life.”)

…I hope your Friday and Saturday and Sunday are all splendid.  Here are some things I like for the weekend:

“The things that make us different, those are our superpowers.” Lena Waithe

“I don’t think there’s a day that goes by where I go to the supermarket that a woman doesn’t come up and want to give me a hug.  From little girls to grandmothers, it’s beautiful.  Even the hardcore guys—construction workers, night-shift men—they all are like, ‘I just want to hug you, brother.  You remind me of my father’.  It was spread through William—that feeling of loving people and telling them while you can.”  Ron Cephas Jones, “William” from THIS IS US

“I do feel as I get older hat there’s a finite amount of time left.  It’s made me more interested in making records.  They last longer than me, and they don’t go away.” Tom Petty

“I don’t know Who—or What—put the question, I don’t know when it was put.  I don’t even remember answering.  But at some moment I did answer Yes to Someone—or Something—and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal.” Dag Hammerskjold

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are stronger at their broken places.” Hemingway

"Choice of attention, to pay attention to this and ignore that, is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer." W. H. Auden

"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation." Pearl S. Buck

"Good friendships are fragile things and require as much care as any other fragile and precious thing." Randolph S. Bourne

“Ultimately we’re all just walking each other home.” Ram Dass

“None of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa

“All that is holding us together is stories and compassion.” Barry Lopez

“Life is but a day at most.” Robert Burns

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." Picasso

"You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration." James Allen


Wednesday, October 25, 2017


…Isn’t saying someone’s hair is “fine” the same as saying it’s “thin”?

…While getting my haircut once, the stylist was incredibly chatty.  Then she asked what I did, and when I said I worked for a church, that I was a pastor, she never said another solitary word.  Not even, Thank you, after I tipped and paid. 

…It’s strange to think the word church can have such pull, such sway.

…Isn’t it amazing how much attention we pay our hair?

…And anyway, what does it matter what you do?

… For quite a while, when people asked what I did, I said I did nothing.  Which is kind of true.  People would ask me, “What do you do?” and I’d say, “Nothing.”  Sure, it was a little bit dickish, but it was also interesting, nevertheless, to see how they responded.

…Is what “you do” what you are? 

…Actually, it’s a problem when you say you think you’ve seen enough.

...The point is to have agency.  Agency means you have a purpose, that you want something.

…I’ve done my best defending, but the punches are starting to land.

…Everyone else is ready.  So what’s wrong with me?

…Face, it, we both know we’re not kids anymore.

…You really need to believe me when I tell you, don’t ever leave me alone.

…What would happen if we lived life like there was no box?

…There’s the family you’re born into, and then there’s the family you choose.  The difference is what you make it.

…The thing you have to remember is there’s a person in there.

…Everything’s always more complicated than it appears.  It sucks, but it’s true.

…Lord, just a little more time, please?

…The highs, they really cut.

…For whatever time I have left, I want to be all in.  I want to own each second.

…These things always run late.  Godamnit.

…Sometimes it catches you by surprise, but then those are the kinds of surprises I actually like.

…I relate to people who are somewhat damaged because it seems like most of us are, if we’re brave enough to admit it.

…The air is so fresh, it’s so quiet, only a few people out tonight, no traffic.  It’s practically ephemeral.

…I’m climbing, but the walls keep stacking up.

…Don’t give up on me yet because I’m just in a rut.


Monday, October 23, 2017


…It’s funny the memories that come out of nowhere, for no reason at all.

…My mom was a stunner when she was young.  She won beauty contests.  There used to be this black and white photo of her on the mantle, the one that got her first place.  We never really talked about it.  I realized later that I should have asked her questions.  What was it like being in a pageant?  What even made you consider doing something like that?  How did you feel when you won?  Did you plan on going forward with it, like entering the Miss America pageant?  What did your folks think about it?

…Questions are important.  It’s important to ask them while you can.  And most everyone wants to be asked a question about themselves.  People should ask more questions.  Just think of all the learning, the stories that would get uncovered.

…Sadly, Thomas Edison was disliked by his teachers because he asked too many questions.

…I’m trying to discover if I still work best under pressure.

…Even the clouds are undecided tonight.

…It’s a big thing to miss someone every day, to think about them every day, and wish they were in your life.  It’s a big thing to be that person who’s missed, to have had such a huge impact.

…“I’ll sleep when I die.”—I’ve said that and sort of meant it.  I’ve said it and felt foolish.  Sleep is a little bewildering to me.  Always has been.

…I’m not hungry very often.  I can’t eat when I’m not hungry.  I don’t know how other people do.  Sometimes it feels like a mundane chore, like getting gas, getting a haircut, doing the laundry.  Still I understand, for some people it’s about the food, the flavor.

…To be woke is a good thing.

…If there’s no point to something, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth doing.

…I can’t count the times I never said what’s on my mine.

…Just the other day, I wrote down all the words I’d say, and still I couldn’t.

…That second glass of wine, it did it.

…Sometimes you run it up the flagpole, sometimes you put a note in a bottle, send it out to sea and hope someone somewhere finds it.

…I run it up the flagpole to see who salutes, but no one ever does.

…Fingertips have memories, too.

…I’m running underground with the moles.

…The thing is if you’re bored, you get boring.

…It’s just something for the legal boys, but not that much for us.

…“I’m going to do the things I most need to do.”—that’s a refrain I should turn into a song.

…“It’s now or never.”  That’s a big statement.  Better be sure you mean it.

…Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?  I’m getting old and I need something to rely on.  I’m getting tired and I need something to begin.

…I’ve got to stop chasing those cars.

…If you have a minute, why don’t we talk about it?

…In the light of the sun, is there anyone?

…I met a man who said, “You don’t know me.  You don’t wear my chains.”

…I keep chasing pavements.

…Luck is underrated, as so many things are.

…I’ve been in a few fights in my day, mostly when I was younger.  I never fared very well.  I’m not very good at ducking.

…Whispers = chills.

…If there’s no race you’re committed to, your mind, usually in the morning, tells you, “Hey, Schecky, sleep.  No need to run.  There’s nothing you gotta do.”

…I’ve always tried to tell my kids that nothing’s impossible.  Sure, some things are, but most things aren’t if you can just shake that rattle out of your head, if you can find some gumption.

…Everybody has someone to thank.

…I can handle every single curve you throw.

…The sky’s a little bit weepy, but I’m doing all right.

…We’re winning, we’re losing.

Friday, October 20, 2017



…Somewhere overnight or so, we passed 600,000 page views on this blog thingy.  I’m grateful to you, whoever you are, for steadfastly reading my scribbles.  Truly, I’m grateful.

….Here is perhaps one of my favorite stories I’ve written, though I can never remember the title, and therefore, it’s hard to locate on Word, but I somehow found it…



            The meds my brother takes no longer work and now I often find him carrying on conversations with the couch, just him talking to the sofa as if such a thing was completely normal.  Lately he’s become smitten with my wife’s parakeet.  He’ll kneel down in front of Piper’s cage and whistle off key, something that sounds like Beyonce’s, “If You Liked It Then You Should Have Put A Ring On It.”

            At night in bed my wife tells me she’s worried.  She always says this. 

            “This time I really mean it.”

            “He’s fine, just nuts is all.”

            “It’s only a matter of time before he does something dangerous.”

            “Patrick wouldn’t hurt a fly.  Don’t you see the way he is with Don Juan?”  (Don Juan is our calico, given to us as a wedding present last year.)

            “He recites The Gettysburg Address to it.”

            “Yeah, isn’t that something?  I can never remember past the first sentence.”

            “There are places equipped to handle people like him.”

            “Expensive places.”

            “I married you, not your brother.”

            “What are you saying?”

            “He’s a burden I didn’t sign up for.”

            “Is that an ultimatum?”

            “I guess it is.”

            True to her word, my wife moves out two days later.  The divorce papers come a month after that.  Then it’s just Patrick and I.

            When we were kids Patrick taught me how to ride a bike, how to ice skate and roller skate, how to fish, how to throw a perfect spiral.  When I read him poems I wrote (poems I have since re-read and now realize are absolute shit) he listened intently, never laughing, always finding something in them to praise.

            Our dad died when we were toddlers.  It wasn’t until my senior year that we learned Pops hadn’t had a heart attack after all, as Mom had told us, but that he’d hung himself in the garage.

            The doctors I’d spoken to said this discovery had nothing to do with Patrick’s mental illness, but he started to spiral downward about then, streaking through downtown wearing only a cowboy hat, boots and underwear.   Another time he tried juggling watermelons in the produce section at Safeway and made quite a mess.  Another time he reached into the glass box of puppies at PetCo and let them loose inside the store.  Another time he…

            One day I’m at work when Mrs. Hitchens, my neighbor, calls and says I should get home as soon as possible.

            My boss is a dick, but I need the job in order to take care of Patrick and pay alimony, so I feign sickness and speed home where I spot Patrick on top of the roof in my wife’s old baby blue bathrobe and fuzzy slippers.  Not only that, but he’s got a fishing pole with him.  When I get out of the car, he grins and gives me a parade float wave.

            I start to think maybe my wife was right, that perhaps Patrick is getting more dangerous.  Still he’s my brother.  We’ve lived our whole lives together and when Mom died I became Patrick’s guardian.

            I go into the house, change out of my work clothes, find a ladder in the garage (how did Patrick get up there without a ladder?) and carefully climb the slanted roof where my brother sits on the center beam. 

            He doesn’t seem surprised to see me, nor does he mention the fact that I’ve change into a robe and slippers and have my own fishing pole.

            “Getting any bites?” I ask.

            “Just clouds so far.”

            “Maybe you should change your bait,” I say.

            “You think?”

            “Can’t hurt.”

            We cast every three minutes, our lines looping over the gutters below.  Eventually Patrick snags one of my wife’s azaleas from the tiny garden by the porch.  He whoops and whoops, the happiest I’ve seen him in a long time.  I laugh, too.  I tell him, “Let’s go fry that thing up and have us some dinner,” and he flashes me that smile again, saying, “Yeah, we’ll split it.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


…I never thought I’d say this, but the truth is:  I’ve got a lot of time on my hands.

…Sometimes people confuse me with Bobby Sands.  Go figure.

…Last night, those stars were shining like the lights on Broadway, and the moon had nothing on them.  Not a thing.

…If you really want to know how I’m doing, stop by here and try not to panic.

…I know it’s hard to understand the way I’m living.  But look—at least I’m typing something.

…I’m coming out of my cage and I’m doing just fine.

…I kind of give a damn.  I kind of don’t care.

…I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier.

…My brothers were soldiers.  I’ve always respected that about them.  Some of the sacrifices they made were life changing.  It takes a lot of courage to do what they did.  When others were doing everything they could to avoid the draft, one of my brothers enlisted.  After his four years were over, he actually re-upped.  Said he’d do it all over again, despite all the horror he lived through.  Now that’s a hero.

…I confess, whenever I hear the opening riff to The Killers’ song, “Mr. Brightside,” I get chills… He takes off her dress now…I just can’t look, it’s killing me.  I mean, yikes, right?

…WHEN HARRY MET SALLY wasn’t a favorite film of mine, but I do find myself thinking about certain parts of the movie, from time to time, like the orgasm scene (“I’ll have what she’s having”), like the theme--how men and women can’t really be friends.  I think that’s both wrong and right at the same time.  I’ve got quite a few female friends, some very close, and it’s all completely platonic and copacetic.

It started out with a kiss.  How did it end up like this?  It was only a kiss?

…What I thought was going to be the death of me was my saving grace.

…The rain keeps tapping on the window, trying to get my attention.  What’s that all about?

…I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a little bombastic, if you’ve got it in you, if you’ve got the nerve, if you can back it up at least.

…If we were brave enough to admit it, we’d realize we’re all hypocrites.  I know I am sometimes.  (Hypocrite is a word Jesus invented.  I guess he knew what he was talking about, even way back then.)

He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus, but he talks like a gentleman.

…“Why?” is rarely a useful question.  However, most things start with a “Why?” whether we know it or not.

…I know we can make it, if we take it slow.

…It’s good to be successful at something, even if no one knows you are.

…”I mean, why does anyone do anything?”  (I interviewed a writer I really admire, and when I asked her [the lame, pedestrian question] why she writes, that was her answer.)  It was sort of a shun, but appropriately so, and very sage at that.

…Success is a heavy subject, like happiness—they’re two twin bricks weighing each other down, waiting for some grout to cement them together.

…When someone says they believe in you, what does that really mean?

…Drawing conclusions--reading between the lines--is probably a bad thing, but sometimes what’re you gonna do?  All you’ve got is what you’ve got to go on.

…A good question is: who really has your back when it matters?

…Ten thousand square feet is a lot of space.  No wonder I feel lost most of the time.

…When things start to matter less is when you know you’ve lost your way.

…If I tried, I could be thinner.  After all, we bought the treadmill for a reason.

…If I really tried, I would have written the great American novel by now.

…I’m trying to be a good friend to certain people I know.  I’m working hard at it.

…I just called myself on a cellphone but the message said nobody’s home.  Hmmm.

…I’m a real Nowhere Man, sitting in my Nowhere Land.

…When I die, please cover my coffin with books or pages.  Read a poem.  I don’t care if you totally understand it or not.  Just enjoy the music in the words.

…One of the things I’ve discovered is that most people hate talking about death, even if it’s not their own.  Right away they curl up and cringe.  Mortality is like politics and religion; a subject to be avoided.  Death is a scary thing for most people, yet it’s inevitable and right around the bend.

…It’s so quiet that my breath just said it was getting very sleepy.

…“I’m going to bed soon.  Don’t wait up for me.”--that’s a white lie I often tell myself.

...I like it when everyone’s asleep but me, when the lights are all off around the lake and I can imagine everybody slumbering peacefully, having fantastic dreams.  There’s a comfort in that.

…I realize I often come across as gloomy.  But that’s the thing about only reading words on a page—there isn’t a face, an expression you can gauge things from.  You can’t see my smile.  My light.  I’m mostly optimistic.  When my team’s way behind, I still think they’ll find a way to pull it out, even if my friends have switched the channel to Project Runway.  I believe my children are going to have happy lives, even if they’ve both been through some deep shit.  I believe someone will find a cure for cancer sooner than later, and I believe someone else will figure out how to stop global warming.  After all, we found a way to patch that hole in the ozone which was supposed to burn us up back in the ‘80s.  I believe in goodness even if I don’t always sound like it.

…Isn’t it interesting, or amazing even, how you remember nearly all of your school teachers?  I mean, like from 2nd or 3rd grade?  See if you can pull up their names in your head right now. 

…Mrs. Marshall was my 5th grade teacher.  She had long, salt and pepper hair, sort of looked like an attractive witch, and was quite stern.  I really liked her, though I don’t know why.  At one point, I must have done something wrong because she yanked my scalp back and almost broke my neck.  At another one point she paddled me through my jeans.  That was a long time ago, but I did really like her.

…I was such a shy kid.  I wonder how I got in trouble so much.  That’s something I don’t recall.

…Make the most of it.  That’s a good idea.  Really, isn’t that what life’s about?

…Life is short—that’s probably the most trite, and true, comment ever.

…Life is beautiful.  That’s definitely true, and it’s also the name of my favorite movie, as well.

…Buongiorno, Principessa!