Wednesday, September 30, 2020



oh wonder


Heaven’s ahead of me

riding out a storm

I can’t see

hoping for closure

while some parse

false memories

and man-made fallacies

not so sure

I’m to go there


sun’s shining


but mostly bleak

beneath the flames

a smoke anomaly

maybe it’s the

end of things

world without a gurney

hope doused out

by apathy  

devil winning all the swings


and the colors can’t renew

they’re just fifty

shades of blue

thought I walked off you


went to the water

and saw myself that way

ran out of things to say

turned out to be true

so fucking blue


don’t breathe in deep

I’m losing sleep

losing air losing dreams

losing everywhere

looking like a corner creep

thought I walked off you


but that cliff was unforgiving

looked futuristic

and way too steep


oh wonder

what wonder

where’d you go

had a good look at you once

now I’m caught in the undertow

blinded by a thick snow

now I don’t know

the real me

from a facsimile


between God and me

I’m learning to deflect

or set it free

how’s that


but it hurts like fuck

bores to the 

core of me

it’s not an urge it’s a need

no soliloquy

though Heaven

keeps singing





Monday, September 28, 2020





Yellow Mama


Had a dream  

the pandemic

never ended

and angels

fell like ash

through the

concussed air

but you

weren’t there

to catch them

while I remained

sequestered in

an electric chair 

conscience too weak

to fight clean

or play fair

and there were

crowds watching

without masks

children slurping 

ice cream

tossing vulgarities

until someone

started the countdown

as cheers pinged

off the walls

near sundown

volts shot through me

an acrid plume

smoke screen

filing the room  

blinding everyone

ending all our fun

ending all our fun



Friday, September 25, 2020


Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, Seattle, 9/25/2020

this poem’s
been drinking
since the
curbed my nerve
dropped me in a cage
turned my yum to ash
and I can’t stop
regretting those
times I left
and all the time
I set aside
as if reduction
is gratuity
or naivety
the absence of
life on high
another unsaid
even I
didn’t think you
could sanitize the sky
but it’s possible
to euthanize desire
canal through the root
bury it all
in heaps of soot
until blue goes gray
white goes red
and you find
yourself alone
at a table  
in the land of
the walking dead

Wednesday, September 23, 2020




Note To My Younger Self

Dear Len,


  You don’t need to be so sad and frightened all the time, but it’s okay if you are so long as it doesn’t make you even more sad and frightened.


  You are both smarter and stronger than you think. Be aware of your self-talk and try to dwell on the positive aspects of yourself.


  Stop laying out in the sun with baby oil on your skin. If you have to be in the sun, use SPF 30.


  Keep a journal.


  Follow your dream of being a writer and forget any other career options.


  Be honest and brave with yourself. It will prepare you for the therapy you’ll need later in life.


  Say “I love you” when you feel it, no matter who makes you feel it.


  Realize life isn’t just about pleasure and experiencing things, it’s mostly about learning and growing.


  Do hard things.


  When you struggle with something, find who’s best at that thing and mimic what they do.


  Dream whenever you can, and dream big.


  Don’t knock yourself for being a romantic and a dreamer. The world needs more of these.


  Learn how to say, “No” to people when you really don’t want to do what they’re asking.


  Try not to judge (It’s a difficult task).


  Cry if you feel like it, and never hold it in.


  Try to remember that human beings fuck up, so be forgiving (This is also a difficult task).


  Be aware that you are who you are so far because of the accumulation of all the days you’ve lived up to this moment. Many of those bad moments weren’t your fault. Realize you can overcome them and be anything you want to be.


  If you’re angry (Depression is anger turned inward), let it burst out. Avoiding it or trying to suppress it will only scar you more.


  If you want a migraine-free future, stay away from Mickey Purcell in 6th grade.


  Even if you’re poor, shoplifting is not cool.


  Learn to genuinely tell people you miss them when you feel that way.


  Get a pet and love them as unconditionally as they will love you.


  Seek out and befriend the outcasts. In many ways, you’re one of them yourself.


  Learn good eating habits early on. Exercise. Don’t obsess about your weight. Good health is something you can control.


  It’s okay not to be famous so long as you are doing what you love.


  Don’t skip the Bee Gees “One Night Only Concert” in Vegas. You’ll really regret it.




  Avoid drinking Spodie Odie in college.


  Get a camera and take photos of the sights that amaze you. Write the date and place on the back. Keep these near your journal.


  When you’re feeling blue, remember that you have a good heart. The point being, you’re a wonder, even if you aren’t aware of it. The point being, you’re a gift, even if you don’t believe it.

Monday, September 21, 2020




 …One of the few good things to come out of 2020 and the apocalypse is that I’ve learned a great deal about issues and people I might not have otherwise. I knew quite a bit about Ruth Bader Ginsburg before her passing, but I discovered so much more watching the documentary “RBG”. What a woman and stealth force….


 “I wanted to be that woman who stood in front of a man and said, ‘I can do this, too.’”


 “I learned very early that being a woman was an impediment. We did not have equal rights.”


 “I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask is that they take their feet off our necks.” Jane Hunter


 In 1970, 12 states still had laws that forbade men from being charged with raping their wives.


 “Women have always been branded inferior.”


 “What has become of me could only happen in America. Neither of my parents had the means to go to college, but they taught me to value learning at a very young age. They taught me to love books and wonder.”


“She had this quiet magnetism. Often you didn’t even think she was listening to you, while, in fact, she was always listening intently.” Sally Kittener


 “She had two lessons she repeated over and over to herself: Be a lady, and be independent.” S.K


 “I had the great good fortune to share life with a partner, a man who believed that a woman’s work—whether at home or in the office—was just as important as a man’s.”


 “Marty was the first man I met who cared that I had a brain. In the 50’s, most men didn’t.”


 “I tend to be rather sober.”


 “And then I got the idea that you could do something to make society better.”


 “I told the court: Just wait and see. You will be proud of the women of VMS.”


 “I see the Constitution as striving for a more perfect Union.”


 “It is essential to women’s equality with men, that she be the decision-maker, and that when government makes that decision for her, she is belittled.”


 “The way to win an argument is not to yell.”


 “Whether you agree with her or not, you still have to admire her.” Orin Hatch


 “She was five feet tall, and stuffed with dynamite.” A.M.


 “She was incredibly good at finding common ground.” Bill Clinton


 “She captured for all of us what it was like to be a second-class citizen.” Gloria Steinem 


 “I think generally, in our society, real change happens one step at a time.”


 “She wanted to build the identity of a woman’s equality, step by step, like knitting a sweater.” Arthur Miller


 “I am overwhelmed by the beauty of music, the sound of the human voice. It’s like an electric current running through me.”


 “I really just aspire to achieve and contribute to society all that I can.”


 “There’s always an opportunity to teach, especially when you think, ‘How would I like the world to teach our daughters?’”


 “She was doing something incredibly important for women, whether they knew it, or not.” G.S.


 “When I graduated from Harvard Law School in 1959, I moved to NYC and not a single firm would hire me.”


 “It’s like throwing away your umbrella because you’re not getting wet.”


 “She will work til 3 4, 5 in the morning and have to be back at work by 9.” Jane Ginsburg


 You can’t spell truth without Ruth.


Friday, September 18, 2020






 I cling to the last strands of summer like they’re a life line, the sky full of foment, my organs unpredictable jelly. Even the sundeck we’re sitting on feels rickety.


 Your eyes are wide but hollow. You’re not looking at anything. Nothing’s changed while everything has.


 A car is on its way for you even as the distant fires send their ash and dirty linen to me. The smoke in the trees feels appropriate, like a long gray slur, or shadows on the lam.


  I could tell you any number of things, but there’s a health scare caught in my throat, wasps coiling inside my lungs.


 Across the lake, flags sashay in the vulgar breeze. They remind me of our youth, skinny dipping while the neighbors watched with their telescopes. Oh, to be that young and never care what others think or do. Oh, to have you yearn for a patch of my skin again. Oh, to oh.


 It’s trite but true--when Sam leapt, he took us with him. But you’re not the only one who hears the crack of body against water. The hornets scurrying in my head knit that scene for me every night, and most days I feel my bones break like Sam’s did.


 Sure, there’s much we should have noticed and registered, but the future seemed slick, easy and inevitable then. It’s a harsh lesson learning life can also be fickle, two-faced, and untrustworthy.


 So, we’ve landed here, two stooges, two new strangers, one of us still desperate for the other, despite the chasm. I’ve never seen the years weighing on your face more than right now, yet neither have I ever seen you more beautiful than in this moment.


 You haven’t said where you’re flying, and maybe I don’t want to know. Those bags are over-sized and heavy, which is telling as well.


 If I said, I love you, It was my fault, I’m sorry, nothing would change, but I need to one more time nonetheless. So, I hand you the note and walk down the lawn to the shore where the lake is rippled like a sweat-stained bed sheet.


 I don’t bother disrobing because there’s no need to anymore, there’s nothing anymore. 


 I dive in and stroke stroke stroke down through the deep green-gray. I stay under for hours and days and years, waiting for the water to scream back at me, which it never does.



Wednesday, September 16, 2020





   if you tell me the end is near


the sun’s holding a grudge

and I could use a nudge

to do something meaningful

get through this thick

stop feeling blue and sick

there are times

I don’t want anything

and others I want it all

guess I don’t really know

who I am after all

met a stranger at the station

we spoke without words

throughout the duration

isn’t that how best friends are

knitting silence into gold

mastering small talk

until they both get old

but you and I are different

two geese bobbing on the lake

nothing frivolous forgotten or fake

so if you see the sun

point her out will ya

I guess I miss her

I know I miss you

and I’ve stopped having fun

met my twin

in the mirror yesterday

poor guy looked

baffled in disarray

we spoke through sign language

using our opposable thumbs

until we realized

which one of us was dumb

he said I’ll see you flip-side

I said me I been tryna hide

yet I’m not here or there

I’m not actually anywhere

but if you tell me

the end is near

I’ll be here

to tell you

it’s not

it’s not

it’s not

we’ve still got time

and we’ve still

got us

Monday, September 14, 2020






i keep pretending

to be myself

pulling blank

photos off the shelf

only the moon

knows the truth

she’s a sharp shylock

always cutting me down

like infested lumber

assured yet aloof

so i’m having

another mini-concert

in this shake-less room

trying to shed

the dread

and gloom

can’t get

the lyrics right

when there’s only

a few strips of

dark light left

think I’ll sing off-key

count to one twenty-three

warble a prayer

of some sort

make it sincere

then cut it short

no one needs

a myth they

can’t use

i caught the stars

but dropped them

on the ground

watched them

fall and hit

without a sound

i can’t make it

right or better

but i can sure  

turn things sour

which i’ve done   

these last few hours

i could blame it

on my lack of grip

or the apocalypse

but that wouldn’t

be fair

Friday, September 11, 2020





drop me in

the smoke

i’m ready

to burn and

die out

it’s been  

too long

since i

caught fire

and found

my reward

i keep getting

farther from

my myself

like a shadow

on the lam

the days paper-thin

and unreliable

they never could

hold me like

i need to

be held

and it’s no

one’s fault

maybe genetics

maybe mine

yet everyone i love

is running

out of time

running from

the flames

fixated on

childhood games

so drop me

in the smoke

it’s okay

go ahead

i’m actually eager

and ready as

i’ll ever be

Wednesday, September 9, 2020






The air is


this morning,

how it both wants to

smother and love me,

mother and abort me.

I can’t see

through the

ashen sheen

clinging to the trees,

wriggling on the line,

hanging in my lungs like

a guillotine.

I might be

living a lie or

perhaps I’m just

another bruised cheek

without a hand mirror.

Tomorrow’s going to tell me

after all.

Maybe it’s inevitable,

being this bewildered

by what I’ve lost and

might have had,

when day and night

conjoin and conspire,

two halves lacking

the breath of mercy.

But I’ll find

gratitude in the gaps,

solace in inked pages,


what’s left of

that mockingbird

called hope.

Monday, September 7, 2020



Just So You Know


I need a little


to feel myself again,

whoever that is.

Yet, I’m growing

accustomed to

the dark,

surrounded by

these ragged ghouls

wearing neckties

instead of nooses.

It’s almost as if

they don’t want

me to die, after all.

Yesterday I dropped

a coin in the well,

thought--might as well,

thought—what the hell,

but the ground still

shuddered anyway.

This is what it’s like

to be me, him, or

someone you thought

you knew.

Nothing’s pleasant

without a sheen,

I get that completely,

which is why I’m

burrowing again,

using two front

teeth this time,

mole-like and gross.

Just so you know,

I’ve turned off the lights.

Fluffed up every pillow.

You’re coming home soon.

Please watch your step.

It’s awfully black in here

and the floor might be

a little slippery.