Friday, January 29, 2021








There were rainbow flowers in her hair when he kissed her. The taste of purple or mango on her lips. A lovely scalding moving through his circuitry. He kept his eyes open to watch the waves shimmer and lap and dance. Watched her eyelids breathe and unknot like a chest exhaling, like a chestnut inhaling into itself. He cupped her face, bowl-like, feeling the crystal slickness of her jawline, gently thumbing the invisible mole on her lower chin where her soul peeked through.

If this is love, he thought, then what use is Heaven? 


She became a long, unsteady drip, endlessly fluid and elastic, all squirms and rain worms. Swam through his breath and lived there for several minutes or eons. She wrote their initials on the inner sides of his molars and giggled, so he kissed her more urgently, until several galaxies exchanged prisoners instead of friendly fire. Her own breath floated like a spiced sea at sunset, with squirrels and rabbits flouncing, minding their own business while simply counting the spare change scattered over lawn upon lawn.

If this is all the time we have, she thought, it must be Heaven. 


Wednesday, January 27, 2021




The Collapse

   (after Station Eleven)


I don’t know if

I’d call it a poem,

what I wrote you

in those final moments,

or the words you sang

back to me over the wire—

scratchy static interrupting

every now and then,

a frantic warning itself—

the collapse hanging between us

like a blood-dripping bat.

But we knew then, the both of us,

that our child was dead,

that all children were, or would be,

the future, too, the earth gone

foul and sour. Ending abruptly.

Words unspooling like a

kite lifting off, out of reach.

You staring at your horizon,

and me hopelessly

searching for mine.

Monday, January 25, 2021








Morning Sickness



The past’s broken pallet

parades around me at night.

How many windstorms are there?

And the gutters gush out rain

like vomit,

morning sickness,


For every answer the day brings,

evening strips it bare by ridicule.

I slip inside a duvet

and use the clean sheets as baby’s breath,

bringing them up to my face,

imagining their silk something different,

hearing the gurgle and coo,

feeling the heat of a warm child

like bread against my chest.

Friday, January 22, 2021




“Grief isn’t linear at all like they tell you with the five stages. That’s a lie. Actually, all five come at you all at once and kick your ass over and over and over.  It’s really horrible.” Bailey K


…Lately when family members or close friends have struggled, I’ve been unable to find the right words to comfort them. Then a few days later, the perfect words will drop in my lap, but it’ll be too late.


…Wednesday was a really wonderful day for me. I know it was the opposite experience for many people, but I felt proud and hopeful for the first time in a long while.


“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”

J.R.R. Tolkien


…Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Oops.


…It’s hard to go an entire day without criticizing others, or yourself. Just try keeping track some time.  


…Losing people close to you is never easy, but sometimes it’s the right thing.


“Would you really like to remember all of the things you lost?”—Yoko Ogawa, The Memory Police


…When I was a young boy, I was a fan of a horror soap opera called “Dark Shadows,” and for a stretch, I believed vampires were real. I already knew monsters were, because some lived in my house.


…I honestly can’t really remember my first kiss. I’m not sure what that says about me.


…It’s hard to see kids being poked fun of in malicious ways if you’ve been poked fun of in the same way. Don’t we all feel that? Don’t we all feel like we wished we hadn’t been ridiculed? Don’t we wish the ridicule of others would stop? Then why does it persist?


“We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine."- Eduardo Galiano 


"You should be kissed, and by someone who knows how.” Kelly Colyer-Christian


…People say, “If you have your health, you have everything.” But I think health should be switched out for hope. It seems to me that being hopeless is about as low as it gets.


…I said something out loud that I thought I only thought, and now I wish I hadn’t.


…It’s important to be on the alert for the decisive moment, but the trick is knowing what’s decisive and what to do about it.


…This is pretty terrific:


“Life isn’t a competition, but it feels good to win.” Phoebe Bridgers


…I think I need to be silly more often. I was trying to remember the last time I was silly, for no reason whatsoever. It was maybe a couple of weeks ago. I did this half-dance half-squirmy thing in front of the TV while my daughter was watching. She called me an idiot, but cracked up. It feels good to make someone else laugh. I think I’m going to try to be a lot sillier this year.


…It’s getting to the point where it’s not weird seeing people wearing masks. I mean, for a few minutes it doesn’t even register, but then it does, and it’s like—this is so fucking weird, and we have been through a lot, and we still have a ways to go but we’re almost there, I think.


…Have I told you I hate my toes? Yes? Well, they’re even more hideous these days. The only way they could look better is if I cut them off and burned them.


“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager." ~ Susan Sontag


…When you get to an age, your body knows things before your brain does. And your heart, well?


…They say when you’re lonely you start to lose words.


“I don’t trust people who haven’t been to hell and back at least twice: once by chance, the other by choice.” Marianne Faithfull


…I’m off to see my very best friend this weekend. It’s been three months since I’ve seen him, which is three months way too long. Here’s wishing you a great weekend. I hope you have as much fun as I’m going to have.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021






It’s Tuesday or Easter,

last year or never,

and I’m in the aisle,

between the rows of pews,

lost as ever,

searching for a name /

meaning, something I can

claim or understand,

when a hand reaches out,

squid-like, slimy and moist-hot,

pulling me down, through the

fog with all its false promises,

into a sea no one has

ever seen or discovered,

and that’s where I stay,

below the murky surface,

looking up at the bellies of things

floating by like the faint memories

of a person who might have been,

for all we know, if ever.


Monday, January 18, 2021







It’s hard to

please the rain

when the deluge

doesn’t know

what it needs,

and it’s a little like myself,

dragging these frail bones

to the river, to the attic,

to the burial plot.

The wind’s blowing

the wrong way again,

inside out,

and I’m left licking

the rain off my lips

and that guy in the boat

waving a hammer,

well he’s coming for me,

don’t you think?


Friday, January 15, 2021





(This was to be posted Wednesday, but various outages prevented that from happening.)


…Yesterday was a dark day for me.

Then maybe, my depression fed the massive storms that came, that took the power out and the internet along with it.

Trees and limbs fell. Winds rocked the house.

More reasons to be nervous.


…In the last decade or so, I have spent a great deal of time by myself. It’s a self-inflicted choice, of course.

Usually I don’t mind being alone too much, but this (2020-2021) is something else.

Since April of last year, I have only seen four of my best friends in the flesh. I haven’t traveled farther than Vancouver/Portland, and that was only once.

I realize I’m whining and bitching. I’m sure you have it as bad, or maybe even worse.

So how do you cope with it?

To overcome my most recent malaise, I wrote myself letters. I have a self-help book which recommends this exercise. But instead of making my mood better, it only turned worse.

It can be a problem when you are the source of your own misery.

My problem is I spend too much time polishing my regrets and poor choices.

What I really need to do is let those suckers gather dust.


…But then, this morning, one of my best friends video-called me and we talked for quite a long time. It was so good to see her, even if it wasn’t in person, even if I couldn’t hug her. Friends, great friends, are godsends.

When we were done, however, it only made me miss her more.


…I woke up at 3:30 am. With no internet, which meant I had a large swath of time on my hands, I ran, wrote some more, started and finished an entire book (Death On Her Hands, Ottessa Moshfegh) by 2 in the afternoon.

It’s so good to be reading again, but I think it may becoming an obsession. It’s as if my subconscious is trying to make up for that dearth of seven months in 2020 where I hardly read a thing.

I’m at 15 books finished thus far.


…The power keeps coming on and clicking off even now. Thus, this post may seem a bit choppy.


…A lake is such a wonderful thing, no matter if it’s pinned down by sooty clouds or fighting off a windstorm. Lakes are different than rivers in that they’re self-contained and they’re not going anywhere. The lake I live on is a small one. I have a full view of it from my office window and can see it from end to end. Other than this computer screen and my pup, I may stare at the lake more than anything.

It’s peaceful watching the ducks and geese bob on the waves, though it worries me that I haven’t seen the beaver in some time.


…Speaking of worry, I hope we can all get to, and through, this coming Wednesday without provocations or violence.  Times are challenging enough without that stuff.


…I think the thing that finally pulled me out of my latest funk was gratitude. I am grateful to be able to read or write whenever I want. But most of all I’m grateful for the incredible friends I have, my family, and Lucy.

I’m one lucky sonofabitch.


…I have an Orange-Mango sparkling water right here on my desk. I aim to raise it in a toast to you the second after the universe enables me to post this to the site.

Thanks for hanging with me, especially through the valleys.

I hope you are safe and surrounded by love because there is no one like you.


Monday, January 11, 2021





…Last week was a very difficult one for our nation.

My week was made even more challenging when one of my son’s friends (with whom my son had had an argument on Friday) took his own life the following day.

All I could do was hold my boy while he sobbed. Rub his sweaty, quivering back as he sobbed. Tell him, "It'll be okay," as he sobbed.

I couldn’t find any of the right words. I knew I was supposed to say something to pacify him, to assuage his grief and guilt, but I fumbled. I was useless. Nothing I said was the right thing.

And so I felt lost and frightened and sick, nearly as much as the boy I was clinging to.

There’s nothing worse than watching your child suffer. Nothing worse, other than seeing them in utter misery while being unable to do anything about it.


…All my wanting 2020 to be over with hasn’t amounted to much. 2021 feels like 2020 redux. Like 2020’s equally evil twin. Thus far, 2021 hasn't been a whole lot better than its predecessor.


…It’s gray out this morning. It’s raining. And yeah, I’m a little downtrodden.  But I’m still holding onto a frail veil of hope. I’m hoping these next nine days stay peaceful. I’m hoping the light shows up sooner than later. I’m hoping that wherever you are, you’re safe and surrounded by love.


…Here are a few things I like to start the week:


--“That the world was strange and lost was not in argument.” Sebastian Barry, “A Thousand Moons”


--“There is a tipping point to all things where change becomes unstoppable.”


--"The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything." Lee Iococca 


--"A spectacular failure was better than safety. Sabine wanted individuals to honor their greatest ambitions. All superior things—all things worth knowing, possessing, creating, and admiring, she’d observed—had begun with vast, impractical wishes. She hated smallness of character." Min Jin Lee, “Pachinko”


--“Memory doesn’t like anything but itself.” Sebastian Barry


--"You show up on time. When you say you're going to do something, you try to do your best at it. You don't backstab people. You don't bitch and complain about what you're doing. Being compassionate is big. And it's always important to act like a gentleman." Scott Eastwood on the code taught by his father Clint Eastwood


--“I don’t know how to explain it, but you can feel it—momentum. It’s a crazy thing, and even if you can’t see it, it’s there and it’s powerful” Chris Collinsworth


Friday, January 8, 2021





     watch me disappear



the rainclouds

      come open-armed,

like henchmen in the full dark,

      sweep me up and take me,

secured inside a boundless fist of

      nowhere and nothingness,

burst after startled burst like the

      sound of jaws continually cracking,

mortar fire and rampant destruction,

      deluge after deluge pouring out forever,

and the very last thing I’m thinking

      before I can’t is,

What it was, was all so lucky

      and so damn good,

a kind of happiness rippling right there.

     under the hood of the rising sun.


Wednesday, January 6, 2021







You are

is still a

haunt and

hard tug,

a bit of


even after all the

broken panes,

scent of

passion fruit,

taste of

promise and


compass steering


To find

such a thing

is a marvel,



But love

is love,

which is

why I’ve

built a wall

in my throat,

holding back

this pen,

trying to

be as strong

as you need

me to be.

Monday, January 4, 2021







She said, Love is a good reason to be here. Even if it gets cold and cryptic and pitiful, bitter, even if our ribs stick out and our noses run and turn Smurf-blue and we’re simply two racks of bones clattering against one another on dusty sheets without sex stains.

And I said, Are you sure?

And she said, Are you really asking me that? Really?

And I said, I guess so. I’m not sure, I might be.

And she said, You’re really stupid, do you know that?

And I said, I know I am.

And she said, Sometimes I don’t like you very much, but I always love you.

And I said (…)

And she said, I do. I do love you, even with all your broken parts.

And again, I said (…)

And then she said, For God’s sake, you are so  s t u p i d.

And I said, I know. Of course, you’re right.

And she said, I have loved you all these years, despite the things you try to hide, and all those I know about, a plethora of things, a hefty jangle of faults and miscues, like those times you fell down, the morning you ran in the pitch-dark and almost jumped out in front of a semi on purpose, the pornography stashed in shoe boxes, the times you left me, the times you thought you wanted to but didn’t pull the trigger, the time you literally shit yourself and also the bed, the time you peed yourself at a stoplight in Nashville with urine gushing down your socks, the time you were too high to see or breathe or calibrate what I looked like, the time you wrecked your car and got cuffed while I watched, the time you did those other things that I wished you hadn’t done, all of those times you almost killed the man I love.

And I said, Oh my God, after all that, how can you?

And she said, You really are stupid.

And I said, I know. Of course, you’re right.

And she said, If you want me, come here and kiss me like you mean it, like forever’s swirling in your mouth and you’re giving it up for free, but only for me.


Friday, January 1, 2021




…So, it’s here at last, the new year.

Seems like we have at least three to six more months of struggle before things really clear up.

I’m wishing you a fresh start and a wonderful 2021.

...Here are two things I like on the first day of the new decade…