Category Archives: Poetry

The river

 

The river
Runs rolls rumbles tumbles tosses
Yesterday it was just a creek
The rains have swelled it
This is why
The banks are so broad
The usual pebbly islands sunk
Redrawn rewritten redrafted
Underneath the water
Unseen
Beneath the roiling muck
The river rewrites itself
With every passing rain cloud
It changes who it is
It carries garbage further away
It carries new garbage in
It fills new puddles
To fill with new frogs
And new adventures
Because it chose
To flow where the water wants.
It allows life
To alter its bones.
It doesn’t resist.
It relaxes into chaos,
Falls in, falls out.
It dries to emptiness,
Floods to new paths.
It bends.
That is why
The river is forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Gone for Five Minutes

Sitting at my desk, trying to focus at work.
Put this in that folder there,
Type that data here,
Fill out all the little boxes…
What was that.
a ghost wind passes through me.
I continue to type
I continue to read
but something inside has been
toppled
and everything’s going gray.
oh god.
what is coming.
my stomach lurches.
please tell me this won’t last.
the world around me has lost all color.
Death has awoken
and rests his bony fingers
on my shoulder.
life is meaningless.
the world has stopped turning.
i’m back in that place again.
this cold, lonely cell
and i can’t remember how to cry.
five minutes pass… not long.
just as inexplicably
Death changes his mind.
wraps himself in his cloak
and curls back into a benign black ball in the corner of my mind.
as he retires, ambient warmth returns.
The world sets back into motion.
Color resurges into my reality.
I’m in my office again
Still typing away
Coworkers unaware
That for five minutes
I was briefly pushed
Out of their world.
Thank god
It didn’t last.
It didn’t last.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

the desperate

 

people can smell desperation.
being social animals,
they pass the desperate by
sniffing in fear
instinctively knowing
this one has been cut off for some reason
a rotting limb
a toxic trash.

the desperate can be found
in the heart of the city
the pulsing downtown.
wherever people collect
so the desperate are drawn
driven to suck what they crave.
what society will not give freely
they parasitize.

in the center of things,
yet humanity flows around them,
unwilling to touch.

in the center of things,
forever on the fringe.

excluded
for fear of exclusion.

because everyone knows
the stink of desperation
is catching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Losing her

 

There is a still voice in my head.
If I meditate I can hear it.
If I follow its mandates, it gains clarity.
It always speaks the truth.
It is the juxtaposition
Of my intelligence
My years of experience
The leanings of my heart
The echo of the Tao.
Unexpected bubbles from the subconscious.
I know it when I hear it.
It always speaks the truth.

She turned down meeting me again
She had a good reason
And I refuse to push.
I trust our friendship.
But the voice said
In clear unarguable certainty

You’re losing her.

I don’t want to believe it.
But the voice never lies.
Maybe I can push a little harder
Regain the fading attachment.
But I am her friend because
I never push.
Everyone else pushes.
Everyone else gets her time.
If I push,
I become the squeaky wheel.
I become the annoying commitment.

I wish I had never thought this thought.
Now it has been given form,
And the power to strengthen
Into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Are friendships made of fairy dust
Entire worlds jointed together with ephemeria
Just to sparkle then fade?
Are they really composed of convenience?
Am I the only one
Who goes on loving just as hard
Even after I have been left loving alone?
Friends like these
They rise and fall on Fortune’s wheel
Into my life, out of my life
Do they still think of me?
I think of them.
If they came back into my life
If they showed the slightest inclination
I would welcome them with puppy enthusiasm
Happy they are home again.
Am I the only one?

I am afraid to lose this one.
I trusted adulthood
Would keep us connected.

 

But the voice never lies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

On Quitting a Bad Coping Mechanism

 

I’m not an expert blah blah blah.

 


 

When you first stop yourself from doing the bad thing
(Disassociation, denial, self-harm, drinking, addiction, etc.)
You think you’re going to explode and scream and have an aneurysm.
You cry and shake and wonder if this is what it’s like, riding it out
And if so, how the fuck do normal people do it every day?
You’ll go through three months to three years of instability
Where you snap at your friends and perplex them with your choices
As you desperately seek an outlet
Trying every possible vent that might give some release
(Art, talking, exercise, diet, therapy, meds, religion)
It doesn’t happen quickly
Not in most cases.
You have to heal
And healing takes time.
Once your bad coping mechanism is, not gone (never gone),
But under control
You find you need to make some major life changes
(New spouse, new job, new gender, new friends, etc).
As your current situation is intolerable
And was only rendered tolerable by your overwhelming self-distraction.

Slowly

The desperation fades.
The world comes into focus.
The people you once despised
Become people you respect.

Every once in a while
You’ll run into remnants of your old self.
You’ll know them through but they’ll look like strangers
And you’ll see right through their bullshit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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