Category Archives: Stuff I’m proud of

I knew a man

 

I knew a man,
though not very well.
A nice man
now dead
from pneumonia.

We were all looking sideways at S——
with her regrowing cancer hair
but death came at us
from an unexpected direction.
I wasn’t even aware he was sick
until Friday.

On Saturday
I cut off the tip of my finger.
It’s not often I am afraid
but I was
truly
afraid.
I pressed my finger into my palm to stem the bleeding.
It felt deformed. Too short, too flat.
I didn’t want to know what it looked like.

A reminder of my mortality
too close
too close.

On Monday
we get the office email.
He has died. We grieve his passing.
The office is quiet
with heavy atmosphere.

Somebody has set
a vase of flowers
outside his office door.
They have been placed there
very gently
by honoring hands,
sad hands.

We need
to honor the dead.
We decorate their haunts.
We create ceremonies.
We save mementos.
We tell stories.

I only knew this man by sight.
Another office worker
someone who helped grease the cogs
of our mutual machine.
We might wave or nod.
He had a habit
of muttering to himself
funny, quirky things.
I would pick up snatches of his internal dialog
when I walked by.
How well did he know me?

My finger is stiff with scab.
I worry at it, clean it, unwrap it, rewrap it.
It will have to last me
a few years longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Wellness enthusiasts

 

walled in the well
we love the well we live the well
it’s all well here
we dug the well in the dark
we wallow deeper
we want the well
the well wants us
it’s nice
to be buried, alive
no one knows we’re here

where where
are the well people
with oily reflecting eyes
wobbly wet skin
slime in their hair
cold fingers
And webbing, webbing everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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