Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Harbor

The boat ran aground.
I wanted it to.
The rudder snapped in half.
I wanted it to.
The oars split in pieces.
I wanted them to.
The boat started to sink.

But I couldn't let her sink.
I had to scoop madly at the water,
furiously bind the oars and rudder,
wrench the vessel free of land,
continue floating on to somewhere.

I'd rather sink
and finally land this ship.
The unknown harbors at the bottom
wait for me.
If only I could breathe down there.
If only I could breathe.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Who cares? I keep asking. But the page doesn't answer. Who will you stimulate? Not me, for one. And not most people. But the few who live off this madness. They're mad! All of them. And they ask me to reproduce it. Why do they live off it? Can't they feel anything simple anymore? Does it all have to be so convoluted, complex, compressed into tiny spaces unseen by mere mortals, but "fun" for those academics so washed with the language of fine matter that nothing gentle interests them anymore? Yes. Because they own me, and they've lost the power to be caressed by mortals. They are the masters of argument, and I can't argue to their liking. The servant who can't prepare the tea just right is unreliable, yet unreleased. He is hired to fail. Oh, I'll get my justice when I'm the master. I'll devour my heirs, their embarrassments will repay me. I'll shoot down all the idiot notions of clowns like me . . . as soon as I'm not a clown. At least, that's the thought I should be having because that's the thought that will drive me to madness--the happy state of masters. But I can't think. I can't understand the words on this page. It does not feel like life to me. It leaves no space for being.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Last Crush

She makes the sunrise
And I was there to see it.
I held her face in my hands
until it burned my fingertips.

She makes the sunshine
And I was there to see it.
I played during the light hours
and ran to her with every smile.

She makes the sunset
And I was there to see it.
I was the purple hue fading
between her and the growing cold.

She makes the starlight
And I could barely see it.
I held her face in my eyes
until frozen tears shattered it.

She makes the sunrise
And I was not there.
I was making the rain fall
And she was standing in it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My First Crush

If I could turn you into sunlight's ray,
you'd yet be with me when so far away.
The dew on every flower'd reflect your face,
but alas, without such realness and such grace
as has the moment rare and soft with you.
Me thinks I shall not want for sun, but you.
--May 2003

I wrote this for someone a long time ago. My first crush after the mission. See how simple it was to love back then? How new and harmless? My words are as innocent and free as they are naive. There is something childish about them, so lost in what I'd found, so simple in what I needed. And now when love is the prison I can't seem to escape, I wish for the first crush again, when love was a candy store, and I knew nothing of cavities.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I walk at night on streets lined with my solace.
The homes and trees and street lamps are my friends.
When I've the road alone at midnight
I think the things that make amends.

Friday, October 17, 2008

the difference

You hiked a mountain.
How long can you sit at the top before you stop feeling?
The greatest moment is the first.
You begin descending the moment you arrive.
It is the difference, the sheer difference
between a nearly conquered foe and a conquered one
that makes you feel.
And for one moment, you are alive.

But life is borrowed, then returned.
It isn't yours; it isn't earned.

You seek for pain to feel the difference.
A "high" has no where to go, but down
and a "low," no where but up.
Will you experiment with lows?
...to feel the difference?
or claw the air for matter still to climb?

Friday, October 3, 2008


******built to
********to be

Saturday, September 6, 2008

pheonix blood

If only you could see me now,

could see the flashes in my eyes
like slashes deep in purple skies,
the golden streaks, the piercing cries
from cutting blades . . .
the new sunrise

You wouldn't have called me wasted.
You'd have stood up and you'd have faced it,
the storm that then erased it,
the care we started with.

But from your eyes once giddy
came eyes that burned whole cities
to the ground.
My world turned upside down.

Then left you did to find you'd rid
yourself of phoenix blood,
the stuff you left in ashes,
the stuff they call true love.

And now when I am coming out
renewing hope, doubting doubt,
I feel the flashes in my eye,
but this time birth can't make me cry.
I am the apple of my eye,
not you, not her, not girls plus guys.
I've unlearned romance, unlearned why.

If only you could see me now
back when our youth knew how.

Monday, September 1, 2008

For Sara, because she listens

I need to find you again.
You were the sweet bread
I ate before my meal--too early.
And now the plain bread is too plain.
My taste buds know the difference.
They can't be fooled for lesser things than you.

For Jessica, because she's there

Sitting on a lonely chair
atop four floors of memory,
I sit at night among ghosts.
I watch them run from door to door
across the roof-top.
They play the night games I once played for real.
I won't play them again the same--
the people are gone who taught them to me.
And with each leaving, left a ghost to play
unfinished games.
I am the last to leave
and sit alone in the shell of past happiness.
I wish you filled the hollow places,
the emptiness that haunts ghost faces.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Life is full of good-bye's,
each one more potent than the last.
And each compounded to the rest
like new weight on a heavy heart.
Anticipate it, adjust to it if you must.
Brace yourself for the emptiness that weighs.
But don't close too early.
Don't say good-bye before it's time.
Don't lose before it's lost
or surrender what's not yet taken.
For those you lose are also losing you.
They count the seconds left
like sunset seconds of a favored day.
And wish to see the setting till it's done--
the ending brilliance, the parting sun.
It isn't losing when you've won
a past of memories.

Though stars are all that's left of light,
the stars do not appear till night.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I'm following the sun.
If I can run fast enough,
I'll keep it on the horizon.

Monday, May 5, 2008

my shadow spot

I loved you too passionately then.
Now time has calmed the rage
and waves are ripples splashing
gently on my mind.

You were the noon time sun then,
too hot upon my skin.
I sought for shadows,
wanting shade to shield
my sun-burnt heart.

Too many feelings then.
But now the potency is faded
into starlight--
the lingering warmth
of sun's last breath across
the space connecting us.
The dust from stars
is really dust from you
still restless from you leaving.

I feel them draw me
from my shadow spot
to feel them in the open air--
the air you used to breathe--
and give me clearer pictures
of your beauty then.

I could not stare at sunlight then,
but love to gaze at starlight now--
reflections of your splendor.
It is your fading warmth
that captivates me most.
The twilight view more interesting
to painters.

Lead me to fading shores
where dying embers of past suns
remind me of past beauty best.
These are the moments full of rest,
the ones when love is gently pressed
into my heart.
And I concede at last to start
believing love could be an art
of mine,
if not confined
to summertime and heat stroke.

It was the heat that broke
my spirits then,
But twilight now has made me friend
to lovely pasts, and you again.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I'm important.
No, you're important.
Everyone is more important
than me.
But I'm important
when I'm better than you.
Homogeneity devalues me
to nothing.

valuable=better than things of little or no value
better=uniquely valuable
uniquely valuable=singularly important

are wasted in generalities.

All my carnal eyes see is comparison.
The world only makes sense in good vs. bad.
I'll never survive in heaven.
They say everything is good there,
And everyone's important.
I'll be nothing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

If someone is to be blamed for changing
the dynamics of our friendship,
it isn't me.
I'm still single.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Heartbreak (for "Million Dollar Baby")

It was heartbreak that did it.
It was the break that did him through.
A heart was meant for breaking, for breaking . . .
The pain which is seen with tiny eyes inside.
A broken nose doesn't hurt too bad,
But break the heart, the soul,
The unseen backbone to it all,
To existence--
That is what did him through.
Stabbed with an immortal blade,
These wounds will never heal
And he will never come back to us.
We break and break and break
And cry until the tears come and wash us.
The sweetest water that ever washed our garments.
And tears will save us,
But what when the well runs dry
And we are broken again with no water
To heal?
Life holds its appeal
Only to the brokenless.
Because my arms won't move if hers won't.
She without limb; now me without heart
We are the same.
And death follows.
We are built to be broken
And broken to be built again,
But his heart was rent the last time
And he held nothing in his hands.
Life's blood ran out his soul
Like water drains through bullet holes.
The devil took his heart and wept over it in hell.
Misery loves nothing.
It's just misery.
And the devil weeps forever without tears.
His worst burden is the immortal blade
The Lord gave him, and he breaks the hearts
Of man until they can not mend themselves.
The irreversible pain is sent to him forever
And the broken man to God.

It must be so
For there is no answer to the broken hearted down here.

--June 2006

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Becky Joe

Can your trouble really outweigh the joy of a back scratch? Who can drown the perfume of a flower or the rain upon your face? Nothing can. Not a heartache or a doubt. Not a C-grade or a D. Not a famine or a drought. Not the man you fear is better, nor the mock you feel for failure. You are the King of every moment and the Queen in every mirror. You were not made for moments, but moments made for you. You are the topic of every line and the subject of every play around you. You do not play supporting cast in your existence. You are the star, so every flower was grown for you. And every snow flake the blessing of your eyes. The world is yours. Not you the world's. Of all things you are most gifted, for you can choose the curve of your mouth and move of your hand. And God risked everything to make it so. The riskiest of His creations, you have all power to choose your smile or frown. God wills your smile, but allows your frown. For your freedom, He risked your heaven or hell. And He wills you to Him with all He has. All God Has. God has it all, but you. Until you choose Him. How it must pain Him to allow you NOT to scratch your back or smell fresh mango or taste big snow flakes or see wax melt, so that you can choose it. Because you hardly ever do. You choose to worry it might all be gone someday. And what if it is? If it's gone then you must be. For alive, you have it still. And dead, you have it still. Get used to the happy flowers here; in heaven, they're everywhere. But if you can't see it here, how will you know it there? You've only learned to spot trouble, so when there is none, you will be confused and empty, with nothing to worry about and no idea what happiness is--no idea what you're experiencing. But what of the bad? Can a man simply live ignorant of trouble and still grow into a man? No. But you no more need to seek out pain to know it is there than a fish needs to seek out air. Trouble waits past every stroke. And trouble may kill you, but don't beach yourself before you're beached. Don't miss the rainbow scales upon your skin. Take all the pain and breaks and loss and blow them through your arm hair. Billions of sensors on your skin wait to make you feel them. Don't wait for trouble to pass first. Make trouble wait for you. Your feelings are otherwise engaged. You are feeling the hair move on your arm.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


don't look at a picture
at a book
at a word
at a mark on a page
and see anything
really anything

don't hear a song
hear a note
hear a sound
hear a noise from inside
and listen
really listen

don't ask me for the words
for the notes
for the anythings of somethings real
how could it exist for you
if it doesn't

I can't give you that

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

is not

Why talk.
Why speak your mind
When not
Inside of one.

Why voice the thing that isn't
loud enough to know.
You can't forgo
the speaking of what's not.

It isn't not.
The same unspoken thing,
the not alive and not existing,
erupts the inner walls resisting.

But talk to let it out?
Expose the thing unliving?
Reveal the unrelenting
pounding of still air?
It isn't fair.
To feel so much of nothing.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Give me an unloved heart.
An unheld hand,
A friendless part
in life's great play.

Send me forgotten books.
Works out of print
That no one looks
at anymore.

Make me the starving child.
Neglected soul
left to the wild
earth writhing.

But let me love. Don't take
from me my needing
wanting, pining
the pilot flame
that lets me start
my life again.
If I can feel
my fire of living;
If my heart loves,
I am forgiving.

Friday, March 14, 2008

tiny hands

Do it for tiny hands.
Those fingers grip mine
when swinging the little person attached.
Those fingers hold mine
when pleading for the smile I have.
Those fingers stroke mine
when nothing's left to do but stand.
They're always in my hands.

Because my hands are strength.
Because my hands are love.
Because my hands can heal
the wanting from your little frame.
Because you trust your world through mine,
And see the start and end of time
in every moment just as kind
and full of hope as ones behind
the ones you're in.

You are the reasons I still am,
reminding me no reason can
give justice for my lingering soul,
so bent on hell from lost control;
But you--the reason part and whole
That I'm allowed new youth at all.

Then look at you and feel you mend
my damaging, weakening, reckless trend
of growing old.
Who could have told
me standing there, I'd be so bold
to live again?
--rebuilding soul with tiny hands
And making heart feel young again.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Don't Worry

Don't worry the man so distant.
He's only real that way.
Don't give of yourself unassisted.
Your guide, he's not, nor stay.
You'll only fall when resisted,
And feel your world something twisted.
He's worried sick that you've missed it--
his need to go away.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

You can't think
But you want to.
You can't feel
But you need to.
You can't wish
But you seem to.
Not knowing anything,

She believes in fate,
He believes in will,
You believe in both,
Not making sense of it.

It's supposed to make sense--
You should feel reason.
Of course it doesn't make sense--
That's life.

Life is up to you.
No one will do it for you.
You aren't yours.
You didn't do it--He did.

Work like it's all up to you.
Pray like it's all up to Him.
Be glad to be totally confused your whole life,
Split between a straight and bent neck.

You shouldn't be confused.
Don't you read the Good Book?
Good people aren't confused.
Pretend for now,
I'm sure you'll be good someday,

When you don't think so much.

I want to be good,
but I want to think.
Why is good so unreasonable?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It wasn't right. Tom never healed completely after the surgery. A surgery he never should have had. Where's the nobility in giving up a part of you if the void kills you? Tom was perfectly healthy. It wasn't his accident--it was his brother's. And if it had happened before medicine considered itself advanced enough to transplant body organs, back when nature had more power to play its hand, Bill would have died and Tom would have watched helplessly. But nature was forced a different turn. Tom didn't even think about it. As soon as they told him Bill needed a kidney, he gave his. There was no question in his mind. If something was good and possible, Tom never thought about it. Good and possible always meant one thing: do it. But it wasn't Tom who would have to live a lifetime cursing the consequences of doing the possibly good. It was Bill. Tom's month-long deterioration after the surgery and eventual death drove deep the resentment Bill harbored for being alive. He knew he should have died. He was living with a dead man's kidney in place of his own--a dead man who had at least seventy healthy years left to live, had he not unwittingly given his kidney to his brother. And Tom was the better man anyway. Like Tom's unquestioning instinct to combine good and possible, Bill never questioned which one of the brothers was the better man. The world deserved Tom for longer, and it would have had him too, had nature not been crippled.

They said Tom would be just fine, that transplants of this sort happen all the time and both parties live out remarkably fine lives. Tom didn't live anything remarkable after that. And all anyone could tell Bill was that Tom's death should inspire him to live out a remarkable life for the both of them now. But Bill only felt like spooning Tom's kidney out of himself each day he awoke and remembered Tom should be alive and him dead.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Those cupid trends...
gave me a girl who pens
my love in lines she bends
to compensate for ten-
-dencies of men
she wishes other.

Follows the cut that ends.
Not still at least just friends.
Love breaks, time mends,
but never sends
more sugar.

Friday, January 25, 2008

we part

The dark ages of our friendship begin.
And the repercussion of only a few words.
An ounce of closeness spoken
and now we pay with darkness.
Two may silently know it, never say it,
and thereby never leave it.
But one word out loud to the other
and a fine is required.
The debtor will never escape the debt
till paid in blackness--
the severance and destruction
of words' creation.
Word is bond.
And bonds must break
the man it is.
For bonds are not between two men,
but the men themselves,
so that breaking is the physical tear
of hearts,
not snapping of sticks between.
How then could two persons torn apart
ever heal together?
For one is the void in the other.
And both can never be the same again--
the same person.
They must be two.
Had we never spoken those words
we had never been closer to one than two.
But loosed our tongues we did
only to lose them now in silence.
We have no means to say,
nor where to say it,
But emptiness--our only balm.