A Poem

I’ve never done acid. Until I did. This is the poem I guess I wrote:

she exhaled

swelled the lungs

of her breast

and unrest

the idea of open Sea

flowing tides

open eyes
on easy waves

push and pull 

she has the dreams

of horizon seams

where stars touch lives

but words defy nothing but conceptions

The Whiskey Rule

​Half full

The whiskey rule

Glass positioned just so on the window sill

The room is still

(save for the rise of her chest)

The room is quiet

(save for the enter and exit of breath in her breast)

And the very hint of a sunrise crests, stretches

Stitches along the horizon line

A divine sign fine reflecting in its own time

Through the drops on the pane I’m staring through

The gray skies hanging low

The slow cars going to God knows where

Soft splashes are

Soft whiplashes and this is a small moment

That will never last

Is slipping past and

She breathes soft

Sleeps soft

Will soon slink softly through the door into the

Overcast afternoon of the day that settles

Last night into a Fond Memory Tomb
Fear not

Frown not

I’m left with a glass half full
After all

That’s the whiskey rule

Rainy Day Romance

I like making love on rainy days
When we fog the windows and
We fill the rooms and
I don’t have to beg you to stay
Those gray afternoons that filter through
The love letters traced in the
Beads of sweat across your skin
A pale blue hue stretched languid ‘cross us
While we talk ways to start again
I like faintly brushing errant strands
Of hair behind your ear
I like the ways your legs embrace
Me and coyly draw me near

I miss those long and patient minutes
Just before you began to stir
I long for love on rainy days and
For the lovely way things were


Death at 22

I used to tell myself I’d kill myself at 30
But I think I killed myself at 22 because I couldn’t stop the hurting
The burning, the yearning
The twisting and turning, mind always whirring
In the same old dusty corners
In the same old clouds, darkened with doubt
In the same full rooms in which I wanted to but couldn’t shout
I just stood there, looking around
Wondering what the secret was that everyone else seemed to have found
Why do their smiles come so easy?
Why do their eyes alight?
Why does it seem that I’m the one who wakes up feeling like
He’s been in a nasty fight
And I know I’m not the only one
I know I’m not alone
I know I’m not the only person claustrophobic in their own home
But I sit here in my arm chair
Arms bare
Holding the world tight against my chest and
My silver flask and empty glass ask
“When will you pour the rest?”

“That’s the problem with drinking,” Hemingway thought, “as I poured myself another drink.”
Doesn’t that line alone give you enough pause to make you think
To put the bottle down
Or maybe don’t
Maybe continue the pour
It doesn’t change that what came before will always be “Before” and
To capture “After”, you can’t be afraid
To open some intimidating doors
But those doors seem too heavy
Too complicated
I can’t even handle them

I’m still working on walking
This one foot in front of the other rambling
Shambling from one stage to another
Dead for years without even knowing
Only drawn to the occasional candle in the window, glowing
A flicker of life offered
A reminder there’s an end to night
But then my excited breathing inevitably snuffs the light

I used to say I’d kill myself at 30
On my own terms, in my own name
But I killed myself at 22
I’m in Purgatory and everything’s the same


I like the feeling of rain on my skin
The smell of the grass it settles in
The way it runs right through me
A short circuit shock to the soul
I like the rain because it dims the fire
Clears the mind, and I find
I’ve left behind the fear that leaves me tired
Eyes turned up to a dark ceiling
Pushing to see the stars behind it
I like the rain, being in it
Under it
For each drop is a star itself
Folding my clothes around me in a cool embrace
Tousling hair and kissing my face
Cleansing and enveloping
Gone for a time but certain to return
Destined to fall so that I may catch it
It is the surest lover I have ever known

You Want Poetry?

I wrote this drunk. Don’t blame me.

You want poetry?
Fine words making fine art
A message more eloquent than
The body feels, for
To be human is to be clumsy is
To fall flat
You want poetry?
Staccato words rat-tat-tatting you
An image
A feeling
A reality, but
There ain’t no solace in art from the heart, baby, and I tell you
I’m a messy man
Loose with my feelings
Open with my words
Honey, I’m an art dealer, and my best selling commodity is
You want poetry?
You want hurt
You want love
You want desperation because *you* are
Desperate for something
Grabbing for something
Ambitious and
These are good things but remember
Art is delicate
You want poetry?
Art, and the heart, are fluid
They are searching and angry and honest
They are bald and bare and true
Poetry isn’t roses and platitudes so much as
Viscera and attitude
You want poetry?
Baby, live and feel that pain a while
It’s the xylophone of your ribcage
The drumline at the back of your skull
Poetry is seeing that one lover driving away for the last time
The butterfly drifting across the sunset
The last two drops from the whiskey bottle
If you want poetry
You want life
That’s a bag of valentines and
Nails to step on
It’s that feeling in your gut halfway between horror and a climax
On the wildest ride at the amusement park
Good luck

In Vein

There is a saying
That writers have ink in their blood
My ink shouts and trembles on the page
My blood is fire and lightning and
The echo of a cavern
My heart, lonely engine, grinds on
Drumming in my chest
Pushing against the cage
A beat-up old shop, looking for purchase
My ink does its job
Speaking and thinking and drinking in the
Minds of those who turn eyes onto it but
My blood is what bellows and
My body’s parchment can scarce contain it

La Petite Mort

With a soft moan
The door
Like a lover and
With a breath,
The breadth of distance
She is there like warm smoke
Filling my lungs, clinging to my clothes
Bright and bare as the moon
Searing as the sun, hot to the touch
We become cartographers
Mapping trails across each other’s skin
Hands grip and knead
Unraveling knots
Caught up in the moment, we
For the moment
For the other
To the floor
Tightly wound, bound around one another
Pressed lips slip, drift
Across and down
The sounds of fire’s desire cut through the room
A knife and
Life thrums under every inch of skin
Crackles down every vein
Thunders in each chamber of the heart
We find our places, begin our paces
The walls around us become a temple
Cries to God sanctify it
Nails dig scripture into flesh and
Breath comes quick and heavy
Our coils twist and tighten
Senses heightened and
When release comes, it is as
A flash of light in a storm

No one ever told me a little death would taste so sweet

All I Want to Do

All I want to do is write for her
Is this how poems start?
Is that how poems end?
Time spent wondering where the time went
Pen tap-tapping the table edge
A self-kept metronome keeping a beat of unproductivity
All I want to do is write for her, but
Where are the words?
What is the order?
A thousand tiny birds grab a thousand tiny letters and
Carry them to Valhalla as the souls of the fighting dead
All those cutesy phrases and descriptive phases
Murdered before they could be said
I balk and stutter, quick catchlines turning to tongue clutter
How can anyone send a man’s mind into an explosion of color –
A tie-dyed disaster masterpiece –
While stealing the sentences behind his watchful eyes
Blank weight in a light head
Blank pages waiting for what might be written and
I’m to pluck the proper bounty from an ocean –
Oft traversed yet full of unseen secrets –
To present as an ode or a sonnet
A gift or a prayer or a testament
As a memory that lingers in a loud mind, the recesses of the ear and the edge of the lips
The tip of the tongue
I’m to take a canyon’s echo and translate it to the symphony?
I’m to take the air beneath a dove’s wing and make a gown of it?
I’m to take the universe in a woman’s body and turn that into words?
Into words?
Something. So. Simple. As. Words.
So futile a task hasn’t been known since a miller’s daughter was tasked to
Spin straw into gold, and yet
No matter how I start
No matter how it ends
All I want to do… is write for her

A Thing I Thought

I used to fancy myself a poet
Collecting letters and dressing them up
Setting them together in pretty little arrangements
Their dance would tell a story
Of love, of pain, of beauty, of hurt
I thought that’s what poets did

So imagine an imagination thrown
Mind blown
When what walks in but poetry in motion and
Emotion goes haywire
I’m listing and leaning, careening
Parroting motions to signal interest but
I’m not saying she’s for the birds
Though she is full of color and she soars
Though I swore I saw her feet touch the floor
Did she walk? Did she glide?
Did she manifest by my side?
All I know is she WAS and I wasn’t

I shrunk back, pen slacked in the face of
Walking, living, breathing
Posed behind a microphone or the lip of a glass
With lips that could ask the world  of me and
How would I refuse?
Art can’t be denied, only ignored and
There was no averting consciousness
From this, this, this hypnotic ambience
This aura of more
More meaning, more feeling
More beauty
A story that grows in the retelling
As she grows in memory
Filling the corners, patching the cracks
Rattling the beast in the cage so long locked away from
Irrational passion

When she moves, the earth tilts to accommodate her
When she speaks, the flowers bloom
When she sings, the oceans swell
Beating, thrumming like a great heart
When she is, poetry is

I, the poet, am left with dropped jaw and blank pages
The words are in her
The world is in her