everything after

August 31, 2011

it’s august 31st and
just like the undying summer
i keep hearing him in my head
the dreaded songster
weeping poetry into microphones
demanding my sympathy

maybe it’s because i’m 30
and maybe it’s because i’m lonely
but i’ve got no more sympathy
for a man who keeps chasing maria
(or amy or andria or marissa or
other assorted muses and mistakes)

because it’s the end of august
and there’s no one round here
who understands that
i feel like a rain king living
in a parched and dying land
(a king without a cloud)

so what comes next, mr. jones? are there
satellites that i can recover
out here in my desert life,
or should i just keep running my
saturday nights into sunday mornings
and accept that sometimes in life you get
hard candy instead of hershey kisses?

no answer comes across the wire
(not that i was expecting one)
so i just turn up the radio and
point my truck toward the coast
and watch the daylight fading

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off-ramp

August 23, 2011

when nostalgia turns to melancholy
it starts with the trigger event
an image
a song
something that kicks off the memory stream
it creates a series of emotions
joy sadness fondness loss
all swirling together
until you hit the second stage
the gasping stage

you stare at a picture
or listen to a particular song
and your breath stops without your realizing it
until suddenly you gasp
the stone upon your chest pressing inward
and you feel that chill run up your spine
like you were just pulled, choking, out of the water
but in reverse

now comes stage 3
and this is where things get dicey
because you can choose to stop the slide
or you can take the ride and see how far down
the depressive rabbit hole goes

this is your last exit
but as you see the off-ramp to
distraction and more level moods
you hesitate

why do you hesitate?

because you recognize that shudder you had
that chill in your spine
was actual feeling
and at a level you don’t normally operate in
because it’s too hard to maintain
without burning out or collapsing

in that split-second you decide
which way you will take
the offramp
or both the lady and the tiger

turn away
or feel

time to decide.

little cloud

August 18, 2011

(to the one i haven’t met yet–or at least haven’t realized yet…)

just there
at the corner of your vision
it floats silently
like a comic-strip thought bubble

don’t turn your head–
it moves

swimming through the air
always around
always almost near enough to touch
but not quite
not yet
never in front of you but
always at your side
it glides

don’t try to catch its eye
it hides
(though it never leaves)

so walk your paths
and drink your days
and trust that when the world
collapses in around you
you can close your eyes
reach out your hands at each side
and brush your fingertips against it

floating like a cloud
shy but steady

my love for you.

wash my hands

August 9, 2011

wash my hands
make me fit to serve
to lift
to give
to protect

my hands have done evil
wreaked chaos
rejected need
pursued lies

but your righteous hands
opened eyes
broke bread
welcomed children
comforted the hurting
and bled

your hands bled
convulsed
strained
drooped
became cold

your hands felt life again
my hands need your life

you have scars
so do i
some on skin
most in soul
and self-inflicted

wash my hands
make me fit to serve
so others can see my hands
and think of yours.