Friday, April 29, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

I don't want to do this. I don't want to be here. I don't want you to placate me or try to inspire me; I'm past that. Leave me hanging. The fickle wind will entertain me. The sounds of the night creatures will be my music. The moon will be my muse.

It's not that I don't appreciate it, although I don't. It's not that I'm over the whole thing, fed up, although I am. I am waiting for the hammer strike. I am spinning into oblivion with my eyes wide open. 

You are an artful conductor. That's something to be proud of, I guess. Quite an accomplishment. You are different than the rest of these two-legged fuck factories. Be the beast you were born to be. Rip flesh with your sharp teeth, and revel in the blood. 

When morning comes, I will be gone. You will be a shell of what you were, and that's fine. That's just all right, man. That shit makes some kind of sense. 

Not really, but whatever.

Friday, April 22, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

The birds greet the morning, damp and fetid. Rain slides off the cars, creating abstract art with streetlight glow. The world is still hitting snooze, denying that the night is over, keeping eyes shut tight. You are but a small piece of a large tableau. Do with this what you will. Run, hide, scream, laugh, sing, dance, die. The birds will keep singing. The rain will still fall. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

You got your new shoes, got your fifty dollar haircut. You're looking fierce, feeling it. You got three drinks under your belt, and that last touch of headache is setting with the sun. You paved the road with well drinks, but you know that there's nothing at the bottom. Just more bottom. It goes on forever. 

I'd never ask you to change, too ambiguous. I'll specify. I want you to improve. No matter where you're starting from - everyone has room for improvement. Try looking up, not down.

Make sure you situate yourself just so - you are at a bend in the river. Pixels jam up the works like old wood logs. You want to watch it all burn, so be it. It's gonna get hot, hot enough to melt them fake eyelashes all the way off your fake face.

I feel like Bigfoot. Out of place. Lurching through the thicket of branches, soft light glinting off the special effects. I'm fertilizer. I will create a mound of new life. Just give me time.

Friday, April 8, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

I can't play the song unless you give me the key. I'm locked up. Perfect pitch seems like voodoo to me. But I'll take a swing at it. 

I fell down a few times, sure, but my motives were pure. There's just not enough of the stuff inside me. I'm a broken-wing seagull snatching opportunistic fries. The boardwalk is my hunting ground, where folks walk, bored. 

I wish I could see the things you see. I'm blind until I put everything into words, play with the sounds. I have to construct a metaphor to see things clearly. I get better at it daily. Yearly. I'm an ambitious snail climbing a wall, not that poor slipping fuck from the math problems. They call them word problems, but words have never caused me problems. Math did. 

You're zipping through life with blinders on, but I'm looking everywhere. Trying not to crash the car while I look for hawks in the shimmering air. You got a second? Man, I got none to spare. Time is stretched like a pregnant belly, full of promise, full of danger. Every day this shit gets stranger.

I wish I had your confidence. It's a superpower, that ability to crown yourself and not feel awkward. I feel like a phony even when I'm not. Don't give me a second thought. Cave my skull, and leave my body for forest rot. 

I don't sleep well - there are things in my brain that won't let me rest. Maybe that's for the best. This world was made for open eyes. Slip the needle, euthanize. Make it one last big surprise. 

Keep running. Don't stop. Momentum's about all we've got.

Friday, April 1, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

Most of the time, we were happy. We danced through the day wrapped in freedom, whirls of emotion and song. It was easy to be happy when the sun was up. It was after the sun went down that we returned to a kind of uneasy stasis, like a demolished building between the blast of dynamite and the cloud.

Mom used to shimmer like gold, but he was the tarnish. Not a Dad, but someone playing a part. Only he hadn’t practiced his lines, and they never came out smooth. They came out like he was chewing rocks. Spitting out broken teeth.

Jimmy. That’s what everyone called him. He never suggested we call him anything else, but we did. Behind his back, we called him all the ugly words we knew and hoped he never heard us. My older brother, Jeremy, would talk back to his face, but he was the first born, which made him closer to our mother in time and space. 

The younger kids. Me and the twins. We just kept our heads down. Tried to sit like stone lions, the kind that live outside libraries. We guarded nothing and instilled no fear. We were decoration, an overly frosted cake. Our smiles turned stomachs.

The day he left, nobody cried. We crossed our fingers and tried not to jinx it.


The dock is old and weathered. Ancient boards with claws of old, twisted iron. Nails and hinges betray the history of the place, a place where old doors become docks where people fish and catch nothing. 

To catch fish, you need a boat. But no one I know has a boat. We use the boat ramp for skate tricks and dodge the boat owners who look at us like old bait. We are inconvenience. We are a knock in their engine, fouled lines, old nets with holes. 

The men with the boats laugh like gulls and grumble like earthquakes. They sit high in their trucks like God, the ones who can use the whole water. They feel superior to us, and we feel inferior to them. 

There is a natural order to it. 

Sometimes, the drunks who watch the boats will give advice. No one listens. They are focused on boat-having. Boat wanting. 

Boats bob on the distant waves like driftwood, sun stabbing their chrome.

When I die, I would like to come back as a raven. One who watches the boats, but does not care. One who knows the score.


I am not one of those who throws pennies into fountains. I keep my pennies in a hole-free pocket. I stack them on the edge of my desk so they can grow into dollars. I do not carry crystals or consult the stars. 

My hope lives in stacks of old, worn copper. 

My grandfather was a great collector of coins and rubbish. He walked with his eyes on the ground like bloodhounds, scouting pennies, rubber bands, old bolts and pretty stones. He taught me to do the same. Made it a game. We were walking junk drawers on the hunt for treasure. 

My sister  would never play the game. She refused to keep her eyes down. She was the kind of sister who could talk to adults on their level. Not me. I was happy to have something to distract me. 

Someday, I will teach my grandchildren to keep their heads raised high, but their eyes down. Not in humility. 

In search of treasure.


She is the kind of woman who breathes sadness. She smells of sadness, and sadness fills the open spaces between her words. She jumps the steps when she gets home, but it is fear that drives her, not exuberance. 

She is someone we can make up lies about. She can be whatever we want her to be, because, really, we know that there will never be a confrontation. She has enough on her plate; it is stacked high like a potluck plate before it falls and splatters. Before the crash and the shaking grandma heads. 

People in the neighborhood call her Auntie, but she isn’t related to any of us. It is a sign of respect. We don’t understand the weight she’s carrying, but we respect it. There is  a certain strength to her posture, her ability to stand when the world is pulling her down.

She is marble, ready to be carved. 

To the uninformed observer, she is a much-maligned old woman, but we know things that we cannot express. There is truth, but there is also consequence, and they don’t always come together. 

If she is marble. We are play-doh. We are young, and we wear our youth like chain mail. She lets our opinions bounce off the callus of her skin. The pigeons don’t care about any of this; they are involved in dramas all their own.