Words of Wisdom

My Very Wise Friend said 

“If your family 

demands you perform 

what they perceive 

as your You-ness 

in order to be 

part of the family, 

that’s not family 

and that’s not love.”

My family has struggles. 

Every one does. 

I think we battle 

more about 

my You-ness. 

See I can’t restrain my me-ness 

and all they seem to think about 

is imaginary penis 

while my brain attempts to run from all 

of these problems with expert fleetness 

but really could I be less

Worried

Ashamed

Real

if I wasn’t truly here 

or am I pretending that my absence 

is a problem solving algorithm 

when the question posed 

by the riddle was always

“How do you have your best life?”

and the answer to the system 

was never supposed to be

“Tap out, give up, it’ll only get harder,”

but instead the lesson was

“FIGHT. Fight and YOU’LL GET STRONGER.”

Taste

All the glass 

you’ve ever touched

to your lips 

comes cascading up, 

a facsimile of 

bad decisions 

made into sharp flesh, 

and you’ve 

never wanted anything 

more in your life. 

You touch your mouth, 

gently, 

to your silica doppelgänger 

and you taste your sins 

and lick your lips 

and beg for more. 

The glass begins to crawl inside, 

chunks cascading around 

your reaching tongue. 

Sucking air, 

running it over the 

crumbled bits of 

tempered glass 

that have taken root 

in the sockets 

where your teeth 

used to be, 

you wonder how 

everything will all 

fit together with 

this new reality. 

Inadvertently, 

you CHOMP.

Feel

I don’t feel inspired to write. 

But here are words, 

evidence of slogging. 

A pace of clacking 

set to the the 

music of numbness. 

I don’t feel inspired to write. 

I feel a clog in the 

underside of my chin 

and above my left eye 

and probably somewhere 

in a ventricle. 

My therapist once told me

 that these are called emotions 

and I am to sit with them 

and name them 

and feel them. 

They are leaden 

and mucus slimed. 

I don’t feel inspired to write. 

But suddenly I am allowed to feel. 

Pure Sterling

My mother told me

that God is the potter

and I am a cup

but I’m trying to

become a plate

but what she

doesn’t understand 

is that I was 

never meant

to be so simple

and utilitarian

in the first place

and it’s much 

more likely that 

I’m an abstract sculpture 

out of precious metal clay 

and this is my trial by fire 

in the kiln of cruel expectations 

burning away impurities 

and anything less 

than what I need 

to be pure sterling. 

PTSD

I have PTSD
which does not stand for
Pretty Truly Sucky Drama or
Panicky Trifling Solution Denier or
Performing, Trying, Slowly Dying
but there are aspects
of those things in
every meltdown,
every flashback,
every nightmare,
as I recall the thick coagulation
and the fingers dragging loosely
and the furor
and the passion
and the way a man
turned into a little boy,
curled up in a hospital bed,
waiting for his stitches
no longer yelling
about the bitches
who didn’t love him
so he stabbed himself
once
twice
thrice
and now my brain pan
is stuck with the same scars
that laced up and down his arms,
isn’t that nice.

 

Tent cities

Follow the money.
Ask questions.
Who is benefiting
from this atrocity?
Who gets to
wipe their hands
and eventually say,
after the
government coffers
have coughed their last
to the billionaire families
executing the grand plans,
“Well, a bomb is cheaper,
in the long run.”

Grape Powerade

The grape Powerade
hit my tongue
and I wasn’t
hit with taste
but with memory,
long nights
in July heat
on the second floor
of an old factory,
packed in zany socks,
white heat,
and scorecard metal,
blades singing electric
and metallic
and I was hit with grief,
the truth about my crooked back
and my escapist knee,
and wicked obesity,
truly now,
wholly now,
holding me
back from a thing
I want to do,
the memories of sweat
and smiles
and jokes
and dominance
and fear
and fury
and a gentle stomp
that I’m not
capable of anymore
because I’m afraid of breaking
and now I’m breaking
and I think I’m ready
to go under the knife.

Before the Before

Life turns around quick
because only one moment
separates people from
a “before” and an “after.”
Only one trauma,
one car accident,
one slip up
and your whole life
can change.
And life is a
series of moments
like this,
forks in the road
where decisions
were made
for us
and we have
to learn to cope.
This is where
empathy comes in,
and the more
you know empathy
before the “before,”
the softer you’ll land.