Thursday, June 7, 2018


A hand of seven fingers
Claws into me like hunger,
And keeps going, deep.
It keeps me far from sleep,
The uneasy, hopeless doubt
That I will figure my life out,
and dread that everyone will see
That I'm not who I should be
That I'm not what I should be.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Scouting for Optimists

Murphy's law comes down the hardest
On unwitting optimists
Who, unknowing, expect the best
While doom stalks them in the mists.
So be well prepared to handle
Being wrong before you act.
Bright, sunny lies can't hold a candle
To dark, unexpected facts.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

On A Chance Meeting of Someone I Didn't Like, 2018

I realized, with a start, how quickly I'd dismissed
The thing that's another man's reason to exist.
Why react with antipathy, bitter contempt?
It would be so much better to make an attempt
To find out how a thing that means nothing to me
Could amount to another's whole reason to be.
Though our goals are entirely different, I do
Have passions I'd sacrifice too much for, too.

Hi, Pt. 2

It's fair to forget; after all, it was fleeting.
This isn't the first, but our second time meeting.
I'm not taking offense that you didn't recall,
For chance and a lesson's no insult at all.
The first time we talked didn't make an impression?
Try a new conversation, a different direction.
Those who come up short once rarely get another shake.
On the rare times it happens, it's a chance one must take.

Why They Don't Let Poets Amend the Theory of Relativity, Part 2

There's some in inaction, more in anticipation,
But youth is the strongest known form of time dilation.
I recall when a minute could seem to drag on.
Now, I might miss a month and not care where it's gone.
While I once would quail looking from summer to fall,
Now I look at a year like it's nothing at all.
Though I can't look ahead and be sure when life ends,
If you asked, “is that long?” I would answer, “depends.”

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Thousands of Miles from Home, Where I Belong

I was odd in my time. I was odd in my place.
I'm perverse in my thinking and homely of face.
I've traversed the dark ocean now, only to find
That there's no place where people agree with my mind.

I'll be odd every time. I'll be odd any place.
It's a truth about me that I simply must face:
That I'll never shut up and I'll never give in,
and with that figured out, finding home can begin.

I'm still odd in this time. I'm still odd in this place,
and perverse in my thinking, and homely of face.
I've traversed the dark ocean now, only to see
Where I'm not meant to fit is the right fit for me.

It's Never “Never Be the Same”

I know few things are simple in Earth's broad complexity,
But I have never once stopped thinking that you're gone because of me.
I've crossed the ocean far enough that day has turned to night.
I'd cross the sorry stars if it would somehow put things right.
I learned about as much by leaving as I learned by losing you.
There's no mistake I cannot make, in anything I do.
Earth's hunger should have swallowed me, for you were always better,
and if I've gotten no worse since, I'm the same man, to the letter.
It seems you left me nothing in the lesson or the loss.
It seems as if my nature's one expanse I cannot cross.

Neither St. Valentine Nor OED Would Dig It

I don't find it in the hours of work I put in,
But in a single second, or its smaller fraction:
When I ease off the clutch and the gears quickly bite,
When I lean in a corner, take it almost too tight,
When a few right-wrist twists take me far as I can see.
When I hear the word “love,” that's what it means to me.

You Can Take It With You

To assume that time is borrowed
Had on me a strange effect.
I made myself so scarce that none
Could find me to collect.
Then this I learned in all those months
and years I spent adrift:
That time's not loaned, but borrowed,
and you don't return a gift.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Held By One Heel

You wouldn't even know me
If we met again today.
That burgeoning idealist
Was forever sent away.
Still more thoroughly destroyed
Was his forty-year life plan.
I simply laugh off accidents
That would kill a lesser man.
The pain that bothered me back then
Was less than today's “not that bad,”
But thinking of you aches in places
I thought I forgot that I had.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cardboard Can't Hold Me

If descriptors are to label,
Then I am meant to test.
I find the lot confining,
A bit tight across the chest.
Though I can bend to fit inside
A box more small than me,
With the merest flex of muscle,
A light stretch will set me free.

Welcome to the 21st

What goes into ensuring that a couple first meets?
They must survive scarcity, and the cars in the streets.
The must arrive close together in all four dimensions,
and must together feel comfort and sexual tensions
Both soon enough on meeting, and so long that they don't leave.
Precision timing keeps defining the children they conceive.
So much rests on which moment they choose to reproduce,
For the merest change in the timing sets other genes loose.
I would be a different person if you changed a few mutations
In any of the offspring of one hundred generations,
and if anyone surrounding them behaved much differently,
Through coincidence it's likely that I'd never come to be.
I'm not just a byproduct of long-lost-to-time romances.
I'm accumulated fallout from forefathers' circumstances.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Self-Service Sisyphus

I am at my worst at peace.
My mind grows lukewarm and flabby in release.
I'm up to almost any task, if rushed.
Down the drain all distraction gets flushed.
Angry, I feel the road through my tires.
Verse flows through my mind as does data through wires.
Frustrated, I throw sticky ideas at the wall.
With a slight change in mood, I can sort through them all.
I can even carry them out when obsessed
Like a dog with a bone. I can sort out a mess
Of mixed metaphors, edit for grammar,
Or pound out some prose, use my pen as a hammer,
and otherwise find ways of getting things done.
I may even find that I'm having some fun,
But soon after I find I'm enjoying myself,
Complacency puts that me back on the shelf.
How did it take me so long to see
That the best of me brings out the worst of me?

Why I Write, Part x+273: It's Easier Not to be Wise

If I never stopped thinking, I'd avoid the road to hell.
If the devil's in the details, then salvation's there as well,
For all the talk of hands, the former finds my idle brain,
and the latter keep my mind at full steam, train a train.
My refuge from flesh is a life of the mind, meter and rhyme.
I can out-think my id, at least some of the time.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Not All Who Are Lost Have To Wander

I have cataloged my faults.
I can name my strengths if pressed,
All of that's not worth a warm spit of Crest.
The poet's curse is self-knowledge
and not a thing to do with it
Because he has no clue of where to fit.
I've been around the world, and learned
Only to want not to go back,
Because a foreigner who's lost is cut some slack.

Out Door or Window

Our lives are disjointed; any themes are just sutures.
No plan survives first contact with the future.
Life is never straightforward, but heaving and twisting.
There's no detailed map made to guide our existing.
Many times I've moved forward, expecting pleasant climes,
and I've even been right at leas three or four times!
The unknown is a tunnel, and an oversized load.
Don't forget that it's also a sun-dappled road.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Incompatibly Compatible

The sight of you, the thought of you,
and all the time we spend
Transform my lips into an arch–
One with an upward bend.
We share a keen attraction
That cannot be denied,
But you're drawn to the parts of me
I think it's best to hide.
When I think something is a flaw,
That thought reflects my mind.
So what's reflected in the joy
You take in such a find?
I'm wondering how eye-to-eye
We'll ever truly see
When what I like least in myself
Are things you love in me.