Life in the Summer

I used to think I knew so much
And that was just yesterday
I used to think I was so sane
But you can’t be sane and still eat your ice cream
Not in this life anyway
Or maybe not at all
I’m practicing saying no
I’m practicing saying no
And I’m going to keep going even though
There’s a rash on my hands
From cleaning up the mess
And right now I’m so angry I could kick my own ass
In a braless, bare knuckle mud wrestle
Frozen like Pluto
Dark like a man
I’m not going to let it kill me
Because I still feel alive inside
I still have things to say about life in the summer

The Bliss of Normal

When I was young and I watched a movie or a TV show, I often wished my life was more exciting, like the lives of the people in the story. I not-so-secretly longed for adventure. Mysteries to be solved, strange experiences to be had, pain to be endured and ultimately transformed into strength!

I admired the warrior’s commitment to a life bereft of comfort in exchange for extreme capability. I lusted after drama and high emotion and a life driven by some overriding passion or purpose. I chafed at the boundaries of my average existence, my normal relationships, as I waited for the moment when I could fall to my knees and scream “Nooooooo!” at the sky, in response to the event that would shape the course of my life. I exaggerate, of course, but only a bit. I was an excitable child. Continue reading


I stood there in front of the mirror for ages, waiting, but when I finally noticed her, she was already all over me.

There is gold dust in my hair, on my face, drifting between my fingers as I hold up my hands in disbelief. She is here! Here in the air around me, no longer a vague potential. Formless, yes, but present and real. I am speechless with anticipation. Continue reading

The Sweet Spot

Or How To Get Drunk & Why

The judicious enjoyment of drunkenness can be a wonderful thing. I realize there are people who can not enjoy drunkenness judiciously and I do not mean to offend them. I’m the same way with tobacco. I know what it’s like to be standing at a party, watching other people indulge casually in a habit that is way too serious for me. It’s not exactly the same thing, but the similarity lies in the fact that if I smoke a cigarette, I will slide inexorably into smoking a pack a day, get lung cancer, and die. Kind of like taking a drink, sliding inexorably into an entire bottle a day, getting liver disease, and dying. Anyway, please don’t misconstrue my promotion of drinking as a lack of sensitivity regarding a very serious problem. If alcohol is a tool you can not use, I feel for you. And you should probably stop reading here. Continue reading

Always With The Punching

If I could be a superhero, I wouldn’t be super strong so I could punch people harder. I wouldn’t be super angry so I could hurt criminals in the name of justice. I wouldn’t punish with my super powers, deciding who deserves protection and who deserves torture or death.

If I could be a superhero, I would defuse anger. I would bestow peace. I would create understanding. Continue reading

Blind Baseball

Trying to cover all my “shoulds” and “mights” is pointless. There’s only so much preparing I can do for the unknown. It’s kind of like catching pop flies blindfolded. I can run around, waving my glove after each crack of the bat, hoping to broaden my chances of catching the ball by some tiny percentage. Or I can pick a spot in the middle somewhere, put my glove in my lap, and write some poems. Or eat a pretzel.

My chances of getting hit in the head stay pretty much the same, so I’m opting for the pretzel.


Resentment is and always has been the hardest teacher in my life. For the most part, I am not resentful. I tend to let most personal injustices slide, preferring the stability of peace to confrontation and anger. It’s not that I forgive easily. It’s that I usually don’t reach the point where I feel there is something to forgive.

But when I do feel I’ve been treated unfairly, my reaction makes up for all those times I was able to maintain my equilibrium. Resentment blossoms like an evil flower and takes over my garden. It consumes my mind. It plagues my body. I can no longer remember the little things that make up my joyful life and keep me sane. I am instead distinctly joyless, wandering through the day with my heart locked in a sourly obsessive loop, failing to experience whatever is offered, stuck in time like a massive stone in a river. Everything flows around me. Life goes on. But I am now an obstacle to it. Continue reading

Shadow Of The Toad Woman

The Toad Woman

I saw the toad woman yesterday. I would have said I met her, but I didn’t really. She didn’t talk. In a way I guess she presented herself to me. I had never seen her before. Something in me knew she existed, but either she was buried too deep to come out or I was avoiding her. Probably some of both. In any case, I can’t figure out what her appearance means. Hello or goodbye? She only faced me for a few moments. I was so startled by the charred skin and coal eyes that I almost turned away in that kind of instant forgetfulness one achieves when one chooses to ignore that which is suddenly clear. Then she briefly showed me her back before moving out of sight and I realized who she was. Continue reading

The Business

It’s hard to speak, here, with the business looking over my shoulder. I have so much to say, but unlocking it is difficult. I need space. I need time. I have both, but they are stolen, like sips of whiskey from my parents cupboard. I need space and time of my own. I own so little these days, or is it just that I feel poor? Continue reading