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Empty spaces

 

I’m comfortable with

Pauses in conversations

Time between family visits

Radio dead air

Being put on hold

Video buffering

Even off seasons for tv series

 

However, I’m bothered by

The corrupted flash drive

My deceased father gave me

The weekends that slip by

With nothing but iPhone screen time

To show for it

When it’s been weeks

Since I last posted here

I feel the loss  of these

Empty spaces

 

Like those moments you wished

You could revisit

Get your ass kicked in defense of a friend

Tell the girl at the back of the lecture hall

She is perfect the way she is and

It will be okay

But this weight is a pile of shit

That I dutifully rub my own nose in

Bad dog!

Bad writer!

Bad human being!

 

Maybe life happens in these

Empty spaces

Unremarkable life

Unnoticed life

Wasted watching videos of

Insane MMA knockouts

Movie trailers to movies I’ll never watch

Subway performers that floor me with

Their talent

But are still busking for dollar bills

For food

 

I remember a nighttime bus ride

When I was a child

From city to reservation

I thought out lives for houses

With lights on

I gave meaning to the

Empty spaces

My age makes me feel

That I need to either

Fill or give meaning to my

Empty spaces

Like a Harold Pinter play

The gravity needs to be

Palpable

 

Just know that in these

Empty spaces

I’ve thought about you

What I owe you

How you’ve changed me

And I’ll try to be better

 

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Affirmations 


I suffer from the same crippling self-doubt most writers do. I can, also, find myself falling into a complaining vortex. I have toyed with the idea of affirmations, of getting up early and looking at myself in the mirror, and saying, “Erich, you are a writer with a story to share that people will want to read!” And, I’ll rewire my brain and quickly ascend the world of the literati. Anyway…I could never do it consistently. Soooo, I used the calendar app on my iPhone and created events throughout my day–reminders of how good life really is and how I am meant to write. I read the event when it pops up, I whisper it aloud to myself and I smile. 

Here’s to a better me! If you like the idea, of course feel free to do the same, but let me know how it goes or what types of affirmations you might use, as I could always use more. 🙂

Happy writing!

Lachrymatory


Cracked lips and dry mouth

Eyes almost swollen shut

Head pulsating agony 

With every beat of my heart

The room spins, the floor moves

Drifting in and out

Of sweet unconsciousness 

The carpet is littered

A beach of washed up jewels

The couch an island

A world of horrific transgressions 

Channel surfing through my brain

I stopper another

This world…

Could be…

Should be…

So much better.

The little blonde haired girl 


Middle school

She was the new kid

I was alone in a crowd

She started mid year

I should’ve known everyone 

She was used to moving

I went places in my head

Her golden hair made her stand out

My unkempt curly hair did the same

She felt everything was temporary 

I was afraid I would always be that way

She was selective on who she befriended 

I gave my lunchtime chocolate milk to anyone 

She asked me to push her on the swing

I felt the joy and rush she experienced 

She set a date for every recess

I now looked forward 

She chose me

I let her in

Then one day 

She was gone

I pushed an empty swing

Decades later

I don’t long to reunite 

I just hope 

That she found

Someone

Who loves to swing her

Daily ablutions 

The silt of spiritual indignation 

Seeps into the pores, leaving a film

The eye of providence is a delta 

Where Styx meets the ocean of sorrow
The buttered skin of a quetzal

About to be roasted on a spit

Trading flight feathers for currency 

A Faustian bargain for the root of all evil
12 feathers for this phone and 30 for that TV

Dressing in leather to hide the pluck holes

And to remember that there are worse bargains

Frying pan or fire, no one dies in their sleep
The aspirant clocks out at the mine’s mouth

Pretending with sooty face and black lung

That the diamond called the American Dream

Is within gnarled and arthritic hands
Go home to hearth and family

Who dream of feathered boas and cruises

Climb into the steamy shower

Pine needle brush and loam exfoliant 
The handshake still felt

The sky a constant reminder

Ink and paper or keys and screen

Remember what it was once like
To fly

Bulletin board 


Okay…my first post of this type! If you want to share a link to either your latest or greatest post, please leave a link in the comments. If you want to leave a blurb about the post, please do.

My most liked post was about the first hug my son gave me: https://erichmichaels.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/a-hug/

Let’s show some love for our fellow explorers of the human condition!

Ephemera

The imprints of little feet in sand

Around a bucket built sandcastle
Snow-covered trees, snowflakes on your face

You stand and look at your first snow angel 
Walking out into the field at dusk and

Experiencing firefly magic the first time
Giddy anxiousness keeping you awake

Wondering what Santa was bringing you
The perfect rock, the perfect throw

It skips across the water…finally
Knowing with the utmost certainty 

That you were meant to be a firefighter 
That tv show you watched with grandma

As a child, her laughter was the best sound
The cool night breeze off of the bay and

The best fireworks you’d ever seen
Sneaking around the grownups stealthily

Slurping the foam off their drinks until dizzy
A sunburn, the pain, the sleepless nights

The skin sloughing off in strips
Jr. High warm-belly-feeling from friends

Relaying info that your crush likes you too
That first self-induced, full-body-orgasm

Lightening in your veins…did I break it?
Bagged groceries all week with your best smile

The owner hands you your first check
Approaching high school graduation 

The feeling that the world was yours
Your hands grip the steering wheel 

You drive off the lot in your brand new car
You walk up to the counter, fingers touch glass

You ask where the engagement rings are
Filling out paperwork at HR

Five percent you put into a 401K…for the future
You keep the indicator covered by your hand

So you both can see if it’s positive together 
The Rent-A-Center salesperson 

Greets you with a smile and calls you Sir/Ma’am
Sitting across the desk, little arrow stickers

You initial for the 100th time…homeowner 
You place the beer on the counter

They take your money and don’t ID you
You hear a couple punk kids laughing

Your muffin-top the punchline, you’re Teflon
You let a bright-faced salesperson in 

You sign up for supplemental life insurance
You order a do-it-yourself kit

Catalog everything and make a will
A twenty-something smiles at you at the store

They move their cart and let you cut in line
Your manager gives you a little box

Inside is a pin commemorating your retirement 
The family reunion you have the place of honor

As the oldest in your family
All your loved ones eagerly visit you

As you lie in a hospital bed
You feel an immense amount of weight lifted off

Then nothingness
In the distance you see a light

A doctor pulls you out and cleans you up
The imprints of little feet in sand

Around a bucket built sandcastle…

Veneer

I’m sorry, do I know you?

No…not, do I know YOU?

But, do I KNOW you?
I know that you don’t know me

That’s right, you don’t KNOW me

Often I feel don’t even KNOW me
Introverts scream separately in unison

Don’t ask me about the weather!

Ask me about my dreams and aspirations!
The, “How about them Yankees?” 

Is the TAP TAP on the microphone

Is this thing on?
We WANT true, meaningful connections

We NEED to see aura, spirit, and heart

We HAVE no real idea what we are asking for
The devil you know or you THINK you know

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory

You want me to fix me?

Here’s a diver’s helmet

Some glow sticks

Spray lidocaine 

Aloe Vera

And a copy of the Rite of Exorcism 
They say it’s going to rain…

Closer to Home, Father I Roam pt. 2 


In an earlier post, Closer to Home, Father I Roam, I talked about the loss of my father. I talked about our relationship, about his being supportive of my writing and how his passing affected me.

I talked about how I am embarking on an inward journey, in attempts to better understand him, creating some of the same neural connections…through reading the same books he had read. He left a map of his adventures–his Nook reader and a library of titles. 

I picked The Shannara Trilogy and was not disappointed. I’ll be the first to admit that I moved through the first two books slowly. It was as if I was subconsciously coming up with excuses to not buckle in and read, at least not nearly as often as I had in the past. However, I did really enjoy them, as they are definitely in a genre that I love. Now I’m not going to do anything close to an in depth book review, but simply say how the journey went and what I took away from it. 

I’m currently about 100 pages away from finishing the third book. I take it with me to work and inevitably I end up going down an internet-search-wormhole and make no use of my breaks, whatsoever. Irritated with myself I’ll return to work, vowing to read the next time. Some part of me doesn’t want the story to end, just like I wish my father’s story was still going on, I guess. 

My takeaway, at this point, is simply my seeing a parallel between my father and the Druid Allanon. He wasn’t really there at the beginning and until later in life he was kind of a mysterious figure that moved in and out of my life. Most importantly, he gave me my love for reading, which blossomed into writing and is the most powerful magic I know. 

I will try to push through the last 100 pages and then see what’s next. I hope to report back on this pilgrimage. I miss him sorely, but these breadcrumbs I’m following will not only bring about a deeper understanding, but will also take time…putting me closer to him in a more final way. 

To me, sharing a book with someone is probably one of the most intimate things you can do. It was, for a time, a life you lived and now, through your actions, they share that life. Share your lives with those you care about, my friends.