Brush the decaying leaves aside
Uncover that moss blanketed stone
Slide your fingers along it’s cool belly
Digging for purchase with dirty nails

You think you’re free
You’re hold yourself back
The tightness of scar tissue
Keeps you from reaching out

Fingernails bending over backwards
You lean back on your haunches
The stone makes a wet sucking sound
Suddenly you find it balanced on edge

It’s natural to fear pain
Fight or flight, you’re lizard brain’s defense
A drowning victim avoiding the depths
A burn victim shunning the bonfire’s warmth

In that moment you almost let go
Letting the rock settle back into its bed
A scab allowed to re-adhere to wound
But, instead, you give the slightest of tugs

What life is it, if all you do is play it safe?
You end up an unopened vintage fishing lure
You’re value tied to the condition of your box
Your hermetically sealed heart undonated

It falls at your feet with a thunderous thwump
You step on the muddied underbelly to assess
A circle of black loam surrounded by grass
The smell of childhood drops you to your knees

Hefting the weight of love and heartbreak
One in each hand you find love lacking
Your understanding of love’s gravity is false
As it is based on experience and you’re green

Centipedes scurry and worms slip beneath
You press your hands into the softness
You uncover old Polaroids beneath the surface
Your first love, your high school sweetheart

You still believe in fairytales but as warnings
Since you can’t have the devil without god
You can’t have poisoned apples
Without happily ever afters

You spread the photos out before you
You wipe them clean with salty tears
These moments were meant to be mourned
Release the ghosts, an exorcism of forgiveness

You realize the next love could eclipse all
Make all that came before mere shadows
In a world that’s become perpetually noon
No longer a cloud, love shines from above

You grab a handful of dirt and sprinkle it about
Covering up the photos, but not to hide them
Fertile soil, free of weeds, welcomes the sun
Tear soaked memories begin to sprout flowers

A bed of perennials and a stone grave marker
You wipe your fingers across your face
A warrior’s face paint
You’ll swim the depths and sit fireside

No longer afraid

[ ]

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



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


[                    ]


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!