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


[                    ]


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


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


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…


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…

Park bench


I sat on your bench

I tried

To feel your resonance 

I didn’t know you

I saw you on my walks

Apparently no town 

Is too small

For homelessness 

You’d disappear 

During the day

Leaving behind your


A ratty backpack and

Your tattered sleeping bag

Returning in the dark

To lay your head down

To sleep

The article said 

Your heart gave up
The fight

Enjoy your rest

As I lie in bed

Hating myself 

For never even




Get in line

Toe the line

Walk the line

Fall in line

Take a hard line

Draw a line in the sand

Color inside the lines
Someone has fed you a line

So I’m gonna drop you a line

It’s time to be out of line 

Time to cross the line

That’s right…I’m laying it all on the line 

Take the line of MOST resistance 

We are on the frontline 

You may be next in line 

And that’s the bottom line
We are the creatives, so color outside the lines

Before you…flatline