Saturday, March 25, 2023



Pick that up you don’t have to say it like that you don’t have to say what’s the matter like that you don’t have to sit on the beach in a chair when the waves roll in like the hands of a clock without any numbers. Just throw yourself on the sand with the rest of the detritus washed up on shore abandoned really if you want to be honest some of it still useful well more interesting than useful like this broken shard of limestone shell pebbled with little bumps radiating out from the focal point probably in some sort of Golden Ratio configuration nature is always finding itself in and you don't have to say it like that watch your tone please it’s so nice when it’s just your skin against the rough sand and the water washing over you in in such predictable cadence it starts to feel like silence.


Wednesday, March 22, 2023



This one has already died

This one won’t survive the night

This one needs a blanket

This one is just sad

This one is fine

This one will live

This one looks ok

But is torn to shreds inside

This one could use a breath mint

A change of clothes 

This one needs a long hot shower

Someone to bring him an extra pillow 

This one it’s probably too late

This one lost me when I tried to look into her eyes 

This one tries to drown you in her eyes 

This one needs an IV

This one just needs held

This one could use a calculus refresher

This one just needs the right book at the right time 

This one needs a mirror

That one is the reflection

Get this one to the OR

That one to a nunnery

This one to the dispensary

That one to the train station

One way tickets to the other

Side of the world 

This one was supposed to be me 

This one is actually me 

As for the rest 

I just don’t know

Let someone else decide



 The 12th Draft

You know what? I can’t go through with it. I take it all back. I retract the apologies spewed in all the other drafts. None of you are absolved. You’re all to blame. It’s all your fault I came this close. I don’t regret the temporary sense of loss I may have inflicted. I’m still here, grinding my teeth, nursing hard earned grudges. Do not go on with your lives. Do not remarry. Cancel the meeting with the estate attorney. Stop trying to be strong in the face of untimely tragedy. Do not leave my room untouched. Stop curating your memories. Un-cancel your holiday plans. I’ve spared you the hassle of fighting with airlines to get your money back. Maybe next time you’ll get trip insurance. You’re stuck with me. I shall spoil your lives for a bit longer. For those who have already forgotten me…. Surprise!  I’m back!  I know now my pain isn’t unique. See? Even my suffering is derivative and unoriginal. I’ll continue to not miss seeing any of you. I’ll embrace my isolation for now on. I don’t need a coffin and a tombstone to feel alone. That’s the way it is. I’d probably screw it up anyway. Wrong dose, poor aim, catch something on the way down to break my fall. End up only half dead, a vegetable that gets fed and watered q shift at a sorry place called Somnolent Oaks or something. Truth is I'm a coward. Weak enough to loathe myself, while lacking the tragic nobility of rock bottom despair. Still, after all these years, with the delusions of grandeur. Besides, the dog kept banging through the bedroom door. You can’t do a damn thing in front of a dog. Whether I do anything or not do anything, whether I live a “long and fruitful life” or careen headfirst into a wet ditch, you will all someday, no matter what, disappear from this warped point of view. That’s what happens. It’s neither fair nor unfair. When it’s over it’s over. I’m only still here because I love you.


Sunday, March 19, 2023


 Lifelong Friend

We spend the bulk of our lives

Alone with the person

No one else really knows

The one who sits with you

As the March snow falls in feathery ash

On the other side of smudged bedroom windows

Over time the distinction between 

Yourself and this person blurs into one 

But it's only an act of self preservation

To ease the pain of always

Having to say goodbye 

To your oldest, truest friend 

Every moment is a secret little death

But he always comes back to life

Before there’s any time for lamentation

Such private farewells are best deferred

Until the final days when it’s obvious

We've both come to the very end 

And even then it’s easy to run out of time

Bidding adieu to the glowing embers of a world 

We both have loved 

What does one say then?

Who breaks the silence?

Who gets hugged?


Sunday, March 12, 2023


 From Darkness

A photon experiences no time

Trillions of years traveling

The vastness of the universe

But instantaneous. 

Light of my life

Tiny eternal flame 

Time belongs to darkness 

Surreptitious moon like a shy boy

Watching you shine from the other room 

Timeless radiance 



 The Funeral Disruptor

The funeral disruptor was at it again. Driving his car through the All Saints Cemetery Saturday morning with the windows down, blasting Gangster’s Paradise. The small groups of people in black gathered around rectangular holes were collectively aghast. He stopped his car at the biggest gathering. He put his sunglasses on and leapt into the grave. Laertes come hither! he shouts, brandishing a broken off broomstick. No one finds it amusing. Hearse rhymes with curse, he shouts. He zig zags evasive maneuvers around a couple of beefy pall bearers and makes his way to his bass thumping car. He does this every weekend. He claps his hands, he speaks out of turn. He slams the heavy old doors of cathedrals. Why do you do this, an exhausted priest once asked. The funeral disruptor just smiles. He leans in and whispers something in the priest’s ear. The priest’s face lights up in sudden recognition. From then on they become partners. They go in halfsies on a souped up hearse with tinted windows and high end stereo woofers. Half the time it’s Gangster’s Paradise blasting from the speakers, the other half Mozart’s Requiem. Sometimes the priest is Hamlet, sometimes Laertes. They take turns. 


Sunday, March 5, 2023


 Scene III

The man is working on an abstract poem. He isn’t sure what it means yet. He’s stuck. The woman is reading a recipe she found online for chicken cacciatore. She realizes she is missing one of the ingredients. But she can’t figure out which one. It will take a process of elimination, trialing the various combinations. Before starting this arduous gauntlet of tasting, she decides to finish a puzzle she had started in the morning. None of the pieces fit. Nevertheless these are the pieces that were in the box. There are no others. She makes surprisingly efficient progress. A picture emerges from the edges that lightly touch. You have to see through the emptiness and imagine the rest. The man dips a spoon into the broth and scrunches his nose. He adds some salt. And a spice he has trouble pronouncing. Stop that, she says, mind your own. But she’s too late. He’s already plunged a flute of cinnamon into the boiling stew. As it softens an idea dissolves in his head. If he releases it now, the meal will be ruined. But the poem, the poem can still be saved.




After surgery she had a lot of questions. Mostly to do with eating. Can I have milk? Can I have cheese? Can I eat a salad? What about meat? Fried or grilled? When can I have nuts again? Or fruit? Ones with seeds? Bananas that are still a little green? Should I cut my carrots into dimed slivers? Popcorn without butter? Popcorn with butter? Mushrooms. Beef jerky. Cereals with marshmallows. Cereals that turn the color of the milk aquamarine. Chocolate covered cherries. Chocolate covered strawberries. Chocolate dripped into my mouth like candle wax. A hot candle next to my leg. The taste of tiramisu on a lover’s tongue. The last night of my honeymoon. Knowing it would never last. Can I eat that? After assuring her of the necessity of these dietary modifications I happened to look down and noticed her plate had been picked clean. Except for a thin syrupy sheen. I’d eaten everything else. I can’t help myself. She didn’t seem to mind. Didn’t like hospital food. Nevertheless she complained of a deep gnawing hunger.


Wednesday, March 1, 2023


    -after John Lennon's "Julia"

Every mother deserves a song

Written for her by a son

It’s the least we can do

After all they’ve given up

And all they’ve been through 

Better now than after she’s gone 

Kathy was always my biggest fan

Shrieking go! jeff go! as she 

Raced up and down the touchline 

Of the soccer pitch when I was seven

That first game was my actual christening,

When I heard my given name for the first time

And realized I needed to become that….

Couple of clarifying points:

We called it a “field” back then and “sideline” 

Not “pitch” or “touchline”

We were basic 

We ate leftovers

Did Saturday morning chores 

I wore polyester sweats under my green shorts

With white stripes down the sides 

Orange slices at halftime

Once, mom brought Shasta 

As the post game drink

Even though the coach 

Was a regional sales rep for Coca-Cola

It was a lot cheaper

And we didn’t have shit.

No one would have noticed

If not for the Steven, the coach’s prick son    

Nothing since has changed

She’s still rooting

For me to be my best 

Just not so screechingly.

I haven’t exactly had the world’s

Biggest cheering section throughout my life 

(to be perfectly honest)

And when she’s gone the bleachers 

Will be even quieter;

An empty seat looming

Down in the front row
With the game still on

And me out on the field,

Improbably still playing

Because what else 

Am I supposed to do?

I don’t see her as often as I should

And when I do we don’t talk much,

At least not too meaningfully

The best I can do is hold a seashell 

To her eyes and try to describe what I hear 

Most of what I say to her

Loses half its meaning on the way

Even this poem is only half written

I’ve spent half my life pretending

I didn't notice her expectant gaze—

Playing the part of the very busy good boy

With important things to do.

But I've spent the other half

Slipping out emergency exits 

Of once desired places

I didn’t want to be in anymore,

Running down dark haunted alleys

Gathering enough discarded fragments 

Of unexpressed love to put in her poem.

This is the half I’m still writing 




Lately I have been having

Extremely busy dreams

There is so much to do

I wake up completely exhausted

As if I hadn’t slept at all

Then the day starts and off I go

This place and then that

A series of endless tasks

I get nothing accomplished at all

Sleepwalk in and out

Of shadows hiding from the sun

Saving my energy for all the work 

The daytime moon has left undone