Storytime

Storytime

Write a story about yourself, about your life.
What kind of things do you want to say?
How many monsters will you encounter along the way?
How many heroes?
Write out all of those crazy thoughts,
the ones that plague your mind,
and keep you from sleeping.
“The only constant in the entire universe is change.”
This is known.
“People who claim to have no regrets
are fucking delusional.”
This is also known.
“You really should have kissed her,
you really should have told her how you felt.”
“You should have been less afraid,
and cared less about how other people thought of you.”
“You should have smiled more,
and taken more vacations.”
“You should have screamed more, and sang more. Felt more deeply,
and cried so much more. You should have had more sex.”
“You should have smoked less,
and done fewer drugs.”
“You shouldn’t have wasted so much time
trying to do what was expected of you.”

The only constant thing in this universe is change,
and I have so many regrets,
but I am trying to change that.

So, sit down. Grab a pen and some paper.
Write the story of your life.
You have plenty of time.
Write it down, and believe it.
Every. Single. Word.
Believe it.

Seen/Unseen

Just finished this. Rough draft. Thank you for reading.
 
Seen/Unseen
 
Cracks in the sidewalk. The tops of scuffed, over-worn black boots. The tailpipes of automobiles.
/Dark blue flowers, that blossomed in late April, covering the hillside, and the bees swarming around them, awake now, for the warmth of spring.
A cracked phone screen. Text messages, or funny YouTube videos. Facebook photos of that guy/girl you want to fuck so badly. The sticky floor of a bus.
/The grand mountain to the south, rising out of the smog and mist, so prominent on clear days. Shrouded in snow, defiant, sun blazing off of her face. Begging people to see her, although in this place they seldom do.
How badly she broke my heart. /How badly I broke hers.
Self-deprecation, my fucked-up thoughts of never being good enough, a maelstrom I keep swirling down just to see how deep it goes. / My value. My value. My value.
Smiles and laughter. / The pain we all hide.
Skyscrapers. Monuments to ourselves. Raw sewage and air pollution. Broken glass and garbage dumps. / People living under tarps, or corrugated tin shacks. Huddling near oil drum fires. Freezing to death beneath the overpass.
All the little things that you make so much larger than they really are in your head. Your foibles and flaws. Your shakiness and uncertainty. / A way out of this mess you’ve made.
A future, painfully burning through your brain. Also, the way things are. / The way things you imagined they would be.
A world you have never ever felt you belong to. / Make believe. Imaginary lands, made up people. Home.
Half-baked thoughts and ideas. Ramblings. / An end to this poem.

Drowsy

Drowsy

I could drift away.

Floating down down down. 

Into the silence, into the center of all things.

It is full of light, it is full of my thoughts.

The center of all things is full of me, you, everybody. 

It is full of gentle music, and soft rain falling on windows.

Mother’s milk, and mild breezes, luring you to slumber. 

It is full of summer, and laughter.

It asks you to set down the weight you have been carrying. 

The center calls you to forget.

All of those times you were hurting, all of the times you caused pain. 

Drift down and away.

Settle at the bottom of all things. 

Watch your image transform, spilling color like a prism.

Changing form inside a kaleidoscope, becoming something new. 

It defines home as a place you can lay your burdens down.

The center is a place where you can be who you want to be. 

It helps you see yourself as something beautiful, something born again in each and every moment. 

So let go.

Release the handle you have grasped for countless days. 

Release the fear that maintains your purchase, and drift. 

Close your eyes, feel the breeze, and hear the rain. 

Float away, down to the center of all things.

And its green pastures full of warmth and laughter.

It’s skies full of all the things you wish you could be. 

Become drowsy.

Let go of yourself.

And drift away. 

You are welcome there. 

A Slight Downturn of the Mouth

A Slight Downturn of the Mouth

You can always tell.
It’s in the face.
A slight downturn of the mouth,
and eyes looking far away.
Whether they are staring up to the night sky,
or downcast, lost in thought.
Their eyes are searching constantly
for a place, better than the one
into which they were thrown.
You can smell 4 A.M. on them.
The dark hours mix with hope, longing,
sadness, salty tears, frustration and cigarettes.
This perfume is overpowering.
It hides their scars well, known only to those
who bear similar ones.
It’s in the face, the eyes.
It’s in the way they carry themselves.
How they hide, and in their patience.
It’s in how they dream.
They wrap it like a shroud around their fragile
shoulders, trembling in the 4 A.M. chill.
It’s in how they prefer silence instead of chatter,
solitude instead of crowds, elsewhere instead
of this place.
It’s in how they prefer rain and fog,
to blue sky and sunshine.
They are me, and I am them.
There is comfort there.
In 4 A.M. In the smell of the rain.
There is comfort there, inside the fog,
and underneath the glow of the moon.
They have chosen solitude, as have I,
but I know I am not alone.

Toys

Toys

Inevitably, we fall out of love.

With things, with other people…

with ourselves. We take big falls

off of rooftops, and trees, and jungle gyms.

Fallen, broken, splintered, fractured.

Patched together by doctors; arms

and legs in splints and plaster casts.

Don’t worry, you’ll be as good as new in about

twelve weeks. Like it never happened.

Forgotten, and free to roam again.

 

Old worn much loved and used toys get replaced

by newer, shinier models.

That once valued action figure now gets

strapped to an M-80 fire cracker and a

homemade parachute, to be tossed from

a boyhood rooftop-just another casualty

of war, that we so often dream of as children,

that we constantly fight as adults; imagination

and make believe transformed into the

perilous mundane.

 

We fall out of love and we discard.

This is our crowning achievement as a species.

Some things just take longer to throw away

than others. But don’t worry,

something bigger and brighter,

and tremendously more distracting

will never fail to come along.

Our minds, technology, psyche,

sex, drugs, and rock and roll,

other people, animals, religion, the planet.

 

Toys.

 

 

Dry Season

Dry Season

The rains have not fallen for many weeks.

Turning everything brittle, and prone

to crumbling with the slightest provocation.

The tall grass has yellowed, crackling

in the hot wind, that also stirs up

a choking dust from the earth,

that used to be soft, rich, clay.

Throats that once sang in harmony

underneath the white moon

are parched, unable to vocalize their

desperate need for water.

Structures, built so long ago,

once tall and proud, and

full of activity, have been abandoned

for the shadows of tree branches.

These structures, and those trees

crumble down as well, leaving faint memory,

dim recollections, that they had

ever even been there at all.

 

Nothing grows in the dry season,

no fruit to bear seed.

Nothing grows in the dry season,

except a prayer for rain.

The Darkness Beyond Town

The Darkness Beyond Town

Streetlights flicker, orange, the halogen

hum illuminating asphalt, black now,

black as the night, black as the sky-

no longer the dusty, dirty black

seen under the sun, but a new degree,

a new depth, impossible, breathing,

patiently waiting past the edge

of town, out there, beyond sight,

beyond the knowledge of us,

silently crouched, observing our

feeble attempts to grasp it,

to harness it. To attempt to understand

this darkness is the fever dream of the mad.

They clutch at straws, answers always leading

to more, and more impossible, questions.

The streetlights flicker orange on the edge

of town. They throw out brief halos,

born to burn without understanding

a thing. The darkness from beyond presses inward,

closer to town, past the walls, past the houses,

past the lamps. Its shadows stretching like fingers

around a pliant throat. The darkness breathes,

pulsing, it squeezes our flesh, the wind builds,

in the desert, beyond the edge of town, it howls

with the voices of those who have lost

themselves within its roiling clouds. The streetlights

flicker orange on the edge of town.

The lamps in the houses sputter out,

one at a time down the avenues

and lanes, one right after the other,

like dominoes toppling. Look out beyond

the edge of town, you can see the darkness

building there, impossibly black, and,

inside he orange flickering of halogen,

you can almost see it smile.