I think we forget

What it was really like

Two wars

A collapsing economy

Faster than the Great Depression

The month he took office

We had lost 800,000 jobs

Just in that month

Within a year

We had jobs growing instead of losing

Tech and globalization

Education and healthcare costs

Economy bubbles


By investors

How do you build something that works for everyone?

One wife

A reader

A picture of the american dream

The promise that you could

Work hard and reach any dream

But we were not ok with that

How do you figure out a way to process truths


If we live through


Through a phone

That build on our biases

Polarizing us

Watching only media that puts us in a bubble …

How do we value truth ? And facts ?

Character and honor

This is not Reagan country

This is not Kennedy country

This is not Mayberry

They would not recognize us

They would not be proud of us ….

Human decency and respect and empathy

Should be base value

But it is not here…

What happened to the values that carried us here?

The basic values

Be honest

Be kind

Treat everyone with respect

Work hard

What happened to us?

How can we


Would Christ still say

“Forgive them for they know not what they do?”

When we say things like

“We knew what he was.”


If my ex wife or a woman is vulgar

Or loud

It’s wrong

But if a man does it

It’s presidential

How do we come back from this

We are so divided

And how

Can we pray ??

When we say things like

“This man was put here by god,to stop communism…”

I thought we wanted smaller government ?

This is not Reagan country

This is not a shining city on a hill

We are unrecognisable


I still believe

In the seeds

In the ability to believe in ourselves

And our communities

We can return

And we can

Meet the cause

Should Christ have refused the cross?


Our fathers

Refused to storm the beaches of Normandy?

We’ve never been here before

Because we have


That we don’t even understand

And it’s using

Our own weaknesses against us

But we keep looking for an intruder

Liberty has fallen

We shaved her head in the marketplace

A spectacle

For the world to see

And they will remember

How we’ve acted

What we’ve said

And how we defended ourselves

And reasoned and split our minds in half ….

How do you back pedal?

You can’t


Trying to find the census Russia smudged

Because it showed the unnatural death count

In the 30s

So they shot the census takers

Here we are 33k deaths in the US



Businesses closing

How do we move forward ?

What happened to chivalry

To classic badassery?

To rising to the challenge ?


We are more than masses

Blue states,red states, we are more…

Our parents lost jobs in the first recession

They lost homes

We are survivors

We are Americans

The Crisis of man

Thoughts on aging in the coming age

It’s cold, 39 degrees. I turned on my heat this morning, I’ve tried to not think about it. But like the moon landing, I couldn’t help it,

I think…

What must it be like to go so far. To only find dust, and isolation?

for four years, I’ve tried to watch and observe…

I was married, I’m now divorced…

Women without men are an idea, women with men are a complication…

We altogether are a complication. A mood in itself.

We post on dating apps, photos of ourselves in Egypt and camping and we want a man with a car, a house, a job, a pleasant disposition. And he has to make us laugh…

But he’s too short, he’s too round, his eyebrows are too thick…

I can’t take you to Egypt, I hate camping…I like my solitude…

I haven’t played a video game since 2004

Can I just cook you dinner, play a record, dance with you and tell you, you’re the nicest thing I’ve ever seen?

We want absolutes

But we want to be accepted

But we have requirements


You reach a certain age, maybe it’s just me…

You reach a place, you take stock of your life…

What have you really achieved?

Are you what you want?

How does one maintain faith?

It feels so far away…

How did the astronauts handle

Something so grand

Becoming “fake.”

How does one live ….

Age to age …



We vote

I’ve watched

As we use an algorithm

I’ve watched as we do not talk

To each other

I’ve asked myself how our children

And our youth will remember this

What have we taught them

Shown them

What example

What do they consider presidential?

Honorable ?


What is life?

What does a leader look like?


To our children

To the young people

To the rest of the world

I think about how I grew and changed

And what I have been impressed with

Over time

And my heart has ached for so long

For the young people


For what the new leaders

Across the globe

What impressions are we leaving

What are we saying?


Tomorrow and I feel


through most of December

The world will be on its toes

The money making machine of american headlines


But how do we go from here?

We’ve screamed

We’ve marched

We’ve demonstrated

We’ve left our kids at home

We’ve thrown more work on them

We’re gutted


It’s not the degrees

It’s the regular jobs that carry us

The ones we looked down on

It’s not the student debt

Or the bank account

It’s the ability to stay calm

Under pressure

It’s the ability to process information

The ability to think

And make a decision


Something is amiss

within my faith


Within myself


I seek solitude


We used to have Hollywood as a job

Now it’s a bubble that tells us what we should do,

Social media

This algorithm


demands rights

And puts our vulgarity on our forehead like we are screwing on the table at thanksgiving…

And vulgarly demands that the family and the world be ok with it…

It leaves nothing to the imagination.

We can’t miss a paycheck

If we do we are homeless

None of the people I know

None of the minorities I know

Are even resembling of this nature


Yet we continue to use the algorithm

When it doesn’t even reflect us

We say everyone has shown their true colours this year, that’s just not true

Everyone has always shown us their colours…we just didn’t want to hear them or see them…because we wanted them to be what we wanted them to be.

The algorithm simply shows us what we want to see…

We wanted the same for us too…

This is the crisis…

The crisis of ….

Of humankind.


To be without faith

Without honor

Without drive

Without ambition

Without privacy

Is to be empty


Surely there is something left of honor

Of privacy

Of respect

Of character

Of faith…

I do not know

I look to the sky

And I pray

But I can’t find anything

You see

Truth is something we are meant to discern not the media or the newspaper or social media or apps

Or smoke signals

But our eyes and hearts and minds


What is presidential?

What is decency ?

What is character ?


I envy the self that writes this and does not know of tomorrow or election results or headlines

So much of our government relies on the honor system

And if it is abused

So much can go away and be re written

And we understand so little of this


Space is cold

It’s vast and it’s dark

And so is my heart

It began years ago

In small stages

Small misgivings

I wanted a family

I wanted a home

I wanted to love and cherish and be loved and cherish

I wanted to take care of someone

To have this purpose



I only want this solitude

To disappear

To fade away

To understand what purpose is …

The world is raging

I hope we can find ourselves

I hope we can stop for a moment

I hope we can look up

And ask for help.

Death is real and random

We are but a moment

And hate

And greed

And this crisis

Is too much

Maybe you reach a certain age

And it happens to everyone

Where they feel like the new generation has everything wrong



Right now

I feel like none of us are ourselves

I feel like we’ve all been duped

Even the best of us…

Maybe it’s just me….

I feel like we are in a bad dream

And the acid rain is falling

And the church bells are ringing

And the boots are on the ground

And the ashes are drifting like snow

From the ovens over the ridge


They are about to show us the ovens

Used to cook our brothers

And we are about to hold napkins over our mouthes and breathe

“I didn’t know, I didn’t believe….”



I fear

What reason did we have to build this machine?

What purpose?

What crisis

How did we get here


You reach a point

And you ask

What have I really achieved

I’m not any of the things I wanted to be

I’m still empty

I’m still void

After such ambition

Of youth

Do we look back

Only to see the void


Coldness of life

And see


We can’t stand the silence

We can’t even sit with it

We can’t even walk with it

Or drive with it …

We can’t sit with ourselves ….

God help us.

On the Importance of being

Is poetry important right now?

Is it relevant?

Did the ’90s have it right?

Is God dead?

Why even bother?

How do I write or create and give proper representation to everyone…

Can it even be done?


Look at the Sistine chapel

The creation of Adam

What if we all stopped and froze

What if there were no German poets?

Because they halted their breath after WWII?

You have to speak

You have to be brave enough

To look at yourself

Look at the world you walk through

And make notes


And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself with; and he sat down among the ashes.

-Job 2:8

Job didn’t have a pastor, a minister, a doctor or a psychiatrist. He didn’t have anything, his family were dead, his livestock dead, his wife was unkind. She told him to curse God and die. in an effort to give him some relief. And ease his suffering.

But he said

“I can’t, I know too much, I’ve seen too much, I can’t go back…”

He scraped his boils with pottery…

To give some relief….


Art,poetry,creating is important because it is what we live for…

It’s the colours of living. It’s life…

You’re unique, you stand out, you view the world separately and differently, there is only one you.

We’re not supposed to fit in.

Or be like anyone else…

That’s why history has those few remnants, those that create.

They look at the world and they make notes and they write what they see.

Fb, apps, algorithms?

If you’re waiting for it to be safe…

To discern truth for you?

You’ll die waiting…

These things are not the truth tellers…

That’s me and you…

It’s up to us to discern what is truth…

I’ll say it again…

All of this fake and false and upsetting and black clouds and thunderstorms and the future is dead and god is dead and we have to remake everything so it’s perfect and there is no hurt hearts or shocked eyes?

It’s not real.

Too much perfection is a mistake

It’s up to us to discern truth

What we see and what we read

We Create

We speak

We build a better tomorrow

Because we live through and in today

All the algorithms

Will always be just that

An algorithm

A process

A highway

For Information

But it’s up to us

To drive it

And discern the navigation

Like a library


So yes




Is always in the now

Right here

Right now

It’s so important

It’s you

It’s our hearts

It’s vital

To our existence

So go



Be bold

If you make mistakes

It’s ok

That’s just life

We grow

We live

But do not stand in fear …

We can’t go back

We’ve seen too much

We’ve lived through too much

And this art

This art is for everyone

There’s room for every heart.


The 40 hour work week

– why won’t she talk to me? I don’t understand…we had so much in common and now she’s just disappeared again! She comes and goes and I don’t know what to do…

I watched as my friend continued this emotional rollercoaster holding her face in her hands, blaming herself, hating herself, for simply caring or opening up…


I said

– you may never get the closure you want or feel that you need. And you have to be ok with that. Some people, go through people. When they’re bored, or lonely, or missing something…some people get easily distracted and just lose track….they have tunnel vision. When it’s on you it’s great. When it’s not it’s cold…

I don’t know what to tell you, it’s really up to you. What are you going to be ok with? We all work. We all have lives. It takes 3 seconds to send a message. Are you worth three seconds?

(Our other friend waved his hands in the air agreeing.)

– you know,

He started his own soap box of psycho babble

– it’s in what you give. I always give a lot of cash and attention

I stopped him

– Your girlfriend didn’t fall in love with you because of your presents, I don’t know, maybe she did, maybe she didn’t…but she also left you….

She fell for you because you gave her your attention

You let her know when you were thinking about her

You let her know even though you were busy, you were working, that you were still thinking about your queen.

You valued her…

The presents were just a plus and then you stopped and you got lazy after you got her and she left

Because she knew what you were capable of and she knew what she was worth…

You have to dance with people

And you have to let them know you care

And you have to make your mind up

What are you going to be able to live with?

Half hearts ?


Or are you going to show up

Say what you feel and mean

But have a standard to it

(He just stared at me)

– anyway it’s the presents, you have to buy your way in.

(Stop man just stop.)

– I don’t know what is right or wrong

People want to be craved, they want to be desired, they want to be fought over and pursued. And some people get so used to looking for something better and all the choices that they forget someone may not pick them or chase them and they just go through people. Or they can’t make a decision at all.

They freeze

I don’t know

It’s really up to you

But you can’t make her mind up yourself

You can only make yours

What are you going to be able to live with?

(She stared at the floor)

– I don’t know, I’m not sure….everything hurts.

Haunted October (2020)

I dreamed I was having a beer with the devil. The bar was empty, it was just us, and the bartenders…

So how are you feeling

I sat there, saying nothing. Listening, feeling the room. Knowing there was something else there as well.

It’s so easy, you know, to dismiss, all of …this…(he waved his hand gesturing) this God thing. Don’t you think? But with a year like …this…you really outdid yourselves.

-what do you mean?

Oh, this? I had nothing to do with this. You should ask that guy, he’s been here the whole time.

He pointed across the room. A shadow sighs, and steps into the light. His eyes are tired. He looks about my age. I didn’t understand.

I told you last time, you think you’re so righteous and self important. When you’re just vain. People serve themselves. You can’t win. Not when they can get immediate satisfaction. And the best part? I didn’t even have to do anything. You, you did this yourselves. With your toys. Your free will and creativity. The worlds you built yourselves with social media…

You’re all little gods…

With your own personal Genesis…but you’re destroying your worlds…and there’s only hell here. They forgot that…didn’t they…every paradise has a hell. Where else do you put the misfits? The rebels…

Your Guard knows…

(He motions to the figure.)

I don’t know him, I’ve never seen him.

I shook my head

Oh but you do, he’s been with you the whole time, and all these dreams you’ve had? “Past lives” that’s just his previous assignments. stories if you will. Isn’t it cute how you prayed for him to win battles when you were growing up?

I drank my beer and looked at him again. He looked tired.

Oh he’s not almighty no. He has a branch of banks. They’ve been here the whole time. And he makes withdrawals so he can blend in and live. But he is a warrior. Vietnam, WWll he’s even seen the future.

I thought he wasn’t almighty?

Listen, we can move through time but we can’t make the Mona Lisa appear out of pizza.

My point is, I’m not to blame here and if you think it’s going to get better. You should really see the future. It’s a real kicker. An X-File if you will. Everyone wants to blame me. But the truth is. The things you’re afraid of? The darkness you pray to keep out at night? It’s inside you. It always has been. And that’s what scares you. You and me? We’re not even the same. I wanted to be God. But you guys, you guys wanted to kill God.

The room grew cold.

My glass chilled.

I looked around

The room was filled with people again. Everyone was on their phones. Reading their own profiles, their own newsfeeds.

I closed my eyes and thought about the past. Tried to grab hold of something that was textured and pure. No, sure. Something sure. . .

Believing in god was easy. Or at least in something more. When you had seen a storm or a fire.

The chaos. I watched all of the college students…Anne sat down. She was saying something to me, something about breaking up with someone. “There’s just too many options, too many people in the world…I’m keeping my options open. Who tells anyone that they’re the best thing that’s happened to them this year? That’s lame and now standards.”

I smiled…we were shot through. Our parents fought and died and we were bankrupt. I thought about sitting outside watching the city getting bombed …or maybe it was another dream. There was another girl there …she was a dancer…we were drinking and watching the fires…

I wondered how soon we all would realise that we’re lucky to meet anyone that really looks past their own nose and sees us. Really …really sees us. And I thought about how poor we were. And how happy we were. And I thought about how empty we all are…constantly reinventing ourselves chasing change until we die.



The morning picks up the pieces

You cast away in the night

Stitches them together with wind and bone

Maybe you don’t get the life you first believed

When you were young

You won’t age another year at the stroke of midnight in someone’s arms

You’re just an alcoholic poet

And you’re on your own

And maybe I just can’t silence

All the words in my head

And my thoughts are filled to full

Maybe I feel alone in crowds

Maybe her blue eyes

They help me stand up

Maybe they catch the silver sunlight

Maybe she’s the queen of all I’ve seen


I figured out we don’t live forever

Maybe there’s a ghost that follows me

Reminding me

Of the view from the grain of sand

The salt in the water

Where did these weights come from

Who built this home?

Who put this sadness here ?

There are notes I cannot play

There is grief here

Maybe we are the same

Maybe someone has something worse

Maybe it’s the friend that’s sick

“I think I’m sick. Maybe I have what you have…” he said. Recently he found out he has cancer…

Maybe it’s the constant pressure to be and provide and succeed

Maybe it’s knowing we are not permanent and I may not have enough time to be all that I wanted to be

Maybe the morning will pick up the pieces I cast away at night…

Everything changes so fast, we are not what we once was…I hope you know…some days you are not what you want to be

I hope you know,

I hope you

I hope

I hope

You know

Fires burn out

You never know what’s coming for you

Things end

Friends die

Loss hurts

And there is a pain

That doesn’t go away

And maybe I’m running from poverty

I’m running for my dream

Like some people run from gluten

And body fat

But in 3 minutes I will be 31

And I remember 3 minutes of tornadoes

I remember 3 minute seizures

I remember there are lifetimes

There are empires built on sand

Inside three minutes


Maybe you’re never what you thought you’d be

But there is still morning

And no one owes you anything

So write to her

About her eyes and the morning

And her beauty

Because all of this ?

This is fleeting

And you won’t be here…

Fight it

Hold on

It will not change it a jot

You can not change what has been

Write letters

They are textured

They are sacred …

I tell myself to get up

I tell myself to be as I was

But I don’t know how

I don’t know how

Interior blue

We make from the interior of sadness


From the fires of life

We create art

I was inspired

To write this


Wanda Coleman’s poem “Wanda Why Aren’t You Dead

It is not an attempt to replicate

It simply opened my eyes to bringing our demons to light


I am intrigued by you

I am curious about you

You make me nervous

I cannot put a label on you

Why do you dress the way you do

You always dress up

Why don’t you just relax

You’re not like anyone around here

Why are you still here

Why are you here, why haven’t you left yet …

You are not a writer

Don’t write about your pain

Write what you want to write

You don’t want to be a burden

Don’t whine

You stupid fuck

You’re not a real writer

You’re just like your father

You’re a failure

You’ll probably die young

You’re vomiting randomly

You’re probably dying


Don’t be picky about your food

You ate potatoes growing up

You know, no one is really going to love you

No one is really going to be attracted to you

You’re too fucking weird

You’re probably even bad at sex

You’re a quitter

You quit your career

You left your marriage

You left your town

You’re running

You’re less than nothing

You will never be happy

Why are you still here?

You’re going to keep faking it

You’re too much for people

They are merely curious

Nothing else

Why haven’t you killed yourself yet?

You know, no one else will ever want to sleep with you…

You’re too awkward

Your stomach

Your scar

Why does your stomach growl so much ?

Can’t you make it stop?

You’re too thin

Omg I hate thin guys

Why don’t you just let yourself have a dad bod

You work too much

You should relax

Just take all of your sleeping pills

Then you can relax

You know I’m going to kill you right?

You will probably die alone

Like your dad

Why are you even still here

Didn’t you go to college?

Oh my god, I feel so bad that you didn’t go to real school

You must be so dumb

There is nothing here for me

There’s no reason for me to be here

I hate everyone here

I feel like you’re suddenly your own person

You want your secrets and your life

You walked out


You gave up

I thought you were different but you ended up being just like the rest of them, selfish trash.

You will never have a marriage like your grandparents

It’s not your fault

It’s not your fault

Love doesn’t have to hurt

You can let yourself have a flare up

You don’t have to write it funny

You can vomit as soon as you get home

And it just be a flare up

You can eat cheesecake

You can write how you feel

You are still you

You’re going towards something good

You are ok

You don’t have to be perfect

You don’t have to be perfect

You can be good

You can be good

You are enough

You tried your best

Your best was more than enough

Because it was still – you





Make someone’s day easier

Let them know when you think about them

You never know who you will lose

Let it go

You never know what’s coming for you

You are broken but still whole

Be here now

2020 #45

I just want to be good…

All my cards are on the table

No one is going to bail me out

If I don’t make it

It’s easy to say there’s more to life than money

When you haven’t been without it

The enemy of good is perfect

What’s the use

I wear this bruise

Can I make it through

I’m dreaming out loud

I’m running t

Who are the ones

Who made promises

Out there late at night

That they would get out

And those friends are gone now

Who else is running

A race

For their younger self

For their friends that are already dead

Even though

They will never see them

Cross the finish line

Do you know the pain

I carry every single day

Do you know

That emptiness

How low those roots go


We really can have too much


We just pack ourselves with light

And distraction



Real poverty

Leaves a scar

I remember potatoes

Every winter breeze through the window

Maybe there’s a kid over there

Who knows about playing football

On a frozen driveway


I keep putting things off

And I’m afraid


When it’s late at night

I pour a drink

And I see her eyes

In the stars in the sky

And I’m afraid

Of what I feel

I write some words

And I send them her way

All I have is empathy

All I have is poetry

All I know

Is how to be me

All I know is

Time is running

I am running

But remember

There’s a kid out there

Who’s going to see your story

There’s a kid out there

Living something similar

You’re not alone in this

You can’t do what everyone else is doing

We live in a do what feels right

Do what feels good in the moment

But that’s what children do

We are not children

We come from adults

We have witness in heaven

And we plan

We make goals

We have a personal responsibility

To ourselves

To our communities

To our dreams

No one else will get it

They don’t have to

It’s not my parents fault

It’s not anyone’s fault

I’m just tired of kissing up to banks

For credit

I’m tired of living a life that is not mine

I’m tired of sitting in crowds of people

That are always looking for the next feel good drag.

I’m going somewhere

I know what I want

I want peace

I want comfort

I want freedom

I want passion

I want love

I want to be better than I was yesterday

Better than I was last year

There is a line that only loss


And I carry it with me

Like a rose


Bleeding Ink 1,604

There’s all these voices

I look around the room

I close my eyes

Some raise a glass

Expect me to just hate women

My phone blows up

“Look at this.”

“Go to therapy.”

“Take 4 years.”

Everyone has an opinion

I watch the room

I spent all those years

Doing what I thought was best

Buying flowers

Writing letters

Making dinner

Dances in the kitchen

I still didn’t do everything right, I guess

It’s not one persons fault

I won’t complain

I’m not going to cry in my beer

I’ve seen that

Too too many times

I watch the room

I feel nothing

I feel nothing at all

That’s the worst part

I don’t hurt

I’m not angry

I cannot possibly drink enough

And I feel nothing at all

“You know what you should do? You should go sniff and hit everything you can.”

But I feel nothing at all…

Only the blues

There’s an isolation inside

And I know

There’s going to be a morning

When the sun will rise

And I will only write

About that deep blue

That is her eyes

Just give it time

Even the sea is calm

At the darkest of the night

And I try to think

But the words can’t be found

And I try to drink

But there’s never enough

So I watch the room

And accept this too

This feeling – Nothing

Hoping I don’t become some kind of

Bitter southerner

That’s all

I don’t want to be hung up

I don’t want to be bitter

They expect me to just hate

But have you ever

Talked for hours with a woman

Danced without hesitation

Read until the morning

With her hand in your hand

And her head on your chest

There’s a thousand other intimacies

She gives you before you’re in her bed

I know this will pass

This feeling nothing

Bleeding Ink 1,518

Time out of mind

My insides are stone

All I do is groan

What kind of love….she said

Cold hands

I’m free

But when the lights go down

When the traffic is tight

While I’m waiting

I still hear him

I still see him



Who knew

Marriage was war


She feels herself slipping away

She sees him

And feels the blow from his words

The blow from his hands

That selfish way he demands


It’s a long way

Long way from home

She has that vacant stare in her eyes

Like a war vet

You know she’s reliving it


She’s praying for salvation


Hoping she can still touch things gently

There’s nothing left to see…

Nothing left to say

He may not hit you

But he may cut your off from your circle

He may cut you down

He may gaslight you

He may suddenly twist it

And make you feel like

Your feelings are invalid

He may sit down and portray a conversation

But it’s really just conditioning you

So you can go back to the way he needs you

He may be nice here

And over there

And those little moments feel so bright

Because they are so few and so far


What does it matter now

There’s barely light here now

I’m always reaching

But I can never find

Is there some way out

Some piece of me left?

Just buckets of pain

Buckets of rain

Cities on fire

I’m not even crying

Barely even trying

What’s the point

My heart broke some time ago …

Now there’s just

Flashes of colour

Flashes of pain

What is there left here to spare ?