Love Life

But I don’t want a love story
Another adventure
I don’t want you to not be able to live without me …
Maybe I used to
Maybe I even sold that
When I was younger …

I’ve sat in funeral homes
And hospitals
I know what’s coming
I’m hyper aware
That love doesn’t win
That life is just really really hard
I want a love life, not a story
I want to build
I want both of us to be able to stand
And when life gets bad
To stand
And when it falls apart
To rebuild
What’s been broken
I wasn’t always this way
There isn’t love letters
There isn’t flowers
For that
Poetry doesn’t sell it
Lifetime didn’t film it
It’s unpopular
We want to obsess
And worship
And we want partners to be ok with us no matter what
While we say we don’t need anybody and maybe we don’t …maybe we truly don’t deserve anyone…
But we need goals
We need partnership
We need to build
We need responsibility
We need accountability
We need intimacy
We need power
It’s the kind of understanding
That makes you an adult
Knowing that your parents are just like you…trying their best …
Knowing that your worst day hasn’t even happened yet
But it’s coming
Your parents will die
Your children will die
Your partner will die
You will lose ….
How will we stand
Against all odds
It’s not arrogance
It’s knowing
And preparing
I want that



Remember our younger days
When we had all the time by the throat,
Remember when we had the sun and the moon and the stars
And we gave them names
And all of the names were yours,
Once in a while I still see you
But it’s just cigarette ash
That ghost of a memory
Pick up your bones
Get out of the dirt
In a world where
We could have been anything
We became nothing
And we burned the city down
Just to have something easy to blame
Because we became afraid of our reflection in the bottom of the glass
So anxious
Afraid of responsibility
We couldn’t even be touched by the rain
We laugh and we joke
Our backs against the wall
We have no use and no direction
No goals
No ambition
Only certain suspicion
That we are out of time
I’ve seen business owners
Work until their bodies broke down
We all sacrifice on our way up and our way down
I’ve seen young men
Never begin
Their grave is right where they are
Oh child
You have to begin
Consistency is your greatest utility
Make sure you direct it
Because you’re using it
It’s making roots
Build your momentum
It’s the little things
That make your way
I poured my coffee
I cleaned my room
How are you going to save the world
If you can’t even free yourself?
From the debt and the sin
The Devil is a liar my friend
We all have to begin
I wanted hope
I wanted to build
I wanted to help you out
But I can’t just hang around
I’m building something
You know I’ll be back around
All the time is going to pass
Are we going to be the same
In ten and twenty
What if we did every thing we should
What if we did everything we could
Am I any better than I was
Am I any better than I’ll be
Am I closer to something
I think I can see
You have to begin
You have to put those questions down
You have to start walking
Building your momentum
Remember our younger days
When we had all the time by the throat,
Remember when we had the sun and the moon and the stars
And we gave them names
And all of the names were yours…


Sinners and losers

“You work for ME…”
It was the first time I’d come face to face with my father…I was probably 15 or sixteen…
Now every pay day I would bring him my paycheck and he would count it out and hand me twenty dollars, pausing…just before saying… something that would cut me up inside…
I never came to blows with a man…
I usually could listen and talk my way out of it…my fist was my words…but with some people it just twisted you up inside like a knife…
I watched and I listened
And soon I kept more and more of my check and didn’t tell him…
Buying food and gas for the family…
I don’t think he ever even noticed we had food instead of potatoes cooked seven different ways …
I knew then
Freedom wasn’t the ability to just go and do whatever you want…
It wasn’t complete equality
I didn’t want to be stuck here in poverty with termites eating my window….
I knew freedom was the ability to choose…and to restrain…and to build…
Now my girl Grace
She cuts her shirts
Wears out her jeans
She’s southern made
wide open
On the roads of this town
You’ll never see her in the same place twice …
They said she knocked a man out with an upper cut
She packs heat
But she feeds me and when we’re both tired, we can sleep and talk about what we’ve been and where we plan on going …
And how we will never go back again…
Everything comes with a hard earned price
We live and we love
We lose and we win
We all get tired
We come back again
Like a heart
On its knees
When it’s losing
Everything can look the same
Someone told you
You had to stay the same
beat down ….
Who among us hasn’t ever been on the losing end?
She said, you have to stay open
Just to keep your grit …
Building takes time,
They’ll tell you, you have to just be free
But freedom is choosing,
Surrounded by losers
And broken hearts
It’s easy to say
We don’t need any-thing
Or any one …
But I need a touch
I need a touch from you
I need this responsibility
I need to build with you
Burning this engine
Keeping the clutch clean
Just so you can burn me down
In the night
Now my younger brother
He’s doing alright
He’s building his life
And he doesn’t know where it ends up
But he’s open
And he’s doing alright
And I sometimes think back
On how it could have been
Everyone has a place
A fork in the road
Where you can make a change
Or you can stay the same
Oh son
My son
We could have all grown up to be wife beaters …we could have really cut some people down…
But we rode out of that valley
We chose …
You get to decide
You get to decide
And son
Regardless of sin and vice
Let this be all that you wrote
That you decide


Standing in the night

Long time coming
Summer is almost come and gone
Oh baby I guess you know this one
Remember our 20’s we thought we knew so much
Remember our 30’s we thought we were tough
We all have our vices
A game of chance
This lottery at midnight
We’ve seen some with hollow eyes
They didn’t pick the poison
It just came in the night
Over that mountain
Stole a whole wide world from a few…
They made their choices
We all learned the hard way
Time doesn’t suffer a fool
But we carry the memory
Like a fuel
My heart starts and stops
I know you’ve got your own struggles
I’ve got my mask and my burdens too
We both wear it out on the streets of this town
I hide my scars between each line …
I bow my head
I haven’t stopped fighting that fight
Since my father died
I keep trying to get it right
And be alright
But I haven’t been able to get the words
Since my brother died …
Now there’s a loaded train
Running through the gut of this town
It’s got me in knots
We gather around these empty chairs
Nursing old wounds we liked to talk about
You never know what you become
We are here one moment and gone in the night
If there’s anything worth loving
It’s the fight
And maybe we sent our youth to the door …
All the artist
They kind of left this place
Like all the mills from yesterday
But I swear I still see your face
Just like yesterday
There’s still dance marks
In the floor
Where you moved the world over
Just to prove that you could get over
Heart break
And there’s a long time coming
But we keep driving to get out of this town
We’ve got to make it
I’ve got to see you
And I know
We get the rain no matter what we do
And all of our vices
They wreck our voices
And god knows I’ve got a few
I don’t guess I’m as good as I could be
But I know there’s nothing quite like you
Standing in the night
Standing in the night
I know you already know….
Standing in the night
I’ve got to get to you…
I’ve got to see you …
One last dance
Just to move the world over …
Standing in the night



Imagine there are as many hearts, as there are stars,
Poems,as there are brokenness and pain
Loves as there are constellations-
Imagine us
Stumbling forward
Attempting to get it right
Even so …
The words
The love
The life
How do you keep the rain from-
The moon from its afterglow ?
The stars from falling from their appointed places ?
We never really know what’s coming for us…
Even so…
Even so…


One summer,

While I was bagging groceries,

There was this older man,

With thick rimmed glasses

And the same old leather shoes and creased dress pants

He wore in the army …

He and his wife would come in and talk with me …

He told me everyone thinks they have it figured out

In our 20s in our 30s

Everyone wants to have a thousand loves …we want to hold ourselves to this idea we have in our head…

Well who said we had to be what we thought ?

Who told us that?

he had watched her

Go through more hobbies

And gardens

And paint sheds

She had loved him through alcohol and automobiles and Sunday papers, cigarettes and pipes …

He felt like he had spent his life with several different women …

Because he had spent it loving her through all the different versions of herself…

None of us stay the same

And that was the kicker

We all grow and change

Like the seasons

Nothing stays the same all year …

We are living

And we are loving

Be gentle

Go gently

There’s no second drafts.

Most of us I suppose

Will go through three or four relationships in our life

Some may be repeated

That’s just life

Don’t get caught up

On time

And what you think they or yourselves should be …

Go gently