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…



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


The change

Hey my brother
I know we grew up fast
Hey my sister
I know we get caught in the grind
Sometimes we feel so alone

There’s a hole in my soul
Where the pain sets in
A corner of the room where the light can’t —-
Hey my writer
Where’s the ballad for the working mamas
I know they don’t sell it to you
Like they used to
But you’re doing better than you think you are
It’s so easy to fall behind
You know when the water rises
You know when the pain sets in
All around your home
You know when the other shoe drops
But to these little victories
The overtime
The paid off debt
The living on a budget
The getting ahead
The raising of kids
The leaving the past behind
The stacking up cash
These little victories
In big cities
Small towns
Loving and living underground
Staying out of trouble
You’re doing better than you think you are
They don’t make headlines for the sobriety
It’s always the casualty
The fast lanes
But you know
How to kiss the fire
Keep your clutches from burning
Run all the lights in this town
And keep on climbing
I know it gets heavy
I know we all grew old somehow
But sunlight still meets you
You’re still winning
You’re still you
Even while you’re changing
Even while you’re building
These small little habits
These take up all our days
And these small little victories
They will outlive our days
You keep on winning
You keep on building
Don’t be afraid of the change
It’s only grace
It’s only grace
It’s only running this race


Sons and mothers

She says
Box up your –
Depressions, they
Are not impressing me-
She’s got a head full of dark horses
The sky is rain before her eyes
She shakes her hair down
You’ve got to manage your emotions
Or someday soon
The moon will pass across your window and close your eyes
salvation still comes
For those who believe
But first
You will be brought to your knees
In the night
She says
Most of these days
She doesn’t relate
She doesn’t want to be a passenger in your seat
She’s got plenty to eat
She can go swimming on her own
She can pour her own drink
She doesn’t need you to feel complete
She’s stacking up cash
making her way
She’s not some ornament for display
And my
I can’t blame
All my trouble on some economy
It rains and it rains
And we all get opportunity
Somewhere somehow
Your search for truth
Will come back to you
You know deep inside
What’s been wrong
And how to make it right
There’s a mystery for each sinner
Trouble doesn’t wait in line
But son
every fourth step
it is an opportunity
To step out
And make a life just for you
But the old ways they will haunt you
They will call you
The groups that you ran with
They won’t understand
The jesters
And protesters
The debt collectors
And the ship wreckers
The couch surfers
And the hungry women
The high and the mighty
The fallen and the suicide
And you will have to decide for yourself
What kind of man
You will become
While your mother she is praying
As only a mother can
Because for her
Your life passed across her eyes
From the day you were born
Until the day that you will die…
Out here on the highway
Beyond the knot in your gut
You will find
the old sign still reads
And it says
A man is never incomplete
He will use the sand from his coffin
If it gets him shelter and bread to eat
You can’t keep what won’t be kept
You know
He’s gonna do
What must be done
But if you see him walking the street
Know it’s to his own beat
Every man is a season
And you can’t change what hasn’t changed in its own time…
If there’s a future out here somewhere
If my years wasn’t such a long time …
If my youth wasn’t such a short time
If I could tell you
I would remind you
Don’t cheat yourself
The days pass the same way only once for us sons
But twice for our mothers

when I put my hand to the fire
only mothers feel the pain
and when you’re out there hungry
only mothers feel the pangs

Don’t cheat yourself
Don’t waste away at yourself
You’ve got to make a way
Because the days of building
They are short
Keep your house clean
Cook your own meal
Pour your own drink
Stay on the path
Stay humble
Stay hungry
In the struggle and the rain
You never know what opportunity
Will bring



Dad used to have us hold fence post while he drove them in the ground…it hurt like hell and if we let go he would get so frustrated. This may or may not sound bad, I don’t ask myself those questions… between testing spark plugs physically, and digging up grease traps and septic tanks and plumbing the house, all while you’re maybe 10 maybe 12?
Being told not to tell people
“We live in the basement.” (An unfinished basement that dad never built a house with)
And “we got these shoes from the dump.” (A roadside dump where magically, books and shoes or jackets would appear)

Things blur together…
He was good at dreams but terrible, terrible at execution…everything took two years and a summer…it didn’t matter what it was.

My favorite was selling produce
I got to go to the farmers markets
I got to pick out items
I remember when they were still hopping and you could get hamburgers
And food…
Every day I would set up the produce stand on the side of the road at 6am

People would stop and ask me about school or want their kids to ask me why I did it…
I would just use some prepared statement about bread on the table…

My point being
Whatever was right and wrong with my father,
I learned
I’ve always learned
I remember our house eaten by termites
I remember going to every church on the mountain and accidentally going to a snake handling church and watching his face catch up to what all that entailed…
I recall conversations that were twisted…

You learn from bad situations and bad Mgr’s and bad business and unfortunate Outcomes ….

You learn what you don’t want
You learn what you don’t want to be
That’s largely half the battle tho
Move to what you want
Say no to what you don’t

You learn how to plan ahead
Rather than break when things fall apart

I still struggle
But I’m trying

I’ve worked every day that I can remember for as long as I can remember
It’s the only thing I know
It is incredibly hard for me not to work

Now, there’s a growing strand of people
That can’t work more than 5 hours at most

In what world do we not have to work everyday

Even at marriage
Even at life
It’s work
It’s all work

It all moves forward
I’ve been terrified most of my life
Whether it was being on the side of the road during tornadoes
Or driving paper routes during tornadoes

Managing 87 employees
Firing people
Faking it

We talk a lot about how religion “holds the south back.”
Anything can hold you back
That’s just life…
My poetry and art could hold me back
My moods
My work ethic
You have to have balance

17 year old men stormed beaches
Fought wars

The only thing I know
Is that life must be faced
I have to face it
I’ve been terrified most of my life
And everything I’ve ever done I’ve done before I was ready

And I learned it on the ground
I messed up a lot
But I’m still here
I’m right here
And my life
Goes forwards
Face your life
Its pain
Its joy
Its quiet

You don’t get a redo
We are here until we are not
This isn’t a dress rehearsal
This is it
You’re not waiting for a big goal
Your life is largely
The small insignificant habits
That you think are getting you to the large goal

We change
As we grow and live and that’s ok

Let yourself live
And keep going
Keep going

Things hurt
I had to figure out what I could live with
I knew my father had poor ideas about women and marriage and god
He was terrified
So I just sat with him
We talked about work
We talked about the Atlanta braves
Listening to the ball games on the radio
And when he died I dealt with it

I still have things pop up and I have to look at it again
Such is this essay

You are the author of your life
You decide
You can decide

Move forward


Publix, more than retail

I left a 53k a year job
One year ago
Not sure if it would work out
I lost a car
Gained a lot of debt
Took a massive pay cut
Worked three jobs just to get by
Made it to full time in 90 days
Every day gets better

What I found
Was more than just retail
More than just a “job”
But a culture
Where I could learn and grow
Where I would be challenged daily
To be my best
And then better
It’s not a job
It’s more than a family
It’s a business
That each associate has ownership and responsibility of
It‘s been the greatest risk I’ve taken
But it’s been worth every hit…
The sky is literally the limit
There’s opportunity everywhere

Publix is about people
And its communities
It is as good or bad as you want it to be…
Here I’ve found values that I align with
Challenges that make me better in every area of my life…
I’ve been greatly humbled
But I’ve never been more excited about my future.

What’s your mission statement?

Our mission
Our mission at Publix is to be the premier quality food retailer in the world.

To that end, we commit to be:

Passionately focused on customer value,
Intolerant of waste,
Dedicated to the dignity, value and employment security of our associates,
Devoted to the highest standards of stewardship for our stockholders, and
Involved as responsible citizens in our communities.

Beagle in the City #302

Ethan: lets go run. You run while I ride my bike…
Francis: OUTSIDES?? Isn’t there danimals out there?
Ethan: here we go…
Simon: I think I saw a ground hog once, but I can’t find him now, they are such good hiders!
Francis: I’ll camp inside, I’ve got my shows…
Ethan: LISTEN, I’m sorry I ran over you…
But you can’t just run in front of me like that…
Simon: Well I had to sniff a rock dad, it was a really cool rock too and I thought I have the right of way, can’t I cross anytime…
Ethan: What is this nonsense, where did you get this?
Simon: Francis…
Ethan: Let’s not listen to Francis…the cat that thinks camping is sleeping ten feet from the porch light…
Besides that…you didn’t even see the snake in the road
Francis: Vipers!

Radiation High radiation nights

There is a place I go (inside)

Feel all the hate

That you can hide

Sell all you can just for a headline

They will tell you

It’s not related

But look how fast you ate it

The algorithms won’t fit

Smash it apart just for –

Doubt all you can

Just for the –

Feel all the pain


The knife just before you pass it

To get the ghost on the inside

Sometimes it passes just behind my eyes


Just to kill what crawls

It’s there at the bottom

Pump the root

If you really want

To kill

what remains

the pictures in my head

constantly grow

There on the inside

All at once

You walk on water

All at once

For the sins of the fathers

Try to save what you can

Just a hole for my



There’s a place I go inside

Carry it with me

Just so I can hide



The flesh and bone

Pump what remains

Try save something you can build upon

But the ghost remains

Try to aspire but I’m not really –

And I’m running –

I’m fading-

Out of things I think I can say…..

Bleeding out


It’s all in red