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



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



I wondered what artist must have felt, from their studios, during war times…if they felt any significance, to continue to carve at clay, to continue to shape, to continue to paint…

Hearts, beating in my head, like drums, you face it, you always must face it, carving your way through it, with ink and pain, bleeding out on this page…

You walk through grief…

There is no other way…

Even when it feels insignificant



Maybe this is how we love

Even when it feels meaningless

Even when we feel nothing


This is how we live


The work must feel

Does it know it is art?

Does it breathe ?

Does it carry us with it?

Is it just clay



In a room –

Empty of us –

Empty ?

Or is it aware

Of the darkness in the earth

The grief

The pain

Our hearts slain

Bleeding out

Our voices

Silently screaming

This is the way

This is the way

Is a studio

Hearts beating

Against the night

Against the night

This is the way


On our way


You think the Apex of all pain is losing a parent…

You tell yourself, ok, this is it…nothing could hurt more than this – (losing a parent or a divorce etc)

And then you lose a brother…

And there’s such fresh pain

Pain you can’t even understand

It’s just there…

In such a way

That it feels so unfair

it levels the field

You feel

Cheated from something

You don’t even understand



There’s no order

To this madness

You think

Ok, there’s parents you’ll lose

You prepare for that

But losing a sibling

Is so different

Whether you’re close or not

You really understand the brevity of everything

It wakes you up

From the grind

From the hustle

And you look around you

And you see

How quickly and randomly

All of this can go away



This funeral home

Where our father was

Where all of us end up

Through our history

Whatever we may do

We end up here

How strange that

We won’t be living

This ache

This invisible target

We really don’t know



How complex

How layered

We take things so personally

I remember losing our father and I thought it was all so personal

And it was

In its way

But there is always hurt

Beyond what you see

There is always layers

There are years

Entire decades

Of complexities and issues

That we know nothing about

It’s all so blurred

The lines

We think it starts and ends with us

A moment in time

But it’s layered

Traits, ethics, work, talents, looks, pain, old pain, new pain, life …

I lit a cigarette and I smoked it

I probably shouldn’t have

But I wanted cheesecake

And didn’t have it

And I felt that I was overthinking