Going over the bridge to South Philly as a kid, I worried it would collapse. I had no reason for the fear, it was just there. The sports stadiums stood to the left, and the Navy Yard sprawled to our right. My father had the window down and the cool air blew against my face, as well as the cigarette smoke.Continue reading
We’re on the edge of eternity,
says the chaplain at the funeral.
He details the death of a teenager,
life screeches to a stop like he fell off
a Mongoose into a black hole in the blacktop.
The man fell off the edge into what?
He doesn’t say, but speaks with confidence
it’s not the eternal blackness my grandmother suggests.
Memories of my uncle:
his ’65 Chevy, pictures of him brazen and brawny
in his fireman’s uniform.
I visualize where he is over that thin red line:
the edge of eternity.
She glowed in the sticky street,
cigarette hanging from ruby-red lips.
I wandered among musicians, drunks,
strip clubs and bachelorettes in sparkled masks.
She asked for my hands;
I can’t recall what she said in her scarred voice,
but I remember the way the square smelled
like jungle juice and cheap perfume,
and the warmth of her fingers;
then a jolt like an electric chair.
I thought myself a troubadour,
sober and sad in shadow-dark streets.
But I was a school boy, looking for
glimmers of light in a dark room.
For Mick Dolan
Just when you think you’re going to collapse,
and get swallowed into the abyss:
You fall into God’s arms.
When you think life is too much,
and you’re surrounded by darkness,
and the world becomes small,
God enlarges it.
When it feels like you won’t make it,
and all you see is anger and fear,
and the world looks mean and barren,
God injects a million colors.
It’s in those moments when you realize God is always there:
He was there in the darkness, and He was there in the light;
He is the flame that eternally shines.
For my father
Where does it hurt, dad?
I see the mind turning,
the drugs, the Reds, the volume on high:
anything to quiet inner voice.
What does it tell you, dad?
Don’t believe it;
I don’t care about your money,
or your conquests.
I love you for who you are:
The unraveling starts slowly, but surely. From my earliest memories, I’ve been trying to find meaning amid the chaos. I still get the “pictures,” as a recovery friend likes to say. As I continue my research, I discover that psychologists today call those “intrusive memories.”
At times I wonder if the whole world is wrapped up in this web of dysfunction. If we’ve been marching toward this boiling point for some time now, and if we’re about to face a reckoning.Continue reading
What does it mean to have bipolar disorder?
I was diagnosed with Bipolar I in college. After a clear manic episode while going to Temple University, a psychiatrist working on the campus prescribed me a mood stabilizer, along with the depression and anti-anxiety medications I was already taking.Continue reading
Here’s a short story that’s my attempt at a horror story, or weird fiction, at least. I’ve been reading about pagan mythology for a novel project lately, which inspired some parts of the story. Enjoy!Continue reading
How can you know what perfect harmony is if you’ve never suffered?
It was like that for Adam and Eve, as they strolled through the Garden, bathing in sunlight and fresh air, at peace with all creatures.Continue reading
A few years ago, I began keeping a journal in a Microsoft Word file, in addition to the handwritten journals I keep.
It was interesting to go through the Word Doc and see the ups and downs from the past few years. I decided I wanted to share some paragraphs from the journals in a segment I’m calling “Notes to Self.”
Some of the paragraphs are inspirational, and most of them are written in second person, as that helped me through the hard times.Continue reading