Pictures in Storybooks (a poem)

The certainty of seeing your face
When I arrived in the hidden place
Was gone forever in a split-second
Head down on the table like
You were sleeping, an eternal rest
Great sadness in the center of my chest

Those days are gone now
Pictures in storybooks
Cemented in my mind’s eye
No need to cry any longer
Your spirit is forever with me

(Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels)

Sinkhole (a poem)

I’m the type of person who puts my entire heart into everything I do

Love pours out from me like a tipped over water glass

Drenching everything on the map in front of me

Lines get blurred, everything mixes together

All aspects of my life live in harmony

Until the day that a sinkhole appears

The water rushes away from all areas of the map

And vanishes into this black abyss

Leaving only my tears to water to the desert my life

(Photo by Eric Muhr on Unsplash)

Lost and Not Found (a poem)

I. Alienation

I’ve lost track of time too many times
What am I doing here?
No one was there to answer
The streets were so empty
And there I was again, lost

Lost and not found – the story of our lives
Trying to find purpose amid the ruins
Of late-stage American capitalism
And cycles of market collapses

So, I kept wandering
The sky was charcoal but, despite that,
It was so hot the concrete sizzled
Is this what they predicted?

There’s nowhere left to turn
Everyone else has burned
And here I am, lost again

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The Old Family Farm (Happy Earth Day)

Today I wanted to bring you a photo of my family’s old farm. These 250 acres of the family farm land in Pelham, TN, is where I spent a lot of my time growing up and where I learned a lot about food. My Mutsi had a tiny vineyard where we could pick the grapes to make jam. My Papa had a little garden out front where we could collect veggies for our salads and other side dishes.

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Unbreakable (a poem)

to say we were lost boys would be cliché

but clichés have ways

of cementing truths into language

like hard red suns that scorched West Philly & warm beers we guzzled ‘till we couldn’t walk straight & time went missing like a thief

who stole my innocence

& we packed into an old sedan on a road to nowhere &

perhaps, if time is not linear, this had to happen &

if free will is a myth, we had no choice in the matter,

merely swigging, smoking, fighting in adolescent wastelands

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Cheap Carnival (a poem)

in psych wards, they take your belt, shoelaces

anything you could use to hurt yourself

when I’m there, I fear the world will kill me

so, I give them my belt, tell ’em to take good care of it

& I talk to others there

& I feel damaged & I identify with compatriots –

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God’s Polaroid Camera (a poem)

For my father

in the dining room, action figures were imprisoned in a green vase, and you returned from prison with my uncle, looking slimmer

from pushups in sunbaked yards

mustache and dazed look gone, down on one knee, arms open wide & smiling with teeth I learned were fakes

I thought you were fake, too

unrecognizable, a stranger from a blurred past we no longer spoke of, only at grandma’s house, when we opened letters decorated by your brother with cut-outs from Marvel comics

& were told you were away on business –

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