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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Perseverance (a poem)

stuck in swamplands

it seemed the pain would never end

a cycle of torture, anxieties about futures

that would demolish me

leave me in ashes

in a bombed-out city

during an irrational war –

it took perseverance to pull myself

from rubble, trudge forward

all while asking

is there any meaning

to this constant struggle?

(Photo by Elvis Bekmanis on Unsplash)

Ode to Solitude (a poem)

in solitude I come to know myself –

chatter of others stripped away, me stripped

of creature comforts, a creature without

a haven, thoughts bang & jangle

in a brain that has gone insane –

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Praying for Peace

Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably aware there’s an election going on in the U.S. right now – and it’s ugly. As the vote drags on, I’m becoming more weary and tired of the ugliness.

Full disclaimer: I support Joe Biden. I’m happy it appears he’ll win, and for the past four years, I’ve grown to very much dislike Mr. Trump. Either way, I’m sad about what’s happening in my country and the way this election has driven us even further apart.

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Scarecrow (a poem)

the filthy-bearded man greets me

at six a.m., looking for a friend

he speaks gibberish, not knowing

where he is, how he arrived

at my steps, as i step back

he’s unmasked, skinny like an

old, crusted scarecrow with

scared eyes and smeared jeans

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On Reading Old Books to Escape the Anxieties of 2020

There’s something about old books, especially fiction, that transport me to a world where I feel safe. This has been the case lately, as I’ve jumped into the classics to escape this year’s anxieties.

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Family Tree (a poem)

There are ghosts in my family –

I realize this as my mother tells tales

of a biological grandfather I never knew

who blew smoke in my face

when I was two

of years my father spent in jail

of anxiety that permeates

the family tree, which is

diseased & hollowed

about to crumple & topple

into grayish dirt

(Photo by Dikaseva on Unsplash)

Sinking (a poem)

I didn’t realize I was sinking

‘til I ended up in the psych ward –

red stitches on a woman’s neck

she looks like a scarecrow

she sliced her own throat

to make the torment end

I was sinking

(Photo by Mishal Ibrahim on Unsplash)

What’s your Superpower?

I attended an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for my mental health in early 2019. It was a few months after my dad had died, and I was in bad shape. IOP helped a great deal, and there was something one person said during group therapy I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

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