Nostalgia (a poem)

Nostalgia always comes with a bit of bad memory

back in the day, I remember life being calmer

but who’s to say?

My father stumbled in stadium parking lots drunk back in those days

+ I still had depressions that didn’t seem to go away

So what’s so different ’bout back then + the present day?

(Photo by Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash)

City of Dogs (a short story)

Cindy parked her work truck in the shade by a McDonald’s and took a big bite out of her Quarter Pounder. Her lunch breaks were always interrupted by phone calls — the endless calls from dispatchers. Today was no different.

When her phone rang, she turned down the Brad Paisely song on her radio.

 “Hey, sunshine,” said Marcus, the dispatcher. “Feel like catching any more dogs today?”

It wasn’t the call Cindy wanted to get. But at least it wasn’t the call, the one she constantly feared getting.

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Rock Bottom (a poem)

Alcoholics like to talk about rock bottom –

the moment they recognized the bottle is filled with lies

the moment when they open their eyes

+ know they don’t have to drink anymore

I hit bottom in a rehab far from home after unkind words

from a social worker who told me

I was running from life – but that’s in the past

I’m still running, I know not why

the sky is falling, fireballs shooting like comets

+ I think this recovery thing is never over –

it’s a life-long process that can’t be defined

by our constant categorizing.

(Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash)

Ten-Dollar Bill (a poem)

The woman asks me for ten dollars – she demands it

I’m reluctant, standing in a pock-marked city,

but feeling pity for her, as she frantically talks

her eyes yellow like harvest moons

her voice shrieks like an urban banshee –

the realities of poverty and addiction,

the rich getting fatter off broken backs.

I reach into my wallet, hand her a ten-dollar bill

she hugs me + hurries away, vanishing into the night,

and as I walk home, I wonder if I’ll ever need to

ask for my ten dollars back

(Photo by Vitaly Taranov on Unsplash)

For the Homeless & Damnificados (a poem)

We are damnifacados: homeless, junkies,

people deem us less than human.

When you pass us on a hectic street, we’re resting with

backs to the wall asking for mercy, spare change –

you look away from our weathered faces,

we feel disgrace, in our soiled clothes, our tired eyes.

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Church Basements (a poem)

A teacher told my mother I’d join a cult –

that was in the ‘90s + twenty years later,

I was a recovery zealot, driving through

snowstorms to share my sorrows with

strangers, always thinking I was in danger,

fighting my impulses + a mind that

seemed to want me dead.

(Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash)

Song of the Day: A Rock Tune about ‘Drunk Dreams’ and Getting Sober

Okay, so I’ve become a bit of a Jason Isbell fanatic. Rachel can tell you that I listen to this Americana songwriter constantly, especially the song “Outfit.” I wanted to highlight one of Isbell’s songs off his new album that I connected with from the first time I heard it.

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Impending Doom (a poem)

Where do those neighbors get their money?

They’re up late on weeknights, drinking beer,

playing games in the street – the young woman

has glazed eyes, she’s always stoned;

the boyfriend doesn’t have a care

in the world, in a world

where so many are dying

and a feeling of impending doom

clutches us by the throat.

(Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash)