New World (Part 6) – A Poetry Journal

2-16-22 – 9:52 a.m.

A dog barking in the distance in the middle of the night. A creaky door opening and closing. Soft, cold wind. A dark, moonless sky. Up in the twilight hours, this is what nightmares are made of. Calm before a storm. Before the attack, always imagined but never happens. Make sure all the doors are locked. I’m home alone and, though my mental health is good, fear runs below the surface.

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New World (Part 5) – A Poetry Journal

2-13-22 – 10:03 a.m.

The crucifix over my desk reminds me that I’m a small part of a larger whole among the billions of people on earth. I don’t go to church. Nor do I even know if I believe in Jesus. But my Catholic roots have stayed with me. No matter how terrible the Church has been, the traditions still speak to me.

My dreams speak to me, too. The moon was bright in the sky last night. I’m not sure what phase it was in, but it was partially concealed. I’ve read before about how the moon is so powerful it can affect our moods. This makes sense since it often affects the tides in the sea. When she is in Texas this week, we’ll both look up and see the same glowing orb. It will bring me comfort.

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New World (Part 3) – A Poetry Journal

2-7-22 – 9:30 a.m.

I get embarrassed about the ways I blamed my parents. I’m older now; I know that life is chaotic most of the time. I’m still afraid to be happy after all these years. She asks me if I’m happy a lot. I am, but I wonder about all the ways in which the ground under me will cave in. I’ve never loved anyone like her. I’m not the greatest boyfriend ever, but I like to think I’m capable of love.

Went to the dog park. A woman spoke to us like she was starved for love. Said many in the city lack a community mindset. Our dogs ran around playing with each other. I thought of all of us who don’t have kids but pets instead. It brought on an incredible feeling of guilt, likely imposed by the church. My cousin said if he had a child, it would be the antichrist. I think he’s exaggerating.

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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)

Blue Thoughts (a poem)

We had blue thoughts back in those days
When it seemed, the skies were always gray
What were we thinking in those days?
Only to get away from that place

Youth is carefree, except when it’s not
When the troubles of blackened days
Cloud a mind that eventually strays
And wants to cut the cord of thought

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The Badges that I Earn (a poem)

I once wanted total control, until that day
Everything spun in a mad frenzy, and I lost my grip
On sanity – leaving me locked away
Without a say on anything and everything

Yes, this has happened many times before
And the illusion of control always surges back
I try to ignore that monster in my head
To restore my equilibrium
To reach a place that’s solid, that has a foundation
That doesn’t constantly crack

But maybe that last madness was too much
And it knocked me to the ground for good
Maybe I’ve truly lost touch
With a reality that’s wholesome and good

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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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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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