How a Two Year Old Sees Death (Why Some People Don’t Wear Masks)

I lost 45 pounds this year

attacking myself

beating myself up

running till the verge of heart attack

I throw myself at dangerous situations like a two year old

throws himself at death

leaping from the banister trusting someone will be there to catch me

I get death is out there


not yet

not for me

death is someone else’s problem when you’re two

I haven’t lost that optimism

I’ve just lost that innocence

I should know better

after gaining 45 years

and a few pounds

now I know where gravity goes

so momentum is ultimately against me

but still in this still silence

I resign myself

to gravity

knowing enough not to fight it

but go with it-

we don’t intentionally hitch hike in the wrong direction

do we?

That Split Second Before We Open Our Eyes

And then again when the membrane between us and them

is as thin as skin when you and me become we

that split second before we choose to be

or choose not to be waking to reality

where we are free to dream

till we see the gleam

and we open our eyes

is simply training for when we are free not to be

and eventually the light at the end of this tunnel will be a train

taking us to this afterlife’s refrain


when we cash in that capital gain

we’ll stop referring to this domain as our “afterlife”

just life

At Least Bad Poetry Can’t Be Quarantined

Being cooped up in your apartment for weeks comes naturally when you’re a writer.
I’ve been practising social distancing since high school.
Back then I was a nerd when I said I couldn’t go out because I had to stay home and write.
Now I sound smart.
Now I am writing and I’m missing my friends and family.
I saw my mom today from the prescribed two meters away. It was the first time in my life that I did not hug or kiss my mom hello or good bye.
What the hell have we come to?
This is the difference between writing and living.
This is the mucosa between wrapped in a dream and a comforter a second after the alarm sounds.
This is the placenta between not knowing you’re drooling in your sleep and rolling over and waking face first in that pool of drool.
This is the distance swimming the lake when it’s ten miles to either side and like newborns, we just keep kicking.

Why We Walked Out of the Sea

When we swim in waves of thoughts that are not our own
when we see our bodies are only on loan
we won’t fear where we’re going
when we don’t fear where we’ve come from
like sticking your ear against a conch shell to hear the ocean
in the middle of the desert

What To Do When Your Left Hand Betrays You

Music lets us travel
I’m listening to a song that was on the radio when I was eight
and I’m eight again
with all the innocence and ignorance
reading the Bible before bed
and reading if your left hand betrays you you should cut it off
and I sat up all night shivering knowing
my left hand had dropped an easy fly ball to right
and lying there deep in the night
knowing I was disappointing God
I got up and walked down to the kitchen to get a knife
big enough to hack off my left hand
and I pressed it to my wrist
but the bone got in the way
and I thought how painful it would be
to cut my hand off
and tears came to my eyes realizing
I was not a child of God
till thirty-six years later I see
I was
I just didn’t get metaphor

When We Know When

“Why does life have to be bittersweet?”
you ask me between sips of beer.
You’re really asking the wrong guy, but but but this much I did hear:

look at life as a song
you can’t listen to the same note too long
music needs flats and sharps
sometimes horns sometimes harps.

Or taste this life this moveable feast-
alone salt and pepper we’d never eat or paprika,
but when tossed on a sirloin into this same pot… euerka!

We like our drinks cold
our steaks sizzling
our coffee hot
our ice cream and
our Alaska baked.

It’s like seeing the forest in the tree and every inch on which she feeds
supporting this tree at her most beautiful,
wearing this death-mask of Fall only to be stripped naked by Old Man Winter who buries his fallen children in snow.

Here is where we feel the rub of life:
to feel connected to anything, to separate us from androids,
our circuits have to be continually
shocked and stimulated
by an infinite amount of currents connected to an infinite amount of emotions charged positively and negatively
or else we lose our sensitivity
until we can’t feel these elements burning our skin.