"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life on repeat

This is where I've been,
amid the stalks and grains,
buried somewhere
you'll never think to look.

That's my genius, they say,
and my curse,

to always find what I need
where I can't share it
with anyone else.
Not now, not ever.

On my bike in the winter,
thawed by my thoughts,

dreaming of that summer
and wondering, loudly,
a speech to the frozen trees.
Bold, they say, quite so.

And like the lights shine,
so far off in the clouds,

we can be an inspiration,
something to stare at
when the phone hits the wall.
Something beautiful, indeed.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Sufjan Stevens, All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands

Friday, February 24, 2012


It starts as nothing,
as all things do,
but it's not long
before it's crumbling
up my spine;
taking up residence
in my guts;
undermining the strength
inherent in my chest;
and cascading in loops
around my throat.
Never, though,
does it reach my head.
Nor does it tumble
the core of my brain.
Nothing may undo
what is already undone -
scattered and tossed,
hapless and joyful -
by one thought,
and one thought only.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Well, it's not on my iTunes yet, but - TalkWithYourFingers, Everlong (Piano Cover)


Thursday, February 16, 2012


Inspired by this picture taken by Margaret Durow:

It's a nervous habit
to consume one's own soul.
That's what she always told me,
whether we were knee deep
in the suds of the ocean
or trawling for deals
amidst the stumbling masses
of wily, veteran shoppers
and their peripherals.

She writes me letters,
or at least she used to.
In each one I heard tones,
her musical hands moving
in circles across the page.
On rainy Sunday afternoons
I may still be found asleep,
lulled by the soft, verdant joy
of her slow script.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
St. Vincent, Cruel

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And the angels sang out of tune

Three Word Wednesday! Please help me get out of my rut! Today's words are angelic, foster and ruin. Just imagine me saying that in a game show host's voice. Awesome, right?

The top frame of my glasses spun and flashed with the glow of the dancing neon lights above me, like a thin, striped caterpillar was racing across my forehead. I watched it run, the never-ending trail lulling me into an otherwise unjustified daze. If anything I should have been wide-eyed, fearful of danger, whatever animal instincts I had pulsing harder and faster than any of the giant-sized billboards that transfixed me. But it was not so, and I hardly even noticed when she stole my wallet.

She stole my wallet?

The alley was darker, and so was my memory. She led me here, I think. By the time I found her she was already seated comfortably on a chair that had no business being in this part of the city. It glittered obnoxiously amid the various degrees of ruin that surrounded it. I watched her face, waiting for the cue, waiting for her voice to ring out in sweet, angelic beauty. She licked her lips and opened her mouth, and I tensed.

"You're missing something," she said.

I raised an eyebrow. Her voice didn't match her face. She was pretty. That's really the only word for it. Not gorgeous, maybe, but certainly attractive. She was dressed in plain clothes that fit her perfectly - fashion without even a hint of strategy.

But her voice? A woman's, to be sure, but lower, more meaningful. It wasn't high and golden; it wouldn't draw any forest animals from their homes. If it was any color, it was most certainly dark blue - something deep and pulsating, coming in waves like an ocean. Her face didn't tell me anything about an ocean. I was confused.

"What am I missing?" I asked her, acutely aware of what I sounded like. I sounded like a whimpering doberman.

She smiled, baring perfect, white teeth.

"It's not your wallet, that's for sure," she said. She motioned to my back pocket. "It's been right there, all along."

I patted my pocket suspiciously. She was right. She had never stolen my wallet. That's why I didn't notice. But if that was true, what was I doing here?

"It's something to foster your belief, isn't it?" she said, her smile twisting at the corners. "It's something to bring you back to where you need to be."

I stared at her. And then, suddenly, a loud laugh burst forth from my throat. It surprised me, and apparently her as well. Her smile shrank and then disappeared. Her eyes narrowed and settled into an intense focus.


"Oh, nothing," I said, coughing my way to composure. "I just find it interesting that you seem to think you know so much about me." I turned and began to walk out of the alley. "You may need to rethink your approach."

I made it to the very end of the corridor before she spoke again.

"She's gone, isn't she?" she said, her question not even really a question at all. "Just like all the others."

Her tone said it all: I know what you won't admit, what you can't admit. I swallowed hard, clenched my teeth, my nostrils flaring.

"She'll be back," I whispered. "Someone will come back."

I felt her smile return, a grimy surge of satisfaction radiating down the alley.

"It's time to stop waiting," she said. "It's time to take control, to be aggressive. It's time to make the world do what you want it to do."

I turned to retort, in some small way to take her advice, but she was gone. A grizzled homeless man stared up at me from a small nest of cardboard and blankets he had built at the mouth of the alley. His eyes were wide. I nodded carefully at him and walked back to the street. The lights were still flashing, scrambling about on the horizon. I hid my eyes.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Feist, Gatekeeper

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This poem has nothing to do with Valentine's Day

Tonight we'll be at rest,
decked in purple
and the hyms of protest.
That loudest wish
is severely planned, at best,
but yelled upon a whim.

Our shoulders ache
with the pressures of things
not yet carried, thank god.
And so, in our thankfulness,
we'll pray to hasten their return.

The ticket is bought,
but the train will never come.
That little slice of paper
feels so at home in the folds
of our wallets, doesn't it?

I lied.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Bon Iver, Hinnom, TX