Monthly Archives: May 2018

A Joke; An Idea About Yawns

[These two thoughts may seem disconnected]

Two persons meet on a barge.
One says to the other, “Ya think?”
To which is replied, “What do ya mean?”

A Theory of Yawning

People yawn to reset the rhythm of their breathing as it relates to their physical and mental state.

Yawns are “contagious” because when someone sees a person yawn, they have a subconscious desire to match the rhythm of that person who yawned.

Pardon With a Garden, Dwelling

With displeasure comes the land to till.
And out from peaceful earth, a crop you handle
Shall drop from grips to worth.
And for forgotten seeds will find no fruits, perhaps
Though dignified and true.
For only passion rakes the soil
And through it, heaven’s harvest.

So tie no interest, begging still;
And for no guide to wrangle
Are angels’ will to dropping halos,
Becoming persons to gamble
On saving graces;
For mothers who bare the womb not now forsaken.
‘Twill chime for goodness, gracious.

And with unknowing love
Do sin again, perhaps.
Yet still to learn our meaning
Of rapt incurrences.
For good or evil?
No, best to our poor failings.

And with circumferences do cradle onward
Carrying a garden’s girth.
But patched with god’s indifference,
Yet his infinite curiosity
In mistook creations.
‘Cause as temptation whittles forth to send a telegram,
A recipient will go forward knowing more
To lessen their own troubled morning.

And so to stamp envelopes,
Souls do cross
To farm together with no bulbs of flowers.
Though to grow inside a shadow will find its lightness,
And be meals for something
If not but for a token to someone’s greatness.

All together, it is a whistle blown for someone close.
Or a break to highways to visit strangers-
‘Tis better than a lonesome anger, yes.
And with a venting comes a through-forest’s breath
To nurture what becomes it:
A rising life from its language death.

Quickly, Now

I erased my day unto myself;
An open stain of continuity.
I reversed these slain depicted breaths,
Out for no fairer community.
I am broken with the pictures of
Children who go running,
And now, I’m sitting back
Can’t cry, no.
Tears are through my blood, humming.
No carrying no tools
You carry knowing better.
And with it, a hammer
When the boards are alive
And are no nails.
With a peter pan depicted calmly.
I am not his ghost.
Children are children when they’re children, only.
Adults are the ones to save their cloaks.
And clearly no one’s words will shift
Society or present drifting.
And our president’s an animal
Calling people an animal.
No people’s an animal.
All peoples are animals.
Skin pierces either way.
Find your gun astray.
Put it away.
Lock it up.
It’s no good.
And so, I pray.

Remembering Scott Hutchison

Scott Hutchison’s body was found last night. As of the last I read, an actual cause of death hasn’t been revealed – or known, perhaps – but it isn’t too difficult to come to a conclusion. That no matter how it happened, why it happened is that he wanted it to. It’s a sort of frozen blanket to me, in a sense, that his death should come today, after a very long winter, and year, in the lives of so many.

I think about death sometimes, when it strikes close to me. I wrote at length what it has meant to me this past season. And yet when a person makes a decision – instead of nature’s course being taken – there is so much more at hand to think of. Indeed, I think of suicide as it relates to my own life…who I’ve known and loved who have taken that bow from their mind and dipped into it, knowingly. People who take that step do so in a haze I’m familiar with. That so many are familiar with.

I was conversing today with the one who first showed me the music of Frightened Rabbit. The Midnight Organ Fight was the album, and it is important, I believe, for so many of us to listen to. Perfect pop songs drench what could be depressing sentiments. Grant the person Scott as much as he deserves in that respect. He knew how to sing along with the pain that is in each of us. That pain, he brilliantly heralded through the words he spewed; with the melodies he harnessed; with a perfect wall of sound arranged in heartstopping form. I love this man for it. And seeing them perform, now 10 or so years ago- that picture of him is laid inside me. We are lucky enough to have his music still. And I hope his spirit is safe somewhere…somewhere his pain can’t find it.

The Feeling Of When: A Personal Essay

I try to trust in the will of some god that I feel around me sometimes. It’s a funny sort of trust- that which denies itself some days, and justifies itself as well. It happens sort of randomly, I’ll say that much; the back and forth of it. And yet as I go about certain days, I shimmer with the breath of the trees- that breath which I can feel, can smell, can taste when I’m trying.

It’s often in that nature I am most comfortable, laying in the dirt or feeling the grass beneath my feet. Folding blades of green that seem to reach into and through my skin as I walk, or as my toes dig mud freshly softened. I wait in those moments, for the love of the god that seems so often breached in the world we as human beings have contrived for ourselves. I beckon the specks of light; the dust of stars which glitter before me when I least expect them. And when I know I need them. But they’re always there, I’m sure. I really am.

The past six months or so have been a wild dance amongst a city in which I’m still learning to live. Working and working so much for a while, that I sort of forgot to breathe as I once proclaimed to a woman in a hospital was so necessary to remain focused. She replied so earnestly that we are all such shallow breathers too often. And she was correct in that response. We all don’t take the air in our lungs to which we are intended. Though there are moments which take that breath away, regardless as to how we are breathing.

For me, most recently, it was just before Christmas, when this world lost a man named Paul, whose last name I’ve forgotten how to spell. He was a Grandfather to me growing up, and his love and generosity to my family will never be lost to me. We were a family of six at the time; my parents worked hard and loved deeply, and raised myself and my sisters to be as what we as humans are for: immersed in a sort of Love that so many go without in this life. Both my Mom and my Dad made whichever house in which we lived into a home with sheer determination, always. And Paul arrived – at least it seems to me now – at the door of those homes within that sort of randomness I feel god. And when he did arrive, he did with bags and bags of groceries; flats of flowers for my Mom to plant in her always beautifully conceived garden; hours long discussions with my Dad about whatever the two of their minds came across in the moment. I think back on Paul now with a tinge of regret in that, as I grew a bit older and went off to Camp and College to find my own path through our collected wilderness, I forgot those times he showed up at our front door. In looking back now, I suppose it is only that I was too young to realize what he was doing. And too sad with so many things to offer him the same as he grew older; as his face drooped with Bell’s palsy; as I left Ohio again and again, rarely looking back at much but with regret. Making people into memories before they had a chance to become them to life’s reality.

Not long after Paul passed – or maybe it was before – another Grandfather figure in my life also quietly changed address, as my Dad once put it. His name was Gene, and he was my Great Uncle on my Mom’s side. My memories of Gene are different, of course. Uncle Gene and Aunt Helen weren’t in my life all too often. But every year the week of Christmas, without fail, whomever of my family who were still in town would make the drive down to their home in Akron, and we would sit around their basement. My Mom would request almost immediately to build a fire in their fireplace, if there wasn’t one already going; Gene would shuffle gaily to the bar to make Bloody Marys. Aunt Helen would be busy building a feast for us, all the while drinking cheap beer from a can. A football game – any football game – would be on their TV. The Christmas Tree stood hung with ornaments, some gorgeous, some hilarious; children’s toys from their childhood would be seated underneath. I would go for those toys at some point. And always nearly empty their many dishes of candy by the end of the afternoon. Gene would eventually sit back with a pipe, and the smell of it would fill the room.

Aunt Helen was the life of those parties, as I recall. She and Gene would bicker, like couples will do I suppose, after so many years together…they shared 70 years of marriage. It’s almost too much to fathom to me, two people spending so much of their lives together. And wouldn’t it be, that just a few months after Gene died, Helen joined him. And wherever they are, I can’t help but believe they’re together. As I see it, they were probably the same being to begin with.

This winter of sorts, with Earthly death surrounding, brought me crashing into Spring without a helmet on, so to speak. I lost myself in grief again; tended to too much out of my hands; thought I was different than who I am, and what my disorder entails I do and do not do.

I’ve spent most of my life trudging into this moment in time, and yet have made it difficult on myself to be well, I suppose. My mind is often found to me with brilliant claps of thunder, as metaphor, but they are no more thoughts I have than thoughts that appear. I jot them down sometimes; usually give them a melody to sing along with. I’m mainly a songwriter, at any rate. I try and pull from the ether- true that the ether seems too often spent these days.

So to say, I am recovering from regret. And from the guilt my church of confirmation too often shades its members with. But I’m working forward with a sense of purpose, perhaps. And absolutely with a renewed faith in the Way.

Institutions, I remain with an immense distrust. Most are buildings locked when you need most to go inside, or with entry fees too steep for the lowly to afford; with brand names refusing to pay their workers to live well; vaults stacked with pipelines and deep ocean drills; or with guns too loaded with racism and injustice.

I am built this way: to seek life in a sky of blue. And to stand with my face up in the rain. With my head held high when I can. My soul trying to be an open door. To feel the sun and the rain. And to sing; my fingers flying across six strings I’ve spent my life conversing with.

So I sit here tonight remembering Paul and Gene and Helen: Just the three people close to me who have most recently moved on. Some may hope they rest in peace. I have this idea that their Peace is in eternal movement. And when the next time I stand amongst the trees, or with my feet in the dirt, or when sitting alone pulling songs from the unconscious, I will remember them fondly. And will seek their spirit in the eyes of my neighbors. For I know it is there and everywhere.

Magnifying Glass

A form of warm summers adapt at no will,
But deliver it somewhere apart.
For someone to scream at me is words for my ears.
For another to whisper is lines I can’t hear.
But a ball can’t be rolling too fast or too slow,
‘Lest you walk up a street and don’t know where to go.
Yet you know there’s an artist, or a thinker, benign
For a lack of cold cash to send sprinkling.
For a face on a dollar bill is the past we ignore
And interpret, too much, incorrectly.
Like the guns that some look to for protection…
From what?
Another’s guns, loaded by angel dust- the drug.
Not the tiny specks of light I see dancing sometimes
When I take off my glasses and peer up toward the daytime.
‘Cause sky-blue calms me down; yes, it’s there for a reason:
To send our heads glowing with passion in season.
There are plenty of things I can’t know to be known
And there’s even more I cannot do on my own.
But I can tell you a thing that I know to be true:
I purchase what’s cheap.
Or what reminds me of You.
Like some water that forms in the clouds up above,
And rains down upon us at times we should love
To sit at a doorstep and see what it’s for:
A cleanse of wild spirits we may not feel anymore.
But that’s just me and how I’m feeling right now.
And my feelings change often, ’cause they should anyhow.
‘Cause a mood is just a ring that someone somewhere invented
To put a color on feelings we haven’t to adapted.
And yes, I believe there is something I feel
That is something a bit more than some may think is real.
But I’m certain – yes, certain – that tricks are the mind
Finding bones in the river and sticks in your side.
When a tree is a tree, it grows toward the sunshine,
Even ’round what is blocking its growth.
The roots take their space depending on how
The ground is beneath it.
You can see it.
Just bow.

But so, I am darkness tonight- I don’t know.
I go where I’m going. And I notice what’s new.
I’m those that care deeply for another’s own sake
Or even what’s parted on pews.
I’ve never been read like a devil.
I’ve always been glanced at like sets.
‘Cause I don’t really care what dogma presents
Because it was wrought by some weapons
And stupidity and death.
When life is the answer to the question of why,
There remains every moment of ones own reasons to cry…
To cry for the heavens surrounding the past
That form every lifetime, again and again.
But maybe I’m wrong, and who really cares
When fun is a thing I can’t hold in a stare
By myself, smoking cigarettes I have to go find
And spend all my dollars, and find only dimes
On the floor of a subway car,
With a man playing songs
For people with headphones on-
Hell, I’m one of them often.

And when sirens go by, I’m just hoping they’re nice
But it isn’t myself who is worried at night.
It’s those far too young
And those far too lonely.
It’s those whose overcoat matches the sky.
I don’t know.
I’m a poet.
I’m a man raised by guilt.
And all I really want
Is someone to listen to my music.
And read my words.
And see that I’m gifted.
And hand me a paycheck I earned with my mind
That nobody charged me
To gain on my own.

Almost thirty years of learning.
Almost thirty years of practice.
And all I really should be saying is this:
Do not to cocaine.
And don’t lick some tablets.
And don’t smoke a thing you can’t pick from the earth.
And watch what your eyes may be saying to another.
And listen to your language:
We are sisters and brothers.
Not enemies, wilted beneath a fine Spring sunshine.
And not patterns depicted by God’s only light.
We are shapes in the dust.
There is them.
There is us.
And only when I’m looking for rhymes
Does it make all the sense to myself.
If you don’t understand something,
Then ask yourself help.
And if it’s the middle of the night, and the church doors are locked,
Wonder why, and go aching for a dollar from a stranger.
And pray that there’s 24 hour fast food.
Brands know their meaning.
I’m fooled.

repost: from years ago

The Paradox of Pain

if the fear:

that the passive production of passionate quotations quite possibly predicts a perilous predicament,

whereas the case:

the parting of past progression persuades the quiet punctuation to precede pauses in percussive prose in proving the predilection per the present, quelling the purpose of proud plasticity and instead praising portions pertaining to its quality or point therein,


the prejudice inherently perpetuated postures only to feed and be fed.