Friday, March 15, 2019

The playground is in decay. I can see the swing set and slide I assembled years ago bleach and rot. The vinyl canopy atop the "fort" tore many winters past and the storms and sun continue to do their job dutifully. The swing's chains are rusted to a hazard for anyone who attempts to use them for any kind of joy. The whole play set is ready to ambush the next fun seeker. I should probably tear it down but I enjoy watching it age. I tell myself I'll repair it, make it safe again for some kind of future, but It stands as a monument to my son's childhood...maybe mine too. It's a beautiful thing to see it still standing, holding on. And when the wind blows, memories sit in the swings and laugh. It all lasts for just a moment. That is all it is, a moment.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Plastic Roll Call

Plastic wheels on the plastic garbage can roll across the asphalt and thunder. I listen for words of wisdom from Pink Floyd on the car stereo, "Welcome my son, Welcommmmme toooooo the Maachhhhhhine..."
The plastic garbage cans filled with plastic trash begin to line the street. Roll call for early morning pick up and we answer with scheduled obedience. Well maybe a few rebels, a couple fuckheads who procrastinate to the last minute to run the dawn yardage across the lawn in bare feet and bathrobe to stub their toe on the mulberry root.

Hello rebel who still answers when their name is called. Stop it. Stop answering and just stare them straight in the eye with clenched jaw and breathe. Say nothing. Just do that thing you always wanted to do whatever it is. I don't care just as long as it makes no trash, no mess to clean up or blood. Debt of money is an illusion compared to debt of soul. So if you stopped kicking your trash to the curb to make room for more imagine the time you just gave the garbage collector...an eternity maybe. And what's the time you just gave yourself worth? A Life?











Saturday, February 2, 2019

My son is six years old and I'm working in the garage while he reads The Big Book of Knowledge in the living room. The book is hard covered and thick. It's a single volume encyclopedia of information spelled out for young readers to encapsulate the universe as we understand it into a ridiculously convenient package. His mother elsewhere and out of the house leaves us home alone. We're two ferrel males doing what we please and minding our own business. We communicate with single syllable words, looks, nods and grunts. We have an understanding: don't bother me unless you're bleeding, something's on fire or you have a good fart joke. At this point in Max's life he could already operate the stove, make his own quesadilla and destroy the house without any direction from me. So I had no worries with him being inside by himself...plus he's smarter than me.
The door to the garage from the house is at the end of a long narrow laundry room that shares a wall with the garage, so anyone in the garage can hear anyone in the laundry room. I was working away spray painting some project I had just finished and enjoying the paint fumes in a euphoric bliss when I heard the pitter patter of feet on the hard linoleum floor of the laundry room and Max's little voice calling out "Daddy!, Hey Dad..." His voice wasn't distressed or scared. It was a voice of 'hey I got a good fart joke.' At that moment I climbed to the top of the six steps to the landing where the garage door met the laundry room and crouched down waiting for Max to open the door so I could scare him. He opened the door and there I was growling at him with my hands held near my ears with fingers curled into make believe claws. Max instantly raised the Big Book of Knowledge over his head and brought down upon mine. It threw me back onto my ass and I sat there stunned as I looked at Max's wide eyes.

"You scared me Dad. I wanted to show you something in the Big Book of Knowledge."
"I think you just did Max. Well done..."

Thursday, January 10, 2019

I'm lost today because I lost my way yesterday and the day before and so on...

I'm just trying to find my way back to you because I loved you yesterday and the day before and so on...

Just can't find my way without your voice

I'm listening now

Can you hear me?

Can you see me?

Ignore the gross figure I've become because I'm not that

It's just the thing that rides on my back

That ugly thing

You know the one

The one that whispers in your ear nasty things

That says you're not good enough, smart enough or pretty

Has it ever ridden upon your back?

Do you know what I say?

Please tell me you've seen this thing because I know it's there

I can't be the only one who has carried this thing

This abomination has gotten me lost and to itself

And it just dawned on me that maybe you have one too

I'm sorry

It's a shitty beast

I can tell you that I'll stop listening to mine and call your name

Just follow my voice until you see me again

"Hello?"






Thursday, December 13, 2018

House of Cards

Who manufactured these cards of life and death on my table, all strewn about and shuffled by the hands of you, me and every other?

What are the hands with no mind?

I see them face down and I'm afraid to pick them up...sometimes

Actually all the time but I do it anyway because there is no choice but to play

You could fold I suppose

And I have only to realize later I should have played it

It's a funny game with funny rules where the hand that wins today loses tomorrow

We can build houses out of these cards, build some kind of life

It will always be fragile and temporary but it will be pretty to look at

And maybe it will stand long enough for others to see that the number of cards are more important than numbers on the cards

Maybe I've been looking at it all wrong...without a doubt

I'd like to think the maker of these cards never intended for them to be cards at all, but to be thin blocks of time to stack carefully, angularly and high knowing all the while one breath can knock it all down

What I do know if this is to be true is that you are welcome to mine if my stack should fall before yours

Just don't bet on them

Build on them



Friday, November 2, 2018

Gratitude

If I create something today, say these words on the page

Are they mine?

I don't think so

Are the colors you paint your picture yours

...or the notes of the song you wrote?

I build a life out of blocks given to me by others

I've made the mistake of calling them my own

"I've worked hard to get where I'm at", I say

As if I'm the creator 

I've burnt cold blocks to ashes to feel warm

And never realized the gift of hardship

I've squandered help and opportunity never understanding how to pay it forward

Yet my life is beautiful

And everything I am is yours

Thank you

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Depression

How do you describe the place in which you reside that has no color, no sound , no smell?

It's dark, not cold and not warm but comforting I can tell

It's a lonely place build for me and empty of family

And I breath it, live it and sadistically cherish it

It's not my home yet I designed it to hold me in its hollow hands

I can fold it and put it in my pocket

Save it for that day and the next

A horrible text

I read it over and over hoping the meaning will change

And the visitors never come

Why do they not show?

I can't answer the door

Please come in

I can't unlock it and the key was never made

So if you can break down this door I'll still not be able to describe the room in which I reside

Maybe you better stay outside