Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dead to Me

It seems so dead, with grief at night I still walk
Down nameless streets familiar to my feet
As crowded; though detachment is complete,
They know me well. Friends? No, we don't talk.
While shoeless, hopeless, wordless, I stalk
My memories of grass returned as concrete,
With dry mouthfuls of once red, now brown meat;
Most faces stay vacant as they turn to gawk.
My youth crawled down my throat, that's where it died
As teen years passed; I waited for today
With my infant verses concealed inside.
In time, things changed: I give my thoughts away
With forlorn hope that verses will provide
This line, though dead, a place for thoughts to stay.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Counting at night

I put thoughts together while counting. one two three four five six seven . . .

I long for the closeness of old friends, and the contact of my greatest delusion. This is never what I wanted. I almost wish for my return. Where is the thought pattern that gave me the Void? All it does now is sort through my worst memories, turn them even more twisted and display them to me over and over again. I almost lust for the veldt in my veins; I want to reconnect with my Lion. I wouldn't even mind an occasional trip to the original Void: that place of pain where people are hands reaching for the promise of the sky to deliver manna upon their toothed knuckles. At least those images spawned poems worth reading. Now what I have is a set of bad memories lurking around my delusional thinking. I should have known from the beginning how letting someone all the way in would turn out. I want the sun rising again on my demesne. I don't want a collection of sob stories centered around a pair of dark eyes that never stays one color long enough to write a poem in praise. It doesn't matter anyway. None of this is real.

I can say things now that would never come out otherwise. Almost a year later, and I still feel, still smell, still long for the closeness of contact. The aether is back in my nostrils. I know how much to take for a lethal dose. I don't know the extent of my solitude, not yet anyway. My eyelids are a projection screen for all my worst memories. The dark is still sneaky. I walk off into the night down familiar paths to my bare feet. Eleven years is too long. My hands won't let me forget their struggle. I miss my friends and I miss the pealed verses never to be returned. Sometimes my imaginary red comfort is better than a green certainty. The only certainty left is more of this lonely grind.

My pain is self-inflicted; it's my gift to myself. Don't get too near. Spending time with me is like a death sentence, I remember hearing that for sure. Take me home. Count the weight of my crow feather of burden against the lack of water, food and sleep of people with real problems on the scales of justice. For my legion of readers you can count on one hand, know this: my torment is mine. None of you can bear it with me, so don't even try. What can I offer but pain? Just count

one two three four five six seven . . .

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Tiny Thoughts

I'm trying to keep the little triggers in check, so the large issues stay out of the forefront of my psyche. Not much happens today; just work and a bit of verse. I rewrote a sonnet earlier last week; perhaps I'll post it here later tonight.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


He is alone, save us. Perhaps you share in his mistakes, and perhaps you don't. One thing is clear: no one is here, save us. Sometimes he believes his writing will change things; he will wake up, and someone will care because of his pen or its frenzied missives. However, the only thing people understand from his writing is us. The rewards from knowing us are slim. If the two hands of people that read this understand, who among them will change? Who will call? Who will care? Who will go beyond a simple "I'm ok now" answer to find more of the truth? A good question would probably be "how many doses has he missed?" The true answer would be "less than the number of people who ask." However, you already know that. Observe him. Question him. We are here. We will hide, and he will struggle. You see truth, and he will smile. A smile and a kind word might draw him back, but his stay is sure to be only temporary. Better yet, dare to feel close to him. Knowing him is like saving a drowning man: he will take you under on his way up. He doesn't mean to, he's just so used to our exclusive company he's forgotten how to behave around others. Whatever the result of his struggles, we will be waiting to drag him back into the deep water. We are revanant, like the tides. Know when we flow, and when we ebb. Speak to him when he's nearest to shore, but don't get too close; you'll have to let go. Don't be afraid for his life. We won't kill him; that's a decision that only he can make. We can start the pain, but we can't finish it. Every moment of our revenance, he will want comfort; be careful, he'll take what's offered. He wants an end like anyone else that knows our touch, but we all know that any end here means an eternity alone, save us. Besides, he's already told the two hands of people that read this he won't end his association with the here and now on his own behalf. We all know how honest he is, and even he will admit he's alone, save us.

Monday, April 11, 2005


I apologize for the lack of posting this week. I'm in Austin until the eighteenth of April, so maybe I'll post from there. I made the AIPF anthology, and I'm looking forward to meeting Naomi Nye. All in all, I'm excited and I feel pretty good. We'll see if it sticks.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


I should expect my life to be empty. The only constant companion of the past eleven years is the cast of characters in my madness; everyone else wisely stays away. When I wrote "Colors," I was severely delusional: I believed in my own ability to connect with other people through poetry, speech, and other forms of human contact. I was wrong. In the language of "Colors," I struggled to see green and black: a new day in the company of new people. All I see is white, a new red, a streak of yellow down my back, and the blue of old beatings, fresh beatings, and current anguish. Robert Johnson wrote the blues, and I take him as my guide. He left only his art behind; no family, no community, and no friend claimed his body or his legacy. Perhaps someday I'll die by the highway side, and catch the same Greyhound bus into white uncertainty that took Robert Johnson. I will sit next to him, and we'd both know the pain of art that never quite seemed to match life.


White is the color of uncertainty
as it offers light opaquely
an absolute abstraction of value
in a world made for shades of Grey

Yellow was my color
before I switched to Black and Blue
I ran, but now I fight; I found it suited me again
for the struggle with myself in the Red sunrise:
too scared to let go
too frightened by the beauty of Red.
in hindsight, the Red was probably Yellow, too
sometimes we can’t tell the difference

my Yellow guided me to safety
away from the pain of Green,
the color of spring
new life, and sustenance under Red at dawn

Black is the color of certainty
it covers all light with the absence of color
Black steals light, and life with it.
no Red, no Green, no White
and thankfully, no Yellow
just the end result of all colors
and efforts: collapse of light
when there is no more work to be done
and no fuel for our flames

I can see Black through the Grey
while I hold on with desperation
to the White that leaves me knowing
nothing but a mix of colors
that looks like Yellow,
but I will not take safety again.
give me Black before White
give me Green without Red
I need to know the dark green of the forest in spring
before the crinkled yellow of old paper, once white
now strewn with unread Blue ink.