My Poetry


Before We Go Blind


Children are the closest thing we have to God
before we teach them whom to spit on.

I am their spittoon.

I watch my cigarette smoke through clumpy, greasy hair,
and wear the same clothes I fell asleep in two nights past.
I feel low and weak like a boy standing in his father’s shadow.

From my apartment patio I hear rocks crack against the concrete sidewalk.
     The little neighbor girl.

Normally, she leans on my front porch lamp post wide-eyed,
like I'm someone who should have statues in my name
and medals around my neck.

Other days she will circle a few times on her old blue bike,
green sucker swelling her cheek. She asks if I've fixed my guitar string.

I say no, but I have.

She hands me a gold magazine filled with glossy pages
of pumpkins, turkeys, and evergreen titled “Holiday Fundraiser”

She didn't see the long, greasy hair,
the holes in my jeans and empty pockets, or the kick me sign taped to my back.
She thought I was sturdy like her father and wouldn't let her down,

but I had no choice.

Choosing to look at the gray concrete over an innocent blue sky
she walks away with her eyes down.

In her mind I am the person I hate,
and I dump that dirty spittoon on my own head.


Addiction

I lost my lighter, and burned my finger
lighting my last grim on the stove.
I throw away the empty pack and leave the warm
orange living room glow to stand shivering in the cold.
I trade the life force of breath for nauseating nicotine,
a gasp now for one less when I'm old.
I choke out some blood on the concrete,
then go buy another pack with my last seven dollars.



Every Rainbow’s a Lie

What if rainbows were just tricks played by our eyes
as a way to feel warm beneath dark skies.
What if God was just some made up name
so our dreams could sparkle in color and not a dull gray.
Or maybe we believe so our lives don’t feel like waste,
to feel taller then dust and important as we slave.
As classmates file outside from the class before mine,
I watch them all smile as their eyes
first see the rainbow dance across the purple sky.
Sometimes it’s better to just not ask why
and let a smile be the proof to calm our restless mind
If it makes their day shine, and the wrong worth it for right,
 who am I to claim that “every rainbow is a lie.”



Fuzzy Times

Walking on an oil path of fire
waging war with cigarette lighters,
they were some fuzzy times.

Dancing around question marks
kicking dirt waiting on life to start,
they were some fuzzy times.

Atomic clouds wrapped in plastic
light switches in stray jackets,
they were some fuzzy times.

Locked between a dirty room
and footprints on the moon,
they were some fuzzy times.

So, I bought a pen and I lived
forever.





How To Pronounce Mike


I whistle more when I am happy,

standing in the green left-field grass
playing the game of life like a little-leaguer
distracted by the bugs and stars. Forgetting the runners
and their circles and the second base they say is no more
then a small turn towards home I smile, illiterate
at the golden light bulb letters on a losing scoreboard.
I’m spending single moments in sand building castles of infinite
days engulfed in tidal waves surfing the language of the universe,
standing quietly in color between weightless stars glowing white
and the weight of the black backdrop where they lay.
I'm writing to describe the current beneath white capped waves
and timeless conversations between footprints on the moon.
Distracted, my eyes still smile while my shoe trapped feet
stand in an endless thrill ride line while others pass by
eating pink cotton candy blind to anything beyond
a minute microwave mind unplugged above a styrofoam
body melting because the wait is not worth the ride. 
I'm existing as only an idea between footprints
in mud of others fleeing the dark, and innocent
voices of our grandchildren setting free
the glowing vibrations of song and dance
we’ve been told to keep caged.




 Once Long Ago

Once, long ago, simple hands
would mine diamond and gold from the sky;
they plucked petals of flowering white lace
and tossed them in the dinner pot.

Once, long ago, Momma would wrap silver and nickel
around Dad's old time piece, telling her sons
"the second hand will always be there,".
Once, long before I could speak, Momma would waltz
on tip toes as Daddy held her weary hand.

I guess this love skipped over my heart
and past the green eyes my grandfather
wrapped in a timeless bow.
When I hold her hand I sometimes feel nothing,
other times, I feel numb.

I would fish with grandpa in ether ponds
with no bait and no hook.
"Grandfather, why can't I feel
my heartbeat?"

Once, long ago, I could whistle
and manipulated the young eyed children.
I flipped my quarter and threw my toothpick
in the judges face to show them
I got bigger plains to cancel.

Once, I tried.




Chakras

I breathe in deep.
Beneath my breastbone a tulip sits quietly blooming.
The harmony of each petal reaches from behind my glowing green heart
where a white stalk and stem sit quietly in the heavy brown dirt,
and touch the soft, gentle breath of the highest holy ceiling.
My left ear feels music in silent disguise
coloring in lines on an empty classroom chalkboard,
trading void space for ideas with mass. My right hand
holds a microphone wire across muddy flood water words
up into the clouds where I let go of it all to find everything.
My roots are red dust dots connected with orange lines of sex,
with yellow branched paths below and beyond loving, living, and dying.
My children are blue mountain rivers and burned desert valleys.
In a purple arm chair cornered above each brow my soul is sitting
quietly watching other flowers bloom their begging hand.
Lying around my crown an indigo bandanna holds a diamond dance floor
disguised as stars beneath thousand pedaled lotus outside
my long lose strains of hair.
I exhale.






The Gutter

I flip on the T.V. and watch Pastor Corn
iron kinks from his holy collar,
He sells me the robe Jesus once wore,
trading fear for a believer’s torn dollar.
Leaving my seat an angry red and into the world
I pass homeless Dirt lying drugged, his eyes gouged out;
I hear his Momma say don’t elope with that young Memory.
I look up to suits high among the trees,
as leaves straighten new ties and crack
windows for enjoying the expensive
taste of Relaxing Breeze.
Their lives will end as they,
and their 9 to 5 routine, safe;
shaking hands with the sun behind closed doors
to keep the people craving shade.
I throw myself back on the couch
and plug my eyes into the T.V.
I watch CEO Wheat hold babies
as virgins and grandmothers kiss his cheek.
In the background my ear catches
the changing of time as Dylan speaks,
“The first one now will later be last,”

 The gutter they all soon will sleep.