a silent mass

I never wrote a word, not until

I’d said my peace,

misconstrued and gnawed on,

beaten to a pulp,

dead as embers—burnt black on arrival

to a silent mass, ready

and aching to be heard.

to lose and to gain

We lose—only—what we must

allow ourselves to lose,

regardless of the pain

and suffering we choose, to lose

and to gain—

to have what it takes,

to further ourselves

to a better tomorrow.

Boba Raton, Joe.

The time between collision and capsizing

There is something very scary

about imagining a life without flaw,

as if insecurities were a sin

you could merely pray away?

There’s something cynical in that,

something dangerous.

Something I haven’t the heart to feel,

it’s something impervious.

Because with great peril comes

an even greater awakening, an awakening

which floods the veins with frozen certainty

as the waters eating the Titanic.

It’s the time between collision

and capsizing, which we find ourselves

relieved of our blind faith, knowing

with grave admiration, the life

we’re living, is all we have.

July Reflection, 2020

A needle in hay

How can a man

give so much of himself

to the past, and so little

to his future?

The answer

can be found as quickly

as a needle in hay.

It’s a needle

that always draws a little blood.

2011 Wearing glasses? In a diner, probably.

The boy who cried gently to the wolf.

You can sense it you know,

yourself shutting down—again

with the change of scenery, again

with the change of heart.

It’s like trying to stop a freight train

running yourself empty, till

all there is is but to explode.

It’s a very empty place to be living.

It’s a very empty place to be born.

It’s a beautiful fall day, though, isn’t it?

Isn’t it beautiful, this

in depth exhibition of yourself—

without the guts, with all the answers

and nothing all that good say.

Again, another Fall. 2020

for richer or poorer

I would rather be

a poor man

with a rich soul,

than a rich man

with a poor heart.

Topanga Beach. October, 2020

Footnote: to Regardless of the election.

For the majority of my adult life I have lived in impoverished communities, mainly because it’s what I am able to afford. I have seen, felt, and heard the cries of both men and women, alone in gutters, pulling the arms of children onward to a life not many of us will ever lead. Some of course have made choices leading them down this path, others are facing hard times, but I see the majority of them, just as I see myself, as I see my loved ones, as common people. So regardless of the outcome of an election, regardless of the winning or losing side, I still see many men, women, and innocent children who will continue to suffer either way. I do my best to spare what little I have to offer, be it a dollar or two, a bottle of water, or even a smile which seems to go even further than the former because at least they know that they are seen, and like so many of us often feel, we like those less fortunate are not forgotten. So just be a decent person, treat people with dignity and respect, regardless of their current standings in life. Do what you can to leave the world a better place than it was yesterday. And be well, my friends. Be humble and aware. And give more than you receive, when possible. With love, gratitude, and thanks to all who’ve graced my path, and who I continue to think of daily.

Regardless of the election.

There’s a sewer pipe

in the dark, by the L.A. river

like a grave in the ground

where people sleep

by the highway, by the neighborhood

where pumpkins soon

will be replaced by

feasts of Turkey, stuffing, corn

and carefully locked doors,

then to be replaced by balsams and fern

white lights and tender eyes

of Christmas morning,

regardless of the hole by the L.A. river

where people sleep

live, and love—and pray, regardless

of the election, regardless

of the president

I still weep.

Do you?

LA River. Nov 7, 2020

The hardest lesson

Probably the hardest lesson

to learn is that, in life

you can do everything right,

and still get it wrong.

Lost In Thought, Summer 2011