What is, and is not necessary—a dialogue.

Whatever’s in my head, is there because I put it there.

It’s there because I allow it to be.

Whatever’s in yours, is yours—I’ve no idea, nor should.

If you’re curious, you may ask and I may tell you whatever’s in my head.

I may not, though that is up to me, as it is equally up to you.

So if and when I seem distant, it’s only because I’m having an internal debate on which to share.

I’m deliberately choosing words which may or may not have an impact on your own definition of me—of you.

Whatever’s in my head may change, in fact, depending on your point of view, so tread however you will when speaking, knowing that—

Whatever’s in your head, is there because we put it there.

And we being a positive or a negative really doesn’t matter.

What matters is, matter of factly null and void, more likely because,

whatever’s in your head, is there because you put it there.

It’s there because it is, if it wasn’t then, well, we wouldn’t be having this discussion with ourselves to begin with.

See. When two people interact or share in a discussion, it’s not simply a yes or no dialogue.

It’s not simply an A and B conversation but rather an (A,(B)) + (C,(D)) process of beliefs which often can be tricky or seem unfair.

And the more you think about it, the less there is to say, because, more times than not it’s what we don’t say that often really matters.

Perhaps I haven’t found the correct words, or perhaps I’m overthinking, perhaps I’m just learning how to communicate all together on a daily.

It’s like casting a line of bate to water. If the intended fish decides to bite, then it’s fair game, but when the intended fish is forced to bite, which for lack of a better metaphor, one can’t exactly force a fish to bite, then there’s an unfair advantage.

The bate is not merely physical bate, but encompasses the mind from which it’s cast with hope, fear, and determination—etc and so on.

The fish may rationalize it’s right to choose feast or famine, ultimately accepting it’s fate regardless of the line cast, by choice of internal and external response, which leads me back to my original point being…

Whatever’s in my head, is there because I put it there.

It’s there because I’ve reserved a rationality for it, and, regardless of the outcome, it’s necessary solely to me.

Further more, what’s necessary to me—perhaps the real point here—is not, nor should be expected to be necessary to you.

Any questions?

Rorschach Test

Funny, how a song

sung over the years

can seem, so foreign

even to me, with a chorus

not even I can relate to

any longer than it takes

to finish the mornings

cup of coffee, spilled

to form a Rorschach Test

no longer necessary

to indulge or engage,

just enjoying the view

from a bridge overseas.

Insomnia: A Short Story

The television’s on.

It’s freezing in here.

I should probably be asleep, but I’m not.

It’s 4:53. It’s always 4:53, when, click, the heat turns on.

Now the draft from the window’s competing with the dull heat, which smells like last years dust, pouring through the vent, above the door, which leads to the living room where the TV’s still on.

In about an hour the sun will be up and it will be another morning.

I can’t tell yet whether or not I’ll be excited or scared, but either way, I have to write my grandmother—thanking her for the letter she sent a couple days prior—she used to fill the cards with glitter but doesn’t anymore…

Perhaps there’s a glitter shortage, I don’t know.

I’ve been pulling my beard out again, which I don’t like, but still do. Why? A doctor would probably claim it’s nerves but by this point in life I know better than that.

It’s funny really, thoughts, how they come and go as easily as a hair can be plucked from your chin.

If I had eggs in the fridge I’d probably boil some for breakfast but I don’t have any because yesterday while shopping I’d debated prices in my head for what seemed like too long to be debating prices of eggs, causing an uncomfortable feeling I just couldn’t shake, making me anxious and aware that I’d been standing in the isle for what seemed like eons though was probably only a couple minutes, still, too long to be debating whether or not I wanted to pay 2.39 or 2.99 for a dozen of eggs.

The heat feels good now, while the right side of my face warms up, the left side is still dealing with the draft from the window.

Common sense tells me to close the window though my better judgement says to just let it be. What’s the point, really?

It’s 5:06 now. It’s always 5:06.

The repetitive nature of this statement keeps recurring in my mind as if the idea isn’t fully mine, though I use it anyway.

Perhaps it’s my conscious mind coming back to me? Perhaps it’s programming I just don’t have the strength to deny, either way…whatever.

It’s 8:08 on the East Coast. My mother’s probably pouring coffee, reading the morning news. My brother’s probably already dragged himself from bed and into work. My nephew’s to school. My sister-in-law to her studio where she makes jewelry from metal and her imagination.

Their routine gives me comfort because right now I don’t have one.

This pandemic has us all in a pretty weird state of affairs, though, my affairs have always been pretty weird now that I think about it.

At least I’m writing again. That’s good.

Everything is pretty all right right now—knock on wood.

And what if this is as good as it gets? Hog wash.

At least it’s warm in here, closing the window, watching the sun rise.

My nail beds are long. I’ve always been told that. “You’ve got piano hands,” they said once, go figure, I don’t play—if I did this would probably make for a better story though, well, you know.

Turning off the TV seems irrational as it’ll just get turned on again tonight, unless, unplugging the TV—Ah! That’s better.

Insomnia, it’s the breakfast of champions.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, the letter.

Plain clothes

Let’s make this hard demeanor

seem effortless as clothes,

worn to keep you even

keeled, careful and alone, but

we’re not an island, flower petal

rock or sinking stone,

he’ll take the time, reverse the crime

and kill me in plain clothes.

How often have you judged yourself by your looks rather than how you feel? For this average white guy, countless.

If I could go back, all those years, and stand next to twelve year old me, would I have the courage and strength to tell that nervous boy watching all the other children, swimming, laughing, and running—playing shirts v.s. skins—to quit worrying and join in, that it doesn’t matter how chubby you feel, or how different you look, that as long as you love and accept yourself, no words from another can harm you, or would I just sit back and watch, still the observer unable to join the party?

It’s funny how something so simple as taking your shirt off to swim can be so detrimental to a young child’s self esteem and yet as adults we often forget what that was like or rather what external forces beyond our control led us to believe ourselves unworthy of such a simple, yet harrowing task.

As in childhood, so as in adulthood, what we allow to harm us will.

Commercials show us long, slender, sleek models who seem to effortlessly fit in to their surroundings while being rewarded with warm smiles and admiration for seeming perfect.

Television shows and movies give us well manicured, quintessential versions of ourselves that often seem more like science fiction than what actually is.

Billboard ads and magazines are placed conveniently to fill all our psyche with blemish-less detail to promote this false sense of unattainable beauty that even when met, there’s ultimately an even whiter teeth formula, or wax to whisk away our imperfection.

It’s a cycle that even before the mind has time to develop, stunts it’s growth and like a cavity begins to decay all sense of self worth.

How often have you judged yourself by your looks rather than how you feel?

For this average white guy, countless.

But it’s taken all those countless times to figure out that it doesn’t matter in the slightest, especially as a child who’s developing.

So would I tell that twelve year old me to take his shirt off and go swimming with the rest of the lot?

I don’t think there is a clear answer other than that instead of telling him what he should or shouldn’t do like all the rest of the world, I’d allow him the opportunity to listen to my story and decide for himself.

But I would say this. Chances are that boy or girl over there thinks there nose is too big or there ears are too small. Chances are that kid who cringes to put on his glasses everyday feels just like you do now, wondering what others will think of what makes him human.

Perhaps I’d reassure him that everybody has stretch marks, even the biggest, strongest athletes. Even his mother, and what could be more beautiful than sacrificing your physical form to grant another life?

But we all figure it out in our own time.

I know he did.

Clearwater Beach Florida

The turtle and the dove

“You’re pretty,” said the turtle

to the dove. “Thanks,” said the dove

to the turtle, “but I’m nothing

compared to the peacock.”

“Well, I’ve known many a peacock and

I think you’re much more beautiful.”

“Still I’d rather be a peacock,” said the dove

to the turtle. And I’d rather be a dove,

thought the turtle

as he watched the dove take wing.

My deepest hearts confession

In your spirit lies perfection

Mind, body, and soul

My deepest hearts confession

What a blessing it is to hold

You close when no one’s guessing

My heart strings don’t you know

Sound only for your blessing

This flame is yours to grow

My thought among the leaves

The breeze it blows my thought

Away unto the tree

Like branches stretching out

I rustle with the leaves

It’s there among the many

Shadows I can see

The physics of my body

Expand and cease to be

soup

I eat my soup,

and only eat my soup

mindful that—

With my teeth

I chew.

With my throat

I swallow.

With my belly

I digest.

With my mind

I taste.

With my body

I savor.

—the rest can wait.

It was cold that year I remember well

I fell in love with her smile

like I had a choice?

She looked me over hell

felt like a little boy

It was cold that year

I remember well

Tangled blankets and sheets

that old apartment smell.

I fell in love with her mind

like an Etch A Sketch

She threw so many bones

like we were playing fetch

It was cold that year

smoke on the fire escape

I drew her in black lines

then shook but couldn’t erase.

I fell in love with her body

like it was a toy

We’d make love for hours

then a little more

It was cold that year

with Manhattan in view

We counted down from 10

New Years on Pia’s roof.

Ain’t it a trip life

you work just to get away

She fell so many times

I’d pick her up and say

You choose the road anywhere

let’s take a drive

Coast to coast man

we died to feel alive.

There’s a scrapbook somewhere

it’s unfinished but proof

That true love exists

and it’s in me and you

A crazy beautiful thing now

baby that’s the truth

I’ll finish it one day

till then this’ll have to do.

I fell in love with her eyes

bewitched under spell

At the flick of a switch

I could turn heaven to hell

If looks could kill honey

stare come on I’m your guy

I never loved her more

than when I wanted to die.

I fell in love with her soul

as she burned the sage

Expelling demons like a shaman

she was young and brave

It was cold that year

at the Macy’s parade

Her face covered in scarf

a perfect picture to take.

I fell in love with her frown

just to turn it around

I fell in love with her ups

just to carry her downs

It was cold that year

I remember now

The first night she slept

next to me safe and sound.

Ain’t life a gas man

you work just to get away

You get away then go home

wishing that you’d stayed

One more day in a motel

somewhere new

They’re always coming man

those damn check out blues.

There’s a memory somewhere

to take me back

Always underdressed and upset

baby that’s a wrap

I remember it all like it was yesterday

That’s why I wake up in love

with each and every day.