The slammed door and the silence

The slammed door said I’m hurting.

The silence said I’m scared.

The walls between us listened

when no one seemed to care.

The portraits on the wall,

oh how they seemed stare,

where deep within night

the stars poured ever clear.

The door knob turned eventually

as silence did it’s head,

the sea between us parted and

the portraits went to bed.

While all the world was sleeping

with all their monsters fed,

the boy and girl slept soundly

no sooner had they met.

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

Where the shadow once lay

I wonder, thought the boy

where the shadow once lay

If I were a scholar

what more could I say

Where angels now rise

the devil’s at play

Curious, thought the boy

where the shadow once lay

Put me in a coma

Put me in a coma

relieve me of this sense

Kill me with the karma

you use in your defense

In this life I’ve been lucky

as quiet as a mouse

The 9 I’ve since departed

like kitten’s claw a blouse

This pine scented aroma

of Hitchcock and suspense

Pawing at the dharma

crows circle in pretense

For once I thought the nut house

a home to mice and men

This state of being’s smartened

this boy’s escaped the pen.

It’s all understandable. (for every no one who ever was)

To be honest

and be open

put yourself in

her hands like you’re a toy.

There’s a reason

for each season

pollen eaten

her wind cradles a boy.

They know nothing of us,

and we

know nothing of them.

We all

just sort of pretend.

We’re bitter still.

In the air there’s a bitter chill.

Like a car crash

I tell you that

it’s not too bad

we both just try not to stare.

In the glove box

there’s a snuff box

full of coupons

I keep in case that you cared.

The leaves on the ground,

remind me

how powerless that I am.

It’s natural to fall down,

we all

just sort of try to fit in.

Leave me alone, no don’t

leave me alone.

Memories fill my head

like waves

crashing down on the shore.

Just as soon as they hit

cast away

back to the ocean once more.

To be bitter

or be broken

understand that

this is for no one who ever was.

There’s this movie playing in my head

I never wanted to define you

Just wanted to walk calm beside you

But do I ever do a thing at all?

I never knew how to excite you

Just wanted to be like the fly who

Hung around loving your every move.

I never knew a second chance

As good as that first romance

A third time will only get you killed.

My palms are cold and sweaty now

It makes no difference any how

Like a has been actor thinking what’s the use?

I say it’s maybe

the way God made me

You say it’s crazy

that I’m this damn lazy

I’m addicted maybe

but it’s better this way

After awhile I’ll be all right

I’ll be alright, so.

I think I’ll watch the Super Bowl

Then re-runs of a TV show

Any distraction for two years will do.

I think I’ll start a private club

Then forget and invite everyone

Come one come all come make me feel good.

I never wanted to become

This ordinary silly chum

Up for hours feeling numb and blue.

There’s this movie playing in my head

There’s a plane a girl a detective

Who’s method acting’s got him nowhere new.

You say it’s maybe

the way God made me

And that hey baby

you’re a little lazy

but it’s better this way

this addiction’s crazy

After awhile you’ll be all right

You’ll be alright, so.

The thing that I am trying tell

The thing impossible to sell

A clear cut diamond people get confused.

I never wanted anymore

Than a reason to explore

The imperfections that I found in you.

Like that picture on the cellar door

A sad clown I just couldn’t ignore

His eyes were mine yes they were tried and true.

I wonder if no now I’m bored

I’ll take a couple then some more

Searching my pockets for my next excuse.

I mean anyone will do.

sad suburban father’s

There’s a black cloud hanging over

the boys playing in the park

While they argue who is correct

mothers watch them from afar

Now there’s Billy screaming loudly

clawing at this boy named Mark

Who his mother she is absent

somewhere screaming in the dark.

It’s a Sunday what a fun day

boy let’s pass the ball around

He’s a shy son name is Ricky

staring at his father now

He is pitching like a Yankee

throwing hard with all his might

All the while there is Ricky

scared to death screaming inside.

There are blue jays singing robins

bugs and inchworms puffy clouds

On the playground there are children

swinging madly laughing loud

Cause it’s Sunday what a fun day

to be playing in the park

Except for Ricky, Billy’s mother

and Mark crying in the dark.

Now the children they all line up

ice cream bells ring all around

He’s a kind man I mean probably

he just smiles at the crowd

Screw-ball sundaes chocolate cookies

candy gleaming in his hand

For the children ask no questions

they just stand and stand and stand.

Now the mothers call the boys in

from the awful looking cloud

Billy’s mother reprimands him

as Mark’s mother has a cow

Oh your father she is shouting

Ricky hears her from afar

As his father whips a fast one

knocking Ricky to the ground.

There are stars now spinning circles

sending shivers down Mark’s spine

While his father who is furious

warns him hell boy you’ll be fine

As Mark stands and sees the dark cloud

fill with light ready to burst

Cats and dogs rain down around him

he thinks what’s he who’s on first.

So the moral of this story

is not what keeps you in line

It’s the people in the park who

I do not wish to define

They are people who like people

look quite normal in the park

While the sad suburban father’s

dingle dangle in the dark.

getting out of bed

However you get up and out of bed

or off the sidewalk

however you dig yourself

out of the grave is commendable.

And if you choose nothing

that too is just as valid

as choosing something.

I see far too many people

driving themselves mad

with work and love

and money and power

and fitness and greed and guilt

trying to fit into some sort of

idea they’re bred to believe

will fix them when really it won’t.

They don’t need to be fixed

or loved or loathed or accepted.

They just need to listen.

Listen to the air.

Listen to the ice crack when hot water hits.

Listen to the sea spray.

But I know nothing really.

All I know is what I see and what I see

is beautiful and diseased and delicate

like a rose petal or a dandelion flower

plucked from the earth by a child

in the outfield of a baseball diamond

wanting nothing more than to drift away

with the seeds he’s blown to anywhere else.

However getting out of bed

or the sidewalk or gutter is the first step

and the rest well, the rest is just —

up to you I guess.

VHS

A boy, four walls, a television set

what else more can one expect

a restless head, and evenings spent

on worthless puzzles, and VHS

tapes I watched, rewound and played

late past midnight, mornings, days

in a vault of body, mind

all to merely pass the time,

how good it felt, at that first glance

to fade into title sequence

and what a time it was to be

by oneself in harmony

caricatures care not to judge,

or fight, or fuss, nor try to budge

a troubled boy in troubled times

when credits roll, press rewind

rewind…

rewind..

rewind.

If, but there is no if

I, but there is no I

Could, but there is no could

Go, but there is no go

Back, but there is no back

I think

I would

press

Eject