Clowns

It never struck me as odd

how all the happy clowns

were so less fortunate

than the sad ones. They too

of course were sad at times

but wore the biggest smiles—

smiles the sad clowns smudged—

for good reason? Probably not.

Untitled for Ariel & Jack

Oh, how the light

Always manages

To see through

The dark.

the bliss of ego-manic thought

There’s something happening when

There’s nothing left to lose—

The apple of the eye

Is begging for the truth—

I admit, it’s possible but

The language that we use—

To disengage, it’s all the same

Our fears of being used.

There’s something distinct in the

Absence of yourself—

Like when you manifest

Your love in someone else—

He’ll seem incapable but

The patterns that you choose—

To disengage, it’s all the same

Our fears of being used.

Now there’s a sinner and saint on the corner of the block

One’s got a rifle in hand believing that he’s God

They’re both wrapped warm in the bliss of ego-manic thought

To disengage, it’s all the same

Believing that it’s not.

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?

A three ring circus

I was mocked

Then told off

On two separate occasions

For doing what excites me

For mere entertainment

Taken, always taken

Out of sorts and out of mind

Like a three ring circus,

This tamer’s been bit

For the very, very

Very last time.

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.

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.

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

So it seems here, now, in the mornings clean light, where all that I can do is observe—in nature that surrounds—human nature take its course.

I spent a good portion of last night, mooring with the tide, tied to emotions, most of which surely weren’t mine to suffer, though, like a good little buoy I did all I could to stay afloat.

But what causes a man to harbor such feelings of faithless dread.

Sympathy? Empathy? Selfless, selfishness?

Isn’t it funny how even when no one asks us to suffer, we often choose to suffer.

Could it stem from guilt? Plausible, though I think not. Depression? No, because I could still move. Trauma? Not in this case, as it had nothing to personally do with me.

Perhaps than maybe deeper, beyond the physical self, far from age or reason, like roots grown deep within the soil, always there yet invisible to the naked eye.

So then what?

Let’s take the current state of society in which the mind is placed.

We are and always have been reactionary beings, jumping to conclusions without fully taking the time and energy to understand or explore where these irrational compulsions come from.

So the year is 2020 and we are still at one another’s throats.

Not a day goes by that I don’t get a phone call whether or not I am willing to vote. Not a day goes by that I don’t see one side of the argument ready and willing to cut the other’s throat. Not a day goes by where I don’t get the impression that peace is just dependent on war, like an inside joke I just don’t get the humor.

So it’s within this grey area that I swim where both sides of the equation continue to expel these deep seeded emotions from within.

Had it not been for the open minded, tirelessly educated guidance and good nature of a mother, I may have gone another way years ago, though still I stay afloat while the undertow continues its torment.

So it seems here, now, in the mornings clean light, where all that I can do is observe—in nature that surrounds—human nature take its course.

I know who I am. And I know my intentions are good. Sometimes our actions speak louder than words but for most of us, words just don’t seem to be heard.

But that’s no reason to destroy what you can’t control.

So for those who cannot express or explain this current state of extremes we face both alone and together, I suggest this: be a beacon of hope.

Because what we know today, with or without our help, will surely change tomorrow.

So even in my darkest hours, I know, hope will never falter, light will find a way, and tides will turn, if not now, then surely another day.

Alone and writing.

I believe, I believe, I believe in you

I’ve a laundry list of confessions

like the phases of the moon

Sometimes they pose a question

sometimes they propose two

I’ve got a long list of suggestions

to sink my teeth in to

Half the time full of dimension

still I love the dark side too.

Some people live by first impression

I tried but couldn’t resist

Tangled knots in life’s suspension

marionette’s even sometimes quit

Bottled up untapped aggression

like a dog in heat I bit

Every hand who fed I bargained

sold my soul for half a cent.

Sometimes I just don’t feel ok

when color seems to fade to gray

But even I knew better days

were drawn like window shades.

Put me on like a flannel

in the middle of May

Wear me out completely

with the words that you say

Today the sun is shining

brighter than yesterday

So strum these heart string chords

cause you know just what to play.

Blow me out like a candle

I’ll be your flickering flame

Tuck me in like a child

too old for past mistakes

Let me sing to you a while

and the words that I’d say

Light the sky like a storm

and your rain’s saving grace.

Sometimes I just don’t feel ok

and you tell me that that’s ok.

I believe, I believe, I believe in you

I believe in you everyday,

cause I believe you believe in me.