Where Praying Mantis Lay

There’s something bout the Summer

that makes this all ok, yet something

bout the Winter that

would have me feeling grey—

Like the cement of a tombstone

or the flowers of decay

In Springtime there’s a forward march

No Fall back plan could save—

Perhaps it’s in the heatwave

that makes this all ok, or perhaps

it’s the chemistry

where praying mantis lay

Treason

Call me by my medicine

not by my mistakes

It’s all I have to offer,

it’s all that I can take

Call me by your reasons

my reason not to stay

And let me be the treason

to help you walk away

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