These Veil Thin Times

What I’ll never have answers for

Happened in the split of a second

And broke me for a lifetime in two

I can pick up the pieces sometimes

Mostly I have the strength, except

These other sometimes when

It all comes pouring out, when words

Make sense just enough to suffer again

A little less each time, though time

Time is often wearing me veil thin—

Like a dusting of snow covers ice—

I’m that unsuspecting victim

Trudging through a never ending dreamscape

Sidestepping, cautious through life

Hotel outside Orlando, 2011

Our eyes told stories

I’ll always remember that day

And keep it as a reminder—

That day in which you looked my way

And I didn’t have a clue who you were

And you didn’t have a clue who I was

That day in which our eyes told stories—

As to what is most important.

So if and when we lose our way, I know

Together we’ll find ourselves again—

Where eyes can say what words cannot express—

And stories, we, can only tell together.

Beautiful Days

Beautiful music plays

while I remember—the worst—

most beautiful days.

Austin’s Coffee, 2011

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.

You just have to live.

Being sober’s

as overrated

as being drunk—

nobody wins.

You just have to live.

If nothing, I knew better

Yes, I knew better

with every fiber of my being

I just couldn’t stop the show

even if I’d wanted to

The dancers danced regardless

while the showmen sang,

underpaid and underdressed

If nothing, I knew better

than to give them validation

or the contents of my soul.

Cassadaga, 2011

In the presence of family, be only with family.

In the presence of family,

be only with family.

Put aside the work and worry.

It’ll be there when you part.

And enjoy one another

as if each member of your family

were a dish at the dinner table.

Fill yourself with their essence.

Allow them like nutrients

to replenish your mind, body, and soul

so that when you leave one another

you’ll do so knowing

their presence is with you

for better or worse, forever and onward—

second star to the right and straight on till morning.

Family Gathering, 2012

A kick in the head!

I will always be curious

and allergic to cats.

Ain’t that a kick in the head!

Dancing in the distance

And when his memory faded

Dancing in the distance

Like a mirage, appeared

His destiny in heat

Arms uninhibited by the equinox

My Goldfinch in flight

Chainlink memory

In the dream state of night

Unshackled reality

Through a window of light

Which pours like rain

And puddles my sight

Until ripples reflect

My Goldfinch in flight