The Boys Who Left Town

There was no hope for us then

We were already too far gone

Gone from where? Neither could tell

But going gone, regardless.

April 29, 2014 — Brunch In The Village — A Journal Excerpt

While the money drains from my pockets like a busted water main I can’t help but wonder—has our existence really boiled down to name badges and paychecks, fedora’s and chino’s, tax breaks and debt? It’s no wonder the streets are filled with broken bodies.

It’s no wonder the idea of the “weekend” has begun to depress me. This invisible structure, unspoken, yet accepted continues to devour our living, chewing us like cud, and then spitting us out to white sheets where we can’t even reach the bedpan without assistance.

A weekend ago I was eating brunch in The Village, drinking a Bloody Mary, eating eggs Benedict, and writing a letter to a friend when I noticed two men noticing me. They asked if I was a writer—each in their 50’s debating women over Mimosa’s—to which I told them I was just going through the motions of my 20’s. They both smiled, shared a laugh of remembrance, and went back to arguing. If I was smart I’d play the game, perhaps try to sell myself even. One day I thought, but for now, I’m an artist stuck in his artist ways, trying his best not to care that he can’t afford the eggs, the rent, or brunch in The Village for that matter.

Your Cynical Smile

There’s something cynical in your smile

as if I rubbed off some and forgot to say,

that I’m not that kind of cynic.

And I feel no joy from any of this.

Prophets for Profit

One commonality I’ve noticed

Is that, people love to tell others

Not to subscribe to another’s bullshit

But watch, and listen to their own.

Another commonality I’ve noticed

Is that, these same people

No matter how delusional

Will acquire followers like sheep to a Shepard.

And they do it warmly, and with a smile.

And they’ll agree with you entirely.

They’ll make you feel safe.

They’ll tell you what to see and how to see it,

Treating you like their own personal parlor trick.

Their greatest illusion will be their acceptance.

While the bullshit they feed

In return for a profit—they’ll make themselves

The prophet—which they need to feel sound.

One commonality I’ve noticed

Is that, people who can’t be alone

Will do everything it takes not to be alone

Even when that means taking you with them.

They will win your will, with or without your consent.

They will make it feel like your own choice

To gain your trust, and dissolve you of fear.

Though fear isn’t always a negative—

Often it’s a tell tale sign—so

These commonalties I’ve noticed

Are geared to my liking, but at least

I’ve got the peasants fortune to tell you

That, prophets for profit will always be cunning.

And though wolves wear many clothes,

So do Shepards.

Being silly on my Soap Box Tree, Jan. 2021

Victims

But there are no victims here,

just prisoners of choice,

who wear recycled smiles,

and boil inside.

Somewhere between 2011-2013

I allow the teachings of the past to help guide my future.

After a good, long day of self reliance, sleep, and in depth personal analysis, I am left with this thought.

What you do from here on out is your own cross to bear.

Though like a broken record I’ve continued to circle in place.

But why?

Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Well, though I agree I’m no Einstein, I’m not insane, I’m just a bit of a slow learner.

See, the hardest pattern to break isn’t necessarily the pattern but the mission so to speak.

We’re all on our own personal mission, aren’t we?

And whether or not we choose to accept it, it exists.

It’s taken many years through trial and error, deliberation, and self reliance to understand.

Carole King said, “you’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart…”

Carole also had two children by the time of her divorce and continued to create with love and compassion.

So what’s my personal mission? And what’s yours?

Will we rise tomorrow with faith and gratitude in our hearts or repeat the same patterns that no longer serve us?

Olmec said, “the choices are yours and yours alone.”

But of course we all need a few humorous anecdotes to help us get through.

And I will, as will you.

Tomorrow, reach a little further than you did today. Try something new and show the world the love in your heart. The choices are yours.

And I’ve built my cross, one which I’m willing to bear.

It’s a heavy son of a gun, but I assure you I’ll be walking, hand over foot—that which does not kill us, makes us stronger— like Nietzsche once said.

Tell me a story

There’s a part of me

that see’s this all clearly

like a child standing in a crowd

there’s really only one way out.

What is it that you see

it’s fine to disagree

why if the world’s mine oyster please

forgive me for the lack of belief.

I had this faith in you

I thought you had it too

how many smiles does it take to show

the unhappiness we grew to know.

Do you take this hand

would you understand

lighting matches just to prove you could

did it ever do you any good?

Tell me a story, one without love, cause it’s taken me for granted so many times—enough.

There’s a part of you

engrained in me now

I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit

it’s a piece I won’t ever regret.

So what’s the point of these prose

and insecurity poems

like a fish needs water to breathe

I guess it really isn’t up to me.

If this is just a passing feeling

I’ll agree to disagree then

watch the sun rise and fall once more

a couple hours then I’ll start the chore.

You see I know my problems

it’s not up to you to solve them

if I go out the Hemingway

like Kerouac first I’ll have my say so

Tell me a story, one without love, cause I’ve taken you for granted so many times—c’mon.

Tell me a story, one without love, cause it’s taken me for granted so many times—enough.

from the grassy knoll

A wave of relief rushes over me

and I haven’t smiled so hard,

as when a flock of morning dove

flutter from the grassy knoll

and fly overhead.

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.

die a King in your fantasy.

I don’t want to be a burden

I just wanna sit here and read.

So if that’s ok

then the band can play

I’ll look up a couple times to see.

Everyone who’s silently cursing

checking out the latest feed.

There’s someone I knew

from another life

I look away so they don’t notice me.

It’s a living, a hard living

the barista says while pouring cream

a couple swirls and a twist

now there’s a swan swimming in my drink.

Guess I never really felt like drowning

I just swam in this misery.

I guess I can’t complain

I made my bed

skipped my prayers

now I’m counting sheep.

Guess I never really felt like dying

just romanticized how life could be

it’s like a game of chess

you protect the Queen

and die a King in your fantasy.

Cause it’s a living, a hard living

it could be worse is a common phrase

a couple riffs then applause

now the band packs their noise and leaves.

If I have to take a vow of silence

plead the fifth in double time.

With all due respect

I think I must confess

I cracked up like a nursery rhyme.

Still I can’t sing that song without crying

so whatever shall be shall be.

I guess the world’s the same

rinse repeat complain

the punch line never hit with me.

So if you’re living, a hard living

here’s raising this glass to you

and if you’re worried, don’t worry

there’s bound to be an answer soon.

Cause baby I don’t wanna be a burden

I just want to write my poetry.

Because I’m not a rock

or an island but

ain’t that the only way to be free.