still as the evening air

For some reason, people

just keep on sticking around—

no matter how I push them away.

And God knows I’ve tried, yet

still as the evening air

they remain, willing and shifty

to see me from my darkness

onward, till dawn.

Alone, together

Where are we

but forever

Alone, together

in the cosmos

of our love.

Austin’s Iced, 2020

a silent mass

I never wrote a word, not until

I’d said my peace,

misconstrued and gnawed on,

beaten to a pulp,

dead as embers—burnt black on arrival

to a silent mass, ready

and aching to be heard.

You just have to live.

Being sober’s

as overrated

as being drunk—

nobody wins.

You just have to live.

Poetry

What is poetry, but

a language of the dead.

It’s an informal dance,

a shared cigarette.

Poetry is

but a one night stand.

It’s a wine ring left,

sheets, stained

between strangers.

Ryan and Jessica, 2011

When I was a kid—after bedtime—as quietly as I could, I would crawl from my bed, onto the floor, then elbow and knee my way down the hallway to lay in the doorway of my brothers room…

When I was a kid—after bedtime—as quietly as I could, I would crawl from my bed, onto the floor, then elbow and knee my way down the hallway to lay in the doorway of my brothers room to watch his television.

He’s four years older than I am and, well, I thought he was really cool.

One, for having a TV in his bedroom. And two, for probably knowing I was there but not saying anything.

Whatever he was watching didn’t really make a difference but it was comfortable there, on the carpet, with the blue light flashing.

A dark bedroom can be pretty scary to a child, especially during a thunderstorm.

Now that we’re older, we speak when it is necessary, but not all the time.

Probably less than either of us cares to admit.

He’s a busy working husband and parent while I’m pretty much all over the map.

Though when we do talk, it’s a meaningful talk of mutual reflection. He provides me with information from four years down the line and I remind him that I’m listening by offering whatever small insights are on my mind.

I thought he was great then and I still do now. No matter the distance the bond between two brothers is strong and unwavering.

Basically what I am saying is I look forward to the next time we’re able to watch a little TV, crack a couple jokes, and just hang out—without any pressure—even if it means the carpet or floor, that’ll be enough.

The Sweatpants King And His Little Brother

The world spins for you

When the world

seems, to be

spinning without you—

just listen

breathe and remember

the world spins for you,

as it does that perfect stranger

who too is listening.

Arms spread, eyes open, looking out upon Los Angeles shoreline.

A kick in the head!

I will always be curious

and allergic to cats.

Ain’t that a kick in the head!

your conscience

I was this

I was that

I was—rat-a-tat-tat—

Who’s there?

Who’s knocking, oh

Welcome back Jack!

You are here

Door’s open

Let’s have a chit-chat

I am great

I am grand

I am—rat-a-tat-tat—

A friend?

Who’s there?

Who’s knocking at my nerves?

It’s me, your conscience

I am here to serve

You not what you have been

Or whatever you were

I am here as your guide

I am honest

I am pure

My twin flame in the dark

Now that I have found you

My fear of letting go

Like willows that surround you

My love blows to and fro

No longer does your sorrow

Need explanations, no

I long not to disarm you

I only wish to show

What lingers in those bright eyes

Your memories I’ll share

With cherry kissed tomorrows

My true love I am here

To brighten up your morning

You brighten up my heart

The broken wick you lit now knows

My twin flame in the dark