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

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.

Calm is the passing storm

Calm is the passing storm

from shelter’s mouth I view

Winds that whip the wrestling sea

from shelter’s mouth anew

Are waves which roar like lion’s breath

from shelter’s mouth I coo

How calm it seems the passing storm

from shelter’s mouth I view—a dinghy

in the water struggling, it’s a sailor

so uncouth—a sailor I once knew.

His final farewell

I recall the calm

as I recall the storm.

Lead foot hesitation,

the slamming of doors.

Endangered are many

who’ve less stayed for more.

Excuses are fatal,

not ours anymore.

See I recall quiet

death and coffin smell,

his mustache, beard shaven

estranged from the crowd.

Was I the unwelcome?

The burden? Expelled?

His name once my keeper

I’ve written it well.

Yes I recall freedom

wished upon a star,

a second floor window

alone in the dark.

The price no one bargained

unimaginably hard,

his soul like a raven

still blackens my heart.

A kid and a coffin

for now I recall,

the parlor room floor

dead silence in awe.

While tears spill to carpet

and jittering jaw,

echoed through the parlor

with no sign of God.

I recall the calm

the storm never ends,

it grows like a Cancer

bad thoughts fill my head.

His final farewell

is my cross to bear,

how no son of mine

shall feel such fear.