A Simple Game

His thoughts were tailored by

The absence of himself

Her words sincere but from

The mind of someone else

Each clicked like a chess clock in the park

Played by strangers in the nude

It’s a simple game we complicate

When we react before we move

Her thoughts were tangled by

The silence in the room

His words unclear because

They sounded from a tomb

Each fit like a shadow in the dark

Exchanging others clothes

It’s a simple game we complicate

What we wanted with the truth—

I’m not a gambling man but I’ve played a hand or two

I’m not a fable or myth but I’ve read what sounded good

A tired man sits idle in the park asking questions with his eyes

I’m not that man in the park but what separates the two?—

It’s a simple game we complicate

When we react before we move

It’s a simple game we complicate

What we wanted with the truth

The Other Type Of Feeling

You know that feeling?

The excitement you get when you see someone

And that someone’s a stranger

A stranger creeping up on the ground itself

Cautious and casual as not to disturb the air

And they think they’re not being watched

Yet secretly hoping that they are, because

What they’re creeping towards, they believe

Is gold, mercury, or an ancient artifact

An artifact no one but them has discovered

Or ever will—first—in their own time,

And in that moment you get excited too

Except you get excited for a different reason

And when their discovery turns to a shameful frown of defeat

Your lips turn upward towards the sky

Chuckling to yourself, kind of happy, kind of sad

Yet you understand enough to feel commradery

Wishing that stranger was your friend

Just so you could kick em in the pants

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.

The quietness of failure

I never had the answer

for the question in my hand

I was told you just can’t stay here

so go collect your things

It must have felt like death there

long before he chose

The quietness of failure

in a house no longer home

I never asked for this hurt to be mine

I never felt more shameful by and by

I pushed it all away like it would disappear

I never knew a stranger who

I loved more dearly when he died.

Kyle’s Camel

Kyle’s

Camel

cigarette

smoke

lingers in the air

creeping in my window

wishing me to dare

take another drag

see what you’ve been missing

though if I did decide

to have another kissing

I’d like to think

it would be mid winter

jangling down the streets

of New York City banter

admiring sleepy windows

with a stranger I barely know

after leaving the Wreck Room

now long since closed

and wondering if she feels

the same way I do

taking a long hot drag

while

trying to seem cool

knowing nothing about her

yet desperately wanting to

and they would taste like Brooklyn

they would be Pall Mall Menthol

crisp and clear and clean

like ice on the verge of thaw

we’d be cracking up.

Rapid Eye Movement

You are an embarrassment

he said while picking my pockets

vacant I stared idle

in an undisclosed location

Danielle sat next to me

tenderly stroking the inside flesh

of my arm although

we’d only spoken a handful of times

back in grade school, he said again

Nobody likes you, you know

So I just agreed with him because

her fingers felt like grasshopper wings

fluttering through my mind, he

looked a deep sorrow longer

and that’s where he began to cry

I am sorry my friend, I said while he

cradled me like a new born lamb

only I was much bigger than him

so by the end of it it was I who was

more so doing the cradling, then

as he disappeared effortlessly

Danielle and I sat a long while

next to one another, her hair

long dark and full of whispers

while the room filled with necessary strangers

Holding hands for a while she said,

you aren’t that bad you know

he just really loves you is the point

and then too disappeared into a sea of snakes

which I could not swim

while the couch turned to an island

I sat sipping from my cup

the bitter dark liquid I had earlier poured.

As they wonder.

We
don’t
genuinely
love
the stranger
on the corner,
on the television,
at work,
on the daily news.

We
get
used
to them
like they
get used to us,
to being liked,
to being lied to,
to being accepted.

We
wonder
why they
have it so good,
why we can’t quite get it straight,
why the stranger
on the corner, can’t get his act together,
why the camera’s won’t turn off,
we wander as they wonder.

As they wander, we wonder.