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

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.

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

Nonsense

I was thinking how peculiar

right before I made a U turn

It was early Sunday morning

flashing sirens without warning

Looking both ways like a child

crossing with chicken on the road

there is this man who looks me up

and down as I begin to sigh

Then I look in both direction

turn the wheel with cruel intention

In the distance there’s this woman

picket signs read save the children

I am half way home before I know

exactly what I’m doing though I

stop the car unlock the door

and let the woman in

She sits criss-cross like a virgin

while I drive off she is urgent

I don’t know what you are thinking

she speaks softly without blinking

I was waiting for the bus when you

rolled up I must confess I recognized

your eyes from times gone by

like strangers on a train

It is awkward for a second

can I interest you in breakfast

She says sure she knows a diner

while she applies her eye liner

There’s a group of old men standing

with dead babies and demanding

that a women’s right is not all right

unless they’re in control

I’ll have coffee she’ll have coffee

yes please thank you two black coffee’s

In her teeth stuck there’s a poppy

seed my breath smells quite like onion

As the man from earlier walks by

the window just in time to see

again with no expression just a

long tedious sigh

He must think of me how boring

flashing sirens without warning

I feel seasick like a sailor

hey can you do me a favor

And that’s when she asks

to take her back in time for

her divorce of course she’d

first prefer some pie

On the drive home I was thinking

how peculiar she left winking

Shut the door then started walking

while I drove off she was talking

To the man who looked familiar

from the corner of my eye though

when I looked away then back again

they both just sort of sighed

Passing by the old cathedral

doors open releasing people

From their suffering they’re smiling

shaking hands exchanging sighs and

Across the street there’s signs

that read like jokes inside my mind

there’s men and women who protest

the earth is flat next to another group

who all claim there is no God.

strangers to ourselves.

My eyes burn

with exhaustion

scanning the airport

for any sign of life

though heads down turned

there is none

just a few lone stragglers

who look around

the same as I

unwilling to accept the courtesy

of pleasant conversation

we remain

strangers

and

strangers to ourselves.

it happens all the time

tell someone

you love

a simple truth

and watch

while they

twist

and disfigure

your trust

until it is

so unrecognizable

you can’t help

but help them

pick apart

every last piece

of flesh and goodwill

until there is

nothing left

but the laughter

of strangers

In light of current & ongoing events.

Most of us have a hard time
having to express the way we feel inside
I
seem quite normal to the outside world
but really who would know?
We
don’t ask questions in public
for fear of stirring up conflict
You
could have said something helpful
but you stood politically correct.

Some like to engage in alcohol
others fuck strangers in bathroom stalls
She
to the world looked like an angel
something she’d never know.
We
don’t ask questions in public
for fear of stirring up conflict
He
could have given her confidence?
But sadly he knew the truth.

Most of us have a hard time
having to express the way we feel inside
I
am just a quarter in a wishing well
so here’s to wishing you well.
We
don’t want to listen to sadness speak
instead we wait for silence’s grief
You
could have the world at your feet
if you just put that bottle down.

It’s not a problem until it is
we’ve all got history I know this
He
made loads of money and hit his kids
but that’s just history now.
We
don’t ask questions in public
for fear of stirring up conflict
I’ve
been feeling good the past two days
I guess that’s a start anyhow.

Dance with the Devil at Noon.

Mother used to say,
“don’t talk to strangers now!”

And father used to say,
“don’t be a follower you hear me!”

What a different world
we live in today.

Mother I’m sorry says the boy.
Father I’m sorry, he crosses his heart.

But to make it in this
Brave New World

I must dance with the devil at noon.

True Inspiration.

More often than not,

we mistake our inspiration, for

celebrity,

strangers,

the grass that’s always greener,

when in reality,

our greatest inspiration, comes from

classmates,

lovers,

past or present acquaintance,

who showed us talent we sought to mirror,

who we quickly forgot,

fully unaware,

blinded

by the riches that whisper, like

serpents,

the sweet, sweet nothings of the stage –

the merest hint of our true inspiration.