Summer Rains


Summer rains are so easy to forgive

Not a hindrance, but worn as an accessory for the evening.

A soothing pitter-patter on the windshield

A slightly inconvenient sprinkling that only adds more character to the night.

Or a welcome gift to our lawns and gardens:

The hallelujah afternoon downpour:

All watered and cooled–

the air fresh with verdure and petrichor;

A passing spell,

The whisper of Nature’s mercy,

A moment of weakness in the heavens,

A minor fracture in the sky,

A brief, cathartic sob 

We receive with tempered joy–

Summer rains are so easily forgiven. 


To Live Like This


If you’re going to live like this, there are some things you should know:

You are going to fuck up. Often. People are going to question you. Often.
You are going to take their advice with a grain of salt.
You are going to prove them right. Often.
And then
You are going to prove them wrong.
And all you need to do is prove them wrong once
to emerge a hero, with a tale, a lesson, an experience that they will covet.
That they will exalt. They will tell the tale far and wide,
even though they were on the sidelines, giving their warnings  and crying foul,
because you fuckin’ did it.
You will be remembered.

You will have to fight against instinct.
You will refuse to acknowledge fear.
There will be fear.
And it means nothing.

You will not live to be scared.
You will not live to be proper.
You will not live to be OK.
You will live for the journey.
You will live for the tragedy and the suspense and the miraculous and the uncomfortable and the astounding and the unanticipated and the glorious.
You will live for the best.
And you won’t be left wondering.

You might not live without regrets,
but you won’t regret regretting
because, damn,
it will be amazing.

The Pathophysiology of Schizophrenic Shrapnel


He asked the patient how he was feeling:
The patient said that the picture on the wall
Had a headache.
He asked how it had a headache
The patient explained that when a sperm and an egg meet,
There is an explosion of proteins and genetic material:
Nuclear fusion, but human fusion.

A genetic explosion—
Schizophrenic shrapnel from the father’s side.
Something went wrong.
Or maybe something went right.

The child emerged healthy,
Greeting the world wailing,
In a fit of tears
As we all do.

Schizophrenic shrapnel,
Once embedded, takes time to grow
And develop through
Isolated doses of objective reality–
Virus-like, reality serves as its host
Feeding it, the necessary input
For the eventual hostile takeover.

But this is only shrapnel.
The child wasn’t blown to pieces;
Its body will wrap it in scar tissue,
Preserve it for a while
Until it is dissolved.
Rusted away on the banks
Of bloodstreams.

The process doesn’t come without any complications
Of course.
The shrapnel glows at night,
A sickly green orb beneath the skin.

Remember those glow-worm dolls?

It can go on that way for many years
A decades-old beacon

No serious complications develop
As long as the patient never looks at it.
Ignore the green glow
Suffocate it under the blankets at night.
Eventually they get used to it,
Sleeping with a constant
Palid-green radiance.
Eventually its light won’t keep them awake.

Take all necessary precautions
Should the patient glimpse the glow:
Breathing exercises,
All the coping skills they’ve learned
From the years of inevitable therapy.
Hide sharp objects
All sharp objects.
And most objects.
Those who suffer from schizophrenic shrapnel
Are crafty creatures.

It should be noted,
That the mysterious glow
Is known to produce
Lucid fantasy
Worlds have been born within it.
A heightened intuitive sense
Typically paranoid,
Or wildly insightful
In roughly twenty percent
Of cases.

It is recommended
That patients be supervised and given
A notebook
And a pen
To write through their hallucinations
For the duration of their psychosis.

We use the term “snapshot-psychosis”
In cases of schizophrenic shrapnel
For the episodes are fleeting in nature.
Usually triggered by
A low-grade glimpse of green.

The episode will be over
In nanoseconds,
But the patient might be left
A brief apashia

That is how the picture has a headache.

The Split-second Poem


Split-second decisions are full of lard and MSG and high-fructose corn syrup:
It’s calling you,
It’s saying yes,
It’s saying no,
It’s leaving.
I carry their weight for years and years
But no exercise regimen seems to exorcise the guilt compacted in me,
tumor-like, hanging from my bones
One idea disguised as inspiration or revelation or a stroke of genius
will be the last to leave me, stored in my gut,
my lifelong hangover,
my tattooed asymptote.

This Morning


I awoke from the most vivid dream;
such a lurid attraction was playing before me 
in a sickly fuscia glow,
a sleek array of bottles neatly stacked along the wall.
A shouting, shuffling, squeezing-pasting Friday night atop a barstool-
You, too, were cast in this haze of hot pink, 
and casting fleeting glances.
—Our possibility ignited—
a spark of connection,
the tangling of filament.
The music eerily, obnoxiously loud.
Your lips were moving but no words came out.