It wasn’t supposed to end like this—
It was supposed to be a civil nod of the head
A conciliatory, halfhearted hug
And promises that we won’t forget—
because we won’t—
and that, in the end, it would all be OK.
Well-wishes for the next leg of the journey
with wistful smiles
and mutual respect—
Acting like the good people we both are.
It wasn’t supposed to end like this,
Poetry is for the mentally ill
and those with an ailing heart—
It has long been used as a treatment,
a tincture of distilled experience and emotion
But treatment comes with risks:
just as much as it can be succor,
it can be an exascerbator
and the condition may worsen.
But fine poetry is a risk worth taking.
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.
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
it will be amazing.
I breathe you in like water
You rush through me and out of me:
a tickle at my ear.
I hum a tune that is faint and purple
You barely notice that you notice me.
You will try to ignore it,
fight to push it out of your mind,
but you won’t stop listening.
I sing honey liquid notes
you’ll hear whatever you want to hear
You will find yourself
ever closer to me.
the perfumed air around me:
Sweet lotus blossom
salty ocean breeze
You will find bliss,
you will lose yourself,
and I will take you there.
If you come closer,
I will breathe you in like water and
We will rush through me,
no more pain.
That pas de deux of awkward hello’s
A sashay into “how are you”
The stiff arabesque of “Look, I’m fine”
Just trying to be en pointe
She preferred a multiplicity of flame.
I’ll meet you never,
We’ll always be apart—
But I’ll kiss your shadow
And learn your silence by heart
I’ll see you sometimes
If only in my mind’s eye
I’ll feel your ghost—
Be your eternal aside
I’ll see you somewhere
Yeah, I’ll be around
I’ll sing you a song
that won’t make a sound
At the whims
black and white prints only
in memory’s prison with
Melting into an armchair existence,
Trained for careful analysis,
deep critical thinking
wineglass candle light
and year-old playlists.
unravels the mystery of
and the mid-morning cabernet
of incessant worry—
Desire that is directionless
for a lost child
in the store
Yearning as strong as
just wanting some fucking sleep.
Feelings as wrong as
just trying to figure out my shit, leave me alone
Patient as long as
it takes to decipher this ink-blot adulthood.
Your wide porcelain mouth yawns at me,
Inviting me to fill you
And drain you,
As you swallow a few more gallons of hot weary traveler soup
The cold tile floor along your border
Littered with discarded wash cloths and towels and
Tiny bottles of lotion and shampoo.
Three more fluffy towels are neatly piled on the generic laminate wood end-table
Still folded, still pristine with their precise terry-cloth angles
They perform a charming ruse that suspends disbelief:
These things have never been touched, never used.
Has been in patient waiting for you
And only you