Saturday, June 21, 2014

Addiction

I love you like an addict loves his needle
I love you like a thief loves the night
I love you like a miser loves his gold

I am the moth flying to flame
I am the captain watching his ship sink
I am the mouse staring at the snake

what good is it to be self aware
what good is it if I know you don't care
what good is it if I don't even care

these words will mean nothing to you
these words are just something I do
these words are nothing new

I've heard myself say them a thousand times before
I've heard myself say them every time you slam the door
I've heard myself say them and swear I won't anymore

but then I see your face...

and like the addict, the thief, the miser
or the the moth, the captain, the mouse
something tears the words from within me

and knowing that I don't know why...
and knowing that you won't give it a try...
and knowing the only response will be a sigh...

I say I love you.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Practical Man

You should know before we go out on our first date -
and this should give you no reason to hesitate -
I am a sensible, very practical man,
and that's the reason why I drive a minivan.

You should stop and think what this fact says about me
I'm not seeking some high maintenance fantasy.
I don't need some sexy model that does the town
with her expensive paint job on and her top down.

I'm looking for someone with a really big trunk
that can accommodate me and all of my junk.
Someone with a little extra room in the back
and maybe with a nice-looking, big luggage rack.

I'm the guy you'll call when you don't know what to do
the guy that can help and always look out for you -
girl's night out and you're tipsy when the party ends?
I can accommodate you and five of your friends.

So sure, that guy in his sports car can turn your head
but me and my van can move your king-size bed.
When you realize that sports car is just too small
that's when you'll give me and my minivan a call.

So if you want a practical man take a chance
call the guy with the minivan for some romance
and if things go well after we light up the town
you're in luck - just like me, those rear seats will go down...





Wednesday, June 11, 2014

If I Loved You...

If I loved you
I would not want red roses
Frivolous, flashy ephemeral things
That last for just a few days.

If I loved you
I would not want forever
In this constantly always changing world
Forever's an illusion.

If I loved you
I would not want some diamonds
Cold, hard, transparent things pulled from the mud
Who wants love paid for in blood?

If I loved you
I would only want just you
That alone - just you - that alone would do
If I loved you... that would do.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Number 6

Mirror, Mirror in the hall,
Who are you?
Who is that behind my wall?

You are not me;
I am not like you.
Yet you look just like me...
Or do I look like you?

Am I you?
Am I cold and hard?
Or are you merely a reflection,
Easily shattered?

(A very early poem of mine, written when I was twelve years old).


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Boxes

Squawking and squirming and stretching we're born
and then we're bundled and boxed and branded,
our futures foretold by the labels worn
on the boxes into which we've landed.

Our learning begins with boxes that spew
endless streams of cheap chaotic chatter,
then we go to school to learn what to do
filling boxes so that our answers matter.

We ride in boxes between bigger boxes
where we live and we love and we labor.
And in these boxes walls of smaller boxes
keep us alone, divided from our neighbor.

When we reach that day we all move toward
since our mothers began maternity
we get our payoff, our final reward,
to be locked in a box for eternity.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Demeter

The air smells deeply of earth
of rich dark shiny soil
that has just been turned by a plow.

I can see it in the field on the farm next door
dark streaks of dirt laid between
the lines of golden straw that had covered the earth
until the plow came by
and turned it over
evicting earthworms and laying bare
the secret spots where scattered seeds shall take root.

I pick up my wine from the table
and lean back in my chair.
I lift the glass to the the sun and a beam shines through,
the ray revealing rainbows hiding in the wine.

I look at the dirt in the cat scratched field
through my glass
the sun and wine bleeding red across the earth.
Soon enough, soon enough I know
the sun and the rain and that deep earthy smell
will fill my glass again.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What Adventurers Do

I want to do what adventurers do
and travel by canoe to Timbuktu.

I want to be a sailor on the sea
on a wooden ship called the Annabelle Lee.

I want leaves to slap my face
as I blaze the way to some exotic place.

I want one more chance for a last great romance
where she and I dance on a moonlit street in France.

But instead I spend my days locked inside a box
watching seconds die as they race across the clocks
and I find myself wondering why people say
that doing that is what makes a productive day.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Curious Question...

Why do people cower when they see a black man on the street
when, statistically, I'm more likely to be a psychopath than any black man you'll meet?

I do so appreciate when people commit the sin
of judging a man by the color of his skin -
it so easily disguises the truth when all they see
is the color of my skin and not the real me.

So when you're stuck on that cold, lonely roadside
and you silently thank God I stopped to offer a ride
enjoy your sense of relief
breathe out, put on a smile
and though it shatters your every belief -
you'll be dead within a mile.

Sit next to me, talk with me, be dazzled by my charm
nothing in my demeanor will raise any alarm.
I've learned how to hide, to cover and disguise
the killer that lives behind my eyes.

I live for the moment when the innocents finally realize
that I am the bogey man, the one that you should fear
not that black man your refused to look in the eyes
and the stab of my knife makes that so clear.

Friday, April 5, 2013

In 100 Years


wake work worry sleep
wake work worry sleep
this is the schedule that I keep
wake and work and worry and sleep

and I'll wake and I'll work and I'll worry and I'll sleep
until age takes the means to earn my keep
then I'll just wake and worry and sleep
wake and worry and sleep...

wake worry sleep
wake worry sleep
that is the way
I will pass each day
until age takes my reason away
and I have nothing left to say
so I'll wake and I'll sleep
and wake and sleep...

wake and sleep
wake and sleep
this is all that will be left of me
in a decade or maybe three
all I am will be something I used to be
until time plays its final tick for me
and then I'll sleep

sleep

sleep...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Imperfect Life

Stopped at a light on a cold day in fall
I think over my life, what brought me here.
It's now that I see that I lost it all
and my face is crossed by a single tear.

What happened to all that used to be me?
All I was, everything, has slipped away
like small ships in a sudden storm at sea
and I am alone on this autumn day.

I'd try to gather it all back again
but cold winds blow and the branches are bare.
I don't think there'll ever be a time when
there's another place called home and I'm there.

Now the light has changed - I can't stop for long
so I step down on the gas and move on.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Next Year

Next year...

we always say next year
year after year
until...

next year is here.

And now our lives are measured

in months

in weeks

in days

hour by hour

second by second

until that final moment
when our eyes fly open
shocked at all we didn't do

...next year.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Radio

I like to have the radio on while I cook.

It is comforting, like the voice of an old friend whispering in my ear,
telling me a new joke or the latest gossip
while I stir the pot and taste the sauce.

It does not intrude -
The radio does not demand I look at it
or write a reply back.
It just keeps talking, humming a tune
that makes me listen while I read the recipe.

And when I sit and eat my meal
the radio fills the quiet
while I fill my mouth, unable to speak.

I thought I'd offer the radio a taste,
ask it if it wanted some of what I had made
but just then it started taking about a diet
and I knew what its answer would be.