Twenty Something

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Taken in Seattle, WA

Feeling yourself slip is such a thrill
watching the world turn around you
waiting to hit the pavement

Leave me alone
I said so I could be alone
on the weekends and every night in between
I picture myself writing again
or at least as much as I did when I said I was writing
anything is better than this moving about through life
the way I do
sitting,standing,speaking,sleeping
waiting for anything to hit me

– Los Angeles, CA

The Breath on the Souls of Your Feet

Chip blocks away
of yourself
because nothing else will.
Which is, of course,
what you want all along.
You want everyone running toward you
but never wonder
if they care to stop
or roll right through you
and end up behind you anyway.
You always ask me if I saw you that morning,
well I did –
you were still wearing your dress
walking down the gravel path
toward a pale weak sun.

– Los Angeles, CA

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Taken in Darby, MT

Magnifying Ants

Another night at the apartment
where I can’t feel your heart break.

You ask me what I’m feeling –
I think how I’m killing you,
how I’ll regret it or worse
I wouldn’t.

Hearing you cry over the receiver
brings me hope for the future;
let’s not talk about me,
I left that side years ago
when I told you I loved you
and nearly shit from how high it got me.

– Los Angeles, CA

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Taken somewhere over California

Newton’s Third Law

Should I have told you that night
I put my hand on your back and asked
if you’d marry me.
“Show me a ring and I’ll marry you. I’d marry you right now.”

Should I have stopped
when I first said I love you.
Street lights came through the blinds
I saw your face in the dark.
“And what does that mean?”
“That I’m not fucking around.”

And what about our summer, should we have stopped then?
All of us on the porch every night
waiting for something,
me waiting for you to be ready.
“I have layers, I’ll open up.”

Should I have told the truth
the first time you caught me?
I was comfortable with assumptions
then breathless
then bloodless,
walking through the night
by the light of my phone.
“I’m never going to end this. That’s your security. If it ends, it will be because you ended it. I’ll always be here.”

And here we are, reading this script at last.
I swear you talk like the movies.
“I hate that I ever met you and I hate that I ever fell in love with you. I hate that I wanted a future with you. I hate you!”
Are we still pretending?

I can already feel the magic coming back.
The energy of pain, the pain of ambivalence
churning one’s stomach toward a realization.
What have I done,
can it be undone?
It mustn’t; look at these pages
burning the pyre we’ve created,
the fire finally visible to the calloused.

– Los Angeles, CA

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Taken in Los Angeles, CA

What I think of this moment

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Taken in Los Angeles, CA

I come back
when my fix comes down
and I play the song
to listen as I lie there breathing.
I don’t get disappointed now,
I’m not going to stop.
In between I try
to be a writer with a cigarette
while I struggle with words.
The guy in the song
is lost too,
but I don’t believe him.
He hasn’t seen himself yet;
my schism is with me always.
Back then I wore polo shirts
and gelled my hair
and wanted to be an athlete.
How fun it was,
only wanting one thing.

– Los Angeles, CA

Ouroboros

We celebrate the pothead’s achievements:
He rips the resonated tip off of a joint paper
and sprinkles it on top of a salvaged bowl.

He’s not the junkie.
He’s not the homeless man making the rounds.
He’s got life left.

Here’s to the burnout.
May you live your life like the rest of us,
desperately chasing each our own,
and learning to be content with a waning satisfaction.

– Los Angeles, CA

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Taken in Davis, CA