Monday, November 18, 2019

My Day, at 56, in Chemicals

Diet Coke
Saline nasal spray
More Diet Coke
More Metformin

Thursday, September 05, 2019

The Eternal Warning (Don't Think Too Much About it)

Looking at the
oily French fries
I saw a stain
on the discolored melmac
plate and I wondered:
what caused this?
Was it a fresh stain or has it been here
for years?
Did the cook wash his hands
or for that matter
did he scratch
his dark oily hair?

As I bit into my pastrami sandwich
the eternal warning returned:
don’t think too much about it.

I’ve been told this my whole life
as I attempt to scale
the holy trinity,

or when I’m trying too hard
to have an erection
that just

I pick up the pen
or seat myself at the piano
and try to disconnect
my brain,

don’t think too much about it.

Let it all drip lightly
like syrup off a stack of pancakes
or the blissful sweat
between her naked cleavage
as she rides me,
both of us
lost in two different worlds
consumed by one love,

but don’t think too much about it.

Where did my children go,
they were just here?
Between holidays and loads of laundry
we traded in our dreams
for beautiful young starlings
who would rather be
somewhere else,

don’t think too much about it
that’s was Evil told me
when I repeatedly rejected her advances
because I knew it was wrong
because I knew she was married
because I knew better
but I did it anyways.

Don’t think too much about it.

what if I lose control and drive my car off the freeway
and if the tingling in my arm isn’t benign
and if our global economy is an illusion
and if no one finally remembers me.

and maybe you don’t really think
I’m the most beautiful person
in the world and that you could be
more easily tempted
than either you or I want to admit.

Don’t think too much about it,

and what dark and pungent mystery
remained waiting down
all those roads I never took?

who might I have met?
what might I have done?
which drug might have killed me?

Would I have been
the sweating and desperate soul
frying pastrami and potatoes
desperately plotting and trying
to escape my existence?

but I’m trying hard
not to think too much about it.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Two Things

Two things I
I know:

Stay humble
or God will keep you
and don't
bullshit yourself.

I try to be

but I know
the soul
inside this

and I keep
for that




Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The M Mountain

I pray nightly,
from my upstairs
bathroom window,
and I look for
the Mountain
with an illuminated
representing my city.

I do not imagine
God is the Mountain,
or lives in the Mountain,
or looks like the Mountain,
but still I look for it
as I pray.

Some nights
it is seen clearly,
while other nights,
the fog,
the smog,
the detritus of
this world
make it difficult to

Especially on nights
when it is not
easy to see,
I remember
all those gifts
I trust in
and rely upon
that I cannot see:


I pray
even though
I cannot see,

I trust
even though
I cannot verify,

I am thankful
even though
I cannot repay.

Some nights
I feel at one with
the Mountain.

Some nights
I just feel the distance.

No matter what
the Mountain
is always there.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019


He gave her
a virginity
no one wanted.

She gave him
a glass slipper
he still cherishes.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


You can fight it
but in the end,
it always wins.

So try
and steal as many

If you’re lucky
a handful of survivors
will hardly remember
you were
ever here,
and if you’re
all your missteps
will fade from
collective memory.

Since I cannot
control it,
I try not to fear it,
but rather
I keep it
in the back
of my mind,
and the front
of my actions:

no matter what,
each of us
leaves behind a skull,
some bones,
rare moments truly lived,
and the folly
of imagining
one more tomorrow,
just out of reach.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

The Woman I Married

I spied them
from the kitchen:

she was with him,
my beloved grandson,
and she was
so respectful,
and warm
and fun.

She was always
the woman I married,
but somehow,
I’d never seen
this woman before:

someone who consented
to share my life
and my fortunes,

a woman with a bounty
of lustrous eyelashes,
inviting curvature,
and an oasis smile.

She gives him
her truest,
most unguarded
laughter and joy,
and he is forever changed
one lesson at a time.

I see her expressing
the purest version of love
I’ve ever witnessed,

and the thought comes,

“That’s the woman
I want to make love to.”

Friday, May 03, 2019

Listen, Inhale, Absorb


Before doing anything
that would smack
of reaction,
just listen,

You already know
what is inside you,
you gave it birth,
so there’s no need
to celebrate it
with trumpeting braggadocio,
or eloquent poetry.

The more you can
the less you’ll need
to regret,
to apologize for,
to fix.

We prioritize
when we really need
which is why
I should’ve kept this
to myself.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

The 1993 Balloon

In 1993, I was
an optimistic, naive balloon,
filled with helium hope
but leavened with

The capital O
outrageousness of
Maury, Jerry, Ricki and Geraldo
now seem quaint,
even puzzling.

We shared
anonymous germs
in Superman’s
ubiquitous changing rooms
because there were
no cell phones,
and even then,
was merely
a human actor
in garish tights,
before CGI technology
made him
Super indeed.

There was no
user-friendly internet,
to capitalize on human
avarice and desire,
before the days
of monetization,
before it became a
privacy-sucking machine.

Streaming existed in
air waves,
radio waves,
television waves,
media resistant to ownership.

One merely talked
to another.
No email,
no text,
no IM,
no DM.
The impersonality
of the beeper
should have been
a warning.

became customizable,
we learned to adapt
to the things we
couldn’t change,
and when each of us
endured it,
we had a shared
common experience.

I recall it
as a time
of dreamy possibility,
less splintered,
simpler and slower,
and looking back,
my heart
sighs in unexpected

Monday, April 08, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


She sat in
the beanbag chair

guilty but not
a child caught
in a lie.

“You gotta decide
whether you want
to stay married to me.”

She just stared into space
not taking any
just wanting it all
to be over.

Then I issued
the ultimatum:

“I’m giving you
two weeks to decide:
it’s either him or me.”

The Lesson In Retrospect:

if your beloved
takes more than

three seconds

to decide
if they want to
be with you,


The Gravity of Faith

I shoot my petitions
into the
like arrows
with tips
dipped in
fiery faith

and though I cannot
see where they

I smile
in the

that all my prayers
will fall
back to Earth

I rely on this
just as I
rely upon

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Open Letter on Immigration

Dear young ones,

For years
I've seen them come
over our borders,
like dirty water
over a dam
and they even don't try to fit in.

They have their strange language
their awful food,
and they don't seem afraid
of our laws.

One of them even made
improper sexual advances
on your aunt,
my wife.

They come over here
and use our resources,
the ones your father,
and my father,
and my father's father,
and they squander them,

but they don't care
they just want a better life for

I want to tell them
to go back where they came from,
but I know that is not right
because this world belongs
to everyone.

So, let us open our land
and ourselves to them.
Perhaps all these things
that worry me
will not come to pass.

Do not fear the white man,
he will not hurt us.

your loving uncle,

February 1, 1848

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The January Hangover

Same thing happens
every year:

after Thanksgiving
the whole world
seemed to be dressed
in red and green
and snow white with colored lights
with everyone was playing
the same music,

and then on
December 26
it all stops.

All the laughter,
the music,

and everything just gets
dark and cold
and dull.

Every January
I go into my post-Christmas funk.

I know it's all
an illusion of
this worldwide party
to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

In December its easier
to accept my longing
for a larger shared experience,

for something special
maybe even a miracle.

So as I gather the Christmas
decorations and the cds and
put them back into storage,

I wait out January
determined that it won't
get me down,

and I look forward
to the anniversary of my sobriety,
to my wife's birthday,
to Valentine's Day,

to February.

[Posted for The Tuesday Platform at Imaginaary Garden with Real Toads.]

Thursday, January 03, 2019