Bright

 

When everything else is dried up

At least we’re connected forever…

At least the darkness comes for me,

And at least you greet me in the weather.

 

When everything else is dead,

You seem to be bright.

Hands 1-3

1.

In search of brutal hands

that can bash in skulls and eyes and tongue,

hands that turn the person to primordial

and leave visceral poetry across

the crime scenes, hands that pour

goat milk and raw honey from Grecian vases

and waterboard this temple until

it cries out cosmic truth,

hands made of serpent flesh

that pull hearts and lungs from cages

and examines them in the fresh mountain sun

looking for potential jewels,

hands that do the work of Revalations,

that drum and trumpet the beat of four riders

pulling apart this husk

in those cardinal directions

leaving a mandala of all one was

for scavengers to fight over,

hands that won’t let go till our

fervorous pleas of OH-PLEASE-KILL-ME

aren’t speaking from a place of fear

but from the roots,

in search of those hands

that show us all that remains

good in a man.

 

2.

If I rub my hands together, with enough force

I can turn the dust into sparks,

a handful of lightning thoughts and thunder beliefs,

and if I do it long enough,

there will be plenty for you and for me.

 

And if we rub our hands together, with enough force,

we can turn all fear into a seedling,

a tree with roots tangled in and out our

skin, blossoms bursting through our chests

and fruit shall fall from our eyes

as we age.

 

I rub my hands across the petals of your lips,

I can turn them into ash, with enough force,

and then I can hold more of you

in my hands.

 

If I rub my hands together

I can turn your dust into sparks

all lightning struck tree,

planted in the palm of me.

 

3.

Those who can read

Know her as a star map, already fading

 

those who can touch

Know her sympathy can, in fact, vanish

 

Those who can hold

End up knowing she doesn’t really want them

 

Those who are offered, though,

Know she is handing them a second chance.

Again, Maybe

He was wine drunk and in love, again.

Maybe.

The wine hadn’t taken charge just yet.

The girl was still just an idea.

But, in the December downpour,

With its wind-powered organs and drizzling flutes,

He felt wine drunk and in love, again.

Maybe.

He’d been wrong before and sometimes

Being wrong was alright, and

These days gave in too easy to the night,

So he hid and read and wrote in his

Room’s soft light, and

He got wine drunk and fell, again,

Maybe.

Failure

I’m eager

To see the best in

You.

 

You fucker.

 

I’m eager to love you,

To find out that you’re actually

Doing alright.

 

You mother fucker.

 

I strive to see you in your best light.

 

It’s only when I love that which truly

Utterly fails,

That that greatest engine finally

Revs up.

Because, I mean…

Let’s just be real,

I love you.

 

I love that you keep saying

Stupid shit.

 

I love that you keep telling me

What I don’t want to hear.

 

 

I love that you keep beating me.

 

Because what else is there to love?

Who else can I love?

You stand here idly and I know that you’re

Beautiful beneath ugly clothing,

Finally, breathtakingly ugly beneath

Chiseled beauty.

 

I know that to fail inward is the most

Relaxing fall.

 

I know that to fail outward will embarrass…

The Bull (Short Story)

“Its been a very long time since we had any visitors.”

 

A palpable silence drifted in the open door, riding on the winter wind, and lingered between the two men. Behind the young one were the unsalted deck and a vast, expansive whiteness. The hills of the badlands lost definition when the snows came. Behind the old one was a well furnished, rustic farmhouse interior. True inspection of the decor dated it, and a fine layer of dust covered every unused inch of the space.

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Befriend your mind

In order to survive, you have to harness your own brilliance.  Brilliance is the process of loving those things which appear to be ugly at first.  By examining their ugliness, you discover their beauty.  Things that are not pleasant become pleasant when they are given space, and allowed the privilege of moving.  Things are happening on their own – you just have to tune in, very gently, and appreciate that.  Then a lot of problems start to melt away.

Let’s say you want to stop drinking, because you’ve been depressed and hangovers are awful if you’re truly depressed.  The wisest person befriends the part of their mind that arises, that considers staying away from alcohol.  And they simply wait, and let the whole situation pass by.  Then they are left without having consumed alcohol.  They befriended the confusion, and it helped them wait it out.

But how to befriend the mind?  Well, you have to start somewhere.  By becoming aware of where you are, you can celebrate that aspect.  If a friend tells you a local avant garde museum is gorgeous, you might initially feel appalled.  This museum is, after all, objectively ugly – you’ve been there!  But in truth, it is not objectively ugly – the person who enjoyed it learned to appreciate the strangeness in there, and once they saw how beautiful it was, they couldn’t unsee it.  They eventually become bored, perhaps, but that is a better way to feel than afraid.

If they were smart, they even appreciated the security guards and the other attendees.  They realized the whole situation was avant garde, and the challenge of appreciation was enlivening.

As time goes you, you start to link up your compassion with mindfulness more and more. You discover that awareness of anything can be an exercise of compassion.  You walk into a room you have to clean, and feel perturbed.  But then, you fall in love with how messed up the room is, and how step-by-step you can clean it up.  And how you can watch that improvement, in real-time.  As you soften and watch the dirt settle, watch the space reveal itself, you use that scariness as encouragement to clean it.

Since we are social creatures, this process becomes very social.  You start to realize that it’s actually an incredibly wise investment to love other people, because they’re connected to you.  Loving them is loving yourself.  And it will definitely come back to benefit you.

Pantoums I Stole

I teach a creative writing course. I tasked my class with writing Pantoums or “found” poetry, where you lines from other people’s work to recompose a piece. I wrote two myself, using both prompts together. They suck, so they get to get posted here.

 

The Back Ups

 

When my mind is uncertain, my body decides

I laugh till I cry, I party all of the time

I’ve got them bad boy blues, baby

I need a spiritual cleansing.

 

I laugh till I cry, I party all of the time,

I don’t know what I’m gonna do

I need a spiritual cleansing

I like the in-betweens.

 

I don’t know what I’m gonna do

And there is someone out there just like me.

like the in-betweens,

I wanna contribute to the chaos.

 

There is someone out there just like me,

With them bad boy blues,

Wanting to contribute to the chaos.

 

And when my mind is uncertain, my body decides.

 

Shaky

 

Take a chance, roll them bones

Yeah, try to make a dollar from the grave

To fame and fire, to dame and dandy

I’ve got nothing on my mind but you

 

Try to make a dollar from the grave,

I know you can see it in my eyes

I’ve got nothing on my mind but you

One-track mind, one-way street

 

I know you can see it in my eyes

Who knew a man’s fate was such a hard thing to find

One-track mind, one-way street

Here I come, bored and lazy, here I come, no dignity

 

Who knew a man’s fate was such a hard thing to find

To fame and fire, to dame and dandy,

Here I come, bored and lazy, here I come, no dignity,

Yea, take a chance, roll them bones.