02 December 2014

The Cat

The cat lived a while then it died, the whole thing about cats living nine lives being more about survival while alive than rising from the dead. We were eating fish and green beans at the time, the mundane things being the ones you remember when a living creature who is beloved dies. Cheryl had been longer than usual coming home, which I suppose had been more usual lately, which I probably should have picked up on as having less to do with working more and more to do with us working less. Maybe the cat had noticed and decided to check out before the dishes started breaking.

Burying the cat was the last funeral we attended together. It was a few weeks before the last Thanksgiving we had together, and another month before the Christmas she was out of town. She'd been out of town for Christmas before, but this was more unusual because she didn't come back. I was left with an empty house and the somewhat fresh grave of a cat, which had to be dug again when the first rain came and washed away the loose topsoil. It wasn't even my cat.

All that remained of what had been were photos and a blanket embroidered with our names. I stayed until after the silence drove me mad, maybe one or two days too late. Then I took the few things I had left and moved on. There would be other cats, perhaps; but there would always be one Cheryl.

30 October 2014

Us in Alaska

standing in the arctic wind I'm
wrapped with insecurities like you're
wrapped up in your scarf;
perhaps it un-becomes me.

meaning only kindness but I'm
leaning out of balance as you're
leaning on his arm;
seems to be the chill.

landing on a light-shy truth I'm
bundled fraying nerves while you're
bundled in your coat
a hundred cares away.

29 May 2014

so you could

I endured the ordeal of your mama's death
       so you could have an affair.
I held your hand through E.R. trips
       so you could say you don't care.
I moved with you so far away,
I did some work for little pay,
I helped you find a job you like
       so you could take a hike.

(dec 2013)

08 May 2014

Francis Left the Hotel Bar

Francis left the hotel bar and walked through the rain-soaked streets as though searching, though with no particular aim or goal. He could go to another bar somewhere else now, or find a quiet café in which to sulk until dawn. The bar at the hotel had been too friendly, too inviting. He wanted to be intrusive with his brooding.

And what of Annabel? he thought, which sent warmth to his face in many forms: first, the warmth of love, of romance, of comfort; then the warmth of anger, of shame, of agony. Love always won, always wins. She'd left him not long ago, but the sting of her departure loomed over him. She had taken so long to finally leave that it caused Francis no relief when she did, and no amount of his protestation would cause her to stay. She left in the way that sloths descend trees: slowly and with sharp claws.

Francis rounded a corner and the word “failure” entered his mind. He had failed and been failed. Annabel was his life's goal, his dream. He had spent more than half his life pursuing her, in one way or another, until finally they were wed, and only a couple years ago. Their second anniversary was one of painful revelation, as Annabel's indiscretions could no longer be contained. They had always leaked out slowly, in tiny droplets, but now a single finger could not keep the dam whole. The trickle became a stream became a deluge. Francis was already a scored pane of glass before the force of the month-long affair shattered him completely. The pieces scattered far and wide, and he had no means by which to pick them all up himself. Annabel had been his closest friend, the only one who could possibly help reassemble him. Now he was alone, broken, and all spread out. So he wandered from bar to bar, finding a piece here, a shard there. In this way, he could make himself whole again. Or die drinking.

(13 Dec 13)

30 April 2014


Start running when you wake up
Not to make up for lost time, but to
Get a jump on the time that is now.
The time you've lost
Is the cost of admission.
No permission is needed, just be prepared to ask for
Live necessarily, out of necessity.
Find breathlessity.
Your moments become vivider.
Live less livider.
Contentment is less bentment,
But get bent when it's
Meant for good.
You're in charge of that, it's understood.
Live life to the fullest, but
Don't be the foolest.
Yes, sometimes you'll be the elf;
No mess unmesses itself.
The penny you save might mean
The day you don't shave.
It could get worse, but
The universe has got you
Even when you've not.

15 April 2014

Stopped time

I said that I had a wandering faith
That weekday night we closed the bar and
Accidentally went on that date together.
At some point you said you wanted to marry a Jew.
Am I close enough? I wondered to myself as we
Sipped our whisky, yours Irish and mine American.
Your faith wanders, too, you said.
I thought we might wander together a while, but
You had other plans.

13 April 2014


Is love meant to be?
What are we waiting to see?
How does a moment become an eternity?
And who gets to choose?
Is there something to lose?
What is fantasy? What is reality?
Are there ways to escape from insane?
Will the questions give something to gain,
Or will the answers just lead to more rain?

14 January 2014

Golden-Haired Boy

I thought I was your Golden-Haired Boy,
But you went and found another and another and
Left me to die on the stable floor
Bloodied by the horse's hooves,
Covered in hay and horseshit,
Desperately calling out, being unheard;
Yet my Princess you remain,
Although I do not know by what right or reason,
Reason having gone long ago.
If my hair is golden still, it matters little;
The veil should fall by dawn.

04 January 2014

New Year's Day

At 3 a.m. I ate a bowl of mac and cheese and thought of you
Having New Year's in Pacific Time and
Cried as my sister drunkenly comforted me
Like the Long Island girl she is.
It's okay. It's okay.
I never thought powdered cheese could taste so
Right and so sad.