the city

The city

The city was never that loud, but
people said it was, said it was big
like sequoia big which is really funny
seeing that cement and steel and
limestone and bad dreams made it
created what it was when it wasn’t
what we wanted…and I dream of it
but not often, just when the bits
of Miami nights don’t make sense
don’t make it into my thinking of
when I am waiting for the sky
to be blocked out from crossing
the street, I’m waiting but the red sky
only flashes lightning and yells & yells
thunder at me, it yells a lot

The city isn’t what I wanted when
I left, it wasn’t what it was, any more
not the culmination of 20 years;
Brooklyn, no, first JC, then the empty
Financial District then Brooklyn where
I waited for lucky gentrification like
a placeholder bookmark but I was sad
for 5 years, with warehouses refusing
to become lofts, restaurants tried
and died in the same spot until
they stuck or became clothes stores,
Out to Manhattan when I could afford it

The city was murdered by people who
didn’t care, didn’t live there, didn’t feel
it’s heartbeat daily, I did, millions of
us did…we were lab rats, experiments
wear this, don’t do that, it was Hells Kitchen
next in a pyramid of white and glass and
and indoor park, angles and blonde
wood, like art, living inside art, I found
a home in an Irish Pub on 10th and 57th

until even I got tired of the walk from
places where people were to places
where they weren’t

Then it was West Chelsea/Hudson Yards and
the city is behind me now in a long line of
places behind me but it looms, a grey
shadow that is attached to the bottom
of my shoes…walking with me everywhere
when I remember it there…until sunshine
floods my face and I forget of the murdered
city, of the friends still waiting on subways
there, of the sounds of 5th avenue under
snow, of running wth no shirt through
midtown with tourists and workers
gaping at sweaty skin and a grim smile
as I churn out another mile through
amazing mid-century ideas, through
skyscraper dreams.

The city is leaning toward desolation
but it has before and while I wait in Miami
the shadows on my feet slowly rub away
and I am left with a yelling sky and
memories of limestone sequoias &
wondering how beautiful—now that
I am immersed in roundness of Miami
such brutish straight lines could be.

was wished

Burning the sky down, I wish
we had met as children, at the
moment in that gravity, that
echoless orbit of life, we
would have known each other
unlike ever knowing

The night painted with sound, we
could have known what we
know now, but hovered between
solitudes; watching ourselves in
a made for TV movie that makes
no sense to any

A cast of two; reciting lines, we
could have had what we had
never knowing what was missing,
but seeing it in technicolor, its
complete brevity, useful
but not meant for

Motion derived; emotion driven,
we could have but didn’t, were
different trajectories, splashy
vectors toward today, missing
from the children we were, now
adapted to the moment
we are.

With no burning skies, painted
nights; the children we were, at the
moment we were, might have
felt the gravity, the orbit but no, we
would be different, offset, and
lost to the moment, we think now,
that we missed.

Rethinking the sky, the night, the
moment’s recitations, I am silent in this
orbit and wishing nothing more
than knowing you now, feeling and
driven by emotion, bathing in our
technicolor solitudes

do nothing

Our constant breath reminds us that the music doesn’t always soothe
that our eyes do not always see the presented, as the thing before us
as the idea within us, it is nothing more than a wish, a dream…a millennium
of change all without our consent, or collaboration yet we continue
in our own way—as our tribes and communities encourage—and as we
resent that encouragement, chafe against that direction while complaining
always complaining that we have no support when it is that, that, that
which we live on, we are sustained by but we close eyes, hold hands
over ears, shut down—do nothing—and cry ourselves to sleep while people
around us look for signs of life, unsure whether to touch, to move because
without information we stop…we wait…we hesitate when hesitation kills
our ideas; motion and meaning are lost, never to be recovered…we sit and
watch ourselves do nothing and wonder why nothing changes, why what is
hurting harmful hasty and hazardous is still…and still again…the thing
about us we hate when the thig about us is that we don’t seem to care,
don’t seem to understand that we are us, we are me, we are you, we are
them and on and on and on until we are stars and galaxies spinning
forever…all driving toward that deep coldness of a dead universe…when
we already have that in ourselves right now…as long as we settle into a
cadence of an uncaring fascination with doing nothing.

it is…it was

We are endless, adrift with nothing but bottomless seas, with an infinite
succession of waves; all dark, numb feelingless tombs rolling over;
falling on us, sliding over and on top until there is naught to see
but sea …and the sea is us…us organized like patches of moss
on the bark of dead trees, intricately apposed, undeniably attracted
bent on self-destruction while fighting to survive, we float on
never knowing if the waves are who we are, or who we could be
we are silent and screaming as loud as the wind. Arguing against
our own best interests because, in this sea, our thinking is underneath
us keeping our heads up while being so heavy that it drags us downward…
we scream with mouths full of black water, with eyes blurry white from
the chlorine of mass media…an endless sea of shame we gladly
swim in, live in and watch the remaining bits of who we were float by,
us counting the seconds to gauge the current speed…5 knots…10 knots
toward an oblivion we can only hear/feel; a background hum, a grey
sensation of inevitability as we swim, as we drown, as we watch all
and none…the black waves like marching soldiers toward a horizon,
we can’t see only believe in, we count them until we run out of numbers
…this is our lives, our understanding without knowing, knowing
without understanding but that is the sea: it is…it was…it always will be.

Things I Just Know Are True #21,002

I complimented a friend on a picture today—something that was taken years ago—saying that it was beautiful and the response was basically thanks but I didn’t think so back then. For some reason that reply jarred me a little awake, and made me think. Maybe because of the current circumstances we’re under; having lots of time to do so, it made me think deeper than I normally would. I started thinking about how we look at ourselves and it dawned on me that we spend so much time imagining what we look like to other people that we entirely forget to think what we look like…
…to ourselves.

Seriously. When you look at yourself in the mirror, trying on different clothes…when you look at photos of yourself, taken in different places, with different people…I’m betting with almost 90% certainty (I’m not a fool) that what you don’t say to yourself is “hey, look how pretty/handsome that person is!” without adding “if only that (insert something you dislike about yourself) wasn’t there”.

Or the something that is missing that should be there.

The problem is that you know “you” so well—after thousands of hours looking at yourself—that all of the nice, attractive, pretty, handsome, etc. stuff that actually does exist, you’ve stopped seeing years ago. Because it doesn’t have to be “worked on” or dieted away or any number of self-help things; you simply don’t see them anymore. Those aspects of yourself, you don’t see. You don’t see the 100% that everyone else sees…

…you only see the 10% or so that you don’t like.

And you imagine that it is 100% of what other people see…how could they not? That 10% becomes 100% of who you are—to yourself—so that when someone compliments you, you’re surprised because, really…

“Who the fuck are THEY looking at??”

So, the next time you’re looking in the mirror, or looking at photos of yourself on Facebook or Instagram, wherever and whenever, stop looking at yourself though what you believe are the eyes of other people, where your imagination is that they only see what you don’t like about yourself (the 10%) and start looking at yourself through your real eyes…

… and start seeing 100% of you.

Believe. Go. Do.

home and home and home

We are infamous
in our solidarity, our
meaningful separation, the
to be
one but simple molecules
a rhythmic drone
undeniable; the sound
of our bodies singing
songs of freedom…we
are encapsulated
while we stare out windows
down from concrete canyons
on empty plains where winds
have miles
uninterrupted, the only sound
or cookie cutter blocks of sameness
but home and home and home
we watch through electronic layers
of indecipherable numbers
dot com
yet that language, that transfer of
meaning is still emotion, is still
humanity reaching out past
apartments…it is still

That Demonic Vibe

I’ve got a question for all of my billionaire-hating, progressive friends…how much of a demon are you? I mean, if you believe (I’m taking your word that you actually believe this shit and are not just towing the line so that you’re progressive friends let you eat at the cool kids table) that there cannot be billions made with being wholly corrupt…that being a billionaire is defacto proof that someone is a “demon”…then you have to believe that you, yourself, have a little demon in you as well. I mean, there has to be a measure, right? If a “billionaire” is on one end of the evil spectrum, then poverty (as pure-as-the-driven-snow) innocence is on the other.
Where do you land?

If you’re basically a regular Joe doing OK but not a lot of $$ saved, then are you just a minor evil deity? Does having a 401K propel you into the next lowest ring of hell? How about being debt free? Does that qualify you for being an archangel? If you’ve spent your life being frugal, living below your means, driving a 15 year old car, working hard and not complaining so that you have accumulated enough savings that you can help your kids through college AND pay for your retirement without being a burden on your family…
…well, that must make you a truly evil mother fucker…well on your way to being a demon.

This is how weird this crap sounds to me when I hear all the progressives calling successful folks assholes for being successful…not for anything else at all…simply for being successful. I don’t think they bother to think that they are considered successful compared to other people so they are, in fact, calling themselves assholes.
Not as evil as billionaires, mind you…
…but still assholes.
And I’m OK with that

Believe. Go. Do.


The Spot That Follows

I don’t have
a favorite breath, nor a
preferred heartbeat…
I can remember a space
in the air,
in front of me
where you were but are
not now,
I can hear in the buried
past of my soul
the rustle of clothes, the friction
of air molecules as
they collapsed into the place
where you once were…but…
a desired breath? How about
all of them? An ideal heartbeat?
Yes…I would have that/those
as well but;
it is no use trying
no use remembering
because the empty spot
that travels with me
hovering in front of me
always there
always echoing the idea
that it was you
and not
air and
that filled that

fuck you

WARNING: Super Long Rant…proceed under caution.

I was graduated from high school with a solid C average…mostly due to the fact that I was a lazy motherfucker and refused to do homework. The teachers taught, I learned, end of story. Soon after, and directly after an altercation with my dad’s car (speeding) and another car (parked) and a liberal dousing of gin and beer…I left home with 22 dollars in my pocket, a backpack with a few clothing items, tent and sleeping bag. If I had fulfilled my potential I know my dad would’ve paid for college (like my bro) but I was full of Kerouac, Bukowski, Asimov and Clarke and could see no “near” good in a university.

The “altercation” served as the bottle of champagne across the bow of my life and I went on the road looking for meaning and repentance. Over the course of a year or so (my $22 having run out within a few days) I did odd jobs for food or shelter or both, never staying very long in any one place. I got food poisoning from tainted BBQ I pulled out of a garbage can at a rest stop in Wyoming, shitting and puking all night under a bush near the vending machines I had no money for.

I shoveled manure in Kansas, repaired roofs in North Dakota, put up and took down fences in Texas and Nebraska and worked the night shift at various diners across the country. I slept in my tent, usually (unless it REALLY rained), and in that case I tried to find a highway overpass or abandoned barns or buildings. Occasionally some kind soul let me sleep inside their house or in their parked van. Like I said, I did this kind of itinerant living for almost a year until ending up in Boulder, CO, and eventually the Navy…where I got my ass kicked and ultimately understood the value of my time, energy and eventual expertise that I could trade to an employer for a better life.

Not once, not even for the fleetest of seconds during that entire time on the road—or since actually—did I believe that my predicament was anyone’s responsibility but my own. Not once did I think to turn to the government to bail me out. Not once did I think that some evil millionaire or billionaire was responsible for actively undermining me and stealing food out of my mouth. Not once—even when I was not very sure at all that I would live through the night—did I ever, EVER consider that anyone else on this planet was at fault for where I was.

So when I hear people talk about democratic socialism, and evil billionaires and the need for the federal government to step and support people in all the ways that take away the intrinsic value of succeeding at hard goals, that take away the value of becoming the best possible human that they can be…I just have to think to myself “fuck you”. I did it. Millions of others have done it. You’re not special, you’re not different.

I say fuck you but in fact I’m not necessarily saying it to you, I’m saying fuck you to your parents, your schools, your colleges and universities. I’m saying it to your state and federal governments who somehow slid all the way to the left based on unions and big money donors (promising votes) as long as their organizations were protected by regulations and laws that enforced their monopolies.

I’m saying fuck you to the fact that somehow, this modern day life has broken your spirit and you do not believe that you yourself are singularly responsible for your own prosperity and happiness. I’m saying fuck you to a world where you inherently see yourself as a dependent, beholden on the largess of a vast, faceless crowd of bureaucrats, hundreds if not thousands of miles from you.

People who couldn’t identify you if you were pissing on their leg.

I’m saying fuck you to a universe that will never love you back because you’ve never learned to love yourself. Because it is only through learning your intrinsic value—to yourself (this is NOT in monetary terms)—that you can understand your value to others and thus truly know their value to you…

…and thereby love yourself without mitigation or condition.

Believe. Go. Do.

the spark, the light

We ask ourselves
about things
we can’t know, then
at our own ignorance, we
look to bright futures
that can’t
be seen, then
ridicule our own choices…
holding to standards
by others, we
lose ourselves in the depths
of comparison
of contrast
of judgment, so;
we live yet sleepwalk
an oblivion
we call success;
when finding a small light, a
spark inside,
is the goal—the moment—the
movement we
should be seeking, should
be searching
because regardless
because regardless the
stories told, the
infomercials watched
the cars and houses
the “things”
we are little more than
the love (the spark
the light)
we hold for ourselves
and thus
the world…and that