25 April 2008


i am not allowed to mix my own drinks.

22 April 2008

Epistemology Wars

as i watch her eyes wide with wonder, i feel so old, and i wonder how i have allowed myself to become this jaded. i broke a promise.

as i listen to the conversation--or is it an argument?--between two [warring factions/entities] who complement each other but do not necessarily communicate
(your poetry is evoked)

i wonder if we will ever be able to reach an understanding.

i want you to know that your music has brought a tear to my eye, that your intensity has inspired me--inspired her--will inspire [countless] as soon as it is given the opportunity.

his broken bow string speaks to dedication.

for Zyzzy

18 April 2008


i fall in love with words, as a proxy for the people who write them.

14 April 2008


it's amazing the things you can find at the most appropriate times.

like just now, when i put a pen away in my pen garden (which deserves explanation at another time), and one of the stones that had worked its way to the top of the bowl caught my eye. my ex-girlfriend had taken it from the bowl a long time ago and written "PEACE" on it in silver sharpie. the letters are starting to get rubbed away, but the message is very timely.

i didn't end up seeing her, or our other best friend from high school, this weekend, because i wasn't around when M* was in town. i think that may have been for the best, although i couldn't explain what i mean by that.

and then there's everything else that's going on...and this by now years-old invocation for peace chose to resurface at exactly the right moment. the hope is still real.

10 April 2008

sonnet 67

since speechlessness is never slowly caused,
we're always left wanting time to prepare;
if i knew what to say to such a loss,
i might not feel so trapped--it's more unfair,
when everything is taken from your hands,
to be left so unable to express
the cruelty of cold, indifferent Chance,
your anger with it--worse, i cannot stress
that i keep close emotions worth more time.
more than my hate for Chance's awful game,
i feel the love that makes this such a crime,
and hope, since you can't speak, you feel the same.
if i had words, i'd share my sadness not,
but happiness that we're given this lot.


06 April 2008

observations on the north side

i spent yesterday afternoon thrift store shopping with some friends, and we ended up in the north side, searching for several stores that were no longer there, and one goodwill that was closed for the day. after giving up on shopping, we still had almost an hour left on the parking meter, so we decided to go to dinner, and stopped into this little place in the heart of a very real neighborhood.

the four of us sat at a table in the window, ordered pizza and an appetizer sampler, and went about our business: one read the paper, one drew a labyrinth on his placemat, one tried to maintain conversation in the midst of it, and i watched people.

there's something about urban neighborhoods where the people have been there for their whole lives that grabs me. it just feels more real than anywhere else....there's grit, there's honesty, there are no games.

our waitress was white, middle-aged, skinny, and very tired. not the kind of tired you get at the end of a long day, but the kind of tired you get after years of long days, one after the other. almost everybody else i saw in or around the restaurant was black. there was a man who came to wash the windows, and i'm not sure if it's his job or if it's just what he does. there were these kids there, couldn't have been more than 11 years old and were probably closer to 8 or 9, who came in and talked with each other, always leaving one outside because they didn't have a lock for their bike, and the swagger on these kids was amazing....this little 8-year-old boy acting like a thug, and you knew he was trying so hard to project that image, and i couldn't help but wonder what made him feel he needs to do it. is it a matter of safety, or just a matter of pride?

one of the boys, maybe a little older but i couldn't say for sure, had pants hanging off his butt and this big silver(ish) medallion of jesus hanging around his neck. the medallion was what struck me most yesterday, that apparent contradiction of terms....presumably, he wore it to show that he belongs to christ, trusts god to protect him, or something like that....but then, doesn't it boil down to idolatry? it's still bling--still this attempt to show that you have enough money to decorate yourself so egregiously, so you must be successful or at least have connections to people who are and who think highly of you. so even in his attempt to humble himself before his god, if that's what it was, the means he used to do so showed that he put something else--namely, material worth--before god.

maybe i'm just making stuff up, but the irony grabbed me by the throat.

02 April 2008

sonnet 68

mind over meter is the constant fight,
to check my thoughts so words can be restrained;
it needs a dose far too high of foresight,
and after three full years, i'm still not trained.
though i don't practice often as i should,
i'd hope what skill i had would not decrease;
but like a muscle not moved when you could,
an unused talent of mind atrophies.
and so, this afternoon, i'll exercise,
and fit words to this meter as i can;
a sonnet takes its shape before my eyes,
despite my early lack of any plan.
perhaps it's not as bad as all of that--
you can't forget in whole what was old-hat.

i fell behind on sonnets....there are a few i haven't posted yet.
it's never certain if i will.