Point B

The looks pile high on my shoulders

like pellets of snow when it’s colder

But they don’t melt away, no, they weigh me down

One measly step backward, and

I never rebound

There’s nothing outstanding about me

I took this route just to get to

Point B

but now their gazes cast fire around me

and I walk through, and burn

and they stare at me funny

The humorous thing, though

is my unhindered smiling

While the flames eat away at my clothes

and I realize there’s nothing

but indifference in your eyes

so I brush off the ashes,

and go

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Journal Kept

Strip the paint from the walls,

rip up the carpet;

take a look around.

What surrounds you?

The prior tenant’s history;

the growing pains,

the scratch marks,

the love lines,

the discontent,

the gleeful coffee rings,

the somber carvings.

The journal kept subconsciously

by those who dwelled here before you;

everything contained in some years’ time

that means something to someone,

that you had the audacity

to cover up.

Commencement Letters

I could be the hero, maybe

I could be in the position
to teach somebody something, maybe

Maybe you could learn from me,
instead of me from you

Chapter one becomes a palimpsest
and I promise I’ll put forth my best

Now that we’ll be switching seats

I’ve grown rather weary from
feeling like a dog with a fraying leash

I think I’m worth more than
a pat on the head

More than paw pads made of
corrugated condemnations

More than eyes that see in colorless gradients

More than your patronizing accolades
which pave the way to
thinking i’ve done well

When it’s been preprogrammed
that I’m to feel worthy only after
I’ve passed with commencement letters

The years under your belt
they’re plenty more than mine

But they dissolve under the weight
of the ever-changing times

Mine may be few,
but they’re outlined with horizons broadened

With eyes wide like the sea

So if you’re open to it,
I could teach you a thing or two

Maybe

Just maybe

Pro-Antagonism

I’ve been an antagonist

towards my favorite people

and even still,

memories of those instances

pour over me, thick and oily,

tough to remove.

I don’t like to be reminded

that I was a child once,

that I sat with legs limp over the edge

of my mother’s bookshelf;

frozen but watching.

It’s the growing process,

I’m told,

and while I’m forgiven,

I can’t seem to release myself

from the threshold

of preadolescent tantrum.

I wasn’t alone,

but that’s not my concern;

don’t these patterns repeat,

and am I conscious enough

to feel them coming on?

Am I mature enough

to slam the brakes

before they fail?

In Jest

I joke;

you laugh

and I am funny

you like me

I try again;

you smirk

I fall short

I’m no good

you hate me

I can’t stay

I go now

Rasputin

The low hum comes from the snow plow drum

on the streets that crumble like they’re free of gluten

You could mend them if You’re out there like it’s written

or is Yours just a name of theory

like that of Rasputin?

I pull back the covers of my childhood blunders

and I am finally free to escape the searing clutch of my blindfold

While I’m not made of money or of gold

it’s still a beautifully irreverent thing

to have your mind sold

The Genesis of Wanderlust

This is the twenty-fourth winter I’ve spent in this town

and I’d rather there not be a twenty-fifth

Despite the laundry list of shit it takes to move myself from this abyss

I’ll make it out of this time-space continuum rift

I’ve seen some places, pissed off some friends

Reconciled with others and fell into some harmonious trends

I’ve lived my life on impulse, settled into craters of debt

and rode out again on the back of my unsafe bets

The Greatest Driving Force

Words fall limp from the cache

and form derisive sentences

at the push of a button

They form wedges between upstanding

members of society

who happen to be familiar

and drive on home

a great divide

Disguised as any given one of us,

the words

they rip through and tear apart

from the inside outward

until what’s left is swollen distrust

and

shredded empathy

Then They Will Know

With these accolades you lay upon me,

I sleep more soundly,

as my self-worth is upheld by the praise

of others.

I won’t ask for you to idolize me,

but I will not decline the invitation

onto your pedestal,

because then and only then can

the corners of my mouth

curl upwards in enlivenment.

A wilting bud at best, I am,

without it;

bent and breathless,

hanging in limbo

by the crevice of a broken nail.

Yet I’m revived at last

in your unprompted recommendation,

because then they will know

that I am good and I am capable

in the eyes of more

than just myself.

After all,

what does my confidence offer,

but an undeserved crutch

of approval?

Rocking Chair

The days have turned to dust

The nights are left to rust

until a tinge of silver hope pastels your hair

Now the chicks have flown the coup

The hours set to loop

until you’ve found music in the creek

of that old rocking chair