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I have been to the depths

Of a terrible vice –

Or should I say

I have seen those heights

 

What feels so liberating

Strangely

Holds me captive

 

But there I found

Familiar souls

In the eyes of those

Deemed failures

 

And I recognized in those moments

We are all just looking for love.

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Finally a First Novel

A man sits down to write. Today is the day he begins to tell his story. He brews some coffee, slowly and intentionally. He takes the time to hunt down his favorite mug, and he is sure to get the coffee to cream ratio just right. He walks up the stairs to his office. It is too cold. He rummages through his drawers until he finds a cozy sweater, then shuffles back to his desk. He sits down, but the chair is not comfortable. He shifts it first to the left, then to the right. He decides the problem is the cushion, so he adds one pillow. He starts up his computer, and while he is waiting he remembers that he needs to feed the dog. Once the dog is fed he needs to go outside. It is a very nice day, albeit a little cold. Man and dog walk around the neighborhood until both feel it is time to return. Back in his office, the man opens a blank document. He struggles for a while with whether he should first come up with a name under which he can save this work. After all, so much is in a name, and “Document1” does not seem adequate. He finally settles on “Untitled” as a temporary fix. He sips his coffee and finds that he is squinting to look at the screen. Too much light is coming in through the window on his left. He remembers a tapestry he purchased some time ago that has lived in a box for years. He thinks that this is a perfect use for it and finds it buried under his spare sheets. He goes out to the shed where he knows there is a hammer and some spare nails in his toolbox. He removes the cushions and stands precariously on his uncomfortable chair so he can nail the edges of his unloved tapestry into the wall. Now that he has just enough light he rearranges his chair and places both hands on the keyboard. Instinctively he reaches for his coffee, but alas – it has gone cold!

Nightmarish

How real is a dream

If it brings you to tears

If it changes your life

Or at least for a day

Creates joy or horror

At what might have been?

 

Does it suit to atone

For what did not occur

But acts as an envoy

Of truth?

 

May I be forgiven

Or may I be freed

From the hell that awaits

Should I drift into sleep?

An Empty Impression

Sitting in the silence

Left in the place where you lay

I can imagine the loneliness

Lovers never know.

 

As though upon waking

Each day will find

A space – longing

To be filled.

 

And I shall count myself blessed

For the loss I won’t know

When another morning

Sees your return.

Aloft and Airy

Not a rush, but more

Of a slow exhalation –

A steady lowering into

The warmth

Of a hot bath or

A fresh-made bed.

 

The words spoken today

Float beside the thoughts

I left unsaid

And languidly I reflect

On the sheer inconsequence

Of it all.

 

A general dimness

Settles around me –

Whether of thought or light

I cannot discern.

Although, I think,

It hardly matters

As my eyes grow heavy

And close.

Ersatz

Abrasive.

Sketched by a word –

No source of pride.

I’d rather be in love with everyone

A hopeless romantic with wit

But kind.

Soft.

Yearning to be loved,

To be a gentle soul

I learned so long ago that pain

Is the recompense.

When I took up the staff

I forged a new name

Least of all known as tender.

Malice writ on my face

I wish they’d see through.

Death and the Nature of Man

Dear Friend,
I haven’t seen you in a while but
I still remember the way you laugh
at life, as if
all was joyous and well.
We didn’t spend much time
together except at work
and once at a birthday party
and before I moved away.
With fewer memories
to get in the way
the ones we had are clearer.
I saw you once
when I came back home,
you were with a group
of teenagers
or early twenty-somethings,
it’s hard to tell these days.

Dear Friend,
you were so young
and sometimes
you’d ask me for advice
about the girl you loved
who you later left, I guess
that’s just the way life goes.
I heard you just turned twenty-one
and must have still been
so happy
and so full of life
because twenty-one is just before
things get really good.

Dear Friend,
I never knew
your struggles or your pain
I only knew the smile
you showed me every day.
I never really knew you
and yet
I’m drawn to the story
of how you left this world,
to all the details
of how
and why
and when and where
you chose to end your life.

Dear Friend,
I’m sorry
that you felt that way
but can’t someone tell me
how you died
and why?

We may be full of love
but mostly
of curiosity.