thirty summer

carving words out of willows

Month: June, 2013

To J.D.F.

We walked side by side,
him and I
and though the walk was long
the words were wise.

‘Cross the top of the world,
above the clouds were we walked,
above rain and weathered worry;
and all along we talked.

We talked of many thing
that neither we knew nor dreamt to know
and occasionally we pondered on things
we knew
 we knew
  like how cold the world got when the wind blew.

And as we hiked up to the Lake of Crystal
below the peak which bears its name,
we became bonded like father and son-by-marriage,
reminding me of when he gave his daughter for me to claim.

This, my ode to one of the best of men I will ever know
is dedicated to how much he has helped me grow.

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How to fall from grace

How to fall from grace
the best way you can.

Make a ham and
roast beef sandwich
on a sesame seed bun with swiss
mayo and yellow mustard
and eat it on a deck
in Colorado
while
the wind beats the shit out of
the wind chimes
the plastic chairs
the pine trees
the mountains
the humanity.

Remind yourself
of the coffee from this morning
that didn’t taste quite like
a Costa Rican bean
slightly too roasted
to the point where it was
all burn and no oil.

Remind yourself
of the most beautiful person
in the world
as she sleeps on the couch
watching Netflix and wearing your t-shirt.
Don’t let her stir.

Remind yourself of when
you didn’t understand God
and that this time around
even if you don’t understand Him again
you can at least have the
common decency to be a gentleman about it.

It isn’t that you are a bigger man
once you fall from grace;
it’s more like you are different.
Your shadow is a little bit skewed
and your strides are shorter.
You breathe differently
when you are lost
then when you ar found.

Move on,
move away from these thoughts
that you are the last man on Earth.
You are not.
Your thoughts are your own
but they are not original.
You may be a prototype,
but your blueprints were drawn up
by someone else.

Calling something
a flying spaghetti monster
doesn’t make you unique.
In fact it makes you a sheep
just the same.

I have been on both sides of the fence
and too be honest,
even if I fall from grace
the best way I know how
I will probably prefer to
lay wth the shepard’s flock
rather then the atheist’s broken home
filled with broken records.

Sometimes falling from grace
the best way you can
takes courage
enough to stand on mountains
made from the corpses of the fallen.

The ants crawl

The ants crawl.
They crawl my toes
my feet
my legs
my soul.

They know
the only things
I know.

They crawl across my heart
and leave pitted caves
full of dust and char.

They sail across the sea
that is me and
return to me
an empty bottle.

They turn the crank
that once housed my melody
and only creeks of solitude
bellow out
from a speaker that
once knew harmonies.

The ants,
they dance my fingers
like a widow’s memory
of her wedding day,
like the way she moved
in her white dress.

The ants dance across
what is left of me
and lock me out
of what I could have been.

So long ago

A chilled wind rolls through my veins
from beyond the mountains
and the sun sings low — so low.
I reflect on melancholy things;
things that I should have buried
so long, so long ago,
but I am the wind, rolling through.

Why did she have to leave a message?

Meetings at sundown
with an old friend
and I mourn over thoughts
of yesterdays gone by.

Why did she have to
leave a message?

Slowly,
the past creeps up like bile.

I write words like
the devil writes promises.
I write tomes
like the roach writes
screams from
scared little girls.

Why did she have to
leave a message?

The walk through the mountains
didn’t clear it up

and

I’m too weak or strong now
to drink it all away.

It would be there again in the morning.

I can’t cut it out
as I am now part of this
living machine
of networked roadways
and I am the roadsigns,
I am the overpass
the underground tunnels,
the hitch-hiker,
the street corner evangelist.

And when I wake up in the morning
I will still be all those things.

Why did she have to
leave a message

when

an obituary would
have been
better suited?

I push my glasses back
up my old nose,
take a deep pine tree and charred
deer shit breath,
listen to voices inside
playing slap bass
and think to myself —
I am a better person now
my breaths no longer
rattle with
the whimper of a defeated soul
my hands
are grey with wondering over keys
and the deer scurry
and the deer scurry.

The mountains sing

The mountains sing their songs tonight.
They sing of memories of the sun as
it passes on to the other side.
They sing of a summer begun
and many summers long gone.
They sing of barefoot walks
and midnight talks.
They sign songs of sparrows
and songs of water, rolling over rocks.
They sing of families
who remember days gone
and who know days to come
like a road map to some all-knowing God.
The mountains tell tales
of murder and mundane
and of maniacal, legendary, insane.
They sing in harmonies
beyond my comprehension
but I am glad, none-the-less
to be here, in the audience
of the mountains as
they continue their sonnets.
Sweet memoirs from thee,
the mountains who know me.

Farewell to thee (Psalm for Pueblo, CO.)

So it seems
this is where they come to die
or to live it out like the
ones who come to die live it out.
I half-walk down half-streets
in Pueblo, CO.
and see all of those
people
carrying swords with no blades.
Some in the windows looking out
at us as our corpses
stutter by.
Some with dreadlocks
smelling of a new sort of old
and some selling fresh-ground
Ethiopian beans on request.
They dance as they carry their
swords with no blades
down streets with no names
and I can’t help but feel
like this is where my journey is leading me
even though my journey
is only half-over.
We move on to Lake City
tomorrow and a piece of me
will stay behind – I know it –
sipping coffee in corner cafes
and drinking a Shamrock Porter
while mingling with neon funk.
And the people will remain people
like the dog remains a dog.
A part of me dies
as I think of Ethiopian beans and
taking photos of mountains.
Farewell, to thee,
my sweet memory.

Should probably leave this one untitled

Oh, God,
the filth of it all.
The madness.
It makes me ill.
I smash keys against
skull
in hopes that
something better
nay spew forth.
I literally just
read a poem
entitled
“Ode to Ketchup.”

Where am I?

Crawling through
the shit again.
Heart blackness
like black body
without absoption.
A science of sorts
of depression.
Where am I?
There is no God
where I am heading
today.

Down and out

I sit here and think
to myself
I can’t do this.
I can’t go back to this.
I can’t crawl back inside.

The hardest thing is
to face the sun
and smile manically at it

as if,

everything will be alright.

It’s not getting there
that hurts
but the falling
down the darkening
that fills an empty vessel
with rats and pain.

I am an empty vessel
a veil of solitude
and a bastard
drunk on cheap stock-card
cut-out false-eyelash realities.

Fishnet legs
and vague swells of
disgust
contempt
smug snears
and would-be queers

down and out
in Texas;
the home of the swine.