Friday, March 26, 2021

Authentic misery


It happened.

I asked. Then silence

For an awkward sixty

Three seconds. So I mentioned 

Resources available.

Then insecurity burst out,

Like a wizard who never cast

The right spell even though

He wrote the book.

So I clarified.

They’re online, I said.

The resources. They’re new.

That’s why they were produced.

Then, awkward whispers ensued,

And after another uncomfortable 

Minute, one excuse poured out

Beyond the softened, airy mumbles

Of buried shame painted as stability.

Our situation is complicated, he said.

Yes, you’re right, I said.

And I won’t be surprised 

If you recoil and shrink

Into isolation, where there is no

Vulnerability, which helps you remain

Unwilling to learn how we can help.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021


Planting a seed

Takes time

The right light and warmth

And moisture

At fingertips

With you

It's worth every minute

Of waiting and tasting

Every pulse

Every wave

Quietly announcing

We found divinity


You are the mirror of my worst

Show me what I look like, to your face

But once we face each other

I can’t fight you, for you

You’ll need to slice knuckles on glass to get to me

And prove that dead men do bleed after all

Once there is blood

You’ll bleed the most

If you refuse to heal

If you retreat into solitariness with your angst and shame

Instead of meeting together in our tears

Breakfast at Wendy's


I was born into this womb of a world

And kept alive by a wannabe doctor

That’s the best I can say

About one's contribution

Fed from the pulpit

One Sunday at a time

I wasn’t fed poison or medicine

It was more like chips and soda for breakfast

And microwaved lasagna and fruit punch for dinner

Without blushing or sarcasm

It's what the doctor ordered


Is it possible

He married a pagan

To subdue and humiliate?

All was grand until her first episode

The box opened and never shut without medication

For many years he cared for her

Like a drunk german shepherd 

Migrating from the Czech republic

To old steel mills with pride and headship

For many years he loved her

And she felt loved as long as she wasn’t anxious

And he often made her anxious

With his bitter barks

Please hand me a pillow to shove down a throat

To silence and comfort us all

God only knows what we saw and heard

At home and while driving

God only knows her bite was as nasty as his bark

Couldn’t he try to empathize or listen?

At some point that became impossible

She was crazy

He tried everything but a straightjacket 

And tenderness and humility

Vulnerability in the face of shame

He even wailed and cried for demons to be cast out

And it didn’t work

She was possessed with crazy Love

All that was needed to reciprocate love:

Change into the prince she needed

It makes perfect sense if you think about it

Oil and water mix perfectly

He’s oil. She’s water.

He’s anointed priest and patriarch of the Lord’s lost tribe

She’s baptized to serve and bathe in submission

To offer her last lepta for salvation

And birth a man-child for kidnapping, if need be

So the Spirit turned water into wine

To make him drink a cup of fury 

Before pouring it over his head

And so, what came to be in response to the beloved’s anointing?

A wife was found to meet and help

To frame mischief with a law

A court set up to accuse and excuse

Witnesses reared to testify

To put her to death

And they did, like compliant little pups

Who imagined their mother abandoned them for demons

Good riddance, they thought

Now we can finally have a real Christian home

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Save me


Most holy Lady, mother of mine

My soul fills with sorrows

I want to say something good

Because there is good to be spoken

But good necessitates beauty

And every time we talk or text

Or meet in person

He’s predictably awkward and ugly

I could say that to his face

But he can’t see the good in it

What else could I say?

To his face, I could cry

Saying he never has changed

He has never listened

He has never learned

Although he’s intelligent

And has ears that hear

He uses both to posture peculiarly

Sometimes politely, to not appear so strange

Most times, to be the expert in conversation

Far less, though, to sit in the seat of the scornful

That would be good to say

But he can’t receive it favorably

As the wounds of a friend

It’s just another wounding

An opportunity for imprecation

Like Saul clutching the spear

He’s tough and fearless as a lion

And fierce in battle as the unicorn

Yet tired of battling within his home

For respect and guidance

For trust and honor

What now can be done now that he is exposed?

You tried to honor him

But he would not listen

You pleaded obsessively for him to learn

But he never could imprecate himself

And this time he can’t silence you

Your voice has gone out into all the world

Crying in a wilderness of error

Will there be change from now on?

I cry out to you, O Physician

I acknowledge your works of wonders for the dead

She describes your mercy in the grave

And your truth in destruction

Intercede for us sinners

Our souls draw near to Hades

Do not forsake us sinners

O God, forgive us our sins

And have mercy on us.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Thank me later


Many think I’m crazy

Am I really?

I merely record moments

and paint punctiliar seasons

like the tree I see here and there,

the one planted along channels of water.

What I feel, I bleed out,

scratched onto thin slices of its innards:

Pain, trouble,

confusion, certainty,

embodied and at peace

in mystery and glorious favor.

There’s more to life than facts and physics,

making math reality.

My systematics are securely obscure,

like millions of pounds of rain,

floating above a desert

and I don’t care when it drops a tear,

or if it ever does

because the dead are raised,

the impious destroyed,

the living reign with us

into the ages of ages;

and there is not a God damn thing anyone can do to change that.

Saturday, March 13, 2021




I’m working on it

Nibbles of taste buds at a time

don’t seem to be as effective

as jawbones lopping off lengua

and knitting it back together

with toothpicks

Bite your tongue, they say.

I have, many times. 

See this stitch?

And this one, ad infinitum?

If you pick these sutures apart

I bleed, too.

And so would she.

That’s why I wear the beads of her hands

of gold and white,

elasticated and easy to snap,

suffocating my skin every day.

We actually feel pain, you know.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Rowing toward God


I put you to death

At a time when I didn’t read

In a time when I couldn’t write

For a time when I couldn't swim

Yet I believed, because it was for the greater good

Because you wanted to go away and had already left

I was told it was for the greater good

I then agreed to be a witness

To do what had to be done

To care, even though I didn’t care

To help common sense prevail

I became an able body

I was cruel enough to end you

And grab that pen

Agreeing to put my name on your certificate

And nod my head before others

I charged you with facts fed to me

I witnessed against the Lord’s anointed 

To save a family that was damned

To put away those problems of yours I hated

To escape my own

I just wanted you to go away

I had a unique signature to contribute

So I sat and listened to my letter

After it was written

Without coercion

Without remorse

Without excuses

Twenty years later