Sunday, January 31, 2021

Pantry for Canaanites

I can only afford one meal a day

when I need fuel to stay warm

But my sins are forgiven

and eternal life with God secured

I live on crackers and write letters

because this world hurts my eyes

with all of its broken beauty

stained by sin according to His plan

I live on chips and dream

of my children remembering me

and my love for them

and our God with all of His beauty

I live on applesauce and speak freely

among the crumbs that fell

from my master’s table above

They touch my lips and wipe away my sin

I can only afford one meal a day

when money is low and I need fuel to not freeze

But my sins are forgiven

and eternal life with them secured

Thursday, January 7, 2021

In God we trust

Today I found a bag rescued from the town and country

like a feline with no name

meowing and scared, afraid of being found

with pinches of value

She tucked away each memory

individually wrapped by fingers drawing closer to divinity

Fifty two here

Twenty two there

with no explanation as to why

And then just one quarter was wrapped by its lonely, satiny self

minted in 1983 — In God we trust 


Are there such things?

Then came the receipt of cleaning supplies

paid for with an even five doll hairs

purchased exactly three months before never worrying about them again

Only twenty seven cents was preserved from germs that hour

Then, magically, one single penny appeared

wrapped alone like the nibble of a sandwich saved for future hunger

with 2019 stamped across its face

followed by another nibble of 2019

each sealed by a plastic knot so if one escapes

the other is preserved

In God we trust again

I now touch the closest relics

before life everlasting

touched me

Friday, January 1, 2021

1st week of 3rd jubilee

I see your troubles, invisible to me

I breathe your air, suffocating me

I dream your imaginations, portending of me

In the dream 

We draw near the gate of God with breakfast cakes

I also ascend silently halfway up the mount with chunks from my wounded gut

We silently discuss the merits of muted screaming

In the dream

You hate because the demons eat your pain like starving gluttons

You mock because the demons applause and cheer like it’s monday night football 

You bite through flesh because the demons love seeing wives get slugged in the face 



We all gather around the room

from a hundred miles or more

to pray and eat

and hold phones

We watch a large screen

with no sound

and think of what to speak

with vaporous breath

We hug and shake hands

with love thawing in each embrace

except one with whom there is none

for to thaw might look like tears

Friday, December 25, 2020



I sit in its seat.

The brown weaves crackle below me.

The process begins, and this cold concrete doesn’t offer me advice, 

like it should.

At least there are no more flies 

biting, like they were around the trailer, 

nagging my ankles and forearms with questions.

I now bite myself with questions

for myself 

young and old,

to see if dead men do bleed after all.

How can there be reconciliation without metamorphoses?

How can there be a ‘we’ again without transfiguration?

And not the superficial kind, with how-are-you’s and what’s-new’s.

The last ten years of those have been boring,

showing that they never knew how to care

beyond patriotic duties and civil niceties. 

I would have preferred anything really attentive instead.

I still would. 

But I avoid much of it now.

The broad, sweeping excuses,

the punts away from guilt and pity 

and empathy. 

There’s no interest in exploring or learning.

There’s no questioning.

It doesn't even matter if the grass is greener on their side.

All that matters is that there is true grass on their side.

Yet I still see weeds.

I also see unnecessary hours of mowing and money on fuel pissed away.

They’re all experts before the conversation begins, too.

They only unveil one goal, even if other offers lie beneath.

Blame the student and give him a bright red dunce cap as a gift.

They think they know because they presuppose 

and can read minds. 

They keep their distance, too.

He’s heterodox—barely Christian;

and barely is a kind description. 

Let’s presume he’s really evil or foolish or both.

Some sugar coat morsels with justification and predestination

as though those mysteries encompass and satisfy life’s queries.

Others just pounce with feelings and peacemealing.

Others with just law.

They don’t read between the lines, beyond shakespearean wherefores.

They prooftext tropes and demolish idols. 

Context matters little in their apologetical schemes. 

When a boiling point is reached, they ask vagaries.

’What’s your problem?', as though there’s a missing key 

withheld from them with childish cruelty.

To even share a problem is to implicate one’s self as the problem,

unless they share the problem. 

And to claim to have no key is to deceive. 

A brief list might suffice, though.

Will they even allow one to be offered?

Then more blame will return to the sender. 

Did you vow to love through sickness and health? 

I can hear their squeals now—She did it first! 

In what ways do you think you failed us? 

I hear ignorance and deflection masquerading as principled profundity.

Now is not the time to spring this on us, as though we keep a record of such things.

So then, forget about the years when we were too young to understand. 

Do you remember any ways you failed us as adults? 

The sound now becomes difficult to interpret. 

It’s either a rhythmic chirping or blame shifting

like none of that matters. But it’s a sound nonetheless

—the sound of having moved on. 

Yes, some mistakes were made. Some.

Let’s not talk about those now. 

None were serious enough to warrant disdain now

Let’s all acknowledge it superficially and shout that from mountaintops 

so we can all move on and not relive the past.

More than ten years have passed predictably,

and I still I don’t like or want that. 

And I don’t want their grandchildren to endure that either. 

I could have that with anyone. 

I could even find parts at Walmart to fix it.  

What we need is more valuable and difficult to mine. 

Remarkably, I have found a path toward it now.

I drove around its buildings and sidewalks. 

I parked on its roads and played across its playground. 

I walked its yellow brick road. 

I visited the apartment it lived in. 

I dined with its shepherd. 

I visited its library and perused the books it borrowed. 

I sat in the seat it died in and noticed the trees it sang about. 

I noticed the light it saw shining down from the one who reigns above. 

But they won’t talk with me about any of that. 

It remains dead to them while remaining very alive to me. 

They imagine this new love erupting in order to hurt them. 

Yet the truth is actually much more helpful. 

It offers me vulnerability and honesty 

—a life worth learning and exploring

What they offer is utterly replaceable. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Do me a favor

Do me a favor

Quit posting about your mom

We’ve all moved on

If you need closure

I understand

But please, not on a social site

Do me a favor

Learn to r/e/a/d

I hear a lot of attack

You were not there

Her notes are purely subjective

You were way too young to understand

Do me a favor

Learn to r/e/a/d

She was sick and homeless

She could have picked herself up by her own bootstraps

She could have lived off government assistance

Somehow her problems became your dad’s fault in her God forsaken mind

Do me a favor

Learn to r/e/a/d

She refused help from us

She doesn’t get a free get-out-of-jail card

I don’t care how sick or homeless she was

No amount of help would have been enough for her

Do me a favor

Learn to r/e/a/d

I can’t let you beat up your dad so badly

He is hurt

He’s your dad

And to not allow your kids to know him is hurtful

Do me a favor

Learn to r/e/a/d

Why haven’t you reached out to him?

Who knows how long he’ll be around

There will be regret if you don’t when he’s dead

We are family damnit

Do me a favor

Learn to r/e/a/d

We tried to help her

We tried to get her help

She made excuses

We then refused to enable her illness

Do me a favor

Learn to r/e/a/d

If she would have accepted help

She would not have been homeless and died alone

That was her choice

I’m not being mean; I’m just being real

Do me a favor

Learn to r/e/a/d

Monday, December 14, 2020



Look at you

Sharing photos of distant isles and lonely trees

A coffee and cigar for Saturday

Vacations with your civil war mistress

Living your best life now

Look at you

As dapper and pinteresty as can be modeled

With briar in hand and that leather satchel on display

Poised, smug, and refined

Living your best life now

Look at you

So nuanced, yet eager to pounce with repulsive cruelty

With centuries of studies and feigning at your fingertips

Backing up each meme with sycophantic emojis

Living your best life now

Look at you

Labeling and laughing at innocent victims and their paraclete

With your nursing confidence and phone in hand

Ready to justify what poisons, cripples, and slays to save

Living your best life now