Until the Water Retreats

The river crested tonight. 

Ducks came to languish in the rising surf. 

I slept in a room 

Over the city 

Watching the starlings fall 

Watching the ants march.

I waited quietly 

while gravity pulled me to the earth

And things quietly shifted into focus. 

Meanwhile the toilet is out of order 

And showers have been strictly prohibited 

Until the water retreats. 

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The Things In My Control

I cleaned my car out 

For the first time in two years today.

There was a box of spilled granola 

Splayed across the floor mat 

In the backseat. 

There were pictures of my ex, 

And little trinkets collected 

In our time together.

I trashed every bit of it.

I said goodbye to my server’s apron.

I kept the crystal salt lamp 

My aunt gave me 

For Christmas

Or was it Chanukah? 

I drank a bottle of coconut water 

And thought about 

All the things I can control,

And all that I can’t. 

I did not make music 

But I will perform tonight nonetheless. 

Yes, I’m alone

in this body 

in a dark void,

And eventually I’m going to die, 

And everyone will forget about me, 

And nothing I do will ultimately matter 

Very much. 

But at least I can take out the trash. 

At least I can clean my car out,

Wipe away the melted deodorant 

At the bottom of

My glove compartment, 

Toss out the unopened packets 

Of warm mayonnaise 

Above the stereo,

Listen to an actual CD-Rom 

While the stench 

Of yesterday’s refuse wafts 

Through the open door. 

I found seven lighters 

Under the driver’s seat 

And fifteen pens and pencils

Of various color.

I have no idea 

What to do with them 

But at least if all else fails

I can set my car on fire 

And burn love notes

In the ensuing conflagration. 

That much I can control. 

Reflections on Inspiration

Today I am not inspired. 

The bird songs do not call to me. 

The grey sky 

Is a little too reflective of my emotions. 

I am an air sign 

So there must be a correlation. 

There must be a place where I can breathe easy 

Without the weight of contemplation 

Upon my back; 

Without the desperation 

That comes with trying to figure my whole life out.

I am falling 

And in my fall 

I hear the wolf barking at me

Laughing. 

I am saddened by the way of things, 

By caution-based phone calls 

And too much silence. 

I’m keeping a stick 

Above my dashboard 

To remind me 

Of the child I once was. 

What do I know now 

Of innocence? 

After the world has handed me so much? 

What do I know now 

Of resilience?

After all these years?

And of depression? 

And of entire years going by 

Without reconciliation? 

And of the frayed malaise of my life? 

Where do I find that pure joy 

That once brewed in me? 

Surely not in sad poems. 

Surely not in broken people. 

Surely not in being idle 

While somewhere 

Another life is waiting for me 

To make a commitment. 

Today I am not inspired 

But that’s okay. 

Maybe I’ll find it later.

My Release.

To move forward 

Out of entanglement 

Out of the unconscious 

Out of the old wound 

Replaying itself 

Over and over.

No longer tethering me 

To some false conception 

Of you,

Of sameness or fate.

Turning inward 

Tuning into the distortion 

The reverb 

The filters

The clatter of noise 

The reversal of tones 

The destruction 

Of calm. 

The rattling of bone 

The immolation of spirit. 

A true reckoning 

With chaos.

Leaving behind 

Those who do not see 

Nor cherish 

Nor allow.

Loving without any sort of shackle. 

Letting without any sort of need. 

Communing where possible. 

Relinquishing fixation 

To fix what is broken, 

To wrap myself 

In the shreds 

Of your disasters

And piece them back together 

Over my own face. 

I can feel something 

In my chest plate 

Beating 

Beating 

Beating 

Me alive

You away

Us to death.

I need nothing 

But the bed of good family 

The love of good friends 

The touch of my god

My own reserves

My own action 

My own voice 

Twisted with anger 

Burning with rage 

Trembling with fear 

And truth

Teetering on the edge 

Of a different person 

A different life 

A different light. 

Goodbye, Father. 

You never loved me anyways.

Goodbye, Ashes. 

You ruined the floor.

Goodbye, Brother.

You only dug the knife in.

Goodbye, Twin. 

Your mother had a different name.

A separate earth. 

A desert wind.

A distant soul. 

A different soul, 

If there is such a thing at all. 

We are not tethered.

Not by forces cosmic or mythic. 

Not at all in the way we might think.

Not at all in the way I might dream.

Sometimes love is only possible from afar, 

We are only humans 

On a rock by a star

In a void 

Trying not to scrape our knees 

One too many times.

Lord knows we’ve got enough scars anyway. 

Lord knows 

Far more than me. 

So, 

To move forward 

What’s needed is creation. 

What’s needed is forgiveness. 

The mending of the inevitable 

The acceptance of uncertainty 

The renewal of body 

The renewal of spirit 

And let me say, 

Amen.