get out and stay out

It’s hard to open a mind that doesn’t want to be open. Same thing goes for hearts and souls. A lot of good people move through life unfulfilled because they’re unwilling to change their narrative. They’ve established a persona, a way people expect them to be, so they fear that being anything else will chip … More get out and stay out

the drinking brain after 1 year and 10 months of sobriety

Taste of fall this morning. Cool, gusty wind coming off Grand Lake. Lots of waves. The temperature will probably stay below 70. Not cold, but not warm enough for swimming or dragging people around the water on a tube. So, our activities will be land-based. Cornhole, ladder ball, sitting and standing around, talking. All of … More the drinking brain after 1 year and 10 months of sobriety

garbage day

Another bag of trash to the can, then to the side of the road. Men with manners—they wave, nod, and even smile sometimes in passing—will be here soon to take it away and then lay the empty container on its side in the dewy grass. It’s summer, so hanging off the back of a garbage … More garbage day

morning at the lake

You’re not going to get all the beautiful mornings. Not to the extent that you desire. This one—the best one yet, July 3rd, 2022—is gorgeous. Smooth lake. Warm sunrise. Cool air. Dewy grass shimmering in the light. Time to kayak, paddleboard, fish. A slow morning cruise around the shoreline and islands. But no, not today. … More morning at the lake

The Dad Job

I don’t know where it all goes. They were here yesterday, soft and playful. Running around the house all day. Needing me.  Not for the important stuff. Mom is always there for that. But for games and feats of strength. To reach things up high. Carry them upstairs to bed. Tell them stories. Just be … More The Dad Job

on the surface

Down there, you may think you’re in control, that you have friends, but you’re only widening the expanse of the darkness. Making it more and more difficult to find the light. Making yourself more alone. And when you do pop up to make the necessary appearance, the darkness comes with you. I know firsthand. … More on the surface

simple depth

For me. For you. The blue overlays the white, but we fight for clarity as we march toward destiny—an everchanging, growing evolution of experience. We won’t settle, except for slow times when recharging is necessary. An hour on the couch to zone out or laugh, be amazed, or afraid. Two chapters in a chair to … More simple depth

bird moments

They want to be heard and recognized. And they’re scared too. Maybe not all the time, but this moving from day to day isn’t always easy. Shit, indeed, does happen. And it’s important to remember others are at it as well. Doing whatever it takes to figure it out, get through, and be as prepared as possible for whatever, whenever it comes.   … More bird moments

they’re growing up

All we need we’ll take with us when we go. When we leave this place. Move on to the next. So, it’s okay to enjoy the plastic and metal, the concrete and virtual. Go ahead, experience the highs and lows. Run, walk. Freefall. Taste the salt of sweat and tears—our ocean. Remember the puppies, the … More they’re growing up

patterns to possibilities

Most of us fit into the system. Run along as best as we can within the structure. Marking days off the calendar. Checking off to-do lists and bucket lists and shopping lists. Identifying each other by our numbers, our belongings, the rungs we have or have not reached on the ladder to success. Some strange place or feeling that we’re supposed to have if we do this, that, and the other things. … More patterns to possibilities

come down

Feed your brain and body better ingredients and better experiences. Don’t lose sight of stars. The horizon. The patience and magic that rolls a cloud into a whale, a penguin, a buffalo.   Pick up a book. Dedicate yourself to one page a day. Remove yourself from the narrative you’ve created and discover another. Remember, … More come down

October 21, 2021

I’ve spent so much time over the years reigning myself in that my writing has been too measured. Maybe it’s not about the iceberg theory—making meaning by what’s left out. Maybe it’s good to simply say it straight out. Do what the energy wants. Rip off the band-aid. Let it bleed. Let it breathe. Just let it be. And maybe this change is about more than writing. Maybe it’s about my life.
More October 21, 2021

i like it

There’s danger in getting too far ahead. In thought. In action. In words. Even if you know something deep in your core, sometimes it’s best to wait to make mention of it. Time may not exist, but it’s in control. Desire for the physical is fading. There’s an appeal from within for a slower pace. … More i like it

next

The moon’s still out. High above Eddie’s place across the street. I saw it while putting cat shit in the garbage can. This morning, I don’t feel I’m missing out on—or missing—anything. Life is fine. There’s a comfortable lull of contentedness wrapping up all around me this morning. I don’t feel guilty about it, either. … More next

our big trip

Some mornings I want to wake slowly. Watch myself in the mirror as I brush my teeth and give myself the benefit of the doubt. Some forgiveness. Overall, we’ve done well. We’re not finished by any means. There’s still so much more living to do. But there are days—like this Summer Sunday morning, feeling closer … More our big trip

phantom hangover

Dreamt I drank. Felt guilty as hell. There was no desire to drink. Just did it. I was driving my son’s car. 2009 Toyota Corolla LE. Going to get it tuned up for him at a friend’s garage. Strange. Surreal. Exciting and worrisome, as dreams often are. I felt good, buzzed up, but I knew … More phantom hangover

a prayer

I wrote A Prayer in 2004. I was a different person, but I wasn’t.  There’s immaturity in that writing. That’s natural. As artists, we grow—if we dedicate time to the craft. What was best though. was seeing that I’d grown as a person. I don’t even recognize some of the stories. I get the meaning. … More a prayer

the obvious

Mayflies dot damp sidewalks as we move along with the dogs. Our morning exercise between bouts of rain. The routes we take are the same. There are only so many streets in this town. Best we can do is switch up our lefts and rights to see the world from different angles at different times. … More the obvious

bird, apple, orange

Bird, apple, orange. I’m happy to be torn. Into so many pieces. They see me. Different directions. The refraction. Light on my edges. The kids’ drip, drip, dripping faucet. The bathroom sink. My little boy is 15. He has a razor and shaves. My little girl is 11. She wears eye shadow sometimes. They are … More bird, apple, orange

distillation

You know how you wake up with a song in your head and it sticks there while? What if you put on the headphones and played that song? And what if you did it every time you woke with a song in your brain? Would it change the course of your day? I think the … More distillation

seven months

Drinking stops, but thinking does not. As you learn to live all over again—taking baby steps—the world around you continues.

Thirty years of steady alcohol intake trains the body and brain. You don’t notice the aches. Pain. When you’re frustrated, you drink. If you’re tired, you drink. Happy, you drink. Sad, you drink. Drinking goes with everything.

“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.”
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backroads

Get in and ride. Take the fork. Bend the spoon. Let the roads expand perception and create our path. Ignore the compass. Follow the shapeshifting clouds. Climb the gravelly hill. Roll and brake down the sandy slope. Gas it through the water hole. Let’s open the moonroof and the windows. Let the lake, earth and … More backroads

sharing space

May 30th, 2021 8:35 am Caring less about what others think, but still caring about their thoughts. Opinions, unless expressed in an interesting way, are useless. Just words. Humans have learned to express themselves more throughout evolution. Tapping into that inner monologue. Letting it rip. From cave walls and stone tablets to papyrus. Newspapers. The … More sharing space

less

Rain. The puddles. A grackle at the feeder. These are important today. It isn’t the buzz of the headlines. News twisted to push agendas. Keep them rich. Keep them poor. Sick, sick, sick. Buy, buy, buy. It’s the yellow-eyed black bird holding its long tail in a “V” as it scatters seed onto the porch. … More less

bed head

May 15th, 2021 6:50 am Awfully tired. But that’s par for the course. Not worthy of mentioning. But I do it anyway because it’s on my mind. The tired feeling has hold of me. I rely now, on coffee. Once I drink the morning sauce and it moves into my bloodstream, I’ll feel awake. Thoughts … More bed head

guarding the nest

Bird eggs. Some still looking intact. On sidewalks and lawns. Some broken in half, the middle oozing out. Others, just shell. We see them when we walk these days. It’s a wild time for nature. The foraging. Nesting. Sunlight, darkness, extreme changes of weather. Survival. Last night, we purchased a fifty-pound bag of black, oiled, … More guarding the nest

ripe for the taking

Get in on whatever you can. Give it some gas. Do what makes you feel good. Recently, I stepped back from teaching college. That, coupled with sobriety, has helped me reach levels of productivity and relaxation that I haven’t experienced in many years. I have improved my office space in the basement.  Having a comfortable … More ripe for the taking

unrest

January 4, 2021 7:10 am Unrest. That’s what it is. Caged up. Energy to burn, satisfaction wanted, but choosing tasks is difficult. But why choose to do anything? There’s enough in my everyday to keep me busy. With existence dwindling, my focus is on happiness. I need to publish a book. Poetry, short stories, a … More unrest

8:53 am

Fat and sugar, salt and caffeine lift me when they hit the bloodstream. So, I make Sunday breakfast for family. Eat sausage while it cooks. Sip fresh ground blonde roast. Listen to Holiday Classics and my son, as he tells my wife about his late-night spent eating burgers, broccoli, chili, rice, and chips. watching college … More 8:53 am

a month and two days

The dogs so happy to be out in the fresh day. Scents everywhere. Running. Pissing. Pooping. Around the yard, through the leaves, sniffing around the small wood pile, sure that something’s there. And it likely is. Or was. Nestled into a crevice. Surrounded by dried grass, leaves, bits of paper, and strands of string. A … More a month and two days

awake again

Up early these days. With the dog, the cats. The stars up in black sky. This morning, I was ready for snow.  Crept downstairs so as not to wake my warm, sleeping family, then stopped at our front door. The house across the street.  A Christmas tree in the top right window year-round. Our American … More awake again

she sleeps

She sleeps so soundly, but I don’t because I don’t know how. There’s too much pounding in my brain, ringing in my ears. And there’s ache in my hands, wrists, hips, and feet. I can’t stop thinking about how night wraps up all around me, us, and how eventually it wins. Takes everything. Makes it … More she sleeps

freewriting blasphemy

(Recently, I asked my students to experiment with freewriting…just letting words roll out from wherever they come. So, I thought I would do the same.) I don’t feel like being metaphorical or creative or moving this morning. I want to get on with the day, but it’s already here. Somehow, I get into it without … More freewriting blasphemy

life doesn’t wait for backed up sewer lines

In two inches of shitty water. Plunging the drain in the basement. Over and over again. Wads of hair. Toilet paper. Band-aids. Pieces of foil. Rubber bands. Bits of unidentifiable things built up over years, even long before we got here.  It splashes me. It stinks. But it’s nearly midnight and I’m not losing this … More life doesn’t wait for backed up sewer lines

crossing the road

Early Sunday morning. A car stops on State Street because a flock of geese crosses the road. They are doing what they’ve been doing for millions of years. Moving from Point A to Point B. They’ve experienced disease, drought, famine, and legitimate predators—not the weekend gun-jockeys that pop them off in parks during three-day hunts … More crossing the road

twelve years into it

The sky threatened for hours. Light, then dark. Light, then dark. Light, then an expanse of dull gray, puffed up and floating above the big lake and our little town. The rain, mostly unpredictable sprinkles, came and went. Came and went. But we welcomed the day, and we were happy.  This was yesterday. Our anniversary. … More twelve years into it

The 45th Parallel

(from the opening of Black) We are halfway between the equator and the North Pole. At least that’s what the sign says alongside the road. It is big and green with white block lettering and it is mounted to two eight by eights that are cemented into the ground. Anyone traveling US 23, the single … More The 45th Parallel

sunday morning storm

Up to the city siren and out of bed quickly to survey the situation. As if there’s anything I could do to save us. The fierce wind drives waves of rain. Trees and wires sway. Lawn chairs tumble across the yard. Bird feeders swing wildly on their hooks. A garbage can rolls down the street. … More sunday morning storm

no hands

A twelve-year-old girl keeps a sunfish in a bucket for days. One she caught while camping. She feeds it bits of leftover burger. Dried worms from the sidewalk. Poor, stupid moths that bang against her bedroom window. And ants. The sunfish floats. Surrounded by white walls. Under a narrow shaft of light. The big sky … More no hands

“We want the world, and we want it now.” ~ Jim Morrison

The virus is picking up pace again. At least that’s what the news reports. I’m not sure if it’s that more people are getting it or that we’re discovering that more people have it. I suppose that’s the same thing, but what I’m trying to get at is if we went around testing everyone to … More “We want the world, and we want it now.” ~ Jim Morrison

backroaders

It’s time to drive gravel roads that cut through the hardwoods. To creep along sandy trails that meander through sprawling forests of pine. Driving off the pavement is one of my favorites. I enjoy opening the windows, smelling the fresh air, listening to the sound the tires make as they explore unfamiliar terrain. I am … More backroaders

waking slow

The sun brings on the day. Not headlines or pocketbooks. Definitely not desire. Fear plays no part in the cosmos. Those stars do what they do no matter what. Wish upon them all you want. The universe doesn’t care much about your Facebook posts. Your Twitter feed. What you’re wearing. Who you’re dreaming about. What you want to be whenever you stop being what everyone else expects you to be. … More waking slow