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