Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sloughing Despair

Despair sets a sink-hole in my bed,
this terrible gravity says not to rise;
delineates the way seeds of failure
are in everything. It tries disguising
itself as a womb worth giving up

everything else for. I stare at my skin
and listen to the histories of atrocities
and lies for which it has been the flag
of the conquerors. It never changes, 
it's always been this way, always will

be this way, nothing we ever try to do
will make difference. Still, I've made it
as far as the shower. I stand weeping,
and drenched, and if I imagined this
was the world's blood, I would give up

and die, today. Instead, imagine my skin
as I scrub, dropping a river of the dead
skin cells, to be washed away where
they can change into food or compost
for something to grow. They're a loss

necessary for things to grow, even if
it is just a dandelion cracking asphalt.
Despair can be just like dead skin cells:
we are all covered in it, but we wash
it away, if just for today, and try again

Friday, January 20, 2017


I fear the darkness
less, when I light a candle,
even just the one

I wish for you all a strong candle
I wish for you a path through
I wish you nimble thoughts and gifts of fire on your tongue
I wish you clever umbrellas

I wish you a secret identity if you need one
I wish you an camouflage safe house home
I wish you a name for the dark that makes it smaller when you speak it
I wish you deep meals and good sleep

and you can take this
candle, light the next one, you,
already less alone

Thursday, January 19, 2017

3am haiku

I worried I might
have Impostor Syndrome, or
else I fake that, too

Monday, January 16, 2017

Remembering Jack

I can still hear Jack, his voice
resting comfortably in the back
of my head. He is gentle, often
with a subtle slice of sharp wit,
and if he cannot help, at least
he tries never to do any harm.

He agrees with me on waking
up; how that can be harder
on certain days than on others.
But up, we must. What choice
do we have but to do our best
effort and let go of the results?

I have his books, photographs
of the both of us, and enough
memories that I fear to lose
if I do not write them down
in time. Because time is all
I have in place of him now.

So, I nod, corrected, his child
& student; both really. I go
to a meeting; let go of grief
a little. Jack you didn't live
to see me sober. But I try to be
gentle with myself, even so.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

... Or As Needed

I take eight different medications
on a daily basis, with another three
in case of emergencies of muscle
or bone; two pills to keep my blood
pressure numbers closest to human
as possible; two for all the sorrows
that still live and feed beyond me

or my ability to cope normally; plus
a pill for how anxious I feel because
of the number of pills I have to take
everyday. Lastly, three miracle powders
I have to inhale to keep the billowing
sails of my lungs full and open to air.
I am as defined by the cures I've tried

as I am by the chronic ills they targeted.
I'm a war waging under my skin; found
by following prescription paper trails
appointment calls, medical records, and
medical records and medical records...
"Chronic, incurable, slow. Treatments,
but no cure so far so far as we know."

Monday, January 2, 2017

The God of the Forgotten Gods

Prompt: You are an attendee at the annual Convention of the Lesser Gods.  You meet a deity whose last worshiper died this last year. Share the conversation you have.

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

When entities have been forgotten, become lost
and unfriended, they come to me. In the Days
Before, this was something of a certainty; now
I find myself unsurprised in whole new ways.

If you are going to choose only one belief
about Gods, choose this: not a single human
knows anything. No one has ever begotten
an accurate description. They get it wrong.

Always, some fabric-unraveling inconsistency,
rises and their well-rounded, enriched religion
is revealed for what it is: a child's drawing
of the indescribable. Usually Super Heroes

of some kind who are better and kinder, or not.
Some are just bigger and all children know this:
the biggers can push around the small of them,
because they can. Of course they worship that.

Gods and Heavens don't exist unless they do,
that's as accurate as any anthology or liturgy
gets. What happens to discarded Works of Men?
Where do Old Gods go to die of quiet isolation?

They come to Me. Preservetus, the God
of the Forgotten Gods. They come because
I remember their names when names die,
remember their High Holy Days, remember

the things they like sacrificed, the essence
that a litany of voices is crucial to maintain.
I mean, I bring them meals and sing songs
only they and I still remember the words to,

for as long as they can yet hold their shape.
Afterwards I put them to sleep in grounds
beyond the reach of dream or supplication;
a place where the Gods are safe from men.

...throw a prayer into the air,
see is someone's listening there.
count to one starting at ten,
see if anyone's listening then...