Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Poetry

Please join me on my newest page, "Letters Home, The Poetry". This page will focus only on poetry and include some very provocative and passionate guest writers!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rule Yourself First by Christopher Reilly

This piece comes to me from my literary friend Christopher Reilly. This short but powerful work struck me immediately, and I was compelled to share it. The tone is delicious, the message short and directly to the point, revealing a powerful viewpoint. Find more of Chris's work in the link below. I will be showcasing much more from this very skilled and passionate poet!

Once you have been properly imprisoned
you can make friends with the rats,
get yourself elected governor of the cell, 
rule your domain.

Take your time to feel the cold stones
beneath you, mark the time
with hoarded chalk,
relax into your shackles


Someone once asked me: "How did you learn to live?"

I said: "By Dying."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Midnight Call (escaping Eden)

She makes a call
to an ancient friend 
who's weathered hands
will come to render
unto her 
the poison sweet
the stuff that brings me 
to my knees

He brings infection
for my wounds 
They huddle as they 
plot my doom
He brings to Eden
her fruit of choice
Taste, my sister 
raise your voice

I too have called on
someone dear 
He's not met me 
but he's near. 
He's been there 
and he's been here, 
right where I stand
in Eden's tears

I'll share his words 
so perfectly 
matched to my 
I cannot say it
quite like him
so I will go 
and let him in...

Slowly I married Her

Slowly I married her
Slowly and bitterly married her love
Married her body
     in her boredom and joy
Slowly I came to her
Slowly and resentfully came to her bed
Came to her table 
in hunger and habit
     came to be fed
Slowly I married her
sanctioned by none
with nobody's blessings
in nobody's name
     amid general warnings
     amid general scorns
Came to her fragrance
     my nostrils wide
Came to her greed
     with seed for a child
Years in the coming
and years in retreat
Slowly I married her
     Slowly I kneeled
And now we are wounded
     so deep and so well
that no one can hurt us
except Death itself
     And all through Death's dreams
I move with her lips
The dream is a night
     but eternal the kiss
And slowly I came to her
     slowly we shed
the clothes of our doubting
     and slowly we wed

The Unclean Start (abridged)

I went down to the port with my wife. On the way down I accused her of continuing her relentless automatic assault on my being. I knew this was not wise. I only meant to rap her on the knuckles and direct her attention to her habitual drift toward bitchiness but I lost control. There is no control in these realms. I became a thug. Her spirit armed itself and retaliated massively...You kill. It is your nature. Observe your nature...

"Slowly I married her" and "The Unclean Start" copyright Leonard Cohen, 1978, from book "Death of a lady's man" Photograph copyright Leonard Cohen

Sunday, September 14, 2014


How could I forgive him? You steam and foam at the mouth, Mother, as you spit the ultimate question. What single saintly act was so profound as to erase one thousand other acts that when patched together form the picture of your permanent sorrow? And 
how could I forgive him for making me merely one more piece in his plan against you? I was a throwaway pawn in the parent war. I’d known that all along. I was the last child to run to the enemy side. Ironically, he was also my pawn in the game…the strategy that was to break me out of your barbed wire prison...put you in check; at least I tried. 

“Get him out of here!” you cry. He’s dead and gone! Don’t resurrect him now!”

You’d waited decades for his glorious passing. Did your sorrow go up in the smoke of his cremation, as you so hoped? Did your air get a little cleaner when he stopped breathing it? How could I forgive him? He stomped on our hearts and stole our future. How could I forgive you? You took every ounce of his pain and passed it around; it was too much for one person to choke down. How could I forgive myself? I spent decades drinking the both of you out of my vision, kicking my liver and my brain like it was their fault. I'm bitter and defeated. My wife cries. The beagle has taken up residence under the television stand. Not even Mr. Bubbles jumps to the glass anymore when I bring the flakes.

All three of us stand over this cesspool of tears, three beautiful losers, throwing stones into it, distorting our own reflections.

We stand silent and awkward at this murky pond of the past. Dad grins like a guilty schoolboy:
“Been awhile, hasn’t it, Di?” 

You look away in determined silence, tapping one foot, furious that I’d dragged you both together. He looks right at you, knowing that his eyes are burning right through you. He becomes Charlie Chaplin and trips over himself for your bitter amusement, falling to his knees:

“Oh, my darling Di, what happened to you and I?” Da-da-dum-da-dum-dee-dum

You turn and offer derisive applause, with renewed conviction that this clown is to blame for your every tear, your every twitch. 
He grabs you by a leg while he’s down on bended Chaplin knee and pulls you into the pool of tears, dragging you deep. You kick and scream and struggle for air. He’s not letting go. He didn’t go up in a puff of smoke after all. The crazed killer of dreams has come to call from depths unknown. Your eyes leap from their sockets. Your extra hold hair floats away from your head like thousands of desperate fingers clawing at the surface. Your cakeup floats away from your face, clouding any possible escape. Your heart begins to beat again. 

“I knew it!” you cry as you feel the bottom with your feet; I knew it: words for your own final exit. You gave half of every day to knowing he’d return to take you down, force you to taste that first drunken smack again. There will always be blood trickling from your split lip. 

There will always be a broken TV. There will always be shattered glass, a shadow to run from, a corner to hide in. He was always in your path; you yourself invited him. I stand on the muddy shore and allow the crime. I brought you here; this was part of my plan.

Dad often discussed the state of affairs between the two of you:
 “Jay, it’s been over thirty years. She said she was only going out for milk and bread. Do you think she’s coming back? I was thinking of dating again, but I want to be sure.” 

I’d roar with laughter while he did a drum roll in mid air, beaming with his inimitable goofy grin.

Perhaps I should be a little harder on the guy; his comedy only had merit in the moments long after the dreams he’d broken were swept away and all but forgotten; long after the blood had dried and the dust had settled on yesterday, covering it in a blanket, putting it to sleep so that we could peek in on it from time to time without fear.

But Mother, dear Mother, you wear yesterday like a slave’s collar! The weight of it chokes you and pulls you closer to the dust from which you came and to which we all return. There is precious little time now! Tear it from your neck! Toss it into the pond and let it sink and be seen no more! Make a break from the chain gang and run to the hills! Let time forgive you, as it has me, for tossing it to the wind and assuming it would always be there while we played blame games and hung our loathing like a dream catcher, becoming tangled alas in our own nets.