The door closes softly— I closed it
It’s an odd lock, was it two turns or three?
I pull the handle, I have to be sure
She’s taking the elevator down— I’ll sleep alone

Out on the balcony, I wait to watch her walk out of sight
She waves and even from this far away I know she doesn’t want to leave
but part of me has been waiting for a lonely night
I need to do this alone
It’s been sitting, waiting for me
I’m not sure any of this is necessary
but I wrote the ending
I have to play it out

I pull the headphones up under my shirt, insert the jack
and my thumb slides around the circle
All the way to the letter T
because you see,
I smoked my first while listening
and there’s poetry in life
Sometimes it has to be made
Other times it’s a free-flowing river

The wheel of the lighter flicks the flame alive
It sounds like thunder
but not terror, no it’s like the thunder in a stadium
Okay, fine, inside of me is a feeling,
It feels bigger than it is

This is important
(except it’s not)
This is vital
(except it’s not)
I fucking need this
(except I know I don’t)

and then the first taste was stale
The thing was crumbled and wrinkled
and it tasted like dirt, sun-dried pale dirt
That was a gift
Because if it was pleasant, it would have been harder
Sometimes everything falls into place

when I flicked that thing, the final flick,
Few things have ever been that satisfying
While still feeling…


This is self destruction
I’ve leaned on this for most of my life
Does it really bring better thoughts to the front?
Oh but it is hypocrisy
I am shoving strife
Down the paper barrel
Within silenced halted breaths
On the other end it shoves its own down upon me
So flick it
Flick it away

Why are you reaching for another?

The quieted breathing is what calms
I just give credit where credit is not due
And I can feel, yes I can feel the damage caused
The damage I’ve self inflicted
This is a flaw
Yes this is a flaw
And a representation of the person I used to be
But can I really say that?
Cuz I’m writing this with a burning stick between my fingers
My chest says be stronger, resist
But behind it comes a larger wave of anxiety
Welcome to the undertow
I feel like I am dying here
Right now
There’s a voice of reason rising
And I know it’s right
I’m just not sure
It’s easier to say I’m not capable and move along
But look around, the voice of reason says softly
Yes you’re right, again that idea of giving credit comes to mind
And now I’m writing this while wondering:
What is it I’m trying to say?

The answer is simple but strangely scary:
Fight for life


As luck would have it,
There was a perfect tiny tool
Dirt and filth will always find its way to us
I’m there for you as much as I can be
Like how you’re there for me as much as you can

Mother Nature is often times an enemy
but today she’s a friend
This twig acts as a tool to clean your name
I know you understand that I wish I could do more
If I could I’d love to wipe away all the dirt
because you are not what they say
No WE are not what they say we are
but we both know the stains on your name run deep
They are inside of the hearts and minds of our kin

This is the closest I can ever be to you
and yes it hurts but it’s not our fault
I’ll never blame you
I wish it could have been different
but sitting here like this… it’s strange
I thought I knew what relief was
and I’m comfortable enough now to admit I was wrong

The way I am feeling today is slighty scary
Is this what acceptance feels like?
Is this what it feels like to know myself?
I felt you yesterday, you knocked and I didn’t answer
Today I realized it was you
Today I listened
To both myself and you

I sit here reflecting on a soaked morning that is winding down
and the comparisions are clear
In spite of the gray sky outside
Mother Nature is drowning the blades of grass
and I remember doing something similar
but today I’ve done something different
I’ve found something new that feels unlike anything else
Read my mind and you’ll find words like peace and renewal

Again I say to you: Thank you
I’m glad you are my blood
I’m proud to call you my Uncle
and I think I’ve found what I felt I was meant to find through you

A Faded Crosswalk

There seems to be more ghosts than demons, less like a hand gripping at every scrap of flesh and more like helpful, guiding hands. I’m not alone and I’m not together. Somehow it’s okay that I have outlived more than I wish to count. Even with the idea that an early grave was in someway bought and paid for.
Hope you kept the receipt.

I remember the car, I’m sure you do too and that actually goes for all of you. Strange to consider the importance of the thing most take for granted, more than anything else. It’s a weapon of mass destruction and a safe haven, a thrill and a fear. The wearer of many skins and roles. But do you remember the car we sat in? And all the things we said, all the plans and theories and discussions. It’s like seasons, years even, of my life are encased there. An entire year as one night. Ever ready to be replayed in fractured, minute blips. Memories like raindrops in a storm.

Back then we were invincible; living and breathing and fatally flawed. The easiest handholds are the ones that seem to crumble under our weight. I was a faded crosswalk. Painted lines well worn from feet and tires, and just about anything else that wanted to roll on through. You were a friend when I wasn’t sure I knew the meaning of the word. Here in the after, I’ve repainted the lines. They look a little different but I’m sure you’d recognize me. After all, you’re here. Isn’t that strange and beautiful and fucked and a whole dictionary of things? You’re gone and yet you’re here. I can shake the demons off but I can’t throw salt over my shoulder at the ghosts. My ghosts. I protect you, the way you seemingly protect me.

Every day there’s a memory to time travel through. We are time travelers. I am the paint, the pavement, the faded lines and the ones redone and touched up.
All of it, all at once.
All of you, all together.

From a far, when you
look upon a cemetery,
what do you see?

In the midst, when the
planet looks out at the stars,
does it see the same?

Peace comes to me,
momentarily, a reprieve
from living complications.
Ideas exist outside of progress–
my addiction.


The corner of a building
like the corner of a page meant to be turned
Please follow me back in time
Into a cloud of smoke
So much to burn
So much to learn

We said, we agreed, that freedom is ours
Strange how definitions change
Stranger how they don’t
I set my mind free, truly
and I think, I think now you’ve finally escaped
You see we didn’t know it then
but separate storms were coming to take us apart

There’s a Fort that keeps those days preserved
Everlasting, for always
Because they can’t take the music away
Nothing can take it away
It’s stronger than we are, a frozen moment

Is it possible to mourn something that can’t be taken away?
Because the gift was in your eyes
We barely knew each other then but you saw, you heard
and you believed me
and that was more than anyone else was capable of
That moment changed me
but I couldn’t reach you the way you reached me
Maybe I wasn’t meant to

One way streets are suffocating
Thank you for letting me breathe

Inner Beauty

The loudest of lions
He is the king, even behind bars
and you looked so beautiful
The way you held my hand, I’ve never felt so complete

Interlock with mine
If only we could stop time
Tell me we’ll be fine
When can we speed up time?

Are the loudest lying?
We have our own brand of quiet romance
and I’ve learned so much
The way you care, it’s like I’m finally breathing fresh air

Crawling out of the mine
Your beauty isn’t my only find
Standing with my straightened spine
With you I don’t feel so confined

Hanging On

There’s a desire for a clean slate
because the scars
Scream words we wish they wouldn’t
Instead of showing how far
We have travelled over the years
No I won’t drown in these tears
My mouth is firmly closed
Is there safety from the blows?
How can one, or even two, know?

Yesterday is right here, hanging on
Tomorrow seems like a distant myth
Today, somehow, runs and slows
It’s like speed pleads the fifth
and I truly just want to understand
How can life be both beautiful and bland?
Remember when it seemed impossible to survive?
Remember when it seemed pointless to even try?
I never thought I’d be living beyond twenty-five

Memory is a beached whale, eroding
Sometimes it just can’t be saved
Sometimes it is meant to be
Sometimes the taste of regret
is too much, it’s too much to forget
Sometimes the words hit like waves
Sometimes life is learning how to enjoy the daze


Tell me what the thoughts count for
They’re all looking at me
I’m discovered, standing exposed
and my eyes quiver
I’m trapped behind the hazy view
We all know what rhymes with hazy
You don’t have to say it
I already feel it and I’m terrified of that word
Absolutely terrified.

but I’ve shed the solutions I abused in response
Why don’t I feel better?
Why doesn’t it count?
Just the thought counts, just the thought
It’s no wonder I don’t like math
There’s too many thoughts that I must keep locked away
Secrete, I don’t want these secrets

Are they still lies if I know I’m being false?
Is it false if I’m making the choice to be fake to protect myself?
Am I the one making the thoughts count by writing them down?

I’m bruised and worn from doubt
Nauseous because I know I shouldn’t think the things I think
but what if I’m supposed to…

I can’t bring myself to finish that thought
but it lives there in the negative space
I live in the negative space
It’s impossible to shield my face
and most of the time I’m not sure that I have one
I know I’ve broken myself
Maybe it’s too harsh of a word but it seems right
It seems to fit and one can’t argue with puzzles
A corner is a corner

I got my first royalty check

I opened the envelope and put it right in my desk drawer.  I’m not sure how to feel about it at all.  Part of me is saying that this should be some pivotal moment in my life but the rest of me is shrugging.  I actually shrugged as I closed the drawer.  Okay yes this was AFTER I tweeted a picture of it, but that was a quiet way of saying “Tell me how I should be feeling.”

A year ago I released My Enveloping Reflection, writing it was more satisfying than this morning’s envelope tearing.  Figuring out how to put together the ebook file and finally succeeding was more of a fruitful experience.  I felt more accomplished in just about every moment related to MER and the followup (Armorless and Afraid) than this one.

Both of the poetry collections were written to inspire MYSELF.  I wrote these because I had to.  I’m a better person because of the whole experience of writing and releasing them.  I don’t look in the mirror with disgust and turn to bottle after bottle after bottle to fix my perception, to lift my spirits.   Is everything perfect now?  Definitely not.  I did get more out of it than I ever expected.  I really just wanted to write a collection of poetry that wasn’t just like I stapled a bunch of separate poems together and said VOILA COLLECTION.  *slaps title on it* and *attaches cover*.  Poetry is as lame as it is beautiful and brilliant.  There’s always a thin line.  Always and everywhere.  I’m losing focus here…

I’m sure there’s many people out there who right from the jump want and expect to be paid for what they write.  That’s not me.  I’ve said all along that I would much rather people download the ebooks straight from me.  FOR FREE.  These poetry collections were about expression and being completely honest with myself.  I’ve learned a lot about myself through these beginning steps of my new life.  That’s what it feels like now, it’s not about regression or fear or anything else it’s about clarity and feeling in control of myself.  For the most part.  There’s always going to be ups and downs.  The hardest part of sobriety is learning and practicing patience in regards to myself.  Being patient with myself is difficult, I have to remind myself constantly to slow down and just breathe.  Not everything can go according to plan and it’s not supposed to.

I was really hoping writing this was going to reveal how I feel about the royalty check to myself.  That’s why I sat down and started the finger tap dance but here I am feeling just about the same.  Shrugging.  Shrugged.  I like the word shrug, it’s fun.

Thank you for reading.  If you haven’t read the aforementioned poetry collections look upward, they are both sitting up under my fancy banner.

Paul, Please Pick Up

The best people leave quicker than they came
They can’t stay, they have to go
They become the benchmark
And no one seems to measure up
It’s all pale and getting paler
Life, love, hope, dreams, goals
One after the other
Like a snowball rolling through the rusty and rotten
It’s supposed to happen another way
The white is meant to be a blank sheet
A canvas ready to be painted
A block of clay ready to be shaped
They say it is, they told me so
Why would they lie?
Then again they said a child…
They said bearing a child would heal me
That it would remake me
It hurt on the way out
And it hasn’t stopped, it never stops

I don’t have friends, I can’t find or make any
The ones that matter are so far away
Did they have to go because of me?
I don’t know, I can’t make sense of anything
The thing everyone said would help just won’t stop SCREAMING
I’m sure she’d leave if she was able
If she knew how to
Does she know I see her as a mistake?
A horrid screaming burden
I can’t hear myself think, I can’t hear anything
And all I want to hear is your voice
I missed your call, I live in chaos
It never stops, I’m never calm
Unless your voice is in my ear
I want to call you back but I just don’t know
Will you pick up or will I miss you?
Well I already miss you
I hope you won’t mind her screaming in the background
I wish I could put her in my background
Is that awful of me?
Am I a terrible mother?
A terrible person?
Is that why you HAD to go?
Is that why I’m all alone?
Is that why no one cares?
Isn’t there someone out there that cares?
There has to be, right?
I don’t know why I bother asking, everyone always lies
It’s all lies
Never ending lies
Never ending and deafening