what can I bring

January 7, 2016

oh, my Daughters.
I am not proud
I know I have no discipline
and when I try it on you = its weak at best
sporadic, erratic; I bark and back off quickly
having accomplished nothing.
what am I teaching…
only what you are watching.
no fooling myself,
I know its only my consistent behaviors.
my inadvertent quirks and starts and lurches
that bring any lessons.
you see me survive,
love your mother well
and the rest is vague.
you know me in my limitations
and lingering sadness; vulnerability.
you know me
and I can’t know what that means
or how it is shaping you…
terrible and terrifying
I don’t even know where to begin.
I was a man of prayer and imagination once.
I wish you knew me before the grinding.
now I’m just tired…
a man of reluctance,
a man who needs a shave
who needs convincing;
and you can usually do it…
because you have soft cheeks that gather when you smile,
interests of your own,
secret ways that know me
to wiggle into all the cracks.
you have learned,
whatever I have brought;
I hold on to hope that somehow
to you
it will always mean safety.

it can’t take everything

September 25, 2015

there were moments when things made a bit more sense.
a memory of this came with a song the other day.
at a time; my wife and kids and I all enjoyed it together,
one of our momentary family anthems – a peaceful song
and proof that there was this day with enjoyment.
with the memory came a longing for that different day
just so that I could appreciate its happening.

at the core there is a constant reaching…
slow stretch of fingertips
to brush beauty.
its hard to yearn and strive
and keep open;
not to snap shut and turn on something
you can grasp two-handed and throttle
or more often give up in indolence or easy dissent
sinking back into the default of exhaustion.

…but beauty flowing like wisps of smoke
gathering in my hands, winding around my fingers…
what about the dream of you I had once
– all those I love with that ache of longing –
standing together talking, holding their stars.
or the easy afterglow of the Unfair Advantage
or the occasional day alone in wilderness.
I know that I have inhaled beauty
and that can’t be taken from me.

at work…
6 deer stepped across the parking lot.
young bucks; their antlers: big and new and awkward
impeding their quick disappearance
into the thin copse of trees at the edge.
then walking in the community garden
I saw a pumpkin on the dying vine
still small and half buried
but so orange.
is that what it is like inside
the sense of returning?
a few unwithered vines still reaching…
to soon to tell
need more rain.
I hope when it comes I will dance in it with my children.

the depression acquired a sniper rifle
BANG! – industry
BANG! – humor
BANG! – creativity
BANG! – connection
hunting them down
with nothing to stop it
having destroyed my defenses long ago
it kills.
and all the bad things overrun the system,
gain influence,
make their authority, their residence seem permanent.
hard to imagine hope
when both imagination and hope were gunned down.
most things are hit initially with a nonlethal shot
and then slowly put to death…
ground down (sometimes tortured) over time
as I watch
helpless to do anything
becoming too starved to struggle,
exhausted against the original bonds
that tied me down so long ago
cutting into me and cutting off my circulation.
humor and creativity (wit and nuance) were my friends
and so liked by others
but they’re all gone now.
embarrassment and shame are left guarding the room,
though I still struggle when I can
against the persistent beatings of apathy and cynicism.
and honestly, hope is hard to kill;
cause it can shatter into so many tiny fragments
and go scurry off in every direction to hide
even lay dormant for impossibly long times
before peaking out again.
I haven’t seen light glance off a shard in a while
but I believe they are still there (proof)
waiting for the right sunbeam.
for now, forever, however
I am bound and gagged,
tied to a chair and knocked to the floor
left to ruminate and ridicule
my own histrionics
and to wonder how the hell
I’m supposed to parent while
lying on the floor tied to this chair.
exhaustion very slowly dragged the keyboard
to my hands so I could type this
but it was a challenge
being trussed up backwards and all
and it took about 6 months to slowly
peck it all out.
I can’t tell if its any good as I can’t see it
and most of the faculties that provide discernment
have been assassinated = good judgment, acumen, etc.
I’m afraid silliness might still be bouncing around in here
and I’m not sure that I ever had any
reticence to speak of.


January 29, 2015

life goes on
+ life goes on
you can’t shut it off
and expect to survive
expect respect
for staying alive
if I knew then what I know now
I’d still know nothing
and you’d still be my friend anyhow
+ everything I broke would still be broken
+ every hurt I spoke would still be spoken
and it would still all happen in slow motion
+ so fast it would be out of my control
I am the fraud with the heart of gold
just a fraud with a heart of gold
I can’t shut it off
or go back
or keep from getting old
or expect God
to be anything of my expecting
just a fraud with to many opinions
to expect respect for having nothing
to say that matters
regardless of conditions
it is hard to say anything
that matters
even with try after try after try
I am still alive
I can’t shut it off
or shut it out
life goes on regardless
of what I think about it.

we awoke to snow the other day
a bit unusual here
the kids went out (ill prepared) to play in it
with wet gloves and pink, swollen fingers

I wanted to go out
but I excused myself regarding my pj pants
and that I remember the treasure of playing alone
without adults.
I did make one snowball
and threw it at a telephone poll (I missed)
but mainly the snow served to more deeply and clearly
define the Woolf tracks at my door; prowling
surrounding me.
come. I want to be eaten – devoured
but my pockets don’t hold enough rocks
and I don’t have the energy to fill them
besides the river looks so cold
to just go walking in gasping
grasping a poorly made snowball
pj pants sagging off from the weight of the rocks,
besides Virginia didn’t have kids
playing on a hill in the near distance.

come Woolf and howl
it is mournful but meaningless.

another Woolf


January 6, 2015

24 – and before is not anymore

25 – its strange & good to be alive
26 – seeing things that need a fix
27 – bills for pills and therapy sessions
28 – accept it all as a trick of fate
29 – would make a change if there was time
the big three zero – over trying to be a hero
31 – a little addition & adulthood has really begun
32 – duty is what there is to do
33 – the balance of circumstance and biology is reality
34 – scrape the edges, look for more
35 – still searching for the drive
36 – sick and tired of being tired and sick; the cliché sticks
37 – don’t worry much about hell or heaven
38 – a bit to soon for it to be too late
39 – and no one wants to hear me whine

but this year I’m 40.

still sad, stuck and silly.

eggshells and mug shards

December 17, 2014

tell me that you love me.
i just want to stop moving for a little while
have a lie down
sleep to escape me,
but these days i snore
so even in the night
i bother us all.
dammit this stuff was supposed to help me
not make me crazier.
i don’t know what to expect
or what is even a valid expectation.
your love
is the constant.
so exhausted that it
turned to crying this morning
for me for you for us for them.
i don’t know where my heart has got to
and the mug leapt out of my hand
as i was trying to put it away
crashed down on that important plastic thing
rendering it useless
i yelled as it bounced and fell to the floor
broken, ruined
my heart
what kind of fragile things
are our children growing up with
as i toss eggshells all over the floor
on the couch, on the carpet, in the kitchen
where ever i went this morning, wherever i go.
i know that our first-born
would cover the shells with candy hearts
and sweet little slogans
sincere visions in colored paper hung on the fridge.
she squeezes into the hug
so tall now
but still finding room…
there is room for them all.
but i lack the strength
to sweep up.
be careful where you step, kids
dad’s heart is missing again.

its not helping

December 15, 2014

it feels like every movement
has to be painfully slow and purposeful
concentrate on this one thing
even to the pressing of the g or e or s
there it goes
press down on the key and the letter appears on the screen
a little faster now
no, don’t look cause it will all be blurry
shifting to the edge of your vision
out of focus
then snapping back
fuzzy letters giving you vertigo
slow down

i will try

November 17, 2014

if i were to come home
wrap you in a cozy blanket
lay you on the couch in warm light
brush your hair and rub your feet
with quiet companionable equanimity
that would be awesome

if i were to come home
grab a cheapassbeer from the fridge
collapse on the couch amidst the chaos
feel the ache in my head and feet
try to accept the noise and my deep tension
that would be obvious

if i were to come home
wrap you in a hug as soon as the kids let me
sit on the couch with them and read books
look forward to when we can relax our minds and rest our feet
together release as much of it all as we can
that will be enough

no groan-ups allowed

November 9, 2014

i think money is better than work
work sucks
money is great
and the two dont seem to have a whole lot to do with each other
so, there you go
debt is easy and depressing and impossible and probable
even though we are careful
and i am a skilled little sexton
i am also a depressed and anxious one
without the possibility of ambition
there is just no money or romance
in exhausting yourself physically
and hurting and being afraid
both financially and of getting older.
it takes years to become a journeyman
or master craftsman and make money as a true tradesman
might as well be a doctor
or learn Japanese
plus most guys slave for someone else
take their paycheck and go (like me for example)
they dont give a shit about what theyre doing
and theyre still all better at it than me
but here i am
stuck and whinging (i like that word –
though its so close to whining its almost pointless to know it)
and winging it – constantly anxious
because i never really feel like i know what im doing
no one has ever taught me any of this stuff
i just kind of had to figure it out
and so i still feel like im doing it all wrong
plus i spend half my time just moving heavy things
my life is a waste
oh by the way
i have a depression problem and am not a reliable narrator
ignore my bullsnit – thats right i said bullsnit – for no reason
if it wasnt for my now crippling anxiety
i would go back to school for a therapy license of some sort
it would be much less stressful in the long run i think
and definitely better money
and everybody wants a depressed, anxious therapist.
i still live in the same place and do the same nothing and my stomach hurts everyday and i keep getting worse as i get older and i am afraid of this and im trying new meds and they always fuck with me but my marriage is exceptional and i get better looking every year. i am so stressed and paranoid but i listen to a lot of good stuff (pod-casts books music etc) to unsuccessfully distract my self from that. being a parent sucks but i like my kids as friends though the anxiety and depression gets in the way of that a lot but i am a gentle man so my kids love me a ton and thats pretty good and im no good at writing anymore cause this is an attempt to be funny

sorry now im tireder and dont want to write anymore
i want to go on a beautiful hike
i dont want to discourage anyone or be a downer
i dont really know anything cause im just a sexton:
a holy handyman a cloistered custodian a justified janitor
a sanctified super – high maintenance
thats me
your friend

aaackkk. its very 1st world educated middle class
to feel this miserable and poor while having so much – its disgusting.
place ourselves before the world… we are not poor
but i wish so hard that i could give my family more.
money is stupid
besides what do i really sacrifice to provide better?…
not enough, i just drink really gross cheap ass-beer,
thats what it is = ass-beer.
my Unfair Advantage still believes that i write songs that are good enough to bring in a bit of cash
i dont know (i doubt it) and cant get my act (in every way) together enough to find out anyway
a best friend once said that i had “production-anxiety” and was so right
i think about that phrase all the time and it constantly almost changes my life and the way i do things
maybe today it will
maybe today it will
maybe today is different

lately i’ve been such a mess that i want to ask people for prayers
i want santa god to help me out
anything to escape me
but there is no way out
not even suicide
couldnt do that to my people
and death is scarier than life anyway
too much of a wuss to live successfully or die properly
or believe anything or to have hope
hip hope hooray
wow, i am being such a downer
such a whinger
such a groan-up
i will stop now