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.



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.


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.

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

we were reading aloud…
Wendell Berry instructing us on how to be poets
in which he advises:
“stay away from screens”
to which all of us adult children and spouses nod;
feeling so sure of ourselves and think:
yes this is good advice for the poet;
media consumes and destroys,
overwhelms imagination, steals time.
when Mom says quietly:
but screens can be very good
keeping out pests and saving children from malaria.
its a rare and pleasant thing to sit on a veranda
wrapped safely in screens looking out onto the wild savanna
and relax into the soft breeze of the evening
with the provided protection.

and so the word screen constructed itself between the generations,
we sliced it open and hugged through it
crawling freely back and forth without difficulty.
knowing that Mom was right and obscured nothing
and if she was not a poet, certainly her life was a poem.

hello… can you hear me… hello…
hey, God… your cuttin’ out…
im going through a tunnel…
and i don’t see any light at the end of it.

so, what to say about prayer?
(without really thinking very much about it – 
cause i don’t feel like thinking)
well, ive definitely fallen out of the practice.
exempli gratia, i.e., e.g. :
the other day i was sextoning down on the basement level
at work on a stubborn (plumbing) problem.
i got frustrated enough to say out loud
“c’mon God gimmee a break here.”
(mens rea? well, it was the men’s room)
and i was out of character and out of sorts.
the exclamation did not shock me because of banality
but because after the exclamation, i immediately thought,
oh, He can’t hear me,
you can’t get cell phone reception down here.

i was done with the job and half way up the stairs
before laughing out loud at myself:
wow, i am really out of practice

go and do likewise

September 29, 2014

a neighbor, a friend
one who shows mercy.
the inconvenienced, the kind;
you are these for reading.

one of the unspoken rights of friendship is standing permission to inconvenience each other without the fear of reprisal, rejection, resentment or disconnect.

but my Samaritan instincts are lacking
and i need time when someone asks something of me;
to get over my petulance and my tiny self.
yet time is often exactly what can’t be granted –
that being the nature of needing a sudden favor.
(oh me, to suffer inconvenience, to interrupt my privilege)
the thing is
an unplanned conversation can take as long
and possibly be as inconvenient as a sudden favor,
but a good talk happens all the time and goes mostly unnoticed.
but when its an actual physical favor;
why do i want recognition for having been inconvenienced?
shouldn’t one just feel good for being good?
unless you’re talking to me at night…
no one will feel good about that
cause i wont let you go to sleep
though your eyes will be drooping
and you can no longer focus or pay attention
and you will feel like weeping unless i go away…
still i will be talking and talking and failing to say anything.
sort of like… say… me blogging
the recognition in such cases should be me going away.

usually you can’t really know how
the other person is put out when you ask a favor
(or have a conversation)
even if they let it be known that its not good timing for them.

im thinking about a time i asked someone for a ride suddenly
or another
when i was with someone who had to borrow an old unused truck.
small things, but there was hesitation before agreement
and i cannot possibly know what it really cost to grant the favor,
what happened during that moment’s hesitation,
they may not be able to articulate it themselves.
but people are so good.

no matter how small the favor
the only possible response is gratitude.

one thing that none of us need
and none of us need be
is a scorekeeper.

forgiveness and gratitude walk around hand in hand
under the auspices of mercy
who in turn is acting for love.

and i am an incredibly clumsy friend.
though i love and i am so loved.
i have seen so many gracious, generous people;
friends, neighbors – inconvenienced and kind.
who am i that my time should be so precious?
my friends are wonderful
and my neighbors have been pointed out to me
by a very reliable source;
i just want to be humble
and go and do likewise.

it takes years
becomes a part of you
and you no longer know
what you’re dealing with
and what is just you
if there could ever be a difference.
not so many years left anymore
it takes all the time
no room to think
no pleasure, no more clever
dries up the ability to be sincere
eye contact / interest / make some one’s day better
to be occasionally funny, self-deprecating, observant
too tired – too many excuses
tension that makes it hard to see
and so hard to see others
so sorry – deeply
once i was just so glad to get a diagnosis
thought that maybe it meant that i wasn’t
stupid and lazy
just crazy just crazy
and maybe there was a solution
spent some hard time
searching / failing
wanting to just be like everybody else
whatever that means.
…plenty of time in self-pity…
time in prayer
time wanting to feel better
time wanting / needing / desperate
for more time
a moment to sort it out
space to breathe
get it under control
more time to do something
whatever it might be
never can do whatever the somethings are (record)
never can get enough time
wake up – and wish i hadn’t.
but still want more time
if time just spread out before you
than certainly some bit of it
would contain calm
would equal success
is somewhere in time
its not that i don’t want to do it
i do – desperately
i just need more time
lazy or stupid
and i realize that when i sit down to write
to get it out for my own sake (helping no one)
it always sounds like a suicide note
without a climax
so i hesitate and delete
but i’m safe
cause i just want more time
and a hug
kidding = just more time.


August 14, 2014

sometimes something happens
and i look up and realize
that i have no idea whats going on.
i mean: everybody everywhere everything
including myself – no idea
and i am shocked.
this always makes me feel like such an idiot
no… an asshole really = just incredibly selfish.
everything comes flooding in
overwhelming me with my own self-centeredness;
an unwanted emotional enema,
which is terribly ironic because
i think i am desperately trying to maintain my connections
and not fade out of my obligations
but i know that i am depressed
and avoiding really thinking about things.
i think i see that this is happening
but its hard to see your own undersides and
the main reason i dont know what is happening
is that i have crawled inside myself
for what i think is self-preservation
but is actually impeding my efforts at relieving
some perceived fragile mental imbalance…
what? and there it is: (colon)
i find im full of shit.
insincere and not making any sense at all
even to myself
how am i supposed to write about not knowing anything?
i am a fossil aquifer.
there used to be all this fresh water
full of fruitful promise
but it was apparently a non-renewable resource
impenetrable from any outside participating precipitation.
i didnt know and pumped it all out
faster than it could ever be replenished;
the water dried up and the ground gave way
creating that big hole in the ground,
a depression (ha – how droll)
maybe nobody will notice.
(i think) i keep hoping some new reserve will be found
a hidden pocket untapped (quickly depleted)
or better yet – magic…
a spring that will serve as a source to replenish,
but the sources that i havent
polluted, poisoned, hurt, dammed, diverted, neglected…
when their waters do get through
they find a black hole
endlessly sucking
never being filled.
i still have hope
i still keep drilling, keep searching
but i only end up with holes.

excreting non-sequitur

August 4, 2014

barely human barely sane barely functional barely alive barely a father barely a husband barely a friend barely a brother barley water

i was driving down a side road in a solidly middle class urban neighborhood
and a peacock wandered across the road.
as i sat in my car watching it
a lady leaving her house a couple of doors down
stopped her car rolled down her window and asked if it was mine,
i guess i could have gotten a free peacock that day.

if there is a God
i am completely convinced of his providence
and utterly bewildered by his disinterest

when i was around 8
i was riding my bike
and a woman ran into me with her much larger bike
it knocked me off my bike and sent me sliding across the pavement
(this was pre-helmets; mind you)
she stopped and as she loomed over me
hands remaining on her handle bars, straddling her bike of apathy
she looked down and said, “are you alright”
i lay there bleeding from facial road rash
feeling a bit confused from being suddenly thrown to the ground
and bounced around a bit
and i thought as i looked up at her
adults are idiots. they’re no smarter than us kids
i felt so indignant (of course i’m not alright)
its the first time i remember feeling like
i didn’t have to listen to these people.

if i could choose the way i am to be judged by others;
i would choose to be judged by the company i keep,
by the quality and character of my friends.

cause i can even make complimenting my friends about me

i was ringing out a mop
and as i picked it up out of the bucket
the mop handle crashed into the open, hanging light fixture
knocking out the two four-foot fluorescent light bulbs
which in turn and in quick succession
bounced off of my head
the very short stubble there
providing just enough cushion to keep them from breaking.
in what seemed like slow motion
i dropped the mop handle
and reached out catching a bulb in either hand
i felt like such a ninja
but i was the clumsy idiot who knocked the bulbs
out of the fixture with the mop in the first place
not a ninja, just a sexton

barely moments barely thoughts barely worth mentioning life.