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.

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

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.

in another life that seems like a long time ago
i lived with my new wife in East Africa
we were staying a night upcountry
in the beautiful home of her family
an evening when the electricity
had worn out for the day

everything was green for the season of raining
and in between storms all was close and waiting
no machines were humming or running
no buzz from lighting just candles burning
entertainment was only quiet pages turning
i decided to slip away

out to the veranda in the cool of the evening
dragging the blankets i was secretly stealing
a pillow and snacks to finish my nest
prepared in a spot where i could see best
and not be observed though easily guessed
i was waiting a private play

it opened curtains of mist condensing on leaves
rivulets and drips on the branches of trees
then a gentle wet made it to the ground
as the rain picked up with a hushing sound
the sky clapped thunder and started to pound
without any more delay

i felt a small piece of the release and awe
relief of a land dependent on rainfall
i moved close to the edge to experience more
abandoned my blankets for a spot on the floor
i closed my eyes as it continued to pour
getting wet in the spray

i know that i smiled and probably wept
and then for a while i am certain i slept
as the red mud flowed down the paths and lanes
filled ravines that fed the greens on the Athi Plains
i don’t care if its cliché to talk of African rains
i remember, my spirit rested that day.


i have to admit that i hadn’t planned on rhyming this idea
but it started to on its own and i thought it was kinda cute
i probably shoulda stopped but what fun is that?

fuck this life…
is that really what you think – what you want?
it is
harsh and ridiculous / overwhelming and ephemeral.
like poor ole Wile E. Coyote
at the edge of the cliff
thinking he might be alright this time
only to have the entire rock overhang that he’s standing on
break off from the cliff and plummet
somehow manage to flip over during the descent
and smash on top of him.
but his nose twitches and he wiggles his way from under the rocks
and walks away.
now, if he were suddenly corporeal, actual, self-aware
he would turn and look at the wreckage and think
“well, that was a bit much”
all very sudden, very brief
very dramatic
very silly
what, with the world turning upside down
and the passive suicide attempt of chasing the roadrunner
to begin with, hoping… and failing again
a·nal·o·gous, ba·nal·o·gous, snuffleupagus
get over your tiny self and your invisibility.
illness, food poisoning
you vomit and you feel better.
so dont be afraid and by all means
dont take yourself too seriously.
instead *sob* – breathe – release…
drive home and keep trying.
they came and sat on my lap outside
and there was a breeze and a beer and a sunset.
we started by reading books but as it got darker
the fireflies came out, by the hundreds
so many in our tiny space that you could just sit
and they would come to you
and EZB could catch 3 at a time
and the boy screamed with fear and delight
and flapped his arms after stretching out his hand
to receive one after another from his big sister
who knocked over the beer (good beer) that i bought on purpose
for the sake of a treat in the hopes of feeling better
and she felt bad (so did i)
but she more than made up for it
running around with lightning bugs in her hands and her hair
and im laughing and crying with the wonder
and the ephemeral nature of it all
taking on a different meaning.
i know better than to believe either moment will last
but it is my choice which i will hold on to.
and it is simple and it is not so simple
and i will do my best and keep trying.
embrace this life…

a ladder of legos

April 13, 2014

it goes on forever
to the horizon on all sides
heavy flat uniformly bland
one does not wade here
though in to the shoulders
treading slowly in quicksand
there is no escape
move quickly and sink
be still and be covered
in formless flat all around
pressing unchanging pressure
makes breathing exhausting
with steady endless movements
at least not going down
accomplishing survival
pointlessly hoping
for what

olly olly oxen free

January 30, 2014

well what did i think?
that i was going to somehow just feel better?
well, yah, i did
i always do.
grand intentions:
get more sleep;
get my creative juices flowing a bit,
be helpful.
i always hope.
and i try.
ultimately thats why i don’t actually
hate myself
because i know i am trying.
i get really stressed, insecure
to the point of disabling panic (medicate)
that others wont know
my sincere intentions.
if i was on the outside,
if i didnt know,
i dont think i would like me.
but people do seem to genuinely like me,
its a comfort.
but they dont see me when im hiding
(thats kind of the point of hiding). shhhhhhhh.
but there are people who need me;
that it affects deeply,
and i am hiding from them right now.
it is despicable.
so why would anyone still like me?
out of kindness?
(no one likes some one out of pity)
people are very kind.
and i am very sorry.
my stomach and back and head hurt
because i am hiding and hiding has nothing to do
with who i want to be.
i feel feverish and nauseous
just get up!!!!!!!!!!!

i am going to get up now
and go home
and be helpful.
writing this has given me some courage (thank you).
i may cry on the way home
or cuss
thats pretty normal.
and when i get there
they will all love me.
its heartbreaking
and wonderful.
even though they may not know
about the hiding,
they will find me
they often do.
and i love them so much for it.

help me. God, have mercy on me.

lost year

December 30, 2013

so, what happened last year?
not sure, but i survived it,
i guess.
i don’t remember.
coming to… now
i can tell you everything that didn’t get done,
its a bit stressful,
but that’s what happens
when you’re waiting, hiding,
standing still trying to catch your breath.
the world doesn’t stop.
life pushes on relentlessly
it doesn’t actually pass you by,
it just builds up
piles up teetering and precarious
waiting for you to notice
so that it can come down crashing, crushing.
distraction and denial – that’s the thing,
the spice of life.
and there it all is again.
funny that despair can take you by surprise
even after endlessly repetitive occurrence,
even if it never left.
you look up for some reason
and notice that the strategies no longer apply,
that there are, still: no. exits.
and the old panic takes over
the same exhaustion, the same used up resources.
and i realize its not really a new year
just the end of the lost one.