i was on the light rail one day
didn’t know where i was headed
just one of those days where the sun
wasn’t gonna come into the house
so rather than waiting for the
floodwaters of introversion to rise
i rode my bike over to the train
and hopped on towards denver
away from the television and the bed
and there across from me on the train
was a young boy, maybe 9 years old
in a business suit, reading the paper
he read from it with the focus of a monk
turning the pages in established ritual

excuse me i said to him
he looked at his watch then up at me
“it’s 9:47″
no no no i said
i was just going to ask
aren’t you a little too young to be
on the light rail alone
“too young?” he inquired
with a stern gaze
yes, i said
you must be no older than 10
you’re just a boy
“i am not a boy,” he said,
“i am a man from the future,”

he’d stolen my tongue
i wanted to say
and i’d wanted to say
but i ended up not saying
because he was telling the truth
and in that moment
the glare of the sun
piercing the train windows
i felt as if
i was just a boy from the past



About these ads


welcome back,
thanks for remembering
that doing this
is an inseparable part
of your character

you just needed a break

no, i get that

except that you’re a liar

you’re being lazy

and you need
to get
your shit together


this is an endless war
there is no armistice
there is no eye of the storm
there is maybe
a time to prepare
and a time to rest
but time is a shitty date
and he will abandoned you
through the bathroom window
at a fancy restaurant
leaving you with the check
and no ride home

but seriously
welcome back
it’s nice to have you here

it was a very long summer
but the winter is starting
to look pretty badass




oh man
you motherfuckers love your live local bands
and your froyo shops
you watch hbo religiously
and you love to throw packets of color
at each other
you love your dubby step
and your sufjan fucking stevens
so why don’t you motherfuckers like poetry?

you love your new age
mind expanding we are all one concepts
your love everybody and your empathetic swansong
you love all of this
but you refuse to hear it out of the mouths of
gibson arkind williams kerouac the other williams
and a lot of other really talented motherfuckers
who do give a shit about poetry

did high school shake it out of you
do you hear glade commercial haikus
and militant douchebags challenging math
when you think of poetry?

you ever think of john coltrane
or steven colbert or your idiot little nephew
trashing your bathroom
for the poetry that it is?
poetry doesn’t have to rhyme
it will not bite
except for that’s a lie
poetry is not dead
it is undead
it is crawling out of the ground
like the zombies in Michael Jackson’s
thriller video
yeah you know
shit’s undead
and it’s not sleeping well
because the internet
is the graveyard
and poetry
is the singing-and-dancing
super star zombie
Michael Jackson
from the video
for his 1983
hit music video




those blue hospital signs always
try to point me towards the drunktank of your heart
submerged for months
in your chinese water torture cell
i dreamt a blue dream
but the audience was watching and waiting
they always loving a ticking clock
so i had to escape

and now i drive down streets
and i rename them whatever the hell i want to
and i take my own detours
around the memories we staked into certain crossroads
like housing developments
dirt holes with pregnancy tests and empty shooters
but i drive around them
i do what i can to drive around them
but those blue signs are everywhere
and i don’t know if the h is for heaven hell or hospital
and i don’t know if i’m the visitor or the patient
and i don’t know what i don’t know
and i don’t know what you know

or if you’re at boston logan airport
sitting at the arrivals exit
or if you’re still chained to a bed
in flashlight city
but i do know most days these things don’t bother me

but those blue hospital signs always
try to point me towards the drunktank of your heart

those blue hospital signs always
try to point me towards the drunktank of your heart




i want to get
and grumpy
with you

i want to
eat ice cream
from the tub
as we
sit together
in our tiny home
watching twin peaks
on the couch
and you’ll have to
explain the
whole damn thing to me
i’ll be old
and i won’t know
really what the hell
is going on

i’ll make us cookies
but they’ll probably be
and taste like cigarette
smoke but you’ll eat them
and when we’re done
with the television
we’ll walk around the neighbor
hood and talk about whose funerals
we’ll have to go to this week
and we’ll walk in silence too
and i’ll love you
you know that
i’ll always love you
even when i’m fat and grumpy
and can’t remember shit

i’ll drive us down the road
at twenty-five miles per hour
on a forty-five mile per hour road
and we’ll listen to bob dylan
like it’s bobby darin
and i’ll hold your dried-up hand
in my dried-up hand
but i’ll probably have a stick shift
because i’m planning on being
a stubborn old man like that
but you’ll smile
and i’ll smile
and we’ll smile
and death will be napping in the back seat
with the air conditioning blowing on him

i’ll tell you i love you
and you’ll say what, i didn’t hear you
and i’ll say nevermind
because nevermind you know i do
because i told you a long time ago
that i wanted to get fat and grumpy with

and the grandkids will come over
and we’ll bore them out of their minds
with our great stories with huge gaps
in the middle of them where our memories skip
like old records
and they’ll be thinking about their ipads
and their yolos but we’ll make them
hear our love stories
where i’ll make up a bunch of bullshit
because the details will be long gone
but the feeling sure as hell won’t be
and i’ll cook them meatloaf dinner
and you’ll teach them how to play
checkers and i’ll look at your beautiful face
and try to recall what i did
to give you each and every one of your
lovely wrinkles
and your eyes will be no less bright
no less beautiful
and they say women don’t age well
but that’s bullshit
you’re beautiful
you’ll always be beautiful
even when you’re fat and grumpy
and teaching the grandkids checkers

we’ll go to flea markets
and barter the cost of a new toaster oven
and we’ll go to movies at ten in the morning
and we’ll laugh at the funerals
we’ll smile at the funerals
because we’ve been to so many
one for your old pal chuck
and one for my old pal douglas
and we’ll drive hand-in-hand down the road
and into the mouth of the great black something
and if it swallows us whole
or if it chews us up
it doesn’t matter much to me
because i won’t remember much
except that you were the one
that i wanted to get fat and grumpy with
and that was nice




your love eclipses me like a shadow
like six months of winter
like warm death and whiskey dreams
your snow falls like fragments of white time
like picket signs gathering in peaceful demonstration
the wind is our carrier pigeon
and i do nothing all day long
but write you love letter after love letter
after love letter after love letter
you lift me a mile off the ground
you make my breaths short and intentional
beneath your rocky skyline
beneath your metallic peaks
i am beautiful and inconsequential
your love is forever
and your forever love is the sound of air
against a car window

a winding road / a one way street
a pedicabber / a ponderosa
a deer in headlights / a jaywalker
a flaming crucifix / a lookout mountain
a homeless man / a mountain man
a book on a shelf
and a book in the dust of the dirt
a petroglyph / a river
a bottle of beer smashed on a dirt path
an empty city / an angry sandstorm
an acoustic guitar / an electronic machine
a gypsy / dancing to the future soundtrack
a robot / dancing in the light of lumineers
a light show / an aurora
a sunset / a dubstep drop

smoke from the city
smoke from the mountain
smoke from the mouths of tiny buddhas
smoke from the mouths of giant fools

you catch me always unprepared
without a sweater without a hand to hold
without a lover to keep me warm
without a care in the world
you catch me you catch me
like a glancing stranger in a lucid dream

i run my calloused guitar fingers
up and down your spine
and you run me back and forth
between your head and your heart
this balancing act
of freedom and love
the city and the mountain



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i’m in la la land
with the angels fresh off the greyhound
and the devils that grew from the dirt
with the monkeys swinging from the chandeliers
and the alcoholic typewriter
the ghost in the machine
the ravers in the skeleton ballroom of my skull

i can’t afford to write this poem

i can’t afford to drive to hanging lake
let’s face it, i can’t afford to pay attention
i can’t afford to drive to work
i can’t afford to go to the coffee shop
and buy a cup of coffee to help me write my way out

i can’t afford to watch the television
i can’t afford to miss you as much as i do
i can’t afford to dream
and i’m far too tired to sleep

at hanging lake there’s a vertical road
that waits patiently for me
and i will ascend it like mercury in a thermostat
and when i get to the top
i will see the waterfall at the top
(naked and waiting
texting me at one in the morning
asking me to come on over)

and i want to go really i do it would mean a lot
but i can’t afford to drive to hanging lake
and hanging lake ain’t coming to me any time soon




we stood inside the abandoned house
taking in the wreckage
like pages torn from a bible
carpet pulled up
thick dust on top of empty shelves
sunlight catching broken glass windows
like a mother grabbing her wandering child’s hand
you said it was so loud in there
the stories that scream in silence
the stairs that creak
and the lives that were lived and lost

and you knew to stop there
some message in a bottle
washed up on the shore
at 3015 kalmia street
and you spotted the glint of it
as we drove past
on this bleak and beautiful day

i wanted to sleep there
to stay in that house for the night
and wake up tomorrow morning
and help it regain its legacy
put a chest paddle paintbrush to its walls
and shock it back into consciousness

i don’t know what i’m trying to say
except that there was something in you
that knew that there was something
to see in this abandoned house
that flashed in front of us
at forty some miles per hour

i’ve been taught to look at the mountains
the sky the trees the murals on the sides of buildings
but you reminded me how god hides
in the places you’d least expect to see her





rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
we become afraid of our own shadows as they sweep over us
like a smallpox blanket but we will not go blindly

we will hang streamers from the rafters in the high school gymnasium of hell

we will paint with our fingers on the skin of our lovers

we will hold their hand as we descend the stairs into our parent’s basement
and this great depression which might be more of a grand canyon

we are armed with our teeth our bones and the best playlist ever made
the will to not will to the powerful powers that be
we know that the past has an ace up his dirty fucking sleeve
so we challenge him to a game of chinese checkers
and the wind blows into the gluten free donut shops
like a zen song like a child who has never seen a television set

men with legs like bicycles
women with wings like gods
the cash register building like the mountains of nepal
sinking slowly into the tarpits of new amsterdam

we were born a cactus patch but whereas you might assume
we would try to splay our arms outward
praying to every single cellular god there is
the truth is we just really want someone to embrace us
and sing us the song of freedom
the one that i heard as a child

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
because it’s a shitty hotel you’ll find yourself in
with dollar store wallpaper and see through toilet paper
with neighbors that scrape at the walls and haunted bedsheets
but the view ain’t too bad if you know what you’re looking at
and they got netflix there, so there is that

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
y rul
dive into the 3 foot section of the pool of the eyes of the person
sitting right fucking next you to on the bus because you ain’t got no car
you don’t need no car but you do need to take a vacation
and unwind you overwound wind-up bird and you need someone to love
i believe this i believe before anyotherthing i believe
and have a chocolate bar too ya know
because life is short and shit

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
because the movies are scary and the movies are depressing indie flicks
but you just might learn a god damn thing or two about yourself
as you stay up all night dancing around your scattered papers
arm in arm with insomnia and mary jane and insomnia and mary jane

because love can coexist with freedom you just have to put in
a great deal of effort if you want to learn to juggle fire
in a suit soaked in kerosene

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
and make your room your empire of confusion and madness
because empires are made to fall and new ones will rise
and those empires will fall and new ones will rise
and then those empires will fall and new ones will rise
and i’m gonna watch it from the rooftops sipping sizzurp with ginsberg
and the ghost of christmas present
and the roof will cave in i’m sure
and i will fall like alice through the miles and miles of bullshit
and when i land it will be at the bottom of a well
in the black night of the soul
and i will rage
and punch
black night
of the soul.