Kansas City

somewhere in kansas city someone might be saying these words

my friend sarah is locked up in alberta
the bars are birch trees
they surround her
and day after day she draws them
these spines that spring from the earth
she draws them
as if maybe she can work her way through them

she draws her lover beside her
and she draws us again in denver
or together in the birch trees
she draws them as if she can conjur something
or someone
to another place

lost in conifer
i walked through an endless field of evergreens
and miles deep into my head
playing a long tricky game of object impermanence
i stumbled onto this great field of birches

and unbroken
i stepped into them
and i was not there
i was with sarah and her ivan in alberta

sarah asks me
do you believe in time travel?

somewhere in kansas city someone might be saying these words
and there is a currency too valuable
to knowing that my breath has traveled as far east as it is west
into the mouth
of a stranger
that i met in another life

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there is something sad about today and that is okay
the sun decided to sleep in
the cars they don’t move quickly down their thick lines
the news radio is solemn and uninteresting
in the shower i found myself staring at the drain for way too long
catching up on silly thoughts in my mixtape head
and that is okay
this is all okay

the dynamic of human emotion is dynamic
the hedonists maybe will be filled with disappointment on this one
but not every day is a party
maybe today was the day i was designed to count the sidewalk blocks
as i walked by hundreds of displaced human beings attempting to sleep in the entry ways of local business shops

it is a mistake to think your existence is one of exuberant joy
your existence is rocket ship, yes, probably
but so many tiny broken hands pieced together your engine
so many people stood around just to watch you launch

it only makes sense if you acknowledge the collective experience of us all
maybe god is the devil and humanity has to be its own god
we still haven’t figure out how to combat natural disasters
we still haven’t figured out the most efficient and effective methods of loving one another

so if there is something sad about today then that is okay
this dream is far too valuable to be perfectly utopian
let’s just try to keep our rocket ships directed toward whatever it is above us now
that we find so valuable


FLC Blues listed as top 25 poetry blogs!

Poetry Blogs

I woke up this morning to see Flashlight City Blues had been listed as one of the top 25 poetry blogs on the internet by Feedspot Blog Reader.

The qualifications were:

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking.
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review.

You can check out the article and the other winners here.

Thank you, Feedspot, for the recognition!



geoffrey donahue’s day started as normal. he went to the printer where he scanned his badge and printed the copies he needed of a document to help facilitate his morning meeting. geoffrey made a mistake though. where he only needed 10 copies he accidentally printed 100. he had hit the 0 button excessively in error. but in that moment of watching the 100 copies of the document to help facilitate his morning meeting, geoffrey felt a great wave of soothing energy come over him. he became entranced, watching as paper after paper came shuffling down the print tray. it was mesmerizing. geoffrey then thought nothing. geoffrey then felt nothing. when the 100 sheets of paper finished printing, he printed another 100, like it was nothing. like the strings of the universe were in full command of his actions. like geoffrey donahue was nothing more than a vessel for the will of the universe. geoffrey donahue, who was now running late for facilitating his morning meeting. geoffrey donahue, know around the office for his dad jokes and being a good listener when someone was having a bad day. he printed another 100 copies. geoffrey made a mistake though. where he only meant to print a third set of 100 copies he accidentally printed 1000. he had hit the 0 button excessively in error. around 73 copies into this batch of 1000 copies, the printer ran out of paper, and once again the universe commanded. some invisible ominous puppeteer pulled strings at geoffrey to gather paper from the nearby filing cabinet and fill the filing cabinet with papers. geoffrey was not aware of any of this. geoffrey donahue was elsewhere. geoffrey donahue was thinking about his past. geoffrey donahue at last was taking the time to work his way through the daunting moments that led up to and followed his divorce from his once wife, mrs. elizah donahue, who was now elizah brown. a coworker or two walked by, unaware the exact details of what geoffrey was doing. they assumed whatever it was was important, and kept walking. geoffrey continued to retrace the steps of his failed marriage as the 8 1/2 by 11 papers continued to travel magically from the guts of the printer and onto the printer tray. until finally, the geoffrey had no more thoughts to think about his divorce, or his life in general for that matter. it was then that geoffrey donahue’s legs kicked slowly out from beneath him until he was levitating about 2 feet off the ground. light as a feather and still as a board. slowly, geoffrey donahue began to float upward and through the ceiling. he disappeared like jesus on easter sunday but no one saw this. they were very busy with their monday workload, mostly catching up on emails and scheduling down meetings for the current work week. geoffrey had ascended to another plane. the papers continued to print en masse from the printer. later that day, the management staff pulled geoffrey’s direct reports to inform them that geoffrey donahue was no longer with the company.



today i drew a robot

today i went outside in the rain and i laid flat on the ground in the middle of the street
the rain drops fell down and crashed like cymbals on my eyes i did not blink

today i kissed strangers who walked by the other way on the same sidewalk with just my eyes no lips

today i enveloped the entire energy of the moon through a straw with one holy deep sip inward

today i spoke to someone i wouldn’t have on a day that was not today it was so everything to know that what i was doing was what i was not before

today i swooned for life and his dreamy blue eyes

today i penciled in an appointment for myself and that looked like fifty cent coffee and vegan tacos and a tallboy and then the aforementioned robot i drew

today i was less cruel

less cruel to other humans and what i found to be true in my truth is with this i was less cruel to myself

today i said no to someone i love because i love them

today i was so far from perfect that i almost circled back it was as if i was walking around the world with giant legs the opposite way of the sun and i caught it


today i drew a robot
and i emphasized the imperfect lines
i emphasized the black circles around his eyes
and in his robot belly i drew a television set
and on the television set was just an image of the robot
and i think that maybe it was a self portrait

and maybe i am an artist but we all are

today i stepped down from the crucifix i nailed myself up to and i realized i don’t want to be jesus infamous christ i just want to draw robots and stare up at the rain that stares down at me but just keeps moving

gravity is just lateral motion
into the heart
of the earth
where i long
to be



some of us
put our legs on
one at a time
in the morning
reattach our heads
twist them on even
if we’re lucky
some of us
some of us
take time to test
our ten fingers
run them across
a piano
a keyboard
across skin
some of us
sit in front
of ourselves
and practice
our human voices
we take time
to remember
what we are
and we are all of it
we are what we need
and what we want
and it is all beautiful
but it takes time
also beautiful
but one at a time
the legs
the eyes
the elbows
the loins
we dis attach
and reattach
and it means all the same
it means all the same things
if not all the more
some of us
we work all the harder
to create our faces
and be human
some of us
some of us
some of us



as bombs went off
as children were shoved from safe wombs

into disastrous circumstance
as so many cradled life into coma complacency
wedding rings, babies, weekly trip to walmart
tucked into egyptian cotton
moving through time at the pace of the minute hand
fifty-nine wasted seconds
as nursing homes sedated regrets into dust
as humans with soapbox voices and picket sign arms
rose up in the streets of everywhere
the tide of kanagawa climbing then crashing
over sacred fuji capitalism and the blue bourgeoisie
as green vines grew from the ground
in stop motion
bloom then bloom then bloom
then buds and from the buds tomatoes bloomed
picked off and thrown at the sad clowns on stage
as sailor moons drowned in big pharma seas
as bone densified as bones marrowed down to nothing
as criminals profit off the stirring pot
the prison store the jail bank
the rows of black faces engraved in the coal mine
as bees swarm the hive mind
as we sting at the cement
as hearts are broken and something worse abandoned
as nails are pounded into drywall
the shaking sounding through into the neighbors’ halls
as we shave and let grow hair and shave and then
one day the mirror is the face you never thought would come
big bags beneath burning eyes
jowls           gravity              winning
as we tick less like clocks and more like broken bombs

i sat
waiting forever
for the light
to turn



i shot a bullet at the mirror and the mirror shot back
and my head hit the tile with a thunderous clack
and the clack sounded loudly such an echoing sound
and as i stared at the ceiling all the cobwebs i’d found
they reminded me time has a way to keep moving
and i found myself stuck with no patience to lose and
my patience was gone it had leaked from my brain
and it packed up its suitcase and boarded the train
and the train went to nowhere or at least so i heard
when i sat back and watched and i realized absurd
things happen and we just keep sipping our coffee
as we stare at our watch in some strange hotel lobby
that we call our existence where we never are sure
if our intentions are selfless or if they come across pure
but i’m telling you this that i learned looking up
at the ceiling of the bathroom where i swallowed my blood
that if the train that your riding ever goes off the track
and you pick up a gun and it goes in your sack
and you go to a room with a mirror that stares
and its empty and hopeless with too many chairs
and not enough people and you look in the mirror
and you’re just staring back at everything that you fear
when you pull out your gun from your oversized sack
if you shoot at the mirror it is sure to shoot back
this i know beyond reason this i know for a fact
cause i shot at the mirror and the mirror shot back



as i handed down the book for purchase
i glanced eyes
mortified by the moving bag of skin
snatching at my plastic cash
and in the silence
i said aloud to myself
“no more!”

and through the dark thicket
i crossed my sharp machete
of conversation
“how was tonight?”
“slow,” he said,
“the good news,” i said,
“you survived it.”
so very bad dad joke am i
and i saw his tongue
behind his tired teeth
itchy at the thought of response
but the receipt came before
before the words

and he stayed still
i walked away
from maybe a fist fight down an alley
or maybe solving the riddle of time



last few moments
of feeling everything

bundled winter
that runs so deep in me

i’ve set out just to get by lately
i find my time is coming back around

chasing paper
and leaving little notes

erasing stigmas
and trying not to breathe

i hold my breath from disposition
i hold my breath until my face turns blue

but in these dripping drops of sand
executing me
i find i’m nothing less than mostly whole
the most i can ever hope for

i was born this way
the way i am now
all mannequin stuffed to the brim
with the tree limbs that the lightning
strikes down

i creature of habit
holy brain
all one million thoughts
never time to listen
too busy feeling what’s coming in
the next moment
aren’t we all we all

step halfway through your mirror
and chase the time like quickly fading life

there’s a shadow
that’s casting over me
like clouds on mountains
i feel my destiny

i was born to make it through
these 27 years
come tomorrow
and in the passing traffic song
i just might find a fraction
of something worth saving
until this next life
come tomorrow