because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

workshop writing

On a Monday, near-West End

Under brooding thunder on an early May night
lonely men sit outside the B&N
waiting for company, or God, to get right.

Soccer moms pause and pass at the light;
lonely men look up, then look down again,
their eyes breeding thunder on an early May night.

Longing just for a glance, a bite,
salvation from the fate of lonely men,
a little company, or God, to get right,

late benediction, some mother to say it’s alright, 
they roam parking lot neon in search of amen
under promise of thunder on a quiet May night.

Hard bench, hard hands, back hunched, mouth tight:
mothers’ sons lost searching for some little sin,
for company, or God. To get right,

to get home, whole, welcome, contrite,
wanting someone to wonder where you’ve been
when there’s threat of thunder on an early May night;
you’re waiting for company. Or God to get right. 



Normal rhythms

If you listen, you can feel
the fat whoosh pounding
beneath fingertips, the ready warmth
of rush-of-red head-
ward from heart: not
ruby-red or glitter-red
like Dorothy’s slippers
but still magic, the way
the machine putters on,
isn’t it? How I can put pen
to paper or make love
with my thumbs by typing
less than 3 or wink or walk
away

while under it all
I am filled
with the smell of rust, bloodstink,
someone said, like old traintracks
sunk in summer mud,
persistent as hell, as sin; copper-
tinged bleeps on a blank screen :
alphabet soup : pee-kew-ar-ess, an iron-
y bulge-thump of muscle: lub-
dup like the one-legged steps
of my father’s crutches, how
it has nothing to do with love,
after all, and everything, lub-dup,
lub-dup, lub-dup unremarkable
until it is not.


after Charlie B.

Be. Drunk. Break through the chatter like a wrecking ball through brick. End in silence like stone ruins of a monastery. But fill in the space between with something beautiful, something with long drunk legs and glittery drunk eyeshadow, something with pillow-tossed hair and a bottle in her purse. Something with something to say.

Be drunk, he said, and across the ocean they were dying by the thousands, and how hard it was to break through the chatter of shrapnel, the whirring omnipotent smack of hate. Thirsty to believe in something, they died. In fields and field hospitals and camp beds, died drunk on belief in some Cause while their brothers slump-marched home, hungover.

Still, he seems to say, still, be drunk. Because drunk is home. Because drunk is the exotic furtherest edge of guessing. Because drunk is you asleep in my bed on a Saturday night, turning to clutch me close as you snore somewhere far away, the music always too loud, the pen never far from the page.