"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." ~ Kipling

for reasons unknown came few of many words
mind rush
the rest


Side Walk Chalk Within  
Pot Calls the Kettle

Sidewalk Chalk

Not a whitewash,
but constant
for the last three hours.
Students scamper to classes
dodging slush puddles and
hiding under yellow hoods and red hats.
It is December, just below freezing,
a sharp bite of relentless wind.
Business woman
and working men
tighten their scarves,
shove their hands deep
into coat pockets.

I am a clone
of my peers
going about
my monotone hustle amongst
many on auto-pilot.
We share a common concern
when crossing the road
then slip back into our
invisible identities

You are a fixture in passing scenery.
A stale gray coat
with a faded orange strip
and plaid rips fits tight,
a half size too small.
Brown pants end
several inches above
your ankles revealing
worn out socks.
Blue hood pulls tight
over your face
leaving only the white
of your eyes
to pierce the cold.
Breath from your mouth and nose
freeze on your eyelashes.
You sit against the brick wall
to the left of a vent.

I can not step around
you like an obstacle
in my flight line
nor seek shelter
from your presence
with a special layer.

Several check their wristwatches
and walk faster.
You sit in the snow
to the left of the vent
breathing in and exhaling.

More stop suddenly,
peel off a woolen mitten
to grip a Zippo
and light a cigarette
before continuing down
the beaten sidewalk.
You sit in the snow
to the left of the vent
lowering your eyelids
and raising them.

I stare at my feet and pray
for the snow to extinguish
the burning I feel in my heart.
You do not want my pity,
but I am ignorant
and selfish
and that is all
I am ready
to give.

I stare at my feet and see
you in my mind
sitting in the snow
to the left of the vent
waiting for time to pass.

I am ashamed of my inactivity
continuing as a sparrow amongst
a flock of sparrows
not knowing how to make
this train jump it's tracks.

One day
I will sit in the snow
to the right of the vent
and ask your name.
I will sit in the snow
and watch
my self pass by
in a lost individuality.
I will sit by your side
breathe in and exhale.
I will wait with you
and watch time pass.
Then I will stand,
walk onto the road,
and find my way home.

Wind and snow
will wash the chalk marks
of today from the sidewalk.
You will stay.
and I will
see you again
as scenery


Pot Calls the Kettle

I can't tell you
when the words come,
but believe the black and white--
they do come.
I can't tell you
how the feelings felt,
but believe the red streaked cheeks--
they are felt.
And I can't tell you
what enables me to eat,
but believe the trail of crumbs--
I manage.
What I can tell you
is that I believe.
I believe and I think
and if I try,
I understand.
And as the hands continue
to move in concentric circles
I understand.
And as the preacher teaches,
I think.
And I feast uninhibited
on the worn out, glue bound
volumes of others' thoughts
and others' understandings
frozen in time with liquid black
on white solid.
And I can tell you
that I try to color
in-between these lines with
vibrant primaries.
And I can tell you
that I leave these works
half incomplete.
And that when I open
my eyes to view the page
the colors run together and
fill the blank spaces with
an intense emptiness.
And that then the faces
come to life and dance
in concentric circles
first around their cage,
and then around my pen,
and then around my chair they dance.
And suddenly, I am the
captive life.
And I can't tell you
how hungry I become,
but believe the tainted canvas
and the dry wells of cylindrical blue
that I leave behind--
I am ravenous for an understanding
to the point of illiterate

And I can tell you.
And I can't.
And you can try to understand.
And I can't.
And you can try to think.
And I can't.
And then the answer comes.
And the future of yesterday is
And it is gone.
And then the answer comes.
And it is different than before.
Before is past and now
the answer comes with
understanding trying to tell you that
now is past and posthumous.
And in concentric circles
I think.
And I can tell you
that black is primary.
And I can understand.
And I can tell you
that white is primary.
And then the cage drops.
And I am labeled.
And I can't tell you
that I am labeled,
but believe the message
of the cage that I am
trying to feed my understanding.
And I can tell you
that I am misunderstood.
And I can't tell you
that I think that now
is different from the past.
And it isn't.
And you can try to feed
the future of tabula rasa
and blank canvas
and constant concentric circles,
but believe the preacher teaching
inside the cage--
understanding is a crime.
And stunning silver stripes
accent the primary
black striped white.
And I can tell you
that vibrant primaries
is a label used by thinkers
and doers are erasers
and are praised for
their intense passion of
recreating present history
as literate comprehension.
And you can try to understand,
but I can't.
And you can try to see
the vibrant primaries disappear,
but I can't.
And you can feed off of
future past mistakes,
but I can't.
I can only feel hungry
for a longer now of understanding
the cage of
black and white.



The lyrics are trapped
within me
banging hard at the
door to my voice
wanting the power of
words to give them life.
There must be something
in my blood
disallowing this voice
within me
freedom to be heard.
Life prevails every time
I choke down air.
A tune is ringing deep
within me
that can not escape
my ears and can
not escape my soul.
Also, too, a shadow lurks
wondering the veins
within me
without direction or address
to impose a finite end.
A scarecrow's cries linger
within me
at the frost of dawn and
the heat of night
begging my adrenaline to play.
As antithesis to general good
a poison sleep tipped arrow
sticks the natural high
within me
and mandates an ice cold solitude.
Thick blue tears of love
and kindness felt
no longer crack the
sense of nothing
within me
as once they did so painfully
and once they did so truthfully.
Everything eludes the
grasp of motive
just as the empty detail
of banality defines that
within me
to a degree of perfection
even the devil can smile at.
An infectious disease
is what grows in power
traced back to the
grandmother cowering
within me
as a recent carrier.
I used to want to
hope to never have to
fear an end before
my beginning was complete
within me
and only after my ending
was no longer feared.
Meanings have changed
for these concrete ideas
within me
and thus I no longer see
a reason to pursue their use.



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