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

center point of this collection
mind rush
the rest


Waiting for You Oak Leaf
Habit Forming
Slipped Memoirs
Graveyard Dance
Bleeding Heart Sonata    

Still Waiting For You

I sit at our table in the
twenty-four hour diner
waiting for you.

I clutch my mug between my hands
warming them.
I lean closer.
Steam caresses the tip of my nose,
glides over my cheek bones,
then tickles my eyelashes
causing my lids to instinctively close.

I gaze at you opposite me.

Beads of water
from the cool night rain
you tried to escape
drip off your hair.
One hand grips a coffee cup,
the other thumbs through
Romeo and Juliet.
You smile skimming the lines
of the youths' first meeting.

A flickering neon sign sheds
a pink haze across the table between us.
I smell my tea, your coffee, and damp pages.
I hear your voice breathe
life into an antiquated love story.
I see the corners of
your lips mandate the marionette
sparkles of your eyes to
dance as you speak.

A draft from the entrance creeps
over the hairs on my neck
and reprimands my reminiscing.
I unlock my eyes.

I sit at our table in the
twenty-four hour diner,
your obituary fresh on my mind,
waiting for you.



When you lived across the street,
I knew your quirks.

Several early mornings
we roamed the isles
of a nearly deserted
grocery store.
It was close
and it was open
and we were each avoiding
(for whatever teenage reasons)
going home those nights.
It was your idea to
make card houses
with the cereal boxes.
Into school girl laughter you

I knew your passion.

Rapture radiated across your face
when you excitedly shared
the innumerable thrills
you encountered as Skipper
aboard the Molly De.
At every opportunity
into your boat you

When we vacationed in Athens,
I knew your sentiment.

I captured candid
Kodachrome memories
of awe, respect, and disbelief
in your wide eyes
and dropped jaw
when you realized
the Acropolis was merely
feet from where you stood.
Clutching overpriced bottles
of water and our cameras,
together over ruins we

I know the street you're on now,
but uncertain of which house.

Though we navigate
the same surroundings
and aspire toward
the same diploma
we seldom intersect.
At chance meetings
we exchange pleasantries
as if silently trying
to remember the other's name.
I know you only as
a friend


Bleeding Heart Sonata

I hear it,
a bleeding heart sonata,
as I sit,
as I sleep,
as I press on.
Press on.
I hear it.
I venture out the door
into my car.
I still hear it.
Go to a bar.
Jam to a band roaring
over herds of people
screaming in masses.
Raging through my blood
a hunger crazed
marching tune.
I scream out
the only lyrics I know
"Stop fucking with me!"
Over again.
Vehemently thrashing
to loosen the grips
on my clothes
"Stop fucking with me!"
My cries taken as invitation
to every drunk bastard
in this faceless crowd.
I'm pinned to a table.
Blond hair, sweat and red bandana
shoves a sharp weapon
deep into me
slicing and piercing.
Brown hair and two gold chains
showing immense increativity
mimics the in and out.
In and out.
I take my leave of consciousness
at the hands of some
overzealous testosterone
clenched air tight
around my throat.
As my sight gives way to
solid black
all that's left is
a bleeding heart sonata
seizing my breath,
selling my soul,
stalking my sanity
and fucking with me
every second

of every
God-given day.


Oak Leaf

I wrote a letter
to my lover
on a green colored oak leaf.
It was Spring
and this guy
adhered to
Laws of Nature
I thought he would appreciate
my sparing a leaf
to save a tree.

He never showed
as he gallivanted
in the next town
a different girl
on his arm
that certainly was not
his cousin.

Using a red pen
I tattooed my anger
on that leaf.
I smirked at the irony
that my hostility too
would wither and die

I wrote a letter
to this oaf
on a green colored oak leaf.
I chuckled thinking
he wasn't worthy
of the purity
a page
of college ruled
paper held
between its blue stripes.

Using a black Bic lighter
I swiped
from his car I
that vibrant leaf

I sighed in defeat,
tore up the leaf,
and walked away
with a spring
in my step
I was leaving
his primal Procreation
and moving on
to find that cherished
Law of Monogamy.



You already had a room when I was shown to mine.

Unknowingly, we went Crazy at the same time.
You come from Earthquakes and I from Snow and
by chance we are now nearly equidistant
from our separate dwellings and sharing a
Menninger mailing address here in Twister Haven
with a coincidental zip code that starts 666.

Perfect strangers, you and I.
Based solely on outward appearance
I figure you to be my senior by about 10 years.
I know that you are Crazy.
You have to be locked up and watched.

The same locks hold me in.
The same lookouts chart my
whereabouts and note my actions.
I am Crazy, too.

Years ago,
in the halls of a small private high school
just outside of Motown,
I felt translucent amongst my peers.
I stepped through the motions of Education, of
Dating and Dances, of
Sweet Sixteen's and Operators License's, of
Senioritis and Graduation,
and never felt Real.
With a Straight Edge Razor Blade
I would cut the flesh of my arm.
I would watch myself bleed
and only then be reassured that
"I am Alive," but that
"I am Crazy."

Here I am harassed with
Relapse Prevention and Biofeedback;
bombarded with lectures on
Psychotropic Medication and Biopsychology;
besieged by Individual and Group Therapy.
A savage storm of emotion, meaning, purpose and worth
now rages within my seratonin and dopamine deficient self
and I definitely feel Crazy,
but learn that my Crazy
is a lot like your Crazy.

That bond drags us out of bed with the sun.
We meet every morning
on our own time around
a white plastic table on the screened in porch.
Sitting in wobbly chairs, chain smoking and slamming
cup after Styrofoam Cup of Instant Coffee we
read self-selected passages of anything we want,
song lyrics and poetry being the most common,
and trust enough to share
how those words relate to our own lives.

In this informal setting our friendship is cultivated.
You in your gray sweats and
Palm Springs t-shirt
Slouch in a cheap, plastic chair and I
in the same jeans I wore yesterday
and first clean shirt I grabbed
sit holding my knees to my chest.

As I listen to you I understand that
You are Crazy,
but that you are real.
And for a few moments when
We wish together for the
Time we each will be released
I know I am Crazy,
but I also know that just like you
I am real, too.

Two and a half months after
You first introduced yourself when
I cautiously exited my room after unpacking
unsure what to expect from this prestigious club,
we flew like robins out
of our white cage
to separate nests across the country.


Habit Forming

Despite my efforts shake this vice
I still bite my nails.
Though I didn't burn his toast this time
so he smiles.
He tightens his grip.
I can feel it squeezing my capillaries shut.
The more I struggle the darker the bruise
so I cook his eggs too.
Knowledge I hide behind fear
of the baseball bat
and cower in the corner
of the bathroom biting my nails.
I will never break this habit.


Graveyard Dance

I perform a graveyard dance.
That's what I do.
I'm not paid for performance
and at cost to self
I try again.
I have dirt lodged
under my fingernails and
a naked body coated with mud.
I perform a graveyard dance.
That's what I do.
I claw and scratch and dig
through layers of brick heavy compost.
I see light for a moment.
With luck I breathe crisp, cold air.
Once I made it far enough
to see the fragile flowers
placed uniformly across the ground.
I have never pulled out of my grave,
chains shackled at my ankles,
nor will I ever.
No such thing as a walk with the living
in the fragrant world above.
As a child I believed I was on top of the earth.
Questions proved no top existed;
solely rehearsed freedom.
Now I slave to scratch the barrier
between fresh air and soiled life.
I perform a graveyard dance.
That's what I do.
I dig.
I claw I starve for day.
For each a different pattern
of fundamental elements of escape.
I perform a choreographed
predestined life.
That's what I do.


Copyright (©): 1997- 2001


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