Rapid Eye Movement

You are an embarrassment

he said while picking my pockets

vacant I stared idle

in an undisclosed location

Danielle sat next to me

tenderly stroking the inside flesh

of my arm although

we’d only spoken a handful of times

back in grade school, he said again

Nobody likes you, you know

So I just agreed with him because

her fingers felt like grasshopper wings

fluttering through my mind, he

looked a deep sorrow longer

and that’s where he began to cry

I am sorry my friend, I said while he

cradled me like a new born lamb

only I was much bigger than him

so by the end of it it was I who was

more so doing the cradling, then

as he disappeared effortlessly

Danielle and I sat a long while

next to one another, her hair

long dark and full of whispers

while the room filled with necessary strangers

Holding hands for a while she said,

you aren’t that bad you know

he just really loves you is the point

and then too disappeared into a sea of snakes

which I could not swim

while the couch turned to an island

I sat sipping from my cup

the bitter dark liquid I had earlier poured.

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Casco Bay

Life was shit

and life

was all we had

stuck staring

at the Casco Bay

from a lighthouse

that dark summer

where nothing

would go right

and everything went

predictably wrong.

We held each other

in the morning fog

sharing our breath

as if on life support

barely hanging on

you and I and a plug

but we’d picked blueberries

earlier that month

and though life

was shit that summer

nothing went to waste.

getting out of bed

However you get up and out of bed

or off the sidewalk

however you dig yourself

out of the grave is commendable.

And if you choose nothing

that too is just as valid

as choosing something.

I see far too many people

driving themselves mad

with work and love

and money and power

and fitness and greed and guilt

trying to fit into some sort of

idea they’re bred to believe

will fix them when really it won’t.

They don’t need to be fixed

or loved or loathed or accepted.

They just need to listen.

Listen to the air.

Listen to the ice crack when hot water hits.

Listen to the sea spray.

But I know nothing really.

All I know is what I see and what I see

is beautiful and diseased and delicate

like a rose petal or a dandelion flower

plucked from the earth by a child

in the outfield of a baseball diamond

wanting nothing more than to drift away

with the seeds he’s blown to anywhere else.

However getting out of bed

or the sidewalk or gutter is the first step

and the rest well, the rest is just —

up to you I guess.

to get lost in the current

It’s good

at times

to go with the flow

though to get

lost in the current

can happen

more commonly than not

so it too

is necessary

to get out of the mix

if only to see

if current seas

flow in both directions

it’s important

to know

whose ship you’re sailing.

swimming circles

like a goldfish in their bowl

you don’t ever get to leave

staying where they keep you

what a pity or relief?

hell I don’t know the difference

between seeing and belief

but that fishbowl you’ve been swimming

looks far too small for me.

so if you’ve thought what I am saying

half a dozen times

your chances of remembering

are just as good as mine.

like a goldfish in their bowl

I don’t ever get to leave

still I keep on swimming circles

headed for the sea.

The Futile Attempt to Explain a Temporary State of Being.

Somewhere between

breathing in and breathing out

comes this wave

of melancholy,

like salt to a snail

the only defense

is to crumple

back into a shell,

drained is all sense

is all sympathy

buried beneath

the weight,

sinking

deeper, deeper

into

this chair,

like a prisoner

wrongfully accused

without the funds

to buy a voice,

but time

is a cruel saint

without regard

for its hands,

that never miss a beat

or waver indefinitely

like this melancholia

that rests a while,

waiting for

another breath

to break up

the sea again.