Category Archives: Verses and Curses of a Blue Collar Poet

We were the light

I have seen some of the brightest lights of our generation dim with passing time
They stand – hushed – behind the heavy oak doors of the dark melancholy bungalows

The brick and mortar monsters that haunt the streets we walked in our youth
Our chests were puffed out then like crazy lions hunting in an aggressive pride

The brightest lights of our generation were the center of the solar system
We revolved around them earnestly and protectively and without fear
They transcended the labels and the laws that strained to keep the rest of us in line

We had no idea we were the lights in another solar system not of our making
We never even understood who we were until much later – we learned in our own time
The fall from the pristine street into the lonely bungalow never happened to us

We were born the new light
We live the brightest of lights
Our light is radiant and constant
We will die before we fade away

We will leave our light for the generations of tribes who will follow where we walked


Where does love go?

Where does love go when there is no hope for survival?
We vigorously fan the dying embers hoping for even a tepid flame
While she walks across the parking lot with a full cart and someone new

Where does love go when arrogance causes it to be neglected and ignored?
We acted like we didn’t need the vagaries of love in our solitary lives anymore
And now He’s even laughing at us and our misconceptions of our own strength.

Where does love go when everything of value that we cling to fades away?
All that we thought made us relevant has degraded right before our very tired eyes
We chased the idea of being in love, but love stopped chasing us when we weren’t looking.

On Congress Parkway

“Don’t look at my face!” she barked at me across the cold dry night
I couldn’t help myself – I looked at the hard, dry, cracked skin
There were no stains from errant tears on those withered cheeks
She hasn’t cried one salty tear since November 22, 1963

“Put the money right there” she pointed to a bag that smelled like death
She had no patience for another commuter trying to buy redemption for a dollar
I turned left on Financial Avenue and found my warm dry car before long
Damn the ones who taught me the need for salvation and the value of a dollar


In Monroe, Wisconsin

For J.P.

You were the best of us
Even when we were at our best
In that big drafty room
Wearing clothes owned by other people
The love – big love – poured all over us
When you opened the door that morning
We let it wash our souls like Lake Michigan water
You were generous and brave and honest

Later you raged against injustice
You lifted the heaviest of loads
You were the best of us
Only you knew how good we could be
And you never let us forget

I was just trying to love you

When we were together there were nights in our bed
I listened to your breathing – shallow nearly still
Once I was sure you were breathing
Sleep could come over me peacefully
I couldn’t imagine life without you

The days that you didn’t call back fast enough
I worried that something happened
You are not a very good driver
The physical distance was difficult
You never understood my tone
You thought I was checking up on you
You thought trying to control you
I was just trying to love you

You’re gone from my life now
You buried the hatchet of finality
You did exactly what we all expected

I sleep alone now in my bed
I listen for my own breathing
Sleep comes over me peacefully
I don’t worry about your driving
I don’t wait for you to call
I don’t even think about you anymore