Tag Archives: cool

The Ancient Ghost of Regret

Decades gone by like a heavy wind – we shared our lives – not always of our choosing
We traded kind words once – sometimes heavy punches – sometimes just our anger
We never stopped to explain or apologize – rarely showing gratitude – we just were
Consumed by perceptions of our own mortality and legacy we eventually drifted apart

There was one day – lost in the ether of the youth – when I killed what we loved
The ancient ghost I made that day haunts me – after all these years it still hovers over me
I had your trust and I betrayed it mercilessly until you cried – then I laughed at you
The ancient ghost of regret haunts me for not treating you better when I had the chance

More than a lifetime has transpired since that day when I made you so miserable
We have forgiven each other – unspoken apologies for pain we inflicted on each other
We have soared and we have floundered – sometimes together – sometimes alone
Still I can’t keep the ancient ghost of regret from knocking on my kitchen door at night

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Philadelphia 1977

I was never beautiful even when the illusion of my own beauty seduced me
And I carried that illusion – used it as a shield as I navigate my mortality
The illusion has let me down like an underfed love connection in Philadelphia – 1977

The philanderers and the charlatans of my dreams have finally caught up with me
They have taken my legs out from under me – as if there was nothing I could do about it
They did me a favor – they have stripped away the artifice that held me safe since 1977

I will never be beautiful but I will be honest – I will be out on the limb reaching for fruit
The best of what that old tree offers – that appears to be just out of reach – that fruit
I will not let myself down like bottle of vodka and a stranger in Philadelphia – 1977

The Rise and The Fall and The Loss

I feel the weight of the loss of my county’s history
And my soul sighs for what my child will never see

This isn’t a diatribe against the epic leaps of progress
This isn’t a diatribe against our country’s growing pains

This is a search for the less amazing things we grew up with
The things we never knew we’d one day miss only now we do
The things that are lost now – lost to time – lost to decay – lost to life

My country’s history is not always an inaccessible concept in a too heavy book
Sometimes my country is simple in its story – unfettered by class or by nationality
It can be a phone with a dial and a party line shared with the upstairs neighbors
Or a one-piece clothes pin that snaps when mother is hanging sheets out to dry
But makes a great milk-bottle game to play at your birthday party

My country’s history is a brilliant tapestry of rich colors and dazzling hues

Much of my country’s history is crumbling before my eyes and no one seems to care
These aren’t renewal projects that signal the advance of a civilization – these are different
These are decay and apathy and a shameful loss of vision and potential
These are anger and spite and the idle hands that are the devil’s pleasure

Mother doesn’t even hang the laundry out on the line anymore
Mother doesn’t even host birthday parties anymore
I’ve had enough birthdays – I have enough history

Now I am mostly tired

I don’t miss anyone who walked away
I don’t believe in miracles anymore

I caught my soul on a crescent moon
And I tugged a little harder than I should have

I was strong – until I wasn’t
Now I am mostly tired

Standing alone amongst the smoldering embers
An absurd superhero in a black and white melodrama

Standing along amongst the smoldering embers
Another long lost hot dog forgotten on a holiday grill

I am standing here with my chin up
And my finger in the air like I just don’t care

I just don’t care is the lie
I just keep selling to myself

The Summer Began

The summer began with a cool breeze
It made her uncomfortable and cautious
She dressed in layers of many different colors
She took his hand and they walked into the summer
Cautious and many layered waiting to see what was next

Across the Road

It was hardly a silent night when the pregnant crystal snowflakes fell about – between the moonbeams and streetlights. Each descending its own path of least resistance – like the swollen tear that ran down your cheek and settled in your ear as you cried yourself to sleep.

I tried to call to you from where I stood on the decaying wooden staircase but my words were muffled by the downy mist. I watched you shiver – the snow clinging to your eyelashes – little bursts of air spilling forth from the thin space between your thin lips.

I called out your name again, my cold red hands cupped to the sides of my mouth. My breath’s steam carried your fragile name and nestled it into your frozen red ears.

The night finally fell completely – leaving only the naked sun over your left shoulder. It burned my eyes and made me close them tightly. The brilliant reflection off of each blade of each snowflake danced – pink – across my eyelids.

for Cindy…

I Was Remembering

I was remembering the night on the old mattress
Black light Jimi Hendrix stapled to the ceiling
Our pants were around our ankles shirts around our necks
Elvis playing on an 8-track player hidden under the blanket
Your breath was sweet and moist from the wine
Your hands were urgent but they weren’t very experienced
The strength of 10 horses held my heart inside my chest
Your skin was like cream–smooth and flawless
My hands were rough
I was afraid that my calluses would scrape away the finish
But I couldn’t stop at that point
You did though, you sat up and reached for a Salem
I let my shoes hit the floor
Before I began searching for my lighter and the 8-track player
A figure appeared in the doorway
But it disappeared just as quickly
I put a fresh Elvis tape in the player
The smoke from our cigarettes crept out the window
When you pulled your sweater over your head
You messed up your hair but you looked even better
I stopped for a minute to look at you sitting there
I remember falling back into your arms
Elvis filled the room again
And for just that moment I was him
He was me and with you
And ever star in your view
Belonged to me that night