Sunday, March 31, 2019

Poem: "The Shock of Your Kiss"

This one's just pretty. Enjoy.

The shock of your kiss
Hit or miss
The shock of your kiss
Next on my list.
The shock of your lips
Pressed against mine
Hands on your hips
Out of my mind. 

The shock of your lies
The lies your eyes told
The shock to my system
Shock to my soul.
The fissure inside 
And hours gone by
The shock to my system
And rain from my eyes.

Poem: "The Man with Night Sweats"

I didn't write this poem, but I really like it. It just shows that you can write a poem about anything, really. Enjoy.

The Man with Night Sweats

I wake up cold, I who
Prospered through dreams of heat   
Wake to their residue,   
Sweat, and a clinging sheet.   

My flesh was its own shield:   
Where it was gashed, it healed.

I grew as I explored   
The body I could trust   
Even while I adored
The risk that made robust,

A world of wonders in
Each challenge to the skin.

I cannot but be sorry
The given shield was cracked,
My mind reduced to hurry,   
My flesh reduced and wrecked.

I have to change the bed,   
But catch myself instead

Stopped upright where I am   
Hugging my body to me   
As if to shield it from   
The pains that will go through me,
As if hands were enough   
To hold an avalanche off.

Poem: "Good Will Hunting"

In this one, he don’t go out to L.A. 
In this one, he stays. 
In this one, the oyster has no pearl. 
In this one, he don’t see about a girl. 

He still says, “I don’t love you,” though,  
But drives not out of town
As the names begin to roll
And the sun goes down.

Poem: "You're Not What People Say You Are."

You’re not what people say you are,
You’re so much more than that.
You’re so much better and
So much less.
You’re certainly not the best.

You’re not what people think you are,  
A purveyor of magic spells and death, 
A black cat moving sleekly that
Silently steals your breath. 

You're an empress in a chariot, 
A maiden on the rocks,
A princess in a fairytale,
Or just a drawer of socks. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Poem: "You Tell Me That You Help the Blind"

You tell me that you help the blind 
But it's all a friggin' joke. 
A rabbit in a hat it is
Some mirrors and some smoke.  
It hurts my head to think about  
How long you've been this way  
Paralyzed and lost, you are,  
And generally afraid  
Of feathers, babies, pillows, candy,  
Water, money, sun  
Of fundamental things in life 
Including love.  
Harsh I am and harsh are these  
Words I have for you.  
But save yourself, forget the blind,  
Then later save them too.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Poem: "Anxiety"

Feeling the full 
Breadth of life 
Is sometimes hard to do
When anxiety stops you. 
Anxiety’s a smog 
Which chokes your heart. 
Anxiety’s a false start.
Anxiety’s the mare
That’s on your chest.
Anxiety, stress,
Anxiety stress.

Fucking anxiety 
What does it do?
It totally fucks with you.
It makes small things hard
And hard things absurd.
It starts with a thought or
Starts with a word.
It starts with a picture
Conjured by fear
It smiles from ear to ear. 

Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety, why?
Why so hard do you fucking try?
I guess God don’t give us
More than we can. 
Still, I’ll take an Ativan. 

Poem: "And Round I Go"

It's so pathetic, 
Sometimes I feel
Like a clown on 
A Ferris Wheel, 
Waving hello 
To the people below, 
Round and round and round I go. 

It's so pathetic, 
Sometimes I am
The shadow of a man, 
Knowing what's right
And doing it not,
Sitting down; I should stand up. 
And round and round and round I go. 

It's so pathetic, 
Sometimes I trust 
In the power of love,
The power to mend, 
Its connection with fate, 
But humans can't regenerate. 
And round and round and round I go. 


Here's a poem I didn't write but like. Enjoy.


Life has loveliness to sell,
     All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
     Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
     Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
     Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
     Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
     Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

"The Messenger"

A question that two of my friends and I often pose to each other -- friends with whom I occasionally play music -- is this: What song do you wish you wrote? In the past I said "Time of Your Life" by Green Day. I love it for its simplicity and its ability to reach many, many people.

Another song that I wish I wrote is the one below, "The Messenger" by Linkin Park. Again, stupid simple: the song only has four chords, which repeat over and over: G, D, Em, C. The chords honestly couldn't be more easy. But it's not about the chords. The chords are almost an afterthought in this song -- they're just a matrix, a vehicle. The power of the song rests on the lyrics and the vocal performance.

So here it is, "The Messenger," a song I wish I had written.

Poem "She with the Big Heart"

Your Indian name is "She with the Big Heart"
I would agree.
I see it in your eyes
When you look at me
I see a woman who
Has given lots of help
And wants a thing or two 
For herself.
I really hope you get it
She with the heart of gold
I really hope you get it
And happily grow old.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Poem: "A Goodnight Poem"

I’m in bed by 10 again
I’m in bed by 10. 
For what it’s worth 
I’m in my bed
By 10 p.m. again. 

I’ll check this little gadget thing
In my bed at 10.
I’ll scan my room for things to do
Morning when I rise.

I’ll close the light 
And snuggle up
Then look up to the skies
And say goodnight to God at 10
And slowly close my eyes. 

And 10 will turn to 12, then 1
And 1 will turn to 4
And people needing things from me
Will have to wait some more.

Cause I’m in bed and that’s my right
10’s the time for me
To close my eyes and fall away
Gently into sleep. 

Poem: Monday Monday

Monday morning
Rain all day 
Come and blow these clouds away 
Monday morning message to 
A person who
I've long knew
"Tell the truth, is she ill? 
It's time that you 
The beans spill."

And still the rain, and still the rain
Still the rain on window panes
Still this feeling that I've got 
And would rather not. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Poem: "Humbled"

I keep on being humbled
But I don't want that.
I want to be obnoxious,
I want to be a brat.

But I'm humbled when I
Think of you
And all the pain inside, 
All the times you could've but 
Didn't cry. 
I'm humbled by the storm I saw 
When I'd look in your life; 
Humbled by your wrinkles and 
Humbled by your eyes. 

And I don't want that. 
I want to be an asshole, 
A joker, hard and strong, 
But one can't be
What one is not 
For very long.

Poem: "I Learned"

Even in my darkest times
I learned. 
Even when it burned
I learned. 
Even when my head was spinning
And I wasn’t winning 
And my world was just a blur
I learned. 

Poem "Sunday Morning Poem"

Sunday morning
Waking up
The coffee in
The coffee cup.
This and that
I must do
To keep it all 
Running smooth.

Print this out
And take that there
And don’t forget 
Your underwear. 
And pay them that
And write a note
And don’t forget
To fix your coat.
And don’t forget
To fix a date
And watch the clock
Or you’ll run late. 

Sunday morning 
Much to do
Just to keep it running smooth.

Poem: "Walking Home Along The Alster"

White swan dipping its head into black water
Doesn't bother, shouldn't bother.
Geese alert by the shore
Don't care anymore.
The sound of my footfalls one after the other.
The moon above, hover.
An earnest web of twilight passes its face.
I'm part of this race.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Poem: "This Teacher of Mine Came Alive"

A fun little poem I wrote a few months back.

I once had a teacher who loved Shakespeare.
This teacher had false teeth 
And would use the time between classes
To brush furiously.
She’d tell us of England and Avon; she’d talk of the world-famous Globe,
This teacher had breath like dragons, though,
And clearly was growing old. 
Brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush...
Minty fresh, all right. 
This woman was a spinster
And wept alone each night. 
She’d saturate her pillowcase with salty, lonely tears;
She’d been alone so many years
And had only so much fight. 
But say the words, “Ethiop’s ear” or “world’s a stage” or
“Thus, with a kiss I die,” 
And this teacher of mine came alive, all right, 
This teacher of mine came alive.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Who Are You?

I've had this blog now for 13 years. And I tell people, if you ever want to know me, to really know me, or at least know a lot about me, read my blog. 

But truth be told, I don't know who reads this blog. I can see how many people read each post each day -- usually an average of around 10 -- but I don't know who my readers are, who you are.

So I ask you...write a comment below and let me know who you are. Say hi. You see a lot of me. Let me know a little about you.


Poem: "Breaking Blue"

I thanked God
That I was still able
To appreciate that sky
Breaking blue
Over the high-rise.

In a crazy room
In a crazy place
You and I once had a chat
And what we said
I won’t forget.

We said there were times
We saw that sky
In all its whirling shades of blue 
And whispered to ourselves 
Through glass, to the world
"Fuck you." 

So I thank God
That I am still able
To appreciate that sky
Breaking blue
Over the high-rise.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Poem: "I Chafe When Non-Authentic"

I chafe when non-authentic.
I chafe when lazy too.
I chafe attempts half-hearted.
I chafe when far from true.

I bristle and I burn and turn
From what’s not really true.
I chafe when non-authentic
So be true.

Poem: "She Touched Me"

She touched me.
I couldn't believe
She touched me.

Even after I'd been mean.
She touched me.

She could have ran
She could have screamed
And everything in between.

But she didn't.

So I squeezed her knee
To let her know
She touched me.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Willkommen, Bienvenue!

Here's a little piece I hope to get published in my college alumni magazine. The jury is still out on whether that will happen, though. Either way, enjoy.

On an autumn night during my freshman year of college I had a fantastic experience.

It all started when a friend that I had made during the first weeks of school asked me if I wanted to go with her to see the dress rehearsal of the school’s production of “Cabaret.” This friend of mine was chummy with a cast member in the show and had special access to the staging. I agreed and I’m glad I did, because the performance that night blew my mind.

Up until that point, I had been only used to seeing high school productions of musicals, which weren’t bad, per say. But the moment that I walked into my college auditorium for the dress rehearsal I knew that I had entered a whole new realm.

The “Cabaret” dancers -- all girls in their very early 20s -- danced in perfect time to the music and moved with the authority of Broadway performers. They sang powerfully, and well, and their eyes shone as they strutted their stuff across the stage. Moreover, they looked totally at ease in their short, Jazz-Age skirts and thigh-high stockings.

The girls, indeed, were great. But believe it or not, they were not the most memorable thing about the show that evening. The guy who played the part of the emcee was.

In the musical “Cabaret,” the most prominent role is that of Sally Bowles, the nightclub singer and ingénue. But another key role is that of the cabaret’s master of ceremonies.

And in the State University of New York College at Cortland 2000 production of “Cabaret” that part was played by Jeff.

Jeff -- crazy that I still remember his name -- oozed charisma.

Wearing a tuxedo and top hat and wielding a cane, he had really turned himself into the strange, flamboyant man that is the cabaret emcee.

I think the feature that drew me to him so much, though, was his passion and exuberance. He almost seemed possessed, as if when he looked out on the audience -- that is, those of us sitting in the Dowd auditorium -- he was really seeing a 1930s Weimar Republic crowd.

He also sang with wild conviction, and I can still clearly hear the first few lyrics to "Willkommen," his character’s main number: “Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!” In fact, it was during Jeff’s singing of “Willkommen” that I first learned how to pronounce the word “bienvenue.”

Jeff seemed to have everything under his control, just like the emcee should. He was the ringleader, the inciter, the one who gets the audience pumping and all riled up.

The cabaret girls...the cabaret girls were great. But Jeff was even better, and on that night, while watching that performance, I knew that I had arrived. I was, in a way, no longer in a world I had known. I was now in a more adult world: one where theatrical roles were brought to life by people who were just a little older than the people I had left behind in high school but were strikingly more mature.

Poem: "I've Been Down..."

I’ve been down in a warren of red lights
Like trenches from the First World War
Shut away from the city above
In a crisis of love.

I’ve turned those corners and held my breath,
Looking right and looking left,
Heart-shaped tubs and pixy dust,
Proud artillery turned to rust.

I’ve been down there,
Seen where they sleep,
Seen their toilet, their canteen,
Seen their photos, black and white,
As I crept under the cloak of night.

Now, these rabbit burrows that I’ve found,
I tell you sure were underground.
But by day I've seen another light.

I've seen mothers and daughters
Folding sheets
And laughing happily,
Shaking pillows, rosy cheeks...

I've seen children playing in the street,
Climbing bars and climbing trees,
Eating cake and eating sweets.

And observed it all with wonderment.

But those rabbit burrows, they call me still
And still I’ll go and get my fill.
I get for some it will disgust
But there are moments still of tenderness.

And if you want one day, you can
Take my hand, I'll take you down
And you will see just how it is
And you will see
How the brave live.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Poem: "I Pushed When It Was Pull"

This one's a little bit of fun. Enjoy.

I pushed when it was pull, maybe. 
I pulled when it was push, maybe. 
I should have pushed when it was push, maybe. 
Things I’ve been thinking about, lately.

I should have zigged when I zagged; ran when I dragged; skipped when I slid…
Now look at what I did!

Poem: "When You Want an Answer"

When you want an answer, think of this:
Think of no beginning and no end
Think of never knowing what’s around the bend
Think of the cosmos and think of your birth
And how little you're worth.
When you want an answer, think of this.

Poem: "When I Say It"

When I say it 
Some people make that noise 
Like they’ve been punched in the stomach 
And I get it.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Three poems

Here are three little poems I recently wrote. Strange little things. Enjoy.

Thoughts are like the wind
But this week was fucking windy.
Thoughts are like a bend
In a road nobody knows.
Thoughts are like a rainbow
You can look but cannot touch.
Such thoughts don't serve to help
So fuck you very much.


Nature must be mating now; it is March. 
Nature must be mating now; life is on the march. 
The problems that we have
Big, not big and small, 
Hold little candle to
The All. 


The sun looks like the moon today
Behind those clouds,

"Did you mean something deeper? 
Sometimes it's hard to tell." 

No, but you'll see something deeper,
If I write it well.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Poem: "Maybe you were holding it under control"

Maybe you were holding it under control.
Maybe I didn't know
You were holding it under control.
I will tell you this,
I won't apologise for much
But maybe for
My arrogance.

Razia's Poem

One of the students whom I tutor in English is named Razia. I always thought she was cool, but she really earned my respect, you could say, one day when she and I were in the Hamburg library.

We had been looking for a book she could read on her own and she suggested a book of poems by T.S. Eliot. Without really thinking I told her that that wouldn't really be a great idea because T.S. Eliot's poetry is very difficult. But she didn't care. So we got the book and she proceeded to read and analyse these incredibly difficult T.S. Eliot poems. I was thoroughly impressed.

Recently, Razia has been writing poetry of her own. And it's really good. Below is one of those poems (which I received permission to publish). Unfortunately, the piece, "Barefoot," is in German, so if you don't understand that language, you are out of luck. But maybe run in it through Google Translator. That could also be cool. Enjoy.


Es regnet!

An der linken Seite liegt die nasse Straße

Der blasse Fluss wohnt an meiner rechten Seite, in dem zwar Wasser fließt aber in geringem Masse

Ich leide kein Regenschirm. Das ist eine Gabe!

Der aber (HA HA) erträgt, nicht mal meine Farbe!

Ich gehe rückwärts. Ich finde nichts.

Der pausenlose Passagier, der langwierige Sucher, der Suche eines Zwielichts

Es fühlt sich wie die Suche nach einem nichts. Wo findet man nichts?

Mein Verstoß, denn ich schneide das Seil des Gleichgewichts

Vor mir stehen ein Paar Tauben

Die reden mit mir, mit meinem inneren fahrigen Aberglauben

Der Glaube, den ich mal hatte, ist nicht mehr da!

Ach, den habe ich begraben …tja!

Den mir antragen wurde, mit meinem Namen

Mit dem ich keine Furcht haben sollte, vor dem Flammen

Und jetzt stehe ich durchnässt schonwieder

Barfuß mit Tauben und in der Hand ein Postpapier

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Poem: "Your Mouth Says You're Smiling"

Your mouth says you're smiling 
But your eyes say you're not. 
I'm no polyglot
But I understand this language. 

And then I see you all alone. 
But you don't see me. 
And your expression is one 
Of misery. 

Still, you smile in my face, 
Each time, those downturn eyes.
You better get some help 
Before something dies.

Poem: "Some Things We Remember"

Some things we remember,
Some things we forget,
One thing I remember is
A thing that you once said.
I can’t recall the time, 
I can’t recall the day, 
But you said that you’re still awesome
Even in this way. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Poem: "Be Kind, That's What my Mother Taught"

Be kind, that's what my mother taught
Though she sometimes beat me down
But marathon runners also smoke
And circus clowns frown.

Be kind, my mother said to me
Be good for goodness’ sake
Though she raked me over coals sometimes
For childhood mistakes.

Be kind my mother pushed on me
Though I'd sometimes watch her rage
And use grown-up words I didn't get
At least not at that age.

Be kind I am, be kind I was
The kind I'll always be
Hold tight to all the good that was
Not negativity.

Poem: "People Can Say a Thousand Things"

People can say a thousand things
To you but all it takes
Is that one thing that you take from them
And part of you make.

The self, the brain, the soul, the heart
Can only take so much
But locks in on what matters like
A bee to pollen does.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Poem: "I Had Your Perfume on my Chest"

I had your perfume on my chest,
And I didn't even know.
I had your perfume on my chest,
After, though.

Standing in the bathroom,
Proud of what I saw,
A scent I didn't own,
Crept into my nose.

Sweet like flowers blooming,
Sweet like desert rain,
Sweet like garden roses,
Sweet like summer rain,

On my chest was your perfume
Yet I really didn't know.
I only knew for certain
This scent I didn't own.

Positive Reinforcement

One thing that really turns me off is negative reinforcement. When someone says, "You did that bad; that was bad." That makes me crazy. Sometimes, when I'm at basketball, some people like to try to teach with negative reinforcement. "No, no, Chad, no. You should have passed the ball." "Well, great," I think, "what am I supposed to do with that?"

But there's this one player. And he's probably the best player I play with in my Monday basketball group. And the guy never tries to teach with negative reinforcement. Moreover, when you do do something good, he really lets you know.

And he really let me know yesterday.

See, I had been having trouble making cuts to the basket. In fact, some of the other players had told me that sometimes when my team has the ball, I just stand around awkwardly. And I understood what they were saying. After all, it is hard to move properly without the ball. Plus, making a cut to the basket is a tiny bit intimidating. It means looking for an open spot, running toward it, hoping you are going to get the pass, having to catch the pass in motion and then quickly finishing. A lot can go wrong!

But yesterday during one play, I made a beautiful cut toward the basket, received a really good pass and shot the layup. I didn't make the layup, but right after I made the move, I heard dude. And you know what he said? "Whoa! Really good!"

Thanks, man.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Poem: "Inside my Foolish Mind"

I locked your bike to mine. 
But you didn’t even know. 
You didn’t have the time, 
Your brain said go go go. 

I locked your bike to mine,  
With a rusted, shitty lock. 
And watched the rain collect  
And hours on the clock. 

I locked your bike to mine  
And thought
I’d come home to a note. 
In running ink I’d find your words  
Running down the note.  

And in the text you’d say to me, 
“I get it, what you’ve done.  
But Christ, OK, for heaven’s sake 
Enough, you’ve had your fun.”  

At least that’s what I’d thought you’d say,
Inside my foolish mind,  
But you never even saw, you see,  
Your bike tied up to mine.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Poem: "I Can Transmit my Soul"

I can transmit my soul.
That's one attribute I have.
I can hardly build a hole.
But I can make you feel my soul.

I can transmit how I feel.
Can't work with stone or steel.
But I can still lay
A cathedral at your feet.

Poem: "There Were Moments of Tenderness"

Some poems of mine are very accessible; others less so. This one is one of those that is less so. Still, I hope you get something out of it. Cause that's the point, too. Enjoy.

There were moments of tenderness
And I thank you for them
Like that time in Lisbon
By the water, by that park
Where I watched my world be stripped away
But you said it’s OK
And told me to breathe, and told me to breathe
And I had so much power after
That I was able to outbargain a man for Ray Bands
And bring him to his knees. 

I thank you for these moments of tenderness.

Dumbest Purchase Ever.

I’ve made some dumb purchases in my life. I think we all have. There was that one time I bought Nike sneakers for 130 euros even though I had prior evidence that Nike shoes hurt my feet. There was that other time when I bought this resistance rope because I thought I would work out at home with it and never did.

But I think my dumbest purchase ever came the other day when I was in a sports store here in Hamburg. I was about to go to a sports class -- maybe Pilates or something -- and I needed a change of socks. Now, normally, I just would have bought three pairs of socks for something like 5 euros and been done with it.

But no. I had to get fancy. So I wandered into the store's Running section. There, they had all kinds of  socks: reflective socks, socks for breathability, socks for special support. And all these socks had very "special" prices, too. Yeah, I’m talking, like, 15 euros for one pair.

Still, I thought to myself, "Hey, I’ve been working out a lot more; I’m more athletic now. Maybe it’s time to up my sock game."

So I grabbed a pair made especially for breathability and comfort. It was a pack of two pairs, and the price was 20 euros. Which, of course, is already eye-watering. But I thought, "OK, 10 euros per pair, that’s ridiculously expensive, but let’s see...maybe they’ll help somehow."

So I went to the cash register and paid.

And then...

And then after my workout, I noticed that it wasn’t two pair in there -- it was one!

One pair of socks for 20 euros? That’s, like, 25 dollars. A pair of white sports socks for 25 dollars? Are you fucking kidding me?

And guess what? They felt like normal socks.

Dumbest. Purchase. Ever.

Post Script: These expensive socks do have an “L” on the left foot and an “R” on the right foot. So maybe that’s the value I was paying for?

Friday, March 08, 2019

Poem: "We Had a Garden"

We had a garden and you let it die.
I know you know "die" rhymes with "cry,"
So I'll let you go, I'll hold you not,
And let you find another plot.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Poem: "Dad's Gone Birding"

This poem stems from anger. But I like it.

My sister says my dad’s gone birding.
Well ain’t that fucking sweet.
Let him fly away as well.
It’s all the same to me.

My sister says my dad’s gone birding.
What a fucking joke.
Like every drop of joy from life
He’s trying to choke.

And me, well, I, no biggie, me
I'm here still on my own
Kicking the can on down the road
Kick it on down the road.

Poem: "Throw it in the Fire and"

Throw it in the fire and 
Watch it fucking burn.
Watch it grow green and gold
And to ashes turn. 
Let it squirm and 
Let it squeal. 
This is not the time to feel.   

Poem: "People Think They Have the Answers"

Even I was a bit shocked when I reread this poem of mine. I feel like it's super intense. I'm not exactly sure where my head was on the day I wrote it, but...

People think they have the answers;
We have none, just the questions. 
People pride themselves on certainty, 
But there’s only hesitation. 
People swell with pride and they
Think they’re really great.
But we’re all just record holders
For the biggest mistake. 

Only God has got the answers
And he’s giving none away.
Maybe on Judgement Day
Maybe on Judgement Day.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Poem: "Almost Like a Child"

Almost like a child,
But these were big league stakes.
Still, you couldn't apply the brakes.
You pretended to pump
And I really did,
But we're not kids,
And that was no toy car.

Poem: "Poem for Luke Perry"

Luke Perry is dead.
I used to watch that show
With my mom on Thursday nights

When a person with young spirit
Passes from this place
I think we faintly hear the Reaper
Calling out our names.

Whatever it's exactly
Luke's no longer around. 
But for a moment there in time
Was the coolest dude around.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

All Apologies

You know, it's amazing how powerful an apology can be.

Last week at basketball, a player on my team yelled at me because I wasn't in the position that I was supposed to have been in. For some reason, his yelling at me really rubbed me the wrong way, and during a time out, I said to him in a very even tone, "Don't yell at me like that ever again."

At first, he thought I was joking, but then after I said it a second time, "I'm serious, don't yell at me like that again," he came over to me and shook my hand. I appreciated that, but what I appreciated even more was after the game, in the locker room, he came over to me and said, "Chad, I'm sorry, I did yell pretty loudly." I was so touched that he did this, I couldn't even look at him when I told him, "It's OK."

And then during the week, I thought a lot about this small, little incident. I actually came to the conclusion -- probably because I was able to think straight, thanks to his having given me such an honest apology -- that I myself shouldn't have been so stern.

So this week at basketball, I actually went up to this player and said, "Hey, man, I was a little harsh last week. I'm sorry I was so harsh. I was just really stressed out." I then took him around and it was all good. But then, believe it or not, he said, "No, no, I was really stressed out last week, too, so it really could have been on me."

Again, I was amazed at his willingness to take the blame, if you will, for the situation. We both left it off that perhaps we both had done something a little bit wrong.

But, wow, I feel so much more connected to this guy now.

It's amazing the power of an apology.


Every so often in life, I am humbled by something. Such was the case yesterday after I asked my aunt a question. I'm not going to say exactly what I had asked her, but it was a question about a person, whether she thought a person was something. Truth be told, I was expecting my aunt to answer one way for sure. In fact, she perhaps has more reason to answer in the way I had expected than I do. But she didn't answer the way I had expected. Here is what she wrote:

I don't think I would use that exact word. I don't like to label people so harshly. We can discuss it if you want to. [This person] has bad traits and good ones like all of us do.   
Love you much, 

And once I read that, I knew she was right. It was a bit of wisdom that she just imparted, and I just had to accept that I had been humbled.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Poem: "Ode to an Arrow"

Think of how important arrows are, 
So more important than they seem; 
In a world so labyrinthine, they are 
"The star to every wandering bark." 

Arrows make or break you and can kill you 
If read wrong, 
Can lead you to the rocks just like 
An echoey siren song. 

Can lead you out of danger too 
And of the forest dark, 
Set you on a better path 
Of sun and meadow larks. 

Arrows work and do, perform, 
On sign and wall and ground 
And do the things they do without 
A solitary sound.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

The Power of a Comma

I have to admit it, some commas are unsightly sometimes. But that shouldn't prevent us from using them. In fact, just because a comma may not look that pretty in a particular position doesn't mean we should just skip it. Because if we do, the meaning of the sentence may not be clear.

For example, today, Maya, my ex-girlfriend, wrote to me a list of times I could meet her to give her back her dog. Check out what what she wrote.

Which way is good for you [to give me back the dog]?

1. Tonight at 22:15 at the pool.
2. Tonight at 22:45 at the train station.
3. Tomorrow very early before your work at the train station.

Did you see in which of the three sentences there was some confusion? It was "3." 

According to what she wrote, she is asking me if I would like to give the dog back tomorrow very early before my work begins at the train station. But I don't work at the train station, and she knows that. 

What she meant was, "Would I like to give her back the dog very early tomorrow before my work begins, at the train station. Putting that comma in there -- after the word "begins" -- even though it's a bit unsightly, lets the reader know that that prepositional phrase "at the train station" has nothing to do with words "before your work begins."

Ah, the power of a comma. 

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Poem: "Fiercely"

I cried fiercely, but with her I didn’t cry. “Really?” she said; she was quite surprised. "With her I cried in private, behind the scenes, discreetly." She probably believed it not because with her I cried so deeply.

Tears fell one day so plentiful a stranger wouldn’t leave me, and circled back when she left cause she did not believe me. I told her I was fine but she refused to leave me, until I acted brave and said, “Trust me, please believe me.”

When my mother’s mother died, she didn’t cry that evening. She didn’t cry that morning, nor did she the next evening. The only thing she said was that the train car was so cold, the one that took her further from her mom and brought her home.

These women do not cry, they don’t, and I so very fiercely
fight the fights they couldn’t fight, and cry the tears so fiercely
cry the tears so openly, a stranger wouldn't leave me
something shaking violently inside of me for them.

Poem: "Intravenous"

After I finish a piece of writing, I'm usually not satisfied with it. There's always something that could've been better -- some transition that could've been smoother or some detail that could've been more vivid. Rarely do I ever say, "Wow, OK, well, that's perfect!"

However, I was very satisfied with the poem below after having completed it. Particularly, I was happy with how I blended the negative with the positive and how I managed to evoke pathos, which is hard to do, I think.

Anyway, here's the piece. I wrote it a couple weeks ago. Enjoy.

I usually have my heart to help me cut through the static.
But this racket is awful, bewildering, cruel.
It makes mice out of men
And men into fools.
I'm mainlining poison
That happens to cure.
Doctors swear by this stuff
But me, I’m not sure.

I long only for easy
Days of the past
When the smile you had
Would last and last
And you’d open your heart at every turn
And your kisses would burn.

But a door has closed
And all I got’s this IV
And it’s saving me
And killing me

Friday, March 01, 2019

State of Grace

In 2001, Paul McCartney, famous for his songs, put out a book of poetry. It was called "Blackbird Singing," after his famous song, "Blackbird." Honestly, the poems were OK. Not amazing, not earth-shattering, but OK.

However. There was one poem that was head and shoulders above the rest. It was so good that when I read it, I immediately realized why Paul McCartney is Paul McCartney. Because when he is good, he is good.

Here is that poem.


It's a heavenly day
On the surface of the Earth
Yet servants of evil
Still roam its face
Searching crows feet and crannies
In which to give birth
To the future.

We praise
The Spirit of Goodness
From whence all good things flow

As when a fish
Fresh plucked from watery home
Flaps wildly on the deck
What spirit moves
The hand that throws it back?

In this world
Where ever-present dangers
Circle round our family heart
Like a throng of hostile strangers
Eager for a war to start
There appears
A friend's familiar face
Oh sweet relief
The heart goes
To a warmer place.

And this we prize
And this we hold so dear
This humble State of Grace.

Laughing at the sky
Behold its sheer
Blue genius unfold
And we are blessed
To see its golden hue
To be amongst its chosen few

We praise the well
Of Goodness
From whence all good things flow

Through the night
A daffodil is battered by
The father of all storms
Daybreak sees it
Stand alone
Amongst a field of lifeless forms

Rays of light
The space
Where sweet relief presents
A shining yellow face

And this we prize
And this we hold so dear
This humble State of Grace

Life aboard this fast revolver
Still remains
A magic mystery

Loud reports of anger
Fill the pages
Of our history

Those of us with love
Can now embrace
With sweet relief
A life lived
At a gentler pace

For this we prize
And this we hold
So dear
This humble
Of Grace.