July 21, 2016
I seemed to have always been the same age.
Then I looked in the mirror and saw a tired
and devious old man gazing warily back at me.
An old man, alone in a room, masturbating over a memory,
fantasizing about women who have forgotten about me,
and brooding over deliberately missed opportunities.
A shadow of my former shadow
slowly becoming invisible, turning gray.
Unfortunately, nobody noticed
that I never went away.
May 28, 2016
I recognize the ideal,
of what I’m ideally working towards,
but I’m incapable of realizing it.
So why not satisfy myself
with what I imagine
I’m capable of doing
rather than actually doing it?
That seems like a reasonable solution.
But isn’t that what I’ve been doing all along:
basking instead of striving;
recognizing what I’m capable of
and settling for less?
Which is actually a long process
of resigning oneself to failure:
basking in the glory of potential
and potential glory,
until potential is dead.
March 23, 2016
Instead of doing my own work,
I took a long hard look
at somebody else’s work,
in the hope of being pleasantly relieved
by how bad it was.
But, much as I tried to deny it,
it was undeniably good.
And it pours out of him
like a gusher from a golden fountain
that never stops flowing.
Compared to this strained trickle
from a blocked and rusty faucet.
I take consolation
in how much it has cost me,
as if that might somehow redeem it.
Which, of course, it doesn’t.
But I don’t have much else
to take consolation in.
April 18, 2015
I can feel time passing me by,
speeding up as I slow down,
creating the kind of deceptive, reflexive glory
that happens when the speed of the past
overtakes the slowed down present.
I was riding into the promise
of a life without limits,
infinitely rich with possibilities,
when the future suddenly turned into the past.
And looking back upon it,
it wasn’t hugely satisfying.
March 12, 2015
Outside, a sparrow sits on the telegraph wire,
a stray dog limps across the sidewalk.
And that is the extent of nature in these parts.
Silence drills through me, birdsong flickers in the air,
overlaid by the constant drone of traffic and tinnitus.
Urgency fades into futility, and once again I find myself
on the verge of giving up before I have even begun.
If I could see myself sitting here –
a lazy perfectionist sinking into the unseizable day –
barely engaged in the pretense of activity,
I don’t know whether I’d laugh or cry…
or remain numb.
November 18, 2014
I can go from biting loneliness
to social claustrophobia – and back –
in ten seconds flat.
Terrorized by polite conversation,
I don’t have much energy,
and I don’t have much appetite for other people’s energy.
Groaning inwardly, aching for silence, I can feel
my precious hours receding into slowly measured death;
devoured by people who ignore me. I could bite
the hand that feeds, till it bleeds,
but it isn’t very nourishing,
and it would be spat back.
October 20, 2014
Broke, bitter and alone.
What more could I possibly ask for?
I have failed, at last,
beyond my wildest expectations.
I don’t understand
why I’m still not satisfied.
October 13, 2014
I am honored to be included in the autumn edition
of Klipschutz’s exquisitely wrought Four-by-Two series.
It can be found (and ordered) here: http://www.fourbytwo.org/
September 20, 2014
I waited a long time
to be haunted
by what wasn’t wanted.
One experiences a different kind of nostalgia
when one doesn’t ‘change’.
Yet the question is still the same:
how best to squander
the rapidly diminishing time that remains.
April 22, 2014
Immerse yourself in sorrow, rake over pain.
Let the novelty of feeling something
wash through you in purifying waves
again and again. But kindness is unnerving,
tenderness hurts, and empathy
can be an excruciating form of martyrdom.
At the end of the day – when all is unsaid
and undone – you’re better off numb.