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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Night We Split

Break ups suck, don't they? I mean, there are almost NO stories about breakups that go smoothly, parting as friends, see ya 'round, wanna meet my friend?

Most breakups involve tears, anger, recriminations, harsh words, cussing and the occaisional mean-spirited jab, right where it hurts.

It's been a long time for me personally, but I still recall how it feels, or at least, how it felt to me.

This piece is about one such breakup, oh, mid-twenties or so, when the obvious solution is to pick up smoeone else just as deperate and continue as if nothing happened.


Trying hard not to remember, I drink.
Plotting my course by the unsteady shadow I cast,
I leave the bar, my head beating like a heart.
I walk, drunkenly, until I can walk no more;
then I drink.
Steel encases the heart and chest,
to prevent breaking,
while warmth enough to fight the cold
pretends to live within me.

The buzz passes quickly,
more quickly than I’d like;
dying faster than a politician’s popularity.
It hits the head first, making me
judge and slap-happy jury,
with the dangerous executioner
nowhere to be seen.
I recall every joke, tall tale, and line of crap
that I came armed with,
a sloppy parody of charm.

From there it fogs, eyes seeing only the resplendent.
Emboldened by light I press on.
My gifts are a tongue that cannot be tied,
a point of view unlike the norm,
and a singularity of purpose.

There is nothing like
my own name
whispered hot and salted
into my ear
to make me forget why I hurt,
or at least forget why I cared.
I lose myself in perfumed flesh.

The hardest part of not recalling
what you want to consign to oblivion
is forgetting
that you do not want to remember.

Originally Published in "Grief Tattoos" - get the Kindle edition HERE

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Under Cardiac Arrest


He had lived a long and storied life
He’d amassed a pile of wealth
Currently on his fourth young wife
Of course he neglected his health.

Doctors told him it was time
For them to do what Nature can’t
Restore to him some health sublime -
They offered him a heart transplant.

He hemmed and hawed, changed his mind
Then changed it back again
He knew that he had wined and dined
More than any ten young men.

He’d had his fun, his kids were grown
He had done all that he wanted to try
Partied hard, his oats were sown
Maybe he was ready to die.

But life was sweet, he knew for sure
That it had to better than dying
A new ticker would certainly ensure
That he could continue trying.

The doctors were ready, the nurses were kind
His history was described on his chart
But before they could cut he changed his mind
You could say he had a change of heart!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Risks of the Heart

I don't care if this sounds corny or melodramatic, I love my wife like a crazy person (the only way I know how) and this morning I brought her her in for heart surgery.

It was not surgery on the heart itself, but it intrinsically involved that most precious organ, so the multitude of risks had me eating at my own gut for the past two weeks. I am thrilled and relieved to say that she came through the surgery fine.

And in looking for a piece to celebrate with, I came across this one, Risks of the Heart, written, of course, for Susan and what we both work so hard to enjoy. The obvious pull at the emotional puppet-strings inherent in the title - plus the message of the poem itself - made me cry, alone in my apartment, after dropping off my mother-in-law, and winding down from a very emotional day. So there, the big bad boy bawled.

Anyway, in celebration of my wife's continued good health, and in frank realization I need her more than ever, I offer this poem to you all.


Two souls banter, parry and chase
Seeking that joyful melding embrace
Becoming one through interface
In which one’s flaws evolve as Grace
As part of the total human race
And joy can loneliness replace.

One heart to another can only beguile
To sit and spend a little while
And share a kiss, a touch, a smile,
Or other pastimes thought worthwhile.
More a matter of personal style
To flex a heart in twists versatile.

Although through risk, a broken heart cries
Still given the chance, it sings and flies
Through clear and cloudless blue skies
Past one and a hundred futile tries
Of sweet hellos and bitter goodbyes
To fall upon soft adoration’s surprise.

We all try and fail, to some degree
Our hearts are cluttered with Love’s debris,
Since Cupid offers no guarantee
To make of our Romance a jubilee.
Though Love be sweet know this of me,
No love sweet, but honestly.