Why things disappear when you stare too long

Plato might say that the
thing itself doesn’t cease to exist
Only that our vision fails
We regress back to the darkness
And fail to see the real

Then again, Berkeley would tell us
That our imagination quit working
But the thing still is there
Even though we don’t see it
Because it’s settled down deep
In the mind of God

But I keep gazing at your eyes
And your face is fading quickly in my mind
You would get up and walk away
If it were not for the way that you were
Holding on for dear life with your
Irises, grasping at my soul through your open windows

It’s little wonder, then, that all else would
Disappear–all I see is you, the constant,
While everything else would leave
Us two poor beggars behind in their wake.


I haven’t heard you breathing for months now
Does that mean that you’re no longer drinking in
The oxygen in this sea of air that I’m drowning in
Or are you swallowing it one drop at a time
So as to drain it for the rest of us

Or did you fill up your lungs and blow out the candles
Of desire for a new world in darkness
You’re left with wishes and the smoke rising to heaven

Or are you exhaling it all in melody
So quiet that we can’t hear it across the sea
As fortissimo as your voice will make it

If that’s the case, then honey
Sing your song to the world because we’re all
Standing here waiting to hear you


my hands are covered in the soil,
the decomposition of thousands
of years of history, as i dig down deep
towards the roots of this tree
in the branches of which i like a
bird have lived, migrating further west
toward the sun setting orange in the cracks of the sky

roots that grow deep in this texas soil
grafted with a missouri transplant
and i, the odd branch from across
the ocean have been tied onto this strong
and sturdy tree

but it’s starting to rot in places and nests
are now growing empty as the
birds fly away and scatter the seeds
of a brave new world
these roots are decaying to nourish the soil
to feed the seedling that will sprout in its place
and bring new birds to nest in the
shadow of its leafy green wings

Return of the poet.

This is
the first
new piece
that I
have written
in three
long lonely
desolate months.

I tried so hard to
keep from losing my soul
in the everyday
in the drive for the end
in soulless textbook days
filled with nothing but
input-output into this
custom-crafted gigahertz processor
that sits inside my head
there’s nothing wrong here
everything’s okay here
i’m just fine
move along there’s nothing to see

and all i could do was watch
the red of the taillights
of the rest of the world as they
drove off toward the glowing west
and the sight made me blind
and i went stumbling through the streets
toward traffic and it plowed
my back and made its furrows long

while my soul just died inside my chest and rotted
and everyone else could feel its stench
but dead women can’t smell, now can they

so with these words i run across
the finish line in my race around this writer’s block
brought back from the dead to
the brave new world
of the written Word.

May Cause Drowsiness

Walk in. Sit down.
Take your notes and listen
To the same thing you’ve heard every hour
For the past year:
“This is another day
Make the most of it
Don’t waste it”

Meaningless, cries the student.
Everything is meaningless
a chasing after the cotton candy culture
the whirlwind fulfillment

This religion is just like a drug
Sedative to make them forget the pain
May cause drowsiness if combined with
the soursweet wine of apathy and reason

“this is another day
make the most of it
don’t waste your life”

Stand up. Walk out. Forget the masses.
You’re more awake than you ever were
As this cold water covers you with its clarity.

January 13

wandering the streets of my city alone
(these january nights are cold and i
receive no warmth or comfort from
these lights that stand like soldiers
watching over me in the bleak midwinter)
i feel the rise and fall of my chest
as i breathe in i know that i am alive
as i breathe out i know that i am dying

but receiving all this oxygen i know that
it is one more common grace
and exhaling my life i know that
i am not meant for this place

and wandering the streets of my city tonight
as others are absorbed by other dreams
the misty haze that leaves my lungs will rise

* * *
it is not good
declared the Lord
for adam there
to be alone

flesh of his flesh
bone of his bone
a love affair
to fill the world

and we are here
to fill the hole
in others’ hearts
as means of grace

but here we stand
within this space
trying to find
another soul

to love without
the pain required
without the break
of ruined trust

but now to know
that love we must
jump off the cliff
into the fire

of risk.

* * * *
for these two decades i have known
the kiss of God on my fingertips

for twenty years i hear his voice
on my fellow wandering pilgrims’ lips

this story isn’t finished yet
the ending isn’t written down

and it goes ever ever on
until these words i sow have grown

and glory is in our midst