The Desire NOT to be Human

We feel less than

and then we force ourselves to feel superior than

and this goes on for months

and often, years

until our friends are like us

and we can’t stand them

this stage is seeking average than

in salvation, or something else

Salvation, may free you

and the something else, is the gradual realization

that you cannot be free, in this life

Then, there is the desire not to be human

it is a shedding off

cutting off


for all things human

We are trapped by our desires

pulling us

in different directions

there is nothing pure

and our lack of love

is not hate

but the desire

Not to be human.

My Elevator Rising

My elevator rising

from urine-soaked streets

from crowds that don’t listen

from the lost

clinging to their mothers

asking, “why was I born?”

cables rusty,


threatening to drop

the next oversized ego

and there is only enough space

for one wanting



to suffocate

to see the skyline

wanting to know

penthouse platitudes

of supermen

My elevator rising

grinding steel against steel

resisting the weight

of my fragile ego

threatening to break

Most who take this suicide ride

get stuck

between 3 and 4

as the melancholy mechanisms tighten

friends, disbelief and empathy

parked in the basement

as the sky lift stops

regrets set in

I could have been walking in the streets, among people, sharing penthouse dreams

but I got into this box

where I can’t breathe

no servicemen

no one listening

just a skeleton in a sauna


for My Elevator Rising



pealing sounds of cable

as my momentum breaks the trap of mediocrity

like lightening thundering up from the depths of nowhere

charging to heaven

without breaks

leaving my heart behind

feelings that made me human

now I’m screaming and I can’t hear

because of my elevator rising

like a jet engine


as I reach the top

seeing the people and the places down there

friends I had and the many friendless faces

this view is something to see

the risen are dead

and I’m the only one here

while I write this poem from the penthouse


Van Man

“What are you after, Budd?”


“What will you do when you have your freedom?”

“I’ll be a philosopher.”

“What do you Need to get it?”

“Nothing. I have it right now.”

“What is freedom?”

“If you have to ask that, you don’t know what it is.”

“You know, we met a nice Native gentleman in the national park. He was selling a book of poetry.”

“Oh, did he self-publish?”

“No, it was just a stack of papers stapled together. How’s your poetry coming along?”

“About the same.”

“Oh, I see. And how’s work?”

“It’s work. Whenever we do a risk assessment on one of our dangerous kids, they ask us who the kid identifies as, a follow, a leader, or an outcast. I smile, they usually say he’s an outcast. I guess I identify with being an outcast too.”

“Oh, I’ve always identified with being a leader. When I was in high school, I could go from clique to clique and fit in anywhere. The same is true for me in my dean job. I’m getting a raise and moving to Northern California. Where are you going, Andy?”

“Nowhere and everywhere.”

“And where is that?”

“Far away from people.”

“How will you live?”

“In a van. I won’t pay taxes. I won’t go to meetings. I won’t talk to anybody. I’ll live in the wild.”

“That’s really immature. What about marriage? What about kids?”

“That’s where I trust in God. If it be his will, it be his will.”

“But you can’t just let God take care of things for you.”

“But I can. Look how good my life has turned out so far.”

Looking Through Different Windows

I’ve looked up at windows

and I’ve looked out of windows

my whole life.

And the world is colored by light.

the day dawns and the night speaks

while I lay in bed


I want to stop the seasons

prevent the world from turning

but reality won’t let me

and the loneliness of the years

moves forward

like aging laughter

dying slowly

I look through different windows now

and I don’t hear people

in the same way

horns honk

conversations are competitive

and not much is known

even if, a lot is said

the light is not bright


and I find ways of dealing

looking through different windows

at a world turning

no matter what I do

and even though history

has never changed it

I’m looking through windows still

hoping to find a way out

and when I do

I’ll climb on through

and I’ll stand there


where time stands still

and in the stillness

I’ll look through different windows

at a turning world

where I don’t turn.

The Woman Who Made Me Breakfast

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t talk. And the naked woman watched me like a cat. Minutes past like this or perhaps they were only seconds.

“You don’t say much, do you?” She asked.

“Ahhh. What do you want?”

“What any girl wants; a man; you are a man?”

“Last time I checked. Can I call your doctor?”


“Yes; naked women don’t just walk into a man’s apartment without a shrink.”

“Oh, I see, you think I’m crazy because I’m naked. I’m always naked.”

“Right. So, can I bring you a towel or can I call somebody?”

“You still haven’t figured it out, have you?”


“I was the one who made you breakfast.”

The thought that this woman had access to my apartment and let herself in on several occasions made me grateful that I was still alive and my manhood was still attached. Best not to make her change her mind about me, I thought. If she’s in love, I’m a goner. If it’s only a crush, I may be able to convince her she would be better off with the guy next door. He works out.

“Listen, maybe you’d like to put on some clothes and we could go for a romantic walk?”

“I’d like that, but I don’t have any.”

“You don’t have any clothes?”

“Well, clothes are an inconvenience.”

“Okay. Well, maybe you’d like to borrow a pair of mine?”

“Oh yes; I’d like that,” She said. And then I realized I had violated the DON’T DOs in the stalker handbook. I was giving her my clothes to wear and her attraction for me was growing, as she lingered on my scent. 

“I have some basketball shorts I wore in elementary school that might fit you.”

I threw her a tank top and she put it on. She might’ve been a playboy centerfold—every guy’s dream until it becomes a nightmare. I walked out of my apartment wondering where the nearest police station was. I had to be at work and if any cars saw us walking together, they might think that I had switched professions; though, she was too beautiful to be a woman of the streets. It was how she walked. She moved like a cat; there was style in her body, grace in her gestures, and her faced turned to stare at me, those eyes sank my heart. I was drowning.

To be continued…

A man needs a religion…

A man needs a religion

and if not a belief in god

a belief in something

that speaks to him or that he can speak to

You see, there are many things that wish to become his god

and if he does not choose what rules over him

things he doesn’t know

or cannot place his finger on

will begin to twist him

making him feel unnatural

and the unnatural man is dangerous

at best, he learns to numb his confusion

at work

with the little jobs people force him to do

and he gets through his days

on little bits of hope

like birdseed


those who give him orders

are worse off

and even more dangerous

they will never wake up

and to disturb their sleep

is to upset someone who lives in a nightmare

they have been taught a morality

that is not moral

pray they don’t wake up

and go about your business

in a sleeping world.

The Naked Woman in My Kitchen

It was my imagination; it was always my imagination. Samantha was staring at me while I made spaghetti. My parents would be over any second, while the sauce burned, and the cat looked at me with disapproval.

Knocking. “Come in.”

“Andy, your apartment is lovely,” my mother said.

“Something smells funny; it smells like smoke. You haven’t been smoking, have you?” My father asked.

“No, of course not; I just burned the sauce.”

“Well, your father has a remedy for that; he brought his homemade pizza. Pepperoni or sausage?” My mother asked.

“Sausage,” I said. He had made the same pizza for over 30 years. It was still good and I was still their son. Not much changes in families. The young never become old and the old become older until they realize it when it’s too late. They loved me and that was enough.

“So, do you have a girlfriend yet?” My mother asked.

“In a manner of speaking,” I said.

“What does that mean?” My father asked. “Are you sleeping with whores?”

“Alan, behave yourself. It’s just that we’re worried about you, son. You enjoy being alone too much.”

“Well, now I have a companion,” I said.

“Oh no! I knew it, he’s gay,” my father said.

“No. I got a…” and my cat ran across the kitchen floor and jumped onto the table.

“You have a cat?” My mother asked.

“Yeah. I found her a couple of days ago in the woods.”

“But Andy, you don’t like to take care of things. I bet she has fleas or worse, ticks. She might be carrying lime disease.”

“Would you relax, already. She can take care of herself. Now why won’t you admit that you made me breakfast?”

“Because I didn’t.”

“Well, then who could it be? My landlord? This just gets creepier the longer I think about it.”

“Are you sure you’re okay, son?” My father asked.

“I think so.” But the more frequently they asked me that question, the more frequently I thought there might be something wrong with me.

Samantha stared at us while we ate, like she was getting to know me, by watching my parents.

“Well son, we’ll just leave you to it, unless you’d like some help with the dishes?”

“No; I’ll make the time in the morning,” I said. When my parents left, it felt like when I was home alone on a summer day before middle school. Movies were my world; paradise in black and white, and I sat on my leather couch, watching an oldy, while my cat snuggled between my legs. When I went to sleep that evening, she got into bed with me, and I didn’t resist. And the next morning, I walked into my kitchen to do the dishes, and nearly had a heart attack. A naked woman with red hair and dark eyebrows and green eyes was staring at me, with soapy suds on her hands, and she was purring.

To be continued…

Chapter 2 Waiting on a Time Bomb

Chessfield Park was awash with summer sunshine in the late afternoon as pigeons walked in diagonal lines, like sentries, guarding the park path. Birdseed scattered and their patrol duty was neglected by involuntary eating, followed by chaotic cooing. Gregson gave the bird lady money and grabbed another handful of seeds.

“Did you hear what I just told you?” Murphy asked.

“Yeah, somebody wants to blow up a building full of people,” Gregson said.

“And that doesn’t bother you?”

“There is always someone who wants to blow up the city. What makes you think this threat should be taken seriously?”

“The words, something about the words. You can just tell when someone means business.”

“Is that what you told the Director?”

“Of course not. The accountants are running the Bureau these days and unless they fear for their bottom line, resources don’t get attached to threats.”

“Then how are you going to find this bomber before the bomb goes off?”

“We won’t.”

“Well, if you can’t find the bomber until the bomb explodes, why don’t we go play golf?”

“You just ran a marathon.”

“I know; you’ll have an advantage when we bet; say, three-to-one odds?”

“You’re on.”

The world’s most complex problems are always simpler on the golf course, and perhaps that’s why presidents play golf. Gregson teed up his shot like it was the most important problem in the world, squinting into the sun, concentrating. “When did you say this bomb was going to go off?”

“Within 24 hours.”

“So, how much time do we have left?”

“About four hours.”

“That should be enough time for us to finish our round of golf, don’t you think?” Gregson swung, launching his ball into oblivion.

Waiting for an explosion is a lot like waiting for the fourth of July; it always happens early; So, on thirteen, it went off. BOOM! Car alarms sounded in the distance.

“You can owe me,” Gregson said.

“I don’t owe you anything; the deal was for 18. Now let’s catch this bomber. Hopefully he’s crazy, the crazy ones always leave evidence behind.”


the potential inside of you

is waiting to be discovered

and despite societal messages

no one can help you find it

it waits

like Aztec gold

patiently hidden

under an altar of human sacrifice

like love

before two people meet

like the morning

before the sun gets too high

potential is not wanting to do anything

and then wanting to do it

it’s the big ideas

inside your tiny head

or the abandonment of past lives

for an empty room

Not many find potential

or plunder it

because it’s irresponsible

and does not follow pre-written timelines

it does not use wealth formulas

and is not understood in textbooks

Sometimes, it requires a toothbrush

to gently massage false motivations

or a jackhammer

to break ground

that has never been broken


Potential is discovered

after self-doubt

after everyone

you know

does not believe

it is the subtle sound of silence

in a noisy world.

Moving Day

If you pick up the past

it may be too difficult to lift

Marveling at my collected junk

and the ways I have measured time

is a burden

I can’t burn


and unable to let go

of photographs

that don’t look at me

Stories that don’t speak to me

Movies that represent things

I no longer want

This hot room

is empty

and I’m unwilling to fill it

not able to hold out much longer

against dull desires

that numb

a fading future

Where do we go

when we take ourselves with us?

We erase

but is there enough time or talent

to scribble new life

in a new line?

Lost is better than Found

if we can’t find what we are searching for

and all the right places seem wrong

and all the good people are not good

and all the right answers are not right

We’ve turned our backs on education

to become fools

too curious to care

what others think


Death is waiting like a stray cat


and searching

for where its next meal

may come from.