What We Give and Can’t Give Away

listening to what others cannot live without

while realizing, I can’t live with what they have

and what I have to give is not something they want

it’s invisible…

what good can it be used for

what good are the thousands of conversations

the thousands of documents with misspelled words

“you made a mistake.”

but that mistake is filed away and forgotten

like the ocean’s waves that continue lapping, on the shore

the ocean is not its waves, but the ocean

and maybe what I have to offer, is not what I have to offer


it’s something I am

that I can’t give away, without giving of myself.


to be the feast for flame

or the decaying flesh, passing through the worm

to be the voice other voices don’t hear

their tones, rattling through my bones

like chemo

radiating my marrow

to be the missing piece

that wins the game

fitting into

a perfect picture

all the fantasies and dreams

mean something

a purpose we heard from someone

who knew

before we knew ourselves.

Take Another Look


there is a need to change

as we sluff off

old bodies, old selves, old cells

and we walk between death and life


we look outside

at what we want, or maybe…

what others want

Some look inside and live inside

watching the changes there

where death and life

don’t care

that is something completely different

reactions trap us

like mirrors

we don’t want to see

and we can’t stop pondering

our own reflections there

when our insides match our outsides

we smile

at a mirror that smiles back

our power reflects our reflections there


from every angle

comes from what we have inside

and the truth shines back at us

if we can look at it

So, if your outsides

don’t reflect your insides

take another look.

What Do You Want?

Where do we go for more?

in a store

or on a lonely shore

the cold wind changes

how I feel

its crisp aliveness

makes me sense

the seasons.

the bitterness of nature

is a delicious drink

for without a coat, we can get one

and the warmth of our own bodies

is more satisfying than a temperature-controlled room

there is honesty out here

and maybe it hurts, but I feel the pain

and it makes me feel alive

for the hours lost and nothing gained

is a pain I cannot feel.

Some would say, “Life is a Game.”

“Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.”

But feeling alive, is the feeling I want

What do you want?


Gregson pressed the red button and waited…

and then the gears started turning.

Under the ocean, the detective looked up into the sunlight that filtered through the dark water. Sharks swam around it, like goldfish searching for a way out, and then the sun shifted. The yellow orb shrunk to the eye of a needle and turned red, like a lava sunset boiling the sky and burning a black hole through the heart of the island. Gregson thought he heard far-off screaming, but under the water, it sounded like a symphony, or perhaps it was his untrained ear and a dislike for politicians. He swam up the magnifying glass, until his face breached the surface. The core of the island was burning, like balsa wood, and the world’s leaders were swimming out to sea. Domino gave Gregson her hand and he nearly pulled her out of the boat.

“Should we rescue them?” Domino asked.

“They’d swamp us for sure. No, let’s make a discrete call to a communist country and have them picked up. It shouldn’t be a problem because most of them are communists.”

Domino, in her black bikini, pushed the throttle to FULL, and they rose out of the water, leaving the island behind.

“What are those red dots?” Gregson asked.

“Oh, that’s the fish finder,” Domino said. They’re too large to be regular fish, so I think they’re sharks or politicians or perhaps there isn’t any difference. Should we try to save them?”

“No, there’s blood in the water—it’ll be election day soon.”


Breaking Mirrors

the warm masterful feeling of superiority

is a dream I never wake up from

ascending mountains

or sitting

in the throne room

with deep spiritual understanding

that cannot be discussed

for if I speak

I distort what I know

in the same way that a wise man knows

that he knows nothing.

What do I do with these thoughts and feelings

that are otherworldly

and exist, only in my own mind?

What is the purpose of wisdom

if it does not manifest

and what will we do with what we create?

it vanishes and reappears someplace else

in some other mind

pushing out, pushing up, on lots of limits

denying the idea in my head that comforts me

is too difficult

when the world tells me differently

or worse, when they say what I want to know

and how can I trust this

how can I trust the mirrors I look into

that show me what I want to see

breaking them is my only recourse

and accepting the bad luck

A wise man can say a wise word and not cut someone wide open

because the truth is the only comfort we need.

the weather inside my mind

the weather inside my mind


like fair Easterlies

until islands of bad energy

consume my soul

and soul-sucking tasks get done


my creativity loves chaos

and so, cleaning closes my mind

forcing a new direction

with artificial power

unwilling to allow a mess.

I’m making the waves

as my universe shuts down

until the big bang

Where did this energy come from?

the point of no return

wasn’t there a second ago

and this chaos must be ridden

hopefully, it rolls for thousands of miles

sprinkling sand

like ideas

under a noble sunset

that smiles

until the darkness

goes down.

In the early hours of insomnia

I’ve woken up

before the workday

with nothing to show for it

and there is nothing worse

than not having any love to give


people have more of it than they know

they say they don’t have it

so they don’t have to look at the other things

Years gone by

the answers are finally

bubbling up from within

how do I know?

it’s the same way I’ve deciphered what’s meaningful

and what isn’t

it’s a feeling of satisfaction

like I’ve been listening to music

of all kinds,

a blur of country, rock, and jazz

and then I hear classical

it’s the song I composed

when I was feeling a certain way

on a certain day

and I say to myself, “that was time well spent.”

satisfaction is a warm feeling

I can’t get from entertainment, recognition, or professional success

And when the hour draws near

there will be a great expanse of everything

and when finality stays

and there is no rest

I will hear my own music.

Enjoying an Everlasting Meal

Lakes of desire




to something

deep within

or four walls

where you spend your day

surrounded by positive quotes

and knickknacks

a ship

sailing on black water

makes me smile

at the twinkling stars

as the master stares into infinity

where carbon is born

and office papers burn

counting down to 3:30


Blowing your mind

where fragments land

in different worlds


the next great art

where we go

and know

it has meaning


of lovers

of life


an everlasting meal.

The Mechanic in the Dumpster

When we find things we want, but we realize they aren’t good for us, and we can’t give them back…

I was on empty and it was the kind of emptiness that grows. When I was younger, I’d experienced it and I had found ways to fill it— distractions and goals that didn’t take me anywhere, but now the emptiness was banished. It was growing, and there were no stops, only go, no authority, not even my own.

The gas station was one of those places that used to be used, but now was on an inconvenient corner, with a convenience store that was no longer convenient. It was so dilapidated and run down, one wondered if they were still in business. The pump technology and dials hadn’t changed in 40 years, and only lost and nostalgic drivers stopped there. The man behind the counter wore a thick beard and didn’t say anything. He stared straight ahead, like he was in a trance and accepted payment from the rare customer.

It was one of those days where I sensed my power rising, and the same shore held me at bay. The day begins and ends and it is difficult to know if there is a progression, just like the tides. People want to get to the end of it. Some gain and lose. Some maintain, and spend their lives maintaining. There is no progression.

I put the pump in my gas tank and watched the numbers roll. Everything turned in a circle, generations of people who forgot generations of people. My tank was full, but my tires were flat, so I pumped those as well. There were take-out food containers in my cab, so I threw those into the dumpster. My ride was clean and ready to go when I thought I heard something. It sounded like farting and eating at the same time.

“Whatcha gonna do with those empty containers?” It asked.

“I don’t know what you mean,” I said.

I looked over the edge of the dumpster, expecting to find a bum—in some ways, I wasn’t disappointed. It was disgusting, dirty, slimy, even its face looked disreputable.

“Don’t look at me like that,” it said.

“Like what?”

“Like this.” And it held up a broken mirror so that I could see the frown on my face.

“You don’t like me, do you?” It said.


“Never mind, but I do know you’ve been running on empty for some time, and I’m the gas station mechanic.”

“What’s that?”

“I fill windshield wiper fluid, tires, I used to pump gas, but economics made me obsolete, now I’ve got to scrounge for dinner.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Yesterday, I found a half-eaten egg McMuffin. Now, how can I service you?”

“I wouldn’t put it that way,” I said. “You sound like a hooker.”

“What if I am?” It winked.

I almost laughed. “If you can fill my emptiness, I’ll buy you dinner.”

“You’re on. Now, what you want is a little power that you can use in a big way.”

“I don’t know that I want that,” I said. “I think I just want to be left alone.”

“But you see, that’s why you’re empty. You think you want peace, but you already have that, you’re bored. What you need to do is find an enemy and go to war.”

“What?” I asked. I didn’t like how it said that.

“Enemies, everybody has enemies, just identify one or two, and I’ll do something about it.”

“Well, there is a guy I work with named Bob, but Bob is a good man, we just don’t get along, different personalities, you know.”

“Oh, you don’t know what you’re saying. You’ve got so much repressed rage under that peaceful exterior, it’s like a tornado waiting to touch down. I’ll do something about it, silent like, and you’ll have the satisfaction it was done. Do you know the word ‘mechanic’ used outside its normal meaning?”


“Well… there you go. You don’t even have to say the word. I know what you’re thinking.”

“What’s your name, anyway?” I asked.

“My friends call me Ego.”

“Well, don’t do me any favors.”

“It’s too late…”

Suddenly, I realized my tank was full.