Thankfully, I seldom feel this way…

It isn’t worth it

just to have something to write down

I don’t go out of my way

to experience painful people

They always find me

and their energy drain

is real

like a bathtub

of draino

their acidic talk, eats away at me.

I didn’t realize they had taken something from me

until it was too late

like a woman

raped at night

by an incubus.

I went to my parent’s house

to walk it off

and talk

but no matter what I said, I couldn’t feel better

and the sun was shining, while I spoke to my mother

“I don’t know if I’m ever going to amount to anything as a writer,” I said.

“Oh—look, aren’t the flowers beautiful?”

“Mom—are you even listening to me? You interrupted me, mid-sentence.”

“I didn’t hear what you said—you’re walking in front of me.”

“Well—why am I even talking to you then? I might as well be talking to myself.”

“I know…” She laughed.

I laughed.

We were in two different places

at the same time.

When we went inside, my dad was making me a steak. “Do you want a whole one?” He asked.

“Sure,” I said, but when I told him so, I wasn’t connected to my stomach

I was feeling sick

and tired.

“You know what… I think I’m just going to go home and lie down.”

“You’ve had a difficult week,” my mom said.

I got into my truck and thought about drinking…

I know why people do it.

Thankfully, I seldom feel this way.

The following words might not be wise…

the wise man doesn’t need to say, “I am wise.”

he doesn’t need attention

in fact, he is so subtle

other people think, they came up with his ideas, on their own.

So, where is the motivation in being wise?

Perhaps, wisdom is a way to accomplish what you want

without getting in your own way.

This applies to accumulating wealth

friends

and avoiding bad decisions.

The wise person never says, “Look at all the good decisions I have made.”

It doesn’t enhance his position to talk about it

and those who claim self-promotion as a necessary evil

don’t understand the power of

getting others to talk about you,

instead of you, talking about yourself.

This is your reputation,

whether good or bad.

Your character

plants the seeds

in your precarious garden.

The need to feel superior, is different than being superior.

One, comes from arrogance, and the other, comes from humility.

In a sense…

the virtuous man doesn’t know he is virtuous

and the wise man doesn’t know he is wise.

These are not constant thoughts in his head.

He doesn’t worry about false humility.

He doesn’t worry about how people perceive him.

He acts from virtue

and not from attention, escape, or aggression.

It’s true

we are not angelic beings

we all have an ego

and those who claim otherwise

are the most dangerous.

Some would say, striving for a moral ideal

is a waste of time.

We should embrace

our human nature

but I believe

our human nature

can rise above

our animal nature

in the form of

unexpressed philosophy

like I am NOT doing here

and that is why

I say,

“These words might not be wise.”

Their Egos and What they Look Like

They say that social pain, is the worst kind of pain

a human can endure…

and some people enjoy social pain

daily.

Think of it…

What would it be like to break your femur

on a daily basis?

Many people do

and this is why

there are many suicides

but some social outcasts

heal stronger

until their bones are made of iron.

In a society

the social war rages

and the medical tents are filled with

drug overdoses

alcoholics

neurotics, with battle fatigue

and a host of medical disorders, that have no known cause.

Bureaucracies

break people.

These institutions

are similar to

high school

and the clicks that form.

Professionals, who work there

have egos

like a demon, carried in their briefcases

or handbags.

The administrator with the gold bracelets

and smart watch

silk blouse

and fake blonde hair

has a Chihuahua

inside her Louis Vuitton purse.

Her meeting was held to improve communication

between the parents and the school

but it took two and a half hours

to have, a slow-cooked meal

that upset my stomach.

What I can’t understand

is how they talked so much,

and communicated so little.

The specialist wears fake glasses, so that she seems smarter

but the more she talks, the stupider, she sounds—

there’s a lizard inside her purse

that she strokes.

The male administrator

is bald.

He wants to let everybody know

he is listening to their feelings.

His ego, is a pet monkey, in his briefcase.

Occasionally, he feeds it bananas

and it shits, on his paperwork.

90 minutes in

the 5-foot-tall Jewish lady

tells me, “A high schooler died today.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. There was no warning. They just died.”

She’s going to retire in two months

Her ego is a canary, that doesn’t sing—

it will, when she retires.

I sit in the meeting, not talking

only watching

the important people talk.

I feel their emotions of hate—

even the professionals don’t like the family.

The lawyer, kills their egos, with a smile on her face

with a plastic bag, suffocating

their pets, stroked in secret.

My ego is a cat

brown, with yellow eyes

It sleeps in plain sight

but nobody can see it.

I don’t need to stroke it.

It’s as independent, as the killer it is

and it listens, but it doesn’t say anything.

When the meeting is done

the professionals talk

“Oh—the reason I got angry was because I didn’t like how she was treating that teacher…” the male monkey said.

“Yes—you did the right thing,” the female Chihuahua barked.

“What’s that smell?”

“Something shit in my purse.”

I quickly get up, and leave the meeting

as silently as a cat

It’s sunny skies

outside,

that grim building

of death.

“Please Stop!” She said.

“Please Stop!” She said. There was something about me, she didn’t like.

Words are misleading

because

they carry multiple meanings.

It’s uncomfortable to hear, as a man

It sounds like shame

and when you haven’t done

anything

it feels

far worse.

If I was bad,

I wouldn’t care

I wouldn’t stop

So, “Please Stop!”

is said

to someone,

easy to shame.

Women use shame

to control

Men

Especially, when

nothing else works.

I only talked to her

I didn’t hit on her

I asked her, “Would you like to sit down?”

And she gave me a cold look

of death—

She was smiling, before

and talking, about herself

until those two words were spoken

out of the blue

and not a pleasant blue—but a depression blue

It’s not easy to be a man

She could have said, “Oh—I’m just going to sit down with my girlfriends.”

But no,

she said, “Please Stop!”

and she sent me

a message of hate

on Facebook

and I didn’t respond

to her calling me a creep.

Where is this coming from?

It’s a relief

that

most women like me,

but it hurts

when

one woman says, “Please Stop!”

I don’t know what’s going on with her

I don’t want to know

but it’s not just one girl

it’s a whole society

saying, “Please Stop!”

It isn’t asking, nicely

There is no love, in those words

I can hear the guillotine crowds chanting

“Please Stop!”

while the women do their knitting

watching

the writhing

twisting

twitching

of that headless corpse on the ground

and the women screaming,

“Justice at last!”

They murder men

in public

with their pleas

that don’t ask please

It’s so sad

that society can’t stop

this madness

making women angry

They don’t want to sit down with a man

they want to kill him

in public.

Someone read my writing once

and marked every word in red.

They found-out

I published a poem

and when I worked with them

they humiliated me.

I made their every correction

because I submit to the written word

and when they failed me

it was their failure

to realize

I submit to my own sentence

that I write down, and carry out.

I still get hate, from time to time

but now,

I write it down.

Fake Friends and the Social Game

Friends, in a circle, are seldom Found

and yet, we go to these tables, with poker-faces

and play the game, of no touching

of not saying

anything

of not revealing

dirty hands we were dealt

in life

or the friends we discarded

or the games we folded

praying

and not playing

the game.

Johnny wins, because he keeps his own counsel

and his friends

are held in his hands

Suicide Kings

over Jacks

a full house of friends.

Nobody flushes his toilet

in his house

without his permission

and no Queens bitch about the toilet seat being up

because Johnny loves himself.

He doesn’t

abide Jokers

in his deck

messing-up

his mathematical game.

These gatherings

are not to make friends.

Suckers play

to suck,

hoping to attach themselves

to a bigger fish

but Johnny has evolved,

walking around on two feet—

a whale

that no longer wants to swim

in water.

He doesn’t need schools

He just is, Johnny

He knows

the game

the gamble

the ace up his sleave

fuck everybody.

Nobody can beat that—

not when the game is poker—

they pretend

it’s something else.

Johnny doesn’t lie to himself

but he lies

to everybody else

bluffing

testing

his enemies

with his eyes.

He owns the game

because he traded his soul

to the dealer

to become

the perfect player.

What will you trade eternity for?

Anything?

What life will you live

over and over?

People can’t wait to die

No, that’s wrong—

they were never

alive.

If this poem is judgmental

maybe,

fish weren’t meant to walk on land

but this fish does—

he refuses

to flop around

like a fool.

Chapter 1 Hunting the Past

After his high school reunion, Gregson didn’t know what to do with himself. It was like being plopped into a movie theater, and then the action flick ended, and the credits went up, and there was the FBI Warning: Don’t copy this film or there will be a 250,000 dollar fine. Gregson hated to relive his past.

When he wasn’t solving crime, he read the National Inquirer.

He soaked in a hot bath, circling articles in red pen: Alien wears human suit, Car defies gravity, Mysterious killings in Canada.

Would the click-bait never end? The killings captured Gregson’s imagination.

He continued reading…

Malloy describes the bodies as being sliced apart—snow sprinkled with red rain for two miles.

“We are dealing with a predator who stalks their prey and murders patiently,” Malloy said.

Gregson puffed on his cigar, then pushed it into his ashtray.

Ringing…

“Yeah—this is Gregson.”

“I heard that half of your graduating class got murdered at the reunion.”

“That’s right.”

“And you caught the murderer?”

“She was about to kill me, when Detective Talbert stepped in.”

“Gregson—I have a case for you…”

“Murphy, I’m losing my touch. I can’t see the angles anymore.”

“This is different. How are you at hunting?”

Gregson leaned forward. “Why?”

“I came across your file at the Bureau, with my new security clearance—benefits of getting promoted. You never told me that you ran special ops in Russia and trained soldiers to kill.”

“It’s part of my past, I want to forget,” Gregson said. “Besides, it’s classified.”

“Not anymore. Not to me. Did you really teach kids how to survive with primitive weapons?”

“Modern and Primitive.” The PI looked at his apartment wall, where soldiers were kneeling in the snow.

“You never told me you were in the military, Gregson.”

“That’s because I wasn’t. I was a civilian contractor. You should know that—you have my file.”

“I know. I was just testing you.”

“I don’t like to be tested.”

“Gregson—the longer I know you, the more interesting you become. Will you meet me at Langley?”

“Okay—if all expenses are paid, and I have a fully-stocked bar on the airplane.”

“Consider it done. I’m looking forward to working with you, Gregson. Meet me in 0600 hours next Monday.”

“I play golf next Monday.”

“Cancel your tee-time.”

CLICK.

Gregson hung up. He looked at the thinner version of himself on the wall. It was a different life. Why was the past visiting him? He sensed, he would need to be sharp, like a hunting knife or a tomahawk. It’s the feeling of being hunted. All predators know it, because there’s a thin line between predator and prey.  

Gregson spied his K-Bar, sticking out of his work bench. He grabbed it. Felt the weight in his hands. Then threw it, across the room, at himself.

“I killed you. Why are you coming back?”

The Prostitute

She lingers

asking to come in.

“Let me in, like a sin.”

But you don’t let her

even with her tight clothes

that don’t cover

her silky, multi-colored skin

flowing inside, her flower dress.

“Look at her. She doesn’t cost much. The first five minutes are free.”

It’s more than skin,

more than sin,

it’s your spirit

sinking in

Mixing,

with her spirit

and all the men

who said, “Let me in—it’s not a sin.”

You are a prostitute

cheaper than free

because you had to pay her

with more than just money.

Do you want

to exist

inside her hell hole

where many men have been

on Saturday nights?

Keep your spirit

within

and don’t cheapen it

lest

you regret

what you lost.

For the wages of sin

is more than death.

Aphorisms While Eating Apples When Nothing Else Appeals

1.

desire

is like rain

in the desert

when it falls, it floods the land

and when it stops

we pray for rain

even if

we are carried away

by the flood.

2.

She came into my office

hurt

like a bluebird with a broken wing

knocked out of the sky

by a nasty rock

“They humiliated me and they were mean.”

“Yes,” I said. “We must not be like them. We must be good, by not being mean.”

3.

Wisdom wants time.

What do you want?

4.

I look forward to things

and I dread things

Things are Things

They don’t think

So, thinking

is the way.

5.

If we stop and ask, “What is that person doing?”

It’s easy to answer

but if we stop and ask, “Why is that person doing?”

That,

is the reason,

for everything.

6.

Women read my Writing

and say

I made them get angry

but

their anger was always there.

My words only provoked it

and the monster

came out

into the open.

7.

What is a good life?

To be a student of wisdom

Wisdom, isn’t what you do with it

It’s an investment that can’t be spent

So, why be wealthy?

Because poverty is a wasted life.

8.

I’m eating apples

while writing these words,

thinking about the forbidden fruit…

The Tree of Knowledge

or

The Tree of Life

Death, is an apple core, with poisonous seeds

Plant a Tree

and experience

a kind of eternity.

Epilogue

Gregson didn’t want to see people from his past. They reminded him, of what might’ve been. Now, they were dead, and he just wanted to leave, like a winter tree.

He packed his bags at the hotel. Murder always came close to him, but it never killed him.

“I heard what happened,” Megan said outside his door.

“Yeah—the alcohol didn’t work for Silas. When a man loses his career, he feels like a city has deserted him. He is in exile.”

“Where are you going?”

“I’m going into exile.”

“Where are you really going?”

“Back to my apartment to get drunk on 50-year-old Scotch.”

“Can I come?”

“I don’t see why not.”

They got on the airplane together. It felt strange, like they were strangers on a plane. Where was that from?

“Just think,” Gregson said. “You can write all of this down, and make serious money from the murders that happened at your high school reunion.”

“That’s a little too close to home,” Megan said. “It’s different when you knew the murderer.”

“Sure, it is—it’s more real.”

“What I mean is, the act of killing, is different than fantasy. It hurts too much to put the words into ink. I’m gonna freshen-up in the bathroom.” She left, and Gregson took some shuteye, like a much-needed prescription pill. Come to think of it, he got to the reunion, unconscious—and now, he was trying to do the same thing. We spend much of our lives asleep, he thought—then he drifted off—but something was nagging him, like a disgruntled housewife, at the corners of his subconscious mind.

What if Megan was the murderer? She had motive. What if Silas was telling the truth? Gregson looked at Megan’s briefcase. It was the kind that writers use, to carry their manuscripts. It might’ve been instinct, to look—that’s what detectives do—they look where they shouldn’t. Gregson saw something there, with a title:

Murder at the High School Reunion

“My God…” He flipped through the pages, outlining one murder, after another. He got to the end, and it wasn’t finished yet. Then Megan sat down with her Cosmopolitan Magazine.

“I thought you would figure this out,” she said.

“Ran-out of ideas, huh.”

“That’s right. I killed Patrick with a golf club, and let the truth run out of his skull.”

“But your novel isn’t finished yet…?”

“That’s right. I still have to kill you, quietly. You were drunk on the plane, when you got here, so it won’t be any surprise when the flight attendant finds your unconscious body. They will assume, you’ve had too much to drink.”

“I could call-out.”

“But you won’t, because I’m pointing a gun at you.”

“You smuggled a gun onto an airplane?”

“It’s a .22 caliber pen. Perfect, for writing the perfect murder. Now, name your poison—Scotch or Soda?”

“Scotch.”

Megan poured a cup of Scotch with no water, and opened the eraser cap, on her erasable pen.

“Cyanide—in case you’re wondering?”

“I wasn’t, but now that you ask, why cyanide?”

“It’s the most common poison in all murder novels—you should know that. If I used botulinum toxin, nobody would know what I was talking about. This way, my readers will understand the context of your death.”

Gregson got chills. He couldn’t feel his body. Maybe a bullet was better than drinking poison? He thought.

Megan seemed to be reading his mind, because her pen jabbed into his liver.

“Now, drink it,” she said.

A hand grabbed the glass from her, and swallowed.

Gregson looked-up. It was Detective Talbert holding his revolver. “Not to worry. I took the antidote, sodium nitrite. I suspected Megan was the killer from the very beginning. Her last novel was a bit too realistic.” He held-up a paperback.

“Murder in Suburbia?” Gregson asked.

“Yeah. The manner in which the suburbanite dies, was too similar to a death that happened two years ago. She’s been killing people to get creative ideas… However, every mystery writer should know—there’s no such thing as a perfect murder.”

“What about the plural?” Megan asked.

“Murders? — I never thought of that.”

The End

Tossed-out Like Old Newspaper

At times, I give-off an air of sophistication

when all of my syllables are dancing right, but more often than not

I say what I really think, and it scares people.

The facts of life are not romantic.

Most of it has to do with friction, wear and tear

and we all get ripped, tossed-out, like old newspaper

with coffee grounds and broken egg shells

weighing us down.

I don’t have time to make an impression

I’m out the door,

with a shower and no eggs.

I don’t have time to iron my shirt.

My truck is full of trash.

I’m constantly on the go.

Yesterday, at 10 PM, I realized

I was socializing with pizza sauce on my sweatshirt.

It was a risk, not to wear my work clothes

“You’re a really boring guy,” my coworkers say.

“Well—you made me this way.”

There is no time to be interesting

Life, is a runaway train

and it doesn’t make routine stops—

it just keeps going.

It helps to find something to do

amid the chaos

Writing

is that

for me.