Atheist Baptism

Two steps forward, one step back
paths divide like cells
all we sinners dressed in black
ringing mourning bells

stayed for a minute, in the
soft glow of the light
poised yet full of yearning
passion about you, hot and bright
desires disconcerting

We were two, then one, then two again,
as if we never even started
but that’s the flow of life
here one day, the next – departed.

Ode to New Orleans

Strolling down Bourbon Street, centuries of pain and beauty beneath our feet,
Dancing on the heels of the greats to a rhythym the city seems to make from out of nothing,
en Louisiane,
à La Nouvelle-Orléans,
We’re alive, like the jazz, and smoke, and black magic floating through the air,
we’re wild, we’re free.
I love you, I love you, Je t’aime, Je t’aime,
Down by the Bayou, drunk on Rue Dauphine, on St. Charles Street,
Tracing the footsteps of Degas,
of Hemingway, Capote, Williams,
Sweet city beneath the sea,
Hold steady, hold on tight.

1,000

severing ties
after years spent roaming gardens, galleries, dive bars and billards halls,
a thousand cigarettes and secrets spilled in alleyways between us,
telling me exactly how much the world owes you,
recounting everything you’ve done to deserve what you have,
confessing your darkest sins,
proclaiming your innocence,
raving about your talents, hopes, dreams – disappointments.
I was your shoulder,
your brother, your blackhole.
You were my Brutus.
This isn’t the first time and it wouldn’t have been the last,
This isn’t the first time and what a drain to have to put your pieces back together again,
This isn’t the first time, but the difference is,
I’m wrapped in soul-encompassing love now,
so for all I care, you and the rest of your world can go straight to hell.

Ascension

Earned this, countless bruises inside and outside to show for it.

Happiness wrapped in love, grounded in truth, stitched to the essence of your very being.

Fear is a stranger and trust sleeps at your side.

Tea cools on the balcony as soft dreams await, accept it –

Sparkling floors and no ceilings, quiet drives through the countryside on mini-vacations,

Singing and dancing after too much mezcal,

Kissing like teenagers
under mistletoe.

The smoky skies and endless nights of the city banished to a reliquary of

youthful indescretions, painful lessons, and fond memories to look back on.

Jack Parsons

Beyond it, moving through the cosmos unbounded,
Test it with a few vinegar phrases, but those wounds have been healed now for ages,
what’s your motive anyhow? we’re just strangers with a familiar sense of each other’s coding,
How much progress occurs by way of quiet judgement?
Fuck it. We’re all hypocrites, but try to feel it,
Can’t relate? Well that’s alright,
just sit steady while the angel launches.

I can’t color inside the lines

Sprawled out on a mountainside, shrouded in leaves and half-severed vines, I confess to be a wild thing, but you do not hear me.

Spill my blood to write fresh poems that defy rhyme and meter, each word alive, dripping with fervor, but you never read me.

Shouting/marching/fighting for compassion ’til my throat is dry, legs are weak, mind grows fatigued, yet you fail to see me.

In the soft glow of the afternoon, I sing a sad refrain, but the meaning is lost while the melody remains, so you do not feel me.

Still onward I careen, hopes unfettered, dreams undisturbed, for I learned long ago not to bury my soul in any single place or person.

And For My Next Trick …Happiness

Sad songs soothe me, whether summer days spent soaking in the sun, or winters shut up indoors enveloped in a good book, warm blankets, hot tea,
My soul only knows despair with short intervals of joy.
Madness, maybe,
But you can recharge my battery in the woods, the forest floor my corridor to some unexplained source of vitality.
That or let me breathe in salty ocean air,
Drown my old self in the cold, dark, blue of the Pacific,
Rise from the waves anew.
Born again and again in and out of your arms, watch me take off
like Apollo 11.

Balancing the day and the night, the light and the darkness, emotion and might.