I was Diagnosed as a Writer

Please help me suffer

to unlock my story.

I know that it’s down there

just festering, intensifying

building in pressure

until it bursts forth.

Please just oppress me,

bring out my melancholy,

so I can write all of the

stories I’m worth.

I tried being happy,

and loving and blissful,

those did look great

when posting online,

but I need the anguish,

the sorrow and heartache

to bring forth the story,

to recant it,

in time.

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You Always Remember Your First Time

Alone in the morning

in that little cottage on Ashby,

all the boys had gone to campus

either for classes

or the protests they loved

and I wasn’t quite hungover,

miraculously,

from the marijuana and fever-pitched

conversations about dictators

and human rights, tattoos,

and leaving it all to

fish and smoke all day in Jamaica.

pouring some strong coffee,

I put the first record in the pile

on the player.

There he was.

There we were.

Naima.

His saxophone like a meditation.

A love supreme, ineffable,

lasting longer than all

the lust that quickly faded

for those Berkeley boys.

 

Trance Dance

What is there left to write about?

That the future life

of your imagination

isn’t the taupe-colored separate set

you wear while drinking

mediocre coffee

and living for the weekend?

Or that the guy and girl

are constantly

losing each other,

seeking each other,

pretending that now

is then, but that then

can only ever happen

that once?

Perhaps there’s a hope

buried deep in a nostalgia

for a better time,

a distant past

which never even might

have existed

except in your own

deepest yearnings,

hidden desires.

What is there to write

about when the same lessons

keep rearing their

devilish heads, smacking

you over and over again

with the past

and the truth,

but it’s no longer beautiful

to clothe them in lovely

words and verses.

They’re a burden,

no longer an inspiration.

 

Is is worth writing

about the sound

she makes when your

daughter wakes from a vivid dream

or crawls into your bed from a nightmare,

warm body sweating, and shivering

while holding your hand

uncomfortably

and you wouldn’t move a muscle

for all the money in the world?

Is it worth writing

that the love of your life

might have been that

boy in the volvo

who took you to punk rock shows

and made love to you

after watching Black Orpheus 

in his parent’s basement,

so awkward and sloppy,

but memorable

after all this time.

Is it worth writing about the comedy

of people running and screaming

from a Junebug

or pretending they’re

holding up the tower of

Pisa for photos on their

Instagram?

Or is it worth writing

about the dark place

hiding in the most

feared depths of

your soul that is too

optimistic to admit

this series of days in life

is only that, an

unrelated series.

And, being a lifelong

montage of unrelated

moments, there

really isn’t anything

to write about at all.

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Loving someone virtually

can be a purgatory.

It’s sex with the lights off,

allowing us to be uninhibited,

but never seen.

they make for the

most intimate relationships,

and hurt a hundred times

worse than some of

the flesh and blood people

who’ve gone.

Instead of being created

from dust, they live

in a word of beautiful words

and drawn with my imagination;

utter perfection,

and the inability to see me weep

when they, too,

go away.

 

It Put a Spell on Me

As I sit and listen,

anonymously, to

the broken people

recounting the details

of their rock bottom,

I somehow think

that my story about

a date with Chardonnay

that ended up with the

entire catalog of Screamin

Jay Hawkins on my itunes

should by my private

thought. And all the proof

I need that

I should quit the bottle

once and for all.