Category Archives: Poems

The Straw House Lament

I found this 8-year old poem in my archives. I never shared it because I thought it was too short. Now I think it’s the perfect length. It’s succinct, brutal, and fatalistic in a fun refreshing way. It reads like anti-wedding vows, like a two verse curse, like a Hallmark card from hell. Enjoy.

Plant your vows at the foundations
With all the other dead masons
Pack promises into the clay
With twigs, with straw, with bales of hay
Grind your love up in the mortar
Insulate every last pillar
Then take it all in
By every hair of your chinny chin chin

Bonding agents, mouths to feed
Sheets to tuck, bills to bleed
A bed with walls of paperbacks
You’ll never get your youth back
Big bad wolf has a station
On your home owner’s association
You will run, you will roam
But your straw house will never become a home

What Did I Miss?

I thought I’d nailed this subject
Really hammered it in
Drove the last word
Right into the coffin
I thought I’d crushed it
Really broke it down
Buried my feelings
Deep underground

I was dropping microphones
Dunking on your memory
Going around town
Lapping up a victory
I told everyone and their mom
“Ha, I am so over her”
God I say some stupid shit
When I’m stone cold sober

Now I’m taking a shortcut
Through a long dark alley
And I’m not too worried
About what’s going to happen to me
Here I was thinking
I’d hardened my heart to this
Now I’m clutching at my chest
Asking what did I miss?

I thought I’d aced this subject
Got an A plus plus
Then you popped me with a quiz
And I’m back on the short bus
I thought my bruises were healing
Thought I’d satisfied this itch
I thought my fever had broken
Then it made me its bitch

I thought I’d closed this book
I thought I’d solved this crime
I thought history was done repeating
But it rhymes all the time
I thought I was above this
Blue skies as far as I could see
Then I went full blazing Hindenburg
Oh the humanity

Now I’m footing it
Across a desert valley
And I’m not too worried
About what’s going to happen to me
Here I was thinking
I’d hardened my heart to this
Now I’m clutching at my chest
Asking what did I miss?

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

I uncovered this poem I wrote about the Humphrey Bogart classic 1941 noir The Maltese Falcon and thought it had an intriguingly dark mystique to it (spoilers for The Maltese Falcon follow).

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Sam Spade had to turn her in
Not just because she killed his partner
Because she played him for a sap
Him and every man she’d ever been with

The Falcon was a red herring
You could argue that his heart was too
As the elevator doors eclipsed her eyes
And took her down to hell

“When a man’s partner is killed
He’s supposed to do something about it”

He slides Exhibit A to the detective
The thousand-dollar bill
She tried to buy his loyalty with
If only she had thought to buy it with something else

There’s a smile on one side of his face
The truth rests on the other
He’s just made a sacrifice
To himself

“All we’ve got is that maybe you love me
And maybe I love you.”

There’s a cigarette where her lips could be
A fedora where her hands could have rested
A collar she could’ve wrapped her arms around
A lead bundle where his heart could’ve been

He tells his secretary to have Archer’s name taken off the door
His killer’s been sent up the river for twenty to life
It was duck soap when he figured it out
But it won’t make his bed any warmer tonight

“I hope they don’t hang you, precious,
By that sweet neck”

Boss Fight: A Poem about depression… and video games

I shattered all my armor
That time I took a hit
Went off on a fetch quest
To try to find my shit
Went outside my element
Too far for even me
Went over the edge
Of the realm of possibility
Mistook the map for the terrain
Hit an invisible wall
The platform vanished
And I had a great fall
Lost all of my progress
Damn near rage quit
Started swinging in the dark
Until I found something to hit

Depression is a boss fight
A fire-breathing dragon
With an infinite health bar
And wild attack patterns
It never sees stars
It never blinks red
And if you stop running
It will feast upon your head

I leveled up
For the fight ahead
Enchanted my helmet
To get right in the head
Filled up my health gage
Saw a mage about some sage
Did a serious inventory
Of all my baggage
But at the first trapdoor
I straight up choked
All my coping mechanisms
Straight up broke
Now I’m down in this arena
With this overpowered thing
I’ve no more fight in me
But I’ve gotten really good at dodging

Depression is a boss fight
A fire-breathing dragon
With an infinite health bar
And wild attack patterns
It never sees stars
It never blinks red
And if you stop running
It will feast upon your head

Between the Extremes

Expectation arrived early
Reality was fashionably late
Expectation put out a vibe
Reality didn’t take the bait
I pulled up a stool
Between the extremes
Got too drunk to sort
This whole quantum scene
Where maybe things are
Or are not happening
Where everything is open
To misinterpretation
Now Mr. Brightside is blaring
Because the DJ is a sadist
And when the pre-chorus hits
I don’t want to think about this shit

Between the possibilities
I lost the path
Here I’m stuck on the sidelines
Doing the math
Either you’re lying
Or in plausible denial
Passive aggressive
Or as cold as crocodile
To think we gave special care
To somebody else
Kept it in the shadows
For the sake of his health
Now that we’re through
Why are you so keen to be
Bringing your party
Into the light with me?

Of disco balls and gaslights
Open arms and bar fights
I’ve got an axe to grind
Between two minds
Of diamond rings and casual flings
Body blows and mood swings
I’m the dunce
In two places at once
You were right
I’m just a two-faced hypocrite
One side is fighting tears
The other is making a show of it
I’m trying not to believe
I’m trying not to hope
I’m trying not to backslide
I’m only trying to cope

I watched someone propose
In the place we first met
He got down on bended knee
While I tried so hard to jet
I couldn’t make it out
Before she said, “Yes”
And when the applause hit
I was a total fucking mess
I have one trigger
One weakness, one curse
I’m not asking you to fix it
Just not to make it any worse
My stitches are fresh
The blood is still pumping
I’m begging you, please
Don’t pull this string

I happened to you
You’re ongoing to me
You’re so over it
I’m waiting to be
I don’t need the last word
It’s all yours take it
Tell me right off
But go off with it
Have the life
That I’ve already botched
Find true love
Just don’t make me watch
Leave me where you found me
Between the extremes
Reality and expectation
To live out my daydreams

Be Consumed: Video Reading

A twisted little poem about giving up everything for your art. Continue reading Be Consumed: Video Reading

A Fair Price Vlog

A discussion on giving your art away in the information age.

Continue reading A Fair Price Vlog

The Words Got Him: A Video Reading

A dark poem about a curse that afflicts so many writers.

Poetry Today: A Video Reading

Commentary on the state of commercial poetry in the form of a poem that reads like a dis track.

Take it on the Chin: A Video Reading

A poem about what it feels like when friends tell you just, “go for it” when you have a well informed fear of heartbreak.