to live in hope

is a heavy brand
to shake off

when i forget it is there
and dive into the waves
for the love of life

it catches me up
like stones in my pockets,
turns my dance of joy
into a suicide mission.

is it enough
to live in hope
that the times between
the moment it slips from me
and its crushing reminder
become incrementally longer? that kicking
and thrashing against
its pact with gravity
might make me

feel, for the moment,
more alive?


Numb but Unafraid

I have a story
to tell but no urgency
propels me
towards its completion

and so it will remain
half-whispered, half-exclaimed
flowing yet contained

a dynamic equilibrium
changing all the same.

It does not matter
in a world bursting
at the seams with the imminent
the breaking

do not have time
do not have ears
but the broken

have no fears, they are not
even afraid of waiting,

not anymore.


Peaceful afterthoughts

It seems I’ve reached the point
where instead of moving towards
what are promised to be

the most beautiful years of my life

I am moving through them, past them
onward and away
while still feeling myself to be waiting.

My efforts are disjointed,
a futile writhing

against that which does not even need

to push back
because it has already won.
Yet really

the most beautiful moments of my life

are the ones waiting.
They wait for me to notice them
in the chords of a song, in peaceful afterthoughts,

in windy nights by the lake, city humming
with life in the distance, boats rocking, sails writhing

against thin air.



They said,
“You have potential
(every day
you do not achieve what
I wish for you
you lose a little more
of what justifies
your existence)
“Don’t you see? Potential

(now you know how it is
to have everything to lose
while still being nothing),

motion, blurring
(your worth a sail
and I the wind, I decide
in what direction
you will fill,
take flight, catch
the breath of the universe,
and in what direction
you will crumple), potential,
in the eye
of the beholder

(your value is a glorious hypothetical;
it is there but only I can see it.
It is mine).”


I have (modal confusion)

I have
a secret infatuation
with the pictures I paint the world
of who I wish
I was.

It’s a subtle transformation
of moments into snapshots,
laughter into glittering proof
of something, no one knows
quite what – I wish it were happiness,
that would be so much simpler,
wouldn’t it?

It’s a silent conversion
of memories into commodities
like books with bejeweled spines
I’d put on my shelf
but only if they’d make me
seem better
than they make me feel.

It’s a graceless transmutation
of a peace blind to time into a losing battle
against the very impermanence
that allows its existence,
a crusade to solidify
it so it can’t die, as if nothing
is real that is not tangible, that cannot be
poked and prodded,
envied and objectified.

It’s a desperate reconstruction
of life into a story I wouldn’t
be ashamed to tell but should
be ashamed to live, and live it? Oh,
I have.


Closed System

Time passes differently
I’m sure
when you’re the one
who doesn’t give a shit
when you’re the one

for whom this is just
a passing curiosity
idle chatter
to what makes you happy
to what gives you
when your theory
of mind doesn’t extend
across the distances
that grow between us
when you simply can’t
be bothered
to remember that I care
the way you used to.
You are a closed system
of thought and deed
and I am sometimes
sucked in, dragged along
in parallel
but the rest of me
just gets in the way.

Oblivious, you
pat yourself on the back
and I join in when you let me
from where I stand


The Wrong Questions

Be it the tired archetype
of the hero’s return or
a regression, I find
solace in a simplicity
I had long since
forgotten how to enjoy.

But am I finding my footing
or stagnating, am
I waiting
on myself or the world, does
it matter, am
I asking
the wrong questions or
is that
the wrong question?
And so
it goes, destroying
the peace I thought
I was seeking.
So it goes
and I think:

at which level
of recursive self-doubt
did my purpose unravel,
did wonder become panic,
did this refuge
become quicksand?


You never will

You know
It’s not the end of the world
just the end
of my life in your world,

the reality wherein your whims
constitute truth; your senseless threats,
life history tradeoffs,
natural as fucking or entropy;

your feelings, the weather –
the gusts
to which I trim my sail
even if it swamps me,

the swells I alter my course to ride
through fog so thick
you cannot see me,
you know?