The Cassette Tape

When I was young, I had a cassette tape of harbor and ocean sounds:
25 years later and I remembered it tonight

Also, memories of my father,
From eyes I had not seen through in as many years;
And I miss him:
Charasmatic animal / child he was.

Warm and safe at 32,
Tonight,
I see him with a love I have never felt
And I know that I have subtracted the hate I bore when I wanted to kill him, at 13.

No, I do not hate my father;
My Father, who carried these genes –
And not just mine, but something rawer and closer to the bone:
Generations, poverty
Alchoholics; sad stories;
Humans, people, hoping things
And me at thirteen,
Wishing I could blast a shotgun through the wall –
My reasons were manifold.

And now, my temple, my cathedral,
My spiritual homeland and my bedrock,
Is a bedroom in an apartment, one room from where my father slept,
When he was not passed out,
On the couch,
Snoring like a goddamned bear –
The sound coming through the wall,
How it disturbed me…

And so I played the cassette tape
Of the harbor and the ocean and the fog-horn,
And I fell asleep to the sounds my father taught me to love.

And now, tonight, I remember this all,
And I see my life like a movie,
And I rewind the tape, play it back in my head,
And from that bedroom,
When I go back there,
Everything makes sense,
And I’m sad my father’s dead

But back then, it wasn’t just a tape in my head,
“My whole youth was sharper than cleats”
But now, I made it
And I see my own Moonlight,
Play in my head,
And I’m a good man,
And I’m not scared.

To Truth

You can be your looks and believe it,
And the world will too –
Yet, you will still fall apart;

You can be any success,
Until it crumbles;
For, few things hold one fast to the center:

Art. Love. Meaning. Ideas.

These things keep us alive;
We are because we create –

And we’ll never stop.

My Inbox, Mine

Email is an albatross,
A constant weight about the necks of billions,
Bringing heads down dutifully,
To check it, forever –
Without ever a Sabbath, except maybe Christmas –
Email is a part of the daily human condition,
For most everyone now,
And it blows.

But maybe your inbox, like your life, differs from mine;
In my inbox, work communications are constant,
Fix this, and, what is the status of that?
And today, a notice from my web host of costly overages on my server,
And once, from an ex, an email about someone famous who OD’d, saying it reminded them of me – #whattheactualfuck –
But it’s mostly just meaningless interruptions from the meaningless data manipulations my work tasks me with,
And constant deadlines –
As if missing them will be the end of me:
I fucking loathe email. 

But maybe, like Mondays,
My problem with email is really just a reflection of my life –
Emails from Simon and Schuster being, of course, prefferable to emails from my current contacts, whom I work for, hourly,
Always via email –
And if it’s not email, it is Slack or Basecamp, which both ping me via email anyhow,
But I’m tired of being fucking pinged!
I am tired of my inbox being a receptacle for shit!
Things I care nothing for;
For I know damn-well, email could be different than this.

But until then,
Until I give the world better reason to email me than these bills,
I will check it, dutifully, constantly, loathingly –
But not forever. 

Email being, just one more aspect of the human condition my art is to deliver me from,
Email being, after all,
Just another choice:

Our helplessness, learned –
Our anxiety ours,
My inbox, mine.

post script:

And to Tarran:

A reply yet awaits,
Sitting neglected in my drafts for months,
Reminding me, painfully:
My inbox, mine.

One Imperfect Hero

I seek the center of myself,
To live the song I am with clarity -That peaceful, healthful joy
Here, a new paradigm,
Let lay cornerstone to my beliefs:
I, one imperfect hero,
Male,
Lusts and ambitions too,
Sleep contentedly
For by fortune’s grace,
At one and thirty years, my soul is yet bouyant, airy, clean,
My past at rest,
For there really was no other way
So I live as if I had never relinquished my cares,
That I was always this best friend to myself,
And nevermore have to fear a coming hour, day, nor year,
Being whole,
The hero I sought for myself as a child. 

Note: I came across this tonight while going through a few recent drafts, and while it’s not my favorite poem, it speaks to self-acceptance, love. That said, the world needs more generosity in its art.