Monday, December 10, 2012


Jesus never walked a mile in his own shoes. For when the day came to follow that path during my faded attempts to be a good man, I found no tracks. When that desert stopped rolling underneath, I got out. I was not guided by the spirit nor met by Daniel's archangel. As a blind man, I just tried to find a good path to travel over the scorched sands flowing in waves in all directions. As the day wore on, I had no desire for the stars to guide me. His footprints, if they were still there, would have been lost, wandering to wherever he was headed. He would have walked here when he unveiled this perfect world to himself. When he saw that the light and heat were meant to hurt, he no longer wanted to wear his shoes. As he took his first barefoot step onto the shores of the Judean Desert, he burned everyday thereafter. As I laid in the sand where he would have taken his first step, my skin steadily became more dead. He couldn't tell the truth without the pain. I won't find the words either. Tell the world not to feel love, and they will find a way to be in love. Give the world nothing, and they will prefer pain. As Jesus died in the desert, he laughed from the spear he felt. He died a good man, and he did not die alone.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


On many indescribable winter nights, girls have left a hundred little tastes inside my mouth without much concern. Now, I can't expect myself to be able describe all the essence any specific girl has stroked throughout my cheeks, but a familiar taste dragged across my tongue last night. The well-known flavor of a hammer or plain, wrought steel was once again stained uncomfortably to my teeth and tongue. My modest fascination with trying to cruelly remove this was inflamed as my mouth began to decay with the common plaque some girl left in my mouth. As a result, gore once again filled my jaws as I tongued away her prideless lilac bitter. My mouth's shallow creases were picked apart as I tried to rid the backwash of a girl that I strive not to remember.

Most times, the pain doesn't bother me. Pain wouldn't bother me, for my intention are for this toxic darling's spit. A mouth ache seems rather appropriate scarring for stealing a commodity from such an unknowing girl. Frankly, I seek this senseless displeasure. For example, a burnt taste came over the walls of my mouth last night as I took from another willful girl that I hope to never adore. This charred taste tends to happen whenever I allow myself time to dishonestly and slowly lick the taste from an unmemorable tongue. I savor these unpleasant scrapings despite their salty, scorched aroma.

This palate is the collection of tastes my lack of dignity is supposed to gather. These rosy girls assume they leave me with a sweet ginger flavor, but I can't taste a hint of such underneath the overwhelming tart spices that they inadvertently and unavoidably satisfy my mouth with. My winter nights are full of many unremarkable girls that I pass by without much thought. I understand that the purposelessness of some odd girl's kiss will undoubtedly leave a mouthful of sour dust. However, I have acquired the taste, and winter doesn't have another taste for me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

20 (Haystacks)

This afternoon, the backseat is my theater for watching a contemporary bathe in the sunlit drive underneath the sleepy head of the sweetest girl. As lights drag from their sources through to my mind, the image no longer flips, and the world appears so strangely to me. Gravity inexplicably raises and lifts and brings everything up together to one big ball above it all, and just the same, the road extends endlessly above me. Every sight seems effortlessly raw to behold, but on this day, my eyes will softly see the world this way.

The two lovers float at sixty-five toward heaven across the stateside, and as the sun climbs, the muscles in my neck gradually forget to constrict. My head topples upward and, without a shoulder to lean on, falls to the glass that frames the American hills and pastures without impressions. The sun beats through the glass and pours like gold over his and her skin. and though the heat doesn't get to them, he turns the air on for me without any inclination.

As the first cool breath washes over my face, my lungs no longer need my compulsion or desire to fill. My chest expands calmly with the flowing condition that fills the car as her summer-breath escapes delicately from her and drips into each of our lungs warmly. He feels that I am faint in this moment, and he wishes me the best dreams. Though, I couldn't think of sleeping underneath her weight.

Sleepily, the drive stretches across the summer.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


He sits across the room telling me some story of how I will be the hero of the next twenty years, and I know I ought not yell across the room at such an hour, but he should know that not he nor I nor any meaningful person on these ever-rattling, slowly-drifting mountains will ever be a hero to a world empty of the idea. Yet he tells me of the times that I will be able to tear down the great soul of the winter winds for the benefit of no man but misery and serendipity as he laughs at me for overlooking the vernal nights of yesteryear that were full of floating girls and romantic images flashing through my then-shallow ego as I formed into a man who, at the time, I never thought I could be. And he reminds me once more of those wasted summers spent writing scripture and singing and dancing for rain clouds or some shadowy, celestial relief from the long, still nights without much care in the world but the moments in my hands dripping onto the ground. And all the while, he was the bird that landed on my windowsill to tell me that the fall would bring me to the level of a demigod if I chose to grab a hold of the world and tear it apart and build it in his image. And I was going to be a hero of paper, of mind, and of the ending soul that shapes America through the fires of growth and recession. And I couldn't help but always love this lunatic's words and how they told me about the day I would burn through the world straight to the core and find Lucifer waiting for me at the gates of hell because I wasted hundreds and hundreds of days not waiting for inspiration, but watching fast television, slow girls, and the blinding incandescent lights built into the ceiling. And he tells me that he will grab me a hammer and a wrench and a blow torch as soon as they are necessary, and from these tools, I will create the new, beautiful world in the destruction of wrought steel and propane tanks without any solid intention to bring the world to its knees or closer to God. And consequentially, I do not know the reason for a conman like him to demand this of me without expecting it of himself, for he was the man with the direction, the charisma, and the will, and he keeps passing me the information that I am born the sun-god and I am born to bathe the world in the loving-light of future seasons and I am meant to use Salvador's clocks to define how long tomorrow will be. And in twenty years time, he imagines that I will have created the Tower of Babylon out of the lost city of Atlantis, and he keeps telling me the power is sitting right outside the doors downstairs and will be waiting patiently for me to enter the lost days of the twenty-first century as a carpenter with the atomic bomb strapped to my back. And he will not allow me to be a heretic to my divinity, but I can only half-believe in the man screaming from a fringe of a stone-floored room about times I know nothing of.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I am lying next to her, same as any other night. She watches me as my thoughts drift daftly and deafly to the shared warmth afforded to me by being near enough to this girl. In the penumbra, her imagination vividly draws her many awaiting wishes across the ceiling for me. The longing hopes sing desperately with terminally ill lyrics onto the open hearts that linger in the open evening. My gaze finds her lying calmly as her countless skin bends with each passing tone of moonlight. Her flawless image encompassing her endless ghost subtly and slightly collapses for the moment, and she lays broken underneath the musical tumblings of the hopeless summer's night. Still, she looks back to me faithfully, and I slowly succumb to sleep.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A poem for my sister

I carry a broken feather everywhere I go. I drag the crooked tip through the heavy sand on my walks and travels. The trail that this blackened feather leaves is always carved sharply into the ground. As zephyr winds may blow or rains might fall, I know to trust this line to lead straight to me. Not many try to follow the stroke that winds wherever I may wander. Few bother to look for my tracks at all, but from this tracing on the ground, my big sister has always found me. She has watched from faraway and nearby as the contour twisted and twirled under my feet. For her, I forever try to remember to cut deeply as I trek onward.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Dearborn by Don Halvorson

I never quite got the point of the goddamn factory. Back in those days, the factory employed the entire town. Their employees made enough money, more income than most any other profession in town was guaranteed. The factor offered an incentive so large that every poor, uneducated man nearby started making their cars eventually. The men that came from a little bit of money were managing the floor or working one of the more difficult machines while everyone else had to put a couple pieces on the car as the partially assembled unit went by. The whole place was so impressive for being an industry built upon a little farm-grown town full of people that didn’t know how a car works. Without each other and a few profiteers from out east, the factory would have never worked. 

The important idea that everyone knew for making this or any other factor successful was simple: we were never finished. If we stopped for one moment, we knew damn well that the other companies would not. Car companies are always competing. Many small towns in Michigan were working the same hours trying to make the same dollar we were. Therefore, our factory and their factories had developed the same mentality. We both knew that we were behind. We were always behind the other companies, even if we were selling more than the other companies. We were never quite sure if we were or weren’t more successful financially in actuality, but the presses were worked noon and night in many towns with that bit of uncertainty. If the machines or the line fell quiet, every employee was aware the town would be out of a job.

That was the twentieth century until that point. America was producing because of this delusional approach towards unattainable achievement. As a result, the products were new, and the market was growing. Everyone relied on each other to work hard to innovate and produce enough to keep this town afloat. Before the factory had to lay everyone off, the whole town gave everything they had to keep every job the factory provided in our little town surrounded by farmland. Endless hours were spent keeping our brand competitive. When we heard that cars had reached both coasts from our little piece of Michigan, most of the town rejoiced about spending every free moment working to keep the dream of competition alive.

I never got how the factory was able to move into our town so easily though. Before making cars, the town worked off the trade of the nearby farms, so we were by no means penniless or starving before the factory offered us a better price than we had ever heard for their work. A few years went by as they built up the factory, and the little peasant economy of a small farming town in Michigan was gone. Men went off to the factory instead of the field at dawn. Some that had been in a car went to work to forge wheels to frames. Making cars was expected of our town’s sons as soon as they quit school.

Our jobs paid well until the depression hit. We couldn’t do much after it did. The cars weren’t selling. Inevitably, hours were cut back until eventually, the faceless management from out east starting casually laying people off. The jobs they provided were gone, and so was the farming market. We recklessly moved the entire sustainability of our town upon a large factory. Now, I understand that mistake, but the town working for the automaker deserved to have some money. Hell, I started working for the factory to give my wife and son the lifestyle that their money could afford, but we weren’t prepared to live the desolate life that followed after they laid me off. No one in town could really have been ready to lose a job that paid as the factory did.

Halfway through the decade, my family had no income and no money saved up. I realized that I had wasted many years working for a doomed factory, and now, we were without the security I had presumed would always be holding the walls of my small, rickety house. I had metal scars all over my hands that I got knowing that I was giving my family a comforting life, but I had regretfully deceived myself. The flash of income that had given us a two-bedroom rambler on our own acre was gone, and we knew the day the factory announced the first lay-offs that we were going to lose the house.

I wanted more than anything to keep that house. For years, I went to work every morning to allow my wife to spend the day with our son in our house surrounded by some of the prettiest trees in Michigan. She spent her days teaching our son everything that I couldn’t. I wasn’t there enough to show him everything he needed to know. He spent his youth with the only girl I trusted to show my son the world in a good way. Working in the factory meant that he would at least always have her, and for years, he grew in the small house I gave him with the small woman that loved him because of a steady paycheck for a decent amount of money.

My sweet girl taught him more than I hoped she could. She knew it meant a lot to me to have him reading at a young age, and she taught him despite having grown up on a farm with a family that could barely read. She made sure that our little boy wouldn’t struggle to read because she knew his reading meant enough to me. He never did, and she even grew better at reading along with him. By the time he was gotten through a few years of school, they had each read books that I hadn’t had time to read. They were telling me about authors that made their mark that I haven’t heard of. Fitzgerald was my wife’s favorite, but I couldn’t name a novel that he wrote before she told me about his works, and I couldn’t have been happier to not know something.

She sang to my boy as well. I couldn’t do that. I knew a little piano that I would show off around the holidays, but she sang beautifully to him most mornings. I really never understood how she could sing so sweetly and so kindly. Just by listening to her, he learned to whistle so well at an early age. She made him show me one spring night. She told me that he was better than the hundred little chirps outside the window in the morning. I didn’t believe her until I heard that he was. I couldn’t have shown him anything like that.

I taught my son how to write though. He quickly picked it up, and he never stopped. I made sure he knew every little grammar bit I knew, and I showed him to look at the people beyond the story. He was too young to really understand what I was saying when I first told him everything I could, but somehow in many ways, he was able to write within the little world in Michigan he held dearly in his own way. Some days after work, I would gather him up and ask him if he had written anything recently. One late June evening, he showed me a little poem about the smoke that came from the factory. The little lines were used to show that the world around the factory choked on the dirty air the factory exhaled. He asked me if he had made the factory sound foreign and unaccepted. He wanted to know if he had written it well enough for me.

He also wrote stories about a girl that lived a few miles across town. He wasn’t a perfect writer by any stretch, but he knew I loved whenever he wrote about that girl. He didn’t ever really know what he was writing about, but I think he really felt sincerely and deliberately lost writing his way out. No one could have taught him the confused curiosity that he penned. He had a natural interest for her and the world that produced her. He threw every bit he could into writing about her because of his innocent fascination with the complexity in which he saw her. He never wanted to call her a muse, but he couldn’t deny it either by the time he was a young man. He had written too much as a result of her to call her anything else.

Sometimes, his writing was contrived. Many times, he wrote blindly, and I even encouraged him to write poorly if he had to use the detriment of style and structure to write genuinely. I didn’t want him to ever be afraid to write anything, even if the most judging eyes fell on whatever he wrote. I tried to have those eyes, and he knew that I could be his angriest judge. He liked that the judgment was being passed by a friend. I have never seen a writer grow as he did, and I needed him to know that he ought not to stop. I don’t know who would believe me if I said he had talent. However, I know he can write very true.

He loved growing up in that muddy town between farmland and woods. He never minded that the sky was always cloudy or the streets were always dusty. He didn’t care that door handles by the factory were covered in motor oil or that most of the buildings were made of rotting wood. Few people would call the town cozy by any means, but he always seemed to like the dirty little town.

He especially liked the growing season in the springs. He would go across the thawing snow to see the landscapes and persons on the outskirts around our town that have been frozen away for the winter months. By the time he had gotten a little older, he knew most, if not all of the nearby farmers that lived too far away from the factory to start working there or weren’t fast enough with their hands to maintain a job that demanded so much. He would go by their places to lend a hand every now and then. Most of the farms were struggling to stay afloat, so he knew he was helping tremendously with a couple hours work here and there.

He loved seeing the lakes in the summer. The lakes and streams nearby weren’t great for fishing or swimming. In fact, the nearby waters weren’t deep enough for much besides skipping rocks. Regardless, he would spend nights looking at the waters from his spot on the shore. He wrote about the color of the cloudy sky that was sunk underneath the pearly, blackened water. He wrote about the glimmering hue that the water revealed to him many times. He told me that his girl had the same color eyes. He needed me to trust him on that because I never saw the girl’s eyes before her family moved out to California. He told me that the color was perfectly similar to her eyes and I should have seen them.

He told me so much through his writing. I liked the words he threw together, but he didn’t write much after she left. I don’t know if he has written anything at all since we had to move to New York. We couldn’t afford our rambler on our acre anymore, and even though farm work in New York wasn’t making any money, I have been able to give my family food by moving out here. My wife stopped reading the afternoon I lost my job. Even worse, she doesn’t sing in New York.

I couldn’t give my son the lake that was the same colors as his girl’s eyes. Our family lost most everything in Michigan, so moving to New York grew necessary. We had to start farming because that is all I knew how to do besides putting door handles on unfinished cars. I don’t mind the work nowadays, but I wish for him that he wouldn’t have to spend his life cultivating the clean land between the deep lakes of the state that was never as cloudy as Michigan. When the factory started laying people off, lives went down without much concern. I couldn’t do anything to keep the prettiest trees in Michigan around our rambler on our acre. That was the depression.