Auto Shop Coffee

November 18, 2017

such a fool’s errand…

we patiently sip auto shop coffee and read People magazine

unaware it is our mind that is most in need of repair

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Memory From a Past Life

November 12, 2017


In some past life I vividly recall sprinting in fear through a field of land mines just before dawn.

I came to a sudden halt when the light crested over the horizon, and through the smoky mist, a stunning orange sky began to slowly win the battle against the blackness that had been surrounding me.

Tiny pieces of sun flickered off the dewey amber grass, revealing the many bodies of fresh young troops lying near — damp and dead — frozen in time. 

Looking around I saw things you would never want to see. 

Things you don’t want to know. 

Things I refuse to tell. 

I ached with guilt for finding such peaceful beauty in this devastating scene. I sobbed hard, forever changed, as no man should ever have to be. 

No longer noticing the stench of decay, I inhaled deep cleansing wafts of the country air. I wiped the sweat and tears from my filthy face, feeling a bewildering sense of hope. 

A defiant step forward was misplaced, and my arms and legs were suddenly gone. I remember enjoying the sunrise a few short moments longer. 

Despite everything then and since, somewhere — hidden deep away– I still manage to carry some hope today. 

Burger and Fries

October 25, 2017


Hate and Fear 

rented the room upstairs

and they constantly stomp about.

Such heavy

heavy

weight

suffocates 

our black lungs and hearts 

but no one seems to care. 

We take a long, slow drag on a Marlboro, snorting smoke when the local TV weatherman cracks a joke… 

The news today seems familiar again

itchy trigger fingers and bloody streets

drug dogs in junior high school halls

the market reaches a new high 

while acid rain still falls

and falls

and 

falls.

Confusion, collusion, corrosion, and tears.

We make an improbable wish as we blow out our candles, then everyone smiles and claps, as if we must be so happy to start another year…

Missing uranium and wars to be waged

our biggest concern is a living wage 

to feed these hungry kids

while rich, fat pigs

grab some pussy

just 

for 

kicks.

We have no need to worry since prayers are being said, for the good Lord works in mysterious ways, they promise…

Goddamn foreigners on our land

paranoia shakes our hand

remember promises are cheap 

but mankind deserves a place to sleep — 

we all want this before our death. 

Disease, distrust, disgust and despair 

the sweet scent of decay begins to fill the air.

We grab a burger and fries, then bid our fond farewells…

The Coffee Shop

October 15, 2017


We get such enjoyment from our morning coffee, as we scan the news in the paper some early-rising patron left behind

The shootings, the rapes, the missing children…some order their coffee black, the bitter bite is a welcomed pat on the back

The poverty, the hunger, the creeping epidemic…some take their coffee with cream and sugar, it’s such a sweet, pleasant taste

We spy a blurb on the back page about a young soldier who lost his legs in Afghanistan. Shaking our heads, we toss the paper down and walk to the counter for one more tasty cup.

I, too, sing America.

When I was young I sang loudly.
I learned what they wanted, minded my manners, recited the pledge.
My white friends and I pedaled our bicycles through suburbia, swam the summer away, and sat in our air-conditioned homes watching MTV when the heat was simply too much to bear — sometimes it was so hot.
Just living the American dream…

Two decades passed and I wasn’t sure what had happened.
I had a wife and a mortgage, two kids and two cars.
My pockets were full but my stomach felt sick.
I was sleep-walking through life,
Just living the American dream…

Then, one day, I turned into the wind and woke with a start.
Dirt stung my face as I walked our gritty streets.
I saw people with dreams of their own —
Like living in that big house on the hill,
And driving that big fancy car,
And wearing those nice clothes that the pretty people wear in the magazines left in the trash cans.
Like finding a bite to eat and a way to make their children warm again — sometimes it gets so cold.
Yes, we all have an American dream…

So while I lost my faith, I found some purpose.
And tomorrow I will continue to trudge along, singing my song and trying to make some tiny difference.
Because I, too, sing America.
And I’m wide awake.

 

Photo Credit: A Photographer

Dear Open Letter Writers,

I write to you today about a very serious and scary subject. Yes, it’s the “open letter” that you like to write. Disguised as a sincere letter addressed to a person or group of people, it quickly becomes little more than a mean-spirited rant and attempt for attention. You fill your so-called letters with opinions (or just downright lies), along with a couple of lame facts you find through extremely questionable sources. Your propaganda includes played-out clichés like “wake up America” or “we’re not buying what you’re selling.” You use broad generalizations, big words, and way, way, way too many adjectives. You think you’re better than the rest of us, and that you’re somehow responsible for saving humanity. You throw around words like you, us, and we, yet you don’t even know us, let alone know how we feel. You’re hateful and condescending. You’re overly dramatic. You refuse to ponder any idea that might seem slightly novel (that means new). You are intentionally hurtful, just to amuse yourself. You think you’re so clever, brilliant, and smart.

Well let me tell you something. We aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid. There is nothing clever about an open letter. They are everywhere, and have been for far too long. I bet you didn’t know that, according to Wikipedia, the open letter has been around for thousands of years? Not so brilliant now, are you smarty? Or did you know that between 50%-80% of open letters are written by people between the ages of 30-60? Abhorrent. I could obviously give you a lot more information about this, but I think even you get the point. You make me physically ill, you elitist scum.

Maybe you should consider writing in a unique style, about something interesting for a change. Oh wait, you don’t have the skills required, you pathetic beast. No, you will stick with the open letter because it’s all you can do. You’re appalling in every way — and, quite frankly, the reason America is going to hell in a hand basket.

It’s time you wake up and smell the coffee, you sadistic serpent. We won’t let your open letters continue to divide our nation. Half of us, give or take, are in total disagreement with you, but we agree with me. You’re all bark and no bite, but I’m a pit bull, baby. I won’t waste everyone’s time with a lot of words, but instead will get right to the point. When you get right to the point, it’s easier to make said point, and grab people’s attention. If you were more educated you would probably be able to grasp such a simple concept. But you probably only took a few online classes at the local community college. You’re repugnant.

I’m proposing a ban on open letters. The future of our country depends on it. Trust me when I say that I have many, many, many people backing me on this. So be ready, you odious piece of refuse. It may not happen today, this week, or this year, but your days of writing demoralizing, despicable, and disgusting open letters will be ending very, very, very soon. God bless America!

Sincerely,

The Rest of Us

This Isn’t Goodbye

February 29, 2016

“This isn’t goodbye,” she said with a reassuring laugh while packing up her few belongings in an old milk crate I stored albums in as a kid. Oddly, I found myself trying to remember the records.

“This isn’t goodbye, but I can’t talk today,” she said when I called her again. She just needed some space, no doubt. I reminded myself to text next time.

“This isn’t goodbye, it’s just not a good night,” she said when I stopped by her place with some flowers and wine. Wine was never her thing, but it always seems cool in movies.

“We should consider seeing other people. I’m not saying this is goodbye — just a break that will be good for us both,” she said when I invited her to a mutual friend’s party. Of course, she’s right. She’s always right.

It was very late and I was about to leave the bar when I saw her sitting in a dark corner booth holding hands with the guy. Unsure what to do, I stumbled up to the table in a daze.

“This is goodbye,” I said very coherently. “But I’m sure you already knew.”

I opened the door and turned my back to the smoke-drenched air, feeling suddenly alive as the black cold engulfed me. My heart beat faster.