Please don’t leave me now
that you’ve seen the future.
My ink is real and you can touch
my paper with your hand holding
words, the ones pressed by my metal.
Permanent black rune, my tattooed
sentences offer so much more than
the screen, where mistakes disappear.
Delete, delete, delete-so easy to
forget all the missteps and time taken
to roll sheet after sheet. But each
letter, each tap, was your imprinted
mind. Go to the computer, but this
crumpled beauty, you will never find.
no one knows who
i am, no photos
of me on a
screen, where i might
look wealthy or important
wearing a suit, standing
serious, ready to buy
or sell something, or
convince you that i
am indeed successful,
i walk, don’t drive
a tesla, or anything,
and therefore you might
not know me and
how i sometimes just
stare at trees and
how that is just
fine, good enough to
breathe and watch you
in wonder, trying so
hard to be somebody
because it is
free to bend
lips so people
can see that
there is joy
in our heads,
happy wrinkles, crinkles
those twinkling eyes
telling everyone it
is okay, the
universe is fine,
and when we do
make this grin
all of us win
If I wanted, every day could be a funeral.
So simple, just put a name into the computer,
wait for the obituary to pop up. Those older guys
are gone, my coaches, teachers, even that camp
counselor from Pine Island, up in Maine, he
could hold his breath underwater for 2 minutes.
Never thought they’d all go away, but there’s
the little candle, Legacy.com warming the screen
with another smiling photo. I read all the comments,
deeply miss her, sincere condolences, with such
a heavy heart. And I feel the weight of age with my
scrolling fingers, try to remember the last time I
saw him, her. What did we talk about? Maybe I’ll
google their kids, see where they ended up.
Minutes pass and I close the laptop,
pretend they’re all still alive.
It used to be just books,
parchment and a quill,
perhaps the trunk of an
old oak tree for support
during pauses to reflect
on words, cradling novel’s
spine. This was before the
nothing of everything, lurking
images, news, videos, email,
promising connection to a
world of always distraction,
attempts to evade our depth,
knowing that internet will save
us from ourselves, but the longer
we stare into that flat abyss,
the more we disappear.
My favorite dream was when I flew,
as bird or angel, ethereal, I never saw
halo or feathers, or looked at myself in
a mirror, only knew that I could soar high
up in clouds, skim over fields or shingled
rooftops, able to control all this grace.
So I floated back to Taylor Elementary,
hovered by a window, staring at kids writing
in their 6th grade classroom, when I saw him,
a boy I recognized, holding a #2 pencil,
tongue slightly out, concentrating, filling
up notebook lines. I watched for a long while,
then realized he was me.
Cacophony, extreme hair dryer,
like a mini-flamethrower, spews
forceful air, a migraine’s
soundtrack, droning into ears.
I want to speak truth
to dust particles and men
(and they are always men), who
spray leafy bits into my face, only to
stop briefly when they see me,
shirt over my nose, while
I tell my legs, get away, get away.
I never used to think I could
become a Jedi Knight,
that Yoda even existed on
a screen was unfathomable,
small hero with big ears,
fierce teeth, and what was
the force anyway? But that
was before I learned George Lucas
was Buddhist Methodist, the way
we all are something inside,
waiting to be revealed, like
Plato’s Cave said, and here
I am on a Friday night writing,
a quiet Sabbath, blue ink
lightsaber in my hand.
Puddle, seconds before child
stomps that glistening water, sky rain,
cousin to Atlantic and Pacific.
Wet space where Trident gum lives between
teeth and tongue, swishing this way and that,
minty boat soon to be spit out.
Blue eyes, reflecting sunset waves, dancing
light, endless saltwater pools, see, feel
Square windowed snowfall, winter flakes
drift, living Monet, pine trees frozen
Usually the plan is to
read and read and read
the poems of others, until
something strikes my imagination.
This often works, sometimes it is
just a word, like pulsating or
scramble, a pathway to completely
forget that my shoelaces are tied or
that these fingers belong to me.
Lost in the moment, obvious and
unpoetic, then again, also true.
That really so much writing is just
abstract painting, adding color,
a swirl, skip a line, then do it again,
and again, until the crickets outside
sound like laptop keys, and nothing
is lost, not these seconds, not the
clear air of night, not my quiet mind
making sense of time passing,