Evening Prayer

I don’t pray every night, but I probably should. After baths, books, conversation with wife, I usually drift into writing, creating, rearranging words on a screen. Mind a whir, could journey depths until dawn, but the clock of calculation, of sanity, of sacred sleep, tells me to stop. I go into my daughter’s room, turn down her light, I love you, I say to her curled up slumber. I meditate in my son’s room, the sound of his breathing, my pew, my stained glass, my sanctuary. Seated, darkness, air in, carbon dioxide out, first minutes filled with brain bouncing from thought to thought, the earlier, the tomorrow, the could happen. Then sometimes the indescribable now, when I’m nowhere, everywhere, witness to all time, and no time at all. Emerge a short life span later, pray for my colleague, that her malignant tumor retreats, allows life, hers to continue. It feels like I could stay forever, talking to God, to no one, to everyone.

Writing in Bed

exhaling visible emotion
ink onto page
alive each night if
only for these moments
toes touch sheets happy

the hours before are done
no more plodding through city
streets in laced up leather
free naked now
words moving across the page

composition notebook
indenting with cursive letters
pressing down, scribbled lines
fragments of thought
searching for truth night after night

sometimes finding things
like an old Hot Wheels car in
the sandbox, pull it out
examine chipped paint
try to recall when it was lost

describe what it looks like
loose front tire, red Camaro
“this is it,” I think
to reclaim, touch memory
unearth myself, the buried parts

Meditation Doesn’t Care

Meditation doesn’t care
about the book you wrote
what you posted online
or the car you drive

Meditation doesn’t care
about your rolex or
your job, so important
money made

Meditation doesn’t care
about all your friends
who go to parties
drink martinis

Meditation doesn’t care
about your writing
these words
bits of truth

The Day He Couldn’t Write

he tried to remember 1986, the 7-11 with
rolling hot dogs glistening on metal
smell of slurpee sugar, spoon straws
filled with red frozen slush, playboy magazines
covered, cloistered in the corner
laffy taffy, baseball cards in wax wrappers
but then he forgot why it mattered, and moved on
to dancing, prancing, using words like dazzle and
bob dylan, but it still wouldn’t happen
wouldn’t congeal into anything
just looking for truth, he thought
looking is the problem, let them find you
play hard to get, but sometimes that just means
you are alone, like a rolling stone
a complete unknown, a themeless writer
who couldn’t make it happen
not today