could have been worse/could have worked out

*This is a song I wrote.  You can listen to it here, if you’d like:


Hey, say nothing at all.

It’s too high a fall.

He’ll break.

I’ll just lie. I won’t say a word.

It’s just too much hurt

To take.


You’d say that my mind is a curse,

And it’s nothing you care about now.

But, I guess it could have been worse;

It could have worked out.


So you drew a line in the sand,

Pretended it was planned.

Good call.

And I died, then rose from the dirt.

I realized what you’re worth:

Fuck all.

Because you threw your hands in the air

In a fit of despair,

And gave up.

But I’m fine. I’ve learned to let go.

I hope for your sake you don’t

Wake up.


‘Cause you’d say that my mind is a curse.

Or you’d shove shit around and you’d shout.

But, I guess it could have been worse:

It could have worked out.


Now I’m through with you. I couldn’t care less.

Sometimes things are the best

When they break.

I tried. You hid the whole time.

You’re just all the wrong kinds

Of cliché.


Because you’d say that my mind is a curse.

Or you’d shove shit around and you’d shout.

But, I guess it could have been worse:

We could have worked out.

cold talks over hot coffee

today, at the entrance of November, it was bitter cold.

the rain froze while falling.

i was always almost entirely wet.


my place was dank, as per protocol.

and in accordance with my being a creature of habit,

i trudged early; fought often.


i made a list of things that i didn’t think i’d have time to do.

i wrote you letters and then tore them up.


i knew you were coming.

i could feel the change in the air as you turned down my street.

or maybe i could just hear your exhaust subconsciously.

you’ve got to address nagging problems;

it’s the little things that eat you up over time, from the inside.


you brought coffee and didn’t take your coat off.

you spoke like a bad politician.

your body language was horrifying.

i burned my tongue or bit my cheek.

i can’t recall which.


i tugged at the threads of small talk,

like a child dipping his toe in a water-body he knows he’ll loathe swimming in.

you know i never know what to say.

and that i only ever have worthless answers for any question worth asking.


admittedly, i don’t remember what you said.

i’m not a very good listener; have a hard time focusing when it’s cold.

i can only take in so much at once, before drowning in introspection.

excuse my expression.

you always do.


my radiators hissed and coughed through it all.

the ambiance of an approaching winter.

the cold, old man.



i recalled your appearance at the top of the stairs,

announcing the impending arrival of the cold.

quoting a T.V. show we watched in some summer.

so at ease through a forced smile.

nice intro.

only you truly understand my affection for irony.


you’ll have to forgive my theatrics,

but this all smells like the end again.

i know it does.  and so do you.

the remnants of a given-up-on goal, or dream, if you’re inclined to hyperbole (you are),

dropped hard like a piano

to the tapping bottoms of my nervous legs

under a tired table

hosting a cold talk over hot coffee.


this all has the feeling of finality.

i sometimes learn from my experiences.

and in my estimation, nobody says, “this isn’t the end”

when it, in fact, isn’t the end.


see: i listen when you talk.

i listen when you talk.


today, at the entrance of November, it was bitter cold.

i could feel it from the inside.

i’m not yet ready for another winter.

but it’s still always coming.




acer rubrum

they murdered a tree in my neighbors’ backyard.

“Eureka!” they shrieked, “There’s water on Mars!”

but i still can’t even see the stars from my cavern.

i’m sure that they’re there,

but i can’t seem to care.

and they appear more random the longer i stare.

but chaos isn’t fair, so surely there must be a pattern.


those aren’t the eyes of god

that you’re seeing there, you know.

they’re just burning balls of gas

that died long ago.


so they ripped it down just to rip it up,

and mulch it to dust in the gut of their truck.

so?  so what if it was tall, and old, and strong?

they chopped it down in sections, then.

all bark-carved-4-evas, sticks and stems.

good job, my friend.  so far, so good.  so long.


but those aren’t the eyes of god

that you’re seeing there, you know.

they’re just burning balls of gas

that died long ago.

they’re just for show.

grime, guts and guilt.

sound the alarms and summon the labor.

you’ll need all the c-4 you can get your grubby little paws on.

here i washed-up slowly, happily suffocating;

a bloating and rotting carcass, a nightmare, a nuisance.


blow me sky high now,

i’ll rain down in pieces

of blubber.  of fat.

i’ll smash all your windows.

i’ll bury your children.

i’ll clog all your sewers.

i’ll bring in the bird-rats.

i’ll block out the sun.

i’ll make you filthy beasts bathe

in the mess you’ve created.

i’ll rain down in pieces.

i’ll block out your sun.


is there something to be said for turning your back

on trees falling in forests while screaming for help?

out of sight, out of mind, out of space, and of time

push back all you want, but we’ve come too far for that, now.

so, load me up.

hit that switch.


if there’s one of you in the moon

you can send me to see him.

blow me to the stars, now.

i’ll rain down in pieces.

i’ll cover your buildings,

your cars, canvas awnings,

your advertisements,

your mailboxes,

your streetlights,

your drawings.


a means to an end,

ending just as you like it:

fire, fat,

grime, guts and guilt.

and a LOT of shit to clean up.

eating the dust you kicked up – part I

Where now do I go from here?

North?  East?  Or West?  Or South?

Seems only Down can hold me now;

Bags packed; mostly with self-doubt.

I suppose there’s one direction left,

Head-down, headed for home,

Wherever that was left for me

By whoever chose to go.

Where now do I go from here?

North?  East?  Or West?  Or South?

Seems only Down can hold me now;

Bags packed; mostly with self-doubt.

I suppose there’s one direction left,

Head-down, headed away.

Leaving houses, never homes,

And whoever chose to stay.


end, the beginning of the (or me)

I just told a lump in my chest to identify itself.

I’ve read of feeling heart-in-throat, but never quite got the picture.

I do remember reading, though, that a butterfly has this kind of magic powder on its wings that it needs to fly.

And that it won’t be able to flutter anymore, after you touch it.

Even if, just once.

Even if, just for one second.

So it… it just dies there.

On it’s… flower, or whatever…

And I’m over here trying to figure out how to get my belly-button untied.

Just enough to get a finger in.

My opposable thumbs stand at attention

from a palm short of life-lines.

Bringing to mind a sort of superiority complex

that only consciousness can revel in.


While anchored by utmost mortality.

(Can’t forget that!)

I suppose, though, try as I may,

Desperately projecting the appearance of a moss-free exterior,

Tumbling this hard tends to give you thick skin.

Tumbling this often tends to give you good command…

So I shift my weight as far LEFT as I can, mid-flight;

Still struggling to fall as far as I can from the tree that seeded me.

I’m a tethered zeppelin…

…a tethered zeppelin…

Threatening fire to the ground it’s tied to.

I’m a tethered zeppelin…

…a tethered zeppelin…

Threatening fire to the ground it’s tied to.


stand against the storm, how to

there is a cantilevered porch on the quietest of side streets;

light streaks through separated Venetian blinds where eyes peep-

out from warm insides; they gauge the creeping that’s now surrounding

their abodes; they’re huddling up and hunkering down for the storm that’s downwind.

but here i still stand, as tall as i can against the freezing breeze;

i march in place, solemnly through the chatter of war, seeking peace.

and in that sense, succeeding, silently on this porch.

i celebrate secret victories over all odds violently put forth.

but there’s a rumble in the distance now, a reflection of the sun

in storm clouds screaming so loud i can’t tell what direction it’s coming from.

it’s the type of noise that you can feel rattle your stone-bones for the inside;

the type that bowls over the oldest oaks like an unseen rolling tide.

this can’t be a last stand

because i need a cane to lean on.

a man wholly composed of weaknesses

alone, trying to be strong.

at ground level it’s wretched, gory;

mother nature’s preparing another war.

but i’m safe, for now, on the second story

…standing against the storm.

and with no forecast to foretell and no cliched calm for a warning;

the sky continued to darken; her cries sharpened, she started pouring.

thunder came to her crescendo, and lightning grounded where she pleased;

lady Fahrenheit bottomed out and crippled every single leaning tree.

the sky opened, she started roaring; interpreted as a murderous thirst

then she seemingly took control of gravity and every building hurdled to earth,

and disappeared into the dense, black fog of the bleak night.

she hurled a star to the surface that stole the shine of every streetlight.

a violent spark-fest erupted as the vacuum drew all to its vertex;

power-lines sucked like twigs towards the center of a bright, vertical bird’s nest.

now with a warpath for a walkway, leading to the epicenter of this destruction

my own sky dawns inside, and though still pretending to understand my function,

i snuff out my last distraction, adjust my jacket and start to trucking

through the rubbish, to the summit; who knows for what, but not for nothing.

this may be my last stand,

and I may need a cane to lean on,

i may frequently speak weak frequencies,

but i have just started to feel strong

the ground-level is smoldering

mother nature’s waged another war.

her earth is lightened from less soldiering,

… but I’m still standing against the storm.

so with the swirling star within sight, my world burning around the street,

i called my bravest self to the forefront and trekked down the stairs to meet

whatever it was that landed rightly on its intersection thrown

and laid waste to all things I’ve ever intimately or indirectly known.

i dodged the shrapnel through the gauntlet, damning logic and ducking racket;

finally big enough for my self-awareness but still too small for this fucking jacket.

about halfway down the pathway i realized i didn’t need my feet to move;

the force of the spinning disc and its shimmering fits were pulling me to its groove.

i stood ten feet away, as it stood fifty-feet-tall;

a perfect circle displayed itself until shifting to evolve

into a bright burning box; i felt an implicit fear to enter.

then a side opened up, revealing a mirror at its center.

back i leaned as a tractor beam dragged me to its surface,

until i was face-to-face with the version of me that had finally found his purpose;

the self that drove the better parts of me, but i couldn’t consistently be it,

was always there, but my entire world had to burn for me to see it.

so this is my last stand

and you may need a cane to lean on

i’ve shed the worst parts of me like snakeskin,

and i’m being strong; so be gone.

worlds can be rebuilt,

with mother nature’s will and warmth,

but know yourself and your side,

when it comes time to stand against the storm.


“There’s a piece of you with me they can’t tear apart,” said

Some song we once sang in someone else’s apartment.

As if we could start with clean slates in the midst

Of the shit-covered brushes we paint ourselves with.

But through the haze of the day-drinking ways of our youth,

These words are raised like the dead, in the rains of the truth.

A smothered brother with growing pains, straining to move,

Who can’t help but let go of that which pains him to lose.

So he moves to the booze; bottoms up and free cheers.

These fears shall be drowned underground for three years.

These fears shall be drowned underground for three years.

And still you followed right behind me,

Out of breath from all the shocking sounds of

You knowing just when to speak up and what to say

On all those bridges’ ledges you talked me down from.

And all before completion of adult-life’s pilot sequence,

We felt the deafening weakness of screaming matches turned silent treatments.

When refugee-dorm-trips went bleak in the shadow of your home’s violent weekends,

I caught you hand-masking blood on a white dress littered with violet sequins.

Comfort to malaise, until acute abuse framed our faces with hatred.

Feelings of time wasted; secretly knowing we were mistaken.

From feeling certain to hurting, and wondering where our fate went,

And if it would follow one of us down the separate paths we’d taken.

Two people meet, greet, sleep and begin sharing scars:

The telling of not-so-tall tales that end as painful as they start.

Torn-up over diamonds lost to a low-pairing of hearts,

Like, “there’s a piece of me in you they can’t tear apart.”