Archive for ‘My Writing’

November 10, 2014

Maxim #20

Oh lucid, tangible dream … until last night, I’d forgotten what it was like to fly.  —  Literophanes

July 27, 2014

Drought and Jung

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons



in dry soil

if only a parable

fixed in four days


but over time

drought affronts me

screaming like wanton child

yelling for me to listen


the more I hear

the deeper I dig

into the red soil of my psyche

to hide


but I fail to hide in dust

it only accentuates

my malnourished form

my imbalance


so I can only climb

to the highest point

of my consciousness

and force my young self to listen



to the wind

to the silence

to the wisdom of droughts


of age telling me

to seek order in the present

and of rain that returns

only when I’m ready



About the Poem: In 1914, Carl Jung began his entries in what would become Primus Novus: The Red Book – cited as one of the most important contributions to the study of psychology. This poem pays a simple homage to the 100-year anniversary of the inception of Jung’s introspective journal.



July 25, 2014

On My Birthday

On My Birthday


we meet again each summer

always under the hottest sun


each reencounter brings reminders:

smells of chocolate frosting from a cake on a picnic table,

squishy balloons filled with water,

colored plates and napkins where bees hovered

playing in the center of the universe for a day

when the sun shone highest


and each thereafter incrementally less bright

though a little more centered


each celebration now flutters in a late afternoon breeze

a breeze that relieves me from a humid youth

under lengthening shadows

it resuscitates the flame of a lone candle

reflecting not the passing years

but the next one anew


June 22, 2014

Graffiti Me


Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons


in heightened instants

like the realization that the earth is moving

I see words


not in my head

but in the air

on the ground


whereas words emit images for most

images emit words for me

a sort of moving graffiti


busy floats around an impatient driver

linear abuts a business building

lonely whirs past a BMW on the freeway


summer attaches itself to leaves of a eucalyptus

caution drops from birds perched on light posts

momentary sits atop my breakfast


though I saw words for as long as I can remember

I thought others could read the air like me

but no one else could see what I could


there were words I didn’t know at the time

like commitment – there it hovered on a park bench

I thought others saw it too, but they couldn’t


reading in school was laborious at best

twice the words jumped from pages

and no one who asked understood my meaning


now most are logical associations

but there are other relationships that some would find strange

opaquely paired words and things


mandamus with books of good fiction

butterscotch with playgrounds

pareidolia with churches


I only see them at the right time

like fireflies, they flash but then are gone

only alive in synesthesia


yet when I recall those objects and places and times

the words are absent from my memory

leaving only an afterglow


though I escape the graffiti in my mind’s tunnels and shadows

I look in a mirror and words are everywhere

and I am always graffiti


May 18, 2014

Maxim #19

Never drink from a fountain at a dog park.  –   Literophanes

March 30, 2014

Once Home

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons


returning to a vaguely familiar place
the smell of time resides in still air
though walls appear unmoved
the irregular space within is much smaller now
each room lodged between two times
then and now; chipped layers of paint overlapping
revealing more than memories
within shifting walls
window panes
floors and doors
all worn as I touch the past
my hand over an invisible chair
seeing a lamp not there
hearing the creak just above the living room
illusory substitutes for reality
the vent in the floor
intake for dust of the past
keeps its stores in solitude
until the dead of eternal winter
I depart again knowing no satisfaction
what was once home is only a shell
of lives no longer there
my once resolute faith now lingers in the intake
more than the absence of then is now
the sense of a fleeting touch
of when
and of my somewhere

March 9, 2014

spring; transitioning conscious;

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons


days and rain; contemplating mild;

grasses underneath; decomposing brown;

sentiments in curbside streams; carrying discarded salty;

footsteps on pavement; seeing all uncovered;

tree buds; pushing optimistic;

geese overhead; bringing northern;

new ideas; promising days of longer;

fragments together; blending syntactical;

thought; thawing emerging;


March 2, 2014

The Parade Thief

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons



booms and sirens

calling a sleepy town to rise

the children are already awake

everyone else doesn’t mind the alarm


the parade is today

the sun rises brighter

the wind blows lighter, warmer

because summer stops to rest


the boy moves with an excitement

his parents wish he had for school

peeking through the screen door at other kids

popping with guns and snaps and caps


he fears he’ll miss the parade

having to wait for everyone else

but rather than upset the morning plan

he paces quietly on the porch steps


watching the oblivious

a cautious squirrel ascending a tree trunk

a robin bobbing in the grass

a busy anthill on a sidewalk crack


after breakfast his father moves in the garage

his worried mother prepares her tote

bikes, sandwiches, blankets, ready

for the pilgrimage


the boy listens for the go

among early blow horns

early firecrackers

early hissing of sparklers


children, parents, grandparents

they fill the sidewalks

cars funnel down to the lakefront

no one rushes today except the children


fathers and mothers reminisce

they’ve safely been there before

staking out a good curbside view

of recycled images of youth


grandparents settle into lawn chairs

they too have been there before

many times more

having lost count of their good fortunes


as the fire engines approach

the boy imagines his future

mother and father observe their present

grandparents preserve their past


as the parade thief displays its subjects:

marching band, drill team, rotary float,

politician, veteran, sauerkraut queen,

it seduces the boy


when the ritual is complete

and the tide reverses into remembrances

in the streets along the lakefront

mothers search for lost children


while the parade thief steals the boy away

through summer

through the seasons

and beyond boyhood


February 23, 2014

fictional self

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons


self-preservation is a memory game


it is neither enough to remain content

nor to assuage change

survival requires action

supported by past experience


i reassess my past

so my memories impart change


i can’t capture the past

as it really happened


it can only be contextualized

with new meaning and new intent


i recall memories

not as they were

but as i think they were

in relation to a present purpose


and in a present context

memory is held within a bias

of continuous knowledge


so the same memory

a thousand days ago and now

yields two different results

tinted by experience


the present is a continual re-contextualization

of every past action


the unstable nature of my memory

turns every passing moment fictional


it isn’t enough to acknowledge my fictional self


the art of survival

is to exploit it


February 16, 2014

conversation with the foghorn

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons


just before sleep I hear the sound

of a foghorn in the distance

at a mid-octave pitch to mimic a mother’s song

the tone echoes in blue fog and winter ice

searching for a captive listener off-shore


I dream the cold night air

where I see myself under a streetlight

where my breath carries into the vapors

until the foghorn catches it

and I breathe again into the damp air


a sound

a breath

a sound

a breath

a kindred back-and-forth


our conversation continues

enrapt in a thick fog of voices that lifts only at daybreak

when words reverberate into the waking distance

until clear skies render my breath transparent

and sunrise forces the foghorn into silence




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