Last Dance

Shut my mouth or the truth will come out
Cover my ears so I can't hear the shout
Bury my head in the deep sands of doubt
Waiting for your last dance tonight.

Beautiful in your best evening gown
Radiant as the sun wanders down
And blankets in darkness the empty town
I hold you close in the dying light.

Walking down these streets in the dark
Strolling slowly through the park
In silence, not even a dog to bark
No past to hold, no future in sight.

You lay on the grass and tell me to smile
You laugh and say we'll be here a while
God's got 'em all lined up in the aisle
Too busy to see us kiss in the night.

Shut my mouth or the scream will come out
Close my eyes so I won't see them shout
Bury me deep in the soft earth of doubt
My last dance is over, the end is in sight.

3-3-00


Goodbye

The axe is heavy in my hand
The man is sleeping on the couch -
The blow is over without thought
And now I know there's no way out.
The blood is pooling on the floor
The blood is covering my hands
The siren's call is getting close
And now I have to make a stand.
The pistol's loaded, cocked and ready
The path I've chosen is quite clear
The cops are beating down the door
The bullet flies, I have no fear
The Lord won't take me, this I know
The Devil welcomes me alone
The fires burning on forever
In this my never-happy home.

3-3-00


Maladaptive

They say I'm maladaptive
And that everything's okay;
They say I'm maladaptive
But I won't come out and play.
The cops are looking out for me,
My friends are dead and gone;
They say I'm maladaptive
But it just goes on and on.

I've got a problem in my head,
The wiring has gone all wrong;
The counselors can't seem to fix
Whatever it is I did wrong.
The feelings never go away,
The demons never fall asleep;
The pills I take will never fix me
I pray that I've a soul to keep.

They say I'm maladaptive
And that I'll get better soon;
They talk of different therapies,
A new verse in the same old tune.
I'm tired now, it never ends,
And I think that there's no time;
They say I'm maladaptive,
But it's just the end of the line.

3-3-00


Malevolent Afternoon

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,
Prozac in the afternoons;
Whiskey for my breakfast sometimes,
Make it fast and make it soon.
Laughter, laughter; I can't bear it,
Makes me want to kill them all-
Here I sit at my computer,
Hoping God will come to call.

"how's it going, are you well,
come and visit," they all say.
They don't know me, I can't trust them,
And I know there's Hell to pay.
Chatter, chatter, always talking,
Saying there's a chance for me -
Give your soul to Jesus; Jesus,
Why can't you just set me free?

3-3-00


One Step Removed

One step removed form the world outside,
I sit here before the counterfeit reality
Filtered through the airwaves before
It reaches my television screen.
Too many smiling faces, mouths stretched
Wide over eternally-grinning skulls
Who have no idea why they do it.

One step removed form my friends outside,
They all look so happy when I crack a joke
I know I'm lying with every smile
But nobody ever notices my deception
Too many harsh realities keep them away
From discovering the truth, even if I tell them
Why I won't come out of the house today.

One step removed and I'll never get past it,
One step to take that's too far to cross
One footfall sounding is all I can think of
When they all laugh at me from behind the door
So I sit in my chair at a 20-degree angle
As the world outside fades in and out of focus
Laughing at me when I think of tomorrow...

8-27-99


Two Bottles

I keep two bottles in my freezer,
Just in case of a sunny day.
It rains all the time,
But you can't see the angry black puff
Pouring its ridicule upon me each day.

I tell myself it's not my fault.
They're all against me, you know,
All of them who pretend to be my friends
And then change into somebody else
With the same face
With the same name
But without the person I used to trust.

Connect the dots and open a bottle,
Drink to the days that got away.
It burns going down,
All the guilt over what I've done
All the fear of what I'll never do.
I'll burn my bridges when I'm through
And you'll never know it's coming.

One down, one to go
And I'm just getting warmed up.
My eyes aren't focusing again
But at least my head doesn't hurt
And soon all the pain will be gone.

The glass bottle hits the carpet
With a hollow sound
Like the one my heart makes
Whenever somebody becomes somebody else
And leaves me alone
With all the symbols and signs
That nobody understands but me.

I pop open the second bottle
And giggle as the chill grips my veins,
Knowing that it means the end is near
And nobody on earth can stop me now.
I made a mistake the first time;
I trusted in somebody, not understanding
That she was really somebody else.

The CD is spinning
And the music is playing
And my life is fading away
Because I kept two bottles hidden
When I should have finished them so long ago...

3-30-99


In the Shadow of Doubt

Sleeping in the shadows
Wrapped up in their mist
I cling to battered yesterdays
I scrape these bleeding knuckles
Along the endless alleyway
Between what was and will be
Searching through the trashbins
To find a piece of hope
That someone else threw out
With the moldy leftovers
That they're happy to discard

Crying to my secrets
Weeping all alone
I fold my fears in plastic wrap
And stuff them all inside
With useless things like my soul
To keep them company
Through the endless winter days
Through eternal summer nights
Through each and every single dream
That shatters and falls away
With each breath that passes
With each beat of my tired heart
With each weary footfall

Lying with my demons
Crying for their pity
Waiting for the next disgrace
Tattooed by all my crimes
Forbidden by transgressions
To climb the alley walls
That are the only escape
From this prison of my own making
In the shadow of doubt
I've locked myself inside
And there was never any key
No plan for escape
No hope to claim as my own
Just the winter days, summer nights,
One after another,
Cascading toward forever
While I lay sleeping in the shadows
Swallowed by their mist...

2-23-99




Five-Dollar Bill

Five-dollar Bill took a swig from the jar
And spit tobacco on the lawn
When the foreman drove by again
Spying on him in the day
And tormenting him at night
When his dreams are all he has to protect him
(And even they don't like Bill much)
All Bill has is five dollars
And a pocketful of sorrow he keeps for good luck
And a stack of skin magazines for when he gets lonely
And the empty promises of friends he keeps piled in the corner
(Bill's got a nice collection going now)
For the everyday rainy day.

Five-dollar Bill walks the empty streets
Lurking in shadows for he fears being seen
In public because they all think he's a freak
And not any good for much else...
Just to laugh at, to pick on, to abuse at their leisure
For when they feel down on their miserable lives
And beating a dog restores a little self-worth
Until the alcohol takes hold on Thursday

Five-dollar Bill cradles the pistol
In trembling hands as the bill collectors come knocking
And the demonsin his head pound on the walls
Trying to gain a moment of release
As the clock ticks away the time of his life
Into the deserted spiderwebs in the corners
Where his happiness has been trapped and wrapped
In tiny silk bundles for the creatures
To consume at their leisure
In the dark hours of the day
When he's looking for busywork
Putting off everything that matters
Because he can't pull the trigger

2-23-99




Social Isolate

You don't know who I am
I never learned to trust
Betrayal burned so deeply...
Your love was not enough
You took away my freedom
You ripped apart my voice
Now all I've got is nothing
Not even any choice
I don't think I'll forgive you
I can't forgive my sins
You ask me why I'm angry
And why I let him win
You left me here with nothing
Just shattered bits of trust
Betrayal's all I've got now
When your love's not enough

2-21-99


Glass

Escaping from you is the least I could do
But I'll never truly be free...
Grasping at straws to escape icy claws,
It's no wonder that now I see
Just why I'm here, why I feel you so near,
Though you're always so far away...
You looked through your glass, you saw my life pass,
And said, "Let him live one more day."

You made me a room in this little glass tomb
That I could never escape...
I furnished it all with that damn high school hall
Where that day is recorded on tape-
I can always find that one scene in my mind
That forever repeats without end-
I ask myself why... can't you just let me die?
Out of spite you take one more friend.

In this glass room, all sealed in my tomb,
Silent I lived and now this-
Stifling and still, the air gives a chill
As my last breath escapes with a hiss...
I slump to the floor, I can see the door
That may be my only escape-
And when I crawl through, it's all I can do
Not to scream as you repeat the tape.

2-21-99


Hideous, Piteous, Lovelorn, Fly

Hideous, piteous, lovelorn, fly-
Send you a note and make you cry
Waiting for solace from gods who don't care
Hiding myself from all who would share
Listening blindly to desperate tales
Clutching uselessly to memories that fail...
Outside myself nobody can see
This terrible sadness carrying me...

Hideous, piteous, desperate, time-
Sprinkle me with a pinch of lime,
Lay me in a simple pine crate
And forget me; you don't want to be late
For the wonderful dance between you and Fate
For the wonderful life that God let you create
For yourself and your own, for better and all...
As I lay weeping under you all.

Hideous, piteous, waiting for God
To smile upon me, to give me a nod,
To tell me he'll finally allow me to die
To whisper softly that I shouldn't cry
For He's finally come to bring me home,
Somewhere I won't be completely alone...
I swallow the pills and wash them all down
With whiskey, with gin, whatever's around.

Hideous, piteous, why do you care
As you view my corpse with your icy stares-
Here in my box I'll leave you alone
With your eyes of glass and your hearts of stone
You can't understand what happened to me
You can't understand my need to be free
Of this hell on earth that we all created-
I died as I lived... so isolated...

2-21-99


Snowbound

This is the way eternity ends-
Sitting alone in a corner booth,
Surrounded by people who he'll never know
Bitter and wasted and always separate
From the lives that thrive around him
While the snow keeps on falling, covering his soul
In an impenetrable blanket of ivory shards
That prevent warmth from touching his heart.

This is the way tonight will end-
Lying alone in a narrow bed,
Surrounded by darkness that he'll always have,
Crying and screaming and no sound comes out
As life revolves around somebody else
As, forgotten, he waits in vain for God
To remember his pitiful cries in the night
Of forgiveness, remorse, pleading for closure...

This is the way you'll remember me-
Lonely and bloodshot, searching for someone
That only existed in my fantasies.
And so, as I lay here in the night,
Wind drifting over my legs,
Try not to mourn for me.
Don't cry, don't be angry, don't pity or hate me...
Just leave me be in death as in life-
Alone and silent, despite this desperate screaming
That never quite goes away.
This is the way my existence will end-
Buried silently in the endless drifts
That life never allowed my soul to quite touch...
My frozen hands grasping tiny crystals
That pass through faster the tighter I grip
While the cold grips my limbs, worming its
Steely grip toward my heart...

Steel fences...
Steel benches...
Benchwarmer...
(but I'm oh so cold now...)

2-21-99


Asylum

Look at you talking to me
Through wire-crossed glass in the door
(you hardly visit anymore)
Are you ashamed of what you see?

A pitiful figure curled in the corner-
Half-open eyes with black bags under,
Cower in terror whenever there's thunder...
Will you still be here in the morning?

You say you want me to be happy-
The pills and the therapy don't help at all
(It was spring when I came here, they say it was fall)
Why the hell did you leave me trapped?

Time doesn't have any meaning in here
Days pass by and I don't make a sound
Years pass and still my mind is not found...
Can anyone show me that which I fear?

Open the doors and show me the way-
Lead me astray with your venom-tinged lies,
Force me to open my long-sleeping eyes
I wanted asylum... and here shall I stay.

2-3-99


Cloud Cover

Dust on the mirror, dust on the floor,
Lingering footsteps lead to the door.
Windowpane shattered, light falling through-
Blood on the edges, my life for you.

People lingering out by the street,
Blood flows gently now, staining the sheet.
Music uncaring floats in the air-
My life for you, but you're never there.

"Time heals all wounds," you say... what do you know?
Blood courses downward, silent and slow.
Wide-open eyes stare up at the stars-
My life for you, but it won't heal the scars.

Blood on the mirror, blood on the floor,
Crimson-stained footsteps lead to the door.
My body dying, the sands passing through-
My blood on your hands, my life for you.

1-25-99


Didn't We Just Leave This Party?

Picture postcards never mailed
Of picture-perfect lives that aren't
Take a drink and laugh a little
Watch the kids in the sand castle
As it washes into the sunset
Listen to your transistor radio
When it sings of false love
When it lies to you about the weather
When it cries as you lay sleeping

Murmured farewells from the lounge chairs
Cloudy shrapnel flying from the Budweiser bottles
I throw at you before you laugh
"I thought we were going on vacation"
You pick up the phone and call the police
While the fat-ass hides in his room
The party will begin again
Once I'm out of the drunk tank

10-22-98



Falling Down (again)

I laugh at you in the mirror;
You're bleeding all over the place.

You say you're sorry but I know you're a liar.
You want to change but you're really a coward.
You want this all to end
But this is the show that never ends -
(it just goes on and on my friend)
And you're the star.

The clippers can't erase who you are.
The clothes can't mask the humiliation
That you feel when you walk across campus.
They all laugh at you;
You've always known it.
Have you ever cared?

The show must go on,
Do your little song and dance
And hold your little .22 revolver to your temple at night
And dry-fire until dawn
Because you don't have the guts to disappoint Mom.
Just endure the agony,
Put on a brave face and smile -
The cameras are watching.

10-22-98



Vanishing Point

I want to be alone
I need to have a friend
I surely am depressed again
I can't see where it ends.
I want to tell the truth
I need to tell you lies
I surely have to walk away
I just can't say goodbye.
I hope that you'll forgive me
I pray that God will hear
And if He's truly listening -
So far, and yet so near.
I want to be alone
I need to bring an end
I surely can't go on like this -
Please let me go, my friend.

10-22-98



Forgotten

Wandering 'round these same four white walls
Voices echoing out in the hall -
White straps restrain me,
White pills becalm me,
White padding so I'm not hurt when I fall.

Beating my head on these same four white walls
Voices screaming, carrying all -
Dark thoughts enrage me,
Dark demons change me,
White leaves no shadows to which I can crawl.

Suffer in silence behind these white walls
The voices are gone now, vanishing all -
The silence consumes me,
The terror won't leave me,
White, endless white, never answers my calls.

Left here to die behind these four white walls
Blood running freely from out in the hall -
Soon he will come for me,
Soon he'll be done with me,
White snow to scarlet, the mighty shall fall.

Snow-covered tundra outside these four walls
Wind shrieking crazily, silencing all -
White washes over me,
Whiteness consumes me...
Wandering 'round these same four white walls.

10-22-98



My Falling Angel

On her wings she carries my soul
But on my soul she carries her burden -
This falling angel, no longer pure
As a snow-covered meadow,
Is all I know anymore.
Will she leave me and fly away?
Will she stay and fall into the abyss?
Will she touch my hand,
Or just blow me a kiss?

This falling angel, rising to meet my gaze
Then looking away...
She asks me why I do these things
When I know that I'm dying;
I ask her to stay a while
And drift with me between the clouds
So I won't feel so alone anymore.
But she leaves me, my falling angel,
She turns and flies away.

My fallen angel, what will become of me
Now that the burden is all my own?
I closed my eyes before you fell;
I didn't see where you landed,
I didn't know if you cared.
But I'm all alone now, nobody to balme but me
And the voices in my mind.
The voices that cry out for my falling angel...
And find only myself.

10-12-98



Picture Postcards (for the Blind)

Can't you see it's what we feared;
Can't you tell it's who I am?

It doesn't mean much to you
But it means the world to me.
I can't stand it, living this lie
When you know perfectly well what I'm planning.

You look at me from across the table
And a smile peeks out for a moment.
I look back down at the paper and say nothing
Picking at the burnt bacon on my plate.

Can't you see what it's done to me;
Can't you tell where this life is ending?

I hang up the phone and lay on the couch in tears
That are never shed;
I only hoped that you would notice me...

Spent all my time and I've
Spent all my money and I've
Never found the happiness that could save me.
Now all I've got is the morning paper
And the bacon
And the half-smile that I'll never see again.

Can't you see?
Can't you tell?

10-2-98



Over Again

The clouds feel like winter;
You never smile anymore
Staring out the car window
As the would-be wilderness rolls by.
I turn on the radio
They're playing your favorite song
But your eyes don't hear it.
You always said I was home to you
Now you're so far away
With a bottle in one hand
And a drink in the other
And an arm's length across the Caddy
Is a distance I can't travel.
You look up but the light
Never catches your eyes.
You say you're so very tired,
And can we stop for the night.
But the road never ends,
Just the same miles traveled
Over and
Over and
Over and
Over again.
I pull into a parking lot
Check us into a motel
And watch you stare at yourself in the mirror
Looking for answers to forgotten questions.
Rhyme and reason have taken a long vacation
Sound and fury are right outside the doors.
You and I sit in opposite corners
As I kill the lamp
Listening to the moths fluttering by the streetlight.

7-31-98



Vacancy

I'm renting space inside my mind,
But no one seems to like it -
But come inside and you may find
The reasoning behind it.
The empty hallways that I keep,
The disrepair that follows -
The empty bed in which I sleep,
The cold and lonesome hollows.

The laughter echoes in my brain -
Or just imagination?
I surely think that I'm insane -
Perhaps just deprivation...
At times it is so clear to me,
The sidewalk, where it's going -
But other times I cannot see,
And feel my heartbeat slowing...

11-20-97



Fire Eye

I don't know her
(how can I know anyone)
But I think I love her
(how do I love anyone)
And I only hope she'll notice me
(though I'll never deserve it)
But I think I'll run away if she does.
(and 'running away never solved anything')
Only my eye sees
(peering around the fire's edge)
The perfection I wish to behold
(the flames getting closer)
She's so beautiful -
(fires dancing all around)
But she'll never notice me...
(as the inferno consumes me...)

11-23-97



April Clouds

Springtime has come to me today
With the loving embrace of a winter storm-
It assaults me with images of the past
That I can hide from no longer.

The death of a man -
Not a good man, not a bad man, just my father-man -
On a lonely stretch of road in Idaho fifteen years ago.
The steering wheel hit his chest so hard
That it stopped his heart
And it's stopping mine too.

The death of a hope
That things might get better someday
Once I escape from under their crushing weight-
And now,
Six years afterward,
Nothing's changed -

The act of a desperate boy looking for
The smile of a goddess to flash on him for
Just barely a moment...
And sacrificing any peace of mind he had
In that vain attempt to find love.

Springtime comes and goes,
And every time it takes a piece of me with it
And there's not a lot left now...

4-13-98



Leaving On a Paper Airplane

Writing from this paper airplane
Burning above the thunderheads
I can't see my home from here
I can't see you anymore
And that's how I want it to be.

Gazing from this paper airplane
As it spirals and tumbles in the storm
I can see what I've missed
And all the things I want to be
And I grip the wings in my hands
Ignoring the burning paper for just a moment.

Turning this paper airplane into the wind
I fight to get my feet back on the ground
Because nobody can fly forever
And all the life is below the cloud cover.

Leaving on a paper airplane
Leaving this endless grey storm
Flying toward the ground
And the sunlight everyone else feels
Because it's my time now
And I'm telling you goodbye.

7-13-98



Oblivion

Lost in the darkness
Of another summer
Waiting for a break in the night.
Sunny days never cheer me,
They just make my head ache.
Time off is spent sleeping
When I'm not very tired.
I can't talk to my friends
When they're all drunk.
It's a summer of alienation
Spent waiting for oblivion
To come and take me from here.

6-9-98



Forever

Forever isn't very long -

Only the time it takes to lose a childhood
Or the eternal space between people a table apart.

Forever is in that tension in your neck
When infants cry
And glass shatters
And voices shout without meaning to.

Forever is when the sun always rises
But the day never comes,
Only an endless twilight.

Forever is when you say
"Leave me alone"
When all you want is the company of another.

Forever is waiting for your friends
As they are becoming acquaintances.

Forever is praying to God
For just an answer
To years-old pleas.

Forever is your mother saying
"I love you..."
And nothing ever changes.

Forever is every short street you drive down.
Forever is the love you'll never have.
Forever is the person you'll never be.
Forever...

... is me.

6-8-98



Neighbors

It's a real fixer-upper, isn't it?
This empty space where my soul lived
With termites and cobwebs and water damage
From all the tears I couldn't cry.
It used to be a good place
But then the neighborhood got bad.
Death moved in when I was seven
And his cousins Grief and Depression followed right along.
Not long after came Obesity,
That fat old uncle who won't go away.
(He enjoys home cooking the best,
But he'll eat anything.)
Alcoholism rolled into my life a year later
Driving a shit-green and rust Ford pickup.
Terror and his roommate Paranoia came next
And we hung out a lot for the next several years.
I met Desperation for the first time when I was fourteen.
She cut my wrist
(just a tiny mark)
And smiled at me with those sharp, pearly teeth.
Crimson-haired Loneliness and her lover Silence
Broke one of the beds one night.
Rage moved into the attic and nailed the door shut.
(We only hear him when he stops shouting.)
Self-Esteem got locked in the closet -
Did we ever let him out?
And all the rooms got trashed because of the drunken fights.
Suicide paid a brief visit,
Threw me a surprise party with Desperation's help,
And seduced beautiful Silence before he left.
Loneliness reached out to Desperation in search of something
That neither could ever hope to find...

Now most have moved out -
Death leaves me pretty much alone
Although he sometimes visits my family.
Grief left a long time ago,
But Depression is a frequent house guest.
Obesity still lives here, but I just don't pay attention anymore.
Alcoholism got a Suburban and lives on the other side of town.
Terror and Paranoia stay with him most of the time
But visit me on occasion, just to let me know that they still care.
Desperation and I have grown apart over the years,
Although we still chat now and again.
Loneliness is a frequent companion,
But Silence tries to avoid my company
(I don't think she likes me anymore).
Rage is taking his medication
And he's trying not to punch holes in the walls anymore.
Self-Esteem actually poked his head out of the closet recently.
Suicide writes threatening letters,
Never actually stopping by.
And the big news is that
My soul might actually move back in someday.
It's a real fixer-upper, isn't it?
I'm going to have to change that.

6-5-98



Wave

Come drift away with me...
Just reach out your hand to find
The answers to all you'll never know.
Touch me in the moonlight
And we'll be off into the night
Bound for yesterday until tomorrow never comes
Let my waters take you
Into out embrace under the waves
And you'll never need your air again
Everything you are
Will become everything you desire
Everything you hold dear
Will fall away from your truth
As I hold you in my forever arms
And whisper gurgling in your ears.
I'll tell you that I love you
And I'll never leave you
And you'll never love anyone again
Like I love you tonight and forever
Or until the morning...
Whichever comes sooner.

5-18-98



On My Porch

On my porch I see her walk by...
Can't look her in the eye.
I just sit strumming my guitar,
Admiring from afar.
She doesn't know just how I feel,
I don't know if she's real...
Suicide Kings never go home;
We'll always be alone.

On my porch I see her again...
She's driving me insane.
Just one look in her smiling eye
And then I want to cry.
I didn't mean to scare her so,
But I can't let her go...
Suicide Kings can't see the light;
We haven't earned the right.

On my porch falls the blue moonlight...
She's beautiful tonight.
But how I feel, she'll never know...
And I'm ready to go.
Don't know who I'm supposed to be,
I don't know if I'm free...
This Suicide King just wants a friend
As exile nears it's end.

4-28-98



The Suicide King

Sitting on his porch
The Suicide King watches life pass him by
As he hums nothing tunes
And doesn't bother waving to anyone.
He sets his guitar across his lap
And absently strums the only tune he knows
(something he stole from the Floyd),
Saying to nobody that "Today is beautiful
Dammit, and somebody ought to notice!"

But nobody notices the Suicide King
And his kingdom is ruined and crumbled
With a 2.3 GPA and a '71 Cadillac
And a head full of memories that won't leave him be.
He hums to himself with imperfect pitch
And plays his out-of-tune guitar
And waits for the voices inside to fall asleep
So he can have one moment of clarity.

The Suicide King pops open a beer
(Two Dogs tastes just like childhood)
And watches the people go by in an endless parade
Just like the one he used to be part of,
With the drum cadence thrumming over and over.
He raises a toast to everyone he's left behind
And throws the half-empty bottle at an old friend
Who claims it's alcohol abuse.

And when the day comes to a close
The parade goes home to watch TV,
To eat another tasteless supper and
Have another worthless fight
And go to bed with another parade the next morning
After their nightmares drive sleep from their eyes.
The Suicide King sits on his porch
And holds his guitar that's out of tune
And waits for the next day's parade.

4-22-98



Walking Away

I'm walking away from my life today
Because it's not faithful to me...
I'm walking away from all I know;
It's not what I wanted to be.
I'm not talking much of what I have,
I won't be staying very long...
Tomorrow you'll come looking for me,
And then you'll realize that I'm gone.

I'm walking away from the life I know;
I just don't want it anymore.
I'll need but a few minutes to pack,
And fifteen at the corner store.
I'm leaving this note for you because
I don't want you to worry so...
I'll be all right wherever I land -
I beg you now, please...
Let me go.

3-31-98



Unsent Letter

I got your letter today.

Your Aunt Laura brought it over at lunchtime.
She said she found it by a box of stuffed animals
Tipped over in your garage.

The envelope was addressed and stamped
But never got to the Post Office,
Its message far too important for uncaring hands.

I thanked her and sat at the dining room table,
Watching shadows crawl across the floor
And waiting for the five-o'clock news.

No mention was made of you.

I read your letter as our dinner sat cold in the oven.
Tucked in the envelope was the necklace I gave you
And the cubic zirconium I so wished was real.

Your words were always more eloquent than mine.
You wrote of the young girl
And how you could no longer exist without her.

You wrote of the rafters
And the sturdy rope your dad kept in the garage
And how tall the box was that you kept your childhood in.

I can see you when I close my eyes.

Your dad called right before 'Seinfeld'.
He told me that the funeral was on Saturday
And that you would have wanted me to be there.

I told him 'thank you' and hung up the phone
And idly flipped through channels all night
With the television unplugged.

Before sunrise I walked into my garage
And got out a coil of sturdy rope
And tied one end to the rafters.

I hope you get my letter soon.

3-31-98



My Heart in My Hand

I'm standing here with my heart in my hand,
Waiting for you to understand me.
With the sacrifices of blood we've both made -
The dying words of a young boy
And the cold blue eyes of a young man -
We should have seen something by now.
Some change in the other,
Some end to this forever stalemate -

I'm standing here waiting for you to speak
Because it's been so long since I used my own voice.
I'm waiting for you to wash the blood
Off of our hands because it's killing us.
I cannot move now... I've bled too much.

I'm lying here waiting for the end of it all -
These sacrifices were just too much...
The dying words of a young man
Don't amount to much when he's the murderer
Of the young boy he once was

3-29-98



Sketches of You

I keep an old notebook in a dresser drawer
Beat up and torn and abused
Because it reminds me of you.
It reminds me that our lives can be filled
With sharp images of living
Or with the dull sketches of loneliness.
It reminds me that when all colors of light
Are blended into one, it makes white.
When you close your eyes, you won't see black...
You just won't see anything,
The cover will be closed forever.
There's room for confusion in the wide-ruled pages
Because there's also room for answers
Or for sad poetry
Or for love letters never sent to the one
I so dearly wish knew of my devotion.
There's room for whatever you can imagine.
I can make paper airplanes,
Pass phony notes in the classroom,
Keep a diary of my most intimate secrets
And burn it when I'm through.
Or I can leave it in the drawer for another day
And go on with my existence.
Or I can open it up and write new passages
Or think about the old scribbles and laugh
Or cry over the unchanged past.

I keep an old notebook in a dresser drawer
Because it reminds me of myself
And why some days I want to die
And why on others I want to go on.

3-24-98



Before Our Time

Before I could think
But now I just drink
And I'm coming apart at the seams...
The coffee cup's cold,
I'm feeling so old
And I never remember my dreams.
I sit here alone
Next to the pay phone
In a place by the Interstate.
I wait for my friend
I wait for the end
I'm waiting for the hand of Fate.

I'll buy her a beer,
Ask what she's doing here
Like we're still just a couple of friends.
She'll light up a smoke
And she'll crack an old joke
And we'll both laugh like we're on the mend.
But we both know inside
We've got too much to hide
And there's never enough time to talk...
She looks at the sky
And the trucks going by
And says that she's taking a walk.

I pay up the bill
'Cause I've eaten my fill
And I offer to stroll alongside.
We walk in the night
Just before the dawn's light
And in her I can finally confide.
The traffic flows by
Barely blinking an eye
As we stand on the overpass edge-
We talk of lost days
And her eyes hold my gaze
And then we jump, keeping our pledge.

3-23-98



Slowly Fading

This is the way it was meant to happen
And this is the way it's always been
One hand holding a plastic wrapper
And the other one dumping out a trash can
All over a freshly-cleaned floor
That no one but me has ever set foot on

This is the happiest time of my life
And I've no one at all to share it with
Nobody waiting anxiously for a phone call
And no one staring at a computer screen
To share these feelings with

This is the empty room I sleep in
With shades drawn and door locked
And a half-present self there, mostly
Writing empty lines of poetry
And waiting for the inevitable silence
Of the dark telephone

This is what dying a little at a time means
This life is fading away from me in pieces
I don't remember much now
I don't remember the last touch I felt
Or the last words of comfort I heard
Or those weeks in the hospital
When I swore that I'd never feel this way again

This is a place I don't recognize anymore
With hostile faces in the halls
And whispering shadows on the walls
And no one listening to my calls
This was always meant to happen again
Because this is how it's always been

3-10-98



Where the Light Won't Find You

There's a place somewhere
Where the light won't find you
A place where you can hide
From the eyes of the day

Somewhere you can run to
When it all feels too much
And you can't do anything
To stop the assault

There's a place somewhere
Where you'll never be alone
Where all the pain of living
Can be locked outside

There's a room somewhere
Where the light won't find you
With curtains and padding
And bars on the windows

Two arms to hold you
Protect you from the world outside
And from the enemy within
And the pills that are supposed to help

A bed in the corner
That they tie you down to at night
Because they are afraid
You might hurt yourself

Somewhere, the light can't find you
And as soon as I know where it is
We'll take a trip there together
Because it's been far too long

We'll go there at night
And play in the fountains
And then look at the faraway stars
From the roof of the parking garage

We'll eat greasy food
And laugh as we run down the streets
One step ahead of the past
And matching strides with tomorrow

And we'll piss off the cops
Throw bricks through storefront windows
Before hiding in my Cadillac
And crying all night

And in the hours before dawn
I'll take you back to where the
Light can't find you anymore
And lay you down on the narrow bed

You look so small lying there
Pale from your endless darkness
I want to hold your hand but
The straightjacket won't let me

There's a place somewhere
Where the light won't find you
A place where I can hide my eyes
From another day

2-23-98



In Absentia Spero (In the Absence of Hope)

Something in the water, maybe...
Or maybe something in the blood.
Something keeps you here,
Staring at these four white walls
Waiting for your quiet response.

This isn't where you wanted to go...
And you're not who I wanted to be.
You and I have travelled this path together
But alone; this silence is terrifying -
You were always so strong before...
And I never knew just how weak I am alone.

Something got away from you, didn't it...
Something I never knew you had,
Something you never wanted to keep...
Something that I hoped would be enough-

But it's not helping now
And the blood is thin and cold...
Despite what they say, blood
Was never thicker than water-
I just kept it hidden well until now.

You and I have travelled this path together
But now we must part ways-
The unspoken words will never be said
And, meaningless now, fade into the darkness.
That is the absence of hope...

2-16-98



Dying To Find

I'm looking for something and I
Don't know where I left it...
Is it under the bed with all the dust bunnies
Which have died of loneliness?
Buried under the reams of unwritten stories
Lying scattered on the floor?
No - it is not here now,
I've lost the very thing I was dying to find...

And it's killing me again,
Faster and faster it strips my breath
And my life away from me
Until all that remains are lonesome remnants
Of poetry and loss...

Why do I come here? Why have I returned?
That which I seek is not to be found...
It hides in the places I fear to go,
In the mind of a seven-year-old boy
Dying to find a father...
In the mind of a twelve-year-old
Dying to find himself...
In the mind of a young man of sixteen
Dying for the love of a girl
Who could never love him back...

Words, only words are left now
As the darkness encroaches upon this lonely outpost
Deep in the only place I know is safe...
All alone in the night
I'm dying to find a meaning for anything...

2-9-98



Everyone Says...

Everyone says they're sorry,
Everyone says they care,
Everyone gives a handshake
But I'm not really there.
Holding a glass of bourbon
And smiling hollow smiles,
I look through darkened windows
Thinking of you a while.

Everyone thinks I'm sorry
Everyone thinks I care
But in my mind I'm dying
Under this shell I wear.
Drinking won't bring the feelings,
Cigarettes never end -
They all send looks of worry
But I don't think I'll mend.

Everyone says don't worry
Everyone says so long
They drive off into the night
But no one heard this song.
A tumbler held in one hand
A pistol tightly griped
A lonely place of memories
A record's endless skip -

A lifetime never realized,
A promise never kept
I sit alone in darkness
With eyes that never wept,
Set down the glass of bourbon
And watch the endless night
And think of all I've left undone
And pull the trigger tight.

1-9-98



Stop the World (i want to get off...)

I hear the thunder
And knocking at the door.
Open the portal,
A cast shadow on my floor.
Why have you come here?
And why did you deceive?
(ive always been here,
and you can never leave)

Don't take your coat off,
And please don't have a seat -
You weren't invited,
My day's by far complete.
I've friends to talk to,
Counselors to confide -
(and whiskey at home
for when you run and hide)

I'm doing fine now -
There's no need for concern.
I've no sharp objects,
And nothing I can burn.
Prescription capsules
are no longer around -
(a phone call away
from where your body's found)

Get out of my house -
Leave me the hell alone!
I'll call the police,
I'm picking up the phone!
(theyll never listen
already said and done
when they find the body
its 'just another one')

Get away from me!
I've made my decision -
I'm going to live...
(you made the incision)
I don't want to die,
I'm trying to go on...
(and thats your mistake
youre already too far gone)

I can't feel my legs...
The carpet's such a mess...
These matters right now -
Trivial, I confess...
(theyre what brought you here
safe and sound here with me
ill never hurt you
cause im setting you free)

My breath is slowing...
The light is fading out...
There's no strength to yell
And who would hear the shout?
Not that it matters...
They never cared before...
(and none will notice
the body on your floor)

Please stop this spinning...
(should have thought that before)
... don't want to do this...
(you need endure no more)
... someone please ... help me...
(dont fight... ill make it fast)
... someone... help...
(and ill have you at last)

12-8-97



untitled

Things are pretty quiet around here now...
The storm is fading into the twilight,
Lightning playing between the thunderheads
Like children under their parents' watchful gaze.
The rain has quieted, thunder only a murmur
Whispering soft reassurances to my mind.

Things are pretty quiet around here now...
The rickety porch is still wet with rain
As I sit in the still evening air.
I look up at the stars through a gap in the clouds
And wonder where you have gone,
And why you left me here alone...

Things are pretty quiet around here now
Although I wish so dearly that they were not.
I wonder why I still hear your voice
Even after you have been lowered into your grave...
I wonder if I could have changed places with you,
Or if it would have mattered at all.

12-3-97



Help

Help is a person we all want to meet;
Maybe one day you'll pass on the street,
And look in the eyes of the person you found-
But, in a moment, there's no one around.
Help disappears with the vanishing faces;
But maybe it hides in those secret places
We never admit to ourselves we possess.
Maybe it realizes that we obsess
Over trivial matters, unable to cope
With the simplest problems, hating to hope
Tomorrow might be better than today-
Disappointment seems the only way.

Help is among us, but just waiting to see
If we want to be helped, want to be free
Of this personal prison we all know-
Depression its name, out eternal foe.
Help can be ours if only we find
The strength held within, the strength of the mind.
The power of hope over desperation-
To reach out for comfort, accept consolation.
Those cold, dark spaces within our own heads-
I know that they make us all wish we were dead.
But help can be found if we can only see...
Just say to yourself, 'That person is me.'

12-1-97
This is for shttrd and everyone else from the Posting Place. Don't ever stop looking for help, because it's out there... and in there as well.



Color Scheme

Somewhere between blue and grey I found you-
Lingering near the railing, looking over,
Alone, isolated, desolate,
The promise of hope flown long ago.
I grasped your hand, a flash of color and smoke-

And the world appeared anew,
Filled with color and edge,
No two objects the same-
We were there together in
A realm of possibility-

But colors fade in the sun,
Wash away with the rain,
Wander with the leaves down
Empty autumn streets
As the day fades from sight
And the evening blurs all colors into two-

Somewhere between blue and grey I lost you-
Standing at the edge,
Alone, unheard, desperate
For the promise of anything...
I opened my hand, let you go,
The light fading from dying eyes
As you vanished into the darkness
Between blue and grey...

11-16-97



untitled

"Keep it clear," they say;
"Keep it in focus."
I used to trust them and their words...
but that was a long time ago.

They don't see through my eyes.
They never see the flames chasing me,
Ravaging my soul before their eyes.
They don't see the inferno;
it's just a "bad day."

They don't know what to listen for.
They can't hear the screams echoing in my mind,
Rattling around like a ball bearing in a can,
Or a match in a gas tank.
They don't hear the cries that escape me;
it's only the wind in the trees.

They don't see the blood that follows me,
Dripping from faucets, flowing between the tiles,
Covering everything I touch and see.
They don't see, even as they walk through it;
all they see is rain.

They don't see the dead who follow me,
Crouching in shadows at noon, around the corner,
Watching me as if I can stop their pain.
How can I stop theirs, how can I help anyone,
if I can't help myself.

11-2-97



untitled

Some are born to earthly light;
Some are born to endless night.
Some go on to greater things;
Some will never earn their wings.

Some create a perfect world;
Others watch their own unfurl.
Some will live to see the morn -
I wish I was never born.

Some have purpose in this life;
Some have nothing but the strife.
Some go on to greater things;
I dread what the morning brings.

Some sit, watching grass grow tall;
Some walk, knowing they will fall.
Some think of their lives so torn -
I wish I was never born.

Some know what tomorrow brings;
Some have nightmares, some have dreams,
Some can't tell between the two -
All I know is I'll see you.

I know what these dead eyes see,
I know what can set me free,
I know how to do these things -
But I haven't earned my wings.

11-2-97



untitled

The dead walk among us,
Their empty eyes stare into me
Whispers of murder and despair
Passing between them,
Through the streets,
Drifting down alleyways,
Flowing into their dulled minds
And empty hands.

The dead walk between us,
Silence their defining feature
Never a word escapes their lips,
Passes between them.
In their thoughts,
"Death is mandatory,"
Why not get it over with?"
And many do.

The dead never rest now,
The murder of self committed,
The meaning of living unknown.
Laying themselves down
With no sound
The earth covers them up,
As if they were never there,
In silence.

10-31-97



untitled

Too many questions, never the answers;
Too many secrets hidden away.
Coming in darkness, cower in sadness,
Too many questions coming today.

Too many people, never a friend, though;
Too many enemies coming for me.
Too many rainstorms drowning my cries;
Too many people who look never see.

Too many thoughts but never to share them,
Too many whispers heard in the hall.
Too many lonely nights barren of sleep,
Too many angry shouts heard through the wall.

Too many voices, furious shouting;
Too many voices inside my brain.
Too many images damaging memory,
Too many impulses drive me insane.

Too many questions, never replying;
Far too much anger and guilt held within.
Too far away, no forgiveness as yet;
Far too much sadness, commission of sin.

Too many questions, never the answers;
Too many sleepless nights taking their toll.
Never forgiven by self or by others,
Too many demons consuming my soul.

10-26-97



Where Has The Feeling Gone?

Where has the feeling gone?
Where is the soul's fire?
Maybe it went to the prom,
Or burns on a funeral pyre.

Where has the laughter gone?
Maybe out to the sea;
Waiting there for something,
Or searching endlessly.

Where has the living gone?
Where are all the smiles?
I see no more laughter,
Among mental denials.

Where has the feeling gone?
Over to the other side?
Can that be it, beckoning me,
to cross now despite my pride?

Where has my spirit gone?
Across that chasm, yawning wide?
If so then I must follow;
By remaining, I have died.

Feeling, laughter, living, spirit,
All lost among the days;
I cannot get them back from here,
Although I know the way.

10-21-97



untitled

It's cold outside today,
The autumn wind carries away
The leaves scattered about;
The leaden air reveals my doubt
Regarding life and joy.
The howling wind works to destroy
All sense of peace in me -
But those around, they never see.

It's dark outside today,
The grey-clad skies cannot convey
The depth of my despair;
My sorrows come, I do not care
For moving through this life.
All anger, hatred, fear and strife -
My soul falls to the earth,
The wretched remnant of my birth.

10-20-97



Mental Inertia

I think it's what I want
I think it's what I need
I think she's very pretty
I know I'm very weak
I think I should be going
I think that I should stay
I think I'm bound for nowhere
Because I know the way
I think the time is coming
I think the time is now
I know the door has opened
And I'll go through somehow
I think she'll never love me
I think she'll never know
I know I'll never tell her
I really have to go

10-14-97



One Foot in the Grave

I'm standing by a hole in the ground.
It's about six feet long
And six feet deep
And big enough for a body.

I've got a shovel in one hand
And a revolver in the other
And a sinking feeling in my mind.

I can't see the bottom.
I can't see ahead.
I can only see the absence of earth,
and the barren ground enveloping it,
and the lack of life,
and it's where I want to be.

I'm standing by a hole in the ground
And I've got one foot in the grave
And it's a long drop
And once I go, I'm gone
And then it's forever...

10-14-97



This Late Night

On this late night are you sleeping,
Or does your slumber escape you?
On this late night are you weeping,
Or do your tears never wake you?
Where do you go, who goes with you?
Are there many? Are you alone?
Where do your footsteps now take you
On this late night, so far from home?

On this late night are you stirring,
In motion just to stay awake?
Are you so afraid of dreaming,
Your sleep you willingly forsake?
Are you lonely, are you frightened?
Are you running, toward or away?
Where do you hope you can run to?
Where do you hope you can stay?

9-28-97



With Your Hands

You picked it up - once when you were young -
And understood it all,
Just for a moment.

You didn't know - holding on so tight -
You just misunderstood
Some of what it meant.

I picked it up - held it in my hands -
I didn't understand
What you'd left for me.

I never knew - 'til it was too late -
I never understood
What you meant to me.

I picked it up - held it with your hands -
And understood it all,
Just for a moment.

9-17-97



untitled

I've got me... who's got you?
Half-alive, passing through.
Looking 'round, stop and stare -
Turning back, nothing there.

I've got me... you've got who?
Time again, what to do?
Living here, poems gone -
Time to go, move along.

I've got me... I've got who?
Emptiness, smoky blue -
Meaningless, barren light -
No more hope, darkened light.

You've got me... I've got who?
Empty arms, nothing true.
Why exist? Why go on?
Time to go - don't belong.

8-20-97



10,000 Hands of Solitaire

I've played ten hands of solitaire today.
I'm not very good; I keep losing,
keep putting the wrong card in the wrong place
and having to start all over again.
I'll get better at it, though; I have my whole life to practice.

I've played fifty hands of solitaire today
and it's not even noon yet.
I'm not very skilled; every time I shuffle
the cards end up all over the table.
I'll get better at it, though; I can practice at night,
after doing my homework and the chores.

I've played a hundred hands of solitaire today.
My hands hurt from the continual shuffle
and redeals I make, trying to win a game just once.
I'm not very professional; sometimes I cheat,
pull a card from the deck out of turn,
for all the good it does me.
I'll get better at it, though; I practice in the dark,
after my family has gone to bed, repeating the motion
of the elusive One-Handed Shuffle to no avail.

I've played a thousand hands of solitaire today.
The blisters and welts on my hands have never healed
because I can't stop playing the game,
shuffling, dealing the cards, flipping them over
just to find that I've lost again.
I cheat at every opportunity now but nothing
helps me become a better player.
I'm no good at the game; I can see this now.
I never have been.
I'll get better at it, though; with this much time invested,
I have little choice.

I've played ten thousand hands of solitaire.
I haven't slept in three days.
I've eaten enough to feed a small army, but
the emptiness remains.
One hand, just one hand won without cheating or peeking
or thinking that everything will be okay if I win just one hand.
Sitting at the kitchen table with a bottle of whiskey
and a chrome revolver
and a Bicycle deck
thinking of how to win just one hand.
Just one hand.
Just one time.
I'll get better at it, though; I have nothing left to lose.

I've played countless hands of solitaire over the years
and now it has come down to the flip of a single card.
If I win I'll keep on playing;
If I lose I'll quit the game forever,
take up something easier
like gardening

I've always loved lilies in the rain

8-11-97



Falling Down

Clearly-stated solutions;
'suicide is a permenent solution to a temporary problem.'
The realization that life is not always
What we want it to be
Is a crushing one;
The perception that we, as individuals,
Will probably never
Change a single thing -
It's terrifying.

I'm terrified.
I'm terrified to get out of my bed in the morning;
I'm terrified to go to bed at night.
I fear what I might hear in the dark.
I hear voices; I never used to,
Only in the past few weeks.
I'm starting to see things, I'm starting
To hallucinate.
Oh God, I'm terrified.

Clearly-stated solutions;
it is not a temporary problem anymore.
The feelings haven't gone away, not yet.
It's been five years now.
I am twenty-one years old and
I've never had a girlfriend.
I've never kissed anybody or held anybody.
I don't know what it's like
To connect to another human being.

I'm terrified.
I'm alone and I'm terrified.
Sleep offers no comfort; food offers no relief.
No rest for the wicked, and all that.
I laugh when nothing's funny,
I cry at the drop of a hat.
The smallest thing sets me off.
Rage eats away at my heart until
There's nothing left.

Clearly-stated solutions;
I'm terrified and there's nothing left.
I'm reunited with
The terrified boy of five years ago,
The second grade child of fourteen years ago,
Because they never left.
She never left.
I never left.
I want to leave.

Clearly stated solution:
I want to leave.

4-2-97



The Drowning

The waters close above me,
This life is pulling me down.
I can't escape myself,
I can't escape you.
Your eyes beckon me to stop,
To stay, to go,
To live, to die.
I can't breathe anymore,
Water has filled my lungs,
This life is slipping out
Into the darkness -
I'm drowning -

3-7-97



Everywhere

I see your face everywhere.
Every day, I see you going by,
See you in a faceless crowd.
I see you in the center of my mind,
The cloth of my dreams,
The sins of my nightmares,
And you watch me.

3-7-97


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This page was created on October 20, 1997.
Last modified on February 10, 2005.