***Warning: Some Material May Not Be Appropriate For Children***
To Feel Alive
No pistol tastes the same.
is a bourbon-muzzled truth maker;
as those night terrors
of a columned world around me
as real as self-inflicted regret;
so familiar in my hand,
and cold on my tongue;
on the way down.
Dog Barking at 4 a.m. on a Wednesday Morning
What stirs us from these warm shallows
where daily thoughts and worries trickle
into visions of melting faces and debt-be-
Intruder? Cat burglar? Here to steal away
the cat hair and still lingering smell of cat
piss left on this football armchair, from a
time when I couldn’t tell Kirstin no?
No. This house is silent of cat burglars and
thieves out to meet their rapture. But Keela’s
muffled, halfhearted calls into the night do
not fall upon deaf ears.
Does she know that I’m awake? Would my
dog child even care? Would she nuzzle my
tired hand if I were to stumble out into the
darkness and ask ‘what’s the matter?’
Perhaps she is having the same dreams as
me; free on the path that leads up through
the field where we walk for the view of
passing cars and ripe rolling hills. Free from
the debts of life, where slavery is an empty
dog dish and a sharp pile of unpaid bills.
**Selected as a Finalist in the 43rd New Millennium Awards for Poetry and Published by New Millennium Writings
How could you not see
that I was dying;
stumbling by with a
loaded bottle to my brain,
speaking to you in whispers,
about me in tongues,
dragging my anger behind
me like a dead dog on a leash?
I was tall when I was crawling,
but you stepped right over me
like a crack in the sidewalk.
Dying in the Light
The shadows here are tall and mean.
A darker version of myself, armed and just
as dirty; stretching out towards home, or
freedom, or forgiveness; only to fall short
of that salvation.
A dark angel beside me, who looks like me,
who moves like me, but is able to bend along
these desert walls, hugging to the cover of
concrete and marble, if it wants to;
or fearless, poking out into the open streets;
daring poor bastards to fire, to expose their
hidden intentions, to invite in that kind of
death and destruction.
My shadow is a cold-blooded warrior;
faceless and stern. But in the heat of a flaring
sun, he still catches me when I fall.
**Published by Veterans Writing Project in 0-Dark-Thirty Vol. 4 No. 4
To be the Westward Sky at Sunset
I want to be
the westward sky
at sunset, when
blues melt and trickle,
drip into fire, burn red
and glow orange;
warming to the eyes,
like wool mittens
in Montana’s winter,
when frost nipped
fingers go numb, tingle,
and turn pale white;
white as the sun streams
that break free from
the covering grey clouds,
when thunderheads build
over prairie-dog plains
and rocket through the sky
a web of busted dreams;
like when she twisted
this ring from her finger
and set it down on white paper,
as empty as the six syllables
that filled it:
“I have to find myself,” it said.
And just as frankly, off she went
into the west fading sun.
**Published by GFT Press in GFT Presents: One in Four Vol. 1 Issue 2
The Pistol on My Nightstand
I wake, fist clenched and damp.
The reflection of headlights, like flares
across my room, catch the fading words
of some lost sentence. Such a strange voice,
scared and mean; I haven’t heard it’s tone
But now, eyes blinking and confused; there is
no sand, no sun, no warm wind stinging at my
cheeks. In the mixed glow of a quarter moon
and red alarm, I search the corners of my room.
But I see no threat, no danger; only a ceiling fan
buzzing low and sheets heavy, binding at my ankles.
To my left, mounted to the wall, my gun rack,
made of oak and cherry when I was a boy. The
different calibers make shadows like fingers
reaching out for me.
Under my mattress sticks a blade fixed to a
wooden handle. And at times I test its angle,
try its slicing steel; I feel for it before I sleep.
But on these nights, when thunder creeps in
from the West and shakes these walls, pulling
me from my past, I reach for the pistol on my
nightstand, feel its weight, its power, its comfort.
I pull the slide to the rear, let it go, hear the
clink of metal on brass and chamber a round.
I imagine the cavity in your chest; blood and
flesh burnt; pearl shards of bone; life smoking
from your holes; death; justice.
Then, barefoot and shirtless, I walk this house
armed until the morning sun.
**Published by Shipwreckt Books in Lost Lake Folk Opera Vol. 4 No. 1
Tequila by Ten
It’s no surprise that we didn’t
bother getting dressed;
we are more alive when we are
And how wild we are drunk dancing
to the rhythm of deep laughter.
Your bare breasts tango in the
I simply cannot get enough of
the woman that you are.
Body shots of a tequila
and in my eyes, you are
Shadows in the Lamplight
The night is nothing more than
bad imagery and perspective:
Beer bottles loom like tombstones,
marking where dead worries lie.
Their shadows lean crooked and
bent by the dim lamplight. A heavy
head to a dirty pillow on a dog
haired couch; what cares have I?
And if it wasn’t so damned cliché, I’d
admit that she broke my humbled heart.
But in this moment of stale air and hatred,
the truth is easier to see; I broke it myself.
**Published online by The American Journal of Poetry Vol. 2
How to Hold Your Head Up
Stop watching where your feet go.
Aimless steps into the shadows
of a burnt out hallway light,
too high to reach,
too high to care,
tripping over angled hurdles placed there
by a careless moon; gilded
in the darkness
for the lost to find;
armored, and shinning for your curses
and flying stones.
Aim high when you’re desperate.
Pot shots at the moon, at the sun,
both too bright for your dark thoughts.
Angry haymakers wild at a wall
that is there
to hold up
the shell that you are.
And now you swing holes into it,
like a lunatic
aiming to break,
Cold on the dark floor, you look up for help.
**Published by Edify Publications in Edify Fiction Vol. 1 Issue 2