Drop a heart, break a name

Sometimes, I think it’s good to just sit down and write. To take the pressure off of yourself to write an eye-opening poem or a life-altering short story.

Or a novel.

I’m writing a novel. I haven’t told very many people but I guess the internet will know now. Whatever. Maybe it’ll go somewhere — like straight to the top of the best seller’s list. Maybe nobody will ever hear of it. But it’s not going to stop me from writing it.

I haven’t written the entire story yet so don’t ask me if you can read it (or ask me, I might say yes). There’s an outline and I have a general idea about where I want to take it but I’m mostly winging it. I won’t say all of the best things in life come from just winging it, but in my experience a lot of them do. So that’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.

What’s it about? I’m not sure I can give you a great summary yet either but if I had to say something I would say that it’s about self-discovery. And it’s about life. And it’s about forgiveness. And it’s about understanding that sometimes the hardest part of life isn’t learning to let go but rather learning to start over. Or just simply start.

Why am I writing it? Because I can. Because I want to. Because I don’t have anything better to do most evenings. Take your pick. But a lot of the time, when I write a poem or short story or a new chapter I’m writing it to remind someone that they’re tough or loved or not alone or just a hella rad human being.

Sometimes I write something to remind myself of those things too but most of the time I write something because I am inspired by the people around me, those I know personally and complete strangers I occupy the same space as for only a moment and then never again. Sometimes I write because I’m lonely. But then again, aren’t most writers?

We’re the chosen few in this world who get to experience the emotions of others for, through, and with the rest of the people on the planet. At least that’s what I like to believe. But not many people ever get to witness our own raw emotions all the time; my own emotions.

I can write something sad without truly being sad myself. I can write something happy without being overjoyed. And I can get so stuck inside of feeling something sometimes it’s almost unbearable. So I write to get it out. I fill the spaces on the page with words and places just to make it feel like something else. Or make you feel something else.

Everybody’s just a stranger anyway. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to tell everyone how absolutely stunning they are. Sure, a lot of folks think it’s weird and even more of them seem caught off guard when you do that thing where you’re just a decent person with no hidden agenda but I can’t blame anyone for that.

What I can find fault in the human race for is our self-centeredness and how often we take the people around us for granted. We blow off dinner invitations and choose to send phone calls to voicemail and let time go by as if we have an overabundance of it and it will never run out on us.

I find fault in that because sometimes all someone wants from you is your company. A little conversation about nothing. Maybe a taco. Maybe to find another poem in your smile or a new character in the story from your habits. I spend so much time observing and really trying to get to know people because they inspire me so much that I forget not everyone is like that.

If we can’t give something as small as those things to the people in our lives, why do we keep them around?

Not everyone wants to know or even cares that you’re writing a novel. Not everyone thinks what a difference it can make to just ask someone how their day went. Not everyone realizes the impact they have on the people around them with every little thing they do and say.

And that’s okay. Because I see it. I write about it. I feel it when you don’t. And it’s okay. You don’t have to know me. You don’t even have to like me. But it’s not going to stop me from writing.

It will never stop me from writing about you and for you and finding all the words for all the things we never say to each other.


Nostalgia is a dirty liar.

you don’t need to worry about me.
i made this list that details exactly
how i plan to get my sh*t together.
wanna see?

one: embrace the fact that i am a ghost with the same vice
as my father’s father’s father.

two: reforget.

three: shut my mind off & let my heart breathe. forget
all the expensive words i know like pentimento and repentance.

four: take a lot of pictures because a camera remembers everything
you tell it to remember but it never has any ideas of its own.

five: don’t worry about what night of the week it is.

six: curse the planet for being full of large & small cruelties.
thank God all my cruelties are small. don’t be sorry about it.

seven: call my brother just to hear him breathing & refuse
to let him be another empty sound: the sound of a lighter flickering.

eight: some of us are born clumsy with words & careless with love. it’s ok.

nine: understand, my hands are the most stubborn part of me.
they give away my secrets without asking all the time.

i’ve resolved to let them keep giving & allow you
to keep taking what they give.

bad love. i’m never going to give you what you want.
but it won’t stop these stubborn hands from typing.

i’m selfish like that sometimes.

“The whole of life is just like watching a film.”

Wish you were here. I mean, not dead. I mean, not lost on a mountain somewhere. I mean, you know what I mean. I miss talking about coffee or that bar you found in Brooklyn or the right way to eat a Reeses Cup. I can’t sleep anymore. I mean, I don’t sleep anymore. I mean, I won’t sleep anymore. And by the way, you’re supposed to eat the edges off first so then you’re left with the peanut butter-chocolatey middle part to savor. I almost called you last night to tell you I just finished reading some gut-splitting poetry but I remembered that you’re dead. I mean, lost on a mountain somewhere. I mean, you know what I mean. It’s just insomnia and me. Bad knees, your old friends, dead friends, no friends anymore. Burning holes in the night sky. All we wanted was to live like the movies do. How we will both ache when the end credits roll.

To spend Christmas with you

is to pretend we’re catching snowflakes on our tongue even though it’s 72° outside on a cloudless southern night. It’s swinging our arms & legs to make the silhouette of angels in red clay. It’s goosebumps on my arm, the sweet scent of chocolate & pine, blue & green lights twinkling in your eyes.

To find poinsettias boasting blooms of white & burgundy, the fruit that fills the bowl on the table bursting with bright colors & scents–and explain to someone all that bowl once held when the season has passed.

To shout with excitement in the early morning, listen for rain, let tall silver candles light your way back home.

Merry Christmas

The Heart of Life – John Mayer

I wrote a novel about napping in an empty room. Rain falling gently on a cold Sunday afternoon. Hot soup & trying to decide what movie to watch next on Netflix. You call and tell me what the weather’s like where you are. It’s about the same. No surprise there. You promise to come watch movies with me on rainy Sundays in the future. I know my heart will take a break from beating before you do. But I say how glad I am you called anyway & keep the radio on softly after you go.

We’ve been friends for 6 years and all you get is this stupid poem.

will write for hot soup for spare change
for bread from scratch for pounds & pennance
sense silence shelter singles lettuce & tickets
six times three bucks twenty minutes a day
for the rest of my ever lovin’ life
will write mountain tops
will dress nice
will call during dinner just to talk
will carry your smile with me
will write for you
will write poems for you &
more poems for you because
we’re all here
will test time
will get on your nerves
will test patience
will hug you back
will hug you back  x7
will tell you how proud
i am of everything you’ve done
will probably fall asleep
before the party’s over
will write you a sunset
to make up for it
will watch bad movies
will mix bad drinks
will take bad pictures
will make you laugh
will watch you grow
will watch you succeed
will watch you plant love
into every innocent life
you touch
will cry but never admit it
will thank God every night
that you’re around
will cover it up with a smug grin
will step back & let you show
us all how it’s done

The quite things that no one ever knows.

in the anxiety box  we place cigarette butts & old gum wrappers. we place dust, ice chips, and approximately 731 cups of coffee. we place test papers, airplane wings & nervous laughter & sometimes the silence between us. we place distance, crowds, the wisps of air that cause feathers to float & arc. we place skipped meals & checking that the door is locked over & over again. we place the need to have everything perfectly aligned. always. we place overanalyzing conversations, next week’s schedule & next month’s rent. we place the not knowing, the consistent feeling & the best way & the right way & the my way. we place sleepless night after sleepless night after every last damn sleepless night in the anxiety box.

& tonight, even if it’s just for tonight, we burn it.