you are an occasion

you do not need

an occasion to

be celebrated.

you are an occasion:

an event, an unfolding,

a unique record of time

& space & words & cells &

growing & wonder & terror

all wrapped up in love

& beauty and spinning at

the speed of a miracle.



this book

ice columns

ice columns build in
secret, under cover of
night—-where hard and
soft merge, thousands of
miles from where families of
mesas converge; between time-
smoothed tables, dragon-flies sew
their sighs. i stand apart as a singular
out-line, bending to the will of the wind,
watching my obsessions maturing. this book
cannot be its own source; every thing must come
from some thing: on this auto-mated path to death,
i am honored by the fiber-glass food-chain of my life.

face formation

alone with you


your arms around me, like a

tree; a thousand words unsaid,

passed tight between.

all the right words,

all the non-sounds i’m

climbing to hear.

with enough time,

any thing could


with you, all

things feel


an elemental joy-

ful-sad-ness holds,

tremors on the edge of

need in clear

view of


i drive away, drive you

away, drive away from

my true self.


arrive alive


always driving,
always moving,

running to meet point-less
dead-lines, absurd expectations:

rushing, rushing to our graves.

this time i happen
to be headed south,

past neon signs with casualties
counted and engraved:

657 so far this year;

past the severed alligator, under
the glassy big-brother eyes,

funneling down to the edge,
straight into the heart of

gun-shaped dread. i’ll wait until
i get there to start drinking,

numbing away all the things waiting to bite,
until the laughing takes us right into the

crying. it’s all the same out-
pouring in the mind’s eye,

tucked up on that cloud
shelf in the revolving sky;

just harder to put your finger on.

pieces of memory paste themselves
together as i maneuver in and out of states:

last words, last touches, collages of conversations
from ten, twenty years ago, from count-less lives ago—

before we knew what we were be-coming;
before we knew how it would all end.

i keep looking over at my girl sleeping safely
on the seat beside me. my eyes are wide prayers.

the bittersweet dark is settling in as we
arrive alive under the last exhale of sun;

arrive to your absence, to the stomping pulse
of grief running through your girls,

to the very same places where we
once romped and rallied for joy.



20150708_210010 (1)
do not be afraid of the bliss,
the tender-wristed trembling


fill it;
fill it up

with the hallowed
breath given from

the deep-
down hollow.

open it up like the
gift that it is,

and let it

without knowing
what’s next,

the next breath,
the catch.

stop running from
your own pleasure.

cross the pond of numb,
to the other side;

swing wide your lantern
of shadow-light,

let it burn long miles
into the night.

stop running
from the free:

from the carved-out
space of be.

stop breaking
into slavery—

again and again,

saying: take me,
tie me to the post,

to the tree, to this
prison of madness.

what is this moment?
what is it worth?

what is it?
this this?

it is every-thing:

it carries you, tired child—up,
up the spiral stair-case to bed.


sun wing 2

the longer you stay away,

the harder it is to return.


six degrees of separation

become six millenniums.


you take the long way home—

kicking up sun dust,


rust on your wheels, the

spindle of your spine


still turning to look back,

to keep weaving. your solar


plexus is on a slow-burn, couched

between your procured wings;


every thing is buzzing

on auto pilot


as you bring your ship in

through the streaks of dusk:


as you follow the yellow slick string

tying together this runway to infinity.


the leaving and the coming back is

a call and response you cannot


refuse—like falling on a cusped bruise:

you feel your flight from the inside out,


sitting cross-legged in your own sky, playing

pick-up-sticks with the long tender lines of light.

sun wing 1

Photographs by Joe Occhuzzio

to be

To be, or not to be: that is the question…
To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come…


a new day is here, tiny bits of
fireflies from last night still caught in
my mind, still flitting, nudging at my
hands and feet and eyes, and saying:

wake up! listen to the clear sky all
around you; gaze up and out into
what is waiting to finally give you
every thing you need.

some thing is opening, some thing is
shift-dancing, some thing is reaching out
to take my hand and bring me into a
different light: where every thing is possible;

where i am allowed to feel this bright joy—
even layered on top of the grief and fear and
guilt and dark nights. it is all beautiful, because
it is all my life. and it all goes back to the light.

i can begin to see now where i was,
where i came up and out from,
where i was headed, and how
i was saved from myself.

as i wipe the sleep from my life, from this
spinning bundle of neurons harnessed now
only to make me stronger, i need only ask:
where do i want to go next?

i already know the time is short.
i already know what it is to love and to lose.
i already know what it is to not love.
i already know it’s time to stop looking back.

i am letting myself reach forward for the things
i do not yet know; for the things waiting at the gate;
for the dream-things chomping at the bit to
take off in any glorious direction i choose.

i am ready to dig my heels in for what i want,
for what i am, for what i have to give—
even if i have to rip it up and out of my-
self from deep down inside my own grit.

my time has come. i am giddy,
gathering myself behind the
sweep of the red curtain, inside
this sonic celebration of being.


Inspired by “Perchance to Dream” by Tommy Joe Ratliff
All of his music just sings. Go have a listen: