worse for the wear

this is the poem i don’t want to write.

this is the poem that is not beautiful.


or maybe it is,

because it is true.


the truth is,

i wish she were worse for you.


the truth is,

i wish she would just disappear.


i wish she were not so much like me.

it would be easier to hate her.


for both

of us.


the truth is,

she is good for you.


the truth is,

she is better for you


than i

would be.


i try to woo you with

my words, mystery,





but the truth is,

i’ve never had a healthy



it feeds the


poetry, but not

the living.


the truth is,

if she disappeared


tomorrow, i would not

know what to do.


i would probably

cry for you.


and then

for me.


i am the one who

should disappear.


i am the one who

is worse for the wear.








i am a sad song


but at least i

am singing.


i have fallen for my

own despair;


but i hate the refrain,

i despise the ending.


i miss the joy bursts of chorus:

were they ever really there?


…. sailing away like cursive

into the sky….


i go to another place

but the mirror brings me back;


the looking glass

in reverse.


do these words mean

anything to you?


i am alone.


reflected behind me, an

empty room;


within me, a deep

loneliness and a tiny




i have nothing to give;

i have every thing to


give but no one who

wants it.


i am forgetting how to love.



we watch our mothers, and

our mothers’ mothers; we

see the face cream, the grays

edging in, the soft clasp of


gravity. but we don’t think we

will become them; we don’t think

we believe in form, in discipline,

in the sparrows hiding in the


fury. but gradually, gradually, the

edges begin to blur, the beaks start

to speak, and the frame fills:     this

is the only way to be with both the


sorrow and the bliss, with the passing of so

many chapters, and the grisly opening of a

deeper chasm of books never fully read, never

fully grasped, up to the very end: un-finish-ed.






remember your father (repost from last year)

you are awakened at 3 a.m.

by a thunder-storm, and a

down-pour, and a heavy

knowledge of sad-ness,

seeping down hard and

into every waiting gap.

you didn’t realize you were

waiting, wanting something

to push its way in and pull

you apart, to tear you off

your tidy little course and drown

you in the wild invisibles.

your father was dying four years

ago at this very time, under

this very rain. there is a strange

comfort in the lining of this loss,

a continuing kin-ship, a bond

that is still being tied. everything

that has ever happened, that is happening,

that is going to happen, is all here:

braided into this trinity knot

you twist between your fingers.

the knob of it reassures, takes you to

places where you have the permission

and capacity to truly see, and feel, and be.

it is no wonder you dream of flying,

carrying the treasure-package of

past/present/future clutched to your chest.

you are relieved of its weight

by just a fraction of the knowledge of

its maker. more than the knowing is

the feeling that takes over and drives

you home, every time. you let go and

let it take you; it knows the way.

you close your eyes and breathe in sleep

and remember your father.