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day 926: December poem, II

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Suits and pies
and favorite places;
favorite faces come through.

My heart is tied
to dusty spaces,
fading light, and songs,
and you.

It’s true, at night
the light needs the moon
to reach a troubled mind.

Step, step, step,
we make it through.
The only question –
were you kind?

Truth and lies
and worried paces;
little lessons in the day.

I am saying – thank you,
favorite faces.
You light the path
along the way.

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha


day 881: love, remember – by the bridge

grandma’s hands
Appalachia skin
water swelling, belly of sin

skipping stones fall through.
free now, and true.
I just fell in love on the train.

then I go on a date
with a could-be Christian Grey.
(worry and excitement)

buy cherry tomatoes at the farm stand,
know they won’t make it home.
on the edge of coming undone
and letting go.

and what are you? my friend with a silent heart – what do you love? what do you need. how can I hold your head; we make so much noise and can’t say the truth. but I see you. rest in my heart if you can’t face your own.

my love is yours too, remember.

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha


day 853: equinox

last night I dreamt my grandfather was sitting on a sidewalk bench. it’s dusk, in a city by the water – the sky has an apocalypse glow. I’m rushing off, but I look back to tell him I miss him and find a half empty ghost. I said it more for him than for me but now I’m crying and confused. he looks like a hologram. he looks at me. he’s glazed over and shimmering half focused; mostly empty, but a little scared and patient too.
I get out of bed and put on coffee. open the window – the first day of fall.

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 851: bach

I’m tryin to be easy like the light on my wall.
a little further to the right,
the day is pressing.

Bach is a full universe:
memories and promises,
safety nets and secret rooms,
feelings I can handle;
love I can never hold, but always there.

The light doesn’t apologize,
it doesn’t ask permission.
it never waits; it’s never scared.
the push pull soft hard clunky wait no! – breathe
easy like the light on the wall.


Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 850: Stephen (a collection)


it’s autumn light now
it’s something more than yesterday
leaves dying and I’m ready to fly
still ground I can walk on
cloudy horizon, I can see
walk with me to the river line (please)


an old woman at the farm stand smells like showers at my aunt’s house after swimming in the 90s. in the country; I cherished those visits. I wanted to know my mother’s life on the farm. she wanted to forget.

conflict, and hope.


I’ve been captured. I escaped. I’m fucked up and I have something to show for it. that makes me wonder. I’m seeking and I found:

I have questions. I have love. You do too;
and me.


gasping realization;
I think I know what hope means.

there’s light on the walls
light on the water, light leaves on the trees
and it’s time (please)

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 781: a week in brooklyn

every city I’ve lived in, I go out walking in the middle of the night. every city except la;

tonight, it’s midnight. it’s Saturday. I walk down Franklin to eastern parkway to the museum. my people are out. we’re the scattered souls who hide in chaos. we buy groceries while everyone’s sleeping and don’t always know how we’re going to pay our bills. but there’s an old woman who barely speaks English and sits out front all day smiling watching us all go by and she makes me feel that’s ok. we have love. we have kindness. we fight for each other. I wish we’d all just fight for each other.

I get so upset sometimes I feel like I could collapse. I get this from my mother. I get goosebumps when I’m working on music and it starts to feel right. I get flowers and an avocado from Mr. Melon on my midnight stroll. The man smiles and nods at me and I tell him thank you. I mean it.

say yes

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 736: studio after coffee before noon

me: yea like my friend Jeff’s cooking show, did I tell you about that?

Davy: no what’s that?

me: he’s a net artist, he’s been cooking eggs on snapchat.

Davy: like he’s a crazy artist, or he’s an artist who deals with nuts?


me: no, a NET artist…

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 730: teddy’s stop & go records :)

skaters taping at the Brooklyn Museum
sun setting on st marks
this city’s in my blood and I mean it

I’m searching desperately for the conspiracy theorist;
I can’t find him and then I do.
I say hello to the man digging;
he thinks I want something from him but I don’t and he’s surprised. I’m beaming. We’re flipping so easy,
This bubble on 7th Avenue is all charged up and life here is ok. We’re safe here. We listen here; we let it echo through our chest and then we give it up for $10 and pick up again too.

A man with missing teeth walks by and says

Old man: Look at that, Gil Scott-Heron. I got that record when it came out in 1974. That’s a gooood record you got there, I know every song on that record. I got it when it came out in 1974.

The Conspiracy Theorist: Oh yea, 1974? Let’s see… (flips the record over) 1974! You have a good memory there, Sir.

Old man: (to me, cracked smile shining-) Yea yea, what else you got? Oooooh, Ann Peebles! You got Ann Peebles?! Oh and Miss Nina too….

He starts singing To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. He looks me in the eye. He’s smiling. The conspiracy theorist is smiling and bobbing his head. I can’t feel my feet touching the ground. The overcast over head stops time and wraps me up in a fire blanket and all I can do is smile and laugh and say

Me: I’ve got Aretha singin’ it too!

TCT, surprised: Look at that!

Old man: Aretha!? Well ain’t that somethin’. Miss Nina wrote it though. You always gotta look at the writers. Look at this Ann record  (flips the record over)
W. Mitchell. That must be Willy, that must be Willy Mitchell…

The conspiracy theorist is checking out my stack and says I lucked out with the Bolshevik Revolution; it just came in and he missed it and I’ll have to tell him how it is. Another man sees my Keats and says, “You’re a friend.” I didn’t need the record to know; but I’m glad he said it anyway.

I saw Devin today too. I can talk to him about God and I’m not shy or uncertain; I know that he knows what I mean. He and my Mother might be the only ones. We’re broken and almost cry but we don’t. I don’t know why he doesn’t; I don’t know why I don’t. Maybe we’re stronger now, and more thankful.

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha