Condolence

She had tears flowing down her
face dripping off her chin splashing
as little droplets on to the floor.

I sat next to her in the pew in silence
I really wasn’t sure if she wanted to
be alone—we all
deal with death
differently.

Her head fell into her
cupped hands as she
took a deep breath
and heavily sobbed.

“Are you okay?” She didn’t say anything.
It was a dumb question, I know.
She just leaned in against my side, and
I put my arm around her.

“Why him?”

I looked up to a statue of Christ
mounted above the casket. His head was tilted
towards us crowned with crown of thorns. I looked into
his eyes, but today he gave no answers. He just looked on.
We all deal with death differently.

“I guess it just happened.” It was the wrong thing to say,
but it’s all I could say. I took slight comfort
in randomness instead of thinking
death as planned or with reason. I listened to her
sobs—I felt helpless for myself
and my ability to comfort her and
for the long, long days ahead.

We sat in the pews for a while until
her uncle came up to me, placing
his hand on my shoulder.

“It’s time,” he said gently.

I nodded
as he turned around and
went back to the lobby.

I lifted my arm from around her and
and I stopped myself from asking
if she was ready—

she never was going to be ready.

“How do I look?” the little makeup
she wore was slightly running, her hair
was a bit tattered, and her expression
weary and lost. But there were her eyes
They looked deep within me in search
for some sort of hope or comfort—
“you know, you eyes are beautiful when you cry?”
A dumb thing to say, I know, but I didn’t know
what to say so I just said the truth.

She feigned a smile and a faint laugh,
“well, at least we have that.”
We both stood up and headed for the lobby
to be with the rest of her family.

“It’s going to be a very long day.”
“I know, and I’ll be here for you if you need me.”
“Thanks,” she said giving me a slight hug from the side
tearing up once again.

I embraced her and we stood there
for a short moment that
felt faintly like an eternity but
then quickly faded back
to reality.

She took in a deep breath
as I opened up
the door.

Fishing

My father was never a religious man,
and I, the same as he.

Yet, I can tell
you as we sat outside on
cool spring mornings
in silence entranced by
the ripples of the trout stream,
we were closer to God
than most.

 

I like to think
God was there with us
with his Son, Jesus, just
up stream—

See, that’s the reason we didn’t catch much.

Jesus was there applying a few tricks
which learned from his disciples
standing upon the water
with a line in his hand,
and the Father
who is the water, the Earth, and all
already had all the fish in
the lakes
and
seas

which left us with
near nothing,
just the wind, bird song, small talk
and a cool breeze
but that was enough.
Fishing was never really about fishing, anyway.

It’s about a father and his son and
the Father and the Son.

Just us and Nature.

Just another day.

There is a serene peace in the summer sky,
the gentle warmth of night
crickets calling out my name
“Jesse,

Join us
for we are freedom.”

And I want to go with them
through brush, into the
trees, in to the vast wilderness
that is unknown,
it’s my Nature.

Yet, I sit on my porch
shackled with a watch
too aware of time

morning beckons,
and people call
responsibilities
held,

I sip my glass of wine
and breathe in,
bury all regrets,
exhale and attempt
to ignore the impending
tomorrow which will
be almost like every
day,

just another day.

And the crickets call
“join us
for we are freedom”

I look at my cellphone
and read messages from
my distant friends

all of them trapped as I in
the great disappointment that
is the now.

Nothing new.

I can only pray that some tomorrow
we will look back on today and
view it as what it really was, wasted,

and not some glorified gilded lily
feeding some skewed nostalgia
which so often
happens.

Sleep Talking

There first night that you moved
in I laid next to you watching
you sleep. I’ll admit I was a
bit nervous, plagued by a bit
of anxiety and a tad bit
of insomnia, nothing new,
nothing new at all.

But you laid there so peaceful
a serene look of joy across
your unconscious face, I huddled
next to you stealing your
your welcomed warmth as it chased
away the frigid hell
that was my
apartment.

And there it was,

I was happy,

yes for once
all was well with the world–
work, bills, politics, due dates,
dead lines, employers and
writing didn’t haunt.

I was just really fucking happy.

That was until
you started whispering

“i’ll kill you, I’ll kill you,
i’ll kill you, I’ll kill you”
in a breathy whisper.
“you fat motherfucker.”

Of all the regrets, hesitations and fears
that had built up with you finally
moving, murder was
the last–I was going to
die.

Did I leave the toilet seat up?
Perhaps I left the milk out again?
Were my hair trimmings in the sink?
Did I need to manscape some more?
Perhaps my cat pissed on your shoes?
does she hate my cat?
I hate my cat.
I don’t know. I don’t know.

but then from between
the snores, my frets and your soft breaths
you whispered something else
“damn, thats a fuck’n taco.”

Relief, I wasn’t going to die,
all was well.

I laughed and then shortly after
fell asleep full knowing why
I was in love even if i didn’t know
who you were going to
kill.

A Short Reflection on Nostalgia

Image
I often believe anybody born after Garden of Eden can’t help but look back on the past in a silver-lined romanticized haze.  “The Good Ol’ Days” Possibly it’s the years of stories from parents and grandparents spewing out memoirs of nostalgia. I know for our current generation we grew up with grandparents from the WWII, teachers from Vietnam, and parents of rock and roll era of 60’s-70’s. Naturally, we look back on their time ignoring our current advances in medicine, technology and equality while romanticizing the harsh truths of past wars and even poverty; we create this fictionalized notion of how wonderful our lives could have been if we were just born several or even just one generation earlier.  I often find myself laying in bed with my eyes closed listening to digital downloads of Jean Shepherd and Paul Harvey radio shows in attempt to capture forgotten nuances of yester-years.  I can almost hear ol  static of the AM radio muffling out the the soft hum of hi-fi set while sit next to my family grasping on to every world laughing together, living together…. Yet I’m usually alone in the present listening to Immortalized voices of the past spilling over the the present transcending me to the “then” where I prance around in rose color glasses right before I eventually drift off into a dream.

I do wonder what the future holds, but from my experience the future will only lead me to more nostalgia—my present will become the past and the now will eventually bleed over into the “good ol’ days.” Even now I sit around thinking about my own life time longing for those simpler times, but maybe the times weren’t actually simple, they were complicated and it was II who was simple.  Who knows… Who knows. I guess it really doesn’t matter, does it? What does matter is that I do have memories and I do have access to the past. I can slip into books or old films and gather together the pieces and memories and bring them to the present where I can compare and contrast the then and now in order to create my own reality which will hopefully form the tomorrow. And all of the holes that are left open, and that I’m left longing for, well maybe it’s my duty to try to fill them. As I said, I do find myself missing the words of Jean Shephard and Paul Harvey, the random facts, the hilarious anecdotes, the charm, and even their flow of words, and sometimes I think part of the reason I write or even talk to myself is to fill that gap. Maybe I’m just insane? Either way, I have to keep myself entertained.

Talking about insanity, what will future generations will be saying about our current times. Will be plastered as a golden era? I guess our novelty is we experienced the boom in the digital age. We saw the rise of rap and the change of country music. 9/11, 2 simultaneous wars, and current fight for gay marriage.  I feel as if my grandchildren will mostly be asking me about early forms of video games and computers. Possibly what it was like to go to actual book stores. Or maybe they will just simply ask me “What it was like?” and I’ll just smile at them and say “wonderful” and they’ll ask “why?” and the only answer I’ll honestly have is “because it’s the past, my past, and it’s dear to me.” I’ll hide from them the uncertainty, the long sleepless nights, the broken hearts, and black-eyes because sometimes by not telling the whole truth you convince yourself that maybe everything was perfect just as it was. And they can look back on my life in awe, watching old movies li early 2000’s asking themselves ,”Why couldn’t I have grown up back then?” Just like I do now as I watch Casablanca on a Friday night–” why couldn’t I have been from there. We all ask it, longing for paradise, the nostalgia of past, the Garden of Eden.

The world goes round

As I look out the window
(as writers often do)
The world goes round
and round
And

Shit, the world just does
What it does
And

I do the same, I waste away
Beer at a time.

I watch the couples walk by holding hands
Lovey dovey flowing
Summer dresses
And slick sun glasses

It’s too easy to fall in
Love, and damn them.

As I look longing
I hear my old type writer
Humming

“Don’t worry, we
Know you’re the only
One for me.”

And I type on
Squinting to look at
The faded texts
of my half assed
Poems jealous
of those others

full knowing the problem isn’t
them, yet me because
although it’s easy to fall in love
it’s infinitely harder to let
the guard down in order
to ever be loved.

Such is life, and
the world spins onward.