About Jesse

I am Jesse. I like Irish caps, enjoy beer, love traveling, and hate cilantro. I eat too much and exercise to little; I am American. That's it for now.

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.

Some Personal Thoughts on Life and Human Nature.

I usually try to restrict myself from writing posts like this on here because I usually feel some what guilty burdening you all with my thoughts–this is my poetry blog, not a soapbox, but sometimes horrors of reality cause my thoughts to boil over. If anything this post will help my readers, people, you to get to know me on a more personal note and get you to understand my point of view on human nature and life in general.

One thing about being a writer– actually let’s make that being human in general– is that you are often forced to step back and observe, constantly observe. You are forced to create your own understanding of reality–I call it creating your own reality– and attempt to piece together your thoughts on human nature. For many years I have openly tried forcing the philosophy that human nature is to be good and to do good. And I here am openly admitting my naivety. I have created my own reality which was to trusting and caring of the people and world around us–it seems nobody is safe. We truly are enveloped in a world of chaos. just glance at the horrors on the front page of a news paper, watch five minutes of the evening news, or reflect on world history. I have often ignored this, some times knowingly, to focus on the Good. I’ve looked at the little moments of mankind and pieced together all of the beauty and triumph I have learned about and experienced in attempt to hide the truth or at least numb it because, honestly, it’s extremely hard to live in a world full of such horrors and hate.

I guess part of my fundamental problems with accepting and dealing with the evils of mankind is that I am the type of person who believes we are greatly shaped by our surroundings. From the moment we are born our souls are extremely malleable and our consciences are built up moment after moment, pieced together through time via an endless amount variables and experiences. I do believe we have freewill, the freedom of choice and the ability to create our own destiny, yet I think our decisions are sometimes plagued by faulty ideologies, our ignorances, our biology, or even the fear of making a choice at all. I personally don’t believe we can all fully over come this– not now, this is humanities’ journey. So when atrocities happen, a part of me is overwhelmed by hatred, loathing everything, searching for blame, begging for the guilty to suffer the wrath of our judgement (which is okay), but another part of me is greatly conflicted and must ask “Where did We (as a whole) go wrong? How can we fix this?” And I am left with no answers and forced too accept there are some things in this life will not change and that not everything will be alright, ever again.

As I write this post, I can’t help think about one of my good friends from my youth. I remember hearing the news either last year or two years ago that he was arrested for drug related robbery and murder. And when I heard that news, I was drawn again to my past where I saw him as a child–his life before him full of potential. I could see his past. I could see his family. I could see everything about him. I even saw the false ideologies being built up. I saw how the echoing of his past (and even his father’s past) created his future. I saw him consumed by addictions. I saw the symbolic death of a youthful child I once knew and loved. Then I was consumed in hatred. I hated my friend. I hated myself for hating him. I hated myself because I realized I was a part of his past, his influence, and I wondered if I personally could have changed anything. I knew and still know there was good within him and still buried deep within his regret, there is a sliver of good within him today. Too little, too late. I couldn’t help but think I could have made a bigger difference in his life and tugged him away from such a horrid fate. I’ll admit, I partially blamed myself for blood that wasn’t on my hands. Seriously, what is one to think. The only comfort that healed or rather is still healing this wound is knowing that I cannot change the past and there is nothing I could have done or can do now except to contemplate on the lessons I’ve learned from his mistakes and my experiences. His actions were not on my hands. I also will admit, I brushed off these thoughts as much as possible because, honestly, ignorance in some ways is bliss. Actually I really haven’t thought about his for daughter for a while now, again my heart sinks… I am so sorry.

I will stop here for a moment to say I don’t really don’t know why I am writing. Okay, I know why, but I don’t know why I am sharing this with all of you. Possibly I just needed to vent my frustrations and to share my thoughts. Maybe it’s because writing is my way of quieting down an over active mind. Maybe I feel an obligation to share my thoughts with people so that maybe just one other person can shake their head and think, “I’m not the only one who thinks of these things.” Maybe I share these thoughts so that I can step away from myself and read what is actually going through my head. Maybe I really just don’t know.

Last year was probably the first time I confronted with the truth that “not everything will be okay,” when my father unexpectedly died of a rare infection in the muscle in his back. One day he was alive, the next forever gone. I had to compete with the randomness of Nature. Although I have “healed” and dealt with his death far better than I would have imagined, I will still say not everything is okay because there are so many questions, the silences are endless, and, well, I miss my father dearly. The death of my father is was truly a random occurrence and there was nothing anyone could really do–no one to blame but Nature.

Today though, when I had a beautiful day shattered by the news that my friend’s younger sister was murdered, I was taken aback thrown into this long query. Why? Why? Why? What the hell is wrong with people?! What more is there to say about these senseless acts? There is no logic. Her boyfriend apparently murdered her in a fit of rage. He stabbed her. Left her for dead in a park. For this I have no answers, and I never shall. Why her? Why my friend’s family? Which leads us here to the dark truths, the random horrors of Nature and mankind. In life, horrible, unthinkable things might and probably will happen. And, honestly, there’s nothing we can do. And there are people out there who are or can be incarnation of evil pure evil. Unable to handle their rage. Destroying the one thing that is special, life. They are the blight of mankind, casting their darkness on our hopes and dreams. So many look up to God because of this very question and ask for his reasoning, but it is this very question so many lose faith. What do I believe? Honestly, I don’t know. I loathe my hatred, but I realize it’s only natural.

And though I say all of this in an extreme pessimistic light, there are things that we can do to help each other through these horrors, because, as I said before, it’s truly hard to live in a world with so much darkness and uncertainty. I may have renounced my thoughts on how I believed humanity is innately good, but I still want people to know that I do believe that we as individuals have the potential for good– to do good and to be good. (Whatever “good” means, exactly because as I grow older I’m starting to realize it’s not a simple dichotomy of good versus evil, but at points and especially at the point when I am writing this there is a stark and unmistakeable contrast between the two. That’s a different post for a different time.) I think it’s important take a moment, reflect upon yourself, question your thoughts, question society, and try to learn and understand the world around you. And importantly don’t look at the world through your own standards, step away, think “Verstehen” and attempt to view the world from other perspectives. And as you have a further understanding of people then remember the worlds that Kurt Vonnegut Jr once wrote, “God damn it, you have to be kind.” So be kind to everyone you can.

I say this because there is nothing we can really change that has already happened and there is a lot we can’t change that will happen; however, we can still make the world better place for others. Simple acts of kindness can drown away these harsh truths about mankind at least for a moment, which is important because these little moments and hopes are what let us carry onward, despite everything that we know. These moments of kindness have the ability help shape other’s realities–perhaps this can be good. Perhaps this could create a better world. I really don’t know, but instead of just saying we are good, we must be good– an action which is both easier than we thought and harder than we can imagine. No, this will not make the atrocities go away, but it’ll help others deal with these horrors–if anything, kindness helps me.

This post may just be my internal monologue rationalizing and wrestling with things beyond my control, begging for a better place, attempting to make a difference–either way, I feel better and calmer having written it. Thank you for reading this post and following my blog, it truly means a lot.

J.A.B.

I am so sorry

I am so sorry that

I don’t want you.
The want has sort of
disappeared, faded,
and transformed into
distant memory
taking with it
all of the baggage
that once was me.

I know sometimes
words slip out
like disease
repeating echoes
of what once was felt,
but it’s just the
shattered remnants
of the then
reaching gasping for breath
trying to grasp the humanity
that was once there.
How can I blame it
for trying? We are
always told to try
and sometimes I realize
I try accidentally…

hanging that bait
before your head
leading you into my rusted trap
where it will snap
grasping your leg
injecting you with
a thought, a venom, a hope
as you struggle to figure
out WHY?–(yet, still no answers)
and wondering when I’m going to
come and save the day…

the chances are
I’m not…

I stand there
hesitant to help
hesitant to fall
back into a backtrack
ignoring the advancement
I’ve made in the definition
of who is me.

I realize that I’ve
chipping off a part of
a soul. Whether mine
or yours I’m not quite
sure. (The chances are
it’s probably
both.)

One could argue
I’m soulless
during such attacks,
but if you were me at night
staring at the glow
of candle you would
know I’m nothing
but a soul
confused trying
to put together the puzzle
the words that make
me go.

I stare at your blood
dripping
through the
trails and traps
in
the
pathways
of my mind.

I want to help.
I want to be nice to you.
I want to nurture you.
I want to give breath back to those moments.
I want to be me, like I was
before, but I can’t
because I’m somebody
else and I’m craving
something new, something
different, something without name
because I’ve yet to
christen it
with language.

Memories
guiding me through
the walks, the thunder,
the hourly bell tolls,
the late night talks
that still got us
no where, but here
a nostalgic jealousy
of a me in past yelling out
a message
to this page which is
only to tell you

I could never love you,

but still in unconscious I try and try
and the night still comes
only reminding me
the importance of staying
silent, mouth shut,
and so I can finally
set right
some our

regrets.

Whiskey

This isn’t the first time.
I’ve fallen in love with whiskey bottles before
dancing to the late night serenades, singing
to myself songs of reprieve,

but I’ve also have felt
mornings’ harsh hands
suffocate the life
out of a day.

I hopped from one
cast shadow to another
avoiding the sun’s judgement.

I’ve hid in dive bars with no
windows, waiting for the
moon,

attempting to again
to drown away sorrow
again only feeding
despair.

Whiskey never did me wrong, but
I’ll admit I abused that
son of a bitch

far too many times.

But it keeps calling my name
and I keep returning
drowning out the
hours the minutes
I’ve spent
alone with
you.

But such is life,
there are the winners
the losers and
the boozers who
are too far gone to
differentiate between

the good, the bad
and the wretched.

Pour me another one,
and, please, leave me alone,

crutched up by the whiskey bottles–
the same reason you’ve
went away.