More than most people
I find myself in beautiful places
Places worthy of instagramming
And it’s here that I do
My worst work
Not because Whitman already covered it
Or because it is too vast
But because it’s too simple
To write a poem about

I am clear about how the canyon makes me feel
And about the fog
Rolling in over the pine

I am clear that the big, hollow howl in me
Is a reason to be alive

But it’s moments like the one happening right now
That really confound

You are getting out of my car
In your black jacket
It’s cold
And something is wrong
But you won’t say what

This is where the really difficult poetry begins



Be brave
You can go on
Into unhighlighted calendar days
You can go with joy in your heart
Into stark white boxes
You can go on

Christmas and Mondays are constructs
Neither superior to the other
If you prepare for Tuesday
As one prepares for torture
Then torture it will be
But, last Wednesday night
Was no torture
You and I
Wrapped bare legs around each other
From eleven to midnight
Played our game where
I put in wax earplugs and you tell me secrets
What a magical, diary-worthy time that was

All year long
My mother waits in anticipation of a vacation
And once it comes, it’s magical
And once it’s gone, it’s tragedy
One could waste
A lot of perfectly good Wednesdays this way


I’m a social worker
In a sea of cubes
Usually mesmerized by the rain sound of thirty hands typing
But when there’s a rest
They’re on the phone
And I can’t help but listen in
And when I do
It’s like reading a bathroom book of sage advice
“Listen buddy, you can’t run from your problems”
“What do you think you need to do?”
“Do you think it was a good idea to hit him in the face?”

Sometimes, I can ignore it
But when I can’t, I’m answering each question in my head
“You’re right, it was probably a terrible decision”
“Yeah, I probably could have cleaned up my mess on my own”
“Getting married isa big step”

The joke is on them, however
Because whatever mahatma hat we wear at work
Is gone abruptly
Upon our arrival at home

Drunk in the tub
Yelling at the kids
Working out until we make ourselves sick

We have no business asking you if it was a good idea to punch him in the face
Maybe it was a great idea
What the fuck do we know


Remember when you didn’t know what it meant to have a high deductible?
Or what a mortgage was?
A time unencumbered by interest rates
Or falling stocks
A time when we could not be made
To care about a down payment
Or an overdrawn account

We were simpler then
Or were we?
We designed our own complicated
Systems of paybacks and take backs
And other invented games
Bureaucracy rules at any age

Some of us retreat to a cardboard box in the front yard
Others let bills stack like leaf piles
Hide from emails
Lose sleep
Pretend there is no monster under the bed
Sometimes I have to remind myself that
Invented rules do not decide
When I sleep
Or eat all of the cookies from the cupboard

And when I am hidden under dark grey sheets
I owe nothing