Thursday, August 17, 2017


Sometimes I'll see a feather on the ground and I'll wonder if the bird it belonged to a ever flew over you, 800 miles from here.

 I'll wonder if it was ever so beautiful that you pointed it out to your daughter as she looked up with you, before ignoring it and going back to playing.

There are so many Oregon license plates here.

Every car, every truck, every jeep I see with that green tree - I wonder if they ever drove through Medford on their way here. If they ever drove past you. Or sat at a stop light next to you. If you were ever stuck behind it at a Dutch Bros drive thru waiting to your Pumpkin Latte and your daughter's straw of whip cream.

All of these thousands of hypothetical invisible coincidences that connect us but we'll never know.

And the only reason they mean anything right is because I can't touch you.

Friday, June 30, 2017

I don’t know how to explain to someone why they should care about other people.

Like many Americans, I’m having politics fatigue. Or, to be more specific, arguing-about-politics fatigue. 

I haven’t run out of salient points or evidence for my political perspective, but there is a particular stumbling block I keep running into when trying to reach across the proverbial aisle and have those “difficult conversations” so smugly suggested by think piece after think piece: 

I don’t know how to explain to someone why they should care about other people. 

Personally, I’m happy to pay an extra 4.3 percent for my fast food burger if it means the person making it for me can afford to feed their own family. If you aren’t willing to fork over an extra 17 cents for a Big Mac, you’re a fundamentally different person than I am. 
I’m perfectly content to pay taxes that go toward public schools, even though I’m childless and intend to stay that way, because all children deserve a quality, free education. If this seems unfair or unreasonable to you, we are never going to see eye to eye. 

If I have to pay a little more with each paycheck to ensure my fellow Americans can access health care? SIGN ME THE FUCK UP. Poverty should not be a death sentence in the richest country in the world. If you’re okay with thousands of people dying of treatable diseases just so the wealthiest among us can hoard still more wealth, there is a divide between our world views that can never be bridged. 
I don’t know how to convince someone how to experience the basic human emotion of empathy. I cannot have one more conversation with someone who is content to see millions of people suffer needlessly in exchange for a tax cut that statistically they’ll never see (do you make anywhere close to the median American salary? Less? Congrats, this tax break is not for you). 

I cannot have political debates with these people. Our disagreement is not merely political, but a fundamental divide on what it means to live in a society, how to be a good person, and why any of that matters. 
There are all kinds of practical, self-serving reasons to raise the minimum wage (fairly compensated workers typically do better work), fund public schools (everyone’s safer when the general public can read and use critical thinking), and make sure every American can access health care (outbreaks of preventable diseases being generally undesirable). 
But if making sure your fellow citizens can afford to eat, get an education, and go to the doctor isn’t enough of a reason to fund those things, I have nothing left to say to you. 

I can’t debate someone into caring about what happens to their fellow human beings. The fact that such detached cruelty is so normalized in a certain party’s political discourse is at once infuriating and terrifying. 
The “I’ve got mine, so screw you,” attitude has been oozing from the American right wing for decades, but this gleeful exuberance in pushing legislation that will immediately hurt the most vulnerable among us is chilling. 

Perhaps it was always like this. I’m (relatively) young, so maybe I’m just waking up to this unimaginable callousness. Maybe the emergence of social media has just made this heinous tendency more visible; seeing hundreds of accounts spring to the defense of policies that will almost certainly make their lives more difficult is incredible to behold. 
I don’t know what’s changed ― or indeed, if anything has ― and I don’t have any easy answers. But I do know I’m done trying to convince these hordes of selfish, cruel people to look beyond themselves. 

Futility can’t be good for my blood pressure, and the way things are going, I won’t have health insurance for long.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hungry and hollow

Being what you are, there is no help for it.

You see, people don't hate you for being simple, they're on their guard against it, that's all. Your simplicity is a kind of flame which scorches them. You go through the world with that lowly smile of yours as though you begged their pardon for being alive, while all the time you carry a torch which you seem to mistake for a crucifix. 9 times out of 10 they'll tear it from you and stamp that light out. Your chance is merely a tenth, you see. But you're worth every fraction.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hello, stranger.

[A dream I just had, so I'm writing it down:]

The room was red, erotic, and dim. We were there, laying in an exhausted afterglow, lazily catching our breath. A conversation just happened, though I can't remember far back enough to say what was said. 

But I do remember her forlorn expression and her perfect Bambi eyes asking incredulously why I said that we were going to end one day. I guess I told her that. I tucked her hair behind her ear and sighed.

"Something I realized a long time ago and then again very recently," I hummed. "Everything is temporary - even permanent things. I've had a dozen women tell me how unshakable their love for me was and could love me - only me - forever and ever. That they could never have sex with anyone else ever again." 

I paused, lost in memory. Then continued in amusement.  "Do you know where they all are now? Married. To someone else. Kids. Pet dog. All that.

"I'm out of your league. I know I'm out of your league. We'll have fun, make our inside jokes. I'll fuck your brains out and take your body to places you've never been. But one day, I'll be ordering a shot for one and you'll be gone."

She winked her eyebrow at the suggestion.  I smirked sadly and assured her. "You'll find some better-looking guy, or one with more money, or who dresses sharper, and all of these little perfect moments will stop mattering to you. And you'll move on. And deep down I won't be able to blame you. Because To me, right now and forever,  you're so god damn beautiful and wicked intelligent that I have no idea how you haven't taken the world over already. The only theory that makes sense to me is that you simply have chosen not to yet.

"All of this... This is all temporary."

She blinked. As if that had all happened to her before and knew it was true... so she had nothing to say. 

I rolled on my back and stared at the ceiling in the dark, unable to let her see my eyes as I pushed forward with the truth. "I'm going to fall for you more and more every day, until one day you'll be the 'love of my life'. And that's when you'll leave for a good reason I can't even fathom right now. 

"So understand that every night with you is the very honestly the luckiest night of my life. And tomorrow night I'll feel all the luckier. And the night after that, luckier still. I know better now than to plan on forever. But because of that, I will never, ever take a moment with you for granted.

"I don't know anything about the future other than it's going to happen. And I hate that it does because it always changes what's good about now. 

"So," I said, turning towards her, my shoulder pinning the pillow down, revealing the rest of her moonlit face. "I'm just going to appreciate you right now, love. Soak this all in, enjoy these half-drunken, torn-clothes, delirious nights. I'm finally happy again right now. This probably won't last, but I'm happy. And it's because of you. 

"Which is more than I can say for any of the other 7 billion people in this temporary, fucked up world."

Sunday, February 26, 2017


It was Christmas morning.

I'd spent the last year and a half of my underwhelming existence trying to vindicate it all by pouring myself into one girl.
She loved me until she hated me... and hated me until she loved me... and then back again.
Our wheel spun every day, never knowing where we would land.
But it had to end here.

Christmas morning.

She was telling me she was fucking some other guy now just to get over me.
And she hated me so much that she kept... trying to tell me I was doing things with other girls... that I had to be by now...
I could tell she was yelling it so hard because she had to convince herself.
To make it easier.
But of course... there was never any other girl.
There was only her.
And her perfect beauty.
And all of our violence and supernova love.
But now there it was.

On that rainy Christmas morning.

Hearing those words... then reading them.
I wanted to go back... back... back in time... fix it all... be a better person so maybe she would be, too.
I thought terrible things.
She knifed those images into my heart with her perfect lips from 800 miles away, as if her only road to escape some self-inflicted guilt was to carve one through my chest.
Words crafted to obliterate.
And... I let each syllable whittle me to shreds.
For over an hour.

I loved her.
Then tried to hate her.
I failed at that, too.
And then somewhere I died.

It was the last time I spoke to her.

It was Christmas morning.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Death of a Bachelor

The poem she said reminded her of me.


1. I still have naked pictures of you. I want you to know that. I want to start this off right.

2. As I am writing this, the cat that you hate is peeing on the bed. That is what will be waiting for me instead of you.

3. I keep asking the same questions because I always get drunk right after we talk, and I can’t remember any of your answers.

4. I could decide not to drink, but you know how I feel about not drinking.

5. I miss your moan. It was one of my 3 favorite things about you.

6. You broke up with me the night before the national poetry slam finals. It’s sad how few people understand how shitty that is.

7. When you start to cry, I know that you’re feeling something - which makes me like you again.

8. Dream: Climbing through endless bodies, sweaty and writhing and inside of each other, I can see, but not the source of light, just the skin it’s reflecting off of; We find each other, ignore the rest, clinging to each other, the bodies straighten beneath us, go slick from the sweat, like a bowling lane, and we make love till I wake up.

9. I keep trying to find out if you cheated on me.

10.  I never cheated on you.

11. I think the guy sitting next to me on the plane is sleeping with you, that’s why he doesn’t like me.

12. So is the stewardess. You guys are going to have a threesome tonight.

13. Every time I am not looking directly at you you are having a threesome.

14. When we talk on the phone, your other hand is holding a penis.

15. The penis is bigger than my penis.

16.  All of your previous lovers cheated on you because you made them feel this way.

17. I never cheated on you.

18. I’m sorry I yelled at you.

19. You deserved it.

20. Dream:Looking from the outside in to my bedroom at my grandparent’s house, the one I was always scared to sleep in, the room is dark, I can hear your moan, not the rustle of the sheets or bodies slapping together or voices talking, just your moan, I can’t move, there is no light, just the open door and your moan.

21. This airplane is not bringing me home; It is simply dropping me off somewhere else.

22. When I get to the apartment, I will look that cat dead in the eye, and tell him that he is the reason why mommy left daddy.

23. Some of my friends pretend to hate you now. That’s why I love my friends.

24. When the plane lands this will all be my fault.

25. In Oregon, the sun sets like the sun should set. In California, it takes far too long. The glow is unbearable, like the whole sky is covered in sheets, the day threatening to start with or without you.