sommes-nous de la poésie?

it will be 
an invocation,
a homework check;
what did we
what have we

it will be
hot meals
interrupted by
glass clinks
and kind words-
some warm,
some cool.

it will be
one of us,
across the room
from the other,
confident and
‘how do they know
that person?’

it will be
a negotiation-
who will
drive there and
who will
drive back?
then compromise
because one of us
took a last
toast for the

it will be
poems of us,
with a shared pen,
a blank page-
are we the
creators or
will it write

it will be
a memory play
taking me back
to our
first lines
and how everything
was prosaic
before i
met you.

what if we never were alone?

Just past the post,
keep walking.
Let your neck flex,
eyes raise, and
lock on a few future
Have patience.
Be gracious,
Then, step away
from devices.
Let loose
from disguises and
expect some fatigue;
face to face
is hard
with all of
this noticing

lifting words from paper

In high school
my teacher believed
that a life
was best understood
through poetry.
My teacher loved poetry.
I did not like poetry. 
I did not know 
how to love words
or otherwise.
And I could not
imagine words enough 
to make my world 
any better. 
But, I did like her. 
I compared her
to sunsets and music. 
Her favourite piece-
If by Rudyard Kipling
fed anger and angst
into starved souls
for many students,
mostly because
our particular cohort
was filled 
with scientists and carpenters,
mathematicians and athletes-
so English class as a rule
existed outside
their practical minds. 
If could not exist without then.
Poetry was an abstract maze.
And inescapable.
Kipling and high school
expected us to delay 
our gratification,
to live up to expectations,
to slow down enough to notice.
Rudyard wanted us 
to wait,
and to be lied to,
and not to look too good,
and be skeptics of truth
and our friends,
and not to cry
or hold friends close,
and to
start over,
again and
again and 
never breathe a pained word of it. 
And then,
in the end,
accept that others 
will blame you
for their same
English class
became too much
with all of the if this
and if that.
Even if 
I could break 
with habit,
I understood inference
quite well
and the message
was that
even if I suffered
nothing would be
learned from it.
And likely,
when I am
most broken
someone will likely say
if  you'd only done
things differently
then ...

sometimes at 7:00 AM

the roads are full
of movement and sound
a marketplace teeming
with loud line ups at coffee
shops and cars waiting
to make left turns off
of main streets so fast
that it seems like every
one is catching advance
green towards something
or returning home from some
beginnings or endings
dawn chasing daytime sending
sunrise and street lights
into confusion.


They ask. Are you okay?

I say. Yes.

They follow. You sure? Okay? Today?

I say. I guess.

Really? They add.

Really. I confess.

Are you mad?


You seem upset.

How so?

I dunno. Just now.

What? That? That sounded angry somehow?

Sorry, sorry. Wow. Now I know I’ve probably bothered you.

Nope. That’s not true.

…was just saying… so anyways.

I ask. Are you okay?


and even though 
there is more space
out there
than in here-
a bit more room
where you stand.
it would be easy
to assume
that there’s no motion.
and if it seems
like my swells
don’t happen on demand
or appear clear,
you should take a
minute away from
this conversation.
then you might
understand that
no matter
what my waves
sound like
to your ear,
my tides aren’t
the same.
and I ain’t the same