remembering that i was 14

the stars never ended
they went on and on,
sparkling forward, outward
into unknown.
feeling guilty backwards
into faded hours
didn’t make sense.
big moments were too brief
to hold onto regrets.
nothing unfinished
at least nothing ain’t yet.
bucket lists couldn’t exist
we filled them too fast.
jumping and tripping
without being asked.
love was feral and kept
its safe distance
still with hearts
on our sleeves
we fought everything
including resistance.

a little procedure

the pen slipped when
the phone chimed.
the voice of the nurse
calmed then surprised.
it’s your turn,
she said,
follow me to the back.
at first
he didn’t
and she didn’t
respond to that.
he held her hand
in a way that
seemed to say
remember the infinite
that brought us together.
remember our promise
to laugh afterwards no matter the pressure.
remember we choose
our forever.
remember we were good
before we met.
remember, he said to the nurse, neither of us are ready
to leave just yet.

happy for what’s new here

the hand rail’s loose
but it’s never made my grip slip

and the window lets in light and 
i can read despite that small chip. 

there’s a next door nosey neighbour
who always gets under my skin-

so a fresh year, 
what’s the big deal, 
i don’t really get it. 

and what feels new right now
is that this is how it’s always been. 

thinking that tomorrow, with
a year change might bring me 
to a new scene. 

but if i’m being very honest 
i gotta choose a life 
that likely won’t choose me. 

and on top of that the wind pushes 
on my weak side no matter how i lean. 

so hoping to be saved by someone else 
likely won’t change me. 

and what feels new right now 
is that this is how it’s always been. 

with lots of hopeful small talk
about people needing big change. 

but skipping steps in the process 
makes for bigger falls in a losing game. 

what i’ve learned is that 
this thinking always leads me 
back to someone else’s shame. 

walking talking with myself 
on this same path not 
knowing who to blame. 

and what feels new right now 
is that this is how it’s always been. 

looking backwards while running forwards 
makes my ghosts grin. 

so planning without acting 
is a loop that i can’t get in. 

and complaining that things are shit
when it’s all my pile 
gives me no exception. 

it means that if i am working on it,
i’m winning even though 
i may be suffering. 

and what feels new right now 
is that this is how it’s always been.

some thoughts while building Ikea furniture

I want more poems
from men
doing common



Hands, back,
brain, soul-
all engaged.

Dad details.

Brotherly soliloquies.

Sons raised into

And story
more than

Men bringing
their thoughts
up and out
through thick
fragile skin,

constructing meaning,
like an artist
but with advice,
bits of wisdom
carried leaward
after falls
and fails.

Send me sonnets
made up of
head nods
and winks
from across
the room.

Give me
an ode
a crisp line
the snowblower draws
at the driveway’s

I need not
accept it’s
gospel to
the beauty of
the craft.

Prognosticate on
the measured difference
this highway
over that.

Salt pure lore
the roads
more or less

Make them
for others.

I will listen.

Explain to me
ballad form
the emotional
vibrancy of sport.

I love when
this gift,
an inheritance without
can mention without

then enfold me
with tearful voltas-
wincing and
wistful noticings
about the
strain of age.

that you
only mention
limits while
in motion;

pain holds wisdom,
it reminds
of how
and when
you are
in the world.

Rally and regale
songs of
the protector,
their duty
and the fear.

Surround me
with metaphor
in repeating layers-
your arms thinning,
your love radiating,
your reach grasping.

You do that
and I will curate
a love language
in my chest,
silent sometimes
on fire otherwise.

Be alliterative;
repeat yourself.

You will sink in.

You will
fill this heart
shaped box
made by
bare hands
and quiet


this step strays. it wobbles, wanders, wonders about the next.
this step shifts. it feels new feels about what to expect.
this step disappears like some moments to time.
this step fades and blurs all the lines.
this step silences and listens and knows.
this step is with a sigh then follows and beholds.
this step collapses and reaches for support.
this step ages and remembers the start.
this step worries. it knows of the world.
this step waits and protects and easily unfurls.
this step loves without keeping a score.
this step, and this step, and this step loves you more.


by mid life I've become
far less gullible.

accepting that life to 100
ain't possible. 

since the men in my family die
early is unforgettable.

widthy not lengthy life goals 
are surely more plausible.