I Set Off to See…


A Poem for My Son

You certainly are not a poem that rhymes,
yet, my son, you are poetry in motion.
Your regal stroll and stately stare
have certainly won my life-long devotion.

As a young lad you were adorable and dangerous,
irresistible, unstable, unpredictable, but sweet.
We would spend hours chasing and pouncing,
or napping just blocks from the sea, you at my feet.

But time extends as it always does,
your spots and stripes grew more gray,
I, of course, married and had kids,
which you tolerated with just the slightest dismay.

We do a lot less chasing and pouncing now,
and we rarely, together, enjoy a nap.
Our life is just a different crazy,
yet you still spend a little time in my lap.

Fourteen years is a lifetime and nothing at all,
fourteen years a proud father to a son.
You’ve been the most magnificent, unapologetic companion,
to which none can compare, not one.



Don’t Have Kids

Don’t have kids if you’re not ready to not be ready
or if you want to be in control or
if you don’t want to be completely swept off your feet.

Don’t have kids if you’re not ready to let go of your life
and create a new one, and
if you’re not ready to say I’ve been tired for 7 years
but I’m good.

Don’t have kids if you don’t think you can hold another person as long as it takes
And don’t have kids if you’re not ready to clean vomit off a cat or
sleep on the floor or wonder when it is, exactly, that people learn to blow their own nose.



Chunky Chocolate on the radio

Door’s open, come in.

Stolen couch, well, not stolen, re-appropriated



Week’s done, what’s going on?

Oh man, Funk oozes


Grab a tray, grab a bowl, pile it on.

Where’s that at, what time?

Her smile laughs, he sits down

Next to him and her and him



Let’s roll; see you there.

We breathe in the night and exhale youthful adventures

Window’s down, volume’s up.

I think I saw you there

You laughed at me.

Take some

Leave some




Woke up in the mornin’ not ready at all
Doesn’t really matter ’cause it’s not your call
Three little mouths to feed, ready to play
“Wake up Papa, what’re we doin’ today?”

Got 9 scoops in, brewin’ away
Got a million songs, but nothin’ to say
Even with the music on it’s all up hill
Just keep on cookin’, got those stomachs to fill

Papa’s in the yard blowin’, metal to mouth
Water’s drippin’ from a leaky spout
Kids are paintin’, baby’s in the pool
Papa’s wound tight on an empty spool

Breakfast’s done but now Mama’s gotta go
Baby’s cryin’ and tears start to flow
Papa says, “Baby she’ll be back”
Round and round, same old track

But the sun shines down it’s a beautiful day
Papa takes a breath and begins to play
Paint coats the paper, table, and skin
The water’s cool and clear, and baby jumps in

Papa’s in the yard blowin’, metal to mouth
Water’s drippin’ from a leaky spout
Kids are paintin’, baby’s in the pool
Papa’s wound tight on an empty spool

Time to lift that weight, gotta stay strong
Children are happy, gettin’ along
Sweat and struggle, muscle and steel
Laugh and cry, and shoulder that wheel

So that was today, tomorrow will follow
Wasn’t ready now it’s over, sometimes hard to swallow
Tryin’ to let go of mistakes and blame
Over and over, different and the same

Papa’s in the yard blowin’, metal to mouth
Water’s drippin’ from a leaky spout
Kids are paintin’, baby’s in the pool
Papa’s wound tight on an empty spool


Better Said

I got an invitation to write some poetry


I never even learned how to write


I once learned how to

write haikus but don’t even

do that well, okay?

And in high school I made fun of spoken word

Words, words, words, like drops of rain








fallen like daddy’s Little Angel, fallen,

Like, my generation was bringing beat poetry back,

Or more like we had invented that shit, man,

and I wasn’t going to let that shit go unnoticed. Word?


All this from an invitation to write some poetry


She said “Pshaw sir” and…who even says that anyway?

It wasn’t an invitation to just me, like I had some great contribution,

like my poetry would save baby kittens around the globe

(though could it?)


Maybe she didn’t want to be alone.

Maybe she knows something I don’t.




I’m writing this because I can or

Maybe to prove something or

Maybe because I want to or

Maybe just because I took the invitation seriously, and

you should know I’m a very serious little guy.


Now here I am.

Where do you want me?


The Day

It’s the kind of day for Miles…maybe some Flamenco Sketches. Or maybe Jets to Brazil, their mellow stuff. Good emo-shit with haunting chords and a raspy voice leaving its heart and guts all over the track.

It’s the kind of day where darkness settles and the sky could open up and drop bullfrogs on you…or…just a mellow drizzle that you can day-dream to, thinking optimistically about the water soaking deep in the soft earth, an underground well pooling for us to all draw strength from, at least once the sun shines…some day.

It’s a day to sit in an auditorium after class, music echoing in your ears, the smell of wet clothes and carpet wafting after all the students have left. Well, almost all the students. Someone could approach and ask, “You okay?” then smile, and you don’t feel sad or anything, actually, now you’re happy.

It’s a day for reading in a coffee shop, alone in public. Your book is amazing but you’re only half-involved cause your fellow humans are just so damn interesting and you don’t have an agenda, so whatever.

It’s a day where a bunch of people might just decide to get naked and run through the rain, screaming and hollering, refusing to be afraid. They certainly would be afraid, but their excitement is so loud they can’t hear anything besides their hearts pounding and their bare feet slapping on the ground.

It’s the kind of day where the kids’ squeals, dialogue, and laughter are constant background noise, their would-be-outside energy bubbling up through their pretend, inside play. It’s a day where you could be crazy-productive in this background banter and kick some serious Job Ass.

Or maybe it’s just a day. Dark, windy, and wet, but just a day. You’re inside looking out and none of it has any affect at all.