The Pride Before, 11 (224.)

Funny to remember the days before the heat got worse,
and the AC was cause for complaint.
“It’s too cold,” my frigid body said,
and off the AC would go for my comfort.
Now, I’m sweating bullets.
Now, water cascades down my gullet.
The day the AC malfunctioned
and stayed broken
was the day I remembered
how fickle we humans are,
how we always want heat when we’re cold,
and we want cool air when we’re hot,
and it’s rare for us to say
“This is fine and I’m content.”
This is not fine, and I’m not content.
I’m sweating like stuck swine,
and my body might be starting to ferment.
The transformation from
body to puddle, solid mass to sludge,
it has begun.
Sweet Jesus, AC repair person,
when the fuck
will you save us from this summer madness?


The Pride Before, 10 (223.)

If time travel was possible,
I could go back
to see those good memories for real again.
Rewind the tape and put me in it,
I’d like a chance to bear it and grin.
Much to my chagrin, I
let the sands float in the glass
until the right time is up.

Until the right time is up,
let the sands float in the glass.
Much to my chagrin I,
I’d like a chance to bear it and grin.
Rewind the tape and put me in it
to see those good memories for real again.
I could go back,
if time travel was possible.


The Pride Before, 9 (222.)

How does one build a bridge
to another person
without holding hands?
The connections we make
are so ethereal, and it’s difficult
to truly gauge them.
Sitting outside at night,
watching cats to prevent their escape,
and talking in measured beats –
this is progress, I think.
I am remembering what it’s like
to have
I need more free time
so we can all
go on adventures and
talk about whatever
comes to mind.


The Pride Before, 8 (221.)

The places I cannot go
Some places I may have been
The way is shut, now,
And I
Am hopelessly lost

Some places I’d rather not go
Horrors too frightening for real life
Stalking the corridors in my mind
A vocalization in sleep,
Fitful, restless,
Swimming deep in sub-subconscious
I know not what to call this

Statements I probably will not make
Is this what real conversation sounds like?
I try phrases out in my head,
And you
Kiss me with crinkled eyes
Too bad these are only hopes,
For in the abyss,
Scenes remain


The Pride Before, 7 (220.)

Faces float on by
Faces I knew a long time ago
Like the scent of a pie heated by the oven
A flash of recognition

Does anyone really know you?
Will the berries taste the same
As they did in decades past

Who really stops to stare from the mirror
It is some kind of me
Perhaps a doppelgänger
What thoughts do I think
In the place above the sink?

Some conversations I should have had with myself
A long time ago
Are you okay?
What do you want?
How was your day?
Is it too late?

It’s never too late
Midnight comes and goes like clockwork
Quite literally
The poetry really has left this one
I and the mirror, we both feel
The call of the 4 AM frenzy
Fingers type faster than ever
Somehow, work gets done

Let it rest
Take a nap
Sit in silence
All that

The things I do for rhymes …


The Pride Before, 5 (218.)

Can we turn
the attitude to
the music to
the room to
the attitude to
the whole dang cycle,
to let it all inform itself,
the vibe travels freely to
and from all things,
so we sit and feel good
and listen to good music
and have good conversations
and our thoughts are genuine
and we hold nothing back
and the idealist in my skull
just won’t quit,
it’s probably more than enough
to just let things be.


The Pride Before, 4 (217.)

Late night wondering again.
What’s up with the AC?
Really, why’s the temperature so high?
Damn thing doesn’t work,
at least, the
damn cylinders aren’t spinning.
Too bad I’m not a mechanic.
Or a technician. Not even
remotely close to a repairer of complex
boxes of doodads and stuff.
In this time of
remote work and distant everything,
I embrace the office, for both
productivity and
sweet cool air.


The Pride Before, 3 (216.)

There’s something about
and a few tattoos
and bright soft eyes
that shine like a lake reflecting moonlight
and a cat or three
that says “You will fall in love now.”

I jest about the severity
of the feelings,
but I’m definitely
attracted already.
So I have to remind myself:

take a breath, live a little slowly.
Stop and enjoy each moment.
Every small exchange.
Let each conversation be a gift,
and unwrap them


The Pride Before, 2 (215.)

It’ll happen in a field in the middle of a long-sleeping suburb. Fences built in rough three-quarter squares and rectangles to keep what’s owned inside a sort-of box. The lines separate all the boxes into neat spaces.

It’ll happen all throughout some of the boxes, neat on the outside, beat on the inside. Magic button opens a big door to let the monster in. Rumble dies down before the new rumble begins.

It’ll happen in a grocery store in-between one suburb and the next. Goods stacked in lines to dissipate a hex. Bad magic emanates from too many routine-wandering souls. Charred skin and frayed fringes of clothes.

It’ll happen on the way to a drive-thru you drive through for a milkshake. Hands quake, minute tremors of the heart like a hummingbird’s wings beating to meet the sky. Cage came down slow and quiet.

It’ll happen in a friend’s bathroom in the midst of a shindig.

It’ll happen in the middle of the night when the future’s too big.

It’ll happen in the middle, always the middle, betwixt shame and fear.

One day it’ll happen that you’re sick of staying stuck between a mad past and a sad future. Tie up your shoes and your wounds with homemade laces and sutures, and go.

Now’s the time to string together a present for yourself.