Spooktown, 21 (295.)

Death waits on crow wings,
for things that run, things that hide,
for every hacking cough
and every lonely sigh.

Death perches in the places
we may not think to look:
within the gums, inside our walls,
on pages in a book.

Death knocks
when they’re least expected;
death arrives right on time;
usually unwanted, like
a sibling full of crime.

Death is obvious, and known,
ever patient and observant.
They wait for all
beyond the road,
the angels’ humble servant.


Spooktown, 20 (294.)

The coffee sits and haunts
my tender stomach,
and I know
I’ll go sit elsewhere soon.
My cat wonders what’s in the cup,
but I fear it’s too bitter
for her delicate tongue.
So I let her wonder, and I
scratch her adorable beautiful head,
and I keep sipping caffeine.
Work can wait
a little longer.


Spooktown, 19 (293.)

The more I think about it, the more I
remember that I saw you
as the counterbalance to myself,
that grounding presence
who brought me down to earth
when I flew too high.
I like to cavort in the stars,
I have a hard time
realizing what I can do
in the here, and now, on the ground.
You’re good at that stuff.
Earthy, realistic, driven,
dependable, even sensual
in your own way,
and it’s like,
no wonder I crushed on you
for so long.
I’m sorry to say it here.
I’m sorry I’ll probably never say it in real life.
Maybe I just need to rephrase
all these feelings;
it might be more realistic to say
I see your qualities,
and I appreciate
all the good that you do.


Spooktown, 18 (292.)

I’m supposed to be
smart about energy,
but most days I waste a ton of energy
wondering where to expend effort.
If ever there was a slim possibility
that an overthinker is sitting down,
conjuring every potential outcome of
every situation,
it’s all me.
Every time I think I’ve found
the simple solution,
I complicate things again.
I know I’ve got it wrong,
but for real,
keep it simple, man.
Just wake up, get shit done,
go home, and call it good.
Just call it good.
Please just do it.
This has been another self-
flagellation session
brought to you
by little old me.


Spooktown, 17 (291.)

There comes a time
when the experience is worth more
than the trouble of perfection,
so don’t fret the details,
just sweat the work –
no matter how sloppy,
no matter how rough around the edges,
just embrace it
and drink the sweet blood
that drips
from the effort.


Spooktown, 15 (289.)

He’s one of those nerds,
a little too skinny
with no throwing-arm to speak of,
unless he’s throwing dice
at a tabletop role-playing game.

His hair goes from semi-professionally short
to wishfully-hippie-esque
’cause it’s not a great time for a trim,
and it almost never is,
though he’s kept it on the shorter side
for almost a year now.

He’d wear referential t-shirts every day
if he could get away with it,
but when he needs to perform on the job,
he has a few decent button-ups
that make him look like he knows a thing or two.

He does know a thing or two, but they’re mostly about
which fantasy race sees naturally in the dark,
or which metal is most effective
when fighting supernatural entities,
or which video game series began on this or that console
so many years ago; most days, his head is a sieve
instead of a bowl, and a lot of stuff
just leaks right out.

He thinks he’s a small kind of handsome,
with fine, sharp bones and a sad
lack of flesh, but he prefers
scrawny life to brawny life,
and he thinks
that if he could just find someone who likes that,
someone who can deal with bony edges,
he could have a relationship.

It’s more than that, though.
His physique is small and a little sharp,
but his bearing is sloppy,
and his mind wanders;
he forgets to ask questions of people,
and he doesn’t always
present his thoughts in a way
that is attractive.

Oh well.
He’s a decent scrawny nerd man.
Any chapter now,
he hopes that a new love interest
will be typed into the book of his life.
Today, though, he has
procrastinated too much.
He belays the daydreams
and heads back to work.


Spooktown, 14 (288.)

Taking little trips,
I read a book,
I listen to a song,
I play a game,
I play along,
while work calls,
and the worst part of having no motivation right now
is knowing that I may not ever have motivation,
not to do what I need to do,
I’ve got all these tasks
and assignments and projects
and lots of office-speak for “stuff to do”
and I just
don’t wanna do ’em,
so I distract myself,
knowing full well that with my frame of mind,
I’ll feel guilty, I’ll acknowledge that I’m letting people down,
I’ll “buckle down” and look back at my list of things to do
and I’ll do them, slowly, painfully, one at a
bloody time,
until, maybe,
I’ve caught up just a little
by 5 or 6 AM
and the hastily-sent emails confirming my completion
spread the illusion that I’ve awoken early
to ring this joyous bell,
though everyone in the office knows
I’m a night owl
and I sleep until the afternoon,
and I look in the mirror
and I lie in my bed
and I ask myself
“What the hell do you want to do?,”
and this season I,
I really want to sit down
and chill out
with a good book
or a controller
or a video
and just sit back,
but what does this accomplish,
I ask myself,
what’s the point of not enriching myself,
’cause really, what I want to do
is make something really cool,
really touching and moving and important,
a game, a book, a collection of poems,
I’d like to make a million tiny reminders
that life can be beautiful,
that people can be good,
but for now I flip-flop between
too much coffee and too many pastimes
so work is hard to do,
and I pay for it later,
and they pay me for it on time,
and I’m so far behind,
and I just can’t rewind,
but I’ll get it done on time, this time,
and I’ll get through this hellish slog
to maybe finally embrace the weekend
and see the trees, and the myriad leaves,
and the tired bees,
and so many good things,
I just need a break, is all.


Spooktown, 13 (287.)

Look, it’s me,
a self-flagellating vampire
drinking his own lifeblood
and losing his feel for the sun.
I never meant to leech
my own energy,
but I’m so damn tired lately,
I can’t help but conclude that
I’m drinking deep of myself.
And not in the good way.
It’s not like I look in the mirror
and feel proud, or say “I know this guy,
he’s a good guy,”
it’s more like
I neglect most self-care
and sleep less than I should,
eat less than I should,
stay inside more than I should,
focus too much
on my lack of dates,
fuck, I know
we’re in a pandemic
so I shouldn’t feel bad about staying in,
but at this point I don’t know,
I don’t know what I wanna do.
This self-pity party
has been brought to you by
Diet Coke at 2 AM.
It came with a leftover
Jimmy John’s BLT.
I’m not trying to connect Jimmy John’s
to depression, but
I gotta say, my lack of restraint
when it comes to ordering food lately
is a bit of a concern.
So anyway, I’ve gotta
work full-time to make ends meet
and hold up the contract I signed.
But what I really want
is a good long vacation
to explore beautiful places
and hone budding skills.
Oh well, it’s
rent and random bills for me,
something drastically awesome happens.
Fuck the system.
There we go, this vampire
never lost his teenage angst.

For real though, I want
all the blood I can get.