Work on What has been Spoiled

From “Renditions of Change” a work in progress

Caught in a tight 

spiral of self-loathing,

I try to scrape

and cut away 


like a benign tumor.

Yet, I return and return

to each malignant moment,

and paint my face

in ritual guilt,

as if one could absolve

the past, and be free. 

(February 12, 2019)

Blood in the Mouth



As if thrown into the sea,

I drown in myself. Adrift,

Worn from lack of sleep again,

I berate and taunt my past.


Each faux pas, each arrogant

Act, repeated and rehashed

Until each cringe inducing

Detail is nailed to my skin.


Time does not layer armor

Tightly enough to protect

Against the internal thrusts,


But rather sharpens the blade

To more precisely dissect

Each vein flowing from my heart.


(December 14, 2017)

Inarticulate Roots Tangle

“to try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little”
                        –Roland Barthes
Another day whistling phrases from pop song melodies
Hours after they’ve played on the radio on his way to work.
Another night as he twists in sleep worrying phrases he heard
Other people say as he wandered haplessly through his day.
His silence and blather pulled him ever deeper into the morass.
He said too much too late, and too little when it could’ve mattered.
Fragmented and inarticulate to the end, he parses his phrases
Sharply between all he said and all he wished she had heard.

(July 9, 2017)

Blame and Guilt

the moments when you know
you’ve failed rise about you
as dust around a stone
dropped casually from above
a small halo of insincerity
followed by motionless clarity
where all your mistakes stand
clear in their relentless plunge
like a meteor into a darker sea
that each one in its simplicity
seems it could have avoided
its slow inevitable collapse
lost alone scattered upon the rocks
already certain you are not at fault

(August 20, 2015)