So Afraid, Always Afraid

“but in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself”

—Albert Camus

Any tremble

through the trees


to the first

wind, the

next wind,

or no wind:

always afraid,

so afraid

to simply be,

with no


with no

place to go,


walls left to build,

no excuse

left to believe,

no end;

then again,

no end.

(September 12, 2021)

Map a Return Into the Ocean’s Lost Metaphor

There is no causality, no maze

to transcribe into memory,

simply a chance to breathe

near the bottom of the stairs;

and, like a mouth singing 

arias, I crack open the bones

in my chest to find a way

into the warm flesh, to dip

my worn fingers slowly in,

to feel the heart’s contours

define the next last moment,

to map another return into 

the ocean’s lost metaphor.

(August 25, 2021)

Always a Model Nearby

“Props and other disinherited

paraphernalia are never enough.”

—Susan Howe

My hands cradle my face,

covering my dead eyes. 

Worn thin like ragged cloth,

I am tired of my life:

Before sunrise I wake,

slowly move down the stairs,

and start again. Morning 

rituals of coffee

keep the old dramas near,

private. I want to wail,

long howls into the dark.

Instead, I feed the dog,

whose tail wags happily

as she eats her kibble.

(August 9, 2021)

After Image

With disdain,

he turns

from the mirror,




like a cicada’s husk


on a tree’s bark.

(July 29, 2021)


I fear silence

for it leaves me

to my words.

Their whispers


my periphery,

like minnows

tear a worm’s

flesh from

the steel hook


in a creek’s

slow eddy.

(May 11, 2021)

side note

indecisive and insecure 

I am on an edge 

no cliff nor rooftop 

from which to leap 

more marginal  

more like myself 

a collection of questions 

laced down a ragged page 

I take a moment 

to pull myself close 

to gather myself 

into a tighter pile 

of misunderstandings 

to tie myself to a series 

of questionable knots 

strung across the night 

with a sense of frivolity 

like lights at a garden party 

or a noose in a lonesome room 

swinging beneath a bare bulb 

(March 25, 2021)

heal thyself (87)

all I have are dull words

to bludgeon my tongue

into submission

but if i strop the blade

the leather’s length

until the edge gleams

as with sliced ribbons of light

then I might excise

the shadows from my heart

without a trace of blood

to mark my disillusions

(October 27, 2020)

Day’s End

If I could peel these veins

from my arms and fashion

them into a noose,

then I’d find a dead tree

to swing upon

like a tattered paper lantern

dancing in an empty breeze.

(August 30, 2020)


I am tired today,

as I am most days these days.

I’m caught in a loop.

(October 29, 2019)


Pale in a white sky,

the moon hangs low this morning.

I must go to work.

(October 14, 2019)