F*ck Sunshine

I’ve found playful meaning

in the sharpest strands of daylight

while they bleached my night tan

into a wholesome red and brown.

been stripped clean of the unwholesome.

The rasping, the choking, the decaying

scent of another moon laced night

spent chasing dragons down the streets.

In the silver kissed necklace of shadows

that roll menacingly beneath the stars

as a slipshod grasp on tenuous reality

falls away, fast as a bat, never to be caught.

Crawled out dusty and beaten by self

into the unwelcome openness of daytime

Where people have jobs and families

go do things and have fun of their choosing.

There’s always a sick, nasty bitterness

surrounding the way I’d look at the crowds.

In those moments when shame carries

the day and bitterness over the injustice,

of wounds septic and worsening, a brain

melting beneath the heat of inquisition.

A Cadillac of contempt would sit, shining

In the corneas of each purple smudged eye.

Letting the self-loathing and concern go awry,

masking envy as hate and desire as disgust,

riding panic and fear out as arrogance and disdain.

Patronizing seconds as the world creaks,

moans its way out of the decadence of night,

quickens into the tittering joy of form alive.

There’s no surface to touch and manipulate

no interface that allows for a connection across

to that other world imbued with shiny smiles

and unbroken teeth not doing unspeakable acts.

In those moments when the sickness begins,

wafting out of your skin to notify and alert

anyone caring to notice of your diseased being,

your lesser than status, your unworthiness.

Those are the defining moments that show

the defying strength and fortitude you want,

when you have the opportunity tell the world

“get fucked, piss off, I make the next choice.”

or reaffirm the skepticism pandering to your

apathetic acceptance of what life has become.

Those are the moments when the shear grit

required to simply gut out the next series

of bad decisions, knowing how much it will hurt

but owning it, owning that the deeper down

you crawl the higher it will feel at baseline.

When you finally disconnect from the grime

Long enough to breathe untainted air

Purified in the radiance of sunbeams

And the wealth of happiness that soaks

Summer days beneath the blue painted sky,

there is a startling awareness, an epiphany,

a closure to doubt and a recognition,

that sobering up is just getting high in a new way.

Clown Shoe Hustle

On with the show.

When I show up and use a prepaid debit card with borrowed funds and a big grin while spouting the sweetest “thank you” ever heard to the check-in lady–ignore the fact my clothes are second hand. Ignore that from a material standpoint, virtually everything I’m wearing is from homeless shelters, the YWCA, and the generosity of strangers and family. One of the necklaces I have on is from a cellmate when I was in jail, the other is a gift from my wife, neither ever comes off. A reminder of what awaits when my control slips, the other a reminder to be grateful for the people in my life who mean more than things–something I’ve consistently been terrible at remembering.

The suitcase I have has traveled more than 42 residence moves, endless hotels, the streets, and being encased in the coffin of my truck bed while filled with the only non-destroyed dress pairs of shoes I own. In point, the ones I’ll be wearing which are from a Goodwill purchased on my wedding day, another pair came from the local 7th Day Adventist thrift store on our bi-monthly free clothing visit. I once owned a brown, $700 pair of Italian handcrafted leather wingtips that fit around the cedar shoe trees as perfectly as my feet and sat in shoe bags so as not to be scuffed. These days, you’re more likely to see me wearing absurd Size 13 flip flops I accidentally purchased and for some reason couldn’t part with. I’m a size 10.5.

My bracelet was the first item I bought for myself when I moved to Oregon. It came at the same time as a pair of beautiful green earrings for my then new girlfriend. When I sued her for the return of my stuff it came to light that her mother had stolen them along with the cell phone I tried to return. That same woman kept my dress clothes and shoes I had put into storage, changed the lock, and had me trespassed from the property. That was a year ago and just like every other time I’d lost everything, I’ve gotten used to not having as much. The bracelet is banged up, missing insets and can be generally uncomfortable, but it’s mine and there are a host of memories attached to the feel of it’s rougher edges cutting into my wrist while I type on the computer.

That’s what it boils down to: memories–items, trinkets, keepsakes, notebooks, letters, a pair of socks, a favored t-shirt, a picture–everything is a memory unto itself in some sense. Those are what I miss more than anything as I find my recall to be less then lucid owing to the PTSD and schizoaffective bipolar. Like I’m fishtailing through a swimming pool of ideas more than memories in any sort of recognizable pattern. Concrete items help lock down specifics in a tactile fashion as though a smell conjuring up the taste of grandma’s sugar cookies.

Just like the suitcase I’ll drag to the elevator has the mental odor of a hundred hotels I stayed in with it when I was last a corporate man traveling the country by plane, train, and automobile. It remembers the blackout drinking, the shakes in the morning, desperate preparations in strange towns trying to banish the heebie-jeebies from my body in time to present rationally to the next client. New York City, Philadelphia, D.C., San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh, Baltimore, Rochester, Binghampton, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver, and every damn city in New England to boot. My bag remembers a time when we stayed at nice hotels and flew 1st class because we were Gold Elite or Platinum mileage members and had a reason to be going from point A to B that didn’t involve simply surviving for another day.

It remembers being filled with the stuffed pig I would take pictures of in all those cities to send home to my son and ex-wife to let them know I was thinking of them. Being crammed with apology gifts for when I hit it too hard and forgot to call home because I was passed out or indisposed with a drinks meeting that night.

I’m sure it remembers being stuffed in with everything I was allowed to salvage from the house when the divorce started. That was the storage unit, 10’10’ space packed full, that I used to sleep in some days when I was too beat. I would lay my head on it like a pillow and bungie cord the door shut since there was no lock on the inside.

Because it remembers those things, holds them in the toughened fabric sewn to it’s exterior and it’s still rolling wheels, I can still feel those moments as vibrant as they were when they happened.

When I get to the room, you won’t see the mixed look of shock and delight on my face when I lay down in a normal bed, or take a shower with hot water and comfortably dry off rather than contort in the space available at home or the local truck stop. You won’t see the delight when I shave, appreciating the joys of a full mirror and a counter to lay things on. The last sigh as I close my eyes in a fully darkened room without dogs barking, goats bleating, and crazy midnight dazed roosters crowing away convinced the stars must just be confused suns needing to be warned away.

Next time you’ll see me is catching the 6:45am shuttle to the training center. You won’t know this backstory either, this is my life story and while I’ll share it with the world proudly, I know when to keep certain things under wraps. After all, I’m back to being regarded as a competent adult male who knows his shit, and you know what, I do. For every moment of doubt that might materialize, or second of uncertainty edge its way through to rut against the fundamental sense of confidence I have to nurture daily–for every one of those moments I can recover with a sense of gratitude and awareness I once lacked. I do know my shit. I’m grateful to be able to say that comfortably, though I will always remain open to learning more.

This time I’m not going to feel like I shouldn’t be where I am. That the world was just messing with me, getting my goat by pretending that I was a real boy and letting me play dress up as an adult. I’ve paid my dues, and I know my intentions. I’m going into this with knowledge of myself, the good and the bad. I have a partner/wife who is behind me and supportive as I have never experienced. She deserves my undivided time and attention, I will not slip into the mentality of unappreciative disdain for others in lieu of burying myself in the job. I will maintain the vicious degree of honesty by which I live my life and the understated fact that I don’t change who I am for anybody–take me or leave me, I am enthusiastic, creative, weird as hell, and 100% genuine. Let’s see how that shakes out this time as I step back into the corporate sales world.

You will see a big smile, teeth perfectly aligned and shockingly intact despite decades of drug abuse, hair combed, suit jacket fitted precisely, shirt pressed, bracelet and watch sparkling, shoes polished and clean shaven with eyes glittering a million laughs and adventures into the air between us.

I’m happy to be there, I’m thrilled to meet you, and I’m actually excited for this challenge. Let’s get this show on the road, because I have a wife and dog who deserve to not be crammed into a broken down RV missing it’s ceiling where the water damage was worst, someone who never asks for much but has earned the right to be supported as she pursues her own dreams in education and life. People who believed in me and lent hands to repay, child-support to pay and an ex-wife to sue for access to my children so I can try to set things right with the ones who never did anything wrong or asked for anything more than to be loved. Friends to show that anything is possible, that it can be achieved, you can change your direction in life no matter how low down the ladder you have gone.

I might even buy a pair of size 10.5 flip flops if things go really well. But I would never get rid of the old clown shoes–after all, they have some stories to tell.

Infectious

Infectious mood imagery.

Sardonic reserves of time kept patience
blending outward in rippling shades of hatred.
Baby, you’ve got that heart shaped gaping wound
says you’re bathed in longing for now not soon.
Nothing moves faster than a synapse firing off kilter
blistering brain waves melting downwind all splintered.
If the days were longer and I could taste your fears
all that we’d share could be understanding made clear.
So if you’ll touch your enthusiastic distaste to mine
lets go passe with anticipation and the cheapest wine.
Show me your ugly that I might gag and spew
my own redolent virus of loving life all over you.

Inspired author, Olde Punk doing his thing with Sudden Denouement

https://myvaliantsoulsblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/unfurl/

A personal inspiration/muse of mine is Old Punk with RamJet Poetry and an editor at Sudden Denouement. His work is often raw as hell with a clear demand for the words to be spewed, there’s emotion behind them. I’d encourage you to check his work out and give him some richly deserved love.

College Motivation

Wenatchee Valley College commons during summer with the fountain running,.
Wenatchee Valley College during summer.

Heighten your aspirations,

Get ‘em up where they see the sun,

Float like something lighter than desperation,

Blood soaked to the tarnished beat of your life,

But succeeding despite.

Dude,

Just get the fuck up and move.

Do it,

Even the schoolwork,

Even the homework,

You’ve had the harder lessons,

The ones that left the scars,

Now put some time into the paper ones,

The ones that will lift you to the stars.

Frivolous waste of time you once said,

Now absorb and baptize in the act of learning,

Walk onto a campus,

Where you can be something and never look back.

Glass Walls

Glass maze image from overhead.
Labrynth

Putting pieces back together in a maze made of glass,

Seeing clear the future goals to move beyond the past.

These walls that edge without blotting out my vision,

They feel so tight yet loosely fit and lie about position.

I thought myself to be far in, so buried deep indeed,

Nearly neglected thought and action calls to change for want not need.

Not a Normal Zoo

Tremulous chattering in the van like we’re beetles in heat. Something like that anyways. Its fucking cold but it sure beats being on the street. Time to start on one of those commitments. That thing where we write everyday, try to spew out the content that drives each of us bonkers, makes us sicker and crazier than anything else upstairs no matter how much we beg and pray.

There’s joy to be found here. In the way that our interactions have changed. Its subtle, so very subtle, but present and there’s no denying the pleasure it brings. Instead of side eyed looks they come straight on, a touch of passion, and I’m even back to singing terribly constructed spasmodic morning songs.

Like a drunk man who’s way too sober christening each second with noise to blot out all of the thoughts before they come screaming to his room begging for their toys.

But it’s all got a rhythm to it. A banging irrational rhythm.

From the awkward sex making in the cubbyhole cavern with blanket draped window we reside, to the front seats arm deep in residue from yesterday which resides. You’d think we were animals, but that’s far from true. The hallucinations today have me convinced that we’re clearly not part of the normal zoo.

Find Your Voice (and Video)

Spoken Word Video Reading

Find your voice,
Find your ink,
Air through lips or pressure through finger tips,
Find your voice,
Use it proudly,
Share your love,
Your hate, your pain, your vision, your create, your palette of life lived,
Sing it however you will,
Your voice will carry resoundingly.
Find your voice boy,
Find your voice girl,
If you whisper in the street,
If you stutter and feel like you bleat,
If you shout with violence and hurt,
If you crackle with intensity unleashed.
If the paper runs torn beneath your pressure,
The pentip breaks and spills its hidden treasure,
Find whatever you find that lets you know that you are able,
Complete, and perfectly capable,
Damaged beyond belief,
But beautiful in shining relief,
Find your voice
Find your words,
They’re the path out of wherever you’ve roamed,
And will cut the road home.

A Divorce for the Past, Present, Future

So as something of a preface to the following let me just say that it has been an extraordinary (in both positive and negative ways) period of weeks since I last punched together something to share with the webs’ people. I had a few challenges about a month and a half back which resulted in my being asked to write a divorce letter to my “disease:….but not the quintessential “goodbye forever drugs” – but rather, towards however I envisioned that sickness which had driven me to be were it to wear a physical form. The suave smooth talking salesman, a blundering and demanding gargoyle, a bad ass mans man with a beard, a sexy woman teasing and seducing….whatever form i chose.
Hey baby you sexy thing,
Hey brother you filthy rock star.
Thank you for the stories,
Those staggering rides up with the comets,
Them epic nights rolling without pause into endless days.
Damn but we fucked well and,
Damn we sped past those pathetic sheep on the streets,
Damn we were a fireball of excitement,
A hurricane of insanity.
My sweet goddess of sin,
My destroying titan of hatred.
You blessed me,
You cursed me,
It’s time to walk away,
Sky, John, off with you and your false matrimony,
Off with this slavers collar on my finger,
Just like you spit in my face when the fun was done,
Feel the scornful gaze that your wisdom brought so many I once loved to cast upon me.
Sky, my lovely succubi, take your sinfully beautiful body,
Those promises of impossibly intense bliss that would never end,
Taste the disgust you draped me in before all I encountered.
My gruesome and powerful spirit,
My depiction of remorse,
Of emotion to be understood and chased,
My devil-may-caresofuckitallandwatchtheworldburn charmer,
John, even when you convinced me that I was doing something positive,
Always those that I wanted to hurt the least caught the brunt.
You made loving tantamount to self-inflicted emotional trauma,
Never again.
You both served your purpose, goodbye.
I divorce myself from my past including you.
From the present wherein my personality is lost in yours and all I can see and be seen as is as you made me,
From the future of which I know little,
With this freedom,
I embrace myself again to stand tall and walk with purpose and confidence to something brighter.
Where the voices are new,
The suggestions more pure,
Life lived more passionately instead of intensely.
-S

Hope

Hope is the sun rising again.

The landscape of hope breathes life to we Travelers.

She takes in those who walk upon her,

Brings us to the peaks of our mountains.

She shows us clipped horizons opened to infinity,

Has us inhale crisped air cleaned with freedom.

Where lights cluster above,

Their thousands of points glimmering success,

You’ve made it to join the others,

A star in your own sky,

An inspiration to the next Traveler.

Hope will lead you to become something more,

And the darkness will always give way to your light.