Hey there Teacher

Fuck-ing bull-shit.

Hey there Teacher,
with the faltering step and the windblown hair.
What’s the story all about,
the one you told from the side of your mouth.
Where honesty met a curve,
tongue lolled to one side and spilled out some verbs.
I know it’s tough to turn the glass,
that shining mirror which overwhelms the past.
Where bullshit shines greasy like sludge,
and all the distortions are gone,
back to the mud.

Hey there Teacher,
with the drugs in your system and cheap sex on your brain,
Do you remember when you stopped learning and just sought out pain?
Stopped spitting out wisdom and bought your own lies?
I know you know the system and how it all spins,
I didn’t think you one who would cheat to win.
Thieving and twisting until your charm is clear,
problems abound but you never paused to hear.
Words and actions meant to help and soothe all your fears
but you were too deaf and I was too near.
Fucked up actions that caused all the pain,
hell you admitted the abuse from your side but then changed the game.
Cut out the bullshit and tell it all true,
I’ll try the straight route and see what you do.

I cheated – when I thought things were open,
so you fucked three more guys and used sex as a weapon.
I hurt you with words – called you freeloader and more,
you called me a psycho, a piece of shit, pathetic, and evened the score.
I didn’t make changes in the ways that I should have,
didn’t take the time to address my behavior in the ways that I could have.
Stopped taking my meds to test out a theory,
that I wasn’t so crazy just misinterpreting the scenery.
I didn’t have the courage to stand by my gut,
so I broke like a loser and washed myself free of blood in the cut.
I didn’t trust you completely and thought it was trash,
an actress putting on skins and a falsified past.
I actively ignored you and left you to your own devices,
was bitter and hateful and often times spiteful.
All the while I bent the world to help you realize your dreams,
pulled out the stops, went into debt without question,
begged on street corners when shit went south even though I wanted to scream.
Started school, accepted disabilities, got a job, begged my family,
all to put food in our mouths.
I changed my approach a thousand and one ways,
became more patient, understanding, sought to attain empathy,
sympathized, recognized, and upended my reality,
all so that I could spend time with you for some much needed days.
When I asked for time and some space to calm down,
you pushed, poked, and prodded – gaslit me all over town.
You had me fooled for so long that I lost who I was,
abused me emotionally, mentally, and then called it love.
When push came to shove at the end, long past due,
asked to be friends then found something to fuck with again, even if it’s true.
So I snapped and said I was done and that it was all dead as could be ever
blocked you like I’m supposed to and wished this would all blow over.
I’d forgiven you for everything,
moved past it into the future where I saw smiling people and less lies.
Then you guinea pigged me and question why I lashed back,
you robbed me digitally for the last of my stack –
the money I sent you strings free the week before when I still had nothing,
might as well have been burned.
The cops could have put you in jail,
they have your license plate number now–watch out for that tail.
I asked them to drop charges and they said they would,
my comment was, “she’s in a horrible situation and deep down she’s all good.
But then I find you spewing hate all over my safe place,
the one outlet I find online.
Evidence says your besmirching me everywhere at this point,
reaching out to other exes and raising unnecessary hell all over this joint,
trying to get my goat got – and I understand that’s just fine.
So realize that while you’re smoking that next bowl,
hooked on the shit and getting tagged for it on the down low,
I’m happier now for a month then I have been since I met you,
not intended as a stab, just honesty, since I look back on our time with regret and much rue.
I regret and apologize for all of the fights,
we should have never been together, you and I just aren’t right.
You were my entire world, believe it or not, and by you my sun set and would rise.
Special you wanted to be and special you were,
now you are nothing but a nightmare and a thieving cur.
And if you want to go fire with fire we’ll both of us burn,
don’t make me reopen charges and shine a light on your emotional spurn –
meth, dick, deceit and theft, you’re the one no one should trust,
hell, I shouldn’t have for a second and I hate that I still feel like I must.
So go lay in the gutter all filled with hate,
funny how it rings so loudly as manipulative a classic NPD emotional quake.
Fuck your intolerant and misjudging voice,
you’ve slandered my ass far too often to care, but that was your choice,
I learned enough from you and I’m done with the lessons,
you speak pretty proudly for a someone who treats their latest attachment as a lifelong obsession.
Clearly your conscience is clear, there are no places of doubt,
I wish you would actually finally cough up your bullshit stories and stop playacting on what this was all about.
Shower someone else with a thousand dull points,
bleed your issues on them till you’re all run dry,
except that you don’t want to do anything about them, you don’t even try,
you just want the sympathy to help you look good and pure while you endlessly justify.
Goodbye for forever, and good luck out there,
Please don’t come back into my life,
we shouldn’t have married, I was no husband and you were no wife.

Hey there Teacher,
with the red eyed face.
I made mistakes and fucked up your life and made it all bad,
but I thought we made our choices ourselves and shouldn’t be sad?
I adored and admired the person you were,
but now you use my name like some dirty slur.
I won’t darken your days or your nights,
all I ask is you get gone and do what is right.
Teacher, you’re all that I needed,
but it’s time to staunch the wounds and stop the bleeding.
Good luck in life, I don’t wish ill on you despite what you’re feeling, I swear,
someday, hell, you might even see that I genuinely cared.
I found that “me” that I lost,
the confidence now to not get talked in circles like a fighter might box.
I’ll share my happy with the world with refinement and friends,
now that your sickness is gone I can finally breath again.
No more second guessing – nothing that won’t make sense,
Hell, I’m back on my meds and feeling peace and its wealth.
Feeling feelings again that aren’t belittled or kept stealth.
I’m free and wished you well while you stole from the bank,
no more parasite on my soul and my heart watching and mocking
while the ship ran aground and sank.
I’m not perfect, I’m deeply and totally flawed,
but your hate is misplaced, and your speaking all wrong,
if I was more talented I’d try and put it to song.
At least then you’d pay attention and might actually have listened,
which I didn’t do until it was too late,
that’s another fault of mine, an ommission.
but that’s ok, it was an error, something I would have changed, a MISTAKE.
So Teacher, the class is dismissed and we’re out of session,
I’ll end this babbling shit show with some questions.
Why is it that you hate me for everything that’s passed?
You’ve done just the same, mimicked my every action in fact –
each nail you drive home, does it stick also to you?
Do you recognize the hypocrisy your hate is laced thick with?

Do you even fucking care to just look at what good times we had as a gift?
The only thing left when the love died was respect in what you were –
does it hurt to know now that she’s gone, that imaginary incredible girl?
The one who says she wouldn’t tell anything but the truth,
never be vicious, always patient and would never steal.
You’ve broken every value you pretended you had,
why am I’m supposed to be the one that leaves this situation feeling terribly bad?




The Middle of the Story

Where our main characters find themselves journeying apart from each other into adventures and places unknown in the hopes that they will reunite as realized and complete individuals on the other side….so we begin in Reno, NV…..

S & H at Taco Loco

Transcribe the hope I feel
into optimism and other such essential stuffs.
Imbibe the flow of sweet spirit
that drips from off our lips and out our mouths.
Believe in dreams meant not to fade
even if the road has twisted uglier and uglier still.
Hold tight to goals we shared
as our footsteps drift further and further apart.
We’re still in love,
and this journey which so profoundly changed us
is not at its end yet – just an interlude.

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.

Drone Boy Reflects

To the top mother fucker.

There is a gaping pressure to perform
and become something more inline
with the standard expectation
that we all face daily. To become
a contributing and upstanding
shill to the mockery lifestyle of
the norm. Where an unabridged story
of what life has really been like
would cause discordant gasps
and choking on $7 coffees. A land
of spreadsheets and data with endless
phonecalls and emails to confirm
that we are all part of this droll
and seemingly futile empire of dreams.
Each moment will be etched as gray
as the moment prior and only
punctuated by the sycophantic
bleating that denotes contrived success.
But there can be joy milked
from every endeavor, every adventure
and journey of any kind. For all I lament
the necessity of this change
I recognize that this, as so much else in life,
is temporary in passing. A gateway
to attain a degree of comfort for myself
and those that I care deepest about.
Walking through the door framed
in expectations is a moment of sacrifice
and service to the good nature of love
where we are willing to endure,
seek to excel, survive and adapt
all for the promise of a more easy smile.
Once the game begins, I enjoy the race
rat or otherwise. I’m programmed
to enjoy the chase, the thrillingly mundane,
the average existence. In some ways
I know the unsuspected truth of experience,
let it guide into appreciation for opportunities
and a day not on the street or going hungry.
For the leakless roof overhead
the potential for participating in the world.
I hate the side of me that is drooling
at having funds available and the luxuries
that they provide. Its almost as though
my inner monsters haven’t been sated,
are waiting for the next opportunity to scorch
away the meat and tender outline
of my flesh gone to pasture in the haze
where hard living is the only pleasure to be found.



Barefoot Lottery Winner Injects Crack Cocaine

An ex-girlfriend stole my shoes once. By breaking in through the floor level hotel room window I was in while I was preoccupied with injecting another fifty units of liquefied crack and vinegar. I even came out when I heard the noise. All I was capable of doing however, was to stare blankly while trembling under the pressures of the locomotive that was my heart careening off the rails inside my head. Didn’t even say anything, just stared.

              It was a bizarre occurrence to be sure. I could only fuzzily sketch out how I had l had hefted her bodily not 30 minutes previously–out into the hallway following what was a reasonable argument taking on unreasonable levels. Now she was snaking out the window to my room dragging behind a pair of black and white Nikes that happened to be my only pair of shoes I had brought.

              Earlier that day I had seen my children for the first time in more than a year. At a supervision center I had ridden the buses and trains for eight hours to get to. Just one hour that I paid for out of pocket. They looked beautiful, he was handsome, she was angelic.

              Far more than I could take

              My ex-wife had structured things so as to ensure I would have to return to my old stomping grounds of New Bedford, MA and this dingy facility if I wanted any access to the kids at all. It was the same city I had desperately sought to get away from during my attempts to get sober. Aside from my children, there was nothing there but the grime and filth and needle strewn streets and shit memories and traumas and fuckups and locations and people I didn’t want or need anything to do with.

                 I had won $10,000 on a scratch it a few weeks before, something that I never thought would happen though I had kept gambling on them periodically for most of my adult life. I had started a new job a few months previously as well. I was living in a halfway house and had been there for nearly 6-months, longer than I had stayed anywhere in several years now. Things were upbeat with many reasons for optimism and putting nose to grindstone while enjoying some happiness for once.

                After seeing the kids I broke down. I knew how much of their absence in my life was my fault, both before and the recent inability to clean up my act.

                I checked into a hotel and managed to track down my ex-girlfriend.

                She was doing amazing, clean, signed up for school to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor—she was really putting the pieces of her life back together again.

                I don’t know if I showed up with the drugs to the hotel and met her, or ordered them after we got there. I do remember using the inside of a hardened blue glasses case as my mixing surface for the rocks. It was good stuff, probably should have just been smoking it, but once you progress to the needle it’s something of an end all be all.

                You mix crack with vinegar or another highly acidic agent to break it back down to water soluble form. I used Braggs Apple Cider with “The Mother” because it was rich in amino acids and somehow in my addled puddle of a brain that meant it was better to use for these particular purposes. That and it reminded me of making salad dressing at the home I had once owned.

                Shot after shot after shot, ringer after ringer after ringer. All she wanted to do was cuddle up and maybe read some of the book she was studying from with me.                

                Rock, vinegar, mix, pull-up, vein, red flash, push plunger, go lightheaded, gasp, nearly orgasm, fall slowly when short gulping air, wind up sitting on the edge of the bathtub shaking head to clear the spots from vision and WHUMWHUM from my ears, rubbing quickly inflating arms to try and minimize the swelling.

                Lost in and to a ritual, there was no mind being paid to anything else but the same rinse and repeat exercise as had just played.

                I realized things had escalated rather dramatically when the chocolate cake was flew past my head, She came at me with those sharpened nails of hers, tried to grab the drugs and throw them in the toilet. Failing that, my ears and face were a good enough post to thud into.. Holding her up against the wall so she would stop ripping at my face, getting spit in my eye before throwing her out into the hallway. I was callous and cruel and willfully ignoring the pointed reality of what I had been doing and how it must have felt to watch me self-destruct so viciously.

                Then she stole my shoes.

                I had smashed my cellphone earlier that evening in some bizarre fit of rage over something seemingly trivial. Thrown it so hard against the wall the mental housing of the iPhone had crumpled as the screen shattered.

                I used the hotel’s lobby phone to call a taxi who took me to get a pair of flip flops at a pharmacy and take me to the hospital for the cuts on my face. The idea of just grabbing some first aid for myself at the pharmacy never even crossed my mind. For quite some time I had become accustomed to just going to the hospital when things had gotten to be too much and I was dehydrated, or crazy from lack of sleep, or desperate for another rehab. It was second nature.

                They thought I was there for chest pains after taking my pulse rate. The EKG came back okay and they let it slide though.

                Eventually I made it back to the hotel.

                The wall in the bathroom was covered in chocolate cake, towels were laying all over the floor. I knew “it” was going to fall apart again with a twisting certainty in my gut born of seeing the same thing happen over and over. Different implosions, different actions at least—but the same result no matter what. Isolated, lonely, confused, ashamed and embarrassed, it never seemed to change.

                When I kept shooting coke for the next two days and had to resign my position I was barely even surprised.

Homeless Idols

House the Homeless - from Council to Homeless Persons
Truth.

Dystopian cartwheels in the caterwauling life we lead
staring constantly at the satisfaction all around.
Bitching occasionally to satisfy unmet desires
that we struggle to attain even at unreasonable cost.
The hunt for happiness overwhelms the basics
and sometimes its worth it whatever the price.
Disciples of a daily rut where we stay stuck and mired
deeply in the mud of a situation not planned for.
In the moments of joy where our desire for completion
coincides with our faithful love and devotion,
we find a peace despite the discord that is without compare.
In the moments where we falter under the weight
surviving as only survivors can and are willing to do,
we have to remember the strength we share to stumble on.
Nothing becomes the norm and requests for aid
cut as a degrading act that dehumanizes us further.
Outlasting the shame of each failure and the disgust it brings
resolutely waking each morning to the grim gray of sameness.
As upper class homeless we are on the outskirts,
enjoying luxuries like cold running water and a toilet,
that the rest of goddamn society imagines are god given.
Fear that the envy of our possessions will lead to thievery
leads us to close the door and have knives on hand.
Eating another can of soup in mid-summer heat
because the soup kitchens provide cans and bread regularly
and its too goddamn expensive to purchase a real meal.
Endlessly pretending that things will just fix themselves
because the reality of work necessary to get out of this situation
is beyond daunting, it’s easier to capitulate and get high.
Holding tight to special items because they are memories
encapsulated in the fur of a stuffed animal or favorite shirt.
When you’ve lost it all so many times before
the littlest things can have such an enormous significance
you might even indulge in a treasure box for safe keeping.
Solid week long stretches without bathing
because the $7 per person to shower at the truck stop can’t be found.
People look at you with mixed contempt and confusion
because if you dress nicely and present well
it defies logic that you should be in such a predicament.
Putting on makeup diligently just to feel pretty for a moment
scrape the grunge of sweat stained skin stickily from your body.
Oh yes, there is freedom to be found if you chose to indulge
and let the wash of illicit and irregular activities become your home.
A beer and some vodka to wash down the weather and heat
along with the anxious discord of stress over the unknown of tomorrow.
A shot or a bowl of glass to provide focused determination
the confidence to strive for success into the oncoming crush
or an opportunity to zone out and lose days at a time without emotion.
Some black tar to sleep peacefully and stay dazed
no thought and no fear, no nothing at all because you’ve gone dead inside.
Its a slide down into a pit of needles and loss
where the bottom can always fall out and take you lower,
lower than you ever imagined possible in such insidious ways.
Bravo to those that soldier their way out of the muck
find themselves a spot of sanity and personal identity
allow themselves the grace of overcoming through grit.
Fucking monsters of life having been torn through the gutter
when they stand proud and defiant despite their obstacles
applaud those hard mother fuckers that didn’t give in,
defied all the odds and managed to rejoin the world on their own terms.