used to be, when he’d talk,
people’d listen with their whole bodies
used to be, when he’d look at a painting,
he’d see anything but brush strokes
when he’d wake,
the sun’d still be the sun
then he’d stop and think: maybe not;
maybe it’s someone else
He knew he liked tall buildings before he had seen one with his own two eyes. In his dreams, there were stories of glass and steel piled high above, around him. These towers reflected the city while simultaneously contributing to its might. He wanted to be a tall building, noticed not just seen. He wanted to be the glass elevator, moving up and down, in a constant effort to maintain a relevant point of view. He knew the city would be there long after the tall buildings weren’t tall anymore. ‘Tall’ seemed both historically relative and timeless. He was short.
We shouldn’t stop to smell the empty spaces that fill our hearts will apprehension. We ought not.* Some places are perfect unoccupied.
Her reputation preceded her, as they say.
In a city of merely a handful of hundred thousands,
she left a trail of broken beds in her wake.
Her greatest feat was detachment.
Her greatest fear was silence at night.
His greatest desire was to stand second in line.
Behind her, of course, ready to step forward.
But always behind her, for however long.
Because that place ought to be only his.
Dear random bookstore lady,
Thank you for making such a meaningful book recommendation. You caught me off-guard; I was thoroughly contemplating purchase before your nudge in the right direction. The tone of your voice was familiar and endearing. Ignoring your advice was impossible.
Truth be told, another friend of mine had already raved about the book, one I couldn’t wait to read, and now, have read.
I wrote you a poem and drew you a picture in gratitude:
we pretend that valentine’s day doesn’t matter over dinner.
we talk about socks and rocks while flipping bottle caps.
i wear my thinking cap forward and my dreaming cap backward.
i eat monopoly pieces when it isn’t my turn.
we have a hard time looking one another in the eye.
we are shy and embarrassed by our pupil’s honesty.
i meet people i assume i’ll never see again.
i don’t want you to be one of these people.
we could practice cursive and long division.
we already do to some extent, adding fractions too.
The commuter rail passes at night.
I don’t need to see because I know:
these trains don’t rattle my bones.
I teach poetry to little ones.
They favor the slant rhyme
& fake words for all of time.
A girl asked me: what makes a poem?
Look, a single word might do
or a slew/ of them together.
All it takes is recollection
and the right environment.
Any thought can be hell-bent.
A boy told me his favorite word.
Long-winded but meaning ‘immediately.’
Spoken words, another said so,
after you get mad, you get sad.
So succinct and self-contained.
Human nature is not sight.
We exist to envision ourselves
as works in perpetual progress.
Home runs not out of the park,
but oddly within the walls
and still somehow out of reach.