Date of Birth

Wrote this on my birthday in 2009. It was a bitter cold day, windy, and I was at a crummy Motel 6 in Laramie, Wyo. Alone, broken, and no one even cared I was alive:

 

On the edge of a sunset, frozen blade of sky

The cold of the air

Tearing at the neon specials

Along this road

Any road

Anywhere

Utterly true loneliness

Rears its ugly and beautiful head

Tears at the heart torn

Pulls the water from the eyes

As day gives birth to another night

Sunlight vanishes

Like me again

Couldn’t even say where I am today

Don’t even know where I’ll be tomorrow

And they ask me where do I want to be in five years?

The whole world is ridiculous

As we bleed and fret

Over fucking FICO scores

And pointless career goals

And look at this mess

Because humanity’s priorities all askew

Divisions are great

As lovers decide our fate

By diamond size

And the car we drive

 

And I’m the worthless one?

It’s the smell of the EARTH

On my DATE OF BIRTH

And there’s no one to tell

The story of my life to,

anymore …

 

 

 

 

Jennifer in the tall pine of my mixed memories of love

My feelings of late have been a mix of fear and love. I was in Denver recently and it was a big, dirty city of sadness … but then out there on the fringes, there was some beauty. There was beauty in the music, there was beauty on the beating down train, there was so much beauty in the thoughts of my lover back home. The hotel where we stayed was just beaten up luxury … worn down by the madness in the neighborhoods surrounding it … the metro kept blaring in the night, and I thought of Jennifer and how I wanted to hold her in the bed, to feel her hair against my face, to feel her warmth, to feel her hot, naked body beside me as we drifted off to different dreams. And I missed her at breakfast as we ate toast and oatmeal and drank coffee in the lounge. I missed her as I waited for the train in the golden light. I missed her as my favorite band pulverized my senses with the best music I’ve ever known. I missed her as I ate shrimp and cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory downtown – remembering our time there together, drinking green tea and looking into those blazing blue eyes like sapphire and feeling a peace like Jesus. I missed her as we walked the same steps we once took, together. Every heartbeat inside of me echoes her essence. I remember the kiss of her lips, her smell, her taste … and it all fits like gold in an unlocked cage. Even when I’m angry and hating … I think of her crushed in my arms in the warm and clean bed of night. I taste her final kiss before sleep. I can feel the damp softness of her mouth, the crush of her hand, the throbbing in her breasts, the heat between her legs. I feel her love. I’ve tasted her tears as I’ve punished her. She has felt the wrath of my dark side … and even so, she loves. I ache tonight for her. I ache for my love in this hallow autumn darkness and loneliness. I ache for my Jennifer. I want to be inside her and feel the soft, caring of her air. I want to fall asleep with her skin and loving mouth right there. I want the sun to crack open in the morning and spill upon her and show me my angel. I love her inside like a jet engine. She straightens me. She loves me. She takes care of me without trying. She never gives up. She’s my strength and my sunset. I hope I die before her, because I could never live without her. That’s what my grandfather said about my grandmother. They were married for 60 plus years. And he did die before her. Lucky man. Makes me remember summer jam, suddenly, on toast at grandma’s in the morning. Warm toast and Sanka and red red cardinals fluttering about in the backyard as the day came to life in soft light. Sometimes you got to miss your young heart and all that innocence floating around it. Then you open your eyes in the morning after a distant and disturbing dream and realize it’s time to wake up and serve the new king … and the scent of my Jennifer lingers in my sheets and across my pillows and through the air of my home. I try to remember the feel of her warm, wet lips … the kiss that forces surrender, those blue, blue eyes exploding before me. It’s there, in the air, a tingling love on my own mouth as she vanishes again into life. And I miss her – two strangers that just collided like an accident … crushed metal, blood and undeniable love.

Long Enough

There was I, that is desolation, saying goodbye amidst the turning of the earth. There was I, this lonely man in the breech birth of autumn, oh this downfall, like no other perhaps, like wedding rings thrown down a well, and if only I could cry I would, but this world seems endlessly blank, the scars cannot even breathe … I thought all I did was in the name of love, but I concluded all I did was in the name of selfishness. But what is a heart if not selfish? Who doesn’t want to be loved by the ones that say they love you? My soul can no longer afford or tolerate the hurt. My soul, in this hell, has suffered long enough.

JenBender

sometimes I have been in love

but not like what this girl is

a love beyond what love even means

our clasping hands during dreams

the night, sweet, the breeze, her beside me

breathing in the dim darkness

I look over to see her

a beauty I can’t explain

my heart settles in her

like the rain in earth

Christmas Bitch

I found out today that I am useless.

Someone at my work sent out a scathing e-mail about something I fucked up over the weekend.

Jesus! I’m sorry. I try so fucking hard yet I always seem to do something wrong. And people jump on that. It’s always what you do wrong, never what you do right. I’m so sick of mean and hateful people. I’m sick of the unfriendly and cold.

I was going through boxes of old family Christmas stuff when my phone rattled and shivered to let me know something wasn’t right. I got sick to my stomach the moment I read the tirade against me. “Fuck you, bitch!” was my very first reaction. Yeah, I’m surrounded by mean bitches. “If you had 13 pages to deal with you might fuck up too,” I thought. “But no, you have to do like two pages a day, and then spend the rest of your time on your fucking phone and Facebook!”

Anyways, like I said, I was going through boxes of old family Christmas things. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see the memories come back to life. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see the care and affection my mother had for Christmas and to know she got fucked by the world and cancer. That she had to suffer endlessly and die.

She loved Christmas. She loved to decorate. And that is why I will keep every piece of Christmas decor she held so dear. But it’s heartbreaking to relive the memories and the joy that there once was. Heh, now Christmas is pretty much a fucking joke. But maybe this year I will put up a tree and some of her decorations just to honor her sweet enjoyment of the holiday – the way it used to be.

I’m so crushed these last few days. So crushed and empty. It seems no matter what I do, I fail. Like I said, I feel fucking useless. I want to move to Ireland and say “fuck off America. You suck!” My birth has been pointless. My existence is pretty much a burden to everyone around me. I don’t even want to wake up tomorrow. I hate traveling to hell. Pain and suffering. Day in, day out. Pretty much all it is. I’ve set myself into a life of misery –  like brick in mortar. Why do I do such things? I should have sailed off to Neverland when I had the chance.

This life. This world. It’s sick. Why amI here?

Soul House

There was a dark, lonely road of dirt that led to a bright spot at the end. There were leaves, turned sour and clotted in the mud. The road was lined with black trees, leaning in, almost like an arch, and at the end of the road rose up a white house – old, a bit crooked, quiet, serene, adjusted to a different time. There was peace there, yet malice. Distant ghosts hollered from the bellies of old lives once standing on the wooden porch and looking out. The land surrounding was wide and thick and green. Trees rose up at the edge of the interior. A crooked fence could no longer stand – like an old man wobbling on a cracked cane.

I don’t know how I found this place. It just appeared to me at the side of the road and I turned. I was lost somewhere in Tennessee in the dead of summer with the sun shimmering like an earthquake, love leveling off, hope and desire sparingly filling me with fuel. I looked over at the empty passenger seat where she once sat. Red Hot Chili Peppers was blaring on the stereo – a strangely upbeat sound that somehow calmed my nerves. And I wondered. What is this world? Why are we here? Why are we all driving around like maniacs? Where did we all come from? For what purpose is it we breathe?

I got out of the car and the only sound in the air was that of the door slamming. A woosh, clap kind of sound. The soles of my shoes rubbed against the rough ground. I shielded my eyes from the sun and looked at the place. It seemed abandoned. It seemed abandoned like my soul.

Sometimes my heart bleeds through to the prayer. I reached down to touch my shirt at the breast. It was red with loss. I stepped up onto the porch. There were wooden planks abandoned by time, rough with neglect passed down through the ages. The door was dusty and wide open and I stepped in. The windows were broken. Glass littered the dust on the old floor. The place smelled like distant lives. There was a table, old and worn, but no chairs; rectangular, seating for six, perhaps, and a cabinet for plates and glasses now long empty and worn. An old, oval carpet collected dust. The kitchen was cleaned, but abandoned, the cabinet handles gripped the prints of hands that long ago touched. I needed a mercy pill for my pain. My jeans were torn. I felt sweat in my head. I miss that lava kiss she forgot. I am here, floating, like some device of unknown purpose, filtering through the traffic of frantic lives in a world we created completely based on cost, on money, on profit, on gains, on plastic corporate coma induced bullshit.

I sat in an ugly parking lot of some ugly American strip mall today. I ate a sandwich. I called my girlfriend. I drank some diet lemonade cranberry drink. The asphalt is stained. The human heart is drained. This is life? The beckoning call of cattle to buy. The 40 -plus hours a week of slavery? Fuck. I can’t change this dismal world. Piggly Wiggly should not be some dirty whore dump. It should be stars in a child’s mind of summer night.

The house reminded that dead is dead and that this place was indeed dead. It would be swallowed up by the weeds like a dragon to night flies. This world is too coarse for me. Gunshot blasts just rang out in the night. I need love. For my life was so distant from it. Love has never been love. It has always been just a passing phase. A story, a trick, a lightning-fueled tick of the breath.

One of the sweetest, best moments of my life lately, having been sitting in the comfort, wooden din of the Pinewood market, having a sandwich and an iced tea looking across at my blonde wonder, my wife invisible, the love of my near-ending life, biting into sweetness, talking, laughing, being quiet, refrigeration, menus, recipes, what cake shall we have for dessert? The hot parking lot. Paper towels at the table on a roll. Farm-fresh eggs on the shelves.

For this world does not value love, or peace, or kindness like it should. The world does not value life. This world values money, and plastic, and the hours of our lives. This world values slogans, catch phrases and trademarks. This world values a money hungry god. This world values one life against another – when ALL lives should matter. This world values hatred and greed and starvation of the dark-skinned. This world values profit over people. I’m sick to my stomach of it. I’m sick of the black-inked souls roaming this world.

And I get caught up in the hatred, the ugliness. I insult my own girlfriend – a tainted mind sees a circus in the background.

I remember opening the door to spring as a child. It smelled, tasted so wonderful and full of possibilities. It tasted of fresh, green grass. Now I drive through clotted hatred. I roam through a collection of lost souls every day. My solace? A lover lost between the lives of everyday living. She sleeps in my bed and I kiss her soft cheek goodbye in the caustic morning. She is my atomic bomb of peace and love, and yet I rage at her because of my imbalance. Normal is not good enough, eh? Throw in some madness to the mix.

The house was blind and smelled of death. It was hot. Much too hot for a normal person to brave.

I am neither sad or happy. I am neutral. I am Switzerland. Some weeds were growing up through the foundation. The cement was cracked. I feared asbestos poisoning and went out. My car stood there like a soldier. I got in. I drove off. I watched the sun set amongst the fields and the green. It was beautiful, but it was ugly and lonely and time consuming at the same time. The consumption of time. That’s a hoax they will never convince me of as being necessary for the greater good of the company.

Maybe it’s starting to rain. Maybe I need to just relax and not have a stroke. Maybe I just need to patiently wait for the next world – for this one is like a deep slit in the wrist – it will eventually kill you. Maybe I should just let the love I have cradle me in the deep of night and let peaceful dreams of another world sweep me away. She is beautiful beside me – an angel clutching my hand past midnight, an angel I wake up with – coffee and waffles and a long kiss goodbye.

I fear America tonight

I climbed into the eye of God and looked out upon America, that tainted sore upon the world, and I grieved its passing.

I sit here tonight at my quiet desk, in my quiet house, in the quiet country – well, really not all that quiet with the way the heat bugs are screeching tonight – and I am afraid.

I work at a newspaper. What is that? It’s a collection of pages of paper filled with news articles, pictures, and bullshit. I’m on the front lines of headlines every day. My job is to basically siphon through all the morally bankrupt things people in this world do to each other on a daily basis and decide which ones may be worth reading.

Let’s see: Today it was three cops getting gunned down in Baton Rouge, La. Then there was the suspected rapist taking hostages at a Burger King in Baltimore. Another civil war in Africa that no one cares about. A bunch of people died in a bloody coup attempt in Turkey – yeah, no one here probably cares about that one either. Locally, a woman tried to stab her boyfriend to death.

Where did we learn to love like this???

But of course everyone is too busy chasing Pokemon to give a shit.

And now on the eve of the GOP convention in Cleveland – I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what the headlines will be tomorrow. How many more people are going to be gunned down? How many hateful riots will there be? How many more lives will be lost to this madness?

What a lot of people may not realize is that Ohio has an open-carry law. Yeah, you can walk around with a real gun. Real guns are OK, but if you have a water pistol or smoke some grass outside the convention arena, be prepared to be gang-raped by Big Brother.

We have a ludicrous set of priorities in this nation. Ludicrous. And if you don’t know what that word means, watch “Spaceballs.”

I have no love for Donald Trump. I think he’s an egotistical, hate-fueling madman that has no business being in the current position he’s in. And Mr. Pence, the man he chose as his running mate, the governor of the gay hating state of Indiana, looks like a well-groomed Nazi.

Yeah, I’m afraid.

I’m afraid not so much for myself, but for my children, my girlfriend’s children, the future generations of this country – if there will be any.

In all my years, I’ve never seen the world in such a despicable position. And it saddens me. It makes me wonder if this is really just Hell after all. What message of hope can I bring with all this?

I guess the best we can do right now is just love what we got left.

And it’s easy to be distracted by all the negativity. I’m the king of that. But when I have a moment to breathe, I have to remember that love still does exist. It may be minute compared to the hatred boiling over in this pan we call the world, but it’s there.

So, hold her hand tight. Look into her eyes. Tell her that you love her every day. Hug her. Hold on to her in the dead of night. Touch her face, feel her hair, kiss her lips, devour her warmth. Don’t let the venom of all that’s going on kill you. Don’t hate the ones you love. Don’t fight the love they give you.

Kindness can be king.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring – but I am scared, as we all may well be – but I don’t think it’s too late to just be good to each other once in a while. Take care of each other. Don’t let hate in – and don’t push love away.