Monday, December 29, 2014

The Pond

Most times

This pond

This spillway

Is filled with water

But today the water is gone

Men work

On the edge of its muddy bottom

Clearing brush from the runoff canals

When it does rain

The nearby oily streets of the city

With their multicolored surfaces 

Catch all of heavens teardrops

Then send them rushing for the storm drains

Filling the underground culverts

Swollen cement canals spew dirty water

Like outstretched tongues

From gapping mouths

These flumes will flow with fury

Gush into the pond 

At unbelievable speed

But for today

The pond is dry

The sun is up

And the men keep working

Pulling tires and trash from its bottom  

Two bald eagles

Stand in the flats

Far from the workers

They watch ducks swim in circles

Circles they swim

In what little water is left

Pooling in the middle 

In 1992

I worked on the opposite side of the pond

From where I sit now

At a grocery store

Back then paychecks were nothing

4.25 An hour to be precise

You got an extra quarter

For running the meat slicer

Gutting fish


Guiding cow carcasses through a band-saw 

So, I took the quarter

And the pink sawdust that came with it

2 Dollars more a day was a lot

When you had a baby at home

Wrapping Christmas turkeys

On Christmas Eve

For Christmas shoppers

To fight, fondle, and run over each other for

Was all part of the gig

10 years later

I was washing cars on

This side of the pond

Pushing them through a tunnel

To be scrubbed by machines

Spinning rags and drip lines of suds

Water jets blasting off

The filth of the city

Conveyer chains constantly cranking

Moving through gears beneath my feet 

In time I would leave the wash

For time is all we’re ever really in

I would leave

The dark waters of the pond

To drift in the workforce

Christopher McCandless must have been

Whispering in the wind back then

For I had the strongest urge to drift

So I became a Mechanic

A Pipefitter

A Ditch digger

A Groundskeeper

Anything to pay the bills and keep writing

Keep doing art 

10 years later

I find myself back at the pond

Washing cars with folks half my age          

After 3 months of looking for work

And being told

With the friendliest smile

“Oh Hun, we’re not going to hire you”

“We like to hire younger folks”

“You understand?”

“Don’t you?”

I was happy to be back

At this place

I’ve spent so much of my life

And here I sit

Eating lunch and looking out

On the muddy flats of

The pond

Monday, December 1, 2014

River Phoenix Back Then

I ran into River a few times

On the streets of Gainesville

In the crowds we both moved around in

In a scene stitched together

By threads of music, art, and skating 

I also crossed paths

With his little brother once

Back then

His brother went by a different name

Name change or not

Weren’t we all different?

Back then

When River was being born into this world

I was being conceived

Nine months and seven states separated us

Until his family made their way to Florida 

The times I was around him

And he around me

River seemed

Locked into something

Most never know exist

But we all know

Existing means very little without knowing

Back then

He would come and go

From the city of angels


To some faraway movie set

Act out another role for the watchers

Become another side of

What the world would perceive him as

Cut away at the rough

Like the facet of a diamond 

The last time I saw him

He seemed closer than ever to the knowing

He was raising hell at a hemp festival

In downtown Gainesville 

Trying to swing from the ropes

Of the courthouse flagpole

Like a modern day Tarzan

At least this looked like what he was trying to do

Until two cops walked over and ID’d him

Back then

You could be jailed for a joint

Cars were confiscated for containing a seed

So, I’m sure the cops were looking for any reason

For Tarzan to take a ride with them

But River was let go

I watched him disappear

Into the street shadows of night 

Someone standing close by said

He was pissed because his band 

Was booked to play a few blocks away

The crowd had gathered

To see several bands for free and fly high at the festival

They weren’t going to pay to see his

But we know

Some say a lot about what happens a few blocks away

River was passionate about his music

Hell, he was passionate about many things

Back then

The next time I heard River’s name

Was over a small box radio

While stocking shelves in a hardware store

They said he died on a sidewalk in Hollywood

River was gone forever

He had gotten as close to the knowing

As one could get

That decade started out with Alice singing

“We Die Young”

Many of us never thought we would grow old

But all of us agreed

River left much too soon

Back then

Friday, November 21, 2014

Quotes from : Jason E. Hodges

I’m not afraid to die, but I’m also not afraid to live


Writers that are pouring their soul out for the world to see will cast a perfect reflection of themselves in their work


I was just a drifter, a writer of what I saw.


My life has been a storm of change. Some I did not want, but all I have weathered.


Some live it, some wish they lived it, and some never know it’s there.


You know you’re getting somewhere as a writer when the rejection letters mean as much as spam in your inbox.


We didn’t have AC or Cable TV. We had shade trees and storytellers. This is where my writing comes from.


I write novellas, short books, whatever. I set out to write a good story not write a dictionary.


Writers live within their mind for their flesh and bones are stuck in a far worse place.


Sometimes people just can't take how real the world can be. Even if they're your friend they’ll drop away from you like petals to a dying flower to keep their own sanity. 


A poet writes what they see every day, what they know, what they’ve lived or barely lived through. 


Sometimes the rules of writing get in the way of a good story told.


A shovel is the greatest motivational teacher I know.


Sleeplessness and being a writer seem to go together hand in hand. 


If you’re not going to immerse yourself in your work as a writer then don’t write. But beware, if you’re a writer who does not write, you stand a good chance of drowning in the world that surrounds you. 


Chaos is life, if you're doing great things.


For the writer that has truly suffered, their pen, their words, their art will become as important as breathing.


Lies are served like a fine delicacy. But beware, the truth of it all will sour, lodge in your throat, and choke your very existence if you continue to believe them.


Sweat, blood, and tears mean nothing in your writing if you’re not willing to burn what doesn’t work.


Even the wolf gets anxious, but the wolf keeps moving and doing, all while being washed in the magic of moonlight.


You can be the greatest at stringing words together, but if you don’t mean what you say, your words will not live long in this world.


People who think following your dreams is a fairytale don’t realize they’re living the biggest fairytale of all, following the sheep.

These quotes are from my book : Petals Falling

Last Days

My soda can’s exterior sweats

Like a condemned man awaiting his sentence

Waiting for the guillotine to drop

It sweats

From the dry heat inside this break room

Liquid beads slid down its side

Like tears falling from an eye


It’s freezing

Just beyond the windowpanes

Squared glass framed visions of the outside

I wonder

As my break is coming to an end

And I have to

Go back to the factory’s floor

Will this be my last day?

The wind is cold outside


At least it carries hope of something different

Hope of a place

Where my bones no longer hurt

A place where they won’t wake me

In the night with the feeling of

Bending and burning beneath my skin

A place where dust no longer fills my lungs

Agitating my bad genes

My Alpha 1


Yes, doctors assured me dust would be the death of me

And here I stand working in this factory

Day after day

Trying to stay above water

While getting one step closer

To drowning in my own lung’s fluid

But for now

It’s time go back to the time clock

Until I’m ready to trust the cold wind

Just outside the window

This poem is from my book : Petals Falling

Let Me Die

I see this kid today

In the heart of the city

He says he’s eighteen

But he looks much younger

Hell, everyone looks younger now!

As we sat on the curb talking about skateboarding

I notice the words, Let Me Die

Carved into his forearm

There were also

Diagonal lines cut underneath these words

Red and puffy

The pre-infection stage

They were standing in a row

These lines

Like little toy soldiers

Ready for battle


I’m not sure if their host

Their canvas

Realizes how long of a battle it might be

I know for some of us

It seems to never end

He starts talking to another kid about cars

I sit watching the traffic light change colors

All while memories go by

Dance in my mind

Like a Jester for a king

Memories of when I was his age

Memories I’ve never forgotten

Even if I’ve tried

This poem is from my book : Petals Falling