restlessly yawing between apparent extremes



Morning. 4:42.
We are here staring at your fixed mouth
which hangs open as if you were screaming
through black forests for your lost children.
Was your last thought of
fixing breakfast in the cold frail circle; 
pale, weathered, 
spooning sugar and cinnamon?
I whispered in your ear for hours,
telling you "let go."
Could you hear me?
I hope for love's sake
you heard the gentle calling:
hurried blades of grass, 
windswept chimes, symphonic
sapphire moon soaked fields, 
as the darkened sky received you.
I will plant the garden we spoke of
in honor of living, as broken hearts forbode. 
I will cherish solitude with you. Press my thumb into soil.
Were you thinking
of our earliest union?
Instinctive, wailing at separation, we are severed.
My flesh drenched in your water.
The gift of anointing air. 
Unseeing, but swarming shadows,
calming, as the sound of your smiling voice
grows stronger; I am
placed like a summer's rain
pattering upon your chest-a tiny rhythm. 
Outside of you
for the first time.
For one brief moment,
I thought I had lost you forever.

Mending Shoes:

We’ve been here before.

We’ve been here – maybe too long?
The sun is setting on our lives,
The mathematical certainty
That this ends.

We rearrange,
Counting the short days
Bleeding in the flaring sun
Mending the long weathered shoes
For our feet. The last mile.
The journey has been long,
And we ought not wait, but thrive
Through the last breath,
Softly pursed, mouthing love was

We waste as much
Of the hour – we lay waste to the fraction
Of distant calls to come home,
It’s getting dark outside.

We have to go. And soon.

There is a weight that hangs
Hooked on the elbows
Pulling the skin down.
Eyes distancing.


There are moments in life
Where if we relent
To the urge to cry
We may never stop.

World On Fire:

The world is on fire, but it’s not unique or new. We have always been cruel to one another. As I get older the reasons are immeasurable.

Clarity. Solidification. Destruction. Danger. Grief. Ignorance. Hate. Jingoistic fervor for cloth over warm blood and skin.

These are a few words that are flooding my brain feeling more like fingerprints to me.

Without writing a book to explain what’s going on in my mind about our current state, whether minuscule or catastrophic, each of us know at least some part of its effect.

Standing here, I think of the millions that have suffered and died – for what reason? I don’t know the history, here.

The power of these statues; one person being shredded to pieces until “whole again” makes me think of my own country and the regression.

The turning back of time. The emboldened ignorance so proud and elated to finally shout instead of whispering, or taking a glance around fearful of being caught. “Caught” with their true identity intact.

By identity, I mostly mean, “white.” Fearful. Whale-eyed.

Shaking in the shadows of their rapidly changing world from light to less light. What may be starkly obvious to me and to those who know, there IS something liberating about the sunlight which is unveiling insidious prideful hate and bigotry – with giddy elation.

Like they’re being freed from being buried alive.

There are also those on the sidelines giving soft guidance and sympathy from the cover of ignorance, sentencing those who refuse to accept this way forward as “intolerant” of their intolerance; with fanatical denial and that second glance I mentioned.

Those who willfully ignore it or may be hiding because of some experience or pain that haunts them. We all have a story. They could easily have a meaningful conversation of why, but would rather drop the fucked up generalizations and dig in.

The soft hatred of indifference is rising.

Maybe we need to tear it all down yet again to find our identity, and commitment to love – and to the gift of life. Nothing in this – comes easy – if we approach it with unrelenting commitment.


It’s my hope that I live long enough to see the world more in love, and while I’m not naive, embrace other less deadly ways to air grievances and paralyzing fear – to become whole again.

It has been said that there is a “splinter of ice in the heart of a writer” that allows them to take tragedy and turn it into art. My father passed away many years ago this month, and I’m still unpacking the memories of what was both painful and exhilarating to have been born the son of such an enigmatic force of nature. When he was alive, he made our lives unbearable, and I miss both him and his unbearable ways with every breath I take. #poetslife #poetryislife #fathers #fatherandson #writersofig#poemsoflife #poeticjourney #memoriesofmyyouth #theweightwecarry

Bottle Cap

It’s a day that sticks
in my memory like
a splinter of ice.

My tiny face is peering
over the steering wheel of a Bonneville.
Every window rolled down.
Little brother has both
hands sprawled out
like tentacles on the glove compartment.
His fire red hair snapping like a million whips in the turbulent wind,
whirling the thick sweet air over us.
Waist high corn stalks whizzing by.

After a couple of doughnuts in the field
we race towards the grown-ups
where my father is standing dead center
in the middle of a frenetic circle
of long haired bikers,
all belly laughing.
His arms raised flailing,
voice bellowing
anecdotes about his enigmatic life.
The booming echoes of laughter
reach the sunlit
bald cypress trees. You can smell the bay in the warmth of the summers breeze.
The car engine clunks
and coughs
grinding to a halt.

His body language
is stiffer,
mouth taut,
teeth gritting.

for a shotgun
leaning on
a Panhead,
he demands
that I shoot a bottle cap
from his massive hand.

He won’t take
no for an answer.


Every face burrows
deep in the muddy
of plowed soil.

The quivering wail
of a distant loon.

Cuba: Smile Lines
By Wade Jennings

There were all of these eyes
and teeth,
and the deep crevasse
of wrinkles,
and cracks.
Revolución, revolución.
There was so much rust
and crumbling,
on the surface,
and beneath,
under the streets
and on faces.
Raging sea.
Blowholes gushing
like giant whales
on the Malecon,
the paladar,
me resbala
I don’t care, it slides off me.

Sure – the cars.
60 years.
The embargo.
60 years.
Choked off.
60 years of doing without,
and they are still there.
Those lines.
Those creases.
The crow’s feet
on bright eyes,
the lines of a furrowed brow,
Hunger pangs.
And still they had them.
There was an ease.
An acceptance.
A softness.
An enigmatic virtue.
Perpetual and unwavering.
If there was anger,
It was hidden;
deep in the mind,
deep in the soul,
a forgiving melodic
tongue curling
and sincere whispers emit.
A people that keeps on,
keeps going.
There were winks
sliding over the eye,
as if eternal.
Like some far off galaxy
taking you in
wrapping you in the warmth
of tropical heat.
Arms lopping out of windows,
elbows on sills,
a gaze,
taking it all in.
Never waiting
for the world
to come.