The Myth of Loyalty

I got laid off again
Had security
like spiteful spouse
yanking covers in the night
Laundromat stomach
Tumbling thoughts
of two kids, two cars
and a mortgage

I’ve heard the fifth time
comes with a robe
Embroidered on the back
with the words
“Never get too comfortable”
Beneath them, a giant “0”
Elongated enough
to remind me
I’m just a place holder
A warm body in a seat
Shoveling shit
with gaping smile
Occasional residue
on the teeth

I got laid off again
And I’m tired
Tired of codes of conduct
that reside
on a one-way street
Monuments to hypocrisy
There is no humanity
in “commodity”
And I realize
what privilege it is
to speak such things
and have the option
of walking away
But I’m trying
to build
towards something

Amidst a nation of uncertainty
I’m trying to fashion Gibraltar
from the paper
the perforations
I’m trying to weave
my babies
401k safety nets
for fear they might one day
lose their balance
Yet this layoff
A landmine
that shrapnels my thoughts
I’m trying
to offer my girls
Peace of mind
But my mind’s in pieces

I once saw a man
die on the job
as he was wheeled out
like outdated machinery
for acknowledgement
that never came
Only an acronym
“Business As Usual”
Three words
as lifeless
as the body
they swept under the rug
like inconvenience

I got laid off again
And I want to twist
this dagger
until it bleeds
I want to rip it from
my back
and use it
to cut chords
Like untethering
earthbound dreams
aching for the chance to fly
I want to hold it over coals
Until sparks
Ignite my ambition
to turn over and fire
A “fuck you very much”
I’m reclaiming my time

And you might question
why I’ve penned
this hostile poem
to my plight
I got laid off again
And I have no excuse
not to write


Man Covers Hole in Couch with Blanket

When Lance Jeffers arrived home from work, he was shocked and dismayed to discover his new puppy Lockjaw had nibbled on something other than her toys.  Instead of finding an opening with the new girl at the office as he’d hoped, he came home to find an opening in his couch.

“I just can’t understand it” exclaimed a devastated Jeffers.  “I mean, her bone was RIGHT THERE.”

Ever the resourceful man, Jeffers set forth in search of a solution, settling on something so common even a baby has one.

“I decided to cover up the hole with a blanket.  It’s sort of the same color, just different and if I get cold, it’s like having a blanket delivery service because it’s already there.”

Rather than fall victim to the puppy’s wrath, Jeffers saw a silver lining.

“When you cover up the hole, it’s like it’s not even there.  I think I’m going to use that everywhere in life.”

There has been no word if Lockjaw continues to chew on random objects.

6/30 #NaPoWriMo #30×30

There are those 

who are swallowed by the stage

Shrinking violets 

That wilt under the spotlight 

like a post-Valentine’s 

street-side bouquet 

Petals of potential 

hastily scattered

Crumbling at the touch 

like dreams 

Another victim

Drops off the scene

The verdict comes swiftly

The stage does not wait

to be asked 

It’s honesty is unsolicited

and unforgiving 

Holding careers and confidence 

In it’s hands 

Like hourglass sands

But there are those 

Who seek solace in it’s embrace

Lay foundations with each 

footstep and call it 


Who consider it family

For it’s the only honest voice

They’ve ever known

And if you’re fortunate

You’ll catch a glimpse

Of clumsy caterpillars

Blossoming into butterflies

Witness transformations

That defy both logic and senses

But but make perfect sense 

To our hearts


Engulfed with the burning desire

To make their mark

If you wish to look God in the eye

Witness one of his creations 

In it’s natural habitat 

Notice how it wears it’s skin

Like a prom dress

How it’s never startled

by the sound of it’s own voice 

Nay; It roars

There are those 

Who are swallowed by the stage

And there are those

Who birth wings 

and ascend

to unimaginable heights

On the food chain

5/30 #NaPoWriMk #30×30

A Haiku:

The quote “Try not, do

Or do not. There is no try”

Is one to live by 

5/30 #NaPoWriMo #30×30

A Haiku:

The quote “Try not, do

Or do not.  There is no try”

Is one to live by.

4/30 #NaPoWriMo #30×30

My daughter is a whirlwind

Thirty-four inches of tickle fight

Tumbling off couches

One inch for every month 

She’s been on this Earth

As of the moment these words

emanate from my pen

Scratch that

My fingertips

Because my daughter is a modern girl

And while she may never know it

She designs your technology 

For it is little fingers like hers 

That create the need to do things like: Disable in-app purchases

She is a manic meld

Of temper tantrum

And cupcake smile

But if you ever “accidentally”

Pick up her juice box 

You better 

Let it Go

Let it Go

Or rest assured

You will be severely scolded

with wagging finger

And you better not sing her song

Especially on karaoke night 

Or prepare to have your mic snatched 

And your heart


by pouty lips

and scrunched up faces

My daughter is a master negotiator 

Clasped tightly in her hand is a string at which she gently tugs 

Until it gyroscopes my heart

Giving way to her demands

with turnstile efficiency 

And I’m sure you’re 


for the twist, the turn

But my daughter melts hearts 

straight, no chaser undiluted

And if you think 

I’d ever leave her side

You’re deluded

She is

Living proof that there are 

No mistakes

No accidents 

She is an oasis

of Chicken Soup for the Soul

And I’m mainlining

For every day she injects purpose into my pulse with poetic precision

Since the moment she was mobile 

She’s brought me a daily bucket

full of randomness 

Exclaims “Happy Birthday”

Then takes it back 

so she can do it again

I don’t know if she’s pretending 

Or if she just thinks 

“Happy Birthday”

is something you say 

To show someone that

You love them

But I could care less

As long as her little heart

keeps giving 

She doesn’t just create

Live action screenplays 

that capture my breath 

She’s the director 

Behind the moments 

that make life worth living

3/30 #NaPoWriMo 30/30

A Haiku:

Strange that “twins” are the

Ultimate male fantasy 

Incest is in now? 

2/30 #NaPoWriMo #30×30

Ask me about privilege

and I’ll tell you about being four

I’ll regale you with stories of sandcastles

along the shores of Lake Erie

Tiny feet

sinking into sand

As I ran boasting to my parents

about how I so graciously

shared my pale and shovel

with a young black child

Unzipped smile

stitched from ear to ear

Tail wagging 

Eagerly awaiting my reward

A pat on the head

posing as

a Nobel Peace Prize 

for playgrounds

I’ll tell you about


for being human

Blue ribbons for

basic decency

I’ll tell you

about being the Sun

in a vacuum

1/30 #NaPoWriMo

These knots are familiar

Each twist and turn

Pretzeling my insides

I know their curves 

The way my tongue 

Knows the grooves in my teeth

Lacerations from the needle 

On the polygraph 

In the pit of my abdomen

Sea sick

An angry ocean of truth

Swirling in my stomach 

Heart engulfed 

In a kudzu of distrust

These knots are familiar

Familiarity breeds contempt 



Preface: They say children of suicide are three times more likely to follow suit.

I used to write about pain
Until one day I saw it for what it was
A desolate hotel with mosaics of rejection on the ceiling and doubt infested walls
Where each night I’d lay with no choice but to stare down my demons
Until the walls whispered me to sleeplessness

For some pain becomes a comfortable cocoon
But I knew I needed a change of scenery
So instead of simply hoping for different results
I started making different choices

Instead of darkness I chose to see the illumination between the cracks
in floorboards of my heart
Still creaking from the weight
of the sudden loss of my mother
There are those of us who carry our losses in our throats stifling our own ability to breath

But that which does not kill can be bandaged, glued and duct taped
And so we choose to carry on
Patting ourselves on the back
As if the alternative to that choice
didn’t carry such finality
I’m no stranger, however, to such decisions of mortality

I remember it like it was now
My body a stapler, folding at it’s hinge in my cubicle at work
A sudden sickness surging in my stomach
Like consuming love past it’s expiration
Sent home to recover, only to discover my mother had just returned from taking my dog to be euthanized

He’d become incontinent
And my mother’s own worst fear was living to be old and decrepit
So she thought she’d spare him the embarrassment
You see, my mother was a woman of conviction
And when her life arrived at a similar crossroads
She made a familiar decision

But I don’t want to write about pain
I want to write poems that inspire
And on the good days I think I might actually have something to offer
But on the bad days I think the last thing the world needs is another snake oil salesman pedaling himself as a wizard
HBO showed us what Oz really looks like
It isn’t pretty but my mother taught me there is no ugly like indecisiveness

So I don’t make decisions
I make marks
I tattoo my intentions on the face of fate
And build scrap metal monuments to hope from the rails of life’s roller coaster
But most importantly, no matter how breath-taking the peaks or how entrenched I become by the depths of the valleys
I choose to keep on breathing