"When I begin to doubt my ability to work the word, I simply read another writer and know I have nothing to worry about. My contest is only with myself, to do it right, with power, and force, and delight, and gamble." 
— Charles Bukowski

Sunday, December 21, 2008

If Ever You Wake

If ever you wake with
a sparrow's head (clutched

between meaty fingers)
and your eyes purple and green;

baptize yourself in sleep,
bathe in the warmth of new dawn morning.

Loneliness is a black abyss, but
there is light to be found in your heart.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Life Is A Delicate Negotiation

Yeah, I know that blogs about feelings and what's been going on in my life are stupid and lame and nobody really cares anyway. But, I've never been a guy that knew when to shut my mouth.

I've been thinking a lot about the end of the year. I like to think back on the year and reflect on what I learned about life and about myself. If you're not growing, then you're dying. This year, the end of the year revelation has been a bit bigger than most of the ones prior.

I rely too much on other people. I don't mean that I ask them for things. I mean, I judge myself and measure my self-worth by other people. For instance, in the past I felt bad if I went a night without getting any phone calls. It's silly, yes, but it felt like there was a reason behind it. I understand that I'm not the center of anyone's life, nor should I be, but those nights my mind would race with thoughts questioning my life and my friendships. It was extremely pathetic and unfair to the people that I care about. I can't say that I was being very rational.

I also had the privilege of dating an amazing girl this summer, and when she didn't want to continue seeing me I spent some time feeling that I wasn't interesting enough, attractive enough, smart enough, or good enough - for her or for anybody. (HUGE ASIDE: I'm sure she'll read this, so I need to make a note. All of these thoughts and feelings had absolutely nothing to do with her. She could not have been more wonderful. In fact, I liked her TOO much. I thought she was perfect. Hell, I still do. She is an unbelievable woman and I absolutely meant the word "privilege." I am very lucky to know her and have her friendship, I even consider her to be one of my best friends. I don't know where exactly I rank on her totem pole, but I do not mean that in a self-deprecating way - she is just a girl who attracts many special people into her life that are much more wonderful and interesting than myself. I don't particularly care either, all I know is that I care a lot about her and love her dearly as a friend. I hope she knows that.) Maybe those things are true, maybe they aren't. Either way, I can't keep living my life taking everything like a shotgun blast to the chest. It is unhealthy. Sometimes things just are not meant to work out, that is life. Being alone doesn't reflect on me as a person, it doesn't make me a failure.

There is a Pedro The Lion e.p. that was originally titled The Only Reason I Feel Secure Is That I Am Validated By My Peers and as you can see, that title couldn't be more true for me. My goal for 2009 is to be the strong confidant man that I know I am. This fear of being viewed as a failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and I'm tired of it.

There was this really great hardcore punk band from Massachusetts named Last Lights. Their singer very recently passed away. He was 24 years old. I never met the guy, I never got to see the band play, but I was a big fan. I was reading about the guy by some people that knew him and I won't lie, I got a little choked up just reading all the wonderful things people had to say about him. It's such a tragedy when young people die. But, the part that got me was the passion and intensity for life and music and art that everyone said he had. This guy was such a stand up guy and extremely passionate, he was everything that I want to be. I think I AM all those things, but I let fear and rejection get in the way. I am stronger than that. No more. I've got miles left to go, both literally and figuratively. I hate myself for not coming to these realizations sooner. I am young, so young. I have passion in life, which is more than I could ever ask for. I am doing myself such harm by being so slothful. I have this passion and I'm letting it rot. No more. There is no worse death than being young and feeling old.

From this day forward I will never slow down. I will achieve all the goals I set for myself. I will not let myself live on this Earth without seeing everything I've ever wanted to see. I will never go another day without writing, or doing something that gets me closer to my goal. I will not let loneliness and fear dictate how I live. I will not rely on other people to make my happiness. As Bukowski says "There are worse things than being alone..." I will follow in the footsteps of strong people like Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Paul Newman, and the punk rockers of the 70's and 80's to whom I am forever indebted.

Some people only dream of destinations.

I dream of the journey.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Death To Poets

It's all a damn
rat race
everyone trying to
each other
trying to be more ironic
trying to get published
in The New Yorker
or impress Harold Bloom.

Save the bullshit
Please God
give me a
punk rock poet
with a little soul
with an honest pen
and some hurt in his fingers

no amount
of wit
and teaching
can replace
make up for
hollow words
after all

Harold Bloom
and the rest
of the critics
can fuck off
and get back to
to a
Robert Frost

Friday, December 5, 2008

words as breaths

when the ghosts leave
is when I leave.
when the words end
is when I end.
living with
words as breaths
is something
that I have God
to thank for
and I do.
I do.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Like Clockwork

Ever tried.
Ever failed.
No matter.
Try again.
Fail again.
Fail better.
-Samuel Beckett

Like Clockwork

The months pass by like minutes
when what seems real isn't
and never to have been at all.
Time passes through your fingertips;
sand flowing from one end
of the hourglass to the other.
And like clockwork, people change
like autumn leaves and leave you
behind to freeze in the snow.

Shed your skin, leave it behind
buried in the Earth for the Devil to find.
Grow thicker skin and leave that too.
Never stop moving, not for money, not
for love, and not for the countless people-
the happy and content- with their death
painted on their faces. You are the
canyon walls, and life is the river-the
cruel, unapologetic, never ending, unmerciful river.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I've always been an extremely approachable guy. For as long as I can remember, all the friends I've had have all had one thing in common, no matter when I knew them or what walk of life they came from. They always felt they could come to me; they felt comfortable around me. I'm what is generally considered a "nice" guy, which is great for building strong friendships, though it does present problems in the dating department. Anyway, over the years a lot of my friends have come to me asking me for advice and I've always done the best that I could to help them in any way possible. There's this one guy though. He keeps coming to me with problems and asking me for advice, and everytime I tell him something he never listens to me. He goes off and does his own thing, and then keeps coming back everytime there's a problem, and then doesn't listen to a single thing I say.

That person is me.

I can pontificate with the best of them about loving your life and being blessed and loving everyone and everything; but when the only people in the room are myself and the darkness, I become Ernest Hemingway or Ian Curtis or (insert famous artist that killed themself). I spend hours thinking about what's wrong with me, why whats-her-face doesn't like me anymore, why I should give up trying to write, why I haven't gotten a phone call all day, etc. I always feel like an ass after the fact. I have a pretty good life, I've never experienced real hardship, I've never not had food or a place to live or anything of significance. I don't really know what my problem is, I just hope I can fix it. I should be in love with my life. I'm twenty-two years old, what in the hell do I have to worry about? This is prime time for me to enjoy freedom and recklessness, to travel, to experience everything.

Here's to hoping my heart catches up with my brain.

Last night was one of those nights I was talking about. I felt shitty all night for no reason. Luckily work wasn't very busy, so I was able to be by myself for most of the night. I got a pretty decent poem out of it though, despite the morose subject matter.

It Takes The Best Of You

It takes the best of you


To get out of bed in the morning
and fight in the darkness

It takes the best of you


To finish your breakfast
sitting at a table for one

It takes the best of you


To look her in the eye
without spilling your guts

It takes the best of you


To keep a smile on your face
so you can pay the rent

It takes the best of you


To go to bed content
with waking up in the morning

And it gets the best of you


*For those of you that don't know, my friend Jesse Godbey and I will be doing a split chapbook. Should hopefully be done and available at the beginning of the year.

*Apparently I look like a condom when I wear a toboggan.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A quick one

I'll have a proper blog update soon, probably tomorrow or so. Until then, here's a short poem.

When you are alone
the trees are alone
and the stars are alone
and the walls are alone
and the food is alone
and your clothes are alone
and everyone you know
is in love.

And when you are in love
the trees are in love
and the stars are in love
and the walls are in love
and the food is in love
and your clothes are in love
and everything else around you
fades away, dissolving into space
like the sugar in your coffee.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Warrior Of The Light

Sometimes it takes the impeccable wisdom of others to spark something in ourselves.

Today was one of those days.

I have had a lot of things hanging on my heart lately. Actually, these things have been scratching and clawing their way up the mountainside, refusing to give up and fall. It's a lot of different things, spanning a wide variety of topics. Things as broad as fear, loneliness, uncertainty, and self-conscious; and the other things are as specific as career path and unfruitful crushes. They're silly things. Most of the time I feel silly even acknowledging them, because in reality I'm quite blessed and these things are absolutely trivial. However, they still flare up from time to time and I have to deal with them.

I had a really great conversation with Jenny today. It probably didn't seem like a very interesting conversation to her, but without her really knowing, the conversation was addressing a lot of the topics that I needed to talk about most. She is really great about that. I'm sure I am not the only person who feels incredibly blessed to have her in their life.

A little earlier today I went to Books-A-Million before I got some food. I went mainly to check out the books by Paulo Coelho. This also was Jenny's doing. I found this book by him that I knew I needed to buy. I have kind of believed in signs in my life, and this one in particular was much too big to pass up. The book is not a novel, rather it's a companion book to his novel The Alchemist. It's called Warrior Of The Light and the tagline on the book says "Short notes on accepting failure, embracing life, and rising to your destiny." I came home, sat down, and read it cover to cover. It was a really powerful experience. It was exactly the right thing I needed in my life right now. Obviously with a book like this, anybody who reads it will feel like it was written for them, but I won't let this deter me from feeling completely moved by the book. One of the pages in particular hit me really hard.

"A warrior of the light often loses heart.

He believes that nothing can stir in him the emotion he desires. he is forced to spend many nights feeling that he is one of the vanquished, and nothing seems able to restore his enthusiasm.

His friends say: "Perhaps his fight is over."

The Warrior feels pain and confusion when he hears such remarks because he knows that he has not yet reached the place he wanted to reach. But he is stubborn and refuses to relinquish his aims.

Then, when he least expects it, a new door opens."

When I finished reading the book I felt a funny rumbling in my chest near my heart. I grabbed my cup of coffee and walked outside. The sky was pink; it was sunset. The feeling in my heart intensified. Finally, when the pain was unbearable, I felt the skin on my chest begin to tear. I looked down and a tiny bird was pecking its way out. When the hole became large enough, the bird pushed its body through and flew away. I stood there, shocked, and watch the bird as it flew towards the setting sun. I watched it until I couldn't see it anymore and it disappeared into warmth of the sun. I looked down at the hole in my chest, but I no longer hurt. I reached over and pulled at the skin. The skin began to peel off me like the skin of an orange. I tugged and tugged and peeled all of the skin off my body into a pile on the porch. What was left of me after the skin had been removed was not just a skeleton, not just muscle and bone, not just a skinless man. It was something quite different.

A warrior.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One Day As A Lion

That I can think of, I've had two real epiphany moments in my adult life.

The first one, was understanding that I will never understand death. I will never understand what it is to simply not exist anymore. I used to, and to some degree still do, have regular mental semi-breakdowns when I tried to think about death. It's not that I fear death, but that I simply cannot wrap my brain around the concept of not being alive. Knowing that I will never understand, and having in some form or fashion a fear of death, has allowed me to live. The biggest fears in my life are loneliness and mediocrity(or, a wasted life). Opening myself up to the idea of death and understanding what little bit I can has allowed me to figure out how to take life for granted. How to understand what a miracle it is to be alive. I will do things that make me happy and allow to feel accomplished in my life, that is all I owe anybody and all I owe myself.

The second epiphany was understanding my personal nature of judgment. I've spent the better part of my life worrying about what people thought about me. I have no doubts that a lot of things in my life are the way they are because I altered them to please people. But why? Why was I so deathly afraid of what people, any and all people, thought about my life? There were two parts to it. One, I had to understand that I had a flawed view on life. Instead of worrying so much about what people thought about me, I should be instead saying "fuck you" for judging me. How dare you think less of me because I decided to take time off school. How dare you think less of me for dressing the way I do. How dare you think less of me being a "nice guy". That's who I am, dammit. But, even after that, I still had a hard time. I still worried about what people were thinking all the time. Why did I keep worrying so much about other people and their opinions?? It hit me one day while driving and in the midst of a spiritual revolution. It's because I judge everybody too.It's so simple. It's textbook psych 101 projection. I think everybody is judging me because I'm judging them. Once I figured that out, I was able to curtail my evil ways. I started to accept people for everything that was warm and wonderful about them, and in return, I started to feel better about myself.

The point of sharing these two things is, they were two things that were completely conducive to me leading a more fulfilling life. I've spent so much time worring about everybody liking me, that sometimes they weren't even getting an actual representation of me to like. Just be yourself. I know that everybody says that, but it bears repeating. Just be yourself. If somebody doesn't like you, then fuck them, you don't need them in your life. You can't worry about people like that, instead you need to go find the people that DO like you, and focus on them. Build relationships with THOSE people, and surround yourself with positive people and positive atmosphere.

I have a lot of very special people in my life. At least one of which I know for sure reads this blog on a regular basis. I'd like to say to that person, and anyone else reading this that thinks they may belong in this category, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being in my life. You are extremely special to me. You are wonderful. You make me the person I am. I have not done enough to show you how much you mean to me, and for this I am deeply sorry. Just know that you mean the world to me. I love you.

"though dull were all we taste as bright,
bitter all utterly things sweet,
maggoty minus and dumb death
all we inherit,all bequeath

and nothing quite so least as truth
--i say though hate were why men breathe--
because my Father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all"
-E.E. Cummings

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Some words of wisdom from old Hank

Hank is, of course, Charles Bukowski.

A Note Upon Modern Poesy

poetry is still moving slowly forward, I guess,
and when your average garage mechanics
start bringing books of poesy to read
on their lunch breaks
then we’ll know for sure we’re moving in
the right
of this
am sure.

Oh yes

there are worse things than
being alone
but it often takes decades
to realize this
and most often
when you do
it's too late
and there's nothing worse
too late.

The Laughing Heart

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Classic Water

Well, this past Saturday my lovely friend Jenny and I went to Atlanta to see The Silver Jews. I can't say enough good things about this band. The lyrics are second to none, they play great live, all around top notch. We got to meet David Berman after the show, Jenny has the picture on her camera so whenever she uploads it I'll put it on here. I also bought a book of poetry David Berman wrote titled Actual Air. It's really great and there's a poem in it that I wanted to share with you guys. It really resonated with me and, quite frankly, is basically the poem that I've always wanted to write.

Classic Water

I remember Kitty saying we shared a deep longing for
the consolation prize, laughing as we rinsed the stagecoach.

I remember the night we camped out
and I heard her whisper
"think of me as a place" from her sleeping bag
with the centaur print.

I remember being in her father's basement workshop
when we picked up an unknown man sobbing
over the shortwave radio

and the night we got so high we conviced ourselves
that the road was a hologram projected by the headlight beams.

I remember how she would always get everyone to vote
on what we should do next and the time she said
"all water is classic water" and shyly turned her face away.

At volleyball games her parents sat in the bleachers
like ambassadors from Indiana in all their midwestern schmaltz.

She was destroyed when they were busted for operating
a private judicial system within U.S. borders.

Sometimes I'm awakened in the middle of the night
by ther clatter of a room service cart and I think back on Kitty.

Those summer evenings by the government lake,
talking about the paradox of multiple Santas
or how it felt to have your heart broken.

I still get a hollow feeling on Labor day when the summer ends

and I remember how I would always refer to her boyfriends
as what's-his-face, which was wrong of me and I'd like
to apologize to those guys right now, wherever they are:

No one deserves to be called what's-his-face.

-David Berman

That poem absolutely crushed me the first time I read it.

I don't think I'll share a poem this time, that's a hard act to follow.

I'm going to go Wednesday hopefully to get my chapbooks printed. Once I have the physical copies in my possession, I will let everyone know.

The support so far has been so great. Keep reading everyone, and if you like my words and my blog, then please spread the word to your friends, buy a copy of the chapbook when it's available, get your friends to buy a copy. I've thought about doing a reading sometime, perhaps in Jackonville. We'll see, most of poems are pretty short and don't lend themselves too well to reading. I guess if enough people wanted me to do one, I'd definately try and set one up. Tell me your thoughts.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Thank you to everyone that read and commented on my first post. It was a very warm welcome. Everybody seemed to enjoy the poems, which is fantastic.

I just finished up everything to do with my chapbook that I'll be self-publishing. I'll be putting the final manuscript together over the weekend, and Tuesday or Wednesday I'll go get about 75 copies made. If you'd like a copy, leave me a comment and let me know. I'll be selling them for 5 dollars, and we can figure out someway to get it to you, whether it be through mail or in person.

If you like the book, or this blog, please recommend it to your friends. I really believe strongly in DIY ethics and independant art, and this is about as grassroots as it gets. An easy way to rec me or show the blog to your friends is to post this banner that I made onto your myspace or website.
Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!

Here's the code for it, just remove the asterisks(There's four of them).

If you're posting it to Myspace:
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If you're posting it to another website:
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I wrote this poem tonight, it will probably appear in the second chapbook that I'm putting together currently. I hope you guys like it.


She sat indian style in the floor of her room
flipping through the pages of magazines she'd gotten
at the grocery store while shopping
with her mom. Her homework wasn't done
but this was far more important.
She got up and checked herself out
in the mirror on the wall.
Then she looked back to the magazine.
Then back to the mirror.
Then back to the magazine.
Then back to the mirror.
She noticed pimples she'd never seen before.
Moles, wrinkles, crows feet, fat pockets, split ends,
all of these things had been hiding from her.
She quickly went to get scissors and
cut out pictures of the fabulous women
in the magazine. She taped one picture
to the mirror, then stood and looked at her
reflection next to it.
She taped another picture to the mirror.
Then another. And another. And another.
She furiously taped pictures to the mirror
until she couldn't see herself at all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Inaugural Address

First and foremost, welcome to my blog and thank you for reading. I mean that with deepest sincerity.

I've started this first post to my blog countless times; I wanted to make sure it was perfect. A post that would introduce you to me, and also give you a little insight into why I started this blog. What came out of me was a post of epic proportions. It mutated from an introductory blog into an essay on class, status, and ethics. I've decided to actually turn that into an essay, and will post it on here when it is finished. So, in the mean time, let me tell you a little about myself.

I live in a small town in Alabama...Oxford, Alabama to be exact. I'm twenty-two years old, and I'm a literature and music enthusiast. I don't have a favorite band, but I do have a favorite album. Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. There exists not a more beautiful album than that one. I've been told, by more than one person, that I'm a good conversationalist...which, I fear, may mean that I like to talk a lot. I will be going back to school in the spring after taking some years off. I plan to study Journalism/Creative Writing, which basically is a degree that ensures that I will never find work after graduation.

See, it's like we're best friends already.

As to why I started this blog, the concept is simple. I asked myself what I wanted to do with my poetry. The answer is: I want people to read that poetry. I want my readers to be a part of the process. I'll be posting a lot of poems on this blog for you to read because...well, I want you to read them. In my view, you reading the poem on this blog accomplishes the same thing as getting that poem published in a literary journal, just with a little less prestige. That's okay, I've never been one to put much stock in prestige or class or status.

Hemingway's Example

Too many good hours,
years even,
spent sipping wine
on the streets of Paris
with the ghosts
of the lost generation.

And the only thing to show for it
being a broken head
and a fragile body
wondering if I shouldn't follow
Hemingway's example.

It's Too Easy

It's too easy
to lie in bed
and watch the flowers grow.
Watch the roses
become voluptuous women
and the guerilla weeds
staging another coup.
It's too easy
to lie in bed
and feel the world
spinning wildly beneath you.
To look up at the stars
and feel small by comparison.
And, long after the sun rises,
you still feel small.
It's too easy
to lie in bed
and hurt
and regret
and miss somebody.