Daily Archives: July 11, 2018

I Have Had Worse Days

I have certainly had worse days 
and some of them felt 
like this one,
like the world was sneering 
at me
and my feeble attempts at competence

while also crushing every good moment
for others as well in a tempo of
damage increasing worldwide.

Here I am thinking I’m mired
in yet another catastrophe
in the long run will be minimal
compared to what will be true misery
for so many others.

I should be thankful instead
for such small problems as these
that feel like knives now,
like scalpels cleaving into me.

I pull it together.
When this is done,
what will I have left?

Gratitude, resolve,
I hope as well 
that if I am worthy

I can rest in the knowledge 
that I did my part 

to brush aside my own pain
and do what I could
to pull those less fortunate

from the teeth
of this sneering world.

My Face Is Historical Fiction

Revised from 2016.


Post pictures of three fictional characters to describe yourself.
— Facebook meme

I’m asked in this meme to post 
three pictures to describe me,
pictures lifted from fiction.

My face is itself
historical fiction:

average white
superimposed upon
brown churning within.

I already look like my Mom
at first glance 
with traces
of my Dad underlying that.

Together they create this face
I get to call my Own.
A more-or-less real face,

one mild pile 
of presumed melting pot,

one well-assimilated mask.

One face
two made from scratch 
a long time ago.

Now I am being asked
to find three more fictions
to reveal myself, to name this

all-American mistake of history.
So many to choose from —  

Lone Ranger, Tonto. Don Corleone, 
Apache Chief. Mario from Donkey Kong, 
Injun Joe from Tom Sawyer.

What do I choose for that third picture?
That’s the choice that keeps me up 
at night, keeps me sickly awake.

Calm down, you say?  It’s just for fun?
It doesn’t mean anything,
just a little something to pass the time?

Friend, when your face
is historical fiction
and it feels like

there are only
twenty pages left,
you’ll try anything. 

It’s only natural
to try and find
a more perfect mask

when the two
you’re used to
keep slipping.

It might make
for a dramatic turn
in the story. 

I’ve been dying
to see 
how it ends.