Daily Archives: December 31, 2019

Love Song For The New Year

Originally posted 12/31/2011.

Every day starts a year.
Every day ends one.
Any day can be celebrated,
any day regretted.

Regret one day
for one day,

let celebration
of the next begin.

All I need for
any year or day: 

one with whom
to celebrate,

one with whom
to commiserate,
one with whom to share

the New Year of every single day.

Just one with whom to straighten
up after the labor,

one with whom to soothe
and be soothed;

one with whom
to start anew

each daily
New Year’s Day.

The Earworm Scripture

I’ve been humming
the worst song in the world
for hours now
because I heard it
in a convenience store
when I was unguarded enough
to let it in and now it’s burrowed
deep. (There is a reason
they are called earworms, after all.)

The Nagging God
who has been an earworm to me almost from birth
repeats incessantly (in time to the beat)
that I have no one but myself
to blame for this. That if I’d been
a little more diligent and not stepped away
from my desk to go get smokes
and a very big and very bad coffee,

I’d be sitting at home in silence
with nothing to do but write something 
much better than this pop-slop mess
I’ve got to deal with now. 

Nagging God, I say, how can
pacing my room and procrastinating
and cursing my deaf muse
get me this level of punishment?
I wasn’t hurting anyone but myself
and now i’m getting downright
homicidal, suicidal, even
deicidal over this constant barrage
of alleged music inside.

God says nothing, just keeps singing.

How can
anyone claiming divinity
be this off-key, I wonder…
which leads me to another 
blasphemy and then to a sudden
heresy, followed by epiphany — 

and wonder of wonders,
here I am with a symphony playing
out of the pen in my hand.

Don’t Break

If this feels more like
the end of all things
than the beginning of 
some new thing, consider

my cats in their respective windows
and the feeding birds a few feet away
on the other side of the glass;
how in spite of cold and sleet out there

and the impenetrable barriers in here
they all continue to feed and fly
and watch and hope from their
present circumstances. Consider

these perfect little killers
stymied every day and still waiting
for their chance; consider the sparrows
and nuthatches blithely perching

within an easy jump if only
the glass wasn’t there. Consider that —
then consider where you and I are, where
we all are in this moment — what if we are

not meant to be observers, but are instead
the glass between the killers and prey?
What if our place is between the end of everything
and the beginning of something new,

and all that is asked of us, really,
is simple: hold on, don’t break. Not yet.


call me anytime

I say to the 

hanging behind
me, tacked to

my heels 
as if this were

an old cartoon and
my shadow could be

stolen by the 
right thief.

This shadow
found me and

stuck itself
to me long ago.

I barely recall
the pain of that

but I know I left
permanent tracks in my own

blood all over
everything. So when

the shadow started
asking for permission

to stay with me
I fell apart almost,

almost shocked that
all at once it seemed

I had a choice
in the matter; I looked

at how many rusted
brown tracks I’d made

that had already ruined
everything behind me, 

looked at the thorough mess
I’d made and 

surrendered to it, so now
when the shadow comes begging

to stalk me and cut me
anywhere I could go from here,

I just give one odd
mock-affable nod and say

Anytime, shadow,
anytime you want,

never even stop
to adjust the nails

in my feet, never even stop
walking and messing, 

never even stop to think
I could rise to my toes

and run, make it hard
for the shadow to catch me,

stop leaving my blood
all over my traces,

get far enough away
from it to only hear it

as a far-off squeak, reminder
of a lifetime of haunted trails.