Daily Archives: May 24, 2022

Don’t Write A Poem When You’re High

Don’t write a poem when you’re high.
The words might be marked with hard labor.
You might forget how to make it look easy
and the struggle will be real for the reader,
not just for you. 

Don’t write a poem when you’re high.
It might sound like you put in work
and any instructions you followed from within
will be written on your hand for easy reference
and anyone who wants to look can look.

Don’t write a poem when you’re high —
if it happens by accident, don’t show it around.
Keep that one to yourself until you can erase
all the signs of how hard it was to get it on paper
without coughing up everything you’d been holding in. 


As soon as I heard
that they’d set
my father’s headstone
I went to see it

with my carelessly curated stack
of memories and imagined moments
that should have happened
but did not

wrapped up tight like a deck
of worn index cards
with the essentials written
in carpenter’s pencil on each one

rubber band
holding it all together
so they would not come undone
in my pocket

elastic so old and 
blackened from age
that to attempt to open the pack
and sort truth from lies from wishes

would have meant losing
the whole of it to wind
or vagaries of chance 

I’d hoped to leave them
on the base of the marker
then turn and go 
but here they still are 

stubborn and uncut 
back in my junk drawer
thick writing in crude lead
unfaded cryptic but clear

I will touch them now and again
whenever I go fishing
for a tool for some stubborn home repair
far beyond my capacity to achieve