Open Mic at Art6 Gallery

Open Mic at Art6 Gallery

Monday, April 30, 2012

Near The End (30 Poems in 30 Days)

Running out of words,
I see the end.  Finally
I can stop writing.

What To Do on Sunday Morning

Sunday morning.
Decisions, decisions.

Head to church and
pray for mercy and blessings,

or stay in, make some
pancakes, and watch

endless political banter.
Maybe I'll skip both and

just go somewhere,
anywhere.  As long

as it's out of this place.
Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lazy Saturday

NFL Draft,
Hockey and basketball playoffs,
NASCAR race,
baseball game.

A whole day of TV
means zero things
get created and
written about.

Living the life of
a couch potato
wont get me where
I want to be as a writer.

So for laziness today,
I need punishment tomorrow
because stories
can't be told on their own.

The Draft

Nobody's playing,
but we will still watch
There won't be any
touchdowns or first downs,
but we will sit back
with our snacks and drinks
as if the clock reads
one o'clock on Sunday.
The tests and questions are over.
The scouting has been done.
The future now walks across the stage
to shake the commissioner's hand,
wearing a new hat,
displaying a new jersey.
Now it's time to get to work.
Armchair quarterbacks
cheer and boo their team's
choice in player,
telling anyone who will listen
what they would've done.
It doesn't matter now;
We all know what tonight means.
Football is coming.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ice Cream

You had to cancel.
Now I get ice cream anyway.

I remember what you told me,
that you liked to have

a bowl after
sexual relations with a man.

And to think,
I bought a box of fudge swirl

all for you. Too bad
you forgot about what was

on your calendar.  Last night
you texted me, hoping I

wasn't going to be mad.
I told you,

"Don't worry.  That's life,"
and I went back to eating

another spoonful of
dairy goodness.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Jars In My Kitchen

I put conventional wisdom
right next to the flour,
sitting neatly on my
kitchen counter. The latter
is rarely used because I
plan my meals on a whim,
depending on what I feel
and how few ingredients
I can get away with while still
making something delicious.

I treat the conventional axioms
in similar fashion, trying not to
spend too much time following
tried and true, but rather scanning
my landscape until something
catches my eye,
deciphering it,
discarding unnecessary fluff,
and finally mapping out my own truths.

So why my jars
stay full and unused;
I've learned sometimes the best meals
are like unplanned road trips,
make it up as you go along.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What's In The Box

Pay stubs
from first job.
Out of school,
got my degree,
ready for the real world.

But real world is scary.
No more dorm life.
Everybody's leaving
to find their own way.
Connections are lost.

Was in a comfort zone,
regarded as a leader at school.
Now down at the bottom
trying to learn
corporate culture.

Trying to learn
where to go,
what to do,
when to be
where I need to be.

This is my life.
No longer a kid anymore.
Girls now call me
"sir" or "mister".
I'm a man now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lonely Last Night

The rain reminds me of
the solitude this evening
brings to my bed.
In these sheets I lay
alone and motionless,
listening to the
pitter-patter of the drops
landing outside my window.
My prone position
feels uncomfortable but I
remain here, unwilling
to move, as if
this is the penance
I must pay for
not following my heart.
She was right there
for me, but I was
the timid one, unable to
block out the voices
within my head
and outside among the masses,
telling me this kind of love
just could not be.
So now I lay here
alone, the rain providing
its medley of melancholy
to capture my feeling
of loneliness.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


"Tell me a story."
It's what I'll try to do. So
come and have a seat.

She Knew

She knew
those words I wrote.

She knew
without me saying her name.

She felt the same
feelings within her
as I expressed my
deepest emotions about
the love I once had.

She knew
because it was her
that I was talking about,
the one that I loved
so long ago.

So she sent me a letter,
a simple little note
just to say
she knew
because she felt the same as I.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dancing In A State Of Freedom

She dances in a state of freedom
in the midst of moving bodies
covered by the colored spotlights
darting all around the night club.
Men try to dance with her
but they only get in the way
as she moves with her own
synchronized paces to the
thumping beats and bass lines
projecting from all of the speakers.
She closes her eyes
and tunes out the world
and tunes into her senses
for tonight nothing matters
except the music and dancing.
For her, this is freedom.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

National Poetry Month (30 in 30 progress)

Falling behind, I
stop and write this. Thirty poems
right now is a bitch.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Batter Up

"Strike three," he says.
His third call to her
remained unreturned
and any wishes of a connection
gets retired back to the dugout.

Now he stands alone,
mending the mound
and readying himself for
the next batter to
step up to the plate.

Some have complained that
his pitching is too complex,
wishing he would just
stick to something straight
and right over the middle.

But a fastball is
not his best pitch
and he likes the variety
he can present every time
he steps to the mound.

Maybe one of the ladies
will see he pitches not to fool
but pitches what he knows
and she won't be afraid
to take her swings.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Political Candidates 101

Today's statement is that there is no statement
and tomorrow's will remain the same
because what is being said has been said before,
nothing more than a cliched game.

The soundbites are carefully phrased
at the optimal time and event.
The kingmakers know the public does not read
but prefers the package and how they present

because if what is presented appears noble and true
then the public will always take to it well
and everything else that the kingmakers present
becomes a much easier sell.

No one really cares about the truth or the lies
because the line between the two has been erased.
All that matters is the one out front playing the role,
the one with the personality and the photogenic face,

and don't forget the family that stands behind,
dressed so well and with smiles so bright.
They look so perfect and ready for their close up.
So let them all stand together in front of the lights.

I Wrote A Poem Today

I wrote a poem today.
Nothing major,
just a few lines about
the weather outside.

But it was a far cry
from yesterday
and the days before when
I wrote nothing at all.

I found myself faced with
too many procedures
to follow, conforming my
ability to think.

Creative juices?  Dormant,
buried under the
many other obligations
I am forced to honor.

But I wrote a poem today
and it doesn't matter
if I read it to the world
or keep it to myself.

I wrote today
and I hope tomorrow
will be like today
and I can say,

"I wrote a poem today."

Another Cup of Coffee

After one cup of coffee,
I'm still sleepwalking
unable to feign a smile
or pick up my dragging feet.
So back to the commons,
back to the coffee station
where two pots sit idly by
waiting for next person
to get their next cup
just like me.
I wish I didn't need this,
having to join in the ritual
but I can't keep my eyes open
and naps aren't allowed.
So let's pour another cup
and try to wake up
and get through the
rest of the day.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Saturday. Lazy
times abound, when doing no-
thing is positive.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


People get more excited
about their cell phone connections
than they do about
the people they sit next to,
as if flesh and bone
are secondary to their
or Android
or whatever contraptions
that seem to be
glued in their hand.
What's the point of reading palms?
Just read their e-mails
and you can see
where their life is heading.
They won't know
you're looking over their shoulder.
Life is a hand-held
connection to the Web
and all that matters is
speed and the number
next to the G.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Business Casual

Only three women wear dresses.
Some would say they look pretty
but the flats they wear
kill the whole look of showing leg.

The other women dress like the men,
wearing the same casual uniform,
walking side by side
in a dull symmetry.

Sometimes business casual
is just a little too casual.
Does anybody play
dress-up anymore?  Or does

the sight of a well-dressed
man or woman scare the
crap out of people, fearing that
changes are about to be made.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On Nights Like This

On nights like this, I dream of you
when I feel alone and wonder this:
Will I ever find another love so true?

Did we ever know that between us two
we could create a world of bliss?
On nights like this, I dream of you.

We were so young and so scared to pursue
what we had.  Now I regret this chance I missed.
Will I ever find another love so true?

I wonder if you feel the same, too,
or is it just a feeling that you've dismissed?
On nights like this, I dream of you.

Maybe you moved on, feelings that you withdrew,
leaving me here with my thoughts amiss.
Will I ever find another love so true?

This is all I have, thoughts of me and you,
the regret that we never shared one last kiss.
On nights like this, I dream of you.
Will I ever find another love so true?

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Happy Easter. No
need for bunnies and eggs, not
when He has arose

from death, not when He
left the tomb, coming back for
you and me.  This is

our day to give thanks
for His grace, mercy, and love.
Yes, Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

This I Know

“I'm not aware of too many things

but I know what I know if you know what I mean.”

          - Edie Brickell, “What I Am”

I know what I know and I know this:

Had I been what the others wanted, none of this would be happening. There would be no creative outpourings splashed upon pages, pasted onto blogs and websites, and spoken into a microphone. There would be no friendships with fellow creative souls who inspires and illuminate my being. There would be no reflections on life, remembering the questions I was once presented as a youngster having to spend part of his middle-school days in a trailer at the back end of campus, sitting in a class called Talented and Gifted, and listening to our teacher giving these things to ponder:

Who am I?
How did I get here?
Where am I going?

Had I been what the others wanted, those questions would've remained unanswered. What's the point when every action in my life would've been concentrated on everyone else but myself? Would those three questions even mean anything? Or would my life be like the guy who describes his life with his family in one sentence?

I know where I need to be and I know where I need to go.

Had I been what the other wanted, I would probably be in that same position. I may have been content with that or I may have been resigned to be that and nothing else. But now is not a position that I can accept with any cheerfulness. True happiness lies in the discovery of newness and my words and my poems and my stories keep things new. And it's the newness that wakes me up every morning with a smile on my face. The newness that makes me dream, that makes me think, that makes me ponder, that makes me want to create.

This is what I know.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Maundy Thursday

The Final Supper.
He asks us to remember
Him as he gave His

life for the ones who
believe in Him and believe
His death was for all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Alumni Happy Hour 2

Generations may
differ, but the bond of that
place still remains strong.

The school colors are
prominent, resonating
in the handshakes and

conversations of
alums both young and old.  They
chat about the past,

present and future
plans of the local chapter.
But still in all this

there is that bond that
brings everyone together;
makes us all the same.

Alumni Happy Hour

Generations differ,
but all are bonded

by a place
they still consider

home, bonded by
school colors and

pride in that place
they walked as

youngsters and now
out in the world,

still remembering
fondly the past

while connecting in
the present about

things in the future,
all because of

a place they still consider

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Chilly April Morning

The weatherman said
April should feel like this.
But to me, it feels more like
late February or early March
when you're supposed to
feel a chill in the air.
But then again, when it was
that time it felt more like
it should during May.  Even
Mother Nature was fooled as
the flowers bloomed early,
thinking that April showers
had come and gone and
it was time to make
their springtime appearance.

But I had to also remember
that April is tricky.  In my
college days in Blacksburg,
I remember when April could
snow like January and
swelter like June, all within
the span of twenty-four hours.
Students went from being
bundled up in coats to
basking in bathing suits
without skipping a beat,
but still wondering
what the hell Mother Nature
was up to.

Today is not one
of those crazy swings in temperature,
just a steady wind and a
touch of cold in the air.
That's a warning to those
ready to skip through spring
and head directly into summer.
Today is Mother Nature's way of saying:

"Hold up.  
We're not there yet.  
You still have days to 
have your teeth chatter
as you welcome in the baseball season.  
Don't try to cheat and 
plant your flowers early.  
You will pay dearly."

Writing Instructions

Straining to hear the leader speak over the rumble of the traffic outside, I lean in to hear her words of instruction.  I want to clearly know what to do next.  She states what we are to write and gives us time to create our new pieces.

So I begin my
travels along the page with
my pen and my words.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Morning

Who needs an alarm clock when
the birds are singing before the
sun has begun to rise?

Ready for the morning they are
before I am, but now I can't help
but open up my sleepy eyes

and wake myself to start
a brand new week hoping
I will not be met with a surprise

the type of event that can
cause frustration and anger
to the point that it can demoralize

even the most upbeat of workers
with sunny dispositions,
warm smiles, and bright eyes,

ever so eager to get back
to the office and begin to
take on tasks of any size.

That's what I hope for,
nothing crazy on a Monday,
no need to devise

a plan of action to unbury
myself from a load of jobs.
Just have my coffee and say my "hi"s

to those in my office before
I sit at my desk, ready to begin
as the sun begins to rise.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Crazy is
seeing his face
on the evening news.
Not clean cut and dapper
but bearded and disheveled,
blankly posing for his mug shot.

The newsman said
it was a prostitution ring.
He got clipped for
trying to pay for some company.
Guess saying you're a former
college star doesn't work anymore.

Has it been that long
since his name was
buzzing around the state?
Starting quarterback for
one of the state's top level colleges
does wonders with the public;

since kids wore his number,
playing in the backyard
pretending that they're him,
pretending they were making
the game-winning play
against their hated rivals;

since men and women made plans
to make pilgrimages back
on campus for the fall campaigns
where he led the team
out of the tunnel for
sixty minutes of gridiron glory.

But the order of life said
he could only have
four years of this
and then it was time
to move on, leaving
the football behind.

Sure, people came up to him
and wanted to shake hands,
laughing and reminiscing about
the good times and the good plays
he made. Some even helped out
getting him going in the job market.

But the order of life
also said that time
pushes a man further and
further away from the
glories of his youth as the
youngsters step in and

take the bar higher and higher,
pushing his name further
down the lists of accomplished feats
until he became a footnote
in the writings of the history
of his college's success.

Now I wonder if it was the thought
of being an afterthought that
messed him up. I remember
we chatted a while ago
and he said something to me
that was unexpected and surprising.

He said,
“I wish I could've done more.”

I tried to disagree
but he wouldn't listen.
Now I realize
what he was trying to tell me.
He could see the writing on the wall
and his name wasn't on it

and the day-to-day grind
just wasn't the same.
So on that night, maybe he thought
he could buy some attention for
what he once was because
so few others gave it to him for free.