Open Mic at Art6 Gallery

Open Mic at Art6 Gallery

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I’m Not A Monster

I feel like a monster
though I’ve done
nothing wrong.
But that doesn’t matter
when the stories
plastered on news screens
all say the same thing:

Look at what the bad man
did to the woman.

Most men agree that
the bad men are bad.
But somehow all men
have become monsters
Now they are forced
to repent for the sin
of being a male.

Maybe the best thing to do
is cancel all relationships.

Let’s tell men and women
to stay away from each other
or wear signs that say
at least until the talking heads
stop with their onslaught
of pushing their agendas.

Many would say I’m crazy
but I don’t think so.

Simply stating masculinity
is looked at with disgust.
Now guys stare into cameras
and tell the world
they’re sorry, even for crimes
they did not commit.  I refuse
to join with the group.

I am a man and I should be
able to be just that.

Old Drawings

No one really thinks
about what time
can do to paper.
History becomes
more yellow by the day
as past plans drawn
by the steadiest of
architectural hands
fade away, time
eroding the lines,
making the notations
harder to read.
They keep
documented history
locked away in storage
in units far away and
out of sights so that
new construction can be
shown in digital format.
But when they
dig back into the archives,
they will find that
time has a way of
making history


Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Yesterday it was just my luck that the two books I was looking for in the library weren’t there even though the digital catalog said it was so. 

I think there’s a metaphor in there somewhere. 

This situation may be a description of when people are told to look for certain things and find themselves at the very place they were supposed to but finding nothing.  Then they are forced into deciding whether to walk away empty handed or just grab something else that may look just as enticing but it’s just not the same as what you were looking for in the first place.

So in the library at the very moment that I realized that I had to make the same decision, I did so.

Instead of walking away without a book, I wandered around elsewhere and selected something else to read.  The book looked good enough but I had my doubts about it having the same satisfaction as what I was looking for in the book that I had set my mind and heart to reading.
I believe many people have done the same thing. 

They have made choices that settled voids when what they really wanted was either out of reach or just never existed.  They live their lives claiming to be happy and maybe they are.  But there if there were truth serum to put into their coffee in the morning or wine in the evening, they may tell a different tune.  They could then talk about the choice of picking different schools or friends, living in different cities, or even loving a different person.

Of course, the worst part of it all is that some would have to admit they fucked up somewhere along the way and are just making the best of the consequences.

Thankfully I’m not at that extreme.

But I know that today in the library it was just deciding on a book to read.  But what happens tomorrow if I can’t get what I really want? 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"Red Lipstick Sells Best In Times Of War"

poem based on a painting by Emma Knight

Make the boys forget 
they may run into a  
rainstorm of bullets 
the next time out.
Red Lipstick Sells Best In Times Of War
by Emma Knight
Make them forget  
some won’t come back  
whole and some  
won’t come back at all. 
So wear that deep red 
on your lips, the right amount  
of mascara, and smile 
as warmly as you can. 
Give them a moment 
to forget about the  
no-man’s land and 
the hell of battle. 
Let them know  
there will be an ending, 
that they can come home 
to kiss your red lips.

I Can't See You

I can’t see you and I
realize it’s best for me
to stop trying. You
are an elusive sort and
it’s not for the right reasons.
I know you have much to say
but you try to be so damn
abstract, thinking a video
of a lake or a picture of
your shadow is saying something.

I can’t see you and now I
know I never have.  The signs,
they were there from the start,
the moment you threw up
that roadblock the night I asked
all those questions about you.
I only wanted to know you a
little better but there you were
in a defensive posture saying,
“Don’t get any closer.”

I tried to be your friend and I
know others who have tried
just as much as I, but you
keep running away, always
finding some sort of crossroads.
Did it really exist or did you
redraw the road map to
give yourself an exit plan,
a way out so someone
could never get in.

I’m tired of the chase, tired
of walking through mazes and
all around empty streets hoping
you would show your face for
more than a second.  Others
have done the same and gone on
with their lives.  I hope you can
realize that guarding whatever it is
you are will lead to a lonely place
where no one bothers to see you.

Monday, April 28, 2014


The end of the road 
comes closer in sight and I, 
weary of  trekking, 
try to find one last 
push from within in order 
to finish strong, to  
cross the line not with 
a weakened stumble but a  
strong final stride to show 
the world and myself  
that the last steps 
were just as powerful as 
the first. 

Out of Nowhere

Running on fumes but 
somehow I keep finding words, 
at times feeling like I'm 
plucking them out of my ass. 
But it's enough to merge together 
another piece to send out 
to the world and whether or not 
they understand it  
doesn't really matter right now. 
I'm at a need to say something 
and even if I pull it  
out of nowhere, it still 
is something I need to say.

Talking To Ray

What could you see? 
I know you were blind 
but your music says to me 
your imagination wasn't as dark 
as the shades you wore. 

What did you imagine 
when your hands danced 
across those piano keys, 
when you harmonized 
with the backup singers? 

Did you draw out 
your own images of 
what was going on 
to let you see 
what you really couldn't?  I just wonder 
the way you moved 
millions with your songs 
if I could close my eyes 
and see the world differently. 

Soul Singer

Pay attention. 
The notes I play 
may move your hips 
and nod your head 
but I'm trying  
to tell you something. 

There's pain in these lyrics. 
Ain't nothing pretty 
about where I came from 
and what I've been through. 
Life's been hard and all 
I can do is sing about it, 

let the aches and pains, 
the tears and heartbreak, 
let it all out, 
tell my story and turn it 
into a groovy tune so 
you all can dance the night away 

and I shine in the spotlight. 
But nights on stage don't 
solve all the problems that 
torment my soul.  So while 
you're enjoying yourself, just 
take a moment to pay attention. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014


April morning feels 
more like October, a chill 
in the air before 
the sun, but anything is 
better than our winter. 

Days upon days of 
cold blasts that not even the 
oldest of the old 
had seen in their lifetimes, 
our city bundled up  in 

layers and layers 
of clothing, hoping this spell 
would break and break soon. 
It finally did and now 
we can enjoy what spring brings.


Holding on to your 
feelings hurt, carrying the 
weighted burden of 
dishonesty in your soul 
like Atlas carried the world, 

forever tethered 
on your back, stuck in a pose 
hurtful to your 
existence.  But you don't know 
any other way to be. 

But one day, you let 
it all go, finally in 
a random moment 
you let it all out, you dropped 
the burden and found freedom.