Day 118 – A Life to Spare

Promise yourself you’ll only do
today’s work

Keep yourself to this
and you won’t have
no trouble sleeping

Keep yourself to this
and you will have
a life to spare


Day 73 – Happy Living

Happy living
you Macy’s catalogs
there’s never any room
at your tables
you can’t see
out your windows
you’ve never burned a thing
and your sons come home
and you’re happy
in spite
of all that

Year 2: Day 158 – You’re Gonna Be Fine

To the kitchen to make spaghetti,
to the cupboard to find the salt shaker,
to the bedroom to find that one cup
for the milk
for those girl scout cookies
you bought in October.

But you started gathering laundry
as soon as you walked in the room
and the quarters remind you
the credit card payment’s due.

You wonder what happened to poetry.
Why can’t you find that cup?
You taste the sauce
with a mouthful of dry cookie
and tears well.

What was it that ended your reign-
you’re so beautiful
and feel so crazed-
what blew in and took away
your neat control?

You walk down the laundry
in a baby buggy
while the stove is on
and you’re thinking of how
you could’ve signed the papers
when you were dead, when you
never wanted the divorce
at all.

But you don’t sit still
while the dryer runs,
you know enough to keep busy,
to make up for lost time,

and you’re gonna get back
to where you lost it,
you’re gonna be fine.

Year 2: Day 156 – The Decimal Rap

In this world
where we all live
we got Ones and Twos
and you’ll have to forgive
me for lumpin’ ’em all
into two basic groups
but that’s just how it is,
that’s the honest truth.
We got Ones who live
like they’re never gonna die,
and every single day
is a slice of pie
and we got Twos who pray
like they could die tomorrow,
no time for fun,
they’re busy singin’ the sorrow,
and neither group ever really
knows what’s up
they all drink the same water
from a dixie cup
and we all pick a side
to help us get by
except me…
and where am I?

somewhere in between,
I’m a point in the middle
of two extremes,
I can’t stay with the Twos
where I was raised
but I can’t join the Ones
because they’re kinda crazed.
an approximation,
a repeating counter
of my frustration.
I can’t live life
like it’s just for pleasure
but I know that every day
is absolutely a treasure.
an improper fraction
that never quite reaches a whole,
an abstraction.
I know there’s ways to argue,
make each side sound better
but until they reach a compromise,
I’m dead center.
before I leave this joint-
doesn’t every¬†whole number
have an invisible point?

Year 2: Day 78 – Advice For Young Men From A Botanist

There’s always a chance that green leaves
which have seen no winter will not make it
into spring.

Assign strength to beauty to youth
at your own risk.

But don’t jump scale to black or brown-
the time you will invest on dead or nearly-dead
is better spent still perusing the garden.

Take some photographs but know
that reviving decay is a hobby to take up
at your own risk.

If you want to care for something worthwhile,
look for something that takes care of itself-
something in the middle of restoring itself
after it has lived through some distress.

To find a more pleasing time of caretaking-
fall in love with a flower
with yellow leaves.