As you leave Detroit

As you leave Detroit,

Telegraph Road,

with it’s decaying motels, get drunk shack bars, and appliance stores,

turns into the gentler Highway 24.

With the scars behind you,

far away from the sprawl,

the farm towns appear.

Tidy houses overseeing,

tidy fields.

Highway 24 shines in the summer.

The Ohio state crews,

mowing the median and patching the damage their salt brought the winter before.

Like many,

I’ve left for the places TV endorses,

but those Ohio and Indiana and Michigan roads used to offer me so much.

Lovers and family and true vacations.

Better things than the roads I now drive,

in my now “better” places.

As I sit here today,

it seems my task,

is to once again view those familiar paths,

as good enough.

For a year

If I can embrace everything for a day,

I can embrace everything for a week,

and if I could embrace everything,

that has come into my life,

for a year,

maybe then,

I would have finally,

turned the page,

on the worrying,

the fidgeting,

and the fear,

that all float like clouds,


my view,

of this breathtaking fortune.

Toy chickens

I have a new puppy named Ned,

and he’s teaching me lots.

Ned’s a mystic.

All dogs are.

But sometimes Ned gets afraid.

He doesn’t like his crate or rolling garbage bins.

Silly Ned.

There’s nothing to fear.

Ned’s just a dog.

He doesn’t know.

Just now, I made Ned’s toy chicken squeak.

He bounded over to investigate.

He loves his chicken,

especially when it squeaks.

He couldn’t see it was me was pulling the strings.

Just my foot pressing on the little horn sewn inside.

Doesn’t matter to Ned,

he loves that toy chicken all the same.

Got me thinking.

What are my toy chickens?

What are your toy chickens?

What are Neil deGrasse Tyson’s toy chickens?

And who honks those horns?

Ned swears that toy chicken squeaks.

He goes for it every time.

They aren’t men

For years,

Like a recurring dream,

I’d find myself drunk in a New York City bar,

wishing I’d stayed home,

to build something,

no one would pay for,

in silence.

Even today,

I think of giving it all up,

to drift free in a low rent wilderness,

Where the best women won’t have sex.

These pangs visit at night,

But I still wake up and grind,

for a small piece,

of all the disassembled empires,

chaos has handed down,

since many lines before my Grandfather.

I am running after,

a dying lady,

in a dirty dress.

Friends and enemies,

on either side of me,

nourished by applause.

What does it mean to be a man?

Men arrive when the fleeting longings of their nights,

grow big enough,

to fill their days.


A house like this

Tonight I prepare for bed in a southern mansion house,

with a grand staircase, bedroom fireplaces, and absentee Manhattan owners.

I’ve always wanted a house like this.

To live in a house like this,

to die in a house like this.

But what is a house like this?

If not a stage on which to play your little part,

with those closest to you,

who love, support, and shelter you.

To own a house like this is a blessing.

But one that pales in comparison,

to a happy family.

Because in truth,

a happy family is,

a house like this.

The odd flights

I tend to take the odd flights,

the ones with empty seats.

12:55 on a Wednesday,

to some place,

far away,

I’ve imagined as happy for me.

A place I could move,

stay awhile,

then fly away,

somewhere happier.

It’s the corporate flights I avoid,

7:15 on a Friday evening.

The lawyers and bankers,

on their way home,

marching to someone else’s routine.

I never wanted that,

so I fly mid-day.

And yet,

crammed in the middle seat,

on my way from New York to Chicago,

I find myself enjoying the satisfied energy,

of a day fully spent.

A banker on my left,

a lawyer to my right.

Neither want to talk to me.

But they teach me.

Happiness does not equal,

the absence of routine.

My bloody jaw

Just like cats sometimes do,

for their owners,

I leave what I’ve killed,

at her doorstep,

and say,


Look at me now.

At what I’ve done,

at who I’ve become.

But no matter how intense the hunt,

gifts from cats inspire humor,

never awe.

They end up in the trash,

not on the mantle.


by a foreign species,

now closed,

to the possibility,

of any lasting value,

springing from the clutches of my bloody jaw.


*Read this poem first. *

Let yourself grow attached,

and come to love,

what you are sure to lose.

Drive for miles,

and days,

for a last look.

Write letters,

and poems,

plead into an impossible face.


Now cry.

Give her the pain she wants,

so you’ll finally match.

Become weak like you’d never admit to the street or in a flourescent office room.

Lie about the meaning,

Your meanings keep you from her.

Ignore your intuition,

Your intuition pushes her further away.

Light a candle,

So you can see her in the emerging darkness.

A vigil,

to the dream,

that died right on time…