The weight that won’t shake

After a week of snow it finally broke, and started to melt

and with it sliding off the branches and dripping off the gutters

it looked like the sky was crying, the earth

collapsing in on itself

and with the snow clung to the gutters like a vice,

making the trees look like linebackers

with their shoulders slung low,

what a relief it must have been,

when suddenly the weight from all that snow slipped

off, and the branches sprung back up.

Is this you, Depression?

The weight that won’t shake?

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Nowhere, slow

The spent tea bag stapled at the top,

the icicles dripping on a Saturday afternoon

freed from any thought of what time it could be,

spread out like a soft cheese with hair

unwashed, snow with nowhere

to go, nothing we don’t have

we need

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Man, 48, transmogrifies to Indian salmon pictograph on Cougar Mountain

In the dark my dog and I set off to climb the trail,
crawling beneath trees,
drinking from streams—
up the switch backs hugging
the hillsides with only
our night vision and senses
to guide us

At the pass, the wind came rushing
in to tickle our sides—
and if the sky could vomit it did,
with chunks of ice turning to shards,
so hard we had to find shelter
and cover our heads
beneath a tree

It gushed and cracked and coated
everything and then stopped,
and we carried on

without another soul in sight

that feeling of the wild,
of deep isolation,
of being removed

and connected
at the same time.

I became aware of my ears
as they shriveled,
and fell off.

And then the same,
of my arms
and hands

until all I was
was raw nerve,

sense memory:

the lizard brain,

a gland
the size
of my thumb

controlling
the tower.

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The complicated way you express your love

The rain came back, so long since we’d seen it

I went outside waiting, listening for it,

trying not to draw parallels to my dry

January: Dawn and I got a table

at the steakhouse, a split of bubbly,

and me, a 20 oz. ribeye I ate all of,

including the fat—

In the morning my head hurt, but I walked

to the lake feeling old, feeling more alive, though:

then laid on the sofa in our den

with no sound but the clock and the dog

shifting, letting the kids sleep in,

making plans, drinking water,

remembering what I could of

past Februarys, hoping for snow,

knowing no more, feeling

no pressure to, wanting

to be a better man, but

sure to forget

again, in the morning.

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This time on earth

img_8123Where does it go, when the hair recedes—and why does it leave?

And will I go like that too, without any notice

but more a long, slow fade

like snow thawing in a field—

And are we just that then, coming and going?

The right combination of elements

reincorporated,

our season of being, now.

 

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“Believe”

I grind my teeth at night,
I clench my jaws

what’s troubling me,
beneath the surface?

big, prehistoric fish
swimming low?

my fears, my desires,
combined to one?

you clench your jaws
for all you want to say
but cannot,
they said

I’ve lived long enough
to know, there is no spirit
or sign, no wizard who comes
in the middle of the night
to shake our shoulders
and whisper
Believe—no,
for whichever waters
we choose to cross
it is only us,
alone,
who can

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First time hearing Can with my percussionist friend, Loren

How many memories do you keep in a jar on that shelf? Here’s one from my 20s, driving across a bridge at night with the stereo up loud. Were we out of our minds high on the energy of our time, with youth slathered across our chests, burning all night? Were we on our way to a party, or a bar with girls we wanted to chase? And when the drums came in, how they moved through us like a dark wind to carry our souls away. And how alive it felt, to leave our bodies behind. How I’ll play that song still, in our suburban house when it’s warm enough I can write with my shirt off, to draw out that dark wind. How gladly I’d give my soul away for it. I have a jar full of tokens for all the times I did.

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