Sleepless toss n’ turning kind of night where the window’s open, but it’s too humid. Where the sheets are thrown off, but you’re paralyzed on account of yourself, worried that if you move just one whole inch, you’ll have to start this process all over again, this process of falling asleep. You are failing. There are noisy neighbors outside, though you can’t make out what they’re saying. The voices are raised and aggravated, but unintelligible as trash can lids sound like they slam shut in a repetitious fashion. A cat loudly meows, also disturbed. There is no guarantee of finding sleep after routinely rinsing the gastrointestinal cavity with whiskey, lips in between parched and sated, eyelids drooping but cannot find rest. It’s a sleepless night, it is hot, it is annoying, it is 3 AM. Flipping the pillow to access its cooler side is only a temporary refuge. The ceiling fan clicks in meditative trance. Darkness is moonlit (and streetlamp-lit) so that in this bedroom the shadows of things are very clear and only mildly ambiguous. The mattress is a raft now.


An empty crevice lies empty at the bottom of a tree stump. Notwithstanding repetition and redundancy to focus the matter at hand, but here is where items can be kept in storage with little or no security. The risk is 100% yours to take. But in an empty wood, where the cawing of crows harmonies with the flitter of other various birds and crickets as the sky begins to darken, maybe you can leave your stuff here and no one will take it and nothing will happen to it. I suppose it also depends on how long you leave it for. There is no rent on this hollowed out tree stump; Nature gives and nature provides. Nature meets herself where she is and doesn’t get stressed out or tries to impress anyone. What you see is what you get and then some. Because sometimes you get what you can’t even see, or remain ignorant to see in some cases. A bowl of mild salsa lies empty at an Mexican restaurant waiting to be refilled. Salt and lime linger on taste buds from tortilla chips. Stomach not hollow at present, but very full and requesting another margarita. Lysosome cellular regeneration and cleaning agents. Ninth grade biology seemed so impossible. It still does, but the memory is far enough away where I refuse to care. And even though I don’t and won’t, my mind is not hollow; I am not worse off for it.


Coming out of your shell sideways like a drunk hermit crab on parade. I’m letting go of balloons and celebrating this weight off your shoulders, which are of course connected to my shoulders somehow; So that the weight floats up and right off us both. Skimming the fat of the cream off the top of the milk, the way Grandma used to tell me. When 50-60 years ago American life was so different and strange because what is a milkman anyway? How bizarre that so much significance was placed into the daily dairy economy. Metallic baskets to put out empty bottles that came and went just as often as mail delivery. I think people yearn for a time past because the grass is always greener when you fool yourself that your hindsight’s 20/20, but it never is. It and we are all flawed, all mistakes, sometimes intentioned. The fact that we’re still here is nothing short of amazing. And as I drag myself to the shore, away from the yawning stretch of open, terrifying water, taking my claws and crunching my abs. Just pulling myself with all my might so that I may find safety, I think about harrowing near-escapes and what-ifs. I ultimately land in some place of Zen, disbelief, relief. My wet face is covered in sand. It has already begun to dry. The sun warms my skin so that it gets too hot to the touch. I need to stamp out my inaction and get up. Adidas sneakers, clean and laced up by the beach towel.


There is a man made out of granite and marble standing in the square, in the park on a bright summers day. He rides atop a horse in motion, frozen in time. The horse is kicking forward with bewildered expression, while his occupant raises his hat above his head. Astonishing how this stillness, this dead material, has so much life and motion. And parkgoers will pass it everyday as something unextraordinary, with not read the plaque that describes its historical significance or the artist’s intention. Their dogs just pee and walk on. There is a Northeast busy-ness that I myself participate because it is learned behavior. And it’s problematic because sometimes I forget to look up at the world around me. It’s always easy to cast off and ignore, until one day something stops you – a force, God, fate – And then you’re sick in bed, or working in an office with no windows, and as you’re at the end of your rope you perhaps start to wonder, “Maybe I should’ve looked up every once in awhile, breathed in the air while I still had a chance”. And not to say that these opportunities will never come again, but perhaps it will be awhile –


A pile of stuff, 12 feet high, sits aching, rotting, silently pleading to be cleaned up and maintained, contained. Many a night, guilty pleasure reality television, sometimes too gross and disturbing for “both eyes open” viewing. A wince or three is normal. But it’s amazing, at how much the trainwreck program continues, looking away becomes impossible and I sink further and further into my seat, unable to look away, simultaneously fascinated by this absurd reality (that I thankfully never had to experience). It is a deterrent against materialism and the collection and obsession with things, though I’m sure I’m not perfect and have my own faults. But it is mentally gut-wrenching to experience, even from the periphery. What could possibly possess a person to do that? Obsession over little plastic bottles, toys, and expired food from 28 years ago. Skippy Peanut Butter that expired in 1993 or 4, when Biggie was still alive. Surprised the that entire jar has not just turned to dust. What must that possibly taste like? Good things are all around us, but oftentimes get shadowed by the hoard. The hoard, a personification of our shadow selves, our conscious selves yearning to break out and be free, crushed by the overbearing size and weight of the trauma that came before.