You Do Not Understand

Until you’ve felt this pain that’s mine

Do not tell me that things are fine

Do not pretend to know the wring

Unless you’ve lost your everything

I say these things as best I can

But no one ever understands

I know that this is just because

Most people weren’t raised like I was

Most people had a mom and dad

Who supported everything they had

I didn’t, I wanted to write

I didn’t want to fake the fight

I didn’t want to go right through

A career that I was pushed into

And yet I let my father win

So I adhered to all his sin

But now I have a clearer path

I’ll save contempt, and save my wrath

I’ll save them for another day

Where they might win and cast away

Cast away the things I hate

Like greed, and judgement; speculate

For when we guess at right and wrong

We find it’s us, us all along

Fury

Petty? I shan’t think it’s so!

I have this Monet, and Van Gogh

Clearly, I appreciate

The things the low class tends to hate!

An eye for that which is so grand!

Smaller brains won’t understand

Yes, this is what I say to thee

A peasant is but lesser me

That means that I am better, yes?

Oh come on now, I must digress

Let me say something, highbrow

I am not fucking joking, now

A good person exists in me

The spirit of my mother, see

She can see right through your shit

And make you walk on top of it

So save your graces, save your prayers

Cause I know, you know, no one cares

This isn’t the beginning, friend

It’s just a taste of what’s at end

When I’m Gone

It saddens me that people are

So short-sighted, they don’t see far

And that these words will not be read

Until I live no more, lay dead

It is the truth, I do not care

What you might think, you’re unaware

Just what these things I say right now

Might truly mean, and yet somehow

You live inside your same old box

And if the truth stops by and knocks

You plug your ears, say it’s not so

Pretend it’s not there, even though

Late at night, all that remains

Is blood that flows inside your veins

You can’t escape that which is true

That greed and envy consume you

‘Tis why so many are not read

Until they lie alone, and dead

Mentors of me, they say it’s so

Their names are Edgar, and Van Gogh

Until the End

Try your hardest, just to fail

Try to straighten each bent nail

Is it the wood or nail that’s wrong?

Or has it been you, all along?

Perhaps the things you thought could be

Are nothing more than fantasy

Maybe the things you chase aren’t real

At least, that’s how the rest all feel

It is not easy, doing this

Taking shots you know might miss

But when you have a soul behind

You’ll walk this road, even if blind

Your purpose is your only cause

And if doubt makes you stop, or pause

Remember what brought you to here

That there is nothing left to fear

Within

I am not who I was before

The man ‘twas me I so deplore

He’s hanging, cuffed, and sins no more

Locked deep behind my closet door

In darkness he now dwells, alone

His mem’ry cuts straight to the bone

It weighs me down like rock and stone

And hates that I’ve, at last, outgrown

People change, I can attest

All my wrongs I have confessed

If hatred can’t forgive, lay rest

Your mind is but infant, at best

Perfection does not dwell in thee

Forever, it’s an absentee

Look in the mirror and you’ll see

No better you are that, than me

Persevere

I care not for opinions, the things I say are true

My conscience guides and truth resides

in action, not with you

If you must talk then walk the walk, because otherwise

You’re all the same, the fact remains, you’re jealous and unwise

Weakness fosters hate for those who climb above the rest

They try to drown and put you down because they are depressed

Hate is part of this old game, it hasn’t changed at all

It’s been played since the first day that humans learned to crawl

Care not for those who bet you’ll fail, because they are the worst

And even though they think it so, don’t ever lose your thirst

Success will come to those who wait, for patience is virtue

The only ones who’ve seen it done are those who know it’s true

Lines

Rest is what my mind desires

I see the redness, and the fires

I care not what they think of me

My thoughts confine what should be free

A puzzle piece that doesn’t fit

No matter what I do to it

It’s odd how heat can cause such chill

It’s never matched, and never will

The darkness dawns, it’s due to me

As solace comes to set me free

I’ve waited for its calm, you see

And longed for its serenity

There is a message, bottled up

It sits right here inside this cup

Doubt, and weakness, are a sin

And endings start, where they begin

Smoke and Mirrors

Animals. Miscreants. Products of society.

Monsters making mice of men and dodging notoriety

When will people realize that this world’s not what we think it is?

If you’re naive and say it is just do a quick analysis

Peace. Love. A child’s future without war.

All these things they advertise are not what they are fighting for

Human nature guides our acts, but most of us are ignorant

The truth is that our leaders are deceitful and indifferent

Some of you will understand and some of you will tilt your head

Scoffing and believing in the things you’re told and lies you’re fed

All the actions humans take are driven by their minds, you see

Every single move we make is driven by priority

If we care we do it, the bottom line is crystal clear

Pretense is the mask we wear to tell you that we’re all sincere

But deep inside you know it’s true, yet no one seems to take a glance

Afraid that mirror might make us examine our own circumstance

Fingers seem to flex a lot when pointing at the ones out there

But flip the script and things appear to always seem so laissez faire

Why must we get so caught up in pointing out the obvious

None of us are perfect, stop expecting all this godliness

We’re driven by our motives and my friend, we’re all just animals

Behaving so predictably it’s like we’re all mechanical

Its why the ones who run the world all falsely claim benevolence

Then grin to hide corruption and intolerant malevolence

This world of ours is not the one they taught you in your church or school

We’ve let the thieves into our homes and put them on the throne to rule

Now the future we must face, as freedoms what we’re fighting for

The path ahead is free of fog, no smoke and mirrors anymore

Distressed Damsels Need No Knights

A lovey dame was so offended

At this ball I just attended

Because her partner had extended

A most presumptuous invite

Apart for almost that whole party

She was angry he’d been tardy

When leaving I had laughed so hard, she

Made a fool of him tonight

He ignored his lateness, tried to play nice

She didn’t buy it, only danced twice

But champagne causes men to roll dice

That should never see the light

He shouted as he hailed a carriage

“You’re all invited to our marriage!”

As we all watched that dame disparage

And slap with all her might

She must have fought before, had training

For when his balance was regaining

She gave us the most entertaining

Show: a one round fight

It lasted less than one full second

Likely killed him, we all reckoned

With one right hook, as recommended

She sent him on his final flight

Applause erupted, I was beguiled

For then she looked at me and smiled

Now here I lay, our clothes all piled

My new damsel’s more a Knight

The One: Entry 2

It’s weird for me to be telling this story. I just want to be upfront about that before we get too much further into this little journey you and I are about to go on. Sometimes I wonder why it’s so hard to talk about this stuff when I’m face to face with people, but then I realize that I’ve already answered my own question. Face to face is hard, don’t you think? It’s just so, I don’t know…different. Because when we’re speaking to someone in person, we can immediately see their unintentionally expressed judgments and subtle cues that make us fully realize what they actually think of us. Right? I know you know what I mean.

Which is why I prefer telling my stories like this. Journaling, you know? Journals let us extract the real. The deep. The truth! Because with journals, we don’t have to concern ourselves with an audience. Ugh, the audience. Always judging. Always critiquing. Anyway, I digress. Let’s get back to my original point.

Love. Soulmates. The ONE.

Yep, you heard me. I bet you already know them. Wanna know how?

Technology.

Simple! This whole Information Age that we find ourselves lucky enough to be living in has unlocked a near unlimited number of doors for us. Yup. For anyone willing to try and step in, the various social media platforms and apps we have access to are host to literal millions of people all waiting to be validated. Doors just begging to be opened.

All you have to do is knock.

And hell, sometimes you don’t even need to do that! There’s people out there who just leave the damn door wide open! Its crazy, I tell you. Sometimes it makes me wonder how certain folks can be so trusting with all their shit out there in the open, but hey…I guess not everyone is as messed up in the head as me. Seems there are plenty of perfectly normal, “nothing to see here” types just asking to be walked in on.

Wait. I think I got off track again. I was talking about meeting the One, right? Of course I was. So I bet you’re wondering what I meant by that. Well, believe it or not, my scattered brain never ceases to fail me and has brought us to the answer. Social media! Simple. It’s so easy to read between the lines and really understand people based on a precise formula: one part profile, three parts day-to-day posts, and a heaping spoonful of comments/actual interactions. Because they all tell us different, albeit very important, things.

Take our profiles, for instance. Or our own personal “ad”, as I prefer to call them. They’re basically shovels full of bullshit that we scoop from the dirt-pile that is reality which we then cast toward the window of public knowledge – hoping that the best parts stick on the glass before slowly falling down so others will remember the crap we want them to. They’re sort of like social resumes, but without the necessity of having to worry whether or not we can back it up. You know…like an actual, real job would require. I mean after all, how many people do you know would look at a person’s “About Me”, see that they graduated from Syracuse in 2012 with a bachelors in Bio-Bullshit or something, and then actually go check the alumni lists to make sure they’re telling the truth?

I’ll save you the time: no one. You know precisely no one that would do that. Maybe some photo stalking to audit them perhaps, but hey – all it takes to dodge that one is a quick “Where are my college photos? Oh please, I had to delete those when I started applying to real jobs. You know how it is!” Giggle giggle, sly wink, and a sip of that vodka cranberry and we’re on to the next topic. Please. Any uneducated kid with a vocational degree can do it. So yeah, that’s the profile for you. It’s our canned version of ourselves. Which, incidentally, can tell us a lot about someone and how they wish to be perceived.

Then there’s the day-to-day posts. These are basically the fluff that people put up to support the claims advertised on the profile. All initial releases need some backup content, no? Sort of like sequels. Posts are like sequels to our first installment, furthering our narratives. Makes sense if you ask me.

Which, of course, brings us to the meat and potatoes. Comments. Interactions. Arguments! These are what truly reveals who a person is or is not. Actions speak louder than words, after all, do they not? Oh yes. They most certainly do.

But let’s get back, for the third time now, to how you already know your soulmate. It’s by taking the information we just discussed, and intelligently applying it with the appropriate intentions. Social media. Reading people. Easy. You know it, I know it, we all know it.

We all have that one, perfect person out there just waiting for us to slide into their DMs. The question is whether we ever grow a pair big enough to actually do it. And what you’re about to learn…is that me? Well, I did.

Boy, did I.

The One: First Entry

Can we be honest with ourselves for a moment? I want to talk about some things. Things like Facebook. Twitter. Instagram, perhaps. Hell, even Tinder…anything that lets people advertise who they are (or at least who they want to be) without having to concern themselves with the real world.

Yeah, I know.

It’s not easy to examine one’s self. We’d all much rather be judging someone else. But right now, let’s do the hard thing and focus the lens introspectively.

Sure, it’s easy to look on at the spinning wheel that is social media, watching as the people we know and grew up with move on with their lives. Comparison is the theif of joy, ain’t it? That’s what they say, at least.

It’s funny though because everyone’s aware, whether consciously or subconsciously, that social media is just a highlight reel. If only we knew who we all are after each one of those many layers of social graces and obligatory formalities got peeled back. The real, you know? Because as much as we market how cool our lives are, at the end of the day…it’s validation that we really want.

Most of us, that is. And you know what? That’s perfectly normal. Not at all a thing to be ashamed of.

After all, most of us just want someone who knows us. Who understands us. Who IS us. We want to enjoy life with a person who gets, more so than anyone, who we truly are. And I’m not talking about the person at three o’clock, bringing in coffee with the same fake grin we all wear knowing we’re just waiting for the hour hand to get knocked ahead a couple notches. I’m talking about the person we are when the day’s facade is over, the candles go out, and the door closes. That person you see when the ambient light from the TV flicks on as it highlights the it-was-a-long-day-fucked-up-hair and feetie pajamas silhouette. That’s the person we’re searching for.

And you want to know something? I bet you’ve already met them.

I know I have.

Hello Ma’am

Hello ma’am, I have for you

A query I need answers to

You see, I was across the bar

Seated, writing, mind afar

But then a shimmer caught my eye

It was your gaze as you walked by

And so I was compelled to think

Would this girl join me for a drink?

Now here we are; sappy, I know

I am not Edgar Allen Poe

My pen does not Tell Tales of Heart

But every story has a start

What if this was both yours and mine?

My dear, you’re looking mighty fine

What better way to introduce

Our journey than with this Chartreuse?

Let me politely fill your glass

That dress tells me you have such class

Let’s talk and see where things might go

That smile says you’d like to know

Your Words

What is it that you’re thinking while you’re looking at me blinking as you’re struggling with every thought and word?

I’m here before you standing and your silence is demanding all you want is to be seen and to be heard

Babe just take a breath, you’re hands are trembling to death, I’ll be right here until you want to go

Say the things you came to but when everything’s been talked through there’s just one thing that you and I both need to know

Its taken years for us to get here

There’s not a thing that we should fear

We’ve been through every twist and every single turn

So just say what’s on your mind

It could be hate or could be kind

If there’s parts that I don’t know, I want to learn

My mind is torn to tatters but the only thing that matters is to weather through the storm coming our way

This fight will come to pass and when we’ve said our peace at last you know I’ll be here waiting every day

So just get it off your chest because you know I’m not the best at this I won’t come back for seconds or for thirds

Tell me what’s up there, I’m not going anywhere, I love you and I’ll listen to your words

Hard to Get

A damsel in distress she’s not, though nights are all besot with her

Affection widely chased more than even gold, frankincense and myrrh

Aged better than Venetian wine, smoother than a fine liqueur

Treat her as the Queen she is: this maiden we call Literature

 

Sought by many, caught by few, to court her is a Fool’s Errand

Exceptions only granted when one’s dedication’s apparent

Gentle, patient one must be; to nothing she can come second

For absolute commitment is the quality of all legends

 

Everybody’s knocking but the owner just turns out the light

Fight to find a way inside and find the lock is far too tight

I smile as I watch them shout and beg her for one night’s invite

Because this pen unlocks the pad where Writing lays her head at night

 

So intimate we’ve grown to be, forever I’ll be in her debt

For it was I who was distressed, and she who saved me from regret

Sincerely now I thank her for becoming my one true duet

Eternity I’d wait for her: this love who was so hard to get

Winds of Change

Softly cup my hand to ear

As wind blows whispers that I hear

Sadness, loss, regret they bring

All shadows from my yesteryear

Words escape me, ones I’ve lost

I never knew how much it’d cost

When I thought not to buy a ring

The path I should, I never crossed

Now I’m forced to walk, move on

Time has passed; those moments, gone

And though I wish to have them back

I must stay focused on the dawn

For life is cruel, it won’t concede

Regardless if I pray and plead

And though I may not be on track

Faith in myself is all I need

Things in life, they come and go

And as I lift this small window

I look outside, only to see

That we reap the things we sow

Every action, every word

Is seen, or felt, or tasted, heard

And whether it is you, or me

Life’s purpose always seems so blurred

So, to you, who has a past

Do not let your transgressions last

We’re here, together, throughout our time

And everyone has sins amassed

Live with love, try to arrange

The life you want, an open grange

Do not break rhythm, just to rhyme

And always, ride, the winds of change

My Hands

Never idle, on the move, ink pours on the page

The force that drives, a needed guide, is with me on this stage

I try to be an optimist, but sometimes I’m consumed by rage

Thinking of how things are done and how they could so quickly change

Yes all the world’s a stage you know, it’s something that you shan’t forget

The sun and stars would get along if only they’d shake hands and met

Humanity could follow suit, we’ve got the tech but somehow, yet

We manage to exacerbate the very things we should forget

Fossil fuels and everything, you know that it’s all temporary

But tell me more of how it works, and how mining isn’t mercenary

If you truly want to change the world into a gilded sanctuary

Then play the long game not the short, and hire you an actuary

Maybe they can run the numbers, project a truth that you won’t like

Their findings likely point to truth like human beings should take a hike

Sure, we all know that we need to build that interstate or that turnpike

Yet as we do this trees are cut, it’s like the land of the Third Reich

Yes it’s so, the world’s a stage, it’s just a game of checkers, chess

We put our pieces on the board, where we think they’ll help us best

And when we find a new chance to establish ourselves, let me guess

You want to build a military presence just to clean the mess

Sure my man, come on down, bring your gadgets and your tech

Cause I don’t really care what happens as long as I get that big check

You see this is why the world is wasted, all it’s countries are a wreck

We let the people be in charge that only care for their own neck

Maybe one day you’ll wake up, realize that this dream of yours

Doesn’t have to happen this way and you won’t be on all fours

Rising up and taking charge, you’ll fight and finely take these lands

Until then I’ll try my best, just writing with my moving hands

Ripples

Ripples, I see down below

The waves are moving, soft and slow

Like zephyrs, gently drifting through

The water’s stillness calms and soothes

I cast a rock into its deeps

Watch it sink as this willow weeps

I see the first bright evening star

Across the lake, the trees afar

The coast adorns a bright green coat

It’s shadow cloaks a lonely boat

My friend, on four, barks on a whim

As children there, begin to swim

A sigh escapes, the calmest breath

There’s so much life to live ‘fore death

And as I stand, to pack my things

I thank this world, for all it brings

My Life

The sand, the dirt, the grass, the trees

The sticks, the stones, the light, the breeze

The things this world has made for me

Have warmed my heart and set me free

I look at the stars as I rest on my knee

They twinkle and spark, this light that I see

I gaze at them wondering, what could they be?

As I listen to waves hit the rocks under me

So calm it all is, out here with the leaves

No fear of the world, or it’s warriors and thieves

My mind is at rest, this feeling I’ve sought

A needed reprieve from the torment I’ve thought

The darkness within isn’t something I share

I keep it behind the false mask that I wear

It’s not that I’ve feigned, and not that I’ve lied

I just don’t want to release all the pain that’s inside

I want to be happy

I just want to live

Her death, it has gripped me

And it’s hold will not give

My words carry weight

Of this, I know

But now I see nothing

Through her bedroom’s window

It used to be filled

With her smile, her love

As she watched us all playing

With a ball and a glove

Those days are all gone now

And it hurts me so much

Please take this away, God

Please heal me, your touch

I don’t care if they read this

It’s my only escape

These pages have saved me

From a much harsher fate

I beg you, my Father

If you truly are there

To take this away

And heal my despair

These words that I’m writing

They’re the realest I’ve penned

I beg of you, God

Will I see her again?

Scars

They’re carried each and every day, they never ever go away. I cannot seem to find a place where minds are clear and thoughts erased. They stay with me, they’re always there, it seems a saddened love affair. My heart is blackened when the air begins to flow with fervent prayer. The things I’ve done, the things I’ve not, they occupy my every thought. The questions that I ask myself are known to me; and no one else. The answers lie in of itself, or maybe on my dark bookshelf. Our past, it haunts, it makes us see, that which we often disagree. For truth is that, and nothing else. It doesn’t care for time, or self. It shines its light, and nothing more. It opens every locked, closed door. Yet when we see the things we’ve done, we often want to turn and run. Such deeds exist, there in your past, and if you let them ever-last, your further will be chained and cast to those who judge and those who blast.

Let your scars, while they remain, fade away into the plain. You’ll always have them, they’ll maintain, but use them for your growth and gain. Learn their passage, learn their plight, and if you ever have to fight, your scars will tell you what to do; if it’s wrong, or if it’s true. Some see them as the wounds of life, but I prefer to use them like a knife. Every time I’m broken, down; my scars remind me that I’ve found. I’ve always found that this will pass, and every time, it always has.

Love can be the best of things, but think before you exchange rings. Be certain that they are the one, that love and bond won’t come undone. Take a look back at your past. Make sure this time that it will last.

And if you doubt things, look to the stars. Then, look back, at all your scars.

The Gates of Troy

Glory, love, hate, betrayal, and when at last their ships set sail, the world was told an epic tale where cunning and honor clash and prevail

This tale was scribed by one who holds a place in legend, always told, sung in halls by bards of old, remaining still, the greatest scrolled

Love began, it sparked, ignite, a marriage broken, in the night, and as the winds roared with might, love, so stolen, led to plight

Vengeance sworn on those who tried, the ones through choice they had denied, who saw a marriage as just a tide, ‘twas high or low, no thought for bride

Setting sail, they gathered round, swore to storm that holy ground, together joining, they had found, a cause for bloodlust, war was sound

But on the beaches, she was free, at last living, finally, the life she dreamt of faithfully, empowered was this bride to be

And so the horrors, sins of men, they had begun, it startled them, fighting fiercely, they all defend, until the bitter, bitter end

Amidst the fighting and the fray, a son was challenged, honorably, to fight for what was thought was he, the challenger, this Achilles

And so the greatest fight was fought, he and Hector, though tales have taught, Achilles drug through sand and rot, but its the truth that’s oft’ forgot

Respect amongst those mighty men, who fought for love, who’d fight again, it lives despite the quill and pen that writes the version to pretend

This tale is told not to enjoy, to every girl and every boy, recall the feeling in its employ, and open up the Gates of Troy