Sing in the dungeons and dirty yellow streets; hallelujahs for the dead beat
Scatter the orange juice like the catatonic turtle of The Grapes of Wrath
Sink the coffee pot, empty today, but tomorrow there should be more
Strap the bulletproof vests to chests as a vestige for good will
Stop the exchange of tulips and request that roses be for rent
Slip into old ways, old dresses, old photographs— cold hands
Shop for new tires or long ago memories to reprimand
Silence the demands for underground delusions
Swing for the fences, washed up convictions
Send best wishes in the worst sentences
Solidify promises; keep them found
Swear for daybreak’s sake to
Shift positions and

This time will be different instead of just difficult
If it seems like the path is pointless, if it seems like the sharks are circling
If it seems like your friends are running late, if it seems like you can’t handle the future—
Tomorrow and on,
Don’t try to prove them wrong


Shaky Ground

Core problems
Consider the basins, the albatross
The old man’s warning.
Remember the story of a billion years

Forget the pilgrimage
Forget the anguish

Let’s resolve to stop punishing ourselves for things we only think of doing
When someone was on the other line, we never got that far
Let’s forget the pacing in the kitchen and remember to move on

Let’s remember that there is more of that to come
The release has not begun

Let’s forget the charade of love and remember the justification for all that we have done

Let’s stand on shaky ground looking out towards the none

Let’s fall asleep not knowing how tomorrow will suffer us

Let’s walk the steps

Let’s take belligerent breaths

Let’s fight for other’s offenses as long as it offends others
And don’t forget to remember
The fault occurred
The mechanisms were out of focus and we worked to restructure all that could be salvaged

Remember that you’re basically Japan,
On shaky ground.

Dating the Past

He can’t fix crooked roots

In a year or more

Or feel the entire weight of missing grey matter

Fluorescent caves

In a stand still in a landslide

In farce accusations and cryptic sadness

Marking the prehistoric

Failures and misdirection on

The ride over to your house

And back. You are in the trenches

Looking towards the future

While he dates the past

Measuring every ounce and shrugging

Off responsibilities, book bindings

Telling of the previous world

Relived just for the day

I envision the tumultuous

Encouragement as you were always

There for me. And now I

Hope your disparaging rock layers

Will only better your life

That the crooked roots will

Never again affect you, so that

The days will stop be counted as punishment tactics

Break up, reassemble,

Break again, and come together in another place.

A strange ballet of constant evolution.

“Cataclysms on the Columbia” on Further Reading

Cataclysms and foundamental mistakes

The surviving landforms and the black and white photos

of the structural shifts in my attempts to contact you


The definition of moving on is probably something

To do with the passage of time as it coincides with a certain mind

State but all too often, action doesn’t follow heartache


After the Bretz Floods, I found this book two floors

Above where you work and the changing colour outside, all yellow

where a Wordsworth word introduces the next chapter


I always knew that there was a painful similarity between

unusual currents and where I would eventually end up writing this

but I never suspected the truce when this song started to play


The channels between our grand debris, the faulty lines, the

Big breaks and the following the cannon until the valleys and oceans

Take the place of the horizon with little realization of the past


Great floods and life, title the next exemplary line and

I’m enthralled by the comparison that erosion is trying to reach

me, so that I might be able to explain its reasoning


Early days long forgotten and I’ve picked the skeleton

Apart often enough that it rarely bothers me, my mind can’t keep

driving doughnuts in the parking lot, I must accpet the schism


I must recognize the transition.


I decided I would delete the notes from my forthcoming critique of your personality because I saw what mine was like

I decided omens were a good reason to feel scared and to start viewing my life through allegory 

I decided you were my albatross. You were good until it was murdered. A compliment hidden in a death

I decided I would plagiarize the ending and that the crucifixes on your wall are telling of the suffering you expect

I decided the post-modern truths of us are well-perserved in museums but not in real life. We are on life-support

I decided the futuristic visions I received about the path ahead of me were perceptions uninvited by the accuracy of time

I decided “clawing at the walls” was a good description for what my soul has been doing 

I decided the space between your ears was reason enough to remember what our last year was like


But here’s what I can’t decide: What inevitability is present enough to overshadow a life that is preventable? 

With absolute confusion, I decided I would look up at you not knowing if you would ever look up at me. The chances we take on behalf of the people ahead of us are the most crucial. Because the person I want to be would have already decided all of this 20 years ago. I’m catching up. I’m deciding that I will live in a world where walking down steps means everything. 

Gondwana Pt. 1

Remembering Gondwana

The continents were unaligned while travelling northward. Through the Midwest snacking on donuts, moving farther away from home and closer to landmasses without real borders. The dog, Pyotr, you and I left with a case of water bottles. Our coats lay on the back of the seats. The car seemed to move infinitely leisurely even though we were going over the speed limit. It felt slow because every time I blinked, the same horizon was there, and I was still sitting exactly the same way before my eyes had closed. Although our position and the continents were barely shifting, it never seemed like the three of us did.

When we finally stopped, we hiked up the mountain hill and overlooked its neighbors. Spying on the backyards of giant boulders, the Labor Day BBQ of rocks. 

Staring out, I only wanted to return to the car and keep moving. Because when driving 85 mph feels motionless, imagine what standing stagnant feels like. Even though the mountains surely are moving, I can never seem to feel it pull at my feet.

We leave and I drive. You fall asleep, so I turn on the music that I actually like. I wish to be more aerodynamic, tangling my hands up in a triangular position, just trying to make the vehicle go all the more faster, but as ever, it’s disappointing.

“You’re going to be okay. I’ll put my lab coat on and say it again if that will make it better.” You don’t hear me because you’re effectively traveling through space and time unconsciously. I mean it sincerely, regardless of the state you are in when it is spoken. Life has gotten the better of us recently. A funeral is not a reason anyone ever wants to be traveling east.

I focus on the road.

Where the ocean used to sit, now lays Kansas

The limestone build

The acidic response

 I start crafting a work of writing in my mind and thinking of my geology class. It seems as if each professor believes his/her specialty of study is the most fascinating and relevant in the world out of all the other areas of study. As if, by climbing one branch of life, you could discover how the whole tree works. Every professor I’ve ever taken a class has been this way, with one exception: geology.

I grew interested in it or maybe it grew interested in me. Like a foreign object in nature and after a period of time, wildlife grows despite its intrusion. Somehow geology became the most interesting source of knowledge for its humility in recognizing that the history of the former earths are only as relevant as the mark it leaves on the present one. Maybe I’m not articulating it right, but there was something about all the movement in the world for millions of years that struck me as being both irrelevant and benevolent. The simple changes of time that I never saw, but i can feel the aftershocks. Like there are so many Pangaea’s in our lives. We’re always coming together in thoughts, in what we feel, in relationships, yet tectonic plates, earthquakes, meteors, changes in vegetation and security, volcanoes, and ash are always driving a new force to reposition us. We are moving constantly. I never feel it. But in a million years or a few terribly long seconds, maybe I’ll be able to trace over the where my geography shifted. I’ll see the landmasses that formed from one specific schism. Everything is geology.

You wake. Following my trail of thought, I ask.

“How do you navigate these peaks of discontentment and contentment?”

Your simple statement is unhindered by the sleep in your eyelids, “Probably with a map.”


Trying to breathe back into a proportionally small world I created for all the people I never see when I bar myself and the shriek responsibilities
Watching a reptile
Smiling intrusively and I wonder if the screen I stare at stares back at me, blackmailing my future, blacklisted because of my past
I forced myself to sit and write this 
Write this forced work of vagueness
There’s this gap between my expectations, realism, and you in the same way there is a gap between your lower teeth
And I have tremors more than ever, I eat chocolate bars in bed to bring my blood sugar levels up, recognizing that my pre-designed inclination towards diabetes is only enabled by this behavior 
So I check my phone. Its 5:09 and I will soon leave to make sure she is alive, well-fed, and I will change her sheets. She can’t control her bowels. I can’t control my life. 
I sit in church listening to the Spanish Influenza of guitar work. Participate after a while.
YA novels give way to novels about sex and open spirituality. Though I’m still mostly a dependent, I’ve figured out that’s what adulthood is. So I wonder if Jane Austen in all her glory would have been able to predict the romanticism of the 21st Century and if the same people could have ended up together. So I talked to my friend who likes to explain men. It’s funny how everyone has a vision of my world because of his or her own. Each translation even farther from the other 
And then there’s fortune cookies. I read three. Each progressively making me feel more hopeful and better about everything. But when I think about the fall, my stomach twists and when I listen to this song, my eyes squint and I don’t know what that means. Because I always figured that figuring out me would be established in figuring out somebody else. 
I worry I lost a friend to her family and another to my memory. A journey. They say they are worried. I was flattered to be noticed but pretty sure I was okay, if it’s all the same. Even then, “I realize that my shit’s about as small as it could be but that makes me feel worse for ever feeling this bad in the first place.” Because your life is the one we should worry about.
It’s been less than fifteen minutes. It’s now 5:23. My summer dreams of finishing this book are over and I haven’t exercised the way we always aspire to. But you lost more weight than I weigh altogether. Laughable. You lost enough weight that if you put it all back together, like Iron Giant, and added some organs would make a full-grown person. It makes me wonder, am I the only one who finds that funny? 
I think that in the fall I may run into you. I think it will probably be sad. But maybe my feelings will be different next April. If the legacy of Austen is time, then the contemporaries have something to learn about patience. That includes me and especially you. Or maybe the other way around. 

I should send this in a letter. Like the way Naomi, Allen’s mom did, right before she died. Not that I intend to die, but you never know. 

The key is in the light. The key is in the sunlight in the window. Don’t do drugs. 

Best advice
So maybe I’m just vying for time. 

After six months you’ll experience another break up. What’s the worth? 
The key is in the light. The key is in the sunlight in the window. The key is in the bar. The key is in the sunlight in the window. 

Wisdom from a lobotomy

Critical reviews to this poem: “Hmmmm…Some of it I enjoyed a lot. Your life kinda depresses me, though… I think you need to get out of your room more; that’s how I interpret this.”