When People Do Depart

Years ago,

with a stamp and a leap of faith,

I would begin my wait,

until one sunny afternoon, I would see the delivery,

always hoping you might be there,

to say hello,


So often as the gravel chimed my feet,

I would hear your voice again,

through the words on paper,

a parchment even in your selection

would offer solace,

in knowing there was a care,

for every aspect of your return.


i would then smile,

imagine the next round, our continued love affair,

miles away, yet immediately bound,

by the words we awaited, we lived for, we delighted

in realizing when they returned our thoughts,

the imagery in our mind,

remained strong, and evident, and real,



Today, is it too easy to be swooned,

by the romantic nature of our words,

by our ability to recognize truth,

by our willingness to be vulnerable,

by the sheer virtue that sometimes our words …

are all we are,


left behind,

in the immediacy.

Cautious Eloquence

Choose your words with care,

recognize a world lies before us all,

each one as wanton as the next

for that valuable record.


I wonder if it is so chosen

that we cross paths

reasons ignite our ideals,

suddenly words reign down,


eye contact becomes vague,

our world’s collide,

in the utterance of theory,

the notion of ‘my’ time.


who is it suggested one day,

that silence can be a strong

indicator of how powerful

a man –


In respect to only words

we are forsaken by impulse,

where some might be clear,

other’s need a vague reciprocity.


… and then there are those that simply don’t care.

Once in My Life

I would recall a song or certain melody,

mood change, slow recall,

a memory might take me miles away

that time before this past

outcome. An adventure is welcome

when fear is abated sooner

than an insidious need to redefine,

to understand of course,

a recognized outcome similar to having

processed a difficult moment

We have had them occasionally, like

just the other night.

I was recalling when a summer rain

brought me back to a walk

just you and me and city lights, cobblestone

a European fantasy,

even a Christmas time walk along the lights,

far ahead, I watched you stroll,

wondering if I might lose you tonight,

not knowing when, just that sense

we all get when we haven’t a desire to really

face our demons in such pretty


When I think about how much hardship I let

myself go through the next

few blocks, hours of time, years, months before,

I suddenly am thankful,

I decided to spend my life with her.

She’s not someone you know,

We’re both really fine with that knowledge.

Once in my life I did the right thing.


We choose,

we choose,

we walk inside a time bomb,

we make our own shadows,

we ask for nothing in return

if nobody can hear our words.

Our pity-party is only our own,

always, forever, again, that time we ask for solace,

still speaking along

that’s when its imperative,

understand our selves hold no


Don’t be angry.

be real, know that chemistry


with an energy

incomprehensible in its complexity.

To manage our mind,

to actually slow the rotation,

I remember taking a ride

in the city park

wondering if it would

spin me through the sky.

I just remained dizzy,

later in life,

that certain twirl,

creeped up again, again, again,

and each time I realized my anger is my own.

Cleaning Up

I recall just how difficult it was. Every episode, battle to rationalize, reason to do the things I did, for myself and no one else. I remember weeks of justifying why, or who, or what need I was trying to fill. Driving through my neighborhood one night, just trying to avoid the lawns, staying in the middle of a fortunately quiet residential street. I kept wondering if everyone in the neighborhood knew I had them all fooled. Knew that I was a hard liquor guy that nobody knew. I remember wishing I could answer my own questions, but every time I tried, I needed to find another way to bury my emotions. I remember the day I decided to finally clean up my act.

I had been down this road before, that path of being completely detached from what is real, and only concerned with my next drink, the next card game, anything to keep the machine rolling, spiraling more than I wanted to imagine. I couldn’t, it was far too important to get my fix. In society we crucify the junkie for being such a mess, but the alcoholic, we call it a social disorder, that even though he made it to work everyday, he could still hold his liquor. I never knew of a heroin addict that could hold their high. Truth is I never actually knew a junkie that could fool the world as well as me.

For many years I blamed everything around me, rather than looking directly at myself. i would make a plan, this weekend I’m not having a Bloody Mary, and I would be drinking one an hour later. The socialization was attractive, I always figured that was my motivator, but in the end I came to terms with the idea, that chasing women was only caveat, the real pleasure was getting trashed and forgetting how miserable a human being I had become. See, the vicious cycle allows us to judge ourselves with extreme scrutiny while at the same time freeing our mind of any responsibility. I could always hide behind addiction.

My kids were young, and my wife was helpless to my controlling personality. She didn’t enable me, she feared for my life. She actually knew the harm I was causing to our family. I have often said I am glad my kids never saw me drunk, but that was an allusion. They may not have actually seen me or been too young to realize, but they always heard me in the middle of the night, and wondered why their Dad was never home. I lost a lot of years with my children and my wife due to my drinking and gambling.

I have been sober for 30 of the last 35 years, and I often speak to that five year window that was so indicative of my alcoholism. I couldn’t stop once I got started, and if not for some mild consequence, I would continue drinking until I killed myself or did something impulsive to ruin my life. If not for opening my checking account to my wife, I would have used gambling as an excuse to take my own life. I couldn’t find any solace anywhere, and I always had to bury the loneliness, of not being able to talk to anyone about my problem. The reality was, that anyone I spoke to would approach the subject with trepidation. I remember so many friends being relieved about my sobriety, shaking my hand, giving me a smile. This was so much more appealing than the serious expressions, the patronage a close friend gave me when I justified my drinking. The gambling was different. I could walk around and just look tired, without the stumbling slur of alcohol. The loneliness was excruciating. There was no-one at all whom I could reveal my gambling. If I told anyone that I was spending six to eight hours a night online playing poker, they would have no respect for me.

People say we don’t choose to get ourselves cleaned up. We get caught and we are forced to fix ourselves. There are some, that when deep in the mire their conscience just eats them alive. I’m pretty convinced that was my saving grace. If I didn’t feel the destruction I was actually creating, I would have kept on going. If I didn’t a loving wife that stood by my side despite the ass hat I was, I would have lost everything. I did get caught, but I am so happy, so delighted to have an opportunity to live a good life, and know the people around me are breathing a little easier.

I’ve been sober now for a decade, and the gambling ended eight years ago. I don’t judge people for their choice to drink or gamble for that matter. It is their choice, but I do suggest I will be there when the conversation merits a decision to look addiction in the eye. I still have my skeletons, but they’re a bit easier to manage with a clear head, one that is forced to constantly scrutinize the choices I make every day of my life.

To me, cleaning up means acceptance of my vulnerability as a human being. My actions were not caused by alcohol or addiction in any manner, those were my own. Alcoholism or addiction gave me an out. Today, I’d prefer internal peace.

Rest Awhile

The man told me,

under no circumstance

can we live this way.


Think about nothing at all,

how would it hurt,

if for any few minutes of your day,

ya just check out,

decide not to,

figure leave it to later,

somebody else.


Ever want to stop trying

to listen, play, respond

to the insidious nature

of trying to be,

within the constraints of

society’s blues.


What might be delightful to you,

is someone else’s cue

to find a battle

deep within their soul;

that place that though,

nobody goes,

seemingly tucked away,

preserved pity,

everyone finds.


So maybe

at the end of the rope,

we could try a different angle,

perhaps letting the slack,

remain instead of the constant

taught fragments of indecision,

those that scream.

just when everything,

comes together in a most

significant way –

that special bond of hell.


Perhaps we just came here

to rest awhile …

hours later.

I Have This Friend

World order,

certain without upgrade,

just the managed moments migrating

their solace driven hopes,



turned isolation.


Solo vapor drift upon

an evening descent brilliant

to human need.

When all is lost we may know

together found a surreal landscape

beyond our control,

only play is that simplicity …

that young child ran the yard,

with smiles and laughter …

oh, when did our innocence become

a measure


While in a dream,

I did come to terms


Yet, in the morning,

a friend enthralled by a silver lining,

led my conscience toward

a valley,

lush with green envy,

designed to suggest,

we do need to recognize,

there needn’t ever be a loss.


Only time my friend,

storm driven emotion,

might even find a path.