Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Urban Hiking

When running in the
Mission, one must be mindful
of the human poop.

If you persist though,
the views of the city are well
worth the sordid smells.

18 February 2013

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy Birthday

As the years accumulate at an alarming rate,
I find myself staring thirty in the face.
Not that I doubt the math,
it's not the number of years that've passed,
so much as what they contain.
I thought there would be a You,
an as of yet imaginary You,
amongst other things
that I used to think.
No point in fretting,
time passes exponentially
perhaps to help us cope with
the spent year's regrets.
Solace in the multiple of bygones gone by,
knowing they ebb and flow quicker now,
time accumulating like credit card debt
wiping out misfortune by virtue of its vastness.

6 September 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Company for One

                "How could we not
                 have become friends,
                 or the kind of enemies
                 who must talk into the night,
                 just one mistake away from love?"
                -Stephen Dunn, 'On the Way to Work'

It's just the turn of phrase
that my solitude enjoys.
It contains the perfect drop of sarcasm,
a dew of gentle depression,
an aroma of hope.
The poet shores up romanticism,
brewed over a careful cup of coffee
and perhaps a smoldering cigarette.
Brushing ashes off my page,
I imagine I know him
as his words seep into my consciousness,
coloring my thoughts with peaceful melancholy.
I pay my night in tithe to
our pitiful pact of hearts.

1 September 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dust to Dust

I recently had the fortune of hearing Pete Goss speak about his life and experiences on the high seas. If you've never heard of him, and I hadn't prior to that lecture, you should youtube him. His tale is pretty amazing.

He's a very unassuming sort of fellow; he got up on stage in front of a room full of up-and-coming fellows admixed with huge names in minimally invasive surgery, and began winding his engrossing tale that was meant to embody leadership. It did that, but walking away I was left more with a sense of the underwhelming nature of my own accomplishments in my very ordinary life.

He described his decision to build a ship and enter the Vendée Globe solo around the world yacht race; there is absolutely no way I can recreate the mesmerizing quality of his narration but the harrowing account involves a two day, hurricane accosted rescue mission of a fellow competitor who was, by doctor's accounts, hours from death. The frenchman he rescued was clinging to a life raft, having just jumped from his doomed vessel, clutching a bottle of champagne that floated up from the bowels of the ship as its last parting gift. Septic and starved, he came aboard stiff like rigor mortis had already set in though he hadn't yet succumbed. It also involved a desperate auto-surgery on a septic elbow aboard the high seas via a jerry-rigged setup of semi-sterile instruments, a mirror balanced upon a knee, a headlight, and a mainland orthopedic surgeon directing him via fax machine.

After this, he asked us if we'd like to hear his next story. The one he reckoned was the more interesting one. Dumbfounded, the audience as a whole mutely nodded our assent.

He's met the Queen of England, he's logged over 250,000 nautical miles, and in the end he shook his head staring out into the audience made up of surgeons and quietly said, "What you all do is truly extraordinary. I have such respect for the work you do."

Needless to say, most of us internally scoffed in amazement. Nothing I have accomplished seems particularly extraordinary or unattainable by my standards. In my mind, accurate or not, I don't really consider that I have excelled at anything thus far. Especially when performing a quick year-in-review, nothing about this collection of months strikes me as evidence to the contrary. It's had it's ups, but mostly it's been full of lows that have been lower than I've previously dealt with.

So anyway. Pete Goss somehow managed to make me realize that my life is ordinary, mundane. I will never meet the Queen of England, never sail around the world by myself, never be a name that anyone cares about, or a speaker anyone pays money to hear. And while that is mildly depressing, it is also humbling. None of my worries or concerns are really significant at all. Because my life hardly is. So 2012: The Year of Colossal Disasters will go down in no one's memory. Because I am forgettable. And so are my accomplishments, and failures.

Taken in that light, I might as well give up stressing. And spend more time reading about and experiencing the awe-inspiring world around me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cash For Pretense

Thank god I'm free.

It wasn't really one final failure,
so much as a series of trip-ups
of pigeon steps,
a stack of traceable
sequentially numbered moments.

Thank god it's over.

A few qwerty keystrokes
and history is rewritten:
it never happened;
'these aren't the Droids you're after'.

Thank god for pills and Paint.
We said let's not but 
we really did.

10 July 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Last Call

Being as it's the Last One Ever 
it should be triumphant, finally final.
The great culmination of nineteen
thousand, two hundred plus hours;
I spend it dozing to Fratellis radio
and study materials with too lengthy answers;
then trauma in the witching hours,
stab wound to the neck finds me
pilfering textbooks at three am.
Her stoic lips tell no stories, so 
we settle for the men in blue.
The ghosts are close pre-dawn,
another face, eyes heavy with PCP-
lack of oxygen but somehow lucid.
If I sit up and open my eyes,
I can stare out the window into yours-
of a distant past reality, of course.
The skyline has subtly changed
but the sunsets are always the same.
We began the countdown
only to to find ourselves surprised
to arrive at zero.

16 June 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


"I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

Rainier Maria Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet