change everything.

changing nothing
is the cowards way,
content to wallow
in the familiarity of
what has come before
and what is yet to come
  but what if
    and hear me out
      what if
        that were not
          the case?

          changing nothing
        costs nothing
      and is worth nothing
    for we are defined by
  our actions, and the
opportunity to grow,
to experience, to live
is priceless
is invaluable
it costs nothing
it is worth everything

haunted by desire
          and yearning
          for more, more,
               the ghost of
          desperation and
     need for validation
in the face of silence,

aspiring for that which
is worthwhile and true
and the painful realization
that the only one who
can slake this thirst is
me.

sifting.

if I could make one change
it would be to change everything
and it would start with 
changing nothing

followed by making the hard choice
to stop
to be satisfied with the now
to be content with the here

the ultimate sophistication
it has been said
is nothing more than simplicity
is nothing less than clarity

the mind roars to fulfill
the petty desires of the
heart and mind and the
cacophony is deafening

but to be still and mindful
to breathe in and listen
to breathe out and hear
to embrace the stillness

to rise above the overbearing
desire to have and to hold
to possess and to grasp
to cling to the poison

even when letting go
is so much easier than
clenching my fist around
the shifting, sifting sands

and when the hourglass
is empty and I am spent
I would rather have lived than
to have just thought about living

rent free.

the problem with insomnia
aside from the obvious
lack of sleep
sluggish, lethargic 
sleep-filled eyes
headache

is that my brain finds
every little thing to
obsess over 
every little mistake
misstep, miscalculation
misalignment

and how I wish I could
focus on something
other than the
errors I've made whilst
snatching defeat from the
jaws of victory

and oh, how happy I'd be!
if only I could take back
what I said or did
and replace those
with the correct
answer

and oh, how content I'd be!
if only I could make you
see that everything
tends towards
chaos and disorder
except for us

and oh, how rich I'd be!
if only I could capture
a portion of the money
I am losing by letting
you live in my head
rent free.

…in the immortal words of Miles.

we move at different speeds
     you and I
I'm full speed ahead and damn
     the torpedos
you're wait-and-see, bide your
     time, reluctant
you want to be sure this time
     cautious
I don't see the point - when you
     know, you know

so which is it?  I can't help but
     wonder
am I too ready, are you not
     ready enough?
is there some middle ground
     we're missing?
is it wrong to throw caution
     to the wind?
is it right to give it the time
     you require?

what you see is what you get
     I said
and if feels like that's not good
     enough
are you waiting for something
     more?
are you waiting for the other
     shoe to drop?
are you cautious by nature
     or is it just me?

so we take it at your pace
     dilatory
you say you need time to
     be sure
but what is it you want to 
     be sure of?
what confirmation are you
     expecting?
a sign from god isn't in the
     cards

sometimes you just have to 
     say
(in the immortal words of
     Miles)
what the fuck, make your
     move
time waits for no man, no
     woman
you miss 100% of the shots
     you don't take

am I impatient or just over
     confident?
a little of both, I suppose
     as usual
because it feels like a slight,
     as if to say
you're good, but not quite
     good enough
and what if I can actually
     do better?

I can't answer those questions
     for you
(actually I can, but that's another
     discussion)
all I can tell you is what I've said
     all along
everything changes, everything
     stays the same
and I'm the same man now as I
     will be then.

another ending.

your eyes
  even across the miles
    through the screen
on my phone
  are slightly puffy
    and you've given it
a lot of thought
  and I believe you
    why wouldn't I?
how could I not?

your soul
  bared to me
    although you had
no reason to
  you owe me nothing
    two strangers who
connected
  across the spectrum
    for the briefest
of moments

your words
  at once hurt
    even as they heal
and it becomes
  clear to me that
    you would care
if the circumstances
  were different
    but they are not
and you don't

and the irony
  is that I've used
    this very same lie
myself

questions for me.

I give
     you take
          I look to the pigeon
               or is it a butterfly
"is this compromise?"

you ask
     I tell
          you are non-plussed
               duly unimpressed
"why do I even bother?"

we stop
     we start
          we are consistent
               in our inconsistency
"what are we, exactly?"

you're closed
     or is it me?
          I can no longer tell
               who's driving this train
"where to now, babe?"

we look
     but don't see
          and where do we get off
               trusting each other to care?
"do I even know you?"

you give
     I take
          but what you've given
               is not enough, never is
"is this all there is?"

breakfast.

Man, what I wouldn't give to
live the life of my dog,
or for that matter, to
live the life of my cat

is what I think as I look at
Zeus curled up on his bed
over in the corner by the TV
his only care in the world 
when will breakfast be served?

is what I think as I listen to
Snuggles mewing incessantly
demanding breakfast,
his only care in the world
why haven't you served me breakfast?

is what I think as I hear
Mac stirring upstairs, getting up
to walk circles around her bed
shaking her collar, tags rattling
oblivious to it almost being breakfast time.

is what I say aloud to no one
Zeus asleep
Snuggles hangry
Mac sleeping in
Me, starving, with no one to make me breakfast

word-shaped windmills

I wonder how others are able
to read what they've written
days or months or years ago
and not cringe uncontrollably

did I really think that?
was that how I felt?
what was I thinking then?
jesus fucking christ

I read and reread my favorite
authors and am always moved
by their ability to capture
a feeling in a given moment

and I wonder, do they respond
to their own work as I respond
to the words I have committed to
this great, vast cloud in the sky?

do they realize the profound
effect they have on the reader?
Is that what separates the great
writers from hacks like me?

or do I judge myself too harshly,
does familiarity breed contempt?
am I able to tap into the zeitgeist
or am I tilting at word-shaped windmills?

and in the end, when I say what
I have to say and tap "publish"
do I get lost in the meaningless
cacophony of the electronic void?

or are my words lying in wait for
their next unsuspecting victim
ready to pounce with all the force
of a thousand crouching tigers?

I don't imagine I will every truly know.

while waiting on the Keurig

how often I am the hypocrite
in the name of keeping the peace
in the name of not wanting to offend
in the name of avoiding conflict

is honesty always black and white?
is there no little grey area?
is there no room for twisting?
there can be no place for hypocrisy

there is a fine line between
being honest and being a hypocrite
is a little white lie a sin?
can such a thing even exist?

is it fair to mislead someone if
the lie is close enough to the truth
(from a certain point of view)
so as to be indistinguishable? 

which holds more value?
do we really want unabashed
honesty when it will only serve
to deflate our too-sensitive egos?

we are all living a lie to a certain extent
(some more so than others, of course)
and our lives are always in danger of
being punctured by the harsh light of truth

do we play along, or do we have an
obligation to serve the greater truth
regardless of what...oh, wait...

...my coffee is finally ready.

flow.

flow
is like
that river that
runs through the gorge
the white water gurgling and
splashing as you firmly
grip the sides
of your
raft

flow
is like
holding on to
the feeling that churns
your guts and fills your heart
with an indescribable need
to relish it
and let
go

flow
is like
that moment you
gaze into her eyes
and her face lights up
like a little child
and right then
you know
her

flow
is like
the endless dance
of being decisive and
allowing the universe to come
to you and show
you what it
intends for
you

flow
is like
letting go of
what you thought it
was supposed to be and
giving yourself over to
what it is
meant to
be

yeah, that.

Hey, you know how
when you first open your
eyes and the room is still
pitch black and the only
sounds are traffic outside and
maybe a too-loud TV somewhere
and it takes a moment or three to
get your bearings and
the day is filled with 
possibilities and the 
moment you've been waiting for
is just hours away and
you're filled with both
excitement and dread?

Hey, you know how
when you look back at
something in your past that
seemed at the time to be
innocuous at best and
it is only through the lens of
time and experience that
you come to realize that
it was actually a turning point,
a clearly defined before and after
that you can only now
see in your rearview mirror?

Hey, you know how
when the brain fog starts to
lift and you take the first
sip from your second cup of
coffee and your morning
headache starts to fade and
the room starts to come into
focus and you realize that
maybe, just maybe, this might
turn out to be one of those days,
a turning point that will clearly
demarcate "then" from "now"?

Hey, you know how
when you're sitting on the
edge of your bed and you think to
yourself, what have I gotten myself
into this time? and you are
simultaneously excited at the
prospect of what is to come and
dreading having to start the
whole process over again,
wondering if it is worth all of
the effort it is going to take to
just be yourself, open to
both acceptance and rejection?

Hey, you know how
when you push all of that 
aside because you have
things to do and people to
see and hearts to break and
all of that other faux-confidence
stuff that you tell yourself to
help you make it from one day
to the next, and so you turn the
water on and wait for it to get
hot enough to get in the shower and
you stand there staring at the wall
with the hot water running down 
your back as you push back
against all of your self-doubt?

Yeah, that.

…and wait.

and so I hold my breath and wait

which is not something I do
so out of my comfort zone it is

to not push forward is anathema
not only to my way of thinking
but to who I am as a person

but to push forward would be
a mistake that I am tired of making
a miscalculation of epic proportions
and so I hold my breath and wait

and gladly, believe it or not
for the alternative is not 
something I would wish on anyone

fools rush in where angels fear to tread
and I am both crew and captain

of this ship of fools.