Personal

All of this has been said before, bro. You know it.
I know you know it. But, 
I want to say it again:

I want to say it again because I’m sick of you, man.

I want my turn. 

But, what is there to really add? 

Except, a lot!

Except, I’m not exactly sure!

So, I still drive drunk, some nights. And that gives me power. 

That little league power.

But, Power! — from a broken law and a useless risk
Just to feel a bit wild and out there and no-turning-back. 

I’m looking out at the power plant smokestacks, tonight, 
while they send their legacy to the moon, 
and you know what, bro, 
it’s real pretty out here.

In this valley between the hills and Ohio, the graveyard to the world, the backbone of money spent and ignorant Jamboree. Down here in this valley of smokestacks. 

And I think about all those so many lips wrapped around me, 
doing favors, 
asking for their own. 

Promising me, it ain’t all bad.

And that’s where I am now

A place that ain’t all bad.

In the debris the moon rejects.


I hardly think about anything anymore except, “what to do.” 

I never know what to do. 

The therapist says, “do something.”

And I don’t! 

Except! 

I went to Florida. 

I went to Florida and fucked my girlfriend in the swamp, 
and a hidden security camera saw us. It did! 
And the owner of that camera still has the show, and 
I live in a reality, now, where our porn exists, and 
I cannot help but laugh. 
Because that’s my own, special mistake. 
And who puts a camera in a swamp?

But, when I sit here and type, it’s always disappointing.

I feel delusional. 

I read stories by people who really do things. 

Bro, you said my stories could be good
if I didn’t leave Florida.

I mean, Fucking Florida?

And I’m kinda fucked up over that, still. 

I mean, it’s kinda fucked up that you even said that. 

But, honestly, I’m glad you did. 

I’m glad the reality shows. I’m glad I see the holes. I’m glad I recognize the pain. 

So, I can now write good stories. And get old.  


I’ve listened to a lot of bands like Creed, or A Perfect Circle, or Puddle of Mudd because they remind me of who I am. Guns N’ Roses, too. 

Back then, I would walk to high school just to listen to music. 

Just to excuse myself away from all things. Then, focus on nothing but walking to school and losing it. 

I’d see what I’d want to see: I’d see these giant guitar riffs soundtracking fight scenes or battle sequences, with a Tsunami tracking overhead, and all those great achievements I could collect, one day, held high at a banquet in my honor. Haha. 

And it was exciting! This was my music. 

This was not my dad’s music — This was mine to explore and pirate and appreciate until the time came to grow into someone else. When I realized this music is adolescent. 

It is written to recognize certain emotions felt at a specific time in your life. At least, if you are of a particular demeanor: An angry young man, maybe a little ticked off with your dad. 

And that’s fine!

That happens to more than would care to admit it. 

But, how many can admit it and get past it? 

Not enough, man. I’m trying!  

My way of trying is by appreciating a band like Slipknot or System of a Down for what they are, and maybe a little of what they aren’t. It’s commercial art dressed as something more.

And, you know what, when you’re 15, 16 years old in a small, limited place, 
back in time, Rust Belt stranded, 
it is something more.  

Bands like that did show me a thing or two. 

And I think it’s OK to take what you can, or need to, from that. 

And if you do it right, if you follow then break the rules, 
that someone-else you can become …
They’ll hold onto bits and pieces of the past. For good luck. 

And I wish that was OK with people. 

I wish it was OK with people for there to be people in West Virginia. 

West Fucking Virginia. 

Loyal, actually kind, actually curious,
talents found in and out of streams, and 
dollar stores, and Mountain Dew Monster cans, and Dolly Sods, 
covered in all those bent pine trees. 

But, it ain’t seen as too good. It ain’t given much of a chance. 

They look at us like we’re the blight of this land. 

And that hurts. 

It hurts to know that in some ways, we deserve it. 

And we don’t. 


And yet. 

On the drive home from Florida, crossing this state line, I cried and cried. 

I really did! I missed it here! 

I knew I was home 
the moment my car’s frontend climbed into a tilt, to the curve of that big hill, 
and I ascended into heaven.

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