Feeding The Habit

"I will go in this Way, Oh but I will find my own way out." -Dave Matthews

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Writers Block

I was making a way through the many rows of books. There were people everywhere bending and standing. Pouring themselves over the back covers of paperbacks they would buy and never read. Sticking their asses out far enough with each bend to trip me in my delicate progress.

The cup of coffee was warm and smooth. I cradled it against my chest hoping to protect it, hoping against all odds not to spill one drop. It was hard though. Because my focus was divided between that cup and the current quest. I approached the end of each shelf with hopeful eyes. At last! I found an empty chair.

I settled into its soft embrace. It was a rare find indeed as I am generally forced to retire to the hard backed chairs pushed against the wooden study desks. This was a magical day. This time I would read in comfort like I always wanted. Let the old man who got up to take a piss look at me with jealousy. This was my time, and for now, my chair.

I fretted for a few moments over the new dilemma: there was no desk to set my cup of coffee on. I tried to balance it carefully on the arm of the chair. I watched in dismay as the cup teetered and let some of the dark fragrance slip over the edge and onto the worn fabric. I swore over the chairs good luck. This simply would not do. There were eyes resting on me as I considered my options.

At last I got up. And side stepped quickly. At the end of it all, it was a wrinkled, wry looking woman that replaced me. Her contender, the little boy with the Curious George book, he looked as if he might cry. The woman just beamed. I retreated to the wooden chair and set my coffee deliberately down on the desk, gave a little “harrumph,” then swore again as some splashed out onto my thumb and burned me. Sometimes you just can’t win.

I opened one of the three writer’s journals that I snagged from the magazine rack.
Page one: Thirteen Tricks to Tease Yourself into Writing.
I sighed.

I figure real writers probably never open a writers journal with hopes for anything more than a good laugh. But I am a real writer. And I was opening a writers journal. Or should I have a Question Mark on that sentence two back. I wondered if William Faulkner ever sat surrounded by pages and thought, “What the hell do I do with these things?” I wonder if he then shuffled them up a bit and reread some to see if it sounded any better all out of order. Hell, maybe that’s how he got the stream of consciousness thing going. I don’t know. It never seems to work for me.

Trick number one is “keeping your workspace tidy.” Maybe I should clean up a bit. Maybe I should throw the pages up to the wind and leave every story unfinished; open like the mind of Curious George. It would be a new writing technique. Possibly i could even win some novel style award. Then there would be no doubt I am a writer. Everyone else would believe it and that would be enough to convince me. Someday I'll have to try it.

But in the mean time, I suppose I will just let those pages be scattered around. I’ll let the words fall down like an anvil. Let them crash like thunder if they want to. Then when it's over, I’ll make the end something of a mystery. The important thing is found in caring for a good cup of coffee anyway. It's not like William Faulkner ever thought of that. It's not likely he ever will.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


They clash! in an
ecstasy of tumbling.

Sweet veins still
pulsing with the warmth
of fluid motion, flowing
down softly
with a gentle breeze

that hangs from
the lazy sky. How Rare
in the summer,

when all life
fights to thrive, seeing
two leaves
from a naked tree

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sunday Thoughts

Where am I on this road? Am i filled with some sort of remorse and anger? Am I screaming for my words to be heard?

No, I think I am just sitting sideways in the gutter. Letting the sewage wash over me. Feeling it rush between my toes. I know what it means to be free.

Friday, September 24, 2004

At a bar, on tuesday

There was a vintage light in your eyes. It almost
made you mythical. The smoke haloed his thoughts.
I read: wanting. And shifted my weight to the other foot.
I look down into myself and find you still there waiting.

I don’t know for what. Not for the life of me.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


I am convinced that I must unknowingly wear four pairs of underwear a day. I will wash them, grudgingly, each week. There usually appear to be enough of them to clothe the naked bottom of every stripper across Europe.

But here it is, Thursday, and I am staring at the last clean pair I can find. They are a thing of the past. Delicate, lacy. A thong. I hold them eye level and give 'em the once over. Carefully I lower them and slide one foot in. The wrong hole. I try again.

The thin cotton slides between my cheeks and I stand for a moment. Facing sideways to the mirror. I admire the roundness of my bottom. I almost look... Sexy. I bend over to get my pants off the floor thinking I could hold this feeling, elated, all day.

The thin cotton rides up uncomfortably. I suddenly feel less sexy and more elderly.
With hemorrhoids.

I pull them back off and decide to be brave.

Monday, September 20, 2004


Sometimes it all feels lost.

Sometimes the world's caving in.

Sometimes it all blows apart.

Sometimes it all turns to sin.

It isn't.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sunday Thoughts

Was it yesterday that I looked up
and saw the moon staring at you? Were there
thoughts that you held closer then?
Have you let them go?
There is time tomorrow to think again
but you have this moment now.
I wonder if you will make the most of it.
I wonder at how
you have lived so far. There is life
breathing all around you.
It is waiting to be recognized,
just a little thought on your tongue.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Non-Automated Biography

Tree House

It was in the woods, strangely dark for the afternoon.
The trees loomed over us knowingly, like they might have something to tell us.
We were running full tilt down the trail.
"Betcha can't chop through that," Bobby screamed.
I slid to a stop and turned to see what he was pointing at.
It was huge.
Being a boy, I screamed the only response to a challenge I knew,
"Can too!"

I heaved the little hatchet I was carrying and wailed into the huge oak. It let out little sighs while I chopped like I was mad.
The air smelled sharper for the exposed flesh, and it was only Wednesday.
What was worse was the dent I made. It was barely noticeable.
I knew it would last.
But I chopped till I felt like a desperate rat and then let my arms hang down, glaring at it.

Bobby looked at my effort and then at me like I was a failure.
"Gimme that," he said.
And he went into the same craze that had driven me. There was a need to prove something. Neither of us had any idea what.
After twenty minutes worth of whacks, the dent wasn't much bigger. Bobby looked over at me and I could see the rage in his eyes.
I fumbled in my back pocket and pulled out the two cigarettes I had swiped from my moms purse, hoping she wouldn't miss them. Bobby's eyes softened as he reached for one and asked for a match. That made it worth the risk even if she did.
"You ever had one of these before?" I asked.
"Yah, sure," Bobby said. He eyed the smoldering cigarette briefly and with caution.
After that, our eyes didn't separate. We stayed locked and brought the smoking thing up to our lips deliberately.

We sucked in deep because we had to.

It's hard to say who choked first but we were both teary eyed and hacking like we swallowed a cat by the time the smoke hit the back of our lungs.
I don't think I ever laughed harder than that, after I remembered how to breathe.
"YOU LIE!! You aint ever done this before!" I jeered proudly.
"Bullshit!" He yelled. "Like you have."
It was a bright smile that Bobby wore. We layed in the leaves for hours.
Afterwards we talked about building a tree house in the big oak, how we might be able to steal a hammer from his dad.
It seemed like a promising idea.
Maybe tomorrow, we would.

Friday, September 17, 2004


I took her in. I swallowed her with my eyes, enjoying every bite. It seemed like the thing to do. She looked back. She took a lick.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Contents, like a bottle

She took off her shoes in class.
There was nothing but the smooth
all the way from her big toe
up to the top of her thigh where
the shorts started.
The boy, dressed in black,
he let his eye linger over
those cool feet those
hot legs stretched and stretching
for miles. He let a heavy sigh
and felt it welling up inside
like a black hot knot in his yearning.

She was in love with the jock—

The boy came in two days later
after having thought, tired of being mocked
feeling confident and cool.
For the first time he made a
straight way walking toward her and
pulled out the block—
held his finger steady and squeezed.

The rest was on the news
on channel nine,
I’ll spare you the bore!
and only think we ought to come hoping,
labeled like a bottle of pop:

Contents under pressure—
top may blow.
Point away from place and people
Especially while opening.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Sunday Thoughts

There is rain falling on my clouds-
Little quick drops and slivers.

I reach with my tongue for nothing
but to taste the sweet and fluff

of emptiness.

The sky doesn't seem to mind though
as it just keeps eating me up, lick

after marvelous lick.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Of Rocks and Islands

There is none tougher
than this solitary force of breaking.
Few dare to cling. Fewer
stay for long. The rain pounds
only to cause more beautiful.
The sun beats to harden,
but I harden on my own.

I am that lone hill sitting-
one tree away from desolate,
one drink all for quenching.
No rock has known this-
they sit with the earth. They sit
in company. I stare at the horizon.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Short Comings

When Johnny was three years old, he would lay on the dirt caked hardwood floor, exhausted over the rough day of play. He would lift his two little blackened feet over his head cutely and grab his toes looking at me. Generally he would miss one at first and it took a few tries before he could get a firm grasp on them both. “Look daddy, I have two!” he would exclaim. Kids. I just smiled at him and leaned in my chair, rocking it far back while I stared out the window over the cool Georgia Mountains. The soil wasn’t good there but there weren’t too many people around either and I liked that. Somehow, it’s what made me feel normal.

It seemed everyone in town loved Johnny just as much as me. They were always giving him free things and going on about “how cute.” All I had to do was roll into the hardware store and Mr. Johnson was already fishing about for his latest slingshot. Someone really should have told him a three year old has no business with a slingshot, but I just let it go. I’m still not really sure how he didn’t mind Johnny running all over the store but the old man ate it up. Sometimes even, on the few occasions he could get the boy’s attention, he would stand there hopping up and down making faces while Johnny rocked back and forth humming the star spangled banner off key. I think maybe Mr. Johnson didn’t feel quite so normal up here in the mountains and Johnny just reminded him of a better time. A time when he felt free. For what ever reasons though, I tolerated it. He was a beautiful boy.

By the time Johnny was turning four, I was glad. Kids have to be kids. They have to run wild overturning every rock they can come too. It's such a wide world of mystery, especially with the deep dark crevices of the mountains looming all around. I'll be the last one to hold them back. But really though, I had had enough. He was always running all over and out of control. He did it to taunt me I think. Because he knew I couldn’t catch him while he was dodging all over the place. He was a quick rascal, but he was old enough now to understand discipline. I just had to make it as easy for him as I could.

“Are we gonna have bifday cake tomorrow?” he said bouncing around. I smiled at him and nodded. His eyes lit up big. “And fer breakfass?” I could tell he loved me.

“Sure for breakfast,” I said. “And all day long if you like. Tomorrow is your special day.”

He curled up on the hard wood cot next to the tool cabinet and after a while was breathing heavy sighs. I hopped over as quietly as I could to the edge of his bed and looked down at his sleeping self. I took a moment to get steady because I knew balance would be important. In one smooth motion that made me proud I put a firm grasp on the axe from the cabinet and another on his ankle. I stretched his leg out and brought the axe down hard just above the knee-- Johnny's little face wrinkled in some torment that must have been horrible. I watched the blood poor out and smiled. Johnny didn’t even scream too long really before he passed out. It would be hard, but eventually he would understand. I went to work stopping the blood. For storage, Mr. Johnson had been kind enough to donate the clear crystal jar himself. It was the finest I had seen!

In the night

She fluttered for a moment
and about it
until it was over-
it had gone around
and played in the smoke
of my cigarette. There was no need
for a moth
to take such interest.
The light bulb was bare
and waiting. She hung there
wondering too
why I was staring back.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Sunday Thoughts

I have been waiting for your time to come,
looking towards that sunrise. There is
no holding the thoughts around.

Every writer knows
how to express themselves. Every fall
of the moment you can feel. Do you know how
to escape this?

Do you know how, let's say,

to express me?

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Laced Burritos ( and Texas law)

For my first weekend traveling adventure, I stopped at a gas station to buy a quart of oil for my thirsty Saturn. She loves it when I wind out the gears and taunt Semi trucks but knows she deserves her reward: 10W-30 Castrol oil and nuthin but that.

I pulled into the gas station cool and let the engine rev a bit, cruising to a stop just a little too far for the hose to actually reach the tank. I played it off like I didn’t want gas anyway. There’d be another station down the road. The eyes of Biker Man were on me as I walked into the Quick Stop. He was envious. They always are.

Browsing the aisles I found a good deal. “99 cents a quart! Just like Castrol.” I was sold. She’d never know the difference. I resisted the temptation to pick up a “Barney and Friends Greatest Hits” cassette and followed my nose to the sweet savory smell of Cafeteria Burritos. Now we were talking; fried, lardy goodness.

I picked up two and plopped them and the oil boldly down on the counter. The cashier looked me up and down. She could tell I was a badass.

She rolled her eyes a bit and declared some identification was needed. To say I was put off would be an understatement. With my grizzled exterior I coulda walked out of there with an eighth of marijuana and nobody should have thought to stop me. To be carded over a burrito was too much.

“What on earth do you guys put in the burritos?” I asked as I looked at them in disgust and terror.

“It’s for the oil,” she told me.

I imagined myself being seventeen after I had just bought my first car and slinking around outside the parts store like a criminal whispering, “Hey man, could you score me some oil…” There were probably jail cells full of under aged oil offenders. I would not be one of them. I’m a badass. And older. And just to be on the safe side, I wasn’t about to eat those damn burritos.

Walking out of there I narrowed my eyes and gave a don’t-fuck-with-me nod at Biker Man while I tripped over the curb. The burritos broke my fall, their sauces pouring out onto my shirt. They smelled spicy. I decided to tear into them after all.


Like a habit I have waited
and longed for
what you are-
to hear those things
that could whisper,

The joy that feeds me
and will be

Friday, September 03, 2004

Time Keeps Us

The begining

I looked over at the offer. Saw the glass sitting full and waiting. It didn’t want me to drink it. I said I would pass for now, and started walking towards the door. On my way out I could see Bill already rummaging through the trash. Trying to dig out Beckie’s number. He’d probably call her pretending to be me, just show up, and then see what happens. He deserved a good time. Some guys just do.

After the door I took the stairs like a dead man. I hit the sidewalk like I was drunk. The night sky smelled stale and there were memories all around me.


She walked down the street like she owned it.
She was too young to have her jeans slit across both cheeks.
Old enough to not use underwear.
It was the tight little perfect body. I could have been a pedophile that day.
I just watched her walk down and turn the corner. She flicked her cigarette across the can and towards the open window of a passing crown vic.
It was her street. And she owned it.

I knew she’d be back. I took a drag off my smoke, walked over, picked up the sheet of crumpled, folded paper, and leaned up against the light post.

A few minutes later she rounded the building a full stride scouring the ground.
Once close enough I said, “looking for this?”
Her eyes snapped up and met mine dead on. I saw it all.
They narrowed and the corners of her mouth turned up coy.
“Hi, I’m Julia,” she breathed.


I picked myself out and walked down towards the square. There was no telling when.
The trees were all leaning slightly to the left. Listening.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004