Saturday, March 7, 2009


when I think back on it
I just don’t know
what the hell I was thinking.
I began running
in the third grade
and kept with it
through graduation
track and cross country
pre season and post season
in the freezing winters
and the steaming summers
five miles
ten miles
I was just running
all the time
I wasn’t running from anything
or to anywhere
just out on the trails
or on the side of the roads
I wasn’t chasing after anybody
or running from the law
just running
and with all that running
I was in great shape physically
but a lot of good it did me.
now I’ve got bad knees
and a bad back
and I know I’ll never
be in that kind of shape again
and when I think back
on all the time I spent
running around
I wonder if I wouldn’t
be better off
to have been practicing
the harmonica
or learning how
to survive in the wilderness
or maybe just sitting on my ass
reading a book

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


my mother was the type of woman
who left notes
all around the house
I’d come home from school
and there’d be a note
on the door that said,
“take off your shoes”
I’d take off my shoes
go into the bathroom
take a piss
while seeing above the toilet
another note that said,
“remember to put down the seat.”
I’d move over to the sink
to wash my hands
and on a post it note
on the mirror it’d say,
“wash your hands”
and “turn faucet all the way off”
when I finished in the bathroom
I’d go into the kitchen
and on the counter
in her big, round letters
there’d be a list with circled numbers
“1. take out the trash”
“2. let the dogs out”
“3. there’s food on the middle shelf
in the fridge”
inside the refrigerator
there’d be Tupperware containers
and each one would be labeled
“lasagna – microwave on high
for three and a half minutes”
or “homemade pizza – cook
eight minutes in toaster over. Do not burn!”
as I grew older
I began to resent these notes
because I felt that no matter
where I went,
she was always telling me what to do.
so I began to disregard the notes
but then when I skipped out
on taking out the trash
the next thing I knew
there was another note that said,
“you forgot to take out the trash.
Please take out the trash
before you do anything else.”
I found I couldn’t totally
disregard the notes
if I read them
so I tried to stop reading them
but it seemed that everywhere I turned
there was another note.
“please vacuum the back hallway”
or “finish the milk before it goes bad”
or “remember dump day is tomorrow.”
finally I grew up and left home
and got away from all those notes
but everywhere I go
I carry around a pad of paper
and a pen
and anytime I need to
remember to do anything
I whip out that pad
and scribble it down
and can’t rest easy
until I know I’ve made a note of it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


every few days a freighter
carrying hundreds of tons of dirt
comes into port
when the tide is high.
I can see it from my window
the dirt is moved by crane
into a huge mound
and from there it is loaded
by backhoe
into dump trucks
and transported
a few blocks away
to a large lot
where it waits
until another winter storm
when it is again loaded
into smaller trucks
to be spread over the roads
to make them less dangerous
in icy and snowy weather
and then when the spring comes
the dirt gathers
on the sides of the road
some getting swept up by
the street sweeper
in his little sweep cart.
I look out the window and think,
“winter? what a great pain in the ass.”