If you never look up, you’ll never see the stars. If you always look up, you’ll one day walk right off a cliff.

Lying on the floor,
looking up,
I notice every tiny thing

A small family
of spiders
trying to eat each other

Brownish yellow
watermarks
from a leaky, bathroom pipe

I see the soles
of barefoot children
and Legos lost under their beds

I see the strands
of grey dust gathered
on the blades of ceiling fans

And all the while
through all the silence
your ghostly body hovers near me

And all the while
through all the silence
I wait for memories to fade

If you never look up, you’ll never see the stars. If you always look up, you’ll one day walk right off a cliff.

The Myrmidons Take On Google Maps For Navigational Bragging Rights

I sit on the ground
and I’m covered with ants
They become my new skin
and I don’t try to stop them
I’m red and I’m black
and I never stop moving
I stand up to walk home
and the ants help to guide me
They want me to get home
and they know what it’s like
To have somewhere to be
and a path clearly marked
They want me to be home
and they bite to remind me
They’re pushing me toward home
and they don’t think of death

The Myrmidons Take On Google Maps For Navigational Bragging Rights

What Were the Skies Like When You Were Young?

i’m listening to the orb
since 1992 i’m listening to the orb
for 25 years i’m listening to the orb
for more than half my life i’m listening to the orb
and i’m so bad at math and so easily
distracted
it took me more than 20 seconds to work the numbers out
but when i’m listening to the orb
i’m reminded of everything that’s ever happened to me since 1992

and i’m in an office now
reviewing documents for someone up above
but in my head it’s 1992 and 1993 and 1994 and 1995 and 1997 and 2001 and 2007 and 2017 all at once
and early tears well in my eyes just waiting for a nudge to spill
for all those behind me years
that somehow still exist buried between the lines
of the story i tell of myself to myself like:
who we were at midnight on empty, suburban streets, an orb album on repeat
who we were at midnight on a cold, hard futon, curled up in a confused panic, an orb album on repeat
who we were at midnight on another’s sofa, sleeping after a shift, an orb album on repeat
who we were at midnight on a windy Christmas eve, drinking whiskey alone in the dark, an orb album on repeat
who we were at midnight on a still, star-filled lake, talking dreams of coming futures, an orb album on repeat
who we were at midnight on a faded, rusty rocker, with a swaddled baby swaying, an orb album on repeat
who we were at midnight on an empty, suburban street, doing dishes left from dinner, an orb album on repeat

and on my screen are these words you’re reading now
sitting in front of another’s words you’ll never read
and in my ears the lazy lilt of ‘back side of the moon’
for i’m still listening to the orb over and over again
and i’m looking out the window
and i’m so high above the ground here, now
but not as high as those above me
and i want to jump through that double-pane wall of melted sand
shatter glass everywhere like a sharp-toothed rain
but i never want to fall when i’m listening to the orb
considering a crash
no, no, no

in every year i ever was
i ever am
listening to the orb
i just want to go on forever

What Were the Skies Like When You Were Young?

The Waterwood Box, 40

Catch up!

Adam stared and shrugged his shoulders.

“Oh, I’m sure of it. Water-man gets cursed by a wicked Turtle or eel, falls asleep, woken by the kiss of a water-lass, herself on the run from a tyrannical mother. You should know this; typical Tiskaloon lore, full of unbearable wisdom.” The Admiral carefully watched Adam for some response and getting none said, “No? Well, no matter.” Pinch turned away from Adam and toward some nearby urchins. “The recruits are on their way. We’ve got 150 with another 100 promised upon return. Prep the manta for Tiskaloo. Our fears our confirmed. The cry was human and the Tiskaloons must answer for its whereabouts.”

These last words stuck in Adam’s head. The Urchin Army thought he was already in Tiskaloo! He breathed easy. Adam watched the underling urchins roll off to carry out the Admiral’s orders. Then the Admiral hoisted himself up onto the bench next to Adam. “We’re finally going to get you home. I bet you’re ready for that.”

“Yes, I am,” said Adam.

“What are you most excited to see, water-man? The Hydean heat vents, or perhaps the rock monument at Kimball’s Rift? Oh, do tell me.”

Pinch was prodding Adam. He must be on to him. Surely, he’d watched Adam swim off to the kelp or during his return to the manta. But, rather than get drawn into Pinch’s game, Adam decided to tell the truth.

“I miss my family,” he said. “I’m most excited to see them again.” Well, it was true, wasn’t it? Pinch didn’t press Adam or poke fun, but rather quietly sat. The two sat together for a bit, neither one speaking or moving. Finally, frustrated and uncomfortable, Adam did what Spot told him to avoid. He spoke.

“Admiral, why did we stop here?”

The Waterwood Box, 40

Boethius, With the Top Down

(for John Q. Climate-Change)
———————————
on the interstate
doing 95 mph
blasting Boethius, with the top down,
is not the same
as blasting Motley Crüe
with the top down,
doing 95 mph
on the interstate,
though The Consolations of Philosophy
might be a better long-term prescription
for handling the world as it is
than one writ in the jittery script
of a Dr. Phineas Y. Feelgood;

but who really needs
a long-term prescription
for tomorrows
of a different persuasion
when that drop-top’s down,
and you’re humming at 95 mph,
along that never-ending,
never-changing,
make-ya-feel-all-right
inter

state.

Boethius, With the Top Down