023p: portland

gray encroaches on the city,
pelting pavement with rain.
curlicues of fog and steam
from the tops of buildings
intermingle. the city is alive.
i feel the wetness from my jacket
draped over the back of my chair,
my ergonomic chair, my chair
built to enhance my work ability.
socialism within a capitalist
context; provide assistance
to create the best worker,
not the best human.
the landscape is foggy and gray.
perpetual portland. the top
of wells fargo scrapes
the bottom of the clouds.
no finite line between them,
like lovers in tangles.

022p: sick of it

i’m sick of living on 174th
sick of feeling in the shadow
of those i should be kin to.
sick of wasting years
locked in depression
and anxiety. i long
to grasp the clouds with
warm fingers and palms
stretched. they say that
tall men die sooner than
short men. my life expectancy
is 64. 30 years left. 30 years
to find something to
hold onto and someone
to hold onto it with.
i’m sick of hating the
brunt of my day. sick of
hating myself. tired of
finding meaning.
i make the meaning.
i make it now.
i foster it and i coddle it
and i whisper things to it
that i would never say
out loud. i am encrusted
in depression, and breaking
through requires immense
pain and pushing.
i will push. i will pain.
i will watch the sunrise
for leisure instead of
from a MAX train to work.

021p: 10 years ago

this morning the MAX feels
like it did when i visited
10 years ago. a sense of promise.
a newness from the gray sky
and thin rivulets of rainwater
descending from the glass.
10 years ago i was with you,
a brief important moment,
a catalyst for the next part
of my life. a flash in the pan.
we built it up like stone-by-stone,
but it could never hold back
the floor. the flood that
came fast, drowned deep,
and receded too quickly.
i treaded water when
i should have drowned
with you.

017p: llama

trevor, drenched in turgid drama
drafted terms to buy a llama
with his former girlfriend (note
the “former” in that bit i wrote).
the terms were: one, it must remain
outside in sun or snow or rain,
no matter what it’s disposition
their roommates would be fairly pissed ‘n
stuff; two, a fifty-fifty share
of which of them would have to care
for this enormous beast they bought–
of parentage he hadn’t thought
too far ahead; and three, of course,
for this was nothing like a horse,
they’d shave it every single spring
and use the wool to knit some things
to sell at random marketplaces
turning frowns to smiley faces.
this, his girlfriend did decree
was worth the shit propelled by he
into the fan of dating life.
one llama fixes every strife.

015p: give me something better.

give me something better.
i will search for it but
you have to give me a sign
that it exists. otherwise
i am looking for the haystack
needle, but the haystack
is depression and anxiety,
a proverbial sea
the likes of which have
never been seen before.

sometimes when i breathe
i feel a shortness of breath,
ever subtle, not threatening
but a gentle reminder that
i am struggling. a tug on
the rope i am dangling from.
each breath is a shock to
my mental health.
i continue breathing.