JANUARY 9 1997

thin as a grain of wheat

rarely uprooted from his chair

black cat at his feet

waiting for the next meal

the next dream

traded freedom to his granddaughter

so he wouldn’t have to live in a home

eyes red around the rim

voice deep within the throat

bones coated with dust like the painting

of his long since passed wife

hanging on the wall behind him

six foot three he can still

touch the sky

i used to jitterbug he says

and smiles. heart following memory

up the gulf coast

across the panhandle

all the way back to California

when he’s upset

sometimes he swears (the gravel

spitting off his thunder)

GIVE ME THE KEYS! i’ll drive there my

damn self i will!

alone? she questions, eyes bulging


and i

i believe him

you better hide those keys





Tampa, Florida. 1997

narrow dirt roads for legs
two moons for eyes she
was once that kid on a
milk carton

did not want to be found

twelve years later watching x
files smoking weed helps

the pain she
cares for her grandfather
and her son

they’re both handfuls

grandfather drinks and smokes
like he’s half his age
boy cries and throws tantrums like
he’s half his and he’s

she loves them without

i want to be around people
who give me energy
she shouts (competing with the
swamp cooler) not
take it

thick gravel roads for legs
half moons for eyes she
hasn’t changed


i was in florida and depressed when i discovered prozac and prozac nation. i liked the film as much as the book. then it jumped off the screen, off the page and into my life. my therapist referred me to a shrink who asked me questions, looked me over, took me for a ride for proper diagnostics, then wrote me up a script for prozac. i never got it filled because i refused to stop drinking. five years later i ended up on SSRIs. intermittent psychotherapy alongside antidepressants made it easier to get out of bed but it wasn’t powdered sunshine and it didn’t solve any other problems. it’s a cast. to be held together pharmaceutically until you can handle life without it. for two years i was in the sunshine state and i never saw the sun.


a time before cursors. a
land before chrome
paper journals blue and black
our future unknown

i am walking the beach
early morning barefoot
unblinking at dawn
not far

loopy cords
fall off an old

cloth covers
worn off
spines broken

no space
is safe in these books
in these thoughts
between oceans
and lines