sugar pack

I tore a sugar pack open and held it over the ceramic mug.

I angled the paper so gravity could work, and all the pretty crystals dropped single file through the steam into the black. Sometimes i have every reason to be thrilled and still I’m sad.

Thanks coffee sweet. You always cheer me up.

journal entry

Journal # May 29th

The particular oak tree had an attitude. It could see parts of the city skyline the others were not tall enough to catch, and it’s attitude was thoughtful, some say jaded. Many families were memorial day licking ice cream cones below, in its shade, and the lines trailed out the door. There was a guy against the sky juggling base ball sized scoops of ice and cream, who lit up at night in neon, and more than one little kid wondered why the neon could not be turned on during the day seeing how the store was open. There was no mistaking the store was open, for there were lines reaching out to the street corner where the tree above was branching. It was memorial day and American jet engines could be heard overhead. The jets could not always be seen against the sky, above the guy and the tree, and you could hear the sound of the crosswalk beneath the jet engines, when people pushed the button to cross. Sometimes when no one was crossing, kids liked to press the button just for fun. The oak tree saw it all. The sugar in the ice cream and freezes was also responsible but could not be blamed. You could follow someone home simply by the dotted line of dripping.


K in Tahoe. pic by K’s brother

These are the holidays and sugar runs high and mighty in the bloodstream. I wanna get back to baseline

back to water
back to coffee

and the sea

avoid the fake
and real news, too

back to books
and Tetley’s tea

all my old friends
and me


There’s no fuckin around anymore with my life, I mean, anytime I go sideways and let myself go even just a bit off, I suffer several hours later, usually in the hangtime before I have to get up for work, but also it can destroy my weekends, too. I don’t know what I did or if it’s just natural aging but it’s right in my face and I’ll tell you somethin else, well; I kinda like things better this way. Cause I used to fuck off all the time and I could fuck off for days and get away with it. Lots of polysubstance abuse, you know, back then before I got clean, even after I knew I was an addict and drugs were no good for me, devolving, I tended when disheartened to return to the familiar and break away from common decency and back to the tops of far off peaks of despair, looking over my life and sneaking and peaking and using and falling and crying and trying to get over myself again. That’s no way to live, you know, but we do it anyway. But my margin of error has disappeared and I’m really thankful, really grateful in a way to feel the pain, now, the age or heaviness or whatever, and I don’t do drugs going on 4 years, and I just get beat up by too much caffeine or sugar or too little water or too many carbs or too much sun and overexertion, wow, so I get back to work takin care of myself, right away cause I much desire a better more forthright life for myself, an adherent to a sound personal code and reasonable daily allowance of dreaming my way forward into a kindhearted reality. Whatever the hell that means… and I mean it. I cannot outlast anyone. All I can do is get ina sweet groove and try and stay there and work it awhile so we can be better off by me. I mean contribute my part, live good for someone else to see for themselves how to go about it, too. There’s no fuckin around anymore and why would I want to? Seek the joy of being alive and that’s it. Give and give some more. Show and don’t show off. Accept who you are and love what you have so you can carry that and not need to escape nothin and then they will see the truth in you and it’s not pretty or grandstandin or anything, it just is what it is and that’s more than enough.

corn syrup. posing as black licorice

high fructose corn syrup dyed, twisted and wrapped tight in plastic, posing as black licorice

We were at Lucky’s having breakfast. The booth was luxurious under our asses. You said you wanted to be helpful and we got close because I reached out for help and you appeared. Then you acted in a way I thought was unhelpful and I reacted in a way that upset you and then you distanced yourself presuming I was ungrateful or shocked because you thought you were being helpful and should not experience other people’s reactions. I think I was about to walk away and out the glass door framed in the glass wall, the storefront where the specials had been frosted on: Ninety-nine cents for a cup of coffee. 2 fried eggs for five bucks. I did not wanna trust you were being helpful when every cell in my body was on edge by some things you were saying. You saw me getting ready to get up and pre-empted me. You laid down cash quickly on the flat plastic tray, and walked away. How could getting me worked up this way be helpful to me? How could you be so upset at me for feeling defensive? I thought you were working me up this way, but it was really me. You thought I was hurting you but it was really you.

Suddenly we were no longer close. Everything changes, the whole world gets blocked out. All I could hold on to as I picked myself up to follow you out there, was the smile I saw on the old man’s face, the proprietor, with an apron tied around his belly. I passed him by as he was wiping down a booth closer to the door with his rag. Someone wasn’t so offended by me. Still you and I were miles apart. This did not mean anything, for we both had an underlying connection, call it friendship. This connection caused us not to feel abandoned, just hurt temporarily. Call it a misunderstanding between friends. I approached and listened. You told me I was acting entitled, when all you were doing was trying to help. I told you how you said stuff that hurt me, which caused me to react. You demanded an apology. I thought about it. While waiting for an apology, you preached. You were a bit older so I let you. On the side I was contemplating an apology as a gesture of good will. I do not typically give in to demands, but maybe for someone I care about who cares about me.

I admit I tuned you out until several seconds later when I apologized. You didn’t hear it because you were worked up, so the next time you told me how I oughta apologize I reminded you I just did. We were on the sidewalk in front of Lucky’s. The cars were passing by. The atmosphere was white without shadows or fog. The sun just could not be refined. The street had noise which kindly muted our argument. My feelings were laid out for you. I think you saw me the second I reminded you I had apologized. Because that’s when it changed. You saw I was quiet and quieter than you and putting up with you there. You saw that I was your friend. You relaxed a little bit and changed your tune. You acted like an older woman telling a younger woman how you were trying to help me, how your support would look, but not feel, like support. I nodded my head because I honestly remembered you were wanting to help me, you were trying to. Maybe I just wanted your help a certain special way, like I am programmed to receive only certain kinds of shapes, like Tetris falling. Everything was okay again. We were friends again, with only a residual, a bad memory; like high fructose corn syrup dyed, twisted and wrapped tight in plastic, posing as black licorice. You finished describing how you are. You didn’t have to say anything, I guess, I already figured it out on my own.