Dark Day Afternoon

Doomsday just inched a bit closer

So says the clock on the wall

Amused, nihilistic humans   

just waiting for mankind to fall!


We know the problem’s we’re facing

We know what needs to be done

We know that the weapon is loaded

but we like the taste of the gun


We’re ninety seconds from doomsday

So says that guy on the news

“It’s the end of the world as we know it”

A theme song to give us the blues


Doomsday just inched a bit closer

it nuzzles up to the fear in our head

The tick of the clock getting louder

It thickens our fear into dread


Religious to the point of destruction

Tribal to our own self-defeat

Chained to a blood-violent nature

Man and doomsday were destined to meet

When Sorrow Clings to Angel Wings


She made it through the Spanish flu
a million others died
but slipped and fell with scissors held
Oh, how her parents cried


Rorschach’s plume, still in bloom
soaks through her dressing gown
she raps on heaven’s pearly gate
but no one is around


When sorrow clings to angel wings
They might-as-well be clipped
So back to earth
To haunt the house
Where she tripped and slipped


Immortal klutz with lots of cuts
dark shadows on the wall
she roams the house without a spouse
wrapped loosely in her shawl

The Cleaner and His Cat

He caught himself staring blankly at his coffee, wondering how long he’d been sitting, cup in hand. The last sip must have been hot. He could still feel the blister on the tip of his tongue.

Like a Picasso, a dark sadness hung on his face. He hated the look. “Definitely his blue period,” he mused, half smirking at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. 

He mostly avoided reflective surfaces. Feeling depressed was terrible enough; he didn’t need to see it. He didn’t need to be reminded of it.

His cat circled impatiently, rubbing against his calf. “Time to eat,” he purred . . . . “Snap out of it!” he meowed. 

On days like today, he was grateful for his cat. The cat’s well-timed reminders kept the man from the doorknob and belt, and the dark thoughts that tied everything together. 

He whispered, “My demise will have to wait; there’s a cat to feed and a litterbox to clean.”

His apartment was a shambles. It mirrored the cluttered chaos in his head. Based on experience, he knew a good house cleaning would lift his spirits.

He often wondered how external feng shui works its magic on the mind. “I’ll have to google that,” he says in the direction of his full-bellied cat, who bathes contently in a patch of sun on the kitchen floor.

The sink is full. There’s half-eaten food caked on dishes, the remnants of last week’s menu. Why not just clean up after each meal? Especially knowing that cleanliness and order helps quell his anxiety.

“Why do I let things pile up?

What keeps me from staying on top of things? 

Will I ever grow out of this?

That last question bounces around the inside of his skull like an unselected lottery ping-pong ball.

Will I ever grow out of this?

Of course, he didn’t know the answer to that question. He remembers a bright era of pre-affliction, which gives him hope. He thinks “if I magically went from being happy to being depressed, why can’t I miraculously go from depressed to happy?”

Unfortunately, there’s a history – a consistent footprint on the ladder of his family’s DNA. In a sense, he’s been branded, and sometimes that feels so fatalistic, he just wants to give up.

But he doesn’t.

He continues to clean.

An Ugly Lust for Power

Floating in his own orbit

absent from the ethos of ethics

he was driven by an ugly lust for power

fueled by an insatiable desire for attention

bootlicked and buttressed by a sycophantic public

and buoyed by yes men


The man was wholly unhinged from truth

divorced from morality

and devoid of integrity


Gripped by insecurity

and the crippling fear of being labeled a loser

he cultivated lies and deceit


Like a Shakespearean witch

hunched over a cauldron

of poisonous misinformation

he hatched his plan

to cling to the reins of power

just long enough to topple the republic


For a few hours that day

our democracy flickered and dimmed

teetering on the dark edge of an authoritarian abyss


and if not for the courage of a few

and the rationality of the rest

We’d have lost our democracy

and the hope and freedom it brings to us


It would be a fatal mistake to think

the bullet we dodged cannot be reloaded

The confederacy of cowards

who defended the snake

and helped perpetuate the crime

still walk the halls of congress

and just beneath the ashes

of the failed attempt

are the smoldering embers

of the next

At Sixty

I know I could do this if things would just slow-the-fuck down,” he muttered. Head bowed, sitting at a dimly lit kitchen table, teetering on the edge of a midlife meltdown.

With more than 30 years in the industry, you think he’d be brimming with confidence. For most, that kind of experience leads naturally to calm assuredness. But with experience comes expectations, and those expectations smother him like a blanket of boulders.

He feels incapacitated by his experience, not buoyed by it.

He fixates momentarily on his wife’s furrowed brow and imagines himself tiny, wandering through those deep valleys of disappointment.

At work, he’s surrounded by the young and hungry. Buzzing with ambition, their bright voices float on currents of frenetic energy.

Was he ever that exuberant (about anything)? He struggles to remember his younger self, but it’s like painting with numbers without the numbers.

In his cubicle, yellow sticky notes pop off the edge of his monitor. A sleek uninviting flower, daring him to delve in – begging him to fail. Tossed to the corner of the desk, a coffee-stained and panic-scrawled legal pad.

His “to-do list.”

After a full day’s work, that list somehow gets longer, not shorter.

Early in his career, he’d slide into a work groove and rip through his “to-dos” effortlessly, like a sickle through the wheat. But nowadays, he’s easily and willingly distracted. His ability to focus comes in short bursts only, and the mental elasticity of youth is frustratingly absent.

His focus is hampered further by a barrage of instant messages and multiple meetings a day. As a result, he always feels two steps behind in a mad dash to a deadline.

He wears his age like an ill-fitting suit, and he struggles to keep pace with his profession.

He lifts his head and speaks again.

“Honestly, I don’t think I can do it anymore. I’m sorry, because I know that puts us behind the eight-ball financially, but every day’s a struggle, and I’m barely keeping my head above water.”

He wasn’t being lazy. He was being honest.

He remembers when success was all the motivation he needed. He remembers plowing through whatever work stress he encountered, because on the backside of that stress were people who depended on him. For 25-plus years, that was all the motivation needed to keep at a job he never truly enjoyed.

Now that his kids are grown and on their own, he faces an increasingly stark scenario.  Deadlines approach, the work pace quickens, his ability to keep up wanes, and the desire and motivation needed to plow through it all has vanished.

He concludes that what’s required of him, and where he is philosophically (at sixty), have diverged irreconcilably. He feels this in his bones and in his gut every morning when he wakes.

And there’s a nagging sense of entitlement, that at this phase of life he’s earned the right to slow down — to take his foot off the gas — to smell the roses. He romanticizes about a job that doesn’t follow him home every night. A job that ends when the day ends and doesn’t occupy his mind ceaselessly.

At sixty, he has no interest in climbing the corporate ladder. Instead, he wants to set it ablaze, sit cross-legged on his cubicle floor, and watch it burn to ash.

At sixty, he has no illusions about discovering job satisfaction. That boat has sailed, and there’s no sense lamenting he never got on it. Instead, he’s looking for balance.

He’s looking for “just enough.”

Just enough to pay his bills and free up some time.

Just enough to sip coffee in solitude, and not worry about work.

At sixty, he sits at a dimly lit kitchen table, looking for a way out.

Crackling Fires from Funeral Pyres

Digging holes with metal poles

Earth hanging by a string

ember coals and smokey souls

our hearts refuse to sing


Nostril flares and double dares

blood coursing through our veins

no one cares or fires flares

to save us from the flames


Rubber necks on splintered decks

missiles pierce the sky

the crackling fires from funeral pyres

sparkle in our eyes


Mascara streaks on dampened cheeks

as quiet fills the air

we crawl across a floor that creaks

to waken our despair


Stars explode and fade to black

the darkened sky above

stretches far from east to west

obscuring peace and love

Democracy on the Ballot

Price hikes and inflation are cyclical and are tied to global events – things will return to normalcy regardless of which party wins the majority in Congress.

Your democracy (and the freedoms it provides) is tied to local events – specifically, election day voting.

If you fail to vote against the party that espouses nationalistic and fascist views, your democracy will disappear.

If you fail to hold politicians accountable for supporting a former president’s attempts to overturn a free and fair election, your democracy will disappear.

If you vote for a party that wants to restrict freedoms and rights rather than expand them, democracy and the freedoms it provides will disappear.

Don’t be short-sighted this coming election.

Slip Knot Future Up Ahead

Mascara streaks

on expressionless faces

punk-metal fills the air

a swarm of pierced humanity

hits the mosh without a care


Rabbit holes of red-hot coals

their world spinning on a string

empty souls dance to Dave Grohl

life to them, a fling


Rubber necks on double decks

Russian missiles fill the skies

distant fires from funeral pyres

the flames flicker in their eyes


Tattered seams on crocheted dreams

slip knot future up ahead

poisoned streams and noiseless memes

They’ll dance until their dead

Fodder for Felons

Mar-a-Lago’s a henhouse

guarded by foxes

with top secret files

in taped cardboard boxes

Classified docs

spread all over the floor

fodder for felons

trying to even the score


Millions of lost souls

and Q-cultist bigots

they lap up the lies

from electronic spigots

Looking for purpose

while grasping at straws

praising their savior

despite all his flaws


Empty of knowledge

full of deep longing

Q fits the bill

and their need for belonging


Fingers raised up

they sing and they sway

“The storm is-a-coming”

and so’s judgement day


Engaged in a story

which casts them as heroes

too dumbstruck to know

that they’re dancing to Nero

drinking the Kool-Aid

they’re dope-sick on Q

freebasing lies

and shouting fuck you


There’s fear in not knowing

how this will end

how far Q is going

to strongly defend

the lies of a con man

unwilling to bend

Rise Up

Don’t you ever get so tired

of all the bullshit in the air


Politicians always wired

pretending that they care


Don’t you long to get inspired

get this train back on the track


Aren’t you sick of being mired

in never forward always back


We’re in need of revolution

a youth-led promise towards a day

when our leaders represent us

without their interests in the way


Aren’t you tired of being berated

your world twisting on a string

all the truths interrogated

while the lies go on to sing


Band together to form your power

march into the voting booth

Turn the day into your hour

cut down the lies and raise the truth