31 December 2020

Breathe 2020




Tomorrow I will take up that heavy poem again -Robinson Jefers


The day you were born. Brenda the Midwife told me, “Don’t take your eyes off her. Make sure she breathes.” I sat all night, your tiny head in the palm of my hand, watching you breathe. I put my forehead to yours and you said, “I’ve come here to teach you that everything will be OK.” And you breathed. 



Pandepic- Coping 19


Someone tell me what to do 

Someone tell me what to do

Someone tell me what to do

Reality Breakdown -No Trend, Reality Breakdown








I always wanted to be around for the end of the world

pondered it

(then lusted after it… sshhh…)

in my teenage apocalyptic fantasies



Dystopian Daydreams in my mid-twenties before I clocked in at 



and out at 




A glorious 

but brief 




between childhood 



being crushed



something more 

Something more

more than this



End Times promised more

a key to authentic life


Surely we will rise to the occasion, when the time came?

all our anarchic ambitions realized


Proven right!



Liberation beyond literature,





No light 

No people 

No speak 

No people 

No cars 

No people 

No food 

No people 



Grinding halt 

Everything's coming to a grinding halt 

The Cure ‘Grinding Halt’




Not so sure


It is kind of tough.


This hidden enemy.


the fa├žade was always fragile

cracks spreading

for  some ten thousand years


We knew the only thing keeping this facade plodding along

was faith in the future of the facade 




the inability to see anything beyond it


April is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

“Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.-TS Elliot



Buying a burrito in April

typically and should be 

a happy occasion. 

Like waking up and realizing you are still alive.


Hey, my back is allowing me to put on my trousers without too much pain...


I have a job. 


I'm healthy, my family is healthy. 

I am about to make the best cup of coffee ever 

to start my day. 

The sun is out. 

The burrito is a continuation of this. 

Alas, yesterday it was a pretty sad burrito. 

Don't get me wrong, it was delicious. 

It was admittedly a pretty bourgeois burrito, seasonal vegetable, vegetarian on a whole wheat tortilla but it was sad for other reasons. 

I asked the person who served me how business was going 

the floodgates opened pretty quickly. 

tanking business 

children's struggles. 

My quick take out burrito became a mini-counseling session 

a chat. 

a moment of deep and quick human connection over a burrito.

A very sad burrito

Sad is OK though.





and there will be the most beautiful silence ever heard

born out of that

the sun still hidden there

awaiting the next chapter -Bukowski




When this is all said and done

I will never miss The Ex or Godspeedyoublackemperor 




out of apathy

because there will be no apathy

apathy will be cancelled

blown ear drums 

not apathy. 




This is the water

This is the well

Drink deep

and descend

The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within, Lynch, Twin Peaks



Even the most beautiful artists

has a bigcartel dot commerce

be consumed or consume

your well-being 

through this

new normal


beer to your doorstep

swift sidewalk deals

hoot the amazon driver

praise UPS

(not USPS)

stealthy stimulus shopping

like internet connections

the economy 

the economy 

new emoji



These are the falling years.

They will go deep,

Never weep, never weep.

With clear eyes explore the pit.

Watch the great fall

With religious awe. Robison Jeffers



Will this alter the meaning of songs and poems

already written?



The diminished hum of traffic

the silent city

Pronounces the sirens 

every time I open the back door

and as we obsess over stats and curves

I wonder if there is a need to hide us from 

crimes popping off?



I’ve worn masks for other reasons

but now it gives me anxiety

two-fold anxiety when I, 


try to communicate

with you,


How about we break the ice

with a nice

Pint of Clorox?



And the great cities, Lord, what are they?

Places disintegrating and abandoned.

The city I know resembles animals fleeing from a fire.

The shelter it gave has no shelter now.

and the age of the cities is nearly over.


A child lives its growing years at a windowsill.

The shadow makes the same angle there each day.

It doesn’t realize that there are wild roses calling

to a day of open places, gaiety and wind.

It has to be a child and becomes a sad child. –Rainer Maria Rilke



The number 19 is both a ‘starter’ and a ‘finisher’ if you care for numerology. 

A number of surrender.



Maria Ortiz is 55 and dying. She is a 'ward of the state' and cannot communicate due to the advanced stages of her illness. 

Her dying wish, to see the Pacific. 

Simple enough, until Covid 19. 

A little gap was found in the red tape 


social workers and nurses made it happen. 

She spent considerable time staring out to the horizon and listening to the waves. 


This young man. 


Truly a beautiful mind. 

The odds were stacked against him from day one. 


a love of and incredible aptitude for science and mathematics got him through so much. 

After his family gave up on him, he spent many months living in a dormitory with troubled men, decades older than him. 

While he attempted to focus on physics, 

someone might shit in his laundry 

or attempt to steal his laptop. 


After some time, 

he gets into a living situation that is more age appropriate, 

and soon gets himself enrolled in college. 

His instructors tell him things like, "That was a flawless paper, I wish I could give you more than an A." 

He benefits immensely from school, studies and structure. 

Then Covid 19 hits. 

His world, 

like so many others falls apart in weeks. 

No more classes. 

What will the future look like? 

Will I get Covid 19? 


Do I have Covid 19 right now? 

He holes up in a small dark room with his terrible thoughts,

the paranoia sets in and 

quickly consumes him. 


He spirals. 

His brain re-wires itself 

in initially sad 

but soon scary ways. 

He hurts three people. 

I can't explain why. 

I thought he'd hurt himself before others, 

but now he has traumatized three others. 

He will likely go to prison. 

He will likely get eaten alive before he turns twenty.

I reel.

I'm reeling.

It's not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand. ~ John Cleese as Brian Stimpson, Clockwise 


While you were having trouble eating 

George was having trouble breathing 

A knee on the neck for hundreds of years

Cities burned before the forests


I sat watching the nurse rig you up to an IV drip while I was also trying to make sense of it all

You were the whole world to your mother

Yet, I couldn’t shut the rest of the world out during that moment.

You suffering just exacerbated it all

I began to burn


I returned home from the hospital

Drank about half a bottle of gin

Turned on the news

Turned on Godpseedyoublackemperor!

Put on a helmet, 





And rode downtown.


One block from the Justice Center I rode through the barricade, toward the pounding rhythms of the drum corps.


A masochistic game unfolded





And then the retaliatory charge

arrests, beatings

Tear Gas

Tear Gas

Tear Gas


Running from a police charge, 

I wondered if it was the gin or Tear Gas that was spinning me out 

as I encountered an eight-foot fence between me and a safe exit. 

I threw my bicycle over the fence 

clambered over it. 

now on my bike

cycling past 

smashed windows 

anti-police graffiti 

clouds of tear gas wafting through the street screams, sirens, drums, debates, arguments, fights, chaos, 

and pockets of calm 

the fleeting cynic in me wondered who was there for?:


George Floyd

Breanna Taylor

Mike Brown 

Rayshard Brooks

Daniel Prude Jnr

Atatiana Jefferson

Aura Rosser

Stephon Clark

Botham Jean

Philando castile

Alton Sterling

Michelle Cusseaux

Freddie gray

Janisha Fonville

Eric Garner

Akai Garley

Gabriiella Nevarez

Tamir Rice

Michael Brown

Tanisha Anderson




Patrick Kimmons


And who was there because they were not coping?


I’d worked with Patrick several times when he was a little boy. 

Was I there for him then? 

Was I there for him now?


Or was I there because I had had a skinful of booze and 

was simply 

not coping

with you being in hospital, for close to a week?



Be nice to each other

The Covid 19 Pandemic was a good reason to honor this

Be nice to each other

The murder of George Floyd was a good reason to honor this

Be Nice to Each other

Centuries of racial reckoning were good reasons to honor this

Be Nice to each other

The economic fall-out and massive numbers of unemployed were good reasons to honor this

Be Nice to each other

Increasing political polarization and subsequent deaths in our streets were good reasons to honor this

Be Nice to each other

The unprecedented wildfires

were good reasons to hone in on this.

The view from here.

The best you’ve seen.

But you know it is an ephemeral illusion.

And the reality that you will lose it,

Ends the moment. 


Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment. . . . Humanity is in "final exam" as to whether or not it qualifies for continuance in Universe.

Buckminster Fuller, in Critical Path (1981)



May the Flesh of Kings Feed The Earth

-Portland Graffiti




social unrest

systemic racism 


political polarization 


rapid deterioration of our individual and collective mental health 

The root cause of all of this is the same 

if we care to be honest with ourselves. 

And the solution is not 


Don't just vote- 

do something. 

Or grab a beer 

and go surfing

... fuck it...


William Burroughs wrote,

Life is an entanglement of lies to hide its basic mechanism.


John Zerzan later wrote,

Civilization is a conspiracy of noise designed to cover up the uncomfortable silences.



“She will be fine but you need to go to the ER now.

Drive safely.

Do Not Speed.

She will be OK

But get to the ER. Now.

And Obey Traffic Laws.”


What have you done, sun and air?

Where have you gone, rock and stone. 

Where are you going?

I will call Poison control and try to be your rock. I suppose I signed up for this. 

You are almost everything to me.


Dunno dunno dunno


A few hundred MGs through a door I never wanted to open, 

with a couple of shots of Vodka 

and its Sylvia Plath poem 

in the kitchen 

during the early hours of a Saturday morning.

She knows she made a mistake. 


At the ER

Covid Constrictions conspire to keep me contained

Only one of us can go back with her



Charcoal Chomp?

Stomach suck?


I'm in the waiting room, I don't want the news

But I am not a patient boy


A teenage son wheels in his mother

She’s fucked up all right

Maybe more fucked up than my daughter

Someone tried to deliberately run her over

Bleeding ankle

Crushed leg

No hope left

“Get me my heat. Get me my Goddamned Heat.” She demands of her son.

“I’m going end it all right here. I’m going riot all up in this bitch. I’m going to get kicked out of this hospital also!”

“Mom, Mom, please stop talking, please.” Her tall teenage son bends over her wheelchair, pleading.

“Get me my fucking gun. I’m done. I can’t be here anymore.” She goes on.


I had wanted to continue to celebrate Trump’s Covid Diagnosis but instead and perhaps for the first time in well over a decade, the floodgates open and I surrender to an overwhelming rush of salty water.


Salt water. Sweat. Ocean. Tears. 


Through it all

I want you to know,

that I saw you try to comfort your Mum

as she begged for her gun

“Where’s my my heat! Bring me my heat.”





I saw you

hands in your hair

way beyond despair

being a man

as best you can

with the only tools

you had.




Swimming in smoke

Breathing in 

charcoaled trees

CS gas 

Covid droplets

Filtered through N95s

Once the air cleared

The first trip 

back to the beach

was sensory overload


Help them breathe


Vaccinate me, please.