Redux.

bare bones in the sunlight,
fear was our chariot,
now we’re dripping in hope.
break it down brick by brick,
tears of joy streaming down your face like fresh squeezed juice in the summertime.
bury me 10 feet deep, so I can finally get a good night’s rest when it all ends.
the crowd can carry on and play numb,
but there’s no respite when the morning comes
and morning’s come.

The Age of Dissonance

What does it mean to be?

Sick of the same sad flow, everyday another social media post accompanied by half-hearted captions,

painstaking math executed just to capture beauty, creativity, authenticity – when none of it is truly real.

news laden with celebrity worship – I say that as kneel at the altar of a few false idols myself and bring them burnt offerings of flesh and compliments.

It’s an accomplishment just to stay afloat through this pandemic, let alone in a state where Proud Boys have stormed the capitol six weekends in a row,

In protest of nothing, if they took the time to read through the evidence.

“Anti-fascist” is a simple enough concept yet it incites fear and anger in some – confusing, since wars were fought and won to ensure the world was free of fascism.

Peek through the shades, forced to wake up early on Sundays, Navy blue dress pants and scuffed shoes,

Cracks in the tile and chipping paint on the walls are all I could ever focus on from my seat in the pews.

The cracks, the chips, are all I can see now when I close my eyes.

I blink and relief washes over me like a tidal, all-consuming, cleansing.

Safe and sound for now, but still uncertain of what it means to be

successful as another cog in the wheel,

happy in a corrupt capitalist system,

awake through the chaotic, endless nightmare that is striving for the American dream.

Imperium

Have you found your power yet?

Spent years searching for mine in the heart of some rebellion or another. A declaration, a fix, a lover.

Spent this summer marching through the streets, screaming for every black life snuffed out too soon.

Police, the Guard, and their guns couldn’t frighten us.

Slept for days until that unrelenting hunger, the flicker of the flame that once burned bright deep in the pit of my unconscious re-ignited itself.

Cleansed my mind, my body, my home with frankincense and scalding water.

Past indiscretions played out in loops like graduation tapes, but that sick, sad, nostalgia for times filled with high anxiety and melodrama is long dead and buried.

No need to be the loudest voice in the room, when the room quiets for you when you speak.

This mind, this body is my empire,
it’s crossed rivers and mountains and learned to transcend the inconsequential.

I see now that the wisdom earned through tragedies, both great and small losses of the past IS my power,

And this is my finest hour, there can be no doubt about that now.

Clad in my only armor,
blood, sweat, and courage.

Lavender Menace

I remember catching glimpses of it growing up,
brazenly displayed on the shelves of little indie book shops –
Butt Magazine,
a title so queer and unapologetic my pulse raced.

the covers graced by models captured raw/hairy/nude and always smiling unabashed.
long before I knew I was their brethren,
they called out to me,
artists, poets, musicians, all queer men.

and now that I have grown
the time has arrived like a rite of passage,
a collection of their greatest hits living on the coffee table,
all my very own.

Almost 30

Let your mind roam

to all the places you were never meant to go

all the rules you’ve broken

Non, je ne regrette rien

not a single lover or friendship laid to rest –

not a breathless night lost in karaoke

cursing, crying, drowning pain in whiskey

dancing in the wilderness

wild child running through the city

For that’s the charm of growing up

there are no real mistakes

just research

as we descend (into madness)

read me, scrawled out like half-finished poetry living in the margins of your favorite book

leave me – tea stained, dog earred, worn and re-examined like its pages

take me, as once I was, am now, and will be
there is no in between, no settling
(recite it like an oath)

poison dripping from their tongues as they kiss our feet yet inside they’re all just dying to feel some semblance of complete

rapt from the moment you walked in
fear no man and no opinion

letting your love abound instead of waiting for the world to love you