Sensitive Subject

I want to love
a brave woman
a smart woman
a playful woman

I want to embrace
the universe
of joy and sorrow
alive and well
within the soul
of a single woman

but my body is afraid
of being
hurt again

after years of writing
about suffering
and surviving trauma

my body remains
a sensitive subject

My Happy Place

it’s where the sidewalk ends
prematurely
like my youth

it’s where I lost
my marbles

it’s where I sleep
like a baby
sawing wood

my happy place
remains so vast
you can’t find it
like a needle
in a knapsack

this is the best stanza
I wrote last night
in my happy place:

“tie forget-me knots
to a paradox before
graduate schools of fish
watch me sink
or swim in the deep
end of knowledge”

it’s an exclusive club
my happy place—
no pricks allowed
except the dick I think with

Chronic Pleasure

grief derails
my train
of thought

my shadow
sees a light
at the end
of the tunnel

being sad
makes me
happy

and I know it
clap my hands

wouldn’t it be nice
to feel
chronic pleasure

I asked a doctor
of philosophy
dumbstruck
and down
on bad luck

she smiled
as if to say
go fuck yourself

Blank Sage

burn all
the books
I wrote
on a whim
and a prayer

I am nothing
more than
a blank sage

tired of being
human

tired of sitting
alone
with my thoughts

to the one
who hurt me
I say:

hold this poem
near an open flame
catch your soul on fire

Be Not Afraid

I’m a humble fish
In a coy pond
At the edge
Of a river
Where the wind
Runs wild.

Fish is a noun.
Fish is a verb.

I’m a man
Speaking
Like a fish
Out of water.

No. Wait.
I’m silence
In motion.
A blank sage.

Neither noun
Nor verb
Nor fish:
A blank sage.

I’m a thin blade
Of short grass
At the edge
Of a river
On the verge
Of collapse.

But I’m not afraid.
For I have fallen
Apart before.

Yet here I am.
With you.
Be not afraid.

All together
Here we are.
Be not afraid.

Carry My Soul

Depression = Anxiety wants to end Anxiety.
Once and for all.

Mania = Anxiety is up all night.
Perfecting a poem about Anxiety.

PTSD = Anxiety hurts Anxiety.
Anxiety blames himself for creating Anxiety.

This is how
My day begins.

This is how
My life goes
Wrong.

This is how
I fall apart.

Trying to control
Forces out of my control.

Trying to control
My need to control
Forces out of my control.

This is how
My body grows
Too weak
To carry
My soul.

How To Fall Apart

Be the perfect student
The perfect employee
The perfect perfectionist

Everyone needs to like you
Everyone needs to know
You’re smart and kind
And organized and in control

Sacrifice joy to maintain
The illusion you’ve got
Everything under control

Happiness hurts
You need to feel safe
You know it’s impossible
To always feel safe
Yet all you want
Is to always feel safe

You have a body
Protect your body
Scan your body
Is your body safe?

Don’t let anyone
Hurt your body

Be a robot
The perfect robot
A robot has no body
A robot needs no body

God I Doubt

Does God believe in God?
Does God believe in me?

God I doubt believes in me
God I doubt believes in me

Does God believe in God?
Does God believe in me?

God I doubt believes in me
God I doubt, believe in me

Small Apologies

I’m sorry
For saying
I’m sorry
All the time

I really need
A hobby
Other than saying
I’m sorry
All the time

I’m sorry
For taking
A moment
Of your time

I really need
A hobby
Other than saying
I’m sorry
All the time

Falling In Love

My mind needs to unwind
My soul needs to breathe

My mind needs to unwind
My soul needs to breathe

My mind needs to unwind
My soul needs to breathe

Sex is easy
Try falling in love

Try falling in love
Try falling in love

Sex is easy
Try falling in love

Prop Comic

Wearing a plaid flannel shirt and bright orange wig,
My father, who looked a lot like Carrot Top,
Confronted me on stage in the middle of my act
And said enough is enough,
He was canceling my allowance.

“Dammit, Gallagher,” he said,
“Six years in stand-up school,
You’re still a prop comic?”

Right then and there, adding to the tension,
An audience member, the dean of a local clown college,
Popped a weasel, my favorite balloon animal.

Now I play the role of a normal person
With regular adult needs and I’m dead
Serious.