why does sadness stay with us longer than happiness?

As humans,
we're programmed to experience negative emotions
more intensely than positive ones.

I remember particularly nice days, obviously,
but when I think of life-changing moments,
it's always the worst experiences that come to mind first.

Why do poets point to trauma more than the moon?
I still sometimes think about Kendra Jean,
even though it happened years ago.

Of course, it’s totally OK to hold on to bad memories,
but why do they stick with us so much more than good ones?
Is sorrow just a stronger emotion than joy?

There are weeks where decades happen,
joy is less likely to represent danger,
which is why we are less likely to deal with it emotionally.

Many people haven’t learned to celebrate joy,
but I want to celebrate joy more than sorrow,
so I am making changes to do just that.

Processing a negative emotion like heartbreak
can take quite a bit of work,
but I am gonna stay up at night thinking about joy instead.


Confirmatoon

I had a dream about Alice's Tea Cup,
so I went uptown,
only to be transported
to another life,
but only for a glimpse;
oh, how I wish I could touch it.

Youth with a spoon!

The pizza place is gone,
and there is a Whole Foods
where Anthony Bourdain used to live;
luckily he isn't alive to see this.

All the hobos I used to know
are gone, probably dead,
but hopefully they just walked south
to Key West 
like I used to tell them
as I flipped pennies
into their coffees. 

Confirming a cartoon!

I wish time travel existed
just to visit minutes
to see what they were really like
versus what we remember;
I'd carry her laundry longer,
and maybe I would be stronger. 

Meet me on 17th street,
and let's pretend it's 2010;
I know that's not the correct year,
but it kinda rhymes
and it's before our time,
so maybe we don't have to forget
the regrets,
but just dance around them. 

Poems are slight time travel!

But only on clear mornings,
after I've seen that you still
read this shit,
wondering why,
then remembering
you are a time traveler, too. 

True Poem

Remember, kids:
Poems are fiction, too.
And song lyrics;
People have trouble with this one. 


Leave nothing but poems

When I was 18,
I worked the summer after high school
in a parking garage
in old San Juan.

My sister's boyfriend's folks
owned a few businesses 
in Puerto Rico,
and that's how I got the gig. 

Looking back,
he was probably
just trying 
to get rid of me.

That summer was outstanding,
because all I did was chase Latin girls,
drink Heinekens,
and work without paying rent.

The drinking age is 18 in PR,
but I am now 40,
and I don't drink,
and I am paying for a fancy hotel.

So I write on the beach
in the mornings,
and walk the town
in the afternoon.

I found a poetry place,
where I stashed
some of my books
and sat in on an open mic.

But I did not read
or talk to any of the pretty girls,
because I didn't want to disturb 
this world, taint it in any way. 

When you stare at el morro 
at night you’ll notice
how massive night is when
you're voluntarily lonely.

I always said
I wanted to come back
and see a different side
of the island's beauty. 

Happily, along with two tour guides—
Adam Santiago and Ruben—
I found it's reality,
because reality is what I desire these days. 

Wherever I wander, 
my spirit still dwells,
in the silvery San Juan with its streamlet and dells,
or back to Brooklyn, Florida, or hell.


Poem

every day 
I pray
that if
I run
into you
I am with 
a beautiful girl.

wear what ya got, roll what you rocked, nothing ever lasts in this thick briar patch

don't take my word for it,
don't take my will to live,
I haven't felt safe since 2007

"I would rather be a symbol
of a man who makes mistakes,
perhaps, but a man who loves."

Then: Pandemic poetry.
a melodrama adapted from the novel
by Carson McCullers 2.0.

these thoughts, they are formless;
there's snow and death and poetry in them,
but they make sense to me.

that's all that matters,
along with the Angus & Julia soundtrack,
as Friday turns to Saturday.

another day done,
but at least this is pretty damn fun,
making it up as I go along. 


too much content to be content

I am happy, but...

Between all the travel—
fatherhood in Florida,
being an artist in Brooklyn—
the poetry, the podcast,
never-ending laundry, 
never-ending dishes, 
never-ending garbage,
day jobs, night gigs,
heartbreak, headaches,
attempting to workout,
editing the novel,
submitting the novel,
reading, writing,
listening to lots of music, 
watching movies, shows...

...happiness is an uneventful event.


Trouble

Skylar is a bondswoman
from down in Florida,
who hit me up
looking for trouble in Brooklyn.

So I took her to Paul Gee's,
The Moonlight Mile,
places I know from this life
and the last. 

She got drunk,
I did not.
She slept in my bed,
I barely dreamed.

The next morning,
she put me inside of her,
sex becoming a practical fallback 
between friends who are sad. 

We went to breakfast at Early,
not discussing the cum,
but I wondered if this
is what she meant when she asked for trouble. 

We went to WORD,
and both bought books
that will remind us
of this trouble forever. 


Moving on...

I forget
if I ever loved
anyone else.

KJ's eyes were like first prize
these are hard times
but she carries on by.

I'm a mess
I'm obsessed
and I'll never love anyone else.

Call it kismet, a respite from existential dread, whatever you choose, Dan Mangan was meant to be on our podcast, and it took a few tries, but we got him and this episode slaps, just like his new album, Being Somewhere!


If/When

If I am murdered,
please don't make up lies about me.

I do not light up a room.
Everyone doesn't want to be my friend.
People don't automatically take notice of me.

I have a smart mouth,
four friends,
a dozen books,
and a daughter.

Tell 20/20 this
when I am murdered. 

Thanks, Annie Dillard, I feel seen.

The Jig is Up

when she texts you
referring to her drama
with a guy as a 
"Kendra Jean" situation,
you know the jig is up...

that's what happen
with Lauren Grace yesterday,
when she was supposed to meet me
at the punk rock show. 

what could I do?
I can't be mad at her. 
I would do the same thing.
and maybe this is why I love her. 

she gets it,
and there is no bullshit
pretense about forever,
because we are each other's now. 

sure, we talk poetry 
and music,
but our hearts and minds
are elsewhere. 

and that is okay,
because life is short,
and we all need a respite
from the existential dread.

even if it is
someone else's bed,
just for some solidarity
and some head. 


How do you honestly feel when someone writes a poem for/about you?

As if painting
a funeral in your heart,
is it taking ghostwriting too far?

it can be an honor
to take up space
in a place
where someone creates.

I wouldn't know,
I've only written poems
for others to burn. 


penny for your thoughts, poetry for your heart

"The only true currency in this bankrupt world
is what you share with someone else when you're uncool.
"
- Lester Bangs

You meet thousands of people 
and none of them really touch you.
and then you meet one person 
and your life is changed forever.

Without hope or agenda,
I love you more than I have ever found a way to say.
I'd rather try
than deal with the afterthoughts.

Songs for the soul,
opportunity for threat.
True love spinning on the turntable, 
false hope stuck on the end groove.

RIP Charles Simic 🕯️

P.S. I am a scorpio.

it's weird being the same age as old people. 

Poem 

poem

poem

poem

stuff

life.

i wanna be a mystery.

other stuff.

poem.

life.

but I am probably a comedy. 

it's 2023, so can't I identify as anything I want?

in that case, I want to be…

I don't know what I want to be.

only what I don't want to be.

I don't want to be me all the time.

sometimes I need a fucking break.

today I identify as a boring bro.

tomorrow I will be a lazy freak. 

other stuff.

poem.

life.

me.

Always.

But not forever.



Alas! The onion you are eating is someone else's water lily.

Your weekly mixtape of fresh music.
Enjoy new music and deep cuts picked for you.
Updates every Monday. 
Thanks, Spotify.

Each song provides the opportunity 
for something new, and I like new.

Sure, next-door neighbor,
I will help you build
a basketball hope
on a Sunday in January.

Say yes to even
the unfun. 

Sure, life,
I will lend my hammer,
but I can't give you
my hope.

One person's mistake
is another person's Monet.


No Puns on the Weekend

Every Saturday I sleep in
and forget how it is,
just how it is.

I wake and read Chen Chen,
at least for today,
I watch Jules and Jim,
that's just how it is. 

I think about
my high school gym
for some reason,
that's just how it is. 

Not checking work emails,
not writing poems,
just how it is. 


A Morrissey shirt says a lot about a person

I think about death
when I clean.

Last week it was the fridge.
This week it's the closet. 

The difference is the food
being thrown out is gross.
While the shirts and pants
are mostly fine aside from fit
and a forgotten fondness.

Taking stock of the shelves,
recycling the wire hangers.
Keeping count of the years
and the dangers down the line.

Wondering will I be 
the first of the gang to die? 
But Kyle beat me to it,
and I toss the mixed greens, of course. 

Debating the Morrissey shirt,
for reasons of regret, both ways. 

Windex won't wipe away
these doldrums and dust.

The Privilege of Leaving

When we met
I was searching
for the lost privilege
of getting to decide
how to arrange my life.

I knew I wanted you,
and I wanted to go
to that furthest extent,
chasing young love again,
reconciling with myself.

What I saw in you
was a change of fates,
a retreat from the noise,
but also a beautiful soul
ripe with muse-like inspiration.

I’d felt that feeling before,
the crossroads of my displacement,
the capitalism of time
clashing with the currency of people,
but never who love and ultimately leave.

I was leaving you
well before you could leave me,
even and especially
while escaping my previous life,
boing back and then exiting again.

The trouble with leaving
is it means arriving some other place,
and the least I could do
was hold that knowledge
and let it complicate the experience

To write about it now,
however small these words may be
against history,
is to revisit 
but to revisit one must also leave.

Lastly, leaving is never ending
because when you stop leaving
you stay
and that has its own consequences
but I am still here.

The place between staying
and leaving
is called longing,
and that is where I will reside
for the rest of my life.


there's always room in the Atlantic

the romance and nostalgia
of the holidays are gone.

the hope of hearing her voice
has turned back into fear
of never hearing it again. 

if I could act,
I would not have to be
a writer. 

I never learned to serve
a volleyball overhead,
and this seemed important
when I was a kid. 

there must always be room
for improvement, 
especially with love. 

don't drown today,
on what could be 
coughed up tomorrow. 

the only important things
are the important things,
just ask class rings. 


Shannon Avenue

say again
this place.

hide again
the horizon.

"Luke, I am your father."
- Tommy Callahan 

bring the beast
to the bone.

the truth is broken
at my funny feet.