Deep cuts

More on melancholy:

Listening to music,


that was seminal

in my twenties.

The words

echoed back through memory,

trying to reinforce

the mood of those times;

they failed.


and experience

have rendered me numb

to these prior aspects.

I’m not sure

that I can be reached,

not by music, anyway…


These albums I listened to

on loop

are all like old photos

of people I once knew:

I recall the moments,

But not why they mattered.


Remember unto thee, this

The lights,

they twinkle,

they shine,

they enchant….

The music, it entraps,

confines and reminds:

this is the season

that we reconnect

(whether by need,


or familial force)

with our past….

Embrace and engage this thing,

even if it stings,

because, as sunsets lengthen,

you will certainly recall

only these tiny moments

that once brought


but now carry forth

the burden

of melancholy

and nostalgia,

joy and cheer…

the holidays….

Revealed in frost

I’d let my mind wander

to the times that were

but I’d be afraid

of what’s in my mind.

I’d discover

all the flaws,

and the frauds,

that I have become

in the ruins

that I would find.

I’d rather wander

in the dark

always unaware,


in the naivete

of the here-and-now

(buried like some pained

expression pulled from my face).

Now every winter


like leaves left on the tree

stands out, in stark contrast,

like all the things

I promised I would be.

I’ll say it doesn’t matter,

that out on the horizon

is some solution,

but I know it’s not of my making

and that there’s simply

no truth in it.

Later, with winter settled-in,

and used to this malaise

I’ll cast my thoughts forward

once again

to the promise of Future Days.

I’ll let this placate me,

take me somewhere soft

and nice

and I’ll pretend I’ve set

a plan in place…

wouldn’t that be nice?

Sundays…… and so on

Some great songs

from 30 years ago

(thanks prime)

and my mind reels 

at the conversion

from youth

to ruin…


drama aside, 

it feels that sudden. 

Yesterday I popped

that singular cassette

into my dumpy car 

(a car more loved 

than any “far-better” car

I have owned since) 

and watched the world

reveal itself  to me

while inviting me

to the glories of a youth




my four-year-old seems intrigued

by the music

of yesterday. 


or older…

It sucks,

and the perspective gained

goes ignored. 


I get older, 

(and it’s insidious)

and I find that

the holidays

slip further

and further

from my grasp. 

All the traditions,

the narratives of my youth,

traipse before me

like a parade

of mockeries

designed to fasten me 

to a world

that no longer


I bathe in these motifs,

even as I puzzle

how to manifest them

for my son. 

I don’t know…

maybe it’s a few too many beers,

(and melancholy loves a buzz)

but I get wistful and jealous

of these ghosts that haunt me.

It’s Christmas

and I’m reaching out

to snatch at its foggy edges

and draw back to me

some semblance

of place. 

The reason

Christmas always brings
a strange mix of joy
and melancholy.
Early in the season
I anticipate,
and look forward,
with fondness
and warmth.
As the weeks before
become just days
I find apprehension.
The mood is one
of having let someone down.
I need no gifts,
and the saturation of family
is often too much.
I look,
to the unfiltered joy
in my little boy’s eyes
and see solace.
His enthusiasm is honest,
and unaltered
by the burdens of adulthood.
He has a fervent desperation
for each twinkling light,
each sighting of, “Santa!”
He has returned to me
the unjaded perspective
of the season,
he holds up a mirror
to my prior joy
and shows me
what I had forgotten…
so now Christmas
can be Christmas
once again.

I cannot share what i don’t have

H. is coming back tomorrow,

by train.

Link by link



I’m sure the trip

has all the romance

of a cattle car

passing through

every lonely boon-dock,


run-down depot

between lost-towns

and sorry boom-time memories.

I want to see irony in it,

but I don’t think there is any.

I love seeing her,

it eases my mind;

no apologies for that,

it just does:

she’s my placebo.

I am happy to take it,

knowing of nothing else

that works as well.

It comes as a simple truth:

she’s my best friend,

and centering ballast.

That’s what makes not having her heart

so damn hard.