No Caskets, Please

Posted: January 18, 2017 in writing

​I want to be cremated. Put me in a wasabi peas tin or some shit. I have a Hello Kitty lunch box… That would work, too. And don’t have a funeral; throw a fucking rager. Pot luck that bitch. Get shit faced. Play music. Be weird. 

I’m not trying to die or anything… But don’t put me in a fancy upholstered box in the cold ground. Just don’t. I’ve been alone in boxes feeling 6 feet under enough during my life.


Posted: January 13, 2017 in writing

I am not myself;

I am shattered bits of a heart

Which loved the wrong people. 

I am a lightening storm

Even on a sunny morning;

I am the charred remains

Of a structure fire,

Black ashes and twisted metal and




Passed on a once-proud face. 

I cannot erase the rough, pink scars he left in my memory

Or the way his callous voice sticks in my head

Like a glue trap.

I healed wrong. 


Posted: January 1, 2017 in writing

Ten years–

It hit her like a big, broad locomotive on a track somewhere.

It had been ten years,

Or approximately that long,

Because–almost certainly–not to the exact day

Ten years since she’d left that little one-horse town,

Duffel packed and slung in the truck bed,

Skies widening as she emerged from the opressive, claustrophobic cover of the Ozarks

Like a butterfly escaping a chrysalis. 
Without hesitation, she’d embraced the next life.

A year in the woods was quite enough.

Just one more year existing among strangers, she kid herself, one more year and I can go find a home

A decade later, of course, she scoffed at her young optimism,

But appreciated how it had motivated her. 

Ten years out of the woods and she was still–

Or rather, again–no closer to a better situation. 

And here she was; dredging up a piece of the past.

A facebook friend request approved with a total lack of hesitation,

Some sort of hopefully good person on the end of that,

Because another lousy, unpresent person was the last thing her life needed. 

Even her best friend phoned less than monthly. 

There was a constant influx of random internet acquaintances,

But nothing ever quite satiated the chasm where

Actual social interaction was needed. 

And a decade later, here was a person she’d hardly thought of in those years,

But always as kind and friendly. 


She’d found herself unable to muster the courage

To try to be around anyone kind, before. 
Before, when they had every opportunity to be friends,

But chose only to be aquaintances.

Before, in the world of High School, where if someone with tits even smiled at someone with a penis , it would be rumored that they were fucking. 

Before, when they were different people; young and stupid. 
And now they owned a more seasoned young and stupid.

Both purposeless drops in a vast ocean, or a sea, or maybe just a lake,

But Hell, it seemed so big and black and directionless. 

Some sort of question mark pulsing like a waning motel vacancy sign within each of them; 

No real undercurrent to be found. 

The tired result of a generation lacking true opportunity despite its institutionalized optimism.

The sort of generation, which, due to its all-consuming disappointment in a meager reality

Had revolutionized the sale and production of wine.

Because, when your peer group is told by every prior generation to stop whining, 

They begin wining. 
It’s oddly comforting: the feeling one gets while drinking alone

With another, fifty-something miles apart.

Glass after glass of wine while she turned pages

And no telling what he drank or did,

But it was both comforting and less lonely all the same. 

And maybe that was where she messed up; getting comfortable. 
Because she hadn’t considered what she’d looked like to him

Eleven years before, as a shadow, huddled against a bus window that August,

Some new face with a wardrobe not so unlike Tim Burton’s.

Did she look as terrified as she felt?

Of course, he’d seemed to her some impossibly popular designated smart kid
With a side of boredom-inspired smart ass. 

And this one time,  he took his shirt off on the bus

And this one time, he brought a bucket of ice cream for breakfast and shared it

And this one time, he convinced her and a few others to jump out the emergency door at the back. 
That. That exact sort of quality was what she needed more of in her life; 

A little spontaneity with a dash of caution-to-the-wind thrown in. 

That quality was not exactly prevalent in him now,

A more world-weary worker bee

With ghosts in his eyes and scars on his heart.

He was still kind, though. 

Possibly even kinder. 

And that was okay. 

She would learn to become those things; the things she needed. 

Maybe he’d be along for that journey. 
If not, it was no loss of hers. 

On Giving

Posted: December 7, 2016 in writing

​People only want to give you their designated, trademarked, read-the-fine-print  little worlds. It’s not a world I want…. A given world, a world with indentured gratitude. 

I want an earned world; a world I carve out for myself. And if anyone else enters it, they need to be a partner, not a benevolent benefactor who stoops so low as to provide… 

                                                      ….to give.


Posted: December 7, 2016 in writing

​Took my car to the shop. 

Fingers crossed, 

heart breaking, 

wallet shaking in fear. 

​When you’re poor, your worst fear is losing even the crappiest job or vehicle. You don’t get to “quit and find something better”; you have to find something better and then quit.  My worst nightmare is not being able to pay my bills. I’ve managed to scrape together enough space on credit cards to save my credit score for years, but I worry about what will happen the day I can’t even when I’m trying my hardest to. 

I don’t learn to do my own car work because it interests me; it interests me because it saves me money. Even on small things, it is always cheaper to do it myself, but know-how is not something I have been fortunate enough to be equipped with. 

Every time I’ve been on my own, my savings has shrunk to zero. Something happened like not being able to find a job for months or one of my rabbits breaking her leg and requiring medical attention (which put me on a canned-and-ramen-soup budget for a while) or a microwave/dryer bursting into flames. And then the smallest thing could cost me my ability to pay my bills. Some jobs will fire you for taking a sick day. Some jobs will fire you for taking a day off at all, and if you have car work to be done and 12-hour shifts or maybe 2+ jobs… Many people wind up homeless or in debt. I wind up back with my parents. In credit card debt. 

And before anyone tells me I should “just work full-time”… I’ve made more money working 2 part time jobs because even when you’re ft, even when you’re poor, now, your company can force you to accept their insurance plan, which takes maybe 30, maybe 150 out of your pay for the month, even if you’re poor enough to qualify for free insurance. And if I lose a ft job, that’s it. All my eggs were in that one basket and I lost that bet. I don’t have enough savings to get laid off or to pay extra out of my check each month for an insurance plan I don’t need because I qualify for a free one. Paying for insurance out of your check when you’re poor is like working a whole day or so per month… For free. Paying union dues can be like working half a shift per month for free. 

You have to have money to save money. It’s absolutely true. It’s a mad, mad world full of little things that could end someone’s whole world in two words “you’re fired.” “it’s broken.” “payroll error.” “I’m sick.” “laid off.” “cut hours.”

No money.


Posted: September 14, 2016 in writing

​Any person who thinks they are better than other people isn’t. 

No qualification for superiority is worth anything if not accompanied by humility. 
Where I once strove to be intelligent, I now strive to be helpful; where I once prioritized knowledge, I now value wisdom. 

And someday, if I work very hard at it, I may even be kind.


Posted: September 14, 2016 in writing

​I think sadness is the deepest emotion,

Happiness is the lightest,

Anger is the strongest

And fear is the darkest.

Posted: July 23, 2016 in writing

I miss California rain; warm mist in soft breezes, drumming on the fiberglass porch roof, dark marks on the hood of my sweatshirt, soaked up gleefully by parched earth, rivulets to cement drainage on street corners and ravines. 

I miss Hawaii rain; thick, cold sheeting downpour that steams the hot roads with rolling billows of white under street lamps, slick and juicy over red dirt and green everything else, the only winter the island knows. 

Arkansas rain is natural disasters, swelling bayous, obese river, merciless grey and flooded drainage ditches choking roads. Arkansas rain is groaning thunder and tornado sirens; nature’s discontent. 


Posted: July 3, 2016 in writing
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Some months ago, I slammed my thumb in your car door after a long night of drunken kareoke. It blood-blistered right at the base of the nail; a merlot that deepened to a malbec even though we’d mostly drunk beer that night–in pitchers. I think it was PBR. 

We’d had the worst conversations that night; the “I didn’t mean what I’ve been saying” conversations, the “I can’t think of you that way” ones. We all but licked the envelopes for our resignation letters that night. It was over. 

I couldn’t sleep next to you, on that air mattress. I threw on my sweatshirt, put the hood up and stretched out face-up on your bare living room floor, contemplating for the remaining hours whether it was really over. 

For seven years we’d been each other’s only constant: keeping each other’s deepest secrets, standing by one another with unwavering loyalty, always reminding anyone adverse that “even good people sometimes do horrible things”.

But, oh, the horrible thing you did to me, I finally found unforgivable. 

The red grew out of my thumbnail and the jagged edge where it had split apart on impact is growing smoother by the day. Soon, it will look completely normal. Soon, I will be without the constant reminder of the night our friendship became an alka-seltzer tablet in a cup that was both half full and half empty.