Drops of cold sweat are
Needle tracks on my skin
What am I feeding in this
Frenzy of flavors
This gluttonous isolation
A consumptive energy of
My chained desires
I am a repetition in
A demanding masquerade
Confused by my empty hands
A face whose name
Is something I have forgotten
And arms open like a question
Whispered into the darkness


Fifty shades of grey

Our winters here are not gay —
A somber time of year
Our winter’s fifty shades of grey
The wind will take your breath away
And bite into your ear

The snow, the branches, and the sky
All bound in pewter chains
Crescendo, more and then, oh my,
Some pine for scorching of July
Although it’s all in vain

The birds they eat and eat some more
They’re never satisfied
I give them sunflower seeds galore
I am enslaved forevermore
To keeping them alive

And they are grey and hawks are grey
Grey feathers on the white
Quick as a slap the gore display
I have to turn my head away
One gone and one alive

It’s not a dog-eat-dog revenge
It’s winter in these parts
The food chain has its own clench
Millennial wisdom may seem strange
To unaccustomed hearts

But all these fifty shades of grey
They blanket me with grace
I do not long to be away
I love my winter’s mean bouquet
And that, my friend, is ace

What doesn’t exist

Cuts in my eyes
Swallow me whole
I cannot advise
To have or to hold

Old apron with stains
Wraps around like a porch
I cannot attain
This state that you search

My mind is made up —
I do have a mind —
But knowing it is
Like peeling a rind

My heart is made up
Even though it is cold
I gaze here amazed
At what has been sold

So simple I sit
By the candle’s last flame
And meagerly fit
Into this squalid frame

I cannot deny that
I’m party to this
But how do I open
What doesn’t exist?

As real

Your pen is red
Your eyes are sad
Your doubt fills
Me full of dread

I hold my tongue
Suspended dream
As real as
I’ve ever seen

The river runs
Behind my back
And cuts into
My sense of black

Behold the dawn
That dreaded spawn
It finds me with
My blue bells on

I cannot breathe
This air of yours
You make me doubt
The universe

A broken dream
Drowned in a stream
As real as
I’ve ever seen

Dream rap, or A mime with a big mouth

Sunset cuts me in two
I don’t have a clue as to what
I can do that’s new
That hasn’t been done before
Grab the oar and paddle
Until you find your fate on a dime
Bring me a rhyme because there’s no time
When things start turning
And I am lost in a dream snoring
Scoring some average accolades
But not boring you to tears
Buying you beers and hoping
Against hope we can still get near
Enough to jump without falling
(Yes, I am just stalling)
Lucky I am not bawling my eyes out
Strolling through your gut feelings
In my flip-flops
Slapping the ground as I pound
The pavement
With my sound
(Somebody save me!)
The future couldn’t be huger
I don’t want to crash like a luger
On an icy curve and I don’t deserve
To unnerve you with my pleas
Down on my knees
Don’t go please
Just stick it out until
In a crowd you spot the damned mime
Talking out loud and
All is revealed
My fate is sealed on a dime
By a mime with a big mouth

History teaches

I am taking an essay writing class for the next 10 weeks. So I may from time to time post either entire essays or excerpts from essays that I write. Here is the first excerpt:

It should have been a clue that my favorite part of studying for the MCAT was not the sense of purpose, but my emerging artistic impulse. I bought a pad, a charcoal and a sturdy eraser and, books pushed to the side, worked tirelessly on portraits of Katherine Hepburn and Billie Holiday, copying from black-and-white postcards I’d bought at the bookstore. I had never thought of myself as artistic. My childhood attempt at drawing ended with ridicule. I learned that errors were prohibitively costly, their risks unacceptable. But now on weekends, in the solitude of my apartment, my eye was drawn to the geometry of light and dark, the secret symmetries of the faces, their interplay of subtly contradictory emotions. Both portraits captured luminosity, courage to be seen. The charcoal in my fingers was moving on the page like a planchette on a ouija board. I would draw until the last vestiges of daylight were swallowed by darkness, and then I’d study a little.