Destination is not direction.

We changed the world today. We ate, didn’t we. Which means we reshaped landscapes with our stomachs, maybe even continents apart. We ran steel combs through hillsides and when it rains enough we caused mudslides and put money in someone’s back pocket today. Took a penny or two out of quite a few others. Couldn’t have taken them though, if they weren’t there to be taken. Mountains laid in ruins and massive bovines feet folded in acres of black mud. We changed it. Just drinking water from the ground. And eating food from the ground. And building shelter in the ground, stacked up as high as we can off the ground. It is really a beautiful thing. You can see us from space. At night, the city lights, look like bright yellow rashes. We have them on front of our cars. Above roads at the tops of poles. Strapped around our foreheads. An extra little light of mine in the glove compartment, just in case. We changed the world in a big way, just by being afraid of the dark.

Hiker noise 

Click. Chuff. Scrape. Tap. The left. Right. Left. Tick tick tapping canines while deep grinding molars together. Tsh, through lips, slips, ugh drum.

Ugh drum. And a hum. 

A hike is coming on strong right along.

Write alone. Up in the monster’s cove 

when he should behave

and sleep like how tired he is. 

Huh huh. And an ugh.

Snore like lions roar. Trick trick trick. 

Dud thud drops a mouse on the shelf. 

Being disgusting is its own form of stealth.

And no one can see where they don’t look.

Where a world of rodents gets left off the hook.

No one here fishes the shelters. 

They’re there though.

Boo. Says the wind. Booo. 

Says the bolted in ceiling.

Roof anchored down wears wind like a crown. 

While foreign shores try to snatch it away. 

This noise-chorus-full dark place we stay. 

On top of a mountain. 

Mount. Don’t know the name. 

Overlooking Burke’s Garden.

Where God got booked in. 

Gave over its thumbprint.

Just the same.

Mount. Sour Apples. 

Or Sour Apple Pond.


Out Here

All these letters in the alphabet. Every one is alive out here. 

Tall rooted t’s and unholy white o’s

in punctuated rows casting shade 

beneath the base of a great bright orange one. 

U bent creeks and double u springs,

bubble where, bubble up why, 

right into the bottle before dinner tonight.

X marks a place where two t’s met their fate 

and p’s and q’s and r’s and s’s

are scattered around like autumn leaves. 

This is where we learned to read. 

Where we scavenged language like food to eat.

Too late we learn it wasn’t food. 

And walked off long bark wrapped lists of options. 

Berries growing a’ la carte, ripe off the branch. 

Motivation. My friends.

Brains did not learn left to right and slowly down 

beneath disciplinarian hands and furrowed crowns.

But digging up brown. Swallowing worms with black finger nails and scratching around. 

Picking up putrid little p’s praying 

each one isn’t poisoned. 

Capitol G’s crawling lugging along their shells. 

All these letters in the alphabet. 

To taste, touch, see and smell. 

This is where we learned to eat. 

Out here. 

Looking for something to read.

Fish Scales

There’s an eclipse on. And action figures wearing backpacks
and no shirt on are running up mountains just to see the sun.
Grayson Highlands. Blue daughter feeling low if they miss it.

Too late to see a star fade too early.

I have a beautiful dog, or did you know?
We’re going south. And of course. You are north.
Neither any of us belong out here.
We carted along much of our nests and homes
and raided our parent’s pantries.
Or else none of us eats out here.
Drinks blue clear.
Stinks something fierce.
Just to get along. Movement.
Travel. Simplicity. Dressed up nomadic domesticity.
Wild. Shirtless. Short hair. Heavy pack. Like military types.

Hoping to reach a clearing before the sun does.

All of us almost, with obstacles between here and there.
Perfect hole punched in passed over paper.
Watching a little white yellow dot bend,
long and oblong against worn two by six.
We did not venture out here for this. And yet we did.
We are. Right here on the cusp of the world.

Watching planets play pool with our perspective.
Calling out pockets and sinking shots.
There’s an eclipse on.
People pulled toward it like metal to a magnet.
Like water to a center. Like tidewaters toward the moon.
Gigantic orbs rolling on through.
No different than any other day.

You the sun.
Me the earth.
And the moon.

Just a little something
between me and you.

Like my father says

I can not give up making sense.
Or achieving meaning.
Writing words like creating paths.
That lead somewhere.
Not always clear.
Not hardly simple.

But driven. Direct. Aimed.
I am not carelessly launching literary missiles.
Sharp piercing life plucking arrows off into distance.
Hopeful. For a kill, a mark, never laid eyes or aimed on.
Probably never found.

I am hunting bare hands loose emptied and ready.
Scent burns nostrils flared. Prepared. Eyes trucking.
Roaming, perceptive and quick.

Like my father says, searching out anomaly.

Anomaly: a strange twitch, click, crack, a short ways off.

Headlong plunged racing sprinting
motivation leaves frightened tracks in front of me.
Easily seen. I know always what it is I am after.
And more, I know what for. Why.

A hunt should start in hunger. Need. And never before.
A sword which I have already slid in sheaths.
Rattled bundle of arrows and a bent bow.

I want to know if there is another creature in the woods like me.
Even if I have to see it bleed.

Wisdom teething

Feeling of small.
Of ignored.
Of no help.

To no one at all.

Of hiding from none seeking.
Of not talking to God.

But singing.

Of pressure mounting against bleeding molars.
Of snipping red skin off the white sides of a torn tongue.
Of being young but not young, not grown.

But growing.

Of being too close to some impossible place.

To reach to quit. To need to quit.

Of wanting to.
Of knowing quitting is better than all options staring in your face.
Of only ever feeling home alone.

But even then, there,
feeling out of place.

A thing to end all things.

Wake to thoughts of Armageddon; a dissatisfying end to all things.
The thoughts that follow eerie revelation.
The broke-nature an event of this sort brings.
Carried to our doors. Sat heavy in sore hands.
The last of wanting nothing but more, finally.
Alive with the world. Not living off the land.

Leapt to make up a big frightening word for an ending.
Sunk chins rested depressed against fists, dented into chairs,
sad angry about a bitter name for a new beginning.

Creation, myth, confusion. Not a clear dramatic term, like Armageddon.
The end of things, rings and binding shackles, food and the plate
and the servant of a spoon, gone, with shoes, clothes altogether,
with pillows stuffed by bird’s feathers, life, in some weak sense,
a thing, an object, beaten broken, thoroughly germinated,
and dead, disappeared, alongside fears, hopes, joys,
alongside tiered mountainous buildings and cloud crowns
forming powerful arches and then torn apart.


A thing to end all things, or perhaps, things in general.
Not a conclusive end to all, but just one damned divisive wall,
tall built between people and places and the things we brought along.
Certainly these objects are not you. Or me, which would mean,
as sure as hell, parts of ourselves are tossed out in the trash.
Organs and resources external, external only to imagination.
An ego let go returns like a loyal dog, dead squirrel in its jaws,
a bribe, alive, to live like you own your world, preyed to hunt for,
played with the lifeless limp bodies of things you twirled, hurled,
threw away uneaten whole, apart from the shallow signatures of teeth.

No use, no purpose. To king mentality it is right to never be wrong.
Devour weak to feed strength, guilt, regret, these real emotions,
leftovers from a more sentimental time.
This is the era of the sentiphysical.
You and all others must keep your heads on. Awake.

Armageddon. The end of living for your own sake.
A world no longer your reward.
All things destroyed. And gone.
Nothing left in the world, yours.

What did Trent say? #oldjournals

I used to make myself write about headlines.
As if my perspective would be sought after some future day.
That some roguing scholar might say,
what all did Trent write on the bailout,
on this election, our first not full white president,
on Libya, Syria, Benghazi, the Mayan prediction,
the Iphone evolution, the social media revolution.

Well, I used to, but then,
I was writing to be the author I desired to be,
and not the one I am.

What do they call that, Indian Summer?

The sun stays summer hot even though autumn mornings have started.
It seems the season, from its heated theme, refuses to be parted.
One half the day will verify the time of year has changed,
and the last, sent sun coursing orange through fresh brushed breathy air,
will remain stiflingly familiar. For the next several years,
the seasons are not foretold by calendars.

Revisiting Victory #1

You’re not needed, little one.
Buzzing in my ear from too much sugar over the years.
Pick-pocketing pink petals and violet ones alike.
And white heads with yellow daylight eyes on straight green stems
moving in whatever wind. But we tolerate one another, for the moment.

That is how it goes, when you’re in a place you do not own.
Like that bald spot on top of Hump Mountain.
Like Doll Flats, burned a year or so ago.

A trail of rotten earth beaten beneath so many ignorant feet.
Counting miles.
Counting calories.
Counting pounds.
Cutting down.

You’re not needed little one.
You can not come along.

I say this to all of the world not already stuffed inside my backpack.

I can not carry you.