What does it cost a man stuck in the middle of Lost His Way? September 18, 2016Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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When I hear Jackson Browne sing “These Days” today
The mournful tone is packed with meaning missing in the seventies.
Rivers of doubt cascade through me and I’m a salmon struggling upstream
with more than sixty years in my ruck sack, it’s a woeful burden.
Who can help a man in the middle of Lost His Way?
A black hat and purple bandana make him walk out of yesterday
but to hear him speak you believe he’s fresh as today.
How much would you give to eavesdrop on what he will say?
When Seattle and Rainier were in my rear view I could sigh deeply.
I was driving an Oldsmobile Alero rental from the Portland airport
And I told the state trooper I couldn’t get back to Chicago too quickly
He was from Wheaton, he understood, but I paid a fine before I could deport.
How does a man get stuck in the middle of Lost His Way?
A blue suede vest and chartreuse shirt make him look like a scene from yesterday
and to hear him speak you believe he’s dusting off today.
What’s it worth to eavesdrop on anything he has to say?
When I heard Neil Young sing “Falling Off The Face Of The Earth”, I was there.
Gravity seemed to be the only thing holding me in place
because an incident occurred between me and a company au pair
so you will totally understand why I had to run just to save face.
What does it cost a man stuck in the middle of Lost His Way?
Faded flare blue jeans with a motorcycle chain belt are all in play
and alligator boots kick more colorful than Oxfords in gray.
How’d you feel about eavesdropping on anything he’d say?
When I saw a pair of high chairs in the kitchen I realized the world had changed.
My wife was seated, and calmly pointed to the bedroom, “They’re all yours.”
I was pretty sure I was in the wrong place, things were rearranged,
but I knew when I sobered up I’d remember where life took its detours.
It started to feel like our time began again September 9, 2016Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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“Don’t try me. That last good nerve is gone,”
She glared like I was an unrepentant child.
I lit a cigarette thinking what else could go wrong?
A day was beginning and it was going wild.
Years before we would sit on a park bench
Arm wrestle over religion and politics casually.
Now anger has trumped common sense
And we’ll be another statistic, a marital casualty.
Puffing out smoke rings I couldn’t help but smile,
And she flared, “So you think this is funny, boy?”
I replied, “You know I’m with you, I’ll go the next mile.”
She was skeptical like me agreeing was a ploy.
Putting out the cigarette on the bottom of my shoe
I lifted my hands in mock surrender hoping for a break.
She tilted her head like “what are we supposed to do?”
“Breakfast!” I call, “We need to eat, for Pete’s sake!”
Tension broke and I heard a taxi honk behind us.
She gave a begrudging smile and I held out my hand.
I was about to open the door when I saw the 151 Sheridan bus
And she said, “Let’s grab the bus and ride it down to Grand.”
The cabbie was pissed, but we boarded laughing.
We passed Water Tower and bounced down Michigan.
She said, “No time for this sacrilegious pouting,”
And it started to feel like our time just began again.
I won’t lose my serenity at dawn August 22, 2016Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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We all begin anew at the break of each day
without penchants and prejudices obstructing our view,
and I have opportunity to drive away what I should’t say,
breathing risk of the majestic along with morning dew.
There’s another side of life I heard talk about
and today will be my turn to walk through its door,
but I will probably run through it with a shout
or take wing like the Phoenix or Pegasus and soar!
The cold simile of our existence will begin to fade
and the universe we were dreaming of will unfold,
but the sorrowful notes will be given their space to invade
creating a story we can tell that heretofore was untold.
Then you roll over and wake me, saying “pretentious prick,”
and I have a thought that no matter how true it becomes
I won’t lose my serenity at dawn just to be drawn to the quick,
so I jerk the blanket back and retort, “this is the fear of all sums.”
he got to stay and I had to go August 19, 2016Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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It’s three-fifty a.m. And the bar man is urging me to leave,
“It’s a twenty-four hour place, but, friend you need to find your room,”
He said it matter-of-factly, not sure if I’d be sweet or surly.
“Alright, give me the room number when you swipe to close me out.”
He nodded reassuringly, like I’d made the right choice and said,
“You’re in ten twenty five, don’t forget your cash on the bar.”
I had been fumbling with my hundred dollar winnings from blackjack,
I left fifty on the bar, told him to keep it for his trouble.
He nodded and smiled as if he’d heard the words many times a night.
But, he got to stay and I had to go.
The drive to LA late night could be done in four hours
If I could make it passed ZZyzz I could make Barstow.
Stop for a coffee and pee break then it’s a easy shot to Slymar
Where I could leave the stench of Vegas behind for my smog-enveloped home.
The wife and kids gone to visit their grandparents in Arizona
Guaranteed no bitching when I turn in a little after eight
Sat in the drive in my 2008 Audi, pushed down my Ray-bans
Just enough to know the coast was clear, verified when the garage door opened
Revealing an empty garage, as had hoped for and expected to see.
And he got to stay while I had to go.
The din of realty would be deferred until the wife and kids showed later,
Much later if I could wish it’s six hours from Lake Havasu with lunch and pee breaks.
I dozed in the carport for about an hour before I realized I needed a shower
To get the stence of Vegas off me and put on the sweet cologne of magic LA.
A binge-drinking Dad with a penchant for gambling doesn’t fit the mold
For a sweet, Christian Oxnard girl who’s business is home schooling
A reluctant eight-year old boy along with a twelve-year old pre-teen
Who couldn’t agree with her mother on anything but tried to make something of it.
The little girl struggling to come to terms with adulthood slowly, painfully.
Still, he got to stay and I had to go.
I stepped outside the black Audi for one final vice, a cigarette,
Not smoking in the car or the house, very strict rules from the Oxnord wife
Which I readily complied, being a vice detective I had plenty of motive
And opportunity to some on the job, even if frowned upon by peers,
It was an acceptable ancient ritual, even if I had accepted new boundaries.
Smoking outside, at least fifty feet from the building, never inside.
So, I finished my cigarette, crushed the butt and ditched it in the trash can
Headed for the door, that shower and some rest before the family piled in.
After a shave and shower, I put on my rob end lie on the couch and fall asleep.
And I dreamed about him staying while I had to leave.
Would it be so bad to be a bar man at a swank Vegas hotel or casino?
No more chasing bad guys, chasing down evidence, dealing with forensics?
The sordid dreams of a mid-career detective, shackled by a wife and kids,
Mortgage, car payments, chasing after the false gods of greener grass.
Other men’s wives, desiring their one night stands, use em and lose em,
“Yes, honey, I’m better than your old man cause you can have whatever you want
From me that you can never get from him, this is your wildest dream come true!”
And for that brief time the alcohol and drugs would make them believers
I, too, would be a believer for the fleeting moments, roll out and leave, no strings.
Then, I would stay and they would leave! It sounded sweet in my darkest sleep.
Sidewalks are cracked, uneven August 13, 2016Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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The sidewalks are cracked, uneven, have been for years,
I heard it is an infrastructure issue, but, honestly,
It’s negligence that injured kids, caused all those tears
From simple bike rides down walks dealt with dishonestly.
Smug politicians don’t listen to constituent demands, impervious
And good ones are helpless to move pieces around the chess board.
Direct questions makes arrogant men defensive and nervous
And the humble shuffle and mumble weighing answers they can afford.
We know a bureaucrat somewhere holds power of the purse
But it’s easy to blame the nameless, faceless trafficking in misery.
They entered service to make a difference not make things worse
But the pot-holed streets and curbside debris are all we see.
It was a good neighborhood, pristine, until renters moved in
Then there were leaf fires, vandalism and cars on blocks
And the recession caused more damage and unanticipated sin
So we had to blink and change to steel doors and iron locks.
Dogs of this war are left to fend for themselves, wild vermin,
Hunting while being hunted, hearing whispers over their heads.
And those voices have been banished from all that is sure, certain
Relegated to the lost and all the empty words they’ve said.
And, still, the sidewalks are cracked, uneven, have been for years,
But the rhetoric is lost on me and my friends are losing their moral compass.
It’s negligence, like parents giving teens cigarettes and beer
Then rolling over in bed, ignorant, and expecting it all to pass.
I wasn’t August 10, 2016Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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I wasn’t sure, so I left the water on
And, maybe, I flooded the plant.
But in the middle of a drought
I didn’t believe it could have drowned.
I wasn’t born to keep the land and nurture
And, I suppose, none are, it’s learned
But I lack both the heart and skill set
So I cut ties with the past for the future.
I wasn’t arrogant, practicing patience and humility
And, possibly, I overlooked some details
But who will remember those, really?
As the winter snow recedes with heat and humidity.
I wasn’t looking, as I twisted my ankle, broke my arm,
And, however unlikely, all could have been avoided
But fate and karma lack compassion
So I learned some things are doomed by boyish charm.
I wasn’t going to go there but here I am
And, nevertheless, I will stay the course, ever wrong,
But choices without discernment are demon’s folly
So what I didn’t know I couldn’t understand.
I wasn’t happy with forbearance, hung with unpaid debt,
And, hopefully, I will see good come from it tomorrow
But friends and neighbors warn me off that sinking ship
Lest I slip off the starboard and find myself all wet.
couples therapy at no charge August 8, 2016Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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“No more ‘Welcome to the jungle’…
Are you serious XM?”
“But, Guns N’ Roses, I mean, Axl Rose!”
“More like axle grease, you ask me.”
“Have a cigarette and a Red Bull,
you’re cranky when you’re a bitch!”
And I smiled, she had sent the message:
It’s a road trip, ten more hours in the car,
don’t be a buzz kill, for the love of Skittles.
Atlanta to Tampa, more like St.Pete Beach,
and we could have grabbed a flight but, no,
this was couples therapy at no charge.
Besides, all the Delta flights are grounded
and that would have iced Monday morning
more than any caffeine or nicotine we spent
following I-75 through Macon and points south.
“And what was that thing with your mother, anyway?
Like I’m stealing her little boy? You’re 32, aren’t you?”
“She has dementia and forgets we’ve been married
five years, with a retriever to board and a mortgage.”
“Excuses!” she blurted, half in jest but more in fact.
“Why don’t we stop in Perry at that Go Fish place?”
“I was thinking more about the Ali Baba Casino,”
she offered, “If there’s really no rush.”
She smiled, lit another cigarette, and inhaled slowly,
I couldn’t love her more.
Let us search for an honest man August 2, 2016Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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Let us search for an honest man, robust,
Willing and able to serve with wisdom and grace.
A man who understands we are only dust
But one who has endurance to run the race.
We are lost in fear, overcome by faceless beasts,
Presiding over the most severe injustice and indignation.
Born of the discontent plaguing the feckless east
And infesting like roaches even most secure nations.
Let us search for an honest man, fearless,
With clarity of purpose that’s unassailable.
A man who is undaunted, firm to confess
His allegiance to duty, fodder for legend and fable.
We have a chalice half-empty with promise unfulfilled
Our armies stripped of their power and destiny
Left with silent weapons while thousands are killed
As politicians wage endless war of words with impunity.
Let us search for an honest man, prudent,
Yet with a resolve that makes our enemies stand down.
His path will be cleared, his ways self-evident,
With no need for silver shield or golden crown.
We have heroes aplenty and no leaders to lead.
Where do we find virtue and courage in a single man?
How do we nurture the one once we have planted the seed?
What can we do to be sure he can stand?
Let us search for an honest man, faithful,
One who kneels to Almighty God without flinching
One who is steadfast and grasps the wonderful
With voice raised and fists clinching.
(Not S0) Tropic of Cancer August 2, 2016Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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I can deny the pain and work through this season –
I know it will pass whether I live or die.
Encouraged to fight, survive, I search for a reason
I know doesn’t exist and I heave a helpless sigh.
Not giving up is the easy part as friends urge me on
Driving an inexplicable hope from deep within.
This is only a stop and the train will soon be here and gone
And I will ride forgiven, in spite of my sin.
We have all been through that time when we’re indestructible
When it’s useless to tell us differently.
As the truth of life became undeniable
With jaundiced eyes we were forced to see.
The revelation of my situation was discovered in the bock beer of life
That heavy, dark place with a distinct smell and flavor.
The richness rises from my children and my wife
And I look forward to a time when I get to savor it.
Unfinished business July 12, 2016Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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When the gear is put away and the heat of battle abated
will there be time for introspection
or is choosing distraction and activity the better choices?
Soul-searching is superficial if it brought to mind at all.
Immersed in noise of this life
there’s no space to weigh and consider
what to love and how and what to leave and why
so hunker down especially when the anger wells up.
There was a time for dreaming, uninterrupted,
embracing the possibilities was unavoidable
but there were choices to make, paths to cross
one emerges, others recede and revelation revealed.
Left with a handful of fool’s gold is what’s at stake, something to protect?
Missed flights, dinners forsaken, owned, instead, by a smart device
without acknowledging the unfinished business its seamless
building a legacy of lies, a character of deception, a death within a life.