I’ll tell you what you do

How can you say

you have a fucked up

history with someone

when they might say

you have no history at all?


I’ll tell you what you do

You let it go.

You move on.

You deny ever

knowing him at all

even if it is

a very small town


someday, you’ll live

in a studio apartment

by the highway

in a foreign country

and you might be alone

but you’ll have your dog

and that’s all you ever wanted


Small Town Bank Account

“Hello, I’d like to deposit this check for $5.75 and then check my balance.”

He’s smiling. Why is he smiling? Is he laughing at me?

I look away uncomfortably.

“Hey,” he says, “I know you. You go to the local university.

Aren’t you super into poetry? I think you tutored me.”

“Yeah, oh yeah. I’m sorry, I didn’t recognize you. How’s it going?”

“Great, I’m just about to finish up my Business degree.

Here, I can look up your account number. Woah!

You do not look thirty!!”

“Yeah. So, I’ve been told.”

“That’s a good thing! So, what are you doing this weekend?”

“Oh, not too much, just about to go to a poetry reading.”

“Wow, that’s it? You don’t do anything for fun? Just all poetry?”

“Yeah, well, you know, that is fun for me. So,

what’s my balance?”

“Negative three fifty.”

The Rolodex of these Past Years

The names of the waitresses

fill the rolodex in my head

its not the local paper,

the people who have bought a book

from my backpack,

filled with them

the teachers who have made me

into their pet

no, its the ocean

and the dishes

that kept me coming back

I think of the flatlands,

the bicycle i would get

with bells and a basket

how the important things come with me

how I can train my puppy

to sit in a basket

how there will always be more waitresses

and it makes me feel shitty

her name was lorraine

she brought me my coffee

and here i am,

using the past tense already

Getting to Know You (Thoroughly and Over a Period of Years)

I promised myself I would settle down

I wouldn’t be like my mother,

every year a new town,

or my aunt

every month a  new house

Not that all the houses

would add up to a bad aspiration


But I fell in love with little towns

and not in the chauvinistic way

a man is a lover of women


more in the way,

my loyal, introverted dog

prefers me


I want to know the crevices

I want to see what happens

to the people i know deeply

and i didn’t expect this

but I guess I’ll also get to see

what happens

to some of my worst enemies

sometimes, I guess,

I’ll even feel sorry.



it takes a village to raise a puppy

i love living in a small town
because i don’t really have much of a family
but i know everyone here,
i have strings im constantly pulling

“hey man, didnt you say you loved puppies
and had a problem with depression?
what would you say if i told you
im getting a puppy and you could borrow it
in exchange for providing discipline?”

“Yeah, I’d say I’m in.”

“Great. What do you think,
like a bulldog or a mix?
I’m taking suggestions.”