Ode: Lake Arlington Larry

Here’s to a gentle man
Walking counterclockwise
In the bike lanes
Around Lake Arlington
Smiling like a child

Here’s to a gentle man
An earth-conscious soul
And repeat recycler
Digging through trash cans
For plastic gold

Here’s to a gentle man
Humming a tune
No one else hears
While mothers stretch
Their legs in yoga pants

Here’s to a gentle man
A shirtless student
Of suburban Zen
Timing his laps
With an ancient stopwatch

Here’s to a gentle man
Who calls himself Larry
Waving at strangers
On different paths
To the same destiny


Breakup Song

Tell me what will be will be no more
Tell me we just drifted apart
Tell me love hurts
Tell me love scars

Tell me I was your thirst
Tell me you think of me when you hum
Tell me I sweat the small stuff
Tell me to grow a pair

Tell me size more or less matters
Tell me I’m the one that got away
Tell me love is a battlefield
Tell me all you need is lust

Tell me I’m more than a hound dog
Tell me I’m a good boy
Tell me I drove you mild
Tell me I don’t look fat in these jeans

Tell me nice guys let the girl finish first
Tell me you never faked the news
Tell me you bought my book on Amazon
Tell me the shipping was free

Tell me God is binge-watching us
Tell me everybody dies in the end
Tell me I’m a good sinner
Tell me fate isn’t fair

Tell me what will be will be no more
Tell me we just drifted apart
Tell me love hurts
Tell me love scars

Summer Solstice

Forget snowstorms
And wind chills

I want Summer
In my hemisphere
This Valentine’s

A flirty girl
With strappy shoes
And silver toe rings
To boot

Baring her soles
At the foot
Of my bed

To soothe me
And for me
To soothe

Today In Eden

Today in Eden
Adam’s tall
Dark and handsy

Today in Eden
Eve’s a sucker
For tongue

Today in Eden
Adam models
Mom jeans

Today in Eden
Eve squeezes
Man buns

Today in Eden
Adam bedazzles
Fig leaves

Today in Eden
Eve shops
Forever 21

Today in Eden
Adam worships
Eve’s boots

Today in Eden
Eve swallows
Adam’s gum

Beyond Words

In Words Fail: Theology, Poetry, and the Challenge of Representation, Colby Dickinson argues that language allows us to speak about a thing, but language never leads us to “the ‘thing itself’—the as such-ness of a thing beyond its linguistically codified and intelligible form” (43). We are left with imperfect representations of things that fail us.

Earlier in his book Dickinson asks this profound question: “How indeed, we might add, would one begin to live as if they knew an intimacy forever beyond our ability to represent it (as in cases involving death) and yet find themselves living in a flesh, with its age and its sorrow, that is, at times, simply all too present?” (25).

Would I live my life differently if I knew for certain that a Great Beyond exists beyond words, beyond my life? Could I ever visit, ahead of time, an afterlife awaiting me before I die?

The ultimate illusion, a depth-defying feat: to take a leave of presence, disappear to a traceless place beyond representation, then re-present myself as myself right before my varied eyes.