Old Buttons


I was just reminded by a picture of a scheme I had been working for years.

My niece likes to organize things like marbles beans coins, etc. so I, at a thrift one day, I got an idea when I saw a bag of old mixed buttons. I think she’s pushing 14 or abouts, so I guess my plan ran out of time but. what I did, or was gonna do, lol.

I spent years searching and hoarding old buttons from thrifts, salvages, goodwills. St. Vinncents Home rehabs etc, flea markets. anytime I saw old buttons I’d buy’em up. Then my plan was to pack them in old jars and bury /smash thm into the ground and take a walk and “accidentally” discover them, then she could dig them all up like treasure.

But now… I just got a bunch of old buttons.

The Glass


I could hear the radio playing songs in the kitchen. She turned it up when she came in, it was one of her favorite songs. She was messing about in there for awhile, making a drink to cool the afternoon off. The clink of the ice going into the glass was unmistakable. I even knew what glass she was using, the tall one. She liked it because of the sound the ice made as she tilted it back and forth, she would swirl the cubes of ice around the bottom until they freed themselves and slid down the thin glass walls into her mouth where she chomped them gleefully for all the world to hear.

She must have been on her third drink when I got up and moseyed into the kitchen for a refreshment of my own. Standing there by the open freezer she melted an ice cube  up and down her throat with her head leaned back.  Eyes closed she rolled her head forward and pushed the ice around to the back of her neck then stopped momentarily to massage the ice in circles until it melted in her hand.  Tilting her head a little as if to listen for a bird singing in the distance, she cracked her eyelids a smidge like she had just woken up, still rubbing her hand in small circles on the back of her neck.

Peering over at me she turned and walked to the sink, picked up a glass and rinsed it halfheartedly, shaking out the remaining drops of water in the direction of the plants in the window. Pausing briefly she walked back to the freezer. Rustling through the ice she filled the glasses unceremoniously and chunked them down on the table.  The bottle was still sweating from the thick Carolina air on a humid summer afternoon as she sat down next to the radio and proceeded to twist off the cap.  Filling the glasses she perked her head up and met my eyes with a look as if waiting for me to say ‘when’. I kept her gaze as the whiskey splashed into the glass ’til it was nearly full, then lazily slumped across the table to paw at her pack of cigarettes.

Pulling a single volunteer from the open box I leaned back and slid the ashtray closer to the middle of both the two of us.  Her glass was a touch too full for the perfect ratio she had grown accustomed to, so she picked it up and took a long slow sip to get it just right.  Reaching into the fridge, balancing her chair expertly like a cirque du soleil performer she produced half a lemon and the pitcher of tea.  I struck a match and tossed the box on the table towards her pack of Camel Lights.

Inhaling with the depth and strength of a long overdue yawn I brought the match up to the tip of the Camel.  You could hear the flame pulled into the cigarette, cracking and sizzling as the tobacco ignited.  She filled the glasses the rest of the way with tea and squeezed the lemon over the top dipping it into the glasses to stir the concoction and sweeten the rim.  We sat there sippin’ our “tea”, listening to the radio and smoking cigarettes ’til the pack was gone.

I got up to get some more smokes and start another round.  As I was returning to the table she started fidgeting with the tuner on the radio and lo’ and behold she found a nice little station fighting static near the end of the dial. It was broadcasting from a small town not too far from where we lived and  Billie Holiday was weeping out a soft tune when I realized the evening was setting in and a cool breeze was blowing the curtains gently out the window.  Carrying a cigarette in her fingers she floated over to the window and leaned over the sink to get a better look at the summer sky, sighed and returned to the table sluggishly. Sitting down she took a deep draw from her smoke, held it straight up in front of her face and examined it before she reached for the ashtray and poked it around until it was nothing more than the filter.

Looking at me she lifted her drink to her lips and turned it up slowly to savor the last it had to offer.  Setting it back on the table she moved her gaze from me to the glass, then placed her hand on the table and formed a loose fist with her index finger pointing out towards the glass.  She slowly inched her hand across the table until the tip of her finger was touching the glass.  She poked it once, it bounced as if somebody bumped the table.  She did it again and it lurched forward a half an inch bobbling back and forth finally settling. She poked it one more time and it danced briefly rolling front to side to back to side, round and around.  As it stopped she looked up at me and started to extend her arm pushing the glass across the wooden table. Returning her eyes to the glass she fully extended her arm and pushed it off the table, crashing to the floor, shattering into a million shards, scattering themselves across the kitchen floor. Eyes raising, she  popped her eyebrows a bit and tilted her head to the side shrugging her shoulders as if to say “how ’bout that?” Leaning back she put her feet on the table crossed at the ankles and lit another cigarette triumphantly and proud.

Just wanna get my head straight

This past summer I was walking my back property line.  There was apparently a new couple that had moved in the house behind me. That day i noticed the kitchen curtains were open. I stood there a minute kinda thinknig someone would come out and say hello.

The next day I did the same thing, only the curtains were closed. Once again I stood there for awhile. I had company over and we started to plant some flowers. about 45 minutes into it I noticed the authorities down the road.

I flagged one down and they told me someone had “accidentally”died.  It took me a little while to realize I was standing outside that house at the very moment that person was inside on the floor dyeing well before their time.

You’ll never know what it’s like to know you were standing right fucking there and doing  absolutely nothing when someone needed help.  Just watching the curtains, within 30 feet.

Seeems like I always wanna “Bust Outta Here”

Seems like I always wanna bust outta here.  Like, I gotta get some where.  Like if I fail, some how there are people somewhere counting on me.  I guess it’s all something I made up in my mind.  But it’s like this form of anxiety that plagues me… and god help you if you get in my way of getting home.  Cause all I wanna do is get home.  Not quite sure where exactly “home” is supposed to be, but I’m certainly in search of it.   And I have this feeling I need to be there.  For  a good while I was certain it was between 3 and 5 in the morning.  There might be a bottle or two involved in that line of thinking.

wishing a bottle would wash up on shore

wishing a bottle could mean so much more

I’m sitting here just waiting for……..

an eternity lost in words

I’ll take you home, just show me the way

I’ll always see you like that very first day.

Lost in love, don’t take it away

The Hour From Night to Day…The Hollow Hour…

There’s a playlist I sometimes forget about that I made on YouTube…

I recently watched what I now consider to be my favorite Ted Talk to date.  It is titled “Rives: The Museum of Four in the Morning” and it’s about our fascination with this obscure moment of time when all should be quietly asleep and the general absurdity of someone being up and about at this “ungodly” hour.  It is the perfect embodiment of storytelling at it’s finest, I highly recommend that anybody watch it. (Fair warning, it’s 14 minutes. But I guarantee you won’t notice a second of the time go by.)  Afterward I kinda looked around a little for personal references to this “4 a.m.” in my life and was somewhat disappointed to not find any.

This playlist I have on YouTube is the only one I have marked to private.  It’s a collection of songs roughly 2 hours long that will rip your heart out while cradling the back of your head and whispering in your ear as you lie on your back in the middle of the floor.

There’s a comfort in the familiarity of sadness and sorrow.  A place to look forward to.  Where everything is soft and dreamy.  I used to drink, a lot.  I would drink until I found this state of sleepiness and consciousness.  This place in the dark with the stars glittering overhead, some margin of not quite in the ocean but not fully on dry sand.  Soft warm waves would roll in one at a time and wrap you in them, lifting you up as if to carry you out to sea.  And then just as gently as they rolled in they softly lay you back down in the bubbling sand, only to return to rock you blissfully in that dreamy state of comfortable sorrow.  It’s as if the moon was looking down from above at you in the middle of the night, tucking you in to sleep, pulling the covers over you, over and over again while rocking you to sleep in the ebb of her tides.

Sometimes when I’m looking for some preferred music to listen to, be it to entertain or just as some background noise while I go about my chores, I scroll past this old playlist.  It makes me yearn for those moments of security and comfort and I want to go back there to wrap myself up and hide.

In the city I live in on any given day, there’s a good million or so people coming and going from the surrounding areas.  Either for work or school or shopping, leisure, recreation, what have you.  A large portion of those people traverse the road out in-front of my house.  It’s a busy road even at night.  Except between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m.  It can get down to dead silent during those two hours.  And there it is, right in the middle, 4 in the morning.  How does one get to that perfect moment of silence, that calm of peace and quiet between 3 and 5 in the morning?

Tonight I scrolled past that playlist again.  That 2 hour playlist I started so many years ago.  The name I gave that playlist, what I filed it under, it’s titled 2:00 a.m.”   Named thus for the time of night I felt I could slip away to hide by myself in the surf of that sea of solitude, sorrow and safety.  Two hours of soul caressing, heart dripping music to take me by the hand and lead me to that magical hour of Four in the Morning. 

That hour where if I could pause time I would.

That hour where I didn’t care if I lived or died.

That hour where I could leave this world behind.

That hour where I have lived a thousand lifetimes of pain.

That hour where in the hollow oblivion of emotions and memories, the Moon could cradle me forever and ferry me to the other side of the river,

to sleep,


sound and secure.

Oh how I long for that hour…..



this is the last song at the bottom of that playlist, “2:00 a.m.” 

Oh Darling My heart’s on Fire

I saw that circle along time ago,

tried to keep my feet on the ground since then.  Truthfully, kinda sucked. seeing everybody “want” and go for that expanse of things, I lost people, I lost relationships. they all come back. but I didn’t get to be with them during that process, Even though I’m the one here in the end, I think I’m the actual loser in that game. I played my cards wrong

Feeling Rusty

Argh, it’s been awhile since I put up a post and I had been telling myself I was gonna wait until I was finished this summer as to not jinx anything.  Guess I’ve been putting it off for a couple weeks now so here we go.

Sitting around after getting out of the hospital feeling pitiful and pathetic, I was introduced to computers.  First Facebook then Twitter then I found WordPress (another story).  Not too long after that I found the community inside and started enjoying all of it and making friends from my sofa-prison.  When after awhile I came across a post by our dear friend Rara, which I am unable to find or link to.  But it referenced a quote by the tennis star Arthur Ashe which is as follows; “Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.”  

At some point I noticed it had been around a year I’d accomplished roughly nothing.  So I thought I live in a city with more than one university, and a couple colleges and I could have been taking some classes learning something if only for my own betterment if not towards an occupation of sorts that could provide money and a better lifestyle.  I’m Here.  There are Schools.  Let’s See What I Can Do!

So I enrolled in a local college thinking hey, I’ll take some old Algebra class I never passed in my youth.  Well come to find out I had passed it and quite a few others also.  Being that I had math on the mind I let an adviser talk me into a Statistics class,.  Sure, why not?  Okay, all you people out there that might not have had the pleasure of taking Statistics in college let me tell you right now, it’s NOT some regular math class. (Also note it was over 10 weeks not the standard 15, 3 hours a day 3 times a week)  Now you are aware, that might explain my posts over the summer, mostly the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps/ you can do this Johnny” kind.

Anyhow, semester over.  I don’t know the grade on my final exam still, but I passed with an “A”.



A Call For Collaboration


The Intersection


Photo Credit: blog.lib.umn.edu

Cherry Red
By Patience

The bright red of the Stop sign brought her out of her thoughts and back into them at the same time. Fifteen years ago, she had sat at a Stop sign, the same bright red that seemed somehow different than any other Stop sign in the universe.

She had decided to give him away. At that moment, in front of that cherry-red sign, she had chosen herself.

It wasn’t that she didn’t think she could be a mother. It was the world, the places and experiences that awaited her, that would be hindered by a child. So she gave him away.

She did see the world, so many cities and beaches and mountains. She saw the sun rise over the Mediterranean Sea and set behind the Himalayas. She had walked the streets of Paris and swam…

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