I was getting breakfast in the Seymour College Union at SUNY Brockport and everyone was glued to the big screen TV. The first plane had just hit and I went straight to my folks. Not knowing but suspecting what happened I worried which way America would jump. By the time I got to mom and dad’s house the second plane hit and they confirmed my worries.
Over the next few years too many Americans and almost all our politicians were willing to throw values we had at least played lip service to under the bus. I even let myself get pulled into bs, neo-con thinking on the Iraq War in the beginning, budding student of international relations and comparative development that I was. And yes, we were lied to about Iraq, though that does not excuse my lazy thinking. Demagogues  used that terrible attack that lost us both three thousand lives and our sense of invincibility that we developed through the Cold War, to line their pockets and solidify their status at the expense of more lives, both foreign and domestic. The terrorists won that day because we lost our soul, arming our police like the military in the name of an impossible perfect security.
So I want you to remember today, the three thousand plus who died in the attack, the millions of New Yorkers who spent hours, then days, then weeks sifting through the rubble and/or wondering if someone they knew was not coming home, scarred by the cloud that burst forth from lower Manhattan, the hundreds of thousands of Afghani, Iraqi, and now Syrian, men, women and children thrown on the fire of our rage and grief over the acts of men from none of those countries. I want you to remember them, and remember that after several thousand years of written history, all of us, from every corner of the planet, still allow ourselves to be played by men crying out for their place in history using our petty, tribalist instincts. 9/11 WAS our wake up call, just not in the way we became convinced of.

New Poem: The Onlies

Apologies to my siblings. This is deeply personal not just for me but for them as well, and while I need to write this I do feel bad sharing stories that are not just mine. Hopefully the level of ambiguity in some places will preserve some sense of privacy. Mom remains a consistent muse for me, and tomorrow she would be celebrating her 44th wedding anniversary, if indeed she still felt like celebrating it. So help me I think she might have. Continue reading

Hello Again


You have to be one of the good guys son, cos there’s way too many of the bad.
John Custer to his son Jesse in Garth Ennis’s “Preacher”

It has been too long. Two months and change have passed since I last wrote here. I have been writing here and there: a poem, a bit of creative non fiction, my notes for a genre fiction novel I have started, and, of course, the erotica that seems to be the only thing that people are interested in buying. I would be lying if I said that was not the reason for my long vacation. I put words to page and it all seems for nothing and when I tackle an actual something, well at times, that seems even more for nothing. I see the injustices of the world and feel overwhelmed, not just by their magnitude, but by the volume of those trying so hard to cling to a status quo that values their lives over others. My hope is met with hate and I have unfortunately let that overwhelm me. It is not the first time, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is the last that I let it affect my work here. Continue reading

Around Again

massacre victimes

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

It has been two days since the massacre in Charleston. I agree with Son of Baldwin that is what we need to call it. Not a shooting, a word that is way too neutral, but a massacre. It was a bloody, cruel mass murder executed without an ounce of remorse. In those two days I have read few, if any words, from my fellow white people. I have had many like my Facebook posts, and seen white people comment support on black folks posts. By and large, though, I hear only crickets chirping in the silent night of our conscience. Continue reading

Awake? [TW: suicide]

Thirty years stumbling and drifting. Three decades of somnambulism. Step by dreamy step trying to avoid walking into the nightmare. Thirty years since I walked down those steps and found her. I have pushed aside, reshaped, repurposed and regurgitated those memories, the ones I barely saw through the fog in my long sleep.

Am I awake now? Would I know? At least I know I have been sleeping, and the bruises from bumping into walls, and other people, are beginning to show. I can see their bruises too. If I am still sleeping, how do I see?

Yes, I think the dream has ended, but the nightmare still plays in my eyes. The knife in her hand, the one you held to her throat. Me knowing what no thirteen year old ought to. I cannot escape it, but I no longer want to. I forgive myself now.

I forgive myself for not forgiving you. No, I applaud myself for it because you deserve not an inch of it. Do what you will, what you must, but do not expect a tear of sympathy from me. You have plenty of your own: crocodile tears in crimson dripping from your wrists and I will not play anymore. I will watch where I am going, mindful of where I have been, dreaming and screaming and walking and hoping.

America’s Firearm Obsession


The hits just keep coming. First the press deliberately focus on two lines from a much larger article about sexual violence Bernie Sanders wrote to encourage people to take his words in the exact opposite context he meant them. Now making the rounds is a month old hit piece from Slate trying to paint the Senator as a gun nut. Somehow I doubt a man who earned a D-minus form the NRA is a gun nut, but whatever. Continue reading