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Thursday, November 5, 2015

I Can't Save You

I can create anything I want and make it as reall as I want. I can tell any story; dramatic, or scary or funny as I choose to weave it. But I can't save you.

All the rage inside you ... the all consuming fire that twists us and turns us around, making us into the monstrous beasts that we ourselves don't understand.

I can understand it. I can understand you. I can see everything I've already seen and everything I want to unsee through your eyes. I can feel the chaos inside and I can hear the cocophany. but I can't silence it.

See, I made you. As completely and perfectly in my image as God made Adam. It's just that I didn't understand that the apple of my eye was original sin to poison your innocence and banish you from paradise.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Anatomy of a Mix Tape

I cover my ears so I can drown
In the thoughts of you that are so deafening
Giving in to an even louder silence
Created by your absence
And its like I can't breathe
So consumed am I by these thoughts of you
Being with you
Kissing you
Loving you
Until I don't know who I am anymore
Then the music plays
With every song a carefully chosen communication
A message sent in a code
Only you and I will understand

The first song must absolutely grab your attention
You have to know how much I want you
Perhaps U2's Desire
To show much I need you
Maybe VAST's Touched
Because I'll never find someone like you again
Or one after the other
A sonic 1-2 punch of yearning to slap you in the face
And then something to dull this intensity
The Devlins' Love is Blindness
To float in the ether enjoying the wonderment that is you
Next a track to show my vulnerability
Because I'm safe with you
A Quiet Mind from Blue October should go here

And while we're being emotional
Concrete Blonde's I Call It Love
A musical curve ball, sort of like love itself
Now  The Subways' Oh Yeah
Because It's your eyes that make me smile
Oh yeah.
Now to start the wind down
Kingdom Come from Coldplay
Just say you'll wait for me
Debris when we revisit Blue October
And things get crazy in that good way
Another from Concrete Blonde to tell you that
(Love is a) Blind Ambition
With a finish of U2's All I Want is You

With the music gone
I can once again hear the thoughts of you
Only now it's anticipation
Written as a playlist punctuated with hearts and Cupid's arrows
Wrapped in red ribbon
Sealed with a kiss
Delivered to you as a tribute
To the night I spent lost in thoughts of you
Drowned in a sea of the idea of you
With the knowledge that as you listen
Each note will flow into you
Like I want to
Connecting us across time and space
When you spend your night lost in thoughts of me

Thursday, September 17, 2015

10 Things I Hate About You

I hate the way you lie to me and
The way you make me cry.
I hate the darkness that you bring and
How you wear it so well.
I hate the way I know no one will ever love me like you and
How hard it is to get away from you.
I hate the way I always come back and
The way the abuse feels so familiar I mistake it for the embrace of a friend.
I hate the way you cut me and
That I know I'm nothing without you.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

One Night Stand

The way you kiss me fiercely
As if my lips held the cure for your sadness
The way your hand deftly unzipped my pants
Searching for masculinity to match your own
The way you pushed me to my knees
Gently asserting your will

And I return your kiss
Drinking the poison you've carried for so long
And I filled your hand with everything you desired
Man to man, burning in passionate fire
And I drop to my knees
Paying you the tribute you deserve

We both know you're going to fuck me
As I rise to my feet looking in your eyes
Telling me without words
That I'm wearing too many clothes
Buttons hit the wall, ripped open with my shirt
While we slowly dance to the bed

I'm on my knees
A supplicant to your desire
The familiar pleasure pain reminding me
I am the object of your lust
As you fuck me, fuck me

Your essence floods me
Filling me with all you are
The very best of you
Deep inside me
Filling me, changing me
Taking the very best of me, returned to you as a gift.

The way you hold me
As if all the joy in the world just passed between our bodies
The way you lightly stroke my ass
Reaffirming the intimacy born of our lust
The way you sent me on my way
Sated, satisfied and solitary

Thursday, August 27, 2015


North is the land of memory.
All mistakes and stupidity.
The bright fantasies of inexperienced youth.
That time when your cock leads you around by your balls
and Sex, drugs and rock 'n roll are the law of the land.
Oh what a time we had!

South is the land of responsibility.
Everyone does exactly what they're supposed to
And live revolves around tiny boxes.
Tiny boxes to live in.
Tiny boxes to stare at.
Numb and believing they exist outside their tiny boxes.

To the East is the village of family.
Watch how they hide from each other,
Even while embracing affectionately.
Where the promise of 'happily ever after' hangs in the air
Like a carrot before a mule.
Everything anyone could need; just out of reach.

Westward the sun sets,
Its bright rays stabbing the eyes
A reminder that even in beauty there is pain.
A place where living as one was meant to be
Permeates the air with the discovery of the unknown
Explored by those who understand the limitless potential of the mind

So here I stand at the crossroads
Looking back at every trodden path
I wonder how it's possible that every turn was wrong?
The answer to this question refuses to show itself
It's so busy contemplating it's own self-righteousness
That nothing else matters

Have you ever rebuilt yourself from the ground up?
Splintering the past that shaped you
Into the dagger plunged into your own chest
All the while knowing that this moment is the moment
The one you've been rushing toward your whole life
With no way to stop it?

The right words always come too late
So I learned to cry in six languages
Just to make sure that every time I opened my eyes
I could see raindrops on the window of the world
A beautiful storm.
Perfect soliloquy.

I thought I was looking for death
But it turns out I was looking for love.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


I was driving to work today and there were these clouds. Haunting, dark clouds. They were menacing but not angry. These were clouds that had seem some shit and now carried dark gray/black bruises under their eyes and the tears of their memories dripped slowly onto my windshield. These clouds roared in pain and shook with sobs that rattled the ground below me. These clouds knew the pain that only comes from putting yourself out there, hoping to find the answer to a question you can't even ask; and they knew the crushing disappointment when the answer that comes isn't what you expected at all. These clouds know that change is coming. These clouds are ready for the death of winter that comes before the rebirth of spring.

And I want to know if that's how it works. Do we experience life altering, destructive and traumatic change as an explosion of growth in the same way we were born from pain and came into the world screaming? How do we deal with that change? Do we wring ourselves to the core and beat ourselves bloody trying to understand our own pain? What we see in nature is the explosion of a storm followed by a cleansing and a rebirth where the cycle just repeats itself. Is that how forgiveness works? Is that how I can forgive myself?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


It's a new week. A Sunday, a new beginning. A day to wake up with the sun, stretch my arms and rip the curtains off the wall with eagerness to face this day! You lay next to me, chest rising and falling in a peaceful sleep. And in that moment its easy to forget that even in paradise, the sun sets.

Monday comes with the shock of the alarms ringing in my head. Responsibility crashes around me and I open my eyes, still tired and trying to do the math of how many hours, minutes and seconds until I can sleep again. Until the world fades again and the hurting stops and I can float away into the ether of a blessedly dreamless void.

Tuesday breaks through; a smack to the face with none of the comfort of an accompanying splash of water. Another day, another dollar; as the saying goes. But I'm already running on fumes and there's nothing you can buy for a dollar these days. Not even a 20 minute phone call, much less the motivation to rise above the muck where I swim with the other "dregs." Oh darling, I wish you were here.

Wednesday and I'm halfway out of the dark. I'm already thinking about you and I have to believe that what I'm thinking is the reason that it's called "Hump" day. I can't focus on anything but the memory of when you'd bend me at the waist, pull me back slowly, fuck me hard and whisper softly into my neck that I'm yours. I want to give you the air I breathe and I'm caught up in the pleasure of the pain,  because even if it's moving too fast, baby, we should take it too far.

Thursday I dreamed that we were together and you wanted me as much as I want you. I held you in my arms and made you safe. You thanked me with a kiss and as the fireworks burst behind my eyes I thought to myself, "why does my tongue feel so damn safe inside of your mouth?" And I fall again.

Friday I sat under the stars thinking about you and wondering if maybe, just maybe you were thinking about me too. Only to see the answer in the light of the moon. You're like perfection, some kind of holiday, you got me thinking that we could run away. Into your vision of the future, through the looking glass you held in front of our faces. The shimmering reflection of what we could be.

Saturday I woke up wanting to kiss you. I crave your touch making me feel like I'm being electrocuted. I crave your lust-filled eyes fixed on me as the only being worth conquering in this universe. I want to taste you again, like a secret or a sin. I think about pressing my lips against yours; fusing our bodies together. Each of us desperately searching for something the other doesn't know is inside them. Thousands of years old, too old to be captured in poems. Too old to be loved by everyone; but loved deeply by a chosen few. 

It's a new week. A Sunday, a new beginning. You lay next to me, chest rising and falling in a peaceful sleep. Looking at you, I realize, you're the perfect example of falling for someone's soul before their skin. Because as beautiful as you are through all the days; I didn't truly love you until I'd memorized the sound of your laugh and swam in the blue of your eyes.

Meditation of the Bull

All I see is red
Gouts of blood on tips of horns
You're beautiful

The sun on my skin
Like being wrapped up in safe love
It feels like heaven

All I see is red
Gouts of blood on tips of horns
You're beautiful

Friday, July 31, 2015

For Those Who Are Still Tirelessly Pursuing Happiness

Happiness is an elusive cunt.

The carrot dangling in front of your face keeping you hauling these bags forward. Always pursuing happiness, have you even thought of what you'd do if you caught it? Have you considered that maybe you can't catch it with your arms so full of luggage?

Have you considered just being happy instead of chasing happy?

What a bitch smack those words are. The people who say things like that, they don't understand. They think it's as simple as just picking up your luggage and taking off. They're even glad to tell you, happiness went off in that direction. Wait, you dropped a bag. It says "depression" on it. It's heavy and clearly high quality, and it looks so good on you.

Do you think they have it in my size?

The luggage is heavy. It didn't start that way did it? The first bag was easy; I mean you weren't carrying anything. So you picked it up and you started walking; a nice walk, with plenty of people all carrying their own bags. After a while when your arm was tired you decided to look inside.

Remember what that felt like? First the feeling of utter relief when you set that bag down; the pins and needles as the circulation started massaging the numbness back to life. Remember how terrifying it was to reach in and pull the second bag out? When you started carrying both of them it still wasn't that bad. Sure, they were heavier but nothing you couldn't handle. Until the two bags turned into four; which turned into eight which turned into ... tell me, how fast did your arms get numb this time?

Maybe you should take up juggling. Everything might not be so heavy and cumbersome if you just keep it all in the air; and you might be able to reach out and grab happiness with your free hand at just the right time. After all, you've only got two hands. Just be careful looking ahead, you might trip over now. Maybe a forklift.

Do you think happiness has a forklift?

This goes on forever. The luggage just gets bigger and heavier while you fall further further behind happiness and you realize you don't have the right to, only the right to pursue happiness. No, this this problem goes much deeper than anything you could have seen or could have controlled. And no one can tell you where happiness really is. But I can tell you what I've heard:

1. I've heard happiness in laughing with a toddler about something nonsensical.
2. I've heard happiness in the raindrops hitting the roof of a covered porch warmed with hot coffee.
3. I've heard happiness in the beat of the drums around a fire of dancers.
4. I've heard happiness in the music of lights that shine from my fingertips.
5. I've heard happiness in a lover's voice wishing me good morning after a wonderful, sleepless night.
6. I've heard happiness in dark at midnight.
7. I've heard happiness in the first light of dawn.
8. I've heard happiness in the company of the friends who erase the concept of "inappropriate."

I've never caught happiness. Not once. I've seen it quite a few times and it's beautiful; and I can tell you that happiness isn't carrying anything. Happiness is always just a step ahead because maybe happiness knows something that I don't; because if happiness is traveling without baggage, what do you suppose happiness is chasing?  The only way to find out is to drop your baggage, speed up and grab it.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Here we are at last
The rest of the story
I never wanted to write
The chapters have come and gone
I needed you....
I missed you....
I don't like you....
I don't want to be you....
How many times have I said it
Somehow I've never escaped your hegemony
And it is true that it's your face I see when I look in the mirror
Here's the pause
Where everything stops
And I try so hard
Just to see things for one second like you
To find peace in the legacy you've left me
For the first time I finally do understand
Though it's nothing about you
But I know what it is like
To return from a war in peacetime
Wakened cold and sweaty
Beaten bruised and bloody
With no enemies left to fight
Nothing to fill the gaping hole left by your patrimony
Only now at the end
Can I fathom the truth
This absence is a kindness
Whether your absence from the thing called 'Father'
Or mine from the thing called 'Son'
And so here we are at last
The rest of the story I never wanted to write
In which our hero
Will erase borders
Engaging in diplomacy
Not out of compassion
Nor from affection
This deed is born from necessity
A need to end a war that's raged for decades
Hard fought and well won
Darkness falls when what you've given
Returns to you
And I am born anew
No more words
No more verse
No more pain and
No more nights wakened cold and sweaty
This absence is a kindness
For one cannot exist while the other lives
And I understand only what God must have felt
As I kill your first born son
To wash away the sins of the father

Friday, July 17, 2015

Musings of the Mad Volume I: Every Stitch Tells a Story

Readers of the mad rejoice! The first collection of Musings from your favorite madman is now available in print! Every Stitch Tells a Story collects poems from the page as well as new, never before published material to round out your collection. Special advance copies for readers of this page are available through direct order from the publisher, just click on the image below.

Musings of the Mad Volume I: Every Stitch Tells a Story Purchase Page

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I am the basis for your division
Without me you will never be full
I am the sum of your isolated incidents
I am semiperfect and self-descriptive
I am the explosion of your heated passion
Your blood could never boil in anger if it weren’t for me
I am the will of legislation
You are bought and sold at my hand
I’ve seen more years than nearly anyone alive
I can save your life

The individual within your group
I burn brightly as the Sun
The microcosm of your macrocosm
I escorted Christ to his condemnation
I am the tears that make the river of your Sin
I am ordinal perfection
I am Dante’s Divine Comedy
A vigilant overseer 
I am the eyes of Argus
The Verbe de Dieu

I am to be crowned as King
The creation of order from chaos
I am the achievement of all your dreams
I am the path to inner peace
The determination of your secrets
I am the discovery of the absolute and completely hidden
Supremely perfect
I am the Universal Energy
Bringing new beginnings
I am the end of the road

Friday, June 19, 2015

Book Launch

I'm pleased to announce that my first book, Something Old, Something New is now available for purchase in the iTunes store, the Barnes & Noble Nook Store and the Kobo store as well as the subscription services, Oyster and Scribd. If you've enjoyed the Musings of the Mad, pick up this book for something a bit different.

I want to celebrate the expanded distribution of Something Old, Something New, and to say thank you to all of the Readers of the Mad who have joined me on this journey. To that end, Readers of the Mad can pick up a copy of Something Old, Something New and receive 20% off by clicking the link at the top of this page and entering coupon code: LL54X during checkout. Thank you all for your continued support! Enjoy and happy reading

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

More Madness

Recently, some of the Musings of the Mad have gone viral and I can't thank my readers enough. At the top of the page you'll find a link to purchase my first ebook novella, Something Old, Something New. It's formatted for most e-readers including the iPad, Nook, Kindle and more. I hope you'll all check it out! And look for more ebook titles and collections of poetry and short fiction in the days ahead!

Thursday, June 11, 2015


The light from the street came in through the window
Shining on you like it was a spotlight lighting your stage
With me as your audience
And as you lay there beside me
Existence itself became clear
And the words began to rise from my chest
Will you hear me when I tell you?

If co-dependency is an addiction
Then I want to smoke it
And roll higher and higher with the mist
Floating somewhere far from here
I want to drink it
And sink into Wonderland
Down the Rabbit hole, late for an important date
I want to slam it
And suffer the needle chill
Lost in the lights of pure energy in heaven
I want it all
And I'll beg, borrow, steal
or Kill
To get what I want


If co-dependency is a construct
Keeping apart what we are
From what we're meant to be
Then I want to be lifted
And I want to lift; floating somewhere far from here
I want to contemplate that
Matter is energy condensed to slow vibration
And energy can't be created or destroyed
So we must be the same
Two and One against the world
Lost in the lights of pure energy in heaven
I have it all
And I'll give it all in return
In Love
Never alone again

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Soul Tree

Awake again.
Alive in perpetuity,
Alone in purgatory
Chained to the hard floor.
 A shadow cast aside;
Left behind in the light.
Standing in the skin of a wolf;
Old bones collected in a haggard hide.
Still covering up your scars?
Hiding the real skin?
It bleeds beneath the spit in your eye.
Bruises on your neck,
Frantically glue together
Every rule over broken.
Desperate for the maudlin dream of yesterday,
A seedy, macarbre facsimile of what was;
Old when it was new.

Which pill will you take
To quell the voice speaking truth?
A light in the dark.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Fork in the Road


I hate Mrs. Beaverdick's class, don't you? I wish we could get out of here and do something fun. Anything's gotta be better than sitting here listening to her drone on about Lois & Clark or whatever. 
Liam chuckled at the misnomer in spite of himself. He took his blue pen and drew a line through the black ink of "Lois & Clark" replacing it with  "Lewis & Clark." Then, he added a few words of response and folded the paper along its pre-existing creases and passed it back to the young girl sitting next to him.

Ava slyly reached a hand down toward Liam's proffered note and snatched it back to her desk quickly; before suspicion could be roused. Her shoulders shuddered as she giggled silently, looking at Liam out of the corner of her eye. Her face flushed as he brushed light brown bangs from his brow, tucking the longest portion behind his ear. She bit her bottom lip as he winked at her. She averted her gaze before she gave her feelings away completely. After all, the whole world didn't need to know that she had a crush on Liam. Unfolding the paper she frowned at his correction, chastising herself for allowing him to think she was dumb. She glanced at his reply, trying to be as non-chalant as possible just in case he was watching.

This class is the worst. I'd love to get outta here. what did you have in mind?

Ava felt her stomach rise into her throat as the butterflies inside fought to escape. She hadn't actually been serious about getting out of the class; it had been a pretext to talk to Liam and perhaps catch his attention. Now, it seemed, he'd called her bluff and she had no Earthly idea what to do next. She looked at him, choosing to end the note passing before she got in even deeper. When he caught her gaze she shrugged at him, signaling that she didn't know what to do next. Liam smiled and raised his hand.

"Yes, Mr. Cunningham, you have a question?"

"Not exactly, Mrs. Beaverdick. I need to use the restroom."

"This is the Ninth grade, Mr. Cunningham. By this point in your life I'd like to hope you know when to use the restroom and when not to."

"So, I can go then, right?" Liam asked, feigning uncertainty.

"Yes, you can go. Though I do want to remind you that Lewis & Clark and the Louisiana Purchase will be on next week's test."

"Didn't they buy it from the French in 1803?" Liam said with a smirk, showing that he had mastered the material.

"Don't be a smartass." Mrs. Beaverdick said, though there was only friendly warmth in her voice.

"Better to be a smartass than a dumbass." he said, smiling.

"I thought you had to pee?" the teacher admonished.

Liam held up his hands in an "I surrender" gesture and retreated from the classroom. As the door shut behind him, he turned and caught Ava's eyes once again. He wagged his index finger in a come hither motion, then folded his hands together in mock prayer as the door shut.

*                    *                    *

"That was the last time I saw him, I swear." Ava said, her lips trembling, tears falling down her face,
"I already told you that. Why can't you just find him or else leave me alone?"

"That's quite enough." Mrs. Beaverdick said, placing a hand on Ava's shoulder. Her eyes, though, were on the older male in the room. His hair was thinning at his crown, light brown, but with temples that mixed silver with white. His beard was similarly marbled, with silver and white streaking through the thicker red and brown that looked uncharacteristically soft for facial hair.

"Mrs. Beaverdick, Ava," the man began,
"It's been thirty days since anyone has seen or heard from Liam. I don't know if you get what that really means. We don't have the resources to keep something like this going indefinitely. If we can't turn up a new lead in the next 24 hours then the case is going to be closed and marked as unsolved."

"No!" Ava cried,
"No, you can't give up!" she cried, sobs wracking her frame.

"I don't want to, sweetheart. But unless you or anyone else can think of something, and think of it fast then we're going to have no choice. The only way to keep this going is with a new lead. Now are you sure you can't think of anyhing else? Someplace he maybe liked to go that no one else knows about?"

Ava sobbed in response.

"I'm sorry, Lieutenant." Mrs. Beaverdick said,
"At this point the school can't let you continue without the girl's parents present."

"I understand. We've talked with Mr. and Mrs. Arcola already; the first time we interviewed Ava, here."

"Has her story changed at all since then?" Mrs. Beaverdick asked.

"Not one word." the Lieutenant sighed.

"May I ask what you're hoping to gain?"

"It seemed clear from their friends that Ava and Liam had a relationship. Now, there just isn't something right about all of their classmates telling me they're inseperable and this girl is telling me He could disappear on her and she'd have no idea what's going on. It makes the hair on the back of my nick stand on end. When the hair on the back of my neck stands on end then I know there's something else going on."

"Try to remember what it was like to be that age, Lieutenant." Mrs. Beaverdick soothed,
"They might have expected to get married and run off together one week and then hated the sight of each other the next week."

"Yeah," he nodded,
"Yeah, I know you're right. It's just that ... have you ever had to tell a man and woma who's only child is missing that you're calling of the search?"

"No. I haven't." Mrs. Beaverdick said, allowing her eyes to sink to the floor,
"It will be a terrible blow to the Cunningham family, I know. And I don't mean to be indelicate, but isn't that a part of your job, Lieutenant?" there was no malice in her tone, and the Lieutenant looked at her, his eyes icy and his voice hard as steel.

"Yes it is, Mrs. Beaverdick. And if you'll excuse me, it's time I performed my duties." he turned on his heel and left the class.

"Would you like a cup of tea, dear?" Mrs. Beaverdick asked after he'd left. Ava nodded her head,

"Yes, the Lemon Ginger if you have it."

"Of course."

Ava sat still, her eyes focusing and unfocusing on what had been Liam's desk. No one knew what had happened to him. He'd left History class a month ago and for all practical purposes disappeared off the face of the planet. Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham had been given the standard trope of waiting 48 hours to file a missing persons report, even though anyone that knew Liam knew that he wouldn't have strayed far from his family. Ditching school? Maybe, but to not come home or call? That was so out of character that no one close to the family understood why they'd been forced to wait two whole days to get a search underway.

A surge of hope permeated the community on the 49th day when the search began in earnest. It seemed as if every man, woman and child had stepped forward to search for Liam. Ava and her parents working closely with the Cunninghams. Ava had gladly tole everyone everything that she knew. She'd confessed to having a crush on the boy, that she believed his feelings to be returned but had not acted on them. She'd taken them through all of the youth hangouts and secluded makeout spots. 39 kids had been busted for smoking pot. 17 had been caught in various stages of undress and sexual congress. 4 had been caught running away from home and had been reunited with their families. None of them had been Liam.

"There we are, now." Mrs. Beaverdick said jovially a she set a cup of tea in front of Ava.

"Thank you." Ava said, sipping gently.

"How are you holding up, Ava?"

"I'm okay, I guess." She said with a shrug.

"This seems to have been tough on everyone, but no one moreso than you. Losing your first boyfriend like that."

"He wasn't my boyfried." She said, guardedly.

"Oh come on now. It's just us girls, and I'm no fool. Everyone knew the two of you were an item, even if you hadn't announced it to everyone."

"But we weren't." Ava said, firmly.
"I liked him. And I think he liked me back. But the thing is, we never had a chance to ... well ...." she stammered.

"I know, dear. I know what you said in your official statement. And it may be true. But what were your true feelings? How did you label your friendship wth Liam?"

"He wasn't my boyfriend." Ava insisted. Then, when she caught sight of Mrs. Beaverdick's raised eyebrows,
"I just wanted him to be."

"I know, Ava." Mrs. Beaverdick soothed, taking sip of her tea.
"You know, I think I excused Liam to the restroom more than any of my other students. Nearly everyday. I actually tried to set my watch by it once. He wasn't so exact that I could really do that, it turns out. Still, everyday at some point around 1:30 he would ask to be excused to the restroom."

"I didn't realize it was every day." Ava said, shyly. Mrs. Beaverdick looked at the girl as if only now realizing she was there.

"Oh yes, every day." She continued,
"I always wondered where he was really going, but I didn't push it. He had good grades and worked hard. As long as he kept that up, I guess I felt I could look the other way."

"Mrs.Beaverdick?" Ava asked,
"Are you okay?" Her voice sounded anxious.

"Yes, I'm fine, dear. You should probably run along home."

Ava hesitated at the dismissal. She wanted to leave; she wanted to be alone more than anything. There was something about the way Mrs. Beaverdick was acting, though.

"I'm actually not done with my tea." She deflected.

"Ava, why did you lie to the Police?" Mrs. Beaverdick asked bluntly.

"What do you mean?" Ava went pale.

"Liam was excused from class for the restroom more than any other class. Do you know who was next on that list? Who had cramps so often that there is no way mathematically possible for her to be on a 28 day cycle?"

"Who's that?" Ava asked, sardonically.

"Why you, dear." another sip of tea.

"I didn't realize."

"Of course you didn't. If you had, then you'd know to change up your story, to come up with some other excuse or to vary which teacher you cut out on."

"Mrs. Beaverdick, I'm done with my tea now. I think I'd better go."

"Of course dear, I'll walk you. It'll be getting dark soon. Us ladies must stick together, safety in numbers you know."

Ava allowed the teacher to lead her out, stopping only to flip off the light switch as they left.


"What do you mean you've got to close the case?" Richard Cunningham rose to his feet, his face flushed with anger as he fairly towered over the Lieutenant. He ran his fingers through his thinning light hair before shoving his hands into the pocket of his cardigan. If he hadn't been so flushed with rage, there would be nothing intimidating about this man.

"Mr. Cunningham, I'm so sorry. You'll never know how sorry I am. I won't condescend as to cry about tax cuts and budgets; I just want you to know that if it were up to me I'd keep this investigation going indefinitely."

"So you do think Liam is still alive?" Joan Cunningham asked, wiping fresh tears and smeared mascara from here face.

"Yes I do. In fact, I believe that his girlfriend-"

"Liam wasn't seeing anyone. We told you that." Richard spat in disgust. The Lieutenant continued, unfazed.

"Friend, then. At any rate, I believe that Ava knows more than she's letting on. I think their involvement was more than a mere friendship and more than 'puppy love.'"

"What makes you think so?" Joan asked.
"She seems as broken up about this as anyone."

"Well, it's an instinct mostly. The thing is, she's not done anything ... not acted in any way other than exactly how we'd expect a young girl in this situation to act. Now, I'm not a psychologist, but it's damn peculiar to me. The 'textbook' cases are there to establish a pattern and tell us what to look for but there's not really any such thing as a 'textbook case' of anything. There are always little variations. Personality traits that are unique to the individual and makes their response close to the textbook but still slightly off. Ava? She's an exact textbook case. She cries when I expect her to cry. She says what I expect her to say. She's even insolent when I expect her to be insolent. It's like she's reading a script."

"Wait a minute, what are you saying? The Arcola girl knows where my boy is?" Richard was beginning to shake with rage.

"Richard, please sit down. The Lieutenant will explain, won't you Lieutenant?"

"I, uh, I don't know if I'd go as far as to say she knows where he is. But I do think she knows something and isn't telling. I don't think the teacher," he consulted his notes,
"Mrs. Beaverdick, is convinced as to the bone fideness of the girl's story, either."

"Well, get her to tell you." Richard nearly screamed.

"It isn't that simple, Mr. Cunningham. Ava is a minor and therefore protected. I can't question her without her parents present. I was allowed to talk to her with her teacher present today as a courtesy. Nothing more. Unfortunately, my conversation didn't turn up anything new; now here we are."

"You said we had twenty-four hours, right?" Richard asked, calmly.

"I'll be the one closing the case if I haven't turned up anything new before I go off duty at seven tomorrow morning. I just felt I owed you the respect of looking in your eye."

"And we appreciate that, Lieutenant." Joan said, softly. Tears ran down her face, though it was impossible to tell if she wept for her missing child, her unstable husband or for herself,
"But I think you'd better go, now."

"Yes," the Lieutenant stood,
"Yes. I'll give you some privacy. Just before I go, let me ask you, is there anything else you can think of? Any place Liam may have gone? Something he said that seemed innocent at the time but now ...." he trailed off.

"There's nothing, Lieuenant." Richard spat.
"There's nothing at all. And my boy is gone. And you're telling us to get over it."

"Mr. Cunningham, I wish there were more that I could do. I promise you we'll keep looking until the last possible second."

"No you won't." Joan said, her voice eerily cheery.
"You'll close the case long before the last possible second." She looked the Lieutenat in the eye coldly, though her tone remained upbeat and civil,
"Honestly, Lieutenant, I do understand that you can't keep up the search. I, that is, we, knew that it would happen eventually. It's just that I must insist that you be honest with us, and honest with yourself when you say it. You will not look until the last possible second."

"I suppose that's one way of looking at it."

"I want you to say it." Joan said, maintaining her calm demeanor,
"I want to hear you say that you won't look until the last possible second."

"Joan, come on, that's enough." Richard said, shooting a glare toward the Lieutenant,
"We're all upset. I'm angry too."

"He isn't. He's closing the case. The least he can do is be honest about it."

"Mr and Mrs. Cunningham, it is true I will have to close the case if I can't turn up a new lead by tomorrow morning. I realize this is upsetting news, and I want you to know that you have my deepest sympathies." Before they could reply, he turned and left; finding that he couldn't stand to look at them for another second.

Joan Cunningham crumpled to the floor. Richard caught her as she wailed. Sounds of pure pain and despair filled the hall as the Lieutenant walked away as quickly as he could while still being considered polite.

*               *               *

"Thank you for coming." Richard stood, and gestured for the seat across from him. Ava pulled the chair out and accepted his invitation.

"Of course, Mr. Cunningham. I was surprised to hear from you. Is everything okay? I heard about Liam's case being closed."

"Yes, the uh," Richard poured a glass of water for each of them from a pitcher that doubled as a centerpiece,
"The Lieutenant told us he'd talked to you."

"I wish I could help more." Ava said, concentrating on her glass of water, which was now sweating.

"The Lieutenant seemed to think you could." Richard said, his voice only shaking slightly.

"I don't understand." Ava said hesitantly.

"You don't understand," Richard mocked,
"You don't understand."

"Mr. Cunningham, are you okay?" Ava asked.

"You listen to me you little bitch," Richard grabbed her arms in his hands and pinned her to the table,
"I'm not the police and I don't follow anyone's rules but mine. And right now, when it comes to my son, to getting Liam back; I don't have any rules."

"Mr. Cunningham, you're hurting me." Ava whimpered.

"Good. That's how you can tell I'm serious. Ava. The Lieutenant believes you know more than you're telling. That your teacher believes you know more than you're telling. So I'm going to tell you what's going to happen. You're going to tell me what you know. Then you're going to go home and get ready for school tomorrow."

"Mr. Cunningham, I promise I don't know anything."

"Then why does everyone think you do?" Richard's voice rose and drew the attention of other nearby diners. He relaxed his grip on the girl's arms, allowing her to yank them free.

"I don't know, Mr. Cunningham. I don't. I don't know what happened. I wish to God I did but I don't.' she began to sob. Richard watched her intently, remembering the Lieutenant's words that she appeared to be following a script.

"Ava, what do you know? Please. Please just tell me. I need to understand." He pleaded with her.

"Mr. Cunningham, like I said I just don't know what happened." She replied.

"And I don't believe you." Richard said. Ava followed him out, but the two didn't share another word.


"It's just up here." Ava said, motioning for the Lieutenant to follow her.

"What is?" He asked.

"I have to show you. I can't wait for you to see it. Maybe then you'll believe me. Believe that I don't know what happened."

"Ava, I do believe you." the Lieutenant insisted.

"That's not what Mr. Cunningham said. He said you thought I knew more than I was telling."

"He shouldn't have spoken with you. I'm sorry that happened." The Lieutenant inwardly seethed. He should have seen this coming. The Cunninghams had both shown evidence of instability; it should have been obvious that one or both of them would do something stupid. He forced himself to put those thoughts aside for now, concentrating on following Ava.

He had met her at the school as she'd asked. Ava had called him and simply said that she had something to show him and that it was about Liam. She had led him from the school to a storm drain that ran behind the length of the school and its neighborhood. They'd followed the drain for a quarter of a mile, Ava insisting that their destination was "Just up ahead," before she began the climb out of the drain. The Lieutenant was now perched on the top of a runoff tunnel, his right hand holding onto a rock as he waited for Ava to climb ahead and make space for him to follow. She climbed to a point about five feet above him before turning around and motioning for him to follow.

"Quickly, Lieutenant. You need to see it! I need you to see that I don't know what happened."

"Ava, honey, I know you don't know what happened. Can't you tell me where we're going?"

"It's just up ahead. Near the Quarry."

"Ava, stop. I'm not going another step until you tell me where we're going." the Lieutenant stood up straight, allowing his height to intimidate the girl.

"Lieutenant, please. It's just up ahead."

"You need give me a little more to go on, young lady." He admonished.

"Walk with me and I'll tell you." She compromised. The Lieutenant followed her, reluctantly.

"Mrs. Beaverdick, you met her right? Her class really is the worst. Liam and I both hated it. We used to come up with any excuse we could think of to get out of it. He would have to use the bathroom, I'd fake cramps. Stuff like that. We've been friends for a really long time so it was really just a bit of fun. I promise. It was nothing more than a little fun. Do you believe me?"

"Ava, if you mean do I believe that you didn't do anything on purpose, then yes. I do believe you. But what did happen? Was there some sort of an accident?"

"You're not listening." Ava said, exasperated.

"We found this tunnel leading of from the Quarry. We started to explore it."

"Tunnel? Ava is Liam in this tunnel?"

"That's what I'm trying to tell you Lieutenant. I don't know what happened."

"Okay Ava," he soothed,
"Just start from the beginning."

*               *               *

Ava watched the door close on Liam's "come hither" finger wag and smiled. Today was the day. She knew it. Today was the day she would tell him how she really felt. Today was the day of their first kiss. She looked at her planner and drew a heart next to the date where she had already written: "First kiss with Liam. Remember for anniversary purposes."

"Mrs. Beaverdick?" She called, raising her hand.

"Yes, Ava? I suppose you have to go to the bathroom too?"

"No, ma'am. I need to go to the nurse."

"You're not feeling well?" Mrs. Beaverdick asked.

"Not exactly. I sort of, um, forgot to bring ... you know ...." she silently hoped her teacher got the hint.

"I see. Yes, of course you may visit the Nurse."

Ava left as quickly as she could. She made sure the door shut before she moved again; not wanting anyone in the class to see her heading in the opposite direction. She bolted through the gymnasium exit, sprinting across the field to the hole in the fence that everyone complained about but that no one ever fixed. Once she was in the storm drain, she hurried to the Quarry. She'd half expected to catch up to Liam on her way, but there was no sign of the boy. Reaching the Quarry she made her way to the tunnel and found Liam waiting for her inside.

"Hey," she said, as casually as she could muster,
"How's it going?" There was no response. She looked at him, trying to tell if he was playing a game with her.
"I think Mrs. Beaverdick suspects something. I think we should make today count and take a break for a while and let things cool off. What do you think?'

There was again, no response.

"Speaking of making things count, Liam, there's something I've been wanting to give you for a long time. I've just been waiting for the right time. I think it's today." She leaned forward and boldly kissed him. She pressed her mouth firmly to his, allowing her passion to dictate the ferocity of the kiss. Her hands went from his chest to the sides of his face. For his part, Liam stood stock still. His arms remained at his sides.

"Liam?" Ava asked, pulling away,
"Liam, don't you like me?"

Liam didn't respond. He didn't move. In fact there was no change at all in his demeanor aside from a low growl in his throat.

"Liam, I don't understand. What's happening?"

*               *               *

"What happened next, Ava?" The Lieutenant prodded. The girl had trailed off and been silent for two minutes.

"I've been telling you, Lieutenant. I don't know what happened."

"Well, we're at the Quarry now, can you show me this tunnel?" He tried.

"It's just over here." Ava motioned.

"Ava, why didn't you tell anyone about this before?"

"Oh, I did." She replied simply.

"You did?" He asked,

"Just the other day I told Mrs. Beaverdick." Seeing his surprised look, she continued,
"She asked me why I had lied to you when you'd asked me if I knew anything else about where Liam was. I told her I didn't know what happened. She didn't believe me so I had to bring her here to show her."

"I wonder why she didn't call me?" The Lieutenant muttered to himself.

"I think she might still be talking to Liam."

"To Liam? What the hell is going on Ava?"

"Oh, I also showed Mr. Cunningham. Though to be honest I didn't want to. He hurt me. And he's mean."

"He hurt you? Ava, we need to stop right now, and I need to take you in to make a formal statement."

"Well that'll be up to Liam, won't it?  I mean if he isn't really missing then why do I have to make a statement?"

"Where's Liam, Ava?"

The girl didn't respond. Instead, the Lieutenant felt a tug on his right arm. He looked at the source and found the lifeless eyes of Mrs. Beaverdick. The deathmask she wore betrayed the fact that she'd been terrified when she died. She lumbered on a broken right ankle, pulling the Lieutenant behind her. Ava smiled,

"I told you she was still down here. That's why she didn't call you."

"What is this? What's going on?" The Lieutenant asked.

This time the response came as a tug on his left leg. He looked down to find Mr. Cunningham's arms wrapped around his ankle. Looking closer he realized that it was only Mr. Cunningham's torso that had hold of him. The man's body seeemed to stop at the waist; his legs were missing or had been replaced by a trail of his intestines and digestive system that he dragged behind him. Ava's grin became even broader.

"Mr. Cunningham was so happy to see Liam that he rushed right up to him and gave him a hug. Liam missed his dad too. He hugged him so hard he pulled him right off his legs!"

"Ava, you've got to listen to me. Please. Help me. Get them off of me. We've got to get out of here."

"Not yet, Lieutenant. You need to see that Liam's okay. That I don't know what happened but he's okay."

The Lieutenant heard another low growl from in front of him. He turned his gaze to the source of the sound and found Liam moving toward him from the darkness. Ava walked around the Lieutenant and took the boy's arm, kissing him on the cheek. Liam made no move against the girl, instead moving toward the Lieutenant as if the man were all he could see. The boy was in the best shape of all of them, but was still obviously a corpse. His skin was pale, as if his body had been drained of blood. The Lieutenant could see the trace lines of veins as if the boy's skin was transluscent. Ava wrapped her arm around Liam and helped him toward the Lieutenant.

"See Lieutenant. He's okay. Just a little different now. I told you I don't know what happened and I don't. I kissed him and then he was like this. I don't think it was my fault,but I can't think of anything else it could be. I don't know what to do, now because everyone thinks Liam is missing and when they see him like this they'll all know it was my fault." She hung her head in embarrassment.

"Ava, you've got to get me out of here. I can help you. We can get a team here, like I heard they had in North Carolina. We can figure it out."

"You're not listening, Lieutenant. I don't know what happened. I don't know what happened to Liam. I don't know what happened to Mrs. Beaverdick. I don't know what happened to Mr. Cunningham, and when they come asking me I'll be sure to tell them I don't know what happened to you, either, Lieutenant." she looked at Liam, kissing him on the cheek again,
"I've got to get home, honey. Mom will be worrying if I'm not back soon. I'll be by in the morning to see you again." Another kiss, this time on his mouth, which was in mid-snarl when her lips made contact.

"Ava, don't do this. Please. We can figure this out."

As last words go, they weren't the best. Ava wished that he'd had something more poignant or inspirational to say. Something about love beating the odds and how to make a relationship work. She found it immensely disappointing that he'd been about as useful as the others. So focused on how Liam had changed. None of them seemed to care that she'd changed to. That Liam had made her a woman.

"There's nothing to figure out, Lieutenant. I love him. We'll find a way to make it work. Somehow." With a final kiss blown to Liam, Ava left; the Lieutenant's screams playing a recessional to her exit.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Set Fire to the Ocean

A stirring in my gut
A nervous bleeding in my brain
I don't want to go
Not into that good night
Nor an ocean of wisdom and learned kindness
Such is the mark of age
The first steps of death as
The body wrinkles and withers
The fire of former greatness
A nova to a black hole
Trapped in the core of the shell of what once was
The only thing free in this world is verse
Verses that flow through my veins
Dripping sweat from my brow
Verses that erupt from my cock
Cumming to inseminate this audience
With an idea
I'm a free man.
Not to be silenced.
Not to be caged.
Less than what was
More than what is
Lost between here and there
Floating in an ocean of wisdom and learned kindness
The idea takes shape
And it becomes a reality
It is better to burn out
Than to fade away
But one does not simply set fire to the ocean.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The L Word

Love you to death
Love you too
Love you til it hurts
Love you madly
Love will conquer all
Love will come to you
Love walks in
Love to be loved
Love thing
Love theme
Love that conquers
Love that burns
Love stinks
Love song for my mom
Love song
Love sneakin' up on you
Love sick
Love shoulda brought you home
Love should
Love shines
Love shack
Love sets you free
Love runs deeper
Love ridden
Love rescue me
Love removal machine
Love reign o'er me
Love potion # 9
Love pledge and the arena
Love out me
Love on your side
Love on the rocks
Love on the air
Love of my life
Love needs a heart
Love nation sugarhead
Love my way
Love me two times
Love me tender
Love me like music, I'll be your song
Love me like a man
Love me just leave me alone
Love me do
Love me
Love machine, part one
Love lovely love
Love like we do
Love like rockets
Love like a bomb
Love letters
Love it or leave it alone
Love is the seventh wave
Love is the drug
Love is stronger than justice
Love is strange
Love is not enough
Love is like a river
Love is here to stay
Love is dangerous
Love is blindness
Love is a rose
Love is a deserter
Love is a blind ambition
Love is a battlefield
Love is
Love in vein
Love in store
Love in an elevator
Love in a vacuum
Love, I don't need it anymore
Love hurts
Love her madly
Love her
Love has no pride
Love hangover
Love gets me every time
Love from here, love from there
Love for sale
Love dump
Love comes tumbling
Love child
Love changes
Love buzz
Love bug
Love bites
Love and sharks
Love and peace ... or else
Love and happiness
Love and anger

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

All That is Gold

I woke up with the sun
Only to find no beauty in it's rising.
Instead I feel its fire
Burning in my chest
Reminding me
There is no beauty
Greater than the rise and fall of your chest beside me
Rhythmically meditative
Calming a beast caged inside my heart

I put pen to paper
Only to find no words in the writing
Instead I speak the words
Letting them pass through me
Reminding me
There is no declaration
Greater than the act of touching your lips with mine
Passionately conjoining
Filling a hole inside me that I never knew existed

I swallowed a pill
Only to find no healing in its medicine
Instead I feel its robbery
Twisting and changing my very essence
Reminding me
There is no healing
Greater than your embrace
Lovingly protecting
Saving me from the demons of my own soul

I built a house
Only to find no shelter under its roof
Instead I feel caged in its walls
Leaving nothing but captivity in perpetuity
Reminding me
There is no home
Greater than the place in your heart where I live
Pleasantly enclosing
Reminding me I am never alone

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Last, First Kiss

The moon was big in the sky
With a breeze fanning my flames
On the night of my last, first kiss.
And if I had known
I might have paid more attention
The the way the stars aligned
On the night of my last, first kiss.
But at the time
All I wanted was to feel
My heart thump the dots and dashes of an S.O.S.
As I fell head over heels
On the night of my last, first kiss

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

L-Dopa (Borderline II)

El Dopa.

The dope.

That's not a real cognate.
The white queen, my sweet dihydroxyphenyl lover
It creates happiness and excitement and
Eternal mouthless hells where nor-and-regular-epinephrine torment me deservingly.
I am not happy. I can't even tell what's real.
The trite saying that love is a drug is true to members of my club
Holding meetings where anyone who gets off on adulation and attachment and access and ass and adrenaline and adultery are welcome.

Darling delicious Dopamine.
Somehow I've convinced two dozen men to sleep with me and dozens of women to waste their time on me.
My relationship with them reflects on me worse and on them better.
Often misleading, or irresistibly mysterious,
Mean polarized with nice.
Something about me has an allure.
Not incredibly attractive yet consistently handsome
The intricate push-pull of my vacillating attachments puts screws in people's hearts.

I'm exactly as painful as I sound.
I'm sorry.
I hate myself more than you hate me, though.
You can go away, now, just like everyone else.
Everything is temporary anyway. Leave me alone.
I'm a borderline personality and
I expect you to hate me for it.
But that sounds like it's not my fault--it is.
Everything is.
And isn't.

I can't pin down anything because my awareness changes in the breeze.
I always thought I won relationships because I didn't screw up.
When I disguise my win as a loss because there's so little of me there in the first place
If someone likes me I'm filled in with their bathroom mirror selfie and
I'm a whiteboard for a misguided subconscious desire for perfection
I'm perfect sometimes but I'm often ugly and I hate how badly I need your approval.
I'm broken and even trying to reassemble the mirror gives me glass slivers.
I'm double-business bound:Too good for hell and too bad for heaven
I'm simply who I am.
Just like you.