would you like a bag with that? – 12/29/12

12/29/12 2:50pm – 12/12/13 12:21pm

would you like a bag with that?
(seventeen days shy of a year)
(only doubt him doubting himself iii)

“whether or not he or she would like a bag is not
the answer worth having.
whether or not i have a bad memory or am not listening is
the question worth asking.”
-c.l. swann 2013


“would you like a bag with that?”,
i asked knowing full and well
the absurd short-term would take
the answer and never tell:

two times


could be that i saw his lips mouth
the single word he was saying
but when it came to reading them
my attention wasn’t paying:

thirty times


or did i ever even ask
or am i psyching myself out?
my second guessing turned a third
while casting shadows of a doubt:

ten times

“watching a man lose his mind to a bag”
-c.l. swann 2013

a gradual fracturing – 12/28/12

12/28/12 4:46pm – 12/29/12 3:25pm

a gradual fracturing

i can feel this left leg breaking once more
only this time slower than it did before
each & every step could be the wrong one
but a leg gone unused is as good as none

so I’m putting all my weight onto this mode
of transportation that always carried this load
hoping anticipation is the worst part
of gradual fracturing at only the start

had i loved you unconditionally II – 12/27/12

12/27/12 2:33am – 6/5/13 11:36pm

had i loved you unconditionally II

had i loved you unconditionally
maybe i could have saved you
or maybe it had always been set in
the stone they just engraved you

you didn’t leave me much a choice
when you wiped your feet with me
you thought i’d lay beneath your door
while turning eyes so blindly

it was peeking over your shoulder
when you wanted it behind us
it’s not your fault you weren’t forgiven
damn whoever designed us

i would not attend your funeral
& have not visited you yet
but when it’s finished i’ll offer this
for both forgiveness & forget

i & ii
still i blame it for not coming to me
that kind of love that stays so easily
if we’d shared blood i’d have acted quicker
damn our water for not being thicker

iii & iv
even if you had been a well-behaved you
who i wasn’t back then could not have braved you
now i must ask the mother that made you
where it is exactly that they laid you

had i loved you unconditionally – 12/26/12

12/26/12 8:13am – 12/27/12 2:53am

had I loved you unconditionally

you never come to me as more than a
passing thought.
so why now after all this time?
you, someone that i called close.
you, that will not be coming back.
you were my first introduction to
you made me aware of mortality.
were you not sent here to do so?

after you left what grudge is there
left to hold onto?
how can i stay mad in memorial?
so far i’ve refused to say goodbye
or celebrate the good.
i am ashamed of my presence
not made at your funeral.
no respects paid to a mother who was
& still is to you somewhere.

had i loved you unconditionally maybe
i could have saved you.
but only so many footprints would fit
on this body before it became obvious a
doormat is what you were after.
you asked for forgiveness when i had
none to offer.
& now that i do it must be used to forgive
myself for not forgiving you soon enough.

would you mind? – 12/24/12

12/24/12 5:25pm – 1/8/13 8:37pm

would you mind?

would you mind taking our photo?
were some family you haven’t met
i really appreciate you doing this
your kindness we won’t soon forget
the picture will just take a second
& another to get everyone set

could you make sure were all in the shot
before giving any count to three’s?
kill two birds and check for smiling
while we all push in & squeeze
to kill a third turn off the flash
so not a red eye shows up after cheese

should you come just shy of greatness
you will be asked to take it again
because in you I’ve seen potential
that’s not visible in all men
what do you mean yes, you mind is a no?
only with english could this happen

office hours – 12/24/12

12/24/12 3:47am – 1/22/13 3:23am

office hours
(the incomplete works)

your trying to contain writing within a set of hours
so far it’s been between leaving & landing on your pillow
its only the near future that sees if you won’t or will though
& anyway it’s spun you’ll wind up needing a cold shower

how convenient it must be to come & go as you please
clocking in mid-conversation & then out with much of ease
when anytime becomes the time to get words off your chest
you’ll only laugh in retrospect once you give it a rest

there are much worse things than thoughts that you could be out collecting
but now that you’ve returned i see you’ve written about writing
with those distant looking eyes just how can i keep inviting?
when you may keep me around just to write about neglecting

i’m broke (it’s christmas) – 12/21/12

12/21/12 4:37pm – 12/9/13 2:22am

i’m broke (it’s christmas)
(tongues coated in fools gold)

i know it’s not what you really wanted
but it’s about the best that i could do
given that holidays of the haunted
and stuffed birds have broke my wallet in two

and that would be fine if it wasn’t for
you children’s still growing expensive taste
your tongues coated in fools gold cry for more
while letting youth on the young go to waste

leftovers and candy of the haunted
for each gold tongue’s name checked not once but two
i know it’s not not getting what you wanted
that took the belief in me out of you

there was a time before you gold tongues began
back when children knew the names of my reindeer
before my likeness was on a soda can
not a gold tongue was stirring that you could hear

nothing’s wrong – 12/20/12

12/20/12 9:40pm – 12/21/12 3:50am

nothing’s wrong
(unaware of itself at that)
(a face without expression)

you may find it hard to believe
this is the way a face could look
after breathing sighs of relief
when most look happy off the hook

this is no face of depression
that you’re getting a good look at
it’s a face without expression
unaware of itself at that

to return to cursive – 12/20/12

12/20/12 12:51pm -12/21/12 4:19am

to return to cursive
(take her name as a sign)

yours is the first name written that’s
convinced me to return to cursive.
somehow i’d managed to only print
your name after all this time.

but never again even if asked to.
i turned away once before & will take
her name as a sign to not think of
trying it once more.

my own signiature sitting beside her’s
seems misplaced in comparison.
i simply must throw muscle memory
out the window & start from scratch.

embarrassed for you – 12/18/12

12/18/12 10:27pm- 12/20/12 8:38pm

embarrassed for you
(making no impression)

you, unmet in passing.
there is nothing to walk off.
you missed a step and nothing more.
there is no use in me feeling
embarrassed for you.
to be properly introduced by your
genuine moment is to actually meet.

you, bruised ego.
blushing cheeks will dissolve once you
learn to laugh at yourself.
this moment only lives with us as long
as you’ll let it.
after your stumble is just this feeling
you’ll soon be forgetting.

you, still mannered.
watch where your going next time why
don’t you?
be where you are while you are there.
come stand with me & watch the same
step claim so many after you.
see them making no impression.