A Minute with Michael

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Playing in the Dirt

Playing in the dirt,
a small patch of dried,
grey black soil,
the landscape of adventure
and imagination.
A child’s playground.

The dry, cracked, ground,
a crevasse to overcome,
a vein of Earth to test your
skills against in the pursuit of
your miniature goals.
Endless mystery.

The location of the Pirate’s
treasure, the tomb of some ancient
Pharoah to be discovered,
a patch of desert to be
explored, the ground for the
epic final battle.

Playing in the dirt,
fingernails filthy with
the ground, knees dirty
and lightly scratched,
but forgotten in imagination
and fantasy.

A tiny landscape of
unmeasurable potential,
expansive in a young mind,
but hardly a patch of land
worth noting with old

No more playing in
the dirt, when bills are
due, projects need completing,
and we must suspend our
desires with practical things,
and put our toys on the shelf.

Except this toy. This toy,
I will keep close.
We never know when the opportunity
to play in the dirt might come
again, and our imaginations are
aglow with adventure.


I pick at it.
I can’t seem to help it.
This scab,
I pick at it.
But I don’t want it to
bleed again.

I gingerly pick at it,
avoiding the full
scab tear off,
the itchy-ness of
it driving me crazy,
But I don’t want it to bleed.

My fingernails
surgically scratching
as this irritation
in slow, deliberate,
swirls, to avoid the pain,
and to keep it from bleeding.

It never works,
I get frustrated and go
in for it, patience at an
end, the itching being too much
and I rip the scab off,
blood running down.

“Damn it,” I’ll say,
angry at myself for not
leaving it alone.
It would have healed just fine,
if I hadn’t picked at it.
And it’s bleeding again.

The blood will dry,
form a new scab,
which I’ll be unable to resist,
picking at,
hoping again,
it won’t bleed.

The Kids of Make-Out Ridge

The ridge over the desert,
high in the sands,
away from the prying eyes of
parents and pervs, and those
not cool enough for Make-Out Ridge.

The Kids of Make-Out Ridge;
they make out.
Car loads of horny teens,
drive up to the ridge,
and kiss each other.

They writhe and press,
peck and paw,
lustily gnawing on each
other as if life on this planet
would cease to be if they stopped touching.

Row after row,
of foggy windowed cars,
rocking and rolling back and forth,
with every impassioned embrace,
teens living and dying with each
soulful kiss.

They talk of love, soul-mates,
children, their lives,
while cuddled in the post kiss
embrace, arm in arm,
hand over hand.

The sexual enthusiasm at
a fevered peak; but so few couples
go all the way at Make-Out Ridge,
because that’s not what you do
at Make-Out Ridge.
It’s for kissin’ and for cuddlin’.

If you want to go all the way,
you have to go all the way down,
to Eve’s Valley, where the Drive-in Movies used
to be. That’s where the bad kids go.
The bad sex kids and their sexy sexiness.

The bad kids and their liberated ideas,
and bodies and minds and cool clothes;
they all “do it” at Eve’s Valley;
which is what all the Kids of Make-Out Ridge
think anyway.

The Kids of Eve’s Valley,
they think the same about
the Kids of Make-Out Ridge,
and no one really knows,
and no one really cares.

Now, where did you say you wanted
me to drive you?


Treading water,
in a paper cup,
on an escalator,
only going up.

Climbing mountains,
made of molehills,
charging windmills,
of prescription pills.

Watching static fuzz,
on high-def televisions,
scanning crystal balls,
for prescient visions.

Putting puzzles together,
on an elephant’s back,
Adventuring in all weather,
restless sleeping in a nap-sack.

Walking in an endless circle,
a wide arc in the sky,
vultures in a carrion fraternal,
noshing on bone and eye.

Rhyming in agonizing suspense,
for the next line,
hoping it makes sense,
but I guess it seems fine.

Thinking about nothing,
on a nothing sort of day,
while nothing did nothing,
as is its way.



Borderless & Uninterrupted

Man walked on the Moon,
53 years ago, today; July 20, 1969.

A collaborative effort of colossal
achievement undertaken by men and
women of such different backgrounds,
histories and beliefs, making something
that seemed like an impossible dream,
become a reality.

And today we can’t even agree
on anything.
Or at least, anything of consequence.
Or whether a Hot Dog is a sandwich
or not.
Is it?

I’d like to get back to the Moon,
so we can see the Earth for what it is;
one planet, inhabited by hundreds
of thousands of different species and

Borderless and uninterrupted by
the arbitrary map lines drawn by
long dead monarchies or diplomats,
and as a true single planet, adrift, in a

The great discoveries are still out
there, and yet; they are here too,
right on our own blue dot.
In the eyes and hearts of our fellow humans,
as we do our best to navigate the isolated

The collaborative discoveries of acceptance and
love, to be worked on by so many, shared and
embraced, to be marveled upon with equal awe.
As any space exploration dream come true.

The Moon, staring down at us,
working on the tides,
helping out with gravity,
wondering if we’ll ever visit again,
and if we’ll ever get our shit together
enough so we can.

Stupendously Bonkers

What a great word.

It’s just fun to say,
“That shit is bonkers!”
See, so fun!

“It’s bonkers to impose
the morals of the minority
upon the majority.”
See, supes fun to say.

It so adequately describes
the actions of people whom
appear to have struck their
heads very hard, as to “bonk”
their heads, on the boulders of their
mountain of judgment as
they tumble to their
inevitable doom.

Yes, bonkers.
I can hear those screaming jerks
tumbling down now.
Asses over ears as they
plummet, into the crevasses of
their own inept certitude.

“We’re the moral majority,” the bonkers
bonk heads scream, “We know the will
of the Christian God…,” as they grasp and
cling to the dying roots of a long past
time in our history, before losing their
grip and falling into the abyss of their own

I cannot actually comprehend
how bonkers it really is to judge
people without ever having walked
in their shoes. Even if that footwear
happens to be huge clown shoes.
Or those of a ten-year-old girl.

But, I suppose it’s bonkers of me
to have any expectations upon certain
types to have any compassion or empathy
or enough self-knowledge to know better
than to enforce their will on those that
simply do not believe the same thing as they do.

It’s a bonkers World I suppose.
Stupendously Bonkers.

Writing Something

I rubbed my eye and felt
the subtle squeak of my
eye against my eyelid,
as I tried to clear my vision,

This page flickering white
on the desktop in a
photon mockery of
anything I try to attach
to it.
Vapid vastness.

Have I written about
Is there really nothing left
for me to say?
I can’t think of a thing,
wracking my brain all day.

Do I try the murder story?
No, I’m tired of death.
Do I attempt the weird
Twilight Zone style twist story
where it was Earth all along?
No. Meh.

In an era of exhaustion;
emotionally, physically, and
mentally; it’s hard to stay
fresh and crisp, on the cutting
edge of wordplay and in the
pugilistic ring of poetry.

I feel disaffected by my own
words, far away from any meaning,
or substance, as if they are already
gathering dust on some ancient
library bookshelf, written in a dead language
no one alive can decipher.

I rub my eye again,
it’s bothering me,
like there’s a twinkle in there
but I can’t seem to get it to
More. Boring. Words.


If you see conspiracies everywhere
and are filled with a constant paranoia
about people in power, or believe that
lizard people are wearing costumes
of human skin and are impersonating
members of the government all
while being pedophiles,
then you are the problem.

If you think Gun Control is a
“Mental Health Issue”,
you are the problem.
If you think your “right”
to carry a weapon is
more important than my right
not to get shot,
you’re the problem.

If you think a woman’s
right to choose what happens with her body
is an affront to your religious beliefs,
then you are the problem.

If you feel persecuted for
your beliefs, perhaps it’s time
to re-evaluate what those beliefs
are. If you can’t see that your belief
system is hurtful, selfish or spiteful,
then you are the problem.

If you believe that Jesus or God
chose anyone to “lead” America,
then you are the problem.

The person who will never
read this poem, because that type,
that type doesn’t read poetry.
That’s the problem.

I feel like I’m just repeating myself,
shouting into the void.
That’s a problem.

Happy Birthday (Sigh) U.S.A.

It’s your “Birthday”.
In a couple days.
You’re looking…fat.
Like, you’ve really put on
a few pounds and are not
carrying it well.
You know that’s not healthy, right?

Really heavy in the middle
there, and the wrinkles,
wow. I’ve seen Egyptian
mummies with better skin,
are you moisturizing or using sunblock or
just letting your neck get so red?

You’re pretty young as countries go,
only 246 years old, which frankly, is a
toddler in comparison to a lot of
other countries. Did you know Japan
is over 4,000 years old? They look great
don’t they?

Well, I agree, being an Island can
be very slimming.
But I mean, you could have that look too.
If you wanted to, but that’s your choice
I suppose. I mean, if you’re allowed to
have a choice about your physical condition.
Metaphorically, obviously. Or is it literal now?

Why don’t you open the present I got for
That’s right, it’s a box of fireworks to set off
at three o’clock in the morning on a random
Wednesday in November because you’re America
damn it and you’ll be damned if anyone tells you
how and when to set off explosives.
Neighbors suck anyway, right?

Actually, USA, I’m not really feeling your
birthday this year. Sure, we’ll go to the party,
and have the BBQ and drink until our kidneys fail,
but I’m just worried about you bro.
You’ve been getting weird in your aging.
Like, so weird.

Is something bothering you?
Like, are you upset at us or something?
Did we do something to make you mad?
I mean, you don’t have to answer me right
now, I know that’s the last thing you
want to think about around your birthday but…

I mean a lot of people have died for you,
so maybe, I don’t know, have a frank and
honest discussion with us about where you
see yourself going, I mean, do you want to
stay this aging frat bro, or get a little classier
and stop this madness?

A lot of people aren’t really “feeling” it
this year. There’s been some really crappy
stuff done in your name bro, so, people
are pretty, just, “not into you” right now.
I mean, I think people are starting to think
Canada is a little hotter than you.
At least that’s what I heard.

I am sorry to pressure you bro,
I know you have a lot on your plate,
it appears to mostly be filled with cake,
but a full plate nonetheless.
I just want you to have a Happy Birthday
and to maybe really think about
your choices. The choices that have a deep
and long-lasting effect on us, bro.

I hope you find the time this year to
maybe get in a little exercise, maybe
try to take care of yourself a little
better, stop all that pollution and litter
and try to work on all that lard thickening
you up so, so, so much in the middle.

Also, don’t do a keg stand this year.
I know you love it, but dude, it’s time to
Okay, try to have a happy birthday.
I’ll try to have a good Fourth of July.


Photo Credit: https://www.malls-365.xyz/products.aspx?cname=mens+speedo+american+flag&cid=27


Compassion is not weakness.
It is a strength.
Empathy is not weakness.
It is a strength.
Sympathy is not weakness.
It is a strength.

So, it is my only guess,
that those who fear
our strength,
your strength,
are making rules,
to save themselves;

From the cascading
torrents of the emotional
complexities of being a
genuine human-being, that are
about to be wrought upon
them. In waves of dissention
and objective derision.

A call to action,
not to arms,
a call to our strengths,
and willingness to feel
and see the world through
the eyes of others, others
not as fortunate or lucky.

Action through choice,
action through serious consideration
and recognition that every action
bears consequences, seen and unforeseen,
yet we must continue the struggle
against those that view our strengths
as weaknesses.

We, through these strengths,
can create, build and advance;
pushing the potential of our
progress with muscled shoulders,
that have borne the weight of
history; our words commanding,
“No more falling backwards.