To Frustratingly Flail About With My Words

Some days

I believe I can be as articulate as the greatest of ancient Greek orators.

Sitting, surrounded by youth.

Using extended metaphor to enlighten.

Persuasive and entertaining with my words. Arguing a point that possesses a foregone conclusion just to uproot it 

and shake it free of narrow-mindedness. Then transplant it elsewhere.

Entertaining with anecdotes that seem outrageous yet familiar

to a captive audience.

Making others emotionally invest in the story being told.

Relating to the characters.

Relating to the storyteller.

Relating to me.

But then

there are those who don’t listen 


they, themselves, are the protagonist,

and it is their story being told. 

Because everything that is not about them

bores them. 

And they opt out that story even if it is not theirs 

and could be woven into their existence and used for strength.

Other days 

a big, thick, murky fog

clouds my brain,

and I’m distracted by trivialities or fatigue.

I try to cut through to get to the point that I know exists

just beyond the murkiness. 

Immediate but unreachable.

Like the sun behind the clouds.

And I frustratingly flail about with my words. 

“You know the thingy that what’s his face used for the whachmacallit? You know, the thingamabob?”

Plodding slowly towards a conclusion

that isn’t all that substantial 

let alone scintillating.

And I wonder

how the day determines creativity.

What alignment of stars

or perfect thickness of the ozone layer

 is needed for me to be bright and sharp

and compelling? 

Or if the gods could merely flip a coin,

and decide, 

“today’s the day” 

to make a change. 


“today’s the day” 

to take a nap.

At this moment, 

I write. 

But it’s a tough slog through the haziness 

of a mind that doesn’t cooperate.

So what is there to do 

but to write 

about how difficult it is

to write today. 

Memory as Metaphor

Memory is a funny thing.

It’s like a tiny alligator. Lurking in shallow water leisurely swimming by moving its tail. You wade tentatively in life, feeling warmth and security. Going further out and away. When suddenly it grabs your ankle in its sharp pointy teeth reminding you it’s there. And then leaving little pointed pricks in your skin.
Prickly, pint points of blood. Distracting reminders.

Or it’s like a shroud that falls over you when you’re going about your business, in the middle of routine. And suddenly a smell or a taste or an image will act the trigger release of a safety catch. Letting drop a black and suffocating shroud. That settles on you for an hour, or a day, or sometimes a week.
Until you’re distracted by an occurrence or
a conversation or
a making-of another memory that will not take its place but rather act as a distraction. Strong enough to put shreds in that shroud.

At times it is like a Tuesday bruise on your knee on Thursday. Not as sore and tender to the touch as the day you received it, but now dark and purple and prominent when you lift your pant leg to view it. Only to cover it up again. Then have it glare at you in the face when you’re in the tub, knees popping up through the bubbles reminding you that you fell.
A small injustice or failure.

And every once in awhile it’s like a little spot of sunshine that moves about a room. You have to consciously see it. Move towards it. Plant yourself in it so that you can have it warm you. If even for a little while.
Like a cat.
Until it’s time to move on and out of the sunshine
and back into the momentum of life.
Only to experience new alligators, shrouds, bruises
and blessed patches of sunshine.