So much in my head
Sanity at times
Seems to be blown away.

Good sleep,
Good eats,
Anything would help.

Crossword failures,
Impatience on every corner,
Frustration fever

Each testing,
All working,
None going away.

Shake things off,
Think clearly,
Keep it going.

Amazing how unwilling people are
At suffering for things like
Good nutrition,
Exercise, or
Fiscal responsibility.

Equally as amazing at how willing people are
At suffering through things like
Job dissatisfaction,
Cable television, or
Hamster wheel living.

There are a lot of people who
Are unafraid to live life
With the idea that
IT’S TOO SHORT.
They are out there tempting fates, challenging themselves.

There are a lot more people
Bogged down in the acceptance that this is how it is
And it isn’t better just because of change.
They hesitate, they cower,
They wallow in submission.

How do they do it?
How do they exact a bit of influence on now?
How do the settle for this is as good as it gets.
How do they generate that energy to go?
How do I find clarity?

Things are feeling like I’m strapped in a straight jacket.
I can’t move, breath, or even solve a mini-crossword puzzle,
The restriction is getting into my soul
With disappointment and hope for a better professional life
Just out of reach from bound arms.

Others have the answers,
Just no one I know,
They are the ones telling me to chill,
To slow down,
That the grass is greener where I am.

But I’m drawn to the dreamers,
The doers who say this way does not have to be my reality,
That now can be whatever I make it
And then I realize,
I need to listen to myself.

There are people out there who know,
I’ve heard them speak,
I’ve talked to them over swill at the table,
They are different, they come from different fields,
I should listen to them, too.

I’m in my old haunts,
A tiled floor gymnasium
Built for all-purpose use
And the young ones,
Elementary school kids.

Much of what was here when I was
Is gone,
The ropes, the cargo net, the climbing wall,
But I can see those kids,
Running, sweating, jumping over bean bags

I miss those days,
The enthusiasm,
The attention,
The way we played games
AND LEARNED while doing so.

It was real education through the physical,
It never felt like a corralling of kids,
A step above study hall,
One removed from home ec,
The place where I make my living now.

I’m getting to the point where I miss the old days,
White hair will do that to a soul.
I wonder what it would be like to go back.
To end the years the way they started.
Surely annoyances would exist, maybe they wouldn’t…

I heard a poem on YouTube today,
About a woman
Who was put off, rightfully so,
By a white dude.
He talked of her in a way she felt demeaning,
She skewered him
With a strength empowered by the times,
One full of honesty, rage,
And an “in your face” discounting
Of his amorous approach
That was unquestionably a smackdown.

She was appropriate,
Her poem beautifully conceived,
Pointed, direct, and important.

I wish I could be so eloquent,
So free to bash what I see as wrong,
What I feel constraining,
How much I believe in the injustice of so much,
The war on drugs,
The unbalanced reality of mass incarceration,
The danger of shutdown culture,
Yes, by either those on the right or the left,
But I’m not sure I’m allowed to be so appropriate,
So direct, probably because what I’m saying
Is not all that important,
Check that, I’m being told that it is,
That the idea that we all treat each other well
Is something that people should believe in,
That the color of my skin, the origin of my family’s roots,
Or the thickness of my wallet
Does not mean more than how I treat people, right effing now.

So simple of a thought,
The idea that we are all here for a noble purpose,
That we should all be given the respect and appreciation
So deserved, yet as I write, inner voices are telling me to stop,
The ability to trust people outside of my small circle,
Trust, that foundation of family and friendship, of brotherhood and humanity,
So far gone that I worry I’ll be drawn into a controversy,
Into the morass of victimization
A place I think too many fall into
All too easily.

Settle down, white boy,
You don’t know,
You can’t know.

And I don’t, not the way others do,
Not as the poet, whose hurt
At the tongue of ignorance
Nearly brought me to tears
Because she should not have to deal with that.
I can’t know her hurt,
But I can write about how I hurt for her,
How my pain for her
Was inspired by her poem,
Moving me to write another,
Hoping my outrage
At her treatment will not be tamped down.

Because all that isn’t right.

Eight o’clock,
I know where my pillow is,
It’s about to be under my head
So I can let these weary muscles rest,
My gut biome regenerate, and
A return of my sensibilities can begin.

I’m going to need it
If we go ahead and cut the cord.
You hear me XFINITY?,
I’m resting up,
“Retention department, please.”
Ford wouldn’t talk. They got dropped. Just sayin’.

Humility.
A lost quality
In this time of internet sharing
Where all of our lives
Are there for general consumption.

It was a day,
Goggins-esque? O’Brady-ish?
I don’t know,
I just had a good swim
Only brag worthy to me.

Humility.
A little better, that’s all,
Not enough for a sponsor,
Barely noteworthy in a life
Probably more open than should be.

Deciding about cable,
Not sure if I’m able.

The chord is there to be cut
Yet there’s always that but

I’ll miss some sports
Or the nightly Trump reports

We’ll be out of the loop
Truth is most of the stuff is poop

So why is this decision so tough
Maybe it’s time to call their bluff

How different can things be?
Maybe I should do it and see.