Flashbacks and out of body experiences
Can kind of be the same
When the past comes to life.
In these cosmic times when
The writing on the wall
Seems to be spaced unevenly or at least
Punctuated improperly,
One’s feelings should be noted
For the chi we carry rides
On karma surf boards
Everywhere we go,
Especially around tables
Where the banter is brief, banal, and
Sooo rich for the writing.

First, a disclaimer, anonymity stripped away is more fun
Because what fun is it to just hang out
With nothing being invested in the beauty of being in a group?
Runners, weight lifters, 9-5 slummers, or worst of all, teachers,
Bring something of fault to the tables where they gather.

All of our unattractive stuff should be appreciated,
Dare I suggest, illuminated…

Perfection is not part of the equation,
Which is why wackos can stand in a US city
Without being in a state
Holding signs that say, “Inexplicable Exonoration,”
Or some fecal matter like that.
We should treasure the outliers,
Making every attempt to find our edges, too.
That’s not to say that we should be hurting people,
To quote my learned professor, ” People are not for hurting.”

That said, put on your seat belts because…

No, the disclaimer is that I write about what I hear,
What I see, and I find it all amusing,
As it was as a twenty-one year old kid sitting at a table in Paul’s Deli
With a bunch of other barely legal knuckle draggers
Downing six dollar pitchers, baskets of fries, and Hot Hollies,
Easy, they were subs, hoagies to my northern friends.
What I would give for one of my younger southern friends
To hang with my new older friends
Dropping our immature brand of redneck appreciation on each other
Which was often humor delivered to pierce the soul
Of another in the way that only really good friends are allowed to do.

My old-young friends would rag me about my clothes,
That I wrote poetry…they wanted to know if it was about them…
That my chin was square
That I liked jazz
That I breathed,
It didn’t matter because it was always followed
With comebacks until someone found a crossed-the-line button.
For one friend, it was his early onset pattern of disappearing hair
Which brought out a game changing “eff you”
And a return to the pitchers, fries, and Hollies.

What would be great about the collision of old and new
Would be hearing the more mature and less personal stories of now
Punctuated by the twang of my southern friends saying wang
And then laughing like a bunch of guys sitting around a bonfire
Doing whatever they do between attemps at avoiding the smoke
And seeing who can stand closest to the heat.
They would hoot and holler
With all the hillbilly intonations
Suburban southern kids can muster.
Then they’d get into their lifted Toyota trucks
And drive off into the night
Listening to Hank Williams, Jr. and Duran Duran.

I was rocking a Ford Escape hatchback.
Eff you, it’s still a sore point for me.

So back to the table thoughts,
Paul’s Deli was friendly combat,
The morning coffee table is a flurry of stuff
From running, to corporate America,
To boarderline hashtag humor (my fav),
Parenting, middle-aged schlock…

It’s life.

It’s great.

It deserves to be documented.

Which is what I do,
I hear things,
I see things,
I write them down.

Recently, those things have been put into the public domain
Without the anonymity of “I’m just training for a marathon,”
But with the full fledged nakedness of a whistle blower,
(not that slang for E’s last name because I’d rather build bridges).

Always a bridge builder…

My days of being a male and just out of adolescence are long gone,
While the defective male gene is still a part of my DNA,
I’ve got it under semi contol
With a bit if humility,
A healthy dose of perspective, and
The right amount of maturity.
Don’t get me wrong,
Stupid jokes are awesome,
I’m done wasting time on caca that I want nothing to do with,
And since my long lost days of closing Paul’s Deli,
I’ve learned to play nice (eff the -ly, I didn’t want a rhyme there, Mom…)

Okay, play nicely most of the time.

So, on this morning
Where for the first time in my life
I was the early riser,
Which has more to do with my lack of communication
Than with my emerging ascension to a fitness warrior,
I ran through a lame ass snow storm
Realizing how much I enjoy running in the morning and
How much better it is in the company of others.
I’m also realizing how important
Hanging out,
Not like geriatrics folding towels,
Apparently, the DMG is amplified in senility,
I mean, just hanging out, “conversating,” in a most healthy way
To bring out an inexplicable exhiliration to the end of a run.

I wish the wackos in DC would chant that.

To my friends, you might be in here,
But only if you read yourself into it,
If that’s you,

Laugh.

Enough to keep it going,
That’s about where I’d like to be
On that edge where if things get pushed
A little harder
I might not be able to keep going.

They talk of the faults
Of taking life too easy,
All cozy and comfortable,
They counter with the idea
That it’s all more interesting at the outer limits.

I’d love to know and
That’s up to me,
Pushing ahead with all my might,
Pulling along with an equal effort,
Out there past my limitations.

Stepping out,
Not that Joe Jackson song,
But the idea that all the rigamorole
Is not so heavy a burden,
Rather, it’s a flimsy tissue
Meant to be broken through
With one inspired snot rocket.

Passing through the constraints,
The airborn potential pearl
Is free of the limitations imposed
By the sanitary catch all
And well on its way
To challenging both gravity and stasis,
Either, the result of too little ambition
Or too much apathy.

Snot, it’s not who we are,
We are survivors, thinkers, dreamers,
People who can do more than wait for a sneeze,
Maybe we can do sixty percent more,
And if we can shoot mucous through some one-ply
Who knows what is possible when we are
Stepping out.

Routine has a way
Of making spontaneity cautious,
Of making adventure untenable,
Of putting acceptance into an unwieldy place.

Then there is the idea that a routine
Is a foundation for things like
Finding paths in the snow,
Running down the middle of a dark road,
Or under bright stars
In the moments before sunrise.

I love those routines,
The morning,
The cold and dark,
The frozen breath banter
Making the feels like temperature
Nothing but a conversation piece.

For it’s in those heart-pounding meet-ups
Where the repetition of one stride after another
Takes me away from the routines
Of going to work,
Watching talking heads banter about treason and liberty,
Or just sleeping my life away.

This month, the one built on so many failed resolutions,
Is proving to be the sort of break I’ve needed,
One where I’m taking leave of my excuses, my limitations,
Thirty-one days of living a routine filled with challenge,
Adventure, and “bull-shit” that staves off apathy.

The rewards are plenty of laughter,
A chance to stretch my social hesitancy,
An opportunity to test my resolve,
And an occasion to get outside of my normal routine.

Thanks, Y’all…

It’s a bit ridiculous to see
Kids squinting at 3×5 cards
With the tiniest scribbling
Of a semester’s worth of notes
As a safety net for not studying
When right there
At their beck and call
And coming in at roughly
The same size
Is every answer
To nearly every question
Humans have strived to answer
In that unfortunately named device,
Smart phone, which
Rests with its seductive nature,
Addictive charms,
And so little association
With the reason for the note card.

Owning nothing
While acknowledging
Everything.

Becoming a leaning tower
Of mediation,
Nearly falling to the left.

So lost, so found,
Profound moments,
Confused, all the same.

Not believing an end,
A clock’s ring so arbitrary,
Good vibes always flow.

Thanks, smartwatch,
I’m having one of the best runs in a while,
Legs moving freely,
Cadence high,
Lungs and heart agreeable,
Attitude adventuresome, and
After seven-plus miles, three mean ass hills,
And lots of good companionship
You never turned on to record the run.
No matter, I know how it felt
Without the data.