Man, things hit me hard today,
Not in an injurious way,
Not at all like that,

The summer got back into my groove,
Phish took over,
Not some quick hitters,
The long, one song commute kind of songs,
Aided with the repeat button,
So all I heard was the massaging sounds
Of the Jersey Shore.

Man, things hit me hard today,
Not in an injurious way,
Not at all like that,

Spinning got back into my groove,
Sweat took over,
When a Willem Dafoe lookalike
Taught the perfect class for the moment
Without all the bullshit bouncing on the bike,
An understated style, and music that was not the focus.
For it’s really about the ride, right?

Man, things hit me hard today,
Not in an injurious way,
Not at all like that,

I must have been breathing some rare air
For my lungs were full of inspiration from
Masters of their crafts,
Friends full of humor, and the gift of loving to learn.
I walked freely, talked about being excited by research,
And felt better about who I am,
Than I had in some time.

I’ll take these punches, man.
No hurts, no ouches,
All that.

Wrestling with those internal voices,
Threatening to throw some shade their way
Or maybe go so far as to ghost them.

It’s not like stuff is all that serious,
We all have stuff to deal with.
I’m just tired of the noise.

Phantoms masking as confident and self-assured,

The kind of voices that hear drama,
Start drama,
Relish in the bull that swirls around.

Sometimes mine,
Sometimes the dominion of others,
Neither that I should ever own.

I’ll keep going
The chatter will fade into the distance
With plenty of shade and only the friendly ghosts.

In recovery,
Not that I know anything about that,
But I know what it’s like to be mad,
Scared, full of discontent,
And I’m sure that I’ve found direction
To steer clear of all that,

Most of the time,

Which puts me in the life-jacket of
Since it’s still easy for me to find a red line,
To blame others when I’m scared,
To fail to appreciate all that is beautiful around me.

Recovery feels good, though,
Peeling at the scars of hurt,
Confronting the scary shit that is fostered within,
Accepting the moment as a temporary piece of me,
A time that helps me grow and has whatever
I choose to put on it.

Learning to laugh,
Being less judgmental,
Living my truth
Not putting it on others,


Sounding a little angry,
Afraid of something,
Unhappy with a moment.

Baby steps.
“Out of my head,” they sang…

I was once at a conference
Outside of Boston
After taking a crop duster plane
In a serious strong wind
That blew the plane all over the place.
The noise inside the cabin
Temporarily damaged my hearing
Leaving me dazed and deaf
To the ways of the people I was about to meet.

We spent the first day getting to know each other,
Touchy-feeling kind of games,
Ball tosses, trust falls, alligator rivers,
And such.
That night, over beers,
Two of the guys bragged of strip clubs,
Getting liquored up, and extracurricular affairs
That did not include their wives.

I started to tell a joke that started,
“These two old country boys,”
Which my new mates from the conference
Immediately shut down as inappropriate
And the kind of joke that would have crossed their lines
Had we gotten to the punchline,
“Sunday, Monday, Tues…”
My radar had been off,
Thinking these two pretty much scoundrels,
Appreciators of stereotypical jocularity,
Purveyors of familial incongruity,
But evidently, I was the louse.

Confusion reigns as I try to figure folks out,
I’m never quite sure where I fit,
Playing the part of an outsider is always the safest
Because I’m fairly sure it’s best to be untethered
So I can just float away
When I get too disoriented.

Those two dudes from that convention went their way,
I caught the crop duster back to Philly
Full of the kind of knowledge those kinds of workshops instill.
In forty-eight hours we had met, been responsible for physical safety,
Heard stories of infidelity, and established a fuzzy boundary for humor.
Unfortunately, when those moments repeat I’m left confused,
With a hand on a carabiner ready to let go
So I can stay in the quiet confines of what I know,
Uncertainty, inaccurate perceptions, and a selfish desire to not give a fuck.

Someday I’ll get there.
Someday I’ll understand my place.

I read a study today,
It basically said,
Elite endurance athletes
Think about the race,
The tactics, they cues their body is sending
Amateurs think about
Everything else with a drifting mind
That can’t seem to focus
On the strategy, the plan, the reason for being.

Okay, I read, even made a note
About focusing on the particulars of
Whatever it is I’m doing,
Swimming, biking, or running
Because my amateur ass won’t finish
If I let my mind wander
To all the stuff that floats
In my gray matter.

Fully aware, I made a mistake,
Sharing my intentions for an impromptu ride
One of many hours
Because what else am I going to do
On a frigid Friday afternoon when I was gifted
With a bit of free time.
Saddled up, fan on, timer going, I started.
Mr. Shelby and his brother Arthur
Made mayhem in season five.
I was struck by the religious symbolism of several scenes,
“Gotta remember to write that down, brilliant angle.”
The smell of barbecue wafted down the basement stairs
Allowing my stomach to send signals
That hunger was on its way.
Then I realized my butt was aching,
My legs were tired, the sweat was dripping hard,
Exams were over, the sauna is gross,
But it’s not as bad as the steam,
I’ll risk the dry heat. The food, the food, the food.

Seventy-minutes in, done.
A couple of hours short.


My hip hurts from running,
Only a normal amount,
The soreness will be gone
In the morning.

This is a good thing,
Certainly, my discomfort
Being temporary,
Is nothing like that in The Swamp.

I bet the pain of running from
Has got to hurt more
Than a little Ralph run.

Better to for a run
Than be on the run
I’m doing another seven tomorrow
The orange one must be sprinting.

Set in the years
After that one war
That was supposed to end them all,
During the start of those roaring years,
And a bit before the greatest economic disaster ever,
An unknown chemist to me,
Is trying to figure out
How to make rubber
Pretty and stable,
Easy and hard,
Practical and profitable.
He scribbles notes in haste and absent-mindedness
Only sure that they exist within his head,
Not for some low rent hack writer
With dreams of investigative skills,
DuPont curiosity, and
Time to kill in that professional limbo
Where brain cells have become so drunk with boredom
That they do not possess enough power
To conduct thought.
Lieban, if that’s your name,
You’re a mystery,
But an accelerator in way
You never expected.
I’m bouncing off the walls.
Boing, Boing, Boing…