Testing Every Shadow



Oh, I’m hell on wheels, in a handbasket, from the liar of a planet we call Pluto
Racing eagerly through time and space, with a stupid grin
Tripping over my feet as I travel, bouncing off Saturn’s rings and heading to the sun

Each day I step without forethought
My mouth spills words and my mind without passing through a filter
Eyes peering into every cave and shadow passing by
Only to learn after that it’s better to taunt the consequences first with bait
Before jumping into a den of lions

I step out alone and somehow, something always happens
Never serious enough to warrant a security guard
But enough for a shake of the head and a stern word
A small smile and joking-yet-serious voice that reminds me,
Every time I go out alone, something happens

But I can’t really say that’s a bad thing
Yes, tempting fate isn’t the most intelligent of life’s mottos
Yet the stories that I return home with cast humor and a way to pass the time

I know that I am loved, cared for, and that my choices will always be supported by my love, my friends, and my family
Even when those choices run the risk of broken bones or simply a crushed spirit
These are all reparable with time, time which I choose to view as never ending
I won’t live like each day is my last because it won’t be
As naive as that may sound, each day is a new opportunity, building up a step to the next day, with another exciting adventure

So no, I don’t mind my car being keyed, or stalling in the parking garage
I don’t mind feeling a little scared once in a while
Because at the closing hour of my day,
I’m home, safe and loved
Chastised or not, I make it home safe and I am forever grateful
To be so lucky and to be so blessed

Thank you all for allowing me to breathe, to run, and to play
And for being there to guide me to safe haven as dusk fades darker
For sharing in my laughter and my tears
In both, holding me close in a bond broken only through death itself

I love you.


I’m Happy and I’m OK

As humans, happiness is our unspoken goal, the one thing that makes us put one foot in front of the other
But what happens when we are happy, when we’ve finally achieved all we’ve sought?

Do we write about the happy lives, the happy times, the happy moments?
Or do we wait for the screw up, the stone to trip over
So that then, and only then, will we have something to share, to immortalize forever
On paper, on the computer and show it to the world
Seeking companionship desperately once the trip forward loses focus

I have nothing horrid to say, nothing sad or depressing
In fact, right now, the only sad thing in my life is my crummy little car
And my dog pees everywhere

But my life is good, solid, happy
For the first time in years, I can’t sit alone and dwell on shit


It’s a nice feeling, one that’s been long awaited
And now fully appreciated

I think Jennyzilla put it best in saying: “The depression and anger follows from expectations that are too high to be lived up to. Life isn’t perfect. I trip, I stumble, I fall. The ones that are there to pick you up make the imperfections fade.”

Could You, Would You, In Your Life?

Truth and Beauty

A Softer World

There’s a thousand and one ways for you to kill the passing hour
There’s a million and one ways to kill a day
A billion and one to kill a week

A trillion and one in your lifetime

I think a big part of growing up and becoming an independent being
Involves a major lesson on how to be a child again
Actually, growing up involves a lot of lessons

1. Appreciate the little things
It’s the simple, small things that allow you to really grasp how awesome your life is. I know the bills pile up and the days seem to get longer, but it doesn’t matter against the little things.
Your loved one puts a simple post-it on the front door saying “I love you” that you see just as you leave for work.
When you only need a twenty five cents more for your purchase and the person behind gives it to you.
Your waiter offers free refills on something that normally would’ve been extra.

Last night I had one of those moments. We were sitting at the bar and watching as Flash, an older black man, sings soulfully into the mic, smiling at the women who giggle to each other. All of a sudden, a new song comes on and my love sets down my beer, grabs my hand and pulls me onto the dance floor, where we sway slowly, spinning softly, to Elvis.
“Take my hand, take my whole life too / For I can’t help falling in love with you.” 

2. Do not regret what you’ve done in life because at that time, it was exactly what you wanted.
I’m guilty of sitting and regretting A LOT in my life. It’s something everybody does. But there’s value in those things you “regret”. Those drunken nights, those loud arguments in the driveway, the desire to run from the only people who’ve been there from the beginning, not staying in school, quitting a job for false pride. All of these things people can look back on and regret but honestly, would you be where you are today if they hadn’t happened?

Each experience, action, or memory that you look back on with just a little bit more perspective and a tighter hold of the big picture is something to be appreciated, not regretted. Those times built you, showed you where to go, who to trust, gave you the opportunity to be the bigger person, and challenged you to not be content with what you used to be and instead seek improvement and betterment of your self.

3. Remember that the internet isn’t life. There’s the outside as well.
This one’s silly and something that we all heard from our parents growing up.
“It’s a beautiful day today, why don’t you go outside?”
Despite how many times they said it, we still had to be locked outside for a decent couple of hours on a regular basis. At the time, yes, you’re having a fantastic adventure through jungles and hiding from cars but it’s not until years later that suddenly, as you’re sitting in an office or on your lunch break, sweating from manual labor or wearing a jacket in your cubicle, that you miss being able to go play in the mud.

Even if your not an outdoors person, you can still enjoy a nice afternoon outside. I know here in Houston that’s a little impossible right now but eventually!!! A picnic by the bayou, take the dogs to the dog park, challenge your friend to a go-kart race, or just join friends/family for a dip in the pool.

Whenever I get bored with being “grown up” and “responsible”, I invite someone out to eat. And then I initiate a spitball war. Or just throwing random things at each other war. But it never hurts to relax once in a while and just act like a child.

I remember going out to eat and getting told to be quiet and sit still a couple years back by someone. Said that I was being childish and embarrassing them. What I remember most though, was the fact that while they were embarrassed, I was just mad they didn’t try to understand. You don’t have to act like a grown-up all the time. Remember that, boy.

Life is something to be cherished, fully appreciated, a reason to be grateful and an opportunity to do more than just make a paycheck.

Your Smile’s Parade

Maddenning travels
Parading tumultuously through the streets
A parade of two

The grandeur of the event
Far outweighs that of any I’ve ever seen
So long as your hand is there in mine

Fireworks seem to burst in a life unexpected 
Between your pupils and mine
This darkened street comes alive
Lights flash in all brilliant colors
Your smile, a sight beyond comparison

In our silence, the noise is deafening
The screams of children, jumping for candy
Figures dance excitedly all around us
Escorting you and I as the prize unattainable

Your fingers tense, pulling me to another street
And as the corner is rounded, the fanfare disappears
You and I walk alone, hand in hand
A new darkened street
Then you turn and smile

And the parade begins anew

Happy, Halted Machinery

Slow-motion, I see my room turn sideways
Beds lie, held by unseen gravity, to walls
In a moment of disbelief, I wait until reality chooses to reveal itself
Lie silently, hands clasped upon my chest,
I feel as if to lie in a coffin of cotton sheets
In the dim moonlight peeking through the blinds,
I look beside me at the cold, untouched pillow
My fingers trace the folds in the sheet, reaching for a ghost

Finally, I have broken
Finally, I have felt the relief of a thousand tears
My face rests on a soaked cushion, and I cannot open my eyes
Bones weary as if running a machine
Finally, the muscles have given in
A rigid routine, destroyed from lack of attention
A glorious machine, with years of perfect operation
Grind with a great sigh to a halt well overdue

A sleep, so fleeting and hazy, returns to grace me
If only for a night
And amidst the tears and the maniacal laughter, I feel a comfort
My life may not fall directly within the lines of any definition
My choices may perplex all who inquire
But for once, I feel as a child


I feel content, happy
Tonight, I know I won’t feel the terrors that grip my subconscious so often
If only for tonight, I will dream
Of flowers and ponies, of carnivals and cotton candy
Relinquishing hold of all that I refused to acknowledge,

I can smile
There’s only one thing that could truly make this better
But that will come with time
I will wait for the blue gaze to share mine
But until then,
I will sleep soundly
If only for tonight


The smiles rest easy
On a suede couch
Amongst similar hands and faces
Take another swig and fall,
Prey to the laughter of good times

Pass around the jokes
And share the lowered eyelids of looks
Grin at the beat,
Pressing into the back of your head
A rave, settled into a ten foot room

The music falls gently but solidly,
Dropping like water,
Eyes rest on the television
And every perverted joke
Turns giggles into choking laughing,
Wipe the tears away
And light up a smoke

Breathe calmly and share
The trials and changes in our lifetime
Excitement to realize
That high school is really over
Each one progresses
Moving forward with our lives,
It’s really happening

Yet through it all,
We remain together
Every step of the way,
I’ve got your hands
And you both have mine

I couldn’t have made it this far
Without you two
Thank you

Cacophany of Sounds

Pervade my mind with no inhibitions. The noise filters in from all sides and hands over my ears do nothing to stop it. The table saw sears through wood, eager to please master and buyer. Time and time again, the high pitched screech fills my mind. It is backed by excavators [modern day brontosaurus], destructive in nature. There must be destruction before there can be creation. Digging a lumbering head beneath the cement, a mighty sound erupts from somewhere unknown and the smoothly paved road is now a crumbling pile of dirt. It cares not, and moves forward, hell bent on its path.

Laughter comes from behind the building, the workers’ lunchbreak. For a moment, the table saw is silenced. But in its place are thousands of voices, each louder than the next, aching to be heard. To be someone worth noticing. There is a boy across the street, I see him through the window. He paces outside of his work, waiting for company, waiting for someone. My phone is going ballistic. There are phone calls, text messages. I put it on silent. Staring at the scene before me, the scene I have come to call home, I try to shut it all out. And the music comes upon me.

Soft piano, a violin played on the heartstrings of the writer, the singer, the listener. A song so gentle and sweet, for a moment this hectic world has come to a stand still. I sit, for the dizziness of noises has confused me. Close my eyes and ponder, the notes so kind, weaving a story in instruments alone. Open my eyes and look down on the ground. Tiny ants, each with a goal, scurry across vast amounts of distance. Back and forth they scramble from the dumpster to the wall. They disappear into a crack, but reemerge seconds later. Is this all they do? Eat, run, feed others? I wonder what it would be like to have only the goal of survival on my mind. I suppose every human operates on such basic instincts but in every second, it is complicated. Every straight line bent to a celtic knot, leaving no exit. How shall I pay the mortgage or the car payment? Where are my children? Are they ok? Why is this person looking at me? How will I get to my meeting on time.

I wonder if any one does like me. If a weary father, sits in his car in morning traffic, and in the silence of his own vehicle, ponders his reasoning. Perhaps he justifies it easily; to provide for his wife and children. Perhaps he sits in the traffic to avoid the home life he never asked for. What if his child is sick and every dime goes towards their care? So many questions. The sky is overcast and amidst the brake lights and exhaust, I realize how rarely people do stop for this moment. Some purposely avoid it. They like their routine. It is comfortable, it is easy. Maybe others ask themselves every morning, utilizing that rush hour drive to think what they could have done differently.

Do they hear the noise? Do they sit still and truly listen? The trailer slamming down from a pothole as his driver races to the finish. The clock to determine if his job is still steady. Why won’t they stop? Imagine: for a moment, the world draws still and every one sits. The woman thinks of her college days, the man; when he didn’t have children. Where the world was a place of joy and adventure instead of business and nice clothes. Where you didn’t fight every day to remain somebody. Where you didn’t fight every day the people who govern, in order to remain afloat and put a roof over your own head. The day when a scratched knee was just that. It had no repercussions. But now, a scratched knee is a broken shin, is a loss of a leg, is a paralyzation of the soul, is a loss of one’s own self. To sit and ponder, could change all that. To show everyone what I see. The simplicity of an ant, running between food and home. That is all they do. Every animal. They eat, they sleep, they reproduce. Tell me, how has this intelligence of the human mind made life better? We all do the same thing as every animal. But half of us die off from the daily troubles of stress, bad depth perception in the car, pulling another life from the face of the planet in a split second. Perhaps in some ways it is easier.

But why must we be so cruel? Why must we be so selfish? Why must we run to fulfill something totally unneccessary for the species’ survival? Why do we destroy what we do not know? We argue out of selfishness so often. Yet so many believe, do not envy. Until your neighbor has a nicer car. Your friend can afford the nice restaurant’s bill. His children are better behaved. He had the option to go over seas. We lust after what we cannot have and rarely do we sit and be grateful for that which we do have. We can’t even admit things are our fault. When someone dies, when a child is struck from a family in a meaningless crime of anger, when we are fired, when a family member goes ill, we do not wonder what WE did to cause it, but rather… Why a god would be so cruel as to allow it to happen. People drop to their knees to beg forgiveness, to throw insults at the clouds, to thank the Lord above for any miracle he has blessed them with. Why can it not just be of their own volition. Why does the shimmering blue sky, the passive gentle clouds, and the breeze of relief become the one to blame? Why do so many put their faith in an unforseen creature?

In  the end, it is all because we, as a species, fear being alone. The noise allows every mind to know they’re not by themselves. There’s someone out there. It does not matter who, so long as there is someone. Constant traffic eases many a troubled soul as they lay amongst the sheets, recharging for another day. The mutual competition between people lets them know someone acknowledges their existence and they have someone to work on common ground with, be it friendly or hostile. As for the skies cursed as God, I understand the fear of dying alone. Of your entire life, ending in a slow ride in a hearse, to bury your lifeless body under a pile of dirt in a wooden box. Put so bluntly, I too am terrified of that idea. But people cling to God because it is something no one can disprove and any erratic theory, however much disputed, can belong to their book of facts. The Lord is a philosophical subject, unable to be touched by any, even those who study the word of said Lord. It is all for a need to feel like we belong to something. A bustling world of needs and wants, orders and actions. We are not alone.

And through it all, I hear
Angels chorusing in my head
Amidst the sounds pouring in from every angle
Achieving no moment of peace
Soft piano plays

Glowing Earth

Sow the seeds of hope
Into the young of heart
And the open of mind
Share the splendor of love
With the children
And the adults
There is much to see in this world
And such a short time to see it
You live to die
How depressing it sounds
But you still have to LIVE
Take the time in your life
And love
And laugh
And share with those
What makes you happy
Share with them all
Why you are here
Why you are still standing
Why you fight to smile
And do what you want

There is more than work and school
There is adventure,
New people and new experiences
New places and new activities
Or if anything
The same shit
And a different, better mindset
On my good days,
Everything has a glow
Doesn’t it?

It glows of good intentions and happiness
Of a healthy world and sound mind
It glows of wonder and fantastic possibilities
You just have to reach out and pick a card
Yes, I will ____________

Put on your dancing shoes
We’ll head out west
And kick our heels at the sun
Put on your diving suits
We’ll head to the beach
And play in the water
Nothing can bring us down
Not when I’m here
So take my hand and we’ll go
Wherever you want
Wherever screams at you
We’ll travel and fly
And race across mountains
Across deserts and oceans

This life is here for us,
This earth a playground
Meet me on the jungle gym
And I’ll show you a recess
You’ve never dreamed of


Lift my chin, 
Demand eye contact
And as they meet,
I wonder if you see it too
Cracks in my windshield
I can’t see that clearly
Your face is broken, the movie a blur
But I can feel your touch
Crystal clear
The cracks are old,
Just stretching with time
From old abuses,
Rocks thrown up
But I’ve made it down the road
And here I am
To curl up in your embrace
Squeeze your hand
Hiding under your chin from the scary parts
And grinning like a fool

Intoxicating? Perhaps.
Invigorating? Definitely.
Confusing? Not necessarily.
Surprising? Absolutely.

So hold my hand
And lets just relax
I’m tired of planning ahead,
And trying to see where I’m going
It’s difficult and frustrating
But laying here with you,
I can breathe
And it’s nice

And So She Thinks: Day 6

Entry 6: The taste of last night is lingering behind my eyes. Flaring up at random. So vivid yet so vague. Reminiscing with an old friend. The air is warm. Humidity has dropped to tolerable. The beers are cold, the smiles warm. Talking of the wacky social circles, the welcoming hallways, old loves and forgotten friends. Some have moved on, some are stuck, one has died, and others have loved. Foggy memories dragged from the depths of our memory base. Look at each other. Who are we? We are just people. Trying to make it through. I think I’m doing a good job at it so far. Only time will tell. Literally.

Talking, drinking, smoking, laughing, smiling, wondering, wishing, and hoping last night made me realize what I do have. I have you. I have you to smile with. I have you to love. I have you to hold when I cry and you to back me up when I want to cut a bitch. I have you and that’s all that matters to me. You, my heart, my friend, are the reason I am still here.

Well, somewhat here. Just sat through one of those incredibly boring, can’t hold your attention no matter how hard you try, meetings. I did, however, read a very interesting quote on the powerpoint.

“A wise old owl sat on an oak; the more he saw the less he spoke; the less he spoke the more he heard; why aren’t we like the wise old bird?”

Routine or John Wayne?

You find once in a while
That things stop having a purpose
Suddenly, your life is a routine
Days go by in a required fashion
Every action, a mimicry of the day before
How do you renew that vigor in life?
Do you start all over?
Do you simply shake it up?
Don’t go straight to the desk but flirt with the secretary instead
Don’t get the coffee at your local coffee shop but make it at home
Wake up twenty minutes late for once, to feel that old time-enhanced pressure
Or twenty minutes early to watch the sunrise
We are lost in a society of “do’s and don’ts”
You should go to college, get a job, have your own place, date well, marry well, have a family, make money
Pay for your kids school, take care of them, be a solid parent, set aside money for them later, retire well
Leave an investment in your will, money for others
Money, money, money, money
Tell me you see a theme.

This is why society dictates our actions
To revolve around this financially motivated community
What else do you have to show?
Happiness isn’t visible all the time
But money, you can pull out the papers, you can pull out your bank account, people can see it and should be amazed
Money is what puts you where you’re aiming for in this world
Stupid money
What about the poor people? The ones scraping by?

And so the old ones die
With each passing day
The new ones enter
Claiming identity of “blessing”
Blessing’s to surely bring happiness
Until that blessing takes a 9mm to school and shoots up as many people before shooting themselves
Tell me, where did that “blessing” take a turn for the worse?
Thus, nature vs. nurture is found
Does that not bore you? It is fascinating to think about… on your own time
I’m not going to force it upon you.

Instead, I shall leave you with a smile


“Save a horse, Ride a Cowboy” by: Big and Rich

Well, I walk into the room
Passing out hundred dollar bills
And it kills and it thrills like the horns on my Silverado grill
And I buy the bar a double round of crown
And everybody’s getting down
An’ this town ain’t never gonna be the same.

Cause I saddle up my horse
and I ride into the city
I make a lot of noise
Cause the girls
They are so pretty
Riding up and down Broadway
on my old stud Leroy
And the girls say
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.
Everybody says
Save a horse, Ride a cowboy

Well I don’t give a dang about nothing
I’m singing and Bling- Blanging
While the girls are drinking
Long necks down!
And I wouldn’t trade ol’ Leroy
or my Chevrolet for your Escalade
Or your freak parade
I’m the only John Wayne left in this town

And I saddle up my horse
and I ride into the city
I make a lot of noise
Cause the girls
They are so pretty
Riding up and down Broadway
on my old stud Leroy
And the girls say
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.
Everybody says
Save a horse, Ride a cowboy

I’m a thourough-bred
that’s what she said
in the back of my truck bed
As I was gettin’ buzzed on suds
Out on some back country road.
We where flying high
Fining, whine, having ourselves a big and rich time
And I was going, just about as far as she’d let me go.
But her evaluation
of my cowboy reputation
Had me begging for salvation
all night long
So I took her out giggin frogs
Introduced her to my old bird dog
And sang her every Wilie Nelson song I could think of

And we made love
And I saddled up my horse
and I ride into the city
I make a lot of noise
Cause the girls
They are so pretty
Riding up and down Broadway
on my old stud Leroy
And the girls say
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.
Everybody says
Save a horse, Ride a cowboy

What? What?
Save A Horse Ride A Cowboy
Everybody says
Save a Horse Ride a cowboy.


The sun decided to come out today
To greet us with its bright, warm face
I smiled at it in the street
Twirling around in my bare feet

 White skirt flying in a circle
My hands raised to grasp the rays
Dancing with a little girl
Raise her hands and give her a twirl

The music casts out, beyond the square
The folks walking are all so alive
As friends grow nearer
Smiles stretch from ear to ear

Families, friends, cops, and bikers
Music, booths, toys, and smilers
Hearts, hands, and a sly glance
Bellamy Brothers bring out the dance 

Poppy Festival spreads red
Newcomers and Oldcomers
Everyone gathers to meet and greet
Nod our heads, tap our feet

At the end of the day
The sun has faded
But our smiles have stayed
New memories are made


Livin’ It

We were kicking up our feet on the Brazos River

Soaking in that sun, the girls hoping for a tan

The brisk taste of an under-age beer rests on our tongues

Charlie Daniels Band plays loud on the stereo


It’s summertime, free time, any time, this time

We’re living each and every day to its fullest

Dancing and laughing until the moon rises high

Sleeping in the bed of trucks, waking to the morning sun


Some people say we’re nuts, others say we’re just children

But we know we’re real, we’re honest, and we’re here to stay

I’m going to enjoy my time on this earth

I’m going to get a jump start on those still realizing that


It’s summertime, free time, any time, this time

We’re living each and every day to its fullest

Cursing and grinning until the moon rises high

Sleeping in the bed of trucks, waking to the morning sun


We smile a secret, lighting up that cigarette

We laugh in rebellion as we drink that cold crisp beer

As we grow and learn to treasure those talks with Mom,

We’ll kick up our feet in the Brazos River


Our toes drag across the surface, sending ripples out

The lazy air gathers around, warming us

Someone changes the song and it’s a sudden concert

As “Devil Went Down to Georgia” plays in the sun


It’s summertime, free time, any time, this time

We’re living each and every day to its fullest

Beckoning and singing until the moon rises high

Sleeping in the beds of trucks, waking to the morning sun


No shame in living life in a tube on the river, laying in the sun