Sound Effects pt. 1


4.24 Sound Effects Pt 1 – Youth

Youth takes the higher registry
In cackles, screams, and laughter
Meant to call down parents
And assert strong needs and wants
Because there is no other thing
Than the immediate, the now.
There is no more authentic representation of grief
Than a child who does not realize
Tomorrow is tangible.

In youth I seem to recall
Being able to sing well,
Well enough that even adults would listen.
I like to think it stemmed from my ability
To howl with indignation as a toddler,
Though never with the kind of sheer mad fury as my sister,
Who slipped and ran headlong into a corner,
And became possessed by the furies
At the level of her discomfort.
I can still see her raging eyes,
The little bleeding bruise in her forehead.

In time, the high-pitched sounds fade
As feet become steadier
And minds more sure of themselves.
I would not want to go back to the mad sounds of childhood.
I would, however, happily take back my
Ability to howl out my feelings.




By and large, our bodies are neutral.
Diligent, methodical, invisible.
We know we have joints, muscles, tendons, bones.
Until we look in a mirror we forget about the whole
Because it is not critical, not present.
Impact and illness are rebukes.
We do not feel our feet until they strike the ground.
We are not aware of our skin until it is hot, cold, or being caressed.
My throat sits silently under my chin, until it is in pain.
Then I am made fully aware of a tube in my body pushing air painfully in and out.
I hear you body.
I have made contact.
Fingers to throat, tender and aware,
Suddenly finding thin skin and gentle bends
How long have you been this way?
And how do I make you invisible again?
That is the goal – to keep the whole from fragmenting.



We make the correct decision.
Our hearts are not in it.
To show mercy, compassion, and faith
Seems to yield little but bleeding.
We sense that rage and retribution
Are attractive alternatives.
That grinding a heel would feel
So. goddamn. satisfying.
But we open our arms all the same,
Sensing relief,
Anticipating pain.
We know the correct decision
Will always be tarnished by a second-tier truth:
That cruelty exists in us all.
Still we open our arms
In the faint and persistent hope of being better
than our baser selves.
Of achieving enlightenment from charity.
Our hearts are not in it.
Slapped a time too many to truly shine anymore,
All we can do is stretch out our arms
And try, once more, to heal.

A Couple of Poems



Truly, there is no moment more mortifying

More full of the truth of your humanity

Than realizing that the smell on your pillow case

The one that pervades your sinuses

As a result of not feeling a great urge to shower,

That smell

Is your own.





Fall down.


Pause and let your mind catch up.

It’s got a lot going on all at once.

Pain gets dibs on your time.

Pain is putting on a one-woman show,

Though shock and embarrassment are working the light and sound boards.

Your mouth works immediately –

People are exclaiming at your face,

And it’s important that you calm them down.

You lie, lie as easily as breathing and falling down.

I’m fine – no, I’m fine – I’m fine, just give me a sec…

A sec? Pain is indignant.

Pain is leaping through rings of fire

Conveniently placed on the impact site

She’s not going anywhere in a sec.

But this time her show is short.

A single act in a larger bodily circus.

And though she’s going to hang around like a desperate extra

You can ignore her long enough

To stand up,


And keep walking.