The Next Thing Always Belongs

Swimming in the middle of Smith Mountain Lake,

Boat motors hum in the distance.

My trunks slip away as I dive down into the murky green.

The bottom is two-hundred fifty feet below me, too deep to fetch.

The fish swimming around me feel like a million cameras,

Exposing me down to the bone.

Who knew lake water could feel so transparent?

I recall a mother telling her boy,

“Remember to tie your trunks tight!”

I want to have heeded that advice for myself.

I wish I was not so easily judged by the very fabric of nature.

The birds overhead squawk in laughter

As if I am in a jar of pickled herring,

Still alive attempting to free my homies.

I’d choose gingivitis over this embarrassment.

I don’t really mind if anyone notices,

What’s the worst that could happen?

Perhaps I can find a discarded  hubcap,

like Uncle Jim always had too many of,

To cover myself and turn my face back from a tomato to a peach.

I can’t stop spinning to catch the eyes on onlookers,

But my ass is safe from sight every time.

Birds, fish, boats

Acted as if I was Johnny Depp on a nude beach.

The Sun begins to boil my shoulders and cheeks.

Now throw me some new trunks.




Journal 1

Taste:  fish oil, grease, rose, cinnamon, Mardi Gras, campfire, pine, lake water, copper, Thanksgiving, bile, plastic, dish soap, dust, sweat

Touch: thistle, paper-cut, steel, wax, beard, ice, velvet, clothing iron, sand, glue, sunburn, cicada, alpaca, glasses, vibration

Smell: electricity, conditioner, Christmas, state fair, vomit, freezer, leather, lavender, cigarette, gym, shotgun, grass, Pennsylvania, oatmeal, mold

Hearing: tattoo machine, computer, pet store, rubber, pit bull, vacuum, shower, snow, thunder, saw, telephone, piano, fireplace, cricket, dentist

Sight: Jell-O, torch, pimple, paint, moon, kitchen, highway, rotten, blood, crow, seagull, cockroach, earwax, cockatoo, buttercup

Action/Motion: penguin, slug, clock, ocean, humming bird, bicycle, sledding, oil, panther, syrup

Abstractions: fear, anticipation, abnormality

Everything Else: silence, Sunday, GEICO, Smith Mountain Lake, Atlantic City, nerd, Alyson