Bang Bang, Vroom Vroom

Nothing is easy.
Everything is pleasing
and adventure is teasing
but the moments
we’re seizing
are so unbelieving
I’m amazed that you’ve stayed
to recognize this feeling.

Nothing is stopping us from leaving.
There is no real rationale or reason
why we brush skin and share passing grins
and escape this place every evening.

Everything is easy.
Finding beauty in darkness
catching love in one’s starkness
reminding us we’re needing
a friend, a lover, laughter feeding
on each other
like how silly boys like bleeding
and how little girls like healing.

Everything is allowing us to remain.
There is no gain in woe or to complain,
alongside we share a glimpse of this life,
navigating this amazingly strange terrain.

This whole planet is nothing but feelings
whether concealing, revealing or stealing.

You be the entertainer, I’ll be the sly conniver.
You be the gun waver, I’ll be the getaway driver.

Bang bang, vroom vroom.
It’s just us in this crowded room.

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Those Days

There are days I assume you may be on every street corner. There are days I’m secretly wishing you were seeing me walk by, run by, roll by, rev by.

There are days I act as if when every time you find yourself alone with your thoughts your mind will eventually drift to me. Memories, desires, regrets, admissions and resignation…

There are days that I go crazy when the room empties or the phone lies silent, wrestling with the maddening loneliness that attempts to become my definition.

There are days when all my percolating waves of bitter insanity tower over every downtown street and breaks upon every bar bolster in this city which will one day drown, cleanse, then resurrect me.

Those were days that owned me, drove me into the gym, into the bottle, into the arms of those who truly cared or had the good sense not to.

Those were days where the stripes and scars marked each moment and memory, running deep in me like the red and the love in my blood.

These are days that are drawn from an endless well of health and harmony, driven by my desire to question, relax, accept and venture.

This day is the day that I write with sparkling eyes, and with both laughter and darkness, I thank everyone who has plucked me from the fire I was burning in.

The Hex of a Text

The best thing about cell phones is that half the time when people (women) are on them it shifts the focus from me having to express what I’m thinking to whatever glowing occasion is emanating from their device.

Without random texting and distracting snaps I’d be cornered into an actual conversation, forced to focus on the present moment, having to pay attention and communicate instead of silently wandering around inside my head. Rather than thumb some extemporaneous and likely vacuous statement to someone across town or across the globe, I would be expected to verbally engage. Urged to reveal my emotions by sharing some quality or anecdote about myself to someone who surely won’t absorb or understand any of it since this particular interaction will not end with some video or emoji.

So we’ll just sit here beside each other but a million miles away and be absorbed by vapid words and rapid images that are astronomically less important than the human who’s actually in front of us.

Whew! (Wipes brow in relief). Thought I was going to have to say something to someone.

Toast the Coast with the Most

windows to windows to light in the day
now when the wind blows I know what to say
hair falls, eyes sprawl, they shine so far away
while minutes brawl for more time in the day.

crimes commit while reason’s denied
uncertain decisions are reasons we hide
our faith is tested and always contested
by us crashing in the wreckage and the filth of our tide.

Breathing: Power Overlooked

Sometimes I forget to breathe. I often catch myself holding my breath as if I were in some grade-school contest to see who doesn’t pass out first. Or who does pass out first. I can’t quite remember the rules.
Breathe, Cooprider.

Well past 100 on the 405 loop, all I’m thinking is that the steel separators are a little sketchy and this particular curve will undoubtedly one day result in either a hefty ticket or permanent toe tag but I hold my line and it all smooths together nicely. All the while not drawing a single breath.
Breathe, Cooprider.

Finding myself in a crowded room thrust solo into the throes of networking groups of go-getters all intertwined yet divided like chatty, smiling galaxies tightly holding drinks and trying to hold attention. My anxiety hits a peak and I stand, surveying the landscape as to find the shortest distance between my shoes and the nearest cocktail, or better yet a familiar face to pretend to be excited about. All the while not exhaling once.
Breathe, Cooprider.

This human has upset me. Whether it’s a ridiculous argument with a colleague or some emotional meltdown brought on by a woman who knows my buttons, or maybe an extraordinarily rude individual who was itching to be publicly reprimanded, these moments sometimes literally steal my breath. Through rage and impulsive frustration my body just ceases to take in oxygen.
Breathe, Cooprider.

A kiss. A hold of a hand, a moment in a crowd with the right single woman, a glance across a room or a hard gaze 6 inches away, there are times when my brain and body relinquish to the moment and sometimes I just forget to breathe.
Breathe, Reid.

Do exercises, do whatever it takes to remind yourself to BREATHE.

You’ll live longer. You’ll definitely think clearer, feel more powerful and be way more smarterer than the person who never thinks about it.

Breathe…or die.

Keep NW While I Convertibally Roadsterize

Look up. The phenomena of groups of people simultaneously looking down and thumbing their phones is almost so normal that I’m beginning to feel like a monkey in a zoo of  shackled humans.

I was politely informed that it would be in my best interest if I stopped going to my favorite coffee shop and pizza joint. How dare I walk the street on which I was raised, how dare I permeate and somehow soil the good names of those who are more concerned with me than with the sanctity of their own sacred institution…how dare I.

Keep NW. Keep Nob Hill, Westover, Goose Hollow, Burnside, Everett and Vista, I hereby surrender all land, delis, venues and avenues that have been laid claim to by the most advanced level of melodrama to ever walk this tree-lined neighborhood. Keep the tourists, traffic and transients. Keep the lifestyle, the drinks and the drugs, the nights of emptiness despite the money spent, keep NW, you’ve earned it (I mean, burned it).

Let it be known. I’m kicking rocks, hookerfish.

Can we protect Russell, please?

Can we eek into the playoffs, please?

Cubs? Really? Cool. (Go Mets).

The beauty and violence of suicide will always both weigh on me and lighten my step because those I’ve known who have chosen that path still stroll aimlessly inside my soul. Everyday.

I miss smoking cigarettes.  A lot. Waking up, reaching over and lighting a Marlboro before even opening both eyes, resting the ashtray on my chest and watching it rise up and down with each drag, cursing the hot sting of burning ash that always flaked onto my bare skin.

There was a day where I would spend all my money on intangible things and during the hangover/comedown I’d rue the decisions I had made with my dividends. Then there became a day when I would spend all my money on objects, things, random stuff and I would still not satiate the emptiness in my belly that usually a new pair of shoes would fill. These days I understand the term “sock away” because most my dough now gets stuffed into an actual sock. Not on a bottle or a bag, not on toys or couture. Not on anything…except maybe something for a girl. Maybe.

Have you seen this? Heard of this? It’s tea. It’s amazing. I’m sold. The industry in which I work sometimes shocks me with its ingenuity.

Kissing is the singly most underrated and underappreciated action two people can perform. The smell of hair and skin, breath and auras, laundry and product, all determine the aftertaste of a passionate embrace.

One day I’m going to bomb around in a little two-seat, convertible roadster, my white silk scarf will billow furiously behind me as my lady and I careen through the hills like happy bats out of hell and I will then surely be satisfied with how things in my life have turned out. Only then.

Wordy Birdy

The beauty of relationships is that without them we’re just beasts, foraging for some lost purpose, aimless and alone. We must always be reaching out, pulling close, drifting away, or never letting go, the time we share with those who fuel us is invaluable. Every man, woman and child I’ve ever known, loved or loathed has shaped me into the mad, passionate, strange creature I am today. Methinks my thanks is owed to all those whose paths I’ve soiled, graced, endured, or have been enlightened by.

Still. Distilled and ill, waking abrupt like a plane into a hill.

Still. Searching for answers in a poem, picture or pill,

no solace in the silence of this day as it fills

this one wild moment where it’s love or be killed.