Fear and Hiraeth in Ingham County

Winter here in the land of Q.D. donut munchers is weird.  Particularly the aimless, wandering weekend nights.    They seem somehow more empty than the workweek ones filled with the noise and chaos of tin flying machines.    When it is this still, things echo and feel brittle. There is too much hollow space for the cognitive distortion to gain ground. And that too often leads to dysfunctional choices.   Because behaviors change when the sun falls behind the Mitten. Things you never imagined yourself doing suddenly start appearing in the rearview mirror of recent memory. And like the sticker always cautions, those things are much closer than they appear.   Memories of pinballing inside an apartment filled with too many typewriters. Of too many hours …

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REO (Not Speedwagon) Town

Good morning, Michigan. In the land of endless potholes, life plays tricks on you. One minute you’re cruising along, doing your thing. Thinking everything is fine. Not really cognizant of the dumpster fire simmering just underneath the surface. Because the focus is on fighting up the fish social ladder to make things just a bit better than they were the day before.   But complications hit with shocking regularity. Obstacles, that make about as much sense as having to turn right in order to go left, constantly threaten to throw you off the path.  Because things here in Lansing are a little weird; nothing makes any sense. And it’s difficult for a transplanted brain to fully comprehend the subtleties so deeply ingrained in the rhythm of Ingham …

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Twenty-four

30 SEP 2023 Little Red House Under the Stairs Sitting in front of an electric Underwood.  A 565.  It isn’t fancy. Or particularly pretty.  Functional.  Business.  Drab in its presentation. But, I can make it work. Some stickers.  A stencil here or there.  Perhaps some paint.  Or, maybe just let the kids free to have at it, with markers and paint pens.  Because why not? Colour never hurts.  Neither does another typewriter.  How many?  Who fucking knows…too many to count.  And, that’s okay.  As long as hers are hers and mine are mine.  Because we haven’t yet crossed that relationship threshold.  The one where collections are truly combined. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next year. Or maybe never. And, that’s okay.  I don’t want her ever getting lost.  …

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The Neighborhood

Go on, boy.   Bang it out. Then drink it in–irony tastes refreshingly bitter on the leading edge of a fifth decade.  So better to keep drinking while grinding through.  Consuming the madness.  Choking on the chemicalization.  Calculating paths of least resistance across the face of an uncooperative schedule. Because what’s another day of mittened mania, here in the hostile land of QD Donut Munchers? Freaking out in the absence of never fitting in.  Always the weird one.  The one watching from the meadowed periphery of entanglement.  Living out of bags and boxes.  Running scared from a hunting Wolverine wolf pack of rabid mediocrity.  The native predators pushing out the immigrant fox at the expense of his gentle collaboration.  Pressing somehow past self-inflicted boundaries.  Fingers ready on …

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Homecoming

Heading back again across county lines a bitten straggler.  Just a dirty, exhausted Boulevard Boy limping back to where he doesn’t really belong.   Not the homecoming once imagined.  That foolish ideal was born years ago––an unearned right surrendered to the whims of violence.  But in those adrenaline tainted moments of its birth, just the idea of that ideal was enough to help keep me alive.  Because it meant that in some improbable way, I was actually wanted.  And that everything I had sacrificed somehow mattered.   But then came that night when I should have died.  That changed everything.  And afterwards, not much else seemed to really matter.     Including me.   Somewhere between those extremes, I was left an intimate trespasser.  A sweaty nightmare …

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Post-pandemic Saginaw Blues

Half seven on a Mitten Thursday and accidentally whiskey tickled. Not what I expected from the day. But days are seldom what I expect anymore. So no point in demanding something different. I have always been more of a homewrecker word rocker. Because it is more fun. And that leaves the metaphorical boats under the direction of more capable captains, ones not afraid of navigating deeper waters. So I got caught chasing white lines with the White Stripes down West Saginaw. Because things belong with similar things. Otherwise it all breaks down, this illusion of civility. And I needed a spark to trigger me out of a lingering post-pandemic hangover. Because suddenly, we were all going to die. Touching groceries was a gamble. Wash everything; don’t …

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Literary Bad Boy

She was a beautiful mess in a pretty sundress. Bright floral print and provocatively translucent. Short enough to tease urges from lingering winter hibernation. And just long enough to project modesty.   Freckled skin smelled of girly things. Hair spray and perfume; make-up and lotions. All those mysterious concoctions that boys just don’t understand. But to which they find themselves inexplicably drawn. Like horny moths to the gleaming heat of a summer porch light.   Her imperfect beauty clashed with his ramshackle presence. A worn t-shirt advertising his favorite fictional band. Sneakers more holes than tread. Sunglasses hiding eyes that went to sleep smoking. And woke up on fire.     She smelled of flowers; he smelled like the streets. That odd mixture of cigarette smoke, sweat, …

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