Wake up feeling sick from the day before, the night before, the time before. I hate waking in the middle of the night but like how special it feels lying there without a singular expectation. Nothing is expected of you at 3 a.m.

I see love is dead. Its obituary is on a page far back in the paper in the company of happiness and stability. The paragraph for love is a line and-a-half of mourning that says little to nothing of the time it was here in favor of what it meeeeeeans for the writer. Truly wonderful is the writing of what the lucky one’s alive think of the tragedy that is a life and time lost. A slice of charred wallpaper picked from the ashes and put in a collage without crediting the empty house lost in the blaze.

A wonderful piece was produced for happiness because it’s immortal and never dead. You can’t kill hope, puppies, or photos of the dreamiest places in the world! They’re always ready to wrap an arm around your shoulders after a day of stress, a couple of minutes of news from the world, or when you feel a little too far gone. You deserve to relax though because spending a bit of money helps alleviate the inflammation of blunt force debt.

Stability fell somewhere in the middle of those two: not too short but less long-winding. Who read it though? Ask around and see if someone you know did. It felt the warm, toothless smiles as it evoked nostalgia and Christmas morning with Mom and Dad, but the eleven typos in twelve sentences go unnoticed when the page is turned while the old television plays home-movies.

It’s late in the morning now and I don’t feel any better. I’m watching my day progress in comparison to the people living out an appropriate day, and it’s with a mix of happiness well above their own and anxiety well below it. There’s a lot of well-meaning conversation woven in, but the ship is substantial and unsustainable. Everyone is screaming to turn it around but keep arguing about whether to turn left or right. Still it’s just going forward. We’ll run out of fuel, cannibalize, and recommence on the rusted vessel like we’re pioneers or survivors, but we’ll never turn the ship around.

Winter Bug

Happiness is a hotel room in Chicago. Up the elevator of the fortress like complex complete with a guard at the front-desk and a maze of floors and rooms between myself and the world outside. Safely I can see the world out the window and watch it go on like it would and does with or without me.

I like to keep the lights off and the cool air on. It’s quiet and I feel safe. I feel safe. It’s cold in the room and I feel safe. The bed is large and cradles me like the mother I’ve long ago forgotten while my body releases itself after the long journey. First my jaw unclenches, then the muscles in my legs sigh in pleasure, and my breathing is at liberty to go at any pace it wants.

The only sound is the central air: steady humming and sustaining the ice-box.

I traveled a day and across the border only to feel this one genuine moment of pure contentment, but I feel it in the most sincere place in my heart.


*****Artwork by Alena Aenami*****



Help me aged tree. My senses have all been attacked.

I’m color-blind.

My ears are ringing.

Everything feels like steel bristles on my skin.

Sugar and fat are dust on my tongue.

Everything is the worst kind of pungent.

That’s not what bothers me most though. Like you, with your hardened bark and height and beautiful foliage for all to see, I’m mostly hollow underneath. Some birds are there but they’re on holiday now, and the mice scare the shit out of me.

When I look inside and see the space I really feel bad for myself, but then I feel bad for those who came to see something else. They come to see something that they think is there and so I fill it as quickly as can be. Flocks of these crowds snap and point and bask or something. I’m running out of ideas. Mostly, aged tree, I’m tired of pretending that I’m not carved open and empty as can be.

Was it my fault or something else? Where’s the answer to this equation? I’m sorry to say it’s just me and, yes, I don’t blame you for the frustration. If I wasn’t so color-blind I’d maybe tell you about my mask de-jour, but I am, I can’t, and basically the presentation was cut short.

You see I’m just like you aged tree: on the hill and alone except during peak hours. I feel empty and stiff and forgotten. I feel dishonest and sour. I can shout at you all night and there’s still going to be another day; I can try and try and try some more but I won’t be able to strip the bark away.

Help me aged tree, because I’ve never asked for help. I know you can’t and won’t, but I’ll ask you because I don’t know what else to do. There’s still no color but there is ringing; there’s still bristles, the pungent, and dust.

I wish I wasn’t me anymore, or that I could at least truly give up.

I wish I could rhyme better or grow up.

I don’t really wish though…. I just try and keep up.


Hey there, aged tree. I’m hollow just like you.

Except my pain doesn’t turn off, it just recycles itself anew.


***Featured image is by Alena Aenami


Nine in the Afternoon

All through the little town’s houses, shops, pathways, and trees colored like candy and just as sweet. The sun that morning rose and smiled at the people as they smiled back during the easy commutes and walks along the grass and iridescent sparkling of the river-ways. A cheerful morning progressed in to a delightful afternoon. With hearts light and excited, the evening was welcomed in to night and before they slept there was laughter and fun for a night-cap.

Dawn returned singing joyfully bright and on time. The routines were journeyed like the stairs down to the tree on Christmas morning right through the morning, afternoon, evening, and in to the gloaming last hours before sleep bid good-night and good-bye to the terrific day.

The sky of diamonds was washed anew in the light of the morning sun, rising-up and filling the clear and pale blue sheet above the rising town. Few clouds came but the ones that did were small and wispy in their lazy floating down the river of the sky. When the next morning arrived, few of the townspeople realized that today they would notice just how particularly similar the clouds they would see that afternoon were, and when they turned their gazed up at noted times the day after that a question they wished they hadn’t considered came to mind.

The weeks past and the town buzzed happily along with their work, their laughter, their time in the sunshine, and without a single speed-bump. Some eyes couldn’t fail to see the clouds drift by with each afternoon, but they brushed that away like an irksome fly. None of them remembered what it felt like to swat away a fly, or a mosquito, or the panic of a buzzing wasp or seeing a spider, but the flowers were vibrant with an aroma as soothing as camomile. Their lives were as full as their bellies, protruding and growing with each glorious, fairy-tale like day and salty and fat loving night of comfortable drunkenness.

The sun bounded over the horizon and took its spot high above them once more. In it’s hot glare an insect-green smart car butted in front of a medium-slate blue pickup. The brashness of the smart car’s coxswain had been sprouted by being cut-off in a different manner the night before by low-funds keeping him from reaching his nightly buzz. He was shorter than his tall stature would suggest, and with it came the uncommon rush to cross the distance between home and work this morning. The pickup did his best to drop off the unexpected indignation, but this was only one of many tiny stones that had pinged in to the town’s windshield. The cracks begun to spread.

The sick calls the following mornings were the first in sometime, and with eyes as round and full as the moon did their swollen and bronze bosses gaze upon this new mar on their perfect attendance. Voices cracked unfamiliar as they shouted without delight and scratched their sweating heads to the view of candy colored shops, pathways, and trees outside of their windows.

A young woman’s alarm beat the sun the following morning, and with playful synth in her ears she opened her door out to the cooler morning air. The concrete path through the grass lined with wilted flowers was but twenty steps in length and ended at the sidewalk framing her quiet suburban street. With a tiny skip she begun her morning jog until her sweat grew warm and then cool in the air. Three blocks away from returning home she spotted a man sitting on the step of an enviable home of grey brick and elegant windows. She recognized the unfamiliar man through the new weight he’d gained, his slumped upper-body leaned heavily upon his knees, and his swollen hands cupped together like a bowl as it held his face.

“Good morning, Mark!” She called as she ran by.

He did not respond, nor would she have heard such a thing anyways, and instead he wept until the dawn threatened to arrive shortly after.

Separating Migrant Children from Their Families.

Public outcry continues to grow over the increase of children being separated from their immigrant parents entering the United States. Former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Women’s march co-founder Linda Sarsour, House Democrat Nancy Pelosi and even First Lady Melania Trump and her husband Donald Trump are just a small number of public figures, human rights activists, and politicians that have been lambasting the growing number of incidents that have come to the public’s focus in recent weeks.

Since the Republican Administration enacted their new “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration this past May nearly 2, 000 children have been separated from their families upon entry, according to new figures from the Department of Homeland Security. [1] In accordance with the new policy: “The Attorney General Directed United States Attorneys on the Southwest Border to prosecute all amenable adults who illegally enter the country, including those accompanied by their children, for 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a), illegal entry” and that “Children whose parents are referred for prosecution will be placed with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). [2]

While illegal immigration is and has been a crime for years, past administrations have focused on lesser penalties such as deportation, charging only a small percentage of illegal immigrants with misdemeanors or, in the case of repeat offenders, felonies. [3] This new focus of stricter guidelines has sparked the increase of separation due to migrants being sent to federal jails while they wait to be presented in front of a federal judge for prosecution [3] and their children are sent to ORR facilities while they are detained. This is where these reports of families being separated comes from. The quickly growing problem with these new guidelines is that these agencies have been overloaded and underequipped for years, and as of June 7th of this year these facilities are 95 percent full, with 11 000 children being held. [3] These numbers along with the continuing emergence of firsthand accounts from those who have been separated from their families [4] and the moral arguments that arise from this treatment of children has fueled the public debate of whether it is right or not to enforce these policies in this manner.

When questioned about his thoughts on these separations, the President of the United States blamed the Democratic party and claimed they were responsible for the policy, stating: “The Democrats have to change their law — that’s their law.”. Kellyanne Conway also made similar remarks when questioned and put the onus on Democrats, saying if they are serious about overhauling the system, “They’ll come together again and try to close these loopholes and get real immigration reform”. When asked whether the president was willing to end the policy, she said: “The president is ready to get meaningful immigration reform across the board.” [5] These claims prove to be false due to this policy only coming in to effect via a deliberate policy shift by the Trump administration, and they have the power to unilaterally reverse it. [6] This certainly does not bode well for what this means in the coming weeks and creates an air of uncertainty regarding if or when change may be seen.


[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/children-separated-trump-immigration-policy-zero-tolerance-parents-border-a8401526.html

[2] https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/zero-tolerance-immigration-prosecutions-family-fact-sheet

[3] https://www.vox.com/2018/6/11/17443198/children-immigrant-families-separated-parents

[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/they-just-took-them-frantic-parents-separated-from-their-kids-fill-courts-on-the-border/2018/06/09/e3f5170c-6aa9-11e8-bea7-c8eb28bc52b1_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7f3b06375c1a

[5] http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/border-children-parents-separation-trump-1.4710055

[6] https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/15/politics/family-separation-democrats-trump/index.html

Pink Lemonade

He ordered a pink lemonade and sat in the shade. The summer was alive and in her prime for all to see to his absolute delight. There wasn’t always an easy understanding when necks were burning and a quick walk down the block meant sweat and salt but seeing vibrant light against every dirty corner and a boost of color in the general dress-code made up for it. With a cool drink to hold and condensation between his fingers he could just absorb it like a flower taking in sunlight. He would leave the sunlight to the flowers though and sit in the shady comfort of an umbrella, bar, or lie on his couch and watch the ceiling fan spin in wait for the dusk. It was the nights, still hot and alive but shining with a mix of lights and colors that repainted the city up and down the streets with paradise. Music filled the air and his body with the energy of pure life until he became a wildly dancing marionette under the influence of the experience. Nothing he knew or felt could compare with these visits to heaven to dance with the angels, and it was what he lived for.

He checked his watch and saw it was nearing three O’clock. There were people to meet with and begin the parade towards the festivities of the coming night: dancing and singing in to the hot air all the way there.


Red like the sunset

Red like pain

Heads: upset

Tales insane


Blueprints mark where we went apart

Ghosts haunting together keep hand-in-hand

Keep quiet but alive, unbroken heart

Don’t ask me why I’m so sad.


This calefaction in passing has been hope

That I’m not as stranded as the shore suggests

More importantly I’m not a misanthrope

Like the growing, painful red


Be young, be free, be all over

You’re the print on my far wall

There’s haunted prints in the sand coming closer

With the same smell of alcohol


Red like velvet

Red like blain

Tails: abet

Head: abstain


Wind from the peddles

Accompany me in writing

Not the garden but of wheels

Traveling, not sight-seeing


Two buildings at last remain

One to be constructed, the other a passenger train

In that there’s me and that and me

A message unmissable when you’re dreaming to be free.