Punching Bag

How did we get here this place is strange I’m filled with fear
Do you know what you made me feel
Am I lost in this skin 
Does it matter what’s within
Or all that I’ve bled to to show you my heart

Is this how it all ends, this beautiful run?

I’ll be your punching bag
Caricature of all that’s bad
So you can proxy your pain and the pain of the world
Is it fair or is it right I do t have the sight 
Don’t know what to do to let you know
So lord give me the strength to settle this heart down
The peace to know that I am still loved loved loved

Is this how it all ends
This beautiful run
Drowned  in the wake broken souls
Have we lost the taste of grace
Have chosen battle lines 
I don’t know but I, I can’t sleep

Is this how it all ends, this beautiful run?

Sacred Place

Wherever you go there you are

Mother Mary & her son

Hung on the walls

And Watched me be me

Holding it all, less shame than a few years ago

Their home a sacred place

Saint Francis’ casa actually

I came here for relief

Reprieve from the war, long overdue

I found myself

Not perfect

No interest in perfect

Longing for love

To be seen, to be enjoyed

What did they think as they watched?

My mother

My Lord

My self

Here again

Some random tourists bar in Scottsdale

Sunburnt & blonde this place is weird

Like Newport, Vegas, & Temecula had a baby

And now they can’t figure out who the dad is

No wonder Driscoll landed here

That toxic goober

Must be some sort of American mirage

The promise of your own kingdom

Livable 9 months a year

As trash as it all is, or seems

I’m here for the 2nd time

And last time was a holy home

Where I brought all my peccadillos

Clergy friends and desert scenes

Mother Mary, Brother Christ

Screens & hangovers

Why am I here this go-round?

Because I need God

And last year God met me

I’m no more healed

But I still long

Church After the Pandemic

Like grooves in the fabric of history itself

The hymns, greetings, & homilies shaped us, me

And left a void I could not name

Then, that first Sunday back

The joy & gift of sharing this time & space

Pointed to the benevolent beyond, forever named and unnamed

Hope of a love behind, shared by a family, chosen

I sat masked up, waxed up, alone

And wept tears of longing, reunion, homesickness and relief

The better part of two years apart

Breath, knees, smoke, disease

Those saints held me as something passed between us

Pronouns and prayer requests

Peace in thew empty air, familiar

Oh how I missed it all

The messiness

The incongruities

The egos

All made sacred

Or discovered to be already so


What a fucking gift

Any less for me

I was there wearing my collar

And your parents in the front row

As your friends shared their stories

The whole room turned to an Altar

I offered words and fumbled through them

Always fall short of a human soul

Bagpipes played and we all prayed

The whiplash of a life too soon gone

Eulogies and Homilies

They say it’s just part of the job

But it’s muscle memory I haven’t learned

And it doesn’t hurt any less for me


Screens suck me in

The non-essential brain tickles

Forever distracting & tantalizing

Shifting consciousness from the dopamine void present

Abrupt chaos and infinite Karens

Gaze fixed like a pubescent boy on Baywatch

At least the straight ones

I guess the gay too now that I think about it

Hasselfhof & Pamela hypnosis

Either way I’m hooked

Gland fatiguing algorithms

Who’s tentacles have tangled my psyche

Tantalizing, slowly then instantly

Screen clicks & soul hits

Exposing all my pecadillos

Exploiting my most vulnerable searching

Revealing a dark & addicted heart

Would I blush if you could see my history?

Would I feel better if I could put the phone down?

Would we be more loving if we were embodied?

Does the Pope shit in the woods?

A Birthday Poem

I drank it deep

Sucked the juicy marrow

Rode the waves in the cold current

Dunked my soul in heaven’s fire

I’ve also slept through my calling

Pacified by screens and sensory hopes

Of God in a bottle or scene

Wasted whole days, how many do I have left?

It’s a crossroads, a cosmic utensil

Every year a sacred “selah”

You exist until you don’t

So toast to another lap around the sun

Because another is not a guarantee

What will the next 5 be like?

Will there be 10?

Will I see my kids get married

Will there be another world war?

The fermented barley in my glass

Aids my existential musing

So I swirl and sip

And it gives me permission to pursue

All the grief and joy still in utero

The potentials of this life

Birthdays fall short

Always let you down

But maybe that’s the point

Expectations keep me from seeing that

All is grace

What it’s like

It’s a lonely transition

Becoming a parent

The affection is overwhelming

But the hours are no joke

Someone should have warned us

About the tortuous nights

Sleep deprived for as long as memory holds &

Holding it together when you’ve been empty for months

I’ve got friends who talk about shrooms and ego death

They should try this, seriously

I lost myself some time ago

Amidst the gallons of body fluid

Sometimes unknown sources

But there is nothing like it

Ecstasy & hidden agony

Togetherness & isolation

Joy & measureless exhaustion

All there at 3 AM & PM

This is the endless marathon of eternal life

Creating a future beyond

Of love & goodness I can’t orchestrate or control

Who will they become?

Why does it go by so fast?

Will they love me as I do them?

Can I get a Goddamned nap?


I have loved a thousand souls

Each a beloved child of God

Borne witness to deepest scars

Saw with my own eyes healing

All of it grace

I have been left at the altar too

Left holding their heart, their hopes

Forgotten and avoided

Gaslit and moved on from

They came and took

Found shelter under my branches

As I held the weight of eternity

While the Light gently energized and warmed

I have heard the song of God

In the silence and thunder of tears

Absorbed the broken holy into my body

Stood in the gap

Listening with all my might

I cheered on heavens truth

That each was worthy

Loved and never alone

And then I was tossed aside like an empty bottle

The contradiction of holy orders

An Attempt

What follows is my attempt

To pen words which hold a glimmer

Of what it’s like to be held

By a God beyond words

To bump up against the someone

Behind it all

Who is the great secret of every moment

That is hidden everywhere

We’ve tried for millennia

To name the obfuscated obvious

To sing the great famous mystery

You are nowhere, yet love itself, a river through it all

Inaudible, yet the melody that makes all souls fall

In my memory, sentimental and earnest

Weeping next to me always

A smile as deep as the seas

Filled with the water from lovers’ eyes

You hold the pen which wrote

Every instant of my being

Every taste and tear

And all I can do is nothing

Exhale and rest

Accepting all of reality

As the arms of eternity, conscious

Laughing in pleasure & pure joy

Whispering ever so loudly,

I love you