the mines of Moria

the local tracks are all
under construction.
the express train crawls
past this work as if
it’s trying to show it to me –
yards and yards of tunnels
filled with the ever-present
graffiti and lit sporadically
with bright rows of temporary lights,
revealing the men – wearing
orange vests, toting flashlights
and camel-colored canvas bags,
scratching their heads
with gloved hands over a trolley
full of electrical devices – all working
through the night. sometimes
they’re tramping in single file,
sometimes they cluster in great
clumps, like ants on some
purposeful, yet ultimately mysterious
mission. I see secret doors
and ladders, hidden, scrawled glyphs
beneath the platform
of my own station, some full
of the detritus of construction
and others newly washed,
their ceramic tiles gleaming white
in the fluorescent lights
as a freshly brushed tooth.

Continue reading the mines of Moria

a castle in the clouds

after a hard day’s
night spent adventuring
with friends, I debate
my next steps. should
I return to my castle
in the clouds, where
my cats and my solitude,
my leftovers and my air-conditioning,
my big bag of m&m’s,
and my familiar demon
sadness await? or
should I go to that basement
in the village where
a good number
of my friends are
probably still performing
at one of the mics?

Continue reading a castle in the clouds

the Lion

I’m at 125th street, waiting. in an
exhausted daze, took
the wrong train
again. story
of my life. next to me
a woman clutches a pamphlet
with a crudely drawn cartoon
of a lion on it.

“There’s a Lion
looking for you,” it reads.
it’s just some creepy
Xtian tract, but the phrase
haunts me. I’m reminded of
the Tarot card for Strength,
and of Narnia.

where’s my Lion? has he
found me yet? will
he eat me already, and free me
from this hell of my own
making? or am I already
inside his belly – is that why
everything feels so very

Continue reading the Lion


I got on the wrong train
twice today, accidentally express
and was forced to watch
helplessly as I was carried
way beyond
my intended stop. in a hurry,
not thinking, I screwed
myself again and again.
even as I mentally berated
myself for betraying
my own best interests,
I couldn’t help but notice
that going too far
in the right direction
is better than not moving
at all.