Monday, October 2, 2017


Nightclubs and theaters
Sidewalks and arenas
Parks and plazas
Malls and galleries
Bars and restaurants
Homes and backyards
Shops and ships
These are all spaces
These are our spaces
And if we have anything to say
These are safe spaces

Safe for us to sing
To play
To speak
To dance
To dazzle

Safe for crowds to laugh
To cry
To be amazed
Or disappointed
Or indifferent

Safe for us to share our feelings
Safe for us to make crowds feel
Safe for crowds to feel
Safe for crowds to exist
Safe for us to exist

So bring your fights
And we'll show you where to take them
Bring your Mickeys and your roofies
And we'll show you where to slip them
Bring your assaults of all kinds
All kinds are just as welcome

Bring your knives
Your guns
Your bombs
Bring your weapons on wheels
And we will still roll on

For if you kill one
Or one hundred
Or one thousand
You will still be outnumbered

If you kill one of us
Countless more will step into place

If you kill our resolve
-- actually, you never will
We will not let you
We will never let you win

For nightclubs and theaters
Sidewalks and arenas
Parks and plazas
Malls and galleries
Bars and restaurants
Homes and backyards
Shops and ships
These are all spaces
And if we have anything to say
These are safe spaces
Not your spaces.


Heather, will you sit with me a little longer?
Will you stay and talk with me some more?
For without you, this room is just a little too empty
Even with all of these other warm bodies.

Heather, I will sit with you a little longer
I will stay and talk with you some more
For I know that if I leave, I will leave you alone
In a room full of unfamiliar faces.

Heather, let us have another glass, but not too many
No sorrows to drink away for now
Heather, let us dance while the players entertain us
And be assured that we're not playing along

For you may not be my number one
And I may not be your number one
But we are each other's top picks tonight.
And if you're not the one I need
You're the one I need right now --
I guess you could say the same to me.

Heather, will you embrace me a little bit more?
Will you make me feel appreciated?

Heather, I will embrace you a little bit more
I will make you feel appreciated.

For when these few hours are over, and we've said our fond goodnights
The special will give way to the mundane
So let us toast to the special
And forget the mundane
Before we both must fade away into it.

The Neighborhood's Improving

Time for progress, time for change
Says Mr. Developer
And he should know
After all, he's never lived here
But maybe when he's finished, he'll want to.

He hasn't bothered asking what we want or what we need
Those are all such trivial details
We're not the kind of people who will make this area better
I hope we can find someplace to move to.

No grudges, no hard feelings...
The hip and rich
Or the hip and debt-inclined
Need more options
There is only so much unaffordable housing in this city
And we can never have enough.

Besides, I should have known when those artists moved in
And they thought it was cheap real estate!
But they made this place cool
Now everyone wants in
None more than Mr. Developer.

And when you see his vision, he knows you'll flip
For it's just like every other trendy neighborhood
With a coffee shop and a gastropub and a hipster dive
And a store that sells nothing but quinoa and kale
And luxury apartments not made for you or me
Or the starving artists who brought us all this buzz.

The neighborhood's improving
And I'm thrilled to be a witness
So thrilled that I keep on losing sleep
Wondering what's left for folks like us
When Mr. Developer
Has nothing new or useful developing.

Monday, August 7, 2017


You are almost the one I wish I had
The one I always hope I'll someday meet
And "almost" is enough to knock me on my ass
But not enough to sweep me off my feet.

I am almost the kind that makes you swoon
And makes the smallest pieces of you tingle
But "almost" will never set your mind and body free
No matter how many times we mingle.

You almost fulfill me in ways unknown
Since longer than I care to volunteer
But "almost" leaves me with a memory too sweet
To match the way I feel when you are near.

I am almost your goal, your pinnacle
Your ultimate, your final destiny
But "almost" will never yield the love you desire
Even if you always see the best in me.

We are almost a couple; two lovers
We are definitely a pair; two friends
And "almost" is enough to break our vacant hearts
"Definitely" sets them both on the mend.

We are almost filling each other's voids
Almost satisfying our wants and needs
Filling space until at least one of us finds more
Or better
Or gives up
"Almost," indeed.

New Neighbors

The house next door has gone from noisy to noisier
The rest of them have gone from nosy to nosier
And I'm still sitting on my front step
Slowly choking on my Scotch.

The house next door has gone from crowded to packed
The rest of them remain as full and as empty
And I'm still recalling when I used to beam
With pride to say I lived here.

The smells of cigarettes, tobacco and weed
And the restaurant you couldn't pay me to patronize
And the whole block's garbage in the summer heat
Don't stink as much as my life.

Freshly-mowed lawns soon to be overgrown
Freshly-washed clothes soon to be stained and sweaty
Freshly-cooked meals soon to lead to new hunger
Freshly-inspired me soon to lose motivation.

The house next door has changed from discord to dysfunction
The rest of them have changed from static to stagnant
Just like I'm still withering on my front step
Running out of Scotch to choke on.