Thursday, November 2, 2017

Driving There

Packing your things
into our car
this morning,
and driving you
to the city split
my thoughts
in two. Split
my determination
in two. So
if I seemed
to accelerating
when the light turned,
or uncommitted
when our exit came,

it wasn't due
to the early hour.
It was because
my heart at every
wanted to turn
the car around
and drive you away
from today,
toward another day.
A day without worry.
A day without fear,
without pain,
without hospitals,
without cancer.

R.L.J. 11/2/2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Proposal to the Confederacy

I propose a compromise to America's Historian-in-Chief Donald Trump and his loyal supporters: Put statues of slaves - chained to the auction block, tied to the whipping post, dead in the field - at the base of your "beautiful" Confederate monuments and we won't tear them down. They can stand forever in accurate context for all the world to see. Your cherished history will be saved. You will be able to proudly take your children and grandchildren to these monuments and show them exactly what your Southern States so gallantly fought to preserve.


is the narrow
spanning the deep
between us
and our future.


is a green
wild-eyed belief
that one can leap
to the other side
without falling
into the abyss.

R.L.J. 8/25/2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Taking My Sweet Time

I turtled up the hill,
slothed across the street,
snailed up the steps,
and glaciered my way
into the foyer.
"You're late" she said.

R.L.J. 7/7/2017

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Going to a Funeral

I got up this morning
to continue my journey.
It’s a long goddamned grind it is.
The trip to my funeral I mean.
I’ve been at it for as long as I can remember,
and even before I can remember
when I didn’t realize where I was going;
when I was a toddler wandering aimlessly;
and later riding my tricycle
half the time in the wrong direction,
away from my funeral,
and toward something else.
Toward something I can no longer recall.
Toward something that became
just the memory of a memory.
Toward something that once was
an audible and visual recollection
that repeated itself again and again
in the back of my mind,
and then slowly faded away.
It was a recollection from another life.
A recollection of the end of that life.
The one before this one.
The one in the wrong direction.
But I’ve been pointed right now
for almost fifty years,
walking the zigzag path
toward my funeral,
knowing full well that I’ll likely drop dead
a few days before arriving.
But with the help of the living,
I will show up on time.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Rat-tat-tat-fact! (Alternative Fiction)

I got into an argument the Sean Spicer this afternoon. He kept telling me lies. I tried to be polite, but nothing that comes out of that man's mouth is honest. So I decided to shoot him some facts to set him straight. I loaded up a few rounds and let him have it, “Rat-tat-tat-fact! Rat-tat-tat-fact!” I thought I saw him wince, so I kept firing. “Rat-tat-tat-fact! Rat-tat-tat-fact! Rat-tat-tat-fact,” I continued. But he just stood there. I looked down at the floor. There were fact-casings lying all over the place. Then I took a closer look at Sean. There were dozens of facts embedded in his jacket, but none had penetrated. That’s when I realized the White House Press Secretary wears a fact-proof vest. So in a last-ditch effort to make a point, I looked at him right between the eyes and said, “It is a Muslim ban Sean”. The truth went through and through. No part of his brain seemed to be affected. He finished his beer and left the bar… And left me wondering, what in the world could motivate a man to be so blatantly dishonest.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Goodbye Truth

Alternative facts,
they fall like rain
into gutters of lies
that flood the drains,

causing rivers of hate
to erode the land,
cutting through valleys
and canyons grand,

sweeping the truth
into the sea,
to drift away