the verge of losing it

Posted: November 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

everything is as pristine as a car crash. all i hear is the scrape of my pleading. all i see is the immaculate bleeding while the stuck horn blares. i am laying in a pattern of graceful swirls of the shattered glass embedded in my body.

i feel my pulse weakening and i wonder at the calm that settles over me, over as quickly as it began.



first blood

Posted: October 14, 2019 in Uncategorized

“i messed around and got all my homework finished.”-kaden b.


“even when i stay up late i wake up when my alarm would normally go off.”-ana

“you’re becoming an adult. that’s the first sign.”-ghost

“i know. it’s gross.”-ana


“what if the planet was an egg and it was cracked open and little aliens were dripping out?”-ghost

“how does your mind work?”-maciah

“it’s like a jackson pollock in there.”-ghost


“what does, ‘and i oop,’ mean?”-will f.

“it’s how a visco girl announces she’s retarded.”-zak


“no, my racism makes me stronger.”-korbin


“i can’t wait for the rapture so all these people die.”-elijah

“i’m not sure you understand how the rapture is supposed to work.”-ghost


“i’m sorry your old friends cut you off just because you changed schools.”-ghost

“it’s okay. i’m going to do something stupid.”-jodee


“dalton, can i see your nipple?”-nayaly


“you didn’t have to attack me like that.”-ana

“i wasn’t attacking. i was just asking if you were working today.”-ghost

“yeah, but then you’ll give me a zero. i’ve been in your class a long time. i know what that question means.”-ana


“so, this guy, jake, he’s literally a toe.”-ava

“explain why he’s a toe.”-ghost

“he just is.”-ava

“i mean, what makes someone a toe?”-ghost

“oh, you know how nobody likes toes? nobody likes jake.”-ava


“i feel like mrs. (teacher). no one laughs at my jokes.”-marissa


“my armpits hurt. i think i’m allergic to my deodorant.”-reagan

“i’ve heard deodorant gives you cancer.”-peatyn

“i’d rather have cancer than go without deodorant.”-reagan


“i HATE ikea. it’s literally satan’s maze.”-jodee


“oh yeah, well i hope you get a C- on your paper.”-ghost

“me too, actually. that would be way better than i deserve.”-jade


“i’m just saying, i’m not pregnant and i’m not white, so i’m living the better life.”-ana


“i want to go to whataburger. i’m tired of taco bell.”-reagan

“who said anything about taco bell?”-karsyn

“you know DAMN WELL we’re going to taco bell after the game.”-reagan


“tip, i realized i’m the reason my life is so complicated. i make sh!tty decisions and mess everything up. like, my life would be so much less complicated if i didn’t exist.”-reagan


“hey, where’d ya’ll go after the game the other night?”-ghost

“freaking guess.”-reagan

“taco bell.”-ghost

“you know DAMN WELL we went to taco bell.”-mikala


“ahhh, tipton, do you have a tissue?”-kaley

“yeah, why? what did you do?”-ghost

“i was trying to get the crumbs and i got chip in my eye.”-kaley


“one time my uncle choked on a turkey sandwich and was legally dead for five minutes.”-mikala



knowledge bombing

Posted: September 26, 2019 in Uncategorized

one of my young students looked at me with the most curious expression after i threw out some idea answering her question about what i thought she should do with her drawing. i will never forget the look of innocence and wonder in her face.

“how does your mind work, Tip?” she asked.

“i don’t know, but it looks an awful lot like a Jackson Pollock in there,” i said.

“Jackson who?” another young student asked.

i rubbed my hands together with delight, ready to drop a knowledge bomb into their midst.

“oh sh!t. here we go,” one of the older students said.



trying something new

Posted: September 19, 2019 in Uncategorized

i got up early enough to see the sun rise on my way to work. i tried to remind the dawn that she is welcome despite all the times i’ve slept through her rise in favor of the night. i tell her i’m sorry as i get distracted by my thoughts.

artificial love is easily created but not so much destroyed, and i’m no closer to filling the expansive void that’s plagued me since i was a teen. i tell dawn i was wrong and blinded and i spent a lot of years looking in all the wrong places for a fix for the emptiness i didn’t understand. i admit that i managed to maintain, but it was never her light that i needed.  it was never her that was the piece i was missing.

i no longer look for something to jump start the life in me.  i don’t make promises to myself to change. i am what i am. i try to wear my small victories like medals, but i no longer try to fill the hollow with meaning.



i’ve never even read Don Quixote

Posted: September 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

i woke from a strange dream because i was talking in my sleep this morning. i was having a conversation with someone and saying, “i sometimes just tilt at windmills. not because i think they’re dragons, but because windmills start to get uppity if someone doesn’t keep them in check.”

i’ve never read that story but somehow it’s buried in my mind somewhere.



i want to take a few weeks and paint something. i want to pretend i picked up color theory by osmosis instead of scoffing at my own aesthetic. i have thought in hues since i was a child, but i grew up in a brown and tan place, submitting to ochres.

surely the disconnect between my hands and my heart isn’t too far to jump.

when the tip of my brush kisses canvas and blushes with color, i do not weep.



first day back

Posted: August 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

up too soon and rain falls. i cannot gaze at stars, so i trace my name instead, all alone except for my canine companion who is frightened by big noise and foul weather.  a task i set myself as a young man is two thirds met and i begin again.

january runs within my veins as i think of all i must do before i can retreat again. it makes itself known as a subtle throb in my temple. the shadow of times to come hangs cold among the clouds and my constellation is stricken by a desire to pull up my battle shroud.

i completely own a moment as i walk into the morning. i don’t know if purpose will fill my lungs if i take another breath, but i do so anyway, hoping my eyes still burn with deepest july.