Smiles turn frail and sapphire

Grins carrying cobalt bullets

Wrestling with a pocket of change

Standing in front of a phone booth

Eight hundred miles away from truth

Love took a freight train to misery

No emergency brake on this passage

Faster than a speed of light

Lost in all of the choices and indecision

Eight hundred miles away from lies

Wearing a royal trench coat of pain

Feeling like a thousand pounds

Too frozen and solid to remove

Still standing in front of a phone booth

Eight hundred miles away from her

Debating and contemplating

Fumbling with the quarters

Should I call her from Indigo


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She murmured sardonic puns, three line riddles and a secret written by her morning phantom
She was sipping on Coca Cola with percolating eyelashes carrying a catatonic grin
I sighed “your diabolical scent is quite ravishing and eloquent”

I didn’t mean to ignite the past
I didn’t mean to love you with the left eye
I didn’t mean to fall so hard with a faithless romantic

She gargled bits of authenticity, lucid theories, and swallowed a vitamin of intensity
She often spills her aggression, animosity, and uneven morals in her bloodhound diary
I cringed “your radiant light is piercing through the thick of the night”

I didn’t mean to surrender to your heart of stone
I didn’t mean to adore your nightmares
I didn’t mean to wipe away the rain in the storms

She has a mystifying language drenched in symbolism and an accent with a pinch of kindness
She miscalculated and misplaced the affection
I gave
I gasped “your insidious magic feels like gold, makes me wonder why your story hasn’t been told”

I didn’t mean to say those words
I didn’t mean to remove your veil
I didn’t mean to make so you afraid


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I know it’s Thursday when the nurse brings the little paper cup with five pills instead of three. A sip of tepid water and I go back to staring out the window. I can’t abide small talk. Never could. Better to observe my surroundings than spin idle words. My wife understood that, why don’t these young kids get that? Always on about the weather and am I comfortable and did I sleep well. Of course I didn’t sleep well. I haven’t slept well since I was brought to this place. I keep quiet, I know when to keep my mouth shut. It’s Thursday and she always made meatloaf with gravy and fresh baked rolls on Thursdays.

I constantly see him gazing. I can see memories crawling up and down a mammoth hill in his mind. I can see his mind slowly deteriorating as the seconds go by on our grandfather clock. I often glare at the Roman numerals on it and think of the precious years our love glowed. It breaks every piece of my heart to see him in a hospital bed. I thought I have embraced every minute with him. The last few years we have gone through the motions and hate the tears that fall into my lap. I’ve thrown away countless hours giving him the bare necessities and nothing more because of the silence that pierces through the friction of our marriage.

As soon as I close my eyes, I open them again to the sounds of a young woman opening the curtain. It’s no longer dark outside and I remember Sarah rose early during the week but slept in an extra hour on Saturdays. The nurse smiles at me and asks how I slept. She knows I haven’t slept but a moment yet her mundane prattling eases the sting of being away from my wife at least for a few minutes. I wonder when I saw her last. I miss her hand in mine. How her eyes sparkled as she laughed and smiled. Saturday mornings were made just for her and me.

He gawks at that nurse like he used to at me. I gave all of myself to a man that knew how to take but struggled to give. Parts of me cry like a baby. He never raised a hand or cheated on me. More often it felt like he was going through the motions. Parts of me are frozen. I often watch him sleep and watch his favorite television show. He was enthralled with details, crime, investigations, interrogation, lines of questioning, and trying to figure out the culprit. Benjamin Matlock was his companion more than I was at times. Parts of me chuckle saying that. Sometimes I even stare at that young nurse.

I remember this one evening, this evening when my wife, Sarah, was so upset with me because she had asked me to fix the sink in the kitchen, we were always having problems in the old house with it and she asked as soon as I got home please fix the sink but I was tired from work and I just wanted dinner and to watch the television, my favorite show came on right after dinner and I was so fascinated with the characters and the mystery and I was tired and I ended up falling asleep in my chair and when my wife woke me up she was so cross with me because I didn’t do as she asked and I remember I always liked to guess the ending of the show before they solved the mystery.

As much as I love him, too many times it came across in our marriage he was consumed by things that weren’t real. It was almost as if he was engrossed by make believe to avoid the realities going on in our marriage. He neglected confrontation and was absorbed by the simplicities of life (sex, television and food). I was marveled by his ability of not needing anyone. The appearance of being fulfilled by “things” fascinated me. I know there is more going on underneath but was never one to display that.

She sits and waits for me to say something. Anything. I know it. I can’t say a thing. What will she think? I was five when I learned my lesson well. Danny was eight. Daddy beat him until he fell off his chair, beat him until he couldn’t get up off the floor. Daddy said he’d learn his lesson. Daddy lifted the iron from the hearth and burned the sin from Danny’s hand that evening. I begged him to stop. Surely Danny would be good now! Daddy turned with dark, dark eyes and asked if my tongue needed the sin burned from it too. I closed my mouth and stopped my crying. I didn’t need the glowing red iron to brand his rules into my mind. I learned my lesson that day. Keep quiet and never get caught stealing. I never could say a word. How would Sarah look at me, knowing she married a coward. I stole the candy that day.

Danny hugged me tight. The tears were endless. William passed away at 67 years old and have been married for 41 years. Just like any other marriage we had our ups and down.

He was slowly decaying for the last 15 years of them. Our love was like rain – it poured, drizzled and sometimes it was dry. I can’t say he or even myself showed love consistently. I loved our memories but as the years went on both of us were going through the motions. Here I am sobbing creating more rain – the love we should have made. Perhaps it wasn’t just him falling apart in the last 15 years, it was myself. I took him for granted. I walked away with my hands clenched trying to be strong. Everyone stared at me. I needed a breath of fresh air and all I could see is rain. William loved the sound of the rain.


Check out Tara’s blog if you haven’t! This was a fun collaboration.

Here I am, I don’t have followers
I have sanguine blisters and
indecisions stirring in my reckless mind
I’ve stood in the corridor of my considerations
and wide eyed aspirations
I’ve been guided by intolerable vices, a stench of trivial knowledge and sarcasm
I have concoctions growing in my garden
I’ve borrowed money from my child like brother
to rent a house not far from the Porcupine River
We use to play like thieves, run like dogs,
and wrestle in the amber mud for hours
I live in a two bedroom apartment,
One block away from the Midtown bakery
On Sunday’s I can smell the Apple fritters
I’ve worked at the local grocery store since I was fifteen
“Lucky” isn’t a word in my vocabulary
I bite my fingernails as I ponder in front of my 1971 typewriter
From 9pm to 10pm I’m a rapid reader
I fell in love with Mark Twain and the storytellers from the innocent wild
Stuck on the lucid and elusive chapter ten
Captivated between the commas and engaging dialogue
I cough at the errors and sniffle at the page count of my thrill seeking novel
I stretch out my imagination like a rubber band
Manuscript growing like a an oak tree
Here I am, born an offbeat writer
The people who know me stand distant
Afraid to crawl inside the brain of characters
I left my day job at the age of forty two
Perspiration and diligence were on my side


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My sun has set, I dwell
In darkness as a dead man out of sight;
And none remains, not one, that I should tell
To him mine evil plight
This bitter night.
I will make fast my door
That hollow friends may trouble me no more.

‘Friend, open to Me.’—Who is this that calls?
Nay, I am deaf as are my walls:
Cease crying, for I will not hear
Thy cry of hope or fear.
Others were dear,
Others forsook me: what art thou indeed
That I should heed
Thy lamentable need?
Hungry should feed,
Or stranger lodge thee here?

‘Friend, My Feet bleed.
Open thy door to Me and comfort Me.’
I will not open, trouble me no more.
Go on thy way footsore,
I will not rise and open unto thee.

‘Then is it nothing to thee? Open, see
Who stands to plead with thee.
Open, lest I should pass thee by, and thou
One day entreat My Face
And howl for grace,
And I be deaf as thou art now.
Open to Me.’

Then I cried out upon him: Cease,
Leave me in peace:
Fear not that I should crave
Aught thou mayst have.
Leave me in peace, yea trouble me no more,
Lest I arise and chase thee from my door.
What, shall I not be let
Alone, that thou dost vex me yet?

But all night long that voice spake urgently:
‘Open to Me.’
Still harping in mine ears:
‘Rise, let Me in.’
Pleading with tears:
‘Open to Me that I may come to thee.’
While the dew dropped, while the dark hours were cold:
‘My Feet bleed, see My Face,
See My Hands bleed that bring thee grace,
My Heart doth bleed for thee,
Open to Me.’

So till the break of day:
Then died away
That voice, in silence as of sorrow;
Then footsteps echoing like a sigh
Passed me by,
Lingering footsteps slow to pass.
On the morrow
I saw upon the grass
Each footprint marked in blood, and on my door
The mark of blood for evermore.


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She’s exhausted from spilling ink
She’s uncertain with her fingertips
She’s wobbly and shaking on the inside
She’s powerless from the past
She’s flimsy as a thin piece of paper
Sing me a song for wide hope
Sing me a song for stretched out faith

She’s frail within her bones
She’s isolated from the rattle
She’s licking her wounds quietly
She’s aching for companionship
She’s comfortless and abandoned
Sing me a song for freedom
Sing me a song without chains

She’s tangled up in desolation
She’s withdrawn and torn down
She’s a tragedy without a witness
She’s reclusive and friendless
She’s a sky without any clouds
Sing me a song for change
Sing me a song for healing


My books are available here.

She disguises herself with prescriptions
and 1970 cliches. More often she sleeps in black leaves and clenches to the whispers of the blizzard. She prays to the secondhand lions and searches for forgotten riddles. She laughs at horror films and weeps at the comedy classics. She’s never used the word forgiven.

She wrestles with the fears in the morning and drowns in the insomnia at night. She speaks in a language without discretion. She plays with her skeletons in the closet. She ignores the left side of her imagination. She dances to jazz and dips her fingers into white pages to write enigmatic poetry.

She expresses affection with amber kisses and her fingertips. She said goodbye to her fireflies. She built walls with quicksand and tears. She stares at her right side of her imagination. She pleads with the stone truth. She’s witnessed more endings than beginnings.

She circles her anger like a hawk. She’s deprived of human decency. She loves with a small percent of her tattered heart. The rest is locked in a music box surrounded by caution tape. She sings to her frustrations to soothe the madness. She’s in love with only parts of her identity.


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Grappling with a toxic incubus
Static tangled up in hallucinations
A diabolical perpetrator is lurking
Dabbling with molecules and carbons
And I sleep with annihilation

Memorizing the periodic table of elements
Sinister mind combining mercury and lead
A splash of chromium, pinch of caesium
Blending a explosion in a wicked bottle
And I sleep with obliteration

Ensuring a plague like disease spreads wide
A blackhearted voice speaks with a chuckle
Corrupted hands, apocalyptic intentions
Selfishness wrapping around throats
And I sleep with termination

Belligerent critters stalking the lands
Referencing the last chapter of the divine
Symbolic torture rest within the dollars
Greed softens up the lips and tongue
And I sleep with eradication

A clash of reasons, brawl between sins
Fears sobbing until the break of dawn
Scent of misery swarmed the dirt
End of virtues, end of light
And I sleep with a contagious virus


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Deep inside a serious social commentator
I chronicle little nothings from something
Residing in a seven hundred square foot
apartment with spaghetti stains on Saudi Arabia colored carpet
Exhausted from walking on egg shells and shrapnel from the one word responses
“I planted seeds, give me what I need”
She exclaimed with a riddle with her arms raised in the alabaster breeze
Shrugging my shoulders in discomfort
“You dealt me ripped cards, at Zero Point Boulevard”
Squinted eyes, zig zig aggravation, and
disgust is a ghastly taste
I use to dance in your verses and your loose lipped stanzas
Coincidentally there are no replies to my praise
Dwell in your manipulation, circus mind and a diary written in mud
Frankness stood upright and you ignored it
No transitions in your language, just a hint of apricot
Senselessness and ramblings squabble on this path
Coping is your worst enemy


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“I opened my eyes to see the ugliness and beauty of humanity”

Braeden Michaels creates a curve in the poetic stratosphere revealing glimpses of the characters who walk amidst the life of newly-widowed Stella Walker. By exposing the flaws, scars, quirks, and the light we see in each other, this profound collection generates a fine line between friendships and acquaintances.

Within these pages, we are introduced to different shades of colorful characters in varying points of their lives. Every poem describes the hidden truths and realities of human attributes. Each perfectly imperfect person we meet is a representation of the people we run across in our individual journeys which then become stepping stones in our own growth.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Reviews


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