the strength to need

It’s not so black & white, this language. No fixed nor finite definition. Not in the arena of love.  There is no Caesar with a thumb pointing up or down. It creates its own world, a language that no one has ever been able to transform from liquid to solid. Similar to love itself, love’s language cannot be contained, cannot be tamed, cannot be predicted how it will be responded to. It remains wild and uncertain and always will. It is messy, confused, enlightening and beautiful when spoken & learned.
The same words can conjure demons or delight in the listener, can summon demons from the past or placate the present.
It carries with it all of our memories, our pain and our bliss; it is we who choose how to hear what is said.

Love. The word has been written and spoken into oblivion. I do not say it without meaning everything it encompasses to me, but I say it sometimes without the feeling of it coursing through my body, making the hairs on my flesh stand up and making me feel as if I am floating. I say it sometimes without the kindness and adoration that should be shining behind my eyes, without the warmth and serenity and passion and overwhelming knowledge that I would do absolutely anything for who I offer this gift of my entire heart to. We say it in distraction, in passing, as an automatic response because we feel it is expected.
Love is required. Speaking it so frequently carries the danger of the word being diluted even when what the heart feels is still just as strong. Love is easy. It is the simplest fear to conquer when crossing the threshold into what could be, and we can not move forward without it. Love is beautiful, sacred, necessary… common.

I want more. To be able to express more in words. We see each other far too infrequently to let her know in actions, and I truly hate that. I feel short-changed, small, at times only the absent lover who dreams of a better time. Is this even real?

In conversation recently she tells me that she doesn’t want me to need her. I understand then what she means, my entire life designed & built & barricaded to depend on no one.

It is the first thing I was taught.

… but her words continued to echo in my soul. Her words hurt me. I let them. I needed them to.
Is it possible to truthfully tell another that you love them completely, with everything you are now, & everything you will become together, without in some way needing them?

When I think of my day, she is there, even if only briefly. Foolishly. Images attach themselves to every thought, in my mind I see everything I will do – walking with Ruby through the streets, always a different way… sitting in a cafe, will I be working, reading for work or reading for me? Or just sitting, watching people and creating stories around them.
Once I was alone in these things, these thoughts. Only Ruby & me or just me, I knew better than to hope for another to share these moments with, though at times another was with me, forever faceless, this fools heart simply wishing for someone to share things with – simple moments, simple times, laughter, thoughts…

This is not the need of our adolescence, when needing another showed weakness. There is no longer any question that we can care for ourselves, that we arent afraid to be alone. I do not need out of desperation, of addiction, of obsession. It is not a need that confines, not a need that chains one to another. I do not depend on anyone else… but over this last week I have realized that needing something outside of me is not as wrong or weak as I thought.

I know myself. I trust my heart. I do not confuse need with love. I keep them both separate and in doing so

keep them honest.

Love is necessary. Need is… is perhaps that little bit more we can say, terrifying to admit but if allowed and understood it breaks open the hard stone of our hearts and permits more light to shine out of them.

Language is dangerous. What we say, what we admit draws people in or pushes them away in fear. I cannot love anyone afraid of my words. I can only show so much in action, and there is seldom any poetry in making something for her or watering her plants. Haven’t figured how to do that one out yet… maybe if I dressed prettier while doing it… but

I want a lover who isn’t afraid when I wrap my arms around her and tell her “I will never let you go.” I want a lover that is not confined, who is ready & willing to risk everything because she truly believes in love. I want a lover who never does anything she doesn’t want to just for me… even though I would for her. I still haven’t figured that one out.
I want a lover who knows the only way past fear is knowledge. I want a lover that is so insanely complex that she has learned how to be simple.
I want a lover who sees the parts I do not show to anyone and still accepts them. I want a lover who I wouldn’t hesitate to imagine living the remainder of my life with – and do, frequently.
I want a lover who needs me, but is complete without me. Who has no problem with saying good-bye if I don’t meet her needs. I like being kept on my toes.

In her, each breath tastes sweeter. I want to do more, create more, live more, be more. I am inspred to give more, be kinder, to care about myself more… for me.

I have found this lover.
I only ask that she allows me to need her… she is the face in every image I have and have had, and I want to be allowed to give her more than my love.


This is a need that is built on strength…
I am strong enough, now confident and complete enough, to admit that there truly are some things
and some people besides and beside me
that I need.


tearing down the final stones

Yesterday, after finally completing the 2,000th draft (or somewhere around there), I dug around my apartment gathering stray nickels, dimes, & even pennies for the stamp that would send it on its way. It could not be put off any longer.

It’s out of my hands now, on its way to Boise friggin’ Idaho, to be opened within the next few days by one Donald Lee Mathern.
My Father.
It was much more difficult than I expected trying to word a letter to a man who on New Year’s even in 1966 slept with my Mother, once, in celebration of the new year.
Forty-seven years and a few weeks later finding out for the first time that union bore him a son.

I have yet to speak with my mother about that evening, to ask all th things I want to know, to hear the entire story of who they were to each other before and after they unknowingly created me.

I would like to imagine that it was a beautiful evening full of romance, laughter, and love. I would like to imagine them as lovers, if only for a single night.

I said in the beginning of my letter to him that if he drinks, now would be a good time to pour one.

I wish I wasn’t so fucking broke. I could use a few drinks too in order to quiet this head.

I had told myself that he didn’t really matter. She was the only one I wanted to find, she was the one who sacrificed. He just played the part of donor. Don’t really care about knowing who he might be.
I think I might have been wrong in this illusion I made myself believe.

At least it’s out of my hands now. What’s done is done… and perhaps I should start tearing down the last of my walls.

here there be monsters


Everything she does. I watch her, like a child exploring a new world trying to understand how it fits in, where its place is, if it truly belongs.
Everything she does, to get to know her. Know all the small things – how she holds her coffee cup, how much is most commonly left swirling around in the bottom after the last of it passes her lips…
her lips. How her face rests, the corners of her mouth just hinting a smile, a secret, a delicious mischievousness.

I watch her, everything she does. Things that can never be asked and answered because we don’t even notice them ourselves. The small things, invisible until someone falls in love with every movement, every breath taken. Until someone notices the way we walk and the way we stand still, mesmerized by each moment drawing it in, writing notes on hearts.

I notice how she holds me, touches my hand, almost unconsciously wrapping her fingers around mine, claiming and proclaiming with a gentle strength this heart, terrified but ready…
and I notice with glaring and childish fear when her fingers do not find mine, do not hold them, and I wonder
what I have done wrong or what is in her thoughts or what I might do better or if it is even me but it is my hand that is not being held as mine holds hers and as much as I watch, as much as I learn, as much as I slowly get to know her,

we are still young and fresh in this unfamiliar territory, still exploring, still trying to understand how we fit into this new life,
and there is no guide, no map, nothing we can look to but our hearts
to help us on our way.

anywhere and to her

Wake up, start the water for coffee, shower the remnants of yesterday’s heat off of me, wondering what today will bring. To let it or make it happen. I don’t like not being able to control if I see her, and for that I feel childish. I wonder if I should feel childish, not getting my way and letting it upset me – but this is more than just wanting a trinket I could do without. Pour the coffee. Complete the base ritual.

She thought it was about her. Of course it was, but not about her. She is only the reason for voicing my frustration, making what I feel all days impossible to push aside, accept and ignore until things work out right and I have the freedom of going anywhere and to her. She is the exclamation point, not allowing the ease I have learned to push this need back and I notice my crippled wings.
I have worn them far too long, waiting for their repair and the freedom to fly again, to anywhere and to her.

I miss the roads. Is is wrong to say that I need the roads? Need to drive? We are taught not to need, that it is a base and unenlightened state. Just another material thing. I don’t need it. I tell myself I don’t need it. I try to fool myself but I know better. I know because without the roads, without the freedom, without the wind I feel caged. I’m able to pretend everything is find until I I am reminded of the bars that surround me.

to come to her

The day started out perfectly fine. Woke up early-ish, not enough sleep and a somewhat foggy head but nothing that couldn’t be dealt with given enough coffee.
While waiting for the water to boil for the coffee made the mistake of wiping a counter off – which then led to wiping all  the counters, the stove, etc. to make it appear that I wasn’t too much of a slob when Kat showed up this afternoon… and then coffee was had as I did the things I needed to…

But something went wrong somewhere. Some sort of trigger, something that suddenly turned things upside down inside of me into an altogether different feeling.

What should be a wonderful day, with me excited, dancing around and anticipating this afternoon, finally being able to see my girlfriend for the first time in nearly two weeks…

I tried to see it that way, to feel it just like I have since I met her, knowing things will change soon with an amazing job that I’ve been working on making mine, and finally not only having enough cash to give some away, but get a damn car. The way it is now isn’t right. It isn’t fair to her and… it isn’t working. If she has work, isn’t feeling good, and any other completely valid reason that has made us have to postpone our plans, I don’t get to see her. We don’t see each other.


With a car I could get to her – take care of her if she’s feeling sick, help her do needed things in her garden, and simply – just fucking be with her without her being forced to come to me… when she can.

and again, seconds ago the news that she won’t be able to make it tonight because of another very valid reason. I understand. I don’t want her to be more stressed, as she already is a little crossing the bridge and having to find parking in my neighborhood… but all the hopes and excitement that is raised, the plans we make that fall through… it almost seems as if we’re being challenged. Tested.

Sometimes I even need to step back and be certain that I’m only disappointed in the situation, not her. She’s trying, and the entire circumstance is completely screwed. None of it is her fault. None of it is her doing. It just… is, and if there is any blame, it is on me, for I am the one who can’t get to her without a car. Even thought about taking BART the other day to be able to share some of the responsibility, but then realized – Ruby.

I need to make this better. I need to make this right. I need to be able to take some of the duty & obligation to simply try to spend time together off of her shoulders, because not being able to do that is crushing me.

We have postponed our plans to see each other again. Until tomorrow.
I can’t allow myself to get excited again. I won’t dare to hope again. I won’t believe again.
Not until I am holding her, looking at her, into her eyes and only inches from that smile of hers that makes everything better.

I don’t want to feel so disappointed in myself again.

I need a fucking car.

the weight of unwritten words

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken pen to paper – or at least fingers to keys, and written in here. On this.

It is not by choice. Quite the contrary. I’ve wanted to, thought about it nearly daily, but it was only just that – a thought. The more I thought about writing and didn’t, the more difficult it seemed to get started. Just with that first thought, inspiration, that first sentence which then carries the weight of the words that follow, and seems to do so easily…

So I begin with that first thought – that it has been a long time since I’ve written in here, and far, far too long. Instead of the first sentence, I have carried that weight.

Perhaps that is the curse of someone who calls themselves a writer; if they aren’t writing, what are they then?

So I begin. There is a lot to say.
There always is.

Twelve days ago, on September 5th, I turned 47 years old. If someone looked back on my life and only had that to go on in trying to determine my age, my guess is that they may guess that I was much further in years than I am. The strange thing is that I don’t feel anywhere close to 47 – if I forget all that has happened in my life. Save for the added coffee in the morning, or the way I bounce off of random things a bit less bouncy… it’s difficult to believe that I’m three years away from 50 friggin’ years old, but… I digress.

It was, without any question, the best birthday I have ever had. In my entire life. Ever.
You see – as a birthday gift, my girlfriend, Kat (aka the most amazing and incredible person/woman I have ever met) drove me up to spend the day and night with my Birth Mother at her house. The first time in my life I ever spent it with the person who created this incredible life – the person who gave it to me, to do with what I could.

It was like we were old friends, Kat, my Mother & me, just sitting around, talking, relaxing, shootin’ the shit. Nothing special, nothing heavy… and astoundingly beautiful.

I can’t help but think to where I was just under three years ago, fighting for life in a hospital bed for over 18 months, and so very many times knowing how easy it would be – and how much I wanted to just give up, have it finally end, stop fighting and let this life fade away. I even had saved an easily lethal cache of morphine to make it happen quickly, easily, painlessly if I decided to leave.. but something wouldn’t let me.

So I did what I could, and I lived. Surprised the hell out of the nurses who cared for me during that time – and as I was saying my farewells before I danced out the door, some weren’t afraid to say that they didn’t expect me to live. It was safe to say then, I guess…

Since then, life has only continued to become better and better. Sure, there have been some hard times, of course – but nothing compared to the way my live has been changed & been so beautifully blessed. Things have happened that I didn’t think were even possible… but I continued to dream that maybe, juuuuust maybe, they were – somehow, someday, if I were patient enough.

I took 25 years of searching, but I found my birth mother. It took nearly a lifetime, but found a partner that I can easily envision sharing the rest of my life with – and I think that, even including finding my mother, that is the most amazing and unexpected blessing of my entire life.
I do apologize for the lack of poetry, for it is most certainly warranted, but it’s knocking on the door if 5am and I’m just struggling to finish this particular post so I can get to sleep, and start regularly posting again.

There is some crap over on Facebook, so maybe tomorrow at some point I’ll rip it off of that horridly undeserving place and put it here… but for now, and until again  – soon –

Good night.