how do you do that?

this thing
that runs through my heart
like a freight train

knocks me down
and lifts me up
at the same time

brings me joy
and reminds me
to stay open
be vulnerable

this thing
unnameable
random
vast
deep

it knows no bounds
reaches deep inside
blows me away
scatters the pieces
to the darkest edges
of the universe

and somehow
makes me whole
again

how do you do that?

(D James)

until the dawn

it is the nights
that are most difficult

waiting
wanting

for the morning
that brings your voice

it is the nights
that are long

sleepless
restless​

hoping for a world
where 1+1=1

it is the nights
it is the nights
it is the nights

when darkness
grips my heart

renders me incapable

until the dawn
returns you to me

d. james

just once I’d like to find what I came here for…

forgetting that thing
I was going to check

wandering around the web
lost in its tangential branches

late night
grows later
as internet minutes
never correspond to clock time

eyes close
a finger rests
on a repeating key
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(D James)

Up All Night Waiting For Something That Never Comes

it’s not that I can’t sleep
it’s that I don’t want to

an old habit
one that’s returned
with age

like a child
overtired
afraid I might
miss something

the city at rest
a cloud moving across the night sky
a song on the radio
or mother’s return

I stay up
waiting for the sun
waiting for something
to happen

until I’m too tired
to be tired

then I’ll go to sleep

(D. James)

the mouse runs on the wheel going forward and getting nowhere

must do
must always do

be doing
or be dead

action
moves the world
no time for anything
other than the doing

the being
is busy

busy
being busy
with all the doing

rushing
to the end
gold watch
and a monthly check
then a trip to eternity

never wondering
until it’s too late
where all this busy business
really gets us

(D James)

How To Explain Nothing And Everything All At Once

it’s become apparent
that my beliefs
belong to others

every thought
each action
triggered
by a past experience
something I’ve read
heard
or seen

there is nothing original
in being a non-conformist
for even that now
is simply conforming to non-conformity

this too does not originate
from me but from another

so perhaps it is not
in ideas
or language

that we are unique

it must be
in that other place
beyond words
beyond the edge of our skin
out in the far reaches
where what’s in the skull
is quiet for a moment

where we connect
with all that is
all that ever was
or ever will be

with the all of all

(D James)

Here In The Shadows

there are things I’ve done
that I would never tell

things I’ve said
I want to unsay

things I’ve seen
that do not disappear
by closing my eyes

thoughts
that cannot be unthought

rationalized
justified
explained away

apparently
you know what
I mean

because here
in the shadows
they say everyone
is hiding something

(D James)

Standing Still As The Breeze Moves The Sky

watching the light change
from red to black

focused on the petty pace
of meaningless
routine

thoughts dissolve
as they move
like radio signals
to the vast reaches
of the universe

and suddenly my worries
seem as nothing
against the majestic backdrop

the city in twilight
from a rooftop

(D James)

If It All Works Out In The End, Isn’t It All Working Out Now?

had a dream
that it all worked out
all of it

money
happiness
life

had a reality
that it all worked out

all of it

then I woke
into a place
where none of it matters

and realized my search
was complete
and so am I

(D James)

In The Quiet Beyond The Edge Of The Universe

my hand cut the sky
making the rain fall

my eyes saw the deepening darkness
which stopped my heart

pretending to be something
made of stronger stuff
waiting out the storm

I travelled a hundred hundred miles
in just under a thousand years

and ended up where I began
forsaken
forgiven
forever

in the quiet

(D James)

Wish I Was Here With You

wishing for another time
wanting to be here with you
or at least be here at all

wishing for another place
where I could say
that which cannot
which will not
be expressed

wishing like wanting
like trying to wash away
years of shame and neglect
with a cup of cold dishwater

then finally
knowing wishing doesn’t make it so
I see there is work to be done

(D James)

I May Be At This Awhile

I had a feeling
of wanting to move
to run
to shout at the ground
that would not move

it did not answer

looked up at the stars
and explained to them
what I was after

they did not respond

went to the roof
and shook my fist
at the night sky
screamed until my voice
fell to the sidewalk

the universe
did not care

I sat down
closed my eyes
and was silent

vowing to stay
until the senseless
makes sense
until the feeling to run
out of my own skin
subsides

I am silent
still

(D James)

The Question Is: Do You Want To Go Forward Or Backward? (The Choice Is Yours)

asking why
leads backwards

as in “why did you do that?”

why asks for excuses
reasons
justification of the past

asking what
looks forward

as in “what will you do with that?”

what asks to create
is curious
and wants nothing more
than for something to be expressed

(D James)

Being You

they said
be careful
don’t get hurt

you didn’t listen

they said
it’s too risky
you’ll be sorry

you didn’t listen

they said
things they didn’t even believe
to keep you close, keep you in place, “don’t leave”

you didn’t listen then
and you still won’t now

so let them say
what they will

and you keep being you

(D James)

this can’t be it, can it?

and this is not
my life,
is it?

worrying about goals
and hitting targets
making my numbers
for the month

this can’t be
why I’m here

this isn’t my life
being in debt
and fretting
over back taxes

my life
is about art
and culture
and friends
and family
and love
mostly love

my life
is for fun
and adventure
and taking big risks

my life
is to be used up
so that I don’t die
leaving behind
just debt and struggle
but something
of greater value
than that

something
much more lasting
or at least more fun

(D James)

messages

what if
there were
messages

lessons
something
to learn

what if
there were
spirits whispering
in your ear

what if
you could hear
the sound
of an angel’s heartbeat
in the dreams of a lover

would you rather
drudge along
talking about
what’s impossible

or
spend your days
listening for light
in the flutter of a bird’s wings

(D James)

silly tired

not enough
sleep tired

too many
cigarettes tired

tired all the
time tired

two in the morning
writing
poetry tired

brain tired
road tired
time for bed tired

over-tired

wishing I didn’t
have to get up
and go to
work tired

nodding off
with my fingers
on the
keyboard tired

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(D. James)

urban scrawl

this thing strung together making no sense yet kept writing these words and not even thinking letting them flow and trying to keep up like in life when everything moves at the speed of sound and people keep moving and I seem to be in the way, slower than everyone else feeling tired and left behind it all seems a bit too much maybe I’m still on west coast time or it could be that I’m no longer interested in the rushing and running, the pushing and shoving, shouldering my way through life trying to get in front of the person in front of me assholes behind me kicking at the backs of my shoes, knocking them off skittering across the platform as the E train rushes out of the station and the next group of followers gathers in the station, and on to the next thing, the one after the one right before this one, how can anyone make sense of the world anymore when people start conversations in e-mail and end them in text, and no one, no one, answers the phone any longer, why can’t this rant end? because there are no endings and no beginnings, there’s just all this rushing around in the middle and when I go, and when you go, there will still be 6 billion and more on the planet to take up where we left off, and there is no reason for it, no meaning – it all is and it all isn’t and we’re here to sort out what it means to us now, and then we’re gone. And the sun will rise and the sun will set, and the sun will rise and the sun will set …

(D. James)

thinking thoughts of shouldn’t sayings on Sundays

whispers
of things
I meant to
say

when long ago
I watched
the sun rise

now the moon
is full

and my heart
sinks

the demons
smoke cigarettes
behind the gate

waiting
in darkness
to be let out

(D. James)