21-bojack-12_w750_h560_2xThis tar was shallower ten years ago,

the skin was thicker too, as so was mine.

It used to barely come above my toes,

but every second higher yet it climbs.

And I can see the things that led me here,

those choices, things I did and didn’t say,

the people I love most and hold most dear,

but didn’t love enough to not betray.

The spotlight knows my skin more than the sun –

in California an impressive feat –

but neither could recall the damage done,

not even with their still relentless heat.

It must be them that heated up the tar.

How else could I have sunk so quick, so far?


JS 2017

From the perspective of Bojack Horseman (if he had the attention span to write a sonnet)


The Lonely

lonely-travshotz-agency.jpgLoving is lonelier than I remember –

the acid beneath my skin lingering longer

now that I wait for you to see it,

hoping you will tell me it is beautiful.


My lips against your shoulder blades

whispering thoughts of me into your bones

that they might surface to your skin

and remind you I have been there.


With arms tight enough around my ribs

my envy cannot grow into my throat

and I am safe in my affections:

I do not want to be where you are not.


I did not remember the loneliness

of loving more than being loved,

of wanting more than being wanted,

or the fear of surrendering myself to my heart,


but I know it now like the nothing in the sky,

and the quiet in the dawn,

in the comfortable singe of whisky,

and the look in your eyes.


JS (2017)

(picture by Travshotz Agency: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/lonely-travshotz-agency.html)

Sonnet IX

Laughter ringing loud like honesty,

acknowledging a modicum of trust

that germinated quickly in our spring

and flows from loving, flabbergasted tongues.

It crept like quiet voices in the morning,

through halls with railing rays in shining dust,

and found itself beside us waking early

in breath as fresh as newly day begun.

The furnace in my chest was warm like thunder –

true, but only by a different name –

it’s lost inside a labyrinth of anger,

that’s far too hot to call the trap a game.

Your voice, a river, calms the rising heat.

To love, to know a warm and restful sleep.

But I’d Rather Forget

I am worth more than this.

I am worth more than three times a week you

sometimes stay the night,

more than two months of begrudged letters

and two months of unadulterated silence.


I am worth more than no notification about a delay

when I have been counting down the days

for weeks warped into lifetimes without you,

more than half apologies over soft drinks whistled

through quiet excuses and clenched teeth.


I am worth more than your thoughtlessness,

leaving passive bruises on my backbone.


I am worth more that the halfhearted currency

you have gilded to resemble love. I am worth

too much to give real gold forged from the fires

in my chest in change, but it has become

comfortable habit, like buying drinks for an old friend

with money they lent you.


I know that I am worth more than the tired hours

spent waiting to sleep so we might dream together,

only to wake up next to you alone, in a magpie nest

of shiny things you call love that taste bitter

the longer I wear them on my tongue.


Sonnet VII

I don’t recall the color of your smile,
the sound of waking up beside your breath,
through dreams you mumble, tripping all the while,
o’er words you say when sleep sequesters death.


Memories like San Francisco plaster,

dissolving through the dawn’s relentless mist;

rusted bridges seem to sink us faster,

lest we burn them first with clenching fists.


I lost the road we journeyed once to get here,

looked back to find my footsteps faded now,

retracing tracks with eyes untuned to darkness,

tripping into dreams where I have drowned.


I can know the clouds in cloudless skies.

I can love you without knowing why.

At Dusk

3D-Digital-Forest-City.jpgI leave the flat late and still
get to walk in the half light,
where moonmist glows
over grass, crickets whispering
the secrets of the weather
to one another.

The city is fantastically quiet,
a calm before winds full of
wanderers brought to the night,
dragged from buzzing kitchens
into pathway lamplights, moths
claiming their rightful suns
against a silent sky.

Soon the murmurs will be
a song humming in the wet
air, shying the crickets away
from their gossiping tongues.

Ours is the wind,
ours is the night –
ours is the half light.

The Forest


The tired night could not sleep alone, without you
her thoughts of our darkness rest like weeds and rain
in a forest patch that did hide its secrets well.
You waited for the day to save her soul.

Alone our secrets hide in the darkness and weeds.
Tired without you, the forest waited not to sleep
well; her soul could patch its thoughts like rain.
You did save for her a night of rest that day.

Save our secrets of rain – patch the soul that weeds
darkness. A forest without night could not hide her,
waited alone for you and the tired day to rest in her
like its thoughts. Did you sleep well?


JS (C)


seas broI wish I could imagine life without you,

that mornings spent alone were everyday,

that tables set for two were optimistic,

and pillow forts could keep the wolves away.


I wish your voice were more parts stress than calm,

or that its croon was less like lullabies,

but your sighs bring on their windless waves

a promise of your bittersweet goodbyes.


I wish that I could blame you for a sin,

or that you could commit a godly crime,

but He cannot absolve a shielded soul,

and you do not believe in the divine.


I know your coming like the rise of dawn,

the weight of footsteps on the hardwood floor,

how deep you breathe when peacefully asleep,

the weight of worlds you bear and always bore –


for we are cut from cloths a pond apart,

our slates, though blank, were not made to align,

but like a soggy puzzle piece, we change

to find our peace, imperfect and resigned.


Water did not bear my soul anew,

a renaissance was never destiny,

and while I wish the world would change its plans,

I somehow know that you are meant for me;


explain to me a life I lived without you,

and I will find a shore without a sea.


JS (C)


1537982_10152667684068248_5193889634419939301_o“I love you,” said pathetically sincere,

like drool that falls from numb and lonely lips

and stains a shirt, already dark with tears

and rain that marks the end of sinking ships:

confessions spake too late are never heard,

are never mulled by jury or by judge,

and while they may transgressions yet deter,

they claw the throat, and future loves begrudge;

our journey lasted longer than we know,

for particles entangled share a heart,

and while the universe forever grows,

each beat remembers start to end to start.

These ties that bind prescribe our epitaph –

alone we hope to find our other half.


JS (C)



In Greek mythology, Ganymede, a divine hero of Troy, was abducted by Zeus in the form of an eagle to be a cup-bearer for the gods, because he was so beautiful.

The tourists on the moon are loud of late –

they cry of prophecies among the stars,

of gravities with lift instead of weight,

of colonies that give rise just to pause;

they flash their cameras like solar flares,

to capture beauty like an eagle’s greed –

pure perfection only gods could bear,

they steal her like her brother Ganymede;

these foreigners, they conquer space to own,

like water in the lungs that muffles prayer:

diamond rain that burns as we bemoan

each wasted breath of stale recycled air.

Saying little, speaking far too loud.

I wonder if they think their gods are proud.

JS (c)