Any Way They Can

comments 17

I can’t work like this,
I muttered.

(I get emotional sometimes
around beings of the most radiant candor–
the ones who tell you like it is
without even moving their lips,
who shatter whole lifetimes
of log-jammed feelings
with a kind of glimmering eye thing
and an emanating peace
that sneaks up on you
like a heated seat,
a peace that feels as though it’s backstopped
by a battalion of compassionate mountain lions
who keep space-time free of scurrying misperceptions
with their lightning reflexes and svelte divinity,
and who happen to like wearing little helmets.)

I can’t work like this, I spat,
squeezing my loving
in between damage control sessions
with the morality inspectors–
(we’re always kowtowing to those ding dongs)–
forked down microwaved dinners,
and twenty minute engagements
every other day
with the minimum physical activity
proven statistically to prolong life,
bouncing on a rubber carpet
while keeping current on last year’s literature.
Also, just today alone:
a broken toilet,
a fork with a bent tine that nearly
decapitated a molar,
no coins for the tolls,
and ice in the wheel well that causes
vibrations at highway speeds
and threatens discomfort
for an hour straight.
There’s a moment for reflection
at 2:46 PM, while the coffee brews,
then a call and a text message fighting for supremacy
in my pants pocket,
and three people with the sum total
communication skills of a tennis racket
trying to establish who fucked up first.
I just can’t work like this.

My words disappeared
into the silence
like replica foam golf balls
placed wantonly
into a hurricane.

Hafiz did this glimmering eye thing.
“Well what are you going to do then?”
The mountain lions
in their little helmets
licked their paws
and washed their faces,
producing a beautiful sea of furry mits,
hidden talons,
and happy, squinting eyes–
as if I wasn’t hurting over here,
stretched tight as a rhinoceros tendon.

Then we started laughing so hard,
just a little at first, but then with the urgency
of a stomach flu.
Oh my God, we really let it out,
Hafiz and I.
Rolling on the floor,
fighting for oxygen,
begging for relief,
tears streaming down our faces.
My abs were burning hot in no time,
my lungs transformed into futile appendages.
My spleen ascended into
the fifth dimension
and my head burst open
into a tesseract full of white dahlias.
Then one of those mountain lions
hooked a dainty claw into my nose,
a little nonplussed with our ruckus,
and I sobbed with exquisite release.

Everything was much better after that.
Some things just need to get out
any way they can.


  1. Oh yes, some things just need to get out any way they can. This beautiful poem had me both chuckling and empathizing. Howling with a laughter so hard it hurts. Sobbing the same. I know it well. And then the peace in the space when it’s all been released. The peace that has always been always will be.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Alison. It had me doing those same things… 🙂

      Like a storm that blows through, and leaves the most potent silences behind…

      Much Love


  2. So strange how the world compresses and becomes so intensely small. One minute a tight little knot of concern, the next the unravellingest unravel of equanimity there ever was. Laughter is so often the facilitator – we are all so utterly absurd are we not? Exceptional work as ever Michael; many congratulations once again. H ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you much, Hariod. I guess we are all breathing beings in that way– constantly expanding and contracting, and in the process, like water, breaking things loose. I love the thought of laughter as facilitator, as a wise old man beating me with a long blade of grass, urging a return to sanity… 🙂

      Peace to you this evening, H.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah! Sweet surrender…sweet release! Yes, Michael! You have described this boiling over point so very well! The point where we stand on a proverbial cliff and in one scenario we jump with abandon and release it all…the other…well, let’s just say we stand on that edge and continue to torture ourselves with the fear of jumping!

    Thank you for your beautiful style of evoking truth in our hearts with fresh, real prose! Wishing you a weekend filled with love and blessings! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. epiphanized just today, after a quick run out of town for perspective, that all that arises within needs releasing without my judging it, withholding it and stuffing it down for its inappropriate appearance – who am I to stop the flow…I’m letting those golf balls fly. So glad Hafiz was in the break room! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let ’em fly, M! That sounds like a wondrous epiphanization. I liked how you wrote it, too. It gave me the sense of someone running down two flights of stairs, hopping into the car, screeching out of the parking space and making a beeline for the edge of town. There, just beyond the wrong-facing sign with the town logo painted on it, you taste it: perspective…

      Yes, the afternoon coffee pot turned out to be a set-up. Hafiz is very crafty like that… 🙂


      Liked by 1 person

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