“…gracefully surrendering the things of youth.”

Many a time a conscious mind willingly went astray,

into the woods of vivid colors and mysterious sensations.

Many memories survive of the times when smiles were wide,

The air so dense and murky, rain clouds wondered what we were up to.

‘Regret-me-not, forget-me-not’ is the protocol I put on these good times I recall,

but all-in-all, the realm we call ‘reality’,

on its baseline,‘au natural’ level is what I most currently enjoy.

 

I have a large cache of long-term recollections, fueling introspection toward the past,

but looking back on the few late nights in recent days, long since my change of ways

I see the best of times depend on the ‘who’ around me;

the ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ matter far less in retrospect.

I now celebrate sobriety in my own mind, quietly.

I’ve learned that good company matters more than something to ingest or breathe in;

it’s not cool to me anymore.

 

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White Cuffs

White cuffs peek from the green sweater

With my name etched on the right side pocket

In classy, white cursive.

My navy blue slacks get a little tattered at the heels,

and eventually my Reebok Classics look a bit too ‘classic’ to wear.

Running, playing, making friends, playing tag;

My school uniform can’t keep up with me.

 

White cuffs hidden by a navy blue blazer, but keep

peeking as I keep speaking behind turned teacher’s heads,

Being a pre-teen with my pre-teen friends, who don’t care

if our blazers’ gold buttons break off while trying to catch a football.

The tie color changed, but the letters on it didn’t.

 

My white cuff sizes went up as my voice went low,

collared shirt now hidden by navy blue sweater.

Full-blown hormones, surrounded by pretty girls,

every turn, every twist, every class, every locker,

girls all over the place! And they think I’m cute?

I can get used to high school and my biggest  white cuffs so far.

A bigger, different sweater every year til I’m 18,

and as I graduated I thought the white cuffs on my

button down shirts would be all but eradicated.

 

For a while, a dormant crowd of white cuffs hung on their

sleeves, that hung on their collars, that hung on their hangers,

that hung on the pole in my closet, and that’s how I liked it.

After 14 years of a shirt and tie, 5 days a week,

the preppy look in my mind mind was canned, and

band tees and Vans kicks were in, and they looked sick!

So my weekend wear became the apparel of my undergrad years,

but I still feared someday I would be an adult that ended up

dressing up for work, no earrings in my ears,

and be the guy in a suit and tie having a beer.

 

The premonition came true, but much better than I thought,

cause what I feared most isn’t true; In my suit and tie adult life

I don’t feel much sadness or strife. The latest upgrade is the set

of black suits, nice ties and white shirts I wear, day in and day out.

I thought it would make me feel square, lame, or wack,

but a big part of me feels like I’m back on track.

 

The premonition turned out much better than I thought,

I’m wearing white cuffs again, but I’m more happy than not. – RSM

Theories on Random Tears

At times I feel a teardrop or two well up from inside

for literally no reason at all. I don’t even feel sad,

angry or upset. I don’t feel bad at all, yet my tear ducts

get wet. My emotions are as calm as a still lake during a clear

weather sunrise during Autumn, but at random a tandem of

salt water tear drops drop and tear through my otherwise dry cheeks.

 

It’s not when I yawn, although I tear up then too, and I have better

things to write about then trying to lie or vouch that I never cry out of

emotional distress, like the ‘manly man that I am blah blah blah’,

That happens to me too, although it’s not what I’m referring to.

I reply to an email at work and feel that stuffy feeling like I have one tear

from my left eye surging through, emerging; I catch it before it hatches

all without the tear-appropriate emotions.

 

Maybe I’m in a conversation about how to get to the nearest train station or

something similarly generic and I swear it, I feel a tear or two irrigate into the

outside world, surfing over my pores until I end the unexpected clear streak with a

baby-soft swipe around my eye(s) with Bruce Lee quality quickness to cover it up.

 

I have theories, from simple to downright trippiculous:

One of these is that somewhere in a parallel universe,

my other self is experiencing some kind of sadness,

and through some cosmic mystery I feel my pain from another plane.

 

I also have thought that past lives stay with souls as time goes.

Maybe unbeknownst to me I’ll see a stranger from my old family tree,

or maybe I’m in some kind of place that subconsciously reminds me

of my previous realm of existence, and all but a couple of

 

emotional

 

liquid

 

droplets

 

fall

 

one

 

by

 

one;

the rest is hidden within the past,

my inner being’s sealed memories of a previous life,

trying to claw through to the present.

 

I could just be more tired than i thought, and I know I’m not the only one,

so imagine what kind of deeper meaning and spiritual cleaning these random tears

can have, teeming with multiversal emotional information,

or the life you lived before you lived this life,

telling you “There goes your cousin!” or “Look! he was your wife!”

 

Or maybe it was just a yawn. -RSM

 

 

The Dance

It goes in a circle.

The steps are the same as yesterday.

 

Next step, then the next step, no time to look back at the last,

engaging the minds, bodies, emotions of the dancers,

very talented, highly trained, always distracted.

Eventually all the dance floors close, and their weary feet

readily head home, trading old media for new to always stay distracted.

 

Easy come, easy go are the dancers’ spots in each ensemble.

Nothing is more important than dancing to them all; the next

dance they do, jazz shoes to buy, routines to learn, auditions to study for.

So for sustenance and survival, our daily shuffle comes back around. – RSM

 

Buzzer Beater

Running, running, running,

half a block down, I hear the train rumble through headphones blaring,

scaring, whizzing by old ladies, taking their grandkids to school,

my own backpack clapping against my spine as I fly down the hill,

up the stairs, MetroCard in hand, swipe it at the turnstyle,

turn a hard 90 degrees, I hear through the breeze rustling nearby trees:

“This is a Manhattan bound 2 train, the next stop is-”

jumping upstairs 2 by 2 with toward the 2 train the 2 doors closing I reach the platform,

and race for the doorway, like my feet haven’t met enough of the floor today.

Ding-doong. Already warned to stand clear, I throw my body into the open space, and just

barely beat the closing doors, as they seal shut on the first try, and into the sunrise and

working day, the barely open eyes of mine and fellow train passengers ride. -RSM

Thunder on the Beams

Six lines of magnetically charged metal beams shake, bend,

and take impact over and over from a storm for the ages.

Thunder booming, as if nature had rhythm

and dogs go crazy and bark back at the sound

of the violent downpour raging in and around the steel beams.

The sounds of the storm increase, rooms begin to tremble,

the people below close their windows and pray

to have the thunder cease for the day.

An earthquale approaching, it seems,

and as its most unnatural sounds wail and scream,

SNAP! Breaks one of the steel beams,

Weathered by the hurricane to earthquake nightmare.

That’s when I figured I should put my electric guitar down for a while.

I need new strings now, and probably pissed off the neighbors too.

 

I Started Looking In The Mirror Less

A few years ago I would remain in the eye of my own gaze,

With my ego tugging on my mind, saying “Look again! Just make sure.”

So every vein of opportunity to be so vain

I looked in the mirror, a lot, and complained, and made changes

until my appearance in reality and my mind was the same.

 

Exhaustingly unscrupulous, taking sooo many selfies,

compulsive on my pursuit of perfection, so ruthless,

I was never truly happy and knew this wasn’t healthy.

I pass a window that reflects and have to slow down, stop and check

if my collar looks weird on my neck, or if my pants look tight, or too loose.

Hopefully there’s nothing on my face that shouldn’t be,

so I take quick picture to see something my eyes couldn’t see.

 

Enough was enough, one day I decided to delete my Instagram

and to not hold my looks so high above all else, I took a big step

and I started looking in the mirror less. I didn’t get any uglier,

I let my hair grow and it didn’t look any funnier.

I could tell when I felt bummier and my nose felt runnier.

I didn’t need a constant reflection of my image to reflect on the fact

that narcissism is a good-looking way to constantly self-attack.

 

Perfectionism stems from insecure origins,

like a good catholic who feels like they’re full of sin

or a parent who shuns their child’s success,

and then the child feels like they’ll never win.

The mirror was my best enemy, my fakest friend,

my physical editor which never liked the ideas I pitched.

 

I started looking in the mirror less and less,

until a whole day would pass as I would pass by

windows that reflect, mirrored walls,

and even neglect the looking glass outside of bathroom stalls,

And to my surprise, I didn’t look grotesque or wrong

as I came home singing one of my favorite songs:

 

“Vanity, stands naked at my door…”

I sang as I saw the mirror in my room;

an old friend greets me with a smile.

 

He looks happier than before, I haven’t seen him in a while.

He’s better off, just like me, for leaving vanity outside.

 

 

Rain Hails And Love Reigns

The rain hails in figurative and literal terms,

a kamikaze attack in the billions, as the streets get cloud bombed

and all the birds take a break from singing their love songs,

Lovers-no-more wonder where they went wrong,

Seeing only through their rear view mirror,

and their most recent turn, instead of the road ahead.

 

As the rain falls, so do the lights,

and lovers find themselves in each other’s arms

while getting lost in each other’s eyes.

The rain only hails to lovers on its way to the stage,

playing a consistent, smooth tone during its performance.

 

No matter how deep, how wondrous, how intense,

the rain gently caresses the ears of listeners,

sending emotion through the air with every drop.

All who hear and see the sky so grey and unclear

perceive the feelings of raindrops as they do:

 

The stillness of peace, a gentle sadness,

a melancholy holiday, ruined by a dark cloud’s madness.

Emotional wifi, these raindrops are.

 

With each seemingly insignificant stream of precipiation,

we are connected to nature, and feel our moods accented

as goosebumps rise on our skin, and a feeling of cool wetness settles

the water from above refracts our feelings

not unlike a glass of water, or a pond below refracts light.

 

Lovers can’t be starcrossed with dark clouds in the sky.

Real love has the patience to see the storm through. – RSM

Life and Times

Much has changed since the times of over-sized clothing,

A style choice now I look back at with loathing.

Experiences chosen when I choose to reminisce vary,

some bad, but most good, a few are just scary.

 

It’s really those strange nights I can’t recall

that make me wonder how it ended, and what started it all.

Boys will be boys and kids will be kids,

and teens will be teens and everything in between

and everyone loves to think about those times

and then whines, like “Why are those good times gone?”

It’s because good times that never end are only found in happy songs.

 

Age is the universal oxymoron,

the only thing that makes the young want to be older,

the old want to be younger, everyone in between

feeling as if they’re already at either extreme.

 

I take my age as it comes, in years, and in all 26 and 3 months of mine

I’ve learned very much and forgotten even more,

but experience is what kept me yearning to learn more,

correct mistakes, and instead of drown in sorrow,

to make my own life great.

 

So as time treads on, unrelenting by the minute,

I’m grateful for all that I see before me.

For all that life has given me in this time,

I’ve gained happiness from it,

although not void of sadness and despair, far from it.

 

Your life is in your hands, as well as in your eyes,

See it and handle it as you like.

I prefer to describe my life and times in rhyme,

just as beautiful as the sunrise, this life of mine. – RSM

Ambitious Anxiety

It is in the light that we wish to stand,

urges suppressed, trying to keep our bad memories purged and repressed.

Speaking like a politician on Election Day,

nervous like hell but praying it’ll all be okay.

 

It is in the light we wish to shine, and make our lives brighter,

illuminate those around us, be a smile to see with happiness to reflect.

Some shudder at the thought that some days we forget,

and hope to never be the perpetrator of neglect.

It is in darkness we feel guilt, shame, sadness,

as we throw darts at the bullseye over our own faces,

little do we know this bullseye is spinning in our minds

like a hurricane and those darts are missiles being dropped

on our emotions and self-esteem by our own conscience.

In darkness we try to forget by remembering

that 1 time out of 100 we made a noticeable mistake,

and mark that as a the beginning of the end, our fall from grace.

 

When our time to shine comes about, anxiety can surprise us.

Our mind does a search of “How many ways can this go wrong?”

faster and more thorough than Google ever could.

A side effect of success and progress can be high stress.

A mind on edge thinks everything is an all-or-nothing test.

 

Remember why you’re here,

learn to love the way it looks when you see yourself,

and the way it sounds when your own voice meets your ears.

“You have a right to be here,” as Max Ehrmann confirmed.

Don’t think of life as ‘Win or Lose,’

because no matter what happens, you live and you learn.