Vignettes in Leather and Metaphor


There is beauty in baselessness. It’s undefined, an exponential without foundation, and in the absence of definition, there is only creation. What does it mean to explore the meaningless, to make meaning from the mundane? Constructs of community and curiosity buttress the armrests of emperors. What becomes of their destruction?

Some say they wish to see the world burn; some wish to light a blaze beneath them.

Others taste the flames in search of ashes, dig through the depths to hedge the phoenix and its feathers, leave the embers in disarray as they build up the burned behemoths of history. Like Prometheus, they feel the sting of silent suffering and the teeth of consequence. They bleed not for bloodshed, but for birth.

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Our Three Winners

“Ignorance killed my brother.”
“Spread love because they were full of love.”
— remarks from Deah, Yusor, and Razan’s families

Snow fell upon their bodies
a wedding with the earth
while the wind blew upon our tears
fingerprints of ice, soft kisses
of cold breath escaping their lungs.

At the end of a bullet
screams and bloodshed
find your arms still held open
a crescent from hand to hand
and your soul is that star
that burns on in us.

The light overflows
wanders among the weeping
and reminds us
we are still alive.

Green Halls

Green. Fresh like new leaves or cut grass
absent of the vile jealousy and greed
that color money in my pocket. Green
like mint ice cream and watermelons
plump from the summer sun. Green
welcomes me as we enter past the mirror door
faceted of my reflection, barred in brass
flanked by tiles below and an alter above:
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Before the Night Sky

For DR… White Knight forever

Daniel was at the club. He sat at a table, drinking a beer with a few cups of water, each half-full, scattered around the table. He was in an old pair of jeans and sneakers, tugging at the navy shirt he wore, scowling at the lower-middle-class clothes he’d bought at Walmart. Staring across the club, the throbbing lights–pink, green, blue, red, purple, repeat–colored the scene differently every second. He tapped his foot in the air as he rapped his fingers across the tabletop. He swore he could hear the second hand on his watch tick-tick-ticking beneath the drone of some Top 40 hit blaring too loudly to discern its words…

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One Hundred Words

Why does the word count start at one? I’m at ten. I must write one hundred words. Almost twenty done. One fifth there. I’m on my way to save the day and here is another ten to bring me closer to the end and what would I do if I could write you the world and what would you do if I gave it to you and what, what, what would be the point if there were no point at all and in every moment, a strand of light became the thread of thought that was woven into a rope that wrapped around us and tied us to something true, to something deeper than me or you. What would I say, what would I spin, what angle would this picture bring when I see you, and you see me, and somewhere something else is free yet we are bound until we’re found and therein you can welcome me and I can take you in and we can sin and sin and sin sin sin. And then happily, untie this rope made of a thousand million strands of light and I could write you the world and give it to you and then, then counted, numbered, turned to stone, we could be immortal all on our own.

Excerpted from Cold White Snow