Skip to content

No brass, no ammo

The first thing the army teaches you is how to talk.
And then, how to walk.

After that, how to dress.
And then, sleep.

Next is how to shit.
And when to piss.

Then there’s first aid.
How to tie a tourniquet.

Two weeks later
They hand you a rifle.

For two weeks you take it apart
And put it together again.

Week six they give you three rounds
And take you to a range.

Where the drill sergeant watches your
every move.

These are the things soldiers do.

But any civilian can walk into a Walmart



I stand at his door.

Shoot me, he says.

I laugh
my sidearm holstered.

Pushed aside by those above us.

I watch him light a fire.


He is shot.

But not by me.


My cat will only live another seven years.

Lucky her.

I tore my mind on a jagged sky

My washing machine is broken again, it isn’t draining again. And then I’m at a McDonald’s eating again. When a man with a gun and a list comes through and shoots the woman in front of me. He pushes the hot gun against my head. And for a brief moment, I feel fear. But then there is only relief. That I don’t have to deal with the washing machine again.

Under the waning moon

Heading east on 70 at three in the morning. Between Junction and Abilene. Red and blue lights. On both sides. Troopers and an ambulance. Nobody in a hurry. A white SUV in the median. A white body bag next to it. Loaded.

Heading east on 70 at three in the morning. I thought I would write about it. But I’ve already written about death on the highway. How many times should I write about it?

Today I decided. Every time I see it.

Thanksgiving Bondsteel

I saw a friend there.

From McClellan.

We staged the trucks
Machine guns
And bullets.

We rode out
hungry and cold.

Muddy roads
and snow.


The problem with life
is you think it should have meaning.

So you grow up and work hard to get into college, to get a job, to get married, to have babies
to have meaning.

But the thing is,
there is no meaning.

They buried their dead in
tombs of stone
because they believed we would be forever.


Our planet will be swallowed by the sun long after we have covered it with plastic,
long after we have ceased to be.

And you will be dead long before then.

We’re here for only a short little while.

So be kind to each other.
Kindness is the only thing that matters.


I was once trapped in a room
with a navy wannabe
who wanted to know

how I cleaned myself
after shooting a motherfucker.

I kept quiet.

And he went away
with noise and anger.

I have been hit.

I have been bitten.

But always
I have never.


For so long
I have wanted peace.

In the green hills of Washington
covered by weeping trees.

I walk amongst them
confessing my sins.

They listen
they do not forgive.


And then we missed retreat.
While stacking footlockers
And breaking in.
Because the babies were up
And housing wouldn’t be in until