Advice To My Younger Self


Love yourself.


Untitled Piece

I notice her there, almond against shadow
Her expression waiting for my response
Searching for me, against the dark
Hoping me to be the husband she needs,
In her weak moments

She is changing
I am changing
It is changing us

I have pictures placed secretly in drawers
Her longing to forget that former life
Me torn between the bold and new,
and hanging onto
that former life

I glance on that old face, now odd
Like someone I lost somewhere
In a dream, and woke to someone new,
Yet familiar as a year

She is changing
We have changed
It is changing us

She is there, peering across the muted dusk
Vulnerable and scared of all this
Needing my arms to hold her
more than I
sometimes appreciate

Losing moments in her new name
Losing my temper, finding her fear
Her vulnerability and softness suit her fine
Her forehead suits my lips just fine
This education is free, but with high cost

She has changed
I must change
It has changed us

The Work That Makes Relationships Work


"mine" by Chidi Okoye


Today has been an interesting Saint Valentine’s Day.  It started out as normal as any other Monday.  Woke up, got ready, gave the wife a kiss bye, and did my usual commute to work.  Then things turned weird for a while in the early part of the day.  I won’t go into all the details – suffice it to say there was a…disagreement (not a fight, per se) resulting in both of us being upset at the situation, and emotional.

Luckily, we were able to work it out, as we always do.  We are both so different, and so strong-headed (read: stubborn), but when we really open up and just put everything on the table, our love always wins out.  That’s one thing I love about our relationship.  Somehow, in spite of itself (and us), it works.

A little while later, we were Facebooking cutesy messages back and forth (hey, it is Valentine’s Day, after all), including this little drawing I made of us at work.  I think she liked it.  😉

and this, taken at work and sent to her

What can I say?  I’m a romantic at heart. 😉

It’s a very low-key V-Day at home, but some celebratin’ is in order this weekend, after payday and the work week is over.  I have her to curl up with, so I figure I’m all set.

Rules that work for us in rocky moments:

  • Never go to bed angry
  • If what we’re fighting over is stupid (which it usually is), somebody just give in already and say, “I love you, and this is stupid.  Let’s not fight.” (or some variation on this)
  • Tell each other we love one another somewhere in the vicinity of 239847324 times a day (yes, even after 4 1/2 years together)

There are probably more, but those were the first to come to mind.  Hey, maybe I should start a romance column and change my name to Carrie (Larry?) Bradshaw.


Hmmm...I have been told I have nice legs...I dunno.


The bottom line is, never forget why you love each other in the first place.  That can usually work through anything, if both parties are willing to compromise and be open.

A Disturbance In Mirrors: Remembering Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath took her own life 48 years ago today.  She would have turned 79 last October.  One of my very favorite poems, of hers or otherwise, follows.

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it—–

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?——-

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The Peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand in foot ——
The big strip tease.
Gentleman , ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.

It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.
It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.
It’s the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

‘A miracle!’
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart—
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair on my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash—
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there—-

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

Favorites: Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt’s work is among my favorite art ever experienced, in any medium.  I am an artist, however I have no formal art training nor have I studied extensively art history.  However, I know what I like; better yet – what moves me when I experience it – and Klimt’s work is right at the top.  Most people the world over are familiar with his masterpieces ‘The Kiss’ and ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I’ (sold in 2006 for a staggering $135 million, at the time the largest sum ever paid for a painting).

If you’re not familiar with the man or his work beyond those iconic pieces, here’s a little primer for you.


Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was one of the most innovative and controversial artists of the early twentieth century. The son of an engraver, he studied at the State School of Applied Arts in Vienna. In the 1880s and 1890s he produced murals for public buildings — including Vienna’s Burgtheater and new Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) — in the prevailing classical-realist style. Klimt’s style grew increasingly experimental, however, and his murals for Vienna University, commissioned by the State in 1894, were roundly attacked by critics for their fantastical imagery and their bold, decorative style. Partly in response to this reaction, in 1897 Klimt helped form the Secession, a group of artists dedicated to challenging the conservative Academy of Fine Arts. Influenced by European avant-garde movements represented in the annual Secession exhibitions, Klimt’s mature style combined richly decorative surface patterning with complex symbolism and allegory, often with overtly erotic content.

After 1900 he concentrated on portraits and landscapes, although he also produced two of his greatest murals during this period — The Beethoven Frieze, exhibited at the Secession in 1902, and decorations for the Palais Stoclet in Brussels (1904-1911). Klimt spent most of his summers on the Attersee, near Salzburg, where he drew inspiration for many of his landscapes, and where he painted some of his best-known works, including The Kiss of 1907-8. (Source)

Selected Works:

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Piece For Wind I

(inspired by my current read, ‘Grapefruit‘ by Yoko Ono)

Take a bag of woven cloth, or plastic
Whisper your secrets into the bag
Go outside, wherever there is wind
Open the bag and let the secrets fly to the wind
Forget them all

2011 winter