Monday, October 18, 2010


I realized something today.
My dad never took me swimming.
He never taught me how to swing a baseball bat.
He didn't teach me how to work with tools.
Instead, he taught me how to throw cards in a hat.
He taught me how to box.
He taught me how to drink.
My dad was emotionally distant most of the time.
I never knew when he would turn on me.
I didn't blame him for it.
I never wanted to cross him.
He could be a brutal man, sometimes.
Anyway, things were always alright if I obeyed him.
On my thirteenth birthday,
I hoped for an electric racecar kit.
I dropped hints to my dad for weeks.
On my special day, he came home late and drunk.
He happily handed me a crumpled, brown grocery bag.
It was filled with party hats, whistles, and other tavern crap.
It all was very fitting for a New Year's Eve party.
"Happy Birthday, son", he rasped to me with his whiskey voice.
I forced a smile.
I didn't want to hurt his feelings.
Then, I watched him as he staggered off to bed.
Children of alcoholics grow up fast.
We need quick wits to survive.
Most of us conceal our pain.
I hid my horrific family secrets.
I replaced my frowns with false smiles.
I viewed the world as an extension of my dysfunctional family.
There was no safe haven for me, except in my room.
My whole world was there.
My books.
My records.
My dreams.
I was king in my room.
I spun golden threads for the fabric of my future dreams.
I ached for them to become realities.
I threw cards in a hat.
I threw punches straight and with force.
I carried all the damages with me.
They lived in my gut.
Like a crumpled brown bag, I was filled with tavern filth.
It finally burst open.
All the lies fell on the floor.
Now I saw myself, and I saw the world.
I accepted my reality.
Finally, with relief,
I became me.


  1. Rich...I wrote this the other day and as it occurs to me's a tribute to your writing skills of which in my humble opinion are immeasurable in their stunningly clear and brutal honesty, massaged and manicured with beautiful wit and poetry. The kind of writing that hooks you in and wont let go. goes...

    If you don't like your position...Change!
    Are you teetering?
    Are you coughing?
    Are you blabbering?
    Eat my words you fools
    (Hi hoo...Hi hoo
    You cannot follow the rules)
    I say eat them
    Chew on them
    Swallow them
    Hook line and sinker
    I'll tug and then hollar
    "I got one!"
    "I got one!"
    "I think it's a big one!"
    I will reel you in
    And you will resist
    But the hook has sunk deep
    You are in trouble... and weak
    That's when I through you back
    So we can meet again!
    I'll have a fresh and juicy one
    And hook you on the same chin!

  2. you are a poet, dude!...and as I keep saying, you need to publish your have plenty of it now, so get busy at night!...go to and get the ball rolling! the hell were you on Friday?

  3. Great work.

    I was moved by it.
    And that is the highest compliment I can give to any work of art.