People of this Earth

We are the people of this earth

secure in ourselves and building walls,

everyone is just building walls

to barricade ourselves

secure in our nameless, shameless faces

building walls; building walls; we keep on building walls

to keep ourselves safe

(thinking; this is my ground, maybe this is my ground,

baby this is my ground)

but what is solid keeps us stuck in our places

building walls i’ve seen so many shattered, empty faces.


We are the people of this earth,

secure in ourselves, searching for a ground,

to promenade ourselves

we think that

by separating ourselves,

and building walls,

we won’t be amongst the starving, nameless faces.


We are the people of this earth,

so long as we keep convincing ourselves

that it’s all about the ground

we won’t see any other future,

that doesn’t keep us stuck to the ground.


history is our ground, maybe this is my ground

identity is our ground, maybe this is my ground

feeling is our ground, baby this is my ground

language is our ground, maybe this is my ground

thought is our ground, maybe this is my ground

maybe we’re all just one ground into tiny little pieces.




We are the people of this earth / secure on our ground / I see so many shattered faces / Thinking, maybe this is my ground; this is my ground; this is my ground; this is my ground; this is my ground; this is my ground; this is my world.


Erasure Poem from Emile, or Education Book IV by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

look down from glory upon the sufferings of the unfortunate,
the labours of the wretched,
thoroughly aware
these unhappy persons

standing on the edge of the abyss,

put no trust in birth, health, or riches; sunk below the condition

of these wretched ones.
acquire knowledge,

learn to perceive the prudence of mankind
grinding teeth

do not teach
see and feel the calamities which overtake men
cling more closely to fear that is what matters most.

From Emile, or Education by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Dear Seattle

Hey listen I know I chose to have kids and join the ranks of parents that, let’s face it, we are all still trying to rebel against, the parents we’re still pretending that we won’t become.

But could you go ahead a do me a favor? Could you at least not act like every time I see you in the city it’s my big trip in from the suburbs. My big trip, like I’m some kind of grade schooler with my sack lunch or some shit.

Listen Next time we run into eachother keep in mind: I have kids; they smell and act like vagrants, they try to eat all my stuff like the worst roommate, and they spit when they prattle incoherently like the neighborhood convenience store attendant. So really it’s not too far off from big city living.




History is like a mistress

She comes in thick like a fog

and shrouded by clouds

She wraps her arms around us

and whispers something like,

Don’t think, just do what you’re told.

history is heavy,

and it weighs me down

with expectations.

expectations from mySelf

and my family,

at times even from

my country and society.

History is burdensome,

as i feel obligated to

return to habits formed.

formed under moonless nights

shrouded by clouds,

ignorant and happy

sustained by feeling.

History is reflexive,

before you know it, you’ve done it again.

and again and again.

History is comforting and familiar,

like morning breath, or the combination

of a particular conditioner and her hair.

history is like sharing a coke,

or warm apple pie

sitting on the windowsill of antiquity.

history is not the ledge,

it is not the forest of mystery

history is the killer

of spontaneity and creativity.

If we want to be free

we have to find a way

to make peace with our history.

We can’t just keep preaching

individuality. to make pieces of the whole,

fractured further into an identity

but somehow we still feel alone,

we’re owned by feelings

and the corporations know it

it doesn’t matter how you identify

there’s a cross section waiting with

arms wide open to take you in,

and someone on the other side

saying it’s a sin. we’re as unique as

our parents, that’s about as far as it goes

so before we get caught up

in the idea of individuality

we should ask ourselves

what is it we’re willing to pay.

Because Coke wants a piece,

and Disney, and Fox,

Google, and Facebook,

even Jack in the Box.

so if we’re not careful

they’ll own us too,

in fact they probably already do.


stubborn but sweet,
never really apologetic.
She’s gotta devil’s grin
because she knows
she’s gonna win.
Fun and independent,
she’s a bit of a whirlwind.

a spark of joy,
the type of boy
people just want to be around.
At times a victim
of his passion,
just like his dad.
(but don’t tell him that)

i know as time goes by
it’s my job to let you go
(kind of afraid i won’t get to)
never really thought i would
be surrounded by this much love
and misery, which are one
and the same aren’t they?
the weight of expectation
is a burden i’ll try not to
put on you, though i know i’ll
fail, have failed already.
I love you guys.

Future NPR Copy

“There came a time when I had to realize there were two of me out there.”

Thad Sandstrom is a student at Seattle University, he says the other ‘him’ is his Internet Identity.

“I don’t know I guess I just like the internet me better,” he says while he scrolls through his most frequented sites, introducing me to the communities he’s joined. But Thad had something else up his sleeve.

“I’m quiting reality.”

“You’re quiting reality?”


“How? How does one quit reality?”

“I don’t know I mean I guess I’m like going to take a vacation or something,”

Thad’s friends say he hasn’t always been the most motivated guy,

“Not this, no, nothing like this.”

“I don’t know how he’ll quit, but if there’s anyone who could it would be Thad.”

-I’m Gregory Daniels. That was about one year ago, we recently tried to catch up with Thad, but according to his friends he melted into the couch with his VR set strapped to his head, after masterbating over 500 times to VR porn.

“Hmmhmm, well that’s interesting. Thanks Gregory. Coming up next we have…

Ghazal for the American Dream

The kids in the backseat, murmurs of play,
a little bit of quiet from the long day.

It was then i realized that culture is the thread we tie
to the past to ensure a future, or so they say.

The morning clouds nearly evaporated
giving way to the sun of the midday

the soil that looked so fertile in the
soft light, under clouds of gray,

now seems hard and impenetrable.
This is where ancestors settled back in the day.

In the heartland, the heart of the prairie
we searched for the American way.

But we only found knick-knacks, baked goods,
touristy gifts and a false sense of fulfillment today.


In the moment
I had the right words,
in the right order
in order to convey
what it was I was trying to say.

But the sun glare on
windshield caught my eye
and the concept faded away.

We were driving through the heart of the prairie,

blackbirds sat on barbed fence

we passed by rows of barren corn fields,
you were on the phone with your mom.

Distant barns and silos framed houses
hidden under dogwood and chestnut trees.

Occasionally stagnant bogs gleam in a flicker
behind bobtails and tall grasses.

You said something about a hard recovery
and immediately I knew you were talking about

the caesarean with our first. I thought about the late nights
and early mornings;
trying as best I could to help

though knowing I was too immature and it wasn’t enough.
And I thought of how selfish I’d always been

my whole life, even now.
The sun refracted through the cloud filled sky

and Dahlia, our second, was falling asleep in the backseat.


In Downtown Renton, WA at the intersection where SW Sunset blvd turns into S. 3rd St. At around 2:32 in the afternoon, a casino may be a depressing place to be, if you’re an average working slob. But the atmosphere isn’t depressing at all, it’s friendly and inviting. Everyone seems to be old friends, though most haven’t met before. There’s recovering alcoholics, with sunken weathered faces, still with a smile; middle aged card sharks, upper middle aged women, recently divorced, and looking to make back time; a couple of women in their twenty’s starting their midweek night off, overdressed and having a way better time than should be possible.

laughter. Casino chips clacking
between cheers and groans.

The moment was no different from those before or after; two women walking in the door. The moment was no different from those before or after; laughing at some unknown joke. The moment was no different from those before or after; but for some reason it worked its way into this haiku.