No, Gilbert.
I’ve never had access
to a well.

But,
I did
cash a check
at the bank today.

Knowing full well
I could have
cashed it
on my phone.

 

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I saw a man
in the park today
waking up
early

(there were still bums
on tables
under tables
by benches
sleeping)

taking advantage
of California’s
proclivity
for recycling

and I had just finished
drinking my Diet Coke

when I saw him walk under a different tree
and he wasnt paying attention
I placed the empty can
on top of the bin

I suppose
I could have given it to him

I dont know why I didnt
it wasnt a danger thing
I wasnt worried

It would have been awkward
if he asked for money
I had change in my pocket
for laundry
and hate lying

I was more worried hed see me
as the typical
up-your-ass-self-righteous-
holier-than-thou-SoCal-yuppie
who did an act of “charity”
due to their “enlightened”
state of being

either way
he saw it
probably
saw me
thought what he wanted
and grabbed it

I saved us both an awkward conversation
and him a rummage through the bin

he didn’t need to talk to me
the man was busy

j.maxwell

Student Athlete

Staring at the map of last Saturday
trying to take it all in at once

I can remember almost every detail
so clearly
so odd
for someone
with my memory capacity

All the pictures by signs
all the good food
and good times with you

It helps me
with remembering
why I’m becoming
a student athlete meme

to get back to you

never stop hustling
🙏💯🔥😂💪
John 3:16

I try to remember but it all just blends together.
It’s kinda hard to tell exactly where
the minute hand crosses from afar.

But was I happy?
(Yea, sure. I remember it. Splendidly)

No. Really.
(I don’t know. If I could answer. Truthfully)

But was it worth it?
(I think I’m. Too scared. Of wasting time.
Oh, god. Am I wasting it? Right now?)

Better plan,
to make the most of it.

Better plan,
to plan better in the future

Better plan,
hold off longer,
defer your own reward.

Better plan,
to live better later.

What do you remember?
(Not much. Honestly.)

But were you happy?
(I said “I don’t know,” truthfully.)

If you don’t remember
does it matter?
(I’m seriously unsure.)

What’s in the future?
(Hopefully, happiness.
Currently, hope.)

What’s the point?
(What you mean?)

There’s a future’s future.
-j.maxwell

I never considered myself much of a painter
but I won an art contest once.
Catholic Daughters. 3rd grade.
Theme was “God’s power.”
I drew a watercolor landscape
of mountains. Mountains that I,
growing up in Louisiana,
had never really seen,
but I wanted to.
Still, I sucked at drawing.
Never learned to hold a pencil right.
I quit art by 5th grade.

When I was 15,
I went to Colorado.
I mountain biked.
The mountain was just an obstacle,
an annoyance.
Everyone else enjoyed it,
but the trail was 5 miles too long
and not what I signed up for.
The obligations of elevated ground
didn’t seem worth the effort.

A few summers ago,
I went to the Ozarks to camp.
My friend slipped and fell 70 feet.
I still remember his teeth
rearranged in his mouth
each one pointing
in a different direction
reaffirming my previous notions
about mountains and elevation.
They take and cause pain.

I moved to Santa Barbara
just a few months ago.
The mountains are beautiful,
and I asked a local
how long does it take to
get over that view.
He said in like a month
they’ll just blend in
with the scenery.
I didn’t quite believe,
but they did.
They’re just what is.
I don’t need to be angry.
They don’t affect me.

-j.maxwell

Blotting.
Word by word.
Wondering what
to make
of what
I make
these days.

Seems at least
my second-
syllable phase
is more organized,
and
at least
better received than my first.
(Granted, the first was
basically received solely by me.
Shit.
Let’s hope this doesn’t reflect on society.
Who
has
time
for more
than a tweet?)

No,
instead let’s just believe
I’ve figured out something
since I was seventeen.

Plus, it keeps the
rust off; it’s a
positive outlet
for O.C.D.

-j.maxwell