Kick Your Shins

You suck. 
You're argumentative. 
Fully negative. 
Selfishly attentive. 
A short fuse chasing a spark.

You drive me nuts. 
Like metaphorically. 
Probably actually. 
Maybe literally.
Draining every sane light with your dark.

You got history. 
Lots of neglect.
Not much respect.
Already wrecked. 
Yet you never give up the fight.

Except for the social. 
Honesty brutal. 
Personality duel. 
Resistance futile. 
It's take you or leave you, alright.

You love me.
You don't show it.
Think I know it. 
Afraid to blow it. 
Or too stubborn to give me up.

You still got me.
Little tired. 
Caffeine wired.
Temper fired. 
My kicks to your shins ain't let up.

On Your Bones

Those hips though 
really 
slope so smooth
hugging planes 
outlining grooves 

Where lips or fingers
beg to 
touch 

I won’t press hard
or linger 
much 

Those hips though 
really 
hold up fine
over the bed
underneath mine 

Where bodies join 
align 
as one 

Much like our love -
not easy, 
fun

2 AM

It’s 2 AM 
And I know 
I should send you home 
...but
you live three hours away 
in the mountains
with snow

what if you crashed?
and this became our first
and only date
I can’t risk it 
Nope
Not now 
so...

It’s 2 AM 
And I know 
You shouldn’t stay
...but 
I’ve got a spare futon 
in this room 
out here 

and I swear I can sleep 
alone for another night
it’s only been 
too many 
Nope
It’s okay 
so...

It’s 2 AM 
And I know 
You’ll leave tomorrow 
...but
I don’t have anyplace
I’d rather go 
or be

and if you don’t get up 
right away at dawn 
or if you 
pull me 
Nope
I’m weak 
so...

It’s not 2 AM 
I don’t know
what time it really is
...but
laying here beside you 
with these arms
around me

I honestly don’t care 
about the time 
the day 
or the hour
Nope
I’m where 
I always wanted to be.

Oh Well

Dear Love, 

Please send me: 

a cat lover

short is good

some nice padding  

tanned or darker 

patience is a virtue

as is cooking, too 

my mom’s kinda overbearing

so hopefully they get along 

and ooh - curly hair is cute 

a reader is a must 

someone who likes to listen

and puts up with indecision

maybe someone who enjoys cardio 

so we could workout together 

and has a big family 

like the kind that cooks a lot (emphasis on cooking!) 

but doesn’t want kids necessarily

but gets along with kids of course 

and has a gentle spirit 

that’s happy to laze about with me 

...........

Oh. 

...........

Well, huh. 

This works too. 

Princes & Towers

Toni had an “i” not a “y” but was still one of the guys. She’d grown up around the motorheads, raised by a kindly old retired biker who had settled down but never truly settled. He taught Toni everything she knew - how to ride, how to change oil, how to rebuild an old single cylinder thumper into a badass bobber - and she had loved him for it. Toni felt alive in the garage more than she had ever felt in school, but her mother had forced her to graduate at least through the high school portion of it. Luckily her father had hired her afterwards so she didn’t have to bother with the vocational school three counties away. 

The other garage rats were all Toni’s best friends, and they went out drinking and riding (just never at the same time - Toni’s uncle had died that way and Toni made sure to count everybody’s shots at the bar). They weren’t just a motorcycle gang - they were a motorcycle family. 

But poor Toni had a problem:  she felt lonely still. 

She had tried dating guys after high school, but most of the boys just wanted somebody to stay home and pop out babies. Toni was too wild for that - she might consider kids one day, but not now. She had life to live first and she couldn’t do that stuck in a housewife’s apron. Her father had told her to take her time and wait for love to find her, yet Toni still felt lonely. When she tried dating other biker guys things inevitably blew up, and Toni felt tired of blowing up all the time.

One day Toni’s best bro Al plopped down besides her as she tinkered under her bike. “Oi. Look at this, T.” 

She slid out and wiped a big swath of grease over one cheek. “What? I told you I don’t wanna see your porn mags, I ain’t a lesbian.” 

“Nah, T, I found you porn. Dig this guy.” He held up the magazine again and Toni squinted. She probably had nearsighted vision, but she refused to get tested. They might give her glasses and force her to be a nerd. 

Snatching the magazine and holding it close, she scoffed. “What, a ‘metrosexual’? What the hell’s that? They makin’ up terms now? How do you feel ‘attracted’ to metros?” 

“Nah, Toni, read the interview. He explains it better.” 

“Is this like when you swear to me you read Playboy for the articles?” 

Al’s eyes narrowed. “I can enjoy both, Toni. It’s called studying your enemy.” 

“Really? Your enemy?” 

“Hey - love is a battlefield, right? I ain’t losing to no girl, and if you ain’t a lesbian then that means I still lost to something else.” He tapped the article again. “Just read it. Tell me what you think.” 

With a heavy sigh, she paused her work and read. She actually read pretty fast - it’s why the boys often asked her to translate their tech manuals for them - but the article gave her a bit of trouble, mainly because the language felt so different. “Huh. He says he just likes to feel ‘handsome’ and that people need to respect men who have ‘culture’ - bro, this guy sounds like a jacked up pompous ass. No.” She handed the magazine back. 

“But is he handsome? Like, did you find him attractive?” 

“Sure, till I read his words - can’t love somebody if you can’t stand to hear them talk, bro.” She went back to tinkering. 

Al took another deep breath. “Toni - I think you need a metrosexual.” 

She laughed out loud. “Really? What the fuck for? Am I supposed to cart his little ass around the city on my bike?” Toni actually lamented the fact that motorcycles weren’t really built for a taller passenger. Most models jacked up the rear so the rider’s legs could tuck under and be safer that way - trying to put a tall guy on the back had caused Toni no end of troubles. Yet somehow Toni never seemed to fall for the guys who liked bikes. Instead she just fell for short guys, most of whom ended up having hot tempers like hers.  

“I think you can be kind of inflexible -” 

“WHOA - what the hell??” 

″- and you need a guy that can bend, but not just put up with your shit.” He nodded solemnly. “You know, how like your mom keeps your dad in line, but lets him play in the garage?” 

She glared. “Gee, thanks for psychoanalyzing me as my Dad, Al.” 

“I’m just saying! I know you’ve been lonely, and I don’t think you’re finding what you need here.” 

“That doesn’t mean I need some ‘metrosexual’ guy!” 

“No, but...” He ran his greased fingers through his hair in frustration. “Look, you know how princes go rescue princesses from towers? Like, think of the city as a big fucking chrome tower.” He pointed to her bike. “That’s your steed. I think you need to ride in there and go save yourself a princess. You gotta take the lead, because you need a guy who’s cool with girls who do that. And you’re always complaining to me that guys don’t like it when you ‘come off too strong’ at the bar.” 

Toni raised an eyebrow. “Really, love master? This is your solution? Besides, what the fuck am I saving that guy from besides his own goddamn arrogance?” 

“Exactly! See, you get it!” 

She shook her head. “You’re nuts, Al. Just get over me already and go hit on Gloria. You know you’re the only one of the guys she gives extra muffins to, right?” 

His face went blank. “Wait - really?” 

“Bro, seriously? You don’t notice how she flirts with you?” 

He frowned. “I thought she was just being friendly. It’s not nice to assume girls like you when they’re just being nice.” 

“Oi vey, bro - she likes you. Trust me. Just go ask her out sometime. Save her from that kitchen dungeon she works in all day.” Gloria loved baking, but even Toni knew sometimes you needed a break from your everyday. She often wished she could think of some kind of hobby outside the garage. The motor fumes alone were probably slowly killing her when she wasn’t outside riding more. 

“Alright, fair turnabout - but I’m only gonna do it if you start riding into the city on the weekends.” Crossing his arms his jaw set. “As your wingman I can’t exit the battlefield until both of us are victorious.” 

With a laugh she spun her wrench. “Fine. You know what? I’ll head into that city. And I’ll go hit on the first corporate shill I see.” 

“No! Fuck, Toni, are you listening to me? I said metrosexual - not corporate shill!” 

“What’s the difference?” 

“I dunno, just - trust your gut, huh? Don’t just hit on the handsome guys, like hit on the polite ones. Like me, just if I were in a suit and maybe more of a confident jerk.” 

“Fine, whatever. I’ll go into a big city bar, all greased up and boyish, and we’ll see what happens. M’kay?” 

Al beamed. “Excellent! And then you gotta tell me what happened.” 

“Bro, you are such a girl. And I don’t gotta tell you shit unless you go and ask Gloria out.” 

“Okay! Okay!” He smiled and slugged her in the arm. “Love you, bro.” 

“Yeah, yeah, big fucking hearts all around, you stupid lovesick ape.” She kicked him back. She always wished she could have just fallen for Al, honestly speaking. Yet sometimes she needed a brother more than she needed a mate - and Al fit the first role too well to lose him. As an only child Toni had never had any siblings, and she took what she could get. Besides, Gloria had had her sights on Al since grade school and Toni respected a woman who baked her way to people’s hearts. She kinda wished someone would bake their way to her heart some days too. Al’s always fucking hungry anyway - Gloria will keep him better fed than I ever would...and she gives me extra muffins too but I won’t say that out loud.

As she finished up taking care of her “noble steed” she paused and looked once more at the magazine Al had left on the floor like the dumb kid he still sort of was. Picking it up she read through the article again. Man, it would be kind of fun to have a guy to debate with instead of just slug out over a bar fight. Bet these guys couldn’t throw a punch to save their souls, they’ll just bitch a lot and think I give a damn. She frowned. Maybe Al had a point - she could be a bit inflexible, but eh, that was her charm. 

Maybe she did just need a guy who could bend more.

Work Horse

Love is work

And I’m a hard worker 

Always have been, baby. 

There are others 

Who’re smarter or faster

Who look better than me 

But I pull 

I do the heavy lifting 

And I won’t buck you off 

You can lead

With all those dreams 

The ones I never bothered with 

You can nag 

It’s not like I’m great

At really listening anyway 

But just know

That I won’t buck 

Or throw you off so easy 

Love is work 

And I’m a hard worker

Always have been, baby

commercial break

OK That’s it – where the #%!% is the “Like” button??

I’ve been trying to dutifully reciprocate the Likes I’ve gotten for the kind folks reading my posts but everytime I go to hit a Like button 1) I can’t find it 2) it doesn’t seem to work

For reference I use a desktop computer generally / I know it’s old fashioned, but I’m an old school gamer and I need the bigger machine for the memory space (yup – all that junk in my trunk makes me sexy yo)

But now I can’t figure out how to share the love, and that is REALLY important for me – why can’t I find the Like button on my desktop???

I DID find it on my phone, but I’m trying to reduce my phone time because well healthy living and all that stupidity

(typed while writing on her damn desktop she spends way too goddamn much time in front of everyday)

<sigh>

Crash Dummy

first
was a tree
just a bump nothing big

second 
was a dumpster 
just a scratch not to worry 

third 
was a t-bone 
as that car crossed the highway into the side
that I sat in as my head hit windshield 
just some whiplash, a bump, and nose blood 

fourth 
was a fender kiss
just a dent nothing major 

fifth 
another t-bone 
tipping the old van over to its side
as I crawled out the busted windshield 
just some bumps and cuts, alright 

sixth 
got rear ended
spilled some coffee, nothing burned 

seventh 
burst a tire 
running over a concrete berm 

Who knows how bad the next will be 
or if I’ll walk away next time like I have before 
which is why every time I leave the house

I kiss you goodbye 

just in case 

it really is 

goodbye

The Iron & Me

When the weight within my bones

Becomes more than it should be

I wrap my ears in ’phones

’Till there’s only the iron and me

When the rage within my veins

Wrecks my inner harmony

Each bar provides the reins

And we ride, the iron and me

It pushes against my core

Ignoring past or pedigree

There are no goals to score

Only us, the iron and me 

Each lift breaks me down

Each pull tugs patiently

As my spirit begins to drown

In sweat, the iron, and me

I pour my heart into each press

My breath in each “two...three...”

As I lift more I carry less

All I need is the iron and me

When I finish my last rep

Leave the bench for reality

There’s a purpose in my step

For I have forged the iron in me 

Never Split The Party

Mage: “I want to go to the library today.” 

Fighter: “No.” 

Mage: “What? Why not? I went on your silly quest the other day.” 

Fighter: “That quest wasn’t silly - the village leader asked me to take care of the kobold raiding parties and I did. You just tagged along because you were lonely.” 

Mage: “Well, technically that may have been the initial reasoning, but I must admit testing out my magic missle was a bit fun.” 

Fighter: “So see? You enjoyed yourself. I’m not going to the library.” 

Mage: “But why not? Can’t you enjoy yourself in a library?” 

Fighter: “No.” 

Mage: “Fine, I’ll go on my own. Just don’t ask me to help you out on any more quests.” 

-----

Mage: “Hey, friend! How goes it?” 

Fighter: “Annoying. I think this village leader is an idiot. He keeps sending me out to kill kobolds and I keep telling him he could just build a better defense perimeter and I wouldn’t actually have to kill anything.” 

Mage: “Oh, right. Honestly I think the village leader is anti-kobold but anyway -- how about a new quest?” 

Fighter: “You want to go on a quest?” 

Mage: “Yes!” 

Fighter: “For what, a book?” 

Mage: ”...no. It’s an ancient cursed tome.” 

Fighter: “It’s a book.” 

Mage: “It’s hidden inside a cursed temple, filled with danger, traps, and undead.” 

Fighter: ”Wait, undead?” 

Mage: “Yup. Already dead. Didn’t take. No guilt in thrashing those dudes I mean hey, they had their chance, right?” 

Fighter: ”...you’re going to go after this book on your own?” 

Mage: “Well, that, see, I’m not very good with zombies?” 

Fighter: “You’re not very good with most things.”

Mage: “Hey, I killed kobold raiders too!” 

Fighter: “After you took twenty minutes to figure out ‘the best spell to cast’ and do your little incantation.” 

Mage: “Immaterial. Look, do you want to go on this quest with me or not?” 

Fighter: ”...I guess that does sound more interesting than killing kobold raiders.” 

Mage: “Exactly! Let’s do this!” 

-----

Fighter: “Alright, we need to take a quest break.” 

Mage: “What? But I thought you liked quests. I had all these quests planned out for us this month?” 

Fighter: “Yeah, but I’m getting tired. I still have to do quests for the village leader too, you know.” 

Mage: “Right, that bastard. Ok, how about I help you out on those quests too? Then you’ll finish faster and we can go on more fun adventures.”

Fighter: ”...right, so, here’s the thing? The leader already hired me some support.”

 Mage: “Huh?”

 Fighter: “I didn’t bring it up because it’s that Druid you hate.”

 Mage: “Wait, the one who’s always going off about how my books ‘kill trees’, like they’re some fucking non-renewable resource we can’t just grow more of?”

 Fighter: “Right, that would be the same Druid.”

 Mage: “Why on earth would anyone hire that hippie?”

 Fighter: “Ok, honestly? I’ve been suffering a lot of damage taking hits for you because you can be a bit slow -”

 Mage: “You did NOT just call me slow!”

 Fighter: ”- and the Druid casts healing spells, not just blasty ones.”

 Mage: ”...you said you liked my blasty spells? They cleared the crowds faster?”

 Fighter: “And they do! I’m just saying what if we face an enemy that’s not a crowd of angry creatures, right? I don’t think I can handle that much aggro. Druid helps keep me fighting, that’s all.”

 Mage: “Fine, I shall put up with this ‘Druid’ accompanying us on quests.”

 Fighter: “You’re still coming?”

 Mage: “Of course! I can’t trust that hippie not to turn around and suddenly go, ‘Oh, but that evil slime probably had a family!’ and not back you up.”

 Fighter: “Slimes don’t have families, I think they’re just elemental puddles of goo?”

 Mage: “Oh gods, you’re already lost. Let’s go.”

-----

Mage: “What the hell? I thought you said they only hired the Druid?”

Fighter: “Ok, so Druid made a good point that I don’t have very good range -” 

Mage: “You have ME! I have good range!” 

Fighter: ”- that’s tactical and doesn’t necessarily kill the target. We’re attempting this new thing now where we don’t kill the enemy and we kinda just stun them? Because Druid pointed out our enemies now are mainly intelligent, sentient souls...and sometimes we need to get information from them, we don’t just want them dead.

Mage: “I told you that Druid was trouble.” 

Fighter: “He makes a point? And the Ranger has a very diverse toolkit of arrows and sometimes they’re kinda helpful.” 

Mage: “I have a diverse SPELLSET, what the hell?” 

Fighter: “But you kinda tend to overkill?” 

Mage: “I can not overkill! 

Fighter: ”...really?” 

Mage: “Watch me!” 

-----

Bard: “Ta-da! Let’s quest this!” 

Fighter: ”...what are you doing?” 

Bard: “I’m a Bard! It’s a support character thing I’m doing now.” 

Fighter: “A support character?” 

Bard: “Yes! I no longer deal damage directly. Instead, I buff you and the rest of the party and I can de-buff our enemies so their attacks deal less damage! Spiffy, right?” 

Fighter: “So, you’re useless in a fight?” 

Bard: “What the - I thought you said you weren’t fighting as often?” 

Fighter: “Nah, we’re still fighting we’re just not killing as often.” 

Bard: “Do you hear how stupid you sound when you speak, or is it just me?” 

Fighter: “Look, I just think you’re trying too hard here.” 

Bard: “Oh, that is classic coming from the bleeding heart who took in that Barbarian.” 

Fighter: “Barb’s good, don’t knock people with issues.” 

Bard: “I’m not knocking people with issues, I’m just pointing out Barbarian’s parents obviously could have done better, and if it weren’t for you that rage would have leveled a small village by now. Whereas I am perfectly sane.” 

Fighter: “You’re wearing pantaloons and taking a lute into battle.” 

Bard: “It’s a magical lute!” 

Fighter: “Do you hear how stupid you sound when you speak, or is it just me?” 

Bard: ”@!%# you! That is IT! I quit!” 

-----

Fighter: “Wait, our quest is in this tower?” 

Ranger: “Yeah, the village leader said some crazy wizard took it over and is threatening the town.” 

Fighter: “Why does this look so familiar...” 

WIZARD: “OH-HO! LOOK WHO’S FINALLY COME CRAWLING BACK!” 

Fighter: ”...oh gods, no. Please no.” 

WIZARD: “HOW DO YOU LIKE MY ‘SUPPORT’ CHARACTER NOW, MOTHER $!%#@ER! AM I SUPPORTING YOUR NEED FOR CARNAGE ENOUGH NOW? HUH? HUH?” 

Druid: “Wow, that’s a lot of anger.”

Ranger: “And a lot of crazy.” 

Druid: “Maybe we should just put them out of their misery this time?” 

Fighter: “No! That’s not necessary, I know this Mage. They’re just...having a bad year?” 

WIZARD: “IF YOU THINK MY YEAR’S BEEN BAD YOU SHOULD BUCKLE UP, BUTTERCUP! YOU’RE ABOUT TO HAVE YOUR WORST YEAR EVER!” 

Ranger: ”...you truly know this person?” 

Fighter: “It’s a long story, I think maybe we just need to try calming tactics.” 

WIZARD: “OH, CALMING TACTICS? WHAT, LIKE SINGING? SINGING WAS CALMING - YOU $!%!@%ING IMBECILIC SWORD WRANGLER!” 

Fighter: *sigh* “Alright, can we just talk this out?” 

WIZARD: “I AM THROUGH TALKING WITH YOU! ALL I WANTED WAS TO GO TO THE MOTHER $!%!@%ING LIBRARY BUT NOOOOOO! WE GOTTA GO KILL SHIT!” 

Ranger: “Wait, the reason we’re fighting this person is because you couldn’t go to a library?” 

Fighter: “No, no that’s an oversimplification -” 

WIZARD: “YOU MEAN PAR FOR YOUR STUPID COURSE, YOU LOW INTELLIGENCE HACK!” 

Fighter: “HEY! Now you’re just being hurtful!” 

Druid: “I like libraries. I find them peaceful. I just wish they would find more ecofriendly options for their literary materials, I prefer an oral tradition.” 

Mage: “Oh, well if you like I’ve memorized the entire historical eddas of the local kingdom, I can recite them from memory? I could even accompany them on my lute.” 

Druid: “Truly? Gosh, I’d like to hear that sometime.” 

Fighter: “Oiy! Stop encouraging it!” 

Mage: “You know the library over in the neighboring kingdom has strict standards for publishing in order to limit the use of paper. They ask all scholars to submit their drafts, compare for similarities, then ask them to condense their works in a collaborative effort. They even have a local grove they claim stewardship over to prevent locals from chopping down old growths.” 

Druid: “Wow, that actually sounds amazing.” 

Fighter: “Wait, it does?” 

Ranger: “I, too, would like to see these trees. I enjoy canopies and nature very much. I honestly prefer hunting in nature to murdering in cold blood. These traditional quests leave much to be desired.” 

Fighter: ”...what the hell is happening?” 

Mage: “If we left now we could make it in time for their weekly poetry slam, I so enjoy a good poem.” 

Druid: “Words heal the soul.” 

Mage: “Well put, hippie, I must agree.” 

Fighter: “But we’ve still got those orc bandits to take care of!” 

Mage: *scoff* “If the village leader truly cared about bandits he might have invested more time into aiding their kingdom, rather than hoarding resources and wealth for himself.” 

Druid: “I must agree, that assessment rings true to the heavy guilt I have kept inside my heart these many seasons.” 

Ranger: “Is this poetry slam open mic? I too have repressed feelings I would like to express.” 

Fighter: “What the - no! No expressing shit! You’re going to set Barbarian off!” 

Barbarian: “Huh?” 

Mage: “Oh sure, it’s all well and good for somebody to work their issues out blasting the town from a tower, but poor Barbarian has to cage the rage? Typical physical attacker attitude. No empathy for emotional damage.” 

Barbarian: “What’s ‘emotional damage’?” 

Fighter: “Mage, seriously?” 

Druid: “It’s cultural, not his fault. I blame the village leader and possibly the elders too.” 

Ranger: “The cultural healing cannot begin until it has begun within the culture itself.” 

Fighter: “Ok, you’ve all gone mad. I’m just going to go fight the orcs myself!” 

Mage: “Right, see how long that works out without your precious heal-bot.” 

Druid: ”What did you call me?” 

Mage: “Oh! No, see, Fighter thinks they only hired you to keep him healed with spells.” 

Druid: “You’re joking!”

Fighter: ”I didn’t say that!” 

Druid: “What the hell? I have offensive capabilities! My bear form is legend! You’re not the central hero of this party, you know!” 

Ranger: “Truly, such stereotyping feels like a betrayal of our times together. I have never considered you a simple heal-bot.” 

Druid: “Thank you. I also appreciate your non-lethal adaptability in combat.” 

Fighter: “I did not say you were a simple heal-bot! He’s putting words in my mouth!” 

Mage: *clears throat* “Observational diary entry, ’I’ve been suffering a lot of damage taking hits for you because you can be a bit slow -” 

Druid: “Wow, he called you slow? That’s hurtful.” 

Mage: “THANK YOU!  Somebody gets it!” 

Ranger: “It is cruel to mock others for the stats they were rolled.” 

Fighter: “MAGE! KNOCK THIS SHIT OFF NOW! I MEAN IT!” 

Mage: “Sorry! Heading to the scary ‘library’, wouldn’t want some mean old librarian to set off your insecurities about being a slow reader, woooo.” 

Druid: “I am also heading to the library. I feel it is time I reconnected with my roots.” 

Ranger: “My people once had beautiful libraries. Perhaps I will be inspired to rebuild them in this fashion.” 

Fighter: “Wait! No, come back!” 

Mage: “You’ve got Barbarian, I’m sure the two of you can handle whatever bullshit quest you’re doing now.” 

Barbarian: “We’re killing bulls?” 

Fighter: “No, he’s not - Mage! Druid! Ranger! Please, stop! I’m just doing my job, I swear I didn’t mean to cause you whatever ‘emotional damage’ you supposedly have!”

... 

Barbarian: “Barbarian have emotions.” 

Fighter: “Wait - no, buddy, hold it in!” 

Barbarian: “Barbarian have deep emotions. Mother never happy enough...” 

Fighter: “Oh gods, kill me now -- FINE! JUST - FINE! OK? $@!# I’M GOING TO THE GODSDAMN LIBRARY! THERE, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW!” 

Barbarian: ”...we go to library?”

Fighter: “Yes, just deal with it.” 

Barbarian: “Oooh, Barbarian think librarians sexy. Why you no like library?”

Fighter: *facepalm*