A Taxonomy of Reasons to Get Up in the Morning

To Be

Be happy [CROSS REF: A Taxonomy of Reasons for Living]

Be yourself

Be someone’s hero

Be what happens

Be your best self [CROSS REF: A Taxonomy of Oprah Tropes]

Be a shoulder to cry on

Be a good _______ (dad, mom, sister, brother, friend)

Be kind

Be alive

To Do

Do what you love [CROSS REF: A Taxonomy of Lies We Were Told When Young]

Do your thing

Do your hair

Do a happy dance

Do it. Just do it.

Do what others won’t

Do whatever you have to

To Get

Get a job [SEE ALSO: Make Money]

Get lucky [SEE ALSO: Make Love]

Get your shit together

Get a grip

Get out of jail

Get through your shit [SEE ALSO: Get your shit together]

Get out of that meeting

Get married [CROSS REF: A Taxonomy of Consequences of Falling in Love]

Get fired [SEE ALSO: Take this job and shove it]

Get your heart broken [CROSS REF: A Taxonomy of Consequences of Falling in Love]

To Go

Go ahead and do it already [SEE ALSO: Take a chance]

Go ahead and cry already

Go to Paris in spring [SEE ALSO: Go fall in love, Make love]

Go fall in love [SEE ALSO: Take a chance]

Go tell her you love her [SEE ALSO: Take a chance]

Go on [SEE ALSO: Keep on truckin’, Keep going]

Go crazy [CROSS REF: A Taxonomy of Consequences of Falling in Love] [SEE ALSO: Keep sane]

Go far

Go fast

Go to hell and back [SEE ALSO: Get through your shit ]

To Make

Make money [SEE ALSO: Get a job]

Make love [SEE ALSO: Go to Paris in Spring]

Make Babies [CROSS REF: A Taxonomy of Consequences of Making Love]

Make someone smile

Make trouble

Make a difference [CROSS REF: A Taxonomy of Lies We Were Told When Young]

Make that meeting [SEE ALSO: Keep your job]

To Keep

Keep it real

Keep on truckin’ [SEE ALSO: Keep going, Go on]

Keep it together

Keep your job [SEE ALSO: Make that meeting]

Keep sane [SEE ALSO: Go crazy]

Keep living [CROSS REF: A Taxonomy of the Consequences of Getting Out of Bed in the Morning]

Keep going [SEE ALSO: Keep on truckin’, Go on]

To Take

Take a chance [SEE ALSO: Go fall in love, Go tell her you love her, Go ahead and do it already]

Take your turn

Take someone to a party

Take someone’s hand in yours

Take a punch

Take this job and shove it [SEE ALSO: Get fired]

Take a good look at yourself

Poem: Straight Shooter

He would make a colorful character in a comic book:
Cue stick in one hand, cigarette in the other, and eyes that sink your heart.
He stalks the table with an economy of movement, seeing shots that no one else sees.

He would make a typical character in a Heinlein novel:
Tall, dark, sharp, and competent.
He transmits the beauty of his movements into geometry on felt.

He would make a perfect character in a Tarantino film:
Brooding, intense, protective, and loyal.
He points his stick at the 2, and nods to the corner pocket with confidence.

He makes a good friend, to those that know him:
You would let him pack your parachute.
He judges character as quickly as he can judge a table.

He would make a great hero, in this complicated world:
If he could un-remember the experiences he wishes hadn’t made him but did.
I sit in the corner, sipping my drink, seeing the man that he doesn’t see.

Poem: Out

Damn. I'm out of sugar. 
I'm out of cream, too. 
I'm out of milk, toothpaste,
ketchup, toilet paper, and batteries.

I'm out of strength. 
The day became too heavy
And I just can't lift it any more.
Leave the night to someone else.

I'm out of compassion. 
I've looked around in all the
Cupboards of my heart, but I can't
Find an Indian tear. 

And just when I think
I can't get any emptier,
I find a Fuck
And get rid of that too.

I'm out of my mind. 
Out of reasons, explanations, 
Excuses, and justifications.
I gave them all away. 

I'm out of names. 
No identity left. No attachments, 
No yearning for what might become
Or what might have been. 

The Buddha would be proud.
But I got rid of him too:
Threw him out with the old socks
And now I drink my coffee black.

Poem: Chess

Each chess game is its own tragedy:
One king always falls.
Or they both stay standing, star-crossed,
staring at each other, eternally helpless.

Your opening game is strong:
Boldly controlling the center of my thoughts,
thrusting yourself into middle of the board,
and I’ve quickly lost my center.

It’s too easy to see my next moves;
but yours are elusive, unpredictable.

I’m at a disadvantage.
I haven’t played this side of the board in a long time
and I’m disoriented-
everything seems mirror-backwards.

I’ve been jumping over minefields using my knights,
but before I know it,
I’m in check.
My Queen is gone,
my pawn will never reach the other side,
I’m left with a rag-tag bishop and lonely rook
to protect myself.

We have captured small parts of each other piece by piece
and now we circle each other,
postponing the inherent and inevitable tragedy-
one move at a time, star-crossed,
trying not to fall.

Poem: The Date

When you arrive, 
the best thing to do is pretend
the other person
is already your friend. 
It's less awkward. 

Then unburden your day (a little), 
remark on the surroundings,
laugh about stupid things you've encountered lately, 
and ask all the

Where did you / How many / Have you ever been to/ What do you think / 
When did you / How did you find it / What kind of / Is it really / 
Why is that/ How come / Did you read /  When was the last time / 
Do you ever think about...

Death? Clowns? Passion? Eternity? Coffee? 
Refugees? The media? Getting old? 
The proper height for ceilings?

And if,
By the bottom of the second glass of conversation, 
You start to care about the answers, 
Well, then.

Stop pretending.

Dear Narcissus

Dear Narcissus,

Beautiful Narcissus. Brave hunter who refuses to be hunted. I wish I could speak to you, but since Juno’s curse, I can never say what I truly feel. I don’t blame you for rejecting me, a weirdo who rushes out of the woods repeating everything you say. The world has enough crazy as it is. So I must write instead. Not that you will ever read this, obsessed as you are with your own reflection. I watch you every day at the pool, trying to reach out and touch the mirage, only to see it disappear in a ripple of time.

But while most people think you are self-obsessed, I understand what others don’t: you are not in love with yourself, but the mirror image of yourself: The humble Narcissus; the artistic, happy-go-lucky Narcissus. The Narco that’s good at parties. Your reflection is everything that you want to be but aren’t.  We are always discontent with ourselves as we are and long for that which completes us. Isn’t that so?

We both have our loneliness in common. But I can never share my soul with you, can never say I love you unless you say it first. And so. Stalemate forever.

You will never read this. But I will always wait for the day that you lift your eyes from the image of love and realize Love in the flesh.

Forever yours incompletely,


Poem: Guardian Angels

Remember how Jesus turned water into wine? 
You may not know this, but guardian angels, 
at least MY guardian angels, 
can turn tears into a good Chardonnay (or tequila, if needed). 

My guardian angels can serenade me with music, 
and have a special mirror that allows me to see my own beauty.

They hold my hand as I step across the slippery stones
Between one part of life and another,

And whisper in my ear, "Yes! You can absolutely do that!"
when I have a crazy idea that I'm not sure about.

My guardian Angels remind me of my own strength when I think I'm too weak 
to pull myself to shore against a strong tide.

And if I really am too weak, they lift me up on their wings
So I can view my life from a higher perspective. 

My guardian angels know me by all my different names, moods, 
and awkward periods of life.

They swoop in to help escort family members to heaven,
or sometimes, just sit quietly waiting on the other end of an unuttered prayer.

I don't know why, but I think God showered me
with more angels than normal, because he knew I would need them.

If you petition God at some point for your own angels, 
I recommend requesting the tears to wine feature.

A distraction is valuable, sometimes. So that after you heal,
And come back to yourself, you might notice that you have wings of your own.