Welcome to the home of my meandering, silly poetry that attempts to convey the emotions, experiences, and profound insanity of being alive.

A small warning: The poems are lightly edited first drafts that may (definitely) have typos and other grammatical errors that will irritate the pedantically-minded souls of the world. This is by design.

And if for some reason you are a real poet who has made it to this page, it may be best if you leave now. Beyond the grammatical chaos, these poems are not “good” by any conventional or unconventional standard. I know almost nothing about poetry and don’t read much of it myself. That helps keep me loose.

For now, poetry is not serious business. It’s a creative outlet for having fun, often late at night over a glass of wine. I draft everything on a 1945 Smith-Corona typewriter as a small way to resist the overwhelm of a tech-fueled world.

Finally, I include fodder about the context and inspiration behind each poem. I suppose poets may argue that “the words should speak for themselves,” but I disagree. I think poetry is more like an art piece in a museum: the story and context behind it matter, and providing it offers a better chance for strangers passing by to understand and connect with whatever it is I’m trying to say.

“The only thing intelligent about a good art is if it shakes you alive, otherwise it’s hokum.” - Charles Bukowski

“One more roar”

I wrote this poem six years after my mom’s suicide while grappling with the unsettling realization that I can no longer remember the sound of her laugh.

Her laugh roared

during the good times

and especially the bad

I remember its effect

an infectious and

unsettling thunder

I remember its causes

odd characters and

off-color humor

But I can no longer

remember the sound

The cackle is no more

Mom is no more.

I would give it all

to hear it again

just one more roar

09/23/23 - San Francisco, CA

“A perfect moment”

This poem emerged at the tail-end of my wife and I’s one-year anniversary. We spent a lovely weekend in Napa and the surrounding area and finished the trip with a cedar bath, sound healing, and an unexpected walk into a Kyoto-style Zen garden.

I look at the bonsai tree and

wonder who created this beautiful garden

A cool evening breeze finds its way

through my two layers of robes

My wife sits to my left

It’s our one year anniversary and

we’ve spent the last 36 hours enjoying

wine, food, farm life, and each other

Flowing water descends gently onto

rocks and a pond with large koi fish

A golden glow bathes the garden and

our souls in a comforting hug

Sitting on a cushion in front of the pond

I close my eyes and listen to the

slow and steady breath that has

carried me through 30 years of life

“Who am I?,” I ask


Who am I?

no one

Who am I?

a cool breeze

Who am I?

flowing water

Who am I?

A soft bell

Who am I?

this breath

Who am I?


I am calvin, no one, cool air,

water, sand, flowers,

the bell, bonsais, koi fish, and everything

that exists in and around this fine garden

I open my eyes after one more slow breath

Everything is brighter, more alive, still,

and just as it was meant to be

A perfect moment in an imperfect life

10/02/23 - San Francisco, CA


After spending most of my waking time surfing and recovering during a good Fall swell, I wrote about the joys of puttering around. My younger, productivity-obsessed self would find this mode of living horrifying, but no one asked him.

I woke up at dawn ready to

make the most of the day

Sleepy anticipation filled my soul

on the drive to Santa Cruz

I arrived at Steamer Lane with

walnuts, raspberries, and espresso in my belly

The sun was rising and bathed the

fat, crumbling waves in a welcoming golden glow

The surf was no good and

I wished I was still sleeping

But then I watched a large seal eat

And accepted the ocean’s offering

I put on a damp wetsuit, waxed my board, and

traversed down the slippery rocks

I entered the water safely,

which was better than yesterday

90 minutes and 3 unremarkable waves later

I exited the water shivering but with

no injuries, dings, or angry water mates

A success by surfing standards

I undressed and nearly headed home to

make something of this fine day

But a coffee and a short read called me

What harm could a little puttering do?

I sipped a sweet Turkish coffee and

picked at a blueberry-banana muffin while reading

Bukowski’s Ham on Rye on a dirty bench

and in an intensifying morning sun

Young mothers congregated with their babies

and enjoyed another morning in paradise

A young couple quibbled about their young dog

and I finished my muffin

Two policemen arrived and began speaking to

a trembling man who stood in front of my car

I tried not to watch but had a clear view through

a window in the swaying trees

“Hands above your head, sir”

A dozen small bags were pulled from

his shirt, pants, shoes, and groin

The handcuffs arrived and clicked shut

I wondered what Bukowski would have thought

“Leave the bastard alone”, he would say

“A jail cell won’t save him or anyone else”

A plump stranger said as much and was shooed away

My insides began rumbling and I headed to

a church with a cafe down the road

A chipper teen prepared my chai latte

and I headed for the bathroom

I sipped my chai and read more Bukowski

He recounted his miserable childhood, which was

filled with nasty boils, abuse, and poverty

No wonder the bastard drank so much

I considered buying a bible

But today was not the day that

I would find the comforts of religion

That day would come later

It was time to go home

I still had a good chance to stop puttering

But on the short walk to the car,

old surfers talked about surfing

A short, tanned Brazilian held a board and

said his new fins made all the difference

The old suffers agreed heartily and I smiled

These fools suffered from my same addiction

Surfing, while intoxicating, is a pointless exercise of

dancing with nature and following its rhythms,

always feeling that the perfect wave,

the perfect dance, is just around the corner

I drove away thinking about fins and waves and

old surfers and made a wrong turn

I was headed toward Four Mile, an unfamiliar break

What harm could 15 more minutes of puttering do?

I arrived at Four Mile and talked to an older man

“How was it,” I asked

He said I would need some volume and

patience and it would be just fine

I admitted I was from out of town and he grimaced

until I said I used to live in Encinitas

He knew Beacons, Swamis, and the charms of Leucadia

Santa Cruz was not all that different and now neither was I

I walked the dusty path to the ocean

and ran into a young surfer who had exited the water

He was tense and said it was madness out there

Guys were yelling and coming to blows

I watched the waves and considered going out

A French lad with a boogie board walked by and

I asked him if it was any fun

He said it was a grand time

A squat man with a mustache came from the beach

He said it was too crowded and crummy to surf

I agreed and he told me about the break and swells and wind and

a deep-water canyon surfable in Big Sur

I had enough new knowledge to fill a novel or a poem

and decided that I would not surf

Better to drive home without dancing on

crummy waves and risking a bloody nose

I cruised back with a close eye on the ocean

Maybe I could find a time and place for another session

But the wind had already done too much damage

and I needed to write that novel or poem

The drive up 101 had many cliffs and farms with

strawberries, pumpkins, and nuts

I wanted to stop and meet the farmers but

the day was slipping away

But then I saw the sunflowers

Big, yellow, and dancing in the wind

I stopped at a farm and gathered 6 sunflowers,

3 pumpkins, and a bouquet of bright flowers

I would give this harvest to my wife

She was not puttering and deserved it more than me

Perhaps she would enjoy a small glimpse

into all that I had done on this fine day

I avoided any more stops and arrived

home at two in the afternoon

Nine hours after my dawn departure

Not too bad for a Thursday

I wanted to write about this adventure, but

the sun and puttering had made me thirsty

I bought a bottle of Italian orange wine

and cut the sunflowers while sipping a heavy pour

I prepared a small lunch of

lamb, cheese, olives, popcorn, dark chocolate, and

a vanilla cupcake that tasted good with the orange wine

I would need a small nap before writing

Now I sit here at a 1945 Smith-Corona typewriter

The sun has set and I’m clanking these keys,

telling my tale and listening to classical tunes

Just like Bukowski said he did

I can’t say that I’ve done much today

But I feel alive, satisfied, buzzed

I lived and lived as well as I could

And for now, that seems like enough

09/28/23 - San Francisco, CA