Looking Back but Through a Curving Beam of Light that Meets us Again at the Beginning

We have the green around us grown full and we are feeling lighter, making plans, letting the masks slip (literally, figuratively) while a stronger variant and other strains roll-on. We will all collectively see before the summer ends a brighter light than the past solstice, up ahead, out of our antic haze. We are already buzzing with its glow, resonating with what looks somewhat familiar yet new and strange, and we take it to indicate a “post-COVID” future – while the pandemic’s tail elongates.

We speak of returns, to what was, in order to slow the whiplash; or we turtle inward with hesitation, uncertain if the wounds we’ve sustained will heal properly in the new air. We were excited and scared and we don’t know, we just don’t know – so some of us risk it to live with imagined impunity (never mind the elderly, never mind the immunocompromised). With autumn’s shadow soon to fall on our doorstep, things are even more uncertain – the shadow of the next wave, most likely.

You can deny it if you like, to ease the mind and body, but know that the remainder of this decade until 2030 will be gloomy. It’s the gloom through which you see a light that’s supposed to be at the end of some tunnel – not a tunnel of death, mind you, but a tunnel of life! You know it will be the most trying decade on planet Earth ever lived by our species, and also, that we did NOT pass Year One (or Two) of this pandemic with high marks on any scale of humility or sanity.

But don’t freak out – maybe freak out a little – more so, do not suppose that “normal” is what we are ever heading back to (please Higher Power, let that hallucination pass). We’re actually heading back to ourselves, our habits, our sleep, unless we take some of this wakefulness with us into the new but shadowy atmosphere. It could slip our grasp, this new reality, or, we could disconnect from the dream, going with Dud on this one:

In the past two years, I haven’t posted much on my website, and not much has been published IRL. I’m still grappling with the loss of my father and 5 other family members in the last 6 years. I’ve taught in two schools, soon to be three, but that’s for the application/interviewing process to determine. I’ve written many new poems, but none in the last three months, the longest dry spell I’ve had in my 24 years of the craft.

However, I did write/crafted two zines that were made from a group invitation/prompt with Reciprocal Works, headed by Katie Ford and River Wharton, a real gem of an experience in the rough times. That’s the true purpose of this post, if you got this far – and both are available for FREE to download below – one from the Reciprocal Works website (definitely check-out the other zines!) and one just through a public link to the PDF on my Drive.

Both are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without my permission, but the permission to take them in and reply back to me with thoughts and feels are most welcome.

Preface to a Work on Masculinity

Trying to Wield the Jesus Stick: A LOST Fanzine

Thanks for reading – GDB

Holding On to Ephemera


The above is an image recently sent to me by a talented and genuine soul of the Northwest. He holds in his friendly hand an accomplishment of mine from 2006, Haiku Composed on an English Tour. It is the only self-published volume of poetry which I have arranged, printed and hand-sewed together. As a little bit of millennial ephemera, the chapbook exemplifies the DIY publishing ethos that seeped into my young blood in my first few years out of high school.

At the time I met my friend Mark, I was living in the liberal atmosphere of Portland, Oregon and attending an arts school. Though poetry had been my primary creative medium since I was 13, I intended to study photography and soon after printmaking at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. In the above chapbook, Mark’s copy being only one of a proposed 50 copies, drawings and clippings from maps I used while on a solo bicycle tour through England & Wales accompany the haiku which I wrote at the end of my days’ journeys. I had left PNCA and was embarking on a new chapter of my life altogether, and Haiku was the symbolic result of this period.

I am thankful to Mark for sending me this photo, quite unexpectedly, as he was searching through an old portfolio at home. Discoveries like these can become in a moment the unexpected blessing and reminder to the giver of such cherished and beholden ephemera. That friends keep and hold on to the little pieces of creativity that unknowingly become a benchmark for their personal history is affirmation enough that efforts are worth their short suffering and the support of friends is invaluable help to complete their work.