“Ambulance/Water Floaties” 

I hear sirens scream past my street about 5 times a day…

I am always worried they are coming for me.

Because I have stolen too many breaths from favorite poets and too many hearts in my memories.
I sit and write

And cough 

These cancer sticks have replaced where I used to breathe on your neck and ears. 
You’re now a soundtrack to my biggest fears.
Like listening to someone talk underwater.
“I’m not waving, I’m drowning” – P.O.S. 
I wade in sweat and sips of what was once your perfect scent. 

Or at least what I believed was you. 
I’m still treading, waiting for someone or something to pull me from the depths. 
I hope they jump in soon because I am gasping and as a smoker I don’t have the endurance to tread as long as I used to.
I hear sirens again.
I think this time they are coming for me. 
-Joshua Tool 07/23/17

No Oasis For Old Orchids

Our relationship was like the orchids I forgot to water for months.

So beautiful and full of color and life and potential for growth in the beginning; but I forgot to water you.

And like my orchids the sun took you away.

Burnt up and burnt out.

I stayed inside for weeks at a time after that.

Watering my liver down with an endless stream of alcohol, while I talked with my shadow about how badly it wished to be cast at my feet in the sun once more.

To run through the sprinklers and shower storms.

I finally made it outside again, but I sit in the shade.

I sit and smoke

and tremble.

I am not a religious man but for some reason I found myself in a prayer position.

My hands pressed flatly together against my lips, pointed towards the sky, dissecting my face in a vertical fashion.

My thumbs pushing into my lymph nodes.

Staring at the garden as I ponder if this was a taught position or instinct.

Somehow it felt right.

Like biting your nails before a job interview, or pacing in the waiting room of a hospital.

I play in the dirt in hopes to dig up some pieces of me that got burnt up in our drought.

I shook.

My DTs were acting up again.

Better get something to water them down.

I pushed my lips to the soft tops of my knuckles on my now balled fists.

Like at least I won’t let go of me. But I would.

I then pulled my head back and separated my fused fingers.

Even I let go of me.


We grew & loved within a carnal connection;

until the weather changed for the worse and withered.

My heart. My art. My blind and trusting romanticism.

Everything I worked for


I was doing alright before I met you,

and now even I let go of me.


To be clear and unclear at the same time 

I created you in my basement. 
I made your hair out of recycled violin strings. 
I made you breathe with what is left of my screams. 
I made your hands out of old wooden things… 
I found them on the street.
I made your face. Your identity; with broken shards of glass from a mirror I broke when I was 17. 
I made your eyes out of marbles that looked like the oceans southern beach in a hurricane. 
I made your tongue out of the words that I drooled on my pillow whilst sleeping in a dream. 
I made out with you. 
I made you.
I made you up. 
-Joshua Tool 07/07/17

“Ode To Ma”

The click of the burner raised my ears.

Smelling the sizzle of browning butter. 
Coloring each slender bead of rice with a spice that only the South knows as home. 
More splash and turning with a wooden spoon. 
How can I remember things that I haven’t experienced with this array of sensations? 
Nothing like a home cooked meal. 
Our memories retract as our stomachs fill. 
You taught me soul: 
That a family meal wasn’t just something to pass the time. 
That it is re-energizing.
A social phenomenon. 
As we taste together. 
As we share our days. 
We are one. 
We are love. 
I sparked the second burner.
And asked you for the salt. 
This is everything.
I love you. 
-Joshua Tool 06/27/17

“It’s Kind Of Like Drowning, Only To Know You Will Be Resuscitated” 

Do you remember the first time we saw each other outside of work? 

I brought you to the everlasting DIY venue, The Flux Capacitor.

You wore a green belly shirt and black puffy oversized parka.

I was so scared to touch your hand but I wanted make sure you were safe next to the pit. 

I failed. 

The tide pushed the bodies and you were slammed into the wall. 

I felt so bad.

But you took it like a champ.

That’s the first time I knew I loved you, yet was still scared to touch your hand.

This was the purest form of how we were or knew each other. 

Now we hate each other.

Well, I assume you hate me.

It’s hard to find hate in my memories. 

Yet I try to wash your name out of my mouth.

I will probably be losing moments of my life very soon. 

Like trying to write on a blackboard with a pen. 

Soon I will find myself doing push-ups as I think about this moment. 

Where have we come.

I am still a creator.

I am still to overcome a task of the relentless daytime tv of prison. 

And I will.

And I don’t care where you wind up, as long as you are happy and the kids are safe. 

I will keep this with me as something to pass the time and smile.

And cry.

If only words were made of clay, I would smash the mold and reform where we have come.

Mabye they’ll have clay in jail. 

-Joshua Tool 06/16/17

Meat & Potatoes

I am bobbing for newtons apple of my eye that cries for mall nutrition children on the late night tv programs that stroke my insomnia’s alter ego as gravity proves that NO; You indeed can not fly!

I never donated

I probably never will

Sitting in a still pool of my own filth and drool I questioned myself; loofa? Or bullet proof?

I went with bullet proof

So I headed out to where strangers are home and snagged some chips from the neighborhood blocks bodega below me

Don’t worry; they were all natural, usda organic certified, no artificial flavoring added, non GMO product of my imagination.

I dipped into to a real dive of a bar and started slinging shots of whiskey followed with a splash of time back

Thinking to myself, when did my mind snap?

Further I found myself on the brink of extinguishing the little chance I had of getting laid this night, as I squeaked the whiskey film on my teeth around with my tongue as I grew bored of the room and knocked back a few more Jack & times

I continued in thought walks through the vast static, that is conversations of who liked who’s status on Facebook and circumcised my right to scream at ants


As my ears wet with something of whispers

Come on in, the waters fine

So I wade with the spitters

With the late night hangover pushers

Chasing the sun as we howl with the moon

Breaking up clouds in the black of our swoon

I danced on the edge of a curb with my new sun chasing friends as they swayed back and forth, squinting one eye to watch my balancing act on the government yellow gutter

Thinking to myself, the suns almost here

I wonder if the infomercials are still on

Maybe I’ll catch it so I can get the number to donate

Hmm, well I don’t know, those things always feel like a scam

And in that same instant I lost my footing as I slipped on the wet concrete and fell into a pile of yesterday’s deflated trash

This was just great. Drunk and now I am covered in rotten food and unfamiliar liquid

Sitting in a pool of someone else’s filth and feeling quite the fool, I questioned myself, loofa? Or bulletproof.

Why didn’t I just take a shower and go to bed?

Joshua Tool – 10/08/13