Like education, poetry is often the magic of communicating the experience of “real” to those who have not yet lived it. It is rolling up into a concrete ball of words that which cannot be bound by them. It is an illusion that matters.


Everything I ever needed to know I learned in make-believe.

Make-believe taught me that the most wonderful moment in life
is the fifteen seconds before the first kiss.

Make-believe taught me that the first step was admitting I had a problem.

Make-believe taught me that I really could leave home
without it but that I couldn’t get very far.

Make-believe taught me that I could start over as many times as I wanted,
that I could alter the ending if I liked,
that there are too many paths to choose from and they’re all fun.

I’ve been everywhere and done everything
in make-believe.

Father, husband, and son

I have sung a thousand lullabies.
I have hung in suspended animation on the soul of her breath.
I have changed the course of history with my quiet observations.
I have lied, cried, and multiplied.
I have even taught a class or two.

And none of it was real
because it was make-believe

which isn’t the same as saying it didn’t matter
because it does,
because when you get down to it everything
is simulation.

And late at night, if you hold your head just right
under the dryer-lint veil of serotonin deprivation,
things can become amazingly clear,

just like make-believe.