I don’t trust people who overuse the word extraordinary.
Nor those who tell you how much they adore everything,
as in, “I adore Susan Sarandon” or, “this apple pie” or, “the way you wear your hair.”
I get lost inside of the exaggerations.
The tree will topple under all those promises.
The branch will break from all that heavy fruit.
Why pretend? Not all human beings are beautiful.
People killed by bombs are not automatic heroes.
One Tuesday night’s unhappiness
does not make the world a terrible place.
The four-star general on television says,
“Bombing that city was a serious mistake,
but it taught me a lot about myself.”
Perhaps he should give a medal to his therapist.
When I hear how certain people speak,
I think of those mansions built along the north New Jersey shore,
that completely block ordinary people from a view of the ocean.
I think of the people who call that investment real estate.
My heroes are the ones who don’t say much.
They don’t hug people they just met.
They use plain language even when they listen.
They stand back and let you see it for yourself.
Wisdom doesn’t come to every Californian.
Chances are I too
will die with difficulty in the dark.
If you want to see a lost civilization,
why not just look in the mirror?
If you want to talk about love, why not begin
with those marigolds you forgot to water?