Puddle mirror

manic drumming

all over

devil’s music damning



Mexican stand off


Penultimate shadows

every pose we got

every pose there ever was

every pose for all of time


June 24, 2012

Something in the night sang

for reasons unknown

that couldn’t be solved for

in terms of x or in terms of y

The lights go out and its like I’ve ingested psilocybin. Its like a special blend manufactured by the gremlins buried deep in me. I go on a trip. Its a bad one.

It all comes up. All to the top.

Fallen angles. They flit around likes gnats. Chatty. Like too much coffee. Like too much cocaine. Won’t shut the fuck up.

“This Delaney is a real asshole.”

“He’s pathetic.”

“Poster child for abortion.”

“He’s weak.”

“He ain’t no man. The fucker knows it. He knows it. Look at him pretend he can’t hear us.”

They laugh. Like miserable bar flies so drunk they forgot they are miserable bar flies.

Beautiful ghost. She walks around like normal even though she’s dead.

“I thought you were a creep. I didn’t like you looking at me.”

Somehow I knew that.

Jet crashes. It screams all the way to the ground. Behind enemy lines.

Balaclava clad killers with Kalashnikovs take the pilot. They beat him like he earned it. He thinks of home.

“You won’t make it home,” the killers declare with metaphysical certainty.

“You die here! You die!”

“This is the end.”

Jim Morrison starts. Jesus. I didn’t want it to.

Takes the beating. Gets water boarded over and over. No one pretends to get her to try and get laid by some hippie chick with loose morals. Thinks about breaking. Doesn’t.

“I will go home.”

Thinks about the green eyed girl. Didn’t respect him enough to be his and only his. Thinks of her. Makes her his valkyrie even though what a valkyrie was he wasn’t entirely sure.

The angels roar.


“The more pathetic… the more melodramatic this shit is.”

“He ain’t that brave.”

Go home. Go home young man. Becomes a savage. Not a noble one.

John Wayne tells him, “Give ’em hell boy.”

Gives ’em hell.



Beats with sticks.

Chokes til dead.

Sees home again. Thousand mile stare twice a day.


For the last three weeks my life has been side effects. Side effects of citalopram. My thoughts have been citalopram thoughts. My dreams have been citaloptram dreams. My waking life is zombified, lobotomized. Its nothing unusual. The M.D.s warn me I’m a temporary zombie and that its nothing to worry about.

Qualifying as an extra in a George A. Romero film without the makeup nothing to worry about.

What a world. What a country.

I lift the fog myself. I force myself to go for a three mile run. Its a misty gray morning. I’m baptized by heaven’s water back into life. I think. I know when I step back into my room that I’ve got to write down what’s in my head.

Paul, you pretentious bastard.

I wasn’t enthralled by the saga of Casey Anthony. I heard the noise. I heard that the woman was a liar. That she was no good. That she was a slut. That she killed her two year old daughter because the kid was just cramping her style. The kid got in the way of her beautiful life so she did the unthinkable and with duct tape and choloroform and a trash bag sent her packing for the next life. Thats the version of the story the public liked.

The jury might have thought she was no good. That she was a slut. That she was a pathological liar. Murderer? Sorry.

My forehead moist with sweat and rainwater I wonder why it was this god damn dreadful case captured the attention of the public. Why? Was it really in the public interest that we know of Casey Anthony’s wicked ways? Whereever it was that Caylee Anthony went does she stay forever two years old or does she continue to age? Does she still love her mother? Did her mother ever really love her? What really did happen? Questions. Litanies of questions. Questions I really don’t need to answer yet I ask them anyway. Why the hell even ask?

Many might see an element of themselves in the wretch of a human being that is Casey Anthony. Maybe they became parents before they were really ready but unlike her they took some responsibility. They put some wild and childish things away. They gave up dreams for the life that they helped create. They gave up sanity. Maybe even they even considered duct tape, choloroform and a car trunk as horrifying as that is to ponder. They wanted to see this bitch get her comeuppance. They wanted to believe in a univese that is just where people get exactly what it is they deserve but instead they see luck foisted upon someone who didn’t deserve it.

Luck? Was she lucky? I don’t know. I doubt it. Was she guilty? I don’t know. Was she completely innocent? I doubt it but I can never know with metaphysical certainity. All of it is so ambiguous. It is a mystery that most likely will forever remain a mystery. Sometimes the plots in life don’t resolve themselves like in the season finale of an Emmy winning drama. People have trouble with ambiguity. They don’t like it. I suppose I can understand that.

I’m not filled with righteous indignation. I am a sinner which is something I have in common with Casey Anthony. I do reject the notion however that this verdict means she gets off scot free if in fact she is guilty of what every bar patron in this country believes she’s guilty of. We’re not punished for our sins but by them. If she did do it then she will be punished for it the rest of her days on this earth. Hell, even if she didn’t do it she’ll likely be punished for it the rest of her days on this earth. It’ll follow her around. It will always be with her. It will be a gremlin riding on her back. She’s all alone in the world now. Her defense relied upon pointing the finger at pretty much everyone in her family. Who will have her now? Where does she go? Does she deserve mercy?

I shake my head. I half smile and hate myself for being thankful that none of it happened to me.

America. What a country.

Human beings. What a species. What a magnificent, maddening species.


I’ve had adventures.




I’ve traveled the labyrinth that is the mental health industry. I’ve had big pharma’s drugs in my bloodstream. The drugs that they advertise to you on TV. The drugs they tell you to ask your doctor about by name. The drugs they will prescribe to morbid teenagers who scare their parents because they insist on dressing like Robert Smith from The Cure. The drugs they will prescribe to bored housewives. The drugs they will prescribe to YOU if you don’t quite feel like yourself. I have no Ph.D. I’m not really college educated. I’m a man who shaves once a week. I’m a man still alive after surviving bout after bout with the malady that makes pharmaceutical companies enough money to buy 10 million private armies and perhaps a few heavenly bodies and maybe a government or two. Experience is what I got in spades man. If you want a pill. If you think you need a pill. You’ll get one. YOU ARE GOING TO GET ONE. If you just wanted to play a kind of devlish game. Say you weren’t really feeling that bad and you wanted to see if you could get a pill. Make an appointment with your doctor and go in there and say you’re having trouble sleeping or tell him you hate your job or maybe that you think you could be happier. You’ll get a pill.

There is no evil conspiracy to dope up every single human being on the face of the earth. I’m not Tom Cruise. I’m no born again Scientologist. Pills are not magic. Medical science ain’t magic. It has its limits. They cannot say, “Keep your expectations realistic. This might not work,” in a pharmaceutical commerical. Commercials gotta sell shit or they cease to be commercials.

I got sent to another psychiatrist today. He worked out of a hospital. A hospital people get born in. A hospital people die in. A hospital where pill heads hang out to try to scam some oxycodone. A hospital that I drove to as I listened to Journey’s Wheel in the Sky over and over again. The song was stuck in my head. The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’ the speaker in the song says and he doesn’t know where he’ll be tomorrow. It isn’ Sartre. It isn’t Kierkegaard. Its basically true however. The wheel in the sky whatever it is does keep on turning and none of us know where we’ll be tomorrow until we lay eyes on tomorrow and where it is we’ve found ourselves. I get checked in. I take a look around and I think to myself I want to get old some day. I want to get old but I never want to be old and sad. Old and bitter. Old and angry. Old without ever really having got “IT.” The IT i’ve already seen glimpses of. The IT that saves. Whatever IT is. I play the song over and over again in my head. I hear screams. The screams come from the radiology department. Female screams. I don’t know what type of screams they are but they are screams. An old man looks over at me. Says,

“First time?”

I say, “Yeah.”

“Like the dentist.”

I smile. For some reason. Its not a good smile. I don’t sell it real well.

He says, “That was a joke.”

I think, “Wow. I had absolutely no idea that that statement was a joke, sir.”

I say, “I know, I know.”

A rail thin bespectacled guy calls my name. I follow him back to his world. He’s the psychiatrist. Seems cerebral. Seems like he’d be sexually aroused by math or by statistics. Perhaps I’m suggesting he seemed overly cerebral. Perhaps you had no idea that I was suggesting such a thing. He looks over the questionaire I’ve filled out for him in advance like a good patient does. He asks me to confirm for him what a certain word is on the form. I tell him and apologize for my piss poor penmanship. We talk about my history. We barely talk about it in fact. Its all abridged. Abuse in the home. Far from ideal or healthy childhood. We get to talking about drugs very quickly. SSRIs specifically. Benefits. Side effects.

All of this has happened before.

He doesn’t ask me anything about what I do to stay alive. Its just about the drugs. That’s what he knows. He isn’t the villain. He’s just a psychiatrist. I’m just… a man. A man who knows that a mental lightweight doesn’t live on pills alone. Pills aren’t bad. They can help. If you have the affliction, the bitch, the stone faced killer who hides in your brain then you take all the help that you can get. I take my prescription. I even get it filled. I know that in that bottle of pills isn’t a cure.

Its like love. Ain’t no cure.

You have to work. You have to move. You have to look at your actions. You have to look at outcomes. Sometimes you have to do things differently. Even if you don’t want to. You have to be on your guard. You have to learn new skills. New ways to think. That’s whats not in the pharmaceutical commercials.

After I see the psych I go and train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as I’ve been trying to do 2-3 times a week for about a month. I arrive and put on my gi which resembles some sort of Japanese super hero costume or pajamas. Yeah. I roll around with other men on the ground in pajamas 2-3 times a week. What of it? A guy who used to manage me at my job opened a school and had been on me awhile to train. I finally gave in. I’ve always respected him and he was the only person I’d been subordinate to in any work situation that I ever had any modicum of respect for. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? What the hell is it? Its ground fighting. Its joint locks. Its choke holds. Its escapes from joint locks, choke holds and all sorts of bad positions. Its a simplistic explanation but it will have to suffice. I end up doing a lot of sparring. I try to arm bar or choke my training partner and he tries to do the same to me. Its just no fun if you’re not dealing with a resistent opponent. I get done and I’m drenched in sweat. My body cries out in pain. I’ve got new bruises on my arms yet… I’m at peace. I’ve experienced fear, confusion, frustration, pain in a sparring session and everything else in life gets turned down to a lower volume even the sly killer with a shark smile who hides inside my brain. Everything else that I might do that day or that week seems just a little bit easier. To struggle literally with another human being awakens in me something primal, something pure, something beautiful. I learn I can take a beating. That I have the psyche to take a beating. I learn from the mistakes I make on the mat. I learn not to get arm barred or choked in a particular way and if I do get arm barred or choked I learn how it happened and how to prevent it from happening. I’ve realized already at this early stage that I’m not learning how to fight. I’m not learning how to grapple. I’m not learning how to become an action hero. In a very real sense I’m learning about life. There is always an escape from a bad position. There is a way out of any crushing submission hold whether it be a choke or an arm bar. If your opponent is trying to isolate your arm or some other part of your anatomy they are up to something. They are doing it for a reason. You have to stop what they are trying to do at step one.

The same goes with my ongoing battle with the affliction, the bitch, the sly killer who lives in my brain, the noon day demon. It goes by many names. I know when its moving. I know when its up to something. I have to learn to stop what its doing at step one.

Duct Tape

March 3, 2011


I am an unreliable witness

even to my own calamity

but I’d appreciate it if you believe me

like you believe him, her, God, Jah, Allah, Yahweh, lets throw in Zeus too (bring it on, Z.)

as I construct meaning out of

this series of random incidents

that started in that room with white linoleum floors

white linoleum floors


maybe end there?

possible bookend

fictional convention in real life

mysterious. Screw being mysterious.

mysterious poetics, as useful as the horoscope for Virgo when you’re a Capricorn

as useful as heart shaped candy when her heart doesn’t pound for you anymore

as useful as bringing a plastic Jesus to a gun fight

as useful as a god damn poem

in just about any situation


the world is over (again)

and all I’ve got is duct tape

composed of similie, metaphor

the occasional rhyme

and abuse of meter

the roll sat under my bed

unused next to vintage pizza boxes

I shake my head, grab the roll

and accept

that its come to THIS

stacking the sinful shining world of

mine while everyone sleeps off a hangover

and making sure it stays together

with nothing but this roll of duct tape to hold it

because its all I have left

Love and Tinfoil Part II

February 11, 2011

I remember so much throughout the course of a day. I perform on all the stages of grief every day and vegetables get thrown at me because everybody’s heard it before. Everybody has heard it before. The just and the unjust. The mundane and the extraordinary. The story is so damn old. So damn conventional. I set my jaw and play it brave and I walk tall like I’ve got six guns hanging on my hips to right the wrongs that’ve been done in this world. Six guns? Jesus. Dramatic much? The point is I play it brave and then… I remember

The taste of your kiss that I can still taste if I just think hard enough.

The first time I ever heard your voice and the realization immediately after that it would echo in my mind forever.

When I realized that I loved you and hoped like Hell that I really didn’t.

When I gave into it and told you and we had an exchange that went something like this on that infant September morning,

You: Are you afraid that I’m going to break your heart?

Me: …. Yes. Are you afraid that I’m going to break your heart?

You: No.

Maybe I should’ve said something different. Maybe I spoke it all into existence. Maybe I could speak and reverse it all. Maybe I could be with you now. Maybe be damned. I have to stand. I have to remember that you’re gone now and that I’m still standing. I’m still standing whether you love me or not. I’ll still be standing even if you never think of me again. I stare at these words while I write them and decide whether to believe them. God damn. I have to decide every day whether I believe that all I have with me while alone in a dark room is enough to face the world. I believe in telling the truth always. The answer isn’t always yes.  I try my damndest every day for that answer to be yes.

After I’ve relived every memory I’m left with the realization that you cannot love me enough for both of us. I didn’t love me so I needed you to do it for me. At the risk of sounding dangerously Oprah like I must learn to love Paul M. Delaney. I shake my head as I read what I’ve just typed realizing the weight of the concept and that it means much more than vigorous Onanism,.

Love and Tinfoil

February 9, 2011


You mouthed the words “I love you” across the table at me in December. That same December I walk the cold evenings listening to the sounds of surf rock from the 1960s.  I listen to the strains of Bedlam by The Belairs over and over again on my IPod as I prowl the streets of my neighborhood pondering your absence in the same month that you mouth the words “I love you” across the table at me. I examine you like someone with the paranoid style examines The Warren Report. I ponder your absence and the mundane explanation for it. I poke holes in your “magic bullet theory” and render your official story impossible. You’re gone and I don’t know why. I’m dead to you and I don’t know why. I ponder every possibility in that same December you mouth the words “I love you” across the table at me. I can find no answers. I’m utterly unable to restore order to my universe. You just disappeared.


I drive to work some mornings and the traffic light turning green makes me recall your eyes. I don’t want to recall your eyes. I recall your eyes as I lay across from you in my bed. I looked into them and my eyes started to water. You asked what was wrong. I told you that I never wanted to lose you. You tell me that I won’t and that you’ll never go anywhere. You’ve gone somewhere. We cease to be even friends. You’ve become a stranger to me. I never wanted you to become a stranger to me but it came to pass.


It came to pass. I did lose you. I fought to keep you. The fight ended. The fight that consumed me. Swallowed me. It ended.


I escape the tin foil over my windows. I come out from behind because I have no choice. I run. I run till I have nothing left in me not because I’m a fitness freak but because it illustrates ability to continue through pain. I pound the pavement. My heart beats like a hammer. My sweat drips upon the pavement. My sweat drips upon the cracks in the pavement. The cracks in the pavement. The same cracks in the pavement that were there when you loved me and are still there now that you’re gone. My sweat. The sweat that falls upon the ground when you loved me falls on the ground the same way now that you’re gone. I recall the song sung by Billy Bragg Levi Stubb’s Tears and the specific words, “When the world falls apart. Some things stay in place.” I try with all my might to focus on what stays in place. I sit in my room with the lights off. I realize I still have what’s inside me. I’ll always have it. I’ll always have whatever it was that made you love me whether you stay or go. I’ll still have these words that I can do whatever I want with.


A 19 year old pimply faced mother snaps a cell phone photo of her infant son with a bong. This 19 year old woman who probably had her son way too young snaps a photo of her infant son because it looks like he’s taking a bong hit. She’s taken many bong hits. She’s enjoyed many a bong hit. She has finished an entire plastic container of Red Vines while watching Gumby with her burnout friends. Maybe she remembers her more irresponsible times while it looks like her young son might be toking up.

The photo ends up on the internet.

Stupid people laugh.

People even more stupid are outraged. They shake their head and their fists in righteous indignation and they declare they never did anything that irresponsible with their kids. They declare that that baby ought to be taken away and made a ward of the state. They should throw that 19 year old pimply faced bitch in jail for the rest of her miserable life because they’d sleep better at night knowing she could not corrupt anymore children with bongs. Maybe not for life but maybe for about 5 years and when she gets out she is subjected to random drug tests. Maybe they’ll agitate for that at their local Tea Party event while they are shouting about getting the government out of our lives.

That’s why I despise stories like this. They bring out the “Amen! I Never Did That!” brigade. Everyone piles on. Everyone condemns and everyone feels good that they are not as stupid as that 19 year old acne scarred bitch who probably got pregnant before she got out of high school. The thing is… some of you probably did do that. Some of you probably did take photos of your children posing with guns, knives, bongs or needles but the only difference is no one found out about it and it didn’t end up on the internet. I frankly don’t care about any of that stuff. I’ll probably care much more should I ever become a parent. However, what disturbs me is that many of those who are quick to condemn this young woman have done much worse. Some of you heaping copious amounts of scorn on this irresponsible young woman have scarred your children for life. I have heard some of you talking to your children like they are slave labor. Even worse. Some of you have abandoned your children. I know more than one person in this life who has had a parent abandon them. They just left. Some of those people saw that baby with a bong and heaped scorn on that young woman.

Please. Do the human race a favor and spare everyone your sanctiminous, moralistic preaching about how you never snapped a picture of your offspring with drug paraphnelia because some of you have done much worse.

Furthermore this junk does not belong on the news. It is not news. No one needs to know about a BABY LOOKING LIKE HE IS SMOKING A BONG.

Yeah, I Did

July 11, 2010

I end an episode. A bad spell falling on bad days.

For about a week or so I feel like death. I’ve got myself the soul of a wino burnout. I’ll barely leave my house. My mouth tastes sick. My body feels like something absolutely apocalyptic is going on inside of it. Its bad….

And then… end of episode. Roll the credits. I’ve been here before. All of a sudden its just done. Switch gets flipped. Different routine being run in the program and then I remember who I am. I become witty again. Random thoughts get posted on Twitter and my friends and co-workers nod their heads and say to themselves, “I knew there was a reason I liked that guy.” I start to notice random, mundane beauty. I start to sorta like the condition of being alive again. I regain the ability to concentrate.

I get interested in sex if only because its life affirming. I get interested in every damn thing that’s life affirming. That’s what happens when you return from Hell. At least I get back. Its time to cut this out though. Its getting old.

I flip through my notebook. I look at this very blog. I look at things I wrote months ago and sometimes I can’t believe I’m the person who wrote a particular phrase or expressed something so damn clearly.


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