Of the recurring characters
from the childhood stories my dad told
there is one I know the origin of

Carved in the wood of a gazebo
near the snack bar of the swimming pool
where my father and his brother went
were three names their fingers found


Names of some juveniles
from another town
in another time,
a far away place

A bond was formed,
their friendships made this trio
excited this day, I imagine
in the middle of a summer month
young and innocent,

One of them brought a knife,
or maybe got out a key.
It was one of their ideas to leave their mark
their first names in the wooden post of that place
and the others who went along with it

It was that instigator—the way I see,
that brought the blade, and
who handed it to the others
that was the last
to lay his own name down


His true friend, however
the way my father told it
isn’t mentioned in graffiti
but is clearly
in the stories
that my father told
me and my brother.
His name was Tipper.


I started documenting what I was doing. That’s not entirely true. I’d embellish some things because what's happening isn't all that interesting. That’s how it started. I’d do something at work and then turn around and write about it — me as the character I. For example, my new supervisor told me of a policy the company had that I wasn’t aware of — chain of command communication. I missed telling someone something, or I told the wrong person something in the wrong order. I listened to her and nodded my head and said, “Oh, OK, that makes sense.” She turned around and made an excuse for not being able to finish this conversation at this point in time and return to her office, and I, in turn, went to an empty word document and embellish the story into an insubordination of sorts, where the disagreements, lead to plotting, and arguments, and undressing, and where the situation resolved with me storming out early for the day, heading to the cantina, getting drunk, and returning the next day with a real chip on my shoulder. That’s how it started.