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Creative Yammerings

Various: Daddy Issues

Daddy Issues: Various poems inspired by my father

god | masculinity | love | healing | writing therapy

This a collection of writing that probably will end up as one long poem with various titles.

This War

In retrospect

For me

With him

The debate about the concept of a god

was an empty subject

A socially textured canvas that platformed and framed a conflict that I needed

It was a place I finally felt I could win

Still trying to notch victories into my belt

Still chasing his respect

For him

The largest hurdle

Far taller than the romantic and unprovable was

clearing the ego of a son who still

has something to prove

I forgive myself

He started this silent war

A war that I now recognize

I lost many years ago

A war that a far flung rendition of him still

taunts me from an internal battlefield

My chase positions him the

overseer of my self-value

He harbors in his chest remnants torn from me

Pieces I still emotionally believe I need

Pieces I now know are scattered among

The ankle deep keepsakes torn from others

Pieces that even after death

he still unknowingly wades through

There is a bruised and angry boy that

scrapes the inside of my bones for redemption

A boy in me that doesn't understand death

A boy blinded in pain chasing redemption off

into the foggy distance

I hope there are no cliffs or walls

Life teaches me

There most certainly are cliffs and walls

He’s gone


we are not done debating

He’s not done pissing me off

I still give him shit for not being more

I still give him shit for me not being more in his eyes

I still abuse myself for not being what he wishes

I still practice points to dent

his gotcha grin

Yes THIS war

I still re-wage


Man Enough

After a fun night with family we head home

Daddy is silent 

I assume he is tired

contemplating the day

But something heavier hangs in the air

As we ride in silence

he turns his face from me

seemingly crumples himself in the 

crevice of seat and door 

I sense he wants to float away from it all

Not think about the pending end

A muffled wimpier 

There is shame

The sharp sound of a sniff cuts the 

silence with truth

Daddy is crying

Daddy is contemplating life

Contemplating his pending death

I sit silent 

No clue what to say

Choosing to preoccupy all of my focus on a dark

empty road that doesn't require preoccupation

Everything I consider saying sounds like

I am trying to sugar-coat a turd 

In my man-thinking there is only one thing left 

Only one thing is understood and

soon will be realized


In the coming weeks

You will die

There is no brightside in this chapter

Nothing that I can say to soften realty’s hand

Nothing textured enough to hang romanticism on

He’s not ready to go and

It feels offensive for me 

with all my unknown years of life 

To even utter “alrights” about some shit 




I’m supposed to be strong

Manhood preps me to be strong

cuz men are strong



There is something fragile that 

hangs between us 

Something delicate and spineless

crouches in the mist of 

smoke and mirrors of put on bravado 

The smoke has thinned

exposing the mirage of strength as being

something small

and weak

and fucking pathetic

when it mattered

My inability to comfort my father 

was not rooted in strength 

I dressed up my fears as strength 

bowtied it with ribbon of power

Cheated my father out of warmth

Cheated my father out my presence

Yet I have been cheated out of

the luxury of emotional honesty

I am this way because it's expected

He is curled into his corner because

crying even if justified is not expected

Loving and not knowing how to

show love is suffocating

Loving and not being allowed to love

is suffocating

Adhering to "Manhood" can be suffocating

In the end

I was man enough

to abandoned 

my father in a

moment of sorrow


Not hu-man enough

to hold his hand



Before his death

Daddy promises me he will return in the afterlife

To prove to me that god is real

I don’t subscribe to such notions


I can admit that on

many a still night

dreamy emotion swirled through my

imaginations and hopes


I look for him

Hope for him

Open myself to abstract glimpses

willing to piece together the mundane nothings

to create clues of his presence

Carefully listening while

contouring the waking life and sleep

Maybe he’s somewhere in the middle

Maybe if I pretend not to hear him I will

I'm not impressed with afterlife

There are things we still need to

discuss beyond this irrelevant

death and god shit

Things we need to iron out

To help me get on with life

Or maybe I just miss him

It’s been years now

There has been nothing

Nothing to flesh out my hopes

Nothing to flesh out his claims

No promising abstractions

I can collage to create presence




but it was that one time....



... Yes that one time

A singular clue of the afterlife presented itself

on the very night Daddy died

Near my home

I see a woman who I have never seen before

She stands waiting

She is tethered to a delicate leash

On the end of that leash lives captive a

more delicate dog

She hurries the dog along to do its business

She calls this dog


My father’s name is


This little dog relies on a woman

for warmth

for food

for shelter

for protection

A woman who allows her pet

to lay at her feet and praise only her

A woman who has the power to incite fear with

angry voice and judgmental drumming finger

My father

short-leashed by mere woman

My father

reembodied in a delicate powerless existence

My father

being rushed through any of his business

Snipped from his primal nature

Bred from his prized savagery

Incarnated into this small insignificant



My father

The man I know

is a self-domesticated feral creature

If this dog is a sign of the afterlife for me to heed

god and heaven remains a mystery

But Hell

On the very night of Daddy’s death

Hell screeched of her existence

If there is a god

it is brilliantly petty


Mama’s Vail

I mention to Mama Daddy’s plan to return from the beyond to prove to me god is real

An unexpected laugh

lurches to life taking flight

before she realizes her cage door is open

To her credit

she doing all she can to fix her face 

She conjures compassion where none lives

She pretends not to laugh 

I pretend not to see it

She hurries to tidy the misplaced response

Drapping her magical vail over her own thoughts

Over her silent history 

Over the pain she endured 

Tidying his earned response

Always the steady and strong warrior 

Ever-ready to be present for her beloved in ways 

she has never been present for herself

Time and experience has worn Mama’s vail thin

She sometimes misplaces it

It is tear and spit stained

Sloppily patched and bears holes 

loosened by the busy fingers of 

earned resentment that 

crashed into clarity

Beneath that rounded taut vail

the quickening of an 

unmama-thought mooooooves

I see it

I expect it

I forgive it

I've pardoned her of every

future infraction a thousand times over

I would prefer a whole-hearted 

laugh cherry topped with 

“That motherfucker!!!”

Her vail 

A conflict for me

While embracing the inherited protections 

as her young

I resent the fragility of my manhood

I resent my tethered connection to the man 

Who captured and imprisoned so many 

Portions of who she is 

I feel unworthy of the facades

I am one of her beloved yet his offspring

another mere man she sacrifices herself to

I want no more parts of her sacrifice

No interest in the magic that her vail provides

I am more interested in her capping the vail across her shoulders and her lurching to life and take flight

Before reality realizes she forgot to blame herself

Before reality realizes its cage’s door was left open

After a lifetime of sacrifice

How is it not owed to her

The right to uncage her pacing truth

Thats been locked away for everyone's 

safety and comfort but her own 

Caged in idealisms and Mama do-right

That has outgrown its enclosure 

Truths that desire to feel earth press its paw

The earned right to pierce the wind with direction and piss the corners of uncharted lands of her

own being

Mama and Daddy parted a decade earlier 

The unexpected laughter

A knee jerk emotion was teased up by 

the arrogance that

this man

who lived his life

Has the audacity to believe

if there was a heaven

he has earned some abstract

right to be there 


travel about at will



Death normally has a way of allowing 

transgressions to be absorbed into sorrow 

Daddy’s silence almost felt true

But there is a whisper that laces his absence

You were both the most loving and abusive man that had reach into my life 

Part of me wishes that I could choose just the love and if not just the love then just the abuse

Having a mixture of both does something  


to my psyche

It disrupts my freedom to love 


I must admit

I don’t have much interest

In being a me that wasn’t stained by you

There is something about

the welts left on my emotions 

That reads as brailed lesson

That imparts qualities that I hold dear

Thank/fuck you

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