Shattering The Lens

A Thoughtful Look Into Things

Oh, The People You’ll Meet

Oh, the People You'll Meet

Everyone has a story in them, and everyone’s thoughts are equally important and valid and beautiful. To try and put that into practice, I have been conscientious of the conversations I have with strangers. I’ve found that the guy in front of me in the grocery store also thinks Qdoba is better than Chipotle, that we both agree Bill Cosby and Bruce Springsteen are highly overrated, and that he buys six gallons of milk every week because his five adopted teenage boys all turned out to be athletes. It certainly isn’t anything profound, but I’ve found I’m a lot less likely to get frustrated with the guy in front of me at the grocery store as he fumbles with his coupons and searches for that elusive penny, making me late for the Indians game, if I know a little something about his loves and struggles and what makes us similar. And I’ve found it’s healthy not to be mad at the guy who cut you off in traffic, and that when you employ that mindset to late night solo bar adventures, everyone you meet is interesting as hell, and everyone you meet becomes a friend and makes an impression on you.

So come back every Sunday and learn along with me about the awesome people out there leading their mundane lives as beautifully as they can.


Welcome to Shattering the Lens. Please feel free to look around the site. I am sure you will find something which will spark your imagination or impress itself upon your consciousness. Or, you may find yourself bored and wanting to leave. Either way, I encourage you to leave comments and thoughts. Consider this a reflective pool where each drop of water reflects a different perspective of the world around it. Come and go as you please, add your own tears to the pool if you feel so inclined, or just take a moment to appreciate a perspective which may be different from your own.

Eternity can be found in a drop of water, and it takes even less than that to drown the universe.

Opening Wounds – What Father’s Day Means to Me


It’s heartwarming to see all the posts of people sharing special moments with their fathers on this day, or remembering with fondness the moments they’ve shared in the past. I still struggle, though, to not feel a twinge of bitterness and to keep away the pull of sadness on days like this. As you know, I did not, and do not, have a father I can, in good conscience, celebrate. For me, father’s day is a reminder of the darkness of an abusive home. It is a reminder of tears shed at every hour of the day, and of the screams that still sometimes echo in my dreams.

I’ve worked hard to come to a place where things like this don’t affect me as much, but more than I’d like to admit, I’m not completely there yet. For me, father’s day opens many wounds that are still fighting to heal. Each year, I find myself combing through my memories is desperate search of some bright frame in the storyboard of my relationship with my parents. Each year, I return from my search empty handed. Instead, I find myself slipping back into the emotional and mental rhythms that I’ve worked to free myself from.

I do not intend to bring down anyone who is blessed with happiness on father’s day. You all have a wonderful thing that deserves to be celebrated. It is important, though, to remember those who are not so blessed. It’s important to remember those who struggle to deal with these days, for whatever reason.

While this post is a confession of what this day means to me, it is also a hopeful reminder to all those facing similar situations. It is a recognition that, somewhere, there is someone who shares your experience. There is someone who, without ever having met you, can love you, simply for what you’ve been through. This post is a recognition of undying hope. There is hope that I will be better to my children and my wife. There is hope that I know what mistakes not to make.

There is hope, that one day, I will celebrate father’s day too.



I Wonder

I Wonder

Years drift in the slow
Moonlit tide
I wonder floating below
How I let these years drift by

The shallow surf
Kissing the sparkling sands
Cannot unearth
The secret I have buried with my hands

Here on the night’s shore
I wonder where this all began
Every action that bore
The weight of destiny’s plan

I wade into the whispering waves
Listening to the secrets they have to tell
Here I surrender my worries away
Let myself be carried away by the swell


I gathered a million of my closest friends around me to run blindfolded through the forest. Our goal was to make it to the other side without hitting a tree. None of us did, which is a shame because we were trying to recreate that glorious impossibility of sperm meeting egg.

“You have your facts wrong,” one of my friends said to me.

“This doesn’t realistically recreate anything,” he continued despite my glare.

He was the first one to hit a tree.

Though perhaps justified, it wasn’t funny.

He ended up not being born.

Won’t Get Fooled Again

Tree so soft so spindly
why must you do me so
why must you do to me what
so many of my ancestors have done
to your ancestors
why must you tower

Clouds so white so fleeting
why must you taunt me so
why must you shift so constant
like my dreams like all us mortals
ever wanted
why must you dream

Tree you don’t fool me
you are right where you need to be
Cloud you don’t fool me
you are right here with me

Tinder Date Horror Story – Dating Advice I Can Respect

I don’t normally like dating advice to women from women. Usually, such advice is hateful and antagonistic, rather than actually being empowering. This is because I don’t think people, in general, are self aware enough to provide good constructive advice to others like themselves. As a result, it becomes an “us and them” spew fest.

Every now and then, though, I’ll come across a gem that I think is worth sharing. Amy Young provides advice exactly as it should be provided. She is articulate, intelligent, and really gets to the heart of the issue. She doesn’t respond with antagonism, but instead, responds with an actual understanding of what’s going on. Her understanding translates into an actual plan for how to respond as well.

Call this post male privilege, or whatever you want. I do think I’m in a position to provide constructive relationship advice to men and women alike. I’ve done it for numerous people, and the advice works. I also share great advice other people provide, and Amy Young is definitely one of those people. Her words apply to men and women alike, so watch her video, and learn a little something.

Real Estate

Beautiful and bright my dream is of the world and me in my front yard building an igloo

We chat about the significance of igloos   how eskimos had all those words for snow   we know we have a home with a fireplace to sleep in but this   this is the pursuit of real estate

Not everyone can pack snow or carve out windows some people just cheer me on or bring glasses of water   a few build a 10 foot tall snowman then a second for the sake of loneliness

Don’t get me wrong I’m not so terribly self-centered that I think it’s my igloo   it’s ours by nature of lateral construction but it feels like you’re helping me not the other way around

See I’m trying my best not to
into throwing snowballs at you or browsing Facebook and you’re helping merely by showing how one block at a time can make a home   night is quickly falling   we’re almost

I don’t know what happens once the igloo’s done I suppose we’ll live in it or it’ll melt depending on our latitude but the important thing is we accomplished something
right guys!

We crawl inside and light a joint and stare at each other’s flickering faces as the last of the evening fades behind dark clouds Wisps of necessity spiral around our heads the necessity of these structures weighs heavy on us like the rattle of Boreas’ breath reminding us no matter our accomplishment or failures there’s always death   To take comfort in death is no small feat to take
comfort in life is monumental   We don’t mind it if we can
use our snow days creatively are given the freedom
to learn what we must learn how to live   The
igloo of the Inuit was no luxury the igloo of
ours was no joke or frivolous pursuit
the igloo of Nanook provides


The important thing is that you helped
me   we each felt that terrible
beautiful pull of heart
strings that let
us know we
were onto
Life even
though we
simply built an
igloo   an igloo just as
meaningless and crucial as poetry

Can You Do Me A Favor? – Thirty Poems in Thirty Days #30

If you’d like to read more of my work, check out my poetry ebook here on amazon.

Can You Do Me A Favor

Don’t tell anyone she said
Whispered into the howling winds
I sat quietly
Waiting for the night’s retort
None came

We wept together silently
Shadows dancing and intertwining
Cast like marionettes on the cold concrete
The strangest comfort
Found in a conversation with a familiar stranger

Ice settled into our hearts
The warmest chill
Pierced the silence
Of that infinite moment
That infinite understanding

Minutes bled seamlessly
Into hours of the universe
Lost in the infinite expanse
Of emotions and thoughts
Traveling through the voids in our hearts

In that moment
We found a haunting peace
That stayed with us forever
Carrying us through the darkness
Into the dawn that we hoped lay ahead

The dawn that never came
A sunrise that betrayed us
I realize now as I stand
Upon the cliff
Of your final breath

There will be no respite
From those promises we’ve made
There will be no birds singing
As bright rays cascade into our hearts
There will be only shadows

Like marionettes
Cast upon the cold concrete

By an unforgiving twilight