for Tootles

Hey guys! Long time no post, I know. There’s a reason for that: it takes me forever to make a lyric video. So, I’m going to kind of crash test something a little different with this post: I’ve just gone and used my cell phone to record it.  Not having to manually add the lyrics or split the frames so the words and typing match saves a LOT of time, so I think I may be able to actually get new poems to you when they’re new this way.

I know, some of you are thinking ‘why not just type them, then’. BECAUUUSSSEEE guys, Poetry is an aural tradition. It’s meant to be heard. It’s at it’s best when it’s heard (unless we’re talking visual styles of poetry, which is an entirely different subject), and I am very much a proponent of that.  I do include the words of the poems below the videos because I know that not everyone can just turn on a video and watch or listen along all the time. Heck, I can’t do it all the time, when I’m being sneaky at work, so I get it, and leave the poem below all of my videos here for those of you who watching a video would be a significant inconvenience.  Even so, since I believe strongly that poems are meant to be heard, for me, removing the audio/video aspect of the poem means there’s really no point in posting it at all.

SO, this morning I decided to give this a quick test drive. I’m using my cell phone in the video because it actually has a better camera than my laptop, and a better camera than the one I bought because the camera on my laptop is atrocious. The lighting in my house is poor, so both leave things kind of grainy.  You will see the camera shifting around, as it’s in my hand, and I gesticulate. If I decide to keep doing it this way, I will invest in and/or invent some kind of recording stand and see if I can find better lighting anywhere in my house to record by.

Anyway! Without further adieu! A new poem!

The title of this piece is inspired by a little old man in the movie Hook (starring Robin Williams), named Tootles, who lost his marbles. You don’t need that information to follow the poem, but the title makes no sense if I don’t tell you.

for Tootles

No one ever takes it seriously

when you lose something

so intangible that it takes physical form

in the slump of your shoulders,

the tension in your neck,

the way your fingers twitch like they’re grasping for something you know isn’t there,

but still remember so clearly that you reach for its ghost when your mind wanders,

and all you can say is ‘I’ve lost my marbles’,

because not saying it is worse than admitting:

‘something isn’t right, and I don’t know how to fix it.’

It’s okay.

I understand.

Sometimes, the world turns a little gray,

like you’ve made a wrong turn down a dark alley

and the only way out is back the way you came.

But, you’ve grown, and the walls have closed in.

The path is smaller than you remember it, full of hazards.

What if you bang your head on a low ceiling?

What if someone sees? What if no one notices?

Which would be worse?

And, is the thing you’re looking for really worth that uncertainty?

What if you find it, and it’s not?

What if you never find it at all?

It can become paralyzing:

How the things we lose always start off as the things we set aside for later.

Then, later never comes.

All I want out of life

are the things I’ve squirrled away for safe-keeping and forgotten where to find.

Now, I’m looking.

Trying to navigate, to excavate, to find my way through.

And, I know it’s the same for you.

I know it’s the same for you.

5 thoughts on “for Tootles

  1. Your meter and phrasing remind me of when Neil Gaiman read his poem, Instructions, aloud at this signing my sister & my wife attended.


    1. I’m familiar with his work sort of in passing, but I don’t think I’ve heard much, if any, of his poetry. I just finished reading one of his older novels last month, and I’ve heard some of his short stories, been a fan of some films and comic projects he was involved in. Have friends who are big fans, for sure. I like his stuff, but mostly I’ve done a lot of finding out after the fact that something I liked was one of his projects. Definitely a fan of his wife’s, and have been sort of casually looking into his novels. All of my go-to authors have passed in recent years, so I have a few of his on my to do (eventually) list.

      I’ll have to look up that poem later.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve read Sandman, and 1-2 of his short stories. Both of my sisters, my brother and my wife have read a ton of his stuff, as have some of my friends. I did really like this story he wrote in Shadows Over Baker Street that crossed Sherlock Holmes with the Cthulhu mythos. He really got the essence of both universes down right and crossbred them in a believable and innovative way.

        I don’t have enough time these days to go through novels. Sometimes, I read graphic novels or short stories when I’m letting my head cool off at night, but its not very frequent anymore.

        I only have a passing familiarity with his wife. I know people who are fans of her work, and my wife knows some people who lived with her – I think in Brooklyn – before she started making money. They didn’t have a good opinion of her because of how she treated people, but I can’t remember the details.

        And, yeah, I’ve seen a bunch of authors and musicians pass in the last 5 years or so. Plus, a lot that I read are from the late 19th century and early 20th, so there’s that. 😉


      2. I read the first GN of Sandman, and was a fan of Books of Magic, which he was involved in. Also love the Stardust film, which is based on one of his novels, so want to read that. And he’s involved in a lot of stop motion stuff, like Coraline, so I keep just happening across his work mostly by accident. I just read Neverwhere, which has been on my shelf for like 5 years.

        I read novels on my lunch break, so 15-20 mins at a time, but I prefer the depth that shorts (by necessity) lack.

        I read a lot of long dead authors, too. The big voices in sci-fi have been aging out, yeah. And, Cancer has stole a lot of greats. I’m still sad there will never be another Sara Douglass epic.

        I know AP has gotten a lot of shit about not paying volunteers. Justified or not, I’m not about to pass judgement on things I am not personally involved with and have only second and third and fortieth hand information to go by, really. I’m a fan of her work. I don’t think having an opinion of her as a person one way or the other directly affects that, but she’s definitely one people seem to either love or loathe. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground of opinion where she’s concerned, which is bizarre to me. I think the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle ground.


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