A poetic tragedy

Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Pressure builds inside his choking heart,
Simple things impossible through filtered sight.
Tearing wilted sanity apart,
The starving beast snapping and holding tight.

Chains pull taut around the creature’s neck.
It snarls and whimpers holding to its head.
Slinking back beneath the lower deck,
Its dark and lonely corner is his bed.

How did this situation come about?
And when if ever will it truly end?
Questions flood his consciousness with doubt.
Answers won’t console him like a friend.

Patience of a younger man erodes.
A maniac is lurking in his skin. …


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I can’t write.

There are too many distractions.
Every time I get going, somebody’s in my way.
They need food. They need attention.
They need to tear off a piece of me, chew it down to rinds, then come back for more interruption when I’m finally settled in again.

I don’t feel like writing.

There’s too much competition.
The best and brightest are drilling away, killing it out there.
They get at it every day, relentlessly working their craft.
I’m here walking in circles, bumping into walls, recalculating, then repeating the process in a vague approximation of forward momentum.

I…


The deal I made to drink another day

Photo by Edward Franklin on Unsplash

When I was younger, hard liquor had me blacking out every weekend. People used to ask me what it’s like to blackout, to which I would ask, “What’s it like not to?”

It was bad.

Whenever someone started singing that damn Lil’ John song “Shots,” it was the beginning of the end of my ability to form new memories for the rest of the night.

So, after getting arrested one night for wielding a samurai sword on two police officers, I decided to stop taking shots. The funny thing is, it actually worked. I never blacked out again after that…


Some tips for parenting peacefully

Photo by Eric Heininger on Unsplash

“Get down from there. NOW!”

Imagine if someone talked to you that way. Would you just lower your eyes and comply? Chances are you would reject this person and rebel against their wishes.

A common confusion with regards to communicating with children is that we tend to forget they’re human beings. We typically take the time to be courteous and respectful to other adults, but when talking to kids, it’s like all those social conventions go right out the window.

We have power and authority over children, and when they’re “misbehaving”, we tend to use that power as an efficient…


Am I halfway done, or just getting started?

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

It took me a while to get to this point, and now that I’m here, I’m surprised at how unpredictable this moment turned out to be. When I wrote the ending, I told everyone I knew that “I finished my first draft!” Many congratulations gave me hope and motivation. How proud I was. It was like I had already completed the book and hit the publish button.

But it didn’t take long before I realized that my story felt all wrong.

First of all, it’s too short. I was aiming for 60,000 words. My draft is 45k. Now, this isn’t…


Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Before I even leave the house, I need to be sure to grab the Purell (never leave home (anymore) without it). Then, when I arrive, I need to fight the urge to park away from all the other cars. When I find a spot that’s a respectively sane distance away, I take a steadying breath and hop out of the vehicle. My subconscious mind feels like it’s screaming Alpha Team GO GO GO!

I scan the eyes of all those coming in and out, trying to look neutral. …


Photo by Emily Reimer on Unsplash

With each passing day, it’s looking more like the opening chapter to Stephen King’s The Stand out there. At first, the Coronavirus seemed like a far away illness that hardly even registered in my mind. But now, just a couple months later, it’s reached my area all the way up here near the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

How did all this happen? I’ve heard reports claiming it had been anything from escaped bio-engineered germs, to bat soup. …


Simulated Warfare Part 1

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

She opened her eyes and saw the world through the heads up display of her visor. Inside the launch bay, her and Tysen waited for the bulkhead door to open. They checked their weapons and armor, fastening and tightening, racking a round and counting magazines. The lights on either side of the bay door began to spin to the rhythmic buzzing alarm that warned them it was go time.

A boom and a hiss gave out before the hydraulics lowered the bottom half, then raised the top half of the massive metal doorway. As they slowly lumbered open, Cydney and…

Brian Relay

Aspiring novelist/director/podcaster/spiritual guru/normal person

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store