A letter I wrote my brother in 2001 when he was entering junior high school


So, today my brother texted me that he found a letter I had written him in 2001. I promptly asked him to show me and he showed me photos of a four-page letter I had written him after he had graduated elementary school and was preparing to go to junior high. I just wanted to give a little background. I dropped out of high school in 1999. 2001 was supposed to be the year I graduated (I did from a night school and started college in the fall). I had a very hard time in junior high and high school. I wanted to share this with you because I thought it was really sweet and it made my day. My brother is exactly five years and eleven months younger than me. He is a math teacher now and has traveled and lived all over the world. I love him very much.


Dear Pauly,

The other day I looked through your 6th grade yearbook and read your quote and your choice to be a writer My heart swelled with pride. I am so proud of you and I think of you as one of my most favorite people I can’t believe you are going into the Junior High School. I feel as if it is my duty to give you some pointers as a big sister on what to expect in your years to come. I never had anyone to tell me anything about the rough road of adolescence. Anywho, Junior High is SO different, you will meet many new people, Some will be nice and some won’t be so pleasant. Don’t be surprised if some of your friends change and turn into completely different people. Some people are very ignorant and they want to be “cool” but pauly, being cool is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Don’t let anyone put you down. No matter how harsh their words, I hope you are intelligent enough to know that in a year’s time their opinion will mean nothing. Whatever you do, do not get into any fights! I know you can kick anyone’s ass, but it is not worth it. If you know inside you are smart and confident enough to just walk away, then you have beaten them with intellect! Soon you will begin to see how large and beautiful life really is, and you may stumble upon some confusion about yourself, your friends and your family If you have any questions about anything come to me and I will explain I know you don’t like homework (who does?) but in JH that’s all there is! If you do your homework you pass with flying colors…

Be friendly to the new people you meet and if anything challenges you just remain confident and don’t let anyone see you are afraid. This summer ahead of you will surely be one of the best you will ever have. I hope you keep on writing, you can read any of my books whenever you want. I have many on all sorts of writing and poetry and so on. I advise you to keep a journal. I have since 5th grade. You don’t have to tell anyone you have one. (I dunno it might be sissy for a boy to keep a diary) Just Joshin) Anywho, just everyday write down the thoughts you thunk and the problems and triumphs you go through. Also, I know you read a lot already but keep it up! I am so proud of you, you turned out to be an allright kid.

I wish you the best of luck!

Also the best advice I can give you is:

Follow your own path

If you think something is right and everyone else is saying something else. Don’t listen to them. You and I are very smart people. It is hard sometimes to get through to others about your ideas. Don’t worry about it. Someday they will understand.

                                      Your Wonderful Sister,


All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men. For they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.

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We will wake up on a freezing Spring morning
waiting for the light to hit
the dangling prism hanging from your skylight.

Minuscule crystals of Vermont ice will cake
around the corners of the window
and the thin yellow sun will rise behind the lake.

We are buried under quilted layers of warmth.
Patches of exhausted reds and yellows,
little white lily of the valley blossoms.

Soon – you will leave to go to work.
I will write, cook and wait. The sun will set before you come home.

When you return, you will jump on the bed, jump on me.
I will laugh even though I know you are ruining the springs.
(which you will eventually)

Returning to bed, warm under the patches of
Goldenrod, cinnamon, dried up-side-down roses.

And then so much will happen to us.
Years will go by. We will save a life.
Although, we will lose many.
The mornings under the skylight will end.
The evenings will get shorter,
and then grow to unbelievable lengths of darkness.

At night we will always curl together like two baby bunnies
Hugging in a nutmeg-colored burrow
Under the layers of dead grass, five months of snow
And the thin yellow sun.


Crying became obsolete
because there was nothing
tangible left to lose.

Your death was prevented
and your life extended
as a program running
within a cyborg.

They affixed glass eyeballs
with cameras enclosed
with wire lacing
into the remains of
your brain.

Your glass eyes
blinking fresh green light
behind them
could identify
the grass-bare path
which leads to your garden
full of hydrangeas and roses.

The breakdown was inevitable:
The loss of technology,
the supposed end of humanity.

People finally experienced
grief and fear
as the programs built inside
cyborgs stopped running.

Sudden clicks and breaks
creating quick death or
long, drawn out pain.

An overwhelming realisation
of existence

Flailing and failing
to grasp the fleeting,
resulting in gentle fading of
what they used to call


escaping your fingers
in great pulling wisps.

This is what you’ve missed
and what
– in a quick few seconds –
breathe out and lose.

Two Dogs in a Boat

Before the two dogs get in the boat
we have to let him bail the water.
Which he does, careful and calmly.
Then we will lead the two dogs in
one after another and we
will watch them sit together
floating and watching us,
watching the waves sweep
under the rowboat, gentle
and inevitable,
a familiar rhythm for all of us.


Get up! Put on some pants and go outside,
The sun is still up; there will be darkness soon.
“But, the world is frightful I’d rather hide.”

You are wasting your time, you’ve lost your pride.
Life shouldn’t be punctuated by your inevitable doom.
“I don’t want to put on pants and go outside.”

They might be out there, you won’t find them inside.
Winter is cold, cruel but you can’t wait til June.
“But, my love is spiteful I’d rather hide.”

You are wasting your youth, looks and mind,
by lying in bed and crying past noon.
“I won’t put on some pants and go outside.”

Your friends and your family, they’ll worry you died;
being reclusive and absorbed in your gloom.
“Depression can be delightful, I’d rather hide.”

Please wake up! You can’t sleep through the ride,
Trapping yourself in your mind, in this room.
“I can’t put on some pants and go outside,
To this sorrow I am rightful, please let me hide.”