Intentional Stuttering Episode Two

Listen to me read and discuss “Red Stuff” on episode two of Intentional Stuttering With Mike Bonikowsky, if that sounds like something you would enjoy. You can hear it right here.

Sabbath Beach

I could see that you were tired

Though I knew that you would weep

I took you from your mother

To walk with you and make you sleep.


You break on me like a wave

Pitched between your grief and fury

Wailing out your love for her

Howling your hate for me.


Against your will I rock you

To the sound the breakers make

Cradle all your love and hate

Up the shore of this great lake.


I walk all your weeping out

Until you are sleeping in

The hollow place between my

Aching shoulder and my chin.


Just another year or two

And then I will not be strong

Enough to carry you

For so far or for so long.


Just another year or two

And then I won’t be able

To force you to take your rest

Sabbath bed or banquet table


And I fear that no one will

And I fear therefore you won’t

As I find that I cannot

And as then I find I don’t.

The Podcast Is Here!

I’m super excited to announce that my poems will be forming the basis of a podcast. “Intentional Stuttering with Mike Bonikowsky”, a spinoff of the Geek Orthodox podcast, will have new episodes every other Sunday. I’ll take one of my poems and answer a series of questions about it, and discuss whatever should arise. You can listen to the first episode, “Canis Familiaris” here!

If you would like to request a poem, or have any questions or comments or furious interjections, email my producers at



Lay me down beneath the earth,

And I won’t care if I’m buried

Or sown,

So long as your hands hold the shovel.


Pour the rain down on me,

And I won’t care if I’m baptized

Or drowned,

So long as your hands hold me under.


Cut me down when harvest comes,

Be it for the burning

Or the barn,

So long as your hands gather me.

Canis Familiaris

Come on, wolf, and let us play

Though all my days you’ve stalked me

Through every hour of my life

Down every hall and highway.


Come let us race and chase and

Roll and tumble intertwined

I cannot escape you, and

You cannot devour me.


Come on, wolf, and chase me home

To where the lion and the lamb,

Mental illness and the man

Lie down in peace together.

Casa Padre

I hear the children of the earth
Call out for their Father
For the fathers of the earth
Are not what they should be.

Come back to your Father
Oh you fathers of the earth
Let Him teach you once again
What it means to be a child.

Red Stuff

Down by the river, my little son

Is snapping twigs and tossing them

To see the runoff carry them away.

I watch until my mind goes wandering.


“What’s that red stuff?” I hear him say.

I look down, absently, to see

His white star-fingers staining red

With a thing he has no word for.


He is not afraid to touch and taste it.

The pain has not yet arrived.

But I see the moment when it does

And I watch it change his face.


When tears are dried and wound is bound

I teach him the word for it –

But the meaning of the word is half

The meaning of the world


And I won’t teach him that today.