David Blake

David Blake is an educator, administrative director, and poet from San Bernardino, CA. Soon to be published in DREICH Magazine, David is a writer who strives to improve his craft through avid participation in local writing groups within the Inland Empire. His poetry centers around self understanding through ruminating on the struggles one faces by living with mental illnesses. Outside of writing, David travels, spends time in nature, and creates music with his band Good Will, Get Better.

Blue all over

Pushcart Nominee 2022

Boating dock bassinet.
I lay on my back, and watch the stars
slowly skewer the hues.
The moon drains the ocean gray
as she spat seeds of doubt
upon my skin
and I feel blue all over.

The northwest winter reaches through me
ringing in the murky gray.
An empty stomach reminder to tell myself to control
the things I can.
Monochrome memories drift from its depths.
She holds my head and shakes it
like a magic eight ball,
aching for answers.

My reply is no
I did not eat dinner.
A voice unheard to a fork full of food held above my head.
It was my fault that the door was locked and
I had to wait outside.
You have every right not to trust me with a key
since six years ago I forgot to wipe down the counter
when I was home alone.
I’ll do better next time.
Ask again later
for the response I want.
and thank you for an indoor voice.
Tonight I could hear you over the tremors.
Your eyes told stories of cracked lamp shades and broken bulbs.
As I see it, yes
I wince when I walk into your house.
Home isn’t where my heart is, or
where I feel the safest.
It is where I sleep most nights.

But blue is the warm summer sky,
the three day old muffin,
the same mechanical pencil that graduated with me,
the check book that somehow held more money than I ever seen;
blue is the comforting predictability of rage.
Glass shatters at the same decibel as your demands.
Knowing how to navigate through a storm is not the same thing as stability.

Blue is the the same coast from a thousand miles away,
and the knowledge that no matter how far I swim there will always be a tether;
a knot of anxiety clogging my arteries
and making my heart beat thick like a bass drum.
Blue is the ocean air that wraps around me like a blanket-
a longing for a common form of comfort-
and I would not wish it on anyone.

I stare up at the skewered sky
as the cold forces me inside
and I feel blue all over.


After our first kiss you asked for another
like when you were young and the scars on your knee weren’t lessons
but stories to astound your friends as you try and comprehend
how cool you can be when you jump off your roof and onto your brother’s trampoline.
Now you won’t go to bed without asking for another
until your lips are sore and stained by mine,
a quiet contentment that whispers warnings and
begs you not disregard me when I say you could do better.

I envy how you look at my reflection with awe while we get dressed,
as if its laugh isn’t sovereign and separate.
How you analyze every detail through lips
to remember the eccentricity of every bump
in a body I can recognize but choose to look away
because it’s easier to forget the mole on my chin when I can’t see it.

You once said there are few things more beautiful than sunflowers
so I spent all night decorating our room with them
only to have you replace them with pictures of me and
we laughed about our room becoming your garden
as you watered them with adulation so intently that
I don’t think their smiles could ever die.

And you’re the Peoplemover we rode at Disneyworld
that blissfully progressed us forward
as you pointed out every pivot with admiration,
not slowing to dwell on the details I grew to leave behind and
only to focus on the love I learned to speak
instead of avoiding photographs and expectations
because you showed me so much love I learned to love myself.


Chin to the ground
our eyes peer through the atomic emerald forest;
analyzing the earwigs as they scurry between the blades.


We turn to the sunlight between the leaves of the oak,
illuminating a strand of blacktop that peaks between the branches.
A hummingbird hovers just above, contemplating its next direction.


The skyline is a gray mixture of smog and industry.
Torn apart by the fury of the sun.
We look onward toward an empty lot of endless possibility.


I see the sun revolve around the Earth.
Too scared to make a move
for fear of starting over.


The stars celebrate a victory every morning.
The battle has been won
but our war rages on.


My skin itches on the grass
irritated by what lies within.
Five fingers slowly raised and lowered
to be laced within mine.
An apparition of honesty
slows down time to bring me in