Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Stay Weird and Keep Writing

....which is not a motto or creed but the name of a poetry journal
that recently published a batch of my stuff....they can be read and ridiculed

Friday, September 2, 2016

poem at Your One Phone Call

couldn't even stay away a week.
I have a new never on WineDrunk SideWalk poem over
at Your One Phone Call

Monday, August 29, 2016

the last poem of the day 08.29.16

Well…we’ve come to the end of it, folks. The true and honest official end to WineDrunk SideWalk. Today’s post is going to be the final “poem of the day” post for the blog. I will maintain WineDrunk until the end of 2016, and post links when poems and short stories (should I ever write one again) get published in a journal or zine or whatever people call these literary dumping grounds these days. I do plan on coming back in 2017 with a new blog and I will post a link to that as well, thus officially ending good ol’ WineDrunk SideWalk 1.0 for good. I’m also planning to start putting out my own poetry books, hopefully by my 43rd birthday in April, as well as maybe doing an online or print poetry journal to showcase other writers. I started taking photographs this year, not very good as of now, but I may try doing something with that as well.

I started this blog in 2008 as….hell, I don’t know. If you go back 8 years I have picture and a blog post about Sarah Palin for Christ’ sake. But I soon developed WineDrunk into a poetry site, mostly to keep me writing regularly. I think I’ve achieved that. And it’s been really wonderful to have had people read and comment on the blog. I think of WineDrunk as a fine piece of digital art. But this year I’ve gotten rather restless with the whole thing. Concentrating on writing a novel while revising another novel lead to a lot of frustration on my part in having to post a poem daily and to try and have that poem at least maintain some quality, some shred of artistic value. I don’t think I failed but, more often than not, I was rather disappointed by a lot of what I put up on the blog in 2016. I don’t take disappointment easy and I don’t want to post poems that I’m not at least somewhat proud of. So I made the decision to stop the blog in order to work closer on the fiction and to give the poetry the actual time it deserves. Will it make me a better writer? I don’t know.

Again…I thank all of you who have read the blog and have participated in this little art experiment of mine. I hope when the time comes you’ll follow me along to the next adventure, and I can follow you along as well.


so here's to getting a little WineDrunk one last time.

needing a job

it was buffalo
and i hadn’t worked in over a month
and all i did was sit in the apartment
and eat bologna sandwiches and drink labatt beer
when my wife got home from her job
i was sort of drunk
my wife always managed to find a job first
in whatever city we moved to
it was always me sitting at home
eating cold cuts and drinking beer
or going to temp agencies
or filling out applications in big box stores
always me needing a job
and it was buffalo in may
but it felt like march outside
but i walked the city looking for work anyway
i drove up its empty drags searching for help wanted
and there were no jobs at the temp agencies
and the big box stores weren’t hiring
neither were the non-profits and the cold offices
it looked like it was going to snow in may
and i thought at least that would be something
i found this job in a bath and shower warehouse
and i sat in front of bald man
who was doing interviews
and he had a goatee because he was bald
and he asked me if i wanted to work in the warehouse
as if he and i had been searching for each other
our whole lives
and he showed me pictures of the team
on their kayaking trips
he said, do you like to kayak?
and i had no answer for that
he said, just one thing,
on your resume it says you write
he said, what kind of writing do you do?
the occasional wrong-headed, misguided rant
on someone’s blog, i said
and when he didn’t laugh at that i said
poetry…and fiction
he said, hmmmm….well….i really want to hire you
but what happens if you write a novel?
will you just up and quit?
and i wanted to tell him how hard it was to write a novel
how much harder it was to get a novel published
i wanted to talk to the bath and shower warehouse man
about literary agents and editors
and marketing and the whole whoring business of writing
but instead i just looked around the office
and said, i need a job
because my wife and i were on our third city
in as many years
because i was getting fat sitting alone at home
eating bologna sandwiches and drinking
all of that beer
because a savings account can only go so far
and the bills were due and the landlord wanted rent
the warehouse guy said you’re hired
and i told him great
even though i hoped to drive the car
over one of those highway embankments on the way home
he showed me the warehouse
it was full of bath and shower parts
and people walking around looking like they’d
needed a job at one point in their lives
and this was the best that they’d gotten
for being born against their will
the bald, goateed warehouse man handed me paperwork
and i walked out of the squat building like a zombie
and i sat in the car and watched the sun droop in the sky
i thought about spending the next thirty years in there
and by some dark magic i didn’t drive over an embankment
but instead went home to where my wife
was already back from work
making spaghetti and drinking a labatt blue
and i kissed her on the lips
and got a labatt blue out of the fridge
and i sat at the kitchen table looking at the paperwork
as food was being cooked
and my stomach rumbled
and outside our little kitchen window
i swear on christ’s wooden cross
i saw a snowflake fall.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

poem of the day 08.25.16

american poem

so many flags little time

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

poem of the day 08.24.16

ode to the loud guy on the B4 bus

eighteen months
i haven’t had to take this bus home

now, i don’t want to suggest
that things should get better over time

life is cyclical

some mornings i get the feeling
that we’re slipping slowly back
into some new kind of dark age

but do you really have to shout to your friend
about going to dinner at buffalo wild wings?

i don’t want to get into your cuisine choices
but the man is sitting right next to you

at best you need only talk above a whisper

why do we all have to know how much you enjoyed
your screamin’ nacho burger and buffalo chips?

i’m not trying to suggest
that what i’m doing on here is better
than what you are trying to do

though i am reading chuck kinder
poems about richard brautigan

by the looks of us we’re both trying to go home
from our fucking jobs

i just don’t care that target has all their star wars shit on sale
and how cheap the batman/superman blu-ray combo is

even if i did like the film

or that the target is right next door to buffalo wild wings

which was good because you really
needed the bathroom after that meal

i’m sure the other two dozen people on the B4 bus
don’t give a shit either

but it doesn’t matter to you, does it?

doesn’t matter that the bus driver had
to make an announcement telling you to shut the hell up

you didn’t even hear him

just went right on babbling about bowel movements
and stars wars and batman and target
and screamin’ nacho burgers and buffalo chips

i don’t want to say that there was a genuine sigh of relief
when you got off at thirteenth avenue

i’ll just say the bus got a ton quieter
and the driver no longer looked like 
he wanted to careen the bus into a wall

that is, at least until sixth avenue
when some asshole teenage girl got on the bus
blasting taylor swift songs from her smartphone

singing off-key for everyone

like she thought she was
going to be america’s next big shit.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

poem of the day 08.23.16

an artist

matty doesn’t like
to be called an artist
don’t call me that! he shouts
markers in hand
a page full of rockets
and robots and monsters
the other kids say
but you are an artist
looking down at their lackluster flowers
and dogs and cats and flaming suns
and other scrawled banalities
matty says, stop it!
like they’re calling him fat
or a geek or a loser
i’m not an artist!
even the adults get into the act
oh, but look how good your rocket looks!
look at how real the airplane is
adults who have squandered their lives
in public schools, in colleges, in traffic
in conversations that are circular and go nowhere
at jobs that have belittled and bedeviled them
at every turn
who waste days online in social networks
or buying things that they don’t need
just to satiate the hunger of a failed existence
adults who would stone an artist
above the age of eighteen just for sport
because all beauty has been sucked out of them
you are an artist! they tell matty
much to his chagrin
pestering him about his talent
about having to do something with his talent
until he slams down the marker
tosses the crayolas in a pile
rips up his latest masterpiece
and throws it in the trash
before storming off into the afternoon
because matty already knows 
that people are liars
he knows what a load of horseshit
being called an artist in america
really is.