Wednesday, June 30, 2010

poem of the day 06.30.10

at jack’s grave

i always feel
like i just missed you
if we go to one of the houses
that you lived in
the apartment where you wrote
on the road
if we find one of your old
frisco or new york city haunts
i like to think
that we’ve just missed you
that you were just at the bar
in a red flannel
with a notebook on the table
shouting, red faced
talking brilliant gabby-gook
pushing your black hair back
on that french-canadian head of yours
piercing the room with your sad eyes
or maybe you’re taking a piss
and i think that i’ll just sit here
and wait eternal
restful and content
like walking down your shrouded streets
on october nights
daydreaming the soul of the nation
jack, i know i’m being a child when i do this
i’m being hopeful in my own way
but it’s been forty-one years
and the heavens haven’t spit you
back to us yet
i’m laying down next to your grave
in hot lowell, massachusetts
my brother watching the blue sky
my wife and sister-in-law
snapping pictures of me
coming here has taken me too long
it’s taken me thousands of miles
to find myself and this piece of home
i am helping ally run paper and pencils
over your name to preserve it
but i don’t know where i’m going
to hang it in my room
we are fixing the debris around your grave
adjusting a small maroon buddha
putting the cigarettes and joints
back into perfect rows
leaving tickets to paris subways
and poems given to us by friends
we no longer have
at the base of the faded granite
you honored life
and i finally have to accept that you are gone
i am thinking of roads and rivers
of mighty veins stretching down the back of america
spools of highway and interstate
of apple pie in diners that no longer exist
like lowell isn’t really a mill town anymore, jack
like america isn’t what you painted her to be
i’m at the end of the illusion
but it’s all right
you and i
we’ve always been good at pulling the wool
over our eyes
seeing what we want to see
it helps paint the picture
it always helped us to vomit out the words
those precious words, jack
our gospel
those heavenly, pooh-bear, holy words
are what it always came down to
despite the reality
what it still comes down to
those rocket words that you could never hold
in for too long
the ones i’m suddenly finding hard to spill out
on this hot, brooklyn morning in late june
forever your disciple
mosquito bites from a new hampshire carnival
sprouting up all over my body
another morning in america aching over the ocean
like a poem
like a novel whose first words hit your tongue
then unravel on into the infinite

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

poem of the day 06.29.10

the most miserable place in the world

high noon
on the bus
ninety-degree heat
packs of pre-teen kids
last day of school
stinking it up with sweat and hormones
boys talking big bullshit about baseball games
in parks in lousy bensonhurst
using the straphanger poles
to do chin-ups
the girls, barely dressed, slapping each other
their hands full of gadgets
shaking their chests to music
keeping one eye on their reflections
in the window
young asian kids blasting video game noise
into the vacuum of new york city public transit
laughing, all of them, laughing
because they rule the world
the bus driver pulling over
yelling
refusing to move the bus down the sun-soaked avenue
unless he gets some peace and respect
at least he hasn’t been laid off
at least his route is still intact
old women who haven’t died in this heat
panting for seats on the bus
arguing
competing for sympathy over surgeries
and whose cancer is worse
making fans with their wrinkled hands
one guy moving from seat to seat
sweating bullets in the faint air conditioning
laughing like a lunatic
made mad in the heat
when someone says out loud
new york city is the most miserable fucking place
in the world
to be in the summer
and nobody says anything back
because we all know that it’s true.

Monday, June 28, 2010

poem of the day 06.28.10

longest day of the year

i search for you
in the purple dawn

find your ass facing me

begin to rub
until you moan

grab your tits and squeeze

let my hand
run the length of you

going between your legs

working at you
until you moan
and are wet

poke my cock
near your ass

pull the underwear down
on both of us

find sopping joy

stick it in
and ride until we both come
glorious starbursts
and moonlight

thinking that should hold us
on a day like this

where the sun fails to die
and everyone else
goes to the beach
in the soupy air.

Friday, June 25, 2010

poem of the day 06.25.10

board of directors

he was passed out
she was jumping around
on his lap
a black g-string
little silver pasties
on her tits

she looks back
at the group of them
“he’s passed out,”
she says
“how long do you
want me to keep doing this?”

“until you’re done,” they tell her

“i’m done now.”

one of the guys gives her
another forty dollars
“give him another one,”
he says.

“okay,” she says,
beginning to gyrate again
to the bad metal music

he has his head back
his eyes closed
his mouth wide open
and in two weeks
he’s going to be someone’s husband

“but you’re just wasting
your money.”

“that’s fine,” they tell her
“we’ll worry about the cost.
you just do your job.”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

poem of the day 06.24.10

american woman

fake tan
abomination
sauntering
down the hot street
dyed hair streaked
in blonde clumps
with your brown roots
showing
bra-less
bright orange
halter top queen
tits poking infinity
big ass like
a strawberry
in jeans so tight
you walk
like you got to take
a shit
a lifetime of music
in one hand
a gallon of ice coffee
in the other
sucking poetic porn
on a straw
fingers working overtime
choking on email
and text messages
sunglasses taking
up half of your bored face
daydreaming the beach
and yoga class
oil and blood oozing
between
your fingertips
farting war
on my hooverville
you little tramp
don’t you know how badly
you done
your mother
wrong.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

poem of the day 06.23.10

it wasn’t that bad

feeling horny
and she’s at work
i have no option
but to grab
the village voice
and head to the bathroom

i turn to the back
to the sex ads
i find a picture of a brunette
in a black bikini
her arms in her hair
a “fuck me” look
on her face

that’s the one

i pull the shorts down
take out my cock
and go to work
until god’s glory
is all over my hands
and the restless
feeling is gone

then i look at the ad:

candy
#1 shemale
in town


shit, i think
running my hands under
warm water

sometimes you really
can’t tell.

then i dry my hands
pull up my shorts
turn to the movie section
and see what’s playing this weekend.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

poem of the day 06.22.10

father’s day

i go to the bar
to escape the heat
and have four long drafts
when i get home
i think i’ll call the old man
and see how the day
is treating him

hey, he answers

fucking cell phones, i think
there’s no element of surprise

happy father’s day, i say

thanks! he shouts
he seems too jovial
what’ve you been up to today?

went to the bar, i say
no point in lying
watched baseball and soccer

the bar on a sunday?
you and every old man in america

yes, i answer
and where are you?

your second cousin’s, he says
we got hot dogs and beer
and a swimming pool and the whole works
a good day for beer

where’s mom, i ask
realizing my old man has been
enjoying the beer too much

she’s off playing games, he says

good, i say
because in my head
i’m remembering father’s days
from the past
and independence days
memorial days
labor days
those damned summer holidays
that always started with hot dogs and beer
and swimming
but ended up with my mother crying
counting my old man’s beers
making a show of it
taking the wheel and his keys
when we drove home

she always said that she did it for us
but all i ever remembered was sitting
in the back of the car, seething,
as my brother cried,
thinking that i was never marrying a woman
who counted my beers and burned the day

sounds like a good time, i tell him

pretty good, he says
but it would be better if you and your brother
still lived here

i’m sure it’s fine without us, i say

it’s okay, he says
but you take care, son

you too

and stay out of those bars.

Monday, June 21, 2010

poem of the day 06.21.10

and thus it begins...summer. I'll be in the apartment
until October.


the lunatic

the lunatic
has decided that he’ll only
deal with me now

i’m his go to guy

the lunatic
comes into the job
all the way from long island
he needs to use the phone to call his student
but doesn’t have a cell phone
because he doesn’t believe in them

he asks me if this is weird
i tell him no
it’s hard to believe in something
that connects you to other people

the lunatic
has aspergers and ocd
he stares right through you as he talks
needs a new pen for every page
doesn’t like his forms touched
he tells me that if someone in here
touches his jacket that it’ll end him

the joint is full of people
on a tuesday afternoon

the lunatic
can’t stand his parents anymore, he says
he can’t stand them or his brother
or his brother’s wife, or his aunt
he wants to move out
but can’t part with the money to do so
plus he keeps losing jobs

the lunatic
is too anxious
he calls temp agencies over and over again
this turns them off
he says it’s the aspergers and ocd
i have no cause to doubt him
i’m just curious about how many people
live in that house

the lunatic
asks me if i’d live with my parents
just to save money
i tell him
that i’d live in a cardboard box
before i’d move back home
i’d eat garbage, i say
if i were an attractive man,
i’d probably whore myself out
not to end up back underneath their roof

the lunatic
he doesn’t understand this
but think of all the money you’d save, he says

the lunatic
obviously hates freedom and america

the lunatic
just stands there at the desk
while i’m trying to kill another day here
he seems lost
has nowhere to go
he’s just like the rest of us

he asks me if he can use the phone again
to call his student

i tell him to go ahead
only i can’t believe someone would
let this lunatic tutor their child

the lunatic
was still there when i left the job
who’s going to help me now? he asks
don’t know, i say
then i walk out into the heat of early june
trying to shake him off
trying to shake them all off

it’s too hot for early june, i think

so i start walking toward the bar

Friday, June 18, 2010

poem of the day 06.18.10

this bitter redundant pill

standing outside another
jack kerouac home
this one he lived in from
1943-1949
someone stole the plaque
commemorating this feat of existence
so we go across the street
into the bar where jack used to
put back pints
with neal cassady, allen ginsberg,
and his oedipus complex

we have done this so many times
you and i
visiting these old tombs
from new york to frisco
all over london and paris

we walked until our feet bleed
the history poured out of our souls
taking photos next to fading plaques
and even more opaque memories
drinking in taverns, like this one,
places of legend without the shine

it satisfies for a moment
but it never gets us anywhere

i mean we never
really get to touch the times we’re seeking
we just fester in our own
half-forgotten already
before we even had a chance

i tell you
you know, seeing all of these places is fine
but it’s like swallowing a bitter pill sometimes
knowing that no one will ever do it for you

you look at me like i don’t know
what i’m talking about

i think
that’s good
that’s good

because maybe i don’t know
what i’m talking about either

and once we finish our beers
i promise that i’m going to get myself together
because we need to get on the train
back to brooklyn
because the address for henry miller’s
boyhood home
is burning a hole
in my back pocket.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

NYC Libraries need your help

If you care about public libraries, please do me a favor because my job
and thousands of others are on the line:

Today
is Call In Action Day for NYC libraries. Call 311 and say “Hello, my
name is *****, I believe closing any libraries in NYC is unacceptable
and I’m calling to request the complete restoration of library funding.
Thank you!" Outside of NYC? No problem. Call (212) 639-9675.

the first ten people who email me and say they did this, if you want,
i'll mail you a free copy of my book of poems "The Noose Doesn't Get Any Looser After You Punch Out."


thank you very much.

JG

poem of the day 06.17.10

frank o’hara at the star of india

frank o’hara
is eating tonight
at the star of india restaurant
he went out looking to get
a drink at the cedar tavern
but found it gone
another victim of new york city’s
devil dance with its past
frankie went looking for his bar
but in its place was the star of india
so instead of a whiskey on the rocks
or whatever it was that
frank drank on nights when the poems
wouldn’t come
he found himself
sucking down a cold taj mahal
with his chicken vindaloo
lighting smokes outside
in the muggy curry air
instead of watching pollock
use an ashtray for a urinal
poor frank is splitting nan bread
and an order of cold samosas
with kenneth koch and john ashberry
over at a corner table
they’re listening to a sitar not lady day
and hoping that allen ginsberg doesn’t come in
with drunken kerouac or greg corso
frank o’hara
is eating at the star of india tonight
and there isn’t a goddamned thing
that he can do about it
except maybe go back to the apartment
and write a poem
because the cedar tavern is no more
on university place
and the world will keep spinning toward
oblivion
but don’t feel too bad for frank
he doesn’t seem so upset
he’s having mango ice cream
sharing a coke with you
we’re talking to larry rivers about rachmaninoff
and frank is smiling for a change
he feels good
he knows this place beats
a walk on the beach
dodging seagulls and dune buggies.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

poem of the day 06.15.10

little girl pounding
on the drunk and hungry doorway
to my soul


our favorite burmese place
in the city has been closed
for i don’t know how long
we find this out after getting drunk
in the bar around the corner
we are sad because we’ve shared many
a monumental meal at that place
we take the train back across
the east river
feeling there’s nothing to do
but head toward home
we find an italian restaurant on
3rd avenue
we both have to piss
but i’m a gentlemen so i let
my wife go first while the homosexual waiter
seats us
and asks me about the usa versus england
soccer game
i tell him i always root against america
especially when we’re on the world’s stage
he frowns at me
but then my wife comes back
and i head to the pisser
which is locked
i shake the door, pound, and curse
i want whomever is in there to know
what they’ve done to me
i go into the women’s room
i have no choice
it is a single bathroom, so i’m not
disturbing the natural course of existence
i open up and begin to piss
it feels good
hours of beer running away
like bad memories
when there is a pounding on the door
someone shaking the handle
i think it’s the prick from the men’s room
getting me back
so i start shouting drunken threats as i piss
the piss is taking a long time
but i think i’m going to knock this man out
when i get out of the bathroom
he doesn’t say anything
to my threats
just keeps pounding at the door
shaking the handle
i finish and don’t even wash my hands
i go to the door
unlock it and fling it open
there’s no one there but a little blonde girl
in a brown dress
her eyes like big black diamonds
she looks up at me and smiles
i step aside and she goes into the bathroom
locking the door behind her
you just got lucky kid, i shout
because i have nothing constructive to do
with my anger
when i get back to our seat
my wife is there with the waiter
he still wants to talk soccer
but i feel drunk and hungry and done with the day
i say to my wife
how about some pinot noir
she seems to agree with that
so we order a bottle
and the waiter goes and bothers
somebody else.

Monday, June 14, 2010

poem of the day 06.14.10

bullies and bullshit

he points over his little friend
he tells me that he’s bringing
his 22 year-old brother down here to kick my ass

i want to laugh because it’s so ridiculous
because i’m slowly crawling toward forty
and i still have teenagers threatening to have me beaten up

he reminds me of this group of punks
who used to chase me home from school

they went to public school
i went to catholic school

every day their bus would ride by us on the way home
they would shout insults or throw soda cans out the window
make idle threats from their ripped pleather seats

it was comical in a way

i felt more important in those moments
than i did at any other time in my miserable youth

one day the idea struck me to engage them
when their bus rode by and the middle fingers came out
and the soda cans came sailing over our heads

i decided to give them guys my middle finger
i gave them the breadbasket too
putting both hands at the side of my cock
just pumping away

what a response i got

there must’ve been twenty of them that got off the bus that day

burnout kids with long hair and jean jackets
with shitty bands sewn into the denim

the came at me like an angry mob
shouting and pushing and making idle threats
only the torches were missing

they were ugly kids with ugly rat-haired girlfriends
they said that they were going to kick my ass
but no one threw a punch

twenty guys on one fat kid and his younger brother

they did this for days
getting off the bus and chasing me and my brother home
but nothing ever happened

still my mother had to call the public school

the burnout kids were all dragged into the principal’s office
and told to leave me alone

i was dragged into my principal’s office
and told not to antagonize the public school kids anymore

after that it got quiet

no more insults when their bus came by
no more soda cans flying out the window
just mean stares and a lot of pointing

i still got the finger though

but it just wasn’t the same between all of us

again, he points over his little friend
as he walks down the street on a hot ugly day
i’m going to get my 22 year-old brother
to come down here and kick your ass, he tells me

that’s fine, i say

bring him down
i’ve been missing the good old days
you little motherfucker

and i haven’t given someone the breadbasket in years

Saturday, June 12, 2010

poem of the day 06.12.10

queen of the bar

she’s the queen of the bar again
because he’s home sleeping one off
because he’s not there to tell her how
much she stinks
how she should get off of her ass
and get a job
she’s the queen of the bar and she
can drink all of the beer that she wants
all of the scotch that they won’t usually serve her
when he’s around and keeping watch
she’s happy because some of the bar flunkies
are talking to her again
they’re his friends
it was kind of hard to before
because she’d stabbed him twice in the hand
in a drunken rage
because she’d been coming in on nights
that he worked
to start shit, to empty the bar with her wailing
and screaming
her begging for a shot
but she’s the queen of the bar today
playing old madonna songs
she orders out for a pizza
and when she’s done with it
she gets off of her stool to pass it around
the rest to her subjects
we take it because we are hungry
but none of us are buying the benevolent act
we’ve been through it too many times before
she’s the queen of the bar
and she’ll turn on a dime
she tells the bartender that she wants to
buy everyone a round
then she stops and says, no wait,
i’ll buy him and him and him and her a round
but that’s it
smirking at the ones who aren’t in her good graces tonight
she’s the queen of the bar
queen of warped wood and the scent of stale booze
queen of a jukebox loaded with her favorite songs
queen of another day slipping away in a loveless haze
the queen of the bar
god save the queen.

Friday, June 11, 2010

poem of the day 06.11.10

everything in the coffee

we were immature
had nowhere to go in the city
nothing to do but drive around in cars
waiting on the night to end
we went to a diner along mcknight road
in the northern suburbs
it was where everyone went
we took up a table all night
usually three of us, sometimes a fourth
we drank coffee
and hoped that the high school girls
at the tables surrounding us were taking notice
notice of what?
guys in college not old enough to get beer
guys with jobs who couldn’t score in the world
driving around aimlessly
doing what they were getting tired of doing
on a saturday night
driving around killing american hours
which was sometimes all there was to do
it can still get that way
but we were immature
we took it out especially on calvin
calvin liked his coffee more than anyone
he liked to sit in the diner, drinking his coffee
looking at high school girls
even though they never looked back
for fun the rest of us would put things in calvin’s coffee
when he left the table to take a piss
or to try with one of the girls
we would put salt in his coffee
pepper, ketchup, those little packets of jelly
whatever we could get our hands on
we mixed it up very well
then we waited on calvin to come back and take a sip
it was the same show every week
calvin would come back to the table
he’d sigh, content from pissing
or he’d tell us some tall tale about one of the girls at the other table
how they were going to meet us at the bowling alley
(our other destination on those pathetic little evenings of youth)
then he would take his coffee cup
dangle it for a moment, as if he knew we were anticipating
then he would take a good pull on it
calvin’s face would contort
he’d swirl the stuff around in his mouth
the coffee, the salt, pepper, ketchup, and jelly
then he would spit it back out and look
at the table of us in disgust
of course we’d laugh
it was funny to us because we had nothing else
calvin would curse and make a big deal
the girls at the tables around us would look and laugh too
because they had nothing else to amuse them
on a saturday night in america
before the internet and smart phones
the waitress would come over and give calvin
another cup of coffee
she would pray for us to leave a decent tip
she would pray for none of us to hit on her
she would pray that we left soon enough
because she had the bar to get to
the place where the real action took place
the joints that were still out of our reach
on long weekend nights
good old calvin would guard his new cup of coffee with his life
there’d be no piss breaks during this cup
no flirting with ugly little high school girls
he’d sit there hunched over the drink
as if guarding a rare jewel
we’d laugh at this
eventually so would calvin
he’d laugh because he knew he was putting
on a show for all of us
the piss breaks, the hitting on the girls,
drinking down the shit we’d put in his coffee
he was putting on the greatest show
one where he was the star
and then the night wasn’t so lonesome and drawn out
we had something to talk about as we headed
toward the bowling alley
and it sustained us
at least for a little while.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

poem of the day 06.10.10

street of one hundred american flags

street of one hundred american flags
hanging off of red-bricked houses
standing erect from the antennas of cars
street of oil stains on top of battered tar
street of japanese sports utility vehicles lining
the sidewalk
street of old men in rocking chairs, sucking on
cigars, fat on the american dream
street of mexican day laborers making
beautiful green lawns in the hot summer sun
street of endless strollers, carrying endless, wailing babies
street of dumb kids twittering their thumbs
on the corner with nothing better to do
street of the failing school system
street of the healthy joggers with bad hearts
and high blood pressure
street of cigarette butt mosaics
street of plastic bag acrobats
street of drooping lilacs and anemic maples
street of crushed beer cans and starbuck’s cups
street of old women drinking coffee under
a pale blue sky suffocating on carbon dioxide
street of brown weeds and dead bees
street of skinnky stray cats fighting people for food
street of ancient chinese nomads collecting
bottled water bottles for profit
street where the taxes are paid early
street of the rising national debt
street of organic cellular cancer waves
street of the most, immaculate holy failure
street of dead snails baking in the sun
street of merciless, limp-cocked unions
street of bank propaganda
street of one-eyed hooligan tea hurlers
street of one hundred american flags
hanging off of red-brick houses
muting color
fraying the light wind.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

poem of the day 06.08.10

taking it all away

i can’t save you this evening
i can’t make you laugh the way i want to
they are taking it all away
we don’t even know who they are anymore
because there’s so many of them
so we watch the vastness of the night
we watch movie clips for inspiration
and drink more of this jug wine
than we should
they say a storm is coming
wind is blowing up from the estuary
but we haven’t sucked down
a drop of rain in this miserable city for almost a month
a storm is brewing nearly everywhere in this broken land
the president is eating tar balls on the beach
and the rest of us are getting shit-faced on ruined credit
it’s getting cooler outside tonight, though,
feeling more like the fall than
the miserable summer that was already
starting to bear down on us
but what does it matter
if i can’t save you this evening?
if i can’t take it away and store it somewhere else?
i have to be worth something
but i’m sweating here
trying to figure this one out
as you tell me the fates are aligning against us
let them
they haven’t won the battle yet, my dear
we still have a few tricks up our sleeves
a little magic in our hearts
and if they fail us, you get the gasoline
i’ll be the matches
we’ll set this place up in a blaze
bailing out between the cracks in the bedroom door

...i know this little cafe in paris
on the boulevard du montparnasse
where the wine is cheap and the peanuts
taste like ocean salt

we can hide underneath the blood-red awning
watching all the lonely faces
we can wait this misery out there

Monday, June 7, 2010

poem of the day 06.07.10

little boys

little boys act
so tough
but they ain’t shit

little boys
with their
corporate ghetto swagger
and peanut brains

i’d like to see them
wrestle with proust

little boys
who hang on street corners
grabbing their small nut sacks
like retarded monkeys
with an itch

little boys
who’ve never had
love
who masturbate
into their underwear

these little boys
who’ll never
become men
not even in the smallest
sense of the word

these little boys
little american boys
thumping to a soundtrack
of video violence
and rap

dumb
dumb
dumb

and down with them
goes your motherfucking
nation.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

poem of the day 06.05.10

but still the sky turns purple
and gold before the sun sets


we slaughter each other so resolutely
in actions and deeds

a whole world of blood and guts
spilling into the oceans

but still the sky turns purple
and gold before the sun sets

magnificent and calming

meaning there might be hope out there
for you and me.

Friday, June 4, 2010

poem of the day 06.04.10

poem in need of a new place to drink

we watch the flies
mingle with the dust
and amber of the whiskey bottles
talking about books
about polygamists in utah
as he tells her
to quit crying and get a fucking job
slamming his glass off the bar
to let the bartender know
that he needs to get a little wet over here
while she keeps crying
she’s been crying rivers for days
sinking deeper, deeper, deeper
than the lowest human being
on this block
the two of them in a death duel
holding this empty bar hostage
a small place
whose drunken joy used to shine
like the miserable orange-red sun

Thursday, June 3, 2010

poem of the day 06.03.10

family night

i step out of the rain
enter the bar, sweaty and tired
eighty-five degrees outside
i just walked five miles home from work
to prove something to myself
only i’d forgotten what it was

they are at it again
he behind the bar
she sitting there, her face puffed
from whiskey and tears
falling further and further down
the rabbit hole since her mother died
you’re a scum, she says
you’re disgusting, he says back
a disgusting drunk who only showers once a week

he serves me my beer
i ask for an ice water
then we all sit there while
they go back and forth
you’re a whore, he says
you’re fat, she says
bitch, i’m in the best shape of my life
ha!
i can’t believe what i gave up
to take up with you

i look at b.j.
he’s sitting there nursing his jack
and a large draft of beer
i like b.j.
we’ve gotten into a habit of discussing
books and music
in between songs on the juke
b.j. raises an eyebrow at me
he takes a large swig on his jack
family night, he says

she starts weeping again
you’re embarrassing yourself, he says
why don’t you go home and sleep it off
give me another drink, she cries
no, he says
then he looks at me and starts talking
about a famous sandwich that comes
from my hometown
it has the french fries and coleslaw right
between the bread
with the meat and cheese

please!
she shrieks
benny, just give me a fucking shot and i’ll go

but benny doesn’t move

some kinds of love
can conquer anything, i think
insults, the need for a drink,
a kind of darkness that seems to have no end
this love has wilted beyond description
i’ll admit, this display had been funny for a while
a kind of slice of life that i never wanted
a cautionary tale
a little diversion to pass
the time in between the time
between life and work and death
but these people have ceased being
cartoon characters to me

it’s funny, but i honestly don’t know how
much more of this i can handle

b.j. finishes off his jack
knocks back his beer and gets up
he has a nightly ritual
comes in the bar and drinks for a few hours
then leaves to go home to his wife and kid

i’ve seen them on the street
but we don’t talk outside the bar
they make for a handsome family

he slaps me on the back then leaves

you never gave a fuck about me, she says
benny says nothing
because there is nothing to say
he just stands there
one leg up on a stool
the other bouncing on the dirty floor

those sandwiches look good, he finally says

they’re all right, i say
in response

then i kill my third beer and go.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

poem of the day 06.02.10

the best thing that’s
happened this year


i have ninety days
until i’m being let go from the job

i have a belly full of chicken wings and beer

i have big plans baby

and poems sent out
all over the universe

i have a roof over my head
and the bill are being paid for now

i have madrid and rome waiting for me

every american road that i can think of
anxious for me somewhere down the line

i have new york city sinking
into the abyss every single day
and i can’t wait for it
to fall into the shit and just die

it seems to me that i have
everything, kiddo

but sitting here with you
in the twilight

your eyes heavy

falling asleep

well, you’re the best thing
that’s happened this year

i lift my head to tell everyone this
thinking it some kind of revelation

but they already know

and i’m behind the curve once again.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

poem of the day 06.01.10

he gives it away

we sit underneath a canopy
and the rain falls
he tells me the world
is going to hell
that people think it’s
getting better but it’s not
i know this guy, he says
and that guy
neither of them have jobs
the only reason
that unemployment is going down
is because people are getting
kicked off of it
they’ve put in their two years
now they’re gone
my one neighbor
he’s thinking about selling his blood
tell me, he says
where are the jobs?
i shrug
there aren’t any, he says
foreclosures everywhere too
all you see are foreclosures, he says
as i watch the rain drip
and think of adding the cable bill
to the things that we can do without
you can tell it’s bad
just by looking at
the trucking industry
nothing being imported
nothing being exported
it’s just war and oil in the ocean
and fuck all of us, he says
then he stops and pours
more beer into his mug
i reach into the cooler
grab another miller light
my tenth of the day
this country ain’t what it used to be, he says
and it ain’t coming back
until we hit rock bottom together
you know? he says
i mean
do you get it?