Wednesday, March 30, 2011

poem of the day 03.30.11

all of this and nothing too

there is all of this
and nothing too
some of us have everything
the decent job
the stocked fridge
the liquor cabinet under lock and key
while others of us
can’t get the kitchen light to work

there is all of this
and nothing too
genetically modified fruits
and chickens on steroids
no fly zones over our hearts
dictators who make us all aflutter
and too much love to be found
around the corner

there is all of this
and nothing too
the everlasting winter
the anticipated spring
the fat cat on the bed licking her paws
from a good meal
while old women dig through the trash
for used up budweiser bottles

there is all of this
and nothing too
the clich├ęd poem repeating lines
for effect
because the poet has nothing real
to write about
no flame in his gut
to pass the time between rejection
and bouts with flash fiction

nothing for anyone to care about
except how the tv season will end
or when major league baseball is going to start

all of this and nothing too

like million dollar planes stuck in neutral
and lottery tickets unclaimed
picassos hanging on bare walls
in some actress’ home

van gogh’s ear found in a brown field
under calm skies of azure
thrown away by some whore who couldn’t
comprehend genius

all of this

backdoor politicians hocking change
and calling it compromise

there is nothing

but exotic women with bad breath
telling you fairy tales
from their bar stools of misery
hoping for a free drink

there is all of this
like silence in cold air
being the only one on a new york street
who has gone completely mad

there is all of this and nothing too
chlorinated summers of doom
the waiting grave
radioactive rain being pushed on cable news
movies of merit with the thickness of toilet paper
and that neighbor whom you have
to get back at
when he least expects it

there is all of this
there is nothing

but your old college heart
torn away by the gentrified trip down memory lane
the faces from the past suddenly fat and dull
unrecognizable but for their scent
the rocket talk suddenly exploding over the
nuclear night sky
the old best meal gone bland
and the salt shaker lost to posterity

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

poem of the day 03.29.11

talking political turkey mouth

red faced

as the masses stuff dead animals
down their throats

as the nightly news argues
hollywood harlots

we silence each other
with our own bullshit

hush with our fingers to our lips
covering over all of those opinions
that stink like assholes

find our tongues are heavy
from swirling pennies
around in our mouths

on the radio the dj tells me
how bad the rich have it

afraid to flaunt their wealth
in these times

unable to trust their fellow man
or make a friend

it must be horrid out there
if the rich have it so bad

and we listen to this news silently
as the other globs of flesh finish
their dinners

then go back to talking hyperbole
espn
and the front page of the new york times

while i make a mental note
to hug a middle eastern tyrant
and a fortune 500 ceo

write my congressman or woman
to tell them how much
i empathize with their plight.

Monday, March 28, 2011

poem of the day 03.28.11

forced sobriety

i listen to the dogs bark

play bands who all sound
the same

forget to check my email

suck on mentholated
cough drops

drink water for salvation

shut off the lights
and close the blinds

fear them
fear you
fear the police
the newspapers
the politicians
and the kind hearted

stay in constant hunger

forget how to talk

dream latina girls pouring
bourbon down the throats
of corporate dictators

hate them
hate you
hate this daydream nation

feel like a mole

like a locust

who can only come out once
every so many years

and sing
for his sanity.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Break

hello all

Winedrunk Sidewalk will be on a break until
Monday, March 28th. Hopefully by then I'll have re-learned
the art of writing a decent poem.

jg

poem of the day 03.17.11

sugar bowl

watching the rain
the dead cars
on dead streets

like wet ducks

the neighbor upstairs
her bed creaks

then

bounce bounce bounce

a new fantasy
or a new man?

fourteen minutes after
seven o’clock in the morning
and my wife is still asleep

i sit on the couch
with a hangover

listening to the morning d.j.

the patter of rain
on the pavement

catch my reflection in the mirror

i am
the cable bill
the internet bill
meat cooked at 350 degrees
four scotches before bed
and a succession of bad jobs

a man in need of a cup of coffee

wondering where it was
that i put the sugar bowl
last night.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

poem of the day 03.16.11

mercenaries

the father gets on the bus
with his two little girls
they are both blonde
wear the same purple hat
and long blue coats
but are not twins
they are russian
look arian with their
white blonde hair and blue eyes
the father wears a new york city
baseball hat
because he wants people
to know that he is patriotic
they take up seats in the back of the bus
then it begins
the two girls screaming and yelling
in a mixture of russian and english
swinging around poles on the bus
slapping books and phones
out of people’s hands
singing in the worst doll voices
as the father yells at them in russian
tries to get up and chase after the girls
but the space is too confined
too packed with the sadness
of the late afternoon
for him to really do anything
and the little girls know this
they stare at their old man
with ice blue eyes of hell
smirk
before screaming at the top of their lungs
and laughing
as people move away toward other seats
call their friends and relatives to complain
you cannot read or think
when these children are on the bus
you can only sit there and wait
for them to get off
seeing them makes me pray
this nation changes its child labor laws
because i’d like to see these two heathens
get put to work
release some of that energy digging clean coal
or pumping oil in the gulf
but these children may already have a job
they work for
planned parenthood or the government
on the darkest days of yelling, singing,
and laughing
i think the two children are mercenaries
sent from russia or somewhere else
hell bent on murder or destruction
because that’s how i feel
when i see them
dead
hollow
murderous
like i want to rip my balls off
and castrate every other man
within a ten mile radius
toss all of our balls over the railing
watch gleefully
as trucks runs over them
during rush hour
on the brooklyn-queens expressway

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

poem of the day 03.15.11

sitting here

sitting here
as the sun begins to set
as the young asses
of young women walk by me
as kids cry
as madness gives way to exhaustion
as cars die
as caesar dies
as people die
and hungry cats meow
as each poem begins to sound the same
as nuclear reactors smolder
as we run out of things to say
to believe
as we run out of love
out of each other
sitting here
as the employee takes one for the team
as fat, well-fed bosses slumber peacefully
as the old asses
of old women walk by me
as the last hour turns
inevitably into the next
and the new day becomes a moot point
as spain awaits my arrival
as the wine waits at home
as true as the unmade bed
as the bills wait to be paid
and the neighbors envelope me
in their noise
sitting here
waiting on the work week
running short on empathy and ideas
as dogs bark
as the world barrels forward
like a drunken blind man
at the wheel
of an eighteen-wheeler
going down the side
of a steep
and endless
mountain
heading toward a sharp
curve.

Monday, March 14, 2011

poem of the day 03.14.11

reckless

the recklessness to go on
the recklessness of dirt and water
death
the sun coming through
the bus window
is hell to me
is heaven to most
warmth
but i’ve always been cold
humanity
one problem at a time
humanity
playing the endgame of idiocy
somewhere there is a cold beer
waiting for me
wine
my woman
a meal
the night
salvation from these
thoughts
the recklessness to go on living
knowing what awaits you
again the next day
will not kill you
but will only
make you think
that it could.

Friday, March 11, 2011

poem of the day 03.11.11

friendly fire?

it’s getting
as though i can’t
even sit in this bathroom
read or think
in this cramped
brooklyn shit stall
with its one pipe hissing
suffocating the air
pushing out
the sick sweat
through my pores
the scotch
the wine
the old milwaukee beer
that my wife
laughed about
but drank anyway
you cannot sit
and read the newspaper
with the car alarms
and conversation
sullying the landscape
the birds chirping
their miserable spring songs
the neighbor’s bed springs bouncing
no, there is nowhere safe
you cannot even sit here
without thinking
about love and death
war and peace
where the next apocalyptic volley
is coming from
the middle east?
the television?
a smile
a dog bark
the old woman
in the grocery line
harassing a tired old drunk
or rhapsody in blue
bantering out of the morning radio
with the sun blazing
too early in the sky
again and again

Thursday, March 10, 2011

poem of the day 03.10.11

great conversations like these

he tries talking to me
about shakespeare

i tell him it’s my wife
who likes shakespeare

tries with polar exploration

shackleton, amundsen, scott

all those cats

i tell him they’re my wife’s bag too

tries with baseball, hockey,
football, the budget,
our socialist president, islamic extremists,
the tea party, israel, the job

npr funding, work schedules,
tries shakespeare again, kit marlowe,

classical music, jazz, rock and roll

whatever

until he’s blue in the face
and out of topics

then we sit there in near silence

just his radio playing faintly

having, in my opinion,
one of the best conversations
that we’ve ever had.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

poem of the day 03.09.11

harassment

the old bat
is content to stand there
in the cold and point
at a small black dog
chained to a no parking sign

it’s her world anyway
she has all of the money
and all of the health care

so why not stand in the cold
and point at a dog

the old bat keeps pointing
at the dog
shouts to her older bat friend
and says this is disgusting

in the grocery store
the old bats have surrounded
dave the fireman
by the frozen foods
they are yelling at him
harassing dave for leaving
his little black dog out in the cold
while he shops

dave keeps trying to get
away from the old women
keeps moving left and right
trying to get his frozen peas
or carrots

but these old bats want
to create a spectacle

they’ve got crowds of us
watching now

you’re disgusting, they shout
you’re lucky no one has stolen
that dog by now, the old bats screech

i’m trying to buy groceries
but a part of me wants
dave to turn around and belt
both of this women across their mouths
send them flying into
a stack of frozen lima beans
make them pay for sucking up
those years of money and natural resources

but dave’s face just gets red
he gets his frozen veggies and heads
to the cash registers

of course the old bats
have nothing better to do but follow
shouting to all who want to hear
about the poor dog
chained to a no parking sign

i want to shout about
social security and medicare
but i hate getting political
on a saturday afternoon

so i get behind dave in line
his neck is red and he has a rash
i hope he doesn’t turn around and see me
because i wonder if it’ll be awkward
the next time we’re both at the bar
and his little dogs is running around

one old bat keeps pointing
and shouting at him
while the other one goes outside
to stand with the dog
telling every passerby the horrible tale
of the sad little beast
and his asshole owner

dave stands there and shakes his head

ah, the greatest generation
you’ve done so much for america

when will you all finally be dead?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

poem of the day 03.08.11

return of the king

benny is sitting
in a corner seat at the bar
as if he never left
as if time never marched on without him
as if mona hadn’t slashed his hand
with a knife
fucked a few of his friends
and got the two of them
banned from the bar for life

benny is sitting there
in a new football jersey
nursing his same old jack daniels
holding court
with the sunday drunkards
his hair is a little bit longer
pulled back in a pony tail

he sees us
before we even really
digest seeing him
comes over and shakes my hand
tells me they finally let him back in
he’s been back three days now
been to hell, benny says
not needing to say anything else
while i just stare
thinking this is the closest i’ve ever come
to seeing a ghost

benny talks about getting
back on his feet
picking up bartending gigs
here and there
staying at mona’s place
right now
while she settles in
with her new boyfriend

but it’s okay
it’s okay, benny says
i’ve embraced loss and acceptance
i’m an ex-hippie
and i’m letting my freak flag fly
maybe i’ll even
pick up few days bartending here
get the grill going
for the spring

benny shakes my hand again
i’ve hardly said a word
and before i can
he’s moving back down the bar
working the room like a politician
putting his hand on people’s backs
shaking other hands
bantering with the bartender
like it’s old hat

he returns to his throne
shoots down the rest of the jack
plays with the new ponytail
after he puts his leather coat on
then steps outside in the rain

benny
beady eyes and goatee
framed in the dirty bar window
turns and waves back inside to everyone
and like fools at a sporting event
we all rise and wave back
casting down a tsunami of affection

we shout see ya later, benny

before he walks off down the street

all of us subjects
officially on notice that the king is back

for goddamned sure
the king is back.

Monday, March 7, 2011

fiction

dear folks,

i do a little fiction too....and get it out there
from time to time. here's the link if you're interested.

jg

poem of the day 03.07.11

sick

on the couch
bundled
red eyed
water eyed
bloody snot
blowing like
a whale hole
out of my nose
heavy headed
sore throated
contemplating
a glass of wine
that i can’t drink
listening to footsteps
from the neighbor above
rap music
playing in a car outside
and a man
on his cell phone
in front of my window
arguing with a service rep
on the other end
shouting
speak english
do you speak english?
i get up
and grab the dictionary
off the bookshelf
just as the wednesday
garbage pickers
begin their glass symphony
of beer bottles
i look up the word
terraqueous
which is an adjective
meaning
consisting of land
and water
in essence
of the earth
then i put the book back
and decide
on that wine
after all.

Friday, March 4, 2011

poem of the day 03.04.11

genius sits

genius sits
in the bar
orders a pint of bud
figures out
how to try and kill the day
doesn’t think about the job
doesn’t think about
the other faces pulling on nothing
but sits there
thinking about an article
that he read
about cars becoming
the next smart phones
the ability to update
your facebook
order groceries
do anything from the dashboard
and wonders how
long it will be before
people start dying because of this
in grisly accidents
thinks that car companies
are the new vehicles for genocide
financed via government bailouts
looks around and wonders
how in the fuck the world
got like this
how he can get out
thinks about selling off
all of his shit
buying one of those
smart phone cars
driving it to slab city
all the way in the colorado desert
leaving it there to rot
before climbing salvation mountain
to camp out
underneath the stars
that don’t shine
here in the city
stars that don’t do anything
but twinkle
the uncomplicated past.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

poem of the day 03.02.11

magical bar across the parking lot

once upon a time
there was this magical bar
across the parking lot
from the wine store where i worked

i usually went there on my lunches
not every one
but the ones that came after
the little napoleon of a boss
hauled me into his stinking office
to yell at me for my facial hair
my stained pants, my un-tucked shirt
or whatever sundry things
that he could find wrong with me

napoleon didn’t like me
because i didn’t like working
in the wine store
and he could tell

but the magical bar
across the parking lot was my refuge
there were old men in there
talking about the old times
men finished with their years of labor
free of their own napoleons
free from their wives for a few hours

and the waitresses were beautiful
young women who didn’t care about college
who still hadn’t put high school behind them
living in the same town where they grew up
having small dramas
with their unemployed boyfriends
in the parking lot at noon

the bartender knew my name
he knew my drink and had it ready for me
before i even had the money out
never stood around and bullshitted
just left me alone to drink and eat
the hamburgers they served
left me alone to pump dollars into the jukebox
to play temptations songs
and not talk about working
in the wine store

but one time
after a bad day on the job
after idiots had broken wine bottles
dousing me with cheap white
all over my pants and shirt
and napoleon hauled me into his office
to tell me once again
what a disgrace i was

i went over to the
magical bar across the parking lot

but it didn’t feel the same

the old men seemed dour
the waitresses seemed older
the bartender set my drink down
without saying hello

he just handed me the menu

i didn’t even feel like playing the jukebox

what had happened? i wondered

then i looked to my left
and there sat my boss
there sat my napoleon
with a hamburger on his plate
and a tall glass of coke to his right

he stared at me
and i stared back at him
as i drank the first of what would be
four drafts of labatt blue that day

and i never went back
to the magical bar across the street
again

the end.