Tuesday, October 30, 2012

poem of the day 10.30.12

a portrait of our future leaders
as young men

we have a black president now
but i fear we’ll one day go back
to the good ole boys club
of gray-faced white men in charge

you can already kind of see them regrouping
with racist bumper stickers
and on the television talking about taking their country back

where it went i have no idea

they think they have more at stake than everyone else
because it’s hard being in power for so long
and then suddenly taking it on the chin

you forget how to share

like these asshole jocks
sitting in this fancy little bar, watching soccer

they’re as white as ghosts
and probably just as scared at losing their inheritance

they keep talking about their plan for america
and calling each other bro
while they high-five
and bet each other which of their fraternities
will look best on the old resume

one wants to be a lawyer
and the other wants to become my future congressmen

they are perfect and muscled and wealthy
but will probably succeed because of a lucky DNA strand

i’m sure one day i’ll turn on my television
and one or both of these privileged pricks
will be staring back at me, smiling

with one arm draped around his dull blonde wife
and the other draped around his dull blonde kids

this country safe and secure
for every lily-livered, untaxed white motherfucker
who thinks that they came over on a boat
and founded this societal abomination

this country cooked and goddamned
for everyone else

the progression of life thrust back into the stone age 
from toxic sea to shining toxic sea.


Monday, October 29, 2012

poem of the day 10.29.12


i was a hurricane of a man,
jerry tells me
shaking his cran and vodka
i used to pull a lot of women
back then
when i worked sanitation
but i never got over her
we dated five years
five years and all i did was
cheat on her
i never felt bad about it
until last weekend, though,
when i saw her
i was with my buddy
we were dropping his daughter
off at college
and there she was
she’s the dean
of the biology department now
she hardly looked any different
from when we were together
she looked good
when i got home i looked her up
on the internet
i paid some money and i got
her address and phone number
i have her email address too
the computer said she had two kids
i found out that she was divorced
i have five kids myself from three
different women
i have to say i never loved
any of them as much as i loved her
i’m thinking of getting in touch
but i don’t know what the proper way
to do it is
i wanted to write her a letter
but i’m no good at writing or emailing
i figure maybe i’ll just go up there
show up at the biology department
but i probably won’t get to see her
because things have gotten
so damned fucked up since 9/11
they think everyone is a criminal
or terrorist now
i don’t want to cause a scene
at the school, jerry says
my buddy’s daughter goes there, you know,
i think causing a scene would
send the wrong message
i think i’m just going to show up at her house
maybe i’ll buy some flowers
see if there’s any spark between us
after all of those years
i wish i never let her go
she was a good woman back then
the best
but i was a hurricane of a man in those days
i blew through love
i just didn’t think it would
get as bad as all of this.


Friday, October 26, 2012

poem of the day 10.26.12

jesus shrugged

at the corner of 75th
and fort hamilton parkway
there is a statue of jesus christ
holding the two world trade center towers
in the palm of each hand

and all i can ever think
when i pass it is
did the sculptor mean to be glaringly ironic
or did he just have
one sick and off-the-wall
sense of humor?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

poem of the day 10.24.12


i keep reading this ad
over and over again

it is for weight loss
the ad is telling anyone who will listen
that the key to losing weight is simply eating less

cut your portions the ad begs
stop supersizing your fast food

stay away from sugar if you can

there is an obese blonde in the ad
and she can barely make it up the stairss

at the bottom of the ad
is information on obtaining
a weight loss packet

i keep reading this ad
i keep saying weight loss packet to myself

i am sad that we’ve slipped this much

the powers that be
think that we need a packet
to stop ourselves from stuffing our faces

maybe we do

it’s not just weight loss
there are ads for happiness drugs
ads for pain medication
ads telling children to go outside and play

there are beauty product ads for the ugly
miracle drug ads for the sick

ads offering jobs
and ads offering to wipe away your acne

i feel for humanity reading these ads
wonder if we’ve given up decision making and autonomy

ads for how to make friends
ads on finding a partner for life
ads for divorce and remarriage

lawyer ads everywhere
offering to sue your neighbor
for so much as stepping outside his front door

reading all of these ads
you’d think that we couldn’t
get ourselves out of bed in the morning

ads for a better night’s sleep
ads for insomnia and snoring

there are ads all around me
offering cures for this and that
mysterious address at the bottom of each one
beckoning us to send away for the answer

but what are the answers to this madness?

where did it begin?

when did we lose the strength and the drive?
the tenacity and the gut?

ads for weight loss pills
ads for incontinence and gas

when did we lose the plot?

i look at my own beer filled gut
see my double chin and tired face
in the subway window
and see that i am a part of the problem

ads for caffeine and energy drinks
ads for the next day hangover cure
ads to combat alcoholism in the all-american home

there are more ads
then there are trees in the forest

ads for smoking cessation
ads for drug counseling
ads to end all anxiety and human fear

there are ads specifically designed
for whatever it is that you need in this world
plastered on public transportation
glossy in magazines or doused in black newspaper ink

ads rolling down the side scroll on your email
popping up all over the computer screen
flipping past you on the highway on the way home from work

ads for bankruptcy
ads on how to get rich quick

ads for religion and the daily lottery
ones for god and jesus and all the rest

colored streams of nothing embedded
in our worried and burdened minds

ads for books
and movies and television shows
to fill up all of those blank moments

in between

those generous ads
offering a better life
and those merciful ones
promising a gentler and more refined
kind of death


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

poem of the day 10.23.12

boy or girl

the little girl comes up to me
but she keeps backing away

she has one of those
coy looks on her face
that make it impossible for me to like children

but i smile at her anyway
as the child parks her ass
on the seat across from me

she has a coloring book
or some shit like that

something to keep her docile and occupied
while her mother tries to get through the life
that they’ve shackled each other to

the child stares at me
making me uncomfortable and mad

i think to throw something at her
but my co-worker is sitting next to me
making goo-goo eyes at the child

so i keep my cool

finally the little urchin speaks

boy or girl, she says
pointing at my long hair

neither, i tell the mouth breather

and she gives me
one of those incredulous looks
that only a precious crotch dropping can give

when trying to work something out
in its small, feeble mind

he’s a boy, my co-worker chimes in
but it’s too late for this confused little rag doll
she gets off of the chair
and races over to tug on the hem of her mother’s dress

staring back at me with her swollen eyes
i wink at the little brat
hoping maybe that’ll fix her confusion
for a few more years

when my co-worker turns to me
and says

you really don’t like anyone
but yourself
do you?                                   

Monday, October 22, 2012

poem of the day 10.22.12

erik satie

this guy at the end of the bar
wants to talk about erik satie
on new year’s day

doesn’t he understand
that we have to get through
another 365 of these?

366 this year

and i think the person
who invented the leap year
should’ve been hanged

but there’s probably
a statue to him somewhere in europe

still this guy at the end of the bar
is going on about satie
because someone played satie in this joint

just in case
you don’t know who erik satie is
well, he’s a musican
and he knew debussy and ravel

i’d read somewhere
that picasso banged one of his women

i like to put a little bit of satie on
on sunday night, when i’m drunk on red wine
and suicidal about the coming work week

and this guy is telling anyone who will listen
what a genius satie was
how the music satie made
people are still trying to figure out

this guy at the end of the bar
is a musician and a dj

(of course he is)

he probably loves a leap year
because it gives him one more day
to infect someone with his bullshit

and he says that when
he’s jamming with others
he’ll drop a little bit of satie on them
and just blow them away

he tells the bartender
that no other pop or rock musician has ever
caught on to the brilliance of erik satie

except steve hackett, i say
of genesis

this guy at the end of the bar
looks at me as if i just pissed in his beer

i forgot about him, he finally says

then we are all silent
as erik satie gives way
to a chuck berry song

and i think
that this might not be
such a long year

after all.


Friday, October 19, 2012

poem of the day 10.19.12

i’d rather
     --in memory of amanda todd

i’d rather a painter over a poet
i’d rather feast over famine

i’d rather the cold and the gray
or the sunshine from inside a darkened bar

i’d rather a cat to a dog
and the winter over the summer

i’d rather your love forever over the years of wasted sperm
spent on pipe dreams

i’d rather nothing over omnipotence
rather batman over jesus to try and come be my savior

i’d rather a war of words over guns and blood and god

i’d rather kill a day instead of myself

i’d rather wait than react
but nobody is perfect

i’d rather a technological void of constant darkness than read about
another goddamned kid committing suicide
over facebook fallacies

i’d rather get through it and move on

i’d rather you were on this earth right now, amanda
to see the rain fall in the morning

i’d rather wine over beer
but scotch always

i’d rather my pizza plain
and my women come with extra toppings
in the brain rather than in the chest or ass

but i’d rather say mankind over humankind
because i’m creature of habit

i’d rather a democrat over a republican
but that’s mostly semantics these days
to be honest i’d rather not vote

i’d rather candles over lamps
and would rather be a jack to a king
because i’ve always played the fool much better

i’d rather ala carte than what’s on the menu

i’d rather van gogh over a bloody ear and wheat fields

i’d rather the white of peace
instead of the red, the white, and the blue

i’d rather not talk about it most of the time

i’d rather a job than unemployment
but just slightly

i’d rather london in the fall
paris in the spring
and madrid in the summer
over new york city shouting in my ear

i’d rather the reality instead of the myth
and paper over plastic

i’d rather cash or charge than use a code

i’d rather children be seen and not heard

i’d rather another opinion than my own
because i’m looking for something new to reject

i’d rather be three up on the world
than be the only sober guy in the room

i’d rather skip thanksgiving and christmas

i’d rather beethoven over bach
and coltrane over this infinite sadness

i’d rather the cd over vinyl
and the mp3 just go away

i’d rather the 20th century
and i’d rather your cell phone up your ass
than attached to your mouth

i’d rather be left alone than join the crowd

i’d rather bleed the years in obscurity than sell my soul

and i’d rather drink alone, my love,
when it get like this inside


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

poem of the day 10.17.12


she says, you hate tradition, don’t you

i tell her that i hate it from auld lang syne
all the way down to silent night

she says, you’re nuts
you just don’t want to like what others like

i tell her that may be so, but i’ll be damned if i choke
on another thanksgiving turkey
or memorial day hot dog again

she says, you won’t have a choice

i tell her i know
i’m trapped in a situation perpetuated by fools

easter ham in april
and fireworks every fourth of july

she says, tradition makes people happy
that it gives them something to look forward to

i tell her that tradition makes people complacent and dull

she says, go hang on a string of christmas lights
and i say how about a cross instead

there’s something wrong with you, she says

i’m just like everyone else, i tell her
now give me a pint of green beer and a red heart full of chocolate
carve me into a pumpkin
and wake me when it’s election day

she says, there’s just no talking to you

i tell her that many have tried and failed

so i guess you won’t be coming to my next oscar party, she says

nor your labor day barbeque, i add

impossible, she says, getting up
and storming into the cafeteria

where they serve a mean fish fry
to the devout and hungry
every friday afternoon
during lent.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

poems poems everywhere

hello all

i have poems at the following awesome zines/journals/mags right now
take a look, and stick around for some other fantastic writing on those sites:

Camel Saloon

Citizens for Decent Literature

Horror Sleaze Trash



poem of the day 10.16.12

warm watermelons

i'm sorry
i was really frustrated this morning
because of how long
it took me to get out the apartment
this ocd bullshit kills
i was hungover for the first time in weeks
and this month is really gnawing at the bit

i'm really sorry, babe
maybe you should just go to work
and let me do this closing business alone
that way we don’t end up shouting
and yelling like we did

by the way
i didn't leave you on the street
you know i’m like general macarthur
i always come back
i went and got the watermelon for you
and the quarters for the laundry
but that bitch clerk at the grocery
took forever again 
and i missed you at the bagel shop

so i wandered the streets
in the heat and humidity
looking for you

i wanted to apologize back then
for all of the shouting and insanity

only you were gone

so i'm here at work now writing this email
with a container full of warm watermelon sitting next to me

feeling like shit

hoping you’ll write me back
when you get there

telling me that everything is all right

Monday, October 15, 2012

poem of the day 10.15.12

the shark

they all called him shark

it had been his nickname since college
when he broke mike schmidt’s home run record

but he kept the nickname
into his career in retail management

he talked a lot about mike schmidt
but no one seemed to care

shark was an asshole
he liked to bully the women who worked at the store
and intimidate the teenage part-timers

when women were changing in the bathroom
shark would often try and break in
then pretend it was an accident

he always got to me whenever
a group of girls came in to browse

shark would stand next to me
he’d look me up and down
and start picking me apart

one day it would be the way i wore my belt
the next day it would be my shoes or my facial hair

shark made sure that people in the store
heard him giving me a dressing down

the groups of girls would roll their eyes at me and leave
never to come back

the sad irony was that shark had the worst mustache
it looked like a hairy cock on his face

i wanted to strap him down
and burn it off with a clothes streamer
while telling him what a shit manager he was

on nights that i had to work with shark
my stomach would turn on me
as i sat in the mall parking lot
and i’d want to call off sick from work

because i knew it would be another night
of getting tormented by some ex-jock
another night of getting called out for my wardrobe

debauched for commerce

another night of staying later than scheduled
sweeping the floors over and over again
until shark examined every morsel of carpet
finally showing me mercy and allowing me to leave

i applied for other jobs
but no one tried to hire me

the only benefit to shark was that he had a hot wife
she was brunette with fine tits
and a nice, tight ass

when she came into the store
it was like christmas day

i had no clue how a prick like shark
could land such a woman

i figured they’d met in college
when he was breaking records and living like a king
and that it was too late for her
to meet someone else

she’d met him before the moustache
and the retail life

when shark took the wife on vacation
it was usually somewhere sun-soaked and exotic

he’d bring in pictures of her in a string bikini
for all of us teenage boys to stare at

at home
i’d jack-off thinking about fucking shark’s wife
on some sandy beach
imagining that i was getting back at him in some way

but then the next night shark would make me
steam t-shirts for hours
or spend the evening making fun of my haircut
and i knew who was really was in charge


Friday, October 12, 2012

poem of the day 10.12.12

fundamentals of
wine store management

he prided himself
on a glass room full of rare
and expensive wines
great burgundies
and that over-rated blend
done by mondavi and rothschild
that no one in the rust belt
could afford to buy
except for hockey players and canadian rock stars
only he could never rectify
the fact that his BMW was paid for
on the backs of unemployed men
buying scotch in plastic bottles
and lonely secretaries
in white socks and athletic shoes
pushing rickety carts through his store
stocking up on magnum bottles
of white wine
for another lonely weekend
of reruns
that they were too busy to watch
during the long and exhausting work week.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

poem of the day 10.10.12

a pretty good life

i’ll admit
there are days that exist
just to get the drink
days where i wander around the city
checking my watch
waiting for the bars to open
movies that i half-watch
just to get to the wine
and conversations that i speed through
to get the next round of beer
nights where i sit on the couch
and just drink and drink and drink
doing nothing else in the process
at times i’ll stop to consider this
wonder if i’m doing it all wrong
selling myself short
and not living my life to the fullest
but then i see people
walking down the street
stone sober and shouting into
their cell phones
or see these grim faced zombies
pushing a baby carriage
down the block
so helpless and sad
that i tell myself
don’t worry about it
because next to those people
you’re living
a pretty good life.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

poem of the day 10.09.12

little demons

sitting in a pub
on 4th street

watching three assholes
who are unable to handle
their jack and cokes

my wife looks at me
and smiles

she says, i had a great day with you
then pauses

so don’t go ruining it

we laugh and clink pint glasses

when she’s not looking
i check my watch to gauge the time

pray i can keep all of those
little demons of mine
at bay

for the rest of the night.


Monday, October 8, 2012

poem of the day 10.08.12

shit happens

i see the jazzman
at the corner of 4th avenue

he’s doing a strange dance
slamming his boot into a puddle of water

then doing this kind of
bird walk back and forth

he’s wearing his postman’s outfit
so he’s probably not drunk yet

when i cross the street
the jazzman looks at me
without a trace of remembrance and says

man, i stepped in shit

i think how
i haven’t seen him since
they closed the bar down

and sent all of us flies searching
for another pile of shit


….at least the jazzman found his.


Friday, October 5, 2012

poem of the day 10.05.12

celebrity city

byron has seen more celebrities
than anyone i’ve ever known

he lives the manhattan ideal
a celebrity on every corner to view

whenever i step into his bar
byron always has a story about a different actor
who he’d  just been on the subway with

or some soap star that he was at a party with

one summer byron ran into robin williams four times
on the same block of houston street

he’s been at restaurants with models
and in cafes with rock stars

actors from mike judge films drink in his bar all the time
they’re good tippers, byron says,
pouring us a vodka shot

maybe he’s not that different from anyone else who lives here

when my wife and i first moved to new york
everyone we met had a celebrity story

jennifer aniston cleaning dog shit
or uma thurman with her kids in central park

bruce springsteen in a midtown bar killing a wednesday afternoon
even though he doesn’t really drink

i know i’ve gotten some good mileage
out of seeing philip seymour hoffman
yelling at someone on his cell phone in the east village

and seeing that actor from american pie
on his cell phone outside of the bed, bath, and beyond

he kept saying, dude
and calling new york the big apple

all i know is that byron has double the stories
hands down he beats everyone

paul auster in hell’s kitchen
johnny depp smoking a cigarette outside of union square

a soap actor hitting on him
at an east village house party

maybe you aren’t a real new yorker
unless you have a celebrity story that you can pass on

like seeing john ritter in times square a month before he died
or nicole kidman on a street corner in soho

it’s a rite of passage here
a little something for the tourists and for each other

otherwise we’d get bored in this big city
looking at nothing but all of those tall buildings
or walking broadway aimlessly

where one time i saw tom hanks go strolling into a hotel
only without that sexy wife of his.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Outsider Writers

lastly (i think)....my new article/essay No Dogs Allowed is available to read at Outsider Writers
until these kinds folks come to their senses and no longer allow me to write for them.


poem of the day 10.03.12

jesus hats

jesus hats
wears a black hat
that says jesus is lord
i call her jesus hats
but have no clue
why i pluralize it
for dramatic effect
for my own amusement
but jesus hats and i
are on the bus together most days
the after work bus
the one where the russian women
shout into their cell phones
jesus hats plays sodoku
and sighs at the russians
while i read fred voss poems
wondering how he does it on each page
anticipate my first scotch of the night
and think about killing
all of the russian women on the bus
i never see jesus hats
read the bible on the bus
my guess is that the hat is enough advertisement
that way there’s no overkill
jesus hats wears her jesus is lord hat
like i wear my pittsburgh steelers hat
and to an extent
i can acknowledge that we have different gods
other than that she seems pretty normal
she works at staples
and wears green and black converse all-stars
that are pretty trendy in all honesty
but i can’t help being annoyed
at jesus hats sometimes
because she’s so quiet yet direct in her reverence
some evenings i want to saddle up next to her
i want to take that sodoku book
and toss it on the piss stained floor of the bus
look into her huge glasses and blue eyes
and say level with me, jesus hats
do you really believe in all of that ethereal bullshit
what with the recession
and the famine
domestic violence
global warming
and the wars that are raging?
don’t you see what i see?
but i know i won’t do that
people aren’t built to speak to each other that way
unless hidden behind a computer screen
the only thing i’ll do is keep taking this evening bus
for as long as the job will have me
and jesus hats will play her sodoku
with the dedication of a saint
and i’ll daydream going home to whisky and beer
she’ll have her god and i’ll have mine
and the russian women will continue to shout
into their phones
and we’ll all pray
for something as simple as a moment’s silence


Dead Snakes

hello folks

I have three new poems (ok, maybe one you've seen before) over at Stephen Jarrell Williams'
wonderful Dead Snakes.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

poem of the day 10.02.12

bitch on the bus

she’s got a tattoo on her upper arm
a hip white domed granny
prison dyke silver fox
with a ten-dollar haircut
she’s sitting there yelling at the bus driver
for being a minute late
whenever anyone yells at the bus driver
a message plays on the bus
telling everyone that
it’s a federal offense to assault a driver
but she says, listen buddy
cut the public service announcement shit
i got places to go
like the rest of us are on this thing for the thrill of it
and not coming home from the doctors
the grocery
or our fucking merciless jobs
she tells the driver
you’re full of shit and you know it
and i can’t help but hate her
i’m usually on the other side of this argument
usually one of the ones cursing the bus driver
having that little message played for me
like my own goddamned ringtone
but there’s something about
this bitch on the bus
her scowl and self-righteousness
her bug-eyes glaring at the rest of us
as if we were pieces of shit
that kind of flips me
makes me feel a new repugnance for mankind
and has me rooting for the bad guys on this one
and although it’ll fuck up my evening a bit
scare the wife when she doesn’t see me
come slouching down the street on time
i hope this driver grows a set
pull this bus over to the side of the road
grabs his paper and lets it idle
plays that service announcement like a club loop
while this abomination
checks her cheap watch
and really gets ready
to blow her top.

Monday, October 1, 2012

poem of the day 10.01.12

little monster

the little monster
on the evening bus keeps screaming

the other tired bastards
keep moving away from him
up toward the front
making the bus top heavy

i sit there thinking that it might tip over

but the little monster
keeps screaming

his teen mother keeping saying “hush”

only she’s laughing
with her teen mother friends
provoking the little monster

i watch this pint-sized abomination as he screams
howling until his face turns red
as he stops, smiles, and looks around for encouragement

as more people flee the back of the bus

i think of taking him gently by the shoulder
telling the little fucker
all about the horrors of the work week

and what i’ll do to him
if he keeps up this screaming shit

only i don’t think it’ll go over too well
with his teenaged mother

her teen mom friends

or their assortment of tattooed boyfriends
drinking cans of beer out of paper bags

i don’t have the strength to take them all on tonight

so like everyone else
i move toward the crowded front of the bus
i put on mozart’s piano sonata number twelve
but i can still hear the little monster

as he screams and screams and screams
as his proud parents laugh and laugh and laugh

and another dreadful evening
gets recorded into the books.