Friday, August 30, 2013

"best of" poem of the day 08.30.13

the asshole at the end of this bar

has been playing nothing but rap music
on the jukebox

it’s been going on for over an hour now

the entire oeuvre of the beastie boys
and now it’s eminem

he won’t play the black shit
in this joint

all the old drunks are grumbling
but it’s okay
the asshole at the end of this bar
is a new york city fireman

he’s been telling us stories about 9/11
rehashing that bullshit
while the rap music molests our heads
and rattles our bones

he has touched all of the old drunks’ hearts
it’s the only reason that they haven’t killed him yet

suddenly we are all taken back
to that fateful day

they all want to share where they’d been

the asshole at the end of this bar
tells us he wishes he was able to help more people
that he just missed the towers falling down

he arrived too late in my opinion

he gets misty-eyed retelling it
as ol’ eminem
still the poet laureate of the american idiot-ocracy
raps about raping and killing his ex-wife

i stare at
the asshole at the end of this bar
trying to see something in him
trying to see what they are all seeing
a modern day hero

but there is nothing to him

there is flesh and blood, bone
and a little gray matter

that is all

except for his penchant for rap music

so i shoot down my beer
i ask the wife if she wants to go somewhere else
as all the old boys start in on
obama and illegal immigrants

we find another bar about two blocks down
where the asshole at the end of that bar
is nursing a pint of coors light
and bobbing his head
to a cher song

and this is all right with us

for now.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

"best of" poem of the day 08.29.13


hands us our beers
he says
i’m thinking of going
down to the bahamas
for a few days
jet blue has this deal
ninety-five dollar tickets
man, they have
the most beautiful beaches there
white sand
the works
i take my boys down there
every year
they love it
we nod
beaches sound great
the bahamas sound great
with my 90-day layoff notice
stuffed into my bag
it beats watching
the dust settle
on furniture in the apartment
we can no longer afford
my wife looks
at benny’s right hand
it’s bandaged
but there’s an uncovered gash
on his thumb
she says
benny, what happened to your hand?
benny looks at it
then away from us
fell in the bushes
he says
pauses for a second
turns back and says
mona stabbed me twice
we nod again
have more beer
yeah the bahamas sound great


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"best of" poem of the day 08.28.13

drinking with paul auster at rudy’s

in the bar in hell’s kitchen
we are tired from walking fifty blocks
and tired of the bullshit of manhattan

we have beers and just sit there

the television set is on to football
and the jukebox is playing rap

hell, i say

i remember when this bar
had a small tv on a chain stand

and only blues and latin music
came out of that thing

now they are selling
t-shirts for the bar too

that was only three years ago

then we drink again and have
another round

next to us he is wearing a raincoat
and he has an umbrella though it isn’t raining

he’s got the well-oiled black hair
and the big, lost writerly eyes

i think that’s paul auster,” i tell my wife
we’re drinking with paul auster

auster looks like the back
of one of his book jackets

as he sits with a paperback novel
a vodka and lime
and the penn state game on espn

he looks like everyone else
trying to put one over on life,
feigning at being something better

then he finishes his drink and gets up to leave

it is bright and blue in new york city
but paul auster twirls his umbrella
and makes up 9th avenue anyway

are you sure that’s paul auster?
my wife asks

no, i say.
but why shouldn’t it be him.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"best of" poem of the day 08.27.13

one for new orleans

there was a bar on decatur street
that we went to

they played good soul music
otis and smoky and james and a little bit of marvin

three black guys
a bass, a guitar, and a drum

the drummer sang

at a nearby table, a woman sat
she wore a gold dress, smoked newports,
and sang along to every song

at the beginning of the second set
she joined the band

they played  midnight train to georgia

it was their signature song
and they played it every night we went in

i wondered why i never tired of the place

on the last night we were in new orleans
i was drunk and had to piss badly

we went into the bar on decatur and the band
did their thing

otis and smoky and james and a little bit of marvin

then the lady in the gold dress
got up to join them
just as i went to hit the can

it was a good piss

on the way out some guy in a backwards hat
grabbed me at the bar
while i was getting two more beers

the music played behind us
midnight train to georgia

you sure like coming in here, he said
and then proceeded to laugh with his friends

when i rejoined my wife
suddenly the band didn’t sound so good

the beer was flat and the cigarettes burned my tongue

the guy that had grabbed me got louder
and he taunted the band as they played

suddenly i knew i was tired of the place

we got up to leave
and the next morning went back north.

Monday, August 26, 2013

"best of" poem of the day 08.26.13

trying to pound through the rest of a novel first draft.  so this is going to be "best of" winedrunk week with
all poems being about bars.

from the office to the bar
(a love poem)

i go from one building
to another
one seat
to the next.
they’re really no different,
except one of them has
my soul
and the other one has
my mind.
don’t worry dear, you still have
my heart.
but what’s left for me
in all of this?
the bar tab?


Thursday, August 22, 2013

poem of the day 08.22.13

decline and fall of the roman empire

it gives you pause
to live in a nation
that makes an enemy of a twenty-five year old kid

and throws him in jail for thirty-five years
for doing what he thought was right for his nation

but continues to let
every thieve
and fringe lunatic
have a hand in running this nation

it gives you pause
or maybe just a shrug because we’re so used
to this kind of bullshit
coming out of the capital

maybe it doesn’t matter anymore
and we’re beyond all redemption at this point

maybe you just don’t care
and you’ll go and vote this november anyway
for this corporate shill or that

provided you have the right kind of i.d.
of course

i wouldn’t blame you
if you sat this nation out

taking my own look around this worn republic
and the jack-offs in charge
stalemating this place into dust

it’s easy to see why millions of us go home
to get lost in television
our gadgets
and the pursuit of happy binge eating

until we pass out into unmade beds
waking up the next morning
to find out who this week’s villain will be
over coffee and pulp-free o.j.

a politician
a movie starlet
a celebrity chef

or some scared techy who worked for the nsa

this is the new american ideal
where kids kill out of boredom

where prisoners go on hunger strikes for a fair shake

and fast food workers take to the streets
asking to trade one-dollar hamburgers for a livable wage

while their corporate head honchos
sit in board rooms figuring out a way for these people
to balance their budgets on two jobs
and make more money out of their bottom line

where thirty-thousand people cheer
a drug cheat aging jock on his last legs
take a fastball to the neck

just to feel wholesome and self-righteous
about their own hollow lives

this is the fall and decline of the roman empire, you fools

the long-awaited sequel
coming at you in 2D, real 3D, and imax

the first scene of this thriller
a bankrupt detroit rambler passing through
wasteland main streets

with billboards for wal-mart and target
hanging in the dust-blown distance
offering everyday low prices on shit that no one needs

as this summer’s radio jam plays a bombastically
over spliced cute cat videos

looping over images of superman and iron man
fucking shit up
before super-sizing their asses all the way to the bank

where one-thousand dead
across a rapidly rising ocean

and our own tyranny at home

is a footnote
next to some bad actor dying
or whether or not a pop star cut her hair

and you thought the apocalypse would be nasty?


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

poem of the day 08.21.13


they used to shout insults
at us catholic school kids
as we walked home from school

they called us faggots or dykes or pussies
from the safety of their public school bus

none of us kids could argue the point with them
because we were the ones
dressed in oxford shirts and polyester pants and plaid skirts

it seemed like there was
a fleet of those kids on the bus

denim-clad and long-haired
giving us the finger as they drove by

they were your run-of-the-mill burnouts
but we called them talos

i had no clue where the name came from

only that i was getting tired of the daily abuse
of being called a homo

and dodging crushed coke cans coming at me
when i was just trying to get home from school

something had to be done

the next time that school bus went by
and those talos started in with their invective
and finger gestures

i stopped walking and stated shouting back
anything that i could think of

douche bags

it was vulgar poetry to me
getting to shout those words
while i hopped up and down in my place

i gave them the finger

i gave them the bread basket
with both hands in front of my crotch

like i was packing a python

moving back and forth in a thrusting motion
as the public school bus drove on into the distance
and the kids on it went rabid with violence

and the stiffs coming home from work
started rubbernecking, watching the good catholic boy
angrily hump at air

i thought that i was such a big man
giving those talo pricks a dose of their own medicine

i thought that my actions would be
the grand finish to our daily dialog

that we’d be on an even level now

but then a block down the road
there they came on foot

the talos in one long stream of hulking bodies
the male ones and their female ones

it was like an army of long-haired bastards
smoking cigarettes
shouting and pointing at me from the distance

snarling traffic and defiling trees
for weapons and the sheer fun of it

and they were all coming for me.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

poem of the day 08.20.13

spilt milk

we were both locked into
a fraudulent dogma

freshman in an all-boys catholic high school
with no pussy in sight

not that any girl would fuck either of us anyway

marcel funke and me
two boys from the old lawrenceville neighborhood
who hadn’t seen each other in twelve years

enemy combatants from the infant days of reagan

me kicking his ass some days
and he biting a piece of my arm off the next

set to rekindle our little war

but the kids in high school were indifferent to me
while most of them hated marcel

in class, they’d put shit like gum on his seat
or gave him wet willies in the ear

at lunch he got hit with projectile food
french fries and unwanted carrot and cheese sticks

was spit on during our recess time
as the class of us were forced to walk the ancient quadrangle

to try and change his image
marcel singled me out one day in the cafeteria line

he tried to start a fight
by telling everyone that he used to kick my ass
in the old neighborhood

this didn’t faze me too much

but i said, all right, marcel
and i used to catch you in the bathrooms at arsenal park
sniffing and licking davy krokus’ asshole

which wasn’t true
but everyone believed me anyway

some of my classmates used it as something new
to ostracize old marcel with
much to my chagrin

he never came back for sophomore year

but the one real memory that i do have of marcel funke
was the time he stormed out of his house naked
pouring out a gallon of whole milk onto the street

as he ran around in circles chanting

no one cries over spilt milk
no one cries over spilt milk

while his mother screamed bloody murder
and tried to cover him with a towel

it was the most perfect insanity that i’d ever seen
up until that point

and to this day when i’m feeling low rent
yet somewhat remorseful

i sometimes think
maybe i should’ve used that anecdote
on him



Monday, August 19, 2013

poem of the day 08.19.13

enemy state

passing the street festival
twelve days of work and one off

and the people are smiling
sitting in the cruel sun drinking sodas and light beer
eating corn on the cob and greasy wieners

all that i can think
waiting to cross the street with my wine bottles
my red eyes and the merciless pain in the small of my back

is how disgusting they all look

how they look like grinning, chomping road kill
a rested and well-adjusted farce if ever i saw one

and that each and every one of these slap-happy cretins
from the youngest to the oldest
have become my true and stark sworn enemies

this place morphed into my fucking prison

my enemy state with cheap carnival rides
fried dough and another shitty local band
playing covers of dreadful radio songs

and when the light changes
i turn from this obnoxious circus and walk on

somnolent and brow-beaten
by the hapless art of my existence

but still so very very glad
that i’m not an ounce like any of them

and that i
don’t own a gun


Friday, August 16, 2013

poem of the day 08.16.13

poets making fun of other poets

is nothing new
they’ve been doing it for centuries

but now you can see them going to town
on social networking sites or on their shitty blogs

posting links to some poor bastard’s writing
and then picking it apart line by line or as one whole

like they’re maxwell perkins or gordon fucking lish

soon some of the other poets start to join in
and it’s a free-for-all of mediocre word slingers
picking apart some absent bastard’s poem
about slugs or waterfalls or sunsets in cabo

these poets think they’re in the right
because their poems are about tough shit
like being broke or having a horrible job

because some half-assed journal
likes the way that they get it down

but really their poems are no different from ones
about slugs or waterfalls or sunsets in cabo

in most instances they're worse
and read very much like every other poem
in the half-assed journals that they're featured in

but you’d never know it
by the way they go on ripping someone

because these types have the group on their side
the good old boy network of shitty poets
stroking each other’s pricks

or the fanboys who want to get in good
with another pedestrian wordsmith wasting bandwidth

so they pick apart this poor bastard line by line
someone who has been published in as many bad mags as they have

and these poem-dullards think they are so righteous
and so brilliant

the boldest poem-shitters on the planet

but what these asshole don’t know
what they fail to realize
is that art is as subjective as a sunny day

and that there is always someone else around the block
or half-way across the world

whose just made the sad mistake of reading one of their
literary lumps of excrement

and are going on their social networking sites and blogs
to pick their genius apart

starting this sad cycle all over again

or they’re taking the high road this time
and just plain tossing aside the magazine

or flipping off their pcs

staying silently mad at the world
or hungry over the time they lost reading
another worthless piece of art.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

poem of the day 08.15.13


nobody had a clue
what they were always fighting about

but every so often
they’d slam down their beers
and put up their fists

they’d dance around the small bar
like a couple of worn-out heavyweights

ducking and jabbing
while the rest of us tired bastards
made love to our drinks
and tried to listen to the jukebox

tried to carve out a few hours
before bed and work the next day

of course someone had to shout
knock him the hell out!

but then just like that
the fight would be over
and they’d go back to bullshitting and drinking
like they were the best of friends

it would be sooner rather than later
that one of them would start again

then the fists would come up
and the dance would begin anew

ali and frazier
fred and ginger

they’d sometimes take it into the street
and do their little routine for the stiffs
carrying pizzas and ice cream

a lot of us waited for some citizen to call the cops
and someone in the bar would always shout
for the love of christ, lock the goddamned doors!

but no one got there in time
and they’d be back inside again

the best of pals
arms slung around each other’s shoulders
like war buddies

ready to fight and drink off and on all night
until one of them passed out
or stumbled the hell home

we never figured out what it was between them

but they were something to watch
in between the mets innings
and grateful dead songs

even though they never landed a punch

when the joint closed for good
and the bunch of us went scattering for other stools

i always thought i’d end up somewhere
and see those two guys again
doing their crooked waltz as the sun came down

but eventually all the great ones retire or they get too old

they lose the zest for violence

and the rest of us blood thirsty fools
get nothing in return for our patronage
but stale beer and adele songs playing for hours

some old fuck muttering to himself

or the seven o’clock news
blaring from two wide screen televisions
on another useless friday night


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

poem of the day 08.14.13


the young women are hugging
because young women hug
when they haven’t seen each other in a few days

she says i’m leaving on friday

and the other ones eyes bug out
so soon? she says

because i think i’m funny
and think that i can still relate to the youth
i tell the departing girl
hey, you can have my job and i’ll go to college for you

no way, she says
you looked so stressed all of the time

i’m not stressed,  i tell her

you could’ve fooled me

then the young women go back to talking about college
and the things of being young
while i sit there stewing in my gray, aged malaise

with my constant headaches and sour stomach
the neck and back pinches
the constant worries about jobs and bills

trying to convince myself through another bout of heartburn
that i’m not stressed

that feeling like this is normal
and one day those smiling young women will see

but really
i hope that they never feel this way

i hope it’s laughter and hugging and wide-eyed illusions
until they reach the grave

thinking that despite myself
there may be some hope for humanity yet.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

poem of the day 08.13.13

poem to my niece on her second birthday

as you get older
you realize more and more each day
that people are despicable gas bags

and half of what they say is a lie

the other half is nothing but false promises in the rain

the point is, kid
i don’t know your laugh
i don’t know your smile

your eye color is a mystery to me

yet we are bound by so much lackluster bullshit
where do we even get started?

we are time’s cursed gene pool

a walk in the park only in my head
a trip to the zoo that will never happen

hell, i can’t even get your mother to thank me
for your birthday gift

two books and gift card

because that’s what you give
when you don’t know shit about shit

when flesh and blood react like virtual strangers

but i don’t need her thanks
it’s enough right now to know that you’re out there
trying to get by in this world

her false sentiment would only spoil the moment
and i have less and less time for artifice each day

if we’re being honest here
it’s not as though i’ve tried to be in your life

so let’s just say
happy birthday

and get on with this business of living

i hope it’s a good one baby girl
because you’re going to have one hell of a climb
in these families

i’m sure our paths will cross
sooner rather than later

and then we can collide like the cosmos

with you telling me everything
and me taking it all in

like i’m the child in need of loving consultation.


Monday, August 12, 2013

poem of the day 08.12.13

two extra minutes

two extra minutes

the bus driver lets
the lady and her daughter
run into the laundry to make change

while the bus idles and the good people
starting bitching about the audacity of it all

how unfair this is to their time

a whole busload of red-faced fool’s
moaning complaining

coming from or going to
our miserable jobs

only no one thinks to mention
the unfairness

in that
sad fact


Thursday, August 8, 2013


Hello All

WineDrunk SideWalk will be on hiatus until Monday, August 19th.

take care

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

poem of the day 08.07.13

an easy way to discredit the value of drinking

have some kids
or maybe find god and join a church

or sit on this bus
after working six with one day off
hungering for a drink

as your only salvation from this drudgery

all the while listening to some asshole
with a bluetooth stuck in his ear like a suppository

talk about how twisted he got last night


of course

those two fucking shot of henny
my man

like it’s some kind of party
the need to feel this way

instead of stark fucking necessity.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

poem of the day 08.06.13

poem for the girl in the purple mini
who thinks that i stole her phone

now you know for a fact
that we checked through your books twice

i even removed the return bin
scanned the floor
and found only a few dead ants

and, all right, when the office door slammed shut
and i made that joke
about you being trapped in here forever

well, even that wasn’t really in poor taste

it certainly wasn’t worth your ire

but i didn’t steal your cell phone
so please stop glaring at me
while i’m trying to do my job

the a.c. is broken and it’s like a swamp in here
i’m famous for my short fuse in the heat

so i don’t have time for some fourteen year-old kid
in a purple mini dress giving me the evil eye
while i sweat my ass off

give your evil eye to the boys playing video games

i didn’t take your phone, kid
no matter how high tech you told me it was

if it’s so high tech let it find you

i don’t even want a cell phone
yours or anyone else’s

i hate those things
i have poems and blog posts dedicated to my revulsion

if i have it my way i’ll be the last man in the world
without a cell phone


and that goes for e-readers and gps
and all of that other horseshit that you fucking aliens need
just to walk down the street now

maybe i’m the alien

i swear i got sucked into a multiverse
around 2003 or 2004
and now i’m stuck with all of you thumb-tapping morons

you know what, kid?
you probably left your cell phone at home
or on the subway

you kids are always leaving shit

you’d walk out of the house without your heads
if they weren’t screwed on tight

some five year-old on the 7 train is probably half-way to queens
playing games on your phone

or some thug is deleting all of your shit
and making it his

but it wasn’t me, girly girl

i just work here
and i’ve grown fond of keeping a roof over my head
so i’m not risking this job
for some fucking phone that can track my every move

my advice to you next time
is to wear some pants with pockets
or carry a bag

you’re too young to be wearing a purple mini skirt anyway

i mean who let you out of the house like that?
your parents?

if i had a cell phone i’d give them a call right now
and tell them to come pick you

but, like i said, i don’t have a cell phone
and now you don’t have a cell phone
so let me be the first person
to welcome you to 1984, kid

where we made it just fine
without all of that bells and gadget shit

where the only surveillance comes from
a george orwell novel

a kindler, simpler time
with a president who’s still more an actor
than he thinks

and everyone keeps asking
where’s the beef?


Monday, August 5, 2013

poem of the day 08.05.13

millennial blues

he says
what separates the kids today from before
is that they seem to lack any and all curiosity
for the world around them

well, this may be true
but more and more the world
seems to lack anything to be curious about
except its own demise

so i try not to place the blame solely on them

because it’s computer games
and war all of the time for everyone now

forty-two ounce sodas and energy drinks
until our hearts swell and burst

as we slip further from the subtle niceties
and the vanguards of the past

although it is good to shed the skin at times
deep down i do wonder what these millennial blues
are really giving us

scattered self-importance?
so much meta that it becomes madness?
this year’s once-in-a-lifetime storm?

emotional impotence by the bucket
as we slide gracelessly into the cacophony
of caterwauling ceaseless opinion and discord 

time will tell, says the fifteen year-old
in the nirvana t-shirt
scanning his phone with his thumb

reading naruto manga books
and tweeting about what an old fart i am

and it makes me want to slap him
for hijacking my nostalgia and being so goddamned unaware

still, a kid like this
could be running the country
by the time i’m shitting myself and mainlining ensure

a whole generation of world leaders
with their heads buried in their cell phones

watching videos of jack-offs on skateboards
getting their nuts smashed on metal poles

bitching about their shitty u.n. lunch
and the piss stain on the prime minister’s pants

as nations burn, burn, burn like neon bar lights
and the rich stick ivory dildos up their ass

while the next generation of picassos
spray paint graffiti
on the flood walls of soon-to-be underwater cities

telling each other how hot and bored
they are with everything

all of the time


Friday, August 2, 2013

poem of the day 08.02.13

poem to the asshole blasting
angry birds on his ipad

please disregard and don’t confuse
my thoughtful stares directed your way
because in my head i’m really thinking
of slingshot-ing you across this bus
and out its open doors
watching as you and your ipad
splatter like a starfish, bloody and flesh full
on the coal-black bricks of the apple savings bank
just across this rainy and oil drenched street.



Thursday, August 1, 2013

poem of the day 08.01.13


all of these little shakespeare’s out there
pissing out poems
and i’m stuck on another dead morning
listening to the radio
with nothing in my head
but the cost of food and comic books
i stare at the wall
at pictures of elvis presley
the icon of an era that is starting to become
dead and gone
and i think elvis never wrote any of his songs
he never had to sit there in the morning
with a headache
or a pinched nerve in his neck
plant his ass on a cheap, hardwood chair
really trying to figure out the subtle cadence
of love me tender
or what it meant to be a hunka-hunka anything
well, i feel like a hunka-hunka shit this morning
a morning where art is no pleasure
where it is no amazing pulse sensing through me
mornings like this
the very act of finding the word feels like work
like another goddamned job that i awaken to
there is no one in this room
to love me tender right now
there is not sympathy for the poor fool
who cannot write
who cannot create at his own command
hell, i wish that i were elvis this morning
have someone else sit in this four-walled cell
and do all the grudge work
sweat out line after line
while all i did was put on a gold suit
curl my lips and swivel my hips
make the good girls scream
and wet their little panties
like they used to do on television
every time that bastard from tupelo
showed up
to sing someone else’s songs
making them all believe that they
were his
and his alone.                                        04.18.12