Friday, March 29, 2013

poem of the day 03.29.13

poem to the poet who deleted me
as a facebook friend

as if the streets
weren’t enough of a terror
this game
sad sack
and defeated upon birth

a swirling shit river
where every move made
seems like some kind of cheat
or deception

there are those moments of hope
in between the slop

the taste of a strawberry candy
sex on a sunday afternoon
a kind phone call coming when you’re on
the brink of madness

and the safe and blessed knowledge
that i’ll never
have to read
your terrible poem turds

unless i really want to
fuck myself
bring myself


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

poem of the day 03.27.13

brigitte the drunk

here you are again
standing outside of the pub
sucking on a cigarette

oh, how you make me hate the light

and brigitte
before you even get started
i want you to try and remember that we’ve met
at least half a dozen times

so, no, i don’t want to shake your hand again
go through the process of telling you that i’m not a tourist

that i live two blocks away from you
the same as i did three introductions ago

and i don’t want to hear about your dog
or how nursing has driven you to drink

how great this fucking bar is on a saturday night
because no bar is great on a saturday night

but here you come
right from your outside smoke over to my seat at the bar
smelling like menthol and cheap perfume

your smile smeared from these desperate hours

yes, brigitte, it’s really cute that my wife and i
both have flannel shirts on

only we didn’t plan it

but you can go on thinking what you want, my dear
go ahead and think we’re the cutest couple that you’ve ever met

whatever gets us through this cleanly

beside it seems like you got bigger fish to fry

i mean you look pale, brigitte,
somewhat sickly, like you’ve lost a little bit of weight

your handshake is a tad bit clammy, too

i hope you’re not drinking with a cold
because i always do that and they tend to linger on for weeks

i guess i’ll just have to stay away from you in the grocery store tomorrow
when we’re both bleary-eyed and looking for something solid
to quell the hangover

avoid making eye contact in the frozen food aisle

is it me or my wife whom you do this little dance for?

i mean you always start with me but you tend to linger on her

you hold her hand for so long, it makes me jealous
because, brigitte, it’s so obvious that you’re smitten

too bad you’re not the type who’s intriguing or tantalizing

i mean we could all have a good night if you were
and then you wouldn’t have to keep introducing yourself

but instead you’ll make your way down  the bar
to talk about your new friends to that lipstick abomination
that you’re always tethered to in this place

the one you mercifully never introduce us to

you’ll look over at us and lift your pint glass
my wife and i will do the same

i’ll say, until next time, sweet princess
as we work our way toward becoming strangers again

and in a few moments the bartender will come over
with a couple of shot glasses
good for two free drinks

on you, of course, brigitte

like always
on you.                                                

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

poem of the day 03.26.13

like a ripe peach baking
in the summer sun

she says
you can eat me
to the other girl

but the other girl curls up her face
and says

you probably taste like shit

she laughs

honey, you got it all wrong
i taste sweet, she says

like sugar

like a ripe peach baking
in the summer sun.

Monday, March 25, 2013

poem of the day 03.25.13

an unexpected poem written
sixteen days before my thirty-ninth birthday

too many
people pass
the flesh of this life
standing at parades
passing one holiday
into the hands of another
smiling stupidly
at others smiling stupidly back
shielding their eyes
from the sun
while i watch
that one black cloud
swirling in a blue sky
creeping slowly
toward their joy
hoping that it rains on all of them


Friday, March 22, 2013

poem of the day 03.22.13

girls in their late may legs

the girls in their late may legs
won’t get out of my way this morning

can’t they see that i’ve been fighting with my wife?

their legs are too tan too soon
these girls in their late may legs

they are ruining the illusions of the changing
of the seasons

their legs are probably tan year round
the little tramps
with their megastar sunglasses
typing away on their smart phones
as they saunter down another sun drenched street

the girls in their late may legs
i’ll bet they have no problems

no dying cat at home waiting for the injection
their assholes don’t itch on humid mornings

they don’t have student loans
or shiny, sore pimples budding on their noses

these golden goddesses of the american office space

their stomachs aren’t queasy from cheap drink
and they don’t have a gray hair on their head

the girls in their late my legs
are glasses of chardonnay on a yacht
and sea breezes at the beach

they are all auburn and jet black or golden

i don’t think they’re human
promenading past me with their faces wrinkled
like i’m a walking fart

they are all aliens sent here to belittle the masses

i’ll bet they’ve never packed a shitty brown bag lunch
they are all fruit salads and energy drinks

these ordained stick figures blocking my view
i’d like to round them up
get them out of my sight

because they are killing the melancholy
of another work morning

infecting the street with their clueless bliss

these girls in their late may legs
give me something to aspire to
as i stop for the free news weekly

blindly check the sex ads

as i watch them clip-clop in their high heels
down the subway steps
and into urban infinity.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

poemS of the day 03.20.13

some poems for spring...even though it's going to be 42 fucking degrees out in Brooklyn today:


you can watch him going
back and forth
in and out the door
to answer his cell phone
or just sit there
and be thankful that it isn’t you
watch him get red-faced
looking at the coming schedule
scanning it for his name
hoping by some magic that
i’ll appear there
or you can grab a piece
of scrap paper and plan
tonight’s meal at home
this isn’t your fault
not even your decision
watch as the phone rings
maybe it’s his wife
the one who just beat cancer
or the lawyer calling
the one who thinks he might
have a case
or just ignore him
and the read the new york times online
the editorials and articles
confirming how fucked up
the world has gotten
as if you needed proof
as if the sweating, red-faced man
before you
the one telling everyone that he’s
going to end up in a shelter
if he looses this job
isn’t proof enough
read the newspapers
or stare dumbly into the face
of the reality
close out the computer screen
to say something reassuring to him
even though you never liked him
tell him a joke
tell him it’ll be all right
say some bullshit
like it’ll all work out in the end
people like to hear that
don’t look when he grabs at his heart
and goes on about his condition
you know he’s got a bad heart
he’s clocked in all of those sick days
going to a cardiac specialist
if you worry that he’ll have a heart attack
and you’ll miss your bus filling out
paperwork, that’s okay
you’re only human
and when his phone rings again
the cancer victim wife
the lawyer
try to tell him kindly to take
the conversation to the staff room
or outside
because he’s disturbing the customers
talking in here
the staff is complaining
and because we got no room for that
kind of sadness
floating around in here
on such a quiet friday afternoon
with the sun out
the doors and windows open
and spring finally in the air.



hard to think that it has
taken me so long to
recognize you but here
comes the budding trees,
the birds outside my open
window, and softened air.
has the city made me
so absentminded as to
forget such beauty?
ah, I’d rather lay on
the grass with wine in my
belly than watch your waning
sunsets blossom summer’s


late spring in buffalo
            -after shell silverstein and emily dickinson

as gloomy
            as winter
as gloomy
            as fall
it’s like being inside
            of something that’s dying
and that ain’t no fun
            at all.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

poemS of the day 03.19.13

hello all....currently hard at work on a rough draft to a new novel, which'll hopefully be the sequel to
my novel, The Librarian, which could be coming out on Six Gallery Press at some point this
that said...i offer you what is quickly becoming the bottom of the barrel of my poetry reserves:


all a man needs
in this world
is a cold beer
a day off from the job
and a toilet
strong enough
to flush down
the toughest
of turds.

winedrunk haiku

orange-red apartment wall
dusted yellow from
a fistful of my knuckles


Monday, March 18, 2013

poem of the day 03.18.13

dry skin

dry skin
at three in the morning

wake up
find myself ripping up my flesh
with a toenail

can’t get back to sleep

clothing soaked with sweat
because you and i
had another knock out
drag out

boxes packed
suitcases packed

words said
tears and yelling
neighbors pounding on walls

the end
the dreaded horrible end
of us
has finally come

i toss and turn

at a loss
at such a miserable loss

think suicidal

reach across the vast sea of sheets

find your hand waiting
which you give to me
from a peaceful sleep

and i realize that it was only a dream

a motherfucking
kick-in-the-face of a dream

….and dry skin
at three o’clock
in the morning.


Friday, March 15, 2013

poem of the day 03.15.13

the longest ten minutes

he says
i’ll be about ten minutes

then he puts down the phone
and starts shuffling around in his seat

i can feel him looking at me
while i’m trying to read

his foot tapping like a junkie
sighs and stale nicotine breath emanating

two cellphones and a sidekick clogging his hands
as he starts bobbing his head to nothing

i look up and we make contact

he’s got red eyes and gray hair
and little else to his personality

picks up his phone again
(i don’t know which one) and dials

gets no one
sighs again into the almighty void
of slowly moving time

takes his sidekick and turns it sideways

slumps into his seat
like a fifteen year-old boy

starts playing a loud video game
slapping the controllers with his thumbs

making grunts as both of his phones go off
and he shouts, shit, shit, shit

doesn’t know what to pick up first

i look at him again
those red eyes strained
the hair somehow grayer
and i think this must be what my old man meant
by tech overload

doing anything to not be alone with your thoughts

as i watch this man try to answer both phones
as the video game plays on his sidekick

random blasts infecting the b4 bus back to bay ridge

as his stop comes up like gangbusters
and he fumbles around
dropping everything on the piss-scented floor

slouched and angry at the whole stupid world
that won’t fit on his video screens

storming off into the pounding winter rain

the longest ten minutes
that any one fool has ever had


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

poem of the day 03.13.13

juice bar

my wife and i
stand in line at a juice bar

we’ve decided not to drink on sundays
because we’re getting older

because sundays have always been
an alcohol free-for-all

arguments and sloppy sex
movies neither of us remember
and books we’ll have to reread the next day

this is sober sunday

so we’re in a juice bar line
with dozens of others

thin people who never wake up on monday morning
hot with sunday hangovers
really feeling the actuality of their death

and the juice bar is decked out in green and orange
and other earthy colors

there are pictures of hearts all over the place
to remind you that you are doing something
good for the body

i imagine regular bars decked out in bleak colors

blacks and grays and whites
and pictures of saturated livers hanging about

but this just makes me wish that  i was in a bar
instead of in a juice bar line

with dozens of young people texting
or bobbing their heads to the loud and terrible
disney pop playing overhead

covers of covers of old songs

with other aging assholes fooling themselves
on a sunday afternoon

and the juice bar workers are overly friendly
when someone walks in the door

one of the workers shouts, welcome to jammin’ juice
then it is like a chain, an echo of workers
whether busy or not


welcome to jammn’
welcome to jammin’
welcome to jammin’

the whole thing reeks of artifice
a corporate ideal of hospitality

complete with a shot of wheatgrass
to help keep you on this planet longer than you’d like to be

it’s like being in a foreign country actually

and each time you place an order
the juice bar worker takes your name
instead of giving you a number

you do not get a paper receipt
because we’re all saving the world in this juice bar

it’s not the workers fault that it is this way
they need to make a buck

chances are good most of these people
would be getting drunk with their sunday

or standing in a juice bar line somewhere else

when your healthy drink comes up
your smoothie
or your juice mixed with crushed ice

one of the juice bar workers shouts your name
like they’ve known you forever

and the young stop texting for a moment
to go up to the counter for their sixty-ounce blast

of pomegranate paradise
or peach passion
or strawberry swirl

sucking it half way down before they even leave the juice bar
while the rest of us stand there

listening to the disney music
the whirl of blenders

the door opening to a folksy bell
and another chorus of

welcome to jammin’
welcome to jammin’
welcome to jammin’

the blood pressure rising
a sense of propriety shot to shit
when each new drink that arrives is not our order

my wife and i
standing in this juice bar line
on a sober sunday afternoon

still somewhat convinced we’re doing something good
something healthy

instead of shoving down all of that poison
in the quiet of our own home

or sitting in a dead bar
with a cold beer

watching the warm sun shower the good earth
from behind smeared glass

just like the good lord
originally intended.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

poem of the day 03.12.13

man outside the funeral home

the man
outside the funeral home

is slouched against graffiti
and bird-shit walls

trying to light a cigarette with shaking hands

and bending at the knees

he is
inundated with family
and friends
and cups of water to calm his nerves

keeps shaking his head


while us gawkers on the street
are thankful

that his misery is not ours
for the moment

decide amongst our ignorant selves
to stop whining about

and bills
and itchy assholes

our imperfect love

shut our mouths
drink our paper coffee

move on


Monday, March 11, 2013

poem of the day 03.11.13

winedrunk argument

i disregard calamity

sit here anyway in disgrace
of my younger peaceful self

an icepack

a bloody dishcloth
sown to the dirty dictionary
of my mouth

offended you
offended me
offended us

shake the wine bottle
hoping for a little more salvation

but find it gone
like my dignity

and the good hours
that were left

in this


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

poem of the day 03.05.13

parallel parking

i can see her

i wish i had a sign that read
no talking to me during my walk to work

a sign like that would save me
so many of these moments

but i can see her waving me down

and tchaikovsky’s 6th is ending on my
magical music machine

it’s fading into a dissonance
that was taking me with it until this

but she’s waving me down

running across a busy street
flailing her arms as if she were on fire

what? i say when she reaches me
corners me really

and i don’t turn the tchaikovsky down
until i get that last recognizable note

can you drive? she says
in a thick russian accent

she points over to a car that is half out into the street
motor running and some terrible music infesting the block

i don’t have a license
which is a lie

i simply won’t help people who can’t help themselves

but you can still drive? she says
which means she’s willing to break the law to get what she wants

no, i tell her, moving on

having lost tchaikovsky because of this business
but gaining dvorak to compensate

can anyone drive?  i hear her shouting


anyone please?

then i turn the music up to drown her out

i’m sure she’ll find someone, i tell myself,
some good citizen to come and parallel park her car

but in a proper world
two teenagers would be joyriding brooklyn in that rumbling thing

while she gives a stolen property statement
to a couple of cops

two jolly flatfoots
laughing so goddamned hard

that they can barely write a sentence
in that little black pad of theirs.

Monday, March 4, 2013

poem of the day 03.04.13

jacques cousteau never did this

mitch says to artie
and everyone within earshot

hey, have you heard about larry yet?

he killed himself
turns out his old lady was screwing around on him

so larry goes out to the pier
with his pants full of rocks
and just jumps into the river like aquaman

they had three search crews out there looking for him
but they didn’t find shit

not even his body

good old larry is fish food now, mitch says
can you believe it?

artie and everyone within earshot
shake their heads

we say our goddamns
then go back to drinking our stale beer

but it’s harder now
thinking about poor larry the cuckold
doing a virginia woolf in the hudson

and all because of a philandering wife

if he had any balls at all
he would’ve let her go years ago
and started making the scene with other women

turn this life into a game of sex

bang everything from ages eighteen to sixty-five

every color of the rainbow
in the spectrum of female flesh

show that wife of his what she’s missing
by hopscotching on all of those other beds

keep a scorecard of his conquests
to compare and contrast on a slow saturday night

but larry was never that good looking
and what he lacked in looks he also lacked in imagination

some men don’t have the brains
that they are born with

they just float along until something finally pulls them under

and others of us only attain wisdom
while sitting on a barstool

three green beers into our philosophy

greedily combing the ruins
of another man’s life

for something to feel good about.


Friday, March 1, 2013

poem of the day 03.01.13

horse meat

there is all of this business lately
about horse meat

horse meat in the burgers
horse meat in the lasagna

and horse meat in the swedish meatballs

the good fat citizens of the world are complaining
about the horse meat

the news reporters are doing their job
getting to this bottom of this
and giving us the truth with a smile
before the evening game shows come on the tv

and the good fat corporations of the world
have been found out

they are pulling products
faster than a high school boy
getting off on prom night

but one wonders what’s the point?

what does it matter what you eat
once the animal has been stunned and decapitated
slaughtered and placed on the rack

its blood and fecal matter
slathering into a puddle on a cold factory floor

is it really of consequence
when you’ve got that hunger for flesh and sinew?

so everyone just calm down
let the corporations give us what we want

all the salt and fat that we can handle

let’s not stop the meat grinder of commerce over a trifle

let’s just close our eyes
open wide
and keep shoving it down

clogging the arteritis like good little consumers

because whether it be

or pig
or cow
or dog
or cat
ostrich and frog
or a brand newborn human baby boy

none of it really matters

and most of it just tastes like chicken anyway.