Friday, January 31, 2014

"best of" poem of the day 01.31.14

the chinese kid next door

the chinese kid next door
is a real pain in the ass

he doesn’t even really live next door
it’s his grandmother’s place

it’s like a russian march when he’s there

i’m convinced the little fucker
is flinging himself off the walls

the way they shake and crumble
the way my pictures of europe hang crookedly because of him

i’ve got swollen elbows from trying to give it back
my knuckles are black and blue from boxing with the plaster

when i knock on the door to complain
no one answers

they just get silent
start up again when they think i’ve calmed down

then he starts with the running and pounding
with rolling something across the floor
that makes my radio go to static

i think he has a tank parked in the living room

i can’t read when he’s over
i just sit on the couch and drink whiskey and watch basketball

plot what i’d do to him and his grandmother
if i ever got the chance

daydream body checking the little bastard
to the cold, marble floor
the next time we’re in the lobby together

give him a few kicks in the ribs for good measure
box grandma into a corner with a few good threats

but some good neighbor would most likely call the cops
although i’m convinced no jury in america would convict me
if they knew the true horror of this child

but these thoughts of violence and revenge are small comforts
against the noise this little piece of shit makes

the way he holds me captive
until grandma puts his rambunctious ass to bed

then settles in for the evening
with her music or television

which is also loud enough for us both to share.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

poem of the day 01.30.14

on george rubio’s porch

calvin had this thing
about pissing on george rubio’s porch

we’d be at the bar or the strip club
and out of nowhere he’d turn to me and say
let’s go and take a piss on george rubio’s porch

it seemed a little nonsensical to me
especially when surrounded by beer and half-naked women

i wasn’t george rubio’s biggest fan
but i didn’t want to piss on his porch either

i didn’t know what it was for calvin

george rubio was his friend
i thought they were tight

but then there’d calvin go
some stripper’s ass in his face
his fifth or sixth bottle of beer half-finished
talking about pissing on george rubio’s porch

fuck george rubio he’d say
then he’d down his beer and shove another dollar
in the stripper’s g-string

she’d smile and shake her ass and walk away
and calvin would never know it

he was in the zone

maybe it was a macho thing
some way for calvin to get back at george
for always spiking his coffee with ketchup and salt
saturdays at the eat’n’park

man, if my girlfriend only knew what we were doing
the summer i turned twenty-one

she and i argued all of the time back then
she thought that i was cheating on her

i guess i was with beer and strippers
and dates to piss on george rubio’s porch

it was the kind of shit you did when you were drunk
and young and out of options

but there we’d go
neither of us in any shape to drive
crawling slowly up city streets
looking for george rubio’s house

calvin always had the bass in his car going too high
and i worried we’d get caught

but no one ever came out

soon enough there we’d be
standing on a dark porch long after midnight

on george rubio’s porch
filled with old bats and gloves
chairs that were used to save parking spots in the winter
a cooler george used for soda and beer when he went fishing

calvin would turn away from me
and i’d turn away from him

in no time came the hot hiss of urine on concrete
on all george’s stuff  and in the cooler too

then the quiet laughter of two idiots getting their last kicks
not worrying about jobs or money or girlfriends
or beer or strippers of the future

but handling the task at hand

pissing on george rubio’s porch
on a humid summer night in pittsburgh

when the age of twenty-one felt like it was going to last forever

and the rising sun was like a pause button
on all the new good times
we thought we were always going to have.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"best of" poem of the day 01.29.14

state of the union

you must wonder
who in the hell do i think
i am
laying here on the bed
long, thin prick erect
a man who can
just turn
on a dime.
you tell me i’m crazy,
and when i stop brooding
and come to my
you say you were
only joking.
but it’s all right
if you weren’t.
it’s the times.
they’re making us
all go mad.
here, let me get you
a beer
and we’ll try to find
the sun
because my eyes
are getting bad
from the cheap red wine
and gallon scotch
and i’ve learned to
clockwatch at odd hours
because sleep has
become such blasphemy.
the usual shit
just ain’t doing it for me
and the new stuff costs
twice as much and is less fun.
let’s get a little nuts, shall we?
because i can tell
the health is failing
along with the economy
and the goodwill of the country.
who knows how much time
will be left
before the beer is gone, too.
so, dear, let’s take this
standing prick
this aluminum can
and let’s ride them to the horizon
before i go nuts again
and we both end up
spoon feeding each other
cheap corn syrup
straight from the assembly line
the assembly line
still reeking of our flesh
the oil
and the blood.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

poem of the day 01.28.14

wine + cat = me in the bathtub

i could’ve fallen asleep in there


it was late and i landed in a pretty good position
curled up like a baby

but then i heard my wife scream

she was in the bathroom
before i had time to get comfy
and make a night out of it

of course, one shouldn’t spend their night
sleeping in the bathtub

even if the shower curtain made for a fine pillow
even if the broken shower rod positions you just right

it’s just not what people do
especially on two bottles of wine and scotch

one gets a reputation that way
or they start to accept things like falling into the bathtub
as the new norm

people are creatures of habit
and my habits got me into this situation

actually it wasn’t even my fault
it was the goddamned cat that did it

her litter box is in the bathroom and she was taking a shit

cohabitation in the bathroom with an animal
is one of those new york city things
along with pizza and sky high rent

this cat is fifteen years old and senile

i keep waiting for her to die
because she can’t see and she can barely hear
and who the hell wants to live like that other than a human being

she gets under foot a lot now because of this
and i just didn’t see her that late at night

but i saw that shower curtain, brother
coming at me full speed

i saw myself tangled in it
like my name was jerome “curly” howard
and then the shower rod falling like babylon

i saw the sun and moon and stars
and my own life flashing before my eyes

i saw light
and jesus standing there telling me
we don’t want what you’re selling

better luck downstairs, he said
with a smile

i opened my eyes

i saw that cat lick her ass
and stroll out of the bathroom like nothing happened

then my wife hovering over me
waving her hands like a referee

shouting what’s wrong?
what happened?

like i had an answer for her
at such a religious moment as this.


Monday, January 27, 2014

poem of the day 01.27.14

7-11 takes new york city by storm

and i keep wondering
when it happened

it happened right under my nose that’s when

i bought a water at a 7-11
where a used bookstore used to be
and i thought nothing of it at first

but then they started cropping up everywhere

why i counted ten in brooklyn just this month
in places that were once comic book shops
delis and music stores and mom and pop hardware shops

now the gotham sky is emblazoned with that sickly looking
orange and green and white

with ads for big gulps and slurpees
iced coffees to wash down the morning
maple sausage pancake roll

i keep wondering if this is a sign of the apocalypse

i remember wondering that ten years ago
when all of those dunkin donuts started showing up
replacing pizza parlors and hair salons and other used bookstores

i didn’t pull up stakes then
but i’m curious if i should maybe do it now

grab the wife, grab the cat
get ourselves a sack full of subway subs
leave all the possessions and just go

but to where?

somewhere safe with only starbucks and mcdonald’s
burger king and wendy’s to worry about

better the devil you know and all that jazz

i tried to be diplomatic about this
thinking well a job is a job is a job
and certainly someone is working in these 7-11 stores

the buffalo chicken rollers and the 7-select burritos
don’t just appear there under those hot lights

the very berry salad and the cilantro lime bread
aren’t just going to make themselves
or are they?

plus who want one of those jobs?

not to sound un-american
but i’d rather live off the government
than heat up big bites and go-go taquitos all day

or have another corn dog roller for lunch

but i can’t be diplomatic
because 7-11 is taking new york city by storm

and that 7-11 in union square
used to be my dvd store

the one on new utrecht avenue
once made the best black and white cookies

and that one they’re building down on 4th avenue

well, i’m not a religious man
but let’s just say i hope those corporate honchos at 7-11
have made peace with their god.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Librarian week poem of the day 01.23.14


i’ve been in this bar
over three times this week

there must be something for me
in this place

but i can’t tell what it is

i just know that i’m
wearing out my welcome

no longer a novelty

they don’t seem as excited to see me

benny just pours my drink and nods

i sit there waiting
with my gut hanging over my belt
as jerry with the bad moustache
belts out eagles songs
forgetting that he once bared his soul to me

looking at a poster of irish writers
that hangs on the wall

it’s them and me and james joyce

we’re all in it until the end

none of us
new kids on the block in this place

we’re like statues of men and women

hopeless statues holding drinks

faded as the wallpaper has gotten
from too much sun coming in
through the dusty window
by the old front door
that one that sticks when it starts to get
humid outside.

The Librarian is available for purchase at right HERE

For my East Coast friends you can also purchase The Librarian at Caliban Books in Pittsburgh

and NOW on the West Coast, The Librarian is available at Gatsby Books in Long Beach

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Librarian week poem of the day 01.22.14


jack introduces himself to me again
we meet again and again
every time that i come in here
jack will interrupt a conversation
with some anecdote from his life
that has nothing to do with the topic at hand
then he’ll tell a story just as arbitrary
when he finishes he’ll look at me and ask
what’s your name?
and i’ll tell him, wishing that i could give him
a different name each time
but i’m known in here now
b.j. tells me that i’m a regular
i’ve been anointed and this is where i belong
today jack is talking about
herman hesse, siddhartha , the buddha
he tells us that jesus was a big fan of the buddha
only the bible won’t tell you that he is
i’m wondering what other kind of
inside information jack has on jesus christ
it keeps me from the realization
that these barflies are the only friends
that i’ve got in this world
but i’d rather b.j. and his whiskey and beer
jack with his pints of chardonnay and ice
than anything more intimate
because a man can still talk when he needs to
because in a few moments
ivan will start dancing to hot tuna
and bill the bartender
will drop his laptop on the floor because he’s drunk
jack will take a long pull on his chardonnay
and tell us that laptops are full of diodes
and diodes are what keep computers from getting viruses
b.j. will laugh and down the last of his pint
diodes, he’ll say, yeah, jack, it’s gotta be the diodes
keeping all of those viruses away
and jack will feel smart
he’ll tell me that this time he’s going to remember my name
then jeopardy will come on the television
and no one will have to think about anything else
friends or names
because one of the categories will be major league baseball
and we’re all intimate with that topic in this joint.

The Librarian is available for purchase HERE....should you accept the "challenge"

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Librarian week poem of the day 01.21.14


hipster whores
with the ass cheeks
showing a couple of brand new tramp stamps
infest this bar
take seats at the front
and shout at jeopardy on the television
trying to arouse
something in our thin row of drunks
they shout like queens
after all they’ve discovered this place
they’ve discovered us
we are a part of some hipster ritual in here
that is happening more and more these days
at least once a week now
these whores
with their thick glasses and tight pants
these whores or others like them
thinking they’ve found heaven
in the bowels of old man madness
and flat drafts of budweiser
thinking they’ve found “it.”
i wish jazzy jeff were here
to stumble off of his stool
and sling an arm around both of them
as he’s done the others
buy them a beer
and watch those hipster girls suck them down
before making a quick exit
back to wherever they came from
but jeff has already drank too much
and gone home
so these hipster whores will be
sticking around for final jeopardy
they’ll shout out the answer
slapping each other five
showing more bony, sexless ass crack
as the bartender takes three more of my dollars
with no buyback in sight
and john, with his one good tooth,
will try again at his hamburger
and onion rings
as he waits for wheel of fortune to come on
as this hour passes into another
that we’ll have to get through too.

The Librarian is my first novel.  It is available for purchase HERE

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Librarian week poem of the day 01.20.14

this week i'm going to use the blog to post the poems that ended up inspiring my first novel,
the librarian....available here


mona walks into the exit sign
instead of the door
then stumbles back to her seat
benny sits a few away from her
smelling the limes that the bartender
is cutting up
they remind him of cabo he says
she starts crying
he gets up and goes down to her
pulls her off her stool
takes her out the backdoor for some privacy
but you can still hear them
mona crying and bitching
benny telling her to go the fuck home
and sleep it off
when he comes back he talks to
the guys about the mets
the jets draft picks
mona is back in her seat, bawling
sucking another johnnie walker black
she yells and calls him a son-of-a-bitch
a dumb drunk
tells benny that he’s scum
he tells her not tonight, baby
let’s not make a scene tonight
she gets up and makes it to the door
goes through it this time
letting in the fading light
the joint gets quiet for awhile
just some neil young playing faintly on the juke
it still smells of lime
benny shakes his head and says “women”
ivan leans in and tells him that it’ll be all right
ivan tells benny that he likes scum
they laugh
the bartender pours another round
mona’s johnnie walker sits half-finished
christ, how is she going to walk the whole
way home, i think
while on the television is a game show
wheel of fortune
but none of us are watching it
right now                                                         

Friday, January 17, 2014

"best of" poem of the day 01.17.14


we’ve run out of bravado
out of beer in plastic sacks at our feet
as we drive the city at night

we’ve run out of young women
to try and impress
and must settle for conversation
over lackluster meals

we must wrestle with our choices

with our old gray selves

i sort of like it
but i don’t know about you

i always thought that there was
something sinister in you
just beneath the smirk

something just waiting to break out
that just got buried

in the strip malls and fast food chains of suburbia

that got strangled in kids and wives and electric bills

if that’s what happened
then it happens to the best of us

i don’t know
i guess i just kept waiting for you
to show up at the door

one of the ones i closed a long time ago

i thought you’d pry it open

but instead you became crippled

bravado isn’t much to me anymore

i’ll take wine over a fistfight
but i don’t know how you chose god
the way that some poor fools
get addicted to drugs or gambling

that old fucker just takes and takes
and never gives it back

he’s another kind of crutch, my friend

the only difference is that people
can come back from the booze and drugs

they can stop themselves from placing a bet
they can resurrect better than any jesus every could

but once you get lost in god
you’re mostly gone forever

it takes guts to do it, i’m sure

i just don’t think i have the stomach for it
and i never thought
it would’ve happened to you                                         05.05.10

Thursday, January 16, 2014

poem of the day 01.16.14

the tale of the homeless man
with the four foot penis

once upon a time
he got on an afternoon D train and declared

ladies and gentlemen, i am homeless
if you’ve got any spare change i’ll take it
if you need spare change i’ll give it
god bless america!

he seemed a very altruistic homeless man

but when the first man he approached
a white man playing on his smartphone
wouldn’t give him any money

the homeless man turned to the black girl
standing next to him and said

i don’t take money from no white motherfuckers anyway

which was good for me because i
also being of white motherfucker decent
could keep the two-dollars
that i was going to give this homeless man
and instead spend it on a can of beer
or some other sort of white motherfuckery thing

the black girl standing next to the homeless man
said, sir, i believe you’re being rude

to which the homeless man stopped short
and gave a thoughtful glance up and down the train
before telling the girl

fuck you, dyke
i’ve got a four foot penis and if you don’t watch it
i’m liable to ram that shit in you hard

to which the girl responded, yeah right, faggot

i don’t think anyone else on the D train
believed this man’s tall tale either

many others rolled their eyes
white and black motherfuckers snickered throughout the train

the man next to me texted his friend
4 ft penis my ass

an old woman gasped and shook her head at me
as if i’d said it

i wasn’t sure what to think
a four foot penis wasn’t really possible
but it wasn’t improbable

i was just coming from a meeting about the homeless
i had a lot of useful information on me
but none of it told me what to do if the homeless had
a four foot prick

but if this homeless man truly had a four foot penis
what was he doing being homeless?
riding on the D train in the middle of the afternoon?
why wasn’t he rich and famous from doing porn?

i was sure someone could’ve found him the woman
with the gaping vagina by now
or the man with a craterous asshole

with a four foot penis that homeless man could bat clean up
in any batting order in any league

he could catapult orange construction cones and small children
in a single bound

he could pogo through the streets of manhattan
take his talent on the road
become the next youtube sensation

settle global conflicts by whipping it out

but instead he was here with us
with the blacks and the yellows and the reds
and all of us white motherfuckers

glaring at the girl standing next to him
asking that eternal question

who you callin’ a faggot, bitch?                         

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"best of" poem of the day 01.15.14

no one wins

the old timer
the one who used
to sit next to you
almost every night
watching jeopardy
and complaining about the jukebox

who raised the ire
of the staff of bartenders
for nursing one beer
and not tipping
whose collection
of nelson demille novels
lines the back wall
of this joint

has been holed up
in a vet’s hospital for two weeks

turns out
that he was homeless
his vendor license expired
and taken back by
this unforgiving city

didn’t sell anything
the other drunks said
when they told me

he just sat there
and collected a fee from
the foreign bootleggers

no one knows
if he’s doing well or not

no one cares

but jeopardy isn’t on the tv
and the jukebox is ripping tonight
jazzy jeff downs his beer
and announces to all gathered
that there are two types of women
in this world

bitches and whores

and the newspapers agree with him
today the times told me
that the tears of women
are a turn- off to men

i look at my wife
and wish that i could take her
somewhere better
to get drunk on a wednesday night

yet again
no one wins

it’s hard to sit here
thinking about john
the tears of women
and the world

letting my secret fear run wild

the one where these cretins get up
and lock the door to the bar
make my wife and i pay
for not being regulars here since birth

it’s hard to sit here
and think about all of the loss
that it takes
just to make up a single day

it’s better to turn your head
toward the television
tap a foot to the music
agree with jazzy jeff
and not think a single thought about
poor john

wait for someone to score
in the game that’s playing on mute

cheer along with everyone
when the winning team does it

safe with the knowledge
that even the best of the best
drop one-third of their games
a season.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

poem of the day 01.14.14


tonight i am sick with wine
sick with family

my wife asks me what i want

i tell her devotion and adulation all the time
or nothing at all

or i want to cease, i say

i want to stop looking into the mirror
every morning
and have this fat, gray, unrecognizable
blob of a man stare back at me

i tell her that i want more wine instead

it’s then that bolero comes on the radio
its manic repetition building
until my wife and i are bobbing our heads

she tells me that she thinks
bolero should’ve been the song
they used at the end of battlestar galactica

the one that bound the cylons together
instead of the dylan song

when bolero comes on the radio
i always tell my wife about my favorite part
of that thomas bernhard novel

the part where all of the characters let go of their hate
to listen to bolero
as if something unexplainable and joyous
welled up inside all of them at once

but tonight i only tell her that
battlestar galactica was a really good show
instead of telling her about bernhard

or that i want that feeling of everlasting exuberance
or that she is still exciting
that existence is exciting when i let it be
and that this sadness
this sadness is only….

but then my wife asks me for more wine

and we sit there drinking in the silence between us
moving our heads to the music

until maurice ravel sees fit
to finally set us free.


Monday, January 13, 2014

poem of the day 01.13.14

almost shakespearian

he says there’s too much blood
always too much blood, he shouts
into the brutal january cold

is he talking to me? i wonder
but then he starts pacing at the bus stop

they had me, he screams, for years they had me

where? where? i wonder
where in the hell did they have you?

everyone else seems to have moved away
and i worry that it would seem untoward if i did too

so i stand there like it ain’t nothing
waiting for a bus that’ll be late as always

a knife
a knife, he shouts
holding both hands toward the sky

it’s almost shakespearian in a way

maybe he’s an actor
though he seems too crazy even for the acting set

he’s in floods and a canvas coat
has three strands of hair left across the top of his head
and they’re blowing in the wind

it’s his red carpet get-up

and then there’s so much blood

i start to take a step back
but the bus is in the distance

so i buckle down
and hope this guy’s got nothing more in him
than this soliloquy

maybe i hope he’s not taking my bus

and they had me
they had me, he screams again
when the bus arrives

had you where?  i want to shout

i get on the bus pretty quickly
and sure enough he’s right behind me
huffing and almost out of breath

i tell the bus driver, man, we’re in for it
you watch my back and i’ll watch yours
but he just looks at me like i’m dog shit

don’t say i didn’t warn you, pal
i tell my reflection in his mirrored shades

then i head toward the back
hoping shakespeare doesn’t follow

the bus is close to empty
there’s one other lunatic aggressively licking his lips
and making appetizers out of his boogers

he’s muttering to himself too
maybe it’s something from marlowe

my crazy takes a seat right across from this one
and i expect explosions in the sky

but instead they shake hands
and start talking about the weather
how the jets and giants both blew it this year

just like two normal dullards going home
from a normal dullard job

while i sit there and think to myself
how this conversation suddenly seems insane

moaning to myself
they got me, they finally got me

as the bus starts up stillwell avenue
carrying us crazies off to our own calvary                                

Friday, January 10, 2014

poem of the day 01.10.14

i’m going to the bar

i’m going to the bar
that’s what i told the eighteen year old clerk
when she asked me what i’m doing tonight
so now i have to go
for her
for you too
i’m going to the bar
to drink beer and eat pretzels and play
loud rock and roll music
at a volume i can’t play at home
i’m going to the bar
for led zeppelin and jim morrison and mick jaggar
so that the bartender can shake my hand
and wish me a happy new year
so that i can wish him one too
i’m going to drink pints of budweiser and love them
i might have a shot or two
i’m going to the bar
to forget about poetry and novels and books i haven’t read
to forget about work and late trains
to forget about bills and jobs
and cancer and death
at least for a little while
i’m going to the bar
to sit there and watch the evening news on mute
and not care what’s happening in syria or iraq or south sudan
and not care about whiney americans bitching about the winter cold
and not care about republicans versus democrats
and this celebrity state that we’ve been paralyzed in
since the dawn of the internet age
i’m going to the bar
to get a little drunk and have a good time
to answer jeopardy questions and not care if i’m right or wrong
i’m going to bitch to the bartender about baseball
about the super bowl about the nets and the knicks
about a-rod and mike piazza getting the shaft from the hall of fame
and then tip him big for lending me his ear
i’m going to let the racists tell me their racist jokes
and not say a word
i’m not correcting a goddamned soul tonight
i’m just going to order another beer
and let the dim lights and the warmth of this place envelope me
thank the stars that i’m alive for a change
and at the bar.                                                                                     

Thursday, January 9, 2014

poem of the day 01.09.14

mad world

the old year unfolds for me
like a shit-stained rose
and on the elevated d train
i look into blue homes
at the debris  of humankind
at the playpens of screaming children
and television sets
the empty couches and soiled beds
the families huddled over dinner
over gadgets that offer them better than flesh
their only true hope to rise tomorrow
and once again say hello to the cancerous sun
i watch this
and i think of myself as a mad youth
in college student unions of my dirty memory
writing mad words
meant to take over this mad world
and failing
having it arrive too late
to truly save the gray man looking back at me
in the subway window
who once challenged himself
to be immortal
but will now have to settle
for being just like


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

poem of the day 01.08.14

my first checking account

i got my first checking account
a few weeks after i had to have my balls operated on
because the veins down their were trying
to strangle my testicles to death
and render me a late model eunuch

they got one but the doc managed to save the other

the stitches were starting to evaporate
i was itching all of the time
the only thing that quelled the prickling
was sitting in the bathtub, scratching
until the water went cold

my old man
out of work for the spring and summer
and maybe bored with doing laundry
decided that it was high time i got a checking account

he said, you’re starting college
you need your own checking account

it seemed reasonable
albeit an ill-timed revelation on his part

the old man said, get out of the bathtub, son
and become an adult

so i followed him, itchy balls and all
to the bank where there were lines of old people
with checking accounts and saving account and cds

they looked half-dead
but no one seemed to have itchy balls save me

i tried standing away from everyone to scratch
but my old man said, what’s the matter with you?
get over here

so i joined the queue and stood there
and thought about ripping off the one remaining testicle
and maybe finding myself a harem to run

soon i got called aside by a man
with a van dyke wearing a bolero
who told me that a first checking account
was an important thing

it wasn’t my place to argue with him

he looked down at the forms i’d hastily filled out
and started muttering my name
john john john john john

i thought maybe i’d have to call the old man over
so we could handle this guy

but then he looked up and said
don’t mind me, i make it a point to memorize
all our clients names

which was his thing
like itchy balls were becoming my thing
and going to college and becoming an adult

when van dyke bolero handed me
a stack of blank checks
to be honest, the whole thing was anti-climatic
they didn’t even have my name or address on them yet

i didn’t even have money to buy anything with a check

van dyke bolero shook my hand
like i was entering into some secret club
full of checking accounts and savings accounts and cds
lines full of the walking dead

a newly minted adult

i wanted to scratch my balls right there as a celebration
but i held out the whole ride home

until i got back to that bathroom
where running the hot water steamed up everything
and i got lost in youthful revelry

scratching and scratching and scratching like an addict
watching my one red testicle bobbing in the water
as the stiches sizzled and floated away like little blue worms                              

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

poem of the day 01.07.14

thank you for your kindness

it was probably while i was watching
the plastic bottle of parmesan cheese
roll toward a slush and snow bank
that i realized i was still alive

my hat had flown off for sure
it ended up in your path and i’m sorry for that
but i lost a jar of pork gravy in this
and a can of black beans was dented

i landed right on my left arm and my ribs felt like hell

for a moment i thought maybe i’d cracked them
but i figured with the way
i was writhing around on the icy pavement
that maybe they were just very bruised

it was pretty amazing that i didn’t crack my head

i think that says a lot for my will and instinct
to just twist my body in midair like that

anyway you saw the whole thing
so there’s no point in me rehashing it here

also, i’m sorry for my display

had i known that i was going to hop up off the pavement
in a fit of blind rage
and start shouting invective into the gray morning
while my ribs burned and my left arm hung limp and useless
i would’ve made sure to warn you

it’s just that those bastards never salt their sidewalk
and i’ve been telling everyone
that something like this was bound to happen

well, it happened to me

so excuse me for calling the people next door
lousy cocksuckers
telling their closed front door that i wished they were all dead
threatening to kill the dog across the street
for barking while i stumbled around in pain
trying to pick up my hat and my groceries off the ground
without slipping and sliding and falling again

and i’ll forgive you for never stopping to ask
if i was all right
not while i was laying their prostrate
and not when i was standing there battered and weak

we’ll just pretend like you gave a shit
instead of looking back at me and shaking your head
before tip-toeing into your apartment

we’ll pretend that when i shouted
thank you for your kindness
that i was being genuine and sincere

and that after you were gone
i skipped home for coffee and the sunday paper
my faith in humanity bubbling over

instead of stumbling around on the street alone
trying to figure out if those thick spots all around me
were patches of pork gravy or my blood.


Monday, January 6, 2014

poem of the day 01.06.14

hello all

well a new year is upon us and i'm back at the machine.  2013 really burnt me.
i'm going to try and keep this blog going with new stuff, but an original poem a day
is getting harder and harder with there may be instances were i throw an
oldie but a "goodie" at you.


but let's start the new year off with something new today......

rockabilly fag hag

the rockabilly fag hag takes the seat
two down from me at the bar

she lets her buddy (who isn’t rockabilly)
saddle up in a stool next to mine

she has tattoos of a deck of cards
a skeleton elvis, a spider web and a flaming set of dice

she’s real rockabilly

she says, this bar doesn’t look anything
like it says in the article on dive bars

and it hits me that i drink in a dive bar featured
in an article on dive bars

it’s kind of like realizing you drink in disneyland

then she says, this is a total sausage party in here
even though you can count at least
seven or eight women putting back pints

her buddy says, totally

and because he’s the queen of the ball
maybe they’re on to something this saturday night

they start giving my favorite bartender, seth, a hard time
asking him for drinks that he doesn’t make
drinks that the article on dive bars says they make here

they ask him if this is a gay bar
and seth says only if your gay…or happy

then he does a flamming strut to the other end of the bar
just to let rockabilly fag hag know
what an insufferable bitch she’s being

as her buddy checks  his cell phone
looking for a better opportunity than this one

they both order spiked apple cider
call seth a dick when he walks away
without taking their order
before mocking everyone they lay eyes on

i think about pulling a 1989 era
michael keaton batman on the guy
elbowing him in the stomach
and then getting him right in the face
with the back of my fist

i don’t know what i’d do to rockabilly fag hag
maybe try to slice off her bettie page tattoo
with an ice chipper

or take the black and pink rose out of her hair
and shove it down her throat

that seems like a harsh thing to do
but i’ve been in a bad mood all week

instead i wonder if there’s really
an article on dive bars that i can read

because if assholes like these two
keep coming into this joint

seth or no seth

i’m going to need
to start scouting out a new location

soon. first novel, The Librarian, is available for purchase at