Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hiatus TIme

hello all,

going on a longish hiatus.  starting today and lasting until April 14th.
going off into the wilderness to turn 40 and learn how to be human again.

take care
and as always
thank you


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

poem of the day 03.26.14

gun #3

there is clarity in being drunk
and then there is casing the pittsburgh night
too many beers
too many vodka and sodas
with just a touch of lemon in them
me and colby and calvin and steve
freezing and bitter from being ignored by women
who only wanted too many beers
too many vodkas
and to be left alone by the likes of us
i don’t know who was worse
me or colby or calvin or steve
drunk and staggering the oakland section of the city
praying for release under statues of shakespeare and galileo
begging for warmth
drunk and aggressive and rejected
too young to know any better
we spied someone in a craig street phone booth
shouting into the night
causing his own hooligan ruckus
there is clarity in being drunk
oh, but there is safety in numbers
as we made toward the commotion
too many beers
too many vodka and sodas
with just a touch of lemon in them
me and colby and calvin and steve
pounding on the phone booth at all sides
scaring that motherdfucker out of his wits
silencing him
when he opened the door we thought
we had the upper hand
to do what?
until he unzipped his coat
lifted his shirt
showed us the butt of something that glowed
black and metal
then asked in that same, loud, lunatic voice
would you all like to be shot tonight?
as we scattered into an urban abyss
me then colby then calvin then steve
too many beers
too many vodka and sodas
to just know well enough to leave a man alone.                          

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

poem of the day 03.25.14

the ignorance in common men

there is a palpable downtick in joy
when he gets into the long post office line

hello sal
hello judy

he taps the guy in front of me
hello richie

richie is carrying too many packages
his whole life looks soured confronted with this guy

hello eddie, he says
then richie tries to turn back around

but eddie…
you see i don’t got my cast no more, huh richie

richie nods

i’m still supposed to have it but i took it off

why’d you do that, eddie?

because of god, he says
i prayed to god and he told me it was time
to take the cast off

richie nods like he knows the mysteries of god

the doc told me, when i put a cast on you
i put it on there for a reason

that so, eddie?

yeah, but i told him my god told me to take it off
so i did

eddie says, the doctor couldn’t find nothing wrong with the leg

but you’re still limping, richie says

eddie shakes his head and says,
all these ignorant people
these non-believers and these atheists
what are they gonna do in the end?

i don’t know, eddie, richie says

i’m a confident man, eddie says
i’m secure in my faith and i’m not no heathen
i know that god is real and can’t no one tell me different

eddie starts to sing
make me a channel of your peace
where there is hatred let me bring your love

hello sarah
hello joey
as more people come in the post office

they don’t say anything to eddie
because they’ve been indoctrinated in his faith before

and richie has already turned back around
involved in packages to granddaughters and siblings

these people, eddie says to aloud and to himself
such ignorance
they just don’t know
they just don’t realize
that god could stop their heart at any minute

if he wants me to have a limp for the rest of my life
let it be his will

eddie goes back to singing
where there is injury, your pardon lord
and where there is doubt, true faith in you

it’s a revival that none of us can escape

then eddie taps me on the shoulder and says,
i know i’m going to heaven brother
what about you?

sure, i tell him
right to heaven in a hand basket

if i ever survive this post office line.                               

Monday, March 24, 2014

poem of the day 03.24.14

hangover sunrise

you lay there in bed
you’re killing some of sunday

it’s your only day off this week
but you can’t help it

the pain in the head is too much
the stomach is doing cartwheels

you’re almost forty, you think

and you’re still pulling this shit
like you’re twenty-two years old

you wonder about your health
feel the heart and check the pulse

fast but that might be because of the stomach

you hope you don’t have to pray
to the porcelain gods this morning
because you have a streak without vomiting

three years

not since madrid and the urinal at the reina sofia museum
after ten straight hours of beer
with ally and oscar and aida and gemma

this is a streak you’d like to keep
but the stomach is churning away
and the head is hurting no matter how you move it

the sun is coming through the window
it hurts your eyes and looks like a hangover too

you think it’s only a matter of time now

and to all of the lost sundays
that you’ve spent this way

you apologize
and wait for your time to shine.

Friday, March 21, 2014

poem of the day 03.21.14

the sun causes cancer

the sun causes cancer
but the idiots outside keep smiling into it

only the polar bears have not yet learned to swim

the sun causes cancer
the flood waters keep rising

but that bitch on 4th avenue
won’t get off of her phone

she’s standing the middle of the sidewalk
letting the sun beat on her head
as she squawks about nothing

she doesn’t care that sun causes cancer
that the flowers are blooming too early

she is erosion
she is the essence of mankind
as droughts suck at the coughing dirt

one half of this world is an incurable allergen
the other half always gets it wrong

yet the people eat lunch outside in the parks

they cook themselves in scented oils
letting the sun give them cancer

someone needs to contact the president about this

have him call the u.n.
tell everyone to go back inside
pull down the shades and lock their doors

tell everyone to stop huffing ozone
get with the program

but politicians practice the religion of denial

and the sun causes cancer
as our ecology and determination seem to wane
and the dream fades from crystal to black.                                             

Thursday, March 20, 2014

poem of the day 03.20.14

ready to take on the world

he says look at them

so i do

three homeless gathered around a computer
two men and one women

they haul junk in the neighborhood for money

he says
i just don’t understand people like that
how can they spend all day every day in their own filth?

the homeless are taking turns on facebook
looking at pictures of their families

he says
why don’t they find somewhere to take a shower
a good shower would do wonders for them

the homeless woman is looking
at a picture of a girl blowing out candles

she says
isn’t she adorable?

she is i think

then he says
they make the air in here acrid

which is true
but it’s no worse than following him
into the bathroom

he says
yeah, a good shower would fix those three
hose them down against a wall and toss them some soap

i know a good shower makes me feel alive
it gets me ready to take on the world
he says

now don’t you agree?                                                   

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

poem of the day 03.19.14

gun #2

it was one of those catholic holidays
where we were the only kids off in the neighborhood

it was a gray and moody and hopeless day
it was raining out

it felt catholic

mitchell had the idea
we’d go and visit sammy vaughn’s house

he lived with his old man up on highland drive
the place was all glossy wood and rustic
it looked more like a cabin than a house

none of us knew what happened to sammy’s mom

kids said she died of cancer
parents said she took off because of the old man

we played pool in the basement
there were guns strung up on the walls
deer and other animal heads were mounted as well

his old man had the biggest television
and there was a liquor stand made of crystal
that glowed like diamonds

schnapps, sammy said
when he handed mitchell and i two tumblers

the liquor tasted like a peppermint stick
and i was hooked

sammy poured us more as we played pool
he put on the big television and let the sports channel blare

he may have been drinking before we got there
because he was acting weird

playing air guitar to no music
trying to bounce pool balls off of his floor
jumping on the couch like it was a trampoline

he was usually such a quiet kid

check this out, sammy said
before we knew it he had one of those guns off the wall
and was waving it around the room

holy shit, mitchell  said
he ducked and started crawling around the pool table

i stood there with my tumbler of schnapps
and watched sammy do his best elmer fudd
stalking around the room after bugs bunny

he broke a lamp with the butt of the gun

when it hit the floor
the lightbulb popped and sparked and shattered

sammy tossed the gun on the couch like it was a toy
then bent down to pick up the glass shards with his bare hands

that’s when mitchell got up and ran for the stairs
i put down the schnapps and followed

you could hear the din of television from the street
we waited for the gunshot that never came

then we hauled ass back down the block
as swift and graceful as altar boys
working a busy sunday mass.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

poem of the day 03.18.14

tourist towns can be a drag

especially when you learn that a record store
that you love is closed down
and you don’t even have time to give a eulogy
outside its soaped up and boxed up windows
because there’s a parade of tourists invading bleecker street
who all think that they’ve seen someone famous
is that such and such? you hear them say
who all want to pose in front of famous new york restaurants
holding new york city slices of pizza or new york sized bagels
while you’re standing there in front of the dead record store
wondering what in the fuck happened to it
telling yourself that you’re not going to buy
these albums on itunes out of solidarity and spite
in fact, the neighborhood looks really different now
you’ve only been living in this city for ten years
but even you can recognize the change
it’s all chain restaurants and specialty shops
places for the tourists to buy authentic new york this and that
to take back to middle america or middle earth
or whatever podunk town these invading, multiplying cretins came from
and you hate these fuckers so much
you start talking out loud like a madman
shouting about how much you’d like to send these people
back to their america in one of the knock-off gucci bags they bought
they look at you like you’re all part of the experience
so you settle for your own slice of pizza instead
inside a pizza shop that you didn’t know was famous
because it’s always been around
but it must be famous
because such and such ate there and has his picture on the wall
right there underneath a horde of teenagers from ohio
in matching coats and hats
singing this insipid pop song at the top of their lungs
the one that will be stuck in your head  for the rest of the day
these clueless millennial, verruca salt pricks who killed your record store
with their cell phones and digital downloads
because they have to have it NOW
the ones who invaded your city
on what was supposed to be a peaceful winter sunday afternoon
these aliens who won’t’ stop singing and taking pictures
laughing out loud and shouting
about what a bunch of dumb tourists they are.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Mastering the Montone: Live Readings by Steve Henn (a WineDrunk review)

I became aware of the poetry of Steve Henn not by accident.  In October 2013 we were both asked to participate in the 3rd Annual Long Beach Poetry Festival.  Being the investigative prick that I am I went through the list of readers for the event and tried to find their poems online to get a good sense of what they’d be putting me through that day.  I already knew what I’d be putting people through that day.  There were quite a few poets on the list that struck me.  For sure Steve Henn was one of them.  There was a biting wit to the sample poems that I read and in the book that I bought, And God Said: Let There Be Evolution!.  A willingness to take on everyone from big government to his home state of Indiana down to the people Henn shared a roof with.  To say that Steve’s poems are funny simply undersells them.  They are riotous at times.  Never hurtful or mean but direct and to the point.  Poignant too.  You know the subject Matter that Henn is going after and revel in how he weaves the words to get down to it.  Take this poem from Henn’s 2011 book Unacknowledged Legislations:

Have You Ever Been to Walmart?

Oh, man! Have you ever
been to Walmart and really looked around
at all those people? Simians everywhere.
Cro-Magnons.  Half-men half-monkeys.
Cave women with no light in their eyes.
I can’t figure out if people go to Walmart
because they’re stupid, or if they become
stupid because they go to Walmart.  I’m in there
½ hour ago picking up toe nail clippers,
a garden hose, the latest Rascal Flats CD,
an XL T-shirt with a Bugs Bunny University logo,
and a wheel of Sam’s Choice liverwurst—you know,
regular Walmart stuff—and I’m waiting
to check out, and it’s like I have this cosmic
brain reaction to where I can see everybody’s IQ
shimmering above their heads like tongues of flame,
and most of ‘em are like 72, 74, 63…
and then I have this total paranoid hallucination
that since I came in the sliding doors the Rapture
had begun, only Jesus is this complete intellectual elitist
with meaningless PhDs in Transubstantiation
and Creationist Evolution and Middle Eastern Surrealist Literature,
and all the intelligent people have—poof! you know, gone
above, and somehow I got Left Behind ™
with some presidential Antichrist poised to lead an army
of nimrods into genocide of the remaining intelligentsia
so I’ve got this total intellectual inferiority complex
compounded by the fact that some perverted form of Christianity
is making the Universe go ‘round, and then I realize
that I let my medication lapse over a week ago
so I beeline to the pharmacy, begging God
all the while to make my heart stop beating
before downing in a sea of idiots
like the antihero of a ‘70s sci-fi movie
starring Charlton Heston as Satan’s right hand man.

See what I mean?  Now if you don’t feel like that every time you step inside a Walmart you need to have a deep conversation with yourself.

Half of the joy in the poetry of Steve Henn is seeing him perform it.  I got that pleasure at the Long Beach Poetry Festival, and thanks to the release of Mastering The Monotone: Live Readings by Steve Henn, you too can have the pleasure of seeing and hearing Mr. Henn read his poems to an audience.  Clocking in at just under an hour this DVD is a primer for the clever, bold, dare I say, acerbic genius, of Steve Henn.  Through 20 jam packed poems done in a neon-drenched club atmosphere us viewers are taken along with Henn as he hilariously goes after everyone from the religious, to big pharmacy conglomerates, to the government, to Bob Dylan and his good buddy Nate White.  Not to sound redundant but Steve Henn is funny.  And funny works for me with poetry.  There isn't enough humor in poetry.  It’s sort of my bread and butter.  And it works for Steve Henn too.  

But above the humor and above the audience’s laughter there exists a melancholy, existential, self-flagellating vibe.  A sadness if you will.  That yin-yang of conflicting emotions adds to the depth and overall point that Steve Henn is trying to make with his poetry.  And what is that?  Well, its poetry and poetry is subjective.  For me reading Steve Henn, and now being able to view him read his poems in this great DVD, is that of being stuck in America, in the heartland, in jobs and marriages and relationships that take such a delicate balance of self one can go mad.  But instead of doing that why not have a laugh, and try to get through life without it becoming such a heavy weight.

Everything on Mastering The Montone is great.  It’s essential Steve Henn  For me the stand out poems as read are: I’m From Indiana, The Truth About Gun Violence, I am a Poet (Henn’s admitted favorite poem), What I’d Hope I’d Say to Any of My Wife’s Friends Who Offered to Do Me, Letter to a Student,  When I Peed Myself at the Bob Dylan Show, and Royal Rumble: Gay Pride Parade and Klan Demonstration.

For more Steve Henn: (you can order the DVD by clicking The Live Experience link here)

Friday, March 14, 2014

poem of the day 03.14.14

gun #1

bobby craven was an idiot

he wasn’t the neighborhood idiot
…but he was close

craven liked to talk about guns
he said his old man had a whole basement full of guns
but none of us believed him

steven flushing called bobby an idiot
and then went back to killing his tadpoles with old nails
and building a fortress out of thorn bushes

while the rest of us kids stood there
with our thumbs up our asses

maybe we were all neighborhood idiots

but craven still rose closer to the top
he insisted his old man had semi-automatics and a colt .45
he had a classic springfield model from the civil war

you’re full of shit, craven. i told him
because i wanted to get steve flushing going again

something to take his mind off of killing amphibians
and making that thorn bush that he promised
to throw us all into when it was finished

i was new in the neighborhood
and i wanted to be more than just another fool
who stood around waiting on pain

i’ll show you, craven said
i’ll bring them all down here

my ass, steve said
and we all laughed
keeping one eye on that thorn bush
that was slowly taking shape

steve said, bobby the only thing your old man has
is a beer belly and his unemployment checks

when craven left nobody thought about it or him

we were glad that he was gone
we were glad that steve had stopped building
his thorn bush dungeon to go inside for dinner

the rest of us geniuses took our thumbs
out of our asses and went home too

i wasn’t home but ten minutes before someone
was outside calling my name

into the summer evening air

when i went to the door
sure as shit there was bobby craven
standing at the top of my driveway
tear streaked eyes and with a rifle in his hands

he looked like he was going hunting
so i ducked


i thought that i was going to piss myself
i felt so sick

a thorn bush dungeon seemed like a blessing
compared to that gun

i waited until the sound of my name faded away

when i rose craven was gone
he’d either stalked off to steve’s or went home

i couldn’t breath
so i went outside for air

and watched one bird
attack another bird for a morsel

a little something he could call his own.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

poem of the day 03.13.14

technological advancements

my mother calls
she tells me that she got an iphone

your father wants me
to take a class on how to use it, she says

we’ve reached the pinnacle of the outrageous
here in the land of the free

the home of the brave

there is no cure for cancer
there is no cure for AIDS

and millions are starving on the street
to a rich government melody
of who gives a fuck?

but there are classes on using the telephone now

it’s so neat, my mom says to me
and i’ll bet it is

otherwise everyone wouldn’t have their heads
buried in the things

instead of watching where they’re walking on the street

when you call me your picture comes up
with its own theme music

this makes sense, i think
to be frozen into a pose on a phone
like a stock character in a bad sitcom

the drunken luddite son
eschewing all technological advances

the grump the crank
smiling it all away

in a world that has become
such a fucking joke.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

poem of the day 03.12.14


the two bodybuilders
are on the afternoon train

watching a mexican girl
twirl her hair in the drooping sunlight

and while i can’t fault them for that
guys like these get my back up

maybe it’s the plastic machismo
of these jerk-offs dressed in cut military khakis
flexing their muscles so the other can feel them

talking about their reps and sets
punctuating every sentence with the words
dude and fuck

staking claim on a woman
they’ve yet to talk to

christ, it’s the 21st century
you’d think there’d be some way
to eradicate guys like these

make more mexican girls playing with their hair
in the soft winter sunlight

an APP or some kind of malware
some other technical doodad to syphon them out

the few remaining geniuses in america
should come up with something like that

for these muscle heads and every other asshole

get real sci-fi

do so and i’ll ride the tide
of your technological bandwagon all the way

at least until i’ve run out of bandwidth again.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

poem of the day 03.11.14

the couch

we were living on the second floor
of a converted home on claremont avenue in buffalo
in a college neighborhood
that didn’t shut up from september to may
the kids played beer pong on the lawn
and would one day be our elected leaders
but we couldn’t get the couch up the steps
the delivery men shrugged and left it there
it was my problem, they said
handing me the receipt
everything was my problem in buffalo
the car that didn’t work
the shitty job in the wine store
where i got yelled at every day by some
lilliputian assistant manager
with failed rock and roll dreams
the graduate classes that i needed
so i could put a tourniquet
on the decade working bad jobs for small men
all my problems
i was fed up, tired, throwing up a lot
and bleeding out of the ass when i shit
i called my wife at work and cried and told her
that i couldn’t take it anymore
i said, the couch is stuck there on the steps
and i plan on leaving it there forever
we had to pay someone to get it
through a door that we had on a balcony
i quit the wine store job on the day we got it in
when we drank our wine that night
i felt renewed and invigorated
i spilled some red on the cushion
it could’ve been another problem but it wasn’t
and eventually i got another job to hate
and i graduated but the tourniquet didn’t take
and we moved that couch back to brooklyn
where we beat the thing to hell for another seven years
wine and lust and love and hate
until we threw it out last night
and brought in the new couch to replace it
all brand spanking new and just waiting for the years
to defile us and it
over and over again
like we were the gentle whores of time.                        

Monday, March 10, 2014

"best" of poem of the day 03.10.14

hello all
wanted to have something new on here
but i've been so bogged down in fiction writing that my head hurts
and i just can't come up with the new.  so this may turn into a "best of" week.


inventing abstraction

she sits in the foyer
she says, you’re just the man
that i’ve been waiting for

i tell her that it feels like i’ve been dragged through glass

she hands me a twisted paperclip
says, take this

i tell her that i’m too old for acceptance

she leads me to a window that is open
with a gust of wind blowing in
and says, this has been driving me nuts

i tell her that the insane are closer to god in their way

she says, see if you can get that paper clip
to brace the window shut

and i tell her that there’s no saving us now

she says, a strong guy like you
should be able to jimmy rig that window

so i tell her that i’m just no good anymore
i’m almost a month away from thirty-nine
and i’ve never made a dollar that didn’t try to kill me
that i can’t even get the neighbor across the street
to fix his house alarm

she says, a nice man like you can probably do anything

i tell her that i’m going to get drunk again today
that all of those whiskey and wine bottles in the basement
are my cold sacrifices

but she says, if only you could get that paperclip in there
then things would be so much better

and i think that she probably
doesn’t read the newspapers

she says, there, like that
get that paperclip between those holes

and i try and i try and i try

i hand her back the twisted metal
and tell her that it’s no use
the world is full of broken windows

and broken people
with and without love

wind gusts and paperclips

some who understand what kandinsky was doing
when he had moscow by the balls

and the rest of us
who are just trying to get along
with a quieter kind of death.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Special poemS of the day 03.08.14

today one of my oldest and dearest friends (and a great poet/editor to boot) Kristofer Collins is turning the unfathomable age of 40.  I've known Kris since i was a wee lad of 16 years old (maybe 17 but i'm getting up there today).  So to celebrate i'm taking a backseat here on WineDrunk SideWalk today and am presenting to you all a few poems by the great Kristofer Collins (without his permission of course):

Weird Kid Wondering Which Way Home

All day walking these old
Cold streets
Honey where am I going

Do  you think we could find
A single sweet nothing line
To fill the empty spaces inside

Could a simple rose given by your lover
Ever hope to cover the deep black places
We've no intention of mentioning to each other

Honey where am I going

The air is stained & the streets
Won't talk to me
I stare at the ground while I walk
& sometimes I think the way I feel is right

But honey
Everything I see tells me I'm wrong

Honey where am I going

The Poem in Which Pittsburgh & I Talk about
Ally Malinenko

Twenty degrees and the sun
Stops by

I have piles of paper
Covering the table

A roach sniffing my shoe

& I'm waiting for a good song
To come on the radio

I will be waiting a long time

Drinking the first of many coffees
I"m thinking about Ally Malinenko

A fine poet

Pittsburgh, you are poorer
For her having left

We lose so much in this town

Cannot keep them
Who make you worthy

Pittsburgh you put poison in the blood
It pulses to the tongue

You push everyone away


We're stuck together you & I
'Til we're both gone from maps

& that is the one true thing
I put in all my poems

My old love

Today let's think of Ally
How we miss her


Buffalo, please keep her safe

Poem for Anna

It iss 11:40am, Saturday & sweet puffs,

Of dust, risible on car vapors

Splash dryly, explode
In the beaks of birds

Are scraps we've torn

Out, telephones are ringing
All up & down Craig Street

The ghost of last night's beer
Goes with me

Up museum steps
The paste white cloud,

Blue Crepe de chine

If you dig what you've just read Kristofer books are available HERE

Friday, March 7, 2014

poem of the day 03.07.14

that’s what i want

there’s never enough money
in my wallet

never enough money
in the bank account

once when i was younger
my mother broke my piggybank
to buy us milk and bread

she cried when she told me
she’d pay it back

and all those years later i’m still so scared

that there’s never enough money
hiding underneath the soiled couch cushions

never enough money
in this little old world

for me.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

poem of the day 03.06.14

hit something

my wife thinks that
i should hit something

join a gym, she says
and hit one of those heavy bags

you have too much old aggression in you
you’re like a wounded fifteen year-old boy sometimes

they did a number on me back then, i say
but i don’t want to join a gym
i want to find them and hit them

you can’t, she says
you’ll get beat up or arrested

yes, the law even protects assholes

my wife touches my hair
you’re almost forty and you’re still taking on
high school bullies

i should’ve gone to my reunion to kick ass, i say
strangled a few of those bastards
as thanks for all the old years

what would that have solved?

a lot

you’d still come back here talking
about being the fat kid

i am what i am

maybe you should talk to someone professional

like a boxing trainer?

or a therapist, she says
you need to talk to someone and get it out

i have you, i tell her
and writing
and a vivid imagination

maybe it’s not enough, she says

maybe i need to track some of those guys down
and go toe to toe

or join a gym and take it out on a heavy bag

we’ve come full circle, i tell her
it’ll never be good enough with a heavy bag
i need flesh on flesh on blood and saliva

you need to talk to someone, she says
get it out
hit something inanimate

just not a person? i say

really, honey,
i think in your case it’s  for the best.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Screaming With Brevity

a very good poet named Matthew J. Hall made mention of me and the great journal, Dead Flowers,
that we are both currently in together. HERE'S a link to Matthew's blog, Screaming with Brevity.  he's definitely worth checking out. 

poem of the day 03.05.14

to the young romantic in me

i was such a young romantic back then
my notebooks and journals were filled
with ruminations on the great american highway
the ol’ american highway as i called it
musing jazz music i hardly knew
anointing every truck driver a saint
downing gallons of coffee and beer like precious manna
writing about how reading ginsberg’s kaddish
was like connecting to a god
even though i couldn’t make it through the thing
and still can’t
i was so sensitive
too sensitive for all of the girls in pittsburgh
yet i walk around having crush after crush after crush
my poor girlfriend at the time
we had to break up  because i wasn’t the one for her
i wasn’t stable enough with my wild kerouacian dreams
of roaming the american landscape
when the only landscape i roamed
was a south side bar on a friday night
i was such a romantic and such a sensitive asshole
with my goatee and ever-present notebooks of gloom
writing “blues” poems full of gobbledygook
the first brave soul to ever put words to paper
having deep, profound, literary moments just brushing my teeth
or taking the morning bus to college
everything was art and art was everything
if i ran into young romantic self now
i’d have to hold myself back from beating my own ass
i’d grab my romantic self by the collar and tell him
to quit whining in those old journals and get a fucking job
get out of your parents’ house and get a clue
find a woman and let her destroy you
then try to be profound and romantic
when the rent comes due
and the money from all of those student loans you took
show up with the electric bill
try being romantic on the loud bus after work
when all you want is to go home and have a drink
or in the grocery store, asshole
when they’re out of coffee and cat food
and some bitch hits you with her cart
then tells you that it’s your fault
for daydreaming.                                              

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

poem of the day 03.04.14

heroin chic

i lost seventy pounds
between my junior and senior year of high school

i did it through diet and exercise
only i told everyone that i could
that i was on heroin but that i’d kicked it

the bullies and the jocks
the pretty girls on the bus
who’d laughed at me and my fat boy crushes

heroin, i said

really? they said
like they couldn’t believe it

you don’t seem the type, dude

but i am, dude

they always asked why
it was probably because they never
had anything to worry about
being bullies and jocks and pretty girls on the bus

i wanted to say it was because of them
that i’d turned to drugs

but i didn’t know anything about heroin
i only drank beer

so i always said, depression, man
and they didn’t even understand that

but depression seemed like a reason for doing heroin

the rumor didn’t get around too much
but the guidance counselor caught on

he was an all right guy
albeit a little too concerned

he pulled me out of class a lot
so that we could talk in the hallways
about how i was feeling

he always wanted to talk about heroin

this place is a trap
it stifles individuality, i said
it’s a factory for the self-righteous and dull

but the heroin, he said

i can’t wait to leave here and never come back, i said
i’d burn this place if i could get away with it

if you don’t tell me about the heroin
i’m calling your parents, he said

there was no heroin, i said

you’re lying, he said

i lost weight through diet and exercise

let me see your arms, he said

can’t you see this place is killing me? i said

and on and on and on
until i rolled up my sleeves and showed him my arms

why’d you tell everyone it was heroin? he asked

boredom, i said

after that he stopped coming to get me out of class
and it got around that i’d just lost weight

the bullies and the jocks and the pretty girls on the bus
weren’t intrigued by that

i went back to being ignored again
back with other outcasts like big pink and fat elephants
hiding in the corner of the room

at their homecoming dances
and their mother fucking prom

Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscar Varona!!

straight out of Samuel Beckett/William S. Burroughs land....i give the great Oscar Varona in Ascent Aspirations Magazine 

poem of the day 03.03.14

the loneliest man on the morning bus

no one sits next to me on the bus
not ever

this isn’t a complaint but a fact

the bus could be crowded
yet the seat next to me is left unoccupied

with people standing and getting knocked around
by potholes on the street

even the elderly won’t give me a shot

i don’t know what it is about me
i used to think maybe it was that i was fat
and took up too much room
or that i was ugly or smelled bad

but there is much worse on the bus than i

the only conclusion that i can come up with
is that i simply do not exude
the dopey charisma and go getter vibe
that it takes to make it on weekday mornings in america

and that these people who sneer at me
and chose to stand
rather than sit in relative comfort

can plainly see the failure
and lack of ambition that must flow from me
like a niagara falls of catastrophe

as we all ride this trap
toward our work-a-day fate

…or maybe i’m wrong
and i really do smell