Thursday, July 30, 2015

poem of the day 07.30.15

my new friend

chung shows me his braces
he’s proud of the metal on his teeth

all i can do is stare
at a piece of something white caught in them
wonder if it’s bread or something else

i stomach a lot but certain foods get me
giving the cat tuna is enough to knock me on my ass

i tell chung, all right, enough about the braces
to get him to close his mouth

but he say, i don’t think my grandma loves me

my one grandma does, he says
but the one i live with, she just yells at me
because sometimes i forget to come home

chung volunteers here
sometimes he forgets to come in on saturdays
but we always give him a second and third chance

he says, why do you think my grandma yells at me

i don’t know, kid, i tell him
maybe you’re out of chances with her

i can still see that piece of white stuck in his braces
wonder how the kid is talking with that

a piece of lettuce in my teeth is enough for an epileptic fit

maybe she’s just worried, i tell chung

she’s mean, he says
but everyone is mean to chung

the adults in here
most of the kids i see him wrestling around with

he’s a good, dumb kid

the world will take advantage of chung
until he has nothing left to give it
but servitude and quiet benevolence

i just want my grandma to love me, he says

i’m sure she does, i say
but what do i know?

in america families gun each other down
like they’re taking on enemy combatants

you got something in your braces, i finally tell chung

he puts a whole hand in his mouth
works to dig the piece of white out until it’s gone

he flicks it away and i watch it slop on the floor
look up to see chung’s hand extended, ready to shake mine

thanks, he says
as we shake

but i’m not so sure which hand
he flicked that food off with.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

poem of the day 07.29.15

intermediate fiction

taking fiction writing classes in college
could be very machiavellian
it was where you went to be in close quarters with your enemies
to read their drivel while they read yours
instructed not to destroy egos in the process
when all you wanted to do was smash everyone into pulp
stop most of them from ever putting down another word
i knew one kid in fiction writing 101
he wrote all of these sweltering tales of psycho-sexual taboos
then made a point to tell everyone
how much the stories were based in reality
looking around to see who was blushing
when no one gave a shit about anything
but people reading and commenting on their own crap
the classes were instructed
by a middling class of word spinners
people whose work you never would’ve read
never would’ve discovered
had they not shoved it down your throat for you
the teacher in my intermediate fiction class
was a world war ii influenced jew
he only wrote about the issues facing world war ii jews
or he wrote about the nazis
he loved and hated the nazis
he read us one of his stories about an old nazi commander
who hid out after the war in south america
he became a drug lord and did business with americans
one of whom happened to be a former concentration camp jew
the big payoff in the story was the two meeting
the subtle recognition and the horror of being face to face
even in a room full of youth and bad prose
we could see the ending coming a mile away
after the big payoff
my intermediate fiction writing teacher put down his story
he looked around the room as if one of us were hiding his pulitzer
then went back to scribbling something on the board
about plot and character
to a bunch of people whose writing no one would ever read
unless they became fiction writing instructors too
while i went back to writing bob dylan lyrics
in a notebook that wasn’t being used for much of anything else
wishing that i’d just learned to play guitar
or wondering if there was still room
in the intro to business class.                                                   

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

poem of the day 07.28.15

the cockroach on my bathroom sink
as a metaphor for the iranian nuclear deal

i can’t draw a literal connection here
or maybe i’m not even speaking in metaphor
mostly i just hope the son-of-a-bitch wasn’t on
my toothbrush or my wife’s toothbrush
i’m not even going to tell her about this menace
morning sex and two hours of poem writing
happily making her tea in the kitchen
she doesn’t need to know about this bug
i guess then it’s kind of like the iranian nuclear deal
my wife not knowing about the cockroach
most of congress talking out of their assholes too
109-page report i doubt most of them have read
i tell the cockroach that he’s a dead man
just as soon as i’m done taking a piss
but that’s mostly hyperbole and posturing
what can i say? i’m a patriot through and through
still i grab a good wad of toilet paper to prove my point
maybe there’s something to that too
i sure as shit wouldn’t want this cockroach weaponized
imagine going toe to toe with something
that could survive a nuclear holocaust
it’s right then and there that i get it
we just don’t want iran to have a nuclear bomb
we don’t seem to want them to have an economy, a chance to survive, either
the united states has approximately 4,800 nuclear warheads
which is 4,8000 too many in my opinion
in truth, i’m more afraid of americans than i am iranians
we’re kind of like the cockroaches of the world
that is to say americans crawl on your toothbrush when you sleep
that is to say we kill civilians by the bunch and call them casualties of war
still, i don’t like the way this cockroach
is casually strolling around my bathroom sink
he’s making me look like an ass on my own little world stage
of course the fucker goes right into a crevice
when i’m all set to wipe him out
typical new yorker, typical american
always getting away with shit
i can see him there in the blackness between sink and wall
those two antennas or whatever they are, twitching
i can’t kill his ass, so i blow with all my might and he drops
take that, kafka, i say. take that iran!
it’s the wrong metaphor but a metaphor all the same

at the very least now i don’t have to change the title of this poem.                     

Monday, July 27, 2015

poem of the day 07.27.15

the cartoonist

renji sits in a chair in the back
drawing dinosaurs from a picture on a video screen
he’s a quiet and respectful kid
he spends more than enough time alone
in a sea of children who are always in each other’s shit
i generally like renji
but two days ago
he asked me one question too many
and i sort of blew my top
there was no excuse other than life getting to me
as it gets to everyone else at times
but since then renji stares at me like i’m the devil when i pass
he’s a decent cartoonist from what i can see
his dinosaur is a good facsimile of the one on the screen
i watch him thinking back to when all i cared about was drawing
superheroes and baseball stars
comic book rambo soldiers and mad magazine rip-offs
like renji i was a quiet and respectful kid
who spent more than enough time alone
it’s strange to suddenly become
confronted with yourself like that
like you never know when the past will pop up
thoughts of drawing lead to thoughts of my high school art teacher
who didn’t want me in his freshman visual arts class so badly
that when my pencil tip broke
he and i spent forty minutes walking my campus
until he found a nub thrown into some bushes
and made me use it for the rest of the week
adults have no conception of what they’re able to kill in a child
with the smallest of gestures
i’d like to think that i don’t have
that kind of effect on renji
it would be a shame for him to stop asking me questions
simply because i couldn’t handle my own business
i think i’d like to go over to him
and tell him how much i like his drawing
tell him what a fine cartoonist he’ll make one day
i think i’d like to be the adult in this scenario
but i wonder if it’s too late right now
to simply apologize.


Friday, July 24, 2015

poem of the day 07.24.15

we live

where you can’t go to the mall
we live where you can’t go to the movies
we live where it’s not even safe enough
to take your kids to school
we live where army bases are fired upon
we live where recruitment centers and churches
are used for target practices
we live in stink and filth and can’t even feed our own
we live where strip malls get turned into scenes of massacres
we live with politicians who take kickbacks from gun lobbies
where the president shakes his head and says we’re facing a reckoning
but then goes and drops drone bombs on kids
we live where people get shot in mosques
where teenagers take their own lives every day
we live with god on our side but not in our hearts
we live where rich athletes can’t even escape the taste of blood
where even actors commit murder
we live with staggering rates of homicide
where we have 4,800 nuclear warheads at the ready
to kill the whole motherfucking world
we live with junkies and violence in mcdonald’s
we live with gun upon gun in wal-mart
where cuckolds take up arms instead of walking away
we live with heavenly exception
we live without guilt or remorse
where babies get caught in the crossfire of humid gang warfare
we live where you can’t go to college
without the fear of maybe getting shot
we live where cab drivers and civilians get plugged in their cars
where food courts and parks are for genocide
we live with mass murder in prison riot gore
we live where mothers kill fathers kill children
then take out half the neighborhood
where gas leaks explode and kill your friends
we live with road rage and vets sleeping on the corner
we live where people go into work and kill their bosses
where even the goddamned nursing homes aren’t safe
we live with uzis in law offices
and handguns in immigration detention centers
where border patrol guards carry machine guns for freedom
we live where people get murdered for the color of their skin
we live in the blood-soaked glare of the world
we live right here in america
where we don’t do a fucking thing about any of it.                                

Thursday, July 23, 2015

poem of the day 07.23.15

This poem was inspired by and informed by Ben Norton's great piece in Counter Punch. You can read it here

how’s the fish?

at whole foods
unions are like getting herpes
at whole foods
they’re always open on thanksgiving
whole foods cares for community
whole foods cares for animals
whole foods cares for the planet
but they sell over-priced fish and milk and cheese
made by prisoners in the colorado prison system
prisoners get $1.50 an hour to farm organic tilapia
they get sixty cents an hour for your milk and gourmet cheese
at whole foods you can have your tilapia
crispy and baked southwestern style
you can have tilapia tostadas on cinco de mayo
you can have tilapia with fennel and tomato
or do it cajun style with some broccoli and brown rice
over at whole foods they believe the stars predict the future
over at whole foods climate change is good
over at whole foods it’s conscious capitalism all the time
ask john mackey about his one-hundred million
ask steve easterbrook at mcdonald’s
about the prisoners making frozen beef patties and chicken nuggets
chit chat with a con over at sprint and verizon
have one book you an avis car or a flight on american airlines
have a starbuck’s holiday blend on the backs
of the prisoners in washington state
ask signature packing solutions how much they’re paying per hour
or go international and eat an apple with foxconn in china
in south carolina female inmates are sewing
your sexy victoria’s secret underwear
they’re sewing confederate flags
replacing sweatshop tags with “made in the u.s.a”
at wal-mart they’re clearing barcodes and reselling plastic junk
back at whole foods
they’re only selling the best organic money can buy
they’re satisfying, delighting and nourishing their customers
back at whole foods
they’re creating wealth through profit and growth
they believe that corporations are people
just like the supreme court
back at whole foods
they’re practicing advance environmental stewardship
whatever in the hell that is
they’ve got millions of recipes that they want you to try
some meat
some chicken
those cheeses and milk
at whole foods they’re cooking up the tilapia
with a roasted garlic crust
with parmesan and herbs
they’re food is low fat and gluten free
over at whole foods everything is natural
but in the end it all ends up tasting like the new jim crow.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

poem of the day 07.22.15

pop-up poem
(concerning planned parenthood)

that moment
when the pious catholic
always been a sheep
virgin til he was twenty-three
(minus a blow job from a whore)
ex-friend of yours
posts some article
on his facebook page
about the great devils
at planned parenthood
supposedly harvesting fetal flesh
for cash profit
because planned parenthood
is so fucking flush, right?
and you wanna comment so bad
because the article the dumb fuck posted
negates his entire argument
so it’s obvious the twit didn’t read it in the first place
tell him what a pious catholic
always been a sheep
piece of camel shit he is
only you remember
that you and he aren’t facebook friends
because you aren’t real friends anymore
because he became a pious catholic
always been a sheep
piece of camel shit
and that you’ve killed
twenty minutes trolling his dumb ass
reading the comments
of the other wrong-headed zealots on his page
getting pissed off and angry
political and shit
instead of writing poems
working on your novel
like you should’ve been doing
in the first place


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

poem of the day 07.21.15

ripping the military recruitment brochure
out of a young woman’s hands

i couldn’t tell if it was army, navy, air force or marines
to tell the truth they all look the same to me
especially when in uniform

the soldiers on the brochure probably aren’t even soldiers
they look more like fashion models playing dress-up

the point is, i got it away from her
this young black-latina mix on the R train
with golden brown curls and cherry red lips

she was startled at first, she looked like she wanted to hit me

but then i said, give me a minute

you got about ten seconds, asshole, she said

i shook the brochure at her
i said, you don’t really want to do this

she said, but i don’t have any other choice

i said, we all have choices

she said, spoken like a white man in america
what am i supposed to do with my life, work the register at mcdonalds?

i said, what about college?

she said, have you seen my high school?
i was practically strip searched before homeroom

so i said, in the military, you have a twenty-five percent chance
of being sexually assaulted…before boot camp

she laughed, she said, you really don’t know shit
about women in america do you, uncle sam?

i said, i know that women have a higher chance of getting PTSDs

she said, come visit my neighborhood some time

well, i said, it’s not worth it
taking a bullet for some oligarch in a mansion

she said, the systems already stacked against me
she said, look around they’ve already won
guys like you are just the last to catch on, professor

i said, they’ll treat you like a slave

oh man, she said, i don’t even know what to say to that shit
other than give me back my brochure

i said, you’ll be just another automaton in khakis

she said, or just another welfare mom
toting a baby around before i’m twenty
and hated by dudes that look like you

we should work on this together, i said, and find an answer

too little too late, she said
this is the system you set up

it wasn’t me, i said, i’m as much a victim as you are

tom joad you ain’t, she said
snapping her gum and checking her nails

i said, but…..

she just held out her hand
until i took the brochure from behind my back
and gave it to her

she slapped the glossy folder on her knees
and then got up when we reached her stop

wish me luck, uncle sam? she asked.

but i couldn’t
i put my head down and let her go

i looked up only when the train started moving again
into the crowd hustling along on the platform

for nothing but a paycheck and a pipe dream.                                        

Monday, July 20, 2015

poem of the day 07.20.15

charles bridge

at times
i try to hold you out of my heart

you’re too heavy for it, baby

at times
i think of the years
that have passed between us

and then
to save my composure

i don’t

believe it or not
i like the simple things

ice cream
cold beer
the sun in its early moments

your hand
as we cross the charles bridge

fooling them all
we’re unburdened.


Friday, July 17, 2015

poem of the day 07.17.15


is the fat face of benevolence
forever smiling but never really listening
i try to think of this, lulu
watching you walk around here
taking fliers for art exhibits you won’t attend
bus maps for places you aren’t going to
i know it’s only a matter of time
before you’ll sway my way with that vaseline smile on your lips
i know you’re going to ask me where jimmy is
the security guard who retired ten years ago
before i even got here
lulu, i’ll tell you what i always tell you
what everyone here tells you
that jimmy is on break
jimmy is on vacation
so that you’ll stay calm and not have a meltdown
start screaming and knocking things off the shelf
so that you and i can achieve peace
i watch you, lulu
sway between the aisles
in the same dress you’ve been wearing for months
how you’ll grab the same stuff off the shelves
examine them like you’re seeing them for the first time
wondering what to throw
only to put them back and do it all again tomorrow
or the next hour depending on how bad you are that day
i want to be benevolent toward you
i want to be your america
to smile and lie to you and tell you i’m listening
whatever fallacy it takes, lulu
but i’m running on days of no sleep
hangovers and six work days straight
plus all of the poems are coming back rejected
all i know is when i retire from here i’ll remember you
lulu swaying around this place bent and confused
or when i begin to die here, sweating and pale
on the dirty, stained floor
i know it’ll be you leaning over me
taking my hand in yours, lulu
the bus maps and art fliers scattered all about us
telling me softly, as i breathe my last
if only jimmy were back from his break

if only he hadn’t taken vacation this week.                     

Thursday, July 16, 2015

poem of the day 07.16.15

sonic youth

i won’t lie
back then the muse
was pretty slow in coming to me

i grew up in a neighborhood
where all of the kids listened to rap

dressed like rap stars and tried to prep the role
by adding that ghetto inflection
to their suburban drawls

now everybody does it these days

white rappers, the spawn of rich white actors
are online justifying their use of the word nigga

but back then it was penetratingly dull
to be around this even if it was new

it felt hollow and unearned

i got a job closer to the city
that kept me out of my neighborhood more and more

the people i worked with painted
or drew comics, or made some other kind of art

a lot of them were in bands
they made me mixed tapes with the kind of stuff
i’d never heard before

bands that put on scream shows
or jangled low guitars that felt like the sunset

some of it was bad some of it was good
the point was that it was different

it was a coming of age story, i guess

but i remember one time
riding around with my old neighborhood friends

we were going for pizza
or to kill another night
at the chain diner we all went too

someone would hit on the waitress
someone would spike calvin’s coffee with salt
someone’s ex-girlfriend would show up
with her new boyfriend on a leash

and as we rode off toward
the same exact night that we had last week

i put on one of my new mixed tapes
let the haze of sound fill the car

thinking that i was taking us all
into a bold, new direction that we could share

when one of my friends
ripped the tape out of the deck

he tossed it in the back seat
and put on the same old same old

something with a beat
enough bass to poison a neighborhood

and finally whatever else
had kept me tied up
to that time and place.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

poem of the day 07.15.15

chasing yesterday

we are
chasing yesterday again
here in hamburg
running the reeperbahn
snapping the life out of grosse freiheit
in search of the beatles
photographing pizza huts
that were once famous clubs
as drunk punk kids shout
hey, america, photograph me
photos we’ll blow up
into 8x10s
to hang up on our walls
like animal heads brought back
from a great hunt
in alleyways where the once famous stood
we emulate poses at the wrong doorway
only to do it again at the right one
in berlin
it was bowie’s apartment
the gay club he and iggy pop went to
the ruins of schopenhauer’s old pad
i think of all of the gravesites here in europe
and back in the u.s.
countless bars and cafes
apartments ticked off the list
bukowski’s bungalow
and composer’s homes
the miles and miles we walked off the map in paris
to find where henry miller lived
crying over kerouac in lowell
deathmasks and locks of ancient hair
chasing yesterday so much
as i stand here
setting up another shot
i begin to worry
if i’ve made any history
of my own


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

poem of the day 07.14.15

lady liberty

she comes in
about once a week

a stars and stripes sunhat
on her pointed head

she asks the asian kids
if they’ve learned the difference
between their Ls and Rs yet

even though most of them
are more american
than clichéd slices of apple pie

she says, imagine having to give up
a whole section of book stores to spanish books

if they’d only learn the language, she sighs

she once sang the star-spangled banner
over a russian man who wanted a newspaper

asked him how
his good buddy, putin, was doing

she likes to fan herself with an american flag

and when she farts in line for the bathroom
it smells like freedom

in the shitter she belts out
america the beautiful

as she drops atomic bomb turds
into the toilet

before waddling her patriotic ass
back out into the sun

toilet paper caught in her pants

without even having the decency
to flush away her sovereignty. for bastille day 

bastille day

then he said

in all seriousness
how do you impress a french girl?

to which i said

a lot of  wine
some edith piaf
some serge gainsbourg

a little proust on the couch

and if that doesn’t work
show her your cock
while whistling yankee doodle dandy

reach for the butter
and tell her to bend over
mon cheri

because it’s bastille day

all day

just for her.


Monday, July 13, 2015

poem of the day 07.13.15

another poet in new york

it’s too hot to write poetry
in the summertime in new york
it’s too hot to do anything
but read rejection letters and listen
to the morning d.j. tell me
gee, it’s going to be another scorcher
before playing something pleasant
to mix with the bass from the asshole
parked outside my bedroom window
rejections letters that tell me
i’m not fit for publication or much else lately
one tries to butter me up calling me a poetic badass but…
i don’t feel like such a badass
being in your slush pile, dipshit
and just for the record
i think it’s an act of cowardice
to sign your letter, “the editors”
you might as well sign it “the assholes” too
i want to know who’s rejecting me, pal
there’s four of you on staff
i know because i’ve studied your fucking faces
one of you has to have a set balls
enough self-confidence to pound out your name
and say, this is what i believe
i mean let’s stand toe to toe at least once
but it’s too hot in new york
to fight with poetry editors anyway
fighting with poetry editors
is like slapping an old women around
to be honest i never read
the magazines until they reject me
and then i just feel justified
thankful not to be a part of their clique
really, this morning i have
more of a bone to pick with this d.j.
laughing over the weather
as i sit here in sweat and misery
another poet in new york
with nothing in the world to write about
except his every injustice
probably not even the only poet on this block
which is just a cold comfort
on such a hot and lousy day.

Friday, July 10, 2015

poem of the day 07.10.15

kim kardashian is not the enemy

these streets smell like murder now
the rancid garbage piled high enough
to create a new manhattan on brooklyn
pavement the way the gray water mixes
the soiled napkins and soda bottles and
wet brown bags oh and the plastic i think
we all must sweat chevron millions i wish
someone would come along and lobby me for
my thoughts i’d tell them to clean up
their shit their filth maybe not eat so many
bananas on hot summer days to add
to the scent because there’s three dollars
burning a hole in my pocket and i know
exactly who i’m blowing that on these
endless wars these solar panel armies
in the desert where what’s mine is mine
and what’s yours i’m gunning for head-on
like a wall street shutdown another death
on the nightly news in between advertisements
and stories about rich rappers pounding persian
pussy the greased asses of trust fund babies
on every glossy from here to los angeles
but from rich to poor we all end up
swimming in the shit now my friend
i tell you kim kardashian is not the enemy
she just plays one on tv.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

poem of the day 07.09.15


a stupid kid
i was
back then
standing there
returning books
at my library job
nineteen years old
and smug
because i’d read kerouac
just like all the others had
because i’d written
a bunch of poems
that i declared genius
but that next to no one would read
so smug
yet too dumb
to realize that i’d signed
my life over
to student loan predators
for the kerouac
for the college campus
for a piece of paper
that it would take me another fifteen years
to even remotely justify
i must’ve looked
so stupidly content
to him
coming in that night
with a couple of books
warped beyond repair
that smelt
of hickory and mold
his eyes red
how did he take me?
placing the books on the counter
waiting for me to check them in
assess his thirty dollar fine
that maybe i’d put into the register
or maybe take because i needed gas money
to go and see a girlfriend
that i wasn’t really into
he must’ve wanted
to kill me
when i smiled and said
well, you’ll have to pay this fine
before you can use your card again
like i was waiting
on a financial windfall
i was so smug
so dumb
nineteen and king of my little disney world
standing there
with my hand out
as he softly
told me
that the books belonged to his friend
that he’d died
in a fire
before tossing a crumpled twenty
at me
and walking away.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

poem of the day 07.08.15

the jared fogle blues

it’s all bad
it’s all a horror show
from birth until death
ask the cab driver
ask your dentist
ask the pitchman peddling kiddie porn
or ask the librarian playing on facebook
for the new york times
then read it for yourself and weep
if i tell you i won’t lie to you
you wouldn’t believe me anyway
because i’m the american myth when i stand naked and true
but, kid, life is only glimmers of softness
in this unendurable rough
truthfully i wish i’d been smarter back then
twenty-two, twenty-three years ago
before the noose tightened on my verve and idealism
when i could piss away my life like nobody’s business
i wish my old man had told me
what a holy terror it was out there scrapping for a dollar
instead of coming home tired from a late bus and crap job
a can of beer or two and the nightly news
but what then?
what would i have done with that knowledge
except eventually assimilate into the grind?
so i tell you it’s all bad to try and save you
find some alternative, child
because life is a wreck of a wreck
heaped upon a dung pile of disappointment and pain
and watching little kids grow up just makes me sad
all the misery and debt they’ll inherit
all the death and destruction
all the senseless, needless violence
all the watered down drinks on lonely nights in this abyss
just to cope so we can get up and do it all again
i tell you it’s all bad
it’s so so bad
it’s all a horror show to the tenth degree
find your way out of this madness now
before we’re both two walking suicides
lumps of flesh eating salad in florescent tombs
clocking in and clocking out
unable to look each other in the eye.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

poem of the day 07.07.15

ben affleck’s divorce
is killing the european union

or it would appear so
online and in the paper’s this morning
ben returning bewildered from the bahama’s
sans wedding ring
got top story over the greek debt vote
and the civil war in south sudan
batman beats male child castration!
should’ve been the headline
holy drachma, batman!
was it his blonde movie co-star that caused the fracture
or that old latina flame from the block?
all the same another bennifer has gone up in smoke
i find myself caught up in the zeitgeist
reading the news, looking at the pictures
poor ben outside a starbucks
with his gallon of GMO harvested ice coffee
his sad million dollar eyes
his gray beard and gray hair unkempt
homeless and broken hearted by way of beverly hills
this is better than reading about racists and confederate flags
or all of that stuff going on in yemen
there doesn’t seem much for ben to do now
other than gamble and binge drink top shelf for a while
bang a few up and coming starlets to take away the pain
tell them, i’m batman
as he rides the wind of losing america’s sweetheart
was jennifer garner an american sweetheart?
well she should be with her dimpled cheeks and wet eyes
another girl next door wronged by the dark knight
it doesn’t matter how much you have in your bank account
divorce affects us all
if you don’t believe me, go and ask angela merkel
or alexis tsipras what they think
ask them about how ben affleck’s divorce 
is killing the european union
and if they look at you strangely
wave your flag and tell them you’re an american news reader
tell them, from me, that the euro is only trading
ninety-one cents on the u.s dollar these days
and that you don’t have to take their effete european bickering
not when batman’s back in town.


Monday, July 6, 2015

poem of the day 07.06.15

nyc summer

hopscotching shady sides of the street
that i know better than train times
the sidewalks a mess of garbage strewn
the smell of rotten bananas, stale beer
dog shit, moldy cardboard and rancid meat
zigzagging fat tourists taking pictures
of ISIS landmarks and over-priced
dirty water dogs and pizza
tossing their trash to the pavement
because it seems like the thing to do here
new york, new york, like a sinatra song
times square lit up like a belligerent drunk
another nyc summer in the shit
where murder seems entirely plausible
the idea of spending years in corporate prisons
pounding ass, pounding patties for mcdonald’s
seems preferable to one more day on these streets
sweating for five hours straight
sweating from sun up to sun down
packed on work trains like cattle trains
singing the millennium blues to the homeless
waiting for the climate to change completely
burry all of this madness in the deluge of salt water
then nothing left to do here in gotham but
swim swim swim swim swim for the dollar.


Friday, July 3, 2015

poem of the day 07.03.15

the homophobe

back in the day
calvin was a homobphobe

which is like calling someone a nazi now

i had no clue what calvin’s opinions were on jews
but he didn’t like gay people, especially gay men

calvin had a playboy magazine idea about lesbians

of course this was back when people
still bought playboy to get off

but calvin was the annoying kind of homophobe

you couldn’t sit next to him in a theater
we took up a whole row just so that calvin didn’t look gay

if three of you went to get something to eat
calvin could never be the one who had to sit male with male

if he did, as soon as the third wheel got up to piss
calvin switched to the other side of the booth
so it didn’t look like two queers were having wings and beer together

once, an ex-girlfriend of mine told cal that he
and his friend, tom, made a cute looking couple

i heard about it for months after she said that

for sport i called him a fag in front of some girl he liked
just to see what would happen

and later on that night calvin pulled over his car
to tell me what a bad friend i was being

in atlantic city we shared a huge bed
and he slept on top of the sheets
just in case maybe i was gay

even though back home i was fucking this girl he liked

we aren’t friends anymore
not because of calvin’s homophobia
but because i made fun of his facebook page
for having on it all of this 9/11 we-will-never-forget bullshit on it

when it wasn’t even september

calvin told me he’d pray for me
and then deleted me as his facebook friend

he’s really religious these days from what i’ve been told
the kind of catholic who wishes his pederast priest
a happy father’s day

apparently he says shit like
hate the sin, love the sinner
when talking about gay marriage on his facebook page

he has three boys now
and he’s trying to bring them up the right way

sometimes i wonder if they’ll
grow up to be homophobes too
or maybe even gay

i hope not, for them, at least

but sometimes i wonder what it’s like
when calvin takes the boys to a movie

do they sit together like a family?
or are they old enough now that he makes them sit apart?

taking up a whole row in the theater like we used to do

so that they don’t all look gay
and give people the wrong impression about america
while being mindlessly entertained in the dark.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

poem of the day 07.02.15

america the beautiful
moloch for too early in the morning
                        --for governor scott walker

w/yr piss rivers of chemical bliss and choking fishes
w/yr burning black churches under hate banners and history
w/yr monsanto breath and methane fields of slaughter
w/yr profit prisoners pounding patties for the golden arches
w/yr cholesterol face and your hardened artery empathy
w/yr endless wars and infotainment conjuring hollywood machine
w/yr ceaseless streams of comment page ugliness
w/yr starbucks sunrise in the Dow Jones calculated sky
w/yr terror warning telephone roll calls and clown car candidates
moloch! yr limp liberal hand washing! moloch! yr police march activism!
moloch! the taste of blood in yr streets! moloch! yr holy gun cock!
w/yr bigbox discounts that have boarded the main street
w/yr boulevards of broken dreams for lost generations
w/yr kid faces plastered into candy crush diets and digital quagmires
w/yr 24/7 news cycle of doom selling Disney democracy
w/yr right wing renegade time lords stone aging the future
w/yr NAFTA heirlooms of slave labor artistry
w/yr Thorstein Veblen eyes on the trans-pacific partnership prize
w/yr gerrymandered cartography and yr common core ignorance
w/yr sewage system drinking water by the unregulated gallon
moloch! i’ve seen what your future holds, america!
moloch! who made me hate yr very scent! moloch! i can’t breathe!
w/yr perfumed ladies masking noxious hearts
w/yr man child adulations and violent video game hard-ons
w/yr gun fixations and lobby dollars soaked in fossil fuel chains
w/yr ghetto concentration camp benevolence
w/yr melting pot mythology leaning on yr leaden mind
w/yr cheap gas suburbia going up in smoke
w/yr marijuana boogie men getting high with street boys in shit stalls
w/yr homophobia constitutional amendment propaganda
w/yr supreme court of lies and fixations
moloch! the long endless streets of rising rent bailouts!
moloch! your immigrant walls and detention center holiday inns
w/yr patriot acts acting up in glass strewn playgrounds
w/yr capitalist colleges on legacy campuses hustling for a buck
w/yr drought river and climate deniers sitting on boards of influence
w/yr koch brother sugar daddies and their fascist sway
w/yr Fox News sitcoms running into nightmare finales
w/yr blockbuster carnage that’s too risqué for the big screen
w/yr streaming services for the dead
w/yr DIRECTV porn girls being jizzed on by uncle sam’s small cock
w/yr free market fallout and trickle down legacy
moloch! for being too big to fail! moloch! yr dirty angel infrastructure!
w/yr rusted pipe logic resting on the broken beams of bridges
w/yr potholed highways of summer vacation dreams
w/yr airplane incarceration and free headphone garbage piles
w/yr NRA kindness and semi-automatic lusts
w/yr millionaire sports idols and luxury car holograms
w/yr anti-union, anti-family, anti-intellectual jamboree
w/yr rain check ambitions and kudzu global scarf
w/yr rape joke love and right-to-work consciousness
w/yr oligarch family picnics and fireside book burnings
moloch! yr flag flying outside every single door like a noose
moloch! yr morning radios of hate and innuendo
w/yr SOMA culture lollipop milky tit not allowed on instagram
w/yr orwellian cameras on every single block
w/yr closest snowden shame and chelsea manning fashion parade
w/yr holy wars and yr frankenstein ISIS game shows
w/yr military industrial complex money suck abortion clinic blues
w/yr libraries housing the dust of progress
w/yr cities filling up with sea water smoothies
w/enough carbon dioxide in the air to choke yr revolution christ
w/yr hateful beasts claiming they were born to lead
america the beautiful full on fat, sugar and salt with a rip in yr seam
as inmate congresses continue to run the asylum
moloch! the horse you rode in on in one of those dull westerns
that you used to love.