Monday, August 31, 2015

poem of the day 08.31.15

the egyptian

the club
has interrogation white lights
a contrast to the sunset-red beach theme
that’s running through this place
young drunks kick beach balls
on another 1980s throwback night
i stand with steve
we talk about bad luck
pounding back coors pounders on special
he won’t stop talking about
the blow job he got the week before
the only action any of us
have seen in months
calvin is somewhere dancing
doing his old man shuffle-shit
with one of my cigarettes in his mouth
insuring he won’t get laid again this weekend
when i see her
too well-dressed for this place
she’s walking like an egyptian with her friends
doing those familiar hand motions
such sweet innocence
i kill the beer and dip my head toward them
steve giving me one of those
you must be kidding me looks
but we go over anyway
just drunk enough to see if this’ll work
she stops dancing at my little love tap on her shoulder
i ask her where she learned to move
but i’m no dummy
bangles videos bangles videos that i watched
with such studiousness
until emblazoned in my masturbatory memory
but she demonstrates it for me anyway
hand extended out and then in
she seems real enough
and i’ve got steve talking to her friend
thinking the night is set
thinking the hell with calvin out there
somewhere in the red hell beach lights
i search for him
and when i look back she’s gone
it’s just steve standing there
shrugging, we head back toward the bar
for more pounders
more talk about blow jobs
i scan the club like i scan the horizon in summer
see her all the way over at the other end
sweet child o’mine
she’s doing a mean
axel rose.


Friday, August 28, 2015

poem of the day 08.28.15

holy saturday night #2

and i think
enough indie rock generation
generation x
for me
i want to be locked alone
in my bedroom with books
but how can i think this
vertical double fist beer canned
at the bloomfield bridge tavern
half in love
with the singer on stage
she stands there this holy saturday night
raven haired and pale
in white lace baby doll dress
her porcelain hands enveloping the mic
angelic in soft purple stage lights
this pub pittsburgh pub polish pub
even the pope smiles down on the scene
from a glossy photo
enough indie rock generation to last a lifetime
i’m not indie rock
i’ve usurped this scene
and somewhere out there in shiver-shit pittsburgh
calvin and steve are casing east carson street’s
blood smear of bars and clubs
with rap tapes and r&b
and i’ve left the table here
where kris and angie were holding hands underneath
a third wheel for sure
stuck between two worlds
a two-twenty five bud in one hand
a two-dollar import special in the other
courtesy of jesse trbovich
who says he owes me
owes me for what?
because money don’t matter tonight
not here when none of us have any
not this holy saturday night
with jesse running around the bar
like the chairman of the board indie-rock host
in his green-white golf shirt
beatle haircut and buddy holly specs
knowing everyone in the bar
kris said he should’ve had a martini in his hand
kris said the world would be better off apolitical
but, ah, after all
he’s only a man of letters now
and these beers don’t mesh
but i drink them anyway
i fall deeper in love with the singer on stage
i fall in love all the time
with hope’s voice calling from washington
the red-haired girl in art class
the blonde the forever blonde
and jesse says i wallow too much in my maleness
and kris says i’m becoming a masochist
but one kiss from this singer
one dedicated ballad could change that
but i’ve had enough
of this indie rock school house rock scene
only jesse is somewhere in the bbt
shouting passages from ulysses
and calvin and steve
are still out in pittsburgh
trying to get their rocks off
paying for it if it comes down to it
and i’m not there
and i’m not here so
oh, i know the night is cold
i know i should be locked somewhere
behind closed doors with books
i should be making pittsburgh a memory
but here i am
double fisted double canned double vision
i nod toward these friends
head out in the cold pittsburgh night
walk liberty avenue like a shroud
maybe too drunk to drive home
but ah
but oh
a car pulls up next to me
drunk smirks and idles
i get in the passenger seat
and we go wherever
the night prays for next.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

poem of the day 08.27.15

three dollars

we stumbledrunk
out of the cricket lounge
dive bar strip club
belly full of whiskey
and over-priced beer
stumblerun across baum boulevard
nearly hit by ghost-car headlights
tonight we don’t care
about girlfriends or ex-girlfriends
or the beautiful girls at work
who won’t date us won’t kiss us
won’t come near us simply won’t
we racedrunk up south millvale avenue
talking about the strippers
about the one who showed her cunt
to everyone in the bar
the one who kissed steve’s glasses last week
with her hot pink smear of lipstick
who took a liking to you that night
you shout woo-hoos into the pittsburgh pink-black sky
while i shake the cathedral of learning distance
that looms like a shroud over this little universe
the sweat of this july night
makes me feel alive
we run but run don’t know why we run
to piss in lonely alleyways across from bum bars
where we’ll nightcap the night
as you tell anyone who will listen
look, man, i gave her three dollars
three dollars backed by the gold standard
man, she shoulda done a little bit more for me
then shake her wondrous ass
and say a placid thank you to my wallet bulge.



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

poem of the day 08.26.15

i’m a genius writer

twenty-six years old
alto girl
head to toe in black
black skirt and black nylons
short red hair dancing
under purple smoke lights
of the metropol
hip chick, at least she thinks
beatnik chick
tells me
that i’m too young to be dancing
to 1984 throwback music
but i’m on two 40s of budweiser
some shots
a couple buck-fifty special yuengling bottles
so i’ll dance the dance
because i don’t care
even if she takes the brand new cigarette
out of my mouth
smokes it to toward the last drag
while we stand there
glistened in club sweat
she thinking me too young and she thinking she’s too old
waiting for whatever the night brings
and i can hear
calvin and steve hoot-call throughout the club
their fruitless cattle call
when she finally says,
i love the 80s
like it’s a grand statement
i think to tell her nostalgia is a hole
but she laughs
throws my smoke on the ground
crushes it with black heels
rolls her eyes at me
just another failed male on a saturday night
turns back to find her friends
leaving me
screaming to her shimming back
but i’m a genius writer
inhaling dry ice on the comedown
instead of that camel light.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

poem of the day 08.25.15

portrait of the artist at twenty one

the so-called writer
(at least that’s what he’s telling everyone)
sits outside in the cold
of a february night
while inside his mother
berates his old man
for drinking too much beer
and spilling coffee on everyone
including the tablecloth
he’s writing immortal poems in a blue notebook
left hand chapped and shaking
cigarette on the end of the stoop
with a bottle of
four dollar mogen david wine at his side
complaining to the gods
that he can’t even get drunk on it
doesn’t know anything about drunk
just drink vomit repeat like a rock star
he thinks the stars and planets at night
are distant souls
he’s thinking about the blonde
who kissed him months ago
but never returned for another round
he’s thinking about the red-head in art class
he needs three beers at the panther hollow inn
to go and talk to
the multitude of women
on that regrettable college campus
the writer sits shivering
tipping the bottle of gloried grape juice
into the porch light
as muffled voices bitch from behind him
doing victory laps around his half-formed life
the next jack kerouac
with chattering teeth
an unread copy of visions of cody
freezing at his thighs
haiku notebooks and dream journals
on his purchasing horizon
and of course all of his friends are saints
they’re walking pieces of art
stalking the pittsburgh city streets
the streetlights behind them making halos
he doesn’t know it yet
but the world doesn’t need another
dumb romantic writer
taking up space
recycling the same old same old
an empty vessel
a silly useless cliché
at such a ripe young age
i think we’ll stop here
and let him rest.


Monday, August 24, 2015

poem of the day 08.24.15

charlie watts

she had me
sweating bullets
she had me
not wanting to hear her voice
i swear to christ
she was trying to drown me
in her petty jealousies
but she was right about everything
i was out there looking
for her replacement
day after day
night after night
but i found no takers
other than the hip line
of a tanned stripper’s g-string
our dinner money
our movie money
going against that sweet flesh curve
she had me
on the line for a week
without calling
going mad
getting mad
drunk joyous at the thought that we were over
every time the phone rang
jumping at my own shadow
she had me
on the other line
giggling and laughing like a schoolgirl
like nothing happened
the way we’d left it
and all she wanted to know
was the name of the rolling stones drummer
for her mother’s
fucking crossword puzzle.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Breaking Radio Silence

in January i posted poems written concerning my wife's breast cancer.
this is a non-fiction piece she wrote on it. right HERE

see u on monday.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hiatus time

hello all

tired worn-out hot stressed bored etc
i'm taking a break. gonna spend the next week + sleeping
in until at least the sun rises.  so i'll see u all again monday, august 25th


poem of the day 08.12.15

the old college try

i thought i’d quit
everything there was to quit
until i tried out for the college newspaper
the editors huddled all of us around cubicles
under bad florescent lights
in a room that looked more like
it was made for cold sales calls
rather than cultivating the collegiate facts of the day
and the news kids
talked about responsibility and deadlines
about their readership
which was mostly bored students like me
they talked about circulation
even though you could find their rag
free and almost anywhere on campus
usually in bathroom stalls or garbage cans
they gave me an assignment
to interview a lacrosse player
and, i thought great, not even a real athlete
but i gave it a go
interviewed some floppy haired twink
who was a teaching assistant too
and acted like the professor’s office was his
he was boastful and nauseating
but i sat down under the hard fluorescents
and did my best to pound out a story
for the three people on campus
who wanted to read about lacrosse
the sports editor came in while i was typing
he leaned over my shoulder with his bad breath
and immediately said, no, no, no and no
i stopped typing and we looked at the screen together
he said, look at those paragraphs
i mean, look, man, at how long those paragraphs are
he said, man, kids in college can’t read paragraphs that long
three sentences tops
the paragraph bare minimum, man
then he walked away
to go and give the hockey writer some shit
i sat there for a few more minutes
thinking about the money i was wasting
and all of the debt that i’d have
before i grabbed my shit and left the newsroom
my moby dick of an article
on a fucking lacrosse player of all things
still on the computer with the cursor flashing
decided maybe i’d go out
for the radio station next semester
but only if they let this white boy
play some old soul or rap
or maybe i’d do nothing
which always worked so well for me.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

poem of the day 08.11.15

meeting at fort hamilton avenue
and bay ridge parkway

then chung
hey, remember last week
when you look back again
because you see me
and i see you
and i wave
and you wave
hey, remember we see each other
at fort hamilton avenue
at bay ridge parkway
we see each other
chung says
so happily
yes we did
i say
because i don’t have the heart
to tell him
that i only
looked back again
because i thought
i saw
that B4 bus
coming up
behind his hysterically
waving hands
the bus that never seems to show up
on time
that huffing chariot of hell
that hardly ever shows up


Monday, August 10, 2015

poem of the day 08.10.15


i wasn’t much
of anything back then

i was sitcoms and loneliness
third helpings of dinners
twinkies and bags of potato chips

i was shopping
in the over-sized men’s clothing stores downtown
my pants specially tailored for my girth

but i could play wiffleball

i could smash plastic on plastic
and drive that ball for yards

whirling into trees, down gutters and over fences

into the yards of neighbors
who didn’t understand concrete glory
who wouldn’t let us walk on their lawns to retrieve our ball

i was a hero in those moments

i felt untouchable and on top of the world
slow-trotting around the cul-de-sac
like willie stargell or a young bobby bonilla

in my head i was strong and muscular
a sports god touching stone bases with the hammer of thor

the biggest grin on my face
the pain of my small world on hold
as i met the high fives of teammates

thin neighborhood kids
with snuff cans in their back pockets

who were allowed to like girls
without all of the angst and humiliation

who had neighborhood girls who liked them back

boys who returned to calling me fat ass
as soon as the game was over

laughing, putting me back in my place

my paltry legend having already dissipated
into the thick air of humid summer days

before the sweat had dried on my brow.


Friday, August 7, 2015

poem of the day 08.07.15

dante never did this

we swelter
we sweat
the a/c has been busted
since last year
a building full of people
fanning themselves in eighty-five degrees
because they have nowhere to go
the poor
the homeless
latchkey kids
wlbur is at the printer like always
making the printer sweat
he prints hundreds of pages
with money given to him
from someone who works hard to keep him away
sucks from a two-liter of diet sprite
no one knows what he prints
no cares
because it feels like we’re dying in here
the aged
the pregnant
kids running around like we’re in a meat locker
impervious to the heat
wilbur has this thing
where he has to tell everyone to
have a great one!
you can hear the printer moan
as another one-hundred pages come slowly out
have a great one, wilbur says to the poor
have a great one, wilbur says to the homeless
the latchkey kids who are scared of him
the aged, too
have a great one, he says to the pregnant women
wilbur sucks from his
two-liter of diet sprite
the slurps are enough to make you go mad
in this kind of warmth
we are most likely dying in this
even though the morning d.j. said,
it’s another beautiful day out
the mini-skirted weather chick said, enjoy
wilbur is dressed all in black like always
like lou reed
like johnny cash
only with a rip up the ass of his jeans
that shows enough yellow, crusted underwear
for the thirteen year old girls to laugh and point
i don’t know how he can
stand it in the sun
i can hear him behind me
have a great one, he says to an arab father
who pulls his sons away
the printer sounds like it’s dying too
it’s going into its death throes
looking for an escape from this place
i touch the running sweat
coming down my forehead
try to maintain
think four or five ice cold vodkas on the couch
get up to stagger to the bathroom
the staff kitchen
for another cup of ice
passing wilbur the printer finally kicks
he shouts
okay, have a great one
but i don’t listen
closing the door
into the silent stale cool of the basement
almost alone
i hear him tell my co-worker
boy, it’s sure is hot in here today.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

poem of the day 08.06.15

bruised fruit

some men have
that swagger
i never did
the grocery store god
he has two female cashiers
on his dick
this fine saturday afternoon
while i stand there
waiting to get my items rung up
the world makes it too easy
to hate tattooed, bulky
doe-eyed jack-offs like this
romeo’s got the new latina cashier
with her cute freckled face
just about ready to come
in her panties
with his wink
and the chubby asian girl
who always smashes my fruit
is doing everything to get his attention
but hurl herself naked
across the soda aisle
she’s the reason i’m in romeo’s line in the first place
because i can’t suffer
another bruised peach
but romeo
he’s too good to ring up my strawberries
the vegetable cans
the club soda and toilet paper
he’s talking to the girls
about his boys
his homies
his vacuous plans for this saturday night
finally he starts
checking-out my stuff slowly
like he’s doing my a favor
while the latina giggles at one his stories
a finger in her mouth
as he details his twilight tall tales
his bad-ass
while the asian girl tries to best her
saying, paulo
oh let me bag those groceries for you
flinging herself
from one register to the next
grabbing my bananas
throwing them into
a plastic bag
before slamming it
right on the metal counter
with her
world famous
patented pulpy


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

poem of the day 08.05.15

wrapped in the ugly arms
of another saturday night

there is some shit song playing loudly
adele or some other faux-soul crap
anyway it reminds me why i stopped
going into bars this year
bad loud music
bad loud televisions
bad loud people
take your pick
and of course there’s one of them alone
grooving to the adele music
there are only three of us in the place
wrapped in the ugly arms
of another saturday night
i didn’t even want to be in here
i wanted to be in the other bar
that had slightly better music
but there were no seats
except one that was occupied by the husband
of someone who looked like wavy gravy
so i’m here
my wife is not
and i’ll leave it at that
the adele fan turns to me
with teeth that glow in this amber darkness
she says, they play the best music here
have the best drinks
she says, i work with children
and every fall we have them paint the windows
of the businesses up and down 3rd avenue
with halloween decorations
i tell her children need to be taught early
which ones are the bad artists and which ones have talent
i tell her, there’s no point in encouraging them
we can’t all be picasso, you know
but she doesn’t hear me
doesn’t understand art
just smiles and starts shaking her ass to the adele song
so i kill my beer and head back outside
bay ridge packed with people in the humid air
watch a group of bros
all in plaid shorts and polo shirts
bar crawl into the other bar
where wavy gravy and her man
are still holding court window-side
do that slouchy drunk walk the several blocks home
where my wife is walking slowly
up the block
sad and forlorn under the florescent streetlight
that shines through our bedroom window
like an anemic sun
looking just for me.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

poem of the day 08.04.15

car wreck at 5 a.m. outside my window

sun rising
you hear the engine accelerating
a few minutes before impact
shake off last night’s vodka lull
think it’s just another new york douche bag
speeding from one thing to another like always
for some reason
you picture a fat italian asshole
weighed down in gold chains
someone named, sal, who does club promotion
as the sound of the car gets closer
it doesn’t sound right
sounds like the car is bracing for liftoff
like it’s coming straight toward your
shit-hole apartment
hear tires squeal
hear tires skid
think, watch this fucker come right through the wall
and kill me
you don’t even get proper obits
in this city
unless you’re pulling in a million a year
and what a cheap way to go too
maybe you’d have frank o’hara beat
but the car spins and hits
another parked car
a few feet between you and annihilation
metal and glass and plastic
meet making beautiful bombs in the periwinkle light
you race to the window
your wife too
both still alive
to see car on car like sick porn
you wonder
before you even wonder
if sal
or whatever people inside are alive
if the car they hit
belongs to that asshole
whose alarm keeps going off
or is it someone else
who’s going to be on the horn with the cops
raining sirens and whatnot
down upon this quiet street
while you stand there gawking
whatever poem you were going to write
the first cup of coffee
somewhere in the sudden-still apartment
colder and colder
by the


Monday, August 3, 2015

poem of the day 08.03.15

greetings and solicitations
from new york, new york

there is no friendly way to be
when you’ve worked six days straight
one day off and then another four on
with no air conditioning in the place
sweating where you stand
answering the questions and concerns
of the public at large
yelling at children
making sure the local pederasts aren’t jacking it in the john
there is only peace and patience
a willingness and desire to pass through the day
untethered to conversation
and the problems of every other man
but living this way would require staying forever indoors
the lights off and the a/c blasting
foil on the windows like a poor man’s elvis presley
besides i’m hungry for northwestern chinese noodles
hand pulled covered in cumin and red chili sauce
there is no other way for me to be
except here with you right now
slurping noodles fumbling with chopsticks
my big bulk on a small wooden stool
principally made for twelve year old chinese girls to sit on
forgetting that we work for a living anyway
the skies the limit, this day being ours instead of theirs
we’ve already seen great cinema
so who knows what lies ahead?
and that’s why when he saddles up next me
pink slips of paper in his hand
asking if we want to donate some cash for his hoops squad
i have no other kindnesses to give
there is nothing else for me to do
except stay silent smile mouth full of noodles
the next round dangling dubiously on my chopsticks
shake my head no to the solicitation
like a man who only wants to live his life
like waves drifting back into still water in the vast green ocean
at him saying, aw, man, i hope y’all get food poisoning
before stomping out into the heat of st. mark’s place
lanky head-of-hair whooshing little wandering
capitalist, fascist, opportunist satan that he is
hell bent on chasing down the next poor fool

to try making him beg for his solace too.