Monday, August 29, 2016

the last poem of the day 08.29.16

Well…we’ve come to the end of it, folks. The true and honest official end to WineDrunk SideWalk. Today’s post is going to be the final “poem of the day” post for the blog. I will maintain WineDrunk until the end of 2016, and post links when poems and short stories (should I ever write one again) get published in a journal or zine or whatever people call these literary dumping grounds these days. I do plan on coming back in 2017 with a new blog and I will post a link to that as well, thus officially ending good ol’ WineDrunk SideWalk 1.0 for good. I’m also planning to start putting out my own poetry books, hopefully by my 43rd birthday in April, as well as maybe doing an online or print poetry journal to showcase other writers. I started taking photographs this year, not very good as of now, but I may try doing something with that as well.

I started this blog in 2008 as….hell, I don’t know. If you go back 8 years I have picture and a blog post about Sarah Palin for Christ’ sake. But I soon developed WineDrunk into a poetry site, mostly to keep me writing regularly. I think I’ve achieved that. And it’s been really wonderful to have had people read and comment on the blog. I think of WineDrunk as a fine piece of digital art. But this year I’ve gotten rather restless with the whole thing. Concentrating on writing a novel while revising another novel lead to a lot of frustration on my part in having to post a poem daily and to try and have that poem at least maintain some quality, some shred of artistic value. I don’t think I failed but, more often than not, I was rather disappointed by a lot of what I put up on the blog in 2016. I don’t take disappointment easy and I don’t want to post poems that I’m not at least somewhat proud of. So I made the decision to stop the blog in order to work closer on the fiction and to give the poetry the actual time it deserves. Will it make me a better writer? I don’t know.

Again…I thank all of you who have read the blog and have participated in this little art experiment of mine. I hope when the time comes you’ll follow me along to the next adventure, and I can follow you along as well.


so here's to getting a little WineDrunk one last time.

needing a job

it was buffalo
and i hadn’t worked in over a month
and all i did was sit in the apartment
and eat bologna sandwiches and drink labatt beer
when my wife got home from her job
i was sort of drunk
my wife always managed to find a job first
in whatever city we moved to
it was always me sitting at home
eating cold cuts and drinking beer
or going to temp agencies
or filling out applications in big box stores
always me needing a job
and it was buffalo in may
but it felt like march outside
but i walked the city looking for work anyway
i drove up its empty drags searching for help wanted
and there were no jobs at the temp agencies
and the big box stores weren’t hiring
neither were the non-profits and the cold offices
it looked like it was going to snow in may
and i thought at least that would be something
i found this job in a bath and shower warehouse
and i sat in front of bald man
who was doing interviews
and he had a goatee because he was bald
and he asked me if i wanted to work in the warehouse
as if he and i had been searching for each other
our whole lives
and he showed me pictures of the team
on their kayaking trips
he said, do you like to kayak?
and i had no answer for that
he said, just one thing,
on your resume it says you write
he said, what kind of writing do you do?
the occasional wrong-headed, misguided rant
on someone’s blog, i said
and when he didn’t laugh at that i said
poetry…and fiction
he said, hmmmm….well….i really want to hire you
but what happens if you write a novel?
will you just up and quit?
and i wanted to tell him how hard it was to write a novel
how much harder it was to get a novel published
i wanted to talk to the bath and shower warehouse man
about literary agents and editors
and marketing and the whole whoring business of writing
but instead i just looked around the office
and said, i need a job
because my wife and i were on our third city
in as many years
because i was getting fat sitting alone at home
eating bologna sandwiches and drinking
all of that beer
because a savings account can only go so far
and the bills were due and the landlord wanted rent
the warehouse guy said you’re hired
and i told him great
even though i hoped to drive the car
over one of those highway embankments on the way home
he showed me the warehouse
it was full of bath and shower parts
and people walking around looking like they’d
needed a job at one point in their lives
and this was the best that they’d gotten
for being born against their will
the bald, goateed warehouse man handed me paperwork
and i walked out of the squat building like a zombie
and i sat in the car and watched the sun droop in the sky
i thought about spending the next thirty years in there
and by some dark magic i didn’t drive over an embankment
but instead went home to where my wife
was already back from work
making spaghetti and drinking a labatt blue
and i kissed her on the lips
and got a labatt blue out of the fridge
and i sat at the kitchen table looking at the paperwork
as food was being cooked
and my stomach rumbled
and outside our little kitchen window
i swear on christ’s wooden cross
i saw a snowflake fall.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

poem of the day 08.25.16

american poem

so many flags little time

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

poem of the day 08.24.16

ode to the loud guy on the B4 bus

eighteen months
i haven’t had to take this bus home

now, i don’t want to suggest
that things should get better over time

life is cyclical

some mornings i get the feeling
that we’re slipping slowly back
into some new kind of dark age

but do you really have to shout to your friend
about going to dinner at buffalo wild wings?

i don’t want to get into your cuisine choices
but the man is sitting right next to you

at best you need only talk above a whisper

why do we all have to know how much you enjoyed
your screamin’ nacho burger and buffalo chips?

i’m not trying to suggest
that what i’m doing on here is better
than what you are trying to do

though i am reading chuck kinder
poems about richard brautigan

by the looks of us we’re both trying to go home
from our fucking jobs

i just don’t care that target has all their star wars shit on sale
and how cheap the batman/superman blu-ray combo is

even if i did like the film

or that the target is right next door to buffalo wild wings

which was good because you really
needed the bathroom after that meal

i’m sure the other two dozen people on the B4 bus
don’t give a shit either

but it doesn’t matter to you, does it?

doesn’t matter that the bus driver had
to make an announcement telling you to shut the hell up

you didn’t even hear him

just went right on babbling about bowel movements
and stars wars and batman and target
and screamin’ nacho burgers and buffalo chips

i don’t want to say that there was a genuine sigh of relief
when you got off at thirteenth avenue

i’ll just say the bus got a ton quieter
and the driver no longer looked like 
he wanted to careen the bus into a wall

that is, at least until sixth avenue
when some asshole teenage girl got on the bus
blasting taylor swift songs from her smartphone

singing off-key for everyone

like she thought she was
going to be america’s next big shit.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

poem of the day 08.23.16

an artist

matty doesn’t like
to be called an artist
don’t call me that! he shouts
markers in hand
a page full of rockets
and robots and monsters
the other kids say
but you are an artist
looking down at their lackluster flowers
and dogs and cats and flaming suns
and other scrawled banalities
matty says, stop it!
like they’re calling him fat
or a geek or a loser
i’m not an artist!
even the adults get into the act
oh, but look how good your rocket looks!
look at how real the airplane is
adults who have squandered their lives
in public schools, in colleges, in traffic
in conversations that are circular and go nowhere
at jobs that have belittled and bedeviled them
at every turn
who waste days online in social networks
or buying things that they don’t need
just to satiate the hunger of a failed existence
adults who would stone an artist
above the age of eighteen just for sport
because all beauty has been sucked out of them
you are an artist! they tell matty
much to his chagrin
pestering him about his talent
about having to do something with his talent
until he slams down the marker
tosses the crayolas in a pile
rips up his latest masterpiece
and throws it in the trash
before storming off into the afternoon
because matty already knows 
that people are liars
he knows what a load of horseshit
being called an artist in america
really is.

Monday, August 22, 2016

poem of the day 08.22.16

the lady exiting through the basement

the lady
exiting through
the basement
of the apartment building
gussied up
for a friday night in america
catches me
wild haired
scratching my ass
dumping wine bottles galore
and six plastic vodka jugs
into the recyclable receptacles
stopping short
she stares at me
like i’m some strange
and unknown beast
then walks her tight little ass
out into the night
her perfume choking
the atmosphere
i think
i’m sure
she thinks
she knows me
better than
i think
i know


Friday, August 19, 2016

poem of the day 08.19.16

yet the sun doesn’t have
the courage to die

102 years old, she says to no one

my aunt, she says
she shakes the big picture she’s holding

only this isn’t her
this is my great-grandmother

she shows the whole bus her picture

my aunt died, she said
so i get this picture of great-grandma

wasn’t she beautiful?
didn’t we look alike?

a group of mexican day laborers
shake their heads in unison

muy hermosa, one shouts
before he goes back to sleeping in drywall dust

i’m sorry if i’m bothering you
she says, but i don’t know to who

but i’m very depressed
it’s hard going through somebody’s things

even if they died at 102 years old
even if you get to have this wonderful picture

she shows great-grandma around the bus again

and i got a jacket, she says
i got an old fur coat
i have it right in this bag here

but i’m very depressed, she says

it’s very depressing when someone dies
even though she had the courage to live 102 years

not many people can do that
how many people on this bus will see 102?

she looks around at the screaming kids
at the day laborers and tired mothers

at the girls singing along to songs
coming loudly off their cell phones

at the people trying to make it home from work
at a still reasonable hour

people who already look dead

didn’t we look alike? she says to me
she shows me the picture of her great-grandmother

of course she never saw 102, she says
not like my aunt

imagine that, she says to me
as i nod and turn away from the photo
to watch the sun as it starts to sink
behind one of the dull gray buildings lining the avenue

housing people who must
endure the rudiments of the day
for reasons they no longer understand

maybe for the few small moments of bliss
that come their way and make up a life

imagine 102 years and what that must feel like
all those years, she says to no one again

oh, it’s very depressing to talk about
oh, but this life, she says

it’s also such a miracle, right?


Thursday, August 18, 2016

poem of the day 08.18.16

as if lucifer rose


sometimes getting drunk

in the middle of the day in a bar is all right


but instead i’m in the grocery line

the scent of last night’s vodka sniffing through my nose


stuck behind another cotton-headed abomination


someone’s mother yes

someone’s grandmother


far off into the cold, carnal distance of the past

maybe the erotic love of someone’s life


though i doubt it


she’s standing in the middle of the lane

questioning the cost of every item to the cashier


why does the yogurt cost so much?

why the lemonade?

give me back those apples

i’m going to have to think about them


i can’t even get my groceries

on the little conveyor belt because she won’t move

from her incredulous consumptive perch


this is a small problem, true


there are wars

there is suffering


somewhere a thirteen year old girl

is being forced into the submission

of an arranged marriage


how we have an orange-faced

racist maniac running for president


but this is my problem


and i think about bukowski and the shoelace

how it’ll be the small stuff that gets you in the end

not nuclear war or authoritarianism


or about how i’d still need to buy

toilet paper in the event of national socialism


this woman is my shoelace


checking the expiration on the milk for the third time

complaining about the cost of butter for the second time

leaving the line to go and get a bigger bag of rice

like she left the line to go and get some new apples


this is no bar in the middle of the afternoon

hiding in the dark, getting drunk

as assholes make their way outside in the sun


she is no human being


she’s a beast, standing there examining her receipt

so that the cashier can’t even ring up my shit


as if lucifer rose from hell

this fine summer day

to buy coffee on sale and some rotisserie chicken


or to screw with a guy like me

hungover and in need of seltzer

so he can go home and hit the bottle


make his world’s suffering end.





Wednesday, August 17, 2016

poem of the day 08.17.16

bad ass bros carry beer cases up the street

bad ass bros carry beer cases
up the street

and i feel like death warmed over
sitting on a stalled bus in the sun

smelling my own stink
i watch them as they strut
with that confidence of youth

like they have their own soundtrack playing

shouting their bullshit at women
turning for the last glance of ass

swinging beer cases
like they’re filled with air

cigarettes dangling from their mouths
slapping five when they get a smile from some chick

bad ass bros carry beer cases
up the street

like wiry gilded gods in a city that was made
just for their pleasure

they don’t know about sitting on stalled buses
feeling like death warmed over

useless and aging
in the reflection of the hot summer sun

as kids cry and people shout into their phones
about wasted time in a wasted life

man….i hope they never do.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

poem of the day 08.16.16

the fans

there they are
disrupting the solace
of a pre-noon D train
bud light cans
wrapped in brown paper bags
like badasses
american flag wife beaters
and yankees jerseys
reflector shades and board shorts
their hats all on backwards
talking smack before the first pitch
their girlfriends
already bored and playing on cell phones
texting each other
over the cacophony of testosterone
in five hours
they’ll all be drunk
before the sun goes down
one will have vomited in a garbage can
outside of yankee stadium
green beer and processed meat
the girls will have run to the bathrooms
at least six times
tear streaked and accused
of sleeping with some guy behind
one of the bros’ back
they will have fought
or tried to have fought
a pack of dude who look just like them
but only in the other teams colors
no one will remember
what happened in the game
they’ll read the box score online tomorrow
before their 1 p.m. brunch
bacon and eggs
fruit cups for the girls
but mimosas all around
then plan on doing the same thing
next saturday afternoon
if the weather is nice
and the yankees
are still in town.


Monday, August 15, 2016

poem of the day 08.15.16

what was so important at the petco
that you had to almost mow me down

was it a last minute run on biscuits?
a new chew toy for fido
or some cheese flavored treats for the cat?

i’m curious, lady

what was so important at the petco
that you had to almost mow me down

right through that intersection
like you didn’t even care

i could see if you were on your cell phone
a dick move and highly illegal in these parts

at least that would make sense

but you were staring straight ahead
eyeball to eyeball with me
as if we were up on some telepathic shit

did you even see me jump?

what was so important at the petco
that you had to almost mow me down

a job interview? a rescue pet seminar?
a social justice protest giving it to corporations and the man?

at least the lady six blocks ago
was trying to make the yellow light
when she almost nailed me from the side

and the guy this morning, he didn’t even blanche
when i called him a miserable fucking fuck
for rolling through a four-way stop sign and almost drilling me

he knew what was up

maybe your favorite song was ending on the radio
but that still doesn’t make this right

you could say maybe i’m the one who
should’ve been more careful
but each time i was paying attention

who would’ve thought a tuesday
the perfect day for a veritable hat trick
of possible motor vehicle death for yours truly

christ, with people like you it makes one think
they’ve beaten the odds just by getting home and going to bed

so what was it?

what was so important at the petco
that you had to almost mow me down

make me step back on my toes and spin
like a fucking ballerina?

i’ll take anything at this point, bitch

20% off dog and cat food
a yankees jersey for rover and spot

a rabbit cage or a reptile for the kids
a murder/suicide pact that we’d
drunkenly made at a bar some time ago


what was so important at the petco
that you had to almost mow me down
on a hot and humid august afternoon

like you were the only person
who mattered in the world

the only one with cash to burn
barreling through the dregs
of this scorched and stinking earth

almost upending both of our little lives
for good.


Friday, August 12, 2016

"best of" I hate summer poem of the day 08.12.16

last of week we get back to the new and always mediocre

august blooms


i sit here

going mad


just trying
to keep
the peace

this city
the stink
of garbage
and sweat

us all
to murder


like mountains
like a field of grass

i need

this asphalt
heart of mine


Thursday, August 11, 2016

"best of" I hate summer poem of the day 08.11.16

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.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"best of" I hate summer poem of the day 08.10.16

it’s just summer coming again

the old bitch on the front stoop
playing her hate talk radio
into the humid air and sun

the neighbors talking on and on
about neighborhood gossip and the weather
their ugly dogs barking
into the infinite ugliness of the city

the basketball boys
rapping and laughing
telling basketball stories
about all of the pussy they’re getting
on a thursday night

while i sit in this room
hungry and alone
sick from work
nursing a bad stomach
stress and stale wine

sucking on a diet beer
to pass the time

it’s just summer coming again
like the shits or a bad flu

i tell myself

it’s just summer coming again
the way summers always come

it’s nothing
it’ll be over by september

that’s when the autumn rolls in
like hitler invading poland
with a smile on his face


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"best of" i hate summer poem of the day 08.09.16

hating the lawn chair people

they get on the bus
an old couple
followed by an ugly woman
and her ugly daughter
they are all holding lawn chairs
i watch them pay their fare
and find seats near the front of the bus
feeling an intense hatred for these people
pink fleshed
casual summer clothes
i wonder why
was i not raised right?
had i spent too much time
fat and alone as a child?
these are good citizens after all
an extended family out for the evening
taking in a free concert in the park
or a ballgame
they are doing what millions
of other americans are doing
passing these final summer days
but i cannot see that
i am some kind of repulsive man
a greasy-haired cretin with a hard-on
carrying two magnum bottles of wine
hoping to finish them that night
trying to forget the job and everything else
i look at these people
such dull expressions on their faces
such blank stares
the kind who participate in the current zeitgeist
the ones who feel an obligation to attend
every civic event
the ones who find it their duty to barbeque
every weekend between memorial day
and labor day
the ones who only have sex one way
the ones who vote republican or democrat
the ones who like to eat outside
with the sun setting in the sky
the ones who attend church
the god fearing
or the ones who are too hip for god
the ones who cannot go out without ten
of their closest friends
walking in tandem
the ones leading an un-examined life
the ones who watch thanksgiving day parades
the ones who drink imported coffee
the temperate ones
the ones who never go mad looking in the mirror
the ones satisfied with forty-hours a week
fifty-two weeks a year
one beer at the bar on a friday night
the ones who go to disneyland
on their only two weeks of salvation
the best seller readers
the ones who watch stand-up comedy and laugh
the reality television watchers
the ones who eat balanced meals
and go to bed before ten o’clock
the blockbuster movie watcher
and the art museum hags
these lawn chair people infesting the atmosphere
with carbon dioxide
polluting the earth with their smiles
there is no cure for them
they walk this rock like roaches
and the best that you can do is sit there watching
your soul rotting into a black goop
that these psychos will one day use for oil
or energy to run an electric car
late for a picnic by a lake
of crystal blue water
smelling oddly of piss on a nice spring day.


Monday, August 8, 2016

"best of" poem of the day 08.08.16

hello all

taking the week to put in some work on my next novel, which will hopefully
be the follow up to both The Librarian and Wine Clerk. so it's looking like a
"best of" week, but a thematic one. I hate summer and have written quite a few
poems expressing my displeasure at being sweaty and sick feeling while everyone
else seems to run around like a slap-happy asshole. so this week's "best of" will
all be about my long and abiding hatred of summer....and maybe i'll even sneak
a new one or so in.

as always thank you for reading.


summer fair people

there they are
the bored and the dull

they come out every year at this time
to suck on fried dough and undercooked italian sausage

to listen to terrible bands playing bad cover jams

the fat mothers and fat fathers munching kettle corn
their fat children bouncing around
in inflatable rooms that look ready to burst

teenage boys ready to pop the cherries of teenage girls

the dozens of happy young couples
eating dripping ice cream cones

pushing around wailing children in the humidity and heat

the old soldiers with their wwii and vietnam frocks
stumbling down the dirty block to drums that are off beat

the locals drunks coming out of local watering holes
leaning into corners to watch the action

they are all here sweating and dying
taking a respite from work and each other

watching the hot dog and pizza eating contests
that still bear witness to american gluttony
and the tepid might of our ever-dwindling spending dollar

laughing as their children vomit
from ancient spinning rides that look more
like torture devices than amusement

all of these slap-happy summer fair people
with this month’s catch phrase
plastered along their wide bellies and wide asses

the good citizens eating more shit that they
can shove in their faces

the good neighbors buying more shit
to sell to everyone at next year’s yard sale

the whole community walking around like grinning zombies
with balloon animals strapped to their heads

taking photos with corporate fast food mascots
and politicians who are just as swarthy and deceptive

be careful or you’ll end up just like them

waddling around drinking two gallon sodas
farting and burping and pissing the american dream

mad slow and stupid on fat sugar and salt

as the pigeons and rats and the homeless look on
waiting for it all to end again

so that they can finally feast
on all of this seasonal bounty.


Friday, August 5, 2016

poem of the day 08.05.16

the robbers

my wife and i joke sometimes
about what would happen
if our apartment got robbed

of course, this is no laughing matter

but what would the robbers think
if they waltzed into our place with its 26-inch tv
that you can’t even watch foreign films on
because the subtitles are so tiny

the vcr/dvd combo for christ’s sake

cd in stacks like ancient roman ruins
and books…goddamned books everywhere

the tech: a pc and laptop, both six years old

little jewelry on hand and clothing fraying at the seams
t-shirt and socks heading toward a decade

no cash on the premise

and a seventeen year old cat
who’s random shit piles they might step on
as they case the joint

what would these thieves even take?

expired light beer and jug vodka in the fridge
half-empty ice cube trays and questionable sour cream

original art in yellowing stacks on cardboard desks
that the shitty poetry mags don’t even want

the action figures taken out of the packages

those poor burglars
picking the one apartment in all of brooklyn
whose whole life is one obsolete technology after another

all of that expert criminal activity wasted on this?

sitting here now, feeling like a luddite, a relic
i wonder how it is that we even live here

how maybe we should go out and get the latest technology

smartphones and ipads and fitbits
and watches we can talk into like spies

devices that will wash us and brush our teeth

a sixty-five inch LED smart television
that tracks what we watch
a blue-ray combo that streams like a mighty river

go top shelf and buy prepared meals online
update the wardrobe and go name brand
stuff some cash in between the couch cushions

get a boutique pet or even cable

go on a real, honest to goodness
credit card bloating, downhome american shopping spree

get drunk and go to bed with the doors wide open
to this crazy sweltering city
and see what happens

a vile purloining of all of our new fancy possessions

or just waking up the next day
feeling hungover and  hollow

like something else much more dear to us
had been lifted and taken


Thursday, August 4, 2016

poem of the day 08.04.16

percy shelley never did this

i’m sure at first
the doctor thought that it might be a v.d.
the way he asked me what it was
that i’d been up to down there at the beach
i was eighteen and in massive testicular pain
but i still felt suave and virile at the suggestion
i wasn’t a complete eyesore i hope you know
but alas i’d come home a wounded soldier and a virgin
the only action i’d gotten down there
was madeline kahn’s cleavage in young frankenstein
as i rolled around on a dirty couch in agony
wondering what in the hell was wrong with my nuts
while my friends slept soundly in their beds
dreaming the kind of ass they’d try and get the next day
or maybe a vein is twisted, doctor feelgood said
it happens to some guys your age
a little procedure and you’ll be good as new
i didn’t like the word procedure
it was an old person’s word
and i felt ungainly and impotent at the very idea
but he put me under anyway
and they had the devil’s time trying to wake me back up
i could feel their slaps, the tugging on the eyelids
john…john…john….until i drifted out again
when i finally came to
it was only me and the parents in the recovery room
took your one testicle, the old man said
like it was matter of fact
and i felt sickened and emasculated at the notion
but you can still have kids, my mom added hopefully
you know, with the other one
like that was some kind of comfort
like half a set of balls were being chopped off all the time
i wanted to spring from the bed and get the hell out of there
just in case they started removing other body parts
the butchers
but i was still too doped up and sore to flee
as my parents talked to me
about treatment and the nice weather we were having
i laid there trying to think about sunsets and sand
the soft curves of tanned flesh
instead of doctor frankenstein somewhere in the hospital
tossing away a suddenly useless body part
from this new monster that he’d created.                                

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

poem of the day 08.03.16

that guy

i want to be that guy
just like you are
the one who bursts into the room
breaking the cultural malaise
shouting into the cavernous zeitgeist
look, people, we’ve got real problems here
but i lost a writing morning to a bad hangover
or i was still drunk, you can’t tell sometimes
the presidential race has given me the blues, man
that reality tv star with the big ass
got a new haircut and i can’t stop reading about it
or looking at her naked on the internet
the sports team that i used to like
just dropped three to the fourth place team
all the food that i eat is bland
all the music that i hear is dull
and last week the weather topped out at 90 degrees every day
there’s nowhere good to travel
the bars have failed me for the last time
the job has got me by the balls again
and some nights i lay there in bed
and wonder what could go wrong next
like more sickness or even death
the cat keeps shitting on the floor
signing her own death warrant with each stringy pile
and the maid must be on strike
because the vodka glasses were left sitting
on the coffee table again, stuck in the dark circle of a wine stain
i can no longer remember my dreams
i no longer have dreams
just a series of hours, days, weeks, and years
and the gray hair keeps coming by the bushel
yeah i’d like to be that guy
just like you, buddy
the complete and total altruistic consciousness
the one who runs into the room
cutting people off in the middle of some complaint
to shout look, we’ve got real problems here
then start going in about climate change and war
the economy and international terrorism
as if we did not know
as if we didn’t know
but both of my knees hurt all of the time
and i got this rash on my chest that won’t cease
i’m out of creamer for my coffee
and the milk has expired
plus i never liked a guy like that anyway.                                    

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

poem of the day 08.02.16

upon watching bruce conner’s
breakaway video for the third time

still i stand there and think
toni basil at age 23 in 1966
and where in the hell did she come from?
having only known her from the mickey video
when i was a kid being weaned on MTV
toni basil in black bra in black pants
cut suggestively in ovals of flesh all over her
she winks then preens for the camera
fingers on lips, wide-eyed with heavy mascara
a mop of raven hair nesting on her head
her mouth an “o” of suggestion
as if wondering how you’ve come across her
in this shadowy room
and when the dance comes on
it’s this cyclone of northern soul
toni basil at age 23 in 1966
the way she moves
now in nothing but a white slip
spinning and gyrating
pirouetting herself into nausea
the camera slowing for her to look smoldering
but vulnerable too and dizzy into its lens
the mark of suggestion gone
the raven hair a wet mop, the mascara running
before we are gone again
dancing into the thunder of music, drums and bass
the slip becoming panties and tits then suddenly naked
toni basil at age 23 in 1966
jumping in and out of the camera
her cunt a jungle of black hair untamed
i blush like a high school boy
this time machine from fifty years ago
get thee to a nunnery
get me to a room of one’s own
as the film begin in reverse
toni basil at age 23 in 1966
moving in backward motion
jumping back from jumping forward
redressing the scene until we are back and preening
and innocent together almost once again
toni basil at age 23 in 1966
she winks at the camera
but i fool myself that she’s breathing just for me.                      

Monday, August 1, 2016

poem of the day 08.01.16

if i remember

if i remember
what book it was that i was reading
that can symbolize a good night
or what movie
what tv show my wife and i were binge watching
call it a success
then it means the drink
hasn’t gotten to me too much
a rabbit hole i have yet to fall down completely
although i’m always dangling over
that soused ring of hell
if i remember
what we had for dinner
that the door is locked
the oven off and the windows closed
the goddamned lights off
then i can rest easy in bed
with the scent of vodka and wine
lulling me to sleep
subtly underneath the mint of toothpaste
if i remember
what it was i was thinking about
proust or maybe a nude actress
music my wife and i were obsessing over
if we fed the cat
gave her the meds that she needs
to keep her alive and crying and shitting on the floor
and slipping us slowly into madness
then i’m solid
no rehab ala amy winehouse for me
no intervention with the folks and old friends
just another round on the house
if i remember that we did not fight
that peace has reigned
or if i can recall the argument
point by point by illogical point that i made
then it’s all good in the hood over here
if i remember
that i didn’t not shout out the window at neighbors
at people sitting in cars texting and blasting bass
that there is art in this world
away from all the bloodshed and strife
and noise and disease
the violent malaise this country
is perpetually caught under
that there is beauty
that i have yet to discover
what does it matter
if i lay bleary in the dark after doing the damage
eyes wide open and booze-soaked
my wife asleep on my chest
me trying to make out the figures
of inanimate objects in our room
like celestial bodies
hiding beneath the pink night of city skies
if i remember
that i am human
that i will die soon
that everything in this world that i truly care about
will one day turn to dust
or just be gone
then what is there to fear?
hangovers and jobs?
thermonuclear explosions in the sky?
surely not this blank page staring back at me
6:10 in the morning
waiting to be filled with words
that are harder to find the more i age
that i have stuck somewhere in my back pages
blocked back like a clogged sink
if only i remember
what they are.