Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Poem of the Day 09.30.08

okay, so maybe i'm a little fucking bitter this morning:

poets and editors

it is so easy for them.

“wait until we have the
book out
and then send the manuscript
and we’ll see how it goes.”

so easy for them
while i wait three years
for a book
to come out.
while i amass stacks
of poems
and lunatic thoughts
in the sweltering apartment.

“let’s see if we want to get
together and do the next

as if there is a choice
in the matter.
the world may be beating down
their door
but it isn’t even tapping at mine.

“i’m not saying don’t send me
the next manuscript,
i’m just saying maybe you should

so i’ll wait.
but at least the words won’t.
and the poems will keep coming.
and during that time
the editors will send out the other
to strike out at the plate.
then maybe i’ll get the call again
and the show will become
exciting again
what we all expected
in the first place.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Newest Yinzer

folks, for better or worse i'm back on the new yinzer with another piece of "writing"
it can be viewed almost right here:


Poem of the Day 09.29.08

this poem is why i need to get out of NYC every so often.

sunday morning, brooklyn

slam the door
kick the door
pound the glass
shout i know someone is in there
even though no one opens up.
slam the door
kick the door
sunday morning, brooklyn.
slam the door
grab the cell phone
call the cops
while the neighbors speculate
in the rain
sunday morning, brooklyn
pound the glass
shout you motherfucker open up
slam the door
kick the door
hold your fingers down on the bell
as the dog barks inside
on another
sunday morning, brooklyn.
wait for the cops
the cops don’t like getting wet
in the rain
slam the door
cops slam the door
pound the glass
before the cops haul you away
this sunday morning, brooklyn.
fill out a report
watch the cops leave
go back and kick the door again
slam the door
scream someone open this fucker up
sunday morning, brooklyn.
sit in the car
put on the radio
wait for him to pull up and get out
watch him walk the steps
watch him open the door
give him time
then race up the steps and scream
open up
open up
look around
where in the hell are the cops now?
watch him open up the door
run in
grab the child
hold the child
hear the child crying
as he points into your face
and shouts
but he’s not saying anything
you care to hear
this sunday morning, brooklyn.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Poems of the Day 09.25.08 and one for Ally because she thinks she always comes off bad in my writing


i saw her
how to say what
you want
to get what you
but today she
is yawning
reading nothing.
i guess she got
all right,
or else she
that answers
are seldom
in books
these days.

train ride, wednesday evening

i look at the back of
her legs
imagining her face
as he plays with her hair
stooped down
tousling it like she was on
a photo shoot.
she has on brown boots
that go to her knees.
mine are black
with holes on the bottom
so that i really feel
the concrete earth
and rips on the side
to take in the fall breeze.
i look at them and think
well, i’ve gotten four poems
published this week.
but then i realize i haven’t
written a good one
in almost a month.
it’s just as well.
i need new boots
more than i need good, new poems.
i need a beer
or to see her face
just to complete the picture
for some understanding
but her man won’t quit playing
with her hair
so she won’t turn around
so i stop watching her
and instead watch
the lunatic in a white hat
counting the rats running along
the live subway rails
dancing on the platform
to no music
as the 3 train nears
and wednesday night
finally ends for me
in this unforgiving city.

even fishermen get the blues

i can’t write this novel
i tell you
because i can’t connect
to the characters.
i just get up every morning now
and read the baseball scores
and the football news
mark more poems rejected
then i go on facebook
to check everyone’s status
as a form of habit.
the radio disc jockey talks
on and on
and i think i’m going mad.
you tell me
that even fishermen sometimes
don’t catch fish
but they are up every morning at 5 a.m.
with their rods and boxes
of tackle and bait regardless.
i nod but don’t really understand.
i was never much for sports analogies.
but yesterday on my walk to work
i saw two fisherman
a couple of miles apart.
both were coming in, empty handed.
they looked beat
done with the world,
but because of you i knew
they’d be out there the next day
and the next
casting their lines, waiting
because that’s what they do.
and this is what we do, early
before the sun and people try
to ruin it all.
i just forgot, baby.
and that’s another reason
probably one in the millions
that i’m glad you love me
and are a part of my lonely
and crazy life.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Poem of the Day 09.24.08

Just accepted yesterday in Gloom Cupboard. It's a UK mag, so our man has gone international.

to die

rows of cubicles
idle chatter
stacks of papers
chained to a desk
chained to a computer
commuter traffic
bland food
and sleepless nights.

when i was a child
i couldn’t wait
to grow.
but now as an adult
i wonder what the hurry was.
it must’ve been to die.
it was to die
this way.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Favorite Bullet Poems

My Favorite Bullet just accepted these. And although I know you all be checking them out for the other great poets in the upcoming issue, here's a peek at my poems.

dancing in the light

last night we were in the midtown bar
drunk on five-dollar drafts.
our favorite irish rock band was playing
from the stage
and people were dancing and hoisting pints
and you were dancing
and you were happy because i was dancing
but really i was only standing there
spinning you in circles.
then i looked over and saw the lead singer’s wife.
she was a cute blonde that we’d met
only moments ago,
and i thought about how you pointed out to me
that she was pregnant.
so i watched her for a bit, spinning you,
pretending to dance,
amazed at how she glowed that pregnant glow
people always talked about.
i liked the way she stared at her husband
on the stage,
moving, mouthing the words of his songs.
then i reeled you in and you kissed me.
our favorite irish rock band played a 1980s cover
and i pulled you closer, just to smell your hair.
and in that moment i got so lost in the lights
i got this itch for something more,
like my own immortality and yours too.
it made me want to touch your stomach
and hang on.
i thought maybe i’d talk to you about it
after the show.
but on the train i started thinking about money
and bad luck, the fates and ambition,
high cholesterol and bad blood and cancer
high blood pressure,
the cost of a new york minute, suicide in the family
and anything else you can imagine.
so i chose to say nothing
which was probably the right choice
because it was after midnight, we were tired,
you put your head on my shoulder to go to sleep,
and i always say the wrong thing
when i’ve been drinking anyway.


i wonder what is worse
sitting at this desk
and fielding questions from the dead
as children run around
wasting the best years of their lives
on video games
and virtual second lives,
or the years that i spent in the
employment wilderness
hauling windows and doors in the buffalo cold
hauling cases of wine and scotch
for an overweight, micro-managing maniac
hauling used toys in a warehouse full
of black mold
pulling out paper clips for eight hours a day
while reading pieces of harold norse
on the shitter
xeroxing invoices, xeroxing receipts
in this squat, hellish building
trapped in the snow-covered suburbs
processing books and magazines
under ultra-violet lights.
murdering myself in so many places.
which has killed me more?

and my wife,
she writes me to say that she feels
we’re disconnected.
i tell her it is the week at hand beating
on the both of us.
it is the summer heat and no vacation for a year,
the ominous fact that we are both
desk jockeying away our time to public service.
but i don’t know.
maybe it is something else,
some kind of trap we’ve both been shoved into
for forty-hours a week
for 50 weeks a year
for four walls and a roof
for a steady check and the occasional
restaurant meal
for the same dead smiles the rest of them have.
maybe we’ve just come to expect
the runny shit aspects of life.

but still
it hurts to read that she feels distant from me.
i feel like i want to save her
yet i’ve found no plausible way
to save myself.
so, therefore, i guess i’ve failed overall
in some respects.
and i am used to failure as a matter of course.
but in some other respects, i think
it’s only a matter of time
until i take her hand
and we drop out for sure to walk and hit the road
like whitman’s naked children
and i will laugh as she explains the sunset
and she will smile when i show her the sea
and no one will feel any disconnect
and no one will need a drink or ten minutes alone
to let the work day go
or to prepare the body for the impact
of the next.

Poem of the Day 09.23.08

autumn again

i am up
the radio announcer
tells me it will be beautiful
i take his word for it
the old stadium has had
its last hurrah
the cats are hungry
i hope i still don’t
have the shits
the editor wants me
to email the publisher
about my messed up cover
the government does not
want to bail me out
but the bill collectors
want their money
i piss
i feed the cats
i put on a pot of tea
and look outside the window
at two old men
leaving for work
and talking under
the streetlights that keep me up
it is five in the morning
and i am glad
for once
that i am not somebody else
then the tea is done
i come in here and turn
on the machine
i wait
i have a good pull on the tea
and the radio announcer
tells me that this morning
is the beginning of autumn
someone sends me a picture
of myself on a web site
i stare it and don’t recognize a thing.
then i sit down
and begin to get the day
over with.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Poem of the Day 09.22.08

follow it

wake up
listen to the music
hear the buzzing
of the broken refrigerator
see that the bedroom light
still isn’t fixed
put the garbage can underneath
the toilet pipes
to catch all of the water
when you flush
ignore the strong burn
of scotch and piss
coming out of the nostrils
read the newspaper online
and try to keep the bile down
it is not your fault
just another bad morning
in a bad month of a bad year
these little dramas that are starting to
collect like dust balls
in the corner of your
living room floor.
it has to be this way
for everyone else, you think.
we are no different from one another
we feel the same pain
the same joy
we fuck
we stand on street corners
praying for death
or some salvation.
we all want to see the sun.
we all take in food and water
then shit it out.
we all take it in.
and when someone comes along
with an idea of any kind
our first inclination
is to follow it
even if he is heading toward
a cliff
with a manic look on his face
and not a care in the world
to keep him bound
to any of this.
and when we realize that he is
it’s usually too late to turn back
and avoid the mass splatter
of our souls wrestling
with the concrete and glass
on the pavement.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

PoemS of the daY 09.20.08

zebra head

at this bar
on 6th street
they have this strange motif
that kind of melts
cold war communism
with hunting
and all around the front
of the joint
there are the heads
of animals on display
moose, elk, and others
and the bartender
who’s wearing a
coke is it t-shirt
is telling ally and dan
all of their names
while i sit and have
a heineken and wonder
what the fuck?
but then the bartender points
above the bar
to this zebra head coming
out of the wall
so big
so black and white
that his snout almost reaches
to the stools
and i feel maybe we’ve seen
something impressive tonight.
but just as soon as we get
there we leave
and head back down 6th
toward a vegan restaurant
that has great sangria
ally asks dan about the bartender
and he says the guy is an asshole.
i want to ask about the zebra
but i’m so hungry
i can’t think of anything
but getting to the restaurant
and stuffing my face with something
that i wish was raw, bloody meat.

float on, okay

we have a sip
on the scotch
hear the buzz
of the fan
the hum of
the refrigerator
then i ask her
how it went
at the doctor’s
and she said
it went fine
the breasts are fine
the insides are fine
everything is fine
then i ask her
if she talked
to the doctor
about us
having babies
and she said
not based on last
night’s conversation
in the bar
and i said
then we had
another sip
on the scotch
heard the buzz
of the fan
the hum of the
and i said
maybe next year
we’ll think about
going to venice
for a week
right before the
summer comes

Friday, September 19, 2008

Poem of the Day 09.19.08


the places that i’ve
come to vomit are almost
too many to mention
like that park in oakmont
after blacking out
or my parent’s bathroom
every single apartment
my in-law’s nice
porcelain commode
nearly every job
has a piece of me
so do the streets outside
of many cities.
i’ve woken up in tavern
with that night’s dinner
still swirling
in the bowl.
i’ve done it in college bathrooms
the steam of
used beer and liquor
burning my nostrils
and i’ve christened
the bathrooms of
hotels from new york
to san francisco to buffalo
and back.
and each one has the cool
comfort of clean tile
connecting with my sweating legs
and misdeeds.
yes, i think i’ve vomited
just about everywhere
except maybe europe
and the far east.
and you best believe
once we get the dollar straight
i’m going over there
to have a good time
and pay dearly for it
the next morning.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Poem of the Day 09.18.08 (influenced by the boys on Wall Street)

okay, i don't usually write shit like this, but it seemed timely.

even walls fall down

i don’t understand it
i can’t get it inside my head
spin it around
make some sense.
i just wasn’t born into the
world like that
to make money on a gamble.
i watch it grow
and let it go
or else i’ve learned to swim
while i sink.
but like everyone else
i’m sitting here waiting
getting the life preserver ready
getting in the financial times
along with the dwindling baseball scores
and the line on next week’s
giant’s game.
it’s a trick
it’s a bad shot, another bad break
another bail out
another low ebb
another golden jug of milk
another borrowed home
another colossal fuck up
the big city’s way of picking up sticks
and waiting for the lights to come
back on.
corporate body bags.
but we all know who’s really
going to pay the price.
and i guess that’s what makes watching
this even worse.
the nervousness.
scanning the subway for desperate eyes
and hard luck gloom.
remember the rich will always bounce back
because they have the dream
in their back pocket
and know how to manipulate the sun.
for even when the walls fall to the ground
and the flood waves rush in
they are always somewhere on the highest
waiting to call in the tides.
but you and me brothers
we need to get the women and children
find a boat
learn to fish
because it looks like we’re going
out to sea again
history and all else be damned.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Poem of the Day 09.17.08

how is it September 17th already?

wedding photos

there is one of me
walking around the streets of
a city
that i vaguely remember
that is vaguely familiar
there is one of me
in the fog looking up
at odd buildings with small
statues of liberty
there is one of me
acting as a tour guide
without the proper memory
there is one of me
hauling ice
remembering the old jobs
that nearly destroyed me here
there is one of me
eating old meals
in old bars
that i’ve stumbled out of
too many times
there is one of me
trying to sleep
there is one of me
in line for wine and beer
then sitting there
hungry, out of words
as the booze somehow keeps coming
there is one of me
pointing and arguing about hemingway
there is one of me
explaining myself to everyone i ever
thought that i offended
one of me doing elvis
one of me telling a former book editor
not to bother
there is one of me
thinking of good things to say
about someone’s old band
and there is one of me alone
looking for solace down a dim lit
there is a photo of me checking out
the three piece
and there are ones of me sitting there
talking to beautiful women
who are not my wife
there is one of me and my wife
looking tired and happy
there is one of you
trying to hold it all together
there is a panorama shot
of everyone putting down food
and drink
keeping it all spinning
doing their best
as the rain falls outside
wishing everyone good luck
the couple
impending doom and boundless joy
as the three-piece strikes up
an old spanish song
for someone who couldn’t be there
that night.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poem of the Day 09.16.08

social networks

you can go ahead and click me
friend me
and i’ll click you too
but let’s not get together over
a glass of wine.
let’s not share a meal, a walk
along the estuary,
or see the sunset over an old bridge.
this is nice, this 21st century friendship
because we are still friends
in this place.
this is the best friendship i’ve ever had.
go ahead and read my interests
and i’ll read yours.
i see you like both paganini
and springsteen.
we are an odd pair.
you’re favorite books and movies
are my favorite books and movies.
i’m so glad we’ll never have to
get together and discuss them.
have you seen the pictures i’ve posted yet?
i’ve looked at yours a lot.
sorry i look so bad in mine
but i’m getting older and grayer,
and i’m drunk now most of the time.
but you look good.
the same,
but like an aberration of the present.
and i’m so glad that you found me here
in cyberspace
on the world wide web
in this community where we sprout
like warts and spread like an ass rash,
where we leave it all out to dry
to no tangible end
while the real madmen and geniuses
do not have a face or a blog or an avatar
and most days they don’t answer the door
or pick up the telephone when it rings.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Poem of the Day 09.15.08

this one will be in an upcoming issue of Re)Verb.

typical new york poem

i have been in new york too long now
and all i can write is the new york poem,
warm and artificial, suffocating, sun blocking,
claustrophobic, stuck-in-a-long-line, getting-on-the-wrong-train,
unexplainable to the rest of america
kind of poem.

the white people poem, the black people poem,
the hispanic people poem, the chinese poem,
the brooklyn poem, the bronx poem, the queens poem,
the diversity poem and all that other sensitive bullshit
that no one buys on the street anyway,
kind of poem.

if i were writing the sacramento poem
i’d mention the swamplands colored crimson in the sunlight,
the great split on i-80 that sends some east and some into
the insanity of capital city traffic,
old sacramento shining golden in dawn’s bloom, serenaded in
downtown traffic horns,
my neck still sore from craning it to catch
the last remnants of oakland and san francisco.
the lost bay poem.

if this were a psalm to salt lake city
i’d sing about the stench of the great salt lake misting in the horizon,
so dense and saline that nothing can survive in it.
i’d sing about barreling ninety miles an hour through the salt lake desert.
the hyundai rattling, its boosters bucking in the heat
the way it started doing back in california, back in the mojave desert,
or how ally’s arm hurt from the bird that dipped into it,
missing the windshield.
i’d wonder about the marxist we left sitting in a cheap bar,
and the bartender in his new era hat with manhattan splattered
across the front,
who wanted me to sing a new york poem.

and if this were a denver poem,
well, i’d have to mention standing on larimer street
crying over neal cassady, wouldn’t i?
or the pink neon lights of el chapultepec on market,
where we ate mexican food on paper plates,
slathered in green chili sauce, which ran all over the table,
and stuck up our hands,
as the jukebox kept playing booker t. songs
as we kept drinking one-dollar drafts of coors until we were bloodshot
as the old mexican drunks laughed and laughed and laughed
at the great nothingness of stupid joy.

if this were a kansas city poem, shit, the stuff i could say
about desolation on a sunday night.
if this were a saint louis poem, i’d moan over mark twain driftwood
floating in the mississippi river.
if this were a chicago poem, we’d wander north clark again
in search of the real blues, getting drunk, howling, knowing
we’d never find it.
and if this were a pittsburgh poem...well...
then i’d be home again.
if only for a little while.

but all i can write is the new york poem
the paranoid, hold-your-bag-tight poem
the fall of the roman empire on 42nd street poem.
the must-see-tv poem.
the late show poem.
the media conglomerate poem.
the sad, lonely musing poem that is surrounded by everyone
but still huddles under a warm steam grate poem.
the shouting silent on a loud subway poem.
the typical american dream poem.
the same poem that i’ve been writing since
i got back to new york
and began writing the new york poem.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poem of the Day 09.11.08

at the world trade center

people have died for this,
but i can’t figure out why.
they flung themselves out of buildings
on this very spot,
or waited until it fell into a
smoldering mash
of silicone and flesh.
when the train comes in
we can see the death still marked
in streaks along the foundation.
the cranes can’t hide it.
and neither will the new tower,
the big planned “fuck you”
freedom tower.
it won’t hide it either.
no, this place will always be
marked in blood
in the futility of religion
and in the futility of commerce
through blind imperialism.
this place will stand,
no matter what they put in its spot,
like a beacon,
like a warning,
like a lesson never learned,
just waiting to fall again,
and again,
and more people will die for it,
and i guess i won’t understand
that either.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

poem of the day 09.10.08


the mother
and her daughter
are sharing bologna
out of a cellophane wrapper.
they are on the late night
and the daughter
is talking about all
the things she is going
to do
and be when she’s older.
the bologna they are eating
looks fatty and good,
but the mother
and her daughter
look a little beaten
by the day.
i am always hungry
so i put down
my book
and watch them eat,
hoping to christ
that something finally
works out
for her, me, you
for someone
in this world
other than
the usual suspects
who don’t know
but always have
when they eat.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

poem of the day 09.09.08

aftermath of dvorak’s birthday

the super tells us that there
is no shortage
and that we’ve blown a fuse
he smells like cigarettes and futility
and he is in our kitchen
turning the knobs
on the faucet
and telling us not to burn
the place down.
but wouldn’t that be a trick
to burn it all down
me, all the possessions
all of these poems
that have been collecting
over the years
have it all go up in a final
symphony of flames.
i think this as the super
checks the fuse box
flips a switch and leaves.
then ally and i screw in
a lightbulb
and nothing works.
it never works.
and we both know
it’ll be november before
we see light
in our bedroom.
so we go back into
where the radio is playing
your 9th
a big celebration because
you just turned 167 years old.
i’m down with it
but ally isn’t.
she has a slug on her scotch
and says the super
can do nothing right.
i think this is true.
but then he appears outside
our window
a camel in his mouth
and a hose in his hand.
he is spraying the sidewalk
and the mist collects
on our window
right as your symphony
and the rain clouds settle in
over bay ridge parkway
blanketing another day
in this life.

Monday, September 8, 2008

It was a joke...i mean, christ, come on

so i made a joke about Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is a joke. A sick, right wing, pork loving, murderous joke.

and what happens.....McCain up 4pts in the polls and Palin's glasses have caused a fashion frenzy.

nice to know this election has become a 21st century Infotainment joke just like everything else.

fuck it.

i'm watching football.

Poem of the Day 09.08.08

another old one. forgive me. i've been writing ficiton again, so the poems have slowed:

drowning on hertel avenue

you see
you’re talking
to a dead man
in this dead
on this dead street,
somewhere in the midst
of dante’s hell.
and those people
as we cry and yell,
those people outside
the restaurant,
actually having a
friday night,
let’s just say they
are illusions
and this whole sick
mistake has been
made up,
all in an effort to save
good time.
if you look closely you
can see old brooklyn,
if you look closely
you can see beyond
the past few years.
i can’t tell you
it won’t
always be like this,
but if i could take back
telling you
that you weren’t my friend,
if i could take back
lumping you
with all of the others,
i would
because, christ,
you’re probably the only
friend i have in this
rotten city,
and quite possibly
you are the only friend
i’ve ever had
in my life,
and right now i could
use you,
because everything
has become
too much
and i fear i might
on the pavement


Saturday, September 6, 2008

poem of the day 09.06.08

imagine this happening to han-shan

i feel the poem going
a new one gone, yes,
gone for good,
as i stupidly paid attention
to inane conversation
the hum of music
the spring sky.
it was a good poem too
not the best,
but i hope to recover it.
if not,
i guess this one
will have to do.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bonus Jonas Poem of the Day 09.05.08

hot off the press...


I sit here tonight
With the sun embracing its death
I sit here tonight
With the scotch bottle between my legs
And my wife popping cold pills
And sneezing electric yellow mucus.
I sit here tonight
With the radio dj and the football scores
I sit here tonight
Waiting on the crazy neighbor to blow
A gasket over whining water pipes
And flushing toilets
I sit here tonight
In underwear that is ripped
By the balls and ass
That is full of skid marks
That has lasted longer than its use
I sit here tonight
As one cat sleeps on hardwood
and the other vomits again.
I sit here tonight
Wanting to vomit too
I sit here tonight
Embracing summer’s twilight
And the way the autumn used to make
Me feel
I sit here tonight
Without a clue as to how I’m gonna
Make it last any longer
I sit here tonight
with an old television show
like an old television show that has
been rerun too many times
that I can’t watch it again
I sit here tonight
Wondering what is new
Wondering who paid the bills
I sit here tonight
Contemplating Hunter S. Thompson
And mark twain
I sit here tonight
As the dog lady looks in our window
While her beagle takes a shit
On a browning patch of grass
I sit here tonight
As teenagers fight in cars that blast
Lil’ wayne songs into
The boring Brooklyn night
I sit here tonight
Awaiting hurricane rains
As dinner works my stomach and bowels
And the bedroom calls to me
I sit here tonight
With books and newspapers scattered
And cat fur rolling like tumbleweeds
And everyone gearing up
For the next great debate
I sit here tonight
And I don’t care about anyone
Or anything anymore
I sit here tonight
Wise enough that I just know
I just know
So don’t try and tell me anything.


poem of the day 09.05.08

here's an older one....

seventy-seven degrees and rising

some prick is playing bad music
through his living room window,
as i drink scotch in nothing but
my underwear
in this dark bedroom.
and on the avenue i imagine
college girls are walking by
in packs
with bottles of spring water
and their tits hanging out,
though none of them are probably
worth a second look.

the winter has ended.
but damn i wish it was still here.
i mean
i hate being cold,
but this rockabilly, agresso-rock,
reggae, pseudo-rap
bullshit that i’ve been hearing
during the duration of this drink
has been driving me nuts,
and at least in the winter
you can almost get drunk
in peace and silence
without the world interfering
on a stolen moment.

i should probably move
out of the city.
i am moving out of this city.
but i should probably not settle
next to a college in the next one.
too bad.
the beer is cheaper to buy around colleges.
plus i know
that in proper neighborhoods
assholes are grilling used up flesh
and families are having picnics in parks,
throwing around the frisbee
and talking about money
and summer vacations.

i know their laughter
would be just as sickening for me
to hear.
so i’ll just lay here in this room,
drinking scotch
and scratching my balls,
until its time to fix another drink,
or just get it over with
and go the hell to bed.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Poem of the Day 09.04.08

people love war

they are going to end the war
with a bullhorn and a rally in washington square park,
with their hair gel and $200 jeans,
with their fidel castro hats and che guevara t-shirts.

they are going to end the war
with old bob dylan and john lennon songs that have lost their meaning,
with a bunch of memorized, spoon-fed rhetoric spouted over
import beers in a bleecker street cafe,
with the money mommy and daddy gave them this semester.

they are going to end the war
with a hapless march on washington d.c.,
with a packed school bus powered by middle eastern gas,
with an innumerable amount of like minded people
giving up their hangover saturday for peace.

they are going to end the war
they tell me as i walk washington square north,
looking for henry james’ house,
heading toward the bar on st. mark’s place
where i always end my own personal war
with beer and lost remembrances soon forgotten.

they are going to end the war by waiting it out.

for only two sets of people can end the war, really,
and one is the politicians,
but they have too much money to be made on the war to stop it.
and the other is the soldiers, grunting it out, dying,
who need only put down their guns and say we’ve had enough.

but that’ll never happen,
no matter how loud or how long
you stupid bastards shout.
because people love war.
they love it better than their families.
they love it to their soul’s bottom.
people love to see the end,
to know its always in sight.

we are trained seals for the war.
any war.
we lap it up on the nightly news,
and we strategize it over coffee in the office.

still, they say they are going to end the war
with their celluloid optimism and picket signs.

they are going to end the war,
just in time
for the next one to start,
so they can rally
the troops all over again.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Girl's Alright With Me

You know, I thought I had this election all locked up. it was going to be Obama Biden for me the whole way, even though the two last names put together look and sound like an Islamic Terrorists name. I thought things were decided for me. that was until John McCain surprised me last week with his selection of Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, as his VP candidate. I wasn't surprised by the selection of Palin in terms of her politics. I mean I generally figured anyone McCain picked for his VP was going to have strong conservative convictions in order to counterbalance his so-called "maverick" tendencies. I was expecting a Tom Ridge or a Mitt Romney. What we got instead was a gun-toting, abortion fighting, baby having, 100% Alaskan MILF as his VP candidate. I'm intrigued to say the least, and my vote is now up for grabs.

Don't get me wrong. I completely disagree with, and, in fact, detest most of the political/moral positions that Sarah Palin stands for. But instead of simply hating her the way I would a Ridge or a Romney, I dislike Sarah Palin in the way I used to hate certain chicks in class or work, or making pompous asses of themselves at bars. I wouldn't want to spend any quality time with them, but damn i'd probably tap that ass given the chance.

So this is where i am now. do i vote properly and vote Obama bin Biden based on the promise of change (but, i mean, let's be honest, Obama might get 10%-20% of his promises fulfilled, before the American public checks itself again and votes in a republican senate and congress in 2010), or do I go with the old guy and VP Sexy Legs? i simply don't know what to do. So let's quickly take a look at the good and bad. the bad if McCain/Palin becomes a reality 1)continued quagmire in Iraq 2)possibility of conflict in Iran 3)off shore oil drilling 4)another conservative pick in the supreme court 5) possible overturn of Roe V Wade. Sounds bad, huh? and it is. but i'm worried. will any of that matter to me the first time thesuperficial.com or wwtdd.com get pictures of VP Sexy Legs prancing around on a beach in a sexy one-piece while her daughters frolic in their bikinis? I just don't know. Add McCain's wife and daughter to the mix, and I really don't know who to vote for now. Do I vote for change? Do I vote for the chance of turning the daily newspaper into a jerk-off rag? I'm confused.

And what if McCain dies in office and Palin becomes president? I realize that Obama is the chance to regain our position and respect throughout the world. But what leader, other than a muslim one, wouldn't lend an ear to PRESIDENT Sexy Legs? Hey, it worked in France with First Lady Carla Bruni. And Imagine that? Pres Sexy Legs visiting France, and the pictures of her around town with Sarkozy and Ms. Bruni. Now that's a newspaper caption i'd post on my wall.

Well, i guess i have some thinking to do this fall. if nothing else we'll have VP Sexy Legs around until november.

poem of the day 09.03.08

nothing like them

karl liked to slum
with me at old man bars
on the south side of pittsburgh.
he would call me
and the two of us would head down
and maybe go to joe’s cafe
on east carson
and order a jim beam
and a tall draft
on the cheap.
most of the time i sat there
and chain smoked camel lights
while karl talked my ear off
about how bad his scene
full of musicians and artists was
and how glad he was to have a guy
like me around
who didn’t seem to have a scene
who didn’t seem to have friends
he said that i was nothing like them
and i had nothing to say to that
and then usually karl would stop
and want to bum a smoke.
then i’d give him one.
in the squirrel hills bars
it was a different story altogether.
karl would call me on import beer night
and he and i would sit in the hip bars
and he would sip at import beers
while i drank the usual sludge.
the two of us wouldn’t talk about anything
but just sit there
and watch all of the hip artists come in
and sit at hip tables
to have bad conversations about music and art
and a lot of other stuff none of them
had the first clue about.
it was boring but not terribly boring.
it only got bad if some of karl’s artist friends
sat down to join us.
then it became overwhelmingly boring
like listening to someone talk about house wares
their bank account
or the newest television show.
i never lasted long when those people
showed up.
i usually finished my beer and left.
it was better alone in my one room
than sitting in a bar with all of them.
usually karl would stay.
he would call me the next day and tell me
everything about the rest of the night
how he got drunk
and made an ass of himself in front of all
of the other artists,
how he stole pitchers of beer
and packs of cigarettes off the table
he liked to say he embarrassed them
and then he’d want to know what i was
doing that night.
it was usually nothing.
karl would make plans for us to go back
to the old man bars on the south side
just the two us.
no artists.
because i was nothing like them
and he always felt he could be himself
around a guy like me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

poem of the day 09.02.08

say something that’ll attack the sun

if you have to think too hard
about the act
if you have to fake it
then maybe it is time
to turn off the machine
or put down the pen
because the words should never
be forced
and the memories or inspiration
should never be
beyond the fingertips.
you see,
we as humans,
are attracted to the banal,
the mundane,
the rudimentary,
and the severely repetitious
this is why we have art and artists
to shed some light and hope
on all of that dark.
it is called giving the world
a little meaning and beauty.
if you don’t believe me
just go and ask van gogh.
but it should never be forced.
so if you are sitting there tonight,
and the thoughts on your next
set of words
are taxing your brain with the powerful
contraction of a constipated shit
if you can think of nothing to say
that’ll make someone get up
and want to attack the sun
or make love to the moon
then please, for the sake of us all,
just stop.
pick up a magazine
join a bowling team, get married,
or go and start a dull profession.
we already have enough writers
who are fakers and fornicators
in this game
to last another dreary lifetime
and there’s not enough money or time
left in it for someone else
to drag us deeper
into the depths
of this dying sea
wasting nights playacting
waiting for inspiration to hit
when they never had it
in the first place.