Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Poem of the Day 12.31.08

okay, so i lied about no more poems until 2009. happy new year.

the radio is broke

the radio is broke
and the year is dying.
i am sitting here trying to fight
the urge to drink before 10 a.m.
and the radio is broke.
i was listening to nina simone
and the radio broke.
it started sputtering and skipping
and then it just gave out
like a final breath.
and it is snowing outside
the radio is broke
and it is snowing outside
i can’t hear nina simone
and the scotch in the other room is calling to me.
i can hear the neighbor’s
television set coming quietly
through the ceiling.
she is not playing nina simone
and the year is dying
and another one is breathing down
my neck
and i really don’t think i can handle it
another year
a broken stereo
the scotch
or going out to buy a bottle of wine
in the snow for another new year’s celebration.
and the radio is broke
but then it started sputtering
and spinning again
i can hear its digital click
i hear nina simone coming back to me.
then it kicks again and i groan.
the radio is broke
the year is dying
another one is bearing down
on our asses
and i’m sitting on a hard wooden chair
in this lonely bedroom
holding a vigil for you and i and everyone else
that always gets it cut too short.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Book Is Out!!!

Dear Blog Readers:

It is my pleasure to inform you that my book is out now, and available for purchase or to simply point and laugh at it.

just click on the highlighted word "book" to have a look.

if you don't like technology or are a very tactile person, you can simply type in this coding to get the same results:


p.s. those purchasing the book, please feel free to comment on Amazon about the book in a positive or negative light.
p.p.s. i'm available for birthdays and banquets too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

poem of the day 12.22.08

well, this will be it for me until 2009 rears its ugly head.

it is growing cold

it is growing cold
but the madmen are still at it
on the brooklyn streets.
and the people are scared of them
for they fear anyone who has found
their own truth.
the madmen embrace their truths
they know.
they know they are better than
the masses, carrying christmas bags
and choking on false sentiment.
they know they are better than
a new car.
they know they are better than
fucking in a warm apartment
on a cold night.
they know they are better than
getting drunk.
they know they are better than christ.
they know they are better than baseball
and sunday football combined.
they know they are better than
a pretty girl with pink lipstick,
reading faulkner on a train.
they know they are better than poetry.
they know they are better than air.
they know they are better than cable tv,
and digital stereos.
they know they are better than hot food
in an empty stomach.
they know they are better than a holiday parade.
they know they are better than a beach.
they know they are better than a glass of water.
they know they are better than the government.
they know they are better than an oscar
winning film.
they know they are better than the telephone.
they know they are better than a walk
with a lover on a warm night.
they know they are better than authority.
they know they are better than celebrity.
they know they are better than all the gods
in all of the religions.
they know they are better than the boys
with shaved heads and sculpted facial hair,
the ones that get to fuck all the young girls.
they know they are better than books.
they know they are better than video games,
and the internet.
they know they are better than skinny assholes
discussing rock and roll music
over expensive pints of beer
they know they are better than your favorite
television show.
they know they are better than the summer.
they know they are better than love and hate.
they know they are better than trying to stop
the wars of humanity.

it is growing cold
but the madmen are still on the
brooklyn streets,
howling and driving the beautiful ones
away in droves.
they know they are the only ones
with any kind of freedom left to take hold of
while the rest blind themselves
with what can be taken away without a second thought.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Poem of the Day 12.19.08

yet i try to be peaceful
and kind

kid blasting
the rap music
answers the door
and i want to hit him.
i left the apartment
and the wife
and the steaming dinner
sitting there because
i’d had enough
all day
in this miserable
since 10 a..m.
since i was still bleary-eyed
trying to read
the new york times;
the prick on the other side
of the wall
playing bass,
then the white trash
matching his music
and calling her kid
a retard.
and by the evening with
the sun setting
sunday in america.
and i remember
quiet sundays.
i had enough.
so i go out and ring
the doorbell
and he comes down
and opens the door.
with a smile.
i want to ring
his neck
bludgeon him
take back all the
he took from
me and my wife,
smash his face
in the dinner
i’m missing.
but instead i tell him
to turn it
the fuck down,
which he protests
“it’s only one song.”
“one song too many,”
i say.
“but you don’t hear me
all the time, right?”
“i hear you enough.”
and with that i walk
back to my door
as he keeps talking,
promising to be quiet.
a small victory,
but it won’t win
the war.
and before i go in
i think to warn
the white trash
about her noise
as well.
but what’s the pont?
she’s being quiet
plus i remember
i have a wife
and a dinner
waiting for me
back upstairs.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Poem of the Day 12.18.08


i remember the two
of us
used to sit in that sports bar
in downtown pittsburgh
and listen to those
two sexy suburban women
complain about their husbands,
and how much they were
ignored at home.

they were classmates
of yours, not too much older
than you or i,
but victims of the circumstance
of long-term faded lust.
you were always
hot for the blonde,
weren’t you?
she was the innocent one
who still believed in her husband’s
and i liked
the brunette,
the one ready to jump ship.

things almost happened
with mine too.
you set it up to take place
after her birthday party,
but when we got there
the husband was surprisingly home,
in town after
being on the road
for two weeks,
hocking computer equipment
or some shit like that.

he was a big
if i remember correctly.
an ex-jock,
some all-county linebacker
that reveled in his glory days.
he had a neck the size
of texas,
and two arms that could
of killed me
with a squeeze.

but he was pleasant
enough that night,
and generous with his
bottles of beer,
and that decanter
of crown
that he had placed
on the mantle
next to a large gold-framed
photo of their wedding.

i remember looking
at it as we drank.
that photo of a happily married
and not yet aware of how
crooked life could get for them.
how lonely the nights at
home would be,
the temptation that it could lead to,
or how barren an empty road
could get when you tried
to make an honest buck.

and i’m glad i saw that
photo too,
because maybe it saved
an honest couple
a lot of misery in this world.
i know it probably saved me
a lot of hurt.
if nothing else it at least
got you and i out of that scene
and going back to bars
where we could meet women
without so much baggage,
or restless time on their hands.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Poem of the Day 12.17.08

for just a few beers
--for randy costanza

i try to remember the last time we hung out
a vietnamese restaurant on the upper east side
after smoking cigarettes on the steps
of the metropolitan museum of art
when i was brand new in new york.
and except for that one time
when we ran into each other in midtown
i don’t think we’ve seen each other
at all these past five years.
we were still in our twenties back then.
i know what you look like, now, though
and some of what you’ve been through.
the internet is at least good for that.
it was nice to get your email.
i’m glad you’re writing comics again
and drinking a lot of beer.
as you can see i’m still messing
with the poem and the story
trying to hit one out of the park
but mostly smacking singles and doubles
in between the insomnia, the jobs, the moves,
the slugs of scotch and cheap french wine.
i’d be glad to get together soon to drink
and see what real damage time has done to us.
sitting across from you in a bar like the old times
just might be the cure-all i need.
another breath.
another chance at intangible youth.
it’ll at least give me a bridge
from the past into the present
something to help me figure out what in the hell
i’m doing with myself in these days
of turning sallow and gray-haired against
the onslaught of time. you remember those times when we were young
and driving pittsburgh streets with bags of black label beer
on the floor of your car, drunkenly pissing on the vast front lawns
of university professors, and then racing into liquor stores moments
before closing just to get a fresh liter of vodka so that we could mix
it with mountain dew in a suburban mall parking lot on another
lost summer night when we thought we’d never get old or die?
yeah, man.
i do.
i do too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ink Sweat and Tears

in case anyone is looking for a great blog of writing, look no further than:

POEMS of the DAY 12.16.08

Appearing soon in The Indite Circle

the corner store

the woman at the corner store
doesn’t like to wait on me.
i don’t mind.
she usually writes on forms
or talks on the phone or
stocks the cough medicine
as i stand at the check-out line,
a weekday morning,
unshaved with a long goatee,
with a 40 or 2 tallboys
in front of me.
i’m sure she thinks i’m a drunk
or some kind of pampered
college kid with nothing better to do
on a weekday morning but get wasted.
i wish she was right.
it’s not her silent accusations that
get to me, but the way she looks
me in the eye.
i get embarrassed and think
“what am i doing here, on a
weekday morning, with a 40,
or 2 tallboys in front of me?”
“what happened?”
then it is the same old shuffle,
the same old routine of searching
for cash in my wallet,
while i make bad jokes,
when i know the exact amount she wants.
$2.35 (40 oz)
$3.47 (the 2 tallboys).
it is a dance i do to prolong the misery
all because i want us to have some
fun together
during this transaction.
i want her to know that i’m all right
and not the cretin she thinks i am.
i want her to understand that
we can enjoy this mutual pain, this necessary exchange.
i don’t know why this is the case
but for some reason the lady at the counter
of the corner store holds more clout
in my eyes than my parents, or instructors,
the bosses, or even some friends.
i want to look good in her eyes.
but i doubt that she knows this.
i’m always too subtle.
and even if she did know
i doubt that she’d care.
they’ll be another one just like me,
coming in shortly after i’ve left.

6:20 a.m.

6:20 a.m.
and i wait for it.
it’s not too bad right now.
i have the radio
and the weather report.
i have the internet.
some days are just like this.
you wake without the mistress.
other days the muse comes with no problem
it strokes you, like a woman’s touch.
you can’t believe it.
it comes pouring out
and you stare at the page wondering
what god made you.

6:21 a.m.
and i still sit here
thinking the morning is too warm
waiting for september to end
and imagining october clouds.
i have a cup of tea
and i think a shot of scotch in it
might do me some good.
my bedroom smells of old clothes
and sperm
because the washers and dryers
in this place
are broken
and the landlord is too cheap
to fix them.
but i am too cheap to write
a poem.

6:25 a.m
i hear horns
and morning cars racing up
bay ridge parkway.
monday morning and we are all beginning
the fool’s dance
of the work week.
i know if i can get a good one down
then today won’t be so much like a suicide.
then i wonder what the rest of you do to quell
that hunger
order a cup of coffee?
have an affair?
watch television or read a book?

6:28 a.m.
and i am in the shit
everyone is waking and the pipes moan here
and you can hear footsteps
along the ceiling
small radios
televisions and the flushing of toilets.
we are all packed upon each other here
like sardines
like bad illusions
stacked like hell one above the other
waiting for it to all come crumbling down
no bailouts here
no bailouts here

6:35 a.m.
still i sit here
the weather checked again
a porn sit perused
the morning creeping.
i have another sip on the tea
forgo the scotch after all,
and realize it is time to give up the ghost
get in the shower
make the lunch
get ready to crucify myself on the morning streets
in the subway
at another desk
hoping the muse will wake with me tomorrow
her flesh thick and ready
to give me a deep
bloody kiss.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

poem of the day 12.11.08

since i'm heading back to pittsburgh for a few days, i thought i'd post some poems about my experiences during other trips home.

a poet in pittsburgh

in the city
of my youth.
poems can wait.
the old friends
i am supposed to meet
at a bowling alley,
i think i’ll let it sit.
another friend waits
for my phone call,
but it won’t come
because i got drunk
in the city
of my youth
with no explanation
except that it happened
after a long drive,
and a lot of thought,
staring over the eastern suburbs
and the city,
both illuminated,
both poking over small mountains.
they are all there,
my old friends.
the regrettable past is there,
the years of suicide days and nights.
i cannot go through it again.
so i won’t.
i realize that i have been
nearly unfaithful
to everyone.
i have been a lousy friend.
and that suits me just fine
as i sit here
drunk on beer
in the city
of my youth.


i barrel around your house
stinking of the poison.

your grown man
your little boy

pulling the same shit
that i have for years now.

taking beer after beer
out of your refrigerator,
and sitting at your kitchen table,
mocking your christ,
and pontificating like a dumb sage,
to the point of howling madness.

and at night i hide the bottles
just so you don’t know
how bad it’s gotten.

i wasn’t born a jackass,
but goddamn it if i don’t play
the role so well,
every time i come here.

you must be so sick of me
by now,
and the expectations you weigh
each time i pull into
your driveway.
i know that i am too.

but something always keeps me
arrogant and small
when i come home.

there is an inability within me
to be sensible,
or to be an articulate, rational adult.

the only way you can possibly
see me
is as a red-faced brat,
or an irrationally, drunken man-child,
walking away from you
and the kindness of your pauper’s wallet
at some suburban mall,
like i did last saturday.

hell, if i’m not a pale shade
of the human being i used to be.
then i don’t know what i am.

and it’s funny,
because everywhere else
i’m so standoffish and reserved.
people don’t ask a thing of me,
and i give them nothing in return.
i enjoy the carefree human exchange
of apathy with everyone i come
into contact with.

but from you,
i am a glutton,
i get fat and full off your
and it appears i’ll always take more
than i can ever give back.

i don’t know.
maybe this poem
can be some kind of restitution
or payback,
a small sum paid
for the years of hardship and worry
and lost hope
that i’ve thrown at you.

if nothing else,
it’s at least a down payment
on the promise of my
future benevolence.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Poem of the Day 12.10.08

christmas music

sitting here
in the boxer shorts
nursing the beer hangover
and the gas pains
and the morning radio
is telling me to have myself
a merry little christmas
i wonder who can find
any solace in this stuff.
it’s such a put-on
such a fantastic artifice
i wonder who can still
be so dumb over this pap
and this thought makes me laugh
because i need only
think of other people
to get my answer
as the elegant strings
and the high flute
keep wafting the song
out on the morning radio
so soothing
have yourself a merry
little christmas
have yourself a merry
little christmas
and when you’re done
do me a favor
fuck yourself too
and go back inside
and lock your doors
safe with all of your shit
leaving the world to us devils
for the next year
you know the ones
the ones who don’t get
weepy and sentimental
over christmas music
and cute kids dressed in red and green
who hate assholes wearing santa hats
the ones who keep going
instead of stopping for a kiss
underneath a rotting mistletoe.

Monday, December 8, 2008

PoemS of the Day 12.08.08

Okay, so i guess I'm a John Lennon fan.

hey bulldog

hey bulldog,
it’s freezing like hell
in new york today
and i have a bum
but you’ve been gone
for twenty-eight years

hey bulldog,
i almost didn’t get around
to this.
i wasn’t sure i wanted
to do the whole
frank o’hara trip
with you this

hey bulldog,
but i loved you more
than any rachmaninoff
piano concerto
with your granny glasses
and your hop nail boots
your put-on cockney accent
and the way
your music
woke up my young world.

hey bulldog,
i’m gushing
twenty-eight years later
and i still get a thrill.
you’re my christmas music
but don’t expect me up at your
tiled monument today.
i don’t do those kind
of tributes
and i have to work.

hey bulldog.
hey bulldog.
the world misses you like
a fine madness.

john lennon

25 years ago i learned about death.
i was groggy
it was morning in a kitchen,
one i barely remember now.
on my mother’s knee
we listened to the broadcast,
moribund jockeys inter-spliced
with your songs & the sad laments
of people from around the world.
folks were already talking about
your legacy, john
& like all good people
they’ve been shitting on it for
a quarter of a century so far.

in kindergarten i had a band
it wasn’t much, but there were 4 of us
sometimes there were 3 because the drummer
needed a nap.
we played all the old beatles songs,
air guitar & lip syncing to my mother’s LPs
on a beat-up fisher price turntable the school owned.
the nun would gather around the girls
& they swooned & i understood the attraction
to all the sound & madness.
but that day we gave no show & the nun
let me keep the radio on to hear more news.
such sadness & loss was so hard to comprehend.
later our band quit playing
ringo slept
george moved away & paul changed schools.
i was you, john
but you were dead
so i choose to be myself & i haven’t looked back
until today.


a day early in the life

every year
i am sad at this time,
thinking about the long past,
that morning
i play like a bad holiday
the goddamned radio,
and my mother
in the kitchen,
trying to turn it all
into sense
for me.
i guess we must all
a different way.
mine is usually to say
to write nothing
on that day,
not even a note
in my journal.
but to get back
to that time,
in my thoughts,
december 8th, 1980,
and christmas splattered
all over
like drops of blood
outside a fancy apartment
johnny ace, let them keep
the mosaics,
you and i will open up
a bottle of cheap wine,
drinking it easy
letting the night come
slowly to the world.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Poem of the Day 12.05.08

in for life

this is just another
pissed down the drain
doing this.
everyday thinking about it,
realizing death is a mistress
i must eventually meet,
if it’ll be better than this
more peaceful than this
or just something else
i must wake up and do
just like this

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Poem of the Day 12.04.08

ode to my alarm clock

there is no device
worse than you
in this apartment.

i stare at you
at three in the morning
and wonder
what the fuck?

you are only metal
and mercury
and wire

but clock
you run my life
from your perch
on my dirty

i can’t help
but watch you
on those nights
when i can’t sleep.

i have those nights
where i think
i’m dying.
what do you think
about that?

with your
red devil lights
announcing moments
that i’ll never get
and hours i should
never see.
i can’t help
that you’re laughing
at me
when i get out of bed
to piss
or to attack the machine
before the sun
comes up.

who invented you?
was it one man
or groups of people
over time
that should’ve been

leave me alone
can’t you see i’m going mad?
can’t you see you’re killing me?

how will it end
between us?
how will we finish?
with my last breath
or on some random night
when you give out
and i wake up
late for work?

we suffer each other
like an old bitter

so clock
i’d like to end
this relationship
if i could
before i’m ruined
and no good
to anyone else
except the boss man
and the almighty swing
of commerce
and brutal coercion.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Poem of the day 12.3.08

in another one of your poems

i was in the midst of ruining
the thanksgiving holiday.
i’d been drinking wine
since seven-thirty in the morning
and for a week now
i’d been mad at the world
for any number of reasons
that i usually had for being
mad at the world.
just two days ago i’d threatened
to throw a plate of ravioli against a wall,
and had slammed down a jar
of romano cheese on her finger
(an accident)
all over a slice of italian bread
that was too big for my plate.
i didn’t know what was happening
except to say that i simply felt dead
and buried, and needed to get something
impossible out of my soul.
but anyway we tried to have the holiday
even though i was kind of drunk and belligerent
and i was tired of holidays and people.
and i started in on the food, which was good,
but made me mad because everyone
else was probably eating the same goddamned thing
and how we all had no originality.
i kept picturing hundreds of ugly faces
at hundreds of ugly tables
their lips greasy, their jowls moving succinctly
over food and bad conversation.
and she said that we were out of paper towels
which made me angrier
because we just couldn’t seem to keep paper towels
in the apartment as of late
(a trivial matter, unless you’ve lived through it)
so she got us toilet paper, toilet paper
and i thought, christ, this is nice,
thanksgiving and toilet paper,
so i started in on her about
what happened to the paper towels
because i’d just opened a roll that morning
to clean up turkey juice and cat vomit
and she said she didn’t know
which turned into a big, drunken argument
about absent-mindedness
her absent-mindedness, which i knew
would sting
and it did.
her eyes filled with tears
and she said, i don’t know why
you are doing this?
it’s thanksgiving day and we’re off
and we’re together.
it doesn’t have to be like this
there’s no drama, there’s no one else,
there isn’t anything wrong that you
can go ahead and put
in another one of your poems
and that stung me,
as if i used my life solely for fodder
and i said, baby, don’t say that,
jesus, i’m sorry.
and the two of us sat there with
thanksgiving on the table and a fine
bottle of red between us,
almost crying over nothing,
until we calmed down.
and here it is now, anyway, a week later,
that moment finally in a poem,
because essentially i am a whore.
i’ve mined my life so much that i can’t
have a natural moment without
the backwash of “art”
even though i try like hell to squeeze them out.
this is no excuse.
but you have to understand,
if i don’t exercise this shit some way, somehow
i’ll lay in bed awake all night
going slowly mad and dreaming suicide
while you lay beside me
thinking everything is fine
and the next time we have ravioli
on a tuesday night
i’ll make sure that plate hits the wall
with effortless grace,
or i’ll try like hell to choke myself
on a piece of pasta
and a cup of lukewarm tomato sauce
and neither of us will understand why.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poem of the Day 12.2.08

Here's a little poem about the time i worked a toys for tots warehouse. People have no idea how much men suffer to make children smile:

german accent

we were fucking around
and laughing on the docks,
trying to kill the pain
and dread
of all the physical labor
of the day.
we’d been loading toy trucks
for hours,
and now the goddamned marines
were there
with a 15-footer full of cheap junk
and ripped bags
that would set as back a day.
somehow between the pot
of coffee
and the endless packs of pallets,
he and i had developed
german accents
which we thought were hysterical.
and when he dropped
a bag full of dollar store trinkets,
sending rubber balls and broken dolls
all over the dust-covered floor,
it seemed only natural to scream
in my best kraut
“damn you! now you’ve ruined
to which the marines stopped
hauling their share,
and laid their eyes on me,
so fucking dumb,
they weren’t sure whether or not
to chuckle or to open fire.