Saturday, October 31, 2009

Poem of the Day 10.31.09 Moo Ha Ha ha!

and oldie but a......whatever.

one scary movie

the movie wasn’t so great.
it had a lot of tricks to try
and make you think that it was
shocking and intelligent
but any fool could’ve figured it out
and the gore was a little too false,
the characters didn’t suffer enough
to satisfy me.
in fact, i spent most of the evening
trying to figure out what kind of
idiot pays good money to see a film
like this.
but then again, most people are dumb
and hadn’t i paid to see this
piece of cinematic shit too?
after the film, ally turned off the dvd
and we sat in silence for a while,
finishing our cheap chilean wine

“well, what did you think?”
she asked.
“i didn’t like it, “ i answered.
“it wasn’t scary. if they really
wanted to make a horror film
they should’ve made a movie about
a guy forced to work overtime,
or one about a maniac stuck in traffic,
or a film about a single mother trying
to pay the gas bill in the dead of winter.
now that shit would be scary. but
hollywood doesn’t make horror
films like those.”

ally said nothing and we had
another glass of wine, then got
ready for bed.
but before i shut the light off
i grabbed the movie out of the dvd player
and made sure to put it back in its case.
i didn’t want it to be late.
there was no point in paying for our

Friday, October 30, 2009

poem of the day 10.30.09

this is

this is
just another night
of dodging the
palpable ignorance
of the masses
in the train station
the manic preachers
crying for the end
of the world
dodging the hordes
of teenagers
and their fuck talk
the hapless underground
and the secretaries
armed with their
white sneakers
and tube socks
pushing their secret
bottles of wine

this is
just another night
of dodging
the rotten breath
and angry, snarling faces
of the miserable
and the damned
dodging, dodging,
for survival
always dodging
as millions of animals
stand ass to ass in crates
smelling their own
waiting on the slaughter
as millions of other animals
lay peaceful in the woods
dodging the random stray bullet
shitting and sleeping
wherever they want.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

poem of the day 10.29.09

the rape of the 15 year-old

i fear for the kids
found her unconscious
underneath a bench
near the faculty
parking lot
flown to a hospital
in a helicopter
in critical condidtion
ten of them watched
while ten of them did it
over a 2 ½ hour
period of time
like a long movie
like a seminar
or a quick baseball game
like playing ball in the court
it seemed like a good idea
at the time
a little fun
on a saturday night
it was so beautiful out
the full-moon
the ambiance
the homecoming dance
the way the corsage matched
the dress
the dimly lit alleyway
where she was lead
a nice night
a warm october night
blood and come
all down her legs
pumped away at her
until she couldn’t
see anymore
saliva on her chest
get out your
camera phones
for the money shot
christ how i
i fear for the kids.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

poem of the day 10.28.09

worst agonies

some days
the worst agonies
are typical things
like missing the train
after sitting through a meeting
or watching a stranger
smile at a child.

it is standing in line
for a jar of gravy
behind someone with
a cartload of shit
as the cashier talks on
her cellular phone
as people talk about
the cover stories
on celebrity magazines
and you realize that it
takes so much effort
to sound so common.

it is watching a baseball game
in october, drunk,
with the lights off
and the workday hours away
it is getting political pamphlets
in the mail
or waiting on the sun to shine
after another bout of insomnia.

the worst agonies
are so simple and precise
a broken stoplight
a lost pen
losing a page in a book
a job interview
the way shadows fall
on the next ugly block
that you must tread toward
your own personal hell
it is hoping to win
but knowing always that
you will lose
it is realizing that death is actual
and that poetry rarely pays the bills.

some days
the worse agonies
come from just having to say hello.
the worst agonies
come from smiling at a neighbor
or just getting out of bed.

and those are the days
my friends
that you’re happy
you don’t own a gun
you’re scared of heights
and that the oven
is electric
and not gas

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

poem of the day 10.27.09

what can you say to
something like this?

she comes in a lot
she bothers me
has me look up rental laws
and brain teasers that she has
printed up illegibly
on sheets of loose leaf paper.
when i pass her in the morning
usually hungover
she makes it a point to say hello to me.
she knows my name
but i do not know hers
i have a database full of millions of people
but i have not made it a point
to look up her name
she bothers me about computers
thinks that i know a lot about computers
i tell her that i can turn a computer off and on
and she looks at me like i am lying
which is fine
because most humans think that i am lying
she is sitting in this place right now
talking loudly on her phone
something about a procedure
i don’t know because i am trying
my best to ignore her as always
but she says that the doctors found
two of them on her ovaries
and a couple of them in other places
her voices begins to get tight
she says that they want her to get
a hysterectomy
i can tell the person on the other end
of the phone doesn’t know
what a hysterectomy is
she repeats it loudly
a hysterectomy
and some of the other people in here
begin to look
and she tells the person on the phone
that they have to take her womanly insides out
that she will not be able to have any kids
then she tells the person
to hold on while she cries
she cries for a couple of minutes
then gets up and comes over to me
and asks me if i have any tissues
i tell her that i have a whole box of them
and i hand her two.

Monday, October 26, 2009

poem of the day 10.26.09

american high school tour group
at anne hathaway’s cottage

was only
when he
this twenty-six year old
and then
left here
for london
or something
banged all kinds
of chicks
in london
for all
of these
and then
the most
of all time.

i told you
fucking cool
or something

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Steve Richmond

RIP Steve. Another great one goes with no one to fill the void.

Steve Richmond (1941-2009)

Friday, October 23, 2009

poem of the day 10.23.09

pig latin

i’m a
merciful man
and there are
two latinos
on the train
about british girls
and he said
that last night
there was a group
of british girls
on the subway platform
and that they
looked lost
and she asked
what did you do?
and he said
i tried to help them
but you know the british
they talk in cockney
or something
it’s like english
but it’s not
it’s like pig latin
or something
and she said
it can’t be pig latin
because pig latin
is when you say words
backwards or something
and he said
well, i don’t know
if it was pig latin or not
only that they don’t really
speak english
over in england
so i couldn’t really
help them, he said
as i sit on the train
what a merciful man
i am sometimes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

poem of the day 10.22.09


on the table
and she keeps
the girls
around the
dancing behind
the computers
with headphones
and it’s eighty degrees
in here
i’ve got a rash
on both of my arms
on my legs
my chest
i’m hungover
on wine
and scotch
and haven’t slept
in a week
it is raining
for the fourth day
a driving cold rain
my clothes
are damp
my throat still
and i think
i could be in rome
right now
but what in the hell
would i do
in rome?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

poem of the day 10.21.09

more and more it seems like this

we pay for the bad movie
and then find seats watching the
sunday masses join us from out of the cold
and i wonder how we all came up
with the same idea, at the same time
but then i realize humanity is inherently redundant
and the lights dim without anyone getting quiet
and previews for other bad films
are showing on the screen
as loud people continue to infest
the theater, blocking aisles
and using their phones as a source of blue light
the man next to me keeps on fielding phone calls
the previews end and the movie comes on
and he’s still fielding phone calls
one, two, three, and i tell myself
that if it rings again i’m going to break
his fucking phone over his head
and it does ring again, but as i’m getting up
to throttle him
the man leaves his seat and exits the theater
(he doesn’t come back)
but that’s all right because now the cocksucker
behind me has decided to start talking on his phone
and the asshole three rows ahead has started texting
so have others
the bad dialog of the film, the bad soundtrack,
are complemented by beeps from all over the theater
and people are still talking
i want to check my watch, but i don’t because
that’s a universal sign to my wife that i find a film bad
so i try and check my watch off the light of the screen
as another cell phone goes off in the theater
we’ve only been at it for an hour
another thirty-four minutes to go
before i can forget that this film ever existed
before i can forget the people in here ever existed
thirty-four minutes before we can leave this bad film
and go down the block to the bar
where they are already drunk at five in the afternoon
yelling about football and old, bad movies
and about how much they hate the black president.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

poem of the day 10.20.09

trains and trains

all of the trains converge
on this singular place
and then stop with nowhere to go.
i think of all of the trains
that i’ve been on.
too many trains.
too many used up

my mind is a blank
that is to say it is
not here
with you.
it is in london still.
it is dreaming madrid
and the canals of venice.

it is dreaming
a train
going over the frozen land
from beijing to moscow.
a train taken in another life
i have yet to get to
another time
not as thick as this one
moldy and brown
ripe with america.

not as stuck
as the trains
that still haven’t moved
from this mildew-scented tunnel
in this outrageous time
and place
on no conception
no solace
of no thought
to speak.

Monday, October 19, 2009

poem of the day 10.19.09

soft accents

you’ve got to do something
about all of this shit that you’re playing,
he said, getting right up
into my face.
but i didn’t play this, i said.
well who did?

he had a thick irish accent
and was drunk.

let me ask you something, he said.
are you canadian or american?
i always get the two mixed up.
american, i said.
from where?
new york.
new york? well then you’ve got
no business being in here.

he was right, of course.
i had no business being in most places.
london, new york, places due east,
none of them really needed
my presence.

say? he said. have you ever heard
of a band called therapy?
there a bit like metallica, before
metallica turned to shit.
i didn’t know metallica had turned to shit.
of course they did, he said. they
turned to shit
when they started playing music
for girls.

i moved aside and he started dropping
pounds into the jukebox.
i’m going to play you some therapy
he said.
fine, i said.

i went back to the table.
what was that all about? my wife asked.
it was just some irishman, i said.
he thought that i was canadian.
and now he’s playing me love songs.

we looked over at him.
he was playing air guitar and had his tie
thrown over his shoulder.

when he caught my eye
he came over
and leaned in close to my wife.
hey, he said. he tells me he’s from new york
only he doesn’t sound like he’s from new york.
he’s got a soft accent.
i’m really from pittsburgh, i said. pennsylvania.
well could you do a new york accent for me? he asked.
i looked at my wife
she smiled.
sure, i said.
and then i tried to remember what a new york
accent sounded like.
it was sort of like a canadian accent,
i thought,
only much rougher
and a lot harder on the ears than most.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

poem of the day 10.17.09

watching ally photograph
the clopton bridge

you’re as beautiful
as the river avon
standing there
and oh christ
you know
i’m not much for
but you look
amazing there
right there
next to that
old yellowing brick
you’ve taken the
cobwebs off of
this old town
my lady
you’ve shaken
elizabethan boots
and rattled
those haunted bones
resting seventeen feet
under ancient marble
you’ve made
the old new
and something
different over
and over again
sometimes i want
to see the world
through your eyes
and other times
i just want to
watch you photograph
the clopton bridge
after eating nothing all day
and drinking a pint
of real cask ale.

my love
don’t you know?
shakespearian sonnets
have nothing
on you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

poem of the day 10.16.09

the memory of being happy

coming up third avenue
swinging the scotch bottle
that i haven’t needed in a week
swinging it like a child’s toy
like a basket of fresh fall flowers
like the memory of being happy
coming up third avenue
swinging the scotch bottle
that i haven’t needed in a week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

hollis street blues

lord byron
your birth house
is now
a mcdonald’s
is now a clothing megastore
just off oxford street
is now
a glass construct
foretelling the future
of architectural doom
there’s not
even a plaque here
lord byron
we tried
to find you
amidst the commerce
and glam
amidst the union jack
and plastic
london mugs
we really did
on hollis street
lord byron
on hollis street
but we’d have
been better off
in belgium or venice
where you whiled
away the hours
fucking all
of those handsome
girls and boys.
we should’ve
looked up
shelley’s withered ass
instead of wasting
the minutes
standing here
in the gray gloom
next to a coffee shop
that never even
bared your

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

poem of the day 10.14.09

traditional english breakfast

my heart is in the lowlands
and i think of a traditional
english breakfast
of sausage, fatty bacon,
fried eggs, toast,
and a spoonful of baked beans.
it is a brilliant mess
when it comes to you
with a taste for blood
as the underground station
at regent’s park glows
beckoning toward elsewhere.
the food on the plate
orange and yellow and burnt.
you take it with tea and milk
and i have mine with coffee
and we sit staring at it for a moment
before we dig in
not sure, i suppose, what to make
of it all.

my heart is in the lowlands
and you ask me if i’m all right.
i tell you i’m not still stewing
but we both know that’s not true.
we both know that it takes
me forever to get over things
no matter what country i’m in.
i tell you if that waiter
comes over again
with his pretentious british mannerisms
and the condescending talk
that i’m going to put him through a wall
yankee style
i’ll do him like we did the redcoats back in 1776.
i’ll play the boorish american
if that’s the way they want it here.
you tell me he’s the first to be that way
that it’s not as bad as all of that
you say that europe has been kind
thus far
as the rain begins to fall again
outside on marylebone road
and our traditional english breakfast gets cold.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

poem of the day 10.13.09


works the tours
at hall’s croft
stratford upon avon
he dresses proper
in a suit
with a constant smile
and he’s happy
to see a couple
of americans
have come
in out of the cold

tells us about
john hall
shakespeare’s son-in-law.
hall was a doctor
the first to document
cases of patients
or something like that
i don’t know
because i cannot stop
staring at adam’s yellow
and natty teeth.
it’s an american defect
that i’ve developed
toward the british
in my half-week here.

and i’ve developed an addiction
to british cheddar cheese.

wants to know where
we are from
and he squeals when he finds out
that we’re from new york.
he wants to know what
theater we’ve seen back in london
back in the u.s.a.
i tell him we’re more like
ghost chasers
going after shakespeare
and the beatles and the like

says we must
make time for the theater
and then he talks our ear off
about his trip
to new york city
back in the 1980s
and how different new york
must be now.
yes, yes, new york city
is different now
times square is like disneyland
my wife says
although new york is the farthest
thing on either of our minds.

i want to tell adam
that i’m over four thousand miles
from home
that new york could sink
into the ocean for all i care
but i just stand there and smile
as i do with most people
while he talks about
seeing a chorus line
and strolling the east village,
wondering when i can get
a pint of aspell cyder
or an abbot ale
in the garrick inn
a pub that is over six-hundred
years old
one where they say a plague
had started in 1564
wiping out enough people
that stratford upon avon
was kind of like a ghost town.

i wonder if adam thinks
about that sometimes
when he’s alone
and finally runs out of things
to say.

Monday, October 12, 2009

poem of the day 10.12.09

man at the top of the stairs

there is a man at the top of the subway stairs
who had just stopped.
he’s clutching his chest and standing there.
he’s a beat up old thing with a white beard
and a dirty baseball cap.
and he’s standing there at the top
of the subway stairs
not moving, swaying a little bit
as we rush by in the after work fervor
checking blackberries and text messages
to catch trains or make meals
to pick up demanding children
or huddle over that first drink.
there is a man at the top of the subway stairs
and no one stops to see if he’s all right.
not you or i my friend.
no one stops to look back.
i know i didn’t.
i had to catch the d train
so that i could meet a connecting r
at 36th street,
so that i could walk six blocks in the rain.
i had to get home to baked chicken
for the second time this week
and boxed macaroni and cheese.
i had to get home from work
as fast as i could to flee that world.
i know i didn’t have the time
to stop and check up
on some haggard old beast standing
at the top of the stairs
clutching his chest
and blocking stairway traffic,
making a scene in the rush hour
calamity of flesh and bone.
i mean his face wasn’t even red.
he looked all right from what i saw
probably just old and tired, like the rest of us.
there is a man at the top of the subway stairs
who has just stopped.
he’s clutching his chest and standing there.
and all i can think is good luck, buddy,
finding empathy or a helping hand
in this sinking world.

Friday, October 2, 2009

poem of the day 10.02.09

london calling

london again
what do i mean
london again?
i’ve never been there
london i feel like i haven’t
even tried yet.
sweet london.
old london.
london of 42 a.d. and romans
don’t abandon me too soon.
i’ve read all of the guide books
but i’m as dumb as a new born.
envelop me.
be warm like a cunt.
be my best friend, london.
kiss me full on the mouth.
i’m traversing an ocean for you.
i could’ve gone to venice
with dan
and oscar is waiting patiently
in madrid..
but london, i’m sending my valentine
your way
only valentines mean nothing.
give me byron and shelley
and all those other gloriously
dead bastards
and if i can’t get into your heart
you beautiful bitch, london,
then i’ll just die.
don’t let me down, baby,
and i promise you
that i won’t let you down

Thursday, October 1, 2009

poem of the day 10.01.09


waking up to the
boats moored to the docks
and children crying on the street.
they sound like frogs
all of them
and you imagine frogs
overrunning the city
climbing buildings
laying flat and squashed
in the middle of the street
hopping all over the pavement
drooping bushes to the dirt
and falling from the sky
onto the shoulders of loud people.
these thoughts beat thinking about
the three-day hangover
they sustain the cleanup of the bottles
and the smudged, violet glasses again.
these thoughts remove
the pain in the liver
and the acid making a highway
between the stomach and the throat.
they bat away the fruit flies
that refuse to die
and take away the fear
of sailing over the ocean.
it is good thinking about frogs everywhere
real or imagined
a true plague.
it is better than ice cream and beer
or mustard on a turkey sandwich
with an extra piece of cheese.
it is better than thinking
about the work day and the rain
or about marcel proust
dying in a corked-line room in paris
these frogs are better than
thinking about anything
war and mortality and death,
about this life and the next
the one without you in it
that might finally leave me
forced into fending for myself.