Friday, April 30, 2010

poem of the day 04.30.10


she walks into the exit sign
instead of the door
then stumbles back to her seat
he sits a few away from her
smelling the limes that the bartender
is cutting up
they remind him of cabo he says
she starts crying
he gets up and goes down to her
pulls her off her stool
takes her out the backdoor for some privacy
but you can still hear them
her crying and bitching
him telling her to go the fuck home
and sleep it off
when he comes back he talks to
the guys about the mets
the jets draft picks
she’s bawling in her seat
sucking another johnny walker black
she yells and calls him a son-of-a-bitch
a dumb drunk
tells him that he’s scum
he tells her not tonight, baby
let’s not make a scene tonight
she gets up and makes it to the door
goes through it this time
letting in the fading light
the joint gets quiet for awhile
just some neil young playing faintly on the juke
it still smells of lime
he shakes his head and says “women”
his buddy tells him that it’ll be all right
tells him he likes scum
they laugh
the bartender pours another round
her johnny walker sits half-finished
christ, how is she going to walk the whole
way home, i think
and on the television is a game show
wheel of fortune
but none of us are watching it
right now

Thursday, April 29, 2010

poem of the day 04.29.10

diverted to cardiff

diverted to cardiff
because some asshole set a control tower
on fire at heathrow
because the plane was an hour late
leaving kennedy international
because i have jet lag from not sleeping
because some asshole put his seat back
the minute the pilot told us that we could
because there were no good books
to read in my bag
because there were no good movies
playing on the flight
because europe is across an ocean
because the british are bureaucratic sitcoms
come to life
because henry miller and hemingway
aren’t ready for me yet
diverted to cardiff
the pilot says it will be for up to two hours
the flight attendant tells us all
that it is lovely here in cardiff
cardiff is in wales
but they won’t let us off the plane to look at it
diverted to cardiff
because it is just my luck
because i haven’t eaten in ten hours
and could use a meal
because i have euros in my wallet
instead of pounds
because i got drunk at my local bar
talking about paris and sales tax
and we had to call a car
to take us to the airport
instead of taking the a train at jay street
because i miss my cats
because i’m thinking about becoming a dad
and the idea no longer scares the shit out of me
diverted to cardiff
you can smell the fresh sea air in the plane
it is coming in off the bristol channel
diverted to cardiff
i think the smell is just gasoline.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

poem of the day 04.28.10

young love

high school boy
is running in circles
to make his girl laugh
he is strutting at the bus stop
taking out his awkward
on the new spring leaves
spitting and cursing
while she sits
and huddles herself
from the wind
high school boy is giving shit
to the people stuck
in traffic along stillwell avenue
his girl is cold
but she is loving this
laughing, rising, trying
to hold on to him
while he dances
the tough guy dance of adolescence
high school boy
is making rapid motions
with his arms
he’s mad at something
he doesn’t know what
in a few years he’ll have so many things
to be mad about
that it won’t even be worth it
to get angry
when she sneezes
he doesn’t even say
god bless you

i do

high school boy looks at me
with a fine hatred
before going off on his
next loud tangent

watching him
i think that most of the time
even now
i get kind of sad
that i was fat and alone
as a teenager
missing out on the comfort and love
of a confused young girl
playing tough for the ignorant
world at large
but then i witness
something like this
the drama and the theatrics
of teenagers just trying to get home
for dinner
and i’m thankful
that i saved myself
at least some level
of embarrassment
that i had some portion of pride
and dignity
in an otherwise
red-faced and begrudgingly humble

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

poem of the day 04.27.10

crazy freddy

crazy freddy
drives a brand new black hummer

he always gets the best
parking spot on 75th avenue

i was just told that i might
lose my job by the summer

on good days i wonder
what it would be like
to take a knife
to crazy freddy’s tires

to sit back in the dark cool
of a spring night
and watch the air seep slowly out

i’ve never seen crazy freddy
but i know that it’s his preferred name

his license plate reads


it could be crazy friday
but that doesn’t make as much sense

i saw his chick once
she had a great ass and decent tits

she’d be a good fuck
if you put a bag over her head

for a while i thought that she
was crazy freddy

but then i wised up

crazy freddy probably fucks her
with the lights on
so he can keep an eye on his car

i wonder what it would be like
to key crazy freddy’s car
or smash his tinted windows in
steal that decal he has
of a fake baseball cracking his window

i’d scrape off his yankess and rangers
bumper stickers too

then i’d get up the next morning
buy a coffee
wait for crazy freddy and his woman
to come outside to go to work

i’d pretend to be a concerned neighbor
while they explored all of the damage

i’d console crazy freddy

i’d tell him to call the cops

i’d say things like
“boy, the neighborhood sure has changed.”

then i’d stare at crazy freddy’s woman’s tits
while he moaned over his destroyed vehicle

of course, i’d probably still be
unemployed by the summer
so it wouldn’t really matter
what i did to crazy freddy’s hummer

it would just be inflicting more
misery upon the world

the world doesn’t need more misery right now

insurance companies don’t need another claim

i think i’ll leave crazy freddy alone

i won’t touch his precious car
or be jealous of his parking spot

when i see his chick
i won’t stare at her ass
or imagine crazzy freddy
tit-fucking her with his eyes closed
crying over his damaged ride

no, i won’t think shit like that at all

i’ll just meander on down the street
toward the setting sun

toward the scent of half-priced buffalo wings

toward this guy whom i hate on the next block

he’s always sitting outside the laundromat
in his washington redskins t-shirt

as if it’s some kind of big shit deal
to be a redskins fan
in giants and jets territory

brooklyn, new york.

Monday, April 26, 2010

poem of the day 04.26.10

a new week. i hate monitoring blog comments.
if i ended up deleting any, it's because i pressed the wrong
button...and i'm sorry.

these dream nights at la rotonde

we watch an old movie

we finish a jug of the cheap wine
and get ready to do this all over again

in bed, with the lights off,
you tell me that you suddenly
remember a bad dream
from the night before

i ask you if you want to share
but you don’t

you just clutch into me tightly

i tell you to think about something else

think about nights at la rotonde in paris

i paint the picture for you

the bottles of red at the table

the peanuts in the small white dishes

the people around us smoking
having conversations
that we think are deep
because we do not understand the language

the waiters with those comical sneers
juggling stacks of plates and wine glasses

warm april night in paris
that are kind enough to melt a cynic

i ask you if you can see
rodin’s statue of balzac
it’s just across the street

next to us is the vavin station

if you imagine it correctly
you could be in montmartre
in twenty minutes

i say how about that little french girl
punching her brother and making him cry

there’s le dome behind her
we never drank there because it
looked too high class for us yanks

around the block is the villa luxembourg

our old hotel

with the red foldout couch
that they told us was a king-sized bed

and that mirror, baby
the things you and i did in front
of that mirror

it’s everywhere around you, i say

these dream nights at la rotonde

i ask you if you can see it
but you’re already breathing nice and softly

the bad dream from last night gone


something new taking place
in your subconscious mind

maybe you’ll tell me about it

Saturday, April 24, 2010

poem of the day 04.24.10

saint layabout

i care more about
writing a good poem
than i could about
any kind of job
i have a lack of ambition
that startles people
they don’t know what to say
when i show it to them
i have a lost testicle
i haven’t even bothered to look for it
i can stare at a wall all day
and do it again the next day
i see people going
to the movies or to a parade
and i think why bother?
i let the dishes go for days
i wear what’s laying there
on the floor
i don’t know what a mop
looks like
or a broom
my living room hasn’t been swept
in three years
i’ve never cleaned a window or a mirror
the very act seems absurd to me
i stack books
when they fall over
i think they make a nice display
i’ll drink a flat beer
instead of walking to the corner
to get a fresh one
i eat the same thing every day
i wipe my ass with one piece of paper
i don’t make the bed
i let the mail sit
i’m the american dream incarnate
and i can see perfection in
a ball of dust
casually rolling across the room
on a sunny weekend
with the sun aching to get through
my heavy, drawn blinds

Friday, April 23, 2010

poem of the day 04.23.10


jenny was a burnout
girl back in eighth grade

i had a crush on her

jenny wasn’t really a burnout
but her brother benny was

benny had long hair
he wore a jean jacket and smoked

some of his pals
from the public school
tried to kick my ass once
because i gave them the finger
when their bus passed us
walking home from catholic school

they shouted shit at me every day

finally i just got sick of it

they chased me home
from school for a week
before my mother finally
called their school
and told their principal

i felt like a pussy because
of the whole ordeal

there was one of me
and about ten of them

jenny didn’t hold it against me
she just smiled and winked in religion class

on our eight grade trip
to washington d.c.
she wore white jeans and it rained

you could see through them

jenny was wearing blue panties
underneath those jeans

at the arlington cemetery
i tried to make her laugh

i got yelled at by a guard
at the tomb of the unknown soldier

but it worked

jenny laughed

i wondered what benny
and all of his burnout friends
would think about that

i was overweight but i felt bold

i asked jenny to go steady with me

she said yes
then walked away to laugh with her friends

i watched those blue panties
walk away from me
feeling like the king of the world

when we got back to school
jenny dumped me

one of her friends told her not to date me
because i was overweight

jenny said that it was because she wasn’t
allowed to date in eighth-grade
but i knew better because i’d overheard her friend
talking about me behind my back

i thought maybe benny had some influence too

i thought i’d get back at him
maybe get his friends back while i was at it

but on the walk home from school
when the public school busses passed
and they shouted at me
i didn’t say or do anything

to hell with benny, i thought

to hell with benny and jenny
and all the rest of them

two years later the paper was doing a feature
on teenagers who smoked

on the front cover was a picture of jenny
she had a cigarette in her mouth
and she looked content

i hadn’t seen her in two years
and she still looked beautiful

my old man was the one who showed me her picture

he said didn’t you go to grade school with her?

yes, i said

looks like she turned out to be a winner, he said

then he took the paper back
he went on reading

i thought about blue panties
and the tomb of the unknown soldier

then i went up to my room
and played whatever music
i was into at that fragile time
in my life.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Carcinogenic Poetry

Hey folks, sorry i didn't post today. Had real world work issues
that dragged me out of bed with a wine/beer hangover this morning
that i had to attend to.

that said, i have some poems over at Carcinogenic Poetry
today. so check me out along with many others.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

poem of the day 04.21.10

oskah vilde

we are chasing ghosts
in another cemetery

my wife and i

we chase ghosts all of the time

she comes up to us and says
“ou se trouve oscar wilde?”
in the sort of french accent
that could knock a man out

maybe she is thirteen
but she’s already a killer
with her chestnut hair and dark eyes

my wife tells her
“je ne parle pas francias.”

i don’t know what
in the hell they are saying to each other
except that it has something
to do with oscar wilde

it feels good not to fully understand

the girl gives an old look
and asks “anglais?”

“oui,” my wife says

the girl smiles
and says “i am looking
for the grave of oskah vilde”

she says it like that

os-kah vilde

her accent is making me
go os-kah vilde

my wife shows her the location
of the grave on her map
without thinking i hand her
my map of the cemetery

“por vous,” i say
getting in the spirit of things

the girl is reluctant to take the map at first
but eventually she gives in

she skips off with her brother

“when she gets older
she should go to college in america,”
i tell my wife, “she’d destroy
a whole generation of men
with that accent.”

my wife just looks at me

“did you see how reluctant she was
to take my map,” i say, “it must
be a cultural thing.”

“yeah, that’s it,” my wife says.

then we wander off to find
where they put marcel proust
after all of those years
he spent pouring out his soul
in that cork-lined room.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

poem of the day 04.20.10


i was a hurricane of a man,
he tells me,
i used to pull a lot of women
back then
when i worked sanitation
but i never got over her
we dated five years
five years and all i did was
cheat on her
i never felt bad about it
until last weekend, though,
when i saw her
i was with my buddy
we were dropping his daughter
off at college
and there she was
she’s the dean
of the biology department now
she hardly looked any different
from when we were together
she looked good
when i got home i looked her up
on the internet
i paid some money and i got
her address and phone number
i have her email address too
the computer said she had two kids
i found out that she was divorced
i have five kids myself from three
different women
i have to say i never loved
any of them as much as i loved her
i’m thinking of getting in touch
but i don’t know what the proper way
to do it is
i wanted to write her a letter
but i’m no good at writing or emailing
i figure maybe i’ll just go up there
show up at the biology department
but i probably won’t get to see her
because things have gotten
so damned fucked up since 9/11
they think everyone is a criminal
or terrorist now
i don’t want to cause a scene
at the school
my buddy’s daughter goes there, you know,
i think causing a scene would
send the wrong message
i think i’m just going to show up at her house
maybe i’ll buy some flowers
see if there’s any spark between us
after all of those years
i wish i never let her go, he tells me,
she was a good woman back then
the best
but i was a hurricane of a man in those days
i blew through love
i just didn’t think it would
get as bad as all of this.

Monday, April 19, 2010

poem of the day 04.19.20


he was wearing
a leopard print
cowboy hat

he kept skipping up
and down the aisle of the store


i’m a moron
i’m a moron
i’m a moron

i’d never seen a man
so sure of himself
in all his life

Friday, April 16, 2010

poem of the day 04.16.10

temper temper

i am the
ugly american
having a temper tantrum
on boulevard saint-michel
and i don’t care
we been at it for hours
trying to find the homes
of dead writers and artists
we’ve been locked inside gates
we’ve stopped off
for too many drinks
we’re fighting jet lag
i’m hungry
but i can’t order anything
no one understands me
in the latin quarter
paris is suddenly crowded
with assholes
wearing ascots and tight pants
the women here
are either models or whores
i can’t tell the difference
america is everywhere
it is on billboards and posters
this sickens me
because you can never really
get away
my wife is crying
it’s my fault
i left her sobbing in front of a cafe
i’ve taken the tour guide and the map
i’m on the
boulevard saint-germain
for the tenth time today
henry miller drank around here
so did sartre and bouvier
it feels like the whole world
drank here except for me
but i’m not finished yet
i’m going to keep on moving
until i calm down
until i find something nice to see
then i’ll find my wife
and show her

Thursday, April 15, 2010

poem of the day 04.15.10


i’m 1/8th french

today i’m thirty-six
my feet are bleeding so badly
that i need
a plastic adhesive

they call them plastic adhesives
here in paris

i put one on the back of my foot
right at a bench
on the boulevard raspail

i’m breaking protocol

i’m being me

today i’m thirty-six

instead of thinking how much
i haven’t done with my life
i’m drinking wine
and eating cheese
in the jardin du luxembourg

i feel very parisian

the french people here
are eating mcdonald’s
and drinking coke

i wonder if they feel very american

i’m thirty-six today

my phone doesn’t work in europe
so no one can call me

my wife wonders if
i’m having a good day
if no one can call me

she knows it’s always a good day
when no one calls me

she left my gifts back in new york
i told her to
but she feels bad about it

i tell her paris is my gift

i throw cheese and bread to the pigeons

i tell her the jardin du luxembourg is my gift
but i can tell that she still feels badly

people should have something
to open up on their birthday

i suggest another bottle of wine
but we have a lot to do today

we have to visit the invalides
walk the seine
and find a place that i want
to go to for dinner

because today i’m thirty-six

i wish a.a. milne
had written a book about that age

because i don’t know
what in the hell to do with it

except to smile dumbly
throw some more bread and cheese
in my mouth
rub my gray and white beard

take another gulp of wine
watch all the thin french people
smoke cigarettes
as they suck down big macs and fries
underneath a warm april sun

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

poem of the day 04.14.10

the cabbie

the cabbie tells us
the he is from greece
but i don’t care
this morning i woke up in paris
twenty two hours later
i am in this car
on the way back to brooklyn
almost missing the flight
back to new york
because my wife and i wanted
to drink beer in an airport bar
after hours in the sky
with a crying norwegian girl
and a sobbing spanish girl
who got the plane all worked up
because they thought
the turbulence meant
that we were going to crash
into the atlantic ocean
they interrupted the in-flight movie
on the life of ian dury
but the cabbie
he tells us that he is from greece
i try to believe him
even though he has the last name, esposito
which doesn’t sound very greek to me
he tells us that he doesn’t like the english
they’re snobs, he says
they stole from his country
back in the 1600s or something
maybe the 1500s
i remind him that
the french also stole from the greeks
he tells me not to get him started on the french
i don’t remind him
that the french are currently
working to bale out the greeks
from financial ruin
maybe they’ll sell the venus de milo
to pay off the debt
the cabbie says that things
are bad here in america
that if it weren’t for dancing with the stars
and american idol
we’d have a civil war going on
i try to imagine
300 million fat, lazy self-involved people
storming the white house
the minute their cable goes out
it makes me laugh
the cabbie looks at me through
thin eyes in his rearview mirror
he tells us that he doesn’t have any money
he doesn’t have health insurance at his other job
the cabbie is a school bus driver during the day
i wonder if he tells the kids
how bad the greeks have it
to keep watching reality television
to stave off that revolutionary fervor
in 1968 they almost had another revolution in paris
in 1968 we elected richard nixon in america
16,592 kids lost their lives in vietnam
not much has changed since then
i wonder if the cabbie knows this
he sure knows how snobby the english are
he tells us again how they robbed
his country blind
them and goldman sachs
at jfk international
some smug customs agent
pulled my wife aside and went through her bag
they made me leave the room
i didn’t know what i was going to do
the guard told me not to worry
that i was back in america and safe
i told him “yeah right”
he seemed docile and unable to protect anyone
he must watch reality tv when he’s not
harassing tired people coming home from europe
i wonder if the cabbie has ever been to europe
or greece
has he seen the venus de milo?
it’s impressive and resides in the louvre
but not as impressive
as jacques-louis david’s coronation of napoleon
that fucker takes up almost
a whole wall
the french own that one outright
it never once belonged to the greeks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

poem of the day 04.13.10

hungover on a bathroom floor in paris

hungover on a bathroom floor in paris
i have a headache and my stomach is burning
i have just thrown up wine and peanuts
from a night of debauchery at la rotonde
there is a tallboy of heineken in the refrigerator
it is half drunk and i don’t remember buying it
but my wife has a digital picture of me
holding the beer and leaning on some stranger’s scooter
with the le dome in the background
and rodin’s statue of balzac off to the right

i have been like this on many bathroom floors before
in pittsburgh, in new york, and in buffalo mostly
i’m not new to this
but this is my first international trip to give alms
to the porcelain god

i didn’t throw up in london

i don’t like this bathroom
the white tile feels warm on my skin instead of cold
and the sink has a mirror that wraps around it
so that i can see how black and blue my eyes look
how pale green my face is
how sweaty and matted my hair and beard are
my legs when i get the shits
i can see wine and peanuts on my t-shirt
i can see what an asshole i look like

hungover on bathroom floor in paris
the bile rising in me again
and the head pounding its too typical beat
a beautiful sunny day trip to the eiffel tower
probably wasted
because i wanted to die too much the night before

because i always want too much.

Monday, April 12, 2010

poem of the day 04.12.10

back from Paris, so hopefully inspiration will take it's course and they'll be poems
from the experience. for now, here's one i wrote a few days before leaving.

also..might have to start approving email comments b/c this blog is starting to
getting fucking spammed (a word i hate to use).

for jealousy’s sake

she asked me to fetch
something out of her jeans

in the back pocket
i found another guy’s phone number

i should’ve been glad to have found it

i’d wanted rid of her for months

but an anger rose in me
looking at this guy’s handwriting
holding her jeans
wondering how long this
note had been in them

if it had been used

i called her over
and showed her the note

she laughed until i threw
the jeans in her face

she tried to explain to me
that it was just some guy
who kept coming into the store

he wouldn’t take no for an answer

that note had been in her
jeans for weeks

she’d forgotten all about it

you know how i don’t like
to wash my jeans

it meant nothing

he doesn’t even come
into the store anymore

all plausible excuses
but it wasn’t a good enough excuse
for a guy like me back then

i’d been unlucky with women

even though i wanted done with her
she’d been the only one willing to fuck me

standing there i had to remind her
about all of other guys
that she’d fucked in her past

even the one she claimed had taken her
pretty much by force

maybe not so forced after all

she started crying
i’d been making her cry a lot in those days

she’d done nothing but make me mad

we just couldn’t recognize that we were at the end

she picked up her jeans

i watched her put them on

two olive-colored ass cheeks
gone in an instant

i didn’t even care if i’d ever see them again

she went into the bathroom
and hid out in there for about fifteen minutes

i took the note with the phone number on it
and tossed it into her trash

then i sat on her bed and waited

my stomach rumbled

when this was all said and done
i hoped that she wanted to go
to burger king for lunch.

Friday, April 2, 2010

poem of the day 04.02.10

my first dance

we always said
do you want to go with me
back in those days
it meant to date
going steady
going with each other

carrie and i were
at the seventh grade dance
i was probably
forty pounds overweight
she was overweight
but not as bad as me

we got along in class

i made her laugh
she liked the same music as i did

that was enough back then
it’s probably still enough now

marriages are built on less

carrie asked me to dance
maybe i asked her to dance

i don’t think so
because i was a chicken-shit
when it came to women in those days

i’m still a chicken-shit
when it comes to women

we danced

i held her sides
i could feel carrie’s fat

she had her arms around my shoulders
the one place where
i could hide from my girth

but i knew my stomach
was pressed tightly against her

over the pa system was a song
that we both liked

it wasn’t our favorite band
but i was all right

there was something about the mood
the lighting, maybe
being that close to a girl
who wasn’t turned off by me

the smell of her sweat and perfume

i asked her to go with me

she said yes

my first dance and my first girlfriend
in the same night

when we looked up, joey rizzuto
was standing next to us
he was smirking at me
he told me way to go and he slapped me
on the back

i knew he didn’t mean it

we went back to dancing
while joey went over to tell the guys
about my going steady

there was a small round of laughter
that carrie and i heard

we finished dancing

at school the next monday
i didn’t make her laugh
we didn’t talk about our favorite band

her friend, teresa, told me two days later
that carrie wanted to break up

when joey rizzuto asked me what happened
i told him

he slapped me on the back again
he looked genuinely sympathetic

by lunch the news
had made the rounds
i was back on the block
and not a girl or a dance would care
for another seven years

and by the three o’clock bell
that day
everyone at that school
cared about something else.

Winedrunk is on haitus until April 12th

Thursday, April 1, 2010

poem of the day 04.01.10

big beat and conservative radio

he claims to like classical music and rock
but all i get every morning
is conservative radio

i tell him about chilton’s corpse and chopin’s heart
but all he ever gives me in return
is a glenn beck nocturne
or a rush limbaugh sonata

it reminds me of back when i used
to haul windows and doors

the guys i worked with could listen
to that stuff for hours as we drove
from one dreadful town to the other

they’d talk and smoke cigarettes
and fart and agree with those pundits
for miles on end
while we helped build mansions for the rich

once i gave them beethoven and jim morrison
on a lunch break
but they frowned gave me sean hannity in stereo

i don’t like conservative radio

i don’t like liberal radio either, if i must be honest

there is nothing worse than going miles
listening to those red-faced blowhards
spew nonsense into the void
while hoping the next paycheck covers the bills

there is nothing good about hearing those
cackling muckrakers squeezing turd-scented sound bites
out of their stretched assholes
after coming in from a torturous bus ride in the rain
while trying to quit hard alcohol

i’d rather listen to mozart after having fucked for an hour
i’d rather listen to stones after a couple glasses of wine

or i’d take the silence if someone
would be so kind as to give it to me
every once in a long while

sometimes silence sounds the best
in the office or on the road

between the white walls of the dim
hopeless apartment after work

here i try to give him the good quiet
but all he wants to give me in return
is a fox news symphony
and crumbs all over the computer keyboard
after an italian sub lunch
that i can’t force down because of all the

talk talk talk