Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

poem of the day 05.29.10

merry merry month of may

i count the totals
i’ve been physically threatened
twice this month
a new record
but proof positive that my charm
is still in tact
and that the world has not
forgotten my existence.

Friday, May 28, 2010

poem of the day 05.28.10

blue fingernail

too much
wine in the heat
last night
you can’t hold on to
i look out the window
think i see
that chinese cunt
digging through
the garbage again
clanking bottles
in the humid night
i go to say something
that’s when the broken
window pane
drops on me
the one the super promised
to fix a year ago
it catches my finger
and my soul
i get it out
dance around the room
in pain
as my wife runs around
getting me an ice pack
and more wine
shit, i think
looking out the closed window
it wasn’t even
the chinese cunt
after all
just a woman and a cart
full of groceries
coming home to cook dinner
i look at my finger
the nail is blue
it looks painted on
an expected end
to this fucking day

Thursday, May 27, 2010

poem of the day 05.27.10


hands us our beers
he says
i’m thinking of going
down to the bahamas
for a few days
jet blue has this deal
ninety-five dollar tickets
man, they have
the most beautiful beaches there
white sand
the works
i take my boys down there
every year
they love it
we nod
beaches sound great
the bahamas sound great
with my 90-day layoff notice
stuffed into my bag
it beats watching
the dust settle
on furniture in the apartment
we can no longer afford
my wife looks
at benny’s right hand
it’s bandaged
but there’s an uncovered gash
on his thumb
she says
benny, what happened to your hand?
benny looks at it
then away from us
fell in the bushes
he says
pauses for a second
turns back and says
she stabbed me twice
we nod again
have more beer
yeah the bahamas sound great

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

eviscerator heaven

hello again

i'm also over at eviscerator heaven today.

2 places

hello all,

i'm here and here today, if you want to check out these
great online mags.


poem of the day 05.26.10

independence day

she tells me
to come in for the fireworks
while i’m
wondering if i’ll still have
a job by july
the fireworks are beautiful
she says
as i’m shutting the blinds
and cursing the sun
they come in red and blue
and purple and green
they light up the city
she tells me
while i think about piercing
the tips of my fingers
with a rusty
bobby pin
just for the hell of it
the fireworks will take
care of everything
like the job and the bills
you just need to see
some kind of beauty
in this life
pray and believe in god
she says
while i drink warm beer
wipe away broken glass
and try to untangle the noose
she tells me that the fireworks
spread for miles
they make kids laugh
the adults feel young
all right, all right
i tell her
you’ve won this time
but the next time you call
i’ll be in the closet
wrapped up in a blanket
soaked with gasoline
wondering where
i put the matches

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

poem of the day 05.25.10

killer ass

you’re a murder ballad

in a tight wife-beater
and black bra

with that ass
wrapped in lycra

you’ll take us all down

still i can’t help watching you
as you get off the bus

sauntering toward the bagel shop
seemingly unaware


i’m so glad that
killer ass is not mine

Monday, May 24, 2010

poem of the day 05.24.10

early morning sunday blues

the cat cries hungry at 4 a.m.

the superintendent with his forever cigarette
outside my bedroom window

blowing yellow smoke

i dream that he is an old man
dressed in maroon
playing a harmonica

trying to break in

oil colored sky

oil slathered birds in mississippi

millions burning coal-black in the gulf

dried blood in my sink

insomnia week turning toward the next

i think to call the dentist once more
before they let us go from the job

100 of us?

300 of us?

whatever brand of mercy
they are selling this coming fiscal year

inside broken eggshell america

the greatest country
residing in a world that’s too poor to brag

Saturday, May 22, 2010

13 myna birds

hello folks,

I am appearing at 13 myna birds with a number
of great writers...check them out if you get a chance.


poem of the day 05.22.10

murdering the flowers

as beautiful as a flower
i have murdered many flowers
and more hours than i ever thought possible
in bars, in jobs
waiting for the cops to show up
waiting for busses
or reading books
that i can no longer remember

it is a bloody mess this murder
as red and ugly
as the afterbirth of a wailing
purple newborn

i wish that i could eat it up
the murder
the crushed, dead flowers
the hours
and everything else

but my mouth is sealed with wax
and i am an impotent man
with nothing to eat
but paper and ink.

Friday, May 21, 2010

poem of the day 05.21.10

it’s just summer coming again

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

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

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

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

sucking on a diet beer
to pass the time

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

i tell myself

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

it’s nothing
it’ll be over by september

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

poem of the day 05.20.10

rejection, rejection

you should stop sending some
of them out for a while
take a breather
go on the 15-day dl
because this shit isn’t cutting it
they tell me

et tu?
i write back
but don’t send it

i put the rejections
in a pile with the others
with the bills
and the student loan payments

maybe change up your style
quit writing about the women
who didn’t love you
the jobs that strangled you
the technology that you’re too lazy
to figure out

stop telling us how much better
we could be if we only tried as a species

others have done it so much
better than you in the past

stay out of that bar
the ones about that bar
are starting to bore us

listen to different music
i don’t know
put down the books and beer and wine
start doing it in the evening
instead of at the crack of dawn

maybe a new perspective will help

try changing when you take a shit
try wearing a shirt and tie when you do it
instead of that dirty t-shirt and boxer shorts
quit thinking that having a blog matters

everyone has a blog these days

we have a blog

sixty-one people or two people on a blog
don’t make a difference
when you can’t get a simple hit

try going back to the scotch
we liked the ones about scotch hangovers
and throwing up
you don’t write as well on only three glasses
of wine a night

do a novel
maybe a novel will clear your mind
it doesn’t matter that you have
five half-finished ones sitting in a drawer
write another

or do a poetry reading
get out there and mingle amongst the poesy slingers
hear what they have to say

this is just some friendly advice
my man

we were really just writing to let you know
that we’re passing on this batch
for now

but once you get it all figured out
feel free to send us some more

you never know
how generous we’ll be feeling
when we open up your attachment
or get your letter in the mail

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

poem of the day 05.19.10


in the pale doom of dawn

i hear a toilet flush
from three floors up

and i think

all of that rushing water
is probably driving
someone mad

at this early hour

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

poem of the day 05.18.10


joey talks to me on the bus
because we’re the last ones left

he’d exhausted one guy
talking about the mets
and an old lady, asking her what she had
in her grocery bags

joey’s come on is he asks you
what time it is

then he has you

then he wants to know your name
and what you do for a living

joeys’ been driving a truck
for the city for twenty-two years

it’s a good job
but times are hard in the city right now

he hopes that he can hang on
try and make it until the economy improves

joey doesn’t understand
just letting people go

good people

union people

he says that unions are only around
to collect their dues
while the rest of us collect pink slips
and unemployment checks

joey shakes his head and tells me
that he just wants to drive his truck
and be left alone

he does a good job, he says

joey wants to go home with his beer, watch his shows
and go to sleep without having to worry

it’s an all right life
it’s good enough

joey has twenty-two years and the unions
and the company want to take it all away

he asks me how that can happen to a guy
to a city, he says

i tell him that i don’t know

i tell joey that i have my own beer waiting at home
and that i’m worried the landlord
is going to jack the rent

joey nods because he knows
you can’t fool a guy like that

i tell him that this is my stop

i shake joey’s hand and i get off the bus

he waves to me from inside

joey holds up his plastic sack of beer and smiles
then he starts talking to the bus driver
as the bus makes its way down 78th street

he wants to know the time at first

i wonder what else joey is saying

then i don’t

i walk off toward home.

Monday, May 17, 2010

poem of the day 05.17.10

four brunettes

four brunettes
in a black convertible
driving slowly up 3rd avenue
like they’re in a debutante parade
like the fashion mafia
as thunder sounds in the distance
and we all brace for a spring storm

four brunettes
in a black convertible
driving slowly up 3rd avenue
with their pop music blasting out
into the yellow-gray evening
looking so careless and dumb
that the rest of us never had a chance

four brunettes
in a black convertible
driving slowly up 3rd avenue
with the top down as a soft rain begins to fall
looking for boys who will
use their asses in joy all summer long

four brunettes
in a black convertible
stopped at a red light on 3rd avenue
pointing and laughing at an old man
with his hands so deep in his pocket
that he looks like he’s playing
with his cock


four brunettes
in a black convertible
tearing up 3rd avenue
their heads back in bliss
their music fading in the distance
as the rain comes down harder
on brooklyn in may

why try?
why even try?
i think, finding the two quarters
that i needed
for a can of beer
finding an old movie ticket
for a film that i’ve forgotten

why try?
in a world full of
four brunettes
in a black convertible
sunglasses covering their almond eyes
the world at their tanned feet
and everything else at the tip
of their manicured fingertips.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

poemS of the day 05.15.10

May 18th is the 3rd anniversary of mine and ally's car trip across America
and back. We left on the 3rd Saturday of May in 2007, the 18th, but since today is the 3rd saturday of May, and because i've been daydreaming the trip all morning, here
are 3 poems from the road back then. My suggestion to anyone young and reading this blog, the ones who have time on their hands right now...go and travel. see your country. see the world. there's PLENTY of time for college and to make money.

at poe’s grave

standing at poe’s grave,
fayette street, baltimore,
and i am trying to think
of something monumental
to say,
which is a fatal mistake
for any writer
trapped in the moment.

besides i’ve never read poe.
not the raven
not the tell-tale heart.
so he doesn’t mean shit
to me anyway.

yet i put a penny
on his headstone to spite
realizing that you have
to appreciate a city,
like baltimore,
as beaten and lowdown
as it is,
for recognizing the merits
of a poet,
even one who died
drunken, diseased,
and piss-filled
in the streets.

not many cities do that anymore,
dedicate anything
to a writer.

in camden, new jersey,
they’ve dedicated a bridge
to walt whitman,
and once people forgot all about that,
they gave his name
to an interstate plaza.

it’s there, man,
i tell you,
written in red neon
above the burger king sign
and the one for sunoco.

it looks good there, too,
but not as good as the sign
reading $2.91 for a gallon of gas,
which is worth more to me
in this economy
than ten copies of “song of myself,”
as i sail southward
in this hapless nation,
thinking of two old gods today,
far enough away from myself
that i might never come back.


carondelet street, approximately

catching moths in my hair
and mouth,
carondelet street, new orleans,
one year and nine months after,
as drunks stumble by
with dixie cups full of beer
and a brass band plays
michael “fucking” jackson’s

the footaction shop
across from me
is boarded up,
and surrounded by bums
passing a pint back and forth,
and the footlocker store
down canal street,
the one i saw being emptied
on tv,
is taped up and shackled with chains
like a ghost town saloon.

nearly every tourist
junk shop
in the french quarter
has a t-shirt celebrating
the arrival of katrina
and the folly of the geniuses
over at fema.

it’s healing via ironic statement,
the american tragedy
brought to you with a
palpable consumerist bow,
only i remember when we used
to celebrate our triumphs
over our defeats,
in this country,
so the saleable shit doesn’t seem
like such a deal to me.

but the scant returning masses
are eating this crap up
like rotten rice on an empty table
at a famine,
paying top dollar for commemorative
and a bus tour of the devastation.

i guess they wouldn’t have
this healing happen any other way
in america,
the kind that can turn red into
that digestible shade of
faded green,
the shade that makes us all feel so
safe and secure.

but new orleans is life rebuilding
yet still rerouted,
like everything else always is,
so i can’t blame it.
and this is a statement that
explains how i got to this place
to begin with,

a traveler in need of a second chance,
at a lowly bus stop
on carondelet street ,
as another king-sized louisiana moth
has its way with me,
and the band strikes up
another number by the king of pop
to the applause of a scattering crowd
moving on down bourbon street,
with their neck’s full of mardi gras beads
to pass out to all of their friends
back home,
once the illusion has been
completely glazed over.


karl marx does salt lake

we had dinner with a marxist
in a bar in salt lake city, utah,
after driving ten hours through
the great basin and the goddamned dessert.
we didn’t intend on it.
all we wanted were a few beers and a meal,
but the marxist kept talking to us
about worker’s rights
and the malfunctioning of the system.
trying to escape the same malaise
for a few weeks, by getting lost in america,
how could we argue with that?
it’s just that politics don’t mesh well
with tiredness from the road, hunger,
and thoughts concerning the next
two thousand miles east.
so hearing enough, i abandoned my wife
and turned to the two girls sitting next to me,
to strike up a conversation.
they were reality tv stars,
on their way from los angeles to cheyenne, wyoming
to film some show called
“urban girl meets cowboy.”
i wondered what the marxist would think about that
so i introduced him to the girls,
and for the next hour he bought them glasses of wine,
until he was broke.
then he left, mumbling something about
being late for work the next day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

poem of the day 05.14.10

pink panties and black boots

god didn’t create the earth
he created your pink panties and black boots

satin and leather

the ones you have on now

the pink panties i’m taking off of you
before you leave for work

the black boots that are staying on

god didn’t create air and trees
he doesn’t grant life or take it away

he created what you’re wearing
and that’s good enough for me

he had the eye of the beast in him
when he thought this one up

pink panties and black boots across
the unmade bed

against the door frame

all over the kitchen table
as people leave for work

pink panties and black boots
my mouth tasting of your lip balm
as the computer warms and the radio
plays in the living room

baby, i don’t think much of god

but i’m going to thank him every day from now on
for your pink panties and those black boots

the black thong you have buried in your drawer

and the long weekend that’s coming to us
in two days.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

poem of the day 05.12.10

pink purse

the little girl left her pink purse
on the bus this morning
i saw it after she and her mother got off
it was just sitting there
fake pink silk with red beads
i wish i’d seen it before they got off
i could’ve yelled “wait!”
handed the little girl the purse with a smile
got myself a thank you
but i was too busy staring at her mother’s
black high heels and her tight ass
in dark navy colored jeans
i was too busy watching her saunter
down 13th avenue
like she didn’t have a child with her
i was too busy thinking about a morning
fight with my wife
to see the pink purse just sitting there
i thought about getting off at the next stop
playing the good samaritan
running up the avenue to return the purse
but it’s getting hot outside
i’m battling coffee and wine in my veins
no food in my stomach
the country is bankrupt
they are talking layoffs again at the job
and the poems keep coming back to me rejected
i don’t have time to help anybody but myself
it’ll be a life lesson for the kid, i reason
something to take with her as she gets older
and tries her damndest to hang onto things
that’ll keep slipping through her fingers
she’ll remember losing that purse
in the most tangible way
maybe it’ll be her first great loss
if i were her hot mom or her old man
i’d tell her that’s just the way it goes, my little dear
you lose things
jobs, people, love, money, youth, life
and little pink purses with red beads
that get left behind on buses
on a tuesday morning in early may
that showed so much promise
when you first woke up.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

poem of the day 05.11.10


i’ve been in this bar
three times this week

there must be something for me
in this place

but i can’t tell what it is

i just know that i’m
wearing out my welcome

no longer a novelty

they don’t seem as excited to see me

the bartender just pours my drink and nods

i sit there waiting
with my gut hanging over my belt
as a drunk with a bad moustache
belts out eagles songs

looking at a poster of irish writers
that hangs on the wall

it’s them and me and james joyce

we’re all in it until the end

none of us
new kids on the block in this place

we’re like statues of men and women

hopeful statues holding drinks

faded as the wallpaper has gotten
from too much sun coming in
through the dusty window
by the old front door
that one that sticks when it starts to get
humid outside.

Monday, May 10, 2010

poem of the day 05.10.10


ivan has a soft heart
like a scrambled egg

he calls his mother on weekends
he still thinks she’s the best cook
in the world

he’d give you the shirt off of his back

buys rounds when he’s flush

loans you cash too

says he’s waiting eight more years
to retire from the transportation authority
then he’s opening a bait shop up north
so that he can have a little something in this life

ivan smiles when he sees you
he lumbers over and grabs your hand

he’s a softie they all say when he leaves
to catch the bus home

but one time he beat a man
so badly at a neil young concert

broke his nose
broke his face
took out teeth by the handful
tried to snap that guy’s arm off
but it wouldn’t break

that it’s all i can think about
when ivan smiles and slaps me on the back
asks me how it’s going
before he stumbles off laughing
dancing to a hot tuna song
playing on the jukebox

Saturday, May 8, 2010

poem of the day 05.08.10


we’ve run out of bravado
out of beer in plastic sacks at our feet
as we drive the city at night

we’ve run out of young women
to try and impress
and must settle for conversation
over lackluster meals

we must wrestle with our choices

with our old gray selves

i sort of like it
but i don’t know about you

i always thought that there was
something sinister in you
just beneath the smirk

something just waiting to break out
that just got buried

in the strip malls and fast food chains of suburbia

that got strangled in kids and wives and electric bills

if that’s what happened
then it happens to the best of us

i don’t know
i guess i just kept waiting for you
to show up at the door

one of the ones i closed a long time ago

i thought you’d pry it open

but instead you became crippled

bravado isn’t much to me anymore

i’ll take wine over a fistfight
but i don’t know how you chose god
the way that some poor fools
get addicted to drugs or gambling

that old fucker just takes and takes
and never gives it back

he’s another kind of crutch, my friend

the only difference is that people
can come back from the booze and drugs

they can stop themselves from placing a bet
they can resurrect better than any jesus every could

but once you get lost in god
you’re mostly gone forever

it takes guts to do it, i’m sure

i just don’t think i have the stomach for it
and i never thought
it would’ve happened to you

Friday, May 7, 2010

poem of the day 05.07.10

getting knifed

i don’t understand these kids at all
like i don’t understand a lot of things
when i was thirteen my only goals in life
were to cadge smokes from my old man
jack off and look at girls
of course i did all of this in between meals
maybe i’m seeing the world through
rose-colored glasses
forgetting the awkward sadness for a moment
but these guys now
with their pubic mustaches
still play kids games on computers
and watch cartoons
the girls dress like little whores
in skin tight jeans
and t-shirts that don’t cover the flesh
these heroes just like them walk on by
it’s nothing but
for this generation
i try to get it
like why this kid, angry over some
japanese cartoon card game
has decided to start choking himself
in the middle of the room
while the other kids back away
i’m curious as to why he starts throwing chairs
i try to ask him
but he threatens to knife me
actually he asks me if i’d like him to come back
and stab me
i give him the old clint eastwood face
i tell him to give it his best try
he makes to leave but stops at the door
he begins kicking at the secured glass
he smacks his head off the door
the other kids are already back to playing
video games and updating their status on facebook
they are playing another round
of japanese cartoon card killers
while this kid starts strangling himself outside the joint
he’s asking people on the street
if they have a knife
these kids must think we’re all carrying guns and knives
just waiting for some cinematic battle royal
to break out
i try to reason with him
but he’s back to threatening me and smacking his head
off of the heavy glass
so i have to call the cops
they don’t make it any better
just cuff the kid while he slinks to the ground
and cries for his mother
they go through his bag and they tell him
that he better talk
because they are the only friend that he has right now
i watch all of this with a sickness buried in me
i hate the cops
i hate the kids
i hate that i can’t understand a fucking thing these days
i guess that i just don’t get the right channels
on my 3-d high definition tv
soon his mother is standing outside the door
her look of apathy is mind boggling
i’m surprised that she’s not sending someone an email
telling them how rough she has it
then the ambulance shows up
it is madness on another bright afternoon street in america
we all stop and stare
as another who couldn’t take the 21st century heat
bites the digital dust
the kids inside the building are watching
they are sending texts and photos to all of their friends
broadcasting rhythms into their little world
this moment is already temporary legend for us to watch
one million hits by dinner time folks
while this kid is sitting in some rubber room
thinking japanese cartoon cards
random acts of violence
the dollar menu at mcdonald’s
how many hits his little outburst is getting on youtube
while i’m at home making my way
through a shitty six pack and burnt chicken breast
wondering if the counting crows and mozart
will be able to get me through this
latest episode of the fall of rome.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

shameless promotion

for those of you who want to curl up with a little bit of
poetry, my book The Noose Doesn't Get Any Looser After You Punch Out
can be found by just clicking the title.

poem of the day 05.05.10


last night i had
the worst dream
that you were gone

i knew you were going

you told me as much

but you had
no reason for leaving

just gone

i suddenly found myself
in my old city without you
as if you’d been removed
from my life

cleanly severed
except for the memories

the loneliness
was just the worst
like i’d never experienced
in my waking hours

there was no one to ask about you

nowhere to go

everything was as ugly as it used to be
everyone as gray and miserable

i kept thinking
that maybe you’d come back

i held out hope

hope and loneliness

i thought this is the stuff that makes a weaker man
turn toward god or politics or both

but i just wanted you back
i wanted to go home

the next time i saw you
it was outside of my old high school

who knows why?

the revolting building
standing as a barrier between us

when i got to you i could almost taste the joy
but your face was so sad

you said
remember if i came back to you
that it would mean bad news

i said, no baby

then you breathed in
started to tell me
that our marriage was over

but i wouldn’t let you

i woke up into the periwinkle of dawn instead

with the cats crying for food and mercy
you slightly snoring next to me
and about a million things
that i wanted to tell you

good stuff that i’ve been holding on to
for what seemed like a thousand
wasted years.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

poem of the day 05.04.10

john henry

i don’t like
john henry
i wish he’d go back
to the railroads instead
of coming into this bar
the place is always
a pain in the ass
when he comes in here
there’s always some
kind of drama
a fight almost breaks out
whenever john henry shows up

but the guys
love him here
they crowd around john henry
and slap him on the back
some of them hug him
they call him kid
they are happy to see that
john henry is working again
that he has his tools on him
because who is
john henry without
his canvas sack of silver tools

even the bartender
is happy to see john henry
until john wants a beer
the bartender says
man, i can’t do it
you know the rules
besides this is the only
gig that i have

john henry grunts
someone gives him
half of their beer
when the bartender
isn’t looking
john henry seems
satisfied with this
he puts his sack of tools down
right on the stool
where my wife was sitting
before she had
to get up to take a piss

when my wife comes back
she sees that john henry is in the bar
she tells me not to worry about it
but that’s bullshit
i move john henry’s tools
to another seat
i take john henry’s fabled sack
and i set it on an empty stool
i’m drunk enough to think
that i’ll just reason with him
i must have a death wish

my wife gets up
to piss again
about the time
john henry wants to leave
he comes over to her seat
and begins digging through her things
while all of the guys are
slapping him on the back
and hugging him
telling him go get ‘em, kid
i tell john henry that i moved
his sack of tools
i hold up his bag
and say, here they are

john henry doesn’t
recognize his own things
he thinks the tools are
something else
he doesn’t know why
i’m talking to him
he says
what are you talking to me for?
i tell him again
your tools, man, i say
i moved your tools
because you put them on my
wife’s stool
the place gets quiet
guy stop slapping
john henry on the back
they quit giving him
it’s just him and me
in that moment
and a mountain of misunderstanding
building up between us

i see my beer on the bar
it’s half drunk
the pint is thick glass
i figure the only shot that i have
is to grab the glass
and get john henry
across his face with it
i can feel everyone watching
my wife is back and watching too
she has that look that says
i shouldn’t have moved
john henry’s sack
i want to tell her it’ll be all right
but dead men can’t talk

in that moment
john henry takes his sack from me
he hoists it on his steel shoulders
and he smiles
he shakes my hand
and the joint breathes
a collective sigh of relief
john henry says goodbye to us all
then goes back out into
the purple brooklyn night
searching for work
and the secret to life
as the bartender
hurries everyone a new round
while one of the boys
queues up a dead song on
the jukebox

...and that, my friends
is how a legend is born.

Monday, May 3, 2010

poem of the day 05.03.10

just another thing dying

i don’t know when it was
that the idiots took over everything
maybe it has always been
or it’s just gotten worse
but i can’t stand the digital clatter
the people dressed like rejects
from music videos
crowding the streets
stopping every few steps to check
on some inane message
broadcast via a sleek black box
while i’m trying to get an afternoon beer

take this joint for example
the old bar on st. marks place
from the 1970s beyond the 1990s
great conversations and gossip about art
went on here
on weekends the place was packed
with the lonely, the intellectual and the hungry
right now
two blondes are discussing shoes
they’ve been on shoes
for almost an hour now
they’ve said all there is to say in the world
about shoes

the prick sitting next to me
with his john kennedy teeth and hair
is discussing the virtues of a $2 beer in manhattan
to his girlfriend who wouldn’t condescend to drink one
he calls it the new york experience
having a cheap beer in this bar
about the beer, i understand his plight
i just can’t relate to him
his drinking it with a sense of irony
while i’ve known men who have
shot this swill down as a means of survival
as for his woman
well, she’s wearing gold shorts, blue tights,
and sunglasses in a dark bar at five in the afternoon
so that pretty much says the mother-load about her
and when he leaves her to take a piss
she checks the text messages on her phone
to see if there’s a better game than this one
in town

still, i can’t shake these kinds of people
they are everywhere like roaches
with their heads snapped off
they bother me more than bills
and the forty-hour work week
they encapsulate something portentous for me
they define the downfall of man
better than oswald spengler ever could
better than the ennui of lovers talking into their phones
instead of to each other

or maybe their being in this place
at the same time that i am
is an even greater harbinger of doom
the last call for a generation
that never got off the ground
just another thing dying
on these plastic, happy streets
where everyone claims to be broke
but there’s a cash machine
and a frozen yogurt joint on every corner
and if something heavy goes down
it’ll be broadcast on my computer
fit for public consumption
one million hits of pure entertainment value
before i’m even home
getting that great machine of mine
hot and ready to blow.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

poem of the day 05.01.10

first of all...happy birthday to a great poet, ally malinenko

die with dignity

they stop on the street
and watch
as the con edison worker
climbs a ladder
up to a streetlight
he begins scrapping away
with a long brush
pushing out old leaves
and other sundry items
that have gotten caught
in there during the winter
people are amazed by this
i don’t know why
i can’t get through them
to get where i need to go
so i stop as well
i watch a man do his work
pushing and scrapping
as more debris falls over the street
there are pieces of twig
falling to the ground
onto parked cars
feathers of all types
paper and dust and plastic
we continue watching
the con edison man
has to work harder
something is stuck in there
he goes at it for a while
those of us on the street can
see the mass begin to move
we clutch our chins and anticipate
soon he has it loose
it falls to the ground
two dried bird carcasses
they look like pigeons maybe
when they hit the ground
they bust apart like a cracker
bits and pieces of their bodies
swirling around the street
void of form and dignity
like sawdust on a barroom floor
when somebody opens the door
on a windy, gray day.