Saturday, October 30, 2010

poem of the day 10.30.10

here's my version of a scary poem.
happy early halloween

bad feng shui

this hotel room has
bad feng shui, she says

how do you figure?

well, the bathroom mirror
reflects off of the room mirror
which just creates
this really creepy effect

she shuts off the lights
and shows me

there is an eerie glare
but not too bad

that’s nothing, i tell her
after she turns the light back on

the hallway is worse, i say
it’s just one circle
you can’t even tell
what room you’re in
if you’ve been drinking

so is the stairwell, she says
i got scared just getting us
a bucket of ice

this hotel is pricy
but we got a deal, i say

they can’t decorate
it’s like being
in the shining here


it’ll be all right
it’s just for sleeping
and drinking, i say

the mirrors kept waking me up
last night, she says

the bad feng shui?


we have more scotch
then she gets the light again

we get into bed
with the noise machine going
and the lights of san diego coming
faintly through the hotel window

in a few moments
i hear her snoring peacefully

i look at the mirror
reflecting the other mirror
making golden ghosts on the wall

then i see shadows underneath
the doorway

hear voices moaning over the din
of the machine

and i turn over
huddle into the sheets
and think


the happy people of california
have sent us here
to san diego
to finally do me in

so i get up out of bed
and run to the door
i open it but the hallway is empty

there is an envelope
on the ground
i pick it up
and take it back into the room

i open it up

it’s a bill for the hotel parking

the motherfuckers charged us
sixteen dollars a night
instead of the quoted twelve.

Friday, October 29, 2010

poem of the day 10.29.10

sorry...sick day yesterday. and you all know jobs.
if you're off sick and they see you went online, it gets
them all red in the face, even in this era of laptops
where one could be running a 100 degree fever and still
lay on the couch with a computer...but....

waiting on the world

waiting on the world
which is as dead as yesterday
i think
i must be a fool
waiting on the world
as crusty as old underwear
as useless as an empty bottle of wine
as dull as the nightly news
as dim as a bar
as pointless as god
as wretched as humanity
as asinine as the political machine
as common as hunger
as futile as knowledge
as worthless as a college degree
as fleeting as benevolence
waiting on the world
as aching as an arthritic knee
as hapless as a comedian
as dead as yesterday
as rotten as a fresh corpse
i think
i must be a fool
waiting on the world
still to shine
like a fucking rainbow
after a bright morning shower.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

poem of the day 10.27.10

love poem?

this job
this existence
in the wasteland
always at low ebb

this life
the way it tears at
my asshole
mocks my soul

you’d think the gods
had it in for me

i’m a defective
i wasn’t destined to do
the bidding of others

it’s just that something
has always hung
me up
kept me dim

oh, where did i go wrong?
left to rot here
staring at the walls
in a wine-stained t-shirt
sucking on cheap scotch
and ice

waiting for glorious death
to come

what bad moves have i made
since birth?

all of them, kid
almost all of them

except her.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

poem of the day 10.26.10

the saturday people

the saturday people
have strange faces
they look lost
like they don’t know what
to do with themselves
with all of the free hours
that they’ve been given

they sit in diners
hating the people sitting next to them
drink weak coffee
and freshly squeezed orange juice
eat runny eggs and limp bacon
laugh at everything
the waitress says

the saturday people
love the smell of cut grass
and newly washed clothes
they pray for warm weather in october
hope the blinds are open at home
and the sunshine is soaking
their bright, generic rooms
roasting their lonely pets

the saturday people
stand in long lines
to try on new jackets and jeans
to buy computers and music gadgets
and scarves
they go and see this week’s bad film
they wear grins
that say buying this product
will fulfill me
standing in this line
for this bad movie
is what the work week was all about

they brunch in cafes
with the college game on
taking up seats at the bar
to root for their alma mater
the saturday people
with their ugly college colors
and bloody marys
with their common talk about television shows
and their idiot kids
with their futures down the shithole

they wouldn’t know a mass suicide
if it smacked them in their wallet

the saturday people
begin talking about where to go
for dinner
as soon as lunch ends

to the saturday people
it is a big deal where to go to dinner
italian or thai?
valet or street parking?
wine beer or brew house?
you never see the saturday people
riding the bus with a hangover
on a sunday morning

i watch the saturday people
every week
i look at them with their shopping bags
their constipated grins
and their well-groomed faces

i think the saturday people
are aliens
government operatives
dropped here on friday evenings
when the jobs let out
dropped here with smiles on their faces
and money in the bank

sent here to make us mad
lunatics foaming at the mouths
slap-happy fools
who want what the saturday people have
good bodies and christian souls
with a side order of french toast
and a lobotomy to go.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

poem of the day 10.23.10

kindness of the sunshine people

the kindness of the sunshine people
is surprising at first
hellos for no reason at all
as you walk down the street
they surprise you with a salutation
while you are tying your shoes
while your back is turned
or going to the car at six in the morning
to get your wife an aspirin
they ask you how you are
the sunshine people
they seem like they really want to know

the kindness of the sunshine people
is an odd thing
they leave polite notes underneath your door
they give instead of take
they tell you not to hurry with your meal
ask you if you want another drink
if you slept okay
the sunshine people are forever smiling
opening up curtains and doors
and thick bottles of red wine
it makes you wonder if they are happy
or just blinded by the sun

the sunshine people do not mind
waiting in line or sitting in traffic

the kindness of the sunshine people
can linger like a fart
it can bring you down on a lost afternoon
on the boulevard
you wonder what there is to be so kind about
so full of joy and happiness
you wonder if it is a west coast thing
the kindness of the sunshine people
as you walk briskly down a palm-laden path
thinking how badly you need
to get back to new york city

before the kindness of the sunshine people
perverts you
sucks you in
before your stumbling zombie-like
down the boulevards
smiling at everyone
telling them to have a nice day.

Friday, October 22, 2010

poem of the day 10.22.10

drinking beers outside of linda king’s home

drinking beers outside of linda king’s home
we are touring the history of bukowski’s los angeles
driving insane boulevards
that all look the same in the glare of the western sun

if you don’t know
linda king was bukowski’s girlfriend
at one point in his timeline

drinking beers outside of linda king’s home
ones that we bought at the pink elephant liquor
on north western evenue
just a stone’s throw from hank’s old place on de longpre

we are in silver lake or maybe still in hollywood

i really don’t know anymore

drinking beers outside of linda king’s home
i try to think up something literary
but, as usual, i can’t
i tell my wife about how linda almost
ran over hank with her car
because he was talking to another woman

my wife tells me to keep the beer low
because we are in a rental car

i nod a haiku
finish the can of miller lite
and shove the beer under my seat

it is the best poem that i can come up with

drinking beer outside of linda king’s home
checking the map for the next historic destination
as birds chirp and dogs bark
in the sunny sun sun of sunny southern California

Thursday, October 21, 2010

poem of the day 10.21.10

river phoenix

river phoenix died
on this end of the block
of the sunset strip
or he died on the other end
i don’t know
it was years ago
i was never into river phoenix
but once i was into a girl
who practically cried over his death
she sat in the student union
held a people magazine to her face
her eyes filling with tears
she told me how very sad that it was
river stumbling out of the viper room
going this way or that
his girlfriend and brother in toe
a stumbling speed ball of death
on the neon soaked strip
i thought then how so many people die
in so many ways
some suffer cancer
others the bullet
a lot simply get taken over by life
i thought, river phoenix
you rich, hollywood fuck
with your designer drugs
and designer life
how dare you splatter
on the cold concrete
when there are girls in pittsburgh
crying over your eternal soul
i think of those moments now
and i laugh over a dead actor
archaic fallacies of love
walking one block of the strip to the next
was it here?
was it there where you stumbled, river?
broke millions of hearts
your career and your life in the process?
does it even matter anymore
when you can’t get a cheap beer
in this part of los angeles
and the sound of her voice
happily escapes me now.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

poem of the day 10.20.10

venice beach

there is no point
trying to play artists
at venice beach
the hustlers already have
me beat
hawking rap cds
and medical marijuana
selling bad paintings
of bad landscapes
there is nothing to do
but wade in the pacific ocean
with my shoes on
try to spot a celebrity
toss the seagulls
the cilantro off of my fish taco
there is no point
in anything at venice beach
no need to make sense
of poetry, los angeles
or the world
i can just sit here in the grass
as the surf rolls in
froever unknown and hungover
letting my face and scalp burn
in the unrelenting sun
use the l.a. times to cover my eyes
forget that new york ever existed
there is nothing
but golden infinity in vencie beach
fake houses and fake people
all along the boardwalk
fake beer in the fake bars
t-shirt stands by the dozen
and the unbounded horizon
enveloping the ocean
stinking of the
west coast vibe
burning my eyes
like the yellow-brown smog
that hissed up this morning
on the 101.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

poem of the day 10.19.10

the chinese girls

the chinese girls
are sitting in a circle, talking
i do not understand a word of it
but i know that it is idle chatter
about television and school and music
it is bothering me
the way the chinese girls talk
high-pitched staccato
words spat out of tiny mouths
like dull darts
some days human words hurt the mind
in any language
they do not mix with my hangover
my acid stomach
nor my resolve to stop drinking
for a month
the chinese girls do not know this
about my not drinking
if i told them
they would think me a madman
or worse they wouldn’t care
so i sit there listening
another lukewarm work dinner
in stained tupperware
reading a book that i’ve read
dozens of times
wondering how in the hell
i’m going to make it thirty days
without a drink
with the job on my back
with devils and angels
screeching for my soul
with the scotch and wine bottles
waiting in the fridge
and the neighbors talking
nightly bullshit in front of my window
with the chinese girls laughing
over pop stars, cheez doodles
and the boys in gym class
looking so happy
they don’t even know
how much they are murdering me
on this pale monday afternoon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

poem of the day 10.18.10

...back fron the los angeles/san diego area...poems to come.

tommy wolfe was right

haven’t been in this bar
for over a month

a man needs a break from a place
from time to time

but there is b.j. sitting in his stool
nursing his beer, his jack,
keeping a close watch on the time
because he has to get home to his wife and kid by seven

the joint is dead
very unlike the place for a wednesday night

bad music is playing
something the new bartender keeps calling “alternative”

it sounds like sludge
but maybe i’m just getting old

b.j. shakes my hand and asks me where i’ve been
i make up a story about working a lot of nights
but in truth i’ve been avoiding the place
drinking at home

one gets into less trouble that way

he introduces me to the bartender
she is wearing a spandex dress so tight
that when she walks away to get my draft

you can see her thong through the aqua-colored material

b.j. tells her that before she started working at the bar
i was the guy to talk to about music and books
then he proceeds to talk my ear off
about the new franzen novel

but i can barely hear him over the din
of bad music and the baseball playoffs

i ask the bartender if anyone has left anything for me
mona was supposed to return my books
a month ago, before she fucked everything up
by fucking everyone in the bar

there is nothing for me, the bartender says
so i drink my draft, listen as b.j. talks books

i notice how flirty he is with the bartender
wrapping his arms around her from over the bar
as they do shots
making her giggle over the smallest things

shit, i think, this girl is drunk

and b.j. is forty years old
with his three year-old kid and his faded rock star dreams

these two are a powder keg, doomed to fuck
on a lost weekday night

i have another beer
really look around the joint
and notice that everything has changed
even the pictures on the wall look different

i finish my draft and get up

b.j. asks me when i’m coming back in

i don’t know, i tell him
i tell him that i’m flying out to l.a.

cool, he says

then goes back to making time with the bartender

have fun, she says, giggling again

i step out into the night
it has grown much colder in the last hour
and i just hope there’s enough scotch left at home.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

poem of the day 10.09.10

today John Lennon would've been 70.
typically i post a poem on december 8 when
we was murdered. today's poem was to be put out
on the 30th anniversary of that murder, on december 8,2010.
but i'm going to put it on here today.

also, winedrunk is on hiatus next week. i'll be back
to bore you all on october 18th


december 8, 1991

we were in the midst
of a slow night
holiday consumerist retail hell
when he turned to me

christ, do you realize
that it was eleven years ago

i was just thinking that, i said
i remember waking up
the next morning
the d.j. talking quietly instead
of playing music
my mother by the stove
waiting for me
because she knew
that he was my favorite
of the four of them

and then all they could do
was play the music, i added

he was quiet a moment

i was a freshman in college, he said
some shit school off of i-80
we’d had snow
nobody could really go anywhere
but i found myself alone
in the dorm room anyway

monday night football
was on, he continued
dolphins, patriots
a big game
but i don’t even remember who won

just howard cosell announcing it
telling everyone
that this was just a football game

time stopping
all love dead
some cosmic shit like that

i just shut the tv off, he said
in that moment i just needed the silence
but all of the sudden you could
hear it everywhere

out of cars
in other rooms

the music
his music

what did you do? i asked

i went out walking, he said

i just didn’t know what else
to do next.

Friday, October 8, 2010

poem of the day 10.08.10

poem for jackoff

jackoff is outside
getting in his morning walk

the old bastard who takes care of him
my wife once caught him in the basement
going through her bras and underwear

he claims that he was
just taking them out of the washer
in order to do his clothing

i see this man everywhere in our building
on the bus, all over brooklyn
but i have yet to ask him about the underwear

jackoff is a yorkshire terrier

i don’t really know his real name
i just follow the man’s lead

sometimes the dog is jackoff
you little prick or son-of-a-bitch

if it’s raining outside in the morning
then the dog’s name is motherfucker

sometimes cocksucker

if it is snowing outside, the dog has no name at all

i can smell the old man’s cigar in the mornings
hearing him wheezing from the coming storm of death
as i sit here in the room
debating masturbation, the work day, or the knife

sometimes jackoff yelps
from being pulled too hard

he barks and cries

i feel bad for the dog but not enough
to do anything about it

one time when i was leaving for work
the man and jackoff were coming
back inside the apartment building
the foyer stunk of his cigar
and the dog had just taken a shit

it was a small black pile that looked like coal

when i tried to walk by the mess
the little fucker lunged at me
barking and gnashing his toy-like teeth

the old man started screaming and shaking jackoff

that’s when i realized the two of them
deserved each other

and every morning when the madness
the yelping and the name calling begin outside
i sit here calmly in this room
death and the work day on my mind

writing poems like this one
or ones concerning other topics too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Outsider Writers Collective

Hello all,

I have five poems up over at the Outsider Writers Collective
and Press website. Thank you to Jessica Smith for her
wonderful work and kind words on the site.

....the picture is me in Paris....where i one day long to be
for good.

pem of the day 10.07.10

puppy love

she lived three doors
down from me
maybe we were 4 or 5 respectfully
but we did everything together
her home smelled like pot
we went to parks and museums
swam in the city pool
her mother was a teacher
and an amateur photographer
she used to take pictures of us
in black and white

one day one
of the neighborhood boys
showed her his penis
not to be outdone
when she came into my house
i streaked across the living room
holding my orange trunks
my little cock flapping in the breeze

she didn’t like icing on her cake either

then her family moved to california
mine moved to west virginia
then all over a single pittsburgh suburb

it was years later
that our families reconnected
we were 11 or 12 respectfully
when they showed up
i was alone in my bedroom listening
to madonna and prince cassette tapes
but i could see her from my window
beautiful and tan and blonde
from all of that california sun
where i had grown sullen and fat
for a variety of reasons

i decided to stay in my room that day

but then there was a knock on my door
it was her
she wanted to come in
and listen to madonna and prince
on cassette tape

i had no choice

i let her in
and once again
she was beautiful and tan and blonde
i could tell by the look on her face
that she thought i was an unholy beast

we sat in silence listening to the music

minutes later there was another knock
on my door
it was my friend, mitchell
he was beautiful and porcelain and dark haired
the two of them sat with me
and listened to the music
they made eyes at each other
and soon they were talking about california
and many other things

while i sat there in silence
on the corner of my bed

never getting to ask her what she’d
remembered most about the past.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

poem of the day 10.06.10

old russian lady

the old russian lady
is back on the bus
she is shouting into her cell phone
i’ve heard this voice
three days this week
twice in the evening
and once in the morning
but i didn’t have a face
to go with it until now
i’m generally bad with faces
something about a natural aversion
to humanity
but there she is on the evening bus
she sounds like a spy
a loud spy
she is sitting right in front of me
shouting “dah, dah!”
every third or fourth beat
in her conversation
it is no use to read
or to listen to music
lightly i touch her shoulder
when she turns around i see her
black sunglasses
black hair pulled back into a bun
i smile and tell her that we are all doomed
if we keep it up this way
i tell her that i think that
we are getting very close to the end
the russian lady frowns
she gives me the once over
turns around
and goes back to her conversation
“dah, dah,” she says
to the faceless voice on the other end
and i have no choice but to sit there
listen to the old russian lady talk
or watch 75th street
glitter in the gloam
think about how much i miss the cold war

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

poem of the day 10.05.10


i have a dumb face
a public face
this kid sees it every day
and he keeps trying
to sell me candy
out of a catalog

it’s for his school

he sees my face
and he begins waving
the catalog at me

i have already humored him once
looking through the catalog
while he watched
my face looking
through the catalog
at all of the pictures
of chocolate and candies
presented so elaborately
that the confections just looked like
dull and tasteless sculptures

i told the kid that i had
no money that day
that he could catch me the next day

but of course
i was broke that day too

every other time
that he’s waved that catalog at me
i’ve told him that
i’m too busy to look at the candy

i tell him to come back tomorrow

i have no clue why
i can’t be honest with this kid

it’s almost become an obscene
ritual the way i duck him now
going this way or that
out of my way
giving him seedy sideways glances
whenever he starts waving
that fucking catalog at me

i’m trying my best to avoid him
in total right now

i hide in my office
whenever he comes in

i’ll be doing this until october ninth

that’s when the candy orders
are due in at school
which gives me
a good two weeks of freedom
before the christmas gift catalogs
are scheduled to come out.

Monday, October 4, 2010

poem of the day 10.04.10

too tired

i am tired
too tired to cry
or do anything else

i am hungover again
tired of being hungover

but i’m a damned fool
i know if i get my way
that i will be hungover again tomorrow

and the bus driver
is blasting 80s music
on the ride home from work
i sometimes hate 80s music
because it makes me think of childhood

they are boring thoughts
of mishandled time
that cannot be regained or manipulated

it is a time not worth thinking about

the bus driver looks tired
tired of driving a bus
tired of the forsaken faces of the many
tired of the silence of miles

and there is a kid
one of those fast food cherubic
rambunctious types
curious about everything

he is squirming in his seat
trying to open the big glass windows on the bus

just watching him work
the smile plastered on his fat face
makes me tired

his old man is sitting next to him
a dumb, lost look on his face

he is dressed in a vintage football jersey
his hat on backwards

he is not watching the kid
who now has the window open
and is sticking his fat face and body
out into the tired evening

i think that maybe the father is thinking
about the football season
or how boring and common
his life has turned out

but i hope that the kid doesn’t fall
out of the window
not because of an undying concern
for humanity
not because i wouldn’t want to see it

but because i don’t want this bus
to be held up

i guess my kindness and benevolence are tired

but then the bus driver yells at the kid

what in the hell are you doing?
he asks, his voice tired
of yelling at kids whose parents don’t care

the kid jumps back into the bus
his old man wakes from his pale reverie
and starts yelling at the child out of obligation

the kids sits there and takes it

he’s not sad or angry
he’s most probably used to it
he knows that he just has to wait this out
soon his old man will forget about him
and everything will be as pleasantly stagnant as it was before

there’s a wonderful dullness in the child’s eyes

i recognize it as my own

Friday, October 1, 2010

This Zine Will Change Your Life

.....has been kind enough to publish a poem of mine.
you can read it here.

poem of the day 10.01.10

b/c i'm soak and wet and hungover and
had one helluva time getting out of bed
this morning, here's a poem from 2008
that pretty much is where i'm at right now:

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.