Monday, December 27, 2010

oooh you're a holiday i'm on hiatus until January 3, 2011.
have a happy new year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

poem of the days 12.26.10-12.27.10

i may or may not be on haitus until the new year

the asshole

he is a little man
in a little coat
with a little hat
a brooklyn wiseguy
smoking his cigarette in the wind
when we come outside
of the apartment
to load our holiday bags
into our rental car
he tells us
that we parked too close
to his driveway
he says that if he wanted
to get his car out
he’d have to ride over the curb
i paid a lot of money
for this place
he says
smoking his little cigarette
and tugging on his coat
my wife apologizes to him
i apologize too
but it’s not enough for the little man
our apology is too small for him
he has to tell us again
about our rental car
parked too close to his driveway
about how much he paid for it
he stands next to me
while my wife takes
his little note off the windshield
before she moves the car across the street
why don’t you buy your own spot?
he asks, walking away
it’s people like you
always putting one over
on guys like me
that fucks this whole world up, he says
thanks for sharing that
i say to the little man
he squints his beady eyes
he takes another drag
on his little smoke
tugs on his little hat
with arms that seem to small
to reach his head
listen, buddy, he says
walking back over to me
i think that this man wants
to fight me
he is napoleon going after
waterloo again
i’m trying to be nice, here,
he says
but you
you gotta go and be an asshole
how come?
i shrug
then the little man
tosses his smoke into the wind
it blows back at us
rolls down the street
and falls into a small crevice
between the concrete
in front of the house
owned by another asshole
who blasts his music
all summer long
and lives with his bitch wife
and their ugly dog.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

poem of the day 12.23.10


the young boys
stood around learning
to smoke cigarettes
talking about you
to the girls learning about boys
they said
you jammed
a wiffleball bat
up your cunt
at that year’s
back to school party
they said
you were so drunk
on beer and wine coolers
you did it on a dare
all those handsome
young boys
hanging around a tree
that was dying from the fall
learning to smoke
talking about you
to all of those beautiful girls
who were learning to hate sports
and their peers
who were into
certain sexual proclivities
that were
beyond their reach
those boys smoking
cigarettes in the dull light
of after school america
those girls with their jealousy
untouched cunts
and sour faces
what did
they really know
about you baby?
except rumor
and an incident of legend
i saw you often
always alone
but i never knew you
then or now
i never smoked
with their kind
and whether or not
it was true
i’m through with the illusion
of youth
i gave up those cigarettes
ten years ago
i only think about you
during baseball season
and sometimes
when the fall comes
in the northeast.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

poem of the day 12.22.10

....oh when will the self-pity poems end?

the magic almost gone

there is something stuck
in my left foot
maybe glass
but i thought that the glass
was lodged in the bottom
of my right foot
there are slits of skin shaped like gills
that make it hard to walk some days
and the right knee is going
a little bit more each day
i have the neck and shoulders of a tired atlas
my hands are greased with ointment
the pinky fingers on each one
wrapped in fabric bandages
sliced in three spots
victims of the cold
the cuticles are ripped to shreds
each morning it is a medieval blood letting
on these brooklyn streets
my soul is the color of dried blood
the nails are shot
bitten in waves of nerves and anxiety
and there is another rash on my chest
that i keep thinking is skin cancer
i check the bags underneath my eyes
laugh a sad old man’s laugh and do a dance
the gray hair i comb down
with a .99 cent wonder from rite aid
and the beer belly i sculpt
every single day with cups of cheap scotch and wine
packs of pretty girls pass me
and say nothing
they talk in pretty girl rags
to them i am an ugly bird-shit stained statue
what little magic i had, almost gone
women on buses clutch their bags
and move a few seats away
i don’t blame them
looking in the warped mirror
of the public transportation window
blasting ornette coleman in the gloom
i smile and watch the night roll by
i was never a charmer, i think
but i was never all that bad either.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

poem of the day 12.21.10

writing the moonlight sonata

i feel like
i’m trying to write the moonlight sonata
sitting here sweating in the cold
play acting
lying to myself
struggling this way
drinking weak coffee that tastes like dirt
lifting mugs that weigh a ton
waiting on the lunar eclipse
to break me out of this funk
writing the moonlight sonata is not easy
because it is twenty-four degrees outside
and the sports teams have let me down
because there is cat shit on the couch
cat litter scattered in the bathroom
and breadcrumbs on the kitchen floor
because there is wine on my shirt
spinach in my hair
and a whole week of work to suicide through
because the new paint is peeling
and the pictures of paris
are hanging crookedly on the wall
because the holidays never end
and holiday parties keep coming on like death
because the new year is readying its noose
and there are dull eyes to look into
mouths to hear talk such nonsense
because there is nothing left to do but breathe
and wish i had a brand new car
so that i could drive so very fucking far
away from here
maybe become a bartender in the southwest
until that too makes me wish that i could
slice my wrists
writing the moonlight sonata
is a sisyphean task
it is hell on earth
and i am here each morning
until retirement or the coffin takes me
scrawling notes against
the bleating of the alarm clock and the sun
wondering if beethoven
ever felt this miserable to be alive

Monday, December 20, 2010

poem of the day 12.20.10

fix it

ryan adams
new album in the cold
of brooklyn

i feel bad
walking past the carcasses
of dead animals
outside the butcher

i’m thinking about
my wife
and all of the other
whom i’ve made cry

by being
a selfish bastard

how most of them
never deserved
my anger or pain

how if
i could
i’d fix it

take all of that

and roll
it into a ball

kick it down
these silent streets

until it hit
the sewers

and went washing
deep into the ocean.

Friday, December 17, 2010

poem of the day 12.17.10

little footsteps

rain down like thunder
from the apartment above
when i’m drinking wine
and contemplating the noose

little footsteps
hiss along a white ceiling
that is warped
and bubbled

little footsteps
of ancient women congregating

little footsteps
that are like armies
marching in step
entering a fallen city

little footsteps
curse sundays full of nothing
that symbolize
the weak progress of man

little footsteps
full of doom

little footsteps
like a pack of elephants

rattling in my head
rattling in my soul
infesting my goodwill

as i reach
for the aspirin
the telephone
and the twelve month lease

Thursday, December 16, 2010

poem of the day 12.16.10

cold blue morning

i love the way
of the cold blue morning

the people so severe
about getting their cups of coffee
their newspapers
and breakfast sandwiches

starting their cars

going to the bus stop
or subway stations

such diligence

so awake into
the cold blue morning

they seem to forget
that many of us
are on our way

a red hot day
in hell.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

poem of the day 12.15.10

the fantasy writer

the fantasy writer grabs me by the arm

i have nowhere to go

he says, what do you think about
a plot where a father and daughter
are out walking their dog
and they slip through a seam in the earth
and end up in an underground world
beneath new york city?

i tell him i like it fine
and then try to get away

but the fantasy writer is not done

would you buy a book like that?

i guess, i say
maybe if i had a kid

he says, well, i wrote that very book
in between acting gigs

and then here we go

the fantasy writer begins telling me
about the process of writing

the craft
the art

because all writers are artists

unlike actors and actresses
who just bullshit themselves and the rest of us

he talks about using real monsters of the earth
instead of the magical ones you’d find
in other fantasy novels

like eight-foot sandworms from australia

i tell myself there’s one more reason
not to go to australia

the fantasy writer doesn’t have a publisher yet
he’s giving it to the end of the year
and then he’s getting himself an agent

it’s that easy to him, getting an agent

it makes me think of the book
that i wrote three years ago and still can’t sell

the fantasy writer says he just has
to get his book out there

the world needs this book, he says

i want to tell him that i feel
the same way about the turtlehead
poking out of my ass

but it’s best to be quiet about
those kinds of things

plus i don’t want to break the illusion for the man

he’s wearing a verizon jacket
he’s holding a walkie-talkie
and i have this stupid nametag on
that lists my name and slave title

i think i want to keep the fantasy
going for both of us
for as long as i can

the fantasy writer smiles
says he has a website for the book
plus he’s doing the audiobook right now

all of the voices and everything

he writes down the web site
and the title of the book

hands me the paper and says
i don’t even have a daughter
i just imagined me and my mom
and that’s how i did it

well, it is fantasy, i say

do you think you could
promote the book for me? he asks

sure, i say
i’ll talk it up at all of the professional
conferences that i go to

that’s great he says

believing in the fantasy that i tell him

then he leaves me

on the way out his walkie-talkie goes off

someone in sheepshead bay
is having trouble with their fios connection

he says he’s on it

then he turns back to me and waves

i watch him
until i’m damned sure that he’s gone

then i go back to shelving books
i’d started with the letter “d”
but decide to skip the rest of the letters
and go right to the end of the alphabet
where the mystery books
seem to outpace everything else.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

poem of the day 12.14.10

like a beautiful flower

the liquor store
at 18th avenue
says “liquor” written
in bright red bold letters

the word “wine”
is written in a rich burgundy
on the right and left side

the sign has
undulating blue lights
bracketing each of the words


people walk by
illuminated underneath the sign
without looking at it

of course
if jesus christ were real
most people wouldn’t notice him
walking around
after rising from the dead

there i am
day three in the middle
of a six-day work week

at wit’s end

madly thinking
this sign is gorgeous

to me
it looks like a beautiful flower
pushing up out of a hard

Monday, December 13, 2010

poem of the day 12.13.10

collateral damage

friday night
cat’s big ass in the way
one bottle of wine
two scotches
the radio coming in static

turn to fix
the antenna
knock the cat
knock the radio
knock the big sage and citrus
yankee candle
off of the coffee table

the candle shattering
into a million pieces
the radio still not working
the cat prostrate
with only her small head up
hissing at me

i rise
take a piece of glass
right in the center of my foot
pull it out
it takes a second
but then the blood starts gushing
all over the floor
the carpet
the village voice

my wife up off the couch
to get wet paper towels
cloth and broom
the blood won’t stop
i feel like passing out
christ, i think
what a pussy
as the radio goes to complete
white noise static

my wife comes back
blood on my feet
blood on my hands
blood on her hands
and the cat goes back to sleep

will i have to go to
the hospital? i ask
my wife says i don’t know
hands me a wet paper towel
to clean up the blood
to help clot the wound
then looks at me
and says of course
you won’t have to go to the hospital

i sit there
as she sweeps the glass
cleans the blood off the floor
off the carpet
i sit there and try to drink my wine
try to fix the radio
but the cat’s huge ass
is still in the way

so i turn to watch
the white lights on the christmas tree
i sit there for fifteen minutes
thinking about another night
turned into collateral damage
in the long war called life

when i take the
pink blood paper towel off of
the wound
i see that it is no bigger than a pinhole
leaving me no alternative
but to laugh
and ask my wife
what movie she wants to watch

Saturday, December 11, 2010

poem of the day 12.11.10

the day after john lennon died

the day after
john lennon died
thirty years after
john lennon died
we are walking briskly
down 75th street
the wind off the estuary
smacking us in the face
one ear bud in your ear
one ear bud in mine
a little drunk
a little happy
singing instant karma
in the glow of christmas lights
hung outside the warm
homes of neighbors
we don’t want to know
we are children gone
just a little bit gray
free from religion
free from america
free to sing in the quiet street
as loud as we never are
and as i turn to take in
that large tree
the one dressed in purple
and red lights
the one that illuminates
the whole block
i think nothing is wrong
if only for a moment
nothing is wrong in this world.

Friday, December 10, 2010

poem of the day 12.10.10

i should’ve known better

early december cold
stillwell avenue bus stop
i’m too blind
to see down 86th street
put in another
eight hours
i’ll never get back
i ask her if the b4 bus
has gone by yet
she says
well, that’s the one
i’m waiting for
then proceeds to give
me the history
of the neighborhood
the roy rogers on the corner
the drug store
the five and dime
and how they should’ve
put a coffee shop here
instead of petco
she says
you know
for cold nights like this
and she keeps going like that
the good old day
the bad new ones
the bakery long since closed
there is no b4 in sight
just the two of us
so i listen to her
instead of neil young
smile like a dumb bastard
because it’s all right
it’s my fault
i should’ve known better
than to approach humanity
on a cold night
in early december
when there’s
no one else around
for it to talk to
but me
and the unforgiving wind.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

poem of the day 12.09.10


jack introduces himself
to me again
we meet again and again
every time that i come in here
jack will interrupt
a conversation with some anecdote
from his life
that has nothing to do
with the topic at hand
then he’ll tell a story
just as arbitrary
when he finishes
he’ll look at me and ask
what’s your name?
and i’ll tell him
wishing that i could give him
a different name each time
but i’m known in here now
b.j. tells me that
i’m a regular
i’ve been anointed
and this is where i belong
so i don’t want to mess
things up between me and jack
today jack is talking about
herman hesse
the buddha
jack tells us that jesus was a big fan
of the buddha
only the bible won’t tell you
that he is
i’m wondering what other kind of
inside information jack has on jesus christ
it keeps me from this depression
keeps me from the realization
that these barflies are the only friends
that i’ve got in this world
most of the time i think that friendship
isn’t worth it
i’d rather b.j. and his whiskey and beer
jack with his pints of chardonnay and ice
than anything more intimate
it’s sad
i’ve become cold and i see no way to reverse it
but it’s all right
because a man can still talk when
he needs to
because in a few moments
ivan will start dancing to hot tuna
and bill the bartender
will drop his laptop on the floor
because he’s drunk
jack will take a long pull on his chardonnay
and tell us that people have
to be careful with their laptops
because they are full of diods
and diods are what keep
computers from getting viruses
b.j. will laugh in jack’s face
he’ll sit back in his stool and down
the last of his pint
diods, he’ll say
yeah, it’s gotta be the diods
keeping all of those viruses away
and jack will feel smart
he’ll tell me that this time he’s going
to remember my name
then jeopardy will come on the television
and no one will have to think
about anything else
friends or names
because one of the catagories
will be major league baseball
and we’re all intimate
with that topic
in this joint.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

poem of the day 12.08.10

it's a rush job but i like to have one up
every year for john.

around this time of year (what remains)

around this time of year
the joy of the season sets in for some
the melancholy for others
you, you just wish that night
could’ve been dramatically different
the five bullets out of that fat fuck’s gun
missing their mark
the aorta in tact
lennon whisked away unharmed
as the police wrestled that
demented freak to the ground
kicking away the piece
and the salinger
until they hit the sewers
and gurgled into the hudson
so then there’d be no candle vigils
no sing-a-longs to fill the void
no mosaics in verdant rounds
no thirty years of this
just more music and madness and art
and for a world still trying to get
the message right
who would think something as simple
as peace and love
would be so hard to come by?
because what we have instead of him
is humanity like a shell
hope and change as greasy as snake oil
and wars raging on
droughts and floods as common
as dime store combs
millionaires dancing the tax break jig
as people starve
cholera in haiti
and general bullshit seeping out
of everywhere else

but what remains
is the spark
a chance
the chance that by dumb luck
we’ll one day get it right

and let no death
no matter how great or small
ever be dealt in vain again.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

poem of the day 12.07.10

great comedy

my mother is reading books
by david sedaris

david sedaris is so funny, she says

but i never got into him

no reason

i don’t find him funny

maybe i just don’t get intellectual humor

larry fine is funny to me

to be stuck in the middle
of a lunacy like that cracks me up

which i guess is why
i read the daily newspapers

with all of the murder, war,
genocide, rape, and crooked politics
floating around this ball of gas
it’s hard not to laugh at the world

i get amused by the politicians
running around scrambling for words

amused by leaks and deceitful diplomacy

amused by the countries
always content to play hero or villain
on the global stage
when we know that they
are full of shit

so eat your heart out
david sedaris

because i get a small chuckle
from disaster after disaster
especially the ones
that could’ve been prevented
with common sense

and even as i stand here
with the rest of you poor stooges

oblivious to the answer

perched on the cusp of the great degeneration

planning a candlelight vigil for
the damned

stuck in the middle like larry fine

taking a hand to the face
a wrench to the nose
a hammer to the hand
and a nyuk nyuk nyuk from the government

i find it to be a great comedy
watching the united states of america
slouch slowly toward the third world

there is a cold comfort
in watching two hundred years of progress
drip down the drain

it is a cold comfort
or it is a warm fear

i cannot tell

but i laugh regardless
of the answer

because crying never solved anything

and i fear it’s much too late
to cry now anyway.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Review of Glass City

There is a review of my book, Glass City over at Margaret Bashaar's fine blog,
Plucked from Ogygia.

poem of the day 12.06.10 new let's see where i was at
around this time last year.....

i thought i saw her

i thought i saw her
that ruinous blonde whore
that tight assed wench
who never wore underwear
that little strumpet

i thought i saw her
walking down broadway
with a group of friends
looking in the holiday store windows

she was wearing
a white coat
and except for a few wrinkles
around the eyes
she looked the same as back then

i thought i saw her
that fucking bitch
that demon of so many nights
the one who gave her cunt
so quickly
and took it away

and it was like 1997 all over again
and i felt the shame
of not being able to get it up
of sneaking around with her
behind my friend’s back

i thought i saw her
that tiny liar
who told me that she was twenty
when she was barely eighteen
who might’ve been fucking someone else
behind my back

i thought i saw her
i wondered how she and i
could be on the same street
twelve years later
hundreds of miles ago

it didn’t seem possible
she never really existed anyway
just a figment of my imagination
like all of the rest of them

but i thought i saw her
right by the comic book store
right by the billiards joint
and the bar i never go into
because the drinks cost too much

i thought i saw her
that slut
that napoleon of the heart
that bin laden of the soul
that small titted vlad the impaler
i thought i saw her
on broadway

but, shit,
broadway is so busy this time
of year
it very well could’ve been
someone that just
looked like her.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

poem of the day 12.04.10

here is where nowhere begins

caught up in the land where
old chinese women
clank recycled bottles all night
in the late autumn breeze

where they blare their television sets
through thin painted walls

and dumb bitches have
pointless conversations
underneath the streetlights
by our bedroom window

smoking and shouting into
their cell phones
like pampered little stars

here is where something ends

and we sit on the couch
dead from another eight hours
a shot of scotch in my tea
nothing in yours

taking in the malaise of the night

talking about getting out again

st. louis and denver

we think that maybe california
is where it’s at

but california is broke too

we say no
to new orleans and san francisco
because we don’t want to taint them
with the cruel regularities of life

we want to keep them crystal
in our minds

los angeles
san diego

even london, paris, and madrid

this is fun

a momentary escape from the lackluster
and excruciating now

but this is unsustainable fantasy
and we know it

because the clock is ticking toward
another day

and the chinese women
clank bottles and cans
out of vengeance and need

they echo in the night
until they hurt our bones

trucks idle for an eternity

conversations in the cold linger on
and get nowhere

the tea cups empty as they must

we look at each other
with worn-out eyes and thin smiles

and i think

here is where nowhere begins


Friday, December 3, 2010

poem of the day 12.03.10

sucking in the season

pat the bartender points over
to the other side of the joint

what’s that? he asks b.j. and i

a menorah, b.j. says

i know that, pat says
what’s it doing in here?

it’s the first day of hanukah, b.j. says
it’s a decoration

don’t give me that crap, pat says
this is a goddamned irish bar


so we don’t put no menorahs
in this place

but it’s the season, b.j. says

to hell with the season, pat says

he begins mopping the floor
taking sips from his second cup of coffee
because the day bartender threw his
first one away by accident

it’s this season, pat says, stopping
that makes it so that i can’t wish anyone
a merry christmas anymore

i know, pat, b.j. says, going back
to his beer and scotch

what kind of a world? pat asks no one
he goes back to mopping

and you, he says, looking up at me
you been so quiet this whole time

what do you think about
all of this season bulshit?

i was wondering where your
kwanzaa candles were, i say
after setting down my pint

oh good lord in heaven, pat prays

then takes up his mop again
whistling jingle bells as he moves it
left and right
across the old hardwood floors
of mother ireland’s second home.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

poem of the day 12.02.10

we are alive

i hear the morning people
talking outside of my window
the morning people with their cigarettes
and coffee

and they are alive
and we are alive

even if there is nothing in our guts at the moment
even if we are caught in meetings
in horrible jobs with no hope
in debt because it takes so much money
just to pretend to be average

we are still alive

as the cold wind blows and the rain moves in
as the months and seasons change again
waiting for the economy to rebound
waiting for politics to work
waiting for religion to die

waiting in vain

we are alive
and they are alive

the news will always be bad
the world will never get it right
humanity has had it wrong from the start
and mahler will never rise
john lennon will stay mortally wounded
in our minds

but they are alive somehow
and we are alive too

you are alive reading this
or just sitting there watching the hours die
in a polite fashion

alive if for no reason at all
then to rise and hope do it all over again.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

...more from Glass City

Here are some ordering directions straight from Low Ghost

Glass City has Arrived!!

Hello, Friends. My second book of poems Glass City has just come out via Low Ghost Press, a brand new venture by Kristofer Collins, author of The Liturgy of Streets and King Everything . Glass City is on sale for a very reasonable $10. If anyone is interested in ordering the book Kris is taking orders at this number: 412-681-9111, or you can send him a money order or check :

Kristofer Collins
Caliban Book Shop
410 South Craig Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Currently there is no online way to purchase, but I can try to work something out
if you want to support me and Low Ghost.

Thank you all for reading this blog, and I hope Galss City can
do poetry some justice.

poem of the day 12.01.10

talking turkey

i feel like
a big sentimental dope doing this
and i don’t want anyone
to see me dancing with you
in the living room
to smooth jazz coming
out from the television
what would they think?
a loud mouth like me
letting you lead
laughing whenever you giggle
dipping you with
the greatest of ease
after you pull on my hair
and tug at my goatee
my dance partner
you sweet child
you little angel
the way you light up a room
turns my soul to butter
there are so many things
that i want to tell you
like you are better
than beethoven or the beatles
but you haven’t even
said a word
or tried thanksgiving turkey yet
you just giggle again
and let me spin you
we stay quiet
moving toward the front door
where we’ll watch
a brand new snow
that has started to fall
and where we’ll write your name
in the thick condensation
fogging up the window
we’ll write it backwards
as the late afternoon
aches to show us
the whole world
in one vast and verdant scope.