Friday, October 14, 2011

all good things, right? (poem of the day 10.14.11)

dear folks

first and foremost i want to thank all of you that
have stopped by Winedrunk since i started this experiment
back in 2008. seeing this blog grow has given me a special
feeling each morning when i get up to write.

but all good things must......

so as of today i'm ending winedrunk sidewalk. but endings
are always beginnings. there are a thousand different reasons
to end this blog and to keep this blog, but the most important
to me is keeping myself fresh as a writer. i'll admit sending
out almost a poem a day has worn me down somewhat.

that said, i won't be gone off the blogs for long. the hope
is to have an online journal next year, WineDrunk PoeTics. so all
of you writers out there, look out for it...and send me some shit.

thanks again


....and last...

ice cream and diet coke

the a.m. dj
keeps talking

about the wonderful weather
coming this weekend

the sunshine

i think of all of the people
that will be out in it

resolve to stay home

kill cockroaches
instead of dealing
with all of those dull faces


i sit here broken and tired again

stinking of scotch and coffee
waiting for an old classical cd
to burn on the computer

collecting the reject notes

unable to write a poem

abandoning a short story
after thirteen pages

maybe done
before i even got started

think of another week in this room

in this chair

wasted on art
on keeping my sanity

all of those weeks
all of those years
lost to small glories and failures

when i could’ve been reaching
for something else

having the world’s loneliest
pity party

looking at a stack
of unwanted poems

knowing none of it will help me
if i reach the age where
i forget shit all of the time

and someone else
will have to wipe my ass

i don’t honestly know
how the great ones did it

massive resolve
or pure insanity

a drive that i don’t have this morning

at all lately

or maybe they had something
as simple as long breaks out in the sun

with the other idiots

walking along the crooked streets

smiling stupidly

eating ice cream cones

or drinking
a tall cold diet coke.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

poem of the day 10.13.11

five bangs

the two white teenagers
stand at the bus stop

with their short hair
peach fuzz beards and earrings

they have the world by the balls
talking in hip hop slang
but not having to have to live a hip hop life

it seems terrible to me
that some people die young
but these kind get to live
and maybe one day reproduce

the two white teenagers are talking about girls

about girls at their catholic school
about the girls at the local public one

girls in dyker heights
girls in gravesend
girls all over brooklyn

the taller one is obviously the alpha male

he keeps talking about all
of the girls he’s banged

he banged the one in bay ridge twice
the one in dyker he only got to bang once

but the one from sheepshead bay
the public school girl
he tells his friend that he gave her

five bangs

he holds up his meaty privileged right hand
his fat virginal fingers

five bangs, he says again

the other kid stands there looking at the hand
he stands in awe of his friend
tallying up the amount of bangs in his head

unaware of his close proximity
to such a bullshitter

five bangs, i repeat to myself
still waiting on the bus

more than likely, five bangs in his head

of course, you never know these days
with the way these kids dress just for attention

they leave nothing to the imagination anymore

their young asses
their young legs

maybe all of these kids
are little fuck monsters now

maybe five bangs
is a low ball estimate for this idiot
and i’m just getting too old

married and long past
five bangs with a young girl

too blinded by trivial adult survival
to see a player playing his game
right before my tired and squinting eyes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

poem of the day 10.12.11


we stand at bus stops
waiting for buses that do not come
to carry us home from jobs
that we do not want

wait in traffic with the other zombies
listening to hate radio and satellite songs

we sit in crowded parks of revolution
dirty, tired, hungry
with the frog-faced cops glaring
holding their pepper spray cans
waiting on the next civil movement to spark

we receive the paycheck
knowing that it will never be enough
to erase our loss of time

or we hunger for the paycheck
as the politicians preen and haggle
over their wasted millions
and tax cuts for the rich

deep down we know that no jobs
are coming this way

we eat unsatisfactory meals
in unsatisfactory restaurants
laden with brainwashing salt and fat
and then we tell others to try them

drink overpriced coffee
out of a chain store oasis

and drive cars that are still the size of tanks

we look for other gods
religion, alcohol, sports, and politics
failures each and every one

we look for connection
in an increasingly isolated world
watch television to ease the heartache of thought
and play with telephones without an answer

we have pets who are so kind
that they’ve accepted our breed of human love

we hate with such beauty
that which we refuse to understand

preach our archaic way around the world

ignore dignity and restraint

we are a lost and foolish people
reveling in our idiocy
flying flags to hide the shame of ignorance
putting the dumbest ones into the highest
positions of power

and there will be no more art
until we figure it out
no great geniuses coming down the pike
no great politicians

but there will be a blackness
a blackness so pure that it’ll be impossible to see

and it’s desolation will taste like blood and flesh

we feed the frustration of existence
by just being as we are right now
by just getting out of bed
for a glass of orange juice
and the morning paper

by finding the strength to do no more
than survive.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

poem of the day 10.11.11


mitch and i
had been at the community center all day
trying to get in with the older kids

when one of them pulled out
a can of chewing tobacco

he slapped it with his fingers
before opening it and taking a dip
putting it between his bottom lip and gums

mitch and i
had never seen anyone do this

we watched as he passed the chew can around
as each of the other older kids
took a pinch of black tobacco out of it
putting it between their lips and gums as well

when the can reached us
we didn’t want to look young and foolish

mitch took a huge dip of the chew
and put it in his mouth like the others had

when it was my turn i did the same

then the group of us sat around
talking about baseball and girls
spitting wads of brown saliva onto the pavement

after a while i started to feel bad

my head began to hurt
my stomach began to do cartwheels

i started to sweat

when the other guys weren’t looking
i took the pinch of chew out of my mouth

but there were still strands of tobacco

caught in my gums
causing me to gag

christ, i felt like hell

i looked at mitch

he seemed to be fine

i need to get out of here, i told him
without these guys thinking anything

so mitch took a final spit
and got rid of his chew

he made up some bullshit about us
having to get cigarettes for his mom

because in those days
a kid could get cigarettes without the spanish inquisition

mitch and i began walking home
in the hot summer sun

it was relentless

my stomach kept churning and churning
my face white and covered in sweat

shit, i said
before bending over right there on the street
letting loose a stream of purple vomit
from the three popsicles i’d had earlier in the day

people walking their dogs stopped to look at us

people in cars slowed down

but no one helped
as mitch and i walked along
and i continued to spew purple all over
the pretty summer day

when we got back to his house
i laid on the front lawn
really feeling death for the first time

it took maybe an hour or more
for me to feel right

which was about the time mitch came back outside
with a handful of money

and the two of us walked up to the drug store
intent on buying a can of skoal

instead of baseball cards

as had been the case before that fateful day

Thursday, October 6, 2011

poem of the day 10.06.11


little men
in little blue hats
in little blue uniforms
with little guns
and little billyclubs
with little badges
and little self-worth
carry little bottles
of pepper spray
to put on
little old you
and me
take orders from
other little men
in little offices
then go home
in little cars
to little families
collect little salaries
accrue little pensions
eat little meals
and then unwind
watching a little bit
of television
so that their little minds
don’t have to think
about all the
that they’ve done.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

poem of the day 10.05.11

saturday morning is for tough guys

i stand in a long line
at the bagel shop
listening as the construction workers on 86th
talk about a girl who just walked by
in a short skirt and heels
they talk about how much they’d like to fuck her
all of the things they’d do to that ass
but then the conversation turns to young girls
and what if the chick in the skirt and heels
was one of their daughters
to which the men start talking about how
their girls would never dress like that
how they’d beat the shit out of them
out of any guy who looked at their daughter
the way that they’d just looked
at the girl who sauntered down the street
one of the guys
said that he’d threaten any potential suitor with a shotgun
after enough of this i finally get my bagel
a sesame with loads of butter
i eat it as i walk down bay parkway
toward the shopping plaza
where i need to buy new shoes
and gifts for my niece
in the parking lot
two cars almost slam into one another
the men in both cars stop and start shouting
all kinds of inventive invective
they tell each other all of the things they’d do
if they got out of their car
this goes on for almost five minutes
one tough guy threatening another tough guy
on a saturday morning at the shopping plaza
and then just like that
with one last fuck you
both of the men speed off toward
ruining someone else’s day
as i stand there for just a moment longer
in the quiet and peace
fist clenched, red-blooded american male
wondering if i should purchase
the brown boots or the black.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

poem of the day 10.04.11

in the year of everything dying

the one cat paces around the living room
crying, scratching on furniture
not following old familiar patterns
i think she’s just trying to drive me mad
but my wife tells me to look into the animal’s eyes
which are blank because the poor thing is going senile

the other cat keeps pulling out tufts of her white hair
they float like pussy willows in the living room
where she sneezes blood sometimes but mostly snot
leaving patches of mucus and crimson splatters on
the hard wood floor
like little pollock paintings there for me to find
when i mop

in the year of everything dying all at once
political systems and the stuff of one man’s life
i cannot seem to save a goddamned thing
and fear that i’m losing balance

killing cockroaches to pass the time between deaths
buying new pairs of shoes to replace the old ones
that have worn holes too quickly in their soles
surgically repairing the coffee pot
finding black grubs hiding in the old water stains

taking time off of work to replace cable boxes
that we don’t even use
saying ciao to radios that have rusted
throwing away power plugs that have done their time
smoothing down the chipped metal on the frying pan
so that it doesn’t get into the food

patching the cracks in these old walls
caulking the floors from invaders and drafts
striping the dead pc of its motherboard
before casting it off into the garbage abyss
of the bug-infested basement
patching the tears in window screens
that i’m too lazy to replace
holding sills up with big books
duck taping the old ones that have sentimental value

replacing keys that are too bent to open
the apartment door
exchanging dark facial hair for more
of the white and gray variety
feeling the knee bones crack
whenever i get up off of the couch to fix another drink

yes, in this year of everything dying
i wonder what’s set to go next
my constitution or my civil liberty
what is destined to be replaced or lost for good

the dvd player that is rapidly becoming obsolete
the digital music player pumping mahler into my ears
on gray autumn mornings
the computer router with its green beeps
that can’t find an internet connection most days
the ever-loving toilet or bathroom sink
the oven that smells of old meals digested
on lazy, drunken sunday evenings

or these waning years of anticipation and promise
the ones meandering through the columns
of months and weeks on a calendar
that has to be replaced every twelve months
whether or not i like the pretty pictures of the month
the ones that have haunted me from january to now

offering me nothing but fleeting bliss

Monday, October 3, 2011

poem of the day 10.03.11

candied yams

these ladies have orange faces
drinking pink liquor in this gray bar
on a sunday afternoon
i feel blue watching them
in the mauve light
these ladies
getting loaded and eating big boxes
of m&ms
spreading the green and yellow
and red ones
on the brown bar
like a stoplight
as the other ash faced drunks look on
they have black sunglasses
and rosy cheeks
these two ladies crying over pink drinks
falling off of their stools
scattering m&ms and potato chips
all over the stained floor
playing jukebox songs
to try and make themselves feel better
sad over the world
sad over whatever
sad over i don’t care
i watch these ladies
with bored wonder
as if they are some kind of alien life form
two squat women
hunkered down like toads
with orange faces
they look like candied yams in clothing
sitting at this bar
killing sunday with the rest of us
as the nfl season plays on and on
on the bright television
and the free chili steams from the pot
which one learned drunk
tells to the other
is white hot and scalding to the touch.

Monday, September 26, 2011


WineDrunk SideWalk will be on a little boozy break
until Monday, October 3rd.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

poem of the day 09.22.11


from the
slice on my thumb
from the
dying cat’s nose
on the floor
blood on the wall
of the cockroach
on a paper towel
blood in the food
blood on the couch
of the housefly
smeared on the window
on the dusty sill
blood on tv
blood at the movies
on the internet
blood in the great books
blood in the dirt
in the history books
on the sport’s fields
blood dripping
from this drunken pen
centuries of blood
on human soil
war blood
senseless blood
nationalistic blood
running through
the veins
blue blood
un-oxidized suffering
for the masses
blood in my eyes
for you baby
i got a knife right here
just waiting
for the first

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

poem of the day 09.21.11


on her nose
the window sill
the kitchen
and crimson
my wife
under the light
in order
to wipe away
the red
and snot
while i
such a
tough man
pet her head
cry torrents
of tears
remember her
a kitten
out of the carrier
all of those
years ago
that seem
this animal’s eyes
that we’re losing
this battle

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

poem of the day 09.20.11


i tease my co-worker’s
little girl

draw pictures
with ugly faces
and tell her

that’s you

then i get all
w.c. fields on her
and say

go away kid
you bother me

which makes her laugh

she says to me

i want more pictures

i’m going to tell
your boss
that you called him

the f-word

unless you draw
me more pictures

this little blackmailer

they start them so young
i think

as she walks toward
the boss’ office

making me sweat

until i realize
that he has
today off.

Monday, September 19, 2011

poem of the day 09.19.11


the cat is mad
because i won’t let her lay on me
she paces back and forth
wailing and wailing, waiting for her comeuppance

the wife is mad
because i yell about poetry
threaten booze soaked suicide
and ruin the few hours that we get together
on these hurried weekends

the mailman is still mad
about not getting a christmas tip last year
so the bills and magazines arrive wrinkled
and torn

the cockroaches are mad
because the floor is mopped
of food and old wine
because the walls have be caulked and sealed
from their constant barrage

the cable box is mad so it stopped working

old friend
in old cities
mad because i won’t accept their kind of god
because their idea of country
has never been good enough for me

the american flag is mad at the world
so it drops bombs and bankruptcy

the bar drunks are mad
wasting sunday afternoons
talking to old ladies perched on rotten wood stools
instead of slinging salted insults at each other
in between downs of the game of the week

the president is mad at his sagging approval ratings

the poetry rags are mad too
because the word is not up to snuff
because they have to sift through mountains
and mountains of bullshit for one decent line

the landlord is mad
because the rent check got lost in the mail

the garbage men are mad
at their big salaries and ample pensions
so they leave trash strewn all over the street

the co-workers are mad
at the ceaseless hours revolving
on the slowly moving cock

the teachers are so mad that they cannot teach

the children are mad
because they are learning that there is
really nothing to look forward to
because they will ultimately become their parents
and suffer the insults of adulthood

the ballplayers are mad at another losing season

and the artists are mad
because there is nothing there
for them to paint

the people are mad
because there are no jobs
because they are losing homes and bank accounts
because there is no one left to lead

they are mad because the dream has failed them

days like today
where the sun shines the brightest in this hell
it seems as though the whole world
is mad about something or another

you’re mad at me
and i’m mad at you
as we sit here on the common couch
with four walls staring back at us

searching for a different kind of anger
to crystalize our hatred anew.

Friday, September 16, 2011

poem of the day 09.16.11

if i were this bus driver

if i were this bus driver
i wouldn’t be standing here now

coming home late from work again
carrying two bottles of wine
on another packed, rush hour cattle car

smelling some fat woman’s crotch sweat
as she screams into her cell phone

or i wouldn’t be dodging
little mexican day laborers
as they fight each other for seats

if i were this bus driver
i wouldn’t be looking at that tired woman’s legs

the one who knows that she’s getting older
but still seems pretty well put together

the one who keeps looking around
thinking that some single man
is going to give her his seat
whenever she shakes her ass

(okay maybe i’d give her my seat
provided i ever got a seat that is)

if i were this bus driver right now
i’d be sitting in the front of the bus with the radio on

telling people to get behind the white line
unless they wanted to crash through the front window
if the bus is forced to stop

i’d be in charge of this whole motherfucking thing

wearing reflector sunglasses
so that all of these plebeians knew who was boss

of course, i’d still be at work
and i’d be dealing with brooklyn traffic

i wouldn’t be on my way home
to drink this wine and sit on the couch
with the radio on

but if i were this bus driver
i wouldn’t be here now dealing
with loud teenagers fighting over phones

or being forced to listen to this man’s metal music
coming out of the asshole’s earbuds

i wouldn’t want to strangle that kid
who keeps kicking my bottles and crying

i wouldn’t be late for this or that
but would keep to a schedule that mostly works for me

i’d have a better salary and pension

maybe an apartment where the bugs
didn’t come through the cracks in the floor

and the flies didn’t come through
the rips in the screens

if i were only this bus driver
i think that maybe my life would be
a little bit better

even if i had to wear that stupid uniform

or work third shift

or put up with all of these people
sweating and angry and crowded together

if i were this bus driver
i’d be a separate entity from the hoi polloi

i’d rise above it


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

poem of the day 09.14.11

but she looked like my mother

it seems like forever and always
that i’m getting on this bus
after having my ass kicked by the day
having gnats and other bugs circling
waiting for the flaking skin to fall off

a man grows tired of a life like this
especially with so many more of them to go

she was in the back of the bus
on the edge of her seat
just waiting for someone like me to sit down

she looked like my mother

of course she starts talking to me
the minute i put my tired bones in a seat

told me that she was lost in brooklyn
after a day of september 11th events in manhattan

someone had told her to take the r train
but the r train led her down here
into subterranean new york

so someone else told her to take this bus

it was a long story and i didn’t really feel
like listening to her
because i’d been listening to people
since nine-thirty that morning

but she looked like my mother
so i let her talk to me as the bus carried us
along the potholed brooklyn streets

i could tell by the accent that she wasn’t
from around here

she was from rochester, new york
she was wearing a one piece floral outfit

with a red cross visor full of world trade center pins
and had her blonde gray hair in a ponytail
which made her look just like my mother
which got me to thinking about if my mother
got lost in brooklyn after some 9/11 rally

because that’s just the sort of thing she’d come to
if she came to new york city in september

this lady talked to me about rochester
and 9/11 and the new terrorist threats
how they were checking cars on all of the bridges
checking bags in the subway

i’d grown so tired of hearing about
this stuff in the last ten years

but she looked just like my mother
so it was fine if she wanted to talk about such things

i kept telling her that we were getting closer to her stop
i told her to get off of the bus when i did

it was the most conversation that i could make
after another work day

after having some old asshole friend delete me
on his social network page
because i made fun of his god and country again

and i thought, shit, if he could see me now
helping this lady who looked just like my mother
maybe he wouldn’t have been such a douche about the jesus thing

maybe he would’ve realized that you didn’t have
to plop your ass on a church pew every week
of fly flags just to prove that you were a decent human being

but then i decided fuck him
who needed a cocksucker like that in my life anyway

besides i had this lady now
who really looked just like my mother
and she was my responsibility

so when the bus got to our stop
she started looking around the street
more lost than she seemed only moments ago
i knew that i couldn’t leave this lady
just stranded there on 4th avenue

so i started walking her down to her hotel
and, christ, if she didn’t move slowly

she started talking to me about her hip replacement surgery
and about the doctors in rochester
about how tired she was walking manhattan
with a bum hip
doing all of that 9/11 stuff while hobbling around

i felt bad because over the years i guess
i’ve become a new yorker

i walk pretty fast

i was about half a block ahead of this lady
telling her not to worry about how slow she was moving

i told her that it was all right
even though i knew my wife would be getting worried

but she looked like my mother
so i figured when i got home, i would tell my wife this
she would see that i didn’t die in any terrorist attack
that i wasn’t mugged or murdered
on these ever desperate streets

that the work world hadn’t swallowed me whole

but that i was just being a decent human being for a change
taking time out of my life to help someone

someone who happened to look just like my mother
find her way somewhere concrete

in this city full of questions without answers
and broken, battered, beaten down
old dusty dead dreams.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

poem of the day 09.13.11


this kid
for blocks on end
as his mother
does nothing to stop it
has no clue
what he’s
in for
when he
one day
grows up
and steps into
ever sobbing shoes

…provided i
don’t turn around
and kill him

Monday, September 12, 2011

poem of the day 09.12.11

got god

they’ve got god
so there’s no talking to them

they’ve got the moral high ground

they’ve got god
and country on their side

so there is no discussion
there is no debate

not with god in their corner
not with those wheat fields waving in their eyes

these weak and foolish people
these human wastes
these flagellating dogmatists

the ones who used to eat, drink, and be merry
the ones who used to sit side by side in strip clubs
putting dollar bill promises
down the front of golden g-strings

the ones who made
early morning runs to porn shops
for drunken jackoff sessions
before they went to bed

they’ve got god now
so there are no more prostitutes

there are no more midnight blowjobs
in church parking lots
with statues of jesus looking down

there are no more drugs
no more glorious beer hangovers

just must see tv

because they’re hanging out with god
congregating with the like minded

they’ve shit out a few kids
and now they’re pledging allegiance

getting angry protests together
taking out anyone with a dissenting opinion

they’ve been brainwashed

but it’s all right
because they’ve got god

they’ve been damned
and they don’t even know it

but it’s okay
because they put out a flag
every independence day

these poor pious idiots
these humorless sycophants

the ones who are on the highway
every morning like you and me

the ones praying for you
with their corrupt words

the ones sweating at the brow
waiting on the next life

those blessed jesters
who’ve got so much god on their side

they no longer have to think.

Friday, September 9, 2011

poem of the day 09.09.11

could’ve been a todd

you could’ve been a todd
my old man tells me from time to time

like it’s a threat

i wanted to name you todd, but your mother….

i find this bizarre
knowing that i could’ve gone by another name

for better or worse i’ve grown accustomed to my own
and at times i’m happy to respond to it

but todd?

i’ve known a couple of todds in my day
both were rather bland, lifeless blobs of flesh

i wonder if i would’ve been the same way
as if a name had something to do
with the shape of my character

or i’m curious if, as todd, i would’ve
handled things differently in my life

like not have overeaten too much as a child
to compensate for some deficiency resting deep inside of me

made more friends instead sitting alone in my bedroom
constructing my own walls and abject hell

todd seems like the kind of guy
who would’ve gone out for every kind of sport
made the honor roll
had a lot of girlfriends and gone to the prom

maybe as todd
i would’ve gotten a better job right out of college
and paid my student loans back on time
instead of running from responsibility for years and years
working the most mundane of jobs
letting the interest accrue on my life

i think that todd would’ve bought a car with a sun roof
and a house in the suburbs with a two car garage
two plus kids, couple of dogs, and big ass swimming pool

he sounds the kind of guy who’d happily
spend his sunday afternoons
writing monthly checks for such creature comforts
instead of killing cockroaches
and thinking of putting a gun to his head

or would todd have bounced from city to city
from job to job and apartment to apartment

just like i did

honestly believing that a change of scenery
would really make things any better in his fucked up mind?

todd sounds like the kind of sturdy guy
who would’ve stayed in one place
sucked in his chest and made the best of it

maybe he would’ve seen a shrink
or joined a bowling league

would i have even met my wife with this kind of name?

she seems too awesome to be married to someone named todd
tethered to some khaki pants wearing douche bag
who wants to barbeque with the neighbors
on a saturday afternoon
instead of lay in bed all day and drink wine

shit, if were todd i probably would’ve ended up
with some materialistic bitch
fucking her boss behind my back
while i blissfully turned my cheek
and watched television every evening

would i have become such a drunk if my name were todd?

certainly anyone named todd has good cause to drink

except for todd moore
because he was just fucking cool

but as todd would it really make sense for me
to spend each night pouring liters of poison into my system
trying to dull the pain of existence

cutting away at years that i haven’t had the privilege to spend yet?

would todd have lost weekends to wine and beer
because he just didn’t give a fuck anymore?

he just doesn’t seem like the kind of guy
who’d have gotten intimate with too many toilet bowls
after a weeklong bender
brought on by staring into the abyss of his own personal disgust

i don’t think i’d want to wish that kind of fate
on a guy like todd

a guy with a soft handshake
who has a smile for everyone

no, that fate belongs to someone else

to the guy sitting here writing this

to someone certainly tougher than a guy named todd

Thursday, September 8, 2011

poem of the day 09.08.11

west nile blues

he comes in from the rain
from some city organization
that he has plastered on his t-shirt
says that he has to put nets up
on the fences
checks his clipboard
and tells me that there have been
reports of a high concentration
of mosquitos in the area
which means what? i ask
but he just looks at me
he tells me that he’ll come by tomorrow
to take the nets down
the nets, he says, will give him
a good sample from some unlucky bug
and then we’ll see
about our little problem
this fucking city, i think
bed bugs and mosquitos
cockroaches and flies
piss and shit floating down the river
garbage lining the sidewalk
seven days a week
the apocalypse is happening right now
under our noses
it is no longer human to live in this city
then he goes back out into the rain
the rain is almost biblical today
driving sideways and flooding the streets
he gets into his van
and lights a cigarette
while i stand there
looking out into the gray
he keeps his windows closed
while i stand there
starting to itch all over
trying my best to think
of somewhere else other than
new york city
and the continent of africa

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

poem of the day 09.07.11

precious little girl

precious little girl

precious coal-eyed niece

fire child
sun goddess


hello, i’m your
stubborn uncle

aries to the max

soaking wet
from the rain

drunk and alone

in a brooklyn bar
that’s playing songs from when
i was young

strung out
and tired

done with this world

on the stormy night after you
were born.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

poem of the day 09.06.11

cockroaches hide the sun

there are cockroaches
all over this place
coming in through the cracked walls
moving across the dirty bathroom
bloated on the soap scum in the shower
hiding in the rusty bowels of the sink

there are enough
cockroaches in here
to start an army

there are cockroaches
swinging on the dark curtains
lingering on illuminated computer screens
waiting by the cat food
getting the daily paper and mail
and shoving them under the front door

there are enough
cockroaches in here
to blot out the moon

there are cockroaches in the coffee
doing back flips in the sugar
listening to their favorite song on the radio
cockroaches not paying the rent
using up my watercolors and acrylics
for their silly little art

there are enough
cockroaches in here
to have a quorum and vote me out

there are cockroaches
cozying up the ants
whispering to the flies
lining up the water bugs in an old bucket
calling up the dust mites and maggots
betting on the bed bugs to strike

there are enough
cockroaches in here
to hide the sun.

Monday, September 5, 2011

poem of the day 09.05.11

mandatory meeting

sitting in an
redundancy trap
i look out the window
just beyond the dull
of the speaker
and watch
the new york trees
sway green and brown
beneath the iron and concrete
thinking of all of those
that i’m leading
waiting for me to get free
and safely
back to them
once this
of repetitious
and falsely

Thursday, September 1, 2011

poem of the day 09.01.11

bag of bones

she is a bag of bones

i touch the hard nodules
on her spine

a bag of bones

but she is mine

and she is dying
as the summer is dying

sneezing and losing weight

becoming less and less of a cat

her hair frayed
her eyes pink and watery
her teeth rotting

snot drying in her nose

her brittle body resting by the warm
engine of the refrigerator

she is a bag of bones
and she is mine

but there is nothing i can do for her

except run more tests
and more tests

done only to satisfy myself
done only to keep her
in my gray world a little bit longer

so there is nothing left
but to love this bag of bones

this sweet kitten

my old girl

rub her ears
bless the nodules
clean the snot
and comb the hair

keep her safe and warm

full bellied
as best as i can

as the life seeps slowly
out of her

taking a small part
of mine too

with each passing
expectant day

that we still have together
on this incomprehensible

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

poem of the day 08.31.11


the photographers
are standing on the quiet street
with their digital cameras and sunshine faces

they are shielding their eyes
trying to get the perfect shot
of downed trees and smashed windows

the photographers
are laughing and having a good time

they have wide asses and wide smiles

they look as though they haven’t
a care in the world

they are taking photos of boarded up doors
and crushed cars

as people living on the quiet street
clean up tree branches and glass

they are getting dramatic shots
of cracked pavement and splintered word

the photographers are posing
for each other’s pictures

smiling in front an uprooted tree
that had probably been on this street
for at least one hundred years
before it suddenly became kindling

as old people sit on their porches
with coffee and blank faces
surveying the damage in their neighborhood

the photographers
are looking into their digital cameras
telling each other how wonderful their pictures are
how much the tv stations and newspapers
are paying for photos like theirs

the photographers
are talking about the radio station contest
for the most destructive hurricane scene
you can find

they are in the middle of the street
blocking the garbage men
and an ambulance that has its red lights flashing

the photographers
don’t even move an inch

they just stand there looking at their pictures
until it’s time to get back into their polished cars

off toward another destination
and another award winning snapshot.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

poem of the day 08.30.11

even the pigeons
are starting to make war


Monday, August 29, 2011

poem of the day 08.29.11

world against me

i get no mercy
and no miracles

perhaps i should learn
how to pray or beg

but i have this cat that sneezes
in torrents

who has gotten so thin
that she almost passes out

yet the good doctor
finds no tumor in her nose
although he’s sure that it’s there

so now we’re waiting on death to arrive

she has three rotten teeth as well


i listen to the doctor talk

i believe that he is a kind man
merciful where many others aren’t

he cannot say the phrase

put her down

without blushing

i like this doctor
but i find it hard not to wonder
what he’s done with all of the money
i’ve pumped into his business this year
with two aging cats at home

all of the teeth extractions
the x-rays
the anesthesia and antibiotics

it adds up
almost over two grand
since this miserable calendar flipped

shit, some days it feels as though
the world is against me

like the optical assistant
who charged me five hundred for new glasses

she showed me the real cost
on her calculator
just so i knew that i was getting a deal

i knew that i was getting something
but it wasn’t a deal

i know that these people are just doing their jobs

the vet and the optical assistant

the booze merchant
who keeps raising the cost
of my scotch and wine on a monthly basis

the poetry and fictions editors too
who feel it incumbent upon themselves
to reject me in mass waves

i just wish that they wouldn’t come at me
all at once

especially on days like this
where i’m sick and sweating
can’t even lift a beer to my mouth

they should all get together
have a conference on me

try and space out the hardship

because i’m a merciful man too

i know how it feels
to hold the paycheck in my hands
every two weeks

feeling it gone just as it arrived

staving off the madness
a bottle of wine in one hand
the fraying noose in the other

drooling on street corners

waving at the good animal doctor
as he passes

fingering my monthly bus pass
as he gets into that big black car of his

a fine ride that purrs like a kitten

one with perfect ivory teeth
and not a bulb of snot
in sight.

Friday, August 26, 2011

poem of the day 08.26.11

days like this

the soda delivery man
on fifth avenue
counts a wad of money
tells the arab bodega merchant
that he can’t do it anymore
that it’s not worth it to him
the merchant just stares at him
his face darkening
murder in his eyes
and you wonder what kind of deal
they had

the streets offer no clemency
on days like this
where the summer kids
keep screaming for ice cream cones
and video games
while the old chinese women
sort through garbage
as another summer dies

the streets offer no soft touch
as we head to our fates
some of us in luxury cars
some of us packed on buses
like cows going to the slaughter
others of us going off to serve
hamburgers and french fries
to the fattening swarm
while the rest take up their places
on bar stools and benches
lost men and women
shouting into cell phones
to people on the other end
who truly do not care

it has gotten so that you cannot
choose your own destiny

it has gotten so that the only ones
chasing the dream
are the madmen and the deluded

so bad that the soda man
has taken a kickback

and when you pass the ups man
on the next block

red faced
in his little brown uniform

packages torn and scattered along
the busy and broken street

and he looks up at you and says
buddy, days like this, right?

be sure to nod
and try to understand this man
with a crystal essence

because on days like this
he’s the closest thing you have
to a guru, a god, or any other kind
of benevolent deity.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

poem of the day 08.25.11

liars are we

i am a liar
when i tell the small children
with their small children eyes
that i do not know
what happened to their tutor
when i know damn well
that he is dead
i am a liar
in order to protect myself
from the crying and the hurt
from company policy that stipulates
that i give no answer
from angry parents
from the pain of the truth

i am a liar
and that’s just one example
most of you are liars too
it’s not only the government
it’s not only the tax cheat
the warlords in the desert
or the neighbors
you are probably lying to yourself right now
reading this poem
you know
that bullshit that you tell yourself
in order to keep the breakfast down
the great cover-up
lying until you’re blue in the face
telling lies about the job you go to
the people that you love
lying about your life just like me

we are liars
liars are we

i am a liar
sitting at jobs
for people that i do not want to work for
eating in restaurants of the damned
lying when i cast my vote for the president
when i stare at the sunrise and smile
and you are liars right back
telling me to have a good day
in the grocery line
asking me how i am in order
to talk about yourself
collecting friends like sports cards on social networks
kissing ass for a place at the human table
looking into your morning mirrors
with toothpaste smiles
talking your petty bourgeois
politics on a saturday night

liars are we
liars like the american way

i am a liar
i have been doing it since birth
white lie upon white lie upon white lie
infecting my cold black heart
and i do it to get a reaction
i do it to see the smile on your face
i do it for the paycheck, baby
for war and peace and survival
lie after lie after goddamned lie
like turd droppings on my conscience
like an open abscess on my back

i’ll probably lie on my gravestone

here lies so and so
oh, how he loved life

and you are liars too, my friends
(see how easy it is?)
lying to your god
lying to the cable company
and the gas man
lying to the person resting next to you in bed
telling such tall tales
in an effort to get to the next day
where it’ll be easier
where we all know it’ll be easier

the new day where the truth will be

and then they’ll be no more lying
for you, dear kids
and no more lying for….

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

poem of the day 08.24.11

little earthquake

small vibrations
from underground
cause big waves

until the whole thing goes viral
and in under twenty minutes
the world wide web
is already asking

where were you when?

so the east coast had
a little earthquake

yet sadly the east coast is still there

and baseball season goes on
in all of its glorious monotony

football season is coming too
to help raise those domestic beer sales

the forgiving autumn is on its way

but you wouldn’t know it
from the news reports

from the interviews
with the everyman on the street

from the evacuations and cable overkill

from the people with their knowing eyes
whispering tsunami

from nuclear reactor nightly news broadcasts

i heard the president just
received a care package from japan

it was three pounds of shit
stuffed in a one pound bag

with a note from this week’s prime minister
saying, hope this helps

but ain’t that america?

land of the free
home of the tabloid conspiracy
and the 24-hour news network

ain’t that america?

where the only structural damage
is to the national ego

where every day for the last decade
has been 9/11 over and over again

it would be laughable
if you didn’t have to worry
about the bad vibrations
spreading from coast to coast

feel the motion sickness
from the wobbling national conscience

still barreling down those interstates
in a car full of gas

that we’ll keep telling ourselves
only cost us a buck or two a gallon

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

poem of the day 08.23.11

now where are you going?

lost on another sunday
in america
caught in a torrential downpour
that has flooded
new york city
fighting with the wife
fighting with the job
strangling yourself in this life
staggering up
75th street with no destination
soaked after a block
sweat and acid rain
clogging your mouth
blinding the eyes
what an idiot
what a fool
what stubborn stamina
smiling at the way
the safe umbrella people
keep moving away from you
laughing at how
the pizza parlor people handed you
your lonely dinner
as if you were insane
you lousy drunk
now where are you going?
to burn mouth
and eat food in the rain
to chuckle at your idiocy
piss between two cars
on the avenue
hope that you don’t get caught
by some citizen
or the mickey mouse police
so wet and slurred
that you can’t see straight
you should’ve stayed home
where the wife was
calmed down
had dinner
read or watched a movie
but it’s another wine and scotch day
another antagonistic day
another one that you don’t
care to live
and so here you are
singing in the rain
it beats sobbing
it beats running into
the middle of the street
hoping for automotive bliss
but now where are you going?
my man
my aging man
sad, flabby boy
with a gray heart
getting pelted by fat
cold raindrops
where are you going?
on another
lost sunday night in america
another one that you’ll
never get back.

Monday, August 22, 2011

poem of the day 08.22.11

the boys

the boys
sit at computers
from sun up
to sun down
in this place

life is nothing but
video games

the boys are pale
sickly looking
rail thin

they have dull faces

there is not a poet amongst them

nor a doctor
a lawyer
a ballplayer
or a teacher
for that matter

the boys
sit at these computers
playing death games
with weapons
and scopes
and crosshairs

when they are not
on front of their machines
they sit at tables
with portables devices
blasting each other
into a video hell
laughing about
whom they’ve killed

there is not a literate one
amongst them

the boys
those slobbering fools
handfed by their
idiot parents
as they press thumbs
hard onto

they actually make me fear
for humanity

doubt the future

for there is no leader
amongst their slack jawed tribe

just a bunch of future snipers
who’ll still need their
asses wiped

too dumb
to shoot straight

too stupid
to count the dead
on their weak, baby soft fingers.

Friday, August 19, 2011

poem of the day 08.19.11

the weatherman

the weatherman warns us
of another humid one
while i sit here in old humid shorts
stinking of beer and wine
wondering who in the hell this man is

the weatherman
with his smug voice
laughs at the humidity
because he knows that next year
he’ll still be able to pay his bills

the weatherman
so calm and reassuring
says it will be ninety today
forgetting that last friday
he told us that it would be eighty-one

this weatherman
he can’t get his shit together
neither can i
i haven’t gotten a story published in months
and i keep sinking deeper and deeper
into my backup plan

the weatherman
he doesn’t have any guts
he just hides behind this radio
he’s probably never pounded out a poem
before the sun has come up
he’s probably never
gone to work with a hangover

this weatherman
just knows fahrenheit
he never thinks in celsius
he’s never met a high pressure system
that he didn’t like
or a low pressure one
that he couldn’t relate to

the weatherman
he just sits in his little booth
protected in his little world
reading off today’s temperature
like a good automaton
never breaking a sweat

this weatherman
he’s checking the radar
for another cataclysmic event
he’s got earth shattering news
on his mind
while the rest of us sit in traffic
our lunches making us sick in the heat

the weatherman
he’s hoping for something big
something so catastrophic
a flood, tornado, hurricane, or tsunami
that it’ll give him a name
so that the next time
you hear his voice

it’ll be during the sports report.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

poem of the day 08.18.11

dead man’s locker

the dead man’s locker
has been open for weeks now

as per a memo from the head honchos

they’re the ones who wanted
the dead man’s locker open
and everything taken out

because it was time for us all to move on

but no one has come to claim his things
not a single friend or family member

so the dead man’s locker stays open
in the staff room

some days the door is open wider than others

people are probably looking inside

we are fascinated
and terrified of the dead

i know that i’ve looked inside
the dead man’s locker

he has rulers in there
packages of paper and pencils
a black jacket
three full plastic bags of books

there’s a 20 oz. bottle of coke
that the dead man will never drink

i’m curious as to which staff member will take it
because the dead man hasn’t been dead too long

or maybe a member of his family
will claim the drink

that is, if they ever show up

maybe a member of the administration
thirsty from hiking it down here
will open the locker, see the drink,
and claim it as theirs

then we’ll all sit down and discuss
why the dead man’s locker is still open

we’ll all talk about
how well we’re coping with this tragedy

the fine people in this organization
will see firsthand how well we’re all doing

and that the work flow hasn’t stopped
not even for a day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

poem of the day 08.17.11

artists every one

we’re all artists
he always said
though i found it hard to believe him
sitting on the couch
smoking cigarettes
crushing them out in a massive
gray, ceramic ashtray
drinking beer after beer
watching seinfeld reruns
we were all artists
every one of us
the two writers who didn’t write
the two musicians who couldn’t
make a sound
all artists he’d say
i guess he could say that
he was every kind of artist
one week he was a painter
one week he was a writer
the next month he was making films
i never saw him do a stitch of art
from where i was sitting on the couch
he smoked a lot of cigarettes
and watched dawson’s creek
we’re all artists, he’d say
sitting there
every one of us
brilliant undiscovered geniuses
he was going to draw
he was going to sculpt
we should do a literary journal
because we’re all artists
hold readings throughout the city
get an artist’s commune going
this whole city is filled with artists
he’d tell me
as we smoked cigarettes
and watched old episodes of friends
he’d wait for my response
i knew i didn’t like this city for a reason
i’d say
but he never listened
because the next week he was a dancer
or an actor
he was a comedian
and one time he thought that he
was gay
but whatever he did
he knew that he was making art
because he was an artist
we were all artists
sitting there, smoking cigarettes
waiting on the cable bill to arrive
a couple of years ago
i heard that he finally got up
off of that couch
and moved to another city
apparently he’s a photographer now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

poem of the day 08.16.11


ken shared an apartment
with a group of us
years ago
he was a tidy sort of guy
swept a lot
always had his shirt
tucked into his jeans
the rest of us were a mess
smoking cigarettes
leaving the ashtrays full for months
getting stoned
piling beer bottles in dusty corners
living on television reruns
and hot dog dinners

ken had a third floor bedroom
when he came home
from work
he walked by us without
saying anything
and went right up to his room
only coming down again
to make one of those
packaged dinners
that always had
the right amount
of meat and vegetable
and dessert

ken once told me that
he didn’t think it was fair
that he had to pay the cable bill
because he was never
downstairs with the rest of us
wasting our lives
in front of the idiot box

my girlfriend and i
had a dog at the time
it was a dumb move
because we could hardly
take care of ourselves
and every time that ken
would come home from work
the dog would get nuts
and try to run after him
as he made his way away from us
and up to his bedroom
on the third floor

the dog liked ken
better than she liked me
or the girlfriend

but one night
just after ken made one of his
packaged dinners
he received a phone call
which he took right in the kitchen
just as i was returning
from taking the dog for a walk
ken looked nervous
talking to someone in front of us
virtual strangers
of course the dog ran right to him
trying to smell his balls
when he pushed her away
she went right over
to where his dinner was cooling
knocking the whole thing
on the floor
eating it before any of us had a chance
to stop her

i had to spring for ken’s
dinner that night
and soon after the dog was gone

toward the end of our lease
the group of us got
the big idea
to see what was in ken’s room
we waited until he went out
one night
then we all walked up the steps
taking each floor slowly
when we opened ken’s door
it was like walking into another home
he had a couch and a bed
a small refrigerator full of beer
a coffee table
art prints on the wall
posters for avant-garde films
and a carpet that gave the room
a real touch

nothing was out of place

ken’s one room was nicer
than the whole house we’d rented

we wondered how and when
he got everything up there

in the corner of the room
he had a television
with a state of the art
vhs and dvd combo
ken had a stack of films
all lined up
he had the big ones
godard and fellini
truffaut, fuller, and cassavetes
the group of us looked
at the films
and then we walked around
still caught in the shock
of its splendor

before we left
to return back to our ashtrays
and squalor
our hot dogs
and malt liquor liters
our dirty shangri-la on the first floor
i sat on the couch
and picked up ken’s remote

i turned his tv set on

sure enough
the bastard had split the wires
and was getting cable.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Putting Poems Places

hello all

i have some poems up over at Mad Swirl
and Red Fez. Please stop by both web site and check out some
of the great writers (an artists) appearing there.

thank you

poem of the 08.15.11

the inventor

the inventor
comes into the job
every day
talking on his cell phone
snapping his fingers at me for
paper and pencils
to write down
important information

the inventor
talks to me about patents
and $3,000 dinners
with corporate headhunters
reality shows
where tech wizards
turn nobodies into somebodies

the inventor
says that his design
is going to turn the tech world
on its head

he tells me that when
he gets famous
he’s going to spread the wealth
get me some new clothes
a new haircut
because when his product drops
the inventor is dropping it
right here at the job
because this is where it all started

this place is going to be packed
with the media
the inventor tells me

i think he better tell the administration
about this

i’m going to be the biggest thing
the inventor says

even though he smells perpetually
of whiskey and weed
and has been wearing the same clothing
for a month

the inventor whispers a haiku

$3,000 dinners
the cover of wired and time

he has his golden future planned out

he’s getting out of this place

and to think i was the one
who handed him
all of those pencils and paper

i was there from the beginning
listening to his dull schemes
for hours on end
thinking that he was crazy

i hope to christ
he makes it, the inventor
becomes a millionaire
with private jets and expensive women
$1000 bottles of champagne
condos on both coasts
and the most brilliantly subtle hangovers

i hope the inventor buys an island
i hope that he moves there
with all of his talent and genius
with a brand new idea to help
pad his wealth

i hope the inventor
makes more money than
the crown prince of saudi arabia
and that i’ll never have
to see his face
at this job again.

Friday, August 12, 2011

poem of the day 08.12.11

unsatisfied customer

he keeps getting closer to me

me sitting there

he’s talking about golden crosses

women at the job
wearing golden crosses

he tells me that you
should have god in your heart

not around your neck

when he asks me
if i believe in god

i tell him that i believe in nothing

his eyes bulge out
of his head

he tells me that he’ll get the media

he’ll have my job

so many people
have wanted my job this year

administration people
city council members
some crackhead with rotten teeth
the mayor

it almost makes me laugh

he can have my job

so can the mayor

he keeps getting closer to me
keeps getting angrier

says we hate him
because of his skin color

he’s color me muslim

playing the 9/11 card

riding it all the way to september
like we’ve been taught to do in new york city

getting closer to me

calling me boy
big boy

which is really the only shit
in this three-ring circus
that is making me angry
this fine summer day

still he keeps getting closer
ranting about god and golden crosses

muslims and christians

he cannot believe
that i believe in nothing

wants to get the media

i hope that it’s not a slow news day

wants me put on my ass
in the street

he’s so close that i can smell his breath

it smells like american aggression

i rise from my seat
waiting for all hell to break loose

waiting for this patriot to strike.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

poem of the day 08.11.11


fat gut
pale white
cold beer on the belly
trapped in the whirl
of the air conditioner
brooklyn is humid
after the rain
but i long for the days
with the windows open
in the summer
it seems crazy
but i miss the noise
of the street enveloping me
like a soiled blanket
the cars
the people
the dogs barking
you just don’t get that
with this mechanical hum
blowing cold air
up your ass
there’s nothing to rail against
in this cave
of a living room
you end up arguing with the cat
bass music
boat horns from the estuary
motorcycle engines
teen posturing on street corners
and some asshole
telling his life story
on his cell phone
this is the stuff i need right now
the stuff of life, i guess
i need an enemy
or a savior
sitting here
fat gut
pale underwear
the last beer empty
sweat rings on my flesh
beethoven on the radio
the stock market crashing
as london burns
as i laugh the madman’s laugh
shaking my
goddamned head
never believing
for a second
that i’d miss any of you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

poem of the day 08.10.11

tree branches

i am breaking tree branches
outside in the unbearable heat

my face is red
my hair is matted with sweat

but i feel all right
breaking tree branches in the heat

someone abandoned them

two thick tree branches
that fell from a massive oak across the street

they put them over here for me to break

i’m at the job

everyone told me that i’m the boss
that the tree branches are my responsibility

they told me to call 311
and have someone from the city
come and get them

this city couldn’t catch its own tail
let alone collect a tree

so i get to play the rugged individualist
dueling within a 21st century malaise

i’m used to gathering nothing but sound bites
and video clips

pale with a digital sickness

but i’m breaking tree branches in the heat

my black t-shirt is covered in dust
my hands are sticky from the leaves

there are cuts all over my fingers
scrapes up and down my arms

i’m bleeding my own blood
drinking the salt of my sweat

i’m unchained to this life and desk
wiping shards of bark out of my eyes

i’ve forgotten those pc bullyboys
with their emails and rs feeds
gathering leaves into piles

i’ve let the college degrees yellow
in envelopes in the closet

i’m just so full of life
and goddamned happy to be
breaking tree branches over my knees
in this ever-loving heat

brother, i’ve been feeling down for months
but i’m working on a dream

brother, i’ve been locked up for the summer
but i’m learning and communing with nature now

brother, life’s hit a dead end for me
and the government is letting it all go to hell

but i’m breaking tree branches
searching for something with my bare hands
grasping wood chips between rough fingers

and i feel like a new man

just to think
last night i sat there on the couch
prepared for another work week

i sat there on the couch prepared to die

but now i’m shoving twigs and sticks and green
into big black garbage bags

breaking tree branches in the heat

if only they could see me now
those yes men and administration bores
if only they could see me
those sycophants who think that they control
my destiny

if only they could see me
bearded with the dull look removed from my eyes

i think they’d run away in fear

they’d know for sure that they lost me

they’d leave me here
with the sun beating down
on the cracked pavement

and all of the kind people of the world
walking their dogs

bending over to get another handful of life
breaking tree branches of bliss and eternity
in this revival of heat.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

poem of the day 08.09.11

wild beast

it is hard
when the wild beast
just sulks away
when you are used
to him breathing down your neck
each morning
when he cowers in the corner
and you sit there with the day
taunting him
saying, come on, you bastard
just scare me into
one more good line
but the wild beast
haunches like a grandmother
checking his email
and the baseball scores
you wonder when it was
that he ceased to be so raw
when it was
that the fear of him left you
for you fear nothing now
but you cannot write
about a thing
except the wild beast
sitting there
doing his nails
watching neighborhood dogs
take their morning shit
this wild beast
he used to pummel you
with words
he’s the one who told you
that the art world
was full of shit
he’s the one who said
give it a go, kid, before
i rip your face off
but now he sits there
on the bed
flipping through magazines
and postcards of van gogh
hoping that the yankees won
while you’re stuck
at the machine alone
bad stomach and coffee breath
forty new hours of hell
breaking your back
missing this
wild beast
knowing that you’d kill
the man who tamed him
the one who took his verve and roar
the one who made
mincemeat of his balls
even if it meant
taking your own life too.

Monday, August 8, 2011

poem of the day 08.08.11

august blooms


i sit here

going mad


just trying
to keep
the peace

this city
the stink
of garbage
and sweat

us all
to murder


like mountains
like a field of grass

i need

this asphalt
heart of mine

Friday, August 5, 2011

poem of the day 08.05.11


we may not have wanted to
but back then i knew a lot
of other teenagers who had jobs

some of us worked the mall

others did the fast food route

many brave souls cut
lawns in the summer heat

the point is, there weren’t
many handouts to go around
from the parents

now, i know times
are tough these days

jobs are scarce

and with the idiots
that we have running things

times are bound to get tougher

and i’m the last guy
to advocate for employment

but tomorrow morning
if those teenagers
are sitting on that stoop

with nothing to do
but smoke cigarettes in the sun

toss another butt at my legs
pretending that it’s an accident…

well, i’m going to have
no choice but to put them to work

one by one or all at once

even if it kills me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

poem of 08.04.11

car wrecks

the first one
that i saw this week
happened at the corner
of stillwell avenue and 86th street
two sets of old people
in old people cars
people who should
no longer be driving
sideswiping each other
trying to beat the light

the second one
that i saw this week
happened where bath avenue
intersects with 26th ave
one car rear-ending another car
pushing it into someone’s
well-manicured lawn
bending and twisting
their newly painted iron fence

and the third one
that i saw this week
happened where 75th street
meets 3rd avenue
this time two jeeps
one black, one silver
both coming from the opposite way
both trying to make the light
before it turned red

in every situation
the same thing
people getting out of their cars
to survey the damage
incredulous looks on their dull faces
talking on cell phones
as packs of rubber neckers gather around
and no witness comes forward

i wonder if it is coincidence
me seeing all of these car accidents
or if more and more
as our impatience grows in this nation
as our desire to let the other man
have the right of way lessens
as kindness becomes replaced by
a sense of perverse entitlement
as divisiveness strangles unity
that what i have witnessed this week
has simply become common animal behavior

and that by next summer
the simple pop of metal smacking metal
at the intersection of every miserable street
will be as common to me
as the sound of early morning lawn mowers
and idling trucks.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

poem of the day 08.03.11

bug noir

sure enough
he was resting right there

underneath a table

right where the dame
had told me he’d be

lime green

a million legs
and a million eyes
looking back at me

trying to blend in

i knew the mug

had seen his type
crawling across

a million walls
and a million floors

but this time
i had him cornered, see

i pulled out my piece

but then i thought better

i blew at him

sent him scurrying
across the tile

the dame
just looked at me

i knew what she expected

what all dames wanted

she wanted
blood and guts

her eyes looked hungry
for murder

but i just winked at her

doffed my hat

killin’s not my thing

i said

before walking away

back into
the fog of night.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thank you for your support

As always I want to thank all of you who stop
by Winedrunk, even those of you who come by because
you really hate the writing on here. that said, i managed
to get some poems in Unlikely Stories 2.0, and it would be
fantastic if you took the time to stop by , check out
the journal, and give them a little bit of support as well.

here is the link to unlikely stories:

Unlikely Stories 2.0

once again thank you

poem of the day 08.02.11

people of wonder

there are those pieces
of flesh out there

you just wonder how they do it

like this one
on the evening bus tonight

talking to himself

screaming, actually

pointing and carrying on
toward some imaginary transgressor

scaring parents and children

i mean he paid to get on this bus

he dressed himself

not well

but i’ve seen millionaires look worse

he has a cell phone
the he keeps checking

somebody is paying for that bill

he even manages
to ask someone the time
in between outbursts

these people of wonder astound me

they give me fear
they give me hope

this lunatic on the bus

those crazies walking the streets
shouting into the darkness
with their shoes tied
and their faces shaved

the ones who manage to buy
a cup of coffee in burger king
while writhing in pain

the ones in the train stations
testifying with god on their side

they give me mystery
they give me intrigue

something magical to believe in

a different kind of light
to shine on this fat and dull world

they are like a different species altogether

from the other lumps of flesh
on this rolling ball of gas

the ones who always
know the time

have exact change

and never start and argument
with anyone

real or imagined.

Monday, August 1, 2011

poem of the day 08.01.11

chain reactions

it is one of those mornings
where you’re stuck
in the humidity and heat
where you wish that this summer
would die already
you are happy that football is back
but an autumn day
seems like a million years from now
and you start thinking about the job
you get trapped in work thoughts as you walk
your mind thinking, holy shit,
if i remain relatively healthy
i’m probably going to have to do this
for the next twenty-five to thirty years
it is a sick thought
it is debilitating
you pray for a gun or the noose
you curse your parents for their lack of wealth
curse yourself for lack of brains or ambition
think of yourself as a child waiting to get older
you suddenly hate this child
remember that today is your grandmother’s birthday
you remember the way that she died
comatose and heaving with bedsores
and at the street corner
you wait for the next available car
to jump in front of
at the job it is no easier
the day is lazy the people are lazier
sitting at their work stations
talking on their cell phones or playing
video games
they complain and blame you for everything
you wonder where the boss is
it dawns on you that you are the boss
how did this happen?
these people are your problem
but you don’t want them
you don’t even want to know them
you just want to pass the time
because there is whiskey and beer at home
a soft couch and something decent to read
you do not care about the laziness of humanity
you are lazy
you see these people more than you do your wife
staring at your idle co-workers
you feel like going mad
you think, christ, this world is royally fucked up
you want to know who made it this way
who decided to put all of these virtual strangers together
under fluorescent lights
killing their dreams
while sucking asbestos and stale filtered air conditioning
you want to find this person
so that you can go out and slaughter him like a pig
you think you might as well get a mirror
because no one bought and sold you this way
but yourself
you think about fleeing
you wonder about other cities and towns
other lives than this one
still, you have those bills to pay
and your shoes are wearing through the bottoms again
after the job, you stand at the bus stop with the other zombies
their faces dull and dead just like yours
name brand clothing justifying forty-hours a week
of selling their souls
the group of you waiting
for the evening express bus home
waiting on bland meals
bland entertainment
blogs and social networks
bad neighbors
conversation and unsatisfactory sleep
at the corner of 86th and devastation
there is a car accident
one pretty expensive car smacks into another
the people inside frown
their day as ruined as yours
a man gets out of his black bmw holding his head
he shouts no, no, no
into the yellow hazy sky
to you he looks like a prophet
in his tank top and red shorts
he shouts why, why, why
he’s saying exactly what you’ve
been wanting to say all day long.

Friday, July 29, 2011

poem of the day 07.29.11

this is not a call

i get astounded
watching documentaries
or reading books about paris
in the first quarter
of the 20th century
sit amazed at the idea
of picasso and braque
throwing each other cubist fastballs
at le bateau-lavoir
apollinaire writing his last poems
with his war bandages on
juan gris walking
the streets of montmartre
sick modigliani at the birth of the decade
mixing the paint and the booze
cocteau and max jacob
gertrude stein salons
hemingway living an adjective-less life
all of those kids at the ballets russes
fitzgerald on the left bank
looking for a fountain to fall into
andre breton looking for
a new kind of art
le dome
la rotonde
café select
josephine baker dancing
at the theatre des champs-eylsees
sartre and de beauvior comparing lovers
at les deux magots
good old langston hughes
fresh off the s.s. malone
waiting tables in jazz clubs
satie and stravinsky
and henry miller stuck in america
waiting his turn
i get astounded by paris
in the early twentieth century
dancers and musicians
painters and poets
swapping sweat and art
all of those artists enraging audiences
and changing the world
i get so wrapped up in that time
that i feel a part of it
then i wake
and i get depressed
because though it is true that
there have been artistic movements
since then
some very famous
none were
as magical as that time
swirling between two wars
i realize that i missed the whole boat
there are probably
art movements now
insignificant, incestuous clusters
that spark and just as quickly flame out
nothing left to raise an audience
to its feet with anger and shock
nothing there
to move the world
maybe it’s the artists’ fault
maybe it’s just humanity has grown
beyond the capacity to be moved
we’ve become scattered
filtered through too many channels
plugged in
given too much bandwidth
we’ve simply become bored
by the simple spectacle
our attention spans too small

or, as they say,
some things just had
their time and place.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

poem of the day 07.28.11

little bukowski’s

so many of us
are little bukowski’s these days
with poems about
the women we treat badly
and copious amounts of alcohol
poems about run down apartments and shitty jobs
little bukowski’s railing against mankind
our contributor pictures shows us
all looking the same
little bearded and tatooed bukowski’s
with smartphones and twitter accounts
sitting at bars smoking cigarettes
or hoisting up an import beer
looking clueless, sullen
trying so hard to be at odds with the world
we tell everyone how much
we hate the other poets
little bukowski’s
who have no room for our contemporaries
there are so many of us
it’s hard to tell the bad from the good
because we’re all just mediocre copycats
our proof smeared in little journals
that disappear overnight
the poems on our blogs all bleeding
right into one another
little bukowski’s alone with everyone
it’s becoming harder and hard
to read all of us little bukowski’s
sitting at the vanguard of tired bullshit
hoping that this is exactly how hank did it
most of us never really knowing
what a true hangover feels like of course
we have nothing new to add
except ten new poems a day
to our facebook account
we’re just more of the same
little bukowski’s through and through
though none of us will admit it
because when someone asks us
who are favorite writer is
we never say bukowski
we always tell them it’s john fante
some of us say raymond carver.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

poem of the day 07.27.11

i’d rather my words coming
out of your mouth

the editor of my book
is also my friend of twenty years

i don’t know how this works out
in terms of the editor/writer relationship

but we seem to do well with it

the editor is also a poet
and he reads poems from time to time

he does the dirty work
of poetry that i’m too frightened to do

he emails me and tells me
that he’s been closing some of his readings
with one of my poems

he says it kills every time

people love the poem
and it generally leads to a few books sales

i thank him for this

he has more guts than i do

i tell him that i feel bad being in new york
that i’m not there to push the book myself
even though i can hardly face an audience

i tell him that i feel bad for being
a nobody in new york

my editor friends tells me
that if i were back there he’d work me like a dog

that i’d be doing so many readings

i can only hope that he’s joking
because there isn’t enough alcohol in the world

at the last one in brookyn i got drunk and angry
but everyone else seemed to be having a good time

a few people bought books
and wanted me to sign them

i was happy that it was over

it’s something about getting up there
in front of all of those people
to read the poems that i’ve pounded out alone

it breeds contempt in me
a sharp hatred that cuts at my being

reading takes me out of my element
the one man out of the one room
the idea that i’ve worked so hard to maintain

it puts me under hot lights
warbling like a clown-suited auctioneer
fully aware of the futile madness of what i do

and i can’t seem to stop spiraling
until i’ve exhausted the world

after doing readings
i end up hating myself for a week

i think of getting out of the poetry game

just sitting on the couch drinking beer
and driving my wife mad

waiting on the end of days

i want to tell my editor friend
that i’d rather hear my words
coming out of his mouth

i want to tell him that my words
are safer spilling from his jaw rather than mine

because when i speak my words
it’s a little like committing a murder

when i’m done
i have leave those poems on the stage

those little sheets of paper
covered in my sweat and blood

knifed through the heart

useless to me and my cause

as i draw chalk lines around them
then unspool the yellow tape.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

poem of the day 07.26.11

packs of girls

packs of girls
sit huddled in
bright rooms
complain about
the air conditioning
complain about
the heat
can tell the
between regular
cookies and
diet cookies
eat bag after
bag of tortilla chips
say the worst
things to each
other tell the
worst stories
about each
other tell
each other
to shut up
call each other
cunts and whores
laugh at
fat people
laugh at
boys laugh
at old people
laugh at
their parents
talk about
and how they
get so bored
that all they
can do is eat
and watch
worry that they
are getting fat
tell their friends
that they
are getting fat
make fun of
smell each other’s
breath to see
who has the worst
drink coca-cola
by the gallons
have no
inside voices
watch the dumbest
read the worst books
pack of girls
are like aliens
stalking this planet
trying to claw
out each other’s
hearts and minds
packs of girls
become packs
of women
who do the same
terrible things
to each other
packs of girls
make me glad
that i was born
with a sack of balls
a penis
and a shorter
on this god forsaken

Monday, July 25, 2011

poem of the day 07.25.11


i shut the fan off
from deflecting the heat

turn the radio off

listen to their argument
coming down from my ceiling

it is sunday

they either fuck or fight
on sunday

this week it is
a verbal joust

the same shit

him calling her a whore
accusing her of screwing
everything that walks

her screaming and crying
telling him to get out
of her fucking sight

it’s her catch phrase

there is more yelling
more stomping on the ceiling

some thumps

the sound of furniture
being tossed about

then it is silent

i turn on the fan
put the radio back on too

our sunday ritual complete.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

poem of the day 07.23.11

in heat like this

there is really nothing to do

i would say that it is akin
to being a prisoner
but there is no danger here

however, the smoggy brown haze
settling in over the city
is most certainly manmade

humans are by far
the most dangerous animals

there are some who would prefer snow

for others it is not hot enough

give me an autumn breeze
on a lonely pier and i’ll show you
my form of happy

the morning d.j. thinks
that this weather is a joke

he’ll keep on laughing
reading the thermometer
like he’s whipping off one liners

until the murders start

yet no one is on the street in this humid abyss

this is the only good thing about the heat

no conversation
no dogs

eighty-five degrees at six in the morning

no poems to be written
no stories to tell

in temperatures like this you almost want
to believe in a god
get on your knees
and pray for some kind of respite

even though you know
you’ll look like a fool

no, there is nothing to do

but sip the tepid weak coffee
nurse last night’s whiskey hangover

sit here and sweat

try not to spiral, worrying about
health and debt as the electric bill goes up

there are no emotions left except hate

hate for the calendar
hate for the month of july

the way that some hates are reserved
for certain people

i hate july

i think that t.s. eliot must’ve taken
a vacation to antarctica during this month

for july is surely the cruelest

in eliot’s april the average high in london
is fifty-seven degrees

and the only reason
that you’re carrying an umbrella
is to keep dry walking in
the mother fucking rain.

Friday, July 22, 2011

poem of the day 07.22.11


to love
to humanity
to births and last rites
to jobs
to landlords
to neighbors with heavy feet
to the birds outside my window
to men beating their dogs
on the street
to vomitus cats
to social networks full of people
that i never wanted to know
to the past and present
on one continuous loop
to mailbox movies and dinner
to paris and london and madrid
to pittsburgh and buffalo and new york
to sports teams with losing streaks
longer than some lives
to music
tethered to american flags
and air conditioners
to student loan debt and the tax man
tethered to these soiled clothes
to poetry
to van gogh’s olive trees
and picasso’s three musicians
to hate
to apathy and godlessness
to internet porn
to scotch and wine and beer
to electric bills and cable bills
tethered to assholes riding the bus
to grocery bills and bar debt
to nail biting and nose picking
to monthly transit passes
and outrageous airfare
to weddings and divorce
to familial obligation
to childhood nightmare
to irritable bowels
to winter spring summer and fall
to the noose that keeps
strangling my heart
tethered to you like a rabid dog
but i wouldn’t have it
any other way, my dear
tethered to me
until death do us part.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

poem of the day 07.21.11

mistaken genius

ninety degree bus
strangling in sun
with screaming children
sweat locked
in every beer-fat crevice
wearing the lightest t-shirt
that i own
one covered in green and orange paint
the people
in varying states of misery
fanning themselves
wiping their brows
cursing public transportation
for its continuous failure
stare at me
with their vile, flabby faces
of societal judgment
they probably think
that i’m insane
in this get-up
insane or homeless
well, let them think as they will
i’m ten degrees cooler in this
plus i like to think that i look
just like joan miro
strolling along the beaches of palma
after painting one masterpiece
and contemplating another
instead of just another
asshole on the bus
trying to get home
to lock himself away from the heat
and wait on the autumn
to arrive.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

poem of the day 07.20.11

larry calls

larry calls me
while i’m at the job
high on something
either cognac or those pills
that the doctors keep pushing on him
larry’s got problems
ex-wife problems
daughter problems
granddaughter problems
legal problems
wants to knock out his son-in-law
but he’s so high
and in pain all of the time
larry can’t do anything
but sit at home popping pills
and watch the
jason bourne movies
over and over again
he tells me this world
is a motherfucker, kid
as if i didn’t know it already
i can’t read anymore
i can’t think anymore, he says
larry, who falls down the stairs
at least once a month
walks with a silver cane
has to wear a brace on his wrist
and a truss whenever he goes out
larry, who loves it when
those pills pollute his mind
tells me all i wanna do
is sit here and watch
these bourne movies
have a couple of cognacs
but the goddamned world
keeps trying to bite me in the ass, kid
larry with his women troubles
and dirty jokes
his lawsuits from new york to california
that miserable family of his
larry calls me at the job
high on booze and pills
only because i need someone
who can understand me, he says.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

poem of the day 07.19.11

this is life all around me

i take in the sound
of the upstairs neighbors fucking
repetitive and dull
almost a sunday chore
hear the dogs barking outside
watch the balls of dust
roll from my desk
collect the cat hair in lumps
and then let them go
watch muted televisions
strain for the music
touch my dead grandfather’s watch
stare at the brown stains in the toilet
the hair clumps clogging up the sink
avoid the soap rings
in the shower
have the coffee and the wine
in one cup
step over the tape
holding the floor together
take in great art on the weekend
without a care
walk the park with everyone else
pick the scabs that won’t heal
misinterpret joy as salvation
beer drafts as intellect
try to think of hatred in the abstract
boredom as a nuisance
film as diversion
look to apocalyptic cities for comfort
while at the street corner
of misery lane and desolation way
there shines a final light
that no one sees
as car horns blare
and little kids cry sonnets
to their lifeless parents
their tears are shed
over nothing and everything
as i say absolutely to myself
this is life all around me.