Monday, January 31, 2011

poem of the day 01.31.11

here's an old one...sorry.
tough nigh battling the bottle and
the sanitation department.

no one will ever be right

we are still arguing about this
this poetess and i
about what is poetry
what makes poetry
it’s such a dumb argument
but neither of us will stop it
because we’re opinionated assholes
she’ll write me defending herself
and i’ll write back something biting and sarcastic
and then the whole mess will start
over again.

it seems that neither of us have anything
better to do
i’m sure there’s garbage that needs to go out
bills to pay
pets to feed, or nails to be clipped
paint to watch as it chips off the wall
there’s really no sense in arguing
about poetry, i sometimes think.
i wonder if she thinks it too.
but then another email comes from her
one saying she’ll defend her opinions to the death
and i sigh knowing we are in for the long haul.

i guess this could be worse.
we could be arguing politics.
but, then again, arguing politics is a lot like
arguing poetry
most politicians are bad as most poetry is bad
and when arguing the two you can rest assured
that no one will ever be right.
she knows this and i know this
yet i sit down at the machine while the world burns
behind me
the dishes sit in gray filth
and the hardwood floor collects dust
to write her another email calling her ideals
stodgy and archaic
hitting send
waiting to see what she’ll strike with next
in our petty war over nothing and everything.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

poem of the day 01.27.11

it could be worse

i could be in north dakota right now
where it is forty degrees below zero

or still in the warehouses
with crazy leon spitting tobacco juice
all over the place
talking about fucking his girlfriend
telling everyone that he’s going to
pinch a loaf

i could be selling bad australian wine
to lonely secretaries
the ones who wear white sneakers
with their work clothes
the ones who vote on reality tv shows
and read the enquirer religiously

i could’ve married my first serious girlfriend
the one who still talked to her stuffed animals
who named our fictitious kids
back when we were only nineteen

i could be living with her in the suburbs
of pittsburgh
having her count my beers out of spite
wanting to murder her
having vanilla sex once a month
because she never did like it doggy-style

or i could’ve never put down
the first words
the first poems

could never have discovered kerouac
fante and hamsun through bukowski
or any of the other gods

i could be processing invoices right now
or pulling staples from documents
for eight solid hours a day

or loading trucks with windows and doors
hauling heavy shit through the rain and snow
drinking beer in the parking lot of the job

because i’d rather kill myself
than go in there for even one more hour
of my life

i could’ve never heard mozart

there are many more things
that i could be doing right now
unspeakable things
soul crushing endeavors
meant to weaken a man’s sense of self

things that are much worse than sitting here
killing the last hour of this job
reading fred voss poems

thankful that i’m not in north dakota
right now

waiting to go home for that first drink
your face
and a bed spread that i hope still smells of wine
and sex and freedom.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

poem of the day 01.26.11

to the blogger who stole my writing

i guess i do believe that
art is universal
some of it good
but not as good as a stiff drink
or watching a woman
as her ass wobbles out of the room
most art is as interesting
as watching snow fall on a work day
or sitting through a political speech
but art is always there
and some of us
we grasp at it for life
it helps us to get through the fire
and the faces of the many
art can be understanding in its purest form
maybe that’s why
you keep stealing my poems and stories
and reposting them on your blog
you give me credit, yes
but sometimes credit is as good as blame
folks, you’re costing me publications
when you take my shit
you’re not costing me income
but you might as well be
money is hard to come by in the writing game
small glories even harder
what’s more
you’ve lumped me in with a sniveling bunch
by doing this to me
i feel cheated by air
my poor writer soul wounded
my fragile ego sending out emails
to all and sundry
telling them how badly that i have been wronged
i have to get up in the morning hungover
to write drivel like this
this act is unflattering on me
i don’t wear it well
and i blame you for the mask
i want to say that you could’ve asked me
for the poems
you could’ve dropped me a line
before pilfering the stories
and i most probably would’ve said yes
i’m easy
i enjoy seeing my name in lights
but you decided to steal from me
and all of those little journals, motherfucker
now i wouldn’t give you
the warts on my toes
or the hemorrhoids stuck deep
inside my asshole
mostly i wish you’d take the poems down
they look ugly up there on your web site
the short stories too
while you at it
remove the bukowski, the fante
and everybody else
write your own shit
pretend that you never heard of my little name
and i’ll pretend that i’ve never heard of yours
but i’m no dummy
and you’re no fool
we both realize that everything belongs
to everyone in the 21st century
your shit comes from the food that i eat
and your bad breath
comes from a night of my hard drinking
we’re simpatico in this ignorant bliss
swimming around happily in the same slop
this little poem a reminder
of what you’ll be having for breakfast
slowly turning into a parasite
flopping around in a spoonful of
your quickly cooling lunch
most probably posted on your fucking blog
before the sun has a chance to go down.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

poem of the day 01.25.11

a chance meeting

the city has made us tired
and the grocery store is packed
with old farts
my wife is helping me find
a low sodium soup
so that my chest and heart
don’t start burning by sundown
when he rounds the corner with his kid
he startles us
it’s always odd seeing the characters
from the bar
outside in the real world
it proves that you and they exist
but there he is
there is his five year-old son
a basket full of food
and a six-pack of budweiser
snug in a tight corner
we talk small talk
talk about books
and then don’t know what else to say
he tells us that he’ll be
coming back to the bar soon
shrugs and gives a look
because we all know
that something has happened
to him in the last few weeks
but no one is quite sure what
so he shakes my hand
pats my wife on the shoulder
i say goodbye to his son
who only knows me
as one of daddy’s friends
and then we part
my wife and i continue down the aisle
looking for the soup
healthy heart tomato
or low sodium chicken noodle
but it doesn’t really matter
they’re all bad for you
no matter how good
the packaging says
they are.

Monday, January 24, 2011

...he writes fiction too.

thanks to Ana C. for taking this story for New Wave Vomit

Review of Glass City

Thank you to Chris Bowen over at Burning River for his review
of Glass City

poem of the day 01.24.11


we’ve been talking
about b.j.’s disappearance from the bar
like a couple of gossips
wondering if he went ahead
and fucked that
skinny little bartender
on one of her lonely tuesday nights
devin, our wednesday guy,
has been doing his part to egg us on
showing up drunk at work
from his other gig in the city
serving us free pints
so we get more and more lathered
in the booze
just like him
flapping our gums
as he leans over the bar
looking at us with sad eyes
asking, where’s b.j. been?
as if we hang out together
beyond this place
saying, seven years, man
b.j.’s been married seven years
so it’s gotta be tough on him
he’s got a kid, you know
and when we inquire further
devin waves us off and stumbles away
shouting at the newscasters on the tv
to take off their clothes
starts talking about tits and ass
to the other guys in the bar
we think to try and hide the fact
that he’s gay
because why else would he wear an earring
in the wrong ear?
but b.j’s disappearance has left a void here
the old joint has lost a certain je ne sais quoi
a little culture and class with him gone
plus devin’s out almost forty bucks a week
in tips
so b.j., if you’re out there tonight
my good man
we hope everything is all right
we hope that you didn’t fuck
the little bartender
with the kind ass and the big mouth
and we hope to see you back at the joint soon
drinking your jack
your pints of beer
talking about franzen and douglas coupland novels
while ivan drunk dances
and everyone else blames it on the arabs
checking your cell phone
every few minutes to see
if the wife has texted you
or if it’s getting close to the time
when you have to start on home.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

poem of the day 01.22.11

larry brown

i want to read larry brown

but i can’t find
the goddamned book
of his short stories
that i bought almost two years ago

i must’ve put it away drunk

because i can’t remember where it is

i’ve just checked
seven dusty bookshelves
coming up with nothing

but the ice melting in my scotch glass

maybe i let someone borrow it

that whore at the bar

maybe i never bought it
in the first place

i say that i’m going to buy
a lot of things

but the money just ends up
at the liquor store or in the grocery line

i know i bought this book though

i checked my account

larry brown is listed under
my recent purchases

april 2008

still i have no clue what i did with it

the book is a ghost

i mean i’ve found han-shan
arthur nersesian
henry miller hidden under a stack
of old comic books
bukowski and Jeffers
kerouac and busson
anne sexton
and kathy acker
and good old walt whitman

but no larry brown

it’s a shame

he was a tough bastard too

wrote his stories
when he wasn’t fighting fires

put the drinks back
and died of a heart attack
back in 04

a real southern word slinger
if you ask me

hell, i really could’ve used
old larry tonight

especially after the work day

but this is all my fault
not finding the book

i just set shit down anywhere
and move on to the next big thing

so absent-minded some days
i sit on my face
thinking that it’s my ass

Friday, January 21, 2011

poem of the day 01.21.11

the laughter of young women

i am in the laundry room
of the apartment building
folding my wife’s underwear
thinking about women’s underwear
and happy to be alone
when i hear the voices of young women laughing
it is a good sound
it makes you feel happy for humanity
if only for a moment
the laughter of young women
men have won battles to the sound of it
won big games
saved nations
and built cities
i finish folding the clothes
make my way toward the elevator
closer to the sound of the laughter
of the young women
when i turn the bend
there they are
my super’s daughter and her friend
the super’s daughter is maybe fourteen
she is going to pound a man’s soul
to dust some day
if she hasn’t already
she says hello to me
catches me off guard
i turn and say hello back
then the friend says hi
i do a double take and say hello
thinking aren’t we done with this bit
then it is awkward
the young women begin laughing again
as the elevator arrives
i get in
take in the scent of warm clothes
of the young women’s laughter
thinking that all is right with the world
but then the young women begin to talk
they say something that sounds like “cute”
i puff up my chest
you never lost it, my boy
i tell myself
but then i listen closer
did you see him? the super’s daughter says, laughing
he was so confused
his eyes almost bugged out of his head
like a dear caught in headlights, the friend says
their laughing turns into cackles
shit, it’s been almost twenty years
since girls laughed at me so openly
then the metal gate closes
and the elevators moves me back up to my floor
where i think
though many great moments have occurred
via the laughter of young women
nations have fallen as well
sports seasons have been lost in devastating fashion
careers ruined, too
great cities destroyed
and men have been extinguished in their beds
the small fires raging inside of them
smoked out
by the simple sound
of the laughter of young women.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

poem of the day 01.20.11

space invaders

they come into the bar

a young asian man
and a brunette woman

the whole place gets quiet

mitch, the racist, stops commenting
on the mexicans and asians in bay ridge
and stands there against the bar
stirring his vodka and orange juice

phil stops complaining
about the urinal
that hasn’t worked in over two years

we all stop and look at these aliens
these space invaders

they are a young couple
my wife thinks it’s their first date

they order guinness
and even though there are seats at the bar
they sit against the wall

away from all of us

soon we go back to talking

mitch about the arabs
phil about the urinal
and how good the pizza is next door

my wife and i talk about poetry
and how b.j. hasn’t been back
in this joint since 2010 turned over into 2011

the young couple talk too
we catch snippets
stuff about their lives and jobs
their hobbies and movies

people who are foreign to each other
always talk about the movies

my wife looks back at the couple
then turns to me and says

remember when we were new to this bar

yes, i say

then we sit there listening
to the chatter of a sunday afternoon

the roar of the game

the urinal’s broken handle

the problems with the blacks
up on seventy-third street

we listen to the color of our lives

then the young brunette
asks the young asian if
he wants another round
or if he wants to go somewhere else

they opt to leave

looking around, i know that they’ll
never come back

together or alone

they grab their coats at the same time
my wife and i do

only we beat them to the door

opening it into a rich sunshine
the reflects an angelic white
off of the dirty snow

going home, she and i
beholden to no one
but each other.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

poem of the day 01.19.11

kind of deranged

the bald man
the one with the crown
of porcupine hair
going around the edges of his scalp
keeps trying to reach
for every woman
walking along the slippery
plank floor of the morning bus
you cannot tell
if he is trying to help these women
is it kindness
or a form of derangement?
the women cannot tell either
he looks normal
is carrying a briefcase
and keeps checking his watch
as if late for an appointment
he has good shoes on, too
most of the women ignore this man
some of them wave him off angrily
others smile and shake their heads
they are fine
they do not need his help
the man pulls his hand away
at each refusal
and shakes it at each woman
maybe he is apologizing
sorry to have woken these women
out of their insular shells
on this rainy and snowy morning
sorry for his act of chivalry
to have been construed as somehow wrong
perhaps he is trying to say something suggestive
or telling them all to go to hell
it is hard to tell these days
what rests in everyone’s gut
or who the kind souls are
from the deranged ones
one almost worries
that we’ll end up patting the back
of the mass murder
giving him the key to the city
or erecting a plaque to his name
on the village green
while locking up the kind fool
for harassment and errant behavior
the one who’s just trying to help an old lady
cross a busy street
or stop someone from slipping
in the wet slop
caught in the grooves of
a rubber bus floor.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

poem of the day 01.18.11

my new friend

is a cop

he grabbed my arm
last week in a bagel shop
when i was hungover

he shocked me

i never liked being grabbed
by cops

but my new friend
let go of my arm
and nodded up toward
my steelers snowcap

you a fan? he asked


for how long? he asked

he had the look of a cop
grilling a suspect

since birth, i said
hoping the booze stayed down
until i got the bagel and coffee
into my tortured stomach

i’m from pittsburgh, i said
because my new cop friend
kept giving me the once over

oh yeah, he said
i’m from monroeville
went to gateway high school

penn hills, i said
as the guy behind the counter
put my bagel and my coffee
in a brown paper bag

we played penn hills in football
the cop said

i think that he was starting
to believe me

the two of us a couple of suburban boys

actually i want to central catholic
i said
trying my best to get out of the door

pittsburgh central catholic?

well i thought that’s where
we were talking about

then my new friend cornered me
i could feel the sweat on my brow
forming underneath this cursed snowcap
that had caused one too many
random conversations in my life

i resolved to throw the snowcap away
as my new cop friend
talked to me about the steelers and penguins
about pittsburgh

while my coffee got cold
my bagel got hard
and everything turned into a dizzy blur
for yours truly

how did you end up here? he asked
as if brooklyn were one of dante’s layers of hell

my wife, i said

it seemed easy enough to blame her
because she wasn’t with me

in truth
i was never sure of how i got
to the places that i did

me too, he said

christ, i thought
inching away from his uniform
from his bullet proof vest

she’s from queens, he said
i came here for the job and met her
don’t see much of a chance
of me leaving anytime soon

sure, i said
because i’d run out of things to say

i miss pittsburgh, he said

i do too, i said
which was kind of untrue

i never missed places
just times in my life
feelings. experiences maybe

people rarely

then i left the bagel shop

my new cop friend
stared at me like a lost puppy dog
until he was out of my sight

poor guy, i thought

it must really suck to be a cop
in new york city.

Monday, January 17, 2011

poem of the day 01.17.11

no one wins

the old timer
the one who used
to sit next to you
almost every night
watching jeopardy
and complaining about the jukebox

who raised the ire
of the staff of bartenders
for nursing one beer
and not tipping
whose collection
of nelson demille novels
lines the back wall
of this joint

has been holed up
in a vet’s hospital for two weeks

turns out
that he was homeless
his vendor license expired
and taken back by
this unforgiving city

didn’t sell anything
the other drunks said
when they told me

he just sat there
and collected a fee from
the foreign bootleggers

no one knows
if he’s doing well or not

no one cares

but jeopardy isn’t on the tv
and the jukebox is ripping tonight
jazzy jeff downs his beer
and announces to all gathered
that there are two types of women
in this world

bitches and whores

and the newspapers agree with him
today the times told me
that the tears of women
are a turn- off to men

i look at my wife
and wish that i could take her
somewhere better
to get drunk on a wednesday night

yet again
no one wins

it’s hard to sit here
thinking about john
the tears of women
and the world

letting my secret fear run wild

the one where these cretins get up
and lock the door to the bar
make my wife and i pay
for not being regulars here since birth

it’s hard to sit here
and think about all of the loss
that it takes
just to make up a single day

it’s better to turn your head
toward the television
tap a foot to the music
agree with jazzy jeff
and not think a single thought about
poor john

wait for someone to score
in the game that’s playing on mute

cheer along with everyone
when the winning team does it

safe with the knowledge
that even the best of the best
drop one-third of their games
a season.

Friday, January 14, 2011

poem of the day 01.14.11


on the morning bus
doing the friday death dance
scotch wine and beer
stuck in the rut of me
the sun
the faces
this world
enemies of my very soul.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

poem of the day 01.13.11

poor mercutio

the man with the golden voice
was a homeless drunk
now he sits detained in los angeles
with scratches on his face
wondering what the fuck?

hard times have come
for america’s new star of the week

and the states collect taxes
on semi-automatics sold to kids
on the edge of sanity

just under ten percent for those bullets
bought at the local supercenter

and when he blows them all away
like in a gunfight from a neo-western
like those action cats on the silver screen
we are surprised by the carnage
shocked and awed, man,
by the grinning face of the ghoul
on the front of the daily papers

it gets us by the balls
and tugs until we fall over
in a fetal position

we have liquid dialogs about it
shout blood libel at each other
hold prayer groups in stadiums
hear speeches of no consequence
watch the pretty newscasters
spin vacant hyperbole
from inside the digital vacuum

we turn on the radio and want to vomit

democrats bow your heads
republicans you do the same

and from the peanut gallery
we sit waiting for someone to shout

a plague o’ both your houses

but it never comes

poor mercutio has said his peace
and has gone to his eternal home

yet the man with the golden voice
asks himself how come he’s already been

replaced in the blink of an eye
by this fickle land

but don’t worry, my man
we’ll start stabbing each other in the back
next week

spinning the devolution
on three hundred different channels
sending the bile out
but using so very little broadband

slouching so effortlessly toward
the third world
with the grease of the torn flesh
on our hands and lips

our eyes as placid as
a trapped animal on the verge of death

the wall along the border
getting bigger and longer by the minute

hissing like a poisonous snake
about the strike.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

poem of the day 01.12.11


banging on the wall
to quiet the neighbor’s
i’m not surprised
that ezra pound
went mad.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

poem of the day 01.11.11

the new year, whatever, etc.

slits on the pinky fingers
sculptures of flesh and blood
carved on the big toe
the back a twisted lump of flesh
throbbing on the dirty couch
humanity stumbling up the sidewalk
like the blind and the damned
sick cats
sick sunday
wind howling down the hell street
salt stains on ruined pants
cholesterol soaking the refrigerator
dead cars on dead blocks
music choking the city air
black and blue sauce stains on the oven
sad chest
sore arms
bags under the old eyes
gray hair swaying in a stale breeze
pale flesh
slugging it out another 365 to be exact
ancient stretch marks
pubic hair like and old man’s beard
broken elbows
wrinkled kneecaps
brown stains on yellow teeth
the scars of childhood littering my legs
rejected poems
inside a rejected drawer
the dresser in pieces on the bedroom floor
packing tape keeping the kitchen together
piece by broken piece
clogged sinks
clogged drains
a toilet forever stained with the years
cat litter like grains of infinity
trapped in the living room carpet
the television on mute
the blinds broken and separating
letting in the light
the man on the radio telling me
happy new year
goddamn him, i think
goddamn him to hell.

Monday, January 10, 2011

poem of the day 01.10.11

the girls

the girls sit on the bus
making each other laugh
they are doing
strange voices
entertaining each other
caught up in their own world
they are not aware
of the puerto rican boys
watching them giggle
or the old men
watching them kick
their creamy legs
in catholic skirts
the girls
are not aware of their breasts
of mankind’s hunger and cruelty
they are sharing ear buds
and laughing out loud
the girls are sending
text messages to each other
discovering expression
working out a routine
that only they know
they whisper
i love you
to each other
and hold hands
laughing the whole time
the girls
the evening doesn’t
want them to leave
but when they do
they leave
with cackles of youth and joy
and when they are gone
a cloud settles over the night
those of us remaining
are left with nothing
but this world
the hum of the bus
and the slim hope that something
better awaits us all.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

poem of the day 01.08.11


birds are falling
from the sky
and the fish are dying
by the pound
baffling the scientists
but i am here
on 86th street
between 17th and 18th avenues
thinking that all
we want
is to eat flesh and blood
watching kids
dressed in tight pants
torture girls
tapping love sonnets
on their cell phones
yet somewhere
you are up there
let’s say looking out
the window
of one of those
corroded buildings
at this very moment
jokingly in need of a drink
and there is
so much to tell you
i say to myself
but i keep quiet
pray for a balance
in nature
listen to beethoven
and read jim carroll

Friday, January 7, 2011

poem of the day 01.07.11

good olds ones

my grandmother
used to sit at her kitchen table
lighting one smoke from the last smoke

drinking beer before noon

a shaker of salt at her side
to liven up the bottle

and the government cheese

calendars from the last two decades
spread all over the fake marble

free calendars from banks

calendars that were yellow
and had lottery numbers
scrawled on every date possible

they were her tarot cards

her get-rich-quick scheme

her look into the past
to get a grasp on the future

while my grandfather sat outside
drinking cans of beer
that he’d stolen from the brewery

listening to the radio

watching the black and gypsy kids
beat each other up in the street

waiting for the bookie to drop by
so that he could place
bets on the college and pro games
the next weekend

my grandparents

like all of those tough old son-of-a-bitches
who fought the last great war

who propped the country up
before we tore it all back down

and turned it into the third world

those rough mothers
with their whiskey voices
and sinatra songs

christ, how i miss them sometimes

especially sitting here on an evening bus
coming home from a dead job

all day in front of a dead machine

trying to close my eyes
and forget that america exists

as fat slabs of twenty-first century
flesh and blood

play video games on pocket phones

talk boundless irrelevance

and have the audacity
to consider themselves human beings
from an enlightened age.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

poem of the day 01.06.11


lone cardinal
standing on a drift
of gray snow
catches my breath
in the winter morning.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

poem of the day 01.05.11

love or glory and hemingway

i’ve been pacing around
like a man in need of a cigarette
hemingway said that he
never thought about his writing
once he left the table
but hem blew his brains out over breakfast
because he couldn’t write anymore
and i’ve been thinking about my
words a lot these days
what to do about them
in love with the idea of not putting it down
sleeping in later and later
watching the sun filter in
through the dusty blinds
wondering what’s the point?
reading nothing of value
walking these streets like a clown
killing the soul with drink and apathy
shoveling snow to stave off time
shoveling shit to hamper memory
i finally realized that
i can’t talk to anyone anymore
no on interests me
through not fault of their own
the faces of the many scare me
their words, like mine, make no sense
everyone looks so ready to kill all of the time
constipated dullards with nothing better
to do than pounce on one another for sport
and i can’t relate to the newspaper either
all this ink and drama, war and death
like a romance gone wrong
i’m growing a beard instead of taking these pills
or lowering this noose
i’m playing papa caught in the death throws
daydreaming daiquiris in havana
marlin off the coast of miami
watching movies that bore me out of spite
wishing that i could shoot my television
the way that elvis did
i’m growing my hair long to cover my eyes
so that maybe i can hide
my fat and aging face from myself
find some blind solace in this mirror of gloom
cultivate a little love or glory
communicate unrecognizably
maybe have someone else stare back at me
for a change
or locate something that no one else has found before
i’m setting up my symptoms in rows
like little plastic soldiers
getting ready to do battle
on the carpets of my youth
i’m rooting around in this refrigerator
sifting past the rancid fruit
and outdated condiments
past the scotch bottle and flat champagne
searching like an explorer
staking out a new territory
hoping for something fresh
a pathway to salvation or antarctica
a bagel not yet stale
or a little orange juice with no pulp
a nutritious spread
served on a table in idaho
with jam and a little honest conversation
over an old god
dead for almost fifty years

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

poem of the day 01.04.11


as soon
as the teen girl
with the tight ass

she tisks and shakes her head

she turns to me
and says

those young girls
are always
flirting with you
i don’t understand it

girls have no pride
these days, she says

where were they
when i was younger
and could’ve used them?

i say

women have always
shown up too late
for me

what do you mean?
she asks

i mean
i can’t do anything
with them now

that’s good, she says
looking at my wedding ring

i like a man
who’s monotonous

monogamous, i say

she stops
and looks at me
it means the same thing, right?

in most cases
and for most people, i say

monotony is good, she says

then we watch
as the teen girl bends over
to tie her shoes

showing half
of a golden ass
with no panties to speak of

an ass
almost as smooth
as an ice cream cone
on a warm summer day

Monday, January 3, 2011

poem of the day 01.03.11

here's hoping the new year treated everyone right.

inside the blizzard speaks

i sit in here with a sore back
sore shoulders and gloom
black and blue to the very core of me

mainlining decaffeinated tea
and hersey’s chocolate

while outside the blizzard taunts me

i’m thinking of giving up joy
as i clean snot from a sick cat’s nose

shielding my eyes from the
soft light of the living room lamp

while inside the blizzard speaks
in wicked tongues

i take shots of scotch for courage
i take pints of beer for medicinal reasons

i drink wine for the gods

and i take digital pictures of abandoned buses
left to rot on deserted avenues
by bureaucratic conglomerates of doom

while the blizzard talks a marathon
of white darkness

i try to read the newspaper with the lights off

watch the television on mute

listen to a radio with no static

taunting the blizzard
to stamp its feet and hold its breath
to prove that it’s alive

i help shovel the snow for this old lady
on the next block

together we’re coaxing the time away
telling each other our life stories
as the plows make figure eights on the street

and old men watch me from their windows
making sure that i don’t bury their car
with my desolation

i think maybe next year is the year
that i’ll find the good in humanity
hiding in a brooklyn subway station

i’ll find out where
all of the other poets went to die
and i’ll send them my resolutions
along with my condolences and ambivalence

tell them that i can’t do this anymore

that i’m thinking of taking up painting

creating a mural from memory
one not of sorrow but of liberation

how i’m trying to forget dates and names
before i have the time to remember them

that i’m flushing it all out
tearing down the calendar
and putting up negative space

giving myself a spring cleaning of the soul
before it’s too late

gurgling drano
to escape the taste of time
and the loss of youth

as the blizzard sticks out its tongue
and does a cartwheel down 75th and colonial

rolling away like so much rot
destroying everything in its path

that isn’t bolted down
or glued to the cracked and aged concrete
in this splendid city of the have and have nots.