Friday, June 28, 2013

poem of the day 06.28.13

ode to cigarettes etc.

quit you
twelve years ago

i quit you

only baby
i still want you once a day

like one wants
a piece of ass

oh, how you look so good
on hollywood screens

in the pink mouths of starlets
i’m so easily won over
like it’s the first time all over again

hungering for your cancer
in the painted hands of
young women

bitching into their cell phones

sucking you
crushing you

dangling you like a thin jewel

as they sip iced coffee
and shake their backsides
in a hail of blue smoke

down the
garbage strewn narrows

of these dog shit
brooklyn streets

sweltering summer


Thursday, June 27, 2013

poem of the day 06.27.13

riot act

there were riots
in brazil
riots in turkey over parkland

riots next to every day
by middle eastern youth

people are wondering
where in the world
edward snowden and his computers are

in america
the blessed dumb youth
are sleeping on street corners
for something called a cronut

making sure they’re first in line
like it’s some kind of revolution

only he’s on this bus
laughing at it all like a kgb agent
fighting with his dull girlfriend
about his new cell phone

while i think about burning
it all

and how i’ll never mix
whiskey white wine
and red together again

on a hot
summer day.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

poem of the day 06.26.13

wild beasts

it is almost unreal watching them
two on one side of the subway seat and two on the other

snorting at each other
howling so ungraciously
and taking photographs on their phones

these wild beasts of the american night

nearly all of them three-hundred pounds
in mini-skirts or corsets

their bare asses plastered to sticky seats
full of bum jizz and toddler snot

sort of human just like you

one of them looks like an ogre
with yellow flesh and red nostrils

she keeps huffing out of her wide nose
opening her wide mouth and exposing square brown teeth

she’s talking about all of the men
who are in love with her

they all want this, she says
running her thick hands down her dress

who are these men? i ask my wife
where do men like this exist?

the two who aren’t three-hundred pounds
are taking photos of each other
and spraying whore perfume

they keep kissing each other on the cheek
making like they’re going to french kiss
while the big girls eat candy out of boutique bags

as the n train rolls us across the manhattan bridge
and back into brooklyn hell

ew, you lesbians, the wild beasts chant
at their canoodling friends

and then they snort some more
take more pictures

move their fat asses on the seat
as they pop m&m’s into their mouths
and continue to talk about all of the men that want to fuck them

i imagine comatose brooklyn guidos
with death before dishonor tattooed on their arms
in need of an easy sexual fix

i hope to christ that one doesn’t spread her legs
i say to my wife
pointing at the yellow ogre

i mean i’m not a decent man
but i could use a little decency right now

or a dog catcher

whatever it will take tonight to get these cackling
wild beasts off of this train
without me seeing their underwear

and all of that glory between their legs
that they keep bragging about

get them back into whatever caged asylum they came from

until the moon goes down
and the city is safe once again

for the rest of us uglies
to keep feeling good about ourselves

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

poem of the day 06.25.13


he sits behind the wheel of the car
that’s going to take my wife and i to the airport

he says he knows us but i don’t remember him

from the bar, he says, from rooney’s

right, right, i say, but i still can’t place his face
i check his cabbie license and it says his name is connor

the connor

the connor of fucking lisa and breaking the bathroom sink
the connor of friday fistfights with strangers if the mets lost
the connor forever mentioned with reverence by those in the know

that connor

it’s strange being driven to the airport by a guy who used
to drink in the same hole that kept me greased for five years

to be chauffeured by a barroom legend

when did the dichotomy shift in my life?

then i think of the taped up kitchen floor
the living room window that’s been busted for two years
a perpetually stained toilet
dining room light bulbs that i haven’t changed in years

and i know that nothing is really that different

just connor doing his job and me doing mine
as we head toward the downslope of this life

man, that place was great, he says

it had some characters, i say, watching coney island breeze by us

and hoping that my wife doesn’t mention lisa
and the bathroom fucking incident
because i don’t think she knows who connor is

but then the conversation dies

connor listens to an afternoon mets game
loud enough so that we can’t talk
as he weaves us in and out of traffic on the belt parkway

while my wife sits dazed with daydreams of europe
and i wonder whether or not i unplugged everything
and shut off the lights

i know people who are doing it much worse
with the hours and days that they’ve been given

and connor seems just fine navigating this leather interior

he seems almost regal
a king again
like it doesn’t matter who the fuck i am
or where i’m going

i’m no legend to him, i think

and when we get to the airport i give him a ten dollar tip
on top of the cab fare

but connor seems unfazed

he folds the money and pulls away
before my wife and i are even in the terminal

probably heading to froth’s, i tell her
which is where some of us rooney’s guys drink now

i still don’t know him, she says
and like that another legend is shattered

it just as well.

Monday, June 24, 2013

poem of the day 06.24.13

employee of the year

they had us in a windowless room doing data entry

one of the supervisors was this young thing
and she had a great ass

she used to shake it up and down the aisle
asking us if we needed help

most of us were temps and had done little data entry
but we had quotas to meet on a weekly basis

the best was when someone
in the row in front of me needed help

she’d bend over to peer at their computer screen
practically shoving that wide and juicy ass in my face

of course, i wasn’t getting any data entry done
when she was like this

i’d watch her ass and then look around at the other men

but most of them were typing
like sweating novelists or playing computer games

it was like i was the only one alive in that place

one friday after work
hot ass pulled me aside and handed me my pink slip

she smiled sadly and told me
that i wasn’t pulling my weight with the data entry

then she walked away
with that tight ass packed into her jeans

and i went outside to the car
thinking they next place the temp agency sends me to work
better be full of old men
with fat bellies and flatulence problems

because i could win
the employee of the year award
in a place as horrible as that.                             

Friday, June 21, 2013

poem of the day 06.21.13


on the bus i listen to mellencamp
but mellencamp does nothing for me

he makes me feel old

besides i can’t hear him over miguel’s wailing

i’m tired
i’m beat from five nights
without any real sleep

and a job that just won’t quit

as miguel slams his fists on the seat next to me

i’m probably getting laid off
i’ll probably be on food stamps by this time next month

while miguel slaps his thighs
and screams so loud the goddamned bus driver
swerves and almost kills us all

i have sore legs
sore knees
my hair is getting gray all over
and in mirrors it looks as though i’ve gotten fatter

still miguel pounds on the window
and continues crying with reckless abandon

i probably won’t see fifty
the way i eat and drink

i have insomnia on my best nights
and having a pet does not calm me

but miguel gets up and starts running around the bus
putting his snot on everything

this world is going to hell
it’s either one-hundred degrees
or the flood waters rage

as i sit there watching miguel’s mother
chase him around the bus
trying to buy the kid off with boxed fruit drinks and toys

yeah, a lot of shit is bad

we’re all one mass suicide
only we don’t know it

but at least none of us are miguel’s mother today

cooing sweet words into that huffing beast’s ear
while apologizing to a row of strangers for his antics

begging him not to throw another tantrum

because being that bitch
trumps all the other misery right now.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

poem of the day 06.20.13

young and dumb

my old man asks me about the job
because sometimes he likes talking about jobs

and it’s that time of year again

i don’t know about the job, i tell him
they’ll either lay us all off or they won’t

does that worry you? he asks

i don’t care either way, i tell him
honestly, i could use the break

oh, to be young and dumb, he says
looking at my mother

i’m damned near forty
and no longer sure if i qualify as young and dumb

those union swine, i say
don’t get me started on those yellow cowards
all they want to do is make concessions

longer work hours
no contract and no retroactive pay

sometimes you have to do what you have to do,
my old man says

we’re spread thin as it is, i tell him
any more hours and i’ll be living at that fucking job

i have a good mind to quit, i say

young and dumb, my old man counters

but it’s no life
being stuck at a job all of the time, i tell him

i told my union rep this but he didn’t care
i told him i’d rather no job
than work every night of the week

so young and dumb, my old man says
shaking his head

you’re just conditioned, i tell him
work home work

which was kind of a shit thing to say
because of all of the years
i watched my old man scramble for work

the years when work home work
put food on the table and got me through school

but i’m young and dumb
and when you’re young and dumb and angry

like me

sometimes you don’t think when you speak

or you just don’t care
what you say to anyone

no matter what’s happened to them in the past.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

poem of the day 06.19.13

surveillance state

she comes up to me
with her prune face and shitty james patterson novel

i want you to check the surveillance tape, she says
pointing at the security camera that’s always aimed at me

why? i ask

because some kid spilled candy outside
and i stepped in it

i want to find out who this hooligan is, she says

lady, last week some kid got stabbed on this block

she rolls her eyes at this

what’s a little stabbing
when there’s jujubes scattered all over the pavement?

get the tape, she says, shaking the patterson in my face

this isn’t 1985, i tell her


there is no tape, i say
it’s a dvr

jesus christ, she says
can’t you do anything?
rewind the dvr?
i mean someone needs to get this kid
and teach him a lesson about decency and respect

mam, last month the bodega across the street
get held up at gunpoint

so? she says

nothing, i say

they sell outdated meats anyway

then we stand there looking at the video screen
as it flashes the interior and exterior of the building
as it shows us around the corner and down the block
the front entrance with the smallest trace of candy littered about

see? see? she shouts
like she’s just caught bin laden or dillinger in the act

there it is!
there it is!

evidence to get that little bastard

get the surveillance tape, she shouts
to whoever will listen

while i grab a broom and a dustpan
and head out into the horrible heat of the day
to clean up the crime scene

forgetting to tell her that back in january
two girls were mugged and almost raped in this neighborhood

but what would it matter to her
without there being even one
snickers bar wrapper at the crime scene?


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

poem of the day 06.18.13


it was me and charlotte
playing house in my parent’s basement

we were nine or ten
and all we did was cuddle in the dark and kiss

we kissed like parents did
like you did playing house

even though my parents were fighting all of the time
and charlotte’s old man had already left her mom years ago

neither of us saw much kissing
but we played house that way regardless

we kissed and cuddled like good television couples

our teeth clinking
because we didn’t know how make out

our breath tasting of lunch or dinner
like canned spaghetti and peanut butter

and for whatever reason growing kids had
our game eventually ended

charlotte stopped coming over to play house
but instead hung with her girlfriends in the street
playing pop music on tapes
pointing and laughing at me
and calling me fat ass

of course i’d push her or call her a bitch

we were an aftermath of love and family
distilled down to brutalities and insults

just like our parents
like all the parents we knew in pittsburgh
like families everywhere in america

playing house until they died inside
and love transformed itself in to a flower called hate.

Monday, June 17, 2013

poem of the day 06.17.13

misery women and me

she used to come
into my parent’s basement
with her little dresses and little smiles

she used to lay on top of me
her breath faint with pasta

and kiss me
and tell me that i was her husband
and that she was my wife

we’d stay like that for a while

her on top
two kids cuddling

quiet in the dark as the other kids played outside

our breath heavy in the stale summer air

that little brunette
my little bride of suburban pittsburgh

the only action that  i’d see
for at least ten years

full of misery women and me.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

poem of the day 06.13.13

don’t bet on it

the people are outraged
because there are national scandals every week

the people are outraged
and are tossing out their cell phones in protest

unplugging from the internet
and building barricades with laptops and ipads

they’re storming the corporate headquarters
of apple and google and microsoft

the people are so outraged

they’re going to cuba to close gitmo
they’re having love-ins on youtube
they’re planting marijuana plants on the interstate

they’re liberating chinese workshops
burying all of the precious metals that
we’ve stripped from the soil

used to spy on us in our own homes
to have our phones conversations logged
our videos stored in utah bunkers

the people are outraged beyond belief
you can see it in their overworked eyes

and the president better watch it because he’s flipped sides
and congress better play nice or they’ll be gone too

because we’re composing new constitutions in the street
putting pen to paper under the red lights
of surveillance camera america

and there’s nothing that the government can do to stop us
nothing these tech giants can create to quell this momentum

because the people are so fucking outraged
that they’ve turned off their televisions
and are rioting in the streets

tearing down the strip malls
pouring starbucks coffee in the bay

chanting we shall overcome and give peace a chance
and all of that other stuff

shouting give me liberty or give me death
sitting in parks in the silence of the sun


you political motherfuckers
you lobbying grease backs
you bullyboys of the corporate elitist state

the people are outraged this time

more so than last time
than the time before that
and all of those other times they sat on their asses
and let you all treat them like whores
birthed only to feed your economy

the people are outraged
and your time is up

we’re so pissed off
that we’re marching on washington d.c.

like red-faced maniacs
with turds poking out of our chaffed assholes

and not a decent bathroom in sight

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

poem of the day 06.12.13


you call
from the shit swell
of an art festival
two days before our anniversary
and tell me you are lost
between saleable junk
and some hippie selling
his dog,
and that you will be going
to a bar because you can’t
find your friends.
that’s all right
i think
as long as you are safe
because when you left me
an hour ago
the feeling hit me that we
would one day no longer
hear each other’s voices
that everything we know
about each other
would one day cease.

so i’d rather picture you
alone in a bar
than gone from me
for all eternity.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

poem of the day 06.11.13

beyonce in vienna

beyonce is in vienna
she’s on every block actually

spinning on ads for bikinis at the h&m
plastered on to the sides of buildings that are
over four hundred years old

she looks good for someone so well-traveled

fit and golden
worth her millions for sure

even though she’s overshadowing mozart’s statue
in the burggarten

but wolfy i guess that’s the price you pay
for hanging around some three hundred years
and strangling this city with your genius

people get sick of you
you get overshadowed at times
by some american pop princess
with her tits and ass hanging out for everyone to see

beyonce outside the albertina
beyonce watching over the museums quartier
without a thought for egon schiele

too bad they didn’t have that kind of marketing
back in your day, my man

i mean just picture it
you and constanze on some yacht in the mediterranean 
your music pumping out of each and every car

the global adulation
the paparazzi hiding along the ballgasse for a candid shot

the packed stadiums and arenas

more millions than you could blow
on clothing and whores and gambling

all of the opulence with none of the guilt
plus scientology instead of the freemasons

your genius on a reality show to be voted on weekly
by the masses

those luscious corporate sponsorship dollars

a picture of you in your underwear
plastered in times square
or just one ad hocking good wine in neon
somewhere on the piccadilly in london

the great mozart pushing pepsi
instead of beyonce scantily clad in canary yellow
blocking the view from belvedere mansion

no more wigs just a ballcap cocked to the side

but time is a bitch wolfgang
it serves none of us well

plus i don’t think i’d like it
if you were trying to sell me a watch or some stale beer

and, of course, we all know that when beyonce croaks
it’ll be a global days of mourning for her

her shitty music will play from continent to continent

in america they’ll hang the flags at half-mast
and the president will give a speech at her gilded grave

the one overlooking the fresh brush fires near los angeles

because if we’ve learned nothing else, wolfy
in the two hundred and twenty-two years that you’ve been gone

it’s that we treat our celebrities well in life and in death
even when the rest of us are starving

we sure as hell
don’t bury them in pauper’s graves


Monday, June 10, 2013

poem of the day 06.10.13

why not smile?

he used to pull me into that office
almost weekly

it always smelled of coffee and his bad breath

i would sit there thinking
that he should see a dentist
while he ran down this week’s list of my infractions

curt on the phone with customers
curt on the sales floor
five days without shaving
wine and food stains on my pants
and my eyes red from whatever i did when not there

then he’d tell me that i was lucky to have this job

this isn’t a bad job, he’d say

which was easy for him to say
because it had become his career

but for me it was the only job
that i could find in buffalo

i get it, he’d tell me
sometimes a job wears you down
sometimes the public does

but these customers put my kids through college
they put food on your table

which explained why i hadn’t enjoyed a meal
since i took this job

this job is a piece of cake, he’d say

but you, i don’t get you
you’re an enigma

you walk around this store like you hate everything

you don’t smile
you don’t talk to your co-workers
you show no emotion at all

then he would smile wide
and the room smelt worse than before

see? he’s say, pointing at his face

it’s easy
it’s easy to smile, john

why not smile
every once in a while?

then he’d dismiss me like we’d made real progress
he’d unleash me back onto the sales floor

where some lonely old woman
would start yelling at me
about why we were out of stock on sale white zinfandel

or some kid would knock over a whiskey display
and his mother would yell at me about lawsuits

and i’d start thinking about how
there were no other jobs in buffalo

how i was stuck in this place for nine hours a day
how i’d commit suicide rather than smile at this place

and i knew i’d be back in his office the next week
smelling his bad breath

the two of us hopeless
and worn out with each other

but doing that same song and dance.


Friday, June 7, 2013

poem of the day 06.07.13

punchable kinds

young boys
ages twelve to fifteen

walking brooklyn streets in packs

hurling plastic ice tea bottles
and invective my way

are the most punchable kinds of people out there

if only there weren’t laws against it
i’d beat the shit out of them
in front of their little girlfriends

shove those middle fingers
straight up their asses
until they come out their mouths

before dragging them home to their parents

so their moms can cook me dinner
in their underwear

while i watch tv
and drink up all the beer
in the place.

as their fathers spit shine my shoes

and beg that i don’t do
the same job on them


Thursday, June 6, 2013

poem of the day 06.06.13

gonna buy me a dog

my wife toasts our pints
and then says,
i worry about you if i die first

she’s thirty-six years-old and worries about this


because you don’t talk to anyone but me
with me you talk my ear off
but with everyone else you clam up and sit there

this is true

i’ve never been to a dinner party
and i’m too afraid to knock on the janitor’s door

i worry that you’ll get a dog, she says
and that you’ll talk the poor thing to death

my wife has some beer

i’m basically worried about you
and some poor dog you’ll buy when i’m dead

i won’t buy a dog, i tell her

well, don’t say you’ll be too busy
with your twenty year-old girlfriend
because i’ve seen you around other women

if they aren’t bagging my groceries
there’s nothing between us, i say

i have some beer

you might be right, i tell her
maybe i will buy a dog just in case
i’ll get a german shepherd and name him hunter

that poor dog, my wife says

it could be good
me and hunter drunk walking the neighborhood
after a day with wine and beer
and movies

i’d play him the radio
all the great ones, i tell her
and we can sit there passing the time
listening to the masters

there’d be no need to talk

hell, i’d probably forget the sound
of my own voice, i say

my wife laughs
that animal will be deaf or crazy within in a year

but then i think
i’m not gonna buy me a dog

i won’t have to

because without you, dear
i’ll howl so horribly every night
the dogs will come running to me by the dozens

and together
we’ll yelp sonnets for you

and aim them at the moon.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

poem of the day 06.05.13


if there are no atheists in foxholes
then there can surely be no god fearing human beings
in the office or the warehouse

accepting in return for their faith and devotion
a forty-hour work week chained to a desk
the sales floor or the stockroom

fifty weeks out of the year
for three to six decades of this unreasonable insanity

and there can be no rational human being
who accepts this fate for what it is
without becoming dependent on drugs or alcohol
church or hollywood entertainment

or perhaps it is that we endure like stiffs
taking our pittance as just due
living in fear of being unable to provide
for our families or ourselves

worried that we’ll be let go at any moment
for the shape of a haircut or the length of a skirt
and sent to drift in the outskirts of the colorless babylon

and there is no love
no friendship
no devotion strong enough
to help one truly escape this fate

for we are all partners and prisoners to this horror
locked into this self-created system by a base desire for survival

and there are moment, yes
an orgasm or a sunset
to help keep the stench of servitude away
if for only a moment or a few hours

but these anchors of sanity are as fleeting as the wind
they seem unreal
when we are pushed back into this
carousel of the damned working stiff

fracturing our souls and cutting short our dreams
for our profiteering masters bottom line

killing the good years for a whiff of the almighty dollar

my christ, it’s such a cruel joke
that we’ve played on ourselves
that they’ve played on us with our time and our life

there should be executive and administrative blood on the streets
swirling crimson rivers of madness and anger
from the homicidal march for salvation by the masses

only there is not a peep on these streets
there are no effigies either

just the docile acceptance of the working man
stuck in traffic on another lost morning
drinking dirt coffee out of paper cups
as radio blowhards offer stale homilies

taking more work for less pay
as either a penance or an award

trained dogs
trained monkeys
weeping lions hiding in the back of a piss-scented circus cage

the fight stamped out of us

taking these prescription drugs of marvel
that will keep us alive longer

sucking at the resources of the planet longer

wielding hammers and the pickaxe
manning the cash register or chained to the desk
for years longer than we’d ever imagined

feeding social security beasts that deplete by the hour
until our addled bodies give out

on sales floor america
in officeland america
in gloomy warehouse america

where the newly installed corporate morgues of the future
are being built to keep us on us ice

then we can kill three birds with one stone

funeral and burial

a gold watch and a company mug
handed over to our dumbstruck spouses
for services rendered

a glossy slab of marble
an american flag and a pot of flowers for you
on a hillside plot in the company cemetery

just a few quick paces away
from the employee parking lot

where a new, choice spot
has just opened for rent

close to the front entrance of the building.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

poem of the day 06.04.13

queen of sheba

we are down an a/c unit
with one cat left in this dusty apartment

drinking iced decaf coffee
that puddles from the heat
and makes brown rings on the wine-stained table

it’s too blistering to drink wine
on a night like this

we hit the bedroom an hour early
lay in the cool of the dark room
with the fans blowing their mercy on our flesh

when i think to save
that remaining cat from the heat

go into the living room and pick her up
though she howls and tries to hang on to an old blanket
with the city of pittsburgh stitched into it

turns tail and runs out of the room
the minute i set her down
right back into the stifle

just like a fucking idiot, i say to my wife

then we both talk about you, sweet belle
gone a year now

our little siamese mix of quiet joy

who used to lay on my pillow on hot nights
like the queen of sheba
letting the fans blow and blow their offering

the smartest cat ever created for a sweltering
spring night


so sorely and completely


Monday, June 3, 2013

poem of the day 06.03.13

atheists do believe in the devil
                        --for father gabriele amorth

atheists do believe in the devil
i can assure you on that one, padre

they just don’t believe in your devil
the fire and brimstone one
the hot poker up the ass stuck in traffic for the rest of eternity

ours are a little bit more grounded
like the ones who murder by the thousands
calling for jihad after jihad after jihad

the swine in pin-striped suits who poison their people
to keep their stranglehold governments in tact

the ones who send robots planes into mountainous terrain
to kill kids in the name of freedom

the devil who dresses young boys in priestly vestments
and then fucks them in the ass behind closed doors

the devil who forces himself upon our sisters, mothers
girlfriends and wives

atheists do believe in the devil, you human shit-stain

only ours keep draining the land of resources
while denying that this climate is changing
then sit in political chambers denying aid for the damned
when the hurricanes and tornados, the flood waters strike

our devil lets the poor go hungry in order to build bombs
and capitalist shelters for the wealthy

they let our education systems die with less than a whimper

we believe in the devils putting chemicals in our plants
the ones that sell us sugar and fat as necessities
and then pump us full of medicine because we’ve grown too fat

our devils still don’t get it that everyone is equal
they try and keep love down in the name of their great god
fighting senseless crusades against their own kind
all the while seeking blow jobs from drifters in airport bathrooms

these devils, they won’t give the workers their rights
and work everyone to the bone so that they’d rather be dead
than on the picket line

they’ve bankrupted a generation with benevolent smiles
mortgage balloons and faulty credit systems

would rather save their pale idea of country than all of humankind

our devils are the ones blaming immigrants for the continental drift
they are the great satans fighting last ditch efforts
to keep the black from the white from the brown
from the red from the yellow

as their twisted empires seem poised to go down in flames

oh, atheists do believe in the devil
you can bank on that, you archaic ecclesiastical fuck

but they are no fallen angels

they are the flesh and blood demons that live right here
amongst us

the ones who should’ve been aborted
exorcised at birth

or cast away
to save us from all the atrocities that they’ve committed
through centuries of blood and dust

reckless hubris and greed
that have spread like hardened vein lines
across this scorched and barren earth.