Saturday, December 21, 2013


hello all

well, WineDrunk is taking a longer hiatus this end of the year.
burn OUT.  so taking a break from 12/21/2013-01/06/2014.

hope the holidays go well for all.

See you again on January 6th, 2014.


Friday, December 20, 2013

poem of the day 12.20.13

white christmas

late october
still sweating in the ugly bowels
of the new york city subway system
choked on trains with everyone else,
we are pushed off at the atlantic avenue
station to the sounds
of steel drums and keyboards playing
white christmas,
and the pumpkins lining brooklyn windows
haven’t even been thrown out onto the sidewalk yet
to rot into the pavement like dog shit.
people are humming along
and coats are held tighter,
as if the music has put a temporary chill and magic
into the scorched air of chemicals
and petroleum residue.
jesus christ, i think.
you’d expect this bullshit happiness
being trumped out so early
on the television or in the windows
of chain stores.
but musicians on a subway platform?
well, then i realize this season has become too much
we need the fake joy shot into us with the frequency
of a junkie.
what good was halloween anyway
with the cacophony of city neighborhoods
and the religious still duking it out?
i actually like halloween better than christmas.
it seems less put-on.  real.
and i wish i could fall asleep november first
after a night drunk with the evening horror show
and wake up on january second
when the real horror show has ended.
maybe the cold weather will finally be here.
if nothing else, at least people will be
done with all of this good cheer and good will toward man,
and they’ll all be back inside with their bills and holiday regret,
fat and lazy like always.
and the musicians on the platform will get back
to playing something good, like coltrane or bach.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

poem of the day 12.19.13

the girl reading lolita

don’t bat those
thirteen year-old eyes at me
and say pretty please
because i won’t let you hang around here
until the last minute

but it’s cold outside you say
doing a marilyn monroe dip

tell you what
i’ll see your nabokov
and raise you my apathy

let’s be honest, sweetheart
if this were 1987
you and i on the same playing field
you wouldn’t look twice my way

trust me
i know
i’ve been there and back

so take your old man fetish elsewhere
stop with the cutesy act
while you’re waving that book around
because i think your comprehension skills are for shit

and yeah i know
thirteen year-old boys aren’t worth it to you
right now

but you’ll get no quarter here either

and if you don’t believe me
i could introduce you to
dozens of forty year-old women
who are just as unsatisfied as you

so stop asking me
if i like chess
or if i like lady gaga
or if i like my job

because the answer is no on all accounts, kid
and that pouty face you got going
as i try to usher you out into the bleak december night

save it for the fry cook at mcdonald’s

because you and i are done
with this song and dance

plus you got math homework tonight

i got a bottle of crown royal at home
little miss

and more years of regret to sift through

then you’ve barely clocked in
on this unforgiving planet.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

poem of the day 12.18.13

cockroaches and house alarms

it’s so magical
watching this cockroach
doing a backstroke on the living room floor

he’s waiting to die

and there is a house alarm blaring out into the street

the neighbors are congregating
and shouting to shut it off

my wife is on the telephone arguing with the cops
to come and do something
anything to end this

it’s like being in gitmo, i tell her
as i look down at the roach
prodding him at times just to get him to move

sound torture, etc., i say

and this is why our families all told us
that we’re not having a real christmas, my wife says to me
while the cop has her on hold

as the house alarm continues its earsplitting intrusion
into this christmas eve

please move away immediately!

like a fucked haiku
at ten minute intervals for at least two hours at a time

and even with the windows closed you can still hear it threatening
still hear the neighbors screaming and shouting
cursing the people who have gone away
from this brooklyn hell for the holiday
only to set their house alarm wrong

imagine issa sounding out that loudly!

i think of all of the fun we’ll have with those neighbors
when they get back

flaming bags of shit on their doorstep
eggs lobbed at their windows at midnight

again, i poke this cockroach with my finger
to see if he’s still moving

i mean i don’t want to kill this bastard
but i’ve lost my conscience when it comes to bugs
in new york city apartments

and on the phone the cop
tells my wife that there is nothing she can do

crying, my wife holds the phone to the window
so the cop can hear the noise of the house alarm

please move away immediately!

like basho, buson, and all the rest

but the cop says sorry
and to have a merry christmas

then she hangs up

right when i put that cockroach out of its misery
with a paper towel
covered in austrian white wine

a light, dry riesling

bought to get us through this holiday
real or imagined

or anything else.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

poem of the day 12.17.13

youthful transgressions of our forefather’s spawn

they are roaming manhattan
sliding in the slush and snow in sloppy packs
frat boys in santa costumes
with piss stains on the crotch
their sorority girlfriends
in the requisite whore mrs. claus costume
complete with fishnets
and tits paid for by their parent’s hedge fund
lily white boys and girls from the suburbs
doing a pub crawl through cavernous streets
they claim it’s for charity
but the only charity most of the neighborhoods get
are puddles of vomit
a rise in sexual assault cases
and blood-soaked concrete from drunken donnybrooks
when the seize and carnage of these vile idiots is complete
i am standing outside a famous bookstore
that never has anything inside for me to buy
watching four of these red and white aliens
trying their best to remember which way is west from east
so that they can join their friends
for cheap drinks at another bar catering to this shit
it’s clear that they have no idea where they’re at
three o’clock in the afternoon in union square
and they are already stumbling blind
and reeking of green beer and bottom shelf rot gut
i hear them arguing with each other
their red-faced and bloated leader
with a bad-boy 5 o’clock shadow
staggering into the street to hail a cab
to 12th street and 2nd avenue
and almost getting hit by one that refuses to stop
while the other idiots check google maps
jesus christ this is what the holiday has come down to
another gratuitous display of heathenism
by our next generation of CEOs and lawmakers
it’s just as well
but then one of the mrs. claus spots me standing there
she’s a hot little blonde number in green tights
and little else
hours from now her mouth and asshole
will probably be swollen from another bad idea gone awry
but for now her focus is on me
she’s trying to get her man to get directions from me
to their next bar
i figure if he comes over i’ll send him to east new york
to see how well he does out there
dressed like some cheerful drunken asshole
her boyfriend looks at me through beady red eyes
he says, fuck that guy
he looks like a faggot who doesn’t drink
and then the four of them take off in the wrong direction
two of them falling in the gray slush
sullying their festive costumes
and when they come wobbling back ten minutes later
screaming at each other
in front of hundreds of holiday shoppers
their big ball in the city ruined
by their own gluttony
and blondie starts making eyes at me again
i think maybe i’ll go back into the famous bookstore
give it one more shot
kill an hour before my pub opens up at four o’clock
where last year the world’s coolest bartender made it a sport
to see how many of these jolly motherfuckers
he could throw out.


Monday, December 16, 2013

poem of the day 12.16.13

hello all

in case you missed the "big" announcement.  my first novel, The Librarian,
is available for purchase at and soon elsewhere.

Also there will be a book launch for The Librarian along with a book launch
for Scott Silsbe's newest poetry collection The River Underneath the City (Low Ghost Press).  Scott
is also author of the fantastic Unattended Fire.  The reading will be next monday, December 23rd, at
Modern Formations Gallery (4919 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa).  Doors open at 8pm and there is
a $5 cover charge.

Copies of The Librarian should be available then, and i will be reading the first chapter
and maybe a poem or two if possible.

okay...on to business. I am poetically BURNT OUT.  i got nothing in the well. gonna close out the year with a "best of" of Christmas/New Years/Winter
poems in the style that you've all grown to tolerate over the years.  I should be bouncing
back with new stuff come January 6th.

Have a happy holiday.

christmas tip

he shook my hand
and handed me an envelop
with a card and some cash stuffed inside

while i tried not to think
about how many times a week
i’d jacked-off to his hot wife

all of that sperm
splattered on my bedroom floor
and into paper towels

as i took her any way
my fifteen year-old mind could figure out

merry christmas, he said to me
then he shut the door

yeah, you too
i said to no one

before walking off to the next home
on the old afternoon newspaper route.


Sunday, December 15, 2013


hello all

I'm proud to announce that my first novel, The Librarian, is now available for
purchase here


Thursday, December 12, 2013

poem of the day 12.12.13

to catch a thief

who’s eighty years-old
and can barely see at this point
can be challenging

especially when he’s there first thing in the morning
to pilfer your paperback books and dvds

it means you can forget the saturday times
and the cup of coffee you so desperately wanted

the one that’s helping to quell the hangover

the sore feet that hurt from walking five miles
in shitty boots with holes on the bottom of each one

the freeze of the december air
that has you shivering right down to your bones

it means you can forgo dignity and pride
so that you can muscle up real close on the old man
while he’s scanning the goods
farting and wheezing when he bends

as you stand there like the long arm of the law
like a mall cop in a trinket store full of teenagers
protecting what isn’t even yours in the first place

a true centurion of american commerce

making like you are fixing rows of dvds
or selecting books for display

simply doing your job

all the while keeping an eye on this old man
as he takes dvd after dvd off the shelf
and puts them in tall piles like he’s building levees

this isn’t what you want to be doing on a saturday morning
this isn’t how the job was sold to you

you think you’d rather be in bed with the wife
post-coital from a morning quickie
with the newspaper spread over the sheets
and the whole day in front of you like a banquet

rather than hoping this old fart doesn’t steal
another bogart or paul newman film
and that you don’t have to tackle his ass and call 911

but life is what it is

some people have it much worse than you do
and you realize this

at the very least your holidays are paid for

which is why you stand there like a secret spy
trying to figure out what you want to eat for lunch
counting the stacked dvds over and over
wondering if the old man slipped one
in the back of his sweatpants

like he did last week
when you turned your back for a second

figuring a cool cup of coffee should be enough
to cancel out the headache

thinking that quick pull on donkey this morning
was kind of like making love

that there will still be a few hours left in the day
when this is all over

and that the new york times will still be there
after the old man takes what he wants and flees

because the world makes news every second of the day

and it’s always the same
nothing ever changes.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

poem of the day 12.11.13


she is putting on deodorant
which is typically a normalized act
but she’s doing it on the d-train to manhattan
right across from me
as i’m listening to mozart’s 39th in my headphones
she’s putting on deodorant
not even from the neck to the armpit
but from under her shirt
the shirt half up
her single fat roll an exposed white blob over her belly
the bottom of her navy blue bra showing
a dead look in her eye as she watches me watching her
as she rolls the deodorant
giving her fragrance to the d-train
it’s musk, i think, or rain water or fresh linen
she’s been doing it for two stops now
as the train rumbles above and through brooklyn
smearing a sea of black sky and christmas lights below us
she must have a cake of deodorant slathered on her pits by now
i can almost see it flaking off of her
and resting in the side of the fat roll
i try going back to the mozart but i can’t
i’m fascinated by this
although no one else on the train seems to be looking
something as simple and common as putting on deodorant
has me in its grasp
like i’ve never seen someone do this before
me or my wife my old man or kids after gym class
the 39th symphony will never be the same for me
new doors of perception have been opened
new freedoms that i’m anxious to explore
that i’ll equate it with summer scents on late autumn nights
with this woman’s flabby stomach and her blue bra
with the orange soda she swills
in whatever hand is not applying the deodorant
with her face an empty canvas
no joy no exhaustion no anger no fear no burden
and with the packaged sandwich resting half-open on her seat
to be eaten after this task is complete
that has me ready to shout aloud
what next america!
what next!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

poem of the day 12.10.13

the gilded fry cook

i swear
that somewhere in america
there is a gilded fry cook
making fifteen dollars an hour to flip burgers

with full bennies
and two weeks paid vacation

a full-fledged union worker whistling
zip-a-dee-doo-dah as the meat fries
and the fat bubbles of the grille

or maybe that’s a myth they tell us

my wife tells me
that soon they’ll be paying the homeless
to become wi-fi hubs

it’s a little something to keep them
honest and on the ball

because we don’t tolerate quitters
we don’t tolerate the lazy in this country

but i’m not sure what i think about that

it’ll make a cool facebook status
for someone though

homeless dude stinks
but you can’t beat the connection, bro-ha

i wonder what’s next

we’ve made it almost a month here
without someone flipping out
and killing a bunch of random strangers

i guess i’m getting bored and complacent

i’m in need of an angry fix
in need of something to pass these end of days
a new chapter in this horror story
to curl my toes and scare me shitless

a deranged loner
hanging outside a packed mall
preparing his own doorbuster

uncle sam haggard and fed up
living on life support

a priest giving him last rites
while his lawyers give interviews
to the 24/7 news feed

another sports legend
jacked up on PEDs and steroids

maybe he could lose his mind
and kidnap a bus full of suburban kids
going on a field trip to a church

half of them wearing his team colors

he could hold them up for ransom somewhere
have it paid in euros when football season ends
so he could get the hell out of america

return them all unharmed and smiling
with autographed glossies

plead for mercy
plead insanity
play highlight reels until the jury is numb

lock him up and give him the best
health care imaginable

the kind that everyone gets here now
from the president all the way down to the fry cook

to me and you

and the homeless dude
with the wireless router
embedded in his brain.


Monday, December 9, 2013

poem of the day 12.09.13

verses from the elizabethan era

he paces around the bus
as best as one can pace on a packed bus

finger erect like a conductor of a symphony
his head bowed toward the music of his phone
waiting for someone to pick up

then he says

listen you fuck
if you go in that room
go in my stuff without me present
i swear
i swear on baby jesus christ
you’ll end this night in a body bag

before he hangs up
and pushes through the doors at his stop
an unlit marlboro in his mouth

leaving me to wonder
if he was quoting

or perhaps someone else.


Friday, December 6, 2013

poem of the day 12.06.13

simon (reprise)

i won’t give up my seat on the bus
for simon
for his mom
i look like a dick but i don’t care
this old man keeps craning his head back at me
shaking it in disgust
while simon runs around the bus
while simon’s mom stands there holding
his carriage
her cell phone
a bag of milky way candy bars
simon’s knapsack
but let the old fucker look
i tried giving my seat up for him
i gave it to an old lady yesterday
and a pregnant one the other week
i’m well stocked in good deeds
for the rest of this year
and maybe next
plus i hate simon
i hate simon’s mom
his carriage that blocks the aisle
her cellphone that plays episodes of barney
which simon watches
while eating the bag of milky way candy bars
the knapsack he throws like a boulder
let her stand
let simon run around kicking people
and throwing a tantrum
i don’t give a shit
i’m a tax payer
i throw down eighty bucks a month
to ride this fucking bus home from work
with kids blasting rap
with assholes shouting on their cell phones
with people breathing down each other’s necks
with simon’s carriage tripping me
with his mother’s cell phone screaming
with milky way wrappers stuck to the bottom of my shoes
i deserve this seat
nah, i’ve fucking earned it
you can go to hell old man, who keeps looking at me
you can kiss my ass simon’s mom
next time use birth control
and simon
when you grow up
i hope whatever miserable job you get
involves a bus ride home every night
with some dumb
ugly, pig-ignorant fuck of a kid like you
kicking at your shins
when all you want to do is listen to lou reed
read some poetry or comic books
hunger for that first drink
or whatever it is you might be throwing together
for dinner.
that night.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

poem of the day 12.05.13

santa claus is coming

santa claus is coming to town
only not for a few more weeks

but you wouldn’t know it
by the looks of this house that i pass
on my way home from work every night

it has more lights on it than a detroit freeway

there’s this fiberglass latticed santa
with a gift in one hand, waving with the other
while a reindeer of the same ilk
bends slowly, eating fake hay off a dogshit lawn

the place is truly an abomination of the spirit

but i think its worst offense
is the large loud green and red music box on the porch

it plays christmas music in that tinker-box tinny way
that makes the songs all the more tedious and annoying

you can hear the music half-way down the block
in both directions

the whole scene is enough to make you realize
that they put drug addicts and alcoholics in rehabs
tax evaders and government whistle-blowers in jails

but they let sick fucks like these sick fucks
sit in front of their television set
watching christmas film after christmas film
stuffing their faces with hot chocolate, candy canes
and their own good cheer

wishing every other face on the street
a merry christmas
a happy holiday

while holding a neighborhood captive
day after day and night after night
for twenty-some days a month
until santa finally sails his fat ass back to the north pole
and the regular avarice can begin again

it shakes a man’s faith in decency
to see a display such as this

i don’t even live in the neighborhood
but my heart goes out to the sad, blackened homes
that surround this monstrosity

that can never get a break
from this joyful and triumphant misery

i wish that i could do something for these people
to spread a little cheer

maybe decapitate the santa or topple the reindeer
string a couple of elves up in a noose
of multi-colored, twinkling lights

take a rusty mallet to that music box
and swing away like henry fucking aaron

until this beast of burden
smashes into a thousand green and red pieces

shout ho ho ho on the lawn, like a crazed killer
scaring some sense into that family of yuletide terrorists

until they call the cops to come take me away

finally giving everyone a silent night
peace on earth for sure.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

poem of the day 12.04.13

white and gray areas

the little boy
comes over to me

he says
we have to talk

about your beard

you need to shave your beard
he says

as i watch him morph into
half of the bosses that i’ve ever had

i tell him
that he needs to shave his beard too

which is
of course

but he feels his face anyway

then he spontaneously
reaches up and touches my chin

pulls at the white hairs
pulls at the gray areas

while i wince

while his mother watches us
from across the room

meeting my eyes


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

poem of the day 12.03.12

what more?

i mistook her name as manna
like the fine frost of sustenance
that fed the biblical exodus

but her name was mara and she was sixteen

i was so damned bad with women
a nineteen year-old virgin
i could barely hold her hand as we strolled
to her neighbor’s farm to watch horses

i kept thinking how her old man
had pulled me aside and said,
remember that mara is only sixteen

like i could forget

and when she kissed me it was a soft miracle
but i had to let it go

because i was nineteen
and i knew there’d be moments
where i didn’t want to remember
that she was only sixteen years-old

months later, i met katie

we were the same age
but she had all the experience that i didn’t

only she liked me and she kissed me
and she let me do things to her
that i’d been dreaming and reading about for years

things i couldn’t do to a sixteen year-old

but i didn’t like the look in katie’s eyes
after she’d taken my virginity

there was a pride and self-satisfaction there
that i could never reconcile with my own ego

so when katie started mentioning her boyfriends
on nights after we’d have sex
or had just gone down on each other

i’d mention mara
and soft summer nights under pittsburgh skies
innocent kisses in fields with horses

i made her into more than she was
i made her into the great romance of my youth
instead of some sixteen year-old girl
whom i never gave a reason to and never called back

but it was enough to piss off katie
and whenever we’d fight
or i wasn’t being the good boyfriend in her eyes

she’d spit at me
why don’t you go back to your mara then?
go back to her if i’m not good enough for you

it was so silly but she was
the one small arsenal of assault that i had
against the deluge of katie’s history of sex

and on those lonely drives home
where i wanted to escape katie
and the rest of the people that i knew

i’d sometimes think about mara
and that innocence that i tossed aside

how it was probably
a fake innocence anyway
something that i just made up
to keep myself from happiness

that she was probably somewhere out there
another nineteen year-old with her
looking at horses and making out

wanting more
getting more

and it would be no big deal
between them.