Thursday, August 28, 2014

poem of the day 08.28.14

skinny jogger bitch

skinny jogger bitch
is in the lobby of the apartment building

she’s checking herself out
in the long mirror outside my door

when i open it
sweaty and in ripped shorts
holding a week’s worth of garbage and bottles
she turns her nose up at me

i don’t smile at skinny jogger bitch
we don’t like each other

but when we meet in the hallway like this
sometimes i’ll linger just to creep her out

i’ll scratch my ass or my balls
check out my own reflection in the mirror

pretend i forgot my keys or something
so that i end up taking the same elevator
as skinny jogger bitch

and even though i don’t like the smell
of her rose-scented sweat
her silken hair, her white teeth, or even her politics
it’s worth it just for her to have to smell
the stench of my cat shit if for only a few minutes

when we’re in the elevator together
it’s like two heated nations sharing a coke

we’d rather strangle each other
nuke the whole building
than ride three or four floors together

skinny jogger bitch
holds her nose and rolls her eyes
pats down her fancy running gear
as if i’ve infested them by my very presence

she turns up the shitty music
on her apple machine
and mouths the words

she’s embarrassed by the sounds
her own asshole makes
and never finds month old cheese on her kitchen floor

when she gets a pimple on her face
she takes a week off from work

skinny jogger bitch probably doesn’t even have a job
that kind of stress is for the asshole in apartment 1R

christ, she probably fucks like a snail if at all

when skinny jogger bitch
gets off of the elevator
i like to wave and tell her, until next time

she never says anything back to me
just glares until the door shuts and the elevator descends

taking a troll like me
back to the basement

where all of this building’s trash belongs.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

poem of the day 08.27.14

home run

some of the boys at the bus stop
got it around that tonya
liked to pleasure herself with a baseball bat

they all claimed to have seen it
but none of them could give the where and when

and even though these cats
were a rather dubious lot of chain smoking mama’s boys
a lot of the other kids still believed them

as is typical many of the girls shunned tonya
they called her a dyke because they were jealous

the boys made sure to taunt her pretty good about it

they spoke in baseball metaphors
strikeouts and getting to second base

i didn’t know what to think
i think i was concerned about my future success
with women

i knew what i had
i saw my disappointment in the shower
when getting dressed in front of a mirror

it wasn’t at all as big as a baseball bat at either end

and if that’s what it took to pleasure
a fifteen year-old girl

but we never got any real confirmation on tonya
she didn’t come back for sophomore year

all the boys at the bus stop had moved on anyway
to other tits and asses
the logistics of their own sad, sexual situations

they stood around and smoked cigarettes
they all claimed to hit home runs with a lot of girls

that summer i played baseball
but every time i came to bat
i couldn’t help but think about tonya
alone in her room with a brand new louisville slugger

my own cheap and juvenile loneliness

the scabs on my cock
from masturbating too much

i let each pitch go by me

strike one
strike two
strike three

then i took my place on the bench
to the boos from boys on my own team

angry, frustrated twerps with sour faces and potato chip breath

who called me a switch hitter
who swore up and down that with the way i hit

i must be playing for the wrong team


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

poem of the day 08.26.14

the caged blur

back then
i was going mad in my loneliness

i was without love
because i didn’t want
the kind of love that was coming my way

i couldn’t write
because i had nothing to write about
but sitting in bars with half-friends
trying to pick up women out of my league

wasting weekend nights on my own fear and failures
vomiting it all up on sunday mornings

i decided that pittsburgh was too small
i told everyone that i was going to join the merchant marine
although i had no clue how to do it

the internet was new at that time
so i’d look up the merchant marine online
and print up a bunch of shit like i was serious about it

no one cared

it wouldn’t have made a dent in their lives
if i was gone

i’d be one less obstruction toward getting
to the end of their day

i used to sit alone on the steps of the carnegie library
looking at those merchant marine papers

chain smoking cigarettes
and not touching my lunch

wondering what in the hell i was going to do now
that i was out of college with no job prospects and no ambition

i made it a harder time than it had to be
because i took america much more seriously then

it all seemed so serious and heavy sitting there
underneath that waving flag

i felt like a scared mouse
waiting for my turn to get on the wheel
and spin and spin and spin

around and around
this fabulously, dizzy, mendacious
caged blur that we have the audacity
to try and call a life

too confused to even try to look
for a simple and glorious way out.


Monday, August 25, 2014

poem of the day 08.25.14


if i had any real talent
i think i would’ve invented
a time machine by now
instead of sitting on this bus
dog tired of this dead, dull world
hanging on this asshole’s plastic benevolence
as he plays this shitty salsa music
out of his crystal device
hoping that he doesn’t decide to do any worse
he’s looking around this bus
like the most contented motherfucker in america
and why shouldn’t he be?
no one is going to say a word to him
not me, not the other exhausted fools
not the bus driver dreaming his huge city pension
he’s singing along for everyone’s pleasure
we could go and hang ourselves on his noise
hang him if we had any guts
and i think it’s moments like this one
staring at this prick’s unused headphone jack
that maybe i should hang it up
stop wasting poems on this madness
quit the job, get a bungalow in the woods
learn to grow vegetables and start frying up squirrels
take up landscape painting and chess
read robinson jeffers with a wink and a nod
because this place is done
it’s just getting worse
with the race hating, the murder
the cycle of war, the beheadings
the android people walking down android streets of commerce
with their digital heads firmly up their digital asses
and still another NFL season to trudge through
i think if i had any real talent
i would’ve invented that time machine
and maybe gone back thirty years or so
like to 1984 or even 1985
when i was younger and not so bothered
by so many things
although i’m pretty sure
everything was for shit then too.


Friday, August 22, 2014

poem of the day 08.22.14

dystopia in the canned food aisle

i keep thinking maybe she’ll move her cart
so i can squeeze by and get those
cans of cat food that i need

but there’s too much for her to do on her phone
status updates and games of chance

when she looks up
she gives me one of those asshole smirks
scoots the cart aside an inch
just to let me know how much i can go and fuck myself

so i think the hell with it
and back up toward the next aisle

which is a sea of rusted carts and angry faces
flabby bodies junked up on antibiotic meats and chemical tomatoes

scratching off items from their lists
and playing on their cell phones too

the stock boys are flinging boxes against displays
cackling mad as cans roll all over the ground

they look as if they’ll never escape this degradation
this dystopia in the canned food aisle

where there is a sweating kid in a carriage screaming
but it’s mine!  but it’s mine!

wailing, holding her hands toward a can of chicken noodle soup
whose sodium content seems to baffle everyone

as her mother says out loud
hey, i don’t even think there’s chicken in this

right before a display of baked chips
comes raining down on my head

hit from behind by a woman pushing a cart the size of a tank

slowly rumbling its way down red square.
or the streets of suburban america.                                           

Thursday, August 21, 2014

poem of the day 08.21.14

the incredible loneliness of west virginia

at times it was true
i felt alone in that housing plan in west virginia

fresh from a concrete yard full of kids
in the great city of pittsburgh

it didn’t bother me as much
as maybe it did my parents

there were no kids my age on the street

most of the people in the plan
had been there for several years

they were coal mining democrats
with plastic on their furniture
and reagan/bush 1980 bumper stickers
still fresh on the back of their cars

i was alone but rarely ever lonely

there was one kid, ronnie
he was twelve to my seven
but i hung around him anyway
because the two of us
were out of options during the summer

ronnie liked bb guns and atari
i liked his baseball card collection

when the boredom was too much
we’d sit in ronnie’s living room

he played video games
while i looked through his card collection

when i found a pittsburgh pirate card
i’d drop it from the pile and hide it under my thigh
then get them into my pocket
when ronnie got up for pepsi or to piss

in my bedroom i had pirate cards galore

i’d use the cards to draw the players
and then hang them all over my walls
until my west virginia bedroom
was a sea of black and gold

they reminded me of everything
that i was missing back home

when the fall came
ronnie had school friends again
but i still hadn’t made any

i went by his house to look at baseball cards
but ronnie and his friends were sometimes on the lawn

holding their bb guns up
looking for low flying birds or rabid bats

or they were playing football on the street

ronnie said that he didn’t have time
he said he’d run out of pirates cards

and then all of the other boys would laugh

they’d go back to throwing the pigskin around
or searching the sky for an animals to pelt

while i walked back home
against the fading sunlight

of the wild and wonderful landscape.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

poem of the day 08.20.14

simply beautiful

on the radio
another million dollar
reality television whore
is talking about her latest project

she says you need to take about thirty selfies
to get the right one

they say that next year she’ll make another
eighty-five million off of her latest app
and her self-help book looks to be a big seller 

the guy driving this car says to me
this is going to be a glorious day
tons of sun and no humidity

he waits on me to give my two cents
but i’m half-hungover, tired,
and i don’t like where he’s taking me

so i say, yeah, it’s the sort of day some people might like

it’s a day for everyone, he says
it’s simply beautiful!

i look out the window
just in time to catch a man in a three-piece suit
step in a pile of dog shit

he stops and throws his hands up
to ask the gods, why me?

as the million dollar
reality television whore
chuckles about her wealth into the radio static

billions of ancient photons
at her beck and call

this morning’s flaming yellow dwarf
and all of  sleepy-headed america

bowing for her too.                                           

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

poem of the day 08.19.14


his voice is almost female
it booms through the 59th street station

ladies and gentlemen
this is just an announcement
this is to let you know that johnny svevo
is a fag
he has fag-itis
whatever you do stay away from johnny svevo

and sure enough there goes johnny
pouncing through the station
with his buzzcut and ironic t-shirt
followed by another little shaved nazi
with his hands clasped over his mouth for echo-effect

i repeat, johnny svevo has fag-itis
do not approach

and here i thought kids these days
were supposed to be more liberal of mind

good ol’  johnny takes a swing at his friend
for good measure

of course, he misses
johnny is the perennial charlie brown of his set

he’ll be the last one of his pals to taste pussy

his friend does his girl laugh and it echoes
up and down the station
as loudly as his warning about johnny’s fag-itis

people are kind of watching them
most are playing on their cellphones

but we’ve all been through this kind of torture
it’s such a rite of passage

then the voice comes again
high and giggly

ladies and gentlemen
this is just an announcement
this is to let you know that johnny svevo
is a fag
he has fag-itis
whatever you do stay away from johnny svevo

well, i guess we’ve all been warned
ebola and now this fag-itis business

then the two boys
run around the station
slap-boxing and laughing

some yells for them to shut up already

it’s another nice night in america
for as nice as nights in america can go.


Monday, August 18, 2014


My wife spent a good three days explaining to me via email and at home what exactly a Blog Tour is.  I guess I don’t get out much online because I’m still not quite sure what it is.  What I’ve gathered is that one writer sends two writers a Blog Tour invite, the two writers answer some questions about the writing process, and then they send along an invite for two other writers to do the same.  Everyone answers the same questions.  Everyone helps to promote each other.  As you’ll see below I utterly failed at the small task passed my way.

First and foremost I was invited to do the Blog Tour by Lori Jakiela.  To be honest I have not read much of Lori’s memoir work but I’m a huge fan of her poetry, so much so that I’ve read what she has out there quite a few times.  Lori is one of those folks who can really get the line down.  As a writer she’s one of those poets whom you want to be envious of when you read a poem that knocks your socks off, but instead of wallowing in envy you want to do something just as amazing.  That’s my kind of poetry.  So thank you Lori for the invite.  I’m sorry I pretty much failed you, but hopefully Ally Malinenko will hold up her end and keep this Blog Tour going.  For all of you taking the time to read this, here’s a link to Lori Jakiela’s blog and her answers to the Blog Tour.

Now….without further ado, here are my answers to the Blog Tour questions:

What are you working on?
I just finished two rough drafts on two novels.  Both use the same character from my 2013 novel, The Librarian.  The first is called The Wine Clerk, and pretty much picks up the action about six months after the end of The Librarian with Rand Wyndham working in a wine store and living back in Buffalo, New York. 

The other novel is called Mary Bermiano.  It’s about a much younger Rand getting involved in his first real relationship.  It takes place in 1994.  I had the draft hanging around for a number of years and basically rewrote it as a Rand book.

I’m getting ready to start another Rand book…The Poet.  It’s hopefully going to be about Rand working once again as a librarian and dealing with the poetry scene.  I plan on bringing back Carolina and basically doing my best to write a classic Three’s Company plot with subtle mention of Don Knotts.

How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?
It doesn’t really.  I’m one of thousands of little Bukowskis out there.  My writing is pretty straightforward because I hate reading shit that I can’t understand.  If I try to do anything different, at least different for myself, is I try to add more humor.  Especially in fiction.  All the old fiction I wrote was always so heavy.  Some of the poems too.  Everything has to be so precious.  It was as if I’d learned to write by hanging out with Zach Braff.  I realized around my mid-30s that I really wanted to tell dick jokes, and would’ve been better suited writing a sitcom than poems or novels.

Why do you write what you write?
Ah….the eternal question.  The eternal answer: I don’t know?  To be honest I write what I write to please myself.  The subjects that I choose to write about are the subjects that I want to read about.  It’s as simple as that.

How does your writing process work?
Monday through Friday I’m up at 5 a.m.  I write.  Hopefully I have some ideas floating around so I’m not spending too much time on Facebook or looking at internet porn.  Hopefully I’m not hungover.  I generally write from everyday life so it’s not that hard to come up with something.  I do well with anger and disgust and humans being humans there’s always someone out there who raises my ire.  Two days ago some kid was calling another kid a fag at the 59th Street station.  I thought kids these days were post-social and didn’t call each other fags.  I’ll probably write a poem about that today.

okay, so that’s it.  Lori here is where I failed you and this whole gig.  I tried for a week to find writers to do this.  Some didn’t respond.  Some weren’t interested.  The truth is that I simply do not know a lot of writers.  I know bartenders and waiters and waitresses and, sadly, a ton of Librarians. But I don’t really know any writers.  Especially writers with blogs.  If I do know writers I’m usually not aware that they have blog because other than my blog and reading the NY Times I try and spend as little time online as possible.  So I’m very sorry.  That said, if people get back to me I will be posting a link to their blogs.  Let’s hope Ally comes through.

Tomorrow....a return to the poems!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

poem of the day 08.14.14


they are waiting in lines
in neighborhoods at all hours of the day
the caffeine fixed
the juiced
these junkies
sucking up the oxygen and the bandwidth
rabid philistines foaming at the mouth
with a sixty-four ounce cup of iced java
running into each other
knocking old men off of curbs
internet zombies with infested blood
i can’t crack open a beer in broad daylight
and stroll around minding my own business
but these hopped-up, wide-eyed tit suckers
can get behind the wheel of a car at all hours?
where are the cops when you really need them?
probably in line at starbucks
these addicts
these slaves to the grind
see them flipping out at red lights
cursing at the top of their lungs
in between tapping out diatribes on their phones
gps guided doing sixty in a thirty-five
flying from one costumed dealer to the next
for the next coffee fix
before this great american buzz runs out
forty plus hours a week at the job
kids with extra-curriculars
rents and mortgages galore
drowning in free amazon shipping
and a dvr on full-tilt
bowing before the faces of ugly men and women
cheap suits and stultifying offices omnipotent
serving the servants the fifty-two inch television nightmare\
and then back in line
sucking it down
sucking it down
wondering why in the hell
none of us can get a good night’s sleep.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

poem of the day 08.13.14

don’t go to 9th avenue

the sound of her shrill voice
pulls me right out of the frank o’hara

she says into her phone
why didn’t you pick up by the 2nd ring?

and i find myself looking at the cellulite
on the back of her high-kicking thigh

it’s not a judgment
it’s simply where my focus lands
instead of on the frank o’hara

oh, don’t give me that shit, she says
you’re supposed to be heading to 9th avenue
to pick up your son

because he’s been waiting for you all day, she says

i look away from the cellulite
to the boy standing on the orange plastic seat
watching dull brooklyn go by on the d train

he’s smiling
either clueless or like a buddhist
he just accept his life for what it is

if he’s smart he misses no one

that’s fuckin’ bullshit, she says
i mean what exactly are you doing?
it ain’t like you have a job

and now others are watching the evening show

i look into her face
haggard, too much eye make-up

i have no room to talk
today two separate people told me that i look like hell
and they were most likely right

she squints at me
i figure if i don’t turn away
i’m next on her hit list
but she’s like watching a car wreck

yeah, she says into her phone
well, you should’ve thought of that
when you knocked me up

and don’t take that tone with me, asshole, she shouts

her boy stops looking out the window
she turns to him and gives him an eskimo kiss

in twenty years he’ll be on the other end
of a phone call like this

then she says,
if you’re going to be like that
we can just go to my mother’s

we all wait on bated breath for his answer

what do you mean good? she shouts

look, i don’t give a shit
you just get your ass down to 9th avenue right now
or i swear, anton, i fucking swear, she says

she hangs up the phone
before she can complete the threat

she grabs her standing kid and puts him in her lap
smothers him with kisses and future psychosis

while somewhere out there
anton is sweating bullets over 9th avenue

or he’s sitting back and cracking open another beer
happy with the buzz of silence

before the phone will ring again
and he has to suffer the cadence
of her wonderful, motherly voice.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

poem of the day 08.12.14


when the politician
can no longer lie with a straight face

when the media
no longer searches for the truth

when genocide gets sandwiched in between
comic strips and cartoon ads

when the citizenry disregards its compassion
for another caffeine and bandwidth fix

when the food is poisoned
and the water is rank

when the roads are potholed
and the bridges creak and sway

when we give ground more than stand it
when the wars rage on and on without end

when another millionaire
finances our future into rubble

and another celebrity takes a picture
of her gilded tits and ass

when epidemic becomes the norm
and god replaces the human heart and mind for good

when there is no hope in science
when philosophy has reached its apex
and benevolence becomes the crime

when new persecutions
stand around the edges of our borders

when hate is glorified
with patriotism and commercial dollars

when corporate sports become our only refuge

when loves becomes
just another four-letter-word
and art and literature have failed for good

when tree bark peels from the dying trees
and the shit-stained concrete lies bountiful
with the bodies of dead baby birds

when rabid dogs howl into the soda can ash

and the comedian can no longer
find anything left to laugh about

when the sun burns out due to boredom and sloth

perhaps then my friends
perhaps then.


Monday, August 11, 2014

poem of the day 08.11.14

after work caste system blues

the ones who
have to – run
for their cars
the buses
the trains
and the ones who
don’t have to
stroll like grand debutants
with all
the time this diamond world
will allow


Friday, August 8, 2014

poem of the day 08.08.14

my phone call with larry

i was feeling idle
arguing with schopenhauer in my head
about what constitutes original thought
when the phone rings at my desk

kid, larry says, it’s me

noon and i could already tell that he was
three sheets to the wind

you like cheap scotch and i like cheap cognac
but let’s not make this about us, he says

okay, i tell him

i wanna talk
i wanna talk about those israeli motherfuckers
and those palestinian pricks

larry says, i want you to know that women aren’t worth it
believe me when i say that a piece of ass is fleeting at best

he says, i’m no racist
but everyone at the food stamp office ain’t white
and that president we have shouldn’t even be president
not because he’s black
but because he was only a two-term senator

we should’ve elected that broad, larry says
what’s her name?

clinton, i answer

yeah, her.  at least her old man was president
he did it two times, larry says

he was good at two-timing, i say

larry doesn’t laugh
he just says, so you think you’re a comedian now
you need to drink more cheap scotch and i need more cognac
then he stops for a drink

if i’ve learned anything in this world, he says
it’s that i’ve learned nothing except that everything is misery

i wonder if larry is reading philosophy too

he says, this ain’t no life, kid
two divorces and medical bills
a daughter who wants a tummy tuck
and breast augmentation surgery at thirty-five

larry says, i mean what the fuck?

i don’t know, i tell him

two rooms and a shared bathroom, he says
food stamps and government handouts at my age

larry says, this is why i get lost in movies
in the old ones and in the new ones
i’d rather live in a film than drive these ugly streets

he says, if it weren’t for my grandkids
i’d buy a gun and do myself in
i’d take some motherfuckers with me, you know?

things are tough all over, larry, i tell him

you just drink your scotch, he says
and i’ll drink my cheap cognac

he stops for another drink

he says, you still there?

yeah, larry, i say

i’m at my job
larry knows that he has me until six

good, he says
you see, i went to the doctor the other day
and he says

he seems to think
that it’s something about my liver, kid

Thursday, August 7, 2014

poem of the day 08.07.14

the camel

is always on my back
she always wants water
she comes in sweating from the summer
with her one tooth missing
huffing her bad breath on me
and airing out her hairy armpits
water, she says,
shaking her cloudy bottle at me
like i’m some kind of dealer
when i take it from her
she says, come on, fill it to the top this time
because i’ve been cheating her and we both know it
i’ve let her down

the camel
she has a big hunched back
everyone says that’s where she keeps it all
liquids, her life
while i fill her water bottle
i’m careful not to touch the top of it
like she’s got ebola or worse
i wonder if anyone’s ever fucked her
laid the camel on that big back of hers and went to town
humping and bumping
licking the space where that tooth used to be
got caught up in her mane of natty black hair
told her that she’s loved

when i give her back the bottle
she doesn’t even say thanks
just takes a drink right there under those hot lights
letting the good water spill out of her mouth
on her stained shirt and all over the floor
later, she says
before limping her way out of the front door
back to the concrete and glass-strewn desert
where she’ll walk another five miles
until the sun dips and another day commits suicide
leaving me here, thirsty
and in need of a shower
hungry for something more than she and i
ever got.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

poem of the day 08.06.14


in the face
of the loud, fat child
in the got freedom? t-shirt
the old man trying to spray me
with his garden hose
the lady trimming flowers
and pulling weeds
with her wide ass farting saturday morning
in the teenagers on the train
playing rap full blast
and the prick blowing smoke in my face
the cop on the corner
watching me cross against the light
on dogs and cats
bending in tall weeds to shit
in the glare of old women
past their prime
and men still trying to relieve their youths
the slothful in restaurants
drinking gravy boats of fat
as the big game plays on infinitely
the bored and stuck on the bus to work
waiting on death or retirement to come first
in patients watching bad television
in waiting rooms of the damned
the men killing the sun in dark bars
on the liquor store kid
as he takes another one
of my hard-earned twenties
in the look of contempt
on the deli man’s face
another lost afternoon in america
as we standoff over lunch
right before he asks me what i want
and still
all i can see around me
all i’ve ever seen around me
are miles and miles
of dead meat.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

poem of the day 08.05.14


there were many girls
whom i chased on campus
but few that i actually talked to
gwen started talking to me in art class one afternoon
because we were both drunk in the middle of the day

a drunk can always tell another drunk
especially when he’s staring right at you

but i couldn’t help myself
she had the most wonderfully wide eyes
and dyed red hair that she was always blowing out of her face

after that we hung out on campus a bit
i was getting over someone who wouldn’t let me go
and she was just getting into someone

some days i’d walk her to the bus stop
on others we’d sit on the library steps
eating vendor hot dogs
watching our coeds go from class to class

gwen talked at times about him
but i never felt the need to mention her at all

she worked at a bar down on st. clair street
that had over fifty beers on tap

you should come by one night, gwen said
but i never knew how to take her invitation
what with all of the boyfriend talk

so i never went

when class ended we offered to keep in touch
but who really does?

gwen said that she was leaving pittsburgh anyway

for a while life grew aimless
i had the first of many dead end full-tine jobs

and in my spare time i knew
where every quarter draft night was
in the fine city of pittsburgh and its surrounding suburbs

i was floating by
and content to do so for however long it took

one night i was drinking in the bar of an italian restaurant
with an old friend and a blonde whom i just met

a girl who would try her best to destroy me
later that very same year

when there was gwen dressed in full waitresses regalia
her hair a bit longer and pulled back into a ponytail
but still tickling her cheeks

when she saw me those eyes lit up
and i felt some hope creep up in there with the failure

she called me over to her and gave me a hug

she said,
i’m glad you never came down to that bar
because they all ended up being assholes there

i wanted to ask her about the boyfriend
about how she came to stay in the city
but gwen started writing something down on her order pad

she ripped a piece of paper off and handed it to me
there was her name and phone number


but then i noticed a bunch of fractions
with prices listed next to them

pot, gwen whispered
i’m selling pot now

then she blew the hair out of her face
and left me standing there

i went back over to my friend and the blonde

she was underage
she liked to wink at me while he talked
and when she bummed a smoke off of me
she didn’t even ask

she just took one from the pack
and went out into the night

shaking her ass
and craning her neck every few steps
to make damn sure that i was looking at her

instead of that space in the archway
that gwen had left.


Monday, August 4, 2014

poem of the day 08.04.14

the car alarm

a late model
silver piece of conspicuous consumption
with a sunroof
parked in front of my kitchen window

and for three days now its alarm
has been going off
at intermittent moments
breaking the continuity of thought
and life with its blaring wonk

i look outside like a man about to commit murder
and see the car’s warning lights
flashing like some beacon of hell

when the noise stops it’s as if
chest pains or bad gas has passed

it’s the closest that i’ll come to god

you can hear the whole neighborhood yelling
at this car alarm
kids crying, dogs barking
the old decrying the fall of their civilization

yet no one comes out to fix it
no buff asshole in reflector shades holding a clicker
no dim blonde giggling to her gal pals
and dangling a set of keys

they are how i picture this car’s owner to look

some overly tan and privileged trust fund baby slumming here
one who revels in keeping a neighborhood at his mercy

someone who loves summer

when the alarm goes off again
i think about all that i’d like to do to that car

smash its windows
slash its tires
key both sides of it or pelt it with eggs
leave a nasty note that says
fix your car, asshole

but i do nothing for there is nothing to do

no one else does a thing
because we are all prisoners here

we know that these kinds of people have won the war
the last great american revolution

so i close the window
put on the fans and blast the radio

i sit on the couch and drink cheap wine
try to think about hot legs or autumn in europe

as the car alarm goes
ad nauseam

under the din of life and death
in rotten brooklyn.

Friday, August 1, 2014

poem of the day 08.01.14

where have you gone eddie murphy?

up to cartoon donkey heaven?

hiding away in a bubble hill mansion
of the mind?

on some film set in l.a.
waiting to drop another cinematic turd
on your old fan’s heads?

i remember when you were the baddest motherfucker
to stroll across the stage

the thing is…do you?

ten years old and getting up in the middle of the night
to watch delirious

trying not to piss myself while my parents slept
then sleeping through school the next day

eddie, the way you made mr. t look
man, i could never watch the a-team
with a straight face again

eddie murphy, every white suburban mom’s nightmare
on a hot summer day with the ice cream song

i don’t know a drop of shakespeare
but goddamn it, man
there are entire bits from raw
that this pool fool can recite by heart

where have you gone eddie murphy?

knocking up spice girls and hiding behind prosthetics
another beverly hills cop movie in infinite development

i think of those years buying used vhs copies
of 48 hrs., trading places, beverly hills cop
and the golden child

hoping that the pimple-faced fuck
working the video store counter wouldn’t give me shit
hiding the movies underneath my bed
like illegal contraband

eddie, i suffered harlem nights for you

i did it for jasmine guy too
and now she’s gone as well

i even bought both your shitty albums
i don’t want to think this has all been a waste of time

can’t you see we need you?

it’s not just the prostitutes on sunset boulevard
who want you back

what’ll it take to get you to make another classic?
five million?  ten million?
fifty-percent of the profits on another hit?

if we could just get you up there on the silver screen

think coming to america, boomerang,
robin givens in a horizontal position

eddie, whatever it is that you need
just come on and give us something new laugh about?

bill cosby is still out there
he’s having a coke and a smile

so go on and dust off that red leather outfit
and take it out for spin

i’m sure it still fits

hit the comedy clubs and give them all a scare

eddie, stand under those hot white lights
and tell us a joke or two
then turn to the crowd and do that magical laugh

make this tired, cruel world
bust its big fat gut
just one more time for old time’s sake.