Friday, May 29, 2015

poem of the day 05.29.15

say thanks

almost as
as velazquez
rokeby venus
the two girls walk
down seventy-fifth
smiling in belly baring shirts
drinking their
monsanto-laced starbucks
long legs already tanned
in the late spring
they are a simple pleasure
in an otherwise
sweaty and work-filled day
when they suddenly stop
look left and curl into themselves
their smiles gone for good
they pass me with their heads down
and when i get
to where they were standing
i see them
two young men
all hats backwards and sunglasses
t-shirts with stupid sayings in neon
their hands still on their crotches
making like they want to hump a fence
a bottle of jack and a cooler of beer on the porch
like a portents of doom
screaming down the street
at the girls
the least you could do, bitch
is say


Thursday, May 28, 2015

poem of the day 05.28.15

chinese tourists at the berlin wall

they’re teenagers maybe
close to teenagers

the boys look like girls look like boys
but there isn’t an adult in sight

at bernauerstrasse they’ve kept a large piece
of the berlin wall standing

there’s a museum that informs you
about the dead zone and the patrol guards

there’s a memorial to the ones who died
trying to get across to the west

but the chinese tourists don’t care
they’re doing cartwheels on land
where blood had been shed and neighborhoods ripped apart

doing jumping jacks and taking selfies
flashing the peace sign

i don’t know if this is incorrect behavior or not
what passes for immodesty in the year 2015?

is it even right to single them out as chinese?

at the world trade center memorial in new york city
you can buy hats and t-shirts with 9/11 on them

you could almost buy a cheese plate of the united states
with three holes cut out where the planes hit

but someone got wise

you can still buy coffee mugs
and keychains though

i’m sure american kids take selfies there by the dozen

inside the berlin wall memorial store
they have bookmarks of the wall

you can draw your own graffiti on them
tag that gray concrete like a regular banksy

maybe the teenagers will buy them
because every time one of them tried to write on the real wall
they chickened out

took another photo instead

i know i’m going to buy one
because i like to bring back small things from my trips

i’m going to leave mine blank

i want my berlin wall ominous and threatening
not covered with batmans and gorbachevs
political messages or i love you notes

i want to keep the fear real
for as long as i can

soon i’m going back outside
to take a selfie of my own

maybe with a piece
of rusted barbed wire

or those chinese kids
somewhere behind me breakdancing

And....another short one:

american girls
at the east side gallery

like like you know like
sorta like oh my god you know
like seriously like yolo you know
like whatever like like you know
drink on like um yeah like you know
like like like sorta hashtag app
like like you know oh my god
like whatever



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

poem of the day 05.27.15

bored digital

rare times
bored with myself
it used to be so easy
to find amusement
on the buses
or the trains
in lunatic wails
and gang fights
in lovers in the throes of passion
or excrement
plastered on plastic seats
trails of urine
snaking down bedbug rivers
but now
it feels like a claustrophobic
hive mind
on these things
a sea of heads down
tin soldiers unwound
from their day
playing into little machines
that have taken
all this glorious calamity
made it mute
still calling it
a future.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

poem of the day 05.26.15

john lennon pub

the john lennon pub
is around the corner
from the john lennon wall in prague
it’s full of tourists and ex-pats
who’ve just got done flashing peace signs
for their cameras
i like john lennon
so therefore i like the john lennon pub
even though they’ve mostly played
ringo songs so far
i’ve even found my nook
which is important to me in a bar
somewhere semi-private where the wife and i
can sit over three or four beers
with lennon and beatles photos surrounding us
and talk about how pretty prague is
i don’t really mind the americans sitting in the pub
the ones talking about
what geniuses beyoncé and kanye are
as beatles’ songs play
the three girls who keep trying to explain
to the czech bartender what hard cider is
because they don’t have to differentiate between the two here
or how when happy x-mas (war is over) comes on
they all have to sing it
and talk about how much they love christmas
how they wish they were in prague at christmastime
i think maybe it would
be nice to have a john lennon pub in america
a break from the sports bars and dives
we don’t do that kind of stuff for artists
in the good old u.s. of a
set up graffiti walls or pubs to remember them by
we keep fbi files on them
or they live in obscurity
as lesser talents get called geniuses
we ban their songs on the radio in times of war
and if they still get too loud
rock the boat too much
we send out one of our lunatics
in the guise of a hardcore fan
to pose for a picture with them
only hours before putting four bullets

right in their back.                                                         

Monday, May 25, 2015

"best of" poem of the day 05.25.15

wow...this poem is 9 years reads like it's 9 years old as well

memorial day

i told her we should
go to the park and have
a picnic.
she told me i hated picnics,
which is true.
picnics and parades
and kids and dogs
and disney and
the 4th of july and
football sundays
and people who talk to me
in bars when all i want is
a drink.
but it was worth a shot.
the summer was coming
already the cats were laying
on the linoleum in a heat-induced
it was getting harder to fuck,
burning and sweating until
we had to pour water on each
other’s assholes just to
settle down.
in a month the apartment
would be unbearable.
we had to get out and do something
now, i thought.
maybe we could just walk up
and down elmwood avenue,
going only into the air conditioned shops
but you hate people and shopping too, she said.
which was also correct.
so we opened up a couple of bottles
of cheap wine,
then the 12 pack of yuengling,
pulled down the shades,
and didn’t answer the phone.
we watched a couple of bad movies,
and fell asleep before the sun went down.
it was a good holiday


Friday, May 22, 2015

poem of the day 05.22.15

fat german teacher

the fat german teacher
comes into the train car
shaking her seating plan at my wife and i
she doesn’t speak english
and we don’t speak german
it took us forever to get these seats
so i’m inclined to ignore the bitch
but she won’t go away
her students keep looking at us
they’re all braces and girl giggles
over traveling to prague
and whatever dumb shit german teenagers
look up on their cell phones
the fat german teacher keeps shouting
reservations! reservations!
the only english she knows
i look at my wife and say
i didn’t think there were
reservations on this train
but one of the giggling german girls
stops laughing and says,
we book the whole car
in her own broken anglican dialect
sure enough there are dozens of other
giggling german girls and boys surrounding us
the fat german teacher starts shouting
reservations! reservations! all over again
so my wife and i get up from our seats to go
but she won’t even let us out of the car
it’s reservations! reservations!
like she’s discovered a new language
pushing her seating chart into my face
ready to start world war iii
this blob of a human being
whom you don’t understand
who doesn’t understand you
who squeals like a pig when you finally push past her
your wife stepping on her pink hooves
as you hit her in the gut with your bag
in lieu of any international treaty
or public apology. about a little extra poem today.....

richard brautigan

watching the girl
at the old hamburg rathaus
eat french fries
and all i can think about is



Thursday, May 21, 2015

poem of the day 05.21.15

ich bin goebbels?

in 1933
the nazis burned
20,000 books here in bebelplatz

einstein and mann and marx
amongst many others

hitler’s swanky old lapdog, goebbels
gave one of his inspirational speeches beforehand

now there is a monument of shame
dedicated to the night

a borrowing library

cushioned seats that you can sit in
to soak up the little bits of german sun

you can think of history
lost and gained here in bebelplatz

how the world doesn’t need goebbels
when it has shit like ISIS and Fox News

israeli zionists
republican controlled congresses
and modern day parents

think about how the world
keeps spinning on its own rusty axis
without any sense of history

like right now

i’m thinking about all the shitty books
written by poets that are out there

the ones i’d take a match to and burn

if only people wouldn't get
the wrong idea about me.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

poem of the day 05.20.15

angst und schrecken in der david quelle

these stairs are designed to murder a man
who’s had too much to drink

narrow, they wind like a medieval dungeon
to a bathroom that smells like death

upstairs where i left my wife alone
you can hear the six german men laughing

crowded around the tiny bar over their bottles of astra
and that black liquor the bartender keeps pouring out

i can still eat their cigarette smoke in the air down here

fourteen years off of those things
and i still think about cigarettes every day

think about them more than love or my own mortality

i wonder what i’m doing here clasping the sweating wall
in a german dive bar where i don’t belong

four thousand miles away from brooklyn problems
beers deep into an early hamburg afternoon

i’ve understood next to nothing that anyone has said to me today
i’ve done nothing to make myself heard

the light from the bottom of the stairs
looks like an oubliette

and i’m tired of trying to make this world my own

if i ever make it back up those steps
i think i’ll grab one of those german’s cigarettes
smoke it until i’m sweating and sick
like the first time i ever had one of those things

ask those laughing bastards
what their german word is for sadness or loss.

and......because Fleet Week is starting here in NYC:

fleet week

the three of them
were sitting at the end of the bar
in their starched white uniforms

like returning heroes
like princes of new york

christ, they all looked like sunburnt popeyes

drunk and liberated from their duty
waiting to go back aboard their ship
to shower with each other again

we were drinking nearby
drunk and liberated from our jobs
waiting to back to our apartment
to shower with each other again

when one of the little soldier boys asked me
is that you’re wife?

as the other two in their starched whites
just kept looking around
waiting for another drunk patriot to buy them
a congratulatory drink

for their volunteer service

or for someone to pat them on the back
and say, hell of a job, soldier

like conquering titans
like golden gods

only we’d been watching clowns like these
harass women all week in the city

he said to me, they must be fun

he started laughing
he put his hands toward his breasts
like he was holding two balloons

when the other two
saw what their sailor friend was doing
they tried putting his hands down

but then he fell off of his stool anyway

into a puddle of stale beer
and popcorn kernels

another brave soldier gone down
protecting my freedom.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

poem of the day 05.19.15

john wayne, my wife and me

all saddle up to a bar
blocks off the reeperbahn

the place is full of three old hamburg drunks
who stop like a record when we walk in

my wife and i order an astra
john wayne takes a coke with ice
because they don’t have any budweiser

but the bartender is too put back
by our american skin to draw them

he just stands there staring at us
looking at john wayne out of the corner of his eye

one of the drunks lets out a moan
he points at us with his shaky trigger finger

john wayne says, we didn’t come for any trouble, partner
so put the gun down

then he gets off his stool to take a piss

the bartender draws our beers
let’s my wife and i get through half of them
before he starts talking

he says, america, you shoot them up?
cowboys and indians?

i turn back looking for john wayne
because he’s always better with this stuff than i am

i try to go through everywhere incognito
but my wide gate and the jingling spurs always give me away

i weigh the odds

three old drunks
john wayne, my wife and me

the bartender says
hey, america, you make hamburgers
but i’m a hamburger you can’t eat

then he laughs and the far off drunk laughs
the one near us keeps pointing and moaning

he says, america, bah
then almost falls off of his stool

when john wayne gets back i tell him what happened
i tell him we should’ve stayed home
gone and seen the grand canyon instead

but john just takes his coke down in one pull
lights a camel and says,

courage is being scared to death
and saddling up anyway

plus i know a place by the hotel that does ribs
better than they do back in texas

my wife and i finish our astras
we thank the bartender for his hospitality

he gives us a double-barrel shotgun farewell
then shoots down a shot of jaeger

as we ride off into the sunset
a chorus of their laughter
left behind us on the trail.


Friday, May 15, 2015

poem of the day 05.15.15


it’s v.e. day around europe
leaders are laying wreaths for the long dead
in russia they are still finding gas masks
and pieces of soldiers at the bottom of swamps
there are soldiers and tanks
ready to parade down red square
on a bright saturday morning
in berlin we’re more subdued
almost too quiet for a friday night
there are no packs of tourists on the ebertstrasse
heading toward the holocaust monument
or the brandenburg gate
just protesters laying crosses along the tiergarten
and a ton of police idling next to parked vans
should a riot pop off
on the corner there are russians
chanting and waving the old hammer and sickle
as berliners walk home from work
ride their bikes along the pavement
heads down and paying yearly
for what almost a century has done
i try to imagine these celebrators
getting away with this in america
huge packs of vietnamese
waving flags on fifth avenue in new york city
every april thirtieth
or maybe a wall running through manhattan
for twenty-five years
separating lovers and families
because four big, bloated nations couldn’t get along
to the victors go the spoils, i guess
unless you’ve got the bomb and rambo films
then you’re always in the right
but time has a way of forgetting
and soon these celebrations will die down
generations will die off
and all of the old blood will cease to matter
the cranes that are all over this city
will remake berlin into its own future
and somewhere else
one lonely man with an idea
will start the killing all over again.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

poem of the day 05.14.15

dog mauling ii

just as sure as someone
once loved hitler
there are people out there
who love the pit bull
it’s probably not the man hitting it
with a broom handle
or the people gathered around it
smacking it with their fists
it’s most likely not the woman
screaming bloody murder
as the pit bull tosses her yorkie around
like a rag dog
or the people who have to walk by the beast
every morning for coffee
or for their jobs
it’s not the neighbors staring from their porches
who love the pit bull
or the woman’s husband
who’s running up the street
on his cell phone calling the cops
it’s not the children who are crying
watching as one animal destroys another
as their parents stand there too dumb with grief
to shield their innocent eyes
it’s not the person who will be charged
with cleaning up all of the blood
and it’s not, i, standing in my kitchen
watching my second dog mauling in ten years
who loves the precious widdle pit bull
but as sure as someone once loved
osama bin laden
someone out there
loves that dog.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

poem of the day 05.13.15

upstairs downstairs

my neighbor put on his music
the kind that reigned terror
and held an apartment building hostage
while downstairs
my fiancé unpacked the kitchen
as i tried getting our living room in order
i shouted to her
do you hear that shit?
my fiancé came into the living room
of our shit-hole railroad apartment
she cast her eyes up to the ceiling and sighed
again, i said
we’d been through it with neighbors
club girls and party girls
a bitch in pittsburgh who blasted steelers games
at top volume
when she wasn’t killing us with garth brooks
the dog who barked into our window at 3 a.m.
until i threatened to kill it and its owner
on new year’s eve
my neighbor was pacing to his music or dancing
or whatever the fuck he was doing to create more noise
while downstairs
i grabbed a broom without a handle
and started pounding into the ceiling
the rusted metal leaving pock marks all over
and chunks of plaster on our floor
we hadn’t even been there three hours yet
day one into a one-year brooklyn lease
and things were already looking bleak
but at least the music had stopped
is it me? i said
is it just my luck, my lot in life?
my fiancé shrugged, went back to unpacking the kitchen
while upstairs
my neighbor shouted and punched walls
made idle threats into the unknown
before slamming his front door
and pounding his way toward me
all the way

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

poem of the day 05.12.15

rather be in madrid

there are so many people in here
grabbing at their own shit to throw it
that the old cliché comes to mind

opinions are like assholes

or is that a saying?
a prophesy of humanity?

oh, but it doesn’t matter
for all of the gums flapping in here

the sucked up oxygen
the poison carbon dioxide blues

this one has her hand up
so does this one

this one speaks of something
no one was talking about in the first place

all this flesh clamoring
to get a word in edgewise

searching for significance
like anxious street whores on the gran via

cliché after cliché
making fartfaces at each other
in between sucks on the caffeine tit

sweating wild jacked-in automatons
with nowhere better on earth to be

while outside
these locked windows

the fat pigeons of the city
look like airplanes

dive bombing
into the pregnant yellow sun.


Monday, May 11, 2015

poem of the day 05.11.15

baltimore burns

while i sit
in a hotel room in berlin
drinking vodka and wine
in my underwear
like the prince of germany
the final speck of DNA
bridging the gap
between a country
that enslaved millions
and one that just went ahead
and gassed them.