Tuesday, June 30, 2015

poem of the day 06.30.15

all hail the american bro
in the used cd store
            --for ben john smith

with his white sports coat
that has the american flag pinned to the lapel
with his bad cologne
his hair slicked back and his spray-on tan
wearing his shades in the used cd store
with his cell phone pressed to his ear
talking to some dude named, chris
with his ability to ooze through an aisle
bitching about how big his house in jersey is
with the way he tells chris
but, bro, we got a sweet deal on the place
with the way he cautions
is his boy getting married for love
or just because it’s the next step?
for his candor in admitting to everyone
that his wedding was his wife’s idea
because he’s been married for six years
he knows all of the tricks of the trade
and no one has the balls to doubt him
with his stack of dave matthews cds
that he hold like precious jewels he’s excavated
from the one-dollar bin
with his quest for adam sandler films
and the oeuvre of kevn james
for the way he tells, chris,
that jurassic world was the fucking bomb
and he’s a douche if he doesn’t go out and see it
before inviting chris to his fourth of july barbecue
out at that big-ass house in jersey
with the pool and the kids running around and all of that shit
for the way this american bro
has kept the country running amidst all the war and social turmoil
how comfortably familiar he is walking around this store
like he’s planning on buying everything
then heading over to friday’s
for the mid-day beer special and boneless hot wings
because, fuck this week, bro, he tells chris
before finding a john mayer double live cd
no, fucking triple live album
holding it up into the fluorescent lights of the store
like he’s found the holy grail.


Monday, June 29, 2015

poem of the day 06.29.15


Friday, June 26, 2015

poem of the day 06.26.15

the unluckiest man on the face of the earth

i’ve never bet one cent on sports
never played a slot machine
or rolled dice in vegas
i don’t like poker or gin
i wrote poems at the dog races
and drunkenly threatened to call the ASPCA
many editors have called me bukowski light
but the horse races can have themselves
when someone says, i’ll bet you
i usually balk, even if i know i’m right
my wife wants to bet me all of the time
but we share a bank account
so it makes no goddamned sense
i was in atlantic city once years ago
but i spent the weekend crushing ritalin pills
putting the powder up my nose
and getting drunk on vodka and beer
when i wasn’t in the strip clubs
there was a documentary on donald trump
that played continuously
i’m willing to bet no one watched it more than once but me
i tend to eat the same foods
and get drunk on the same shit night after night
i don’t even take any chances on people
i haven’t made a new friend in years
and the ones i have
i could lay some money down
on what their reactions would be
but whenever the people in my office
collect money for the lottery
i usually chip in a buck
not for the thrill of chance
but out of fear that they’ll win one day
when i don’t play
and that the next morning
i’ll wake up with the realization
that they’re all millionaires now
free of the stigma of having to work a job
and that i’ll have to go into work alone
die there in my seat until i’m sixty-five
end up on the front cover of the new york post
with a big headline in bold letters calling me
the unluckiest man on the face of the earth.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

poem of the day 06.25.15

ashes of confederate flags

the devil went down to georgia
and he took me with him
fourteen years old and obese
but desperately in love with girls
friends of friends had a pool party
their fifteen year old neighbor
in a bikini broke my world
that i became such stuttering blubber
to her american blonde southern peach
but she played so nice with me that day
splashing and flirting and winking
she worked in a video store
when she wasn’t destroying
young boys like me poolside
stocked the comedy and romance
was in love with the standard 1980s pin-up boys
we went to visit her a day or so after
the pool party i hadn’t stopped thinking about
no bikini on her but blonde as the sunrise
she took one look at my spiked hair and pimples
double chin, a t-shirt that couldn’t fit
pink and blue shorts, socks pulled up too high
tourist white sneakers and hairless flesh
a smile that must’ve said a thousand sweet nothings
said, ya’ll must be kidding me with this
before she went back to a row of action films
that weren’t even her section
started stocking the stallone and bronson
until i got up the courage to turn and walk away
fighting back tears in the blistering southern sun


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

poem of the day 06.24.15

love’s travel stop (sunday afternoon)

it’s already ninety degrees out
not even one in the afternoon
i curse the climate while taking a piss
in the men’s room at love’s travel stop
somewhere in pennsylvania
where every billboard on the turnpike is telling me
energy taxes are killing the working man
and that the bible is absolute, true and final
there’s a country music song playing
something about springsteen songs and lemonade stands
men on the moon and fireflies in june
the singer tells me that we don’t always get it right
but there’s nowhere he’d rather live than america
i’m glad that i don’t know the song
but there are a lot of men whistling to it
as they piss and wash their hands
back in the travel store people are in lines
paying for gas and buying cigarettes and snuff
i grab two bottles of unregulated water
owned by pepsi or coke
found in springs from out in drought-torn california
the country song is still playing
about high school proms and open arms on country farms
everyone in the love’s travel stop is white
except for one black dude
he’s wearing a blue chip in his ear
he’s got a big backpack on and is sweating profusely
he keeps asking everyone coming in and going out
how hot they think it is outside
i tell him it’s ninety
he says, it can’t be, it just can’t be
and starts pacing around the store cursing
i think maybe i should start getting worried about this
with the way things are going in america
but then it hits me that black people don’t usually kill in bulk
the way us white people do
so i smile at the cashier who calls me honey
pay for my gas and the water
start singing the country song
in the same disney voice as the singer on the radio
go outside and drop fifteen fracking dollars into the tank
along with every other picture postcard yankee
blessed to be living here in one nation under god


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

poem of the day 06.23.15

ariana moaning
            --after chris hedges & youporn
crouched in the marble lobby
of nowhere
knees bent and jean skirt up above the thighs
playing with her hairless pussy
tells the camera that she’ll be banging six-five guys
in her cunt
in her ass and in her mouth
on her chest and face
her legs and arms will be glistening with semen
ariana says she can’t wait
she says her pussy and her asshole can take it
she shakes her shag of brown hair
and says it’ll be hot
it’ll be nasty
ariana says she likes it disgusting
takes a finger out of her pussy
and puts it in her mouth
as the men line up shirtless and in jeans
she goes over to them
and starts touching the bulge between their legs
ariana is someone’s daughter
she once did twenty men on a firetruck
admits she’s okay with ass to mouth
she’s twenty-one and is moving from man to man
sucking them off for the boys at DIRECTV
off goes the white blouse
off goes the jean skirt
naked ariana leading two men by their cocks
to a blood red bed in the middle of the marble lobby
as the other
sixty-three men
gather around
pants down and cocks out
jerking-off over top of her
to keep it hard
like a team of gonzo surgeons working to save a life
the first one of the day in her mouth
the first one of the day in her ass
oh ariana moaning
where did america go so wrong?                                              

Monday, June 22, 2015

poem of the day 06.22.15

hashtag nation

i sit here scratching bug bites
reading twitter posts from the moral majority

thousands of hashtags screaming out in protest
from behind their computer screens

sickened by this week’s tragedy

yet the streets of dissention are empty on this block
save the homeless picking through the trash

i wonder where the protest is

or is it enough to voice your outrage
in one hundred and forty characters or less?

is it enough to post a meme of some injustice
to feel all warm and self-righteous inside?

i look for the debate
between the ads for amazon and hot dog stuffed pizza

but it’s just trite bullshit and platitudes

no more than a collective shrug from the slaves
binge streaming episodes of the latest netflix

a candlelight vigil by proxy
a feel good moment before the next set of bullets fly

and when they do it’ll be the same crap

millions of smug illiterates opting for love and hate
hashtagging away their empire of illusion


as the presidents wags his finger in shame
and the corporate masters of disasters
push out another war or hollywood bimbo

drunk and stumbling from a neon club

dangling her like string in our hive mind

to help ease the dark moments back into the trivial

before the debate even begins

so we can forgive and forget the trail of blood
pouring into the dying ocean

just like all of the other ones before it


Friday, June 19, 2015

poem of the day 06.19.15

writing poems in the free world

having used google
to help me write poems
this morning

i’ve looked up

guns, hitler, nazis
mark david chapman
communism and genocide

i should be expecting a knock at my door
any moment now.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

poem of the day 06.18.15

to beyoncé

i’ll admit
i’ve only heard your music in passing

have tried to keep the bile down
in front of people who call you an artist

but beyoncé
there’s a pack of girls sitting here
maybe they’re eleven, twelve tops
who think you’re a dream

they love your body
they want your body

the fat one says, if i slimmed down
i’d have beyoncé’s body

her friend says, no you wouldn’t
in that sharp twelve year-old way

she says, all i have to do is diet

another says, i am dieting
i haven’t eaten lunch for two months

they’re sucking pepsi, beyoncé
so that fifty million they gave you is safe in the bank

the one girl looks painted up like a clown

i don’t know how she got
out of the house looking like that

maybe her friends fixed her
in the bathroom at school
while they were singing one of your songs

although to be quite honest, bey
none of the girls have mentioned your music

but they’ve talked about how beautiful you are

that air-brushed skin on those l’oreal ads
those legs in twenty-foot tall h&m ads
your blonde wig in the toyota ad

hell, even the president says
that you’re a role model to his daughters

so in his drone-strike daydreams
you must be doing something right
…and toni morrison be damned

beyoncé, i don’t mean to pick on you
i know you’ve done some philanthropic work

but you’re one of a dozen of no talents
fortunate enough to make a buck in the oligarchy

and ordinarily i’d say take the money and run, babe

buy yourself a vegan paradise
a million dollar fruit flush and detox diet

only, maybe, think of the kids
the next time you’re shaking your ass for the big money

signing on for another fortune
to sell sugar drinks and fairy tales to little girls

who can hardly breathe from the fumes
of your perfume

and are too weak from starvation
to get up and dance

when one of your infectious jams
comes on the radio

in between the commercial breaks.

....and this oldie seems fitting this week:

fat poetry editor

the fat poetry editor
has his face on a dozen web sites
standing in front of a microphone
like some third-rate comedian
he’s not fooling anyone with that tweed blazer
and a faded concert t-shirt
that he bought at target or wal-mart
the fat poetry editor
is short and squat and hairy
he belongs eating potatoes in middle earth
instead of looking at my poetry
but the world isn’t fucking fair
i’m not rich or good looking
or very talented
plus i’m kind of overweight too
and the fat poetry editor gets to look at my poems
then send me back rejection notes
telling me that my shit sounds like a bon jovi song
usually after something like that
i sit in front of my machine
and think of ways of getting back
at the fat poetry editor
like i’ll google him and read his shitty poetry
just to make myself feel better
or i’ll jack-off to internet porn
to stave off the thoughts of creative suicide
but the feeling doesn’t last too long
because i still have that rejection letter
sitting in my inbox
thus proving that the fat poetry editor wins in the end
i’m sure he gets his poetry rejected too
with poems like his he must
but i’m also sure that the fat poetry editor
has made a lot of friends in this shabby business
so he’s assured himself a place in many an online rag
plus there’s some quid pro quo going on there, i think
the fat poetry editor scratches someone’s back
then they comb their fingers through his furry haunch
it has to be like that
otherwise i sound like a bitter man here
and bitter men
never have their pictures up
on literary web site
the way that fat poetry editors do.                                 10.12.12

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

poem of the day 06.17.15

this is a hallmark moment

it’s like something out of disney
this is a hallmark moment
that i’m getting down here
a little oasis from nutbags digging through trash
and every teenager thinking they’re a rap star
just a mother and child
playing a cutesy game of stepping on each other’s toes
and blowing kisses in each other’s face
this is nice, i think
america needs more of these moments
turning my head away to wait for the N train
i hear someone scream
it’s the mother
she’s bouncing on one foot while the kid laughs
she spits, you think it’s funny, you little fuck
grabs him by one arm like she’s lifting him to god
belts him a good one across the ass
so now he’s screaming too
that’s more like it, i think
more of what this city has to offer
still, i can’t help but wonder what would happen
if one of those PC parent brigades
from one of those idyllic towns and cities
were underground with us animals
those diligent voters who’d never hit a child
who think there’s a child molester around every corner
the ones working over-time
to sell their PTA partners down the river
for keeping their kids in the car ten minutes
while they buy anti-depressant meds
or, god forbid, let a kid walk alone to school
what would happen then if those cowards were down here?
i watch the mother
she’s still limping around the platform
screaming like someone stole her purse
rolling a list of expletives that’ll hang over this city
the whole maddeningly humid summer
while the child cowers in corner bawling
his little beach sand bucket overturned
she goes over the whack him again
but stops and picks up the bucket
says, my god, i can’t do this shit no more today
then gives her kid her phone to play with
just to shut him up.                                                      

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

poem of the day 06.16.15


Monday, June 15, 2015

poem of the day 06.15.15

peanut butter

i was the fattest
of the fat kids
i jiggled my sadness
down the block
and slathered peanut butter
on thick slices of bread
at my grandmother’s house
i had no clue
how much the loneliness
was setting in
i had no clue
until the first time my head
was turned by a girl
but i had that knife
and the bread
and my god the peanut butter
spread like thick tan waves
shoved into my fat mouth
the fattest of fat mouths
the loneliest mouth
that i knew
choking and spinning
around my grandmother’s kitchen
face red
and cheeks puffed out
like dizzy gillespie
as grandma screamed
and tried smacking my back
over the sink
where the cold water
was running
like life
for me
for me
for fat little old me.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

poem of the day 06.11.15

future drone pilots of america

watch them blast away
on handhelds in parks

at museums on field trips in packs

watch them shout die! die! die!

in restaurants as their parents
slip slowly into their own cellular SOMA

future drone pilots of america

smacking keyboards of rage
pulling on their mouse like a noose

locating pinpoint targets on the screen
dropping bombs of capitalistic conquest

young soldiers who at twelve years old
could take out an entire town

yet aren’t smart enough to know
their age, their birthdate, or where they live

have a body count that would
make the pentagon proud

but couldn’t articulate themselves
if they tried.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

poem of the day 06.10.15

pop song

inside i’m like you

i taste like doritos
my blood as sweet as processed sugar

or maybe i taste like drought dirt

genetically modified
i waddle around like the livestock we raise

high on methane and pumped full of antibiotics

we’ve given the grass cancer
but i’m still standing up for coca-cola

bringing crystal pepsi back from my bunker

hiding from the koch brothers
and the boys at lockheed martin and boeing

a walking open carry law
slinging in the rain of a deluge in texas

keeping up with the kardashians
i want to know what miley
and beyoncé and taylor and kanye
are all doing on a saturday night

because i’m sitting at home getting drunk
just a cisgender stiff easing out of the workweek

as the dogs bark loud into the soiled, bass-filled air
and thug sirens wail the fear and mendacity
of the law of the land

because there ain’t not cure for the summertime blues

but i gotta tell you
this monsanto shimmy in the morning
ain’t making me no money off the street cams

i’m broke as a joke, my nigga

and i got so many friends
i have to save up my dollars
to purchase their defense funds

but, oh, i promise to look the other way
should it all go to shit

or i’ll fight a proxy war with my neighbors

cash in my trillions in war bonds
wine and dine the french and the germans
start a revolution from my bed

call the pentagon and give them six-hundred millions reasons
why they should lend a hand

fly my drones in the park
on a sunny sunday afternoon

relaxing in the rubbery zeitgeist
until my stomach aches

then it’s twenty miles above the speed limit
back into the insatiably hungry abyss of america

looking for the golden arches

with god on my side at the drive-thru
riding shot gun to a motherfucking pop song     

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

poem of the day 06.09.15

killing time

the thought
of losing all of these hours to jobs
valuable moments that’ll never come back
all those good years wasted
sitting in offices making money for someone else
hauling junk in warehouses
dying on retail and restaurant floors
is the true horror show of human existence
the greatest influence on our cruelty
it is a daily war
to not want to blow the brains out
to not strangle our neighbor or the stranger on the train
no wonder people
make their jobs their lives
what choice do they have but to submit?
at the very least get medicated and drift
we the people
so full of swagger and self-immolation
while sitting in morning traffic
bound to paper systems
that are seemingly too powerful to rise against
we the people who should be rioting in the streets
tearing up constitutions and burning down the very cities we tread
having golden copulations of kindness, peace and understanding
on the white-hot bones of our profligate leaders
we, the fat, waddling balls of prescription drugs
with insomnia or the shits
so hungry for understanding and liberation
who hide in video game dreamlands and run from killer cops
who accept hatred and division as compensation
who accept a pittance for our lives
because we simply don’t know what else to do
scared from the promise of birth
beautiful dullards killing time
until we get sick and die
or live long enough to retire from this madness
into the hell of old age and senility
whatever comes first.


Monday, June 8, 2015

poem of the day 06.08.15

captain america strikes again

the last time grigory and i met
he put down his broom
and interrogated me about my life

then we had a serious conversation
about the direction of america

grigory said he didn’t like the kids
carrying all of these phones or tattoos on women

he said that people in america
are a lot dumber than they were
when he came here from russia thirty-five years ago

grigory said, why do you think this is?

i shrugged, i told him that it’s taken me
over forty years to know what i know about america
and most of it i don’t like

so i blamed cell phones and the internet too
and we sat there like two old philosophers

yesterday i saw grigory again
for the first time in months

he was pushing a mop through another hallway
that would be dirty again within an hour

he didn’t remember me or our conversation

usually when this happens
it gives me a small satisfaction
that i’m at least doing something right

but grigory stopped mopping long enough
to see what i had on my computer screen

it was a comic book web site

he said, how old are you? forty?
and you play games, yes?

let me guess, you don’t have children
yet you read kiddie books?

i really didn’t know what to say to this

i thought maybe i’d go into oligarchs and plutocrats
reality stars changing into women
corporations and candidates and all of the endless wars

something to jog grigory’s memory
of our time together as great western thinkers

but i had nothing

i had another bad actor dressed as batman on the screen
and captain america running through a field of fire

in movies expensive enough to end homelessness
feed children and fix the national debt

i said, grigory, it can’t be proust all of the time
then i laughed my biggest fourth of july sale laugh

as grigory shook his head at me and walked away
so disgusted that he left the mop.


Friday, June 5, 2015

poem of the day 06.05.15

to a social worker

i don’t wear
my emotions too well
so maybe that’s why
you didn’t come over to comfort me
lean in and put a hand on my shoulder
while i was waiting for my wife
to get her first breast MRI
since cancer came calling last year
i don’t get teary-eyed in public
or look much like a man whose had
a train run over his entire life
which is probably why
i was the only one in the room
not to get one of your fliers
i can’t morph into the pensive daughter
or the crying kid with the mom
whose hair is just starting to grow back
no matter how much you looked my way for some fragile sign
and i’m most certainly not
the little old man with the cane
the little old lady who still wears
plastic on her head in a rain shower
the ones finishing off their lives with our universal disease
mostly i look like i’m never bothered by anything
so why even pretend?
i just would’ve refused your flier anyway
your frown of sympathy
what is there to say
that i haven’t thought a million times before?
so keep all of it
your whole act
or take it over to physical therapy across the street
i’m just going to keep sitting here
if you don’t mind
and wait for my wife
watching that wooden door with the diamond-shaped mirror
that keeps opening and closing
pushing people back out into this harsh waiting room light
where you stand at the ready
with all of your guidance and support
the chance for people to talk…for free
as you benevolently remind everyone
who gets in your path.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

poem of the day 06.04.15

jim dandy

jim used to work
at this sporting goods store in the mall

he was some fat schlep in gold chains
who talked ghetto talk even though he was snow white

me and some friends
would prank call his store weekly

one of us would call from a payphone
while the others would go into the store
and listen to jim on the phone
make his tough guy idle threats

then laugh
as he waddled around his retail kingdom
red-faced, cracking his knuckles
telling his employees what he’d do to those punks

he was great entertainment
when you had little else to do

a couple of years later
jim and i ended up working together
in another sporting goods store

where i learned that he thought
he was a ladies man, too

jim hit on anything that moved

he made up tall tales
about the girls working in the food court

all the head that he was getting from
the assistant manager at lane bryant

the kind of stuff that one could dispel
in a brief conversation with a chipper blonde at the taco bell

jim used to try and bust in on our female clerks
whenever they were in the bathroom

he claimed he always tried the locks first

i used to have to wait
for this one female clerk who closed with me
because she was terrified of him

jim thought that i was sweet on her

he made kissy faces at me as he rang out the register
and told me that i’d never get in her pants

he was right
but he was a good lesson in what not to do

about a month or so after that
jim finally burst in on a female naked
and was fired the next day

but no one pressed any charges

a year later i was at the mall
jim was working the hallmark store
still swinging his gold chains and cracking his knuckles

a store manager again
because america was a constant clean slate
if you had the right kind of swagger

so i went and found the payphone
and the number of the hallmark store

then i dialed and waited
for dear old jim dandy to pick up

releasing the right kind of ire
that could only remind him of the past

thinking if only i could see his face


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

poem of the day 06.03.15

the paperboy

twelve years old
my old man had me out
before five in the morning
toting stacks and bundles
of all of the hell the world had to offer
he’d sit in the car
listening to news radio
while i walked dark streets
slinging papers on pavement
or hard against the doors of those customers
who were never around
when i came to collect
scared of the dark and the rustling trees
dogs barking or a random deer
trotting across a suburban lawn
scared of everything five in the morning had to offer me
passing the homes of kids i went to school with
dark mansions that looked like
they’d been closed-up for years
dodging ice in the winter
dodging sprinklers in the summer
in the mix of every season that bloomed
occasionally a random person would come
walking down a block
i’d hide where i could
watching as they moved off into the distance
wondering why in the hell
they were up so early like me
to make the almighty dollar?
but i always imagined something more sinister in mind
as i moved from house to house like a careful creep
suddenly aware of all of that slumbering vulnerability
behind those doors and windows
the turn of a knob
the touch of a dusty screen
at times emboldened by my power
as my old man drove the car blocks ahead
reliving the job of his youth through me
the trail of his gray cigarette smoke
more pronounced as the red sun began to come up
and the lights flickered on
in all of the homes
i’d sacrificed sleep

to inform.                                              

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

poem of the day 06.02.15

a few shorter ones:

big payoff

a crumpled
in my poetry
i finally
know how
all the great ones
must’ve felt

dead me

dead me
hit by cars
twice this week
dead squirrel
on 75th street
not nearly
as lucky.

hamburg in panorama

all of hamburg in panorama
is no match to you naked
and breathless above me
in this strange eternal bed.

uninvited guest

come the summer
the sun stays
later in the sky
like an uninvited guest
taking up your place
on the couch
shaking a tumbler
full of melting ice
asking, would you mind getting
off of your fat ass
to get me another drink.




Monday, June 1, 2015

poem of the day 06.01.15


in the paper route days
i had this one house
i always tried to collect from to no avail
they’d just had a baby
there were notes on the door
about not knocking, not ringing the bell
they hadn’t paid me in months for the morning paper
and because of those people
the thirteen year-old in me
was missing out on baseball cards
cassette tapes, gum and soda
magazines that had pictures teen starlets
that i was starting to fantasize about when alone
on saturday deliveries
when i didn’t have to be up before the sun
sometimes i’d catch the husband outside
drinking coffee
he’d take his paper
but would never say a word about what he owed me
you added three or four more homes like that
and some weeks it was like i was doing the job for free
after a few more weeks i decided
that i finally had enough of the newborn
i ignored the signs and warnings
and began pounding on the door one afternoon
my mind caught up in slices of pizza
french fries at mcdonald’s
about the money that i was owed for my troubles
and even though i expected it
i was pulled out of my revelry
by a baby’s wail and by shouting and cursing
the father opening the door
with his face red and his eyes about to explode
pointing like a silent film star at his notes
but i just held up my collection pad
and waited for him to fish out
the twenty bucks he owed me
fingering the green
as he slammed the door
moving down the block not giving a damn
because i was starting to learn
how america really worked.