Friday, January 29, 2016

"best of" poem of the day 01.29.16


i’m addicted to the gloom
the misery of the daily race

i miss so many moments this way

moments like this

throwing snowballs
while we wait for the bus
to take us both to work

hurling ice balls across 77th street
hitting walls and fences, trees in the distance

laughing like two idiots
our love as crystal as the ice shavings
melting on your black gloves

there are so many things to talk about
the worst kind of trivial business

i want to keep quiet about it all

but i’m addicted to the gloom
i feed on it

i miss too many of these moments
years of joy passing between us

undiscovered by me

for a moment like this
i have to work the silence into an art
just to catch it

i miss moments the way working stiffs
miss busses

please not today

today i know i’m keeping this one

here it is.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

poem of the day 01.28.16

the electrician

three days
with not heat
no hot water
vodka after vodka after
as a blizzard falls
we breathe heavy
into the amber-dimmed room
to see if we can see our breath
while in the hallway
some tenant screams accusations and obscenities
at the super, at his wife
at their two year old daughter
chalkboard slangy valley girl blonde ditz voice
who’s never been cold
a day in her life
looking for someone to blame
because daddy told her on the phone
not to take this inconvenience lying down
the younger they get the more they bitch
the less empathy they seem to have
some have taken
to scrawling revolutionary script
on paper throughout the building
begging us to call 311 for salvation
calling bullshit on the dead boiler
but still the snow falls and the wind howls
and the hard wood gets colder
the extra shirts and blankets and socks and hats
are outliving their usefulness
the alarm clock flips slowly
on these desperate hours
and the kitchen light won’t turn on
four double vodkas and no food
suddenly i’m an electrician
a high wire act on a shaking chair
i fall and land on shoulders land on knees
next to a frozen cockroach
as my wife rushes over
as the cat circles and cries
while outside my door
ditz blonde ditz screams echoes into our little world
that she’d not going to take
this kind of stupid shit

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

poem of the day 01.27.16

art is subjective

and it’s mozart’s birthday

and in one of the books i’m reading
a character curls into themselves
like a question mark

in the other they can’t decide
miso soup or salad for dinner

and i wonder what the fuck?

oh, you pretty little
MFA things

i put both books down
hum the jupiter instead

some say that it is bad to not finish a book
a disservice to the author

most mornings i think that life is too short
to fall into the shape of a question mark

to waste the energy
stacking five cent words onto each other

and if it’s miso soup or salad
that’s on the menu for tonight

well then you little literary darlings
i guess i opt for hunger too.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"best of" poem of the day 01.26.16

i promise some new poesy before the end of the week.

hipster in the laundry room

there’s a hipster in the laundry room
i don’t know how he got there
but he’s putting some of his clothing
in the washer
some in the dryer
all of his little plaid shirts
and his tight blue jeans
he’s got his head down
pressing the buttons on his smart phone
multitasking like a motherfucker
on a sunday afternoon
while i’m shoving clothing of all types
into one washer
my hair greasy
blood and wine and come
caked into my t-shirt
there’s a hipster in the laundry room
i wonder if he’s lost
he’s staring at me through those
thick glasses of his, confused
looking at me like i’m the same old story
same old act
maybe he’s seen me around the building
i think he’s judging me
i want to put his head through the wall
but i’m tired
half hungover on wine
useless from working six days
worried that my old cat is going to die
there’s a hipster in the laundry room
i wonder if he’s the one who’s been
leaving all of those david foster wallace
and jonathan safran foer novels down here
the old seasons of mad men and the wire
there’s a warm outdated six-pack of pumpkin ale
in the garbage room
and i want to ask him if it’s his
there’s a hipster in my basement
is he trying to be ironic by living down here?
putting his empty containers of tofu
and vegan cheese slices
next to my packages of bloody rancid meat
and whole milk mozzarella
there’s a hipster in my laundry room
i don’t know how long he’s been in there
but i hear 1980s music coming out of his headphones
he’s suffocating me now
sneering into his little gadget of infinite jest
laughing at some private joke
as his vintage clothing do cartwheels
in the dryer machine
this fucking hipster
he’s only going to be in this laundry room
for a short while, i know it
then he’ll move on to bigger and better ones
he’ll find his breed
they always do
i’ll probably be here forever
eternally damned
folding yellowing whites
and socks with holes in them
reading threatening letters
from the building management
that are tacked up on an old corkboard
mistaking nickels for quarters
under the blinding fluorescent lights
huffing detergent and my own stagnation
prostrate on a plastic table
humming hall and oates songs
reading that used copy of everything is illuminated
and waiting for the spin cycle to end.


Monday, January 25, 2016

"best of" poem of the day 01.25.16

novel writing, four days w/o heat or hot water, a blizzard....we'll try again tomorrow.

irate american

there is no simplicity
in bureaucracy
there is only me and this guy
on the other end of the line
asking me a million questions
about my credit card history
my banking history
when all i want to do it put a note in my account
saying i’ll be in germany and prague for two weeks
i imagine he is in india
because that’s what he sounds like
i try to tread carefully
don’t want to sound like the irate american
so i play it cool while he puts me on hold
then puts me on hold again
comes back and asks me
where i live
makes me repeat my phone number
work number
he even asks me about
the previous phone number attached to the card
i’m surprised that i remember it
do you want me to send you my sperm too? i ask
but he only puts me on hold again
what’s going on? my wife asks
i shrug and wait
he gets back on the phone
he asks me when the last time i used the card was
where i used it
how much did i charge
look, i don’t remember, i tell him
i hardly use this thing
is there something wrong with my account?
he puts me on hold again
i can feel the blood boiling beneath me
the fear
the beast emerging
i imagine terrorists or some jack-off
who wanted exercise equipment has stolen my information
a duplicate me out there
buying all of the shit that i can only look at
when he gets back on the line he gets a word out
before i start
a litany of profanity so long
i couldn’t tell you how i laced it together
but it feels good to yell at him
to yell at someone
to pitch a fit
have a good old temper tantrum
to tell this faceless imp thousands of miles away
how i feel fucked with
me? a card holder for twenty-three years
there are chicks giving head in bars
who weren’t even born when i got this card, i shout
i tell him how i’m going to cut the card
into a million pieces and sent it to him
like a horse’s head
a ransomed finger
as if he cares
as if anyone cares
and when i’m finally done yelling
i notice there’s a woman on the line
instead of my main man
she says, the note has been added to your account, sir
then hangs up
while i stay there on the line
letting another hollow victory wash over me.


Friday, January 22, 2016

poem of the day 01.22.16

sunday morning

the highland park bridge
3 a.m. i’m no george washington
i wonder if it’s really 3 a.m.
the witching hour
sunday morning like a velvet’s song
half-drunk i glide the machine
over empty concrete
a fresh dent in the driver’s side door
from who-knows-what
coltrane playing his blues
the world asleep
calvin asleep
steve asleep
colby is somewhere in maryland
with baby worries but still asleep
this city…asleep but still glowing pittsburgh pink
around the twists of the frozen allegheny river
killian asleep
portia asleep somewhere
where i can no longer reach her
dreaming her pot dealing fractions
amanda asleep
her phone number tucked into my flannel pocket
stealth behind calvin’s back
17 year old crooked smile finger over lips
before they tossed her blondeness from the karaoke bar
a problem for next week
the next holy saturday night
where we’ll sit in drunk bars
and calvin’ll claim he loves amanda
or claim he loves someone else
calvin loves the world
loves every fruitydrinksloshedwoman we see
like always he does
but i finger amanda’s phone number
tired, the true hero of my shit
just wanting to get across
the highland park bridge
and fall into my bed
dream blonde
damn, i know this isn’t the delaware river
really, it’s just another lonesome night.                                                  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

poem of the day 01.21.16

pregnant pause

i ask
colby if he’s sure
but he just nods like a scholar
we watch the first snowfall
all over route 22
smoking cigarettes
in a kinko’s parking lot
pittsburgh cars flashing red brakes
no one can drive in the snow in pittsburgh
one inch or flurries
they develop this fear
i want to ask colby if he’s scared
because i know i’d be
but he doesn’t seem like he wants to talk
back in pitsburgh
for beer drunks and vodka bombs
linda dropped a bomb
set to detonate in nine months
i think how stupid
comparing the two like that
how stupid it is
to not know how to drive in snow
or buy a condom
what is life now with this in all of our laps?
and we suddenly feel so old
so…yeah, colby finally says
then doesn’t say anything else
as the cars honk
as the people act like they’re driving
through a blizzard
man, the road isn’t even wet yet
i want to say but don’t
all casual i light a new smoke off the old one
as calvin comes
tripping out of kinko’s
a stack of paper waving in his hands
licking new snow
with his hungover tongue
he says, guys
there’s some hot girls working in there
and i can’t even begin to tell you
what you know
you’re missing                                      

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

poem of the day 01.20.16

This may or may not be a "best of" poem. I dont remember posting this but....all the same I'm deep in novel land so the poems haven't been coming:

mit gas

in the grocery line
i’m still not sure
if i got the water with the bubbles or not

the germans have a thing about water with gas

mit gas, they say
they’ll serve it to you whether you want it or not

i’ve already figured out vodka

it starts with a “w” here
but will do the same damage
that it does back in america

the grocery store is packed but i got lucky
i’m behind the guy who only has a carton of eggs

i have to piss
there’s nowhere to piss in berlin
like there’s nowhere to piss in america

i’ve already caught three guys pissing into the street

i thought to do it myself
but in america if the cops catch you
you’re an instant sex offender

i don’t know what they do here in germany
and i’m not willing to test such an infamous land

at least i’m in a good grocery line, i think
and the hotel is only around the block

luck has its way of working out
a good grocery line can make moments

but then the guy in front of me gets out of line
he comes back with his arms full of things

potatoes, frozen dinners, oj and meat

i look back
his old lady is handing him stuff from a basket
that is piled to the top

a month’s worth of groceries
to my one bottle of carbonated water

it boggles my mind
the absurdity of this country and the people

it’s like this water with or without gas

i have to start tickling myself to keep the urine at bay
as they pile more and more on the grocery belt

underhanded germans and their secrets

the cashier seems unfazed
she’s had the same bored look the whole time

i wonder if she’s going somewhere
to get drunk after work

have her own bottle of vodka that starts with a “w”

i think if i ever get up to see her
i should probably ask about the water
so i don’t have to do this all over again

mit gas? i’ll say

try not to tickle myself while she answers
or piss all over the grocery store floor

set a bad example for the next american jack-off
who comes in here in need of a stiff drink

and is too cheap to buy one
in the fancy hotel bar.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

poem of the day 01.19.16

the dealer

9 p.m.
i sit in the bar
of del’s restaurant
third wheel
between calvin and this girl amanda
he wants her
i want her
but most likely
neither of us are gonna get her
saturday night feels forever
in the fresh autumn
behind bar glass
with an underage blonde
then she comes out of the kitchen
with an empty drink table
with her red hair and lip ring
the memory of her back tattoo
i wonder how long it’s been
at least since may
when i never showed up
at the bar she was working
portia and her boyfriend
portia leaving pittsburgh
but there she is in black and white del’s uniform
apron around her waist
giving the bartender drink orders
she sees me and smiles
she melts me
like she did those months back
through a summer of women
of holy saturday nights
of bars
i never stopped wondering
hey you, she says
like hey you means forever
calls me over
says, i was wondering what happened to you
i want to ask
about the boyfriend
about being back in pittsburgh
porita beats me to the punch
starts scrawling things on her order pad
tears it off
hands it to me
immaculate holy phone number
i want to hold up
to the light like a treasure
she says
we’re dealing on the side now
so…you know
winks and leaves with a tray full of beer
i look at the paper
1/8 costs this
1/4 costs that
can’t even read the last two numbers
of her digits
i stumble back to the bar
playing footsie she glances up
sadly and says
you look
like you’ve seen
a ghost.


Monday, January 18, 2016

poem of the day 01.18.16


bryant oliver
was the only black kid in my grade
back in the 1980s
when reagan was all the rage
in poor neighborhoods and in central america
reagan’s hate was a benevolent one
he fought a war on drugs
and put millions of dads and sons and brothers in jail
bryant was a basketball star
and a football star
if our school had a baseball team
he probably would’ve excelled at that too
bryant didn’t like me for some reason
it might’ve been because
i was fat and i acted dumb
like funny dumb
i tried to be the funny fat kid
who did voices and disrupted classes with jokes
some kids laughed
but i was used to the hate from many others
i had a lot of hate inside of me
which i took out on myself with my fists
pounding my stomach in my parent’s bedroom mirror
my hate turned black and blue and yellow
my friend, billy calvin
he hated bryant as much as bryant hated me
maybe more
billy called bryant  nigger lips in class
he called him porch monkey
whispered it to him while we were learning u.s. history
billy said bryant ate watermelon
hog jogs and possum grits
billy had a lot of hate in him
which came from his old man
but he was learning to make it his own
billy hated blacks and asians and anyone
that wasn’t white and didn’t listen to metal
there weren’t any asian kids in our school
for billy to hate
but sometimes he still slanted his eyes
and said, oh, so solly
i never understood why bryant
didn’t beat the shit out of billy
why he sat there and took it
with that steely look i’ll never forget
it probably had a lot to do
with being the only black kid in our grade
a two sport star
but you were never sure who your real friends were
you never knew where hate would come from next
i think bryant took his hate for billy
and transferred it to me
pushing me on the playground
and calling me fat ass in front of all the pretty girls
although i never laughed or commented
on a thing billy said
and to this day i still don’t know
what hog jogs and possum grits are
it’s easier for me to understand it now
all that hate from back then
living as an adult in a world of endless war and murder
plastic people and diet fads
sold-off politicians and police brutality
violence toward children
and especially women
hate is an easy emotion
when you’re still fighting the war on drugs
you can turn it on or off on a dime
or you can let it fester until it kills you
and everything you love
only you won’t be able to tell
love is much harder
it’s harder to hold onto love than it is hate
it’s life’s greatest failure
you really have to work for love
like a lifetime
longer than bryant or billy or i had
back in those salad days of ronald reagan
when quiet insults flew like bombs over libya
and we didn’t learn a thing from our shared history
other than to learn how to hate
talking out of our asses
with the excellence
of smiling, bashful honor roll kids


Friday, January 15, 2016

poem of the day 01.15.16

mistaken identity

he hands me
a senior citizen bus pass
with a blurry photo on it
and says, this isn’t me

sure enough it’s not
it’s another old white guy
but it’s hard to tell the difference
if you aren’t really looking

he says, you gave me back the wrong i.d.

we take i.d. here
in exchange for newspapers
and there’s no other i.d. in the box

i don’t have your i.d., i tell him

well, who does? he says

most likely the other guy, i say

he looks around the room
like he’s trying to spot a terrorist

where is he? he asks

probably on the bus, i say

what am i gonna do? he asks

use his i.d. and take the bus too

he says, he could be doing anything with my i.d.
creating a fake credit card
ordering plane tickets

joining facebook

he’s probably on the bus, i say

can you call him? he asks

so i look up the number and dial
no luck

old white men and me
we’re the last people on the planet
without cell phones

and i can’t wait until i get my free bus pass

he hands me the i.d. and says
well, i can’t do anything with this

he walks out of the building like a zombie
like someone has stolen his life

and maybe they have

but not five minutes pass
before the other one walks in
like he’s never been in the joint before

he’s holding the controversial senior citizen bus pass
like a soiled tissue

throwing it on the desk
he points at the blurry picture of the other old codger
like he’s seen a ghost

hands shaking he says
i don’t think that’s me.

i hand him back his correct i.d.
but he stares at it, as if he’s not sure
that’s the right one either

then he walks out of the building
looking from the i.d. to the image of himself
in the glass doors

not really sure of anything



Thursday, January 14, 2016

poem of the day 01.14.16

monet’s sunflowers

i stand under a sign that says
smile, you’re on camera
a big yellow bulb with a grin
and something of hollywood production value
looking down on me
i imagine the camera is
degas’ ballet dancers instead
millet by way of van gogh
and not the police state
rearing its ugly head
on a cold morning
when i just want some shelter
from the howling wind
i think maybe i should do a two-step
an exotic dance
for the voyeur on the other end
audition for the world stage
but i’m too cold
in too many layers to really move
and any attention these days is bad attention
so i stand there for a while
and watch the people
huddle into themselves
as they hustle down the block
shiver and wait for buses that are late
sulk in archways like me
thinking we are all beautiful characters
in avant garde movies
we don’t even know are being filmed
in paintings we are
monet’s sunflowers wobbling
drooping in the arctic breeze
frowning still lifes on this canvas
tripping down the avenue
we are actors
under the illusion of safety
or maybe we’re a bunch of potential killers
just a band of thieves
like they really see us
waiting on our fifteen minutes of fame
basking in the camera’s seductive gaze

itching to strike.                                                            

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

poem of the day 01.13.16


i must’ve been
pink faced and fat
i must’ve looked like a piggy
sitting there in front of karen nelson
in that homeroom class
too fat to fit in my seat
love handles bulging over catholic khakis
i must’ve disgusted her
the way i thought i was so funny
interrupting the teacher
during math and science
karen nelson who had the misfortune
of having her last name so close to mine
behind me in almost every class
watching my red neck
and fat shoulders shake at something i said
turning back to make sure
that she was laughing each time
my pink face in her face
my fat jowls going up and down
glasses and slicked hair
double chin jiggling
a waddling abomination of adolescence
and she was so beautiful karen nelson
one of the top beauties in the class
with her olive skin and violet lips
that needed no make-up
those brown eyes that looked pleadingly at me
every time i swung my mass her way
she must’ve thought i was a pig at a trough
i bet she couldn’t even watch me eat
poor karen nelson
whom i cornered at that skate party
and asked her if she wanted to go steady
after practicing in front of my mirror for two hours
punching myself in my fat pig belly
she didn’t laugh at me then
karen nelson, you kid
the way the others standing around did
you just went off silently with the center from the j.v. team
while i stood there watching you doubles skate
chuckling at the absurdity.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

poem of the day 01.12.16


my grandmother
had no problem with whisky
sitting at her kitchen table
with brittle yellow calendars
working lottery numbers
the way some do palm readings or magic
have some whisky, she told me
i was twelve years old and obese
give him some whisky
she said to my grandfather
who was talking the steelers with his bookie
drinking whisky before noon
his eggs and potatoes and bacon in a large mound
whisky will calm you down
my grandmother said
though i didn’t know that i was nervous
although i always have been
nervous and unsettled
like my grandmother
like the time she blew her paycheck
on the dogs and horses
drinking whisky
then checked herself into western psych
sitting there now
trying to figure out the lottery
how to run the numbers and work the game
i’ll get you some whisky, she said
reaching for the amber bottle of imperial
whisky and a beer chaser, she said
to help us think
like we were trying to recite shakespeare
the word of god
in two small, sculpted orange juice glass
that my grandparents always used
for whisky.


Monday, January 11, 2016

poem of the day 01.11.16

in the seconds before impact

i was dreaming something
i was wondering what i did to my knee
and glad that today wasn’t a jogging day
i was shivering in the bed
having left the windows open
in a world that’s sixty degrees one day
and thirty degrees the next
i was thinking of my rumbling stomach
i was wishing the coffee had already been made
i was thinking of indian food
and this norwegian film my wife and i had just seen
i was taking a piss
and trying not to wake the cat
though deaf and blind she can still sense light
so i was walking in the dark
scratching my ass
looking out the kitchen window into black brooklyn
cursing the guy playing bass out my window
while his car idled
i was wondering why in a world full of cell phones
people still felt it incumbent upon themselves to honk
i was looking at the trees blowing in the breeze
and thinking about going to spain this year
i checked the calendar
and couldn’t believe how old i’d turn in 2016
i thought maybe i’d check the weather
and some film times
avoid the news of demagogues running for president
i crept into the living room for the ipad
i heard that cat stirring and i did not breath
i booted the machine
and hoped it still worked
saw my shaggy reflection in its gray apple light
i thought maybe i needed a haircut
then i saw the cover of an online newspaper
it told me david bowie had died
and i knew the day had gone to shit before the sunrise.


Friday, January 8, 2016

poem of the day 01.08.16


is mentally handicapped
i’ll just get that out there
only we’re not really sure
how he’s that way
he stutters
can’t get words out
can’t comprehend a thing
meaning….you can’t joke with him
but if you get sarcastic
he gets the drift
he gets angry and defensive
barney spent the month of november and december
wishing everyone a merry christmas
multiple times
he’s been saying happy new year for two weeks
now he just says,
have a good holiday
only we’re not sure what he’s talking about
people walk around here asking each other
what holiday is he celebrating now?
barney is always dressed in black
like lou reed
lou reed if he were pushing three hundred pounds
had brown-yellow teeth
a pubic hair beard
and had a tear up the ass of his black levis
lou reed has been dead since 2013
a dead lou reed might look better than barney
just yesterday i watched him
drink in entire liter of diet pepsi in two gulps
(barney not lou reed obviously)
while watching a fifteen year old girl bend over
to tie her shoes
in those stretchy pants they all wear now
barney has a bit of a problem with the young ladies
he’s always following them around
saying hello
telling them to have a nice day
i’m supposed to tell the girls that barney is harmless
but i don’t really know him from shit
and when he backs one of the girls into a corner
trying to tell them a joke
stuttering like a madman
i make sure that i’m watching
because i’m a fine upstanding man
who never notices
when fifteen year old girls bend over
to tie their shoes in stretchy pants
barney spends his days printing tons of things off the internet
no one is sure what he’s printing
no one cares
we do wonder where he gets the money though
for the printing
spitting out hundreds of pages ain’t cheap
and the two-liter bottles of soda he brings in
in groups of three
they can cost a pretty penny too
when you stack up the days
it’s pretty obvious barney can’t hold down a job
though i’d like to get him one at wal-mart
he could stand by the door in a bright blue smock
and wish all the fifteen year-old girls
a happy holiday
or to have a nice day
when they bend over to tie their shoes
soda is dirt cheap at wal-mart
and barney would be in a carbonated paradise
but rent is too high for wal-mart
in this city
and we already have enough places here
that don’t pay a living wage
so barney is probably better off not working
he seems happy with his print jobs and his soda-pop
content to watch the young girls
lift and bend
filled with joy in whatever celebration
is going on in that head of his
people are always trying to improve other people
people are pricks
a lot of people thought lou reed was a prick
but barney’s not lou reed
and the next time he tells me a joke
i’m gonna make sure
to laugh
as he stutters
like i really give a shit.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

poem of the day 01.07.16

my memory

seems to be going
in small fits and starts
not the big things like where i live
or each grudge and slight
i’ve accumulated over the years
all the women then girls
who wanted nothing to do with me
no, for me it’s the small things
that i’m missing
forgetting items at the grocery store
even carrying around a goddamned handwritten list
dumping the parts of vegetables i need
into the garbage can
and keeping the skin or rind
occasionally a name won’t come to me
it’ll take me a few minutes to remember the title
of a good movie from long ago
or one of the few truly great books i’ve read
in those moments i’ll get scared
and think it’s age finally setting in
here it is i’ll say
a little early onset dementia to go with the gray
i’ll blame the alcohol but only sparingly
still, you can’t do what i’ve been doing for years
and not think the brain cells
have finally started to give up
to my wife i’ll worry that it’s alzheimer’s
when my memory slips
i’ll get nuts and tell her that
i’ll be one of those guys at fifty
stuck in a home with people twice his age
my mind tattered and shot full of holes
no traces of a present or past
no hope for a future
she looks at me like i’m insane when i go on like this
she says, all of this drama because you forgot the gravy?
i want to tell her that it happens though
the corrosion of the mind at such a young age
the horrors done to memory
i know i read a novel about it a few years ago
by this author whose name
slips my mind at the moment
and whose title
i can’t even begin to remember.                      

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

poem of the day 01.06.16

just starting out

his laugh is insane
he IS insane
dressed head to toe
in that horrible gym class gray
teeth that won’t fit in his mouth
he laughs the way some people howl in pain
i can’t look at him
so i study the keyboard instead
q w e r t y u i o p
while he adjusts his sweatpants string
and calls the world a sieve
before he laughs his death laugh again
yesterday he wished my co-worker dead
today he has a free cell phone from some company
and is on top of the world
hallelujah, he says
at least corporate benevolence is NOT dead
still i can’t meet him eye to eye
look at those large blonde teeth
that i want to shove back in his mouth
a s d f g h j k l
he says, do you know i’ve been retired since 1969?
only he doesn’t look a day over sixty
1969…making him what?
my math skills are also gym class gray
he says, you probably weren’t even around then, huh?
laughs like murder as i shake my head
z x c v b n m
weren’t even around for the real stuff
points to the computer
says, it’s la-la land all the time now
flips his cell phone like a zippo
my god, he finally says
i’m already done with this cruel world
but you?
good luck, kid
you think you’re running the show
but you know what?
you ain’t running shit
none of us ever are
remember you’re just starting out
and no matter how old you get
in this life you’ll always be an amateur
and if you don’t know it, he says
as i finally look up
to see him shaking his phone
give me a call on this
because i’ll be happy to remind you
i’ll tell you all the time.



Tuesday, January 5, 2016

poem of the day 01.05.16


this is the joy
in not having children
acting the petulant perpetual child
no one to rely on me
watching these diseased streets
from a time dusted window
the floor a gray carpet of old newspapers
and shitty unread books
this is the joy in not having friends
nearby or even in this state
pulled strands from the couch
dance in the breeze from open windows
crushed pillows
and i don’t have to clean it for anyone
sitting here pissing away another weekend
in the same clothing for three days
winedrunk flies circling used bottles
kicking up pine needles from fake plastic trees
watching dust balls roll
like southwestern tumbleweeds
another year waiting to do its damage
older but no more wiser
it pays to no longer anticipate a thing
no longer scared of any year
or what it’s going to reign down on me
this is the joy in not knowing my neighbors
when the door buzzes i know it’s not for me
so i let it sing
drink vodka in the twilight
an ancient cat sitting to my side
sick with everything
molted fur and brittle bones
she’s also sick with her age
sneezing yellow mucus all over my glass
and i don’t even have to worry
about who’s going come
and make me clean it up.


Monday, January 4, 2016

poem of the day 01.04.16

two women in a bookstore

they come in
giggle-tripping down the narrow aisles
fashion scarves, knock-off bags and designer leather
disturbing whatever viola abomination
the surly long-haired clerk had been playing
fondle everything like small children
picking up books and tossing them
like cans of corn into a shopping basket
schopenhauer and nietzsche flung about
you can catch some words in between
the gangly cadence of american slang
sounding like buddhist chants with chewing gum
derivatives of oh and my and god
so you hide in the poetry section
because who goes there?
but even that’s no good
soon they are right next to you
reality tv babble bumping you at every turn
selfies galore
these women will one day photograph
their own decent into hell
and you wonder how they found this place at all
this hole-in-the-wall bookstore
that mostly fronts as a bully pulpit for old men
angry about not getting more money for their used copy of
zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
what turn from big buildings and flashing lights
these women took to be here now
looking for books by george-what’s-his-name
the guy who wrote that book 1983 or 1989
no, silly, one of them says to the other
that’s the title of taylor swift’s album
and they both squeal at the name of their pop diva
forget old george and his dystopia
because who needs it anyway?
when it’s right here
singing off-key pop songs in your ear
crouched down like two idiots
taking wide-mouthed pictures
with a sleeping and bored overfed alley cat
checking bright cell phones with taylor swift ringtones
wondering when this is over
where they can get some cheesecake flavored fro-yo
or a real, authentic new york slice.