Friday, July 22, 2016

hiatus time

hello all

WineDrunk SideWalk will be on hiatus until Monday, August 1st. If you will you're missing me
simply google the name, or check out my new novel Wine Clerk.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

poem of the day 07.21.16

almost combray

i was the consummate indoor kid
i could kill hours watching tv on the couch
contemplating the endless reaches of my unknown self
asking the eternal, why me? why me?
as i drew bad comics or flipped through baseball cards
with no regards to ever play the game
an existentialist latch key success story
left to his own thoughts and devices from age eleven on
drowning in cans of discount soda
and generic boxed macaroni and cheese
1950s and 60s sitcoms like a banquet too
an obese masturbation machine with the old man’s playboys
and any long, tan set of talk show host’s legs
when the neighborhood kids came calling
with their wiffle bats and nerf footballs
with their basketballs or huffy bikes
i tore my fat ass upstairs and hid in the dark of my room
as if the gestapo were coming for me and my hold on time
there i waited in the rich blue curtain shade
of mid-afternoon dark, for them to go away
or out into the street to play those games
to talk that talk that straddled the line of innocence and lust
cultivating those tranquil memories
a whole carnival of useless moments
that wouldn’t matter to any of them within an hour
wherein i had that solace of time alone
as i crept around my house, daring myself to make a sound
to prove that i was real inside this fortress of solitude
almost combray if you will
but with glossy pictures of alyssa milano
and lisa bonet on my walls to contemplate like madeleines
instead of laying prostrate in a cork-lined room
sniffing at hawthorns and staring at steeples
or whatever it was that proust always looked at
when the memories and melting of time
swelled like bursting rivers in his head
or when he just wanted the good people of the world
to leave him the hell alone
if only for a little while.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

poem of the day 07.20.16

sunday morning (7:45 a.m.)

this morning is ugly
but i needn’t tell you that

and the same dog is taking his same shit
right in front of my window

barking and growling at ghosts
while his owner has the same conversation on his phone
with the same person that he had it with last week

always something about kicking ass on saturday night
he’s wearing the same bar t-shirt and mesh shorts
dipshit sandals and shades that he always wears

flipping his keys like some kind of wise guy

giving me the same clueless douche bag look
when our eyes meet

in the sky the sun beams down
a pale yellow halo over this cracked landscape
of apartment complexes, embedded garbage and concrete

and the world looks like god’s vomit anew

as i watch the dog quiver his hind legs
and drop a massive steaming one

that his owner won’t pick up
like he didn’t do last week or the week before

thinking to myself you can’t spell suicide
without the U and I

before shutting the blinds that i’d only just opened
for whatever idiotic reason that i had

for wanting to let a little bit of light in
and look at the dull world around me.



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

poem of the day 07.19.16

the martyr

i was so stupid back then
though i’ll note i’m not much smarter now
but it seemed that
i wanted to feel bad all of the time
i think i got off on the pain of finding the one girl
who wanted nothing to do with me
and just fall head over heels for her
dedicate long love poems in my head to her
lay on my side in my sad bedroom
listening to music and thinking of her always
composing memories in my mind
of all of the things we’d never share
i was a sick fool
i needed good heartache to survive
soul-bashing was my bread and butter
my sacred manna…you get the drift
but all those wasted thoughts!
all that yearning spent on girls
who hated me upon sight!
or who barely knew that i existed at all
this one, i remember i wrote her name plus mine
on the desk i knew she used
for the next period in school
such a self-sabotaging fool i was!
of course, she and her friends
made fun of me for months afterwards
following me in the halls
calling me out
mocking me with how much in love she was too
oh, it was such glorious pain
such a fantastic chain whipping to receive every school day
a wondrously raw bounty to take home with me
and coddle like a child
i swear it almost felt like love
to lie on my bed and know that i’d made some mark
the music and the thoughts feeling so much stronger
until the emptiness started to kick in
the knowledge that soon they’d be done with me
and on to something else
the fear that i’d become invisible once again
stuck with myself and myself only
and that i’d have to move on
and fall in love with someone else.

Monday, July 18, 2016

poem of the day 07.18.16

black girl swinging

black girl swinging

in the park

before eight in the morning

white dress
big headphones on

high as she’ll go

with a smile that won’t stop

as i sweaty from the heat
go running by

another shadow in the sun

past parked cars telling me
who to vote for

this world just a blue marble

and thankfully
not a cop in sight.


Friday, July 15, 2016

poem of the day 07.15.16

ten-cent words

i used to have lines, baby

lines and humor
coming out of my ass

it actually worked on some girls

i’d have them laughing like lunatics
with the shit i said

a natural born comedian
with a double chin and chaffed thighs
in husky pants from the tall and fat store

although my humor never got me anywhere

but with some other girls
there’d be nothing but a stone silence between us
as i dropped lyrical bomb after bomb

a first class comedy act that i made up on the spot

christ, you could hear a pin drop
between me and these critics before their time

those bold queens
who turned their noses up at me and walked away
in an effort to save themselves a little face

in a way they were foreign beasts
that i struggled to fully understand

because most times later
i’d catch those very same girls in close quarters
with some well-polished blank of a boy
dropping his ten-cent words into their ears

dull lines, for certain, that had the girls
laughing and laughing like lithe hyenas

i’d watch them dance around each other
as if observing some sick science experiment

the graze of the arm
the brush of the hair

wondering how in the hell they did it
with such little effort, while i sweated and toiled

before sulking off wounded and confused

knowing less and less about the way the world worked
then i did only moments before

except that what you looked like on the outside
meant anything and everything

and what was inside of you, baby
didn’t really count for shit

AND.....Wine Clerk is out! my 2nd novel. published by the legendary, yes, FUCKING LEGENDARY , Six Gallery Press. You can order a copy here. I'll even have someone
else come to your house and sign it for you!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

poem of the day 07.14.16....and my NEW NOVEL IS OUT!!!

hello all

while we still live in a world where Donald Trump could actually become president
of the United States, a few good things do squeak by. My new novel, Wine Clerk, is
available to purchase on This is a follow up to 2013's The Librarian,
with good ol' Rand Wyndham still in as main character. It can be purchased HERE

in honor of the novel's release today's poem is based on some of the true-life
experiences in the novel. so...i give you The Wine Clerk:

the wine clerk

i remember
needing a job in buffalo
when there were no jobs
sitting in some half-empty frat bar
while the college chick bartenders
got drunk on white wine and watched tv talk shows
scanning the local rag
and coming up with nothing
i remember needing rent money
and gas for a car that ran when it wanted to
arguing with my wife
because i felt impotent and dull
sitting in the apartment all day
or hustling it out on the streets to no avail
the temp agencies couldn’t find me anything
they could only test and test and test
and shrug their shoulders when i failed them all
i remember not taking a job for bath fitters
because the boss thought that writing, listed on my resume
would interfere with me working the warehouse
because he was afraid i’d leave the job
if i ever sold a book
because he asked me if i liked kayaking
how i couldn’t work for someone who liked kayaking
and how i’d leave the job for less than selling a book
i remember seeing that ad for a wine clerk
in the midst of my fourth pint of the day in that frat bar
while the college chick bartenders got sloppy
and started spilling their plastic cups of purloined white wine
thinking that a man shouldn’t shit where he eats
but i remembered the rent and the car
and the testing and the temp agencies and kayaking
then i thought how hard could selling wine be?
i remember that warehouse as big as a car dealership
the shelving a silver and red metal skeleton city
reaching up toward the sky
my clumsy, hungover ass carrying cases
of wine and booze down ladders
hoping that i didn’t fall to the concrete
and die in a hail of wine and scotch and glass
i remember feeling sore
the pain of hauling boxes for a solid eight
watching kids ten to fifteen years younger than me
do it with such ease
laying on the couch at home listening to the classical station
because i thought i was some kind of bukowski
wondering where all the decent jobs in buffalo were hiding
getting hauled into a wine testing center
being told that the varietals tasted of black currant
or grapefruit or cherry or blackberry
that you could taste the dirt of france
the stone sea sides of italy
thinking how i’d never get to france or italy or anywhere
making the kind of money i was making
thinking that it was all bullshit
and forgetting to spit the booze into the sink
after each sip as my only revenge
i remember
drinking wines that cost more than my whole paycheck
and the irony in that
i remember not shaving, not bathing for days
going a month in the same clothing
my pants stained in wine from asshole customers
dropping bottles every hour on the hour
and i remember that little man
that little napoleon of a boss
who hauled me into his office every day
so that we could talk about the state of my wardrobe
so that we could talk about why i hadn’t shaved
so that he could tell me the customers paid my salary
and put his kids through school
so that he could give me a routine psychological evaluation
but never once giving me the gentle mercy of firing me
i remember sitting in my car
in the parking lot of the wine store
drinking half a six pack or two tallboys
just glaring at that building
before i found the courage to walk on in
and start the retail horror show all over again
i remember getting drunk on my lunch
at an old man bar across the street
spending saturdays drinking wine samples
until i couldn’t see
only i don’t remember how i made it home most nights
my wife
the rent
our life
the chance to one day maybe see france or italy or anywhere
and i remember them working us nine til nine
every day for over a month
when thanksgiving and christmas came
how i grew to hate christmas carols
how i still can’t hear them
how that little napoleon watched me work for twelve hours
building booze display after booze display
hauling case upon case, as customers crawled up my ass
how he then pulled me into his office
to tell me what a shit job i was doing
how i needed to be more of a people person
be a little ray of sunshine, he said
to remind me about the wine-soaked pants
and the dirty shirt and the facial hair i refused to shave
i remember thinking
how i could commit murder if i put my mind to it
i remember drinking vodka
straight from a mag bottle in my car on my dinner break
watching the customers stroll into the store in santa hats
not a goddamned care in the world
how they must’ve worked better jobs
found the buffalo, new york that had alluded me
i remember how the months moved
like dragging anvils across broken glass
how the want ads still held nothing for me
the hopelessness in a saturday night driving down delaware avenue
too tired to fuck
too tired to sleep
too shell-shocked from the hoi polloi to even go out to dinner
another month of nine to nine shifts
for inventory in that metal warehouse city
the christ wound i received on my side
cut from a nail on a case of french wine
that cost two-hundred dollars a bottle
i remember suicidal thoughts
thinking that i didn’t want to be bukowski or anybody
how i was sick of being myself
nothing but a wine clerk in buffalo
on eight bucks an hour
and i remember the sinking stench of failure
when i woke up the next morning
hungover immaculate
the scent of stale beer and wine in my nostrils
having to rise up out of that warm bed
to do it all again.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

poem of the day 07.13.16

another side of the sun

people care
more about video games
on their cell phones
than cultivating empathy

and the cops will kill at will

as the masses press buttons of joy
hoping to not get caught in the crossfire
of this neoliberal meltdown

democracies fracture
empires end at the will of buffoons

and somewhere
something as simple
as an obscene hand gesture or a flat tire

will drive another person to murder

as i sit on the couch
burning in the embers
of another lost day

sucking at this second
tumbler of cheap vodka

staring out the window
looking for the answers to it all

hoping to catch a soft breeze
witness another side of the sun

than the one that burns
so hot and unholy

in the pale blue sky.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

poem of the day 07.12.16

the night my old man
talked to the television

i don’t remember
if my mother was out with her girlfriends
or if it was just one of those summer nights
after my old man worked the day shift
and my mother was off pulling overnights
so that someone was home with my brother and i
back during those counting the change
for a loaf of bread days
i don’t even remember the name of the movie or show
that was on the tv
just me and my brother sitting in the living room
having a coca-cola burping contest
with the old man asleep on his side on the couch
the ashtray full of kool milds resting on the carpet
that we kept daring each other to take and smoke
whatever was on the screen was loud
loud enough to block his snoring
and the people in the movie or show were fighting
some man and a woman
domestic drama crap that we’d quickly tired of
and the woman was flailing and yelling up a storm
while the guy stood there defiant and dull
like all men and women on television
when she finally stopped and screamed, i’m leaving
to which my old man responded from his slumber
fine, then get the hell out
as if my mother herself had come
tearing into the living room from the kitchen
ready to go another round with him
over their own domestic shit
before turning on his other side
the old man’s back to the television
snoring anew


Monday, July 11, 2016

poem of the day 07.11.16

not dead yet

all ass packed
in brown shorts
has that cell phone
american sway
sauntering down 4th avenue
in this blistering morning heat
the goddamned
dog days for sure
he must be saying
passing her
at least double her age
triple maybe
as big as a city block
a beached whale
with a cane
knocking on heaven’s door
but that doesn’t stop him
from spinning like a ballerina
to get one last look
after she passes
an ass walk for the ages
his last great summit
of libido
almost sprawled out on the pavement
before he rights himself
wipes the sweat from
his brow
looks nobody in the eye
as he continues on
with nimble
unsure steps
down this rank
and sweltering block.


Friday, July 8, 2016

poem of the day 07.08.16

imagine paul ryan

in his d.c. office cum apartment
three miller lights into it
spit shinning his portrait of reagan for the third time
making the sign of the cross
a chunk of wisconsin cheese in his hand
after a hard day of obstructive legislative work
if only the democrats understood the benefits of privatization
that rubber-faced frown almost etched
into his face these days because of donald trump
sad blue puppy dog eyes
barbells at his feet, he looks into the mirror and says,
clinton, clinton, clinton
as if wishing a terminal disease away with words
eddie munster widow’s peak frayed
his tie slightly askew
the suit coat already on the back of his wooden chair
american flag pin button upside down on the lapel since lunch
but damn if mitch mcconnell would tell him so
paul, he shadow boxes obamacare
then slowly undresses in the sad sunset of a humid d.c. night
maybe there’s dead silence
or the sound of interns as they scatter down the hall
toward lobbyist banquets with all the free booze they can drink
maybe there’s a little hootie and the blowfish playing
to remind him of those old college days
when newt was all the rage
and his only thoughts were of jennifer aniston
or that chick in his poly sci class
man, it’s too solemn tonight for the ac/dc or the led zep
four black men dead in 48 hours
protests scattering across the nation
five cops killed in dallas by snipers
the NRA wondering when we’ll hand out guns to kids
on the first day of school to kind of stop this shit
and, of course, the brewers are in fourth place
his presumptive republican nominee
an orange-faced, baby-dicked
bigoted, sexist, xenophobic, anti-semite
and good christ that’s just the stuff he knows about
tired from the talkin’ email blues all day with the FBI
our kid slips on his aaron rodgers jersey
stares as his brett farve poster
and wonders what’s next for this fractured, violent america
paul sits in his favorite chair brought straight to the capital
from good ol’ janesville
thinks no on that fourth miller light
takes out his phone and stares at a picture
of him and mitt that time they went fishing
on the fourth of july
was 2012 really four years ago already?
but mitt won’t return his calls these days
fucking trump, paul says
then he calls janna, dear, sweet, reliable janna
but it always takes her three rings to pick up
something with the kids
something he’s missing in between the cracks
of his floundering political career and pushing that GOP agenda
and when the call goes to voice mail
he doesn’t even say hello
it’s me, it’s paul
but just starts crying into the void
tearing at his jersey
falling to the floor like a petulant child
paul somehow gets himself together
thinks what would ayn rand do
then whispers into his phone
oh janna
oh baby
i just wanna come home.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

poem of the day 07.07.16

ninety degrees in brooklyn
with writer’s block

on my way
to work
a wasted morning of no words
a sweating
blob of pasty
white privilege flesh
with no discernible talent
dying in the dog days
like a hard turd
stuck up
a rank and festering
hemorrhoid ass
oh how
this city stinks
come july
my balls itching
my soul floundering
and ready
to burst purple
i watch
a thin
stray tabby cat
licking open
garbage bags
spilling rice
and rancid meat
onto the wet pavement
like he’s found
a pot of gold
like he’s
the goddamned king
of brooklyn
this hazy
ugly morning
with all the answers kept
locked and away from us slaves
in his wide
and almond


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

poem of the day 07.06.16

hello all
had too much fan at the Noel Gallagher show here in NYC last night
to drag myself out of bed at 4:45 here's a "best of" poem recently
published in the great Carcinogenic Poetry

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

poem of the day 07.05.16

the hypochondriac

i used to keep myself
up so many nights thinking about sickness
about dying in my sleep
about being the only twelve-year-old boy
who was going to have a heart attack
every growing pain that i suffered
was proof positive that my body
was failing me from the inside
i couldn’t sleep as a result of my worry
so i added insomniac to the list
all i could do was lay there in bed
listen to my brother snore across the room from me
my mother snoring in my folk’s room
the old man downstairs asleep
where we’d left him since he passed out at eight o’clock
with the television on as low
as we could secretly put it in our small home
and i’d think this is it, the end
i’d stop breathing the minute i drifted off to sleep
suffocated by i have no clue what
or that headache from yesterday was a brain tumor
the scratch from the cat would get infected 
and poison my blood
i’d stare at the clock knowing tomorrow at school
would be a long fucking day
if i didn’t get those thoughts out of my head
and get some sleep
but i couldn’t help it, it was all there in me
cancer, HIV, pneumonia, the plague
the black death, latent chicken pocks,
the mumps, the measles, that heart attack lying in wait
all of it coming to get me
sometimes all at once
while i laid in that bed terrified
until morning or sleep would finally come against my will
or i’d start thinking about something else
instead of all of that rot
something like the front door being unlocked
my old man’s cigarette still smoldering in his ashtray
set to burn the whole house down
or that my dear old snoring mother in the other room
had left the gas range going
and the goddamned oven on.


Monday, July 4, 2016

"best of" poem of the day 07.04.16

independence day

she tells me
to come in for the fireworks
while i’m
wondering if i’ll still have
a job by july
the fireworks are beautiful
she says
as i’m shutting the blinds
and cursing the sun
they come in red and blue
and purple and green
they light up the city
she tells me
while i think about piercing
the tips of my fingers
with a rusty
bobby pin
just for the hell of it
the fireworks will take
care of everything
like the job and the bills
you just need to see
some kind of beauty
in this life
pray and believe in god
she says
while i drink warm beer
wipe away broken glass
and try to untangle the noose
she tells me that the fireworks
spread for miles
they make kids laugh
the adults feel young
all right, all right
i tell her
you’ve won this time
but the next time you call
i’ll be in the closet
wrapped up in a blanket
soaked with gasoline
wondering where
i put the matches


Friday, July 1, 2016

"best of" poem of the day 07.01.16

in july

ten firecrackers
a roman candle
charcoal smoke from a grill
and two whores laughing
in the alleyway
while i’m trying to read
on a wednesday.

this neighborhood
is like a microcosm
of the world:

i can indict it
just by looking out
my bedroom window.

it doesn’t make me
any better,
at the mercy of all
of you,
the same as
i always