Wednesday, March 13, 2019


nights i whisper this
boil an egg without burning
an old building down


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

I used to be quite wild
Skulking the underworld
Wielding paint like a weapon
I used to be quite wild
Dangerous and then some
Awakened by night
Fucking everything in sight
I used to be quite wild
When poets and madmen 
charmed the fuck out of me
I followed their aim
shot carelessly
At me in my room
I knew what women meant to me
I spent a lifetime arguing
the best of me
I used to be quite wild
Older now in glove soft love
We watch telly from
Under the duvet
Close and regretful
Of all we were meant to be
The cats come or go as they please
I used to be quite wild
Nothing turns out like the dream
A man comes along like a flag unfurled
We eyeball the world
My bayonet is lowered
I think about hurling the last
Unrestrained blow
and I don’t
It’s marriage it’s love
it’s divine capitulation
I used to be quite wild
Instead I’m a nation
Of two undecideds
Wild or tamed it is
Us who are riders
Side saddle
Bareback
I used to be quite wild
Braying songs and drunk stories
We are in this world
Quite wild and tamed
At the same time
 Like a bomb just waiting
For the very best time
Like a warrior remaining
In love and in rhyme

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


I took a path today
Led by a curious dog
I took a path today
Out of my furious fog
I took a path today
Wrong shoes in the mud
Angry at not being prepared
For the evil as well as the good
There was a man who called me
He knew me and wanted a hug
I am holding a bag of shit I said
You know I walk the dog
He laughed
I walked on
I took a path today
And as always I found god.
For CA

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


WINGS

Born old and alone
Like a wizened gnome
Eyeing the terrain
Looking for the home
That takes me in 
Chucks me under my chin
Sit be listened to
Sit be included
Sit have a say
Sit you are home
And I spread the wings
Crippled at birth
For the dangerous road
The search for the mirth
History of art
History of begging
Self-harmed in a way
That embraces forgiving
Toothless old women 
taught me that living has
wings of its own
that I may be forgiven
for flying too high
for finding my feet
for once trying to die
I am old now and younger
Than I have ever been
A staircase descends
A staircase grows higher
Heaven or gutter
No matter how far
Like a wise man once said
I can still see the stars. 

David Hammons
Bag Lady In Flight
Shopping bags, grease and hair 1975

Saturday, January 26, 2019


For Carmen, in space.

I think of you
In the low moments
The space between torment.
I think of you
Like a list for the market.
I have that. Don’t need that
I must stock that soon.
I think of you
Eyeing that bloodline of
The red, red wine.
The glass like a broken marker
Of unsaid regret.
Coffee beans in Sambuca
Dark and perfect.

I think of you
I think of you
Fingers crippled into caves
Of unsure revenge
Covering the keyboard
Folded, dilated, saved.
Crossing the Rubicon.
Wearing the wrong shoes
For a miscalculation.
Does it count
When I am up late
Betraying those decisions
I made to choose.

I think of you in revisions.
I think of you
In stories once written.
The page like a nightmare
On its gentler way
Flying down slowly
To save a dark day.
Who makes the incisions
When friendship is torn
You think I’m wrong
I know
I know.

Does it matter
This blue unintentional
This sudden redeemable 
This this uneventual
Collision of disregard.

I think of you even now
Conniving inspiring rewiring
Despairing on cue.
Foolish me foolish you
I know
I know
It’s battle fatigue.

Embraced at the airport
Like long lost friends.
You left me no choice but
To choose in the end
The history of one over
Small angers of another.
I thought you were bigger.
I thought you were tougher.

I’ll miss you for now
Never forget your voice.
It’s stuck in our song.
You have no choice.
Make the most of your secrets
skulls piled under lampshades
Rugs pulled from the eaves
of regrettable he said she saids
Another conquest will come
In a while.

Be safe little monkey
Think longer and harder. 
Beware the pedestal
Reject the martyr.
Beware of the longing.
Remember the embrace.
Love yourself try harder or
You will lose the race.

I think of you often.
That will not be erased.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Bloodless

Just after eight on a seasonably warm Sundayevening in late September, Dan Muehler left his stopgap digs on East Ninth Street. The gathering outside The Migrant, directly across the street, was still hardly more than a sober smokers’ collective. 
Dan worked at The Migrant and would be back at the retro-chic bar the following morning to prep for the daily opening. He stopped for ten minutes to gauge the effect on those waiting outside for the lunar eclipse of the so-called Super Blood Moon. Irritating cloud cover had momentarily dulled “moonthusiasm,” sending most of the watchers inside. When the star of the show reappeared, iPhones lit up as if they’d been signaled, hurrying Instagrammers and FaceTimers back into the street. 
Dan re-shouldered his guitar, clicked the off button on his e-cigarette and headed west for the weekly jam session across town. The rabbity unease that sent believers scurrying to rapturous predictions from religious leaders of all stripes was not evident in Dan’s crowd. Music, alcohol and pot pitched them—at most—into gauzy, freewheeling what-if scenarios. Dark humor poured from them like the rich, chocolate-colored pints of Guinness that went down so easily. 
He sauntered across Bleecker—the street where music used to spill from every crevice—now awash in the kinds of shops that made New York City the Big New Anywhere. Who didn’t enjoy battling tourists jostling for position outside the artisanal gelato shop, or need fresh baked cookies delivered at two in the morning? 
The former home of Phil Ochs was still a soulless cavity between tenements the color of blood. Choga, now shuttered at the top of a steep flight of stairs, had been a gathering place where musos, oiled by multiple rounds of sake and Japanese beer, spilled their stories in song. The Gaslight on MacDougal Street had finally given up the ghost of Bob Dylan. The stage was gone. Shiny red banquettes lined the narrow, bloodless interior. Anemic international sorts crowded the bar, looking both wounded and entitled. The menu boasted signature snacks. Cocktails had names that sounded like book titles written by terribly hip grown-up children: “False Witness in the Old Fashioned Flask” and “Vampire Attack.”
The Bitter End would hang on until the bitter end. Owners of most venues still standing had mastered the art of making the artist pay to play. “Just a reminder,” they’d scold. “This is a business, so bring your hungry and thirsty friends and have a few rounds, or the music goes away.”
Omar—a black-suited refrigerator of a man—emerged from the doorway of The Red Lion. He nodded to Dan. “What’s up, bro?” His head swiveled left to right and back again like a cannon, scanning for potential troublemakers on a drunken lark in Greenwich Village. “Good crowd tonight.”
“Hey, man,” Dan replied, ducking past him. 
The Bitter End and Terra Blues had nostalgia cachet on Bleecker. At the Lion drinks were cheap. The menu was non-threatening. The bar had a steady roster of musicians who played to regulars, students, tourists, and the homesick, who felt mercifully at home with a properly poured pint soaked up by battered fish and chips. 
On Sunday nights, Dan played in the jam at the Lion. There was no metal, thrash or stand-up on those nights. Folkies slid in alongside a familiar gang of seasoned blues musicians. Among them was a spirited blonde. She was a looker, right out of a Raymond Carver story—forty-something and ballsy everything. She sang with a voice that stopped seasoned hearts in their rutted tracks. For those in the audience who knew how to holler back, Dan always covered a Hank Williams classic, “Mind Your Own Business.” He followed that with more crowd pleasers, growling through “Shine on Harvest Moon” and “Walking Stick.” 
Old Jack was a regular who wore a battle-scarred, mouse-colored Stetson and shamelessly channeled Bob Dylan onstage. He needled Dan with the same damn accusation, every damn time. “You ain’t old enough to know who Redbone is.” 
Dan was old enough. He knew who Leon Redbone was.  No one at The Red Lion gave a shit about the moon. 
The text came in at 2:00 a.m., while Dan was play-flirting with the blonde. “Need u now. get a cab!!!!!!”
“Everything okay?” she hummed, warm and promising like freshly poured whiskey.
“Yeah,” Dan said. “My boss, Ari, old-school jerk. Trust no one. Hate everyone. Stab them with exclamation points.” 
She laughed huskily. Score for him.
Still sober—because that was his life now and had been for a decade—Dan re-scanned the text. He decided to walk back and make a pit stop at the rent-controlled apartment. He’d been saved—again—when his girlfriend had kicked him out and Mike, his magician friend, had taken him in. 
He trudged up three prehistoric flights of stairs. He dropped off his beloved Epiphone Blackstone. Magic Mike was in rehab. He needed someone to stay at his place—rent-free—and take care of the cat. “Be careful, if you do see her,” Magic Mike warned. “She’ll act all chill and purring and then wham, she’ll draw blood.” 
“Kind of like a knife fight at a Buddhist picnic?” Dan suggested. 
“Yeah, that,” said Magic Mike.
Magic Mike’s greeting was still on the machine. It blinked furiously in the darkened room, like a demented spy with Tourette’s.
“Ari here. I need you, now! Chop, chop! Unless you’re the one in fucking rehab.” Twelve seconds of Ari’s hacking cough tore through Dan as if he’d been violated. “When can you get here?” Ari wheezed. 
At eight-fifty an hour, Dan mused. Never.
His job at The Migrant usually started at seven in the morning. Dan erased Ari’s message. At just after three in the morning, he dropped some dry cat food into a bowl in a kitchen that would have been frightening if it was any bigger, but was merely disheartening. On his first night in the apartment he’d discovered the gory aftermath of beet borscht stored in a glass jar that had exploded in the freezer. 
Dan sloped downstairs into the still-dark morning and ran across the street to the bar. 
The first thing he noticed was the chalkboard, still on the street. It should have been brought in at closing. Last night it was lettered in colored chalk, listing the drink specials: Bloodberry Mojitos, Blood Orange Margarita, Blood and Sand, Bloody Bull, Blood Red Sangria, Bloodberry Fizz, Bloodsucker and Bloody Sunday. Now it looked as if the drunken ghost of Jackson Pollock had stumbled by and created another masterpiece. The stench of urine clung to it like snail slime on a leaf. Cigarette butts—little grave markers—stubbed the outdoor planters flanking the entrance.
Dan dragged the offending chalkboard aside. He pushed the front door open to the barely lit interior of the storefront bar. It smelled as if a thousand clowns had died slow, unfunny deaths.
Emerging from behind the bar, a pit bull in pants, Ari threw a ring of keys at Dan. “Get this shit cleaned up,” he growled. “Bartender quit last night. Last fucking time I hire a fucking hipster with his fucking hair in a fucking man bun!” 
“Pay me,” Dan said evenly.
“What? What the fuck!”
“Pay me now, Ari, for today, too,” Dan said. “I’m in no mood.”
Dan tailed in Ari’s wake and locked the door. He pocketed the damp wad of bills thrust at him. He threw a switch and surveyed the scene. The place was a shambles. It was going to be a long fucking day. He closed his eyes and summoned the Zen his girlfriend—ex-girl friend—went on about. Apart from conscious awakening, Shawna was fixated on death. She was the only person he knew who had memberships to morbidity. In Philly, where she was from, there was the Mütter Museum. She belonged to the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Gowanus, where she lived and he had once lived. She was the kind of person who had unabashedly delayed opening curtain, calling for security when she spied a coat and bag left on a theater seat still empty five minutes before show time. “This is New York City in 2013,” she’d announced. “If I’m right, you’ll thank me for my concern.”
They’d met at the city’s only school for Appalachian flatfoot clogging. For a native New Yorker like Dan, stomping to Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo was not exactly a play-it-again-Sam moment.  He was there by invitation from a friend. “Come,” Edna said. “I want you to meet someone.”
He fell in love. Or dependency. Shawna was tightly drawn. She biked everywhere in the city, helmeted as if for battle. She stared him down with her joyless observations. Shawna had a job. He did not. She scared him a little. Love at first fright.
It lasted for almost three years. 
Shawna would say to him, “You can sit at home and be annoyed or you can go out and be annoyed.” He preferred to sit at home and re-watch New York characters tough it out in the neo-noir of Cassavetes’ films.
Shawna was twenty-four when they met. Aging with a still fertile female. Not a thing to look forward to. So he ended it. Well, she did, but he’d agreed.
He wondered what Shawna would make of the drama. It would be eighteen years before a Super Moon happened again, putting Dan at an inconceivable eighty-one years old. Pundits, soothsayers, and end-times websites thrived like leeches on the blood of news junkies and the shamelessly panic-stricken. Forget about greeting 2016 any time soon; the end of the world was at hand. 
On the other, more rational hand, the world was not going to end. NASA knew of no asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth. Dan’s hopes were pinned on the asteroid.
Like much of the year’s headline screamers, Super Moon hadn’t lived up to the hype. Bruce Jenner scored a Vanity Fair cover as scantily clad Caitlyn, but she was still a Republican. “Deflategate” was actually an nflscandal over softer balls, and another royal baby was just another welfare cheat. For all the hoopla surrounding it, the Super Moon had been kind of bloodless. 
Shawna dismissed the “fake moon shot” and “9/11 was an inside job” and relegated Dan’s favorites to the conspiracy trash heap. At their first meeting, he mentioned the Cuban Missile Crisis, prompting silent age-guessing on her part. She urged him to write his own songs, but he resisted. There was a blues song already written for every emotion. Even for the guy on Facebook who cried when he had to euthanize his fish. Muddy Waters had that covered. “Catfish Blues, back down the road I’m goin’.” Suicide bomber songs were a bit more challenging. 
He forced his eyes open. Still here, he thought, taking in The Migrant’s interior. It was a cozy space in a historically incommodious tenement building. Brick walls, properly scarred. Old-fashioned cash register, for display only. Milky-white globe lights and backlit etched glass panels. Depression-era framed photographs. Latter-day prices. 
Carmine-colored clots spilled over the floor, the bar, and the few tables in the back. He started with the broken glass. What horror lay behind the bathroom door filled him with dread. The hidden nook at the back of the room would stay hidden for now. He imagined bottomless Bloody Marys sliding down the throats of dark-haired, marble-complexioned, spectral young women. 
Dan powered through the carnage. Black trash bags slumped at the door like unidentified bodies. The mats were washed. Supplies listed. Wine stocked. Condiments and snacks were prepared and refrigerated. 
“I actually cut cheese,” he thought and laughed out loud, cracking the deadly quiet interior.
Outside, raw-skinned, bone-tired and practically narcoleptic, Dan forced his lanky, sixty-three-year-old frame from the curb, shallow-breathing the stench of fetid gutter debris. Clutching a broom, he traipsed back to the open cellar doors of the bar. He ran a hand through still thick, though graying, hair that capped his scalp like a colony of edgy bats. 
Does it get any worse than this? 
Dan was the only kind of mess you could be after not having steady employment for a decade, at least. He’d worked five hours a day for three days a week at this job. Twenty-one days of paid work. He laughed, but he was still a mess. 
Every nerve ending in Dan’s body telegraphed displeasure. His flesh clung to him, fearful of sliding off bone and diminished muscle into the oily gutter. If he were bloodless, he would not be surprised.
He dropped a bright yellow floor stand at the top of the cellar stairs. He hated the cellar. When he was still drinking, he’d needed a shot of amber-in-a-glass for moments like these, and he needed one now. Caution. Watch Your Step. Alcohol was the minefield he no longer traversed. He saluted the sign and dragged the hose as far as it would stretch from the cellar. 
A trash tornado on legs emerged from the pre-dawn gloom. The old woman glared at Dan as if seeing him for the first time. He continued hosing the pavement. She reared back.
“Don’t fucking spray on me, you four-eyed shrimp!” she screamed.
Dan adjusted his eyeglasses and contemplated the hose. Tool? Weapon? It was a conundrum.
He turned off the water. The woman had not moved. 
“I don’t mean to be a shallow jerk,” Dan said. “It’s my job to clean—.”
“Find something else to do, jerk.” 
Does it get any worse than this? Why yes. Yes, it does. 
He watched her scuttle down the block like a sack of angry crabs. He wondered how she knew he was earlier than usual. He wondered what she did to survive, where she lived and if she was alone. Every morning. Same thing. She screamed at him. He apologized. 
It was a pissing contest that had started on his first day at the job. She’d cracked a new retort every day since then. 
At first it amused him. When he’d ask how she was doing, she’d say, “Mind your own business, you nosy bastard.”
When she noted he had a shitty job, he replied, “No big deal.” 
“I got bunions bigger then your dick,” she cackled.
Dan let the hose drop to the pavement. He felt for the mini-vape in his pocket. He wondered how he had gotten to this place.
One of the kitchen workers arrived. Ari must have called him in earlier. Francisco stopped, flicked a cigarette butt into the gutter and nodded. Dan nodded in return. The only reason I have a crap job at a place called The Migrant, Dan thought, was because Ari didn’t trust the Mexicans. He wondered if the Mexicans got the joke.
Dan pocketed the vape. “Hey man. Door’s open. How’s it goin’? Could I…uh…bum a cigarette?” 
Francisco half-smiled and shook one from the pack. 
Alone again, Dan dragged deeply on the cigarette. Dan knew exactly when he’d finally quit the addiction to the rat race. There had been a few half-hearted prison breaks before then. The first time was when he left school. He set out for San Francisco with his guitar and a girl who’d claimed she’d slept with Salinger. His disgusted father bribed him to return. “Go to art school, at least,” he said.
He’d been an artist once, a painter—large canvases full of a quiet angst. He guessed the really heavy drinking had started around then—and the drugs. When he quit drinking, he quit painting. Dan knew he was not the next Jackson Pollock. For one thing, coke was no longer an inspiration and he didn’t want to die. And then he’d gotten un-sober. It was a bloodless white wine for him, a lot of it. And pot. Which wasn’t really a drug. Gateway meant nothing if you had nowhere to go. 
He’d taken courses in graphic illustration and design so that he could earn a living. He was comfortable doing graphic art. He made his own hours. Deadlines got harder to meet.
Then, after some years of persuading himself that he would eventually get back to the canvas and paint as a sober man, he realized he’d never be able to produce anything more than small, dull abstract paintings with ridiculously pompous titles for vanity galleries in Chelsea. He took up the guitar again. 
The final bloodless escape happened on a night in June, ten years earlier, when America was still shedding its craven innocence. Some underpaid, neophyte magazine editor had insisted he redo an illustration multiple times. She’d hung up on Dan twice. Finally he just went to the midtown office, threw the illustration down, and walked out. 
He’d been sorely tempted to make his way downtown, find a connection and just end it all with a nice warm overdose. Instead, he found the nearest Irish bar in Hell’s Kitchen.
Dan had spotted her right away. She was older than the crowd she was with. Experience fell off her like a molting caterpillar. She was dark-haired, dressed well and all in black, with the air of the recently released. She was at that age when women are at their most vulnerable and most heroic at the same time. She was not wearing a wedding ring.
He’d stood at the bar and telegraphed his desire. She motioned him over. It was her going-away party. “Leaving what?” he’d asked. “Manhappened,” she laughed. “No, I’m a native. I’ll stay until the bitter end. Out with the old. In with the will-work-for less,” she said. “I’ll be a real writer now.” “
She nodded to her co-workers and whispered to Dan, “I’ve lost my joi to their vivre.”
He laughed, and she said, “Why aren’t we all born laughing?”
They traded stories of a city that was once a heady farrago of excitement and danger. She remembered when poison pen letters were written with a proper fountain pen on good stationary. 
“What’s your story?” she asked.
“The names have been changed to protect the humiliated,” he said. “Thank god we finally have 7-Elevens.” 
“And bourbon!” she cheered, lifting her glass. “Lots of bourbon.”
He still felt the guilt of letting her leave on her own. He remembered her name was Trudy and that she would be heading west soon to hike to a reservation at he bottom of the Grand Canyon. “I’ve got new wings,” she said. “I’m gonna commune with the Great Spirits. I’ll be fine.” He raised his glass to her. It was his last drink.
A high-pitched duo shrilly announced their presence, bringing Dan back to his place outside The Migrant. The young women careered about on spike heels, tugging the hems of their leather mini-skirts, waving water bottles like distress signals. 
Heading home from an all night rave, Dan guessed. He overheard one of them say, “This area of town’s like, a lot more youthful, like a younger crowd, because, like, nyuis here.”
Dan stepped out of their way. 
They giggled like conspirators. “Don’t give him any money. He’ll go away.” 
The old lady sprang out of nowhere. “He’s not bothering you. He’s just occupying his fucking space!” 
“Occupy whatever,” one of them drawled. “What’s your problem?” the other one said.
“I got this mother hen thing for the dope.” She pointed to the water bottles. “What’s that?” 
“Asparagus water,” they cheered.
“How much?” she demanded.
“Too much for you,” they sang.
“I’ll eat some asparagus and piss into a bottle for free.”
They wobbled, gagging, to the other side of the street.
“Just die of dehydration and do the gene pool a favor!” she yelled after them.
“I’ve lost my joi to their vivre,” Dan said.
A smile cracked the old lady’s face for the first time. “Good one, shithead.” 
Dan waved at her retreat. He coiled the hose loosely around his shoulder and headed for the cellar. There was still the bathroom and the nook at the back of the room.  When he’d complained about the job to his buddies, one of them suggested he do a GoFundMe. “Why would anyone give someone like me any money? I’m already in Stage 4 of incurable life.” Buy some time, his friends said. “I don’t have an album,” Dan said. Make one up, they said.
Francisco stepped around Dan, extending a pack of cigarettes. 
“Thanks, man.” Dan drew a cigarette from the pack. The rest of the kitchen staff would arrive soon. Someone else could tackle the mess before Ari returned and found him gone. He dug the keys from his pocket and handed them to Francisco. “I’m done. Finished. Terminado.”
He’d get some sleep and then wander over to Washington Square Park. He’d meet his pals for a jam by the fountain, and pick up a few more bucks from the tourists. He patted the still damp wad of bills in his pocket. He might call Shawna. He’d ask her to dinner, maybe see a documentary, her favorite genre. There was a new one on the Ukraine at Film Forum. Dan had a hard time letting go. She might one day need a transplant or a bit of his bone marrow—or he, hers. Already the air smelled fresher. Today was going to be his lucky day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018























My feet are claw-like
My hands grip the clues
Indebted I am to the front-running muse
Write a poem, a story 
Confess those cold blues
It’s fucking Christmas so
Spread the news
Of the odd reindeer you were
Of the lost elves who raised you
Of the life that you had
Of the anger that becomes you
Grow older and golden
Grow less beholden
Lead the masked and unbidden
Ride the sleigh from the lesson
You know now, you creature
of energy and sin
You know now you elder
That light is the thing
That darkness depends on
A legitimized life
That darkness lives only
In heroic light
You know now the scars
Slash darkness in time
You know now just 
how to find the rhyme
the questions keep coming
the signs won’t last
you know now what boots
tread the ongoing path

Saturday, December 8, 2018

GOLD
Gold staggers
It has its
I mean fuck it has its
You know
Gold, man, it has its
Whatever
It fucking has its goddamn
Whatever gold has
It has it doesn’t it
When the nothing is sacred
The question is asked
In a uniformed naked
You know what I mean
The guardian of unsightly
You know what I lied about
When feeling uprightly
Pour the red
Light the pipe
You are looking unsightly
Which is never a
Conviction
You are looking for light now
And bowed over quite rightly
This argument
This discontent
You are pitted into a landfill of dead
In a season of gold
Like the old man says,
Hold. Fucking hold.
You are healed though unsightly
Gold. Woman. Gold.
With me you go lightly.
Fuck the jailor, the poet, the drunkard, the woman
A sewer, a mantlepiece, slave poet well spoken
This discontent
This growling resent
This voice from the past
This male unscrewing this laugh fucking last
I’ve gone on too long
Can tell by your regress
Ballet slippers on tensions
Fingers clawing the drain
I miss you sweet humans
Again, and again
I miss you sweet humans
But next time I’ll aim.


Saturday, November 17, 2018


In a room of hungry people
Everyone must be served.

I fly around. 
What can I get you? 
Coffee? Apple juice? Water?
It’s turkey and ham today.
Stuffing, green beans.

I have a poem for you, she said
I’d like another piece of pie, she said. 

I have a poem for you.

Let me get you the pie
Then you can tell me the poem.

It was all there in her poem. 
Her search for words
To speak for her mind.
For her to find a way for others 
To listen.

It was a beautiful poem.

I said, I feel just like that today.

We’re alike, she said.

We are. We are.

In a room of hungry people
Everyone must be served.

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Can’t go to sleep
The bottle’s not empty
Yellow jackets 
Sneak in
Through cracks in the window
Like drunks thrown to the curb
Begging forgiveness
In the dead of night
while the living write blurbs
for the apocalypse

For Guy Saunders who shares the night

Sunday, October 21, 2018


FOR HANK who is too dead to argue.
WHO THE HELL IS A POET
the dog with the pen
and the Harvard penis
may or may not be
a start or halfway to finish
empty telephones are poems
for the blind who relish
smoking pupils see fire
in your beer stained breath
fathers raving in alcoholic
splendor have danced
on the typewriter making
poems with their toes
if only someone goddamn
knew they wrote witty prose
the dead are poets they
read for the worms the
living are left with
consonants and vowels and
the sickening job of making
sense
battered children cry with
poetry and flowers can’t
give a fuck because they
themselves are the rhyme
the poet nailed to the
wall with the rose in
his teeth only THINKS he’s
a poet who has bled on time
nails pounded by lovers
are weapons
mistaken for poetry
they come dressed in rhyme
biding their time
in rooms hidden by longing
watch when the dust that
begins to speak with disarming
idiots make lists
fathers are storming
the gate of the poet
what the hell is the warning
who the hell is a poet
my father my longing
who the hell is a poet
the man with the warning

Saturday, October 20, 2018



what we forget to remember
are the flat tires fixed 
by roadside strangers
subway seats given up
softens elderly anger
we forget when young we 
snatched the cane of an overlord
and righted the protest
with no intent to defraud
like a swan necked round a lover
feathers laid back in alarm
are you my hero
are you here to do harm
this is the universe crawling begotten
this is the friendship
we are faced with uncertain
how many times have I drunk
elixir well spoken in language
I know when I’m drunk and broken
it comes back forever
this drink this reposting
welcome the bulls when they
crash through the wrong
I am drunk and unhinged
bored with bleating song
nostalgia grows like mold
on a slow-moving worm
it shutters the new
it comes dressed as harm
what we forget to remember
are small kindnesses each day
gathering the strengths
in pockets to say
make a video of this
you sad panting poseurs
this city ain’t dead
though it leaves some alone
beware of the dog that steals
all of the bones
this city ain’t dead
though it makes a great poem
this city ain’t dead
when we call it home.