Archive for November, 2011


29 Nov

Orthomyxoviridae Plays the Flute (Badly, I might add)

28 Nov



Oh, man – I forgot what a bad cold was!

I’ve been pretty sick for the last few days, head like a lead balloon. So because of that, this piece that I finished last night didn’t come out: I don’t really like it, the references (of which there are too many for a short piece) aren’t the usual type of interesting-obscurity – they are relatively simple (except one, which is actually a bit of sentimental-obscurity, still completely unnecessary except to make a dreaded point and to remind an old friend how cherished his gift was from long ago). To be honest, the only reason that I’m sharing it is because maybe you’ll be under  a different opinion of it after reading it, and also to get it out of my notes. Though there are some interesting points in it, wholly sincere, I believe that “masturbation is too eloquent of a word to describe it – so here’s a poetic bit of old-school, plebian “jerking off”.



 Until Everything is Banned


Everything I experience in life is bargained against my death



and I am like Prometheus

with birds nipping at my liver.

Like Poe,

I’m taking Laudanum

writing “Eleonara”

by my own lonely river of silence.


It is all a qualifying experiment to see which side of the coin casts the most equitable bet


The new one

she’s working on me

every syllable a code

unless I’m inside of her.

For some reason

it wasn’t about the writing this time

she found something else.


There’s a down side to everything until you actually hit the bottom


I found a comic book all in Crumb

“Bring Me Your Love” Bukowski

and it’s so aggressive

while I was always gentle.

The comparison you made is false,

as most of them usually are.

But, cheer up – one of us can pretend

and stick to awkward generalizations.

For you it’s free time, for me it’s a sickness.  


For now, just remain a gambler looking for a different epistolary shadow



some gangsta shit from my childhood + chicken noodle soup:



take the world on your shoulders like Atlas…

27 Nov



After Eeyore finally hung himself with his own detachable tail, so that he could finally rest his melancholy and sip purgatorial tea with David Foster Wallace, I finally woke up and realized that I was writing the same poem over and over with different tongues (sometimes wagging simultaneously like the heads of a hydra).


Well, this one is for Henry.










“Can I be as I believe myself or as others believe me to be? Here is where these lines become a confession in the presence of my unknown and unknowable me, unknown and unknowable for myself. Here is where I create the legend wherein I must bury myself.” 

– Miguel de Unamuno




In our hotel room

she stood  


adjacent to the body

reborn from the corpse of literary endeavor.

The writer

not the one you thought

lay dying in the bed.

I picked up his pen

from the bloodied floor;

the crimson sweat

covered the ambition,

while he struggled to speak.

“Just write the lines,

“Those are the only memorable artifacts we leave.  

“Have a great ending to all your work,

“And make sure the heroine has gusto.”

Some sweetness, maybe, is unnecessary.

“But above all –

“Make sure you don’t end up in this room.”

In our hotel room

she stood barefoot

as a brief seduction

while I remained silent

until the last words of the writer were delivered

like a new childhood.

When she walked over to me

across the unsentimental vastness

to see if I understood with a gesture of the lips,

I resisted because she wasn’t the one I wrote;

I wrote about empty rooms,

and dying writers that I wanted to remain alive in them.

Suddenly I felt mercurial,

lively under Aries;

I walked away that night,

to a bar to write,

where music played

and people danced.   

I was worried there that it would all come free,



held by the last

the only lines

that I would write

that would matter

in this interminable con

that makes art out of deception.

I took a breath

and resolved to let it be

as it must,

because choice was surrendered

long ago

by those better than I.



Three Short Rules

24 Nov


Across these few rainy days, OG Kush really seemed to save the day like mighty mouse. I couldn’t figure out why she was seeing a dude that looked like a Williamsburg lumberjack on a perpetual morphine drip, just like I couldn’t figure out what to do with all my old books. But the weed made the day-to-day situation at my apartment a lot funnier: even when you’re woken up by a drug dealer who you haven’t seen in nearly a year because he decided to wish you a Happy Thankgiving at 8 o’clock in the morning – a spliff brings a little levity. I watched an old favorite film of mine tonight and listened to old records that I used to listen to years ago, and before I nestle back to bed, post-shower, hot cup of coffee wrapped around my trigger finger and Black Spring opened up on my lap, I think I should share Three Miscalleneous Rules to Live Your Life By.


–         Never let yourself be called “incorrigible” by a woman, unless it is in jest.

–         When you’re down to your last pennies – buy the cheap brand of cigarettes, the cheap wine (three-buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s); make sure you save enough to buy her flowers. It does mean everything.

–         Remember never to look back – unless you’re a writer, unless you want to be haunted for life.




21 Nov





Swimming in the smoke

Like a lucky piece of plankton

I break it down over to you

Seeing the wedding veil above your eyes

Ordering up another drink

I put my lips to your ear

And so that he couldn’t hear

Say “let’s get out of here”

“it’s only time”

“where it’s spent never matters”

“only the wallpaper changes color”

You laugh at a joke that wasn’t made

Finding it easier to slip away

My drink comes and I thank the barman as a tip

He looks begrudgingly at my torn lapel

Accidents happen, but he thinks that I should be the one pouring

An expert at few things, I light another cigarette

Walking into the fresh air

I look around at all the congratulating faces

Growing hands from their tongues for the shaking

I take a sip of the reclusive top shelf shit I got

Turn my neck into a knot

Hear the creaking that comes with the waste of all the time I’ve spent

Figuring it out

Finding out who went where and for what

Where the writers drank

Which abbey they pissed on to create their verses

Ignoring my own wonderful dysfunction

That sentimental monster that hides in the back of my head

I watched you a little too long

Now and before, always again

When the next drink is done it’s time to walk away

No time for vows or decorations

No time for rose petals under feet

No time at all

“I’ll take another. Make it neat.”


Quick Pop-Culture Note

21 Nov


This is exactly why we should be scoping the underground. Why we should put more faith in linguistic ability, knowledge of words. For those of you who know me, I’ve been talking about Slaughterhouse for a while now – referring to them as the greatest supergroup that hip-hop has ever produced (being that The Commission folded before inception after Biggie got killed) – and now, that I saw this cypher, it cannot be in dispute. I’ve never been a fan of Yellawolf (though he does have some mixtape talent), but his signing to Shady/Aftermath makes sense to clog the niche left vacant by the implosion of hillbilly hip-hop out of the South. I just checked out this freestyle today (part of the BET awards from ’11) and I’ve had to rewind a couple of times already. Brilliant move from the label, brilliant bit of verse showcased. Enjoy. 





Somewhere to Take the First Step From…

20 Nov


Got some work done today. A new direction for the novel that I can finally stick to. Some heavy lifting, some heavy reminiscence coming. Came up with this bit of verse regarding the process.


Editorial Day


Where’s Chekhov?

Where’s the champagne that death brings?

Does it matter?

We are already casting the funeral scene.

Welcome, actors.

Welcome, spectators.

Welcome, also, the bereaved.

Let’s commence with the procession.

We move along the gray rain of winter,

hidden by our windows,

hidden by the word “alone”.

I sit here recycling lines from my book,

as always – unfinished,

and am, again, reminded of you –

because where else would you have me look?

Still, so sweet,

to read

to be read –

my last thread,

my last bed.

We have a litany to sing;

a love song to put it all away.

I’m just remembering the words now.

Welcome back

I know you didn’t find him


Does it matter?

We are already in post-production.  

Soon that little life of ours will be done:

Another comedy without a wedding,

Another tragedy without heroes.



“You’re a bastard!” She exclaimed.

17 Nov


Considering the amount of material currently present on the site, I have decided to go back through the archive and handpick some of the better work to throw up into the Official Material section, to make it easier for the reader to find. Although this is a new piece, it’s definitely bound to end up there.


I want the night sky


I don’t want a sunbeam for a wife

I want a night sky

above the dozing city

above the drowning drunks

above the savagery of a crowded bar on its last licks

above the spread legs of loose women

above the children smoking sherm on companionless staircases

above the all-night delis

above the broken dancers on dented platforms

above the sentimental lunacy of street preachers

above the posh cemeteries full of rainy ghosts colored in grainy sepia

above the empty ground still left at Potter’s Field

above the dirty alleyways that smell like love

above the spilled blood that tastes like metal

above the mistresses shared by the wealthy bored

above the lonely tendrils that choke the days

above the luminous eyes that always find me

I want that sky

dark and beautiful

with hopeful shades

like the baby blanket that she kept

I want that sky

to keep me whole

to keep me sacred for a while

I want that sky

I want the city’s dirge

the city’s canker sore

the city’s empathy

just a morsel of the city’s constant remorse

I want the city night

the night that breathes with fire

the night that knows I’m still around



Getting Sentimental at 2:32am

15 Nov


This is the reason why I shouldn’t watch sad indie films and listen to The Magnetic Fields in the middle of the night… the thought process behind this one was to make it as minimalist and meaningful a poem as one I would read as a child, where one word per line of verse makes all the difference. 




It takes time

It wears off

It wanes












and then it’s ether

and then it disappears




The Kids Are Alright

15 Nov


So, I got into a lengthy discussion with a friend tonight about Franny & Zooey (a short story and a novella by J.D. Salinger, first published together in 1961) – we discussed some of our favorite quotes and Issa and smoking a cigar in a bathtub and finding a manner in which to live and our precocious childhoods and missing books and everything in between, both holy and unsentimental – and when she finally had to excuse herself to go to sleep (a working gal always loses a discussion with a marginally employed insomniac), I decided to fumble around online for anything interesting in regards to the topic. What I found was a large number of badly acted English projects by students of various ages either acting out or interpreting their favorite scenes. But, amongst those I found this little ditty: it is a juxtaposition of Franny & Zooey and the brilliant Wes Anderson film The Royal Tenenbaums, set [for only marginally-explainable reasons] to some well known songs by the tragic troubadour Elliott Smith. My suggestion is to take a shot of Dramamine to deal with the shaky camera work and smoke a joint to truly comprehend the adorable nature of this clip. Or just to add some extra giggles to the recreation of the famous shaving scene of Richie Tenenbaum, played by our solo-heroine while donning a clip-on mustache and beard, which she shaves off with a pink Gillette razor.



“Oh, he had to go out last night and meet this television writer for a drink downtown, in the Village and all. That’s what started it. He says the only people he ever really wants to meet for a drink somewhere are all either dead or unavailable. He says he never even wants to have lunch with anybody, even, unless he thinks there’s a good chance it’s going to turn out to be Jesus, the person – or the Buddha, or Hui-neng, or Shankaracharya, or somebody like that.”

– J.D.S.



14 Nov


“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.”

 – Alexandre Dumas



This is why Faulkner would quit drinking when he wrote. Two days into my sabbatical, and although I wasn’t able to get to as much editing as I wanted to,  I did manage to write two great new pieces. Here’s “Circling” (the other one I’m holding onto for another day so as not to oversaturate all of your with my gloomy, sober brilliance).




The police are shooting civilians in the street

The villain takes a nap

I wake up and find religion

Put it away for a rainy day in Hell

The smoke rises

The pulpit emanates the profligate smell

I feel high, but not like before

I feel the tar and the carbon in my throat

I don’t know what this is supposed to be anymore

A preposition with no subject

A writer without a muse

A cliché without accepted truth

The coffee is stale and the night is long

She says she’s troubled and as fickle as absinth

I take her anyway

Because I know I can

Because bad company is better than a copyrighted hush

A sinner wants a lover to distract them

and I want you to distract me,

derange me,

then despise me

It will come

Just don’t wait too long

I want to still be high when it happens

Because the death of the pen is surely nigh

No, never more of rhyme for now

We have to save it

like a diamond from volcanic breccia

like a saint from the bottle and blood

like the concept of love from the reality of death

like you from I in surety and in expulsion

I can surely go on and on

I can surely find more responsibility in insomnia

Writing something new over and over


Editorial Day

13 Nov


Original Source:

Note: the rest of the pieces from the Bar TenEleven reading have been uploaded in the Official Material section. 


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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