Archive for January, 2012

Various News and Random Musings

31 Jan


Leonard Cohen’s magnificent “Old Ideas” has finally been released today: his first studio album in eight years. The blues surrounds the smoke of his voice until it quiets to a brief, sensual gust; the ancient poet blows out the aging candle with the recitation of a single litany like Haydn once did for the Hungarian prince. The bard did not disappoint.


If you’re tired of masturbating or playing Solitaire on your computer, you should check out the recent Spin magazine list: 18 Dubious Uses of Joy Division – quite entertaining (especially once you see the line of sex toys that takes its name from the aforementioned seminal post-punk band).


Selected work from January has been added to the Official Material section.


The short film “I’m a Hard Man to Kill” is officially out of post production and awaiting some minor touchups prior to being premiered.


It is now agreed upon. I will indeed be in Jersey City, supporting a friend’s performance and will read a few short pieces while there. Details can be found in a recent entry or in the Upcoming Events calendar.


My tinkering has finally culminated in a refurbished epilogue for my novel. Now it’s a thick dark goddamn lager. A couple of new chapters have also been added. Below can be seen a preview, the length of a paragraph, of one of the new additions to the growing behemoth that is my 400 pg. manuscript.


The best kind of love isn’t just another compulsory relapse into addiction; not just another gambit – it is a constant, resurrecting recidivism. A murder spree. An ardent danger that comforts you because it makes you realize that nothing truly matters but this womb you’ve found yourself ensconced in. It is conscription into a void of pulsating agony. It is pain if pain was any longer a word. It is an execution in an existentialist novel. It is an essay of colloquialisms on the form of irony: beautiful and cruel, and always dressed loftily in rags.  


To Those it May Concern

29 Jan


"Madness" by Alfred Kubin

The Asylum is now under new management.

Leave your teeth with the secretary.

Make yourself a cocktail with the leftover vermouth.

Bathe yourself in lye and don’t forget to smile.



The Lunatics



Finally working on some new chapters, I feel like Scorsese directing “Boxcar Bertha” – but it’s better than Peckinpah trying to divorce cocaine. Less futile. Even if only by a short stretch.


He handed me his cigarette to confirm whether or not it “tastes weird”. I denied his request, I didn’t smoke menthols: “I wouldn’t worry. It’s probably just stale. Besides, having it dipped in phencyclidine usually costs extra.”


Might be doing a short reading (2 – 3 pieces undecided) in Jersey City this coming Thursday, come out and support the creative community (even if some may be from NJ):


Art House Productions presents
Poets * Musicians * Performance Artists
Coming together in Jersey City

8-10PM * $5 admission


A Modest Puzzle for the Literary Nerd

26 Jan


Jack T. Tumult’s Reading List [while finishing the last quarter of the novel]:

Note: The list is not to be taken in any sort of order. The books are to be read at will, if will permits. Those that are found to be excruciatingly dull, didactic, or wonderful must be put down at once and picked up again only once decent Turkish coffee is procured.


– Bergerac’s Les États et Empires du Soleil (The States and Empires of the Sun)


– Camus’s Le Premier home (The First Man)


And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by Burroughs and Kerouac


– Consider rereading: The Master and Margarita (Bulgakov), The Love of the Last Tycoon (Fitzgerald).


Addendum: It would be wise because of the similar basis of my novel and Mishka’s aforementioned novel to reread Lermontov’s “Demon” for further encouragement; also, due to the latter’s unfinished form, another befitting read might be Dickens’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood.


– No Dunces. Nothing Neon (though it was good – proving that one might be better at sixteen: simpler, more sincere and honest), except maybe an Arcade Fire record.


Maybe Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger while eating soup. But definitely go by Shakespeare & Co. on 23rd and finally pick up a copy of The Pale King by DFW. Can’t believe you still haven’t got to it. Been dead a while now, but the IRS is hard to get excited about.


– Skip Armageddon in Retrospect for the travails of Fedor Protasov when you want a chuckle. Or when you’re feeling unsure, or overtly clever. Try to skip the clever bits as often as possible.


– Don’t forget that you’d rather be ashes than dust. No one can argue that point.



In my dreams she was in a constant state of undress like the repetition of a visual mantra. Then she turns into the ocean her consistence and demise drowned in, and I see some poetry again. Some ghettoized balladry. I am overwhelmed.


In my dreams I am in Poe’s lighthouse, looking for her, alabaster from the water.



Resigned to a Damp Matchbox

25 Jan


            A Writer’s Plea


            It is not a creative block that has hindered the proliferation of the novel, but rather a coagulating mass of lethargy and self doubt that has been simultaneously forming in the brain and in the soul. What is the solution? The question poised seems to be akin to asking a rat which ligament is expendable, to be chewed off, when it is caught in a trap.

            Fine. I accept my circumstance, but what now?

            I am not ken to simple literary genius. I do not believe in inherently installed vision and talent. That is too easy. That is a reason to drink yourself to death. Spit in the face of your own inception; in the face of your own potential – the bastards that expect of you can all go and rot waiting, filthily tapping their watches hoping to see the masterpiece arrive at their feet. No, I believe in practice. I believe in constant training and the constant nurture of one’s ability: each stanza can be written better, each sentence of prose can flow with thicker blood (always strive for the revolution over a riot that time will forget, and let the heads roll like boulders through a reader’s mind unto the next page). Do not excuse yourself as simply being born gifted, just like some girl that is the prodigious savant of fellatio but can’t balance her own checkbook. Everything takes time, and we have way too much of it – despite what the dying preach.  

            I do not surrender and likely never will, mostly because I’m an obstinate cunt kicking against the imagined pricks, but also because I want and crave to want further. But I am still, for a long time now, incapable of overcoming myself and sitting pious before the words. What is the tonic available which would alleviate my impediment?  

            I’ve tried the opiates and they were nice and they cocooned me beautifully in oblivion. I’ve tried the warming smell of boozers’ company and it was friendly and the songs were usually good. I have found several hidden temples between the legs of wonderfully wrathful women where I could preach and concoct new mythologies. None have worked yet. It is not that I can’t finish the novel; it is that I can no longer open up the working draft at all.

            Fear, fear, fear, and then a furthering of self loathing. Oh, you fucking bitch – I ravage myself in castigation. Man up! What the fuck is wrong with you?! You can write it. You know the letters and the structure and the grammar and all those pretty nouns that wait to be penetrated by stylishly dressed adjectives carrying black cards and large cocks inside their overcoats. In others words, you know what you have to do.

            And I do. I truly do. But how can I find my direction again? Is it some Buddha, or some Jesus, or some Krishna that I should be seeking? Maybe I can go in for some of that choiceless awareness touted by Krishnamurti to unclog the creative channels. Maybe there’s some demiurgic powder that can be bought and snorted, sold somewhere down the block. Goddamnit, I have no idea and it might never come.

            But tonight, despite my feeling this raging impotence, I will push myself to sit in front of the prologue, then in front of the first chapter, then the second, then the last and I will again try to wrestle my retching dubiety into the fucking ground, I promise… and I will write again like falling off a ledge. Because eventually we all have to find a conclusion to what we’ve started, no matter how unsure we are of the outcome.

            One day one of us will write something worth a tombstone, worth someone’s remembrance, worth the spark of life we’re doomed to waste. One day one of us will be the creator we are meant to be. It might take another night, another mistake, another pack of cigarettes. But it will come.

            Otherwise why do we dream aspirations the shape of racehorses. Why do we buy our tickets in the first place…    




Slight Simmer

23 Jan



Feeling much better today. Cautiously productive. As an entreaty with my badly-attempted sobriety I slipped the minimum of cognac into my morning coffee. In honor of last night’s Giants win over the 49ers I decided to bake my garlic bread with sourdough bread today. A friend sent me a preview of her new collection of photographs, and one of them inspired me to write this little piece.


Methaqualone Nights


There was a new mundane drip

when the miserable sat together

on swollen couches

watching the lottery drawing

drinking warm beer

eating tuna from the can

licking the serrated edges

like wolves learning cunnilingus

Then a sitcom rerun comes on

and we measure its quality

by the number of the dead still laughing

When a car alarm goes off

it might as well be time for bed

or to throw the leftovers into the soup

or to forage for cigarette clips in the ashtrays

to put out meatless bones for the feral dogs

rough handjobs

slimsy fingers grasping the cock

nails covered in molting lacquer

a yawning evacuation

an accepting sigh the measure of a dial tone

before the phone is shut off   

before the horses turn to glue for little palms

before another unemployed morning marries a jitter

getting by on a lark

corked and aging



Note: There might still be kinks to work out, but I wanted to put it up now anyway. I might restructure some parts of it prior to putting it into the Official Material section at the beginning of next month.


22 Jan


With the film finished, and our first celebration out of the way – I am definitely hungover. Too hungover to browse though the spam comments (though some of them can be quite entertaining), I will nap through the day and get some rest. Eat and egg roll or two. No new poetry as of right not, but I usually find my inspiration in late night insomnia as you very well know. But I do want to state that I finally saw the nearly-final cut of “I’m a Hard Man to Kill” and I am very proud of everyone who worked on its production.



Charisma ( Symphony No. 8 )


Like the night

we eat the poor


Like an actress

we take direction

and pretend our passion


Like a light

we are rarely understood



we take our time

then put our thoughts into the monastery of former lovers


They call giggly and drunk

providing an invitation for further forgetting


Completing the Unfinished

18 Jan



My friend ab sent this to me tonight. Helping me express something I couldn’t finish on my own.


Hotel for the Soul


I’ve got my best rings on my fingers

My pinturas negras are drying on the walls

My dark lady sonnets are all written almost well

A cigarette case from a hostile relationship suits me fine

An immaculate vacancy for her expensive time

Tomorrow, I’ll take a dive unto another paradigm

Walk out of the water like a dead shaman weeping for his prize

With the ghost almost gone

With the sermon nearly done

Naked, with nothing but a shadow for a smoking jacket

I’ve got my best rings on my fingers

it’s all I’m going to need

Until she dyes her hair to match her shades again

and asks me “Jack, am I pretty enough to write about?”


I carved her face into a granite bible

and was damned and happy for a while

True to form – she was a worthy compromise

A doom decadent and sweet

but not lasting; a halcyon bereaver

an opiate shiver

So I grew my hair out like a divorced Samson

let myself get fat like Jim Morrison, and wobbled blindly from a desert to a bar

Slowly becoming a dusty noumenon of megalomania and misery

too broke to buy a drink, too proud to beg

But then I found it – a new obsession

a breath to borrow, a love to keep

a carcass in the vase standing beauteous before me

a memory: en sa beauté gît ma mort et ma vie*


There’s a room in the monument for us

A park bench at Patriarch’s Ponds where we will meet the man

Where I can confess

that I do not trust a woman anymore unless she openly deceives

You cannot expect a woman to love you for your art

only a climax or two and a place to rest

I scream joyfully: “Ophelia, Ophelia – go mad for me!”

And then the reality breaks

Then another unwanted, unwarranted criticism leads to introspection:

If Jonathan Franzen is the best writer working today

I will cut my hands off again

and find a quiet, institutionally-lit place to listen to Lord Buckley records

and wait to be alated


And now,

she has tried on the clothes of a young George Sand

but doesn’t write

No rue to take

No parlor tricks, no audience

I see a vision of wet amber in her eyes, no strict imperative

Just a craven wanderlust to pass the moment

I see a vision of a tenderfoot (M.) Platonov reborn to change his fate

And then there’s nothing

Until the gluttonous allurement of grey and gold comes back on

Rolling in, crested, like a movement from Shubert’s Unvollendete

I see eternity in short strokes, but my vision does not blur

not yet

I see her as I remember her, now as only words

and again I can put my cheap rings on

Patiently await a new creation



* Maurice Scève “Délie, objet de plus haulte vertu



15 Jan


Waking up feeling as sore as a prison bitch, I sit behind my computer with no words floating in my weary head. I wonder the various fascinations happening in contemporary music today: D’Angelo has a demo leaked of his neo soul take on Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun”; Feist has a video online of her beating up a piñata while her band gleefully plays “November Rain”; Jay-Z is recording songs with his newborn… shit, what’s next – is Iggy Pop gonna do Grace Jones. Oh wait…


Here’s an oldie but a goodie (’77):



Since I’m not going to write anything new today, I feel like extricating that pressure from myself by throwing up something discarded. Enjoy it while I find out the nutrition facts on this whiskey bottle. Going Faulkner-sober for a month tomorrow to get back to form.




She was dressed for a nuanced demise or a divorce

fitted in looming elegance

Her seductive eyes were full of acrimony

and glorification for a mute god

I stuck around because I could

because I had nowhere else to be

because she was better than alone

Now she strips and ripens  

the last drop of Campari

a touch of gin

She grows like monotony

becoming my Amazonian sedative

my last cigarette in a happy family

Her hips walked to the bed like saxophone notes

as complimentary as exploitation

and I found myself unfulfilled

just as she expected

as meaningful as a prayer at an RNC convention


no more honey for your tea, darling

this is, after all, the desinence

you can find all the evidence you need

in her sleeping breath


Friday Vengeance

13 Jan



Despite my rascally nature, I have recently been feeling the effects of aging. Replacing cocaine with B6 supplements to overcome my grating fatigue, I think I’m growing up. Whether I’m wising up is debatable, since I’m still a daft eccentric, hitting mistake after mistake to left field. Anyway, while listening to my Nighthawks LP (rest in peace Camu, NYC underground misses you), I came up with this little ditty: 




All the junkies will get clean tomorrow

the wars will end

the whores will cross their legs

enlightenment will blanket the shallow masses

and I will be the villain again.


Oh, the illusion was so delicate


like her love on your fingertips

smeared mascara and sweat

all in italics

like sex on ecstasy

another droning climax.


Beat a vagabond to death

like you’re stealing from Camus

the sun gets in your eyes

and you find yourself

in new, selfish clothes

pantomiming your guru

patronizing the dead.


Visions of New York

13 Jan



Visions of New York


The city has become a titan

a relic

of the past

The city I remember no longer pounces,

but only dreams its comatose surrender;

The city I remember

had red-faced drunks asleep on public buses at two in the afternoon

had crafty addicts coyly collecting ravaged cans

for rewards measured in nickels and nods

The city I remember

had lovely women with messy hair and wild eyes

had boastful men who hid their wives like scars

had memories all on its own

The city has grown thin

like a terminal case with chemically-eaten cells

there is still skin, but no geography along the belly

The city I remember

was a long skirt and the smell of coffee

was a swastika on a misguided punk goosesteping along Astor

was an underground effluvium seeping, thick, above 

was an unwanted sanctuary

an abortion of childhood mistakes

a girl becoming a desperate mother

a boy becoming disillusionment

a staircase to nothing much

a lovers tryst that suits regret

I wonder where she is in this new century

this new plateau for the acrophobic

I wonder if she lives again

I wonder which city holds her door



12 Jan





My neighbor grows sunflowers on his balcony

He plants them late in Spring

to grow tall through the Summer

their stems unfurl the inflorescence like halos on a seraph

like words on cairned marble

like the sundress falling off her thighs

like the watermark from wet lips along her skin

a rush

the petals distend like arms embracing air

and suddenly the world is full

for a brief season

of love and joy

the quintessence of ecstatic rhapsody

I know it’s Winter, but I still see June

the blossoming

her instructing words like anniversary eyes

like artless lamentations

the cursory movement of a capering star

across a city eventide alone

wrapped in a glum, warm paletot

a rogue wave ignored in an endless ocean

The humidity sways the pockets between bodies

closing together to create unifying smells and fascinations


a short happiness before eventual parting

a season, but a season

so soft, a slow soft death

arriving much too quickly

My neighbor leaves his flowers on his balcony

as soon as cold arrives

he hides inside and lets time take its course

as it eventually must

the short hand of a clock, the turning of the screw

the weekly laundry day, a Winter’s wither

there will be others sure enough

new flowers, in old pots


Alone: Frantic Meditation

10 Jan



She says “I loved how much he loved me”


My scared little boy holds her hand

and Death becomes aroused

She holds her breath like a veil

lets his perspired palm survive its grasp

the adrenaline functions as it should

around the temples

along to the loins

He wonders whether she will be kissed

allow herself to be adored

Death lights a cigar

And there’s asking who is the killer in the room?

the movie lasts so long

Captivating like Hugo’s excursions into equine genealogy

Interaction like a forced stigmata

reminding you to send a postcard when you next visit Babylon

And Death gets his vicarious taste of the living in their lovely fumbling

nervous to live


She: poetry is not a cup of coffee – it doesn’t happen in the morning

A splinter in your dick from fucking a Trojan horse


I am not a dreamer

            not an idealist

            not a fatalist

            not a junkie

            not a poet

            not a liar

            not a writer at all, worst of all

I am just a man with a birthmark in the middle of his chest

Bouncing upon a cloying, taunting beating

that I don’t recognize

A heart?!

What heart?

She took it for her own

when I brought the bottle, like an orphan, home

when I inflated a vein with a cheap leather belt

that I got from a bad short story by Irving Welsh

and a shaved farce that ends in sabotage  


I am not a miserable asshole

            not a futurist

            not a sprite or a spirit or a sparkle in the dark

            not a jester

            not a profit or a prophet

            not a miracle, to be sure

I am just a man with a birthmark in the middle of his chest

Where within the blood dances like a constant ritual birth

pointlessly spiraling, instead of sleeping undry and unblessed

like the refugee it claims to be


I want to tame my aspiration

the creation of meaning in the words has become a damning onus

a dread

a bath too hot to ease into

a heretofore glorified profligacy worked in lieu of getting a real job

as superfluous as a designated palindrome



I want to wake dying in Paris

with her capturing my last breaths like captive butterflies in a jar

The graceless lady

that Jagger sang about


She: poetry is not a life, but barely an excursion

“I loved how much he loved me”



Also, there was an extra stanza in the middle of the previous poetic rant that I decided to edit out. I’m posting it here, because it isn’t all that terrible, though it isn’t terribly pertinent – I think its disclosure is an honest maneuver on the part of the poet to reveal the piece’s natural progression:


I am not the mighty Jupiter

            not Norman Mailer

            not Bellows or Bukowski

            not Hank fucking Moody

            not a sitcom dad

            not a caricature of the past

            not an engine for the future

            not an overdue transition

I am just a man with a birthmark in the middle of his chest

A cavity hiding a puny, palpitating organ the size of a hallowed rat hole

screaming about the injustice of mortality

smoldering for a patient ending





Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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