Archive for February, 2012

Insomnia (Return)


28 Feb

———–

Insomnia

 

            Currently, there is such a profligacy of blaring perversion available to our held, wearing lids that our minds do not get to stretch out erotically enough on their own, and it’s difficult to achieve a hard-on from a book. Sometimes I become aroused languidly, lying in bed reading a particularly visceral, humid paragraph from Miller or rarely Lawrence, but that’s about it. That’s all I get for my somnolent reclusion.

            Now that we have gorgeous and monstrous women with dozed looks in their eyes, ready to be savaged and ridiculed; submitting to every embarrassed incarnation of male carnality and aberration, flickering on our computer screen, available at the lick of a few fingertips – it is all dulled: imaginations frustrated because everything now can be imagined and carefully manipulated. Seen. And it’s a goddamned waste.

            If only God could reanimate himself again and give all the puritans syphilis and us perverts our imaginations back!

            Damn it, I think I lost my lighter in all my heathenized pontification! I had an identical set of silver Zippo lighters from a dead grandfather and a former lover. Eventually one was widowed, and now it seems all is lost.

            Maybe some sleep will get me back.

            If only I could sleep again. 

            In my dreams she was in a constant state of undress like the repetition of a visual mantra. Then she would turn dramatically into the ocean her aunt drowned in, and I would begin to see some poetry again. Some ghettoized balladry that once turned the clocks.

            I am overwhelmed.

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

            Lilia, if only I could sleep I would see you again. It is as close as I can get to being beside you.

            I remember our bed. When it was still ours. When you took off your socks, they would hide under the ruffled, never-made blanket for days at a time, collecting new compatriots every night for their exile like Napoleon convoking ghosts in Saint Helena.

            I fall asleep finally, full of directionless acrimony and lazy piss, only to be awakened not an hour later by a thudding at my door.

            It must be Samantha and the lock downstairs must be broken.

            I’ll ignore her. Pretend that I’m out gallivanting somewhere like the stench in the New York drudgery, like a winter orphan in a drug store.

            When I know she’s gone I’ll put a record on, and hope to wake up funereal but new, warmed by the hiss of vinyl softly skipping.

            She probably came to tell me of her new vocation. She likely took a job as a spiritual tailor and probably got paid well for her trade. There was nothing of her wanted here.

            It would be too easy of a lie. I have standards to keep and an allegiant longing to keep me working.

            In those we love, there must be an instant recognition – a faculty to immediately see the person as a reoccurring face. Unimprovable. Eventual.

            I did not find this in Samantha. Now I slowly become the animal domesticated to torpor and I want to see something beautiful again.

            I write of this as I write of everything else: constantly, but not consistently.

            The truth is that 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. 

            A woman has to learn to love you and be willing to kill you for that love.

            As a man, all you need is wild eyes for her and a tender frenzy. Strength, with the capacity for frailty: ready to hold or capitulate underneath the world.

 

            Eventually her features must grow somber with every drink I drink.

            And I will likely call out to her as though she was truly there “baby – don’t you know that I need to sleep?! If only to see you clearer”.

            Because my memory of you is my motif, my role as beggar, my appetite in a starving stomach. It is a virgin on the couch with Herod. It is a novel of erotica written on the cold moon. It is the truth some incontinent poet used as a vignetted aside while accepting the MacArthur fellowship.

            In the merciless mire I find myself in search for a new voice. I’ve begun doubting my existing one. Its rasp no longer lush, no luster left, not at all as handsome as it had once been.

            I need a new woman like a summit before me, before I am inured to the incertitude of barren meaning; one whose body can become my flexuous meal. I’ve been famished for far too long.

            She could be the one to be strict with me; force me to write when I want to wither in quiet chaos and submit before my incapability. She could be a rewritten cynosure only for me to read. A road only for me to travel, only for me to starve along.

            I want to live a little in the mystery, but I want to know her.

            I want to realize her new name.

            I want to taste her new taste. Rediscover the elegiac notes she moans like a prodigy, guided as her protégé: the slow of the lower neck, the small of her back, the soft of her knee, and then the planets revolve in a creation myth around a new sun. The light wakes the mendacious dead and we begin with stories of past lives.  

            We do as we must because we have been cured.

            If only all of it was that simple.    

 ———

———-

Might be doing a short set at Art House on Thursday (March 1st) depending how struggling of a writer I am that particular day. But if you see me in Jersey City offer a dry man your flask.

Art House Productions
1 McWilliams Place, 6th Floor
Jersey City, NJ  07302
SE Corner of Hamilton Park, near Erie/8th St

———-

 

 


25 Feb

———

Rereading, I’ve become slightly disappointed with my recent work. Time for a break for the cerebrum, a visit to the telesterion; time to rekindle the creative gasoline and let it burn a bit. Time for a vacation. I’ll be back in a few days with some new work. Till then enjoy the abundance that’s already here.

 

Cheers,

Jack

———-

———-

We walk on molten lava on which the claw of a fly or the fall of a hair makes its impression, which being received, the mass hardens to flint and retains every impression forevermore.


24 Feb

———

———

We’re Fine, Really

 

If the stock market were to crash again

I won’t stick around for the Depression to kick me in the head

I’ll be the first malingerer with a broken tooth

packing my Lydia Lunch records in a plastic box

with a camera to watch the weary men with weary, waning skin

whirling around like unfed pigeons in the wind

scrambled about like a bowl of suited dust

ties like a lazy noose cliché   

and when nothing changes, I’ll sigh

then trade up alliteration for apathy

Since I keep all my money in a gutted text

(appropriately in the Revelations of the famished John

who was more hungry than divine

as we all have been at a given time)

I can get liquid quick

take a snort, find a snog

buy some cheap real estate on a burning Greek beachside

to crib a screenplay from a Homeric myth

since people tend to need entertainment

when they can’t feed their kids

and maybe I’ll slip in a short sermon

like a corporate loophole

to pacify the better days that never come
(unless posthumously or in hindsight)

constantly waiting for the joke to become funny

or for the writing to get better

for the surrealism to eat me entirely

for the deification of mad women to become a horseshoe game   

for some beautiful losers to find me in a lonely cavity

my eyes chafed by acrid boredom

and tattoo the words I needed on my chest:

“love exists to make up for an ugly world”

But, again – this is just periphrasis for the plenum  

Until we can get Kafka to speak again…

———-

Meh


23 Feb

———-

For someone I met today that’s bored with contemporary hip-hop.

———-

First one in a while written drunk. It might not make sense. If so, I beg your forgiveness – leave it to a short, streaming character study in verse. It has been a stressful week and I’m not on point.

… Also, I must add that the next one to steal boots from a cat will have a fatalistic writer to deal with.

 

Jasper

 

Nestled in the unforgiving mystery

and Jasper takes the third bottle

suckling like a maggot on the dead

like a sickle on the wheat

and the Christian Brothers brand makes it a psalm to sing

like a gargled joke

by the confidently illiterate

like a literary pulley bone in the mouths of mutts

The shit brandy makes him spit

if he could spit

so instead he hollers at the invisible woman

the one he knows

threatening a proper thrashing

even the belt comes off

and he ages

and then he weeps

and he wages a whole new war

and he curses a god he cannot spell

the one he envisioned envious

Jasper advances to his knees

and he fears his own mellifluous meekness

and nestled in the unforgiving mystery

he continues grousing

he continues screaming

he continues aging

continues keeping score

counting his bottles

(one, two, threeuncorked)

robbing each day of its charity

its force-fed penitence

waiting for his turn at sepultural ridicule

that,

or some goddamn gratitude

for always minding the alarm clock

———

continuing an aging parley


21 Feb

———

———

if you find sweet

 

And her

her of the squalid smile:

you get cruel when someone loves you

while I laugh and bear a child

in a bit of verse and poverty

            terse  

            and repetition

            that magnificent repetition

repetition, reticent to come  

like a ragamuffin in borrowed bindings

smelling warm of sour dough

waiting for the soup

that gets my lips to turn

to praise and shed a whistle for a small room

the one that whispers a meek abetment

that provides quotation marks enough

so that, golden one

you can walk, or

run to the next pawned bit of lore

found under the man who sweats his jewels

the one kept to collect

the one that will assuage a boarding guilt

provide a carefree way to live

a subterranean bruise turning to suburban flesh  

another who pretends the notes along your mandolin

one after another until it becomes undervalued as merely skin

as the hay fever proposition of debts repaid  

while I, until you see me lick the last sentence clean,

can take my time to trade the screaming scribble

for the guise of another savage drip  

like the fabulist with broken bones,

all bluster as always, or

like an adorable Trotskyist fanciful of silver dollars,

dressed in a pupil’s clothes,

I will trade it all, more than I have

for your furs and your repetition

            and the later repetition

            and further repetition still

            until we find a way to never steal the shaking dawn again

when it will ionize us into sighing stardust  

and we forget all the pauses

that diminished

our

natural  

sfumato

and

we

can

create

new

colors

for

old

shades   

———

From the Mind of Nick St. John


20 Feb

———

Comics by Nick St. John

The above except is from Nick St. John’s graphic short “How I Came to Work at Wendy’s” – check out some more of his stuff at: http://www.nickstjohn.net/Home.html

——–

 

Whether of Compliments or Consequence


15 Feb

———

———

Of Her

 

She glowed pointlessly (proudly)

when I knew her

but I was not aware

she chose not to make me privy to that information

instead showed off her gifts like peacock feathers

like loans of burial plots

some selfish immortality of children

a lovely taste, a line of her neck

a lonely haste to:

unite

overcome

forsake

(in hedonistic queue repeating)

 

Sometimes she would emit genius

pure and radiant

as extraterrestrial communication to an ungenerable star

unconquered and ungoverned

that alike (alight) did not exist

never having breathed a millennial infancy at all

But she was pure, yes pure

as a beacon in the fog

whether mine – I do not know

and she would lay in bed

emitting

waiting for the approaching world

waiting for acknowledgment that would animate

like a column crashing on a stage

 

And so we were

[P]latonically sown together

by our unnecessary nature

miserable to and of the world

of meals

of meat and metal

a frightened shake when were apart

together just as frightened

shamed by a cordate curse to fast

I tried writing Faust

while she chose to lay as Lotte

happy to shoot the hero to save herself

———

 

Small Revelations


13 Feb

———-

———-

Dedicated to those that knew and went…

———-

Leaving

 

He stumbled to the bathroom

to fetch his gun

Walking out, sputtering like a jangling plate,

his robe flung open to reveal his impotent politeness    

and with a voice like a trophy broken against a bit of bone

he informed me that he has misplaced his leather gloves

“I don’t want any mess on my hands

“they are quite delicate”

I poured him a drink and sat back in my designated chair

uncluttered by the New York Times editions from the early 80’s

So, this is what the great dramatist has come to

another recipient of the Tennessee Williams stability award

who just to be an asshole asks me to recite some Esenin

knowing full well that I haven’t picked up a book in weeks

and haven’t remembered a stanza in all the years since they used to preach

something I naively thought was sacrosanct

all mouths agape waiting for a soul to scrub

since I’ve last stopped watching slovenly blood clog the chamber.

He put the revolver on the table next to him

it was silver and lighter than I expected

Now wanting to begin a new subject, I ask

“Have you written anything lately?”

“No, kid

“I’m just revising the same apology over and over

“But I know that you know what that’s like.”

I did and I agreed.

You should always agree with a man of no violence

sitting next to a revolver

and watch for an unpleasant smile

a loneliness newly treated as force majeure

unflushed toilets and shaving tools browning by the sink

arthritis

osteoporosis

incontinence

arrhythmia and dizzy spells

depression

dementia

evaporation

the skin that no longer seems to fit.

He interrupts my thoughts again

“I feel bad for ‘ya, kid – you haven’t even gotten here yet and you’re cracking up…

“Writing poetry so sad and simple

“about a dish that used you up in the Bill Withers sense.

“I’ve had so many of those. Documented. But as you see, you’re the only one left to grant me conversation. They never last. But they are always wonderful. Treat them as such. Figure them out sooner. Use them for the writing, not for salvation – they have their own ways to pay for theatre tickets, so don’t offer to write them a new role.”

He lights a cigarette and pretends to inhale

then hands it off to me as though offended by its taste.

Later,

I have to insist that I won’t end up like Cassidy

and he tells me that Kerouac wasn’t much of a writer, anyway

more of a sycophantic student eager to emulate.

I liked parts of The Dharma Bums so I remain of no retort.

He tells me to aspire for higher.

But what future does he have me look to, as a harbinger of shit and dull.  

We decide to watch a few films with Veronica Lake

that I brought over from the one library I’m allowed in;

he liked her face

and I liked him referring to her as “miss Peek-a-boo” with dwindling aplomb.

While we watch he falls in and out of sleep

and I think to take the gun

think whether to put it back into the toilet tank

next to the wall that smelled slightly like gangrene

or just excuse myself and leave him here again

with his endless penitence and mounting regrets.

It never seems like time to jest a joke,

never the time to take a stroll through the park wrapped in warm nostalgia  

and remind him about the stories he had written

the people he decided had a right to live

the people that turned out to be him getting ready for the parody

a party he had already scripted that he didn’t want an invite to.

I walk over and touch his cheek

remind him of my envy

and wish him a new day

wiping his ass with the New Yorker with a chuckle.

His frail hand drapes my arm

and I see undeserved gratitude,

but yet

I’m the one to thank him

and disappear.

 ———

 

Have you been waiting long?


12 Feb

———–

            It was an onerous night just as today was born a cold morning.

            I’m wearing a scarf indoors (wrapped around my neck like a bow tie), and as some of you know I was to do a short reading on Wednesday night at a bar in my Greenwich Village… as much as I’d honestly like to hence inspire you with a tale of my easily gained success, a receptive and awed audience – it did not go over well.

            The morning of the reading I looked over my material and chose the pieces that were to be recited. I was not hungover, thus I was capable of logically considering the manner in which the pieces would rise and morph into one another seamlessly; each continued where the former left off. The strong, brewed coffee helped as it was meant to do, as it usually does.  

            The decision was made to first read “Youth”: a piece that is light and usually goes over well with people that remember a time when they were radical juveniles skipping school to smoke pot and drink cheap beer with other wayward adolescents on the sand of Coney Island, or Brighton, or Manhattan beach discovering sex and small rebellion; people that remember that brief feeling of freedom before it was stifled by the coming responsibilities of adulthood.

            Next was “Sunflowers”. A piece that is one of my sentimental favorites. Easily accessible and sweet, with a couple of great lines that sound pleasing when orally recited – even by someone as mushmouthed as I sometimes become once begin my ritualistic inebriation prior to performing.

            The closing piece I chose was one that I do frequently in short readings because of its dark, anthemic presence: full of mockery, consideration, criticism and my sincere love for all the various aspects NYC that have been hidden under the couch cushions like smut. “I want the night sky” was going to be climax, the empty peak – meaningless, except for the brilliant view.

            But, also – before I was going to get off the stage – I wanted to have a strong conclusion to my recitation; a sordid, but strong epilogue to my short reading. I came up with this during the afternoon of pre-reading cocktails with friends:

 

So before I go, I’d like to say something about us poets, artists, creators, beautiful perverts and the aficionados of acute perception:

 

We are spilled wine and bounced checks

We are rekindled cigarette clips and second hand books

We are mangled smiles and cardboard homes

We are warm winters and savage summers

We are expired food sold at a discount

We are the rusted water from the tap

We are the humiliation of empty pockets

We are the loosey spot down the block

We are the fear of insurrection

We are the suffering undefeated and unimprovable

 

So, listen to us a little longer… while we’re still around

 

            I cockily thought to myself: that’s some strong shit (no need for anything to be cut with baby aspirin). I thought that I was ready.

            … and then I accidentally, inadvertently crashed the GLBT night of the particular series of poetry readings within which I was to be participating. Surely an unforeseen turn of events, to be sure – but you have to play with the cards you’re dealt (if I may be allowed to use this particular cliché as an avid poker player). So thus, completely unaware of the type of reception that I would get, I watched the other performers before me: a middle aged comic, also clueless about the various underlying contexts of the reading, was the first to perform and was the first to be booed off the stage after a couple of jokes which were perceived as remotely politically incorrect. The following readers were alright, with two standout readings by young female poetesses about their individual adorations for some women close to their hearts.  

            I read seventh. Got cut off after the first two pieces by the hasty promoters who realized that I wasn’t exactly blending in with the chosen themes of the night. No caterwauling or boos to send me from the dais, just applause – but still I left with a nagging hurt in my chest, because though I didn’t recite any poetry about my first lesbian experience in summer camp or about the prejudices of the outside world; I did recite words which by their own nature makes them important. That’s what it’s supposed to be all about, boys and girls. Not about any central meaning that you’re trying to impart, not about your personal agenda or even your underlying intentions for the world – it’s supposed to be about celebrating the words which make all that come alive, even the slights of maxims.

            I do want to thank anyone that enjoyed my work at the reading. Sorry if I didn’t stay around for another drink. This was a disappointing end to a long week for me.

            Now that I am back to editing and some boozeless sleep, I do want to share something in the manner of post-script.  

            I had to recharge my batteries the next day, and realized that tripping on hallucinogenic mushrooms should be an annual ceremony because it truly gives the mind a bit of necessary spring cleaning. Once a year or so you deserve to meet with your friends, find a comfortable spot around the living room, cover yourself in warm blankets and watch Yellow Submarine: you can sing along to all those songs that remind you of your childhood and watch an animated film where the Beatles basically go around being dicks to everyone. You’ll be giggling throughout while having seemingly revolutionary thoughts intermittently on the cultural merits of contemporary society. It is an invigorating experience.  

            I’ll be doing a lot more readings in the city, so please check out further updates in the Upcoming Events section. They will likely turn out much better. But also, if you yourself are getting back into reciting your work: be steadfast against difficulties presented – there will always be someone like me in the audience who will care about the words and will cheer you on like a drunken father at your little league game.

            More work will be coming from your dear old Jack soon as well.

———

———

Tummy’s New Rules and Other Commentary


07 Feb

———

With the odd feeling of having my shit together, I would like to remind you, ladies and gentlemen – never fuck a republican… unless you’re short on your rent. With the economy where it is, they are the ones likely to have the money and enough closeted perversity to pay thoroughly.  

 

To my friend doing time right now: remember to keep your chin up and that sometimes this shit is just the cost of doing business – you’ll be home sooner than you know and you still have friends here that support you. Hold the line.

 

To all those with insanity running through their gene pool: remember to be awed by the architecture of this magnificent anthill that we’ll soon be refurbishing into an artless civilization. Don’t be puerile. Don’t be cold. Be indulgent and be as free as your time will allow.

 

Don’t wait for the muse to write the book for you.

 

Just because there’s a parade in NYC it doesn’t mean that my 10am subway ride needs to clotted with a barrage of complacent, boisterous assholes screaming about Eli Manning. Congratulations to the Giants on their fourth Super Bowl win and also my gratitude to the young man in the Cruz jersey who gave me a cup of his Red Bull/Vodka concoction – but the rest you are cunts for disturbing me while I was trying to read my Marquez on the train this morning.

 

Regarding the girl you’re fantasizing about: her resolve is as firm as a beer shit on an acrid morning. You know who I’m talking about, man.

———–

———–

A gin soaked appliance

shoddily constructed

quickly manufactured

sold with a wink

archaic

obsolete

I clank

rude and drowsy

in the clutter

———

Stuck on the Same


05 Feb

———

No Razzmatazz from this Potion (Just some Repeated Bourbon)

 

Her winter skirt resembled a Matisse paint-by-number.

She met me just to deny me:

Her skin shivered and I handed her my jacket.

Looking at her I was joyfully beholden,

like praise be,

to the knowledge that I didn’t have to compete with Lorca anymore.

Having nothing complete

I find yet another hobby

to take my mind off her lesson plan.

Another failed academic finding solace in little words

hands that lilt

and wilting institutions

poised for failure by steamy devolution.

Longing is over

like another casual affair

and she conjures up an ultimatum

from the lines she knows:

“finish the book before we meet for coffee,

“and if I like what I read…”

There will always be a bill for services rendered

and a rebellious strut for wasted dreamers.

Until then

Shave your head and get ready for oblivion

Because the air will continue getting thin

Until she’s reimagined and just lonely enough.

From then

Hang from the dream like a razor strop

Waiting to be utilized in some jumbled verses

that are born from corroding anamnesis:

the booze has worn away the past

to make it fit for lyrics.

 

 

 

All of my favorite artists offended the median social sensibilities of their contemporaries. This made them interesting; they were innately fascinating by their unique interpretation of the world. So, who closed the many mouths of our generation? What was the causation of this current cultural quagmire? The right is crawling further into the puritanical asshole; the left is measuring each utterance by the politically-correct barometer to ensure that no one can be even slightly perturbed by that which was said, written or illustrated – no matter the underlying satirical or subversive intent. Now, if you’ve ever been offended by anything I’ve ever written to the point where you believe it should no longer be considered, I would like this time to say to you: you can legitimately fuck off, get sodomized in a confessional (immaterial whether it’s in a church or the Real World house with cameras rolling), choke om an olive pit from your martini, die gasping for the breath you’re living to oppress. Because the only reason for breath is to express yourself; in order to communicate your individuality, but also to personally understand what that individuality entails. To those still contributing to new ideas, and new ways of expressing them – this next drink is dedicated to you: “may our deaths come quick and bloody!”


Cheers,

Jack   

 

P.S. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of blogs that cater to the hipster-DIY project aficionados. My proposal for one: a step by step guide on how one can create an exact replica of a Roman masturbatorium. That’s an instructional that I would definitely read.

Go Giants!

Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings


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