Archive for March, 2012

Broccoli w. Garlic Sauce from the spot down the block with the Red Awning and nothing much else…

29 Mar


Come on, woman!

You’re gonna drive me mad

or hoarse

or both

or dead…



Fuck It


A gravedigger is clowning at my steps

And I have forgotten who I’ve left to seek

it’s another frigid night

the type when you need Old Crow in your coffee

And yet I’ve since become the pulse for the countryless and deadly

I know not how

what reason there might be

after all, I’ve no sentimentality left

just an angry spoonful enough

to wheeze out a few nouns and verbs

about the perspective of yearning lovers

about glorious absurdities

and damned, dead souls

like Gogol maddening in frost

a binding of a book shriveled up in ice

I draw no heat, not anymore

I am more like the coarsened rye you keep in your freezer for a hungry day when the stars and nearly melted candles in the black, miasmic jingle that is a winter night, is all you have for honorable companions.

I feel red as a callous drunk trying to get his wife back

I am an empty blessing or a cup of vinegar

the salt for snow that never fell

the crinkle in a memorable back where my fingertips began a game of hopscotch  

the sullen grapevines of the Arizona desert that sit like a suicidal heckler…


I got carried away,

And I’ve forgotten who I’ve left to seek

Why have I left home if it’s so cold outside

I’m sure there’ll be a woman to meet me for a drink

but do I want her

when I have the fantasy

and I’ve memorized Prufrock well enough.

I should stay in

seek no one

seek nothing

and maybe write another dirty poem

instead of burying a new seduction.


Regarding Ghosts

27 Mar



Ghost Story


This new cold week pronounces

that you must leave me every night

with the setting sun


in the blinding stupor

of anything underhand ingested


when you’ll return

if you’ll return

how long you’ll be this time

when will it be warm again.


A few days ago,

recently broken like a condom that’s become a vengeful fossil

I sat on the A train

approaching the pancreas of the Brooklyn hipster enclave,

on my way to listen to contemporary ghost stories

told in fleeting rhyme

one part plaid sophistry, one part American absinthe.

I will listen to the orators

and I will drink their booze while I do so,

unconcerned by wayward spirits –

incensed instead by the ghosts that still have breath

and your Upper West Side address


And then she said on the phone:

“I’m gonna get my masters degree

in the art of pedagogy

smoking weed


drinking like Behan stuck in a chimney.”

I said:

“That all sounds great.

But you stole that Behan line from me.”


Nothing much accomplished

No new life

Nothing new again

Nothing unexpected


Transient Like Honey

26 Mar



I wish you were the one


I wish you were the one

to be my baby’s mother

the one I share some sweet acrimony with

when it’s all done

and all we have left

are the books you don’t want to return

(either you have my Kundera catalog or it’s truly lost)

a bitter barb or two

a new lover to hide jealousy for like a barbiturate

and all those catechized mistakes

that we achingly try to regret.

I wish you were the one

to make mordant anguish

of the night I still remember

when lyrics hung in the air

like raspy bait for the hopefuls

about a woman like you

that would pick me apart,

making suggestions for my possible heart,

graceful as a new invention

maddening as a new prescription

at an all-night pharmacy bombed out.

I wish you were the one

that I slept for

the one that knew why I was constantly leaving

why it’s hard to write sometimes outside of elegy

why I still drink.

I wish you were the one

that got me into silly arguments

just by playing Smith’s “Waltz # 2”

or something else off XO

and altercating that Elliott was

a lovelier mope than Oberst.

Yeah, I wish you were the one

who made me see

that the fun was behind me

that I was barely held together

by the literary rivets now

that you were always going to be

my languorous and eternal penitence

my nectarous nostalgia

my fatigued contentment,

who’s always quitting smoking

eating microwave burritos late at night

pouting in gentle mockery

adept at finding fault with me.


A Whiff of Humor

23 Mar




The incendiary nature of nulled retribution:

I just wanted to

fuck her so good

that it would make her miss it

but there’s always

a guy on the elevator

that smells like

birdfeed and urine

that’s getting off

on the floor above us

leaving me to struggle

like Oedipus preparing to blind himself

in this shifting ado

of nothing much important

besides the ascent

and my hand between her breasts

resting like the wings of a hummingbird

during courtship…



Be mindful to check out my friend Cat’s new musical project: The Audiobodies.


A Cheerful One to Save

20 Mar


Earlier today, a man with a broken voice contributed his commentary regarding my work to my neurotic self-examination. He said that it sounded like the besotted woes and warnings of an embittered old man, rather than the thoughts and remonstrations of a lecherous 25-year old literary nomad. I countered with the clichéd insolence befitting my age (if not my character), so as not to worry him too much, but inwardly took his compliment in stride.



Hyacinthine Spring

(dedicated to the girl who doesn’t like to take her sunglasses off)



like insouciant chaos,

walk in mirth,

a stranger by your sacred hearth,

watching for

the splendor and victory of our nursing world.

Which will only be remembered and redeemed in the stanzaed film;

that frenzy coloring the mind of the romantic poets

that gloriously burn like blue morning glories

borne into a day’s dusking and wintering delights

so beautiful and so unwinnable

that watching this forecast game

takes upon itself the burning breath of first love

and other subjectivities made coarse and predictable

by bad storytellers

that have always gotten paid more

to misinterpret the eloquence of humble silence

like the true vastness of the mote

that spectacle that does not exist, yet will always be the matinee

always yearn for your surrender

once taken in.

What we cease to realize is that

this world is still a spoiled toddler

prone to tantrums and illogicality,

but it is wondrous

and should be preached

with a nagging question

as all children should

valued, especially by those that have yet to learn to read –

because this murmur will remain in print

long after the last aging speck of our dignity is gone

There will be time always

each step an inchoate experience

thus remember to liven up and never believe

anything that’s ever written again




Back, kicking against it like a cockroach

19 Mar




The room that closes in

becomes a warm companion

along a Thursday daydream jaunty

moving like a jangling humidity

with the perpetual renovations of upstairs neighbors

the car alarms screaming of ignored peril outside

airplanes flying overhead in a rush to baggage claim

like weathered similes repeated in burdensome frustration.

I feel ignored, but not deservedly ignoble

when suddenly the phone rings

and it’s Tristan talking breathlessly

about a new critical essay on Fitzy’s ’36 Crack-Up

while I feel like he’s pushing me to drink

because needing a new one

is a sympathetic notion always

and it can further my resolve

to excuse myself from the conversation

with a promise of pressing work to do.

But, honestly

I’ll likely never write again at this point

just resign to spliff-induced creative hibernation

where when I wake

I’ll spruce up an aging sport coat

with leather elbow patches

the color of a raving jibber  

pack the growing sacks under my eyes with shitty instant coffee

and plenty of corroded ambition

then get up early, with grave finality

each successive day

to teach the next generation of disillusioned writers

with unmanageable bills

and unfulfilling love lives where any girl that’s ever clever

and has read a Dostoevsky passage or a Salinger short story in one of her mother’s old New Yorkers immediately becomes a haughty, if disaffected and capricious, muse – in a constant, redundant disavowal of something she’s never truly learned – she, as each one will, neatly step slightly and sing in a fickle, but feral, shriek.

Inveigling, consuming, and barely unattainable. Wild as the last page.

The brilliance of a pleading coda:

“I will try to be a correct animal though, and if you throw me a bone with enough meat on it I may even lick your hand” *   

with the fizzling liveliness

of a somber march to futile armament against a distant certainty

The room that’s closing in

which straggles from the door as a warm companion

and hangs around me

small and slow

and I smile getting off the phone

with “it’s not funny anymore, don’t sweep the character your shadow” still ringing in my ears

but getting on in time

with such a fine and pained expression

that only the matterless can muster it

the words walk away

leaving me sitting here 

almost satisfied.





If you find yourself waking up, head hungover between the legs of a beautiful brunette, because her boyfriend is making an unnecessary ruckus on his way towards a butcher knife…


New Work Coming Soon, Likely as Running into a Stranger with Something to Offer

15 Mar


In the back


scratching our souls through our cheeks

jagged like a joint rolled on a timid morning

we were the maniacs carved out of society like a C-section

smoking by the club doors

drinking from the smuggled pint

we watched the performers…

and now I can say we were “looking smug like a polluting smog”

(or something like that) –

but that wouldn’t make for a very good poem.


I promise to be back soon with some real work. It’s been a busy few weeks. Not enough time to perfect some pieces begun, and a heavy editing workload constantly whirling feverishly about me, reminding me of its presence.



If enough acceptable work gets done over the next couple of days – I might do a short set at Bowery Poetry Club on Monday.


Smoldering, As Always

08 Mar



“You know these new novels make me tired. My God! Everywhere I go some silly girl asks me if I’ve read ‘This Side of Paradise.’ Are our girls really like that? If it’s true to life, which I don’t believe, the next generation is going to the dogs. I’m sick of all this shoddy realism.”


One for Dick Caramel


My contemporaries suggested

that she torture the madness out of me

give me a peek at her upon undress

then tearfully subside to meek distress

shake her head and recount past failures of love

make artificial lornness of her quim

pretend that I was a debased beast with eager fingers

too quick for a demure De Sade.

She’d quiver to pretend a hesitation,

while I was left with a marveled fascination

of how she could lay upon the bed

dutifully nude, a wetted blossom between her hips,

and yet refrain as though the symphony was yet unwritten

as though the Kapellmeister forgot his magical baton

like a lubricated Berlioz removing damnation from the title.

She knew I wanted her

there with no averseness

a crazed juggler of perversions

that she carefully crafted to personify iniquity

while I mildly saw myself as an illiterate Aquinas

paranoid that they’ll start burning writers again

bare along with their thoughts and clothing words

braying gleefully to find the hooves underneath their soles.

So while she was nude and I was merely tattered

a sway of mood finally eased her into crescent

she chanted while I swallowed her humid breath

and we had a new ceremony to celebrate

like children without a god.

She disrobed from her failed intent

gave in to me

as was customary for the reckless muse

and was, in no lost irony,

the one that was consumed.


Drifting to be Found

07 Mar


For the girl who liked scarlet begonias and the way I cooked my omelets


Where is she, my anesthetic,

my romantic’ genocide?

is she a powder now

a liquid or a pill?

a smokestack swallowed underneath the tribe?

Is she

            in the communes of Clichy

            in the hills of Calvary

            or maybe in Berlin

            or St. Petersburg

            or the island of Lesbos

            or Istanbul where Constantine tried his bloody hand at devotion

            maybe Portland

            Stockholm, Venice, Newark,…

Is she in splendor

or has she been substituted for the betted coin?

Is she handing out pamphlets at Chomsky’s door

like propaganda of manufacturing consent  

or is she grieving her restless childhood alone?

Is she voyage or has she finally become the port?

no anxiety or no imagination

so we strive breathlessly for the new blue paradox

like an ambitious spermatozoon

like a theatrical flash of dawning melancholy

I lightly bite her bottom lip as I slip my tongue inside her

We fuse

as we have done before

in editorial fashion

We combine to soften

in rough process

until we feel unencumbered and exhausted

one in another

to return to the path

along which Venus fell

so brilliantly in a mistaken

tender waltz.

Our morning becomes the shameful daylight

a silent cup of coffee gracefully handled

by fidgeting hands hoisted by tender muscles

and enervated, fagged saints

still stoned, left empty for further voyeurism.

But while we are still unchained and strong

we might as well have another go

before destroying our own conclusion like an angry Sibelius

before declining further rewrites and getting fully numb

before we’re left with simply being polite

So while aroused, as though you were the woman in Blaas’s water,

let me put my palm on your knee underneath your skirt

and venture forth like a hedonistic crusader should

firmly committed to convincing himself that our repetition always turned out well.



The full recording of my reading at Bar Ten/Eleven is finally up in the Media section.

Read the disclaimer prior to watching.


For Your Stamp Collection

05 Mar


Tricky’s cover of my favorite Cure song





Horus and Jesus were having a beer and sharing a laugh,

picking up women and performing party tricks  

I was waiting out the plague

that you’ve set upon me by your pestilent absence

I was waiting to be clandestine again


again in those arms renewed

Having enough love poems written

for your niggardly charity

to make Neruda jealous

and then

when I wrote about a soothing croon

lamented, to be rhymed by a juniper moon

crawling, broken along the sky

I realized how easy it really was

to forget about it all

and put obsession behind me

like another fictional devil

with charismatic teeth and five on a bundle of new promise

because I remember the pacing cold

of racing the fever to the vein

a mistaken bit of affection

like you

a sacrifice I mistook for love  


Rest in Peace Old Man Ronnie – you never bullshited a young junkie and showed what being hard and honest really was in a game where there’s truly little of either quality…



Notes and Bullshit

04 Mar


Going down on your girl while listening to indie hip-hop trio CunninLynguists isn’t as an amusing of anecdote as you think.


You should always share your drugs with your rented William Blake, especially if you see that he’s stumbling.


Never joke about heroin with junkies who spent the early 00’s listening to Dashboard Confessional, unless you’re prepared to listen to dour tales about how their friend Mousey died in the back of a Taco Bell bathroom. Also, don’t respond to their sad story with “speaking of which, I could really go for a quesadilla right now…”


Stop smoking Sour Diesel prior to doing a poetry reading, stick to the gin. Otherwise the words will spread and you’ll recite half as much to half the applause.


Poetry on the Bowery is as beautiful as cheap prostitution. But it’s time to sell your body, anyhow – they’ve begun putting Sedaris in textbooks.


Remember to thank whoever refilled your wine that night. One can always use more wine.


To show my gratitude for the warm reception in Jersey City, here’s some new Joey:

We definitely could use some new Mood Muzik, homey…


More new work coming soon, I promise. But, for now, I have updated the Official Material section.


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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