Archive for April, 2012

A Short One for “Shortie”

29 Apr



About a girl I used to know who grew bored while I grew tired


So much

yet not enough

and I don’t care about your punk etiquette

I’m glad that you can afford the mentality

which would dictate a lack of future for the rest of us.

No Hemingway

just junk food and self inflicted cuts along your arms

microwavable burritos and cigarette burns on skin hidden in long sleeves

a craving for morphine and a trust fund that’ll hit when you’re 25.

When do you find time to write, sweetheart

when you spend your nine-to-five feeling sorry for yourself

and selling advertisement space for Family Feud reruns?

Pretending independence

while yearning for arms to wrap around you

while you sleep

dreaming of glittering fame

and of someone finding out who you are

on tiptoes.

I’ll still love you, honey

once California sinks underneath you

and I’ll remember when you called me

“a dirty prophet with a beautiful junkie body”

while I recited poetry between your legs

unconcerned by the handsome gravestones

that grew outside of your windows like a summer fever.


This one is for you, wherever you are


Sick Day

28 Apr


Today is a sick day. I feel like a stray dog walking a Newark winter. “Rocket Queen” (the closing track off of G’n’R’s Appetite for Destruction is stuck in my head – could be blamed on the fact that I’ve been rereading Chuck Klosterman’s 2001 half-memoir/half-optimistic and apologetic collection of essays on the inherent cultural value of 80’s heavy (hair) metal Fargo Rock City) has been stuck in my head all fucking morning – thankfully it’s not the Steven Adler solo version that, for some wholly forgettable reason, somehow still exists. My back hurts (which is especially bothersome for an ex-junkie because instead of heroin and withdrawal being the predictable culprit – I have no idea what’s wrong with me… probably an alien living inside of me or maybe spinal cancer) – I feel as though I’m that stereotypical, crotchety old man that wakes up in a hospice to the realization that his family has completely written him off already. I want a drink, but my back aches too much to move, and my coughing forces shooting pains down my spine. Although I have way too much work to finish, I’m taking a day off from struggling at the altar of an endless manuscript, and instead will call on an ex to play nurse to me for a while, maybe roll the old man a joint so as not to exacerbate his arthritis.  


Don’t forget that

We have nothing but accomplishment between us

And only lonely sanity below our feet


You’re Fucked If… (tbc)

25 Apr



…if your ex-wife starts calling you “dude”

…if you eat avocadoes for breakfast and jog in the mornings

…if you are interning at a publishing house idealizing John Kennedy Toole

…if you think that that was really Tupac at Coachella visiting from Cuba

…if you’re voting for Mitt Romney and have a vagina and an ounce of self-respect

…if you’re the ex-girlfriend that called me at 3am this morning expecting me to rush out and pick you up at Port Authority so that I could provide a you with a generously stiff drink and a decent lay

…if you’re like me and find it impossible to not get turned on by Alison Mosshart      

…if you want to sleep with Lena Dunham because she writes awkwardness well

…if you think that it takes $100,000 in student loans to make something of yourself

…if you’re critical of me for putting my lyrical content out for free

…if when someone mentions the song “Mother” you think Glenn Danzig instead of John Lennon (although – with an objective sincerity – I can admit that the Misfits were sporadically fucking awesome)

…if you see yourself as an avowed feminist and still have Ke$ha in your iPod

…if you were born to dream of an orphanage

…if you admire that prick Hunter Moore but have never heard a midnight call by Sam Kinison

…if you think that George Zimmerman can use something besides a hanging

…if you’ve let the world shame you of your neurosis

…if you are trying to figure out which designer belt matches your veins

…if you spent your entire day ghostwriting for a fat, mean woman who smells like Herod’s gangrene melting

…if you moved from Omaha to Brooklyn to be a playwright after reading Neil LaBute’s catalog (especially if you don’t notice the fact that he looks exactly like a young, sullen George Lucas on Quaaludes)

…if you believe yourself to be the voice of your generation

…if you actually find yourself to be the voice of this generation

…if you actually believe in your own created persona

…if you still want your child to become an artist

…if you believe that any of this is true


I lost my heart and my mind on the same day and I miss only one

22 Apr



Surrealist Addendums Grow in Post-Script Like Geraniums

(for young lovers who don’t know any better)


You’ll know that you’re going blind once you start smoking the ashes

We pause

and she reminds me that I have a dick big enough to seem charming on rainy days as well as during summer blackouts

In fact, I’ve been notarized, and  

Con Edison has pimped me out on several occasions as a form of apology

for the folks with their black nights spent by dying candlelight

it made sense as a routine (you have to learn to remain somehow)

Believe long enough in dark beer mornings and a coffee for breakfast when I wake up somewhere around a lurid dusk

and sometimes I write before meeting dangerous people in dangerous times

because we leave our last spit of stained spirit for the last; ahead of time in a jaded millisecond with a knife impending to paint the throat with something worthy of Esenin’s penmanship

but it’s really just the wait

and soon enough you’ve reached Side Two and it’s time to turn the tape over:

And sometimes, if you remember, you used to leave the Starbucks bathroom with blood on your shirtsleeve

and then you would sit, pale, relating something or other to Byron and pretending there’s charisma hiding in the floor

and it’s really like trying to explain the importance of the Minutemen to an 18-year-old girl inside a screaming art gallery that used to be a warehouse where you couldn’t find work on a cold month, next to some negligible stop off the L train and a taco truck with overpriced burritos

And you’re out of the blue and into the black, like a Neil Simon cover with too much vodka and no real politics to speak of and something vague that you’re angry at your father about because of course it must be his fault

No longer running for the bullet, you might as well accept that I am not going anywhere:

This city’s blooming again and the allergies are killing me like paternal rot

my eyes feel as though they’re smoking crystal meth

but I haven’t bought a bus ride out of town yet

because I haven’t a place to go

I know that there’s a girl that I want to write in this movement, with her little finger on the trigger

a lemonhead that you have after your first shot of cognac

the cute little Gerber baby face that ended up on a milk carton on a sprawling 90’s highway forgotten after the first exit like a statement taken out of context by some punk rock version of Ralphey Waldo Emerson talking too much shit about the inherent subversive value of horizons, waiting for the West Coast to drown

And then how do you learn to collect the checks,

if you’re a literary pawn shop?

Like the last can of welfare tuna in the fridge –

don’t throw me away too early as though you weren’t staving…  

and now god’s got a melanoma on his palms – that’s why we come out so broken

he ain’t the craftsman he used to be


It’s all a lie, like how

in moribund chastity being a heroin wife is a noble endeavor

since junkies are an enviably, cinematically sentimental bunch

eager to lavish warmth and generous kindness unto the cruel world perceived as unimmediate and unworthwhile, full of nothing much but polite conversations, subway rides and early mornings – dope being more honest: you wait to get high in a zen rebirth each time slower

The wife gets the soft nook in the crook of the arm while the happy, dozed couple lay in each others arms as the silent soundtrack of purgatorial (sickly as the yellow of the fading cardboard after a fortnight of rain) inevitability drowns out any worry and any trepidation and any plans and any appointments unless they are uptown by the train or in the village in a phone booth that waits and carries itself like a stiff, gruff relic or a stale childhood prayer you still remember although it has long since lost its use

and then we grow old dreaming of the Arctic cold

and then we are apart

for a while

and then we find each other again

like the wet thighs of the divine

and then in the joyful bundle (ten bags with smiling faces on them) she looks so young

as though it didn’t speak

as though it was like putting a tie on a corpse for the purpose of forced purgation

and we become dedicated to one another

for a while

making jokes, like:

today the day was catching its own nod

and aren’t we oh so satisfied…


Fuck it, One of the Best!

19 Apr



Originally I wasn’t going to put this piece up at all – I thought it was too good to just leave out for someone to trip upon like an old shoe hanging in your hallway like a mockery (especially if they’re spammers from China or the Czech Republic who are inflating my traffic stats, as well as creating longer buffering times to load the site for the rest of you non-assholes). But… fuck it, this is one of the best poems you’ll see from me (or from anyone else for that matter) during this last lost decade.


For Further Courtship


And if I wasn’t a pussy

I’d call it a cunt

And there would be miracles and births

And then I would stoop to making quips with only a little wine

Good stupor is better than good humor

It was said

This is what killed Dylan Thomas besides the whiskey and amphetamines and New York and bad doctors and troubles and a mean Welsh demeanor and longing like mourning and when Greenwich Village was gold and lacking the rambling sense and obliteration into some symphonic, reincarnating ellipsis and everything else that could be important but never seemed as such and all I want is a comfortable pair of slippers and a tall glass of single malt scotch that never seems to end with some ice for the throbbing in my head

Not delusions of talent, but delusions of being able to write, like delusions of delving space, like rancorous self-importance preached subtly

And then what would be left

And then there would be a common bit of silver ebbing off the tongue

And then where would we stray

And then who would we become

And then what would be then

And Neal Cassidy could probably write if he wasn’t so pretty and I would be more than slightly upset if you compare me to Kerouac

And where is it written that I have to stand here, holding on to this plastic strap, riding to courtyards overridden with tenements and cocaine and languid horizons and blues resung and some other bullshit that I’ll carelessly mention at a later time

And I do really like that measured death like that woman’s legs as much as I like iodized salt sold cheap at the supermarket because it garnishes so well

And it’s all really a dreary fog elevating where someone mentions Alexander Pope or something out of Milton and you jump up to mention a tenet to elaborate upon

executed wildly, with profuse veins stemming the daylight perfused, in a balletic fashion

And then there’s a utility cigar and a particularly pretty girl with auburn hair that lights it for you and her eyes water with abandoned sentiment and warm wishes

And this is not my last letter written

We all seemed so happy for a while as was assumed

There was no stench and no smell in particular in the city and then you forget the last beating and then you become enamored once again in each step you take on the pavement reminding you about the old honor of blistered feet and a notebook full of passerbys dressed in passing smiles and dusky suits cast by ash that’s payable by overtime rates; time and a half

And then she was strong and took all there was to give

And there was no new Spring to drown

And then you’re mindless of the curtains and the cigarette waved casts a stain burning through and then the sunshine flows in when you don’t expect it

And it’s all fine like flinching at a compliment that seems egregious

And then we drink in the afternoon because a celebration is called for

And then there’s nothing left to be expected because nothing can be that important


17 Apr


No lamentations tonight

Nothing but

No desire

But the only one


Who’s that talking…?

15 Apr



“No great movement designed to change the world can bear to be laughed at or belittled. Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches.”

                                                                                                             – Milan Kundera



One for Maury Noble


There are really no others left

besides the dim and the bored

isn’t that how you put it

both like a pill bottle with a facile throat

audaciously, some of them even turn to criticism

like spoiled teleologists or successful venture capitalists

because they’ve spent so many decades being sure.

Fuck them all, though

all of us, really   

I’ll spend my time

that I’ve somehow stolen off like the pity of a food stamp


entertaining the bored

and searching for no more higher truths

while ravaging the dim

(as long as it’s not in my apartment)

where I can

when I can  

when they wear their candied summer skirts

when they can afford my generous premonitions.

I’ll stay succulently

abated and clean

the proof of intellectual futility

the erasure of open warrants because of grammatical mistakes and light skin

the stranded hitchhiker in vague beauty

a sexual appeasement that proves that the only tragedy handed down is falling in love or admiration, especially with someone that treats gin bottles like literary fax machines that send chopped, macaronic bits of belles-lettres from one brain stem to another page for the sake of fanciful emulation…

fuck it, my brothers in drunken penmanship, find a cheaper muse

(preferably of the sapiosexual sort)

that’s like a notice of foreclosure or like another party invitation  

and roam free in your thoughts until you write something amusing

never anything high-minded or loftily designed

because you must have tried before

and failed before

as those who try surely do.

Escape all that

stay safe in the distant eras long since shipwrecked

love them and appreciate them

but create only new fetishes and fetes

always in irrelevancy and incurable bacchanalia

that others will gloriously embolize like a superfluous blood vessel

later on

in their own time

within their own lack of meaning

still simply chorus members with no solos to sing

just another generation of

the dim and the bored

preserved from fear of trying something different

asking whether we’re all laughing yet…


Equilibrious Stasis (but I could use a cup of coffee)

12 Apr


Will be updating the Official Material section in the next couple of days to encompass selected pieces from March.



My Little Lo’  


I would like to sell you

like a bundle

like an american dream to an eager immigrant

with pockets full of lottery tickets

but before that

let me fuck you as though it was how I worshipped

and let’s get high and forget everything for a while


I remember

I was nineteen while she was seventeen

yet she still called me Humbert Humbert

like a dirty old pervert

unreliable and sullen

hopeless, but less pedantic


Sometimes I wish I was still there

in that river’s wonderful ebbing roll

with water that tasted like fresh murder

polluted by mysterious questions of a rhetorical nature

and other toxic heroes we’d read about together

while chewing on the dirty holy air that bound us


And if death comes, she’ll say:

“Oh my little liar, oh my sad little liar –

what has gravity made of you!”


Too Much Wine

11 Apr



Too Much Wine


If there were inconsistencies in the masterpiece,

they were largely ignored;

she was allowed her manic episodes,

and the next time we’d lay exhausted in each other

and all was forgiven for craving, a casualty

and respite, and all that was clarifying

and cloying deliberations and previous, tony hauntings   

and self-absorbed insurrections and lubricious caprices

we’d be comforted by how nothing changes with us

and as always I’ve had too much wine

three liters of Carlo Rossi’s burgundy for fourteen dollars

from an unemployment check

like Dock Ellis throwing a no-hitter on LSD

like a hooker who brings you egg rolls

who shaves her pubic hair in your bathtub in a maudlin manner

and then nothing matters but how I forget

and I’m running out of cigarettes

and I’m listening to post punk and loathing myself mysteriously

and I miss the girl that wrote about Snapple caps

and, maybe, I’ve had too much wine

and is Santorum worried about Pennsylvania or is he chasing a VP billing like a destined ejaculation

and did I watch Colbert last night?

She slept right next to me

it didn’t bother her as nothing usually does

she didn’t wake up

and if she did and if it was forgotten

I would just kiss her clit in admiration like a regal hand, then her lips

and then she would continue sleeping

and then I would have another glass of wine.


Like a Mea Culpa, but with a Wink

09 Apr


As Ziggy Stardust:


The old man pays women now just to hear him talk.


There is only one ghost that I’m holding onto now.


Working on the next Gravity pieces, because people need to be reminded of what’s really holding them down.


After killing it at the Jersey City reading this past Thursday, I smoked a timid spliff, then went to visit Mr. Bunbury. But it has really been three and a half years in this skin, so it wasn’t much veiled.


And then the view becomes but cedars and gravel, and we find a shame in one another.


Fiona Apple was a crush of mine as a teenager. She’s with Jonathan Ames now. He started his first novel with: “I like this one whore on the lower East Side, her name is Goldie because of her teeth, and she’s really sweet.” Some women still dig writers, I guess.


And then the crazy depressives sing and the walls crawl… after I get across my hallucination tomorrow, I promise to start getting the new work out.


Gravity (Part I)

03 Apr


Gravity (Part I)


I’ve flown


from the earth

wherein I buried myself


            When I was seventeen or eighteen I sat at long length discussing a peaceful surrender with a gifted bottle of Johnny Walker Black. It was April 5th, night in silence Bensenhurst. As always, I was planning to kick a dope habit.

            That was the night when I felt truly like a lazy jellyfish in a Cole Porter song. That was the night, lurid, when I wrote a short single stanza poem entitled “Presence”.

            It was quick, it was honest, it was a complete rip-off of a Tom Waits tune called “Green Grass” which had just recently slipped out on the bootleg of his Real Gone.

            That one little piece became the miraculous, melancholic tuberculosis that has hence turned me cold, and has since continued to eat me from the inside out adding a scratchiness to my pen stroke.

            I didn’t have much but a woman on the brain then and nothing much has changed since. But I’m there, somewhere, more now, like an elegant commiseration. And it helps. Sometimes it definitely helps.


I pour the gin into a coffee mug

like a tired mechanic too used to the sun

committing a fizzled out bit of tonic to the hassle

I know that I’m awake already


            A childish oaf of a man, created long before the noxious gas of an exhaust took Toole into the prepared pantheon of literary tragedies made into ropable myths that have since been gladly dissected by superfluous biographers ballooned with superfluous commentary like some sad helium, he kept a pristine copy of The God Delusion and three vintage Playboy’s from his father’s mid-seventies collection on his coffee table like that mule of a student in the class you missed because you were tired like a shelter and hungover like some nervous adoration at a stutter. He was never cruel much, but never really kind, with a bird’s nest for a brain that nurtured silences and awkward moments with the opposite sex.

            The bourbon became a burgundy hue when his blood fell in. He talked too much.

            He read I Pass Like Night and thought it would be easy. He could pass himself off like a broken toy of a lower middle class upbringing who knew what was really there between the legs of a working girl from the Lower East Side: dry, chapped skin reddening and a self-lubricating bit of rough, itching melancholia.

            But, fuck him – he wasn’t much of a writer. He pandered to get paid. To buy the drinks (which I appreciated). He deserved a bit of recognition, and that’s it, and then another flicker of smoke and some watermarks and some compassion and cotton mouth from the third spliff in a Brooklyn brownstone.

            A pound, hemp sack of imported coffee that never gets made.

            I’d visit him again if I didn’t have better things to do.


And then sometimes we’d smile

because she’ll come again tonight

with nothing waiting

and something lovely

like always



If I was you, I’d head to the Media section to check out our short film “I’m a Hard Man to Kill“…


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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