Archive for May, 2012


30 May


“All the distress that he had ever known, the sorrow and the pain, had been because of women. It was something that in different ways they did to him, unconsciously, almost casually – perhaps finding him tender-minded and afraid, they killed the things in him that menaced their absolute sway.”

                                                                                                – F. Scott Fitzgerald

One for Anthony Patch


In futile lives we shed

our cuffed earnestness

like sweat

and when the handsome man wakes like an ocean

there is no gulf left

just a vast empty space

that surfaced miracles and moralities and

false hopes alike

in the manner of a blind soldier dancing

while the smoke in the corner sings “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”.

In the past her skin was porcelaneous  

another dangerous and tender venture

like the city we lived in easy

an evening she fell asleep in her glasses and woke fearful of what one might see at night

with a glorious lunacy

and with passionate arms and wet flesh which skirred rhythmlessly to rasping jazz

that always sounded like a religious dawn

merciless upon approach

and it all seemed like buying a blowjob on the Upper East Side with a bag of nickels unrolled

like exile in romantic upkeep

like wet clouds made of delicate cinders and dry cement falling around you during a lovesome mescaline journey home

it’s was like she called the nuthouse,

like a call to the stables,

saying “you need to get less crazy so you can see me, so you can fuck me…”

and then you find yourself

walking along a drunken street like a narrow plank splintering your feet

waiting for that phonecall to seem new and reviving


and then during an empty pause she’d excuse herself

saying that “when I told you to be free

I didn’t intend to mean from me”

What, unfortunately

we never remember

is that it’s never too late until they burn or bury you

in that constant company of strangers…



One Way Street

29 May



Clustering Regret


A comfortable numbness produces no more work than was expected

just a sentence of promises comforted by ellipses and a Rum and Coke

and somewhere there it begins to feel like a cleverly enameled effigy burning

and a crowd is gathering to stare at all the various embellishment

and the smoke gets in your eyes and hair

because it’s just like any other show

like a bitch in heat with money like mewling in the jaws

like an unexplained sorrow to promote some demonstrative, sensitive genuineness

that was already paid for

and there are no more poems to write about a girl that doesn’t pen her letters to me anymore

just a new set of eyes and lips to bathe with in the old bathtub, with the gray bathwater and the familiarly sweet bath soap that smelled like your taste, in my old, shabby bathroom likely cunningly conceived to last by some punctual HUD employee collecting an equitable wage through his compiled W-9s in his own sordid hell

which reminds me of nothing much

except maybe when we shared our last drink on the late night 2 train to Penn Station

watching out for cops and voyeurs  

and you seemed prepared for a longer goodbye than I was willing to give

and you fell asleep on my shoulder

and I fell asleep beside you because it seemed better than a future without the luster of your urbane seduction strangling a dream from my languished form

and you missed your connection

and we ended up in Brooklyn

and I took you back home and you weren’t disappointed


A comfortable numbness produces no more love than can be exhausted



Somewhere In Between

21 May





The passing airplanes filled with red eye passengers above you didn’t wake you up. The renovation of the building across the street didn’t wake you up even when the drilling turned symphonic. The girl you slept next to getting ready for work in the morning didn’t wake you up. Around noon your neighbor starts blasting repetitive dubstep through your thin walls; you finally roll out of bed like a weary seal and blow a couple of rails instead of wasting time brewing coffee. Play Neutral Milk Hotel records for the rest of the day while the Cooking Network flickers silently across your television screen. There were so many errands that you had to do today. I wonder who you can blame besides Skrillex and DeadMau5 for this limbo boiling so slowly.




If you find blindness like an amphetamine later that night everything might be alright again. Once again. Then once again. And there’s nothing in the lights of the city scurrying for sensation in the night besides some shining love and secularism. Turn that lamp off and breathe slowly. Breathe slowly. It will all repeat itself surely. One way or another, like a new sentimentalist covering Jacques Brel in tearful sincerity. Just turn that lamp off and let the nighttide, despite its forced truculence and false bliss, swallow you entirely. Your only promise is to remember to breathe.


What happens in Limbo stays in Limbo

18 May



The Brief Divinity of a Quim


I wasn’t planning on drinking

until a friend of mine tried to convince me that Grand Funk Railroad was the best heavy metal band that ever existed,

then he played “Heartbreaker” and their version of “Gimme Shelter” for me a few dozen times

until I felt as pointless as a post-feminist trying to disparage Ted Hughes

then I went home to meet my girl

she had a few stolen bottles from work

her boss doesn’t mind because she lets him grab her ass on Catholic holidays

and I know that

if you wake up still drunk and smell the vagina of the woman sleeping next to you –

it should prophesize your condition better than any Moses staring at any burning bush

and then

you’ll want to die in this bed

because it all feels so soft and welcoming

like a lonely job well done.


The “Working” Writer Finds Himself Cool, Sober and Nearly Broke

17 May


A very peculiar clip I recently discovered: some strange, circus-like, Greek band covered/adapted one of my favorite Bukowski poems (“To the Whore Who Took My Poems“).


Jack Gravely Makes Yet Another Remark About Dylan Thomas in a Long Sentence Written in a Relative Daze While Smoking the Last of his Cigarettes


The dogs weep with craven bellies

then contort in deathly quietude before my feet

like an Aimee Mann song whimpering across a film soundtrack, or

like broken ramparts belying sanctuary antithetically to an unending siege that plods along dully and purposelessly like the wrath of a god waking from a lengthy dormancy with a hangover and no Tylenol in His medicine drawer.

The dogs see me as the amalgamation of all minor tragedies

that are whispered like the cycling sands upon the shores of furious dreams

We play softer now because the noise has become an affront to our aesthetic

it’s much too effortless like a drunk phone call to a spurned lover

and my mind is having plenty of conversations with itself –

as was the line in the short film that revealed my madness –

adapted melodramatically from my lived-in novel whose baby teeth have apparently all fallen out and caused a tantrum because the fairy never snuck a nickel under its pillow

There used to be a girl that smelled like Zenax and danced like a Tom Waits dirge that made the punctuation flourish

and made the plethora of ephemera of all of it so majestically imperative

instead of forgiving me this mashing up of one-liners for the sake of starved wit.

(I need a new fucking editor.)

But then,

when I joined the dogs and judges,

and we, with pouted, weather-beaten lips

cried withdrawn against the call of death with such a passionless abandon, it made me amplify monolithically about the rambling Welshman yet again…  

smothered as I was by the past like an explanation for recidivism finding me at another court date.

He drank a lot of whiskey too, but wrote better than I did.  

The dogs, the ones who weep with craven bellies

with no heritage to speak of or to blame

are dressed in funereal rags

they gnaw on an old sneaker hidden like the omphalos of universal truth inside my closet

and they coo about you

when they can

about how your hair looked like someone mixed coal with stardust on a lark

about how your smile was sulfuric when a cruelty enticed you

and how I was fucked, fevered and slightly mad whenever I dared to look for longer than was my allotted time (the red light flashing)

Their howling eventually becomes the sound of my own mouth retching itself clean of a wretched soul; once varicolored and sentimental – now just a quasijocose shade that entertains at hourly rates with old jokes and recycled references:

a cavorting shadow without equal that reminds

that all old dogs eventually die without their supper.


The Asshole in the Mirror is Taunting Me Again…

13 May


Today, I will focus my attentions on writing an essay about John Milton and Nick Cave.


Nick Cave taught us that the devil is “…a god, he’s a man, he’s a ghost, he’s a guru.”

The Giant Sand (shortened from Giant Sandworms) covered “Red Right Hand” better than the Arctic Monkeys – but regardless, it’s a good enough reference to Paradise Lost (Book II, 170 – 174) to stick on Murder Ballads, after it was shortened to a single’s length from its original debut on ‘94’s Let Love In.

Al Pacino (playing head of a prestigious law firm, John Milton/as well as Lucifer in The Devil’s Advocate) taught us that the devil likes to ride New York subways and instigate crimes of passion in Spanish. He’s charismatic and prone to over-acting. He likes heights (the fallen getting up again) and doesn’t berate Keanu Reeves for his lackluster thespian abilities.



Tomorrow, I will be performing at the BMCC’s (Borough of Manhattan Community College) Voices Concert. Probably doing two pieces (Visions of New York and For Further Courtship), drunkenly and barely.

– Next up… well, wait – is he here?

– Yeah, he stumbled in ten minutes ago.

– Alright, up next is our friend Jack Tumult – the New York City poet and charming degenerate, here to recite a couple of lyrical pieces, if he’s able to see his own words at this juncture in the night…


The pale moon put its lipstick on and slinks away majestically and I take a weary sip from my Scotch.

It was raining again and I found myself to be lazily satisfied.

It had been a long week, with another long week ahead sharpening its nails for further torture and tedium. The massacre of words was scheduled for midnight and I’ll was to be there with plenty of black-ink pens and medicated ideas as part of my trusty arsenal.


“I am death incarnate in bold and blah blah blah… and it wadn’t the wine that has made the words rough, it was woman from my past that props me up in this fatalistic manner.”

Just an old joke being repeated.


There’s a Clog in that Basement that Hides the Future

08 May


Official Material section has been updated.



Make a paintbrush from a pen from a gun pointed at the man that comprises the dotted line, and if you find yourself in a Brooklyn pub, but really it’s the bottle of imported Absinthe hidden in your celebratory overcoat that has you dazed and dunced and heaped upon, likely by the sour strain from California that went into the zig-zags earlier that afternoon when the sun was shinning but muddled like everything going off and slightly away and it all becomes like rented hopelessness, odorous and warm and with inherent horrors, can’t forget the horrors, and all the recklessness of youth, the forced rebellion, the exquisite torment that can only ferment nostalgia – while you’re [wishing you were in better form] in a ridiculous (a rattle of obscurities!) discussion with your cinephile film student friends about the best Korean revenge films made in the last five years – you should just take a breath and order another drink (so as to at least not look as suspect as a nomad in a studio on the Lower East Side) and find your cigarettes and find the door and a place where it’s not windy and you can light your cigarette and all might be well before the first exhale and immediately following it and everything looks like a war and a drowning economy and then there’s that asshole who pretends to be a gypsy on the train who’ll introduce you to the man that comprises the dotted line and a gun will become a pen that will create like a paintbrush washed clean by a rainy day in the park when the angels swim in color in the aging fountain and the drunken musicians play old folk songs.


On a Sad Note (Sounds like C minor)

06 May


Rest in peace to homey, MCA. You’ll be missed.


Sour in the Web


All I’ve been is interpretation

striving to find a language lost

through which the audience can learn

that even shadows share a hatred

of all this interminable light

which makes us forget so sweetly

all that we’ve ever seen for ourselves.


She stands next to me

looking at me deliriously like an vagrant button never sown

on a jacket she threw away years ago

knowing that I saw her as a divine chord

that no one’s mastered to play

another hole in the mystery of existence

a beautiful myth I couldn’t translate.


I have blood and phlegm filling up my lungs

but I’m still smoking

because the abjuratory-committed don’t expect me to give up just yet

without another glass of wine

they sit with their liberal arts degrees in their high-walled asylums

getting high on stale Arizona greens

waiting for young Keats to show his face again

because he didn’t quite accomplish all there was in his 25

so he might as well take mine  

like an old Salieri who waited for god’s silence to turn him deaf.


Time Always Wins

02 May


Might do a short set at Art House tomorrow (directions can be found in the Upcoming Events section).



Leaving Like a Return


I used to only call you

when jerking off

in a sweat reminiscent of late November

didn’t hit the spot.

Don’t ask me where I’ve been

because I honestly don’t remember much

but I probably stopped at the liquor store

on the way

taking a penny for the road.

It’s nice to see you, though –

I’ve missed your “company”.


been writin’ too many poems about New York


so I knew that I had to escape off to New England to drink with some friends

who collect vintage posters of Eraserhead

for a week or so

but they smoke too much pot and sit around talking about Joss Whedon’s brilliance

for too long

so I had to return

like a gunshot in April.

I called you as soon as I got back,

I swear it, honey.

In hindsight

it might have been a mistake


you always hated my preoccupation with death

and Keats

and slow black-and-white Jarmush films

and that I once told your mother that she “made the best fucking meatloaf I’ve ever had” and that I once resurrected from your parents bathroom high

with my eyes pinned

during Easter dinner entr’acte and proceeded to drink two bottles of wine

(as though I was preparing for the overture)

but that was all so long ago.

And every time I’m reminded that I miss your taste

because I could never replicate it with the others

And you know that I once loved you

and you know that’s the truth

as much as I like Cointreau in my orange juice

and now you’re here again

in my bed and in my mind like some eponymous agony

and I’m grateful

don’t get me wrong

but you could at least do the fucking dishes.

I enjoy your smell on my bedsheets

again like a romantic tragedy reinvented

but you could at least make the bed

and not ensconce me

with our past that we both know

was like getting dirt in your mouth

on a long road trip west.

There’s too much love between us still

like a short Belle & Sebastian song playing through shitty speakers

and too much acrimony

for us not to know each other anymore.

So, it’s nice to see you

because you’ve always played the part well:

my lost vision on a cold day,  

my brutal beginning

as the reason to leave again…

it might have been swell,

but I never remember much –

which is really the only gift

you’ve ever given me,

but, it’s all I’ve ever really needed.  


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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