Archive for February, 2013

Just a Flutter

27 Feb



Defenestration and the Little Fool


Fly, fly

out of the window


all blue eyes alive

she becomes a room with a view

where the wind hums

and she listens as I softly burn

a pretty little patsy

who interrupted my toast

and my awful day

with red hair

and a lovely, coarse remark

about the despotism of the petticoat

she didn’t allow me to remain self-satisfied

but instead argued

that we know very little about it all

(oppressed by the figures of beauty)

and that whiskey never helps

to find a winter sky


for flight


(for Grace)



From A Different Hitchhiker All Together

24 Feb



Jimmy, Who Found Dinner



New York had places

to which you could only get to

by service elevators

Jimmy carried a lot of dollar bills

swaddled by a thick yellow rubber band

and he sneered

at the businessmen

who wore ties

at four in the afternoon

when the sun couldn’t make up its mind

and a drink was close by

in the cherubic robes

of a Times Square dancer

who Jimmy fell in love with

as soon as the street lamps

called out to the dawn

which came a fleeting decade later

in warm ephemera


and found Jim

across his bathroom floor

at a dusty single room of the Belvedere

which ate men who thought themselves adventurous

who thought little of immortality

a monster not daring enough

to waste the day on

because each moment seemed too late

running comatose

through birth and death and a tip at the end of the night

when solace can’t be found

under the awning of old buildings

build by Carnegie and other noble crooks

who knew that serving time

in quiet steel

was all us damned could dream of:

no people,

not anymore


From a Hitchhiker

23 Feb



southern syrup, southern dust


she told me to say it twice

but I’ve said it so many times

more than that

I’ve lost my voice

grew hoarse

blood lubricating the throat


an old soul song

in a black Lincoln

roaring down a country road

and then her lips find my neck

and she pulls her dress up

I pull over to the side

Lucinda Williams sings

like a young sickness

her thighs tasted

like a hot toddy poured over the brim of the glass

and we couldn’t speak again

for quite some time

because once passed by behind the last exit

a rest quickly kissed along a smile and an escape

and twice turned us sweeter

nectarous like a sentimental chemical

along a foggy highway

somnolent and pleased

saying it a third time

saying it a third time

saying it a third time


Fear (No One to Drive the Car)

21 Feb



No Fear for the Self-Assured


Being offended is a choice and not an obligation

I’m tired of being patient and polite

The new generation becomes sterile

But politically correct

so I ask, outshouted

Leave William Carlos Williams alone

an idiot

a lout

a dunce

a modernist

a doctor

an asshole if you choose

Who are we but out words

and if I didn’t ask your permission first

you wont read what I have written?

in a hole of poverty

and a darkened past surrounding me

where doors open to a world the same for all

a question must be asked

how sensitive your middle class ethics really are

and how many special interest groups must stamp their approval

upon every stanza

eventually –

wisdom becomes staid wit

satire turns to drollery

and we’re all just Jack’s and Jill’s

coming down the hill

looking for sunrises from the bottom

as though from a faulty scarp

with no even footing to be found:

we are

none of us


but all

just going sedately into a dreamless sleep  



17 Feb



Don’t ever go to one of Joseph’s parties. You might find yourself nonplussed, and your dignity and modesty tested.

New short story, “The Party (Sol Invictus)” is coming soon. I promise that it’s worth the wait.


Also, look out for the new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album coming this month:

Push the Sky Away is available for pre-order, in the deluxe edition, here:



Hunting the Haunted

12 Feb



Saturday on the Bowery in 1982


Wearing his torn Joy Division shirt

he was stabbed in the gut with a golden shiv

his hair fell across his brow, tangled, amber

and then he slouched

grabbed his stomach

and tried to walk away

but they wouldn’t let him go

he was fumbling in the wrong direction

and they wanted to ensure that he got home

where he would find his vodka condensing in worried beads

shivering in the freezer  

eager to welcome him with a searing gulp

and a hug across the open wound

so they grabbed his shoulders

ensnaring, each one took a side

and they led him to where he was wanted

where he was supposed to go

after last call

and they reminded him

that “generally, even Isadora Duncan is only known for breaking her neck”

it won’t hurt much

until the drink turns to an opalescent promise

and the colors begin to laugh

like synesthesia growing senescent

but it’s all alright

because it all becomes

as long as you have friends

who’ll stab you in the front

and then walk you home

whistling the guitar line of “She’s Lost Control”

humming along

as the stubborn night creaks with condonation


…in a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day…

02 Feb



Well, fuck it, originally I was going to leave this piece unpublished, but have now decided against it. You might ask why I didn’t want it floating around, or why I decided to put it up here now all of a sudden – but most of the answers to these questions are inconsequential: it is enough to say that I’m deep into the editing of my novel and also have felt mostly uninspired in the last week or so to write anything new of value. This is a good vignette and should be read, so why keep it out of Tumult’s canon.  This piece was written almost exclusively during the first week of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on NYC.


With Sandy in the Rockaways


            I guess I have to concede that God does actually look down on pornography – the judgmental bastard! – because as soon as I got ready to masturbate to a particularly filthy video online in the grandiose spectacle of Hurricane Sandy surrounding me: there’s an eager tempest and the water surges with the wind like the forethought of an air raid; it’s almost in color, I could hear a crackle and it’s gone, the electricity is out. Outside, the ocean has overcome the barrier of the boardwalk and has flooded the streets with about five feet of salt water mixed in with trash and septic refuse. There’s an ambulance truck floating along the road. A symphony plays from the alarms of parked cars befuddled by the tenacity of nature. I guess I’ve always wanted to read The Brothers Karamazov by candlelight, while my dick is still covered in hand moisturizer.

            I wish I hadn’t smoked all my weed on Sunday. It would abet the cold salmon from the fridge; to be eaten less out of hunger but more as a preventative measure against the tartar sauce spoiling.


            I hear that in order to kill a man and sleep, you need to hate mankind coldly or love mankind absolutely:

            My love was an act of war. Against myself. Against reason. I had too much of it like a Belle & Sebastian song.

            The weather was finally calming; it smelt like pussy and whiskey and I liked the taste it left in my mouth. Enjoyed the sting. Enjoyed the story. The spine, the spree of this existence.

            Don’t forget that there’s four hundred years in this hallway and too much time to spend.


            And I still dreamed even in pitch black.

            I made it to my uncle’s place in Harlem the next morning, having left at six as soon as I figured that the Cross Bay Bridge was finally pushing traffic through. I wanted to take my first shower in nearly three days there and drop the car off so that nothing would happen to it while I deliberated on where I could stay for the time being. I figured I’d go back early for some clothes and books that didn’t fit in the car (there was no backseat, and the trunk was holding my large brown suitcase that I called Nabokov, that I had already prepared for a literary trip to the vaunted west coast two weeks from now).

            Before enduring another necessary long journey though, I decided to hop the 1 train and see Robbie who was staying at his cousins’ chop shop on 230th and Kingsbridge in the Bronx to rustle up a couple of hurricane nuggets of hash to help the nausea that’s developed from my pulsating anxiety, and to force me to read election day dystopian editorial fiction published in some men’s magazine – who’s name needn’t be further promoted here because they do quite well without me – it was the only bit of reading material I had available to me on the long subway ride towards the Rockaways, now stuck in the dead zone of the MTA circle jerk: all the trains, buses rerouted at will with the urgency of KY jelly and bad news. I got there at 5:37PM. It was dark. I was informed by a troubled pedestrian that resembled a shadow in a fog that the Q52 and Q22 stopped running at 6 o’clock on the let’s-get-the-fuck-out-of-here dot.

            So now I find myself stuck here again like a squatter with two spliffs, no electricity, no heat, no food except for the box of Kebbler Elf cheese crackers and a container of [no longer] freeze dried coffee. I have 6% power left on my little laptop and I’m playing the Minutemen, looking for some Peter Tosh to cue up next.

            Maybe there’s a bottle of white wine that Tristan left somewhere here, but I can’t find it. Only corks. I’m sure to look for it again in a few hours.

            I start to miss her, but I have music, and I light the first joint from the tip of a candle burning, writing:


            Like an elegiac Sid and Nancy

            he grew stiff when she played fancy

            like a junkie in the dance

            he purloined her morning robe in slow advance

            and when the breath of her did fall

            she moaned victoriously like a squall


            And I was happy enough for now.

            But I had spent such an unrecoupable longing craving her that now having her here made me feel ashamed. I had to look but I discovered that that there was some goodness left and laughter and it was all I needed.

            All storms eventually pass and we end up feeling like we lost this, our new shelter. Love, reckless, is much the same – except there’s no FEMA check to expect in your mailbox once the devastation is finally qualified and settled.


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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