Archive for June, 2013

My Wild Love (lovesong #2)

29 Jun



lovesong # 2


“Spero ti siano arrivati insieme il telegramma e la lettera. Il mare mi ha rifiutato e ritornerò domani all’albergo Bologna, viaggiando forse con questo stesso foglio. Ho però intenzione di rinunziare all’insegnamento. Non mi prendere per una ragazza ibseniana perché il caso è differente. Sono a tua disposizione per ulteriori dettagli.”

– Ettore Majorana


after a couple of days

she was still sick

mushroom barley soup took about an hour’s grace

fresh porcini and dry chanterelles

carrots, onions, but skip the celery

she waits in bed in

faded dark sweatpants the color of chimney smoke

approved by Twain like a bathetic notary

some Mazar I Sharif for creativity and appetite

prescribed by my personal physician in Washington Heights

motionlessness leading into long stretches starting at the toes

sweating out the fever

through skin of pale elysian luxury

my lese majesty of romantic love

with a cupidity that only reveals itself nocturnally

a mammonism inside the shadowed mouth of carnal passion

the same carnival of glamorous and atramental colors

and the pygmalionism that’s resurrected her for me ever since  

was something that I languished on about

in my lament about our new lost generation a few years ago

despite knowing that this has always been a solitary desert proposition

an icarian compromise where the sea awaits me

much too tired of writing love poems on and on again

that claim no medicinal value

and so I brew some tea instead

and make a wager with this silenced war

that if time is indeed as chameleonic

as her mania

which churns out caprice and affection in equal doses

and in ten years

it finds me happy and hopeful and still writing

a novelist salaried by greedy deadlines

with a lover who’s no longer delicate and ailing

I will owe it a single favor

to be asked and paid in full


Fuck Scalia

28 Jun



Argle Bargle (Fuck Scalia)


argy bargy

everyone say hi to Archie

Bunker in the black robe with a starchy

interpretation of constitutionalism within the framework

of civil rights

the tar baby of logical insights

in legal interpretation

you are a narrow-minded cunt

the intellectual version of a bunt

(with two outs on the scoreboard)

a bloviating bloated balding runt

who couldn’t GPS a nipple

and grew up absinthal, cruel and fickle

angry at a secularly progressing world

a bigoted, embittered Reagan appointee to hold together the archaic mold

of paranoid conservatism FOR LIFE.


You must be the brave new world’s best man.

And you’re a dogmatic philistine, how quaint?!

Someone should kick you in the taint!

A jingoistic xenophobe using obsolete British idioms in his dissent –

the Oxford English dictionary must have given you consent –

but, did you just really fucking say “argle bargle”?

Well, I suggest you suck my dick, then gargle.

Fuck Scalia, that little dysgenic troll –

I guess before any equal rights he expects the world to pay the Kochs a toll.

Keep dreaming, asshole.



24 Jun



Peter Pan


A writers’ trick

is a strong declarative sentence

to begin a composition,

so I start it off

with the words:

‘The morning cigarette

is the only thing keeping me

from killing myself.’

I don’t know if I believe it, but

I invite guests over

to leave me more alone

in an hour I can borrow



with a newly empty fridge.

They say that

no one wants to sleep with a saint

the halo is a cacophony against the headboard.

They go for princes

beheaded kings


the executioner writes the litany

like music to set the mood

his voice stretches time.

She was a beautiful girl

but I slept with the other one last night.

She woke up and said,

“what’s the matter, baby – can’t sleep?”

I explained

that I ran out of my Marlboros

and the store

down the block

doesn’t open up till morning.



23 Jun



with the country mired in plutolatry

it’s healthy to fall in love

but not so much to stay in it

that’s what the doctor told me


panic and amazement


the philosopher is paranoid

the jester jitters,

he says:

“as you can see

I haven’t left you

it’s been years

but I’m here”


panic and amazement



19 Jun



thaddeus amoeba


my body is turning to treason

and I’ve been told

that it’s not cute

the characters I write are pompous

overly erudite and bruised

like a night at the park

in Greenwich Village golden by a summer tease

with a bottle of Barton’s whiskey and only one pack of smokes

to share between half a dozen homeless drunks

discussing why I can’t be an autodidact

without knowing what a preposition is

trying to convince a sixteen year old runaway

to call home

for an hour high  

through the psalm on shaking lips

the maternal gestures of forgotten girls

a howl hidden in fishnets

learning to love society

an iscariot misconstrued

and when the last of the liquor is gone

they give up and smile

look to me again  

and prophesize the future   

a rebellion too old to complete a destiny

nothing much left but

jail or the dry heat of Arizona

or swoopstake martyrdom

to keep it divine and entertaining


One for a Lost Friend

14 Jun



darling heart


“A poet makes himself a visionary through a long, boundless, and systematized disorganization of all the senses. All forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he exhausts within himself all poisons, and preserves their quintessences. Unspeakable torment, where he will need the greatest faith, a superhuman strength, where he becomes all men the great invalid, the great criminal, the great accursed–and the Supreme Scientist! For he attains the unknown! Because he has cultivated his soul, already rich, more than anyone! He attains the unknown, and if, demented, he finally loses the understanding of his visions, he will at least have seen them! So what if he is destroyed in his ecstatic flight through things unheard of, unnameable: other horrible workers will come; they will begin at the horizons where the first one has fallen!”

– Arthur Rimbaud


come to me

someone who’d become

the darling heart

opening my epistolary

my glamorous dark beauty

of angelic vices

with a severe haircut

starting trends

like middle-class fingers start grocery lists

moving me to write something new

against myself

against that self I know so well

when I get characteristically lazy and bored with aspiration

and want to hide in bed with a bottle of cheap gin

and the breadcrumbs of an empty meal

an ashtray and your distant legs

somewhere along my ruin  

sensate no longer

like when a young friend dies tragically

on a wild and lonely night in Queens

(a frenzied flash through Flushing)

and people meet to barter their embrace

to struggle with compassion and finality

and all I see is the nonsense of posterity

in every line I strive to write

on this fresh and fickle morning

poor enough for an effective adulteration

ambition and failure interlinked

enough to make you want to abandon all

like some childfaced symbolist waiting to turn thirty

after a season in hell left him to search for further illuminations

pondering the words and their hypocrisy of treasure

lost in a cultural coincidence

a brutal bit of luck and clever marketing

like will-o’-the-wisps that promise splendor

to weary travelers long lost along the marshes

so here I sit

in heavy coughing breath

so barely steady and barely sober

waiting for something to make sense

waiting for you


come to me and make it better

try to make it work again

in a new face with new eyes incandescent

the aching heart of my epistolary

a madness to help the poet see


(For the memory of our friend Kiyanoush “K” Asif – rest in peace to the illest mc not to be…)


Damn Sure of the Dawn

10 Jun



fish paella


a warm rain

led us to our bed today

as though intimating

that something needed to be washed away

but all my lips sought

in their romantic nihilism

too used to disappointment and empty gestures

was some truth along the crest of your left thigh

near the tattoo  

all petulant youth and fading black ink

and as I wandered manic and impulsive

there in all that familiar mystery

a tongue to toe the line of ephemeral horizons

I thought that I might have found

a smile worth waiting for

in some dream I was only paid to dream

some checks long overdue

and I wanted to wake up there

next to you

and tell you a story

about how I spoke to a friend recently

intimate after oysters and a few drinks

about sincerity in literature

and the dresses that she wore

hanging off the shoulder to reveal a bit of tanned skin

smelling sweet of lush occult

blushing like childhood infatuation  

I told her that it was the only thing worth looking for

no, not in the words of a reliable narrators

because, let’s face it, I’m barely reliable myself

no, that’s not what I meant at all

what I had really tried to say was

like an augur trapped inside a madrigal

warm sun bright like a fictive destiny moving at an unrepentant pace

the truth is in the author

who must reveal something beyond our entertainment

something about the human condition that we’re all learning to adapt to as our own

some wonderful cliché rephrased and recast until it’s cruor  

until it becomes a conscious organism

until it’s singing something true and mesmerizing

something I found once coursing again at 3am

across my notebook

that was written because of you

or because of her

or because of it

or because of them

or because I couldn’t sleep again

or because I was fighting for something new that I couldn’t contain in words

a vision

tentative and fleeting

a memory revised by red editorial pens

that makes the past incomplete and unimportant

that makes the future a terrifying risk

I wrote it then because I felt it

I knew it and I made it whole

I expressed it because I though I was one of the last few left

that could do it justice

in all the crayola colors that my destitute fingers could entrap

in all that your hazelnut eyes could see

a fish paella by the water

a warm rain outside our window

a sedated sea becoming my last life imagined


so soft

so calm and bedded in a bliss

that we rarely indulge in

a modish shame of absentminded repetition

where we no longer believe

that we deserve

that which we really want  



08 Jun





“… like Mike, I need a war time consigliere.”

                                                                – Andrey Bystrov


my favorite dappled leaden suit

waits as patient as a juror

supine on my bed wet with last night’s sweat

I snort a line

so I can struggle

to the bathroom in the junkie tempo of a lost hound

and shave myself for court


walking to silvered somber Centre

I opine

strictly for the editor

about American drug policy

a little to the right of Immortal Technique

as the skyscrapers swim along my skin

smoking the sky through a dirty stem


the judge

a few inches taller

than the emperor of France

talks of social parasites

only a few blocks away

from where cocaine and nervous phonecalls will decide

the design of your financial purgatory

a sepsis stop for

the 2,3,4,5 rails

the J close by on Broad

and the N,R on Rector

yet I just hope they open the windows here

to let a little chill in

so I can breathe

and wait to be abstracted

diagnosed by someone like Jules Cotard


we hood speak pretty (warm thoughts and writer’s block)

07 Jun



For Semi


after a brief seduction

and a few too many gin and tonics

her skirt created gravity along her pallid ankle

the comma fucked the colon

in the employee bathroom

of the Village courthouse which was translated into a public library

in 1958

and their kid came out looking just like them

a beautiful amalgamation

a grammatical specimen on surly feet

one slightly pigeon-toed, shifting left

but he suffered from anxiety and acne

avoidant personality disorder

and all the dolor of a softspoken adolescent

whose ictus of broken rhythm created an epileptic shyness

and thus no one understood him

and no one asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance

(unlike his jocund second cousin, dash,

who was always quick with a joke and some necessary detachment

which got him laid with the ease

of noble breviloquence and not much ambition)

so Semi stayed home

listening to his Smiths records

and smoking cigarettes

thinking of all those who spurned him

Beckett, Joyce and Amis didn’t like you

Hemingway thought that you were too soft to use

and Vonnegut called you a transvestite

and even a hermaphrodite

(which could be the reason that Eugenides thought you valuable enough)

but it’s alright, dear boy

listen to your Morrissey in your shadowed overcoat

and your teenage melancholy  

your parents will always love you just enough  

and even though they participate more often

in all the family games

you are still the literary pause that seems most lyrical

and stoic

like a little Pushkin of the bunch

with eager, nervous trepidation

caring for all the lesser rest

like when you drove your aunt ellipsis

who was dealing with dementia at the time

to her home some miles away

beyond the crop of memory

in the phonological kingdom where it all makes sense

and barely matters

or when Scott mocked your uncle exclamation

and you remarked in his defense

that laughing at your own jokes

wasn’t all that bad

because at least someone’s having a good time

so in this syntactic ghetto

keep your blemished chin raised high

try to grow some whiskers

so as to seem more confident and mannish

because you are here to protect the dispossessed


Old Dream

03 Jun



            The junky band, led by the beautiful, blonde Germanic siren, given wings by Demeter and the looks of a Valhalla goddess, made their debut at the ‘66 Psychiatrists Convention – they found common ground with their audience by shooting coke and singing, with topical pithy, about Freudian perversions.

            I sat in the background and talked to Warhol. And although I felt self-conscious about passively propagating his aesthetic dynamism for making shitty black-and-white short films, saying “yeah, man I know poor little rich girls too”, I figured that a confrontational position on my part would lessen my chances for ending up in a bed warmed by an Edie Sedgwig artistically-slumming. And although I usually didn’t go for blondes, human frailty is a tough bitch to reject – even though all I wanted was for Athena to sing me across the seas to the demarcated destination of my beloved. I knew that she was somewhere out there, in the darkened memorial unknown. I just didn’t know whether she was still waiting for me.


            I just woke up.


            Waking up I realized I didn’t know what time it was. There was no sun to force into a pocket-watch.

            Waking up I realized that I was blind. A new night eating.  

            Waking up I realized that it was winter outside of my blankets. Using my fingertips to feel underneath them I realized that she was lying beside me, all ellipses, calyculi and half-moons, and along the contours of her skin I found epiphany enough to understand that sight could be superfluous and that the cold could be avoided.


            I realized I just woke up.


            Besides, who needs sight anyway – I no longer wanted to see the other side of her, the shadow. Because along the contours of her shadow was my depression, deep enough to dry a distillery.


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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