Archive for July, 2013

Summer Blues

29 Jul



mista misty masochist


this summer

has turned me brown and delightful

like processed Afghani heroin

a tasty treat for missing teeth

for parched lips and dirty minds

another guilty plea

bartered for an attenuated prison term

forgetting the utility of futile innocence

and this drumming of the denotative gavel

composed the lamenting sound

that became the beating of my mind

and then the daylight saw me


and it matured into an anxious latitude

where we find only spiritual contravention

soft-pedaling at $10 an hour

and a shower to wash the night away

alongside my morning oatmeal –

a golden mix of amphetamine and jam-colored depravity

and other hurried thoughts –

and then she walks into my apartment

like a Chinese take out menu

because I forgot that I gave her the keys to all my doors

and she takes off her shoes slowly

a scream inside a claret cotton dress

that’s girlishly wondering how this life moves inside

so casually, as a requital for years of disservice

and we talk of the weather

of how hot it’s been

and suddenly even this persiflage surrenders

and we ripen into a single caged entity

in the clouded whisper of maladroit heat

and we attempt to soundlessly cool ourselves off

by way of each others integument

newly transparent

though still perspiring

yearning to underline

that we rarely have much to say


Rifacimento of Capitulation

19 Jul



8 x 8 (Rifacimento of Capitulation)


I’ll tell a tale of old Manhattan

Adirondack bus to go

Standing waiting on my number

And my numbers gonna show


The world seems to try to obstinately convince us, young writers, that we shouldn’t be so preoccupied with love – romantic affection is impractical and no longer ubiquitary enough in our everyday to necessitate so much thought, so many letters – this has long become a difficult reconciliation with contemporary values for such as myself. The ones that write unironically in Brooklyn coffee shops, too broke for the sugar after spending their last fiver on a half-pint of Old Crow down the block: the raceless, genderless, nationless orphans of the world. Screaming as long as there’s a beat underneath. We’re around and we wonder where we’ve been brought. We take so much space wondering: about who will wake us up, about who will buy our time now that we have so much of it. But yet, listening to Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey or Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks while feeling wistful about a former lover that’s incrementally fading from your memory is still downright dangerous, it seems.


In a slow drip, they say that only men need to be loved while women only need to be wanted. What an atrociously cruel deadlock! I drank a bottle of whiskey last night and ran out of weed this morning. So now it’s coffee time. Thinking about what an adorable mess living has made of her.  


Running out of time. Running out of words. No medication necessary. I like drinking in the park with the old men. They still have shine in their eyes. And sometimes, like yesterday, they tell me tales of the good girls they’ve known, and they’ll smile, and we’ll drink, and we’ll let the heat slowly treat us like the past. Most aren’t aware that this heaven exists, outside of board meetings and day errands and dimply lit bedrooms. These are simpler times than most would care to admit, there is just more that’s fogging our view.


There’s a new story that I’ve been working on. I turned Rimbaud into a character. It was a witty joke, and I was pleased. I laughed, actually. But I’ll likely be the only one. But I still posit that the joke was a success, well worth it. It’s difficult enough laughing nowadays. She asked me what there was to live for, how trite, but the truth still seems remarkably easy: it passes by like childhood nightmares, and times that are spent alone; the truth is that there is nothing to live for, there is only that which is worth staving death off from. When a kiss becomes an anxiety attack. Mornings when you’re reborn as two people. A few days, a few moments, that’s all we should hope to get. Other times, meet me at the park for a game of chess with the hustlers (watch them castle with only half a minute left on the clock – they are our last great optimists), a coffee cup with whiskey and classic coca cola that tastes like an aged paperback on a weary, weathered day. A joint that slides easily between a dozen hands. There will be smiles, and I’ll turn to you and say: “Don’t worry, darling, you’ll fly again one day. This world is just sunshine in a paper bag, trust me.”


I heard a tale of old Manhattan

I’ve never been there but I want to go

Standing waiting on my number

And my numbers gonna show


Rough, Rainy and Dedicated

15 Jul





Beautiful women smell different in the rain

as do


            certain species of poisonous fish

            luminous Eastern European cities at waking day

            the second wives of aloof pink-cheeked oligarchs

            CFOs of Fortune 500 companies carelessly stoned by way of a quarterly profit

            newly printed paychecks

            canvasses depicting violence

            hotel room mints in the morning, as long as the windows are open

            Marcy Projects on a busy day


            alleyways where your hope dwindles with the approach of

footsteps behind you

and a bundle in your pocket

            violet, the color, as well as

            Violet, the stripper-turned-dentist-turned-sadist

(the one that filled my fillings four years ago)

            literature written by French Modernists

            anything and everything abstract

            Oscar Wilde’s grave and sense of humor

            neighbors with a story the duration of a walk down the stairs 

            soul music that plays from the kitchen of the seafood joint we found on

127th and Malcolm X

closed after 5

            and miracles,

            them too

they smell differently as well

I’ve rarely had the pleasure to notice much

but it has occurred

and I have been grateful

and awake 


we dedicate poetry

so that the poem doesn’t feel alone

so I dedicate this one to you

and them

the beautiful women

draped in melancholy hues

a soured gold looking for ways to shine again

made divine

by mere rainstorms



a constant flirtation

11 Jul



train music (two lines only)


the anarchist girls hold on tightly to their yoga mats

they smell like brown sunshine and dirty lavender

stained dishes in the sink and college loans

they arch their feet on the subway platform waiting

they all say that I lost some weight

but I don’t think so

I just tell ‘em

that I cut my hair

and replaced my beer with bravado and sleeplessness

starving down some food stamps

and then the train comes

as it usually does

slightly behind schedule

and I get on

because I enjoy this routine as it coils through the city

and the opportunity to read

in ninety minutes I’ll be home

An old bluesman strums something sweet

on a guitar handled by many fingers

in the back of the train car

sitting next to King Lear

quietly sleeping off the next performance  

Something about his melody made me want to weep

but I thought better of it

and speaking of the theatre  

I heard that they’re putting up

a revival of Le Regard du Jourd in Paris

the curtains open silently next week

it’s worth mentioning, but I won’t be going

I’ll probably stay here

ride the train awhile

and think of you

as I tend to do like a lonely little beast

coming up with rhymes in my head

from the noises I see as brilliantly as summer colors

curved like similes and red wine

something like a liturgy for empty spaces

and the one that came today was brief and honest:

“there’s an element of you

in every soul I listen to…”



06 Jul



abstract poisons

I lay in my bed

alone at last

and thought to myself of things unpardonable:


Carbonized narcissism taken too seriously. False claims to empathy – darling, you are not an empathet because the homeless make you cry a few nickels from your purse – that is simply your ego attempting to purify itself, trying to distinguish the spoiled, capricious monstrosity that it has become as that which still feels for flesh, and knows how to change its robes.

True empathy requires sacrifice and the ability to blame yourself entirely. You need to excoriate yourself of this perspective that you’ve manufactured for yourself in the dark with the television on and strive to rebuild. This communion doesn’t suit you, just be honest.

A gilded, diamonded carapace to jump into is all you’ll find when you’ll try to refine your skin. Wear it slowly. Surely, the mountain is far. I’ll try not to look.

You wear two faces simultaneously. As a matter of fact, now that I think of it – I never really liked lilies anyway. They tend to be too expensive, and they wane far too hurriedly.


Don’t grow bored, darling

play with your toys again

then hatch your plans to take over the world

if anybody can do it, I know you can


Orange. Orange skin. Orange peeled.

So begins my new novel. Don’t worry, I’m fully aware that I haven’t finished the first one yet. But I’m trying to perfect it like Biggie’s first record – the ending has to have the protagonist die, waiting on a sequel to attempt the resurrection. Life after death.

But, it’s just like anything else: never trust the sober man in the bar. And if they threw you off your job because you had cloudy piss, ask them what they do to get through the day.

Gliding away through the summer heat, I remember how lovely the water looked outside my window when you were still here, and I had first begun to write the book as a longwinded apology for myself and this world I inherited and put you in. There didn’t seem to be an alternative.

Maybe now we’ll find one on our own.


There was someone I wanted to introduce you to

she had a wide smile, so I kissed her teeth

and then tried to trade places with her tragedy



Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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