Archive for August, 2013

From 11692 to 11423

26 Aug



Jamaica 11423


true story:

the statue asked me to brush her hair

and handed me the brush

the repetition of the word

concerned me only

during the bus ride to work

we were going Caribbean and stoic

and I knew that I was running late

the statue

carried me home around 7am

over her shoulder

across hip hop and rerouted train lines

metropolitan construction and approaching hangovers

becoming faith, becoming reconciliation

becoming brown, becoming blue

becoming overpriced cocaine at tourist prices

the repetition of the word

worrying me again

bus ride back to work

the statue

as silent and gray

as a sad punk girl that I dated

a few years ago

who I’ve heard turned pink and happy

like the inside of a sea shell

when she discovered mediocre electronica and MDMA

the statue

studies my constant and formidable reluctance

she lets me kiss her neck

just once

and she speaks

just once

adorable and admonishing

like an infant tyrant in a picture book

“baby, you’re going to be late for work”


grapes and smoke

21 Aug



Emerita rathbunae


there’s no crackerjack literature coming

and I’ve spilled beer on my typewriter

once again, and once again

the poet sighs and wonders why

you always describe me with the letter “g”

both adjectives and nouns (and verbs sometimes, as well)

gloomy, grumpy, great

gelding, gilded, groaning slightly

siren speak to me again

or have those shipwrecks lead your head astray

kept you distracted, reading lesser writers

a beached, tumescent paperback in hand

coarsened by salt air and sleeplessness

and as you turn the pages to find the avidly burlesque

sand slips off the paper like a teddy after a complimentary third date

and all of a sudden you realize

that the little fellow is holding on tightly to your leg

agog along the only deific path

smoothed over not by years

but by shitty gendered-colored razors bought cheap at local drug stores

and though you see that he weighs heavy

the product is always worth the baggage

and there’s surely plenty whimsy

to fill two hospice beds some decades long from now

along the coast of some new supralittoral European burghal

keeping their burghers tidy

politely colliding skulls together like an amiable greeting 

but, thankfully

I won’t be around then and neither will be any worthwhile words

the new ones will only dress up like pretty chirography

and wait to be kissed by handsome hands

adorned by silver and white gold

hiding tanlines and affections

and yet the little fellow

despite knowing

he holds on tight

to wait for it all to come to pass

while I feverishly lend books out spiting hope

to slow the clichéd ebbing roll

while the next lines of the next piece

that I was writing thanklessly

get washed away by beer

spilled on my typewriter

damned to have another daughter coming



A Short Eight

19 Aug





my favorite


have holes and pockets

wide enough

for your little hands

to fit in through

like pilfered sapphires

inside the covers of a gutted bible


Antiheroic (No Control)

15 Aug




Solitary Confinement and The Mystery of a Well-Crafted Sentence

(for all the prisoners)



            This story will be a bag of oranges falling to the floor.

            This story will be colored by the same cerulean waking as a last vacation morning.

            This story will be about a woman I once loved.

            But I will not be the hero. I will refuse that honor to someone else, someone that doesn’t write because he doesn’t need to. He will be average: of average build, average intellect, a slightly above-average bank account. No bad habits: while I drink enough whiskey to turn my blood flammable, he will remain sober and uninformed, no B1 supplement to keep his liver running; who needs to run when you can pace?

            Someone innocently left their wine glass on the tabletop for much too long. A crimson, oval stain remained. A secondhand (the nationalist amongst no nations barking) and wholly uninvited writer writes about it in a manner resembling a gift that kept on giving, despite having already made a hoarder out of you, the  reader; with room to breathe slowly ebbing off into the ether, he then decides to contrive an addendum to the detail, tying this mauve haloed blemish to a long dead Russian realist. He does his best to deprecate the other author, though he himself relates to the dead realist merely with the minute literary tangentiality akin to the manner in which bathroom limericks relate to Shakespeare.

            The janitorial service and I will remain here mopping all of it up. We, who were always fond of the Dark Lady sonnets, especially – but you would know that if you were familiar with my work.


            I have grown tired of all these cruel women.

            Leave them. Leave them. Leave them for the heroes of the story. They are headaches for the protagonists, not the tertiary characters like me. My royalty rate can’t afford to jewel their tiaras, all I can do, maybe, is a used copy of The Princess Bride on DVD, bought downtown at J&R before it goes out of business again.

            Or maybe instead of a presence,

            I will instead become like a literary version of hydrofluoric acid: I will have all my characters melt inside of me. That sounds immensely comforting somehow.

            Firmament to terra firma is in a single bag of heroin, as long as they don’t cut the shit out of it as it changes hands, but a cruel woman can kill you more gracefully, and much quicker, than that fall.

             My little homey once asked me why the coke always makes him shit, to which I informed him that it’s likely because cocaine is casually cut with baby laxatives nowadays. He snorted another line in the bathroom stall and nodded, “shit, dog – you must be right”.

            Lenny once told me that they (whomever these magical they are) don’t let a woman kill you in the tower of song. So, it’s a tower, huh?! I fucking hate climbing.

            An unkindness of ravens watches me from across my window. Better than owls. A parliament of owls. Much too much screeching. The ravens remain silent. Only six of them, as though they travelled like crows.

            There’s too much time in these moments, and far too many of them, they leave you grasping for ways to remain, sane and trudging along, collecting memoirs, becoming but a sketch of a human being that suffuses the narrative strip.

            The truth is, they’d tell you to go to hell, but they never want to see you again.

            Another drink and the floor is lined with fallen citrus. The smell reminds you of a film, and of how easy it is to disappear into the credits. The birds are watching.

            The azure light seems electric and reviving, but eventually you know it will become the neon glow turned off soon after the amicable barmaids announce last call. Afterwards, you might think that you’re walking out into a new morning, but really this is just a story, and I hope that by all the gods that have ever existed or have ever been conjured up by good intentions, that you don’t become the hero of it. Because, as a hero, yes, you might have a bed to share, but it is one that will soon grow cold, as soon as the last sentence is written well.



Experimental (26)

08 Aug



One more year


One more year

to change my perspective

to change my life

One more year

and then I’m done

One more year

like waiting on the potassium chloride

through appeal after appeal

One more year

scraping resin from the weed grinder

One more year

because I can’t drink like I need to

in order to function


goddamn peptic ulcers

my guts burn like a desert scream

One more year

enough resin to get into the tobacco

like a late night dress

One more year

to stay off the dope

One more year

to publish, to write, to fuck

to live

love a little, maybe

and try to stay away from blue ink


One more year



making shitty jokes about

nabokov, the literary onanist

One more year

for fewer and fewer laughs

One more year

to remind

how we suffer well together

a strange woman’s kiss to make it morning


a true experiment

One more year

and then it’s done

One more year

to wait and wager and wade through the spin

One more year

I don’t owe anyone any more than that

One more year

to let the city dream

One more year

to write, to live, to love a little

to rid the monster of myself

not the other way around

one more year, my dear


(for Gangsta Stein and everyone else writing unreadable avant-garde poetry)


An August Tuesday

06 Aug



Brooklyn night


With legs

proudly ringing of the algedonic destiny

of wind chimes

stroked by stalking zephyrs

stoked on by weightless majesty

her hair swept along the contours of a horizon

long distant and wary of the night

colored like freshly bloodied cream

after the tragicomical seppuku performed by the forlorn spoon

(following his Steve McQueen-like escape from Prufrock’s clay dungeon this past Wednesday)

the stars looked down on us

like creditors

alone and longing in the Brooklyn night   

and we became a divine reciprocation

soft-flickering and ancient lights

to warm the firmament of silent gods

a retribution along a thankless journey

crowded by

cowardice, coincidence and commonplace

and yet

alone and longing in the Brooklyn night

we found a romantic route

along which her legs sung

a melancholy, adroit euphony

to merit distance with its unique meter

from Fort Greene to Park Slope

from Brownsville to East New York

from Bay Parkway to Kings Highway

past strangers and a weeping cemetery

past coffee shops and urban strip malls

past parking lots and old mistakes

we walked

as meaningless as lovers

as smart as pennies on the floor

and we arrived

all bitter and unbroken smiles

            to commiserate the dawn


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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