Archive for October, 2013

(temporary) UPDATE

31 Oct


Been dealing with some hardware issues. New work coming in the next two days:

– Guest writer, Andrey Bystrov, will provide us with his “Thoughts on the Passing of Lou Reed”


– a new piece of verse from yours truly, “The Rant of the Curmudgeon on the Roof” (title to be revised)



24 Oct



8 x 8 (Resurrection Blues/ Brandy & Water)


My life is a well-regulated insomnia:

a daydream always on the verge of breaking

as sunny and tragic as an egg.

Some time ago,

I found a vein

and tried to, finally, get some rest –

but this was troubled sleep

a fox wandering lost inside a henhouse

and it lasted longer than eight years

longer than a marriage

longer than an actor’s life or a martyr’s twilight

it stretched

and I with it

concealed in masochistic privacy.

Now, it’s been a few,

I’ve been awake and slightly boring

anchorless, born of crumbling stone

I learn to stand and walk again.


They tell me not to use the white lighter – because of the other twenty-seven year olds that wound up with one. A bet has been wagered on the remainder of my year. The interest pushed the pot to nearly $500. I’m still trying to find a way, a loophole maybe, to make them all lose. In a situation such as this, no winner is required.


Elliott disappeared with two to the chest and a post-it note. Jimi and Janis didn’t get to finish their pack of cigarettes. I sit on my porch and think of the aurora drowning inside the city like an easy love unable to handle her drinks, who needs your arm to guide her home, a lantern of amethyst light slowly blinded. A grade-school loyalty turned parochial in burnt apricot and newborn pink. We wash ourselves in hope approaching midnight. I smoke. The neighborhood turns its lights and televisions on. I think of an old lover, then of a new lover, what separates them, all the time in between, sad Spanish love songs, mornings full of bad breath and a hardwon breakfast, a book borrowed becomes a pulled tooth from a smiling bookshelf, I’m pleased and even a little proud, a few strands of brunette locks remain to keep a watch on my bedroom conquered. Now a nomad in my home.


I show her some old Woody Allen movies. I share my wine. I share my bed because I’m, as always, a good host. She hasn’t seen me writing yet. She doesn’t know yet how I create.


my little book

full of wishes and mistakes

was written

one week ago too late

a bloody moon

like moss is rising slow

mapping out my road

to caliginous quietus and Mexico…


The devil spoke to my father once, sharing the inside of a backseat of a St. Petersburg taxi cab. A slow night, the driver had to double up on fares. The devil asked him for a light and the fastest route to Park Pobeda, where the arcs are, and the cheap mechanized go-carts, and the girls in short pleated skirts that look faintly metallic sitting at picnic tabled wrapped around some youthful fascination and a bottle of beer, imported German. He said that he loved late Summer, the syrup of the air, the smell of time’s renewing pyre; an empire of sun and soak and sex, and just a bated trace of loneliness.


The assurance of greed is different from the assurance of lust; I’m left, still on the porch, nearly naked for the morning, for the breeze to wake me up, run through my skin like new tattoos, just a little drunk, still thirsty, horny and broke.


A fresh pain when I think them, of who I used to be, new veins. A tired resurrection. A twin set of systems, romantic and heavy-handed, spinning in mournful, melancholic music, made despite desperation and a missing D string, caught in a lulling gravity.

I now know. I assure you, I do, sitting on my porch; smoking, feeling something again, drifting, I know. This is how the light gets in.

A perfume you loved because she wore it every time she took your life. She wore it well and now you’re here. Enjoy it now while it’s still here. She’ll put lipstick on before she leaves.


(for the new siege in the room)


Tattered Binding (A Criticism)

23 Oct



the: a self-critique



confessional tone

of my work

lends itself to the metaphor

of a dentist drilling his own teeth –

or else, a wild elephant performing circus tricks for mice and other miserable men –

a criticism

that would not sound out of place

if it were levied by

someone like

John Cheever or Edmund Wilson –

though both are dead,

each has plenty biographers

that turn an editor’s advance

into a mysterious and romanticized posterity;

I keep my pen under my sleeve,

keep drilling my own teeth –

a harmless sadist in my own right

with a chattel for a soul –

constantly lacking the appropriate anesthetic.


Stravinski’s Headstand

09 Oct


Happy Birthday, John!




you’re a good writer –

don’t waste your imagination all on me – she said

– instead,

imagine beauty in a softy-sung song

born in a softly-lit room

where your guests and future audience will gather;


the night and how it takes

five million paltry seconds

for it to turn the same chestnut-scarlet hue

as the eyes you choose to love

the same length of time, just doubled

expired now

a wisp of elegiac smoke;


bodies humming, small explosions

stomachs like accordions

one sings in Arabic

one sings in Spanish

(I think it sounded like “llanto de luna”)

across from one another in Goose Pond Park

the Jamaican man on the bench beside us screams

“oi, you two, shut the fuck up, this ain’t a show…”

we giggle because the weed is strong

the situation inimitable;


stop and then again


and then it’s just a blade of grass

in the country

where it’s always summer ending thick

a syrup coating the lips

I kiss you again, but it fades

because it hasn’t existed in at least

a year or so

or the last time I bought a used

hardcover copy of Immortality

and found an inscription that read

(apropos to nothing and something ardently specific)

“I’d fuck you in wine

as long as you showed up to my door

in that same outfit

with this book in your hands

talking about titles rewritten

and lives relived as new as could be

forgotten into –

a warm bath”;

imagine it in the key of C minor

and listen to it for a while,

but then decide against it

and simply walk away –

but don’t forget,

you’re a great writer –

don’t waste your imagination

all on me


never let old lovers kiss you on the cheek

or end their letters with warm wishes

a waking from a dream



Monina (Rhyming)

08 Oct



a rhyme in the third line


inquisitive face

like a bookshelf in space

and a curious laugh, all constant illumination

gliding along

arm in arm

drunk, nearly there

my fingers are clutching her hair

slipping down to the neckline

she remarks that she’s wet

yet I felt no regret

since she wasn’t a frivolous bet

or a handshake, we met

at some friend of a friend’s

out in Ozone Park

where the night spreads like wildflowers

and other endearing remarks

a nestled anxiety

an aguey smirk (the fever 104 to the former 103)

my fingers creep along like a collector

along legs bordered by skirt

they pass like an outlaw

they steal like a thief

they search for an audience

and some abyssal relief

afterwards, I told her to go read that thirties’ Esquire piece

where the wit and the tragedy mixed with penultimate grief

the prose mangled and bloody like some conservative myth

I remind her of it while I’m rolling a spliff

we kiss as we part

and it’s a new twinkle I’ll miss

a new way, a new manner of longing

has come to exist

it becomes a canto at midnight

a light that’s transferred

a new beautiful breath in a hurrying world


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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