Archive for April, 2014

not a gesture, just an honest memory of someone’s past [I don’t remember]

21 Apr



untenable out of a book jacket


five foot two

four hasty tattoos

my tiny little heartbreaker

her pills and acid reflux cut out the wine from the diet

so we have to remain undrunk

and I still have to shake perceptibly

when she talks of hypothetic unions

potential precocious children

bedtime stories, doomed eternal love

literature and second chances

and it’s all light and airy and a load of shit

because we do this once a year

too long now

and we have both noticeably aged

but I always come back

and I will always come back

because I’m stupid and in love


like these damned do

for a kiss

and something warm to feel again



19 Apr





surrounded by love

like a bad smell

it’s been magic

and history

an empty conference room

where hands had been shook


I can barely refuse to take her dress off

the zipper along the curving gradient of her spine

and she reminds me that no island should remain unnamed

and that Gabriel García Márquez died today

both of us sweat through our clothes during a nervous night

tossing and turning through the city fog and the flush of something heavenly departing

me, because I’ve been drinking too much this week

her, simply because she likes to read


because despite her self-heralded external obstinacy

she still caught some of that thaumaturgy in her eye

it never left

because it can’t

because within it

we’ll live wistfully through millennia

and villages where goat milk is the way to barter

and love doesn’t hide on plates

or in wallets, lofts or zip-lock bags of the Cali Bubba Kush

bought in a pissy alley in Jackson Heights

it is a holy ether

clogging up the lungs

of the thing

– the mechanism –

that makes it move


breathe deeply, little darling

I see it moving


[for GGM]



another part of the madness

16 Apr





Jack the Ripper had a buggy

called a double-seated hack back in the day

only one got away

but most folks

don’t realize that loneliness is crippling



the ring is there

and I need to get some printer ink

in order to have the pages come out

like a killer

like a killer



and the drinking gets in the way

it’s first

or maybe somewhere around ‘42

and this consciousness is streamed

through blue ink

through black ink

through tattoos and mixtapes

a woman I no longer see

who therefore no longer exists

and there’s a filter

the rest is filler

and I’ll be the killer that you want

but most folks

will still not realize

that loneliness is crippling

it is ellipsis and a kiss

a scar turned orange over time

then white

then keys jangling by the door

a Hollywood bar that pours mean gin

and it gets wet, the timeline

we turn to face each other

infirm and starving

but with a thirst quenched


lightning bugs, empty, and it’s night

again, bioluminescence

spreading the last remaining light

through every hamstrung 3 am

levying the world to mesmerism


like a killer in a matchbox

looking for the few gray hairs on her head

beautiful; alone


hangover, or maybe love, who can tell at 3pm…

11 Apr






as empty

as a bible on another star

I wake

with a two day beard

and a beer I had forgotten to cap last night

gone warm

it’s a new day

and I’ve been sleeping with Dorothy Parker through the last few weeks

it might’a been two

and this broom

swept through the hall



as useless

as a room where you can’t smoke

I wake

with a two day bill

I have to leave this bed by noon

they’ll clean it up

spray some perfume

and I’ve been sleeping with Greta Garbo through the last few weeks

it might’a been three

and this broom

swept through the hall



as dead

as the sunglasses on her shelf

I wake

to blood and bread

a breakfast unchampioned, routine

I feel like there’s been nothing here before

she says, we’ll vacation in Tripoli

visit the markets and the Roman arches

and we’ll sleep like the moon

through the day

just a few

just us two

and this broom

will no longer abide


08 Apr



failed metamorphosis (from paper-weight to paper-weight)


“We’re lost, but we’re making good time!”

– Yogi Berra


to be quite honest,

a majority of my writing

is much the same –

it hits along the same tropes,

chronicling the same lies and exits,

the same conversational gambits,

the same pruriency and prescience,

the recollections sorrowfully unforgotten

matted melodies along the same detours

I’ve ridden through before

over and over again in the same bad-beat melancholy

always at the same pace

the mileometer on the dash says we’ve passed either a century

or a couple of happy hounds, a hundred miles each

they whine and spit bloody when the wind coils and clings

around the soul and starts to sing –

them too, the songs –

I’ve repeated them before as well,

a bar tab and a bottle will inevitably sync into the scene  

a cigarette or something else that burns

some sweet betrayal bewitching, the best there ever was

it was just a fit of good luck

maybe a fix

(my daddy used to be a bookie and was highly proficient at these things)

green eyes

a Catholic inside a jukebox

she took me to the cab

she took me in the cab

and I tipped the driver well

he had endured

and drove silently pretending

to follow the cricket match broadcast on the radio

I couldn’t take her panties off all the way,

but that’s another story for another time –

my point is, my dear shiny empty people –

it all repeats, and will again

and I with it

some New York skin

just getting old and tired and new and old again

there was an accident along the drive

two people died, the third labeled critical

I don’t know where they were buried

or what happened to the faulty miracle

or what they were talking about

            listening to right before…

my hands were calm


they moved her torso over me

circular motion, revolutions

I came before we made is past Morningside

I felt condemned to all this permanence

but we were home

her home, but still

we had arrived

I tipped the driver through his opened window

well over twenty percent, I do believe

lies and exits, yeah, it’s true

again, again, it seems

green eyes

blue eyes

gray eyes

what were they when they were forever

or singular

or final

I want to get there


but it seems doubtful that I will

ignorance ain’t bliss

it is a willful murder

my old, cold kingdom for a fucking toothpick

and a way to do it

            to write it virginal, exposed

yet I repeat again

there’s no escape

it is the same

all same

green eyes and curly hair

ruffled by a long cab ride back to the river


Cigarette Burns (Part III)

03 Apr



“And for this imperfect immortality, what prices have been paid? How many livers, lungs, and veins? Shredded, polluted, shot? How many children deserted, family secrets betrayed, sordid trysts laid out for strangers to see? How many wives and husbands shoved to the side? How many ovens scorched with our hair? Gun barrels slid between our lips? Bathtubs slowly reddened by our blood and twisting rivers that drowned us? How many flawed pages burned in disgust and reduced to ashes? How many flawless moments observed from just a slight distance so that, later, we might reduce them to words? All with an unspoken prayer that these hard-won truths might outlast the brief years of our lies.”

                                                                                                  –    Kristopher Jansma


cigarette burn 03


it was written on her body

on her skin the city dreamt

a geography of delusional, cursory delight

a map where borders shed their dresses and no longer offered their consent

I ask her

– why are the ballet slippers hiding in the closet?

her branch drips off the arm of the divan

like it was a new season all of a sudden

and perhaps it was

(I don’t remember these prisons being free)

she answers

that they’re simply

waiting for Anaïs

I kissed her

and she was still cold

I said

– the book is nearly done

and I feel that it all was merely just a hash dream

standing on a train platform

only she and my phantom audience knows what I mean

marriage and a little Vera

born wet, we both wake up alone

but because, as a writer, I still read

for fear of being dubbed a hypocrite

I know all too well that

it was already

written on her body

and now I have nothing left to do

but have another glass of wine

in the midnight of lost children



Cigarette Burns (Part II)

02 Apr



cigarette burn 02


like masturbating in front of the typewriter, sweater still on


new woman

new woman

new woman,

into the page

I toast to literacy and pretention

like the last latch of the straitjacket

lipstick on the last cigarette


lost inside the clumsy wormhole of my innocence

a jealous mysticism in white

bronze rings with grape leaves for veins

they swam across her fingers

and I wondered how all this life hides inside like hippos in a trunk

while the poets all turn to cripples

the milky residue at the corners of weatherbeaten lips

and as I walk away

wiping up the mess

the new century awaits


Cigarette Burns (Part I)

01 Apr



cigarette burn 01


the mezuzah by the door

purifies the house or makes it lucky

she couldn’t remember anymore

when it first started

when my blood first caught the rhythm

each beat of my heart synchronized to the blinking of her eyes

chestnut with a waning light caged inside them

my life the warlike ocean roll of all she saw


she couldn’t resist it anymore

when it first started

and married herself to my bed

a few toes capering off the sheeted mattress

full of sweat and epiphany

and a slight aerugo of amnesia

blue and green, all rusted stars

our sky, our bed

our humble victory over the world

spinning in such busy ways

made us smile and let us sleep  


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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