Archive for October, 2015

2d (an existential cheese sandwich and a reference getting less obscure)

26 Oct




it’d be nice if I could rest
inside your head for just a while
volatility immaterial, I just need a change of quarter
it’s like the need one might find
walking down the street
and somewhere right before the dead end strip churns the promenade
and you feel still and stuck inside the humid vagaries of choicelessness
you see the dilapidated vacation cave you need
rain damaged gruff exterior to match your shave
and you buy it on the spot
bearish merchant of real estate, scratch under the chin, money quickly in escrow
you’ve got to buy it on the spot
because no one else will
because no one else will appreciate the elbowroom
space for at least three dozen book stacks
to be alphabetized on our own time
space where we both discovered as we were meant to
exactly then, when it needed to happen
that neither of us want to be me
and one of us
only want the dead writer we admired
to send us a package in the mail
a left leather shoe we left on their floor
a crawl of empty sound
moving, it never aged, the floor; the dead do though
you see them all the time, I hear
at least that’s what you told me
asleep, eyes closed, we could both peer in something new
you, my envy – me, your soonest disappointment
brilliant, so brilliant, both of us
running backwards from accomplishment

or, was that the point to make?


Reading Info

23 Oct


Oct 24 Flyer final


toss that dithyramb back into the cage

20 Oct



red crayon (autumn)


I was born right before the dawn
as though a seismic shift
through the shame
the plates collide
my condition changes
through frustration
form foments
and I see nothing
but an echo of the glow
like the acid trip I had my sophomore year of high school
a grace in color, amber turning into mauve
glistening, agowned in gaudy splendor
I find something to familiarize myself
lost in the sunflowers for a while
and in the fiction
whichever manner and dainty curlicue it took
visage familiar yet lost
and I couldn’t see the moon
the other idealistic destination
that doesn’t mean much anymore
and didn’t even then
nothing real but pretense and pride
like telling you how beautiful you are even though you already know
it’s all just made of cheese


I’ve always thought that autumn was a song, but Vitya told me, as I rode another languid bus across another bridge collapsing, that actually autumn is nothing but another beautiful cage…


half of a red crayon
rolls across the floor
in a dejected fashion
the bus lumbers on to its next waiting place
a purgatory wide enough for a sandwich and a cup of coffee
the crayon travels right along
in singular dancing solitude
until a momentary stillness
leaves it at peace in empty space


I can’t tell if I’m getting older. But when I look at my hands – I know that they’re definitely getting older. I think I have at least one more year to fully acknowledge any real adulthood.


the less you’re able to predict an individual’s behavior the more likely they are to destroy you;

the less you’re able to predict an individual’s behavior the more likely you are to fall in love


singing, singing, they all sing
and then they tell me that
as a man, if you don’t watch pornography it seems almost like you’re a walking waste of a 21st century penis
and I explain
death comes as woman
though maybe just to me
she’s not at all
that handsomely besuited dandy
from that old Twilight Zone episode
and hence an awed respect is warranted
since she is the only one who can take on the form of your freedom and penitence
and then we remember how
the five families made a toast to peace and profits
how the best-hatted Harlem gents gave out analgesic turkeys to their former neighbors
how ten years ago my block had so many shootouts that it might as have been called Kuiper’s Belt
we remember new york and the history inside this ride
and then get back on the bus
barely damaged
bravely in love with something that got lost between the stops


paranoia, somewhere between conspiracy and knowledge

09 Oct



the future is the past


the holy children make serpents out of clay
watching evil dick dying sometime in ’22
surrounded by a family that has long oscillated
between pretended admiration and fear
of both the man, what he kept inside himself, and his curriculum vitae
he whispers to his daughter
shivering from this virgin softness on his breath
dry lips nearing her moistening ear
he tells her of his approximations
of how much time he left us with
about how much money brown and root made from making john un-pretty over there on elm
and if estimated for inflation, how close that score comes to
the amount he and halli-halli made
by keeping ubl breathing a decade longer than he deserved
the daughter shakes and sees her father new again
a surrogate head though the hydra seems as though it withers
she walks away as far as history allows her
skipping out on any future mass
the children aren’t at fault for daddy’s sins
and daddy’s sins and daddy’s sins
for daddy’s sins we apologize to audrey and june
above, the holy children pick up their clay
and make yet another shape


this is what happens when i don’t drink

01 Oct



since now I’ll never be a guest on the Dick Cavett show (or will EL James’s paycheck turn me into a schizophrenic)

I want to see myself as Steve McQueen, Bullitt-cool bad ass motherfucker, but she
makes me feel like Moe Sizlack with an obsession and a ringworm
– Mike E. Bulgakov


so when the writer says, I’m generally interested in characters that are precious and precocious and get broken later on, and I’m curious about catching up with them then, he says, after the breaking, the writer means that he wants to give a thing the tools it needs to change the world around it and then take the world away and leave it there sort of dangling, plentiful and alone and with so much to give and surrounded by a vast chasm of pretermission

in other words, we write what we know and our art, with no possession of intention, continues to mimic our life


the silhouettes of the city buildings
across from me
light burrowing into the ground behind them
at a distance, above
make them look like yearning pieces of jigsaw
searching the sky for a conclusion not to come
the jagged corners almost make them look war-torn
it’s the eve
what can one do but marvel?


this is what happens when I don’t drink


Belushi, Marmont bungalow, speedballs
somehow asleep
then they say nude and lifeless
then they say where was his wife
then they bring up Roscoe Arbuckle
he also got lost in the excess
not of brilliance (which undoubtedly was there)
but of admiration
same thing happens over and over
like, if Orson tells you that he’s never felt better
don’t believe him
or when Alfalfa said “I’m going to kill you, motherfucker!”
and then was shot dead
but, baby, all I need from you right now
is to be the Hepburn that tapers off my binges


this is what happens when I don’t drink


some people
use children as weapons
claws that they can sneak through
like anabasis
into the new century
that’s what they do
that is their sin
mine is
I use people to feel less alone
do you know the woman I saw for a year in ‘14
long after you
she was fine and charismatic
funny teeth just how I like
but she was only
used for basal (sporadically carnal)
company and basic office supplies
like a mail-order bride grateful for her reality show
but who do you think I got the yellow pad from
on which I wrote this poem on
as chilly as a junkie winter
nearly five years now
but I’m only just coming inside
from the wild terror of it all
and even though that particular damsel left
I’ve still got some company to go
the homey here, who stays
he works too much
only takes off for the religious holidays
good fridays to hang out with Pilate
in Switzerland and Rome and such
they both really enjoy the swings
and trampolines
both allow them recognition
as they fly into the air
that this is as high as they’re ever going to get


this is what happens when I don’t drink


unfortunately, to this day
the one thing that separates atrocity from glory
is history
at least that’s what I’m told
and that all generals should know how to play chess
or forfeit their stripes
the queen’s gambit is a cruel play for strong position
requiring of a different sacrifice
the dedication to not losing to the defensive turn
drop off a pawn, blood across enamel, let them make the mistake
the clergy be will fine, they themselves used to teach this shit regardless
a proper match of chess, like war,
is one of attrition
simultaneously miserable and elegant, detached
but like my sons and daughters, no blood relations (though we relate of course)
everyone I’ve sold some death to are my children
all of us are haunted without fighting any sort of war
we would shoot two bundles in a day
but wouldn’t condone any Roxicodone from the college dealers
do some real drugs, rich kid, we would say
if we weren’t feeling bashful
holes along the threads as well as through the skin
always trying to be the untrodden
colorless hue of nothing new
I’m sure this will cost a pretty penny too
somewhere down the line
and our eventual damnation
no dawn coming, brother, sister, audience member
we’ve already forgotten you
and that’s a win
because true memory is pain outside of sleeping
and that’s why
I don’t dream, I writhe close-eyed
except when you come
my reason not to drink


where do the boxes of books go to when the stores go out of business
do the books themselves feel self-conscious and ashamed
maybe if they were better, people would read more
I’ll take them in, don’t worry, especially now since
it seems as though you’ve left the room before I could come in
you applied the rouge to trick the masses
pockets: three pens (all black ink), two lighters
you never want to be caught lacking
while I no longer know what to say to you
and hence I try to write it
crib the romance from the books
and pretend that most of the poems aren’t about you
the one that was always on time, but never stayed too long
while I came late and stayed forever
truth is, every poem
is a response to your silence
but you don’t fear my pen no more
while I fear I’m getting older, and still your imago,
and now that I missed the twenty-seven deadline
my new goal is to be sixty-five, one year past the Beatles record
and take for myself a wife forty years my junior
dark curl, glasses, a nice ass, a literary degree or two maybe
who will fuck many other men while I pretend not to know
and I will love her in all the impractical misery that they say a writer needs
sounds delightful, doesn’t it?


this is what happens when I don’t drink


forget that, I’m sorry, posturing again
my bad, truth is
I want to sit with you on our tangerine couch of dark-sonnet-like transgression
tattered and worn under years of this
the fluctuating weight of our bondage to the world
days when your tummy was upset and I was cooking eggs & noodles
because it comforts you like my lazy groove filled
——-the one I caved into grumbling
——-voice grown timorous in explanation
——-whining that they want me writing stumbling drunks with heavy hearts
——-while I wanted to devote my work
——-to remain for quite a few hours more inside this crevice
——-to mystics and ascetics
——-but that’s not comical or relatable enough they said
inside this couch where our friend Mickey crashed
when that methed-out asshole dumped him in ‘06
this was the couch where you and I talked children
and I told you my thoughts on the disfiguring insanity, impracticality of circumcision
and we immediately decided on a daughter
and a future and maybe a new couch then
but for now
I just want us to sit here
myself reading, you thumbing through the channels
for you, either a stoned reality marathon or a chuckle at
Chris Meloni in anything David Wain ever produced
for me, finally an excuse
to finish that copy of Infinite Jest yearly laboring my bookshelf
but, page after page, always sitting next to you


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

Copyright © 2010 - 2018 All Rights Reserved.