Gravity (Part I)

08 May


Gravity (Part I)


I’ve flown


from the earth

wherein I buried myself


            When I was seventeen or eighteen I sat at long length discussing a peaceful surrender with a gifted bottle of Johnny Walker Black. It was April 5th, night in silent Bensenhurst. As always, I was planning to kick a dope habit.

            That was the night when I felt truly like a lazy jellyfish in a Cole Porter song. That was the night, lurid, when I wrote a short single stanza poem entitled “Presence”.

            It was quick, it was honest, it was a complete rip-off of a Tom Waits tune called “Green Grass” which had just recently slipped out on the bootleg of his Real Gone.

            That one little piece became the miraculous, melancholic tuberculosis that has hence turned me cold, and has since continued to eat me from the inside out adding a scratchiness to my pen stroke.

            I didn’t have much but a woman on the brain then and nothing much has changed since. But I’m there, somewhere, more now, like an elegant commiseration. And it helps. Sometimes it definitely helps.


I pour the gin into a coffee mug

like a tired mechanic too used to the sun

committing a fizzled out bit of tonic to the hassle

I know that I’m awake already


            A childish oaf of a man, created long before the noxious gas of an exhaust took Toole into the prepared pantheon of literary tragedies made into ropable myths that have since been gladly dissected by superfluous biographers ballooned with superfluous commentary like some sad helium; he kept a pristine copy of The God Delusion and three vintage Playboys from his father’s mid-seventies collection on his coffee table like that mule of a student in the class you missed because you were tired like a shelter and hungover like some nervous adoration at a stutter. He was never cruel much, but never really kind, with a bird’s nest for a brain that nurtured silences and awkward moments with the opposite sex.

            The bourbon became a burgundy hue when his blood fell in. He talked too much.

            He read I Pass Like Night and thought it would be easy. He could pass himself off like a broken toy of a lower middle class upbringing who knew what was really there between the legs of a working girl from the Lower East Side: dry, chapped skin reddening and a self-lubricating bit of rough, itching melancholia.

            But, fuck him – he wasn’t much of a writer. He pandered to get paid. To buy the drinks (which I appreciated). He deserved a bit of recognition, and that’s it, and then another flicker of smoke and some watermarks and some compassion and cotton mouth from the third spliff in a Brooklyn brownstone.

            A pound, hemp sack of imported coffee that never gets made.

            I’d visit him again if I didn’t have better things to do.


And then sometimes we’d smile

because she’ll come again tonight

with nothing waiting

and something lovely

like always


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Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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