I’m Back

31 Dec

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After a brief hiatus, I’m back with three new pieces for the New Year.

All of them will be published to the site at 00:12am on the following days:

in the trees1/1

asleep in the sepulcher1/5

fifteen line jesus1/10

Also the poem, the joe torre years,will be published to the literary blog Babbling of the Irrational on 3/14.

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vigilance, i guess, one eye closes

12 Dec

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divinities

even in their silences she had to nurture them
it was the way he thought a mother ought to be
the milk warmed for the babies
the sweet delay in life becoming alabaster hiss
she shushes, soft
the voice mellifluent, crafted in succor
the children dream
the mother lays awake
and even in these silences she has to nurture them
because she knows
that monsters truly do exist
and they surround you all the time

(twelve lines for TM)

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lifted, not far off the ground

01 Dec

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purple drapery
 
as much as i want to be surrounded by nothing but your underwear
like the rob gordon line
evening blouses, lacey garments, indie fashionista smocks, demonstration commemoration tops
anything and everything disrobed
keeping the apartment messy to stay in bed as long as possible like a lazy bohemian motif
as titillating as all of this might be
colors molted new by each attaching memory
new skin to smell and to remember
new ways to feel your nudity
based on what you’ve left behind along our floor
as proud as i would be to hold such honor
to play footsoldier guarding your place of pardons and reprieve
where you sleep as though the world did not require your full attention
i would drift inside this duty granted
favoring the responsibility to guide any errant follicle of hair
fastidiously grazing over the pathway to your gaze
away from where your dreams may be prevented their foolhardy rushing in
as much as all of this is my ambition, truthfully
i fear i don’t have strength more today than to get stoned
step out onto my balcony
or maybe even to my building’s steps
(no further though, oblomov kush keeping the man grounded to the courtyard)
to whimper just a bit
you were the winter baby to my fever
and it’s too cold outside for me…
… for me to be melting quite this much
i don’t have strength enough right now to get all back together
and they don’t like giving credit out to humpty dumptys anymore
no matter how sweet they deign to sound
like trumpets undistinguished from other metal squalls of night
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dust

25 Nov

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pick up
 
if we were to meet today as strangers
and I tried to pick you up with a line conjured on the spot,
“if life is but a lonely dream for those like us
we might as well just go to bed together”,
do you think you would come home with me?
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mermaid with messy penmanship

23 Nov

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mermaid with messy penmanship

 

in your last letter
you told me how you undressed for other men
now that I’m here
standing in your doorway
i want you to undress for me
touch yourself
so i can see
what it is that turns you on
drink it in
like solomon
wine dripping off your thighs
past the branding ink
i’ll drink it up, all of it, baby
just like a dirty old testament scholar
waiting on his life to finally begin

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any day

20 Nov

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ode to the lost, lost

 

there’s a place on a man’s back
a thin strip between the shoulder blades
where if the knife goes in
the arms have no longer a way to reach it
pull it out
the muscles and nerves contract
tense then sting, tense then sting, with each attempt
to ease the pain
save oneself from the heart flooding through its own backdoor
at least that’s the way I was explained it
by my people out in Oakland
when I asked ‘em whatever came of J

 

I ain’t seen him in four years
inquired about him since he left to check DC
like some junkie Mr. Smith in some morbid parody
apparently the scene didn’t work out the way he hoped
and he made a couple bus connections to the West
traded up powder for the tar
and six months ago, apparently, homey tried a grab
heard he made it out the crib with three grand and half a key
tried to barter some off for some action, then some affection
took the blonde and she took him
put the name out to the street
while I couldn’t even remember whether J was James or Jeremiah anymore

 

they say his mama buried him herself
while I assume she used a service
after all, only rumor you can trust
has to be verified in blood
when I found out, six months too late
I asked about the funeral
they told me an odd number of bereaved is thought to be bad luck
maybe that’s why the coffin cracked as it was lowered
but I don’t think so
no bad luck befalls the dead
it’s a ticket that pays out true each time
each time
again
until the next time I make a phone call
inquiring about a ghost, the past
all those things that become meaningless
within a single moment
resting

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some of that yeehaw shit

16 Nov

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coaching the cowboy

 

there was a last day sometime
not long from now
it passed already
like ink that made the word
it was that day
when the writer sat
and attempted to write the piece
that he fumbled over like a bluffing hand
inside a mind self-impugned as amateurish
he put new ashes in the urn
because his cigarette grew short
and because he knew there was no practical reason to respect the dead
and he began his thought
– why do we all assume
that the good guys need to win?
like the hortatory season when one would keep his holster by the saddle
underneath country of blood and open sky
this is a world for villains and charlatans to claim
all else is delusive affectation
someone to tell you “no dice, kid, not this time” behind a glass partitioning
it’s become too big
new ashes in an old urn
a serum always out of reach because of who put it there
so, is it this quodlibetal struggle that captivates
allures us, the sort of heroes?
that was the thought, at least
and as the writer began his final piece
on this last day
the one that passed by some time ago
like ink that made the word
with the anticipation of one
who had waited far too long
nothing grew along the page
the emptiness maturing into settling accommodation
this was the sky across montana
this was reminder
of what was and has always been
this was no more
and nothing more to come

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going through the alphabet

05 Nov

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e on avenue b

 

she wrapped the guilt around her
even though it wasn’t hers
even though it was given to her
she accepted it
acquiesced it as one might a thoughtless gift one gets stuck paying for
she wrapped it around as though it was a grandmother’s quilt
as though it warmed her like folklore
as though her skirt was lifted by the wind
she covered herself
and aged
and years indeed seemed to pass
and she maintained her look
the one that made the people say she knew
the one that made them know that she survived
the difficulties therein incurred
a keeping out of the cold

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

26 Oct

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2d

 
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?
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Reading Info

23 Oct

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Oct 24 Flyer final

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toss that dithyramb back into the cage

20 Oct

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red crayon (autumn)

 

I was born right before the dawn
smoking,
as though a seismic shift
shuffling
through the shame
stubbornly
the plates collide
my condition changes
fluctuates
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

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paranoia, somewhere between conspiracy and knowledge

09 Oct

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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

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Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings


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