hmmmm… what’s he scribbling over there?

20 Aug





one should stay away from small and fragile things

they break far too simply

this holds true

for cellphones

matchstick houses

the willpower of sparrows in Eastern European apocrypha

gameshow contestants who just quit their 9 – 5

and especially, capricious Jewish-American princesses from the Upper West Side of Manhattan

who all look like a seventies Mia Farrow

with flowers in their hands, stuck as a lovely intruder in a Dory Previn song,

standing taut at troubled doors

a twilit, dark-haired contrast

to the endless highways of country songs

an internal explosion seen by the manner of their lips and brows

supernova blood I noticed in them, in her

the basis of all comparison like the self-fancying original she is

a bistered soul for every eye, shining, numinous

like keys forever out of reach

each a casuistic promise of heart and hearth

embrace like the opening hanging note

sweeping, escaping stunned from the orchestra

but, you know, it’s like what John Prine wrote in ’71:

sweet songs

never last too long

on broken radios


plight (it’s getting dusty in this bitch)

05 Aug



confessions of the damned (no answers)

pt. 1


you know,

I got lost some five years ago

when you still had devotion in your eyes for me

when I could still see the terrestrial souled refulgency as eventuality

believing in it like a restless, loyal pup

I would growl and act possessive

and you could still be fooled by the sharpness of my teeth

now, over the time that’s passed

you’ve figured out that I was just a guard dog

with no bite

you could beat me all you want

and you did

and I took it

and I licked your hand

and you got bored

feeling sold on a false promise

and now I rarely really write

and still I look for you to either put me down or tether me again

pet me on the head

keep me motivated, well fed on fantastical ambition

like a good woman should

had she still had devotion in her eyes

now I roam, howling, looking for a home


like all the rest of my poetry invited into orthodoxy

but currently it’s gotten worse

and I’ve forgotten how to sleep without a drink

or without you

and now I get to fuck but barely fuck

it’s burdensome enough when it’s not you

but with the drink there’s whiskey dick to contend with too

and I can only find a vestige of intimacy in the morning

before the first addition to my coffee

which used to be for fun

then it was for sanity

then it was just merely maintenance

(like the dope habit I once had)

now it’s just to feel the rot inside

to feel some goddamn something

to feel… like I’m working on the screaming in my head

and these aren’t turgid demons, trust me

if they were – we’d get along much better

you know, I’ve befriended many in my past

no, these are just judgments

detached, pronounced

the odds are much too futile now to postulate the same credulous parlay

for all of this to work

for all of this to live

my hope, and no, it’s not for love –

it’s dwindling

it’s so much easier to fade

to lie around, to smoke alone

to keep on drinking without anymore taste left to vanquish

to miss you

and hate it whenever you ask me why I do


untitled (moon)

01 Aug


Look for a new venue announcement (for artists and for audiences) coming in the next few days…



I am the moon tonight

smoky luminescence through the street

reflecting off the hidden

you can sell me, if you like

I am your property, sole

it is your right to stray as blind as all great fiction


but walk softly, dear, because right now we are alone

(for real this time)

and needn’t make much noise

hushed, the night will taste us hallowed

and I’ll drink on your forever

because you hide eternity within

then I’ll feel selfish, as I am due, surrendered as a savage


but, here

this is the way that I can retaliate your favor

all this you’ve given me

I’ll be the moon tonight

your moon, your man

for you

guiding you back home


Update + Reading Announcement (Addendum)

22 Jul



For the first time in six months, I’ve updated the Official Material section.




Fruday (7/25) 73 8th Ave (btwn 13th and 14th streets) (NEW LOCATION: Impromptu Reading from Washington Sq. Park) 7:30PM Co-Hosted by my dear friend Zarina Zabrisky* 


Saturday (7/26) 11 W8th st. 8PM - Eva’s Restaurant (Nitty Gritty Open Mic)


Sunday (7/27) 11 E13th st. 8PM – Brianna’s Awesome Open Mic at Karaoke Cave

*Her new novel We, Monsters available through her website… 



What happens at 4am…

21 Jul





exhausted by this eternity

I whittle myself to my barest form

a tired twenty seven

about ten pounds off my fighting weight

my halo just the blurred vision of the other drunks

I’ll fart out a living eulogy

spend my last few cents on airfare to Kenya

buy myself a couple of gas can gallons of Changaa

for my last binge

instead of drinking to sleep

this is drinking to wed

a celebration of my connubiality to this fate

self-imposed, of course

this is no rage

no dying of the light

no good story to tell

a swim in the spittoon

endless shit between my fingers

forcing my hand to put a smile on the body

laying still

exhausted by this eternity


lidocaine for the soul

20 Jul





and I woke up by her side again

and it was a miracle that stuck

a manifesto waiting to burn through my stomach

my body perihelion before her

two weeks and a solo performance

warm, inviting, it soused me whole again

as such, contained, we’d walk past the libraries – where the lies are buried

past the creaky oblivion of daily routine, all of you with your self-eclipsing retinue

past the leaning mugs of hoary scholars and the weary roguishness of lively buskers

(of whom I was a patron saint)

and we would rest on the rusting grass of Washington Square Park

turning puce like my eyes at the end of an acid trip

her head on my stomach

tender, pillowed out just for her comfort

and because a late night Checkers opened on my block

five dollars for two American bacon melts

make this impoverished lush feel nearly patriotic

1,200 shitty calories and a pocketful of beer money

and now that we’re older, things aren’t but seem much simpler

the deadlines are more pressing but much easier ignored

and we lie here because we’re both good at conjuring excuses

phantom pains and real eccentricities preventing us from coming in to work

it would be much more difficult and honest

to call in and say,

            “hey man, I just want to spend some time with her

            before we both go mad again –

            we’re both prolific with the whimsy of the twitching caprice”

and dawn, as always, travels here in shifts

punches in his time-card groggily each time

and I’ve traveled the New York trains before sunlight here myself

            it’s a straining subjection to sprightly, varicolored marauders and

            not enough strong coffee and            

            too many slurred, exotic words

            and, goddammit, I haven’t taken amphetamines in at least eight years

I understand his consternation, in other words

but then I manage waking up with her

and his efforts seem worthwhile

to cover us in light

or whatever lambency the drapes allow

a few rays to bury in her hair

she thus, so still, reminds me of when I was brightness

of breakfast time some years ago, of when I used to

eat raspberries and brown sugar blurring mauve beauty in a bowl

with a spoon impatient

in a little hand

foreordained to write these parallels

so sweetly while the time still lasts



for brief interest

10 Jul



To Whom…,

of whom it may concern

when I burn

I promise not to leave any ash

on your carpeting

or on any other suchwise demarcated place

where one would not want to ash

instead I’ll be sunlight

that gets in your hair

dusting about you

wandering the air

until I find you


from inside the green altoids case

02 Jul



love song no. OR9 (melancholy and bubba kush)


these are just road trips

potholes aplenty

i can barely see through the windshield

detroit is for death and determination

man, i’m stoned

a woman behind the drapes, hiding

a blur of guilty chestnut eyes

i fucked an aspiring pop star on a stairwell

of my friend’s place in flatbush

by where the old beef patties shop used to be

and she thanked me with a lyric and an orgasm

then i got a phone call from an ex-wife

telling me she’s pregnant with the california sun

man, i’m stoned

orange juice and milk, and all sorts of unnecessary

the west coast is where you truly feel the ending

that’s what i said or should have said

it’s the feeling that you have arrived

like that hey, how you doing jerk reaction

nowhere to go from here

a few decades and we’ll meet the coast

and then it comes

another joint

someone worth asking for advise

and, man, i’m stoned

but, fuck, forgetting is what we spend our money on

a truth, this new dimension

maybe i’ll start a consulting firm, finish my novel finally

save the world, get a british bulldog, name him chopper

then this will turn into some prison shit, this lying, all this history

crammed in we are complete, completed

jealous of the highway

and, man, i’m stoned


postcards from gethenna

01 Jul



the master as moloch (postcards from gethenna)
most writers
don’t look back
as much
until they’ve reached the corner
they turn around
with hindsight
that they paint as reminiscence
in kaleidoscopic color
always a plimpton or chameleon
in one’s persnickety delusion
creating their own form of slightly fictional
running bare-assed out of the acheron of black and white
turned sepia, turned sulfur; smell
limestone, rotting teeth, decay, reconciliation with life,
bargain-begging for a breath, chalk, tutelage,
a new promise, possibility; the colors
they stream
a resurrection
you can see it
I guarantee it – you can fucking see it
look over there
it’s worth the mesmerism
a shiny golden token
sweaty palms, a Brooklyn arcade in the livid truancy of youth
more writers
look back when they reach the corner
but I’ve only gotten to the bodega
squatting in the middle of the block
but I still had to clock the carbons of shadows and light
reflected in the windows of the parked cars behind me
because I’m a thorough counter of crumbs
and paranoid to boot
and my way home has had more zigzagging
than a Russian anecdote about a swaying landloping lush
threnody or doggerel for a special occasion
reminding you that the four greatest words in our language are
‘peacefully in his sleep’
this is where I find myself
unnaturally, ungracefully looking back
as though I’ve lived a life like gold
as though I’ve truly ever known a thing


Something Coughing

18 Jun



I can’t hurt you



if you take down a painting off the wall

you must replace it with something else to see

I have black eyes, insomnia and regret that buys the bottles

(the man, crooking at the knees like a semicolon behind the bulletproof partition, says the Barton’s blended is the cheapest brown they got – $13.99 per liter)

you have black eyes, tears and too much eyeliner

(there were promises unkept, ruffled feathers and miles passed along Michigan in silence)

I commissioned you for renewal

you said, “man, that’s just some hippy shit!”

and kissed me

there was salt from the tears

but also apricots tasted

I gather, from the lips

and my own happy childhood pangs

of sentimentalizing a dacha and an apricot tree a few houses down

where my first girl

- the color of error and sunflowers

both of us six, we were married;

for a long summer at least –

she showed me how to get to the fruit of that tree

we had to climb a fence

a few skinned knees and some sweetness

a daring in two sets of eyes

a pulpy and blurred harvest buried peregrine

syrupy under the innocence that time has slung atop it

and now all I see is train tracks

endless trips, vocational commitments

loneliness and overcrowding, monthly support payments

stretch marks, a swelling gut that burns

the gnomon has begun to cast its shadow over me

and don’t get me wrong,

I’ve seduced some pleasure from this game

but only spades, the bitch is always on my back

she talks too much

jealous when I’m trying to concentrate

to write, to make you come

to stick around or just to blink

it all takes focus

a certain dematerialization

a desertion, but she keeps on talking

a susurrous coercion   

to accept

how far I’ve gone to please these walls

how much there is still left to do

the fruit there is still left to plunder

how I can’t hurt you

you are fire

you were meant to burn me whole

while I am vainly fighting back


Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings