dust

25 Nov

————

————

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?
————

mermaid with messy penmanship

23 Nov

————–

————–

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

————–

any day

20 Nov

————–

————-

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

————-

some of that yeehaw shit

16 Nov

————–

————–

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

————-

going through the alphabet

05 Nov

——————–

——————–

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

——————–

 

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

26 Oct

————

————

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?
———–

 

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
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

————

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
abandoned
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
slowly,
——–slowly,
—————-slowly

—————–

Reading Tomorrow

25 Sep

————-

IMG_1012

————-

ticketed for parking in the twilight zone

23 Sep

———–

———–

broken lenses

 

henry bemis’s wife could go get fucked
by a rampaging aarmory of rabid aardvarks
if she’d hadn’t already expired
within the impact of that h-bomb
all the man wanted to do was read, helen
was that so hard to understand
instead you posture, snout pricked up
talking about how no husband of yours should dare rob you of conversation
but, henry, all he wanted was a little time
a good book is all
whether on the bank vault floor or inside his comfy chair at home
shakespeare, shelley, shaw
this year next year on and on
until they build society back up to keep one occupied
distracted
counting money instead of pages
but for now, henry, just pick up the first one that you see
you shouldn’t be stacking tomes like that nohow
ruins the binding, you know that
pick one up and read instead
just mind you don’t break your glasses on the pavement
(and all that’s left is for seth mcfarlane to make a witty brain cell joke of you)
so don’t be positioning your head
at any downward sloping angles
instead look straight ahead
at the letters on the paper, black on yellowed white
at this beautiful, angry world, alone
there must have been a reason after all
that the guy that wrote ya in the first place
wouldn’t let any other scribe put god inside a script

(dedicated to rob serling)

———–

Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings


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