Cigarette Burns (Part III)

03 Apr

————

————

“And for this imperfect immortality, what prices have been paid? How many livers, lungs, and veins? Shredded, polluted, shot? How many children deserted, family secrets betrayed, sordid trysts laid out for strangers to see? How many wives and husbands shoved to the side? How many ovens scorched with our hair? Gun barrels slid between our lips? Bathtubs slowly reddened by our blood and twisting rivers that drowned us? How many flawed pages burned in disgust and reduced to ashes? How many flawless moments observed from just a slight distance so that, later, we might reduce them to words? All with an unspoken prayer that these hard-won truths might outlast the brief years of our lies.”

                                                                                                  –    Kristopher Jansma

 

cigarette burn 03

 

it was written on her body

on her skin the city dreamt

a geography of delusional, cursory delight

a map where borders shed their dresses and no longer offered their consent

I ask her

– why are the ballet slippers hiding in the closet?

her branch drips off the arm of the divan

like it was a new season all of a sudden

and perhaps it was

(I don’t remember these prisons being free)

she answers

that they’re simply

waiting for Anaïs

I kissed her

and she was still cold

I said

– the book is nearly done

and I feel that it all was merely just a hash dream

standing on a train platform

only she and my phantom audience knows what I mean

marriage and a little Vera

born wet, we both wake up alone

but because, as a writer, I still read

for fear of being dubbed a hypocrite

I know all too well that

it was already

written on her body

and now I have nothing left to do

but have another glass of wine

in the midnight of lost children

 ————-

 

Cigarette Burns (Part II)

02 Apr

——————-

——————-

cigarette burn 02

 

like masturbating in front of the typewriter, sweater still on

clanging,

new woman

new woman

new woman,

into the page

I toast to literacy and pretention

like the last latch of the straitjacket

lipstick on the last cigarette

clipped

lost inside the clumsy wormhole of my innocence

a jealous mysticism in white

bronze rings with grape leaves for veins

they swam across her fingers

and I wondered how all this life hides inside like hippos in a trunk

while the poets all turn to cripples

the milky residue at the corners of weatherbeaten lips

and as I walk away

wiping up the mess

the new century awaits

—————-

Cigarette Burns (Part I)

01 Apr

————–

————-

cigarette burn 01

 

the mezuzah by the door

purifies the house or makes it lucky

she couldn’t remember anymore

when it first started

when my blood first caught the rhythm

each beat of my heart synchronized to the blinking of her eyes

chestnut with a waning light caged inside them

my life the warlike ocean roll of all she saw

eventually,

she couldn’t resist it anymore

when it first started

and married herself to my bed

a few toes capering off the sheeted mattress

full of sweat and epiphany

and a slight aerugo of amnesia

blue and green, all rusted stars

our sky, our bed

our humble victory over the world

spinning in such busy ways

made us smile and let us sleep  

————-

cigarette break

27 Mar

————–

————–

honey

 

… as much as you’re a lost cause

I am one too

yet I still can’t get over you

 

hurt me, hurry

I’m not going to stay for too much longer

inside this life as an Ibsen play

as soon as my train is here

purring

I’m on my way

an unintended rhyme

conjures horror

and shame

and the dust of an untended ghetto

a tender ballad on soft breath

slowly fading

slowly fading

slow

———–

A Triumvirate of Shows

26 Mar

—————-

—————-

3/26 Wed: The last Suvoz Salon (122 1st Avenue, btwn 7th st. & Astor)

8PM – 11PM (FREE)

—————-

3/27 Thurs: PORNOETRY Showcase (459 Myrtle Ave.)

7PM – Whenever ($10 Cover)

—————-

3/28 Fri: Street Poets NYC “Forward March” Thee Open Mic

(email RSVP@StreetPoetsNYC.com for location and password)

7PM – 2AM ($10 Cover – includes FREE Poets’ Punch)

—————

finite, you know it, and he told me…

24 Mar

————–

————–

the last kiss

 

the last kiss

becomes an egoistic memory

because it is one

that she will have no means

to remember

I,

on the other hand,

rushed to her hospital bed

out of lack of things to do

and

because I wanted to imprint myself

into her next step

be in the darkness with her

become a part of it

a continuation that I could join her in

I was already getting tired here, as it was…

the last kiss

made sense

because my company

strove for a post-modern immortality

one that  remained nostalgic for what it used to mean

briefly

yet this existed beyond the realm of the hypothetic

and hyperbolic

and I just wanted to taste her lips again

always a guilty man

on the run from her conclusion

leaving my soul broken like a doorbell

a lute that will never sing again

I want a home, her home

I want her home again

but fantasies kiss only children well

and now there’s no more bliss to seek

only ego left and a woman dying

and

I just wanted to be the one to taste her lips last

as definitively and delicately as a new crown placed on a virgin head

make myself a part of her escape

play a role inside her ghost

feed her chocolates and raisins inside that heavy mist

hide there with her

with just a couple of pens

a few carbons of my work

a pack of Camels inside her baby blanket

because like her

I was tired of this

and now I rushed

to taste her lips this final time

like a musical note stretching

drowning inside an eternal silence

the last kiss

the only one to matter

—————-

sherm scream

23 Mar

———

——–

angry pony

 

while the cuckold is sleeping on the couch

his woman is fucking her new daddy with her painted mouth

I’m hanging up next door

in my own four walls

ready to make my day a drought

a bit of whiskey figuring out

how to find a kingdom in a Brooklyn half-way house

a friend of mine’s been trying to find a place

but when you lack a pleasant face

and your former landlord ran you out with a can of mace

to erase your space

completely,

like last week’s freedom

like a paycheck forged bouncing along a dope shake

like a grapefruit gutted by a metal spoon

well then,

what the fuck can you do, my little angry pony?!

————–

Killing the Day

09 Mar

—————

 

—————

—————

pink-slip

 

tonight,

I resign all my former muses

they were conceived in haste

they were mistakes that I believed in far too greatly

I’ve become distracted by them

like by little girls who recite Pasternak

unprompted

like little faith

I rescind their obligations

and hope they leave with no remorse

no empty feeling

no regrets

I’ve tried to fill them out

as best I could

with myriad harmonies and every different sun

I could conjure

just so I could see a different light

playing off their sleeping cheeks like aubades

in my bed

in my head

I need to quit this deleterious drinking

and make this hood ideopolis my motif

instead of how beautiful they looked

and how falsely uncapturable it all seemed

at the time

never lasting longer

than a pretty-fingered vocation from a temp agency

————–

 

the issue of memory

03 Mar

————-

————-

the man without qualities (robert musil lifting weights)

 

there was a small, leftover

piece of chalk

on the concrete

from budding fingers that drew

and abandoned

 

there was a softness

a summer six months and six years

ago, that rustled and wrestled itself playfully

to a flocculent bed

clouded

with a manuscript full of medicine

the pages loose as

soldiers strayed in a madness

oceans by each window

water and so much sand

that I lose time counting it all

and remembering

 

there was a lot, there

never again

coming back

more and less each time

always leaving

————–

 

There (Part II of Poetry Written During Long Journeys and Bad Transportation)

25 Feb

————

————

location, location

 

she no longer meets me at the door

because she knows that I’m going to come inside

this is the place where dreaming stirs

and we resurrect the same tired society

again and again and then once more

for good measure and a lower tax rate

the same society

that killed a mid-eighties storytelling Seattle frog

who bled out somewhere in a small Washington town

a few miles south of the big city

from self-inflicted wounds to the neck

this place

for which she swears a welcome

that smells of bleach and daytrips too:

hallucinogenics by way of Reaganomics

trickling down

to stupefy the poor

yet simultaneously inspire them as well

like some century-long broadcast of a fireworks display

this is the place

where your secretary flirts and gets paid less for it

where the birches slow under the sky in preparation for a revolution

where the witless and the windless die arrogant and alone

disassembled, gaunt, with slightly yellowed teeth

this is the place

that hides my shame and my ambition

this is the place

where I wait at a lost bus stop

while pushing a blue broom handle

lost in peeling snow

both of us

last, and lost again in sempiternity, swaying aimlessly

along concrete

this is the place

that spits and nurtures no one new

at least no one without any cash on hand

or a well-balanced checkbook

this is a place where I fell in love

with her and with reality

somehow damned to know and thirst for both

but that’s my character, as you well know

Moran, Molloy, not him, not me

we are a different shade of one another

he lacks dimension, breadth and sympathy

but I lack his self-assurance

we were both here before, him and I

this is the place where we had met

he left me by myself to write the story

I haven’t finished yet because it was too hard

one day I will

I have time here

in this place

this strung out, struggling

sleepless place

where she no longer meets me at the door

———

Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings


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