Posts Tagged ‘confession’

Regarding the Current Need for Poetry

24 Jun



The Sessions Family Looking to Buy Summer Home in Gilead. Shocked When Told it is a Fictional Place.


Maybe I’m Done Writing For a While

Do I have any poetry left
that’s a decent question.
At this point, what does it matter
that is also one
——–==that it
—————==makes sense
——————————==to ask.
Honestly, I don’t know.
Tinfoil blankets on traumatized babies
aggressive mediocrity in everything
cupidity, stupidity, the bigot’s misery
all of this shit just clogs the throat
of thinking, of promise, of response
like soot, like the charity of inconsequentiality
until we’re chocking
and yet we ask about the poetry…
The folks that I’ve wanted to meet
are all dead now (all I have left really are Errol Lewis and Tom Waits)
The woman that I loved turned out to be
cruel and culpable
The people that I loved elected the
dumbest despot they could find
Poetry, you ask?
Here’s some. Pour me a drink.  



18 Dec



wedding invitation


Just as Houdini busted Keaton
I want to name you Love
because how long your neck winds into your hair
marengo, war on wet asphalt smolders to gunmetal; below, each
iris shelters smoke like a blissed out execution
like those lungs of collapsed literary work
do now
but, miss, what inspiration
have you given me of late –
I am a beggar for such light touches,
any, really, would do the trick –
but aside from any causal belletristic sentence
spilled across my lap like a late last call
I have hated breakfast for three years now
because I haven’t slept and woken next to you since then
no matter how many nihilists and martyrs that I’ve played
in the intervening time
and I haven’t made eggs and pasta for anyone else since
the paprika and the parsley really made the dish, it was a good one  
obscured like the singing of the books stacked by your bed
milk thistle, milk thistle – lead the way across the divided west
this dish no longer exists inside my kitchen nest
but after a protest and an election day
it was all a paranoid dream like hey, hey, hey,
SDS or SLA – tell me kid, what revolution do you want to start today
and it was weeks after
that all the newsmen seemed to ask for mercy
and gave their own begrudging curtsy
to the atomic tangerine-hued vulgarian with the political ambition of a hand grenade
and, again, after drinking for a week I made it home too late
to catch the show because that particular night I had thought that I had seen it played before
and right then
just like how Kennedy won Ochs his first guitar
I had won myself an actress
that looked like she could be cast as either a ballerina or a chipmunk
depending on the look that they had wanted when they dressed her
and I had read into her well
and saw in her all the blood of manifest destiny, terrified, and was mesmerized by
that false greatness
like all great bloodthirsty narcissists, in fairness, do
and I walked away into dripping speculation
that told me I was right over and over, right and right again
and made me hate the piss inside the jug
and the new history that will have to be written over night  
but then again
now Adlai Stevenson has schools named
after him in states he didn’t win  
as a two-year presidential nominee
and Kafka has been resurrected to build a cabinet
and I am tied to my time
forever now
like a wedding invitation
sent out before an ending world


vacation plans

29 Nov





who’s to say
– it isn’t art
to bury that plastic cup
underneath the earth
a shallow grave
a representation of humanity’s effect
or some such shit, nothing sui generis, to be sure or to be late
but I have not seen spirit in artistic expression in so long
outside of music
some celluloid
a few brief words
a naked statue
and so much smoke
that’s why i wonder why i expect so much and yet
i’ve wasted at least ten years on a garbage person
that i’ve transformed into vision
in just that manner
because i thought it was
as though i was forming life, something to outlive the urn
or else something new entirely
as though that’s ever happened
yet i’m frustrated now and still want to believe again
like children’s saints and shiny things no longer underfoot
but a miserable and profitable marriage
in different ways seems a resolution for us both
like her eventually becoming a politician
despite my vote
to start a war or two
or else put some time in as a tyronic despot building ruble
blaming daddy for a lack of building blocks
back before the ocean took then dried
trust me, her armies will close in fast
most won’t be prepared
that why i’m looking just for time
for the finding of some quiet
yeah, time for that
and a new ghost to create ancient backstory for
to follow softly
as mirror becomes doorway
and we see nothing but who we truly are

these are… what d’you call ’em…

06 Feb


I can’t tell
whether this room is dying or being born again
I’m in here, nearly alone, reading Samuel Beckett
thinking elegant thoughts about stones and hubris
that march like elephants routed roughly across each temple
burning, rubbled
I am driven mad by the wrong smells
you wearing a clean body
specklessly washed
unable to find a fresh towel to wrap around those hips
and yet and yet and yet
I hear a fire inside each nostril
and am left to wonder why
maybe a cool swim inside you will clear this up
a revolution all its own
not a curtain-raiser, nor a bit of literature
simply a clarion whimper, aseptic warfare following
and an ascetic’s revolving anxiety bouncing between us
we scream for love and for renewal
and we’ll kill all those that have hidden the bones of those that came before
screamed like us before
we are the regeneration of the past vying for a future
you are clean, the elephants keep marching
and I must be roused again to fill this room
because, like us, it is going through transitions

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
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


a little love in it…

16 Aug





Donald Trumbo used to write in the bath
full texts, screenplays, addendum notes, letters
oh, nobody writes letters anymore
I wish we did though
I wish a lot of things
I conjure lines, battle bars, fleeting ideas, in the shower
I forget them before I dry off
in fact, forget them immediately following
thoughts of you, and my hand creeps southward
I miss you
and I miss letters
and true rebellion
principles over prices
poets have become paupers
the playwrights have pawned off their typewriters and passions
to a quickly self-forgetting history
I miss you
and I think that I’ll write you a letter soon
composed in wet rhapsody
on a water-damaged moveable table of thin oak
attached to the sides of my bathtub


For the Russophiles… COTD 02

12 Jul



resin hit for kot matroskin (c.o.t.d. 02)


Why do I see soldiers marching with their heads tilted to the right on TV tonight
shouldn’t you be facing ahead if you’re holding an automatic weapon
perhaps be slightly concerned with poking someone in the back with your barrel
seems terribly uncouth
but it should be as of no surprise
people hardly make sense anymore
and I’m drowning in their stygian inanity
My former nation, the one of dancing bears
struggles with a populace that loves to suffer
especially with empty, silentious words
hovering in the atmosphere around their lips
(the bottom ones always swelling from the samagon
until they resemble saucers, like my homey Fedya
once described his cold Samsonov)
“it can always be worse” as it quite honestly has been in the past
and they use their history of being mutts
as excuse to despotize over any other Slavs within throwing distance
My new nation, the one of idealism and comic books
struggles with a populace that refuses suffering
and instead decides ignobly to ignore
that their oligarchs dressed as legislators
have decided around twenty-five years ago or so
that the profit-over-people stratagem
is the right one for a republic ambiguously screeching freedom
they’ve been waiting to give up on us a while
trust me, I’ve been around
none of it, nobody makes sense
So I sit here, jotting
thoughts, fragmentary but densely thrown unto the white
and pack my bowl for a resin hit
because I ran out of weed
and I’m trying not to drink as much
but still I can’t manage to lilt in full sobriety
things tend to spuriously reintroduce themselves as serious
and exceedingly more somber than they are
they keep me concerned more than they should
because in all, it doesn’t really matter
the ending was written long ago
(as was that cliché)
but for me to keep from raging against it all
I get high
put on a record by this Jersey City underground MC named Viro
who died a couple of months after they thought the world would end in 2012
and I’ll be fine, though slightly dumb
imagining beautiful, compassionate and of course naked women
who touch themselves after reading sonnets
then cry themselves to sleep
and eventually I’ll finish the book I always claim to be working on
and it’ll be good and briefly well-regarded
and in forty years, a young man resembling me
both in perspective and whiskey breath
will buy a copy of it for a dollar seventy-five
from a street vendor of secondhand paperbacks
plying his mothy wares in front of some privately funded university
run by a spectacled, stocky grumbler resembling a tweed-skinned Escobar
that everyone secretly resents
and this kid will read my book
and maybe he’ll be inspired
and he’ll begin with a few confessing verses of his own
and eventually the craft will become his own cherry-picked damnation
while the air grows thin
and people continue getting stranger
and less and less worthwhile
and more and more pointlessly provocative
and the kid will remain jotting, so very alone
like I once was
but I’ll be in my kitchen by this time
hoary as Silenus
eating my final sandwich
making sure to remember how good it tasted
when I flipped it upside down



25 May



just lying about breakfast


I like scrabble

I like sex

I like scotch (although when I can’t afford it I go Kentucky)

the latter discussed benefits from being a necessity

I drink

because I want to believe in something fated

that money is illusory

an irrational concept only worthwhile as a brief intermediary of heat

yet cardboard still works better in an empty drum

the timber my bouncy Brooklyn gentrifiers gather works better yet


I’m drinking bourbon now, it’s true

not written as some delusory device

this isn’t ‘hard man’-tragipoeticism

just ponderance on paper, the attempted penetrance of a literary amoeba

I’m drinking bourbon

watching some Philip Seymour Hoffman pictures I’ve had on an illegal streaming queue

that I’ve been meaning to catch up on

since he died

and I’m thinking

that I need this drink

to keep believing

something fateful blah blah blah

art will save the world

the banks will crumble

like the ancient temple

and I’ll break the glass for it

and just because

and I’ll stare into her eyes

and she’ll know that she’s with a man

that treated his work like a landscape

a supposed hill in Calvary

fiction, fiction, it exists, and let it save the world

the only sin is empty hands

and I drink

and watch this movie

the acting is superb

and I pretend that I’m not just a damaged alcoholic

with some depressive leanings

and various psychological derangements, pretty in asymmetry

who is a tad too prideful

and far too averse of giving up his stubbornness

we play in the realm of immortality

strive to; checkers, backgammon, childish things

they bought the boards though and that’s the problem

but I drink and I pretend

and I need

you more so now, but also my distractions

this bourbon strokes out a few more weeks

I’m getting tired and unsure, a glass needs filling

I need the renewed feeling of being right

all this is true

a grapefruit for the morning

myself, the missing

I walk into the ashtray looking for something, someone there to smoke

and I see her eyes

their feral burning

and the glass breaking

and I get a hint of fatefulness

it smells like booze and empty sheets

the glass is breaking in my head

a grapefruit for the morning

get it ready

and another drink

the pause button doesn’t work

there is no death

and I am smiling


resting on my shoulder

17 Apr





vita brevis,

ars longa,

occasio praeceps,

experimentum periculosum,

ludicium difficile


a beer sipped through a straw

will get you just as drunk

but won’t taste nearly as pleasant

let’s get off this train before we keep going

and baby, Babylon may have the better beds and loftier coverlets,

but let’s just stay here – the glistens are more memorable in the ghetto regardless – if you’re willing,

and I’ll spread out my afghan

made by Brooklyn hands creased by small rivulets of weary blood

for us to lie comfortably upon,

envisaging the wonders of hanging gardens above us

both of us knowing because of the past and because your temple is

resting on my shoulder now

that the most miserable sound in the history of human sentiency

is other people making love to your woman inside your head


it’s been agreed upon by all those with a vote on the matter

I am my own inept biographer

creating historical accounts from falsehoods and fantasies

a hoodwinker who never forgets anything because there was never anything to remember

a face that simply says ‘keep blinking’

an emotionally-unavailable drunkard

the man who sleeps inside the sky

you are yourself

but I am myriad

a plethora of shadows nurtured by broad steps

stumbling, palm across the alley brick

rambling loudly like a tyrant something like,

——–“it is only those that have claimed to love you

——–that have the capacity to fuck you over

——–everyone else is just acting accordingly…”

I am some witty parts, some salty, one autodidactic,

all much too prideful, most unbearably stubborn

bellies full of cheap, mongrelly ingredients churning

gin and citrus keep me clean and regular

merry as a butterfly who knows how long this lasts

knows it all to be a cycle, rebirth unnecessary after the one go-round

we, each of us, spin, then become what we were

a scattering of sleepy, cracking stars chasing after Eos

the cylinder creates the illusion of moving chroma

though born poor, though die poor – the quicksand of my living was made of gold

it was, over time, put into small, leather pouches

given unto lacquered fingers of the ones that kept me sane


the ones that didn’t so easily believe me

– did you?



this is how we almost feed ourselves

15 Mar



Less Tense Than I Was The Last Time I Confessed


it’s not your fault that you don’t love me

don’t want me

I, of course, am an acquired taste

a factory of fantasies and fingers

a taste of liquor and sincere, black rabbit sweat

and I just bought a beer

and I’m too tired to either be complacent or considerate

more so than this

in other words, I’ll be fine

elusive in the ether, we only find illusions

it was my homey, not me, that ripped his hand apart

I’m no romance-stigmatic

and besides, your brand of bullshit no longer stings as much

as it did before

now I just write it out in a night

quick poem, reflexive now almost; no six hundred page tomes begun

the other one (the one that was for you,

                         your hand, your button, our little button, a tiny face

                         that looks like mum – because she’s the prettiest star,

                         like the dance I should have accepted when you were sick –

                         for your ebon curls down your back, bared,

                         I massage you, oil, a stoner comedy on the screen,

                         something with rogen probably, but that shit

                         was long ago, and now the one that was for you

                         is a relic of warning, mourning, desperation,

                         sex as sacrament, bad vibes, nervous hands,

                         sangria at some west village Spanish spot,

                         some dress you wore and then took off…)

yes, that other one, motherfucker’s still going, you’d be surprised

and maybe when it’s done… ah, fuck it, princess

no more crowning the authors no more

casually, you know why my hands are eventually coming off

not like my friend, but sort of

the reasons, now, seem strikingly similar

but none of this is your fault

I get that

I guess I’m older now

and priorities have been forced on me

because of mistakes (the miserable sort)

because of madness and pride

my big head

my feeling of entitlement to affection

my lack of time


if you change your mind

and you want your man to cook your eggs for you

I’m two hours away by train

come see me

you know where I am, keep shining




28 Jan





there’s just not enough of her

they all stare hungrily

as though she was other than invisible

objects that are not objects

animals of reexamination, improvising

things that aren’t there, never alone

those which have been let go, on their own, for long

are those that are sought the most

struggled for and languished on the most

and I’m amongst them

staring hungrily, unfed

like when she says, as I’m about to leave

‘I’ll stay at the bar for just a little while longer…’

and I see the way they look

they don’t want to open up community centers in the hood

they don’t want to write novels to keep the turtle’s back firm

they don’t want to stick around just to see what her kids will look like

whose reflection they will take

… but it’s a pointless urging

I’ll leave the bar and pretend to trust her

as their laggard fingers take her dress off leisurely

we all pretend there’s theatre here, and destiny,

and now

but our days grow meager, thinned

about as dense as headlines

and we’ve all been so esurient and keen for such a while

we stare at her as though she were a feast

as though there was anything to eat there

and our disappointment becomes the continued rumbling of the belly

and our ambition becomes to quench that need

and we create shiny pretty things to fatten up the next meal

hoping we’ll finally have our fill

hoping to sink our teeth into some satisfaction unabstracted

hold on to it, if it’s true

15 Dec





I never believed myself worthy much

but I don’t concede, I won’t give up this stubborn pushing

despite that in the past with you

as always I wanted more than I could get

more than I could sweat through

and if we’re really being honest, no anniversary flowers bought, I probably didn’t try hard enough

and yet, as I write this

you know the remaining truth

which is

that I am still the unsurrendered and as much morning as this weed will let me see, I’ve been right all along

making the 2-hour trip (from Queens to Harlem),

buzzing from downstairs, an interminable mounting of your stairs

trying to impress you with some softness in my words

or something cooked to remind you of the beginning of the movie

maybe a joke would be better suited

I thought of us and you

and your newest year and you

and I thought that there is something to

that we’ve both grown up a little

and some history has passed

that it’s a good day

because back then, that time before,

the only way a woman could cum

is by getting hysterical and seeing her local physician


when I was younger, I always recoiled at the word ‘lover’ – I found it antiquated, overtly-baroque – but, once my life caught up to the true materialization of that word’s intent, then I realized that, though a more neoteric synonym could be conceived to task as an appropriate colloquial replacement, no other word would really do – like from the root, then to the stem, then to the bloom and crown above; the beauty lies in the honesty and the simplicity of the qualification denoted


like, my skin: her skin –

the narcissism of the shadow

the crooked picture is the one that gets the second look

and I can’t offer you the stability of money

or that I won’t ever be cruel, or condescending, jealous, obstinate, bad breath in the morning, a drunken fool once a fortnight or two, minor post-adolescent acne, a beard that won’t grow in right, obsessiveness with the details, every birthmark on your skin

and I do tend to treat the hoi polloi as either children or long lost friends

and I’m a big proponent of morning sex – especially in my apartment – and if you’re here, I wake up early; my cock, your smell, like an alarm (I hope that you won’t be late to work)

and I know you hate it

when I’m spitting on the sidewalk

potential evaporation and bio-degradability be damned

and it’s icky that I still have my third cup despite the fact

that the coffee makes my palms irriguous and dewy

I’m not good on paper


I can’t promise you to change any of it fully,

never been released on good behavior yet –

what I can do is to keep on trying


and maintain a sense of humor getting it accomplished

step by step


(rhythm is reaction and repetition

and so, here’s another one

darling, welcome to my heart

… let’s dance,

like you were sick and I was scared and healing)



Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

Copyright © 2010 - 2018 All Rights Reserved.