Posts Tagged ‘dull days are here again…’

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.  



04 Feb



untitled (we are a country of dangerous people)


We are a country of dangerous people.

There are so very few, a small penultimate, near-endlessly thinning minority, of individuals, leaders who participate in the world without pride, without indulgence, without ego – or at least without utilizing these cankerous facets of their humanity as the engine animating their flesh; instead they know that they are meant to serve as a benevolent affect on the world instead of simply being an affectation of this act. We are the net positive flicker of existence, meant to fade, and we are rarely encountered, rarely announced.

We are a few.

We are a country of dangerous people.

A politically undereducated populace. Making mistakes unmaliciously.  

Then there’s the Joker voters. And the sociopaths. And the psychos. And my ex-girlfriend. A manically designed mixture of entitlement and apathy. Those that didn’t vote at all.

Elected officials, power hungry and money hungry, unambitious to make history beyond a reelection.


How far can you see?

At least turn around and see who you’re leading.

Who you’re leaving behind.

Turn around before you’re fully blind.

We are a country of dangerous people.  



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


train-ing… get it?

10 Mar



train lines

new york bodies on their new york shit travelling to find their
new york fix
homeless john plays capitalist scarecrow in the corner
to the straphangers commuting to some sentence
seeming kinder
i want to smoke and i want to read
but all my books and smokes got wet
and now
i’m drying off in transit
finding comfort in that someone
who always watches me
while i yearn to arrive at my destination
every stop, every hop
a body stands apart from other bodies
a self-designation, cultish in performance
forcing the loss of membership from the species
stop after stop, after every hop
i read someone else’s newspaper headlines while their eyes
watch me
the words spell out a-s-s-a-s-s-i-n-a-t-i-o-n
a six-year-old near macon, around where my little brother lives
war all the time, they say
they always say and say and speak
and is this the warmth of the transit heating system
writhing my tic-tac-toe poetry into a stoned smile
of passing time
seeming kinder
seeming kinder
drying off with me
shaking like we’re new
at every hop

So, what’s new about this year?

27 Jan



which mystery did you forget to solve
she asked me softly as she disrobed
atroceruleous smoke filled the room
the blue was deep, it beckoned
and she became a date in ’88
new warmth of winter alabaster
the sky connecting like an ocean
the colors blur, the blush slowly washing off
and here comes again the question from her lips
remaining in the breast like psychic scars and songs from dead ancestors
which mystery did you forget to solve
she kisses me
and lays her clothes atop my writing desk
– for safe keeping, she asserts
though I think it was simply to arrest my marrowy attention
to the stranger changes in the air
the black star, brightest once before
in the dino days of excess
fading with lazarus’s last verse     
the fume of heaven cloaking us
all from births in ’88 and ’47
some light and curiosity to bind them both
just like a puzzle  
affirming its need for an internecine resolution
[for db and a dance I should have taken]

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
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


I hope you’ve figured out how succulently stoned I’ve been during the composition of the past few pieces…

07 Jul



asshole # 7


despite my general indigence,

I do have some more so bourgey friends

(they though still are of the hedonistic mold)

but here we all are, so there we go

I order first since I know that I won’t have to pay the bill

a ‘bourbon-club’ in Midtown which bourbon aficionados can’t afford

kale salad at $12 a plate, (can’t approximate how it might taste along with the American brown)

anyway, our recent maundering revolved around

the fates of the operatic craft

they all prognosticated doom

the eventual death, or else the aesthetic-retirement of dotting audiences drawn

the ones culturally auditioned or conditioned

(or whatever other bullshit it takes one to wear the pearls)

being no longer capable of keeping up with the seasons

anyway, the concern presented was that this particular parrot

is quite close to that eternal squawkless resignation

the worry thus was that this fardel of prestige was all but lost to the AARP crowd

who’ll soon forget the magic and the repression of the flute (dementia)

but I said, no,

not really, man

I enjoy the opera too

I like Mozart and Gounod

Puccini, Verdi, Berlioz, and the like

so to appease scruffy ruffians like me

first lower them ticket prices

(student discounts don’t mean shit when you consider the cost of a college education)

kill the Kochs off your committee, withdraw their names off any permanent inscriptions

(Met balcony, I’m looking at ya’ll, you surely can find better patrons)

then install small metal cuspidors next to the seats

waste baskets acting as spittoons

for the shells of my sunflower seeds I’m due to spit

in between the arias

while everyone around me

as always

is far too polite to actually applaud


a curving thought

09 May






they say that men are meant to ossify

while women are meant to melt

I’m just waiting for my invitation for coffee in the Andromeda galaxy

curious to see what it feels like to be sucked into the center



you’re already dreaming

this is a dream (pearls tap-dancing across the wooden floor)

you are asleep

soon your peers will discuss it


there’s maybe another ten years, tense

in taking a break from drinking

a few days

lift a few weights, stare at the sun

delight when you think how they say

you can’t see stars from this balcony


polluted, I take a sip of water from my bedside glass

new training (sweat turns charcoal on the sheet)

pair a couple of words together

sleep, smile

you’re already dreaming


do you miss the fever?

26 Mar





this is the one that I wrote
before the narcissists went to bed
before my own humble sun dared to take a peek
there is so much that I can’t see anymore
maybe I’m not drinking enough
maybe it’s because all the women I want I tend to miss
and all the ones I don’t tend to spend the night
this is a small island
that’ll spend the next decade going underneath the shore


this is the one that I wrote
that’s not about heartbreak
this is the one that got away from me
more musicians than the room can fit
not enough music
my friends run this joint
soaking in it until nothing can be heard
nothing can be felt
I’ll twist my ankle careening down the stairs
and wake up slightly bruised with the pills still in my system


this is the one that I wrote
because I didn’t aim to please
no poetic cunnilingus, this is no song of songs
tongue wakes at the inner thigh
no, this is merely the expectoration of some spirit, glowing
the hue of an honest sickness
no money and no work ever again
I’ve been called to wait it out
for the narcissists to go to bed
for new cognizance to bring me something to dream about
a cogged suitcase full of suicidal gambles, unopened
a little face that says ‘I do, I will’ somewhere down the line
this is how goodnight spreads across our earth


for the new piece, smoking

10 Mar





the paint of the sherlock sheds

with every chamber consumed

soon the cerise will slink off

like a bad impression

leave the party

layla, (though aside from cream I never liked clapton much)

the bowl will soon turn black

decisions, decisions

girl scout cookies, og kush, jack herer

the paint of the sherlock

layla lets her shawl get carried by the wind

produced by rumbling, dusty lungs made of some obsolete alloy

a chamber is consumed

smoke is everywhere

clouding the glass of prying eyes

soon she will be nude

I will be stoned

and spring will begin again somewhere

underneath new feet


6 and we far from the rockaways…

24 Feb



homey future under hush


the future is a paranoid

aging neophyte

wondering aloud how it could be

walking through your neighborhood

foreign to him

in a manner

somewhere between

a stumble and a strut

he looks perpetually frazzled

wide-eyed, looking for nothing in particular

hairs hoary

the whores dead

the past wiped away like cum off a gravestoned belly

soft tissue

the granite scratches

the future goes on

despite the fact that it doesn’t exist

the last hope on childless jaws extending their crowning breath

knowing that, really, the rub never was

                                    all alone, left alone, stayed alone

it was that some fateful motherfucker kept sprinkling sawdust underneath your nose

and saying happy birthday every time you sneezed


February 7: I

03 Feb





newspapers full of fading people

cities delicately reimagined as thieves

blemished, blurred by oily fingers

we all end up alone

unable to see the eyes in front of us

but if you leave, it’ll be even worse than alone

and I’ll have no one to follow during my midnight constitutionals in the park

slowly realizing that we’re all ultimately strangers to each other

strange, strongheaded

whispers that open windows

another scar appears on my arm

the one I use to write

from where I helped you move your couch

the one we need in order to continue fucking

the only worthwhile way to spend the day

too long, too much

I read, the

newspapers full of fading people

I worry that this article will last another thirty years

and I’ll be sitting here, a

faux intellectual pretending middle class

dilettantish but insured

reading what to make of another morning

waiting for my dinner drink

thinking of ways, for hushful wagging decades now,

of how to kill the man that smudged us



Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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