Posts Tagged ‘Melancholia’


02 Feb




he said
my relationship
with my son
is like a great Nirvana song
that will break your heart
if it was written about you



04 Dec



all fragile myths

only requires the audience
            of one or two
            sets of eyes
stir, stir
            wild love
we will all be
            the last goddamn kingdom
            that our doubles built
ground down by the weather of years
the trials of tempest
spent in chaos and lost poetry
            requires only your conscience
(tired eyes and glasses on the nightstand
(by the cigarettes, ashtray in lights)

/\/\/\ pt. 2

21 Jul



a little crown pt. 2

I’d rather be stone dead
my baby
than to know that you are mortal
and heaven won’t exist
if we surrender
a gold watch for a retirement
a bracelet for some guilt
a kiss for when the human echo leaves
I smell your daydreams
summer sweat, hot dogs on the grill
lavender along the grass
we learn so quickly after all
and you might as well sleep with me tonight
forget all this disappearance
make something holy new again

there was

19 May



apex learns


“It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so. I admire you, beloved, for the trap

you’ve set. It’s like a final chapter no one reads because the plot is over.”

– Frank O’Hara


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

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

The Last of ’15 Poems: II

05 Jan



asleep in the sepulcher
asleep in the sepulcher
like teenage fantasy
I fancy myself a monolith
of obsolete quixotic or poetic notions
imagined up by romantic mercenaries
who smoked like alchemists
and dressed like they fucked for free
every climactic second a salvo in a virgin war
we’re killers now it seems
and we once used to be oh so inspiring
surrounded by beautiful things like empty pens
souls with long, pale or hairy faces
cut up into pages vocationally destined to become flyswatters
midnight stomach aches, hospital blood tests
cigarettes in adolescent hands, hallway whispers
park concerts like trips around the world from a burgundy afghan
stars like hickeys in the sky made by lecherous gods
big loveless eyes that command oceans and lose travelers
early morning phonecalls that screech with the bombast of backseat harlots
the voice that returns
barely, but I can feel its fingers
it tugs at me like I was a naughty child, by ear tip
it tells me, like a handshake I respect
that all the strong men
are already waking up
because we’ve lost our time for dreaming


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


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


cheap incense

05 Jul



untitled (the last time)


last time i saw her
god seemed troubled
i brought her spicy chicken soup
a cotton hit worth of ghost pepper extract
in the bowl
the heat to help the spirit dance
she claimed to be a vegetarian
tired of propagating what she saw
i questioned it
how come, i asked,
i’ve seen you bloody
like when you performed that appendectomy on Joe
with twigs stolen from the acacia tree
last time we were all hiking in the desert
she shrugged it off
said, it was what it was
like the last time we slept together
commitments keep only those unsure
but those that know what it is they’re looking for
have the selfless right to change their mind
i told her that i liked surety just as much as demagoguery
and offered her the soup again
god said that, no, not now
it’s not yet time to wake up different
even the teeth are still asleep
she said – hey Tumult, just roll a joint
lay here and hold me
i might be better
when we’re both alive



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


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



Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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