Posts Tagged ‘Nothing special’


26 Jan



sneezing produces snot, just ask god


they burn the details of their history
that contradict their perception of the moment
to keep warm their indignation
and around this fire
they dance and revel
and wail arrhythmically
obfuscating any meaning from their words
like winds that carry smoke
until all that can be heard is
give us barabbas
give us Barabbas



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



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


getting through it…

15 Nov



all minor chords (Dm)


i really want to tell her that i love her

but i don’t want to lie

how could i put it

i got marooned on a different island long ago


the smell is different – the fire of rose for the cold of syringa, i don’t know

and now, the latter

i’m number to it (three or four, i’m not too sure anymore)


i mostly want a bed to share

to feel affection and affected


some promise at some time

whether brief, or…

what’s the use

spinning these

excuses, comfortable rejections, half-truths , placating explanations

they turn one into sleep

or worn out sneakers

taken out only when the dirt is apropos

lubricious pitfalls translated to lubricated pratfalls

and i’m the king of falling

and so

we are back to it

a quietly shifting mushroom cloud in my bed

linen everywhere

unsatisfied for different reasons

liminal, but on different sides

with no door to find

no keys to open it even if we do


The Taco Bell of Lyric Poetry

24 Jan



toothpaste (eat your religious figures)


all we have at the end of the day is our seemliness and our self-respect, but fortunately for me it was the morning, marring me like a smith, and I was nursing one of those perfect hangovers that makes one feel as though they were on the fast-track to sainthood

my ante meridian ablutions commenced around seven

the water ran through my fingers like a debut

through the pipes of the sink it sang

but I knew the melody was ending

the bob of the de Musset rhythm was subsiding

and my head stabilized   

finis coronat opus in the steam of the new day

and yet the mirror revealed

that I had toothpaste residue

on the right, and usually quite deferential,

terminus of my moustache

–  and now I had decisions to


my apathy strained me when


the endurance it would require

to wet my hand again

and brush it off

then rewash said hand

and then, lamentably, drying also takes some time –

maybe, since this toothpaste hues green

I’ll embrace it and

reintroduce it as performance art –

I’ll add a dab

of a little moisturizer too

as tender as a drop of sauce as surfactant

on the tip of my left cheek

right where it meets the skin that rides the zygomatic slope

I’ll let them both stay

like friends with nowhere else to go

and simply let the world

feast on us

at will


Minor Stuff

08 Nov



The Rant of a Curmudgeon on the Roof


This is Brompton’s cocktail for the masses

a slow decay expressed

through a culture swallowed

in a digestible polymer coating

skin hyaline and illumined

inviting one and all to take the dulling plunge;

I drank for two weeks straight

when I found out that E. L. James

made $95 million in 2012

and took the title of highest paid ink-slinger

of both the literary and eroticized fan-fiction scene;

I got stoned for days

when I did the math on it –

Leonard Cohen’s latest Old Ideas


Tom Waits’s maudlin immediacy on Bad as Me

turned in the same record sale numbers

across an entire uncreative, lengthy year

as the last Miley Cyrus single song in a day

(her fans likely unaware

or unimpressed

when the child is dressed and actually does

an anodyne acoustic cover of

Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”).

A curiosity and ingenuity

that was lost under marketing brushstrokes and various velleities

resounds as a free market consumerist approach to art

and leaves us thicker than we were when we entered the gift shop

to buy candied trinkets with food stamps

and the college fund we’ve started for our own restless anklebiters.

This piece albeit is, obviously, futile,

because these complaints

mutated into similar creatures

have roamed alike before.

It’s all been said

like the empty rustle of a late-Autumn juniper

and yet we’re plunging deeper still.

We’re trying to talk to the speed freak

in his suit

earnestly about Balzac’s coffee habit

(averaging fifty black cups a day when the writing was going well)

while he twitches and attempts to sell our sofa for a teenth.


Summer Blues

29 Jul



mista misty masochist


this summer

has turned me brown and delightful

like processed Afghani heroin

a tasty treat for missing teeth

for parched lips and dirty minds

another guilty plea

bartered for an attenuated prison term

forgetting the utility of futile innocence

and this drumming of the denotative gavel

composed the lamenting sound

that became the beating of my mind

and then the daylight saw me


and it matured into an anxious latitude

where we find only spiritual contravention

soft-pedaling at $10 an hour

and a shower to wash the night away

alongside my morning oatmeal –

a golden mix of amphetamine and jam-colored depravity

and other hurried thoughts –

and then she walks into my apartment

like a Chinese take out menu

because I forgot that I gave her the keys to all my doors

and she takes off her shoes slowly

a scream inside a claret cotton dress

that’s girlishly wondering how this life moves inside

so casually, as a requital for years of disservice

and we talk of the weather

of how hot it’s been

and suddenly even this persiflage surrenders

and we ripen into a single caged entity

in the clouded whisper of maladroit heat

and we attempt to soundlessly cool ourselves off

by way of each others integument

newly transparent

though still perspiring

yearning to underline

that we rarely have much to say



24 Jun



Peter Pan


A writers’ trick

is a strong declarative sentence

to begin a composition,

so I start it off

with the words:

‘The morning cigarette

is the only thing keeping me

from killing myself.’

I don’t know if I believe it, but

I invite guests over

to leave me more alone

in an hour I can borrow



with a newly empty fridge.

They say that

no one wants to sleep with a saint

the halo is a cacophony against the headboard.

They go for princes

beheaded kings


the executioner writes the litany

like music to set the mood

his voice stretches time.

She was a beautiful girl

but I slept with the other one last night.

She woke up and said,

“what’s the matter, baby – can’t sleep?”

I explained

that I ran out of my Marlboros

and the store

down the block

doesn’t open up till morning.


A Sample of the Night

02 May



she fell asleep

with her face

nestled against my neck

her breath

warm against my ear


to the vision that she saw

in the midnight of the fantasy

from the bight of dreaming

I could not wade into


I realize now that you do not want to be saved, how trite, you rather want to be worshiped at a distance, left alone to die, like an object in a store that costs more than what’s in my pocket


Blues (Joking with Bastards that Should Hang)

31 Mar



Watching a Musical


I tried for four years

and it hasn’t become anything

but a healing for the restless

and arthritis and anxiety for me

a headache, catalepsy

fragile nerves and chamber pots

a collection of coffee spoons

in mangled hands with shaking fingers

ossein surrounded by limestone crumbling instead of bone

under the pressure of forced repentance and compunction

an apartment where a musician took his life

for money maybe or

because he couldn’t come up with another melody to run along the train

the fingers steal another face like Christmas presents

trying to crush the grain of coffee against the paper

so as to leave a mark

to mark the spot

before the operatic bow

which we’re all too accustomed to

it becomes a dulling lament for homey Ignacio Sanchez Mejias

picked off in the same hood which will raise your enemies

and resurrect them, and resurrect them, and resurrect them

like a dulcet sting

and we’re all absent, based souls swaying through the olive trees

(the love of a poet sick somewhere in a pick-pocket’s wallet)

watching someone die because there are no refunds at the ticket booth

and we all need to save your money

for the kids’ boarding school

where they’ll make the friends you’ve never wanted them to have

to pay off the heavy mortgage

for the news coming every day

an assassination or two with a brunch menu

some pussy maybe

a lady in a glass

the temple full of debt

but the church still gets a tithe

until it is nothing but glass and sand under foot

in a frame

which you’ve brought back with you from Barbados

and it is then

that the criminal stirs

with poison like a free market in his blood

and he buys a song from the street

sounds something like “Pilate’s Dream” played on a ukulele

or Occupy Wall Street as a Broadway Musical

because these notes know

that this rash will become a riot

in a silent theater with lotion by the seats

where a constant encore plays

and we’re just waiting for the curtain call

because we might finally execute someone


For the Sake of Levity

23 Mar



Smoking a Joint at a Funeral


This is going to be light.

We were all moderately upset

we expected it

but always a few days later.

Jules and I stayed to the side,

I lit it

listening to the eulogy –  

the black preacher was good:

I thought about booking him for later

the week is long –

everyone could use a good speech to send them off to rust.

Even Martha came

she was always Jimmy’s favorite

she took a hit

paid her respects

didn’t look the mother in the eye.

Greenwood cemetery looks lovely in this insouciant light,

the oaks casting a rash of shadows

across the lawn and gravel

like an early plague of beauty.

Boils, flowers and the like.

No death, not here.

A blurred boundary,

not really, but pick your poison.

I took a hit and passed it back to Jules,

she followed suit

and we stayed quiet for the rest of the service

waiting to pass.  

Something (Against Nothing)

13 Mar



Writers Make Choices


Why don’t we both sleep on it tonight

almost make it to some sort of daylight

I was working on a book

editing the part when he met her

jealous when you woke up

you looked at me

at my typewriter

yawning, stretching your wonderful limbs

asking whether I wanted to join you in the shower

flawless through your efforts

but there was already too much daydream to go around

so I smoked and made toast for us


while you walked out clean

and asked where I ended up

I told you

that he was in Greenwich Village

wearing dingy sunglasses

when he saw her

off the bus

stopped by his favorite bar

(Trostky’s Mexican Adventure with the happy hour promising half-priced drinks)

he leaned against a railing

and made his life

a glory for fiction stuck inside


an addiction to love and policy

a polylemma between breathing

him following her, skipping from verso to verso

and my taking you

where mistakes can’t always be corrected

where I can’t always be refined

undressed by red ink

but if you’ll ungently take me to some place ungentle

where it’s snug and warm

and a repetition isn’t needed because nothing ends

then I’ll find a way to cut the rhapsody off the tree

and finally let it sleep

for it’s been dangling like a shaman

for four years next month

growing hostile and vindictive

like a sad lover lost in a length of time

having nary to do with life

and barely anything to do with me



Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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