Posts Tagged ‘Writer’s Block’

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


gonna ramble soon…

16 Jun



montage (penance locked in 8 x 8)


and almost-everyone’s uncle al yells out from across the room,

“mary, quit pirouetting through the place before

one of these rotten motherfuckers steals your


he gets the party rolling

talks back in the day

like the dermatologist of a muse of greek antiquity

he fills the holes of his memory with wine:

fischer came to ny to learn chess and hustling

an ersatz madness

as always, he notices me

i’m playing my game with a ghost

and as always, i’m losing

a knight on the side i will not abide;

he says,

the only job you’ve got in this life is to keep all your teeth

and i’m already a few behind

shortchanged by a bit of too much experience too soon,

and when asking about the saints

he invariably informs you that

gangsters like Harpo best

because he knew how to keep his mouth shut;

when talking ardor or exaltation

he mumbles something about birds

then says that love is nothing but

a clap-trap cunt

turning you blind as soon as you get inside.

and as always i’m playing my game with a ghost

trying to describe the one across the room

for al’s sake

for mine as well


soon they’ll notice too

her eyes are dark



amour fou

her eyes glimmer

i see where soul ends

deep in that dark

like metal turned to vine

creating carnivorous arcs

clawing, clasping on

then going in

until finding a turbid home there dressed as a catacomb

in its bareness                in its bareness

i tremble and concede


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


end of the month 7 under the weather

28 Feb



after work


there is something candid about this particular exhaustion
like the fucking viking funeral was last week
and i caught a splinter in the eye
while the flame took him slow then whole
but this was not that
i’m just tired, both eyes are fine, but i’m still bothered that some dickhead offered me a hash-tag when i asked for some moroccan hash a few hours ago
(all this au-dada-city these days! gotta get outta babylon!)
i got high regardless though, but that’s a boring story
now my train ride on the other hand had a preacher-singer
with a boom box attached to a wooden crate he wheeled around
he couldn’t really hold a note
but his hands were guileless and quite adroit at selling his cds
it wasn’t much, but it got me sleeping
enough to make it back to my door again


* * *


there’s something sweet about this beer
even though it was bought cheap
but sympathy, true sympathy, usually is
and i miss her, fuck
i shouldn’t
but some kid at work keeps harping on a two-month heartbreak
— i miss that youthful overestimation, i used to have it too —
the realities grow conscious only later:
the understanding of separate ego, variables beyond control, the inability to change her mind, to make anyone love if they’re unwilling
– but it’s alright, it will be, just as right now it is what it is and all of that and blah blah blah and it’ll get better, it might, it will, it won’t, but that’ll be that
then, fuck it for now
get living done
that’s what i told him
but i still missed her
(still thought how highbrow it might be of me to use my tongue to measure the circumference of her thighs)
i bought the kid a beer
drank one with him
went home
beaten, candid
and exhausted



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




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

going through the library, like, ‘what a motherfucker, right?’

15 Jan



Judging the Wet Dream Film Festival, Copenhagen, ‘70


does it surprise you if a pornstar


a well placed quote by william carlos williams

as if, this is just to say

she wanted plums

does it surprise you if she has

her bachelor’s degree in biology

hidden behind the closeted red leather pumps

she wore the first time she performed anal sex on camera

does it surprise you if your professor


got into the profession

because she couldn’t write, but in a bout of self-containment and restructuring

found a way to publish anyway

by making you hate hemingway

miller, mailer (whose writing is far more overrated than his personality),

bukowski, lawrence (whose critics tend to produce a frothing, cultivated logorrhea which when uttered can only be described as an experience akin to watching a boorish toddler, each leg a log of heavy redwood timber felled before a logger’s feet, stomping through the playground to taunt the sallow, asthmatic child, building letter blocks into idyllic words in the corner, for being a mama’s boy),

also roth, and irving, bellow and updike get their shade as well

by ensuring that it gets regurgitated by gullible undergrads

(years later in some earnest write up for an online forum)

with no ambition for thinking independently but rather gnawing for a place that can qualify themselves regarded and well learned

choosing side between the war-hymn committees of their druthers

does it surprise you that the best hip-hop


of last year

didn’t come from new york or from l.a.

but from ohio, connecticut and penny

or that nas got confused with an ukrainian kid from some slum in coney

does it surprise you that i’ve chosen newly, ascetically, to live through

get it accomplished: something, soon

and although i’ve said all of it before and have been livid, living in the same applause and lack thereof and over and over and here again and i’m getting tired but no less hopeful and of course, i’d rather give it up, but trust me there’s a point to be made with this writing racket


does it surprise you that i still know two women that can conquer the world yet

if it ever glittered the right way, that is – if it meant more than just a place to dress

does it surprise you that i continue loving this ceremony, this play that damns scribe and audience alike

the gist is a delineation of my most bestial thoughts

and the chorus sings so well

until i see nothing but music and hear nothing but their sound

and it blends together well

and i never find myself surprised


once, maybe

11 Jan



unplugged 1/9/2015


right now
i am watching a wild
madly brilliant
young songstress dancing
on a stage
on a page
on a minimized screen
i’m smoking a cigarette with my tea
it’s early, must be just a quarter after three
her performance is unplugged
she’s singing jimi’s angel now
and it’s snowing outside
but here, it’s warm
i’m thinking chinese food
an egg roll, some fantail shrimp, maybe pork with broccoli too
it might have been a rough week, i don’t remember
in fact, it’s all forgotten now
the smoking gun, she’s getting into her indictable offenses
four fingers clutching a bombinating belly
the inosculating litterateur gazes at her navel and yawns a new dimension
splitting words and therefore sounds
(because aren’t worlds but mere sounds, after all
wingless, apteral)
oh, as she dances
hair as a whiplash with a smile underneath
i pick up the phone and dial the szechuan garden down the block
run by miss diaz
we, both, here, feel at home
because we both know
that there’s nothing underneath
but ground, heavy travel bags and bone
and other kinds of being left alone


who bought the muzzle?

11 Nov



muzzled refection


standing on our cranium-shaped golgotha,

they’ve figured out the price and processes of gods in the New York Review of Books

I read, I wince

cursing aggressively

with Lowell notifying me to pity the monsters

found nearly forgotten in my picture books and photo albums

it all felt like I was over-firing a cigarette, but it still smoked

and while I still had this nostalgic and pointless pause,

I told her

that I want us to be as intimate

as animals

that know each other’s bodies by their tongues;

by sharing the splendor of touch through taste;

crossing sensual borders,

I discover myself, us,

as an émigré in this new land that is you,

offering me a freshly unfamiliar refuge

which makes me nervous

until I wake up and see how you are

in skin that feels like an improvised, but welcome homecoming

each morning vamping

like a hounded jazz rhythm

that’s different live than when engraved into the wax,

familiar and strange


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.


we hood speak pretty (warm thoughts and writer’s block)

07 Jun



For Semi


after a brief seduction

and a few too many gin and tonics

her skirt created gravity along her pallid ankle

the comma fucked the colon

in the employee bathroom

of the Village courthouse which was translated into a public library

in 1958

and their kid came out looking just like them

a beautiful amalgamation

a grammatical specimen on surly feet

one slightly pigeon-toed, shifting left

but he suffered from anxiety and acne

avoidant personality disorder

and all the dolor of a softspoken adolescent

whose ictus of broken rhythm created an epileptic shyness

and thus no one understood him

and no one asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance

(unlike his jocund second cousin, dash,

who was always quick with a joke and some necessary detachment

which got him laid with the ease

of noble breviloquence and not much ambition)

so Semi stayed home

listening to his Smiths records

and smoking cigarettes

thinking of all those who spurned him

Beckett, Joyce and Amis didn’t like you

Hemingway thought that you were too soft to use

and Vonnegut called you a transvestite

and even a hermaphrodite

(which could be the reason that Eugenides thought you valuable enough)

but it’s alright, dear boy

listen to your Morrissey in your shadowed overcoat

and your teenage melancholy  

your parents will always love you just enough  

and even though they participate more often

in all the family games

you are still the literary pause that seems most lyrical

and stoic

like a little Pushkin of the bunch

with eager, nervous trepidation

caring for all the lesser rest

like when you drove your aunt ellipsis

who was dealing with dementia at the time

to her home some miles away

beyond the crop of memory

in the phonological kingdom where it all makes sense

and barely matters

or when Scott mocked your uncle exclamation

and you remarked in his defense

that laughing at your own jokes

wasn’t all that bad

because at least someone’s having a good time

so in this syntactic ghetto

keep your blemished chin raised high

try to grow some whiskers

so as to seem more confident and mannish

because you are here to protect the dispossessed


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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