Wednesday, April 30, 2014


…Walked Highline Park, which I didn’t know existed.  It’s a mile long, fairly narrow strip of land, stretching a mile, southward through Chelsea and ending at the Meat Packing District.  What’s really cool about it, that the park trails an old railroad that was suspended above the city three stories high.
It’s definitely a site to see. 
I’d say 85 percent of the crowd there was either German, French, Dutch, Swedish or Italian.  Felt like being inside the Tower of Babel, and I mean that in the best way.
 …Saw the Freedom Towers, 104 stories high, and the other two still under construction.
The two pools--encapsulating the areas where the Twin Towers were destroyed during 9/11—are finished and fairly dazzling, with sheer marble cliffs that then fall into on more cliffs, giving one the sense of infinity.  Along the upper bannisters are the names of all those who lost their life in the tower that day.
The actual memorial opens late next month.
 …Had dinner last night in Chelsea with a great guy, fellow writer, Bud Smith, who did this review of ,  “The Dark Sunshine” at Good Reads:

 …Here are some things I like for the rest of the week in the world’s greatest city:

“Hey listen to me, when someone brings you happiness, you’ve got to do everything you can to keep it around.”  Charlie Volk
-“We’re all just walking each other home.”  Ram Dass
 -“In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong; honor that; try to imitate it, and your faults will drop off like dead leaves when their time comes.”  John Ruskin

-“Writing poetry should be a journey, and journeys are full of changed plans and self-doubt and beauty and sometimes a blister or two.”  Ray Dungy
-“I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.”  Emily Dickinson
-“Take a lover who looks at you like you are magic.”  Frida Kahlo
-“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.  Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.”  Eckhart Tolle

-“You can have anything you want -- if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”  Abraham Lincoln

Monday, April 28, 2014


…First morning in Manhattan in a few years.  I love it here.
Everywhere I went last night people were speaking a language other than English.
NYC is different on a Sunday night, though.  Into the evening the streets empty out, which is a strange sight.  There were lots of clouds last night, lavender and plum, which gave the sky and the sky scrapers a spooky, haunted quality.  The Chrysler Building looked majestic. 
You should have seen it.
Today should be lots of walking, shopping and people watching, maybe a couple museums.

…Here are some quips from Facebook Friends last week:
-Let's see if wearing a Spiderman costume while I write helps. Better than coffee?
-As far as I can tell, the following conditions are out of fashion for women:
1. nymphomania (no longer exists)
2. menopause (must have a different name now, never hear the word spoken)
3. nipples (they are absolutely unfashionable and hidden in padded bras)
4. "the vapors" (whatever that was)
 -Most things in my life are influenced by Columbo.

 -Tips On How To Quit Smoking!!
1. Avoid activities that are improved by smoking, such as:
- Drinking alcohol
- Thinking deeply
-Talking to people
-Watching Mad Men
-Taking a shit
-Leaving your house
-Staying in for the night
-Listening to music
-Making eye contact
2. Replace smoking with another habit like shooting heroin or incessant masturbation (unless you think these would be improved by smoking, if so you should avoid them at any cost.)
3. Kill yourself.
- Talking to people
- Watching Mad Men
- Dating
- Taking a shit
- Leaving your house
- Staying in for the night
- Listening to music
- Making eye contact
- Talking to people
- Watching Mad Men
- Dating
- Taking a shit

--Something you're not expecting to hear when you accidentally enter the women's restroom: "Mathieu? Hey! How's it going? Say hi to your mother for me."

-Hi Friday. You're cute. What's your sign?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Breaking The Circle

Just In Case

It doesn’t always happen the way they say it does—some poor girl, sexually abused by her dad, becoming a prostitute.  Sometimes you’re just industrious.  Sometimes the men are actually kind, fatherly or brotherly, preppy, toned with muscles, big-tippers, regulars who want to talk more than touch.  Sometimes it’s the best gig around.
At least that’s what you tell yourself on a suede-black night, staring out the motel window wondering where the moon is hiding.  You tell yourself the man in the bathroom is the prom king you worshipped from afar throughout high school.  You give him blonde locks of hair and denim blue eyes, teeth paper-white and straight as a picket fence.  You name him Randy Jarvis.
And when this new Randy reappears you don’t notice how his breath smells like Lysol, how his belly drags over the stump of his penis, but you do check under the pillow where you always stash the shiv, just in case.
You say, “What’ll it be?”  You ask how much time does he have tonight.  You close your eyes while the rest happens and picture that missing moon glowing radioactively, the biggest thing in the universe, staring back at you like a bomb that can be dropped at any time.

An Unbroken Circle

You know the girl on the bed outside the bathroom resembles your daughter, that’s why you picked her, but you don’t think about it because thinking about it makes you queasy, a pervert of the worst order, even though she’s a hooker and has probably already lain with half a dozen men before the two of you ever walked through the motel door.
You just tried to urinate, but there was nothing doing.  This happens quite a bit lately and it’s another thing--on the long laundry list of others--that troubles you.
Your first prostitute was an Asian girl named Suki.  That was a lifetime ago, yet you remember her well because the fake name reminded you of sushi, which you loathe, and because she did this mewling act prior to fake-climaxing.  After her, there were thousands more which is why you work so hard, and after laboring so much to get ahead, you reward yourself with a little fun.  It’s an unbroken circle.
Before coming out of the bathroom, you give yourself a mental pep talk repeating positive affirmations: I am a great lover.  I do not ejaculate too soon.  I control what happens.
When you open the door, the girl fluffs your pillow and props up on her elbows.  She’s chewing gum.  She blows a bubble the size of a light bulb until it pops, balloon-sticky on her nose.  Chuckling, she again reminds you of your daughter.
You turn off the lights.  Through the sheer, piss-colored drapes the sky is tar-black, no moon to light up anything.  You feel your way back to the bed like a blind man and then there’s skin on skin and everything begins again.


You don’t like memories.  Recalling them is a slippery slope, a cord or rope wrapped around your neck, drawing you back to the places and times that ignited a bitter switch inside you.  But there are sirens going off in the city, not police cars screaming by, but fire trucks, and you must be close to the actual fire because you can see smoke twisting like black wraiths between two sky scrapers. 
You remember how you’d become a fuse yourself, and once you were lit there was no other way around it, strength you didn’t know you had coiling with rampant rage, so instead of saying the things he wanted you to say while he did it, one afternoon you told your father you would kill him, and you were a lot of things, even back then, but a liar wasn’t one of them.  That night as he lay slumped and passed out in front of a blaring TV, you got a gas can and spritzed gasoline and dropped your father’s lighter over a puddle.  Standing on the curb minutes later, you watched scarlet flames eat everything.  You stood until the house and he were ash, not caring if the neighbors saw you watching, not caring about the future or whether this was the last, selfish decision you’d ever get to make.


You pay the girl double because she complied with everything you asked.  She says, “Hey, thanks, Bill,” even though your name isn’t Bill and she knows it’s not Bill.
This triggers something and so you ask the girl what her real name is.  The way her eyes stutter before she says, “Ashley” leads you believe she’s lying and this enrages you, the lies, the fraud and phoniness.  You’re the John, but you’re not feeling hypocritical one bit—it’s just fury swelling inside you.
You’ve never hit a hooker before, never hit a girl or woman in your life, but Ashley won’t give up her real name, and so you clock her on the chin.  It happens blink-fast, reflexively.
The girl goes wild, becoming a stallion suddenly.  She calls you a bastard.  Her hand leaps like a cobra out of her purse and she swings a shiv an inch from your bloated belly.
You say you’re sorry, you don’t know what got into you, hitting a girl isn’t something you’d ever do, honest.
She keeps her eyes—cobalt-blue eyes—on you as she leaves.  The door’s cracked open.  An old woman in a housecoat is lumbering down the hall.  She looks like your mother, same spider web hair and cigarette-wrinkled lips.  She looks up with a toothless grin and says, “Wanna dance?”


You think about quitting for the thousandth time.  It’s folly, but you do it anyway. 
This always happens after a visit with a bad John.  Once an obese medical supply salesman bit your shoulder so hard you had to have Holly, a now dead prostitute, stitch you up with something that might have been fishing line and the scar is usually the part of you, when naked, that customers find most alluring.
You’ve started using again—no needles this time—just huffing.  It’s a way to make the world flat and fair and somewhat redeemable.  The pile of yellow powder looks like  shredded drywall that someone’s mixed with piss.  You know this is leading right back to mainlining, yet you’ve lost the will to resist an easy release and lately your clients have had cruel streaks that show up out of nowhere.
The burn is a torch scalding your nostril, reaching all the way down your throat to your chest, slamming your heart with a machete.  The sensation is familiar yet new all the same, like a twisted trick sprung on you by a crafty client—vibrator and penis inserted in your ass together.
Before the high seals, you think about what college life would be like, wearing a backpack, tramping through a campus with many brick buildings, kids your own age, not damaged to any major extent, their staid head nods and “Hi’s” plenty enough to make you feel vibrant and alive.
Next you think about a child you might have had, maybe a girl named Maggie with your same dimpled chin, her seated at the kitchen table coloring outside the lines of Ariel’s mermaid tail.  When she asks, “Momma, why are there bad people in the world?” you say, “It’s mostly bad men.”  Maggie looks up, her eyes blue as yours, saying, “But Daddy’s not bad.”  You look over at your husband doing dishes in the sink.  He cocks his head—Huh?  Am I a bad guy?  You laugh and laugh and then the world goes pale yellow, becoming an endless rug that rolls you up can carries you off.

Empty Backpack

You stole a Gideon’s Bible from a Hilton hotel the first time you picked up a hooker, thinking if you read some of it right afterward, the shame and guilt would dissipate.  Now the Bible stays in your car, in the cubby buried beneath stacks of porn magazine featuring lithe and ridiculously slender girls who look younger than their stated eighteen years of age.
You pull over two blocks from where the hooker procession begins, a mile from the airport, rooting around in the car’s glove compartment.  The Bible is stiff.  Its cover feels waxy, like cadaver skin.  You open it up and read a scene where Jesus is forgiving an adulteress who has fornicated with seven different men. “Go, and sin no more,” Jesus tells her.
The girl you pick up is just that--a girl; pigtails and bobby socks, tartan skirt and an
empty backpack, her teeth glittering with braces.  Her fresh-faced nature is stunning and odd because most of the prostitutes have a used, withered look about them, like ill-fed livestock.  You feel shitty for making this last comparison, even though it’s just something in your head, but it’s those thoughts jangling around inside your skull that are really the most destructive.
You ask if the girl, Casey, has a place to go and she does.  It’s a remodeled Motel 6 south of the airport.
Entering, you feel something’s off, but you’ve been thinking about having her since she first smiled and all that metal encasing her teeth winked back at you.
You pay and go to the bathroom as you always do.  Never once has a hooker walked out on him, because that’s how they get a bad reputation and put out of business.
Staring in the mirror you see the results all of the drinking and excess eating you’ve done but you rationalize it right away with the excuse that it’s impossible to get fit with as much travel as you have to do.
You try to pee but can’t.
You disrobe and wrap a stiff towel around your waist but have to hold the two ends together because it’s not long enough to tie over your gut.
When you open the door there’s a man with a ski holding a pistol inches from your face.  You feel urine run down your thigh.  The man demands your wallet.  “You tell him, okay, sure, just relax.  The towel falls off you as you search your pants.  You find it, take out all the cash and hand it to him but he says, “No, I want the wallet and your cell phone.”  When you say, “Oh come on,” he stabs the pistol snout against your forehead and there’s no way to think he won’t shoot.
After he’s gone, you sit on the edge of the bed trembling, bawling.  It’s the first time you’ve cried since you were a kid.  You hate yourself for crying and for not following your instincts when you walked into the room.  You hate yourself for so many things.


This client is into weird shit.  He likes to be handcuffed and choked.  He wants you to slap him and leave fingernail scratches down his back.
It’s a nice switch, being the dominate one for a change.  When the sessions over he says, “You did great,” as if you’re a personal trainer from the gym.  He promises to be back for more.  “We’ll ratchet it up a little next time,” he says.
The rest of the evening’s Johns are not as inventive, but it’s a calm night without incident unless you count the one college kid, drunk off his ass, who threw up right after his orgasm.
The apartment building where you live has different colored doors.  Yours is lime green.    
When you were a very young child you liked to color and sometimes you’d even create your own images on clean white sheets of paper.
A woman who was not your mother came home one night when you mom was staying at Aunt Jean’s.  The woman had long wine-colored hair and big brassy earrings.  She smelled like lemonade and told you your pictures were pretty.  You knew she was lying but you said, “Thanks” just the same.  In the middle of the night you had to pee so you got up and saw the woman and your father naked on top of each other on the living room rug.  You thought your dad was trying to kill her because the woman was making choking sounds, like being strangled.
In the morning the woman was gone and at breakfast when you told your dad what you saw he stood up without a word, took off his black leather belt and used on your behind until you begged him to stop.
“That’s what you get for meddling,” he said.
You’re exhausted, but you don’t feel sleepy.  You go to retrieve your drugs from where you’ve hidden them but remember you finished off the remainder of the stash last night.
Your skin itches.  It’s not DT’s, just a sense of dread that this is going to be your life forever, even though you’ve only ever seen one or two old women prostitutes.  
Loneliness washes over you.  Your friends are all hookers or drug dealers.  You take out your cellphone and dial a random number using the prefix of the city where you grew up.  You keep doing that until someone answers and you stay on the line without speaking back until they hang up.  You do this for hours.
After you’ve finally slept and eaten and it’s time to start work again, you dress but instead of going to your street corner you travel in the opposite direction where there’s a small strip mall.  Hanging lopsided in the window of a boutique that sells children’s clothes is a Help Wanted sign.  You have no resume or references, but you promise yourself to come back tomorrow during the day when they’re open. 
You look up at the night sky, star-filled for once, and pledge to a God you can’t see that this will be your last night of hooking.  As if on cue, something bright flares across the sky like a powerful firework that suddenly peters out almost as soon as it begins its flight.  But that’s enough.  You blow the sky a kiss and leave, skipping, singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


…It’s mid-week and I’m just four day away from being in New York City.  Can’t think of many things I’d look forward to more…

…Ah, those witty people on Facebook…
-Women! Leave your husbands! Kill your children! Practice witchcraft!
-writing a short story about a goddamn egg.
-Always keep your chin up.  Otherwise you are just looking down at your boobs all day.
-I want a bunny. Can it really be potty trained? Does it eat a lot? get sick a lot? Is it a good pet? Are a lot of people allergic to it?
-Overheard the most fascinating conversation between two much aged (long white hair and toothless) surfer dudes at a San Diego Starbucks, this morning. They hadn't seen each other in more than a decade, when they knew each other from the strip club they hung out at. Their catch-up talk included updates on their various acquaintances: One guy is dead--"meth"; the other was divorced after he was caught growing mushrooms in the mountains; and Smiley shot himself in the head--"Smiley had anger issues." Sad news for Smiley and the lot.
-Watching 3 rabbits running circles in my tiny dirt backyard. A male mounts the female, she bucks him off, he does a perfect backflip and dismount, and off they go again, running.

- I know 16 people who like Nickelback? SIXTEEN!?!?!

I didn't think there were 16 people on Earth who liked Nickelback.

Monday, April 21, 2014



            His sister was there one minute, then not.  He wasn’t supposed to leave home but he’d wanted something sweet to eat and so they’d trekked four blocks from home to the convenience store with his six year old sister in tow, complaining about the bitter cold until Jessie promised to buy her a chocolate bar.
            Thinking she might be pulling a prank, Jessie waited outside the store, crunching on Jolly Ranchers while shivering, nervous, angry and anxious.
            An hour passed with no sign of his sis.  He knew he should call the police or his parents but both options seemed terrifying.
            After another hour, Jessie ran home, thinking his sister might have gone back on her own, although she hadn’t gotten her chocolate bar yet.
            He scoured the house, even looking under his parents bed ,and then in the closet where his Dad’s belts—belts that were often used on Jessie and his sister--hung from hooks like petrified snakes.
            She was nowhere.
            When his parents arrived home from work, Jessie put TV trays in the microwave and then put the meals on plates and handed them to his mother and father who sat like bored ghouls on the sofa watching a man on television talk about faraway places.  Jessie ate this dinner at the table, in silence, as he was always ordered to do.  His food was gluey and tasteless and Jessie almost choked trying to swallow, so filled with fear and worry over his sister.
            But then night came and morning came, days and weeks came without his sister ever showing up.  His parents never said a word.  After a month Jessie filled his backpack and left, not wondering if his parents would notice, but wondering who would make their meals and receive their discipline.


Friday, April 18, 2014


Juvenile Delinquent

everyone else is passing me by
they don’t look but that’s okay
i don’t have anywhere else to go
that cop over there
that cop leaning against the meter
he’s sneering
the same way my mother did when I told her I took second
only this cop has a mustache
not a porn stache
but a bushy squirrel tail peppered with speeding tickets
he asks for ID
i ain’t got it
he wants an address
right here on this curb I say
he asks for a motivation
I tell him boredom
is a cruel bastard
and my old man was one too
he says get in the back of the squad car smart ass
i oblige him
it’s the fourth time in one week
different cop but similar car
no siren or anything
just a window seat
with a pretty good view

Probably Famous

maybe in ten years
you’ll find me or
I’ll find you
you might be sliding down a stripper pole
and I might be holding a benjamin between my teeth
perhaps you’ll become a billboard with a pepsodent smile
your grass-green eyes should be trademarked by now
everyone knows that those abs are off-the-charts ridiculous
anyway you were always more ambitious
bludgeoning cronies on a lark
taking two scoops instead of one
waving wax-on wax-off at the tickertape parade
after all the carnage
it’s insane to think about you
as much as I do
but hey
time’s a slippery bitch
even when you’re wearing boots
whatever city you landed in better hold its breath
call the bomb squad
alert the media
start a very thorough investigation
and fingerprint the witnesses

Suicide Announcement

someone told me
there’s nothing wrong with suicide
so long as you
give folks a head’s up first
sort of like sharing your virginity
with the boy from Holland who visits during summer
well maybe not like that exactly
maybe it’s more like yelling fire In a movie theater
or wearing a scarlet letter on your forehead
either way i’m putting you on notice
no i’m not killing myself
but i am about to murder your darlings
all those panties with the tags still on
all those love letters stashed in a shoe box
i’d like to get our apartment burned down by four
before traffic becomes a bitch
and just before your shift ends
that way we can listen to the sirens together
watch the sky light up
the way you and I never did

The Mayor of New York

a ways north of this dive pub
up on park ave
there’s a woman with a dutch boy haircut
and expensive cat-eyed sunglasses
that she wears
even when it’s dark out
her leather gloves smell like lilacs
sniff them if you don’t believe me
anyway this woman is really something
yeah man she’s a piece of work
the world’s her yo yo
someone should sculpt her likeness if they haven’t already
even without the titles
she’s prime minister and chancellor of this city
if you see
the woman I’m describing
you’ll know it at once
but she won’t bother noticing you
so here’s the favor I need
take a full breath
and yell
your son’s a gay cock-sucker
but god loves him anyway
shout loud and mean each word
make sure everyone else hears it too

Capital Punishment

we hide and seek
around facebook
and chat
while the rest of the world
has fingers
and wet lapping tongues
how strange and cruel
to lock our love inside a technological box
might as well get a hair cut
or be seated upright
ready and willing
in the
electric chair

Mad Man

for some reason
don draper notices me on the subway
maybe we’re both going uptown
perhaps we both have really big dicks
i tell don that he’s such a conniving shit
it’s hard to feel compassion
he asks if i’ve ever watched the show
do I know the half of it
what about the flashbacks
and the switching of the military dog tags
doesn’t that do anything for me
betty draper meets don at his stop
with her fat suit deflated
just a mold of ratty smelling manufactured plastic
and her resplendent anew
how fair is that I ask
it’s fucking tv don says
peggy looms in the background
rocking a tartan school girl uniform
with the skirt drawn high up to her thighs
cleavage spilling over
the top of a crisp white blouse
that’s it I think
my life is nothing but a television show
so much happens
yet I’m always a spectator
go on
go ahead
feed me another fantasy
i’m hungry
and eager as hell


you were at my wedding
i know it
know it like I know promises are usually broken
you were in the back row
the last pew
your head bent
like a collegiate prior to their first hangover
yet you were saying all kinds of meaningful prayers
one must have been meant for me
because I felt it
shot like an arrow
slung at the exact moment of commitment
me becoming something
other than what I should have been


oh hey hi
it’s me again
really I had no idea it was this late
come on don’t hang up
give me a sec
stop with the drama
why don’t you tuck the toddler in
and I’ll come by in an hour
how’s that
see when you talk to me that way is
when I get my dander up
a woman’s supposed to respect her man
yes you are you’re my girl
always will be no matter what
I don’t care about any restraining order
what a word restraining
like i’m some sort of pit bull
as if i’m dangerous
to hell with that it was one time
okay maybe a few others
but you know you can frustrate the hell out of me
you know it
say you’re sorry
say it
damn it say it
okay fine
if we’re going to play things that way
we’ll just see how the game ends
yes I am
i’m coming over
get all the police you can
but do it quick
have them bring shields and shit
because this is the last time
i’m taking your crap
go ahead
cry bawl
i don’t believe you
you’re a liar
i’m a good person
yes i am
listen just shut the fuck up
or i’ll fuck  you up
hey you there
are you
now you’ve done it
hung up on me again
all right bright eyes
here i come
oh yeah
with saddles blazing
you can hide your sweet ass
you can run
but baby
i’m sonar

and i’ll find you