Wednesday, September 3, 2014


…Okay, so I’m off to Reno and then Sin City.

…Before I go, here are some things I wrote recently…


The man on the bus
Keeps staring at me from his seat up front
Conspicuously turned around
No one else notices
It’s a vehicle filled with ghosts and stooges
All of us forgeries
This guy has problems
Let him have them
I stare out a dirty window at a city steaming in sunshine
After an earlier thunder storm
Diamonds in the asphalt glittering
Wisps of vapor snaking away like anorexic genies
That’s how my life is sometimes
A slow smolder
All the ancient stuff igniting while I
Try telling myself it was an aberration
Or I’m just exaggerating
It wasn’t that bad
Couldn’t have been
No way
Not in a million years
But I’m on my way to see you
And that’s what counts
You with your open arms
And ready ear
You who’s seen every scar
Even my hidden heart scars
As we round 82nd street
I look up front
But the guy is gone
Maybe he was never there to begin with
Maybe I can finally let go of the baggage
Stare it down
Blink it away
Sure enough
There you are
On the corner waving
As if I’m home from some war
And I’m the only person you want to see at this moment
What a feeling that is
Like being lifted on shoulders and carried triumphantly
Through a cheering crowd
Pardoned from shame
As free as

Taffy Hearts

After the fight,
we share the last Jolly Rancher,
grape-flavored or cherry,
who cares?
It’s the funniest thing in the world,
drooling purple saliva everywhere,
though anyone else would think us sick.
When you say, “We could make a jump rope out of our spit,”
we laugh like drunks
till our ribs ache
and the world evaporates.
Near dawn we’re onto taffy,
the kind of saltwater stuff you get down the shore
that’s like chewing through a picket fence.
You take a long string of it out of your mouth and spell something on my back.
“Guess what it is?”
“How the hell would I know?”
But I do know—
It’s a lopsided heart big enough for our initials and a plus sign
in between.

Winter Melon Soup

I have no fire escape
Or that winter melon soup
You used to make when we were young and poor
A bed without box springs our best friend
No time keeper
Or score keeper
Just the Ukrainian couple in 14 B
Stabbing broom handles against their floor
Whenever we’d hit fever pitch lovemaking
And afterward you’d cackled while I inhaled your sweat
Getting higher than Trump Tower
I’ve heard 99 Decision Street has a different name now
But otherwise it’s all the same without us
There are worse things
There are always worse things of course
And a boy grown into a man should know better
Than to second guess and wish
But where I am now
There are no cabs snagging the street below
No rusty water needing to be boiled pure
No annoyed Ukrainians
It’s not even cold in frigid winter
There are indoor outdoor pools
A closet as big as our entire apartment
Bedrooms for the dogs
The air is clear and clean
And I’m living like a lonely king
At the top of a stucco mountain
So I tell the servants
To bring me my things, all of them,
Line them up in rows
And go
No one needs to see this but me
The way it all smolders and burns when lit
Vanity and insanity
Riches turned to soot
Freedom listing with the ash
Leaving me with nothing
But sweet liberty
And a ticket back to
The man I once was

Okay All Right

Hey you
Chubby ballerina hanging from a bouncy seat
In my office doorway
Where did you go?
Because I’m not sure I know you as this woman
Kissing him
Snuggling him
Giggling so differently from my little girl
Oh I know I’m supposed to
Let go 
Murder my darlings as they say in the craft
But I wasn’t prepared for this
You with a man who doesn’t understand how lucky he is
Who has no passion for anything
Not even you
Okay all right
I’ll just take the advice your mother gave
Before she passed
She said
Every cloud is an elephant or mouse
Depending upon your angle in the grass
Doesn’t that sound just like her?
Are you there?
Oh you’re not
Okay all right
You’ve got my number
You know where I live
I’ve got all the time in the world for you
Always have
Just say when

 It Wasn’t Supposed To Be This Way

My mouse pad is torn again
And I’m running out of room
For all the ideas that were right on the tip of my tongue
Other people are geniuses
I’m just a crypt keeper
In a one room walk up
Trying to hold my breath
The last thing you said was
Love isn’t a spaghetti western
Just like that
Lips pursed
The last straw
And I wish now I’d never laughed
I still have your number
And the new one I convinced Courtney to give me
They burn a wide hole
The smoke makes it hard to see or breathe
I never meant to write one more poem about
Missing you
But even the pain of doing so
Is more pleasure than I’ve had in weeks
Who needs a mouse pad anyway
There are photos on my phone
Daggers I can stab myself with
A video of you drunk and giggling in Cabo
All those fish in the sea behind you
Hidden by a sky blue blanket
Around midnight my cell rings
Your face on the screen
My favorite pic
Me saying Hey there
The mirage
If it is a mirage at all
Laughing at me till dawn
Cackling like an unforgiving jackal

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