Monday, February 15, 2010

february 15th, 2010

here's another cut-up I wrote with Erin Dillon...

a narrow escape

The last time I saw skin wrapped in the old flannel robe it was dull early light.  Tonight she suggested some mental enrichment before bed.  We were drinking doubles like inspired maniacs.  I sliced open the last lime and stared at the robe belt dangling by her velvety feet.  And I admit it, my downfall occurred suddenly.  Initially I tried hiding my tears but one cannot hide such potency.  Damp and disengaged, I moved the red piece on the checkerboard.  Like a bounty hunter systematically slaughtering his prey I struck with eloquent quickness.  The squeaking leather upholstery played a soft minor key.  Her coarse cry still clings to my dusty flannel.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

february 11th, 2010

waiting for my sandwich

I was in a deli in Santa Monica waiting for my sandwich to be made.  I grabbed a bag of chips off a shelf, walked back behind the counter and starting eating them.  After a few bites a man glanced over at the bag, then at me, then back at the bag and finally said You should wait until you pay to eat those.  I slowly turned my head in his direction and responded sarcastically Thanks for the tip and continued eating.  Neither my tone of voice nor my belittling, furrowed face pleased him.  You’re an asshole he said.  I disagree I responded, and if you want my opinion I think you’re an annoying, nosey wanker.  I had only used the word wanker maybe a dozen times in my life but it felt like the perfect insult.  This was not the answer he was expecting and he shot me a cold, devilish stare insinuating that if this was not a crowded deli he’d punch me right in the nose.  The tense moment lasted about 10 seconds until I was called over to pick up my sandwich. 

Now-- I am not a violent man, in fact I have a big issue with the idea of violence in general, and I have never been in a legitimate fight with anyone, but there have been many times when I wish I had been provoked enough to throw a punch.  I imagine it being a big thrill, and if justified (which is almost always not the case) it would send a rush through my body that may last for weeks.  It’s a very thin line to cross because violence should never be the answer, but I also take myself very seriously and stand behind all my actions.  Basically, I’m not going to allow another human to walk all over me (or someone I care deeply about) without consequence.  All I can do is eagerly wait for the day I find myself in an altercation.  I compare it to a nightmare; it’s something that leaves me terrified and vulnerable, but I cannot deny the exhilaration it instills.  I often spring out of bed after a nightmare feeling more alive than I have in months.

get off my lawn

Many nights I find myself spouting negativity and claiming everyone is a waste of time as I lay on my bed, clutching a glass of wine, checking the clock every minute to see if it has begun ticking backwards yet.  I feel more and more like a bitter old man every sunrise and the majority of me is perfectly okay with that.  It would be a misunderstanding to think I hate people, I just think they: talk too much, listen far too little, hardly ever make the appropriate effort, cherish the little moments about 5% as much as they should, concern themselves with the “now” far more then I would recommend, listen to shitty, talentless, cookie-cutter musicians, talk way too much, say thank you and please far too little, show a lack of respect to those who deserve it (which is everyone until they prove unworthy of receiving it), show an inability to admit when they are wrong, don’t appreciate the written word or art in general, don’t sympathize enough with those less fortunate, drive flashy, fluorescent cars with license plates like IMASTAR or CASHMNY or GRTTITS and adjust their $400 sunglasses that cover half of their face and pop the collar on their $200 polo so everyone on the fucking street will stop dead in their tracks, pull their hands to their face and scream in orgasmic jealousy because toys and materials define status and command all the respect and attention when all it says to the thinkers is My cock is the size of a baby carrot and I feel insecure every minute of the day.  The reasons never end and they always try to pull you under and drown you but the persistent ones who secrete quiet confidence will always have the last laugh, even if it’s only a chuckle.

Monday, February 8, 2010

february 7th, 2010 part 2

I felt like writing this one out...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

february 7th, 2010


The metaphor that life is one big roller coaster is such an overused and oversimplified bullshit cliché.  The thought of a roller coaster provokes images of screaming, fanatic, brazenly joyous people incapable of closing their big, sloppy smiles because everything is so goddamn great.  The exhilaration is captured on camera for everyone to see and at the end we pant like newly fed puppies, eyes shot open like frogs begging for another trip around.  The problem with the metaphor is that every part of a roller coaster ride is fun, even the drops, especially the drops.  Sure, it’s a wild, unexpected ride that some of us aren’t prepared for, but the whole experience is a blast.  The part of the ride that resonates most in the metaphor is the initial climb upwards; the grueling feeling of torturous anticipation.  That is life. 

Or life is one long, brutal road trip.  It has handfuls of absolutely perfect moments, but in the end, when you arrive at your destination sleep depraved and hungry, everything is kind of underwhelming.  You shift the car into park, let down your shoulders, and if you’re lucky you turn to the right and look your lover in the eyes and smile because she’s scared too.  But at least you’re scared together.

And along this strenuous road trip we all encounter traffic cones placed in strategically annoying places; these represent most of the people that enter and exit our lives.  At first their fluorescent orange exterior offers comfort and companionship as you hunch over the wheel, slapping yourself in order to stay awake, searching for anything unique among the blackness.  Then sadly the cones start to become a nuisance, an attempt to slow you down when you feel a second wind coming and you’re determined as all hell to keep going.  Every now and then a cone will point you in the right direction.  Every now and then you’ll doze off and strike one of these cones-- some of them will clutch to the bottom of your car and hang on for dear life, killing your pace and reminding you how few mistakes each of us is given.  Others will collapse underneath the frame and cling to nothing, falling off harmlessly.  You must respect every cone you pass but stay focused.  The path to satisfaction is a fucking minefield. 


the rejections keep coming
from editors who always say they want
new and exciting poetry."

the rejections keep coming
from editors who don't answer my angry emails
asking why they publish such nonsense,
such contrived bullshit,
such vague poetry
from poets who teach literature
and have PhDs.

the rejections keep coming
and I keep drinking,
wondering when poetry will finally die
because right now it's on a morphine drip
begging to be put down.

Friday, February 5, 2010

february 5th, 2010

here's an older poem from Matzo Ball Soup...

the junkie

The junkie is on his junk and his spotted beagle looks curiously into the soul of a nearby Hot Pocket. All I want is my change, but his hands are shaking and I am fairly sure the beagle does not know how to count. So I stand patiently, chewing on the fact that our country now has its first black president-elect. It's a wonderful thing-- and there were people marching in the street yelling What do we want?! Change! When do we want it?! Now! I had to separate myself near Santa Monica and San Vicente to get a beer, my legs were tired and I was thirsty-- but where do we go from here? Your song still needs a chorus and I am still waiting for my change, the junkie is trembling and I am losing my patience. Stories of gangrene swirl through my mind. How long will this take? I begin to panic, rubbing my hands together until tiny beads of skin litter the polka-dot floor. Uhhhhh… ummmmm… two twenty… two twenty-seven?... ummmmm… two… twenty-EIGHT… two twenty-eight?... uhhhhh…. This could last days, I already feel my feet outgrowing my shoes. The walls begin to crawl towards me like a squirrel scaling a fence. I have to keep my cool, I must maintain! Two nineteen sir, here you are. Sorry for the… he trails off. I snatch the money from his crusty hand and bolt to my white convertible. Giddy up my stallion, ya! Yaaaa!