To Josh at 2:13 a.m., July 7th
Transferring past poems
from pulverized trees
to glowing synapses,
keeping me from sleep.
Or was it the coffee?
Death of Antiquity
Grandpa died like an antique
taking 25 years to leave.
I remember him only broken.
I don’t know why
I bother collecting the pieces.
if I had them all
I wouldn’t know how they fit.
I assemble a misshapen puzzle
the ever-expanding picture priceless to me
and refuse to appraise it
for fear it’s as worthless as fear can be.
I took a shit
in a summer mansion
made for the Vanderbilts.
It was a surprise
to find the toilet paper
was single ply.
It was then
It was 2007,
when I sold my car
with high expectations of public transportation.
Fat-bellied, silver, subway locomotives,
vomiting suits, cooks, baristas, hipsters, gangsters, grandmothers, dresses for any occasion, baby carriages, slicked hair, loose clothing, no underwear with legs showing, face dismantled by a cruel deity, hasn’t even glimpsed the doorway labeled puberty let alone wandered in, empty pack of cigarettes kicked across the threshold.
The spittle of bile dripping from a two-dollar Monday’s trembling chin.
‘I just want it to stop,’
The train screeched at every platform and station,
‘goddamn people won’t stay off.’
Sunny-day, Telephone call
You are the sunny-day, telephone call
that leaves every insult sunburnt and brittle
on the back of my tongue.
I won’t be the one to start the rain,
and you wouldn’t know a cloud
if it fell to earth in a final thanatic thrill,
and screamed, “LOOK AT ME!”
when it hit the ground at your feet.
Sitting behind the tall windows,
staring at moving pictures of people
walking back and forth down Harvard Sq
waiting for my Americano to cool down.
A chinaman argues with an Iraqi
over parking validation a block away.
A homeless, negro woman long over due in death
asks to borrow my phone to call a shelter
for a place to sleep the night away.
“I’m not good with numbers,”
she says to me.
“I’ll dial,” I respond,
“you just talk.”
“I can do that,” she says, “I can do that.”
30 busy signals in seven minutes
before it finally rings.
“It’s a competition,” she says.
“You’ll win,” I respond.
I hand her the phone.
She huddles in her chair
like a guinea pig in a cage
as I sip an Americano.
“It’s validated!” the chinaman screams,
“I want to speak to your manager.”
“I am the manager,” the Iraqi replies.
The negro woman hands me my phone.
She doesn’t talk.
Not one word.
“Is everything set?” I ask.
She smiled a nearly toothless smile.
“I ain’t never won a thing in my life.”
She picks up a grocery bag of her life’s belongings
and walks slowly out of the Starbucks.
“I’m goddamn glad we’re bombing your country,”
I hear the chinaman say.
“Tell it to your child slaves,” the Iraqi responds.
Neither one watching the old lady
as she passes them by.
I just sit and stare from behind the tall Starbucks glass
before throwing out my Americano
for being too cold.
on a telephone pole
60 feet off of I-93 North.
I wondered if that telephone poll
took someone’s life away.
The World on a Block
tripped up on verbose usage
With taxi screaming Indians
fighting the good fight
for tired tourists.
Left me jonezin’
For an American Spirit,
But 7-11 only speaks Haitian
and I don’t know any fucking French.
Saving the Children
Saving the Children swam Her way through the crowd
with perky breasts bouncing happy as Her smile.
Pink flip-flopped feet on tip-toe
She scans businessheads
hoping to catch their eyes.
“Hello,” She says
arching Her back for sales.
“I like your tie. Buy a child?
Only ten cents,
and who doesn’t have ten cents these days?”
I’m sure She’ll succeed.
Suckling on Her perky Tits
Saving the Children will keep
the world’s HaveNots well fed.
like an asthma attack.
I couldn’t breathe
not a single breath.
Deprived of oxygen
it was only natural
I lost my reason.
I’m sorry I said it.
It lay unmoving on a paved street
in Boston’s Downtown Crossing.
Its neck snapped by debt,
roped around the throat like a noose.
A Blessed Man
A Blessed Man walked up to me
a ragged backpack slung over his left shoulder
a handrolled cigarette between his remaining eleven teeth
letting out pathetic wisps of smoke.
“Let me cut the bullshit,”
“There is a Peter Pan bus coming around in an hour
and I need to hook a ride.
You look like a good kid and I got $10 in my pocket
But I need 9 more to get where I’m heading.”
I refused the initial impulse
to ignore the Blessed Man,
maybe it was something he had said.
“All I got is change,” I replied.
Then reached deep in my pocket to give him what I would.
“Do you want the pennies?”
Faults and Weaknesses, pick-up lines
I have trouble talking
with those I want
to see naked.
a time machine,
speaking as if we’re the elderly
who never shied away
from youthful orgies.
Thus destroying the life in between
until my teeth are gnawing
on my thigh
and my foot is shat
onto the floor.
Indecisive and vulgar
I have trouble realizing a beginning
when I’ve already penned
A proud man I am,
yet I feel inferior
for disbelieving this modesty.
I become what I’m not
to fight a hubric enemy
I decline to say
“Damn, I’m good,”
even though my thoughts reassure me
of this truth.
I shut up
when I have words to speak
You are talking.
Cake of Shit
the minor things
become the candles
on a cake of shit.
and you gotta blow ’em out.
Roadkill along the Way
Dead domesticated dogs,
and firestone flattened felines.
it wasn’t that bad,
I like the Flower
I like the flower
that Kim Dupee drew.
smiling on the T’s wall
in full view.
It don’t remind me of nothing
so, I’m thinking
It is a bit more of a bite
than I can chew.
I like the mural
that Ms. Kinsington’s preschool painted.
It was filled with red
though it was done
months after Christmas.
It tickled my eye
like a peacock’s feather
and made me want to be
a little bit better.
I like the picture
naked and sleeping.
A solitary nipple peaking
from under the covers
and a little pool of drool
on your pillow.
I swore I’d never
show anyone the photo,
but I know others
have seen this scene.
Was I the only one
with a camera?
it’s just like the flower
that Kim Dupee drew.
not only for me
Drunk Bricks and Sober Bums
staggered up and down the street,
bumping into passing pedestrians,
begging tourists for a trip.
The sober bums
laughed like older brothers
who knew better.
They poured handle after handle of port
onto the inebriated path before them.
“Now you see,”
They sang together,
“Better you than me.”
The Blind Man of Back Bay Station
checked his coffee cup
that’s never there
as the bulk of Boston
with nothing to give,
not even time.
Every second of your life
is your entire life,
passing second by second.
Late Night Pizza Line after the Bar
“Leave it alone, or I’ll fuck you like a bitch.”
“I don’t know why she says his dick’s small.”
“You’re a cunt.”
“Get away from me! I’m gonna puke.”
“Best sales on drunk shopping every week.”
“Can I get a slice of cheese?”
“We only have pepperoni.”
“but I’m vegan.”
“What are you writing?”
Business has gotten the better of me.
The practical strangling the dream.
I’m afraid I’ve gone insane.
Chatting with the invisible on the phone.
Disembodied voices annoyed by my banter.
One of them owns a dog.
Yellowed Scrap Paper
when I was a little girl.
It was such a beautiful place.
people ran a different human race.
I think she’s still sad
I was in love with a girl
who used to slice her wrists.
she drinks chardonnay
and watches nothing but slasher flicks.
I think she’s still sad.
We stood in the light of possibilities,
but didn’t know which way to choose.
We happened across sensuality
to let go this shadow.
to take your hand and flee.
A block of boulevard behind our backs,
two marionettes stumbling,
under the street lights woe.
With time they dimmed in slow anticipation,
under layers of trivialities,
and benign troubles soon to grow.
I held you with a maniac’s glare,
You whispered back with a playwrite’s flare.
And we kissed for bliss and times long ago.
Days of the Week
Monday lay in bed with Tuesday,
tears streaming down her flush hours,
sobs hiccupping the minutes,
Sunday’s spit still clinging to her cheek.
Tuesday waited until Monday left the next morning
and decided to change his ways.
No more, enough, never again,
He informed Wednesday of these decisions.
Wednesday held back for fear of the consequences,
leaving Tuesday to fend for himself.
Tuesday didn’t make it.
He left for Monday,
cursing himself for being so blind.
Wednesday bit his tongue,
and avoided saying goodbye.
He shut himself in his study instead,
to count moments gone by.
He lost track of the evening,
Nearly not noticing Thursday’s knock on his door.
It took half an hour before Wednesday stood from his seat.
‘3,654,’ he said to himself,
then opened the door,
and promptly died.
Thursday felt she was to blame.
Friday wouldn’t argee,
She was sure of that,
But Friday was an opinionated bitch,
Desperately trying to swim in Thursday’s pubic hair.
She didn’t swing that way,
Friday never gave up the chase.
Enough is enough, thought Thursday,
Wednesday was dead,
Monday gone with Tuesday,
and all Friday talked about was sixty-nining.
Thursday said, ‘Fuck it,’
and wrote a bullshit book.
She called it fiction.
It sold three million copies in the first week.
Friday read it twenty-eight times
enthralled with its straight talking text,
lacking beautiful imagery.
It was a downer,
but Friday was down.
The book became a repulsing magnet,
shooting Friday’s mood into giddy meaninglessness with roller coaster wheels.
After her fourth reading,
she decided to give up Thursday.
It was over now,
The book made that clear.
Saturday thought it was over-hyped.
‘A pointless plot coupled with childish dialogue.
Not too mention, the narration reeked of shit.
Why would Friday care so much?
It makes no sense,’ Saturday said to Sunday over cocktails.
‘Some things don’t,’ Sunday replied,
‘I just wish Wednesday was still alive.’
‘You don’t care about Monday leaving?’
‘No,’ Sunday said later that night with Saturday’s snoring head on his chest,
‘I don’t care about Monday in the slightest.’
He spat at the quiet world.
Then fell asleep,
never seeing Monday’s face pressed against the window.
A bad joke to tell at a party when the beer is running low.
There was once a man named Greg who wanted a perfect wife.
He put a five-karat diamond on a platinum band,
Then shoved it to base of his penis.
‘The first girl,’ he said, ‘to retrieve it completely hands-off,
keeps the prize.’
I saw him two years later in Portland,
the five-karat diamond gleaming spectacularly
on the right hand of his companion.
‘I’m Tom,’ his spouse said as he shook my hand
the platinum band pushed to the base of his ring finger,
‘Gregory speaks so highly of you.’
“And of you too.”
A thought on a bus
I want them
to turn off the lights
on the bus.
I want to see
where I’m going,
where I am.
An Ode to No Emotions
The sky was blue.
The street was gray,
or is it spelled grey?
I was on the sidewalk.
A car drove by,
but I didn’t wave.
At 8:25 p.m.
on a Wednesday in March,
it can be hard to find
something to do
when you’re avoiding your apartment
so your roommate can fuck.
Sex can be inconvenient,
when you’re not having it.
entertainment will die.
It’ll be buried
with a dollar bill
and the spit
of a generation of artists.
“About goddamn time,”
and silence only boredom could kill,
and the world will shout,
and pay dollar after dollar
How’re the chicken kabobs? asked the customer.
The chicken kabobs? The waitress responded.
Why, they’re simply amazing.
The best I’ve ever tasted.
Slow roasted in an ancestral, tin kettle
over a wood fire stoked by hand for ten hours -at least.
The choice of seasoning’s secret
a recipe handed down from one generation to the next,
since the fall of the Greco empire.
I’m a vegetarian myself
and I eat the chicken kabobs.
I would kill the chicken for these kabobs -strangle it myself.
Truly, the best choice on the menu, the waitress concluded.
I’ll have the steak, the customer decided.
Parking Lot Ocean
There is a parking lot behind my apartment building. It is expansive and sliced with 2083 yellow lines.
One winter, it turned to ice and the moon’s reflection reflected an ocean to my eyes. I smoked a cigarette –shivering- and watched Cadillac tides roll onto Toyota beaches.
‘Hmm,’ I thought, ‘doesn’t look good for swimming.’
A black man on the train
cleaned a tarnished, golden Crucifix
hanging around his neck.
He peeled Jesus from His cross.
giving the back a good scrub.
“Thanks,” Jesus said.
“Can I get you a drink?”
the man offered. “Whiskey or gin?”
“Better I didn’t,” Jesus replied
climbing back onto his cross.
“I have enough trouble staying on as is.”
Near the heart of a city
-closer to the lung-
I stood smoking an American Spirit
between three towers
taller than Babel.
A colonial blacksmith
-in a tri-corner cap-
“I’m off to the Freedom Trail,”
he said into his cell phone,
before taking a sip of a Starbucks Coffee
held in his moisturized hand.
Your words were sugar to my ears,
but you talked and talked,
until I convulsed in diabetic shock
with each honey suckled syllable,
I told you to think of the happiest moment in your life.
To remember every detail
Not the color
Not the companion
Forget the portrait
Focus on the landscape
Every blade of grass
Every pine needle
Then you rolled over and apologized for showing me this side of you.
A Japanese exchange student in Portland, Maine crossed the street.
He waited for the lights to give him the go ahead,
then carried six packs of corona, miller, and budweiser-King of beers.
the corona fucked itself over with a muffled crack.
– a light-up caricature merrily blinked white against black frame-
4 bottles dead,
2 mortally wounded.
The Japanese exchange student in Portland, Maine glanced at the carnage.
Sudsy blood flowed away with the rain’s reflection thrown off Exchange street.
“Kotaru,” I think he said, then ran the hell away like a poem written in the dark.
2 Apartment Trilogy
Infant Antichrist cries
born to a bastard’s mom,
as always it should be.
Drunken Devil sings
“Fuck child support,
let the beast find his own home.”
I yell through the ceiling.
“I’m trying to sleep.”
A white-tip, reef shark pulled up in a maroon, Chrysler mini-van.
“Is this Nevada?” he asked leaning out the driver-side window.
“It’s New Hampshire,” I replied. “Nevada’s about 2000 miles that way.”
“Goddamned land,” the reef shark barked.
He lit a cigarette, took a drag, and exhaled out his gills.
“Don’t smoke in front of the guppies,” his wife reprimanded.
“I want to go to Disneyland!”
“Shut Up, Everyone!” Papa shark scolded,
“Or I’m driving this thing back into the Ocean!”
“You should buy a map,” I suggested.
“Fuck it,” Papa shark replied.
He backed up,
then drove his maroon, Chrsyler mini-van away from me.
His fin hung from the driver’s side window
clutching a near-extinguished cigarette,
lost on goddamned land.
I once met the most forgotten boy,
in all the world.
He paid seventy dollars a month,
for a cellular telephone.
“No one has called it,”
He said to me.
I asked for his number.
He gave it freely.
“I’ll call tomorrow,
we’ll go feed ducks.”
He just laughed.
When I phoned the next day,
a woman answered
with an annoyed tone.
“Who is this?” I asked.
was the return.
“I’m looking for the most forgotten boy,
in all the world.,”
“Never heard of him,” she replied
then hung up on her end.
“I’m a Greek god,
a Cuban pimp,
and a drunk Irishman,”
He said to me.
“I’m an American.”
A podium stage in Harvard Sq.
if I got on
would the university ask me
to get off?
How surprised they’d be
when I did
If you offer,
If you don’t want it,
In the End
the way I came in
some may joke
there is not
a vagina that big,
will arrange it.