Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Have you ever gotten to the bottom of a bottle of port and, at the last sip, tasted a thicker, creamier contentment than the entirety of the rest of the bottle all together? Mac knows, and now that i think about it over this last sip of ruby port, so do i.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A New Years Resolution

Contemplating 2008 (and why I should stop thinking about things way too much).

After all the excessive New Years drinking, I started the year clearheadedly.
It is ending shortly, and I am quite perplexed.


like under water right before you surface
like ringing in your ears before the loss of consciousness
like the calm before the storm

my heart hurts like buckley

Saturday, December 27, 2008

he said,

"a man only sees the big sky
bleed all sunrise
a finite
number of times"

before the bridge

he drug
a cigarette
cuz he was tired
in the morning

and when he believed in reincarnation
he claimed he wanted to come back

i'm done with beauty

i've stared to long
at human necks
and their skin
on new york bodies

and in the folds seen all the myth of it

the way beauty flows like injected fluid
from the gretta garbo eyes of the ghost
how it kills all razors and sparkle and iron on

how it jiggles in all the right places
like hollywood
but gets drunk and jiggles with all the wrong people
and then the places don't seem so right after all

how it evaporates

i've seen it in varied angles of light
i've seen it bottled and sealed and over priced
imported and crying
well off and aloof with the right curvature of the chin

in to many arcs on my sky
in to many silhouette lines
in to many cook book recipes and dime store novells
in chicago
in the sink

i'm done with beauty

Friday, December 26, 2008

confounded is a four letter word,

Monday, December 22, 2008

She said she loves the winter.
But me,
I have mixed feelings.
The cold wind always stings
my pink skin
and though the snow
looks pretty after the storm,
it always turns muddy
and I always slip on the ice.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thoughts on the Movement (a conversation for Brownstone)

we've got one foot in the grave
and the other
it's on the outside
grasping at candles in the dark

we're unsure and stable
a thesaurus of
walking contradictions
spinning tangled webs of thought
and lies
that we weave
around and around
in Brooklyn pads
or diners
or karaoke bars

and I can't remember
what truth is
(like we ever began with truth in the first place)
but where did it go?
it changes from day to day
setting to setting
it's never the same

I love women
and faces
and poetry
and stories about bars or
strung out medicine men
spitting into cold springs
in hot jungles

I like the quiet of morning
and burning cigarettes
like they're air in my lungs
(though I know it's poison)
but maybe I like poison
the burn of what is real
scratching against my throat
and the pain of what hurts
because I know it's real

I've got one foot in the grave
and I'm not ready
to take it out just yet

where are you?
you don't return calls
and I feel abit forgotten
I think maybe
you've moved on
like I was your muse
or something that
you knew
you could always come home to
and maybe I was the one that wasn't there this time

I feel bad about that

our entire history
is full of
false hope
bad timing

we're great lovers
terrible friends
and just bad for eachother
but I got a girl
that love the world
just as much as me
and I still almost wish
I could share that with you

Nice Meeting You

I met a girl with captivating eyes
but I don't do well with strangers
I noticed her smile
and I looked away
her art was plastered against walls
her card
neatly tucked into a corner
we talked about coffee
I kept my eyes elsewhere
afraid of that stare
and what it might see
dirty soul
crooked smile
truth maybe

we walked on
I was alone in the cold
hundreds of strangers rushing
past and with and against
I sat in mexican restraunt
(the one with homemade tortilla)
unable to come up with the cash
for a burrito

we came back to the store
still I was unable
to see those eyes
I rambled about books
and made uncomfortable jokes
to no one in particular

on birthdat occasion
we spoke briefly
easier on the telephone
but still fearful
that your eyes could
see through the receiver
so I played a part
(a character I liked from a movie)

maybe it was the truth
in your eyes
that made me tremble
or maybe
your eyes were like sirens
and I had wax in my ears
knowing just how many a man
had crashed their ships
against your shores

we're at this standstill
or stalemate maybe
I don't think I'm ready
to hang my hat up just yet
but I want to
I want to be all about you
and spend evenings chatting
over candle lit romance
I want you to dissolve
into the collective with me
I want you to understand
the Creepknick and the Casualty
you're too damned far away
and part of me is still
lieing on the floor
in another state

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Diner Haiku #7

if i got no soul
this cigarette smoke's as good
a sub as any

Diner Haiku #6

this is a homeless
poem, wandrin' pages for
straight lines and edges

Diner Haiku #5

what else can i write
with too much caffeine, too few
syllables left, and

Diner Haiku #4

the storm clouds they are
a' brewin, and all we got
are umbrella dreams

Diner Haiku #3

she blows cigarette
smoke, like a volcano just
after lava bursts

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Diner Haiku #2

eagles only soar
as high and noble as the
flag poles they rest on

Diner Haiku #1

orange is never
as innocent as yellow
or lusty as red

I never thanked you for holding me last night

You started talking about one thing,
The rent that was due and your roommate
Who once again couldn’t pay their share because
“Hey man, I covered you at last week’s Battle of the Bands, remember?”

You then realized that you would have to
Tell your father about the rent, which
He would yell at you for hours about
Responsibility, about standing up for yourself,

About not letting people take advantage of you
Even though sometimes the only way
To really know that is to take those chances.

The night ended with you crying
About how all this reminds you
That your mom isn’t there anymore
And that you really are alone. I held
Onto you, kissing you intermittently

Between tears to let you know that
It would all be okay, without actually
Saying “It will all be okay,”
Because no one wants to hear that
When it just isn’t okay.

You called me today, two days after that night,
Thanking me for holding you as you cried,
Not knowing that this morning I woke up
Feeling unsure about myself,
Because last night we drove in silence

And had to resort to static radio for solace.
I started to wonder if I was treating you right,
Or treating any relationship with any person right, or
If I’m leading the life I’m supposed to lead
And not just mucking through dead air

Waiting in despair and desperation
Until your phone call,
Thanking me,
And letting me know
That I got something right.

Tennessee Dusk

Nights were filled with
Liquor-fueled drives
Careening across that
Tennessean landscape
Whose charming sun and
Stars at dusk were normally
Hidden behind the clouds
Of Jersey City skylines.

Mornings were filled with
Passionate hangovers
And the lust for what that
Day could bring us;
We would just shut our
Eyes off long enough
To forget that such a
Word as regret existed.

We took many chances
Throughout those rock n
Roll Tennessean nights,
Hoping the gods would
Invoke good luck on us
And getting a little bit of it
When we least expected it.

It was only a matter of time,
Even the gods run out of luck,
And we are left to pick up the
Pieces of what we won and lost,
Hoping to even out in the end.

Youth Laced Courage

bring me back
to the Highland
Grove community pool
where Aunt Rosie
would take us,
where the rocks
jutted out just
below the sand
that we dove
through to hit
the volley ball
for one more
chance to win,
where we would
sink below the
water and brave
the very limits
of Life Itself
just to see
which of us
could do it,
where we never
dreaded about cutting
our feet on
the dirt hills
and rusty fences
because the ice
cream truck’s striking
bells instilled courage
in our hearts.

bring me back
to when we
rode our bicycles
down Oakly Hill
without helmets so
we could actually
feel the wind
on our faces,
as the gods
watched and laughed
when we landed

personally, i love the shapes of poems
orbs revolving a great fiery truth

weightless and grave, they never quite touch it
if they did they'd incinerate

who can resist it?
who doesn't love physics?

the world caught fire and burned down here
the air, rich with white ash, ripens
the clean earth sears

Monday, December 08, 2008

We argued about words
you said that words
come from
that that is
what they mean,
that to be
"prejudice" was
worse than being
That prejudice people
judge other people
and that racist people
are simply aware of
racial issues.

But I argued that words
don't come from dictionaries
but from people's mouths
and then they enter dictionaries
and to be a racist
was a lot worse
than being prejudice
maybe its that hard "st"
sound at the end
the sudden stop of the word
but being prejudice
flows and sounds
more official
like some political
or a religious movement
that woin't go away

I write in three places
my car
in class
and at readings
One when I'm
traveling at 60 mph
one when I'm
infecting minds
the third when my
mind gets infected

you always carried a pen
and that was really important to me
Thanks for carrying
pens for me
I don't think they
were for me
but thank you

Form doesn't matter
sonnets, freeverse
it doesn't matter at all
all that matters
is getting that
written word
from my brain
to some page
to my mouth
to your ears
to your brain
form doesn't matter
rhyme scheme doesn't
iambic pentameter
doesn't matter
communication is
all that matters
in poetry
in music
in paintings
in anything really

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sometimes I wonder

when you storm out the door

out of control

steaming and screaming like a boiling tea pot

that you're getting your gun

do you really have one?

are you really going to get it

and are you frustrated enough

to place it between my eyes upon return

and tell me how much you love me

while your pulling the trigger?....

Art is an enduranace sport.
This far into autumn, the cherry tree still takes me apart.

I am warm, red tipped
Though the world thins, the birds too busy for metaphors.

I keep hurling devotions, crying holy cries
To the whitenening sky, the coming nothing.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

on some bright morning
they'll find me
staring blank
and cold
finally at ease
finally smiling
off to happier times
waiting for the white stones
to pile higher than black ones
or seeing through the dream
and traveling on
down narrow path
through valley streams
and mountain steam

on some bright morning
I'll find you
gone from this world
on to the next
hoping those white stones
are piled high
prayin' you see through
the dream of that devil
death god
and leavin' you
two silver dollars
kiss your vessel
and see you once again
on the far shore

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sometimes, I don't get any sleep-
but I never stop dreaming.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

grace hides
behind love's ugly little drum
she's lovely, she's quiet, she keeps
impeccable time

Saturday, November 29, 2008

from phantom canyon

& i get what's left of you
hastened adultery
committed to the feeling
but reads
thou shalt not submiss.

adulterous gluttons
crucify his remains
send them home to me
all disregard for what meant the most
seasonally caught up
in something i created

the worst part is
i have to pick up the pieces
on both sides
when seasonal love has ended
and seasonal lust begins

i guess you haven't heard
that doing the same thing
and expecting different results
is the 'definition' of 'insanity'

Christ, i'm tired.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

your lips, my ears

your whispered,
whiskey scented words
left me

The Rising Tide

Come to the rising tide
come watch the violent waves
the hard smash against the bulkhead
come find it in the words
it's in the thought
that comes after the words
find the rough swells
in you and I
the remorseless undertow
dragging me in
dragging us in
underneath what makes us monsters

The Publisher said he would make us famous...

The Idiom Book Release Party
Saturday, November 29th
The Brighton Bar
Long Branch,NJ

Flier art by our own lil hatter, Amy Dwyer

Monday, November 24, 2008

heaps of grief here,
where ground met ground, here

where eager defeat nearly reached us
where we screamed, and earth, motherly, responded

solitary hopes upon mountains
pose as homes

love runs from the rocks,
pools between us, freezes.

a buck eighty
for a paper cup of daylight,
a wide white world cracked open

i got so lost
i thought everything i saw was God.
i made up saints.
i sang my faith to sleep.

a rift in bliss
stars between one dark
and another

night is instruction
the stars, chalk
the rest, dust

i'm leaky.
water got into me.

like mildew
the wrong life grew.

i saw my light in them
they saw
their dark
in me

soul and bones on wheels
blue heat and speed
the vehicle for faith

the roadsigns have gangrene
the soul is a tumor
the eye, a wound


we needed time
to unwind;
make space between us
your call, not mine.

so i moved on,
and so did the years.

and still, your green eyes
glare at my presence,
face fixed in deep thought,
girlfriend's shoulders bare.

Black Friday So Soon?

She opened the door. Any amnesiatic euphoria I may have been experiencing in the more delicate stages of awakening were slugged by the rush of cold air that breezed in, heavy with a perfume of burning yule log. Thanksgiving was coming on so quickly it induced a near panic in me, an unsettling certainty that somewhere on my suburban block, at that very moment, a housewife was reaching back to neo-ancient Americana tradition, fondling turkey guts in some horrific manner to produce gravies and broths the likes of which her husband's palette has never known. This is winter. The war is not over.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sepia-toned pictures
placed on walls
of grandparents
and great-grandparents
together, hands clasping hands-

They are antique.


Whatever happens

wherever those kids find
their explosions
the fire goes every which
way, and it burns through
brownstone apartments
like flash paper cigarettes,
and where the only light
is a bad orange
glow from inside the car,
I want detonate like I did
a hundred years ago,

I want them to
report in the papers
that it was sabotage,
that the Spanish were

but really it was
just spontanteous

cold knife air
and night time church bells
on an empty street

both give lonely
seashore towns

you cover,
then the wind blows,
and the leaves scatter

you dig,
then the rains come,
and the earth floods

I stood on yon mountain
I was trees in all colors
I was the smoke rising from the valley
I was the musty smell of leaves
I was a clear 10 miles
I was the coal beneath the dirt
I was an ache in the lungs

I stood on yon mountain
I was a hand in a glove
I was rocks, slippery in the river
I was tumbling on the way down
I was closer to the sky
I was the thin air

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Surprise

Mark always loved Bianca. He loved her from the moment they met. He remembered seeing her in front of the movie theatre on Friday nights; of all the times he walked her home; the way she smelled so familiar, like the way it smells in summer just before rain. He thought of the way they held hands back then, nervously clutching at each other's fingers like they might be pulled apart. He remembered their first kiss, awkward and new, neither one of them knowing exactly where to put their hands or go about the moment. They were so nervous around each other but so at ease. He thought of all the times they had stopped seeing each other, sometimes years passing in between without speaking but still remaining close friends. He thought about all those drunken phone calls when miles were between them and the friendly banter that only they knew. They both had lived with lovers who were jealous of that connection. Shit, they had the same birthday. It was hard to forget Bianca for that reason alone. They talked each other through heart-aches and deaths; good movies and bad relationships; triumphs and let downs. They knew each other better than they knew themselves.

Mark found himself here, now. On an airplane to San Francisco, a small box in his hands that he would nervously flip open and snap shut every few minutes. Bianca had taken a job as an editor for a fashion magazine and had a week before starting her new job, so she invited Mark out for a vacation. She thought Mark would be leaving from Atlanta tomorrow but Mark had decided to fly to New Jersey and see Bianca's parents then take a direct flight from Newark a day early to surprise her. Mark had not told Bianca about him going to see her parents and wasn't sure of the reaction she would have. Bianca didn't know how much she really meant to him because he had never told her. They each knew they were in love. Bianca constantly reminded Mark that he could come live with her in San Francisco and they could be together. Mark always said it was bad timing. This time, though, he had decided to take her up on the offer and ask her to marry him. Mark felt like the life he was meant to live could finally begin and he was excited at the thought of sharing it with Bianca.

Bianca got up early the day Mark was coming. She had been in meetings all day the day before, helping her co-workers prepare for her departure. After work they had taken her out for drinks and a going away party. She didn't have time at all to even pick up the phone, so she checked her messages with her morning coffee. The automated woman on the other end of the line was cold. She simply reported information without any feeling. Bianca thought they should use a real woman's voice. The first message was from her friend, Loreen.

"Congratulations on your last day, sweetie! I cannot wait to meet Mark! If he's as great as you say he is, I might have to steal him from you! Just kidding. I know you're busy so I'll call you tomorrow. Bye!"

Loreen was so bubbly and upbeat. Bianca wished the automated woman was more like Loreen. Bianca impersonated the automated woman as she reported the date and time of the next message.

"September...Eleventh. Two...Thousand...One. Eight...Thirty Seven...A.M. Beeep!"

Bianca giggled at herself as the second message began to play.

"Bianca, it's your mother. I know you're busy but call me back right away."

She sounded like she was crying. Why though? They didn't know anyone that worked in the towers and Bianca had sent her mom an email letting her know everything was fine and she would call her today. She hung up the phone and dialed her mother. Bianca put her ear to the phone after hitting the "send" button. She thought the ring was allot like the automated voice: cold and lonely.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

day is a mad dancer,
and road a pavement stage
in a great swamp of thought

we poise all night for a promised fall,
awaken late and safe,

time does right by us

Monday, November 17, 2008

I took the train to work today, because the breaks on my car are shot. I didn't mind though, I liked trains. Fuck, I might just take the train for now on. I couldn't afford to get the car fixed now anyway because I had to make a payment on my Victorian Literature class. A class where I had a paper due in a few hours and it was only half done.

On my lunch break, I attempted to finish my paper, but I just had too many things on my mind- my shithole apartment, the bills I could not pay, the health of my mother. I went outside to clear my head.

I sat on the bench and watched the people walk by. I wondered where they were going, what was on their minds. I tried to think of excuses to tell my professor. I thought of telling her my computer crashed, which was true, only it crashed a year earlier.

"Miss Erin! Miss Erin!"

I turned around. It was Jay, the little boy who goes to the library for storytime every Thursday. His mother was returning books.
"I'll bring the car around, Erin. I'll be right back, Jay. Stay with Miss Erin" she said.
"Okay, mom," Jay said.
"Hello, Jay," I said.
"Hello, Miss Erin. You look sad today," he said.
Caught off guard, I said, "Yeah, I'm a little sad today".
"Why?" Jay asked.
"My mother is sick and I can't get my paper finished for class," I told him.
"Don't be sad, Miss Erin. Your mom will get better and you can get your paper done. You are not sick and the sun is out today. Plus, there are so many leaves to jump in," he said.
Then he ran over to the pile of leaves and jumped in. A few moments later, his mom pulled up in an old station wagon and yelled for him to come inside.

I laughed.
Jay was right.

I managed to finish my paper.

Rivers and Roads

six a.m. skyline
and I've never seen so much beauty
like the world was in a bottle
just for me
the way the dawn looked
igniting grey cloud formations
with the glowing horizon
framed by tall pines
and cold wind

dreaming of other pink morning
that made grass look like emeralds
sparklin' better than your eyes
and the road was a river
dark and mysterious
forever flowin' into new roads
that flow into roads
that flow into roads

it was the night
when I thought the sky
would come and swallow me whole
and we stood cold
hidden in shadows
sharing soft kisses through chattering teeth

and we talked
about movies and love
and literature
and the ten years that just passed

it was that night
when everything was wrong
the check was off
we were rich in awkward moments
we were never alone
they wouldn't leave us alone
they were rich in worries

it was that night
leaning up against
nameless wooden fence
weathered like us
you told me
you would never let the sky take me

I believed you

is this what you want?
these pages mean nothing
think about hours spent
surviving dark roads
and miles
fighting harsh weather
and frost
paper and words burn
blood and love infect

Sunday, November 16, 2008

in the voice of whom it is for

i walked in the rain
i walked in the rain thinking
of all the glass symbolism
it had as a device in hundreds of
years of literature

i walked in the rain
i walked
in the rain and hoped
all its baptismal qualities
were real and concrete
and powerful enough
on these sin stained parts

i felt the textures of feminism
as it soaked through my hair
runnin as electicity in lines
of least resistance
over my skin

i hated the wind
for a moment

the rain was my tears and yours
and the tears of children
and parents and grandparents
of refugees
and of soldiers in green khaki

i wondered if there was anything
if there was anything left at all
left for this rain to wash out
i had already washed it all out
bleached my hands
killed the ghosts of stains

when the rain was all thought out
when the rain was all thought out
i knelt
i knelt in a gazebo
the gazebo at the end of the rain

and there in the gazebo at the end of the rain
when the rain was all thought out

there in the halo of three cities
in the image of a horizon and the mark of man
set against creation

the world was finally a prayer
i was a raindrop
forming about the dust of it

Friday, November 14, 2008


back in vietnam
they were closer than brothers
back at home lovers

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must live.
—Charles Bukowski Betting on the Muse, Barfly

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All composite phenomena are impermanent
All contaminated things and events are unsatisfactory
All phenomena are empty and selfless.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

we marvel at the night sky
when we're lucky enough
to escape the light

the way this event
hasn't occurred in four
thousand years
or that one ever
in recorded history

how these two planets
out there
across a certain constellation
as the pleides sparkle
in an infinetely unique moment

but the night sky
but the night sky
but the night sky

is a mirror
another crystal lake

and all yr moments too
are trully singular
and dancing

for we are all
celestial bodies
and worthy
of wonder

you were sad tonight
sad as break lights
sad as autumn
sad as a bad drunk

and arching
on the horizon
in this season's pre winter

or i was
blown out
in my white t-shirt
and overtime eyes

and the way you stand
reminds me of lonliness

but i am just a man
and all that that means
and you are after all of the day
the verazanno bridge

as we both arc a constant and mad span
beset on both sides
by all the laughing stars

Monday, November 10, 2008

"...don't bow & scuffle for Edith Wharton pioneers or ursula major nebraska prose. just hang in your own backyard..."

"The taste of worms is soft & salty like the sea or tears."

"Women love like hunters..."
-B. Harlan


you told me
you quit the bottle.
made me believe;
weaved it
into my brain-

that evening
you left me;
reeked of booze
at 1am.
my feelings of hope

you were weak and i was weeping.

trash talk,

they just don't make
big enough
to cover
these black and blues

i want to work miracles that don't matter

i want to stop wanting miracles

and wanting things to matter

pull of blue upon a small bald room
the proper tension, counts
the loves that i allow

Go Home

You lurk

You linger
and lash when the time's right
because time is all you have-

You strike me
on my sidewalk
knock me down,
bust my bad knee-

I get up,
take some Advil

I keep on walking.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Girl I Saw in Brooklyn, Election Night

I think about the way
she moves
falls in love with
everything she sees
silent sidewalks
and gutters
city streets
and strangers
the way she looks around
at the landscape
and the way it moves
almost nervous
almost profound
laughing at her own words
and promises of adventures
with a couple a' poets
from outta' town

but they're not lies
maybe more like dreams
or hope
I mean
who is she to deny
one good time
or one shot
at falling in love
again and again


I dream in cold
fogged whispers
exaggerated memories
and fears
where days are hours
or minutes
or second hands

I dream in all black

Saturday, November 08, 2008

after honest night,
after love,
dawn is a monument

A tender cup, glass
In astonished hands

Revelations of color,
Autumn breaks and offers

There is time to blaze

Friday, November 07, 2008



To defer
like a decked dispute
at a passing lace

We are rarely a day.

Yet for months, 
we have tasted midnights
and talked suns with our lips;
noticed our air go-

We have no dismay.

He revolts her.

He repulses her. 

He drives her.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

In late autumn,
she knits him.

He enwraps her,
withers the cold-

her ornamental lover.

man named the moon
before he knew
it was bigger then himself

to be
red wood
in the midst
of all the
that occurs

to be without
the weight
of movement

i forget
the names of pretty girls
with limp handshakes
and moist lips
at parties
or as they decorate barrooms
two and a half
after they say them
with big eyes

but the names
of the dead
and dissolving
the drowning
or the dying
haunt my head
float about
and echo
as granite carved letters
or embers

she becomes
in moonlight
as sea foam ghosts
with fixed pupils

female lines and
broke in jeans
lay, landscape, silhouette
on a blanket

dawn is anticipation


today i am a mechanism
tomorro i will be an attempt

diamond eyes
living dreams

he infected
the room
with a mythology
of his own seeds

hollow again
setting with the shoe shine moon
i'm a cup
gettin filled and drained rapidly
and sporadically
and jack and neal
always chantin
that fuckin mantra
go and go and go
and being jazz
and its so hard to be jazz
cuz the world aint
for hours at a time
and what do we do then
even my old moon goes down
and movement
is only relative

it use to be
when i stopped
i was fighting inertia
the trains pullin away on both sides
of the platform
but now friction is a despot
and i'm always pumpin
hard and consciously
to keep from halting

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

you ate Valium by the handful

Why is it
When I’m struck with melancholy
You’re always in the fold

You must have made
A mighty wrinkle
In my brain
Or perhaps on their way
Thoughts must pass
Too close to the neuron
You linger on in

I can’t help but think
Of when you told me you were Zen Christian
Same day and same diner
You called my Atheism brave
I’ll never know why

And there were those nights
Nights you ate Valium by the handful
And tried to turn my husband into a cuckold

Isn’t it droll?
To know what I know
But my brain only wants thoughts of you
Do not get to bold though

I said
I thought of you often
I did not say
I thought of you fondly

Unabashed black.
Holes in our bones and
Fuck the antidote.

Monday, November 03, 2008

How do we live
with our attraction to infatuation?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

True Beauty

it's truly beautiful
to see a human mind
take form
all by itself

my son
only three
has discovered the art
of deception

no one taught him this
and when I asked him
to clean up
he quietly pushed it under a table

I found it
he thought it was
an original thought

but there is no difference
between father and son
or you
or anyone

and I find it truly beautiful
the most natural thing
for us all
is to lie

we're riding down
three a.m. highways
staring up at
black starry skies
through static
back windshield
and I wonder
through fog
and blurred roadside
if I'll look back
on these days
with a reverent smile
or with a fear
a consuming fire
or desire
to go back
and fix things
long broken

I hope that if
I look back
I laugh
at mistakes made
and realize
that mistakes are
the only way
to get things right

Thursday, October 30, 2008

If you pretend nothing ever happened
Nothing ever happens

If you watch punditry at night
You’ll turn into a bitter person
With little ideas
And a heart full of hate
For anyone with bigger ones
Or everyone

What I say in Poetry is never important
If it were
I would say it in conversations
With my loved ones
Or my doctor or boss
But it’s never important
So I say it in poetry
So you only have to care
If you want to

i know all the names
of the ways i feel
like spirits conjured
by firelight

i've studied my palms
with strained eyes
in the halos of lamplight
every crevice, every line,
all their predictions

i know the dirt under the nailbeds intimately

i can understand the failures of the mirror

and the resonance of all things
hollow or hallowed

and sometimes i can sing like that
and sometimes i wish
i could sing like that

walked fast
chewed truth bare
carried everything
long hair
silver smile
maybe like heaven
maybe like a snake

to die
in a bath of movie credits
ceasing to exist
in any sense after
the next commercial break
with all the sins forgiven
and all the meaning
of 124 moments
framed perfect
by the plot

i clutch sarte and guatama
with that white knuckle desperation
cuz my job puts things in my head
and before
my eyes

souls are clean
till they muck 'round in the mud

virgins, baby, virgins

now we all wash our hands
the food service industry
for christ's sake
has god damn videos
'bout the proper way
to wash yr hands

in the end
it ain't germs we're tryin to kill
its souls
tryin to clean
and save
and bleach
and wash

make virgins, baby, virgins
out of trash and air

i remember
how she spat words
as knives
machine gun fast
each one with
punch and thrust

now she wears
her hair
and someone calls her

i remember
the scarves whe wore
and the wind that
caught their edges

i remember
that short haired
ahe loved unrequitably

and when she requested
99 red balloons
the german version
on vinyl

i practice dissolution
dropping spoonfuls of white
crystal sugar
into coffee abysses

trying to learn all the secrets
of the physical reactions
when a liquid absorbs

the art of a thing
changing state
and becoming one
with another

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

i been through beautiful wretched drunk high and discarded elegant intelligent marvelous excited new naked thrilling boring and revealing piss poor and rich girl relevant and mean whores, dames without out conscience and names without promise in a race to see just how fast we could find it, this missing old feeling boot marks on the ceiling, the scars and the cars the tattoos and the booze and the cheap lies and razor blades, hot tubes and cold fates, alone in a desert or at peace in her bedroom, shes out by the morning and giving no warning as to what i'll wake up as or where i was going, but the long bitter road, i've been down never ending, to find all this shit and a broad not pretending that every little word i say holds the meaning of all shes been longing for
cold nights spent scheming, some runaway train wreck bounding for anywhere but here with some company, drown me in cheap wine and drag me to bed, i think i fucked up love sugar, but i aint dead yet.

Monday, October 27, 2008

i busy myself with straightening
new skin all over me

he lingers in the vests of the dusk

traveling like an interval
the ready times, clutched by a 
far remembrance,

Saturday, October 25, 2008

all this economical strain,
I don't even feel it.
I'm back on an elementary
school schedule and all
that matters are state
holidays and the ways
I waste my time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Question.

If the pen is mightier than the sword, what does that make the keyboard?

*I just laughed alittle because I heard Sean Connery say the penis mightier in my head.

The Fall of St. Patrick

it wasn't the snakes that did it
and it wasn't the drinking
or the bar fights
it was probably his ego
each week standing in front
of a group of spoken word
slam type hotties
who tried to rap without
the music underneith
and I'm sure he slept
with one or two
or at least got really close
which led to the fall of
St. Patrick
a man we were so excited to see
whenever we thought of Jersey City
and its perpetual ride and
whatever its trying to become.

"Professor Baird, I want a taco"
and suddenly right at that moment
I want a taco too and ask the students
where to get tacos in Perth Amboy.
I give the students
an assignment and run across
the street to a taco hut.
I buy eightteen tacos, nine beef
nine chicken, and return with
three bags. We eat the tacos
and grade our work,
then I hand out a poem
about the body that was
given to me in my Masters Class
but I knew my reading students
could handle it.

It was about relationships
and the differnce between
a boy's wants and a woman's
needs and I felt it was something
we all could relate too.
We got personal and talked about
our own relationships and one student
who was soon to be married
and whether or not marriage worked.

"Professor Baird..." says Stockton.
I gave all my students pet names
it helps me to remember them,
gives me a reason to remember them,
and its a lot more affectionate
that way and shows that I care.
"Professor Baird..." says Stockton.
He was called Stockton because
he lived on Stockton street and
I used to go to Stockton and he revealed one
day that he played piano and I used to play
piano at Stockton so it all worked out.
"Professor Baird..." says Stockton,
"...if their's anything I'm learning
from this class, its that poetry doesn't
have all the answers like I thought
it did, but answers questions one
at a time."
If tacos fuel lines like that
they'll get tacos every class
till December and they'll
all get A's even the ones
that don't show up.

Markers in Your Life

Lakehurst Navy Base, the gas station with cheap gas, the middle school, Ridgeway Liquors, the red light he drove through...

Some of the things my grandfather mentally checks off when I drive him home every holiday and birthday. A list to make the ride seem shorter, I guess, or maybe something to fill in the silence between me and a ninety year old man with his pride in running that red light and making it one year to the next.

I usually grab the blade
of the sword before it hits
me. It slices right through
my hand which makes me
happy that I use
computers to write
one fingertip at a time.
Usually I don't know
the guy with the sword
sometimes its my friends
but only because I provoke them

Walking the Trail

Sometimes they just come with no control
the form comes easily
as you skip this line
and skip that line,
and the ending brings you back
to the beginning.
but sometimes they don't come
sometimes you have to make them come
use your mother's maiden name
for a pen name
not only because it sounds
more literary
but because we all have father issues
that need to be dealt with
at some point.
Sometimes you have to make them come
taking the grown over trail from the 2 mile
path I walk everyday after lunch
finding a dead end or a stream to cross.
Sometimes they just come
and sometimes you have to walk the trail
and find the dead end yourself.


John had been driving for hours. He rubbed the dryness from his eyes and took the next exit off the Parkway. His stomach rumbled, trying to digest a meal that wasn't there. South Jersey was eerily empty in the fall months and he drove down the empty highway for some time until he saw a diner. The parking lot was almost as empty as the highway, only a few cars pulled up near the entrance. He parked on the side closest to the highway and walked in.

Inside the diner it was a nice change to the cold wind outside. The regular late night crowd that can be found in any all-night diner were huddled in booths that lined the walls. John took a seat at the empty counter as he was greeted by the waitress.

"Hi. Menu?"
She handed him a menu ", anything to drink?"
"Coffee please."
She poured him a coffee, placed it in front of him and walked away.

John took a quick peek at her ass as she hurried to refill coffees and take orders at her other tables. She was too skinny, he liked his girls alittle chubbier. John decided righ then he would only tip her fifteen percent instead of his usual twenty and went back to looking at his menu.

The waitress returned shortly, flipping the pages of her order pad and blowing a piece of hair out of her face.
"Ready to order?"
"Yeah, I'll take two eggs over easy with salsa on the side. Do you have hot sauce?"
"Yes, that on the side as well?"
"Yeah, and lemme' get white toast and homefries with that. That's it. Thanks."
The waitress scribbled quickly, never looking up from her pad ", refill on the coffee?"

She grabbed the coffee pot and refilled his cup before rushing into the kitchen to place his order. John sipped his coffee and took a look at his cell phone. It was quarter to three in the morning. He rubbed his eyes again and stretched back in his barstool. A guy with a dirty hooded sweatshirt walked in and sat at the opposite end of the counter. He seemed nervous as he sat, shaking his leg, his hands buried in the pockets of his sweatshirt. The waitress walked back out of the kitchen and over to the guy. John overheard him order a coffee.

Soon, the waitress brought John's food, refilled his coffee and hurried off again. Something about the guy at the other end of the counter bothered John. He didn't like the way he looked, so nervous. John ate his food, glancing over at the guy indiscreetly every once in a while, keeping an eye on him. Finally, the guy threw some money on the counter and quickly walked out. John laughed to himself, he couldn't believe he had been worried about that guy holding up the place. John finished his cup of coffee as the waitress walked up, scribbling in her pad.

"Anything else?"
"Just the check, thanks."

She finished scribbling and tore the check from the pad, placing it face down on the counter ", have a nice night." With that she walked away again. John checked the time on his cell phone. It was three fourty. He needed to get to work. He left the money on the table, fifteen percent tip included and walked out, jingling his keys in his hands as he walked around to the side of the building. The guy that had been sitting at the other end of the bar was now squatting on the curb at the side of the diner.

"Ah fuck" John thought ", this guy's gonna' want money."

John had to walk past him to get to his car, so he kept his head up as he walked, pretending not to see the guy. As John pasased behind him, he felt the guy turn and look up at him.

"Hey mister?"
In that moment, John hated him. He turned around and looked.
"Hey, do you think you could just give me a ride a couple miles down the road? It's freezing and I'm out of cash."

John looked up at the brick wall. No windows to save him. He tried to think of an excuse as he looked around the empty diner parking lot but found nothing. It would be easier just to take the guy than to argue with him.

"Yeah. Fine. Let's go, I've got work to do."
"Thanks so much, Mister."
The guy quickly got up and walked over to John's car. John unlocked his door, got in and unlocked the passenger door from the inside. The guy got in.
"Thanks again, sir."

Now that John could get a good look at him, he realized the guy was just a kid. He looked to be in his late twenties.

"Yeah, no problem kid. Where am I going?"
"Just take a left out of here, you'll see MacIntyre's Pub up on the right. You can just drop me there. I live right near there."
"OK. You in some kind of trouble or something?"
"No. Nothing like that. Just out of cash and it's really cold."
"Allright. How long am I gonna' be driving? Be honest, now."
"Fifteen, Twenty minutes maybe."

John huffed and turned out onto the road. He drove for about twenty five minutes before the kid spoke up ", it's coming up on the right. Right over here."

John pulled into the empty parking lot. The lot was spooky, all the lights were out and the bar employees were long gone. It was ten after four. It would still be a few hours until the sun came up. The only lights in the parking lot were John's headlights. John parked the car.

" Thanks again, mister. " The kid grabbed a small book out of his bookbag and handed it to John.
" What's this, kid? "
" Just a 'thank you'. "

John looked down at the book. 'ARE YOU SAVED?' stared up at him from the cover. Something about it lit a fire inside John. He got out of the car as the kid closed the passenger door.

"Hey kid, hold on. Could you move something from my trunk into my backseat for me? I would do it but my back."

John grabbed the keys from the ignition and handed them to the kid. John moved out of the kid's way so he could open the trunk. He put the key in the trunk lock and opened it. The kid stared down at the trunk and gasped. John squeezed one round off into the back of the kid's head. The kid made a small yelping sound as he slumped into the trunk. John put his gun back into its holster and quickly shoved the kid's legs into the trunk. John closed the trunk and looked around briefly, making sure no one was around before getting back into the car.

John got back onto the highway. It was about four thirty, now; just enough time to bury two bodies and get home as the sun came up. John huffed, he hated working nights.

This city will render you
in the grays it knows
unless you know better

and we know better.
Buildings betray themselves.
They leak sweetness all day.

We take to pavement and listen,
living on gristle
and great ideas

Sunday, October 19, 2008

a work in progress

We burned acres of freedom to make way for warehouse stores.
We gave up independence for a few more choices at the market.
We lost a soul and a backbone to erect steel and glass monuments to the dollar.
Now a sickness grows deep in my belly having been born into this world of greed
able only to hear and dream of the beauty that was here before the fall of idealism
and knowing that my daughter will have to take my word for it
that once upon a time men were strong standing side by side and there was little reason to walk on each others backs.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I don't give a shit about this Wednesday.
Or next Wednesday or the day after
Or before it. I miss knowing what color the day is.

Do what you will with your youth.
Jayden thinks everything is green.
I agree.

Are we off the goddamn island yet?

"drunken Publisher after a birthday bonfire, Thanks, Jackie"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

lat time around
was an officer
in the un air force

today, just drunk
disliking police
and alwys
wanting to call
the moroccan embassy

but what will always
stick with me
is that so sharp
sound that
when he snapped
his fingers

i've sat in nowhere towns

knowing in the white light
of the great blind faiths

shinning people were performing
brilliant miracles
outrageous acts
of balance and daring

but now in this light of a mythical city
i can see
that all people
only shine
and miracles
at random in the night

up on the bridge
she explains
stories of the city's ghost
but the words get drown out
thinking of stealing
kisses in the skyline

...always did have a thing
for williamsberg girls

been wanderin loose footed
streets of a great city
with ferenghetti
talkin in my head
'bout his isea of miss subway and the
brooklyn bridge
and saw 'em
in the new york night
older now
after the dream had

there was a coney island
of my mind too
there was a whole new york
of my mind
brimming with
deadbeat saints
and street corner
but maybe
that was a new york of another yime
or of another world
cuz this is one
of drunk barrooms
and gorgeous

1st Bonfire of the season

It's Publisher's birthday!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the soles of my boots are worn.
dirt and rocks seep inside,
underneath my feet.
there's no traction
walking along pavement;
yet, i always manage to get across
without falling.

by light of sick machines
we count flowers
admonish ourselves

Me and the Moon

it's me and the moon
and here I am
looking up
at these stars again
thinkin' bout all those
dark figures
movin' all
secret and holy
like they're protecting
some unseen treasure
in New Brunswick basements

and then
all those times
caught in hailstorms
or meteor showers
cloud cover
and thunderbolts
knowin you were there
protecting us from
places unkept
devoid of that secret
treasure of night

it was you
showin' us where
to hang our hat
rest our heads
when to quit
and when to
drive it all home

kept me stirrin'
and crazy
when you got all full
like I was protecting you
for once
from exploding
out and off
stormin' their shores and
killin' them all

in the end
I know it'll come
right down to
me verse you

you'll bathe me
in stars and maybe
a lightning flash or two
and go on livin' here
as I go
discoverin' new roads
in another place

ha, i just got here
leave a couple lights out so i know which ones home
i got a bone to pick with all or none
im alone a twisted mess my dear
but at least we're on the same page

you had me at goodbye

"you want an explanation?", he screamed as she trailed off into the empty frigid would be romance of another wise pale evening. "hi kids, this is a fairy tale we live in. i'm Pinnocchio the dwarves are railing snow white on a mattress behind the 7-11. truthfully theres a yule log channel and a trees that dont need water in every living room this side of the mason dixon, but i'm traveling to the shit grove where they grow elliquent ignorance and package it all in the back of a museum dedicated to the finest store bought mass produced garbage of the 21 century..."

to which she replied,

"take me, i'm yours

on seeing a beard in a convenience store

I threw open the double door
and growled "it's Tuesday"
and everyone inside the store
put down their distractions for a moment
and looked at me because
it was Tuesday,
but that's not the kind of thing you say
in polite company

and you, you looked at home
in the florescent lighting
seeping into yr bones.
the daily, ever present
ebb and flow of coffee and
cigarettes and the tides
and the moon
and new newspapers
replacing the old
creating the illusion of
time passing, but in yr veins
it's the same, and when the
register rings up

I slid dollars across the counter,
like a piston in mid-fire,
and yeah, it was Tuesday, and I wanted
to leave my ID there when
I walked out,
make a clean break of it all,
of all the Tuesdays
waiting for the light to change,
for the rustle of newspaper,
for the condensation to drown us all,

but instead we leave like bandits
who forgot to get off with
anything but the coffee
in our cups

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


by sam floT

(I’m disassociating
Mind place and person and)

I’m the figure you see
From a distance
On top of a hill
Next to a small cluster
Of small trees

Just a silhouette
Ambiguous and indirect inside

(If my eyes blink it changes)


I’m hurtling through
A tunnel dark
All arrows trying to see
Trying to understand
What my vehicle is

What’s taking me there?

(If my eyes blink it changes)

I’m back on
What feels like and looks like
A California rolling hillside
No trees but I’m in a forest
Of windmill turbines
Duplicated repetitions
Placed equidistant from or to
Each other

(If my eyes blink it changes)


I’m on the ocean now
Not gently
As if down a placid river
But a constant rag doll
Thrown down and up and all around
By the sway of the inevitable
Ocean consistent

Always in conveyance of the metaphor
Up and down
Up an down
The sway of the inevitable ocean consistent

(If my eyes blink it changes)

I’m back on the hilltop
I’m back in the tunnel
I’m in a windmill forest
I’m floating, not gently on the Ocean

Bounced around and wondering
Bounced around and wondering

Windmill forest
Floating, not gently on the Ocean

Bounced around and wondering
Bounced around an wondering


Deliver the Sun

Deliver the Sun
by sam floT

I see the sun galloping on clouds
Beyond the neighbor’s mossy rain-stained rooftop
Breaking through the distance
Nowhere near me, but looming, I see the sun
I long to feel it’s warmth after a cold dreary day

Birds chirp despite it all and it will come
I know it will be here
As I anticipate its arrival
A lone bird flies across my view
Unable to wait, flying to the sun
I am jealous at his seeming insistence

Seek and find he says
Do not seek and still find, I say

It works both ways, he replied

Monday, October 13, 2008

Swan Reunion

In the process of moving a year ago, I had trouble eliminating stuff. My ex told me that I have a problem with letting go.

Yes, I'm a pack rat.
Yes, I'm nostalgic.

And when I listen to that damn awful Oasis album with the song, "Wonderwall" on it, I'm always gonna think of winter '96 with warm fuzzy feelings.

It's October now, and I'm gonna see you this weekend.

A year ago, we wanted to carve pumpkins, but we dressed up "mod" and ended up at a Halloween party drinkin' gin all night. We sang that awful 90's song driving home and vowed that it would never leave the car.

It never left the car, but I still remember.

And now here we are, doing our thing-

You, in PA
Me, in NJ

but I still kept you around.
And I'm gonna see you this weekend.

March 14, 1997

Saving pomp
A book

A memory
of pall
A memory
A cold memory

The Rutgers computer lab stinks on ice.

An Apology of Sorts

what I need from you
is a realization
that it's not all lies

I'm a hopeless romantic first
I'm a drunk
and afterwards
I write it all down

I need you
to sort through
the drunken rants
the embelishments
and bold confessions

no one said
it was easy to know
a romantic drunk
a lieing writer

we are phantoms falling down
but we make great lovers

God is an Ant

I think about ants
going through their day
not bothering to
or even think about
explaining themselves to me
and to an ant
I am God
I am omnipitent
I am the creator
I am the destroyer

I like to think about
changing an ants life
taking him from his dull surroundings
and sending him on an adventure
on a leaf raft

I imagine him
cruising down the gutter
the cliffs of the curb on one side
and wide open
rocky desert on the other

it must be amazing

I guess
what I'm saying is
there is always
someone bigger than you
there is someone bigger than them

I am a God to an ant
I am an ant to a God
God is an ant to an ant

I like to think about ants

A Dream

Autumn is here
and I want to take you
on long walks
to watch leaves change
and fall off

later on
I could rub your arms
as you shiver
your teeth chattering
watching our breath
fog the air between us
and disappear

you can tell me
how crazy the world is
I'll reassure you
that people are terrible
we're all fucked
and we'll get through it
one perfect day at a time
in a shitty world

You Like Pizza

I poured it all over the table
these guts
this blood
whiskey fueled
barroom confessions
and you stayed
swayin' and strong
still playin' the game
showin' no cards
and keepin' the deck

all my words were poetry
taken from the bottom of the glass
but they were real
and it was all true

I just want to know you

you and me
we're a part of this
holy dance
that's been goin'
on and on
for centuries

your words
they don't cut
like razors
more like
teeth scrapin
across my skin

Sunday, October 12, 2008

there are so many old timers
but only one stranger

I'm very excited on hitting the 2000 mark post on Walking English, it's like when yer car hits 200,000 miles

your right, waves do get smaller
but I didn't think of them as getting
smaller but just leveling out.
Leveling out to the point where
it reaches childrens ankles
except...they can still feel the pull
of the tide trying to bring them
back in. And then a new wave comes,
rises to a point and again levels out.
Without all that pulling back, and rising up,
and leveling out, without all that movement,
we'd only be lakes about to dry up if it wasn't
for the mountain springs that surround us.
Our celebrations are movements and the tide
is pulling back out leaving shells and rocks
that will be pulled out by other waves.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

In elementary school there were two types of kids,
you were either a busser or you were a walker.
I was a busser.
I wanted to be a walker because they stayed late
after school and it wasn't till years later
that I found out it was only 10 or 15 minutes more
so the buses could have time to leave.

Review of The Idiom from the guy at the Racontour

I never actually read a copy of The Idiom
but I like what you do
so its one of those unconditional loves....I'm like your dog

When my sister sees people walking on the road
in all black at night
she gets angry wondering where
he's going, what brought him there
to the middle of nowhere in Jackson.
We're surrounded by cranberry bogs.
Perhaps he's picking cranberries
at 2:14 in the morning.
It made sense to me.
He may have been the youngest
writer for some well known
magazine for all I know,
ran for some government position
to mess with the numbers.
All I know was driving down
Cedars Bridge Road
at 2:17 in the morning
was that I really
wanted some cranberries.

Lines from "The Prelude"

When the Earth is all before me,
and all these beginnings and happenings take over

I look about and the guide I choose
be nothing more than a wandering cloud

And with that I am calm
Thank you, Wordsworth
Thank you, Milton

and with that I remember predictions of cowboys
walking into bars, because Mariachi bands

are so rare in these parts and all those miracles we create
known or unknown, seen or unseen are when we are the strongest

Yet, in weakness we create distinctions, then
deem that our puny boundaries are things

which we perceive, and not which we have made.

I love it when the Earth is all before me

Friday, October 10, 2008

poetry is easy.
it's all about when to keep writing
and when to go to sleep.

everything else is awful.

Alice told me I am a mirror for madmen
I was twenty years old,
eating and drinking,
growing and shrinking

I need you to leave me
Alice said so

from the middles of bridges
the city is finite,
and still

from the insides of cities
the city is still

my insides keep asking for
another city

a different strife

Everythings literal even when critical
times call for metaphors and lines
of iambic pentameter

Kundera says that
seeing is limited
by two borders:
strong light,
which blinds,
and total darkness.
My shoes used to be dark
now they are light.
They are white
and bright, stand out
especially with khakis
and the red paint
at the tip can be seen
from gas stations
that shut down
from art tours.
It's a lot easier now
going from darkness
to the blinding light.

The Story of Where and When Time Met Space

The Story of Where and When
Time Met Space
by Sam Flot

He said:

This trail we’re taking is a circle
If we start at the end
We can reflect on the grove in the middle
We can see the coast near the beginning
Which is our end

She said:

If we start at a point
Unforgiving transporting
The real evidence we find
Is life is supporting and
Gives us no warning
No flags to indicate which way to go
Arrows point everywhere, but, ummmm…

Now I get it
It takes me a minute sometimes
We’ve been waiting for you
Where ya been?
You must be Time?
So nice to meet you
Everyone ‘round here calls me Space

He said:

Subverted contorted
Fast down or slowed up

I’m waiting for no one
I’m on nobody’s side
I must say the pleasure’s all mine
This time

She said:

Contracted or reported
All close tight or spread out
My frontier is the air
And I like mine clear

Have we been here before?
Have we met?

Cause it seems to me
Déjà vu or fantasy, previously
We’ve had some sort of intersect

He said:

I am fastidious
Slow, not pretentious
I’m exacting and yet I forgive
My heart beats metronome rhythm

I heal all wounds
I’m wasting
I’m short
I’m money!
She said:

I am undefined and infinite
Instant and unknown
I provide taste in music
Emphasis on timing
Room to just breathe
Or to imagine
Unparalleled lands of promise
Not sands falling through a glass figure

He said:

Our meeting was sanctioned
The day they invented
Anything thought to be measured

She said:

They told me you’d be here
I’ve waited everywhere
Finally the moment is here

He said:

Space you’re so beautiful
So soulful and endless
So open and calm like a breeze

Space you surround me

I can’t find a place
Where I don’t want to be where you are

She said:

Time you keep talking
Ticking not stopping
Just stop for a minute and listen

Let’s stop all the thinking
React without shrinking
Away from this light we create

He said:

My heart is standing
On my head undemanding
Hoping you’ll give me some room

She said:

Step inside, Time
I’ve got nothing but room
For your vast and infinite mind


I think that we’ll find
The beginning was fine
Not yours, not mine

For right now
We may meet again Space
Somewhere in the very near future
6.22.oh-ate fLOT

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Math I Teach in English Class

Maybe it's not just the evolution and execution of things that I like
but perhaps some distance and time ratio that really matters.
I'm not talking about flux capacitors or my inabilities to balance
while hanging off guardrails, but wanting to be in the city
instead of watching it from a park.

I haven't been in a city for a few weeks and like camping
when I haven't been there for a while, I miss it and while
camping I want to be anywhere else but in the woods.

Although I do like the view of the city while driving
over bridges towards tunnels and that's a pretty complex
math equation. Something like the amount of time (T)
you are traveling towards a city
multiplied by the distance you are from the city (D)
equals the amount of pleasure you experience (P) while
viewing the skyline:

T x D = P

We didn't even consider all the factors that might affect
this equation: the traffic, the weather, (its always the weather)
the right song from the radio because you Ipod knows you so well
it knows what to play when put on random.

All these issues just to get some pleasure from a skyline
for a city I'll never get to because I'm stuck on this bridge
and the tunnel is all the way over there.

my nerves uproot me every day.
i am always starving.

sing to me
and keep me singing.

what we have to offer are
notebooks of sound
the strange ways we love and
the ways we love
the strange

we make light of day and
make the day
we are faith

and proof
that, after having lost faith,
life continues

we soak up consequence, defy,
amble, and rail

we are invaluable


I'm sorry I write this shit
I'm sorry you choose to read it
I never apologize
without real incentive
I'm ready to quit
When you're ready to tell me to
I have no problem giving up on dreams
there's no secret
as to what keeps me going
there's no spiritual fulfillment
in this asshole's motive
it's simply a nervous compulsion
to make somebody hear me

On Scott Street

as she walks shouting behind her
waving her left hand
conducting a sidewalk ghetto symphony
her high heels sound monstrous
ready to shatter the concrete
with her swift power steps
trampling childhood
trampling innocence
I think she's some kinda spanish
though it's dark
so I take hints from her motion
her choice of word
bilingual catty exclamation
I'm in the background
hoping she stays so bold
hoping it never breaks her
as her heels echo from the dark
and she's found something better


Tomorrow is 10/10.
You know what that means, kids.
Toms River Diner

Do it, kids!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

do it, no fee

Poetry Chapbook CompetitionThe Center for Book Arts invites submissions for its annual Poetry Chapbook Competition. The winning manuscript will be chosen in April 2008 and will be awarded with the publication of a beautifully designed, letterpress-printed, limited-edition chapbook printed and bound by artists at the Center for Book Arts. The edition is limited to 100 signed and numbered copies, ten of which are reserved for the author and the remainder of which will be offered for sale through the Center. The winning poet will also receive a cash award of $500 and a $500 honorarium for a reading, to be held at The Center in the fall of 2008. Visit The Center For Book Arts for more information.

Deadline: December 1

When bulldozers work, I watch from the hood of my car.
I also like the bones of a building, a mound of sand before
the shape. When I climb mountains all I see are more mountains.
I like earthquakes, I like tidal waves,the destruction and construction
of things. All that nostalgias for has been's and people
that can't forget but the rivers are flowing and eroding cliffs
and my friend Mike Rice is right, the one's that are never finished
are great because they

an entire age is
lost on you, and

you stand against cities
oblivious to beginnings

i saw yr ghost
as i slipped into coast
in neutral
down the back side
of the rockies
you were mad grin
tappin and howlin
in the jazz of truck tires
no engine noise
just the wanting eyes of gravity and mass

imagine a whole planet
pullin yr soul
to its heart

this woman
and sitting outside
the jersey city PATH
will always be
last week's stripper
to old in the face
for the stage
and mixed blessing of neon

but still with hips
ready to dance
from my pockets
as she leaned
full into that poorly
placed mirrored column

and now that same woman
in my mind and brazillian
her face aged
for jersey city afternoon
has my thoughts
for the shape of her hips
and the cut of her lengerie
and my fingers' memory
for dollars from my pockets

my ex-girlfriend, Jessica use to tell me i was amazing
she was usually talking about my drinking

but i wanna be amazing

i wanna be the lyrics to the chorus
of Amazing fuckin Grace

Kerouac talked about his friends as saints
i want a halo
bright as the sun
pressure and heat
transforming into light
in black holy space
fusion fusion fusion

and i want to be ice cold
damn it Outcast
i want to be ice cold while i burn

i want to grow up to be
james dean's sideburns
the updraft in Marilyn's dress
form fitting and rugged Levis
Marlon Brando's Marlboro Reds
Chuck Berry's guitar riffs
and John Wayne's cowboy hat
all dusty from the trail

i want to be sepiatone, black and white, and technicolor
simultaneously broadcast on three screens

i want to be mother theresa's rosary full of grace
as she doubts in the night
ghandi's peace, hannibal's elephants, MacArthur's war

i wanna be john lennons sunglasses, and bob dylan's words


while we all eat bread and fish
and drink wine
in the company of Lazarus

i want to sing, dance, and screw
like i breath
natural and out of necessity

i wanna be amazing

Monday, October 06, 2008

You drink of reds
and leave me

You drink of reds
leave earth

The wake of daydreams
consumes you

Circle your birth and
come back to me

Those songs are not yours
you are not an astronaut

You are not an astronaut

I read Whitman loud
at a festival
and i realize how beautiful
it is to be reading him outloud.
i want to practice this
in my basement,
perfect my impression
or at least what I feel my impression
of what Whitman sounded like
in long branch
soon i will sellout
and sound like an impression of my impression
of what Walt sounds like
but that maybe what poetry is all about.

I like girls who dance with trees
but they always seem
so illegally young

there is a power
in words
only because of that
simple and overused
concept of language

"I think over a matter of 30 or 40 years of writing the mask comes closer to looking like the face and the face comes closer to looking like the mask, so that finally the person you want to be isn't much different from the person you are"

Richard Hugo

Fuck yeah, Philippe Petit

Philippe Petits on the radio
talking about his high wire
stunt across the twin towers
and i regret calling it a stunt
after hearing him talk about
his art of trapeze.
He talks about learning it on
his own, not growing up in
the circus or even having
a trampoline in his yard

When asked 'why?' Phil
answers, explaining,
that it is the same reason
why a painter paints,
he does not know why
but wakes up in the morning
and must paint.

It seems the more entertaining
something is, the less artistic
it becomes and that's sad
because a man on an island
who draws a picture in the sand
is only doing it because he is lonely.

When Petite walked the clothesline
in his backyard it was for him
but when he climbed those towers
it was for everyone else
and that makes it something
more than therapy.

I forget a poem immediatley after reading
or hearing it
I can't help it
Even though I do like it


Sometimes I don't know why I like it
Most don't read it
for the fear they may be
missing something
and most don't write it
for they fear someone
will miss something

Most times I don't understand it
Sometimes I only like the way
it sounds when read aloud
or the shape it makes
on the page from a distance
where i can't even see the words

just a line may move me
and the rest of the poem
may not even matter

I lost many a good lines
in the heat of a dryer vent
which is the downfal to

Those slam poets always trying
to shock and awe the other writers
a beginning writer I was like that too
but now I realize its better
to shock myself with a good line
that I never thought
would have come out of me

Nasa on the Ground and Astronauts in Space

The astronauts in space are jealous of those Nasa Guys in the control room for their mathematical and organized ways and vice-versa

Although Nasa knows exactly what's right in front of them, the Astronauts can see forever into space, both beings would collapse if in the other situation

Astronauts paint the Hubble Telescope every 2 years which improves our ability to see things clearer, Nasa writes down the correct amount of paint to use and figures out the exact time to paint otherwise the sun would melt the paint over the lens and everything would blur

The sun is Nasa's greatest enemy as is the moon to the astronauts. They both work really hard to conquer their enemies.

Astronauts list to very loud music in those helmets Nasa can sometimes hear it over their radios but choose to have no control over such matters

The weather is important everywhere but in space only meteor showers mean anything. Past conditions are studied in order to find out bad weather reports

Nasa confesses alot of things to the public: its mistakes, its achievements, its discoveries. Astronauts bask in their own Glory.

Without Astronauts, Nasa would just look at the stars. Without Nasa, Astronauts would never know how to get there

For all the Beards in Bars, Bookstores, and Diners

A beard is never just a beard for me
It always seemed to mean
a little more than just some facial hair.
People with beards know what they are doing.
Out of control beards or neatly trimmed both work for me
Beards in bars
Beards in Bookstores
Beards in Diners
have all changed my life.

aspects accomidate all of art.
portray the physical and emotional.
being of entertainment and pleasure.
I know no boundries, limitations, or rules.
I use the best of my abilities in any situation.
I am a casualty.

My disapoointment with camping
doesn't only come when nothing happens
but realizing that beforehand I expected
something to happen

The Real Things I Prayed For

On Sunday mornings I would creep into your room
moving the door slow enough to prevent it from creaking
and waking you up. I would crawl under the side of your bed
and flick the switch on the alarm clock to OFF knowing
you would then sleep late, so you couldn't drive me to CCD or church.
Unless it was a major turning point in our religious career
a confirmation or first communion, our teacher would discuss
the greater things in life to our all male class, like football or baseball
or any sport in which we relied heavily on God.
It was easier to convince you not to bring me to CCD if I were already late.
I'd wait quietly in my room, a good half hour after class already began.
I now think this may have been the beginning of my reading habit.
When the time seemed right and you couldn't possibly shower
in time for church, I'd begin watching cartoons loud enough
for you to wake up, panic over the time, and get me
some of those jelly donuts I loved so much every Sunday morning.

Richard Hugo will have to wait

Richard Hugo will have to wait till
at least my mid thirties
when he talks of trout and "eating
eggs of salmon
that run in the river of his ear"
I just don't get it
but damn it I know it sounds
good and i know something
is there
even if its
not here now

His letters are just that,
only letters
and his dreams
are just that
only dreams

Maybe after I drive to Seattle
to get his 2 cd set, they they will
be more than dreams
more than letters
cause like everyone
Hugo has something in his eyes
in his face
and will do
anything to live.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

the eye, time,
light, age,
wring, hang, and stand
beneath them

weave air into
a home for me

ail as you will.

weigh aches and
dispatch them

I have no remorse.
This time may wring

and struggle, but
it is utterly essential,

this intermittent hand that
clambers and wanes

soon to be erased

monster in a theatre of disease if you please scrape the vomit from the corners and im climbing to the street
all i wanted was to see
never wanted it to be
never turning me to you
never turning you to me
youre so fucking perfect its disgusting
eating aphids under tree
arachnid call girl history
shes always once and never again the time i saw that face pretend it wasnt you and i was somewhere else

sure do miss the marks

televisions making threats again
its getting so you cant believe your self
in a cold afternoon, we'll be singing goodbye precious
buried alive, at least this time, but then again its getting harder to suspend
this little dream
you called again
to satisfy the urge
and push a litttle closer to the edge

im not alone in this she said
you've got the others in your head
we'll make it right we'll break your focus
just destroy the world and watch as no one still would notice
the room in flames just hear complaints
its getting so you can enjoy a decent cup of sorrow

no winds of change
or great demise
could keep the dogs from chasing
down the ones too quick to cry
with leather skin and colder eyes
i could have called you love
and smiled as i watch it die


faceless crowded nothing nowhere
making sense played on accordian
trumpets all go deaf with pleasure
i saw the blue balled matchstick maker
im here so long its feeding time
im sleeping through my dreams to find it
drowning in succession with my favorite piece of furniture

when you die im taking all your sounds
make an album of the resturant we burn in homage to the starving artists working in the back
thesres seagul shit outsite the penthouse at least thats what she said to me the grass is dying for a glass of empathetic proticol
recite the inverse telegram scream over the damn house of snooze band
history repeats another mistake when she finds you hollowed out

broken little finger

get a gun take a message
im in pieces on your floor
fall apart throw a fit
cast aspursions
i'll get use to it
im nothing if not everything
you'd kill your self to be
touch me taste me feel my cold
im inside your empty promises
a broken little finger

cut too deep and break my ash tray
fast asleep behind the wheel
my eyes make sense of no clear visions
i just hate to see it smile


left town one cigarette and whiskey belly south bound
tomorrows indecision breaks apart the mundane skyline
cant find an open window so i'll be sleeping on my feet again
prosthetic happiness and poems about the wasted kind

dont seem to mind the downfall
tragic smiles plastic memories
got a foot in doors
at least you cant take what i will not give
the glass that stretches on
four miles without an imperfection
lies to you in kind dear friend
theres nothing left to do but burn the skys

Friday, September 26, 2008

October, I love it.
The letters should be dripping and red.
The absolute best thing to do in October is to find a really spooky spot, somewhere the leaves are starting to drop, and remember all the ghosts.
Make it somewhere the trees are just starting to look like boney fingers that seem to claw desperate for the yellow moon.
Let your self get real scared, remembering all the ghosts.
The fear is still genuine even if the threat is imagined.

It’s just like masturbation.

Except you replace lust with fear and instead of an orgasm you receive adrenalin high, but really it’s just like masturbation.
I just like fear fucking my own ghosts,
So do you.

Modernity and its luxuries

I got up early to help with the children and drink coffee and bullshit with my sister.
Then I worked a day, a full day, but full of what I can’t really say.
It’s very average and very American
But it wasn’t bad because I feel alright about the weather,
And when I come home I have my own little place
Here in the world.
I’ve got a little place
And all the luxuries you would expect: beer, television, smoke, smokes.
It’s the same old thing
For sure,
But I would be greedy to want more, and delusional to think I deserve more.
All the luxuries you would expect: beer, television, smoke, smokes
And sometimes even time.

Modernity and its luxuries pt two

The time to drink the beer and watch the television,
Tonight is no different.
I watch comedy and enjoy it.
A well written and well acted sitcom, beautiful.
Good television is a luxury,
Choice is a luxury,
And I’m too tired from a work week to do much but enjoy the luxury.
Then there’s a science program about the beginning of the universe,
And there’s politics on the television too.

As I get drunker,
I get dumber
And I go from comedy to science and from science to politics,
And if someone was watching,
And no one ever does,
You could watch me, a human animal melt,
From the beauty and art of humor to chest beating punditry.
But all along I have that luxury.

Modernity and its luxuries pt three

All along I have the luxury
That amazing thing that comes after paved streets and plumbing.
When no one special,
Can have a moment to think,
Big grand thoughts,
And I do think them.
Those vast amazing thoughts
When you understand something that you’ve never understood before
And you get just big enough,
A little bigger than yourself.
For just a moment it’s all laid out before you
What’s illuminated in your puzzle and what’s not
What you know and what you don’t,
And in the darkest spots,
That’s where it’s really at!
If only we had the time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Jenny likes to
smear red wine
across her lips
at birthdays
friday nights
getting her world
out into yours
tellin you all about
the best pizza in town
or dirty jokes

she likes the way the world looks
all distorted
and green
or blue-ish
and a touch of red
through wine glasses and bottles

she likes to be elegant
loves to smile
through blood lips
and teeth
knows abuse
and love
and cocaine
the horrors
and the truths
of all three

Have You Seen Ugly Casanova?

as I'm wanderin Brownstone's holy interstate
crossin unnamed
and I'm wonderin bout a man
that stands seven feet tall
blood streaming down his arms
like rain
or a movie
and he's handing you
a stack of green papers
with drawings
you can hear his feet
grind and
on the broken glass
and he staggers
to the shattered window
and out
giving one last look
before disappearing again
into the mad night

Saturday, September 20, 2008

her soul is still her soul
my rib inside her
my skin chokes

She ambles at dusk
beside the hours
She has one color,
they have nothing

She spins hours into lace
She rages and grays

she walks against panic
shoulders back

murmur of the earth
is hers

projectile joy
inertia and just forms

violence of hours
she fires and invites

she mangles sacrament
a perpetual beginning

Friday, September 19, 2008

"So I did sit down, and everywhere I looked I saw customers of every description being received with love. To the waitress everybody was "honeybunch" and "darling" and "dear." It was like an emergency ward after a great catastrophe. It did not matter what race or class the victims belonged to. They were all given the same miracle drug, which was coffee. The catastrophe in this case, of course, was that the sun had come up again."

- from Jailbird, Kurt Vonnegut

The Waitress

Tanya was folding napkins, preparing for the night's dinner rush at the little diner she was working at. She stopped for a moment to light a cigarette, watching the blue smoke dance with the light pouring through the large windows that lined the walls. She thought about a life in California. She thought about walking out of work tonight, getting in her car and just driving west until she saw the ocean.

Just then, the bell on the door rang as it swung open, snapping Tanya out of her half-dream. Roy walked in and sat at the counter.

"What can I get ya', Roy?"
"Allright! How's everything, Roy?"

Tanya grabbed a cup, a saucer and the coffee pot. She placed the cup on the saucer in front of Roy and filled his cup. Then, she grabbed a handful of creamers and tossed them next to his cup. They fell sloppily across the counter.

"Ahh, not bad Tanya. Not great but not bad. Same ol' shit, ya' know?"
"I know."

Tanya put the coffee pot back on the burner and returned to her cigarette and napkin folding duties. She heard the double doors to the kitchen swing open behind her. A hand slid across her stomach from behind, down her side and then down to squeeze her ass. Mich whispered in her ear, "Hey, baby." She could feel his breath on her ear, his hand still resting on her ass. She slapped it away.

"Not now, Mich."

Mich walked back into the kitchen with a huff, like a little boy who hadn't gotten a cookie.

Tanya went about folding her napkins and smoking her cigarettes, refilling coffee cups and smacking away Mich's grabbing hands. At the end of her shift, she stopped at the gas station to fill up her tank.

"Going on vacation, Tanya?" Joe asked, pointing at the suitcases in her backseat.

Joe was always working when she stopped for gas. He was a sweet old man, always wearing the same, beat up, old cardigan; always smoking the same cigarette; the cherry always at the edge of his fingers, nearly at the filter, so close she didn't understand how his fingertips didn't get burned.

"Yeah, just takin' a little trip, Joe."
"Well, have a good time. See you in a few days."

She thought about Joe. Him walking into his house and kissing his wife's sleeping forehead at the end of the night. She'd like to have that some day.

"See you around, Joe."

She pulled out onto the road and rubbed a tear away from her eye. Everything was about to get better.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

i've been thinkin bout
that moment
that stretches and bulges
as its seen through a water droplet

the one that didnt happen

the one where
you and i walk all night
down damp city streets, glistening
the flesh of our palms
pressing together
the slow strobe
of yr skin, the cheekbones
washing over with every
well placed street lamp

the moment where the city empties
and nothing ever happens
'cept footsteps
and syllables
and occassionally silence
in wet eyes and completely

ive been thinkin bout
that moment

we sit
heavey in the fog
as laden tankers in morning
breaths mingle
make love
with all the infinite
so temporarily

and the scene
has me thinkin
if my breath can be
the air and its moisture
and the fog can be hers
then John was right and
"i am she
and she is we
and we are all together"
tankers and estuaries
and breaths
and lovers
and dancing barefoot
toes mingling amongst
mud and themselves
and breaths

dark on the sheapshead bay

and the swans stand out
only as
holy question mark necks

he was singin Leadbelly
(the one Nirvana covered in the unplugged)
as the rain was commin down

and i never trusted brenden
still never will
except in that
moment of storm
cuz he sounded
like 100 recruits
all chanting
and infallable
in number

we are all fragments
of the One perfect thing
exploring the perfection
of itself


the universe sucks its thumb with wonderment


the tattoos crawl on his arms
and his hair draws back
in his eyes, a sleeping mad laugh

i think of Ernest
well lit in the bomb blast
and early mornin
wheelin his ambulance
around the corners
god crafted in the Alps
the dust and the blood
that shook from his boots
and the words that shook
from his tongue

the city is strange
and god damn fast
with all its horns
blaring and twisting
so god damn fast
the cars barely move
on the highway
crosswalks spillin out
every way
so fast

and a small dark skinned man
plays a flute
all still
on a patch of grass

i threw i ching coins
in delirium
to show you
that i wasn't evil
but the travelin stranger
and the mountain
always thought otherwise

and we tried soft kisses
for the first time
i can remember
in yr curling hair
but yr wrists ended up bruised
again by morning

so i guess thats just how we go

thinkin of the really important ones

maybe existance is not a prerequisite
for changing the world

the only songs worth singin
are the bad ones

eulogy for the midnight smooth

i named you
but then
you became mythic
catching cold sun
on the backside of the continental divide
in angelic coast
raw and brave
holding road
beside countless cliffes
all over
all over
AMERICA (a woman you loved fast)

straight never mistaken
when i couldnt drive a true arrow
just 8 cylinder power
in jet black faith
against enemies arrayed
in battle
that hydrant, snow bank, mail box, chevy blazer
never stood a chance

yr detroit metal
or yr romantic soul

went out to the lot tonight
saw all the exhaust foggin
an' engines howlin love songs at the apathetic moon
headlights blurrin the world in halos
catchin water droplets suspended
in the air

now i been to college
an' these boys aint
an' they poor paychecks under car hoods
an' hours on the grease stained floors of
dim lit garages
till the oil gets in their poors and denim
mixin with their blood

now i been to college
an' i dont know a god damn thing
bout ignition timing
cam shafts
drive trains
overhead cams
wheel wells
fuel injection
turbo chargers...

but i aint never been able to lay ahand
on a metal body glistenin starlight
purrin heavy and feel it
finish myself

i saw you
fall in love last night
like aplot unravelling
with a strong jawed man

he was to drunk to dance
but thats okay
cuz so were you

and i love to let
my eyes catch things like that
the times that taste
of that first sip

of acclaimed red wine


the way you move
through barroom night
self conscious glass
craving eyes

but on beaches
free limbs
awkward smile
the greek letters runnin the length of yr side
"mean somethin to you"

early mornin and
baseball cap
worn and hiding
sleepless eyes

i prayed to the gods shining for a new set of imagery
my old one was worn and thready

jack kerouac is a god
no one understands
what its like to hop freight trains, lost in america
or go 40 days without food, tempted by satan
but his name is always riding lips

i want to write a great poem and walk on water
i want all of you to write a great poem
so nobody will understand our footsteps
and loaves and fishes and where it all came from
and why it goes
and no one will read
the 573 holy verses
but then
we will

only bodies whither