Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Poison Dream

If I'm to dine on the fruit of your vines
you'll be the sweetest poison in me
the brave flavor on a cynical tongue
to savor as my body falls victim
as I wake with you and turn your cheek
to see the newest tear
I know you come from killing clouds
I know you're here for seasons
these portals we dream through
keep us mortal in the ever night
and corner us in normal boundries
seeming formal to the sleepy eye

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Noontime Chores

I was digging up a dog today
Hoping he’d still be meat
The sweat and heat beat me
So I took a needed seat

I snatched up my bottle
And took a dramatic swig
Bleeding from my cuticles
As I spelled your name in twigs

My over-alls were dusty
As I pulled off the covering clay
I was discovering the beauty of things
Hovering just above decay

Looking down on this mongrel
Wriggling with hungry worms
I thought of your indecency
When you laid out your brutal terms

I figure now that oversight
Had rigged me sick and vexed
When you’d triggered in a bigger love
Perhaps I’ll dig you up next

Grayson Bartlett

Thursday, September 02, 2010


fist pump your way to the lime light, climb the 15 minute ladder to the champagne room and find you're ghetto repunzel at the top of her ivory tower giving hand jobs for shots shots shots...and come september some how theres more trash heading up the parkway than they left in the sand.

got a cousin in hell, an uncle on his way to join him. president says bring the boys back home and he aint even left yet. you got friends in the desert taking bullets over oil? you got family in the ground paying another mans dues? fox news balancing out what's fair and jon stewart keeps us all in stiches while we sweat it out at home waiting to lose our best and brightest. its ugly, heart wrenching and pointless defending the american way, cheeseburgers and amstel light, fighting for cable television and the right to shop for trinkets from your living room. we built this city onbullshit and send strangers to die to procure more. thanks for the courage fellas, i hope when you save some for when we actually need it

What Counts

Eventually you'll take her home
Forgetting your allergies
You'll walk through backrooms stinking of cigarettes and whiskey
She's spinning now, stumbling even
slurring words, thoughts unfinished
You help yourself to milk crates stacked outside the corner flower store
as you try to convince her
her best option is to vomit
She doesn't disagree,
but insists it's not time yet

Your house is far
Hers further
Together you conclude that the wisest move is to drive once
(although very drunk)
to the closest destination only
You need to let out the dog anyway
She agrees
You toss the milk crates in the back seat

Home now she brushes her teeth
what little she did eat
Still remains in her stomach
(it's not time yet)
You send some drunk emails
to some cute online girls
Knock your new computer off yer desk
by accident
She's in bed sewing, eyes bearly opened,
She comes out running
Together you fix it and climb back into bed

You roll around a bit
She's unusually silent until she let's slip her fears about a very sick friend
how she loves him
He's family
You think, she's really drunk tonight
And she knows it
You ask gentle questions
she needs to get this off her chest
She let's you see her cry
You make her laugh
Together you laugh hard and long
And as if on que, one of her favorite, your favorite albums comes on
By track three you're both asleep
She doesn't dream

When you wake up you kiss her
She smiles, her head hurts
The night before may be all a blur
But you spent it together,
as friends would,
and that's what matters

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

cover bands
break into
a set of
rage against the machine
and a bar full of collard shirts
full of top shelf drinks
full of twenty something college kids
throws its fists in the air
and chants

fuck you, i won't do what you tell me

and they will all pay their taxes

she's been on the corner
of bedford and north 8th
for years i heard
selling whatever trinkets
costume jewelry and wall hangings
sometimes numbers come to her
in the bustlin city
she plays them later
in her british accent
she'll tell the story of
her WWII vet husband
and repeat "war is hell"
with a feeling in her voice
that only comes from
living through old wars
living through honest wars
and she'll sit on the corner
and sell trinkets and age
and tell the story and
disdainfully speak of
the new neighborhood
waiting is hell
war is hell

so here's this preacher
runnin youth groups
and buildin skate parks
in new brunswick
i knew from carnival days
and sunrise surf sessions
he wandered just to
far from the path
found jesus in the mushrooms
let his hair and beard
grow long forgetting
the world doesn't like a savior
for the freedom and the fearlessness
a moral high ground affords
but women always will
and mary magdaline stares
from across the bar
from above a gin and soda
but that doesn't make
his father the broker
feel any better

and the preacher understands
his parents never wanted him
to do the right thing
they just wanted to teach him to
then get blown off

and the preacher and i
catch 4 ft glass a frames
once and a while
i ride a 9'6" single fin log
he rides a retro twinny fish

and there is only room
for one man and god
to pull into the pocket

as an orange sun brings the wind

candy was
dread headed land locked
and sleeping
in the heat of upstate new york

dreaming her and i were
on a massive ship to iceland
cutting the frigid atlantic
we saw a narwhale
and i tried to leap to its back
at the last momnt it reared
its horn comming upward
and she saved me
by leaping first
her arm becoming impailed
we both rode the narwhale away
through northern lights
and cold waters

the narwhale horn isn't
really a hon at all but
a rogue tooth with grand
desires who at an early
age turns upward and grows
through the top of the
creature's mouth and out it's face
and takes on the appearance
of a horn

early viking traders would
hunt and kill these aquatic
mammals cut off their
horns and sell them as
magical items to europeans
claiming they were unicorn horns
the europeans would sometimes
grind them into powder and
sell them at apothecaries

freud would obviously find
overwhelming phalic symbolism
in candy's flesh being pierced
by the narwhale's horn

so the dream of my married
ex-girlfriend is wrought with
sexual imagery influences of
capitalism undertones of deceit
and unfulfilled hopes

but its still the sweetest thing
anyone has ever told me

i write motion poetry
about characters
passing through
towns and time

but now i'm still
in a city that moves

and that is
to new
a concept
for me

jackson browne
sings like
the salt in the air
of an off season
shore town

the piano is grey sky
seagulls arcing against
ambiguous clouds

this girl
her name already evaporated
she nannys and runs pharmaceutical
grade marijuanna
to pay rent in little italy
but is moving to china town
cuz she needs a
bathtub again

bought her first air conditioner
on the 28th of the month
a daring move
in the city

looked spot on irish
all freckled and red hair
but was
and sat on the hard wood floors
to 40's jazz and blues
in the dying light

as a
calico cat
mover over
the furniture

i like her best
after 3 pints
in the afternoon
when she looks just to long
with half buzzed eyes
says things are "fantastic"
and laughs
like she was youth
and it was spring

i roll over
i am thirty

in the last ten years
i have danced

most poetry was bad

but some captured the mystical

precisely by
avoiding it
all together

red city
they all are at this hour
the sun
and brake lights

she wakes up in bushwick,
gloriously hood

i commuting and uniformed
am lonely on crowded highways
buying coffee at bodegas
lose the point
in the bustle of


red city

will tell you
that the specialization of labor
could only have occurred
in cities
built on the sweat
of post agrarian

but the hard asphalt streets
of new york city
kill artists
as they're dazzled
by the lights
as they stare upward
at the impossible

all caught up in the surviving

the girl
in love with
motor homes

loves to show off
the city
anyone new

coulda been an actress
coulda been a dancer
coulda been a model

her feet fall softly
on wet

the lonely
in brooklyn
ride single speed
through early summer night
full of bridges
flirting hard
with fat red moons

to dinner parties
where everyone

saw a photo
saw myself
next to a giant
at south of the boarder
thought of yr sad smile
thought of every
girl and boy
i drove far away with
thought of america
in the rain

there was a feeling
on a highway
in the freedom
of the wind
between points on a map

northern brooklyn
sad rain balcony
bleeds into evening

hipsters and mexican mechanics
drink beer inside
from glass bottles

they meticulously
kafka as if he
had changed
into the roach
lines and names and
word order
critical essays
or end notes

a romance-ectomy
of academics
as they say everything

and reaffirm
the line between writer and critic

under a
fat enough
the world's calm
is unifying

we are all specs
in the hopeless
currents of sky

moving with
the worldly weight
of an artist
on her

she reminds
that destiny
is a sarcasm