Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The important dates are never really important to me
like the day I graduated was annoying and my 30th
birthday will never be as epic as my 28th a bonfire
illegally set on Long Beach Island with some friends
alone and cold under those October stars with a bottle
of rum. Holidays are just days that my job recognizes
as days off. The real holidays that I work for that have
the most meaning to me don't mean much to anyone else.
Like flag day every summer in my friends garage
or the 8 hour drive to see a groundhog predict
the weather, and October 10th something I think
we made up celebrating the existence of New Jersey
Diners and every cup of coffee we've had there.

How to Open a Hot Dog Stand

You may open up a hot dog business
and your passion may be hot dogs
and you may love the hot dogs
that you make and perhaps you
like hot dogs with whipped cream
or maple syrup and thats fine
you can have those hot dogs
readily available when someone
wants to try something new
but have your sauerkraut
and baked beans and ketchup
and mustard and let customers
relish in the type of hot dogs
they know and love. Then
when they are tired of their
usual hot dogs you give them
a hot dog or two for free
with peanut butter and let
them discover your creation
on their own. They'll love
that its something new
after all the comforts
of the old and your hot dog
stand will profit and one day
you may own a truck shaped
like a hot dog. That's how
you start a hot dog business.

The hardest thing about E-books
is remembering to read the book.
It's not lying on my floor waiting
to be browsed through but in bits
in this flat machine. Words wait
to be downloaded immediately,
much slower than a quick glance
to the side of my bed. By the time
I turn it on it's over and I don't want
to read anything. Perhaps I will print
out the covers of books and throw them
on the floor to remind me of their existence.
Ill stare at the covers as the screen
tries to load so I can read that novel
I've been meaning to read or essay
on reading or writing to remind myself
that I like things simple.

How Disneyland Works

This is how I imagine Disneyland works.
When some unfortunate child or adult
to big or to small gets their head
loped off on a roller coaster,
falls through the loose seat belts,
or crushed between cars.
The blood has to be cleaned
right away or else it stains
and no one wants to get
on a ride with blood stains
on the seats.
Vomit is so much easier
to clean and probably
takes less time with
a quick hose down.
I imagine all the costumed workers
get together in their costumes
with buckets and sponges
clean off the plastic seats
and distract the people waiting
in line with a short cartoon
of the real characters
they are pretending to be.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

i gave a boy my heart
then he stole my guitars
he's famous now

i imagine they're in a corner
sitting on stands
nearing 1/8 of an inch of dust coating

or maybe they're boxed up in storage
to be sold years from now
for hundreds, maybe thousands

or maybe he plays them
from time to time

maybe they were stolen from him
then stolen from that girl
and stolen from that guy

i don't miss my guitars
i just hope that whoever has them
still gives 'em some attention

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Night for You

meet me by the card house
my room is two oh four
I'll take you on your birthday
and toss you out the door

I'll delegate your future
I'll make you hit the brim
toss it all on black jack
but the payout odds are slim

remember sixteen living days
remember your first shots
blow the candles out on the balcony
turn the light off on your plots

keep the screaming in your head
you have grown to hide these things
celebrate a year of dark
and wish for a futures' lesser sting

Where She Cuts You

I have smelled the gasoline
you're planning on spraying out
I can see the vengeance in your face
the plug-in chainsaw in the closet
was not put there by accident
take a breath
take a breath
the white in your knuckles
is a tell all picture
the chemicals you're mixing
will never clean a sink
you can be a better man
take a breath
take a breath
your "all black" costume can be set aside
your favorite blade can rest
drop the drink and loosen the knots
let her see where she cuts you
but give her the time to regret it
take a breath
take a breath

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I love right angles
but still, I'll take
a wrong angle
any day

Central American Feathers

Turn the sheets & clean up the mess
Remnants of last night's love
"Where lovin's at lovin's best,"
Says the Guatemalan motel maid
In her apron, fresh-pressed
Her immaculately white shoes
& a knee-length peach dress

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Steamship Gambler

press me to your hollow chest
welcome me into your nest
offer me a lip or breast
and let me find a vein

carve some dice from clumps of clay
roll them 'cross the pine decay
make the bet and drop the pay
don't forget your cane

the steamship has the men with will
with stomachs that your pills can fill
to shatter memories of the bill
you've put on your account

the fishnet trap between your legs
can warm them while they empty kegs
while every other begger begs
you ask for an amount

the sunlight wrestles down the waves
and takes the dark the moonlight saves
and puts us all in dockyard graves
while whistling to the sea

toss your money in the pot
win roaches, razors, slugs and shots
put your knuckles in a knot
and pray for what will be


we walked this
frozen soil when
the sun would
burn it red

I thought you'd be
married now and maybe
I'd be dead

you're still free
and I'm still me
unbroken in this bed

breathing hard and
heaving from
the hungers that
we've fed

Friday, November 05, 2010

A Kid I Met at The Mug Once

Tommy came to the bar,

started ordering beers,

talkin’ about

how much money he “made”

begging at the boardwalk

in Atlantic City that day

He said it was real easy

“just tell ‘em

you got lost and

you need to get bus fare or

that your parents

kicked you out of the house

and you’re so hungry.

They’re all rich,

richer than me, at least.

Rich people love giving

their money away

if they think it’s charity.”


he wanted to move on

to something stronger

“Give me the strongest

drink you got in the house”

he said.

I poured him a double

of Dewars, neat.

He coughed after one big gulp,

expecting something more

like Vodka, I imagine.

“Damn,” he said,

and I sat back and smiled,

knowing he was

now a Scotch man

and wondering

when the begging

would get boring

and he’d move on

to something stronger.

God's The Bartender

We’re all stumbling home

drunk in the dark

and God’s the bartender

kicking us out at 2 am.

Sometimes he lets us stay

until 3, but

that’s only

on weekends in the summer.

So we’re stumbling, drunk,


partly from the booze,

one eye only half-open,

the other one

completely fucking useless

and we’re pounding our

fists against cell phones

trying to call the girl

that always comes over

and heals our wounds

when we’re this drunk;

when we’re in this much pain.

and in the morning,

through the hangover,

she resembles an angel,

one of God’s

living, breathing, creatures...

just remember,

She works for that bastard.


When we were young
we climbed onto swings
and tightly wound the chain
until the world started
spinning, and we lay immobile
at the center of creation
leaning back with arms spread
hoping to catch
and be caught

we had pocket cameras
and worried about the shots
dragging friends and drugs and
cars and loves into and out of

I would love to be in that
picture on the grass
in the April sun. I would
cut the river out and put
it in a scrap book. I
would have dug
into the snow
for pixels with sharp
and maybe the smell
of chemicals from old fashioned
film, because light
doesn't hit a diode
quite the way it does
a piece of dried out
Kodachrome, does it?

Maybe the posing
was more important
than the picture

you are who you are when you are who you are for who you are

you who are are who are

I am as I am to you

following movement creates
the illusion of moment
creates the illusion of
a whole world
and understanding this
you smile brighter

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Jacket Weather

This jacket has seen


exploding stars

and eclipses

of the moon

This jacket has seen

the coldest mornings;

women huddled in cars

and whiskey.

This jacket has seen

pre-dawn West Virginia;

plains and valleys

of Ontario;

Every mile

of the Northwest Corridor;

I-95 in at least

13 different states.

It’s seen love

help it on,

tear it off,

throw it on the floor and

walk all over it.

This jacket has seen

great poets spill beer and

great drinkers spill poetry

in late night bars

somewhere in South Florida.

This jacket has seen wounds,

the best and the worst of them;


the best and the worst of them;

This jacket has seen life;

the best and the worst of it.

Where's The Jazz?

They had names

for the sounds they would make

and a love for

all things alive, like

music, damp city streets

and the ocean.

They would lay their hands

on old piano keys

and make them sing again.

Breath new life

into old brass

and make it squeal


They had

SaltPeanuts. Salt


They had soul.

They had music.

They had Bop

and what do we have?

Where is Charlie Parker?

Where is Dizzy?

Where is jazz?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Plastic Wolves

He asked if he had to behave

She said yes & he didn’t.

Broken glass alongside her bed,

his heavy hands and breathing rushed.

Every drop of sweat that crashed onto her body was...

Somebody had to have known by look on her face.

Driving his car to find solace in familiarity

Just imagine you are driving home

The quicker the better

Just imagine you're back home with good friends

with your best interest at heart

Glance back in the rearview

and see his sickening smile.

It was stretching with pleasure.

If she took it, she would make it

No negotiations.

“If you don’t do this

I’m jerking the wheel.

We will crash

and if I live, I’ll walk away

I’ll tell the detective

who will tell the coroner

who will tell your loved ones

You stole my car.”

If it were her way

She would have run miles ago

Marks left at the scene of the crime

Only she could see them

Evidence of a price paid

She was then just a product of the road

One day he’ll have a daughter

He’ll understand

She’s wiped her slate clean

& from now on

she got out and walked

it was still uncomfortable

perhaps even worse

but she’d rather have her chances

& be with the real wolves in the desert.