Saturday, April 30, 2011

If You Want To Write Like I Do (I Doubt That You Do).

Take a memory,

pick it up and look at it.

Magnify it or

look at it through a loop,

like a diamond.


forget about it as if it never happened or

Exaggerate the shit out of it.


exaggerate the fuck out of it.

Never mind the fine details,

paint the picture of that memory

like a dream

because thats what it is.

Never write about right now.

Never write about the woman your with.

Never show your girlfriend your poems

just spring them on her at open mics.

Don’t invite her to your featured readings.

Whenever you’re unhappy with your writing,

claim you’ve retired or that you’re done writing.

Write secretly at work or in your bedroom.

Drink but don’t write drunk.

Throw out every other poem.

Throw out all of your best poetry,

this will keep you always trying to best the memory of that poem.

Write about nature and things you love.

Write about people you hardly know

or strangers.

Treat your woman well

and she will give you endless amounts of inspiration.

The Smallest Thing

The smallest things remind me of you,

like driving home drunk in a rain storm.

I’m brought back to the night when

I let you drive my car

trying to find some road

that lead to Manhattan.

We spent two hours arguing about the best route,

driving aimlessly on back streets

as you ranted about bridges

and I complained about my bladder.

You finally pulled over in front of a burned down house

somewhere in Harrison.

I pissed on the front steps

while you changed the radio station.

And we ended up at a diner in New Jersey

sometime after that.

The smallest things remind me of you.

I don’t think of California

without hearing your name somewhere in the back room

of my mind.

Every time I think of LA, I want to throw up.

I remember writing countless poems

about your ride on an escalator in Newark Airport,

crying and begging me to come with you;

spending sleepless nights on the phone with you;

spending sleepless nights waiting up for your call;

spending sleepless nights worrying about why you were staying out so late;

spending sleepless nights wondering where we went wrong.

The smallest things remind me of you,

like the feeling I get when I think of you and

remember everything you were and then

that little thing that you’ve become.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Getting Over Chrissy

I got a flower
and put it in a vase
to try to replace you

then I let the rain drops
count themselves

when I was too weak to worry
so much about so little

Zen and Music

I see you fighting this in your mind,
an age old Japanese trick of self enclosing mirrors
whereby the startling of one string
outlasts even our thoughts about it
and tumbles down the grass
happy and free.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

the inner monologue
of Judas

think hard
on the motivations
of one kiss

there is an exact weight
to 30 pieces of silver
there is an exact weight
to bodies suspended
above the ground

saw 4 gutter punks
walkin through queens
as the sun rose slow
all army jackets and dreadlocks
pitbulls walking loosely
besides the morning

in the first warmth of the season
went to Thompkins Square Park
as the light was dying slow
to hear the whispers
of Leftover Crack
across time

there were homeless clutching bottles
and an unconscious clutching a needle
the plaid youth on bicycles
young proffessionals with
small dogs and small children

the park still has an ammonia scent
and somewhere Stza plays
radio friendly music

everyone you've ever known
comes back to you in the city
whispers of aquaintances
in the almost faces
on benches
in the park

all the sadnesses
all the drunk nights
all the naked bodies
in varied lighting

but softer this time
in a stranger

union square gutter punk tarot reader

in afternoon
wide eyed
and machine gun talk
rattlesnake sounds
reading cards

but one warm evening
make out the bugs
beneath the skin
hood pulled up
dark eyes
and slow

the setting sun
the molting

the moon sometimes dies


into observations
of concrete motions
of concrete objects
the tempting shadows
of overarching themes
deal with the objects and their motions

leave the horizon
to itself
with the flirtations
of astral bodies

saw guilotines on the horizon

and i courted her awkwardly
in so many towns
stopping and going

i've always seen the arching
of bridges
on the same horzons

and i suppose that is why
it never worked out


the movements
of soft
fleshy fingers
on cold
hard ceramic

as it catches light
and holds the

maybe the
soft compromise
of stomach meat
as each gives
just enough
to erase
the space between

the lights
of a ferris wheel at night

the feats of engineering
of all the centuries

the deft
of the operator

as it rolls
in stationary

the romances of untruthfulness

his hair was short
clothes torn
and work boots worn
needed a shower
you couldn't tell
if he fumbled in from
hard months
on dusty roads
or meant for it
to be taken that way

but the love his voice
made with the banjo

was greyhounds and knapsacks and state lines
and horizons at varying latitudes and mile markers
and gasoline and all the holy flat states


a muse
is a girl with perfect gravity
a skirt
that catches the wind in
impossible ways

arrangement(reworked a poem from over a decade ago)

the lines of sea
and sand and horizon
falling long and flat
break against

the naked form of the girl
still wet
in the night

sleep heavy
my eyes still see
the silhouettes
and tight lips
of the dead

the city shakes a constant dust
it coats me
a destiny of tired eyes
and worn shoes

the first time
i sat
chain smoking cigarettes
in warm brooklyn night
on this balcony
we were surrounded with flowers
and she was brilliant
and her voice was soft
like she was burnt
or the sea

now last years flowers are dead
secretely promising secret whispers
from beneath the hard dirt
and she and brooklyn
have soft voices still
but now
more like the flowers than the sea

(andean new year)

there were christ's portraits
sculpted from infinite
sand grains
on the street

and the stuffed rpresentations
of all the bad memories
burning in thin thin air
(sins in the wind)

statues of saints, the paint flaking
from to much time
were heaved up over the crowd
and carried 'round the park

with the mountains rearing over us
from each horizon
sugar cane whiskey was drank hot
from reused plastic bottles


the way barroom nights
and holidays die


the spinning
of all the earth
its waters
to and fro
twice a day
and the
lovers touch
of the moon's
cool gravity

city nights
are high gloss
we, like the myth
of the banshee,
wailing in the shine
to announce
the deaths
and ills
of this city

we will always be children

my mother always
quoted a poem,
"fog rolls in on little cats feet",
convinced that this one line
was the whole of it,
as her favorite poem

over breakfast
trying to relate to me
as i ate and she moved
about the kitchen

and now i'm thirty
and now i write poems
and for most of
the last
I've known that
my mother's favorite
poem has other lines
and those lines
are just as good as
"fog rolls in on little cats feet"

but i still write
short ones
of just a handful
of lines or

deep down
in a Freudian way
weather he's right or wrong
weather i need to or not


Monday, April 18, 2011

It's Me Against the Moon Again

The human body
contains something like
78 percent water.

My son asks me
about the importance of the moon and
I explain the way tides work

Gravity pulling at the Earth;
Mountains holding on;
Humanity holding strong, but
water giving way,

pushed and pulled
between Sun and Moon;
between Earth and Stars.

He asks what else is important about it
and I think of the moon,
the way it pushes me
and pulls me

because I'm made up
of something like
78 percent water
so I must have an inner-tide

that urges all those
particles left over
from exploding nebulae
and neutron stars
to scatter every which way

and return home
like salmon do
when it's time to die

but instead, I think a little further
and tell him we might need it
to find our way home
should something happen to all of our
street lights, and cars and flashlight batteries.

I tell him it's important
because it makes people,
both children and adults,
look up and ask questions
just like he's doing now.

Just like I do every night.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Condolences (an epilogue)

I often held onto you
when you cried, no matter
how often you pushed me away.

It was never about the rent,
when your roommates let you down

It was never about your father, or
his constant disappointment
in you

It was never about your pet crayfish,
his health and happiness questionable
at best
(cause who really knows
or ever asked how a crayfish feels?)

It was always about your mother

When you cried, all those ripples centered
around your mother, and how she died when
you were only thirteen years old.

I never really knew anyone with such tragedy
in their lives, never really saw them cry as
constant reminders plagued them, never
really tried to console what could never
be consoled.
maybe I wasn't
saying the right things, maybe I wasn't
holding you tight enough, maybe I wasn't
caressing your cheeks soft enough, maybe, maybe,

When we took that trip with
your family to Disney Land,
another constant reminder,
you broke down in the
gift shop after Splash
Mountain, a ride you
always went on as a kid.

The attendant tried to console you
without ever knowing what it was
exactly he was consoling you for,
offering you discounts at the park's
photo center.

When I think about that
moment, all those tears for your
dead mother, I think that you
really never can be consoled.

And, when I think about those
discounted photos that seemed to
stop those tears, I think that
maybe you never want to be.

Diner Haiku #15

all these electric
synapses firing off,
all thinking of you

Diner Haiku #14

bouncin' out early
from the diner, out from fate,
without direction

Diner Haiku #13

let's light this spot up
with halos and tequila
or it ain't worth it

Diner Haiku #12

i shaved my beard yes-
terday, only to be cut
by stubble today

Diner Haiku #11

let's dance without time,
sing without tune, walk without
beat and rhythm blues

Another Poem About Drinking

A stream of
Bubbles climbs to
The top of my mug,
Defying gravity

Or racing for
A quick breath
Of air,

Something that
Can't be found
At the bottom
Of the glass,

No matter how
Hard you look

under the weight of it, backs shatter, knees buckle, bone grinds to a dusty halt, tendons snap and minds lose focus long enough to convince ourselves were up for another round. say hello to solar powered porn star, and the miles of unpaved intrigue, you're bluffing, the eyes have it and you turn another and another and another.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

White Blues

tonight I'm listening to
white blues
young white lads
slamming out blues chords
with hard hurting rhythyms
that can somehow
land on the same vien
as those old sharecropper tunes
I once dismissed these acts
I'm a purist
but every once in a while
we can find Muddy's fingers
or Mr. Johnson's wail and moan
and yes
sometimes even Little Walter's throat
and thinking this
I stop
and I have to smile
I've been a blues man myself

the curls of ash and scent of burnt varnish overpowering the senses as we march mindless through the past. a tuft of grass sprouts now through the old foundation waiting for the temperature to drop and reclaim it. victory is a strange animal, it twists a narrow sliver from your spine for safe keeping.


We all make mistakes
so forgive yourself foolish one.

The bear who dances with the honey
has none left over
to bring to the pot luck,
and shows up empty handed again,

until next week,
when he will run into fences,
camping out beneath the stars,
zig-zagging his way across this
broken country alone.

Hey there

So, I am new here. I tried to post a few poems, but the spacing doesn't translate when I post them. Any help would be appreciated. Also, is there a way to take down the poems that are all jumbled together. thanks, bunches. Peter

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On the Water

we can see a gang of brake lights in the distance
they'll allow everything
except for resistance
empty cans hide the tire marks snaking in the sand
there's a cooler in the dunes
but that's all for the band
water plays with the moonlight
like a cat pawing at a string
there's a rhythm on the land tonight
it shakes everything
and I'm home
I'm home
Remy's got a used van fixed up with track lights
you can get loose in here
but you better act right
the Telecaster's bleating against the tune
poisoning the air out there
but i think we're all immune
I got those shakes again
she's got me some to sip
I won't bite the belt again
she offers me a lip
and I'm home
I'm home

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Most People Don't Retire, They Just Stop Doing Things Full-Time

If words fall silent, they still fall. Words cannot be broken or unbroken, only bent; shaped like rivers shape rock; like glaciers shaped valleys. These words will echo. They will break and not break. Someday, these words might save a life or be the wind blowing against bare feet on the ledge of some unnamed bridge.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Die Cast Metal

There’s a fiery Corvette wizzin’ by
Passing up the traffic jam
On the Hook Rug Turnpike
Three squad cars give wailing chase
Losing him at the Linoleum Tile exit
He pulls up alongside a rusty old Chevelle
It was always my favorite
They were always wanted for something
And they usually got away
But this afternoon was a suicide run
They fly up the Hallway Interstate
And the Chevelle tail ends the Fire Bird
Sends him spinning into the Nova
And they wreck on the roadside
The black and whites are coming up quick
When they take the dangerous road
Up the side of Love Seat Mountain
You gotta have the right horse power for this trip
The incline is insane
Some how the cops are in tow
They hit the top and know it’s over
They idle side by side
Corvette’s thinking about his only son
How long it’s been since they’ve seen each other
How long it’ll be now
He revs up and gives Chevelle a wink
Blasts over the edge into Blue Carpet Canyon
Takes fifteen minutes to slam to the ground
Spinning and rolling about ninety two times
Before the end
Chevelle takes a long gulp of bourbon
The squad cars parked behind him
Begging him not to
‘you have so much to li…’
Chevelle pulls a picture from his glove box
His ol’ lady in a sun dress
Drops it in his lap and hammers the gas
He hit’s the edge and flies high
The front end dips in the air
He’s wishing he’d done it all different
He’s praying to saints for salvation
And just when he’s ready for the impact
Dad says, “Dinner time.”
And he lands softly in my corduroy pocket
Tomorrow’s a new day
Count your blessings, Chevelle

Joshua Fink