Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Saturday, December 01, 2012

19 Lives with 19 Wives

My first wife took my car away
My next wife took my house
My third wife took my kids away
A heartless rueful spouse
My fourth wife got my business suits
My fifth wife drank my wine
My sixth wife crashed my motor home
SHE'S still doing time
The seventh burned my mom's house down
The eighth would whine and fight
Nine and ten met heaven when
eleven bought the dynamite
Twelve,thirteen,and fourteen
Rabies,Flu,and Morphine
Chose my lawyer, Mr. Levinstein
The eighteenth was the jealous type
For all my wit and charms
It's hard to hold another's hand
Once she'd cut off my arms
But nineteen is my dream come true
It's more than just her looks
The way she grins and gazes into me
while polishing my hooks...

-Joshua Fink


Tuesday, November 27, 2012


the lord be my shepherd
that I shall not want
but take from me my mentor
and kill my callous front

my youth taught me to beg to you
my faith taught me to fear
my heart told me to follow you
and all this would be clear

my agony roots in your doing
my melting is your word
my apathy falls upon this
the candle dripping on the sword

I tried to find my soul in this
I searched the stars and trees
to find the prayers I gave to you
while you would prey on me

-Joshua Fink

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Your menacing lecture
is nothing to a man with no fear
your crosses and legends
are a stones-throw from fairy tale
I can boil my own
and pour it on myself
for the damage I've done
And all that I'll do
you're reaching in for earthworms
you're casting for an eel
old coffee cups and cigarette butts
the fuel of fire for your meal
stand upon your parishioners
your heel to close their throat
snap a match against your bloodied spurs
ignite the bottom of your coat

you're all vertical stripes
in that suit
witha tall hat and ivory cane
to confuse the small men you beguile

I owe you nothing
but if you whisper your hopes
into my eyes while I sleep
I'll do my best to dream them

They found him in his dark apartment
Laid out on the floor
The dog was licking out the rocks
glass in his hand
Lapping up the melted ice
His old record player was still spinning
But only playing scratch
His eyes lay open
His right hand on his chest
with a smoke burned to the filter

I guess that's how it goes
I guess that's how it goes

She was an all night waitress
She often had to leave her son
unattended in the night
It was a gloomy and foggy early morning
When he found her in the tub
Her hair tousled
Blonde and pink with blood
Each leg hung over the sides
Red speckles in the whites of her eyes
A hand print bruise on her throat

I guess that's how it goes
I guess

You can call her "Janey"
She'd just graduated middle school
And made sure she caught
her crush's baseball game
The stands were full
The summer night
alive in the field's over head high beams and the distant firefly flickers
The echoing crack from the bat
always lead to spectator frenzy
They found her in the woods
Behind the bleachers
Eleven teeth missing
from the left side of her face
Her lips, swollen and busted
Her fingers, filthy from the mud
Turtles nipping at her bare toes
come morning

I guess that's how it goes

Friday, November 23, 2012


Just woke up from the end of the world. It was interesting, and wasn't really the end... maybe just a new beginning. There were big black ashes in the sky from fires that fluttered around like paper confetti and the clouds were strange against the image. Although it was day, where there should have been a sun, the sky beyond the clouds was a night blanketed by stars. And those clouds up there were nameless colors, all with a silver lining gleaming bright behind them. There were things being shot at the world from above each with intention- like organic bombs, like Zeus throwing stones in a pond. They would only take out sections of buildings and things and they'd do it in patterns... but no one was panicked, or at least it didn't last long. I was at the store buying supplies; wine and lots of oranges. I was in a car with my brother and cousin driving to get into a hot air balloon or a zeppelin for evacuation or refuge, something to that affect, weather elevating above all the madness made a difference or not. Our conversation through it all grabbed my attention the most. Hard to explain correctly now... we spoke as if we were one person, with a collective understanding, with authority, humor, and weight, yet our words seemed to float and pop pretty like bubbles between us. Something happened and the world buckled and I woke up in the snow- the controlled chaos had stopped, the world was still- our car had crashed and we were covered in snow. San Francisco was covered in snow. California was. Maybe the world was. And there were two of everyone who survived. I stared back at my mirror and it told me to identify myself.... Then I fell out of sleep.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jersey City Waterfront, 11/18/12, 2 AM

From this distance
you forget the noise,
the smell of piss
and desperation

You forget all the hustle,
the men begging
for change at the train station

Viewing Manhattan
from Jersey City

is Heaven on Earth;

Eden amongst the ashes

Saturday, November 10, 2012

i've puked 3 times so far this year (Record Breaking)

This thing is a beast
with an insatiable appetite
swallows me whole
leaves no room to argue
I feel like the microwaved leftovers
Less then 1/2 of something much better
the day before

This isn't about what you've said
More about the words that I cant quite digest yet
Something doesn't sit right
Feels funny in the stomach
Choking down nouns and vowels
You've got verb on you face
There's something in your teeth
Adjective debris
And the sentence that says exactly how I feel
Caught in the back of my throat
I could choke to death on it

You were a delicious thought
Just don't say anything out loud
It means nothing
once you form it with your mouth
Gone in the morning
Dirty dishes in the sink
Feel like exploding
A little taste still lingering

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dead Language (texts with Benjy)

Can we commit ourselves together when it finally comes to be all padded walls and white, speaking without words, a language of our own design that only we alone only partially know yet completely understand ...? Can we save and destroy the world in the same breath, within the beginning and end of one sentence. Can we?

Because I just shot 5 words point blank to death...and there's no turning back for me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Full and Over

5 years
Have seen these eyes
a lifetime of chapters
to write

We forgot our anniversary
Moving in and out
so often
Your records
started skipping
and my switch was stuck
on self destruct

tea leaf, tahoe, peru and

the moon
never went to bed
Like we finally did

It was there before
and after the show
All night long
our cigarette smoke
curling up
around each star

the crystal bay
the jazz
the heat
the fan
the lights strung up
a slight awkwardness

The moon
lost a bet with the sun
and stood there
naked in the sky
All day long

And she
feeling like the moon's shapes
Kept the dream in motion...

It comes quick like a flashbulb

In a shiver
you default back to a year ago
when you were afraid of being touched
Your only comfort
a thought
to be locked in a trunk
finally safe
from the world
Safe from yourself

The moon didn't do much for either
of you
The wind moved the curtain away from your window
The street light shone through
Spent the night holding on for dear life in each others arms
Letting everything die like the stars in the dawn

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

on mornings
when the sea is flat
the sky taking its
long slow inhale
before the day,
i am thirty two
years tired

i swim
the atlantic
each of its gentle strengths
holding me up

with each stroke
the muscles running from my
elbow down my side
to my waist
stretch  as guitar strings
against the fret board
of my ribs

barrier islands and grandparents
seem timeless
but disapear
in one great turn
of the earth

the barge on the horizon
on the sea
has secret
serpentine hoses
coiling beneath it
in the dark
and cold

its weighty machinery
the sandy earth
to the shore
the planet
to mad wants

from this distance
the whole process
seems silent
the huge ocean
offering no protest
or laughter

the tools of man
attempting to hault
the passage of time

when the world finally falls

the things
becoming violent, then still

the colors changing and alien
in the sky

the gods,
senile, may confuse the end

for the beginning

fell asleep
in the cab of an ambulance
limbs jumbled against
its hard interior
the uncomfortable
pressure of still

to pop songs
of youth
with drawn out soprano
in the chorus

the next time i made love
it was out of desperation

a sad hollow panic

physicists have shown
gravity to be the only
force that acts across
long distances

when tight rope walkers learn
they are three feet above the earth
slowly developing
a controlled sway
of their feet

there are no crowds
or safety nets
at that distance

chris found
mountain roads winding
in wine country
and tall petrified

found the pacific ocean
and its dangers
at the feet of
brown hard cliffs

found liz
and dancing
at brunch
in  mythic
San Francisco

the old dog
confused about the slow
failure of its body
the awkward gait
is still excited
the strange scents of the earth

from the park
a russian orthodox church
sits fat
against the night
and everything is wet
god is wet

i place a dry shirt
on the park bench
so i can sit

the closest
thing to a hobo
talks about bombing
suicide hill in San Diego
on a skateboard

four times
he made it to the bottom
before one wheel
caught on a pebble

the title
for douglas's book
came to him
drunk, sprawled
out in a field
in Austria

the dew settling upon him

he was hitchhiking through europe
he was young

when i was small
my parents were divorced
i would see my father once a week
and one time
he took me
with him
when he went to

i was afraid of needles
and pain
and the pain of knowing
that pain was comming

he said it was important
to do a good thing

years later i was years older
and my father told me
his job would give him
holiday time when he would

the sun sets,
a great round god
dissolving in the sea
the lights go out
turning into
the heat of one another
and there are no eyes
shift their weight
in an almost still air

ernest's hero
in the mountains
in the spanish conversations
his pack
heavy with dynamite
the stolen horses
tethered to a tree
in the field

a bridge off somewhere
waiting to be blown

the planes
small as
distant constellations

align themselves
the city's circling

she smokes
while she rides
the old rusted bike
it squeaks
the wet night
twinkles in time

i never met him
he was a taxi driver
and he dropped out
of college

i appreciate him
letting me take jana
to my junior prom

she told me he
had a poem about
how kissing was
two slugs wrestling

i never met him
i never read his poem
but it is still
my favorite one

he retired from
the new york city
school system

now sells books on
bedford avenue

believes in the supporters
of carlos castenada

and thinks he asked me
about my hair

the last time
we didn't meet

i work nights
i see enough sunrises
to know
after the beauty
they start to ache

their force
as all beginnings
or birth

the slow and quiet
into a cities

the night is so simple

(the good writer
creates a phrase
draws it from the everything
from the empty black night
from his humaness

and its so true
and honest
and pure
that it can't help but
become cliche
and used up
till its dead
and empty)

so when the dynamiter
made love to maria
with the short hair
in the spanish mountains
on the otherside of the line

the earth moved for them
and it never will for anyone
in that way

Thursday, September 27, 2012

For a Moment

Into the rain I stomp
Hard and passionate
Skipping three steps off the stoop as I depart
My boots clomp and slosh in the puddles
The rain runs off my fists with blood
Second hand leather coat
Gleams against the street lights
I’m off of hoping
I’m running INTO the problem
Not running from it
I see the lines they’ve all been reading
I see the stage they all practice on
The dichotomy
Of my several selves
I hear the pop trick nuisance of modern radio
The clash of burning cold wind
Against the open finger wounds
From a lost temper and a window too close
I don’t wannabe a rocker
I don’t wannabe a martyr
A bullshit local role model for the frustrated youth
I don’t want to be an outdated poet
But I am
Am I a romantic myth?
Am I a loose cannon wrought with social dysentery?
Do I plug the dream into myself?
Or is it hardwired into my American patience?
All I can be sure of is that I’m done
Done with biting into the bread
Only to abruptly grind into the sand inside
Done reaching
And crying
And screaming
Punching phone booths
And vitriol
And bar urinals
And diner tables
And urban sarcastic apathy

Spit my knuckle-scabs from your teeth
And know I loved you
While I smoked on the fire escape tonight
And remembered you
As you have always been there
When I needed you for a moment

- Joshua Fink

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

did the rairoad, the greyhound,
the open highway
or did you carve it that way

was mexico
as romantic as you built it
that one time
headed south

or is that why
you got remembered
and taught
and reprinted
and canonized

(one more at the moon)

i caught you tonight
chasing me up the parkway
just before
you drifted lazily out of the rear view mirror

you were laughing
and half-heartedly
at frailness
at finitude
at flesh and all its soft ways

i thought of all the poems i wrote
about you
to you
(and this is just one more)
i though of all the things you've been

but tonight you were unbearable
you were a weight
a yellow fist shaking

because you were all those things
and i was only one

know things about birds
i do not

when it is right though
i think i feel
the way they bank
in a head wind

it is not right now
and i do not know
things about birds

the road
the love affair
of the automobile
each of its hot metal parts
the way it
so well with rock and roll

two bearded poets
to young in the eyes
and young to
in the words and

out their
in america
the older woman

the east coast heaves
in a tectonic

the rain
is wordless
only the hard things
of earth
echo sounds

her hood up
the street shining
in the wet of it

the hard things
echoing sounds

he kept speaking
of luck
and grace

they got handed out

as sporadic
summer afternoon

they discovered
their love
in the rough patch

the world is rain
the big slow kind
the fast sideways type
all the sorts
of water falling

they found
their love,
inside the umbrella

he thought the ocean's
tides moved with
the day, consistently
rolling in with the sun
rolling out with the sun

but the moon
is a less intuitive body
rhythmic still
but secretive

as it pulls all the waters

3 parts of a story

in the diner over pancakes
her fingers
agitate the blister on her palm

she falls asleep
holding this fiery spirit
minutes earlier their tongues
in the wet alien parts
of each others mouths

on the phone
she forgets what she is doing
and pulls on the one hitter
more times than she

in the remake
the wings will be to heavy
for the boy
the sea, to largs
and the father again
will watch his
bright shining star
from unimaginable
into the cold and
the wet sea
always the sea
always the placid
all swallowing
in all directions
feathers dancing on
the fat bulges
gravity and the circumstance
of the world
at all of him
his hair catching
the winds
until he is only a mass
the vigor gone
to where
it always ultimately goes
but to soon
always the sea

never as good
as gods breath
and the things
it becomes

van gogh
spent four years
in the noises of asylums
in france
the wheat fields rolling out
from under the calm
blue walls

each brushstroke
wrestling the tensions

the skies azure and calm
forced high up
or gone all together

the earth swelling
in greys and yellows
bigger and bigger

people, dancing hay bails
the quirks of circumstance,

hard angry lines
cut the land into

two awkward lovers
in the underbrush

a moth,
large grotesque

and then the weeds the flowers
soft and infinite, throbbing
another sky uncut, unconquered

caitlin always calls
in the american night
from states
on the pacific ocean
or mississippi river
with simple words

this time a love
for the Nikes
in that Wes
Anderson film

and the wind
 is blowing
where she is
and she is cooking

their bellies exposed
brilliant white flashes
between the wing
beats of black
topped birds
escorting the
spanish ferry
in the so dark night
of Necoya Bay
with the irregular
of morse code
the varying updrafts
turbulence and
smooth air

Monday, September 10, 2012

Shopping List

Tommy Chong's brownie mix
Store brand home x-ray kit
Crab meat cookies
Voyeur Vince's self mammogram instructional booklet
Whipped cream flavored aerosol
Yo-Yo Ma's signature Yo-gurt
Grandpa Whitey's Original graham crackers
(best with aged white chocolate)
Edible suspenders
mustard flavored licorice
Nick Nolte's (80 proof) Vodka sauce
Oreo's(with new Vaseline filling)
Elmo Park 'drinkable' spring water
Dirty Dixie's two pack pregnancy test(s)
Rice paper air planes
1 Gallon bleach(with free syringe)
Michael J. Fox brand martini shaker
Waffle flavored pancake mix
Pancake flavored personal lubricant
Sour cream Popsicles
Captain Morgan brand juice boxes
Oral B semen flush
Hershey's Diabetic vinegar bars
Pac-Man fever reducer

Thursday, August 30, 2012

1st Love

I was on the bridge on a Winter’s frozen night
Standing on the four inch rail
My chest pressed forth
Arms wide and welcoming
Eyes closed with my nose high
With a passionate inhale
Of the cool
and reaching sky
The abrasive wailing wind on my back
The ghost stampede
Thrusting me from my footing

There was silence here
A free fall dream
The stars spiraling
The clouds and lights
Like comforting blankets
And bedside candles
The involuntary sigh of peace and hope
Just before the crash

I’m gasping now
Every effort for air
Comes with a painful gulp
Of brackish water
My muscles have buckled
My legs won’t move
The cold cuts into my ribs
And I feel an extra ton to me
My eyes recess into my face
My jaw is forcibly clenched
I keep reaching frantically
Craning my neck
For something to hold
For a landmass to aim for
But my sight is hindered
With the sloshing water
Of my panicked struggling frenzy

As I start to really sink
When my efforts prove my strength a farce
As the light above abandons me
I collect myself and know
That this is what I came here for

-Joshua Fink

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Total Recall

Tjw new generation looks healthier ;
We are being.phased out
Like the troops before us
We fight on the front line
a battle inside
pushing against time
Some day we'll make rank
and fall
someday we will be nothing at all
But shadows in the memories
Of all these brand new human beings
encapsulated like a snow globe
In a friend (or foes) anterior lobe

Tjw new generation looks healthier ;
We are being.phased out
Like the troops before us
We fight on the front line
a battle inside
pushing against time
Some day we'll make rank
and fall
someday we will be nothing at all
But shadows in the memories
Of all these brand new human beings
encapsulated like a snow globe
In a friend (or foes) anterior lobe

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

At the Cabaret on Christmas Eve

The main hall was smokey
and sadly quiet
Tony sat at the piano on the stage
his head hung low
as though he might pass out
and end the tune with his forehead

Elaine behind the bar
was biting off her press-on nails
from boredom
while the bus boy rattled at her
deploying the unwarranted energy
from the speed he sniffed out back
before his shift

Eddie Main was at his table
wearing a porkpie hat
that looked like he'd sat on it
at some point in the night
he asked the waitress to leave his empty glasses
at the table
so he could measure his degradation

Chauncey leaned on the stage
Like a gambler pleading to a horse
vicing his dark brown fingers together
as he tried to whistle along
with the keys

There was Mona the psychic
in the back by the bathrooms
shuffling her tarot cards
waiting for a weak wary rube
Luis sat with his 'sister'
his wife, not in attendance
Arlen sat center stage
up in front
three lit cigarettes in his ashtray
scribbling on a napkin
with a broken fountain pen
Willy the Pistol tried to keep the beat
with his fist on the table
the only man who didn't seem alone this night

the young disheveled girl
sat so close to him
her right hand wrapped under his arm
wrested on his dead wrist
she asked why
why did they call him the Pistol
he bit his cigar hard and said
'I always have Six shots
and I'll put anyone on the floor'

The Cabaret on Christmas Eve
was a brutal rueful tell
on a booming Friday night
all these people seemed so tuned in
they all looked like
Moguls and sharks and wise street deities

but with the crowd gone
and the lights fixed and dim
You could see it all
you could see the tears in the blazers
you could see the creases on their eyes
you could spot all the cheap jewelry

The Cabaret on Christmas Eve
put a spotlight on loneliness
every ballad played
was a story for every scarred set of knuckles
it gave a microphone to the damned
while they whispered to themselves
while they ran down the timeline
of every dark mistake
While Willy the Pistol
looked intently at this ragged girl
and said
'I don't remember the last time
I looked back to check
to see if what I'm running from
is still chasing me.'

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Untitled 07/31/2012 00:21:31

So the sun sets
Left me on the shore
Underneath the sky I sit
She changes from blue to black
Like a bruise getting out of hand
On the other side of the horizon
Is another way to live
through this and through them
I guess maybe I just can't win

So the sun sets
Left me on the shore
Underneath the sky I sit
She changes from blue to black
Like a bruise getting out of hand
On the other side of the horizon
Is another way to live
through this and through them
I guess maybe I just can't win

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Crown royal bag I probably promised you a lifetime I can faintly remember such gratitude  As Vague as a mist over cool grass Scenes I can recall just barely now  The shapes come to form And for long periods of time I don't recognize them Am I losing my cognitive function To sleep No Drunk and stone heavy at the bottom of the pond Visited often by amphibious life like creatures  Swim away don't get caught in the lilies Come and play  Don't be feeling left empty 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Monster I Am

Warily and doubtfully
I proceed into the hall
skeptically but hesitantly
looking for a monster
a demon I taught myself to fear
a relic of my childhood
something he'd warn of
as he fried left-overs
he might smugly laugh
from over his shoulder
"it'll run you down...
one day."
the kitchen stunk
like skunk
and incense
and Sriracha
I would never go into the attic
past dusk
where my train set lay
with my record player
and my bookshelf
A getaway by day
the den of some hell beast
by night

Fried pig fat
floating in grease
my spoon is rust ridden
my napkin's been used
my father coughed the day's lung
and forgot
he'd slurp rare steak tips
splash the bread into the diluted blood
and mash it into his beard
like a ravenous Celtic warrior
he'd giggle in his beer
and sickly say
"your monster is already

Friday, May 18, 2012

I'm not coming home
and you cannot come
with me
we've had these days
to teach us
how to lose
we had those nights
sleeping together
when sometimes
you were my bed
we've had those nights
to learn how
to wake up
I wish I could be waiting
at the door today
to dance for you
when you come
to chase you
with a smile
to feel you
as you felt me
I'm not coming home
I'm not coming
and you cannot
come with me

Title: Poem from Jagger(the dog)

This wine
makes the night hum
with a single candle
to light my page
like a beacon
to the places
I'm seeking
the places
I sometimes find
at the end
of a bottle
of wine

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Description (abstract painting)

The ink seeps into the crevices of the canvas

Bleeds into the watercolors of blues

Words once written,

Now blurred

And we are left with a mess of

meaningless mixed medias

a dream

The sun was in my eyes and I awoke with the urge to draw.

The dream was funny and intense.
Steep hills of rock climbing up you losing your breathe
clutching your chest
Altitude sickness
Sliding down clinging to each other
Holding on, climbing back up
Camels dusty and orange plateaus Sneaking about the sunset shadows
keeping quiet rocks tumbling,
Hiding from something....someone

Two opposing sides of royal power
Their sorceress mothers battle magic on behalf of their families honor
In smokey stonewall rooms
adorned with tapestries and shrouded intricacies
One distracting the other with puzzles fogging judgment
A colorful fight
They are equally enlightened
It ends friendly
For them
In a "why do we do it" sense
The matriarchs leave smiling
through dark stained glass candlelighting

While I find myself now on stage guitar in hand
Following your lead
Looking over
Trying not to be heard
Or seen
You sang and the fiddle fiddled
And we stomped our feet
sweat beaded on my brow
And there were faces in the crowd
Feeling like I was back in a grade school band room
Awkward and inexperienced
Turning to you for guidance

And the sun was in my eyes when I awoke with the urge to draw...

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

There’s a vascular thrust through me
When you voice the hate we breathe
I walk damp and painful miles
To climb in with you
My mouth speaks to you
I can only hear your thighs
You rattle and arch hard
Bleeding my shoulders with your crush
Your skin whispers truths
Your voice can only ruin
I’m sucking on your pelvic bone
Gripping at your ribs
And Between your best and my brow
I can see/watch your breasts sway
There’s a signal in your motions
To let me know you’re through
Before you beg me
To stop

-Joshua Fink

Fresh Meat

This is the line I’m in
That’s all I know
Seemingly innocuous
One foot
Other foot
One step
Next step
I keep wondering what waits
Behind the doors
I can’t see past everyone
Already proceeding forward
I feel worthless
A new and old stagnant drone
Pressing against the ones ahead
So you can catch my face
One step
Next step
I keep praying that I look right
For whatever this could be
I need this chance
I know this is going
That’s when the bolt pistol
Blasts nasty
Through the back of my head
I’m stunned and vacant
I keep pushing into the dark
I keep praying this mechanism saves me
One step
Next step
I’m blank today
I’m the carbon copy worker/soldier/slave
That you just might toss a bone
When you’re chains crush my ankles
And hoist me off to
I smell the blood
I taste the iron
But I’m too numb now
I’m too desperate
My head is vestigial
My heart has no voice
Was it a power tie and a six digit suit
Or a hard hat and white sterile cover-alls
That ushered my exsanguinations
Was it a pen or a blade
That hastily ravaged my arteries

-Joshua Fink

Monday, April 23, 2012

I dream
to have every person
who has helped shape my form
throughout and over the years,
each a thread in the fabric sewn
creating the intricate colorful quilt that has been my life,
meet in one place at one time if only for once in their lives.
Because they are all truly priceless rare and exquisite essential parts of myself, of this life.
And for all the greatness and amazing love I have seen in each one and shown by all of them,
my wish, if for only once... is that they'd all exist in the same room and learn each other, see one another, as i have seen them, in light and dark, beautifully flawed, extraordinarily.
My only wish... please god, grant it.
With or without me.
A wedding or a funeral.

...and I laugh, wondering if they'd all get along, or tear one another apart by the end of it. :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A sweet little story poem s'all, nothing intense or profound. It's like a love note passed in class caught by the teacher and read out loud...

While he's out there banging away fiddling with his tooth all amphetamines and nicotine stained hummingbird wings he thinks of her at home making poems. He gets sad and dies in her arms. He gets strong and takes on too much. He gets drunk and slaps the streets, any street, gum booze and piss, with his rough weathered hands trembling. He's made of motion like Neal... rambling, methodically sifting though the files in his mind, behind the blue of his eyes an insanity reserved only for those who can afford it...for those who can truly love him. At home, she does not worry. She cares not for the reassurance of faith or hope...She needs no guide in this love. She is like lamp oil and he a match sparked. As one they make light, for that is all there is when you peel away the hummingbird madness his drumming fingers her heart on fire and smokescreen sadness. Each rock has a name they've tied 'round their ankles to weigh them down crumbling now there is more light for the world in virtue of love however it's born. He takes her hand in his. That's all she needs to know.
It's all she needs to keep her going.

Fade to Black

awake, it's raining
the only thing to be thankful for
the sound of the rain
in a haze
in the kitchen
kettle on the burner
numb Xanax cloud
standing in the rain
and barefoot
Each drop a freezing tear
from my eyes as they are the sky
hiding there
in the night
under the biting cold, very cold, rain
A harm I cause myself
to distract my wrenching heart
from what is lost
the sound of falling drops
fading my soul

The fish in the Gulf are mutated.
It's raining on me, a painful release that hurts on purpose, that helps the deep terminal sadness...breathe.
The tea is too hot
burns the mouth,
A pain to fade the pain in, to out
For what is lost.
The fish no longer have eyes
or the sockets to put them in
the universe cries with me, as me
Fade out into black

It rains in Canada too.
I know because Renie is there and hasn't called.
it won't last
the rain
or this
the fish
or the only thing that's kept me here
And I don't see the beauty in any of it anymore, only the bleak
And this life, I'm tired, and I don't want it anymore. Any part of it. Save for the rain right now on my face and in my tea...

I'll be committed
drugged heavily
stop eating
and fade to black.
A fish without eyes
my heart, my will, deformed.
I won't come back from this one
from what is lost
Fade to black
and burry me there
with her.

Winter at Trinity Point

Nathan's wool blanket
The way it scratches
Slippers on our feet
The cold concrete
The bathroom pictures
The smell of smoke and electric heaters
The dry air
My chapped lips
His sadness
The dirty windows
Let little light in
Our morning kiss
Combined wits
The sky winters grey
My breath in the air
The frozen hitch
His first attempt
at homemade soup
Another movie
The dogs and my cat
All laying about
Mending his coat
Making buttons
from old penthouses
The hardwood and my teacup
His coffee always
Our love
Weather we wanted it or not.

When There's No One Around To Put You To Bed

4:59am- Camomile tea I didn't drink cold on the nightstand next to me
It's smells drifting me to dream
But the light is on and the birds are gossiping up a storm
Feathers ruffled outside my window
A baby wakes and cries in a house across the way -6:36am
There are crickets.
This is not the city.
I can hear every creak in the floor, in the walls, as the house settles in on it's self
shifting, mattress springs
far away dogs
the seconds ticking the clock
my pen on the paper
my thoughts out loud-


Struggling America

Hey Jack,
We're still out here.
Making the night.
Hiding the morning.
Struggling America.
We're still drunk when we can be, and when we'd rather maybe not be.... anything at all.
We're beat up, we sweat it out, we still let the coffee drip down the back of our throats.
We fall off our chairs and flick out our cigarettes.
We still kick dirt and fumble through each others beauty and madness.
We still love unconditionally and unrequitedly. We eat apple pie and rest against trees on hot days.
We still believe we will be saved.
Jack the moon still comes up with wine in his eyes.
And in some places Jack, they still Jazz. The slow Jazz. Not the mess of tumbling smart Jazz. Jazz you can dance to, the real stuff. The heart before it grew a head.

Hey Neal! Hey Charlie, and Judy,
We're still high as kites out here.
We're all prescribed Prozac personalities or Ritalin kids these days. Hook em while they're young that's what they thought one more perfectly functioning cog in the mind of the great machine.
Good luck America.
That shit never worked in the first place.
Hey Neal, you can't smoke that inside buddy. No one even smokes anymore anyway. That shit'll give you cancer. So will that corn on the cob or that soda pop. So will worrying about any of it.
We're still high as kites though.
All the kids, the eccentric ones, they're all hopped up hyper focused chemists now, making new drugs like you wouldn't believe! With all the letters of the alphabet. Well lubricated cogs, mad scientist shaman, long hairs in business suits. Building whole knew worlds of consciousness and fuzzier fuzzy feelings.
We're still high as kites out here.
Still speeding down the American vein.
With a headlight out.
On empty.
In the desert.
Picking up hitchhikers.....and praying.

Hey Robert, Allen.... Will and Patti,
We're still out here. Black sheep. With our art and our poetry, our sins and saints, our sexuality our mental states, food not or on our plates. We're still hungry. We're still out here hustling and dreaming... hustling dreams...day dreaming, drifting in and out of here....
We're still here!
Lost and found in America.
Making noise, making waves, belly laughing snickering smiling rolling our eyes, bleeding and sick and fucked and humbled and drunk and in love, with each other with nothing with everything with God and the goat, with ashes and music, with the piss in the street, with the stains on the sheets and our clothes, with the road, with locks of hair with the bottle with the gun with the pen with the laces in our boots and the shit on the bottom of them... We're still lonely and confused and absurd and completely devoted...maybe, in the end, to nothing other than the fact that we. are. still. here.....

Sunday, April 01, 2012


and when he looks out the window each morning,
he will see gray sky scrapers that block direct sunlight
from seeping through the room.
looks at the blank stares from souls draped in coats
on daily subway rides,
spilling coffee from tripping on cracked sidewalks.


They danced once.
the room was hot and muggy;
August air.
smiling, wine-stained lips.
they laughed
and wrapped each other in their arms
holding on to the night.

she sits in Jersey traffic smiling mildly to the man
collecting her toll.
morning weather reports play on her radio,
windows frosted.
exploring new routes,
giving a new face a buck fifty for her coffee.
her shoes are worn out and she will never slip on icy streets.



I used to look like

Jack Black with a beard.

Now I look like

John Belushi without a beard

And Jason “George” Alexander,

Oliver “3 Musketeers” Platt,

And one time Charlie Sheen.

I have never once

Looked like

Keith Baird.

I'd Rather Be Cinders

I don’t mind not being the bright

Fireworks exploding, the ones

Everyone goes “ooh” and

“Aah” over. I’d much

Rather be the glowing cinders,

The ones they warn could

Burn if they fall on you, the

Ones you stare at intently, saying

Nothing at all, all the way

Down until they burn out


Diner Haiku #20

fuck daylight savings;

only time i save is from

flux capacitors

Diner Haiku #19

when this twenty-four-

hour world ends, will the sun

still rise tomorrow

Diner Haiku #18

after i speed up

on muse inspired coffee

i crash down on dreams

Diner Haiku #17

show me something real

with grit and stain and soft sad

laughter echoing

Diner Haiku #16

poems on diners

are about as useless as

fries without ketchup

Love Happens in Seconds

Love happens in seconds

Between hours of waiting

It’s the lion that sleeps

Slothfully in the sun

While flies bite at its ears

And hyenas scorn its idleness

It rolls over, waiting

It yawns, waiting

Even fucking the lionesses

Nothing but more waiting

Until an eye opens and

Targets a sleek gazelle

And it happens in seconds

Like a coiled spring exploding

And all that passionate flesh

Intertwined with beating blood

Starts in seconds

Ends in seconds

Leaving only that moment

Fading quickly from memory

Love happens in seconds

The rest is just waiting.

To The Stars We Ignore

This is my apology to all those

Ignored stars burning infinite at night,

To all the ones who don’t burn quite as bright

As Polaris or Orion’s Belt, whose

Fires often hide behind smokestack fumes,

Smoggy haze, or sky-scraping city lights.

And even when gazing into clear skies

I usually mistake Venus’ soft hues

And give her undue credit for your glow.

Here is my apology for your lost

Glory, when your fiery zeal across

Cold blackening horizons once imposed

Fear in ancient primates; their shallow thoughts

Never knew your bright flares were dying slow.

He's Got Game

Insecurities run down my

Spine, stick around there

Like LSD, and every so

Often a flashback occurs

Reminding me of past


The time I tried a joke in

Class and heard silence, or

When I had such a witty

Retort that I laughed telling

It, only to see contemptuous


These memories build up

Until my spine cracks. I

Can’t walk quite right, I

Can’t talk quite right, I’m

Not quite right in my own


These memories drown me

In the past, while in the

Present I stumble, stutter,

Try to find the right line or

Right step and miss every


Sometimes, when I’m not

Looking for it, a good line

Breaks through, a

Moment that’s as

Fragile as Dandelion


Some composure is regained.

I’m a baby learning to walk

And talk right again, and

Hope that, this time,

Maybe something will


Crappy Phone Reception

[ | | | | | ]


And sixty-two miles separate our bodies.

Our words are fingers, our voices are facial expressions,

And all that distance crackles like thunder over the

Phone when all subject matter has been exhausted.

[ | | | | ]

“How was your day today?”

We ask for the third time. It’s not the answer we’re

Searching for but rather some semblance of human

Connection that’s dissipated as the weeks

Turned to months turned to years.

[ | | | ]

“Oh, it was okay,” and you can see their eyes

Welling up thru their tone. Our stomachs drop from

Knowing that our day wasn’t okay, that not a whole

Lot has been okay. “I love you” we say, still

Reaching for that connection.

[ | | ]

We promised each other we’d never overuse the phrase

“I love you”, for fear that such redundancy would wear

Out those words. Now those words carry more weight

Than either of us can be burdened with. We are very

Tired and our voices are getting scratchy.

[ | ]

Eight-hundred and sixty-two miles between

Us, the battery’s dying, it’s getting harder

To hear you, and I just don’t know

What to say anymore.

::Beep:: ::Click::

[No Service]

Something Bigger Than Me

i want to wrestle a bear, two beings

combating over Something

bigger than both of us

for the bear, a Morsel of life-

sustaining Food, either from my

backpack of fruits, granola, and mineral

water, or from my very own

flesh and marrow

for me, the Bear itself, a small

chance to overcome

Nature outside of my own

nature, to show the culmination of

what evolution has given me

for a chance to regale my fellow

combatants that i survived Something

bigger than all of us, and that,

after it all, my backpack was

empty, and that somewhere in the

forest lay a bear full in the Belly.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Carl Sagan said

we are stardust
we are the elements rocketed
in to outer space
after supernova
we are all of those
different atoms
carbon and hydrogen
we are specs of the universe
made whole
and we are small
but even the tiniest organisms
can be fascinating
because they are stardust
and I take comfort in that
because stars never die
they just become something else

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Coming Up

I never chased this moment
it just caught up with me
it must've been stuck to my cuff
it must've been stuck to you
I got a box in my desk
full of sewing needles
I got four cigarettes in there
with no filters
and a small but precious pistol
I touch it each time I sit there
I found a picture of your father
beneath my check drawer
in that drawer I never open
The one I know I NEVER should
I find ol' buttons and whiskey caps
from bottles they don't make now
I find love letters
to whom; I don't know
but she sounds classic
fragile and magestic
like a movie star
during the depression
I found a blood-ridden pen
in a private cabinet
I found a certificate that bore my name
I found a train ticket
dated the same day

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


How many times can I hit
before I finally bust
Where's the signal out here
Where's the lesson
I smell piss on the bus
I taste the mix on the street
I feel the warm soft welcome
of Indiana in the snow
as I rattle by
on the train
I crush myself into a notebook
I smear my worst on a page
I got a small flask of bourbon
and I glued a stitch-worthy cut closed
I saw collapsing factories
I felt the sickening bounce and shuffle
I take a hot hard swig
from so much more than that flask
the lady in the sleeper car next door
is on a rosary tangent
my friend's asleep and shaking
but Indiana stayed up with me
Indiana's letting me in

Edison had his light bulb
Newton had his fruit
Carver had his peanut butter
Wild Bill could shoot
Jackson had his trail of tears
Watt had his steam
Kennedy had his 'Bay of Pigs'
Dr. King had his dream
Franklin had his kite
Galileo had his sun
Whitney had his printing press
Richards had his fun
Gaye had his soul
Don Juan had his kiss
Twain had his witty words
all I have is this

Janey Beneath

Janey fell in with the bad crowd
did her own first tattoo
cut off her pigtails with a box knife
dyed the remains blue

Janey fell in love with a street boy
with baggies and vials for purchase
he taught her about the world she sleeps through
and brought her evil to the surface

She didn't go to school much now
she put poison pills in her nose
and the street boy whistled 'neath the train bridge
when he pinned her and cut off her clothes

I saw Janey's bruises and shattered spirit
I poured a round and asked why
and who's this monster who wears her smile
she said, "he'll love me or he'll die."

Janey and the street boy were the perfect pair
in a stolen old Skylark cruising town
He brought her back beneath the bridge one night
to show her where he laid his enemies down

she squinted in the darkness at shallow graves
in his filthy littered bitter sanctuary
she rubbed the razor scar on her hip
from when she lost her rose in an unmarked cemetery

She keeps an army bag with her always
there's a pistol by her cigarette case
as she smiles and lifts it, the trigger gives
and she leaves him laying in his sacred place

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Like the worm of a dying fire
We reset the stage
For the world living on our wire
We connect the terminals
I am a word misspelled
And I feel my readers eyes
We reset the page
Before the word living in the fire
We begin to speak in tounges
Making language up

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"MIA was right to use the sacred "middle-finger" hand-gesture during the super bowl half-time show" is too long of a title for this piece

Not only am I the observer,
Watching the cosmos unfold before me,
One emotion after the other rising from static and birthing physicality…

But so am I the observed, a part of that cosmic function,
experiencing the emotions in linear time, partaking in the manifestation
from inception to physicality.
We are a circle of flowing water,
you and me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sir, speak louder and closer to the drive thru microphone, please

If I give my best today

Will I wake up tomorrow
And feel the same?

I won't list the ways
It could come to mistake
So in my dreams I play a saint
The right choices already made

If tomorrow consents
I'll be on my way
Right back to today
When the wheel comes back around
I'll be abounding where I'm found
To give my best today
It connects us all, in a way
We imagine, together, the golden gates
And pull the present towards towards their embrace
We are the music makers
And the dreamers of the dreams
We weave the fabric of the universe
And bring it together at the seams
We play pretend inside
And call it reality

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Things I want to do Shirtless

I want to go to the supermarket
I want to wash a sailboat
I want to go bowling
I want to dance at a wedding for a distant relative
I want to use a public urinal
I want to kiss a beautiful stranger 'neath a waterfall
I want to cash a check at the bank
I want to eat cereal on the dance floor of a nightclub
I want to be interviewed by Barbara Walters
But not just that
I wanna scream from the edge of a cliff
on a star filled
night sky
I wanna sleep by a rolling brook
I wanna hunt a buffalo
wearing self made deerskin
leather pants
in the snow
I want to do the Charleston
at a funeral
with a new widow

Monday, January 30, 2012


Contemplating the weight of little words.

Can't I just cry to your songs
alone in my room
instead of falling so deeply

Contemplating the weight of little words and the content of their desire.

Contemplating the weight of little words and the personality they obtain through delivery.

Contemplating the weight of little words and their distraction from the truth.

Contemplating the weight of little words and every other misunderstood intention.

Contemplating the weight of little words and the cross they never knew they'd carry.

Contemplating the weight of little words and the ability our culture has given them to reshape our psyche.

Contemplating the weight of little words and their impact on the rest of our lives.

Contemplating little words.

Like in.

Her mind had been taken hostage
She bit her nails

He looked in her for things he saw in someone else

She controlled the weather
Could make the wind blow the clouds about
the snow fall
the rain stop

And he, he thought he was the sun

Everyone on Drugs and God (forgives or forgets)

Some nights I look back in at all the breaking and think there's no point to all the points we were making, just to wake up shaken.
Put your foot in your mouth
so I locked you out
Stood alone, wasn't sure.
Outside the rain poured.
It was cold but you never noticed.
Probably all the pain killers keeping you frozen.
As the walls close in
your scars drawn
and reopened.

You were brought up like a mad dash for salvation.
Under an iron fist your faith you weigh in
at the end of each day
And you live afraid and drink thick
the blood of Him
just to stay sane
Some strange justification
to the repetition of poor actions
Taking snide pride in the pain you create
cause at least you'll feel something
while remaining hidden
Shrouded delusion.

Some nights I look back in and think about second and third chances.
Do I give them
How much time spent
Is it worth it
Who deserves it
And never was it said to be easy
to ignore the innocent beauty
Inside the mangled hearts you find
down any path you must somewhere draw the line
Stand to the side
let the traffic of the past
pass by

480 Days Ago

Morning doves
and sirens
Sleepless nights
and sleeping pills
Heavy lids closing
Waking in the evening
Bottles clanking
Windows rattling
Dark circles
Punching pillows


Coughing up the morning once again
It's been some time
I've seen you here before
around somewhere
No, sorry, the fault is mine
your name escapes me darling
but thank you for the ride

Now here we are left
laughing at ourselves
as the sun peaks over
the San Francisco hills
There are those birds again
serenading the AM traffic in

Work it out
Play your heart
I'll be hear
Hear inside you
Sing it out
Someone's there
always there
Right inside you
Its all we've got

Quick and clean
Keep those strings
as fit you see
These are moments
always are
never have beens

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dime Store Cowboy

I empty myself on your tattered pages
I’ve questioned myself on what life and age is
I limped through our love and all it’s painful stages
Just to find your apathy is quite contagious

The rags and dolls you hang around you
Wear masks to match your velveteen ways
They clean their teeth with dirty fingers
And take the coins your organ pays

The piano drunk plays our final song
Gives six bars well but plays the ending wrong
Your curtsy strung along the mean and strong
And fooled me when I thought I’d won

I was shelved those years ago
Left open/ face down/ half way through
With an iron bust to crush my spine
To let me know the weight of you

Your voice in the distance
makes me think
I'm close enough to notice
but too far to touch

Bar Poet

You were spinning an empty bottle
Sitting at the bar
So many cigarettes
So much touch screen trivia
All to drown the feelings
That you woke up to
You have a pen in your pocket
You take it out
From time to time
To scribble a single line
On the back of your coaster
The waitresses all know you
They smile and say your name
You throw back
A distracted wave
You throw back
Another cool bottle
Looking for a place in your head
Where you can fit all this
Where all these lines
On the back of all these coasters
Might just find each other

Joshua Fink