Bleeding in New Jersey

a sock full of ice.
a mouth full of words.
getting in trouble.
fighting for sexy breakfast.

ghosts over shoulders.
miles and sharp smiles.
I see you looking back.
never giving in.

got myself here.
gotta get myself out.
false alarms do more harm.
a sock full of ice.

on my fat lips.
your chest is resort.
go longer.
enjoy more mayhem.

Beware of Certain Poems

I have a bunch of hatchets
and I never sleep.
Give me a smile,
show me how gasoline your scene is.

The table is stolen
and the girl in the corner,
well, her dreams
are broken.

Lose the room
and use the shadows
as Braille
before you even wake up.

My passive heart,
a hollow muscular organ that pumps blood 
through a circulatory system 
by rhythmic contraction and dilation.

Found in a river running 
where never giving up
is the only option
by far, for good or ill. 

Different by Days

I have that gangster thang
right here
and this is where
I used to exist.

I have S-shaped scars
that remind me 
of stars and bars
and Central Park.

Even thought I wear
a Yankees hat all the time
my hands still get
dirty in Earth.

This guy in the mirror
has seemed some shit,
but is always trying
to be different by days. 

this is my uncool

I want to move some place
neutral but new,
like Asheville or Wilmington
or Davenport,
and start over.

My poetry
is not an apology.

Set yourself on fire,
and don't be afraid
to burn bright,
ash anew,
find tomorrows
that don't touch

I want to be new,
maybe meet a girl who
doesn't know me,
and who I can surprise.

The past has funny fingers
and I want to tickle it.

Save the warpaint
for quiet violence
and sort out the okay
for what it is.

No more doorways,
just bloodred bluejays
and I want to sneeze somewhere
I have never sneezed before,
like a backyard just shy
of sunset foothills
where arrowheads are found.

Look, my book is in a Paris bookstore!

How Old Do You Want Me To Be?

I am at a stop light in a rental car.
There is a gorgeous gal in the car behind me,
but I have resolved to believe
these creatures are out of my league.

Maybe ten years ago
I would've had the courage to talk
to that girl in Minnesota
who gave me the elevator eyes.

Now I just think I am too old
and too fat and too ugly to attempt
any gesture as an advance on ardor
and this my not be a bad thing.

Because dating sucks
and eventually leaders to love
which always lead to the trouble of caring
and I have no time for caring.

I have my post poetry show hookups
and that has suited me just fine
every other month or so,
and then I hit the road for another town.

There is No Heart in Bushwick

broken beautiful.
best by tomorrow always.
these exclamations points.
don't mark us like love.
in bathroom windows.

I am a romantic.
but never pearly white.
and if another Millennial.
calls hipsters a bad thing.
I may cut there throat.

we are all products.
of love and let downs.
of songs and certain hands.
and I am sorry to say.
but Bushwick is the latest neighborhood to spoil.

for me, at least.
fingernails with dirt.
manicures that hurt.
even as we came.
we never were the same.

I hate working out.
so I still take the train.
to White Harlem.
to play basketball with old Jews.
sorry for the hard J.

all of the liars in your bedroom.
all of the tigers we ignored.
they are leaving, too.
opening up bars in Asheville or Austin.
this is the slow end of everything.

Laughter is Triumph (Willever)

the bodega across the street
will ever live as a star as a sun,
as a place for 40s, lotto, and laughs
with old Puerto Rican men.

they don't worry about Oxford commas
or bullshit about blocked blogs,
they just play dominoes
and give the gringo shit.

que hiciste a noche, they yell,
unaware of how loud they are,
but again not giving a shit
about stuff like that.

I tell them the story
about how I got into a fight
after the folk show in Brooklyn
and they laugh.

they also ask what the hell is a folk show
and they curse Brooklyn which
makes me love them more,
so I get in on the dice game and lose ten bucks.

adios, primos, I say with a laugh,
and let my dead grandfather play the bongos
over the old radio with Moncho Lena
singing about the lost love of Carmencita.

hangnails & happy heartache

I'm lucky to have
skin ripping
off my fingers
in the airport.

heading back to the big pineapple.

some people want lots of people.
I want none.
especially if they aren't you.
because then I wouldn't have to dream or wish.

or give up on other girls
in bars in the midwest.

the second night in a row I have slept in my clothes

button down shirts and denim trousers
don't make for good couch pajamas,
but vodka makes for good morning milk
while shitting a retracing my steps.

Jawn in the Tights

she crossed the street
and my new friend from Philly
gave me the nudge
saying she gave me the elevator eyes.

I ain't buying it,
but we walked in that direction
because that was the way
to the bar and it was cold.

it was so cowboy karaoke place
under a blanket of snow,
and it was midnight packed
with a big girl singing Bruno Mars bullshit.

Alex ordered the beers
even though he doesn't drink,
and it showed because the dude
came back with Miller Highlifes.

I went to the bathroom
to do blow with Bill from Jersey
and regretted it immediately,
because Minnesota coke can't be clean.

back at the booth,
Alex was giddy as shit.
What's your dealio?
I asked.

She is here, he said,
and she is looking at you right now.
Me? no fucking way.
He was serious.

I turned around and sure enough
he was right, the girl with the jawn in tights
had taken off her coat and hat
and positioned herself in line of sight.

she was blonde with brown roots,
and her hair was in a braid wrapped around her head;
I loved her immediately.
we smiled at each other.

she was with another girl
and two guys
but our eyes kept meeting
making our lips curl up at the edges.

I imagined our life together
and us fucking or fighting over who was supposed to do the dishes;
I had this whole scenario play out in my head
and I knew what I needed to do.

I finished my shit beer, took a shot of shitty whiskey,
almost threw up, paid the tab, and marched over to her,
whispered into her ear that she is beautiful
and that I hope someone tells her that every day of her life.

then I went outside and got an Uber
back to the hotel, because I wanted to hold her
as a perfect possibility in my heart forever
and not let life ruin it.

Consider This Good

ignore me.
and things I say,
especially the things write. 

though I care,
and love life,
consider this good,
and consider this the end. 

I will go
and get gone, 
like a folk song
in the background
of a coffee shop. 

the photographs
on the wall
call me a liar,
but they just learned
how to hang there.

I would stay
but I wouldn't dare,
because even if
things were different,
you wouldn't be there.

long a struggle

the night explodes
and in beauty,
I am always visited by her.

no matter the length of time,
certain lovers always return 
to us, whether in chimera or simple songs.

sometimes they say things in dreams,
but you can't hear it,
because she is too far away. 

this happens to be
a few times a week,
mostly sober Mondays after danger.

its tough not to let it stop you
in your railroad tracks,
when certain songs shuffle on Spotify.

when I see pretty things
I think of pretty things
and she was the prettiest thing ever. 

Heart Snakes

blurry vision
and Pixies covers,
my audience is each
and every rain drop. 

Me and Mighty

it's come down to half-eaten pizza
or roommate ramen,
and that's where my life is,
so airfare is the righteous resort.

Went to Hank's job fair
in Austin, Texas;
got too drunk beforehand
and puked in the library stacks.

Met a guy named Bishop
and a girl called L;
they seemed nice
and musical.

I gave my business card
to a priest
and he asked
"What the hell is Coyote Blood?"

I pointed to my heart
and then the book of poems
I had stashed in the front
of my pants like a pistol.

I don't want to be anywhere;
I want to be a traveling comic
or a hooker or both,
but not a poet's chorus because it doesn't do.

No one should know
what a poet looks like
until he has been dead for a decade,
hence my Instagram.

Hank hailed an Uber
and I stole a snip
of red-eye for the road
and we just laughed.

Lunatics in the night,
one doing it right
and one needing change
or a different floor.

This is a skateboard film I made in college. #baggyjeans

Some Poem

some girls pull out their eyebrow hairs
while wishing for more wishes
instead of just using the wishes they have.

some boys just hide on Instagram
and bury the past in poems
that aren't good and have no real paper purpose.

some people just keep going
while others stop and die trying,
because underground is a better gamble.

some times are better than other
and some are worse than wonder,
but I am just guessing like you.