Averse to Good Days

even though I am poor, 
days are getting great,
yet I do not know how
to deal with that fact. 

the returned emails,
a fun future's posibility,
NYC farts to LA recitals
bookend my Monday.

one doesn't have to know
the vault of a bank
to understand the riches 
of a long overdue smile. 

I wonder what my grandma
Hazel would think 
at my getting night nickels
to read Sylvia with pals. 

she was raised in a Catholic shack
in a suburb of Chicago 
without the luxury of dreams,
not even knowing where they came from. 

she didn't know where she came from,
learning later – after factory fishing,
and marrying a purple-hearted pilgrim –
that she isn't even Italian. 

I would bet a sawbuck
that her happiness was simple,
and I would double-or-nothing
that she would scratch her head at this shit. 

in the swirling hours
of an afternoon that feels like five days,
I remind myself to feel this happiness
despite my body's rejection of it. 

Spring will come with robin birds,
and doubtless surprises, 
but Hazel would tell me today
is the only day to kvetch upon.

tomorrow the world 
may be transparent, 
but that is a paltry substitute 
for the fight that a little bit of light provides. 

to that spumiest spill of soul,
I write for fear of silence, 
the ghost of Hazel,
and a former shotglass full of happiness. 


32 Thoughts on 14 Mornings

mostly solid, mostly of this earth, mostly whole.

It’s a goofy, loving, often uncooperative, 
mess of a brain in a goofy, loving, messy, 
still-figuring-a-lot-of-really-elementary-stuff-out person 
that I mostly don’t mind being.

Text Edit docs litter my computer.

What a stunning thing, 
to wake up every day with your brain trying to kill you, 
and still do a podcast interview;
still try to pitch something;
still write something up;
still still still keep trying.

the brevity of a city and a place,
wherever you are, whatever city you're in, 
for most of us, we don't really have any ownership over it. 
They just kind of change and you kind of have to say goodbye.

social anxiety isn't just being shy,
because I am the least shy person I know
and I am riddled with it,
which is beautiful, fine, and okay.

to oxford comma or not.

poems are just weird ideas
people forget to keep to themselves.

my poetry sucks these days,
because life is good. 

do you mean to tell me
that if I don't go big,
I may get to go home?

I truly believe a good percentage of people 
(women)
don't care who they marry
as long as they get a day
and they get married by a certain age. 
you'll see a gorgeous, talented, perfect woman
marrying a random guy named Marth
whose favorite thing is Fast & Furious. 

the children of the poor 
are not the most secure 
people in the world. 

Is that the laundry machine,
or my beating heart?

Are you saying golden red,
or gold and red?

"You've never seen death? 
Look in the mirror every day 
and you will see it like bees 
working in a glass hive."
   - Jean Cocteau

I want to date a musician.

Someone hacked my PayPal.

If I don't pick up in the morning, love, 
it's because I am faxing the kids to the pool.
That's how the saying goes, right?
Down at the Kinko's.

I have grown allergic to watching people struggle. 

Do you delete dead people
from your contacts?


Poem

love is funny, blue and deep,
with thanks to the poet, Robert Frost, 
for the underlying structure. 

she rises from her gentle bed,
with thoughts of hipster kittens in her head.

an agreeable afternoon is belated,
an agreeable afternoon is posthumous.

foxgloves in hedges,
the horizon is beautiful,
just like you, and just like you it is gone.


Comme ci comme ça

even though
my heart is broken,
my heart is still
at play.

who says you have to be
miserable all the time?

every Monday morning I make a list.
every Friday night I write. 

TV and sleep, 
the Cypriot entry. 

will love depart
or will it stay?

a winner’s loss is epitaph,
the riddler fiddles sly touché
to a rascal like me,
making the best of the middle. 


In the Future, Everyone Will Be Anonymous for 15 Minutes

Thich Nhat Hanh died today.
He taught me that doing the dishes
can be beautiful and meditative.
He did not know he taught me this. 


The Ostrich Syndrome

I don't check anymore,
because if I don't see it
it's not there. 

Knowing your weakness,
beginning of a new confidence.

A false pretense,
that awkward silence,
child-like confidence,
blissful ignorance.

I simply refuse to see
the spree surrounding me.

good to see the sun shine,
as if it has a choice,
but I have a choice
to bury my head in the past. 


even if our love was unconditional...

the last fear is dead.

please indemnify
the bits of myocardium
you borrowed from me.

It's heart crushing
when you meet the right person
at the wrong time.

I keep songs
locked away in boxes
like secrets.
I will take them out
like postcards
to help me remember.

our lips will never meet again,
nor fingers intertwine,
so please bless my dreams
for indulging what's not mine. 

you were the poem. 


We Are All Dying At Different Speeds

life is not one thing,
so believe as hard as you can
that you are what and who you are now,
and get ready to reckon with
who that person was
as soon as tomorrow. 


Sides of Sauce for Future Meals

anxiety is for the affluent.
us poor folk don't have the luxury.
of being "scared" at life.
because we have to work.
the day after Christmas.
at the Winn-Dixie, y'all.


I Have Never Seen The Sound of Music

What can I say,
growing up in my household
musicals weren't on our radar.

This was the late 80s, early 90s,
and my home life wasn't the best,
so I couldn't wrap my head 
around a pretty babysitter
randomly belting out songs
while she tended to Austrian brats.

Same goes for The Great Gatsby;
it just didn't hit my heart.
The sentences are wonderful,
but the sum of its parts
were rich people and rich people's problems. 

A dirt poor kid
growing up too fast
in the white ghetto,
all I wanted was 
to go to a friend's house
who had cable
so we could watch music videos. 

Post script, 
when I was in college
I typed out The Great Gatsby
in its entirety 
just to get a feel for the cadence
of the writing,
so maybe I should watch The Sound of Music now. 


Stolen Apple

How does it feel,
to know the secrets
of an entire city?

I saw a seagull today with a broken wing.
He was walking down Bleecker Street.

I went by your old place on West 4th Street.
I find it strange that I remember it all but can't remember
this place before you. 

How do I get my city back?

I'm sorry but I fell in love tonight
and it wasn't with you.

So cliché yet so lovely,
after all this stolen apple
is where everyone's dreams are crushed.

The fog of forgotten memories
blankets the cracking pavement.


Inspired, In Part

I am a clock,
standing in the snow,
wondering which way to go. 

My history 
is a mystery,
a collection 
of smiles and frowns. 

How else does eternity
find its footing?


WeAreHammer

my blood clots quicker these days.
my blood is thicker these days.

and while I may be afraid,
as mentioned in the last poem,
I do not let that fear control me. 

living requires a level of selfishness
to persevere through pain,
especially during the foul/fun year of 2022. 

I used to bleed all season,
now I don't without reason.


Dancing in Broken Circles with a Roaring Fountain of Blood Where My Head Should Be

I am a chicken,
a scaredy cat.

The new year is here,
and there will be many more new years. 

But the fears are the same,
with a few new ones. 

There is not much to do,
just continue living. 


Gams

She comes down the stairs

In shorts and kills me. 


Smooth and shapely,

Her stems stymy me. 


From the backs of her knees,

To her inner thighs. 


So soft and succulent, 

Her legs leave me wanting more. 



Tina Turnstile

the saddest songs
make sense to her,
and I guess
so do I. 

there are cookies
on her nightstand,
I am half-sleeping 
on her shoulder. 

she jumped the turnstile
and landed in my life
the yesterday before tomorrow,
then we went shopping. 

she made chilaquiles
for dinner,
I asked how she is
no one's wife yet.

if I wanted a girl who writes poetry,
I could go to any bar in Murray Hill
at 2am and scrape one off the ground,
but that's not what I wanted. 

Arthur Rimbaud fell in love with Paul Verlaine,
got shot in the wrist by him,
then saw him jailed for it,
but just said love is blood. 

love is like accidentally
scratching a scab,
love is a scar catalog,
blood in gauntlets or list poems. 

her legs are soft against mine,
and her apartment is quiet,
unlike our hearts, here, 
under the stairs, under our ribs. 


early doings

lately, I wake up.
at around 5am.
brush my teeth, pee. 
make a big pot of coffee.

open a window.
because the cold air.
wakes me up.
quicker than the coffee.

stretch a little.
and then start writing.
emails, poems, social posts. 
client stuff, etc. 

eat breakfast.
around noon.
watch SportsCenter.
go outside.

the afternoon is a blur,
filled with anti-creativity
and moroseness,
where reading and snacks suffice.

early evening is a reflection 
of the mighty morning,
in which I can't turn off 
my productivity.

dinner is the only thing 
that distracts me from me,
but before that, lately,
I work out. 


Old God

I want to be wrong in the mornings,
instead of right every night.

Time is an old god,
ticking away in my brain.

Life is a young love,
beating me to death in my heart. 

I want to be be true tomorrow,
but false forever. 


contumacious

every day, my fingers
start typing a URL:
aborrowedmu...

and every day, nada.

I am tired,
so I crack my knuckles
and write dumb poems. 

every browser knows my fate.

yesterday, the analytics
showed the same specific
New York address. 

yet, every damn day, nada.

it's all good.
it's better this way. 
it's for the best.

my heart couldn't take it.

Flash Cards for Life

Mannerly order.
Dust.
Ghost cabinets. 
Italian celebrities. 
Sick poets. 

The joys of this fucked up world…

Pretty women with bangs. 
Saying goodbye. 
Skulls.
Mighty Monday nights.
Dinner with the boss.

My head is full of sawdust...

Songs while writing. 
Funny failure.
Straight faces.
Upside-down photographs. 
MLK day, y’all.

All of it limbs to go out on…

Television.
Idiocracy workshops. 
Bildungsroman. 
Humming.
Everyday vulnerability.

Repeating the good, deleting the bad. 


Raw-Dogging Reality

My second wind is coming.
The second wind on life, that is!

with Mingus fingers
helping to instigate me
musically since Joltober,
a passing freight train 
can't halt my progress.

tearing apart notions of healing,
every nebula is prologue to this moment.

this near future
has never felt better,
and I march forward
without circumstellar auspices,
trailblazing my own violescent path.

finding joy in movement,
things won't be the same after this. 

on this side or the next,
I become what was at one point
the unthinkable:
proving them all wrong with progress.

the jazz joins the joust,
and I am unprotected from conquering [my] life. 


I have always had a boner for Walt Whitman!

upon my Keto breath morning,
amongst job interviews
from Israel to Los Angeles,
I linger to love the wowing now. 

the snow, the leaves, the breeze
the window between me and that stuff,
it all swirls on my Earth,
reminding me life is for living.

tasting metal, moving on,
the newness and air are infectious
and my selfish hope
is spewing out of typing fingers.

America is terrible but splendid,
and I am at least alive,
broken heart and all,
ready for today, singing for tomorrow.

Running for the Blue

trying to avoid
running into my ex
in Midtown.

no one recognizes me,
but I ain't lonely. 

werewolves and thieves,
rich kids who wanted everything,
holding the bowl in the snow. 

I keep on running
for the blue;
I duck my head
and hide from you. 

knives from the sky
cut through me everytime,
I am not afraid to cry,
can't hide from survival. 

the past can chase me
down to size
and that's no way to die. 


From Invercargill to Inverness

from the coffee to the adrenalin
of writing an article for a billion dollar business,
today is shaping up nicely.

my heart feels like cocaine,
even though it's been a while,
and my soul feels like love,
even though it's been longer. 

why are we conditioned
to hide our happiness?

I am proud of myself
therefore happy,
and I want to scream it
from Invercargill to Inverness!



Burt Lancaster

I walk into the night.
nicely alone.
text my friend Chris.
who is in Atlanta.
at a rock show.
with a girl. 

I am tired.
grow bored with texting.
look up.
kiss the crawling purple clouds.
between me and you.
between you and the moon. 

I check my email.
nothing from LA.
I make a list.
call bookstore tomorrow.
after Israel assignment.
after lots of coffee and poetry.


“How do you have hope?”

two things make people change:
their mind has been open,
or their heart has been broken.
and I have experienced both...relatively recently.

after the crushing solitude of lying,
an unconcealed nod to lonesomeness,
and a battle with the bottle,
the choice to be happy was easy. 

I ask myself how I have hope,
just to remind myself to write it,
here in this stupid blog,
and in steam on the glass shower door.

if it is a struggle
to have hope or be happy,
then it is not in the cards;
you have to want it, selfishly. 

In his latest Instagram post, comedian and actor, Tom Arnold is wearing the shirt of the podcast I host.

Recruiter

I know I said I wouldn't
write about you,
but I just had a wild thought...

you should write for Bothering the Band!

we just launched the website,
and we are looking for content contributors:
writers of music-related stories, 
lists, articles, interviews, album reviews, etc. 

write about Switzerland or Salsa.

I know I said I wouldn't
write about you,
but you should be writing, 
because you are damn good at it. 

you know who you are.

I want to know 
who you are,
even if it's only through writing.

the smell of rain and fresh cut grass combine to bunker my existence

sometimes I want to be miserable,

but it only comes when I don't want it,

like on a sunny day instead of storm,

a grassy field rather than flood.


a hole made in a handle of a hatchet,

a hollow made in the head of a hammer,

waiting for one to break and the other to make;

every Monday my back burns because I carry opposing wishes.


love is a tool of destruction,

and destruction is the desire of creation,

making new the lake and the lawn,

making old the concrete poem and the bloody dawn. 


with sports on in the background, Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem 

by Helene Johnson reminds me of you for some reason.