I had no style in my New Year’s Eve dream. I was naked and invisible. I don’t know what’s worse—strangers being able to see you in the nude or no one noticing you at all. But this morning (in real life), the bottom of my spine didn’t feel like it fit into the top of my hips. There was thunder on the outside, lightning on the inside. Pins should stick. Needles should sew. Poor health always shows. But I was naked and invisible.

I woke up to passive-aggressive knocking. It couldn’t be cops. That’s not their style. It wouldn’t be the twisted knot of my neighbor. She is only passive-aggressive when she’s in her cage. She’s manically repressed. And apparently, she became unknotted and flooded the apartment building, Old Testament style. If I were to play detective (which I often do in my dreams), I would guess that someone meant to sober up and forgot to turn off the shower. No one drinks responsibly anymore. No one ever did. No one listens to poetry anymore. No one ever did.

I’m told there is now a fire hazard in my building. I think Emergency Responders are hungover, and I’m upstairs, coiled up in my nook. It’s not that I’m being irresponsible. It’s not that I’m not listening. I just don’t know what to do. So I’m solemnly sitting on my flannel love seat, listening to old Guided By Voices records, trying to think. Sometimes it takes an effort to think. Sometimes it takes heat to love.

I feel hopeless when I am alone in my alacrity. I feel helpless when asked for help and I can’t offer any. I think my dream is to be a social worker of some sort, but the reality is I have a master’s degree in PAINTING, so that’s not ever going to happen.

I have a difficult time distinguishing between dreams and reality, sometimes. I read too much. I write too much. I watch too many movies. What is relaxation? I don’t know the life of a salesman. I don’t know the life of a junkie. I know the life of a paralyzed insomniac; and when I wake, I feel old and still by the cold sill.

When I am mobile, I like to think that I try to walk towards death, safely. But occasionally, danger appears like a black bear, staggering out of a magician’s hat. Black-in-black crime. “How long have you been in there, black bear?” I say. And I get clawed in the face and body-slammed down chalk cliffs like the ones one of my best friends spends his free time tracing. My friend is an intellectual cartographer. I am a paralyzed insomniac; and last night, I walked in my sleep again and ended up in a ravine. Segue to the next scene.

Illusions are not as funny as they appear on television. Television is maybe somewhere in the middle of reality and dreams. Diaphanous flat-screen life.

Lately, I have been talking in my sleep, too. The other night, I think my pills spoke for me. I asked out loud, “Hey, how come in shows like Full House, when there is a dead person that is integral to the storyline, they don’t show any scenes of the dead person before they died? That never happens with Samuel L. Jackson…”

I’m not sure to whom I thought I was talking or what I meant by what I said, but Rachel laughed and asked me, “What are you talking about?” That’s when I realized I had left my dream house and was in my real bedroom. I rolled over and smacked my face into a soft pillow, a soft shoulder. Sometimes you just need to say you’re sorry and mean it.

This morning, when I heard the knocking, I knocked over a glass of water. The glass was empty. I was full of sorrow. My apologies often get lost in translation.

You know how people say you learn something new every day? While that might be prosaic, I’m surprised more people have not learned that man-made levees are not enough for this world. Minds and bodies continue to get flooded alike.

I am up to my knees in tears folks refuse to shed. Why are people afraid to cry? I am occasionally afraid, myself, because when I cry, I get a sharp pain that shoots down my left arm and I can’t shake it out. Compounded pain like “Sister Wife Blues.” But you know what? I don’t mind being naked. I will invisibly wade through invisible tears, if it will take me somewhere new. I want to walk towards something other than death, even if it means risking my safety.

Sometimes I release my own releases. Sometimes others feel free to make errors on my behalf. It’s embarrassing. Maybe I’m just too self-conscious. I give up. No; I can’t. I must go on. We all must go on.

Okay—now this is an uncomfortable thing to say, but I think this year is going to be the most awkward year of this millennium. It is now 2013. We all are now old enough to read backwards, so we should start.

Listen, the first day of January should never be a day of joy. The first day of January is bigger and better than flurries of white lies. This is almost collectively a labor-free day, which enables us the unique opportunity to think about all the mistakes we repeated in the previous year (or years). You must know by now that even the best people can be redundant. I’m sorry.

A Poem Written About Me, For You

I came home from Picture Menu,
but things felt different, like an auto-
biography, not like the biography
life has been for the past six months
or so, and you say, “You’re not making
any sense right now, Keith.” And I say,
“You obviously don’t know me well
enough to write a book about me.”

I thought about getting takeout,
but I don’t like the gut feeling
of having just swallowed a tire;
I am not rubber-made, and I am
not anchored by shitty rim jobs.

The side effects of being under
the influence of dead people
is so great, in many senses, but it
is also quite grave; you can take
the side effects and turn them
into full frontal affects, and that
is like the warning on the side
of a medication or the number
of calories in a Quarter Pounder—
the most misleading meal ever.

At home, I could smell chicken
fingers or maybe it was chicken
wings, or maybe it was “nachos
grande”; sometimes the scent of
death is so great, in many senses,
and now, I feel sturdy in this water
that fills my body, from head to toe.

I have been drinking so much
water ever since I fell in the deep
end of adulthood. I have been
peeling back ivy-coated flowers
ever since I fell into the upper crust
of the Northeast and settled in to
the shotgun seat of passive
aggression that I watch from
across the center console I am
told is the divider between me
and success (says a board member
at The New York Historical Society).

I don’t care about what he says though;
I do care about what my biographer says
about me when my body is finally found,
which is why I am giving him or her
so much information with which to work.
Honestly, I can only imagine how lazy
writers will truly be by the time I die;
it’s only six years after Vonnegut died,
and writers are stealing shit from places
like American Apparel for source material—
that’s about as lazy as it gets. That’s not
even like a Quarter Pounder. That’s more
like a Filet-O-Fish. I can tell you with full
certainty that Ray Kroc never noodled
for a fish in his life; but I’ll be damned,
neither have I. I’ll tell you another thing—
I pay for the fucking clothes on my back,
with cash, not credit (like my dad taught me).
I don’t steal them. I pay for them. Stealing
is for suckers. Working like a mill worker,
trying to figure out how to become the Queen
amongst a grid of board members is key.
Once you accept that being Queen is key,
not being King, biography and autobiography
can be merged. Kurt was a Queen; I want
to be a Queen, too. Kurt died exactly one day
after I was born, twenty-two years after
I was born. Maybe I have twenty-two years
and twenty-four hours to figure out my move?
But I guess that would mean I now have
approximately sixteen years to figure out
my move. But really, why do I want to use
these numbers as measure for meaning
in my life? It could be any numbers, right?
But maybe everything is connected, like
some sort of multi-lateral lattice work, in
which case, we must all take control. The
side effects of being under the influence
of dead people is so great, in many senses,
but it is also quite grave. I think the twenty-two
part is null. I think the twenty-four is what
counts. When my body is found, I want
my biographer to focus on the day when
I figured out my move. I want my most
selfish moment to seem selfless, because
I am actually really selfish. You can’t be a
great artist without being selfish. Great
artists don’t steal; they take. Someone
else said that before me. I took it. Oh,
and fuck the New York Historical Society.

A Prize; A Penance

A prize;
a penance...

What is the name of that bird?

Your songs are better than mine.

Cheese wrappers
are bronze medals
to a lonely morning,
but I'm not alone.

A Proposition, In So Many Words…

My questions for you
went missing recently.

I checked Google Maps,
I checked every menu;
they’re on back order?

I need a back cracking;
eggs crackling words—
morning after skillets.

Oh hey! I tried millet
for the first time
with Mike on the eve
of New Year’s Eve.

I prefer French tones
over French fries,
and dollar pancakes
are only worth a dollar.

My questions for you
are still missing, lady.

Let me offer a proposition:
we sit by a pond upstate;
you take one headphone,
and I take the other one,
we listen to Eliane Radigue
while we watch birds wrestle.

Since I have moved on
from questions now;
and my proposition
defeats the purpose
of intended relaxation,
let’s just go to France.


It hurts to have
to follow up
or follow down.

I choose not to elude;
you can choose to
catch me if you want.

You kick cans if you must,
I bust brains I don't trust;
I just want to share pages.

Correspondence is like
assembling found ideas
in our own back alleys.

A bandaged letter,
a duct-taped apology
on Plexiglas messages.

Do you remember the roads
we traced to objectify abject
meaning? You got so lost.

Well, I wanted to tell you
I didn't mean to lose you;
I only wanted freedom.

Ambidextrous Poem

Left In Left Out
Right On Right Out


When I’m with you,
I don’t want the music
To ever stop playing.

But sometimes,
The world shakes
The jukebox down.


Spalding is a ball
Wilson is a man
Art is an image
Of man playing
Games in arenas
Colossal craters
Creating craning
Words together
To say just what
You mean to say

Art For Breakfast

Oh, there’s a monochrome
Oh, there’s a muffin
Oh, there’s morning

Gone by, staring at the same color
Like the blueberry muffin eaten
On a blue boring morning

Attitude Flair

It’s okay when I do it,
but not when you do it;
isn’t that the attitude?

I’m sorry I ate all your
turtle doves and blamed
the dog who usually prefers
math homework, instead.

Are you sorry you inflated
your ego and squeezed sap
out of all your crony friends
like Spielberg at the Oscars?

No, that’s not your attitude;
it’s okay when you do it,
but not when I do it.

Austerity In The Morning

I bought you Swedish coffee
Because I couldn’t go with you
The last time you went to Sweden

And I feel bad when I let you down

I tried the coffee for the first time
This morning and HOLY SHIT
Swedish coffee is made for warriors

But I thought Swedes were austere

Bad Idea Poem

Midpoint midwife
Exercise your right
Now moment man

Anything can happen
If it's going to happen

Repeat the dual mantra
Now now okay now now
It's going to be okay now

Bad ideas are better
Than no ideas at all

Best Part

I stare at white stuff
for fourteen hours
every single day

and sometimes

black stuff appears
and that is the best part
of any day for Me

Big Thursday

You know
A compliment
Is a compliment

No matter
The utensils used
To try to break
The words apart

A letter of sediment
A letter of sentiment

The green nature
Of lemon lye flint
Oh my hands stand
Upon stretched skin

I shake yours
To give thanks
And avoid heat

Bishop To Rook (Not Quite)

I’m sorry I give you so much stuff.
I understand why you give me shit
in return, but it still hurts. I hope
you know when I overwhelm you,
it’s only because I am overwhelmed,
myself; and I don’t mean to do it
to either of us, but I can’t help it.

I wish I could condense my ideas
like milk! Oh God, it tastes so good
when the Vietnamese put it in coffee;
but I don’t like dairy much, otherwise,
and I hate sleep more than anything.
Yet, ironically, without my needles,
I have to bury myself in self-hatred.

I refuse to allow myself to be distracted
anymore or any more than I have been
today or yesterday, starting tomorrow;
and I refuse to allow myself to distract
you from whatever you want from life.
I just want to give you something more,
I just want to give everyone something.

Black Label

Discontinued stories
listed on Amazon
as sold out; why
list them at all?

Replacement parts,
solemnly stacked
on veneer shelves,
filed under Hipster Lit.

“Don’t call me a hipster!”
says the skinny leather kid
who got a BA in Posing
from Sarah Lawrence.

I take a sip of Black Label,
because it’s a buck, and say,
“James Baldwin was a hipster;
you can call me one if you want.”

Boom Guard

I can drink from the mouth of a lion
When listening to fat mandolins
And escaping from bellbottom girls
In the bowels of a Brooklyn college
Not Brooklyn College but a stage
Filled with Fox life props or at least
Not quite a peasant or a peacock
Tainted by teenage periled pearls
Just props chopped and screwed
And ratted out to the down and out
Maximal scroll stead you heard about
And sure enough we can move
Faster than we thought faster than
A cat in his own bar stool slumber
But when I’m in my own night haze
I can drink like a lion with dry mouth

Brain Blows

like a vacuum
like a hammer
sludge is sucked
and smashed
until the days
before you were
a bachelor at all
et al and all biases
were bus rides
to downtown
cue the music
call the curtains
this is a Tony
with a head to be
Cliffed for good


When standing on the fingertip of an Eastern island
Or lying down on the flat belly of a Texas desert
You can realize the miniature size of a human being

But when standing next to another human being
You can realize how great breathing can be
And under clear skies I want to breathe with you

Brenham, TX Mental Case

How I slid on past the worst lay-
over of all years, trying to for-
get big, bad typography. I mean,
you know, mottos for poor ass life
decisions, rock marooned in multi-
tude. Thrust and thrown wounds,
reckless shells agape, framing
near-death experiences with pine;
we can lose our identities always,
especially when enshrouded by
vaqueros locos y más cervezas.

Yes, I am thin. I am out on my left
limb now. But I am not a crooked palm;
this is really what makes the blood feel
rustier as it clots. I sink my branded brow
into the leaves of my body. I think about
what is and what was; gazing at the grazing
wild was my weekend, and that was some-
thing, for sure. Something to cure my doubt
of my surroundings, but sometimes even
the most reasonable creatures can break
planar stretches, get asymmetrical, streak
themselves, and you know, have rabid
moments. Amidst cologne slips and sharp
knell, I can tell when it’s my time to go.

Brew Down

There’s not much sadder than a stolen umbrella on a rainy day.

Burbank Blues

I was feeling lousy
so I went to the 7-11
around the corner.

I walked past a Saturn
and the driver
was wearing a plastic bag
for a ski mask
and the passenger
was eating pastrami tacos.

The cashier asked me
to fill her mug with hot water
and I filled it with Mountain Dew.

I left empty-handed
but when I exited
the Saturn smelled
like a wet Labrador
and the passenger
had frozen over.

Ceremony of Sorts

what matters more
surface or structure
not sure anymore
survive or surpass
lines aren't definite
bricks are viscous
molten word piles
grin while you can

Commission Free Exchange

Both shins on fire
Cap an endless reign

Smoke machine
One per hip
Shoot each side
Always in debate

Am I a vegetarian?

Do you need a seat?

We can eat beet salad
And talk about communism
And the surplus of beets
In your country today

"No, I cannot imagine
A country without crops."

I will work on my circulation
For the next half month
As I stitch ancient Earth
Like a purposeful crest
And you can ditch digs
Like an idealistic worker

Cats as mascots for people
Iconography can be so dry
An exclusive task for the lazy

We are mental gymnasts
Stretching time like plastic
Burning rubber like sluts

Actions are confident ideas
Or perhaps the lack thereof
Or rather arrogant appeals

In any case, I'm glad we met


I'd rather be
an insect
than a bug

Insects are independent
beyond years

Bugs are unbecoming
every day

There is no middle ground
when words float in the air

They just buzz like garbage
as they get digested
and disappear into holes

Considerate Package

made with care,
you bend over me.

wraparound attacks
come and go (this and that).

blanketed furnace felt...
snap sap and sack glass...

I feel warmth when I am
at least in the same city
you roam in, and with some
charge of action, you change,
in ways you cannot reenact,
with tact (and that's opinion).

anyways, there is no way
you can find truth in fairness;
fair is fare, and we all pay
some day, and some say:
life is eating, breathing, and
sleeping; dues & make do.

Cool Ranch

You can try to be a nice person
every day of your brief life
but in some places
like say Oklahoma
nature doesn't care
and neither does the government.

Courtesy Can

Jack of all
Traits I guess
Courtesy can
Take first place.


A week before my birthday, I spoke words of self-importance to a crowd of (mostly) strangers, and they embraced me like a lost son, an imposter incognito. I didn't fit. They were loose in their stance; I was loose in my cadence. Or was it the other way around? Underscored phrasing always gets me. And virtual glue just doesn't cut it. I'm sticking to rubber cement. It's absolute. Despite the mishaps, I remembered the clipped part about burrowed guns. I told these new accomplices an opaque story about true love. I think I sounded like Sam Shepard. That was the point. I can be blunt like a fist and sharp like aged cheese. But can is an open hypothesis. I am more like a frayed string, untied, perhaps united to a can; a vessel for communication. I try to slide words to and from you. And sometimes it works. Often, it's a surprise. What does Frederick Seidel's voice sound like? I wonder. Hey, why do you think that giddy Catholic girl asked me if I was nervous?

Crockett Shit

Man cannot ever defeat science;
math, guns, and God are categorical.

Meat and dairy will kill you
if you're too close to a border.

Patriotism is a street mirage,
an illusion to combat crisis.

Every day I step towards my third decade,
I come to both fear and accept adulthood.

After 72 hours of paralysis,
there is a moment of clarity.

If you don't stop yourself,
you'll never be able to start.

Crunching Numbers

If one man walks 1,500 miles
and another man runs 1,500,
who is the wiser man?

Curious Exchange

What’s the difference between guilt and shame?
It’s like the difference between push and pull.

In you go, out you go; the slightest bit of friction,
and games of the past become exotic waterfalls.

What if Heaven was a graphic novel, drawn out
by R. Crumb? Oh God, what does Hell look like?

Arc vs. Ark—it’s a shame guilt weighs what it does;
everything is a waterfall now, every day is a flood.

No horse is ever going to slack or wear slacks,
and you just can’t expect to tame a station wagon.

It’s a splendor what a pony can do with some change;
you can still figure out the curious exchange, if you try.

Cursory Poem

the bread is one_the thread is spun_under humid skies_leavened molds_folded ruined plumes_tater tot heap hop-alongs_some rivers are tougher to part_some water is clearer in parts_Camden is just as real as ever_don’t double cross me he said_don’t come back she said_fooled free ransom_random dandies sprouting_lying and rhyming_hoping to find sight of psychic pals_rally capped rams' nails_scraping against rubber or concrete_seasoned and sauntered_mushroom clouded vision_ munch on that adult mulch_much too much_now you've got champagne problems_ lap dog lap dance_sad song romance_disrobe any beast known still_still sitting_sitting still_disturbing the pieces of poems from before the last year of luck_stapled and sucked_ puckered and able_pock-marked_ plopped on and popped off_pages upon pages_up on pages words go_rods go in skies or ready-worn eyes_I told you no more_I told you no more_I told you I know more_merely saying so is a sign_a singer is sweeter with eyes closed_the ocean is sweeter with eyes opened_stacks of books always fall_failure is a preoccupation_what is your occupation_even practical careers end_don’t start with me_some phrases are meaningless_some words are meaningless_some letters are arbitrary_z is worthless_I rarely ever type z_vowels are condescending_sometimes I hate vowels_sometimes I just want to take my socks off in public_I don’t want to feel lazy_I don’t want to feel shame_I have typed the letter z three times_wait four times_I have typed the letter z five times in this poem_I can’t feel lazy now_I can’t feel lazy ever_but sometimes I feel overly self-conscious_ like as if everybody knows that my socks are off and I’m trying too hard_but most people don’t understand relativity_usually I feel like I ought to go back to letting words fit themselves together_usually I feel like forcing letters is counter-productive_also I think that sending e-mails you don’t want to send typically aren’t worth the trouble_and then I looked up and the train conductor said pigeons are the true work of God

Curt Lattice

A hole in an old cardigan
is a decisive gesture—
a grungy giveaway,
gesticulating geriatric
gestalt. It's not your
fault the rift was split
into segments—bits
of comedy, bites of
drama. Megalomania
hyped up to new heights,
self-made men made
into icons, drawn onto
caved-in skulls. Memory
cards sent express
express the ways we use
hindsight to look forward.
March on through spring,
spring on through years
in clusters until cloistered
in shuttered stowaways.
Stoned graves, gravestones,
cementing the end of known
pitches, thrown habitually.
What's your hold on now?


The day breaks
Like pylons in view

Piled up plywood
Screws gone askew

Full moon fiascos
Make any man thirsty

Colors of collars
Mean nothing now

When seated
In flooded towns

The skewed screws
Always come bursting

Death In Hollywood

A woman in Korean slippers is napping in front of the automatic entry at the nearest CVS and all I can think about is how thirsty I am.

I wonder:

How did I know the origin of those slippers? How did that woman get to this point? How did she get to this place? How did I get to this place? How am I going to leave this place? What is my point?

If I don't buy an overpriced water soon, I think I might die.

Decipher Noon

Turks in a row
Two step out

Hippies jump
Lassos tied

Plow to know
Dirt is numbers

I'll have a drink
If you'll have one

Let's cross rivers
Over and over

This knowledge
Will keep us bound

Diet Life

Shuffling through airways
above or around plain-spoken
planes, North and South
of Middle American games.

Some folks drink beer
for breakfast, eat meat
for lunch, and have both
for dinner; fuel for the grim.

My guts are wrenched tight
just from watching gladiators
battle the bottles and plates,
and friends say I am underweight.

Iron gaskets brewing mixes;
results, results, mixed results,
and every time I'm back home,
I can see rust belts breaking.

I will sing a song out of tune
if my tablet cracks again;
what's with all the hate
in New Jersey these days?

It's a wonder how the chosen
pin letters on the feeble,
and the feeble swim upstream,
bobbing for bad apples all day.

Dim Shadow Mock Box

Shoe down
In the gutter
Balls sprawl
Instead of spin
Cycles of flint
Crushed on ends
Chalk outlines
Of wheels set
Next to promises
Israeli models
Hope and beauty
Staged right
Exit left over
I'm all spent
You're meant
To be elegant
Shining like wars
Resolved by words
Poetry is diplomacy
And there is warmth
In any cold body

Donor Boy

Cracked my skin near the canal
Trying to avoid unnecessary meat
Africans were cat-calling so what
I thought I saw a relative last week
It was just a foreign phantom
I am a priest in most of my dreams
Giving homilies to other poets
I can't translate drama like gays
I could use a cobbler and lotion
To wash away hasteful decisions
I'd prefer not to ever go home
My New York license is deceased
It's a laminated pocket tombstone
Bloomberg is the pallbearer
Biesenbach is the gravedigger
They are laughing over my corpse

Drawn Eeks

I am a cough man;
you are a caveman,
skewering Greek fish,
equivocating on this
or that matter of fact.

Family matters, most
of all. Friday anthems,
standing tall and hmm,
what's this about derby
crashing out in the open?

Most comedy is accidental,
and it mostly makes you
empty, unless you're already
alone; this is why comedians
are miracles when they score.

How about that bard,
talking out of his ass?
You called him out,
as an inverted mouth,
a spackled hen hole.

But it's always easier
to speak from a source
sullied so sour; you just
justify whatever you say
by saying it's not you.

You see, you say it from
a pseudonym you buy
from a mall or a sorcerer;
sources and resources
are not directly related.

Step brothers, distant
cousins—words are only
words; they don't define
relationships, they just
describe them to a point.

I like to point to moments
to define relationships;
I like to relate to people
in the moment, and if I
can't, well then, I can't.

I remember a time
when I would dip out
and set my framework
forward for freestyle
Hudson freeze outs.

Remember that time
we almost got jumped
in Fishtown for being
too vanilla at an emerald
display of hedonistic art?

I wanted to retreat
to old habits; you
wanted to retreat
to your cave; I said,
"You're different now."

When you suck in
fresh air, it's wild
the ways you can
finally breathe new
life into yourself.


You might be in Kyoto right now, and I might be dead, but how would either of us
be able to know?

Eastern Blockage

On airy fields of debauchery
Polish women house sandwiches
As if they've been re-ghettoized
And are re-emerging like trout
Sandwiched between burrows

Empty Page

You tell me
that I’m wrong.

You tell me
that I’m dead.

Maybe it’s best
to leave you
blank, just
the way you
like to be.

You can win;
you can make
me the fool—
but I hate being
the fool, always!

I’m a fool
for thinking

I could ever
beat the page.


Some days, everybody looks like Jason Priestly. Inverted smiles, but smiles still. A jingle claims: "We're the make-it-happen people." I try to make the old man happy, but only he can make himself happy. Some men smile in isolation and it feels natural, like science. But I like to share. I always preferred English and social studies. It might be a familial thing, a familiar thing. The old man is an only child. He expects things. I have two younger sisters. I want them to be happy, too. I don't hear much about Brenda these days.

Every Generation Is Blank

Zap the comic
Zappa the comic
Ha ha ha ho ho ho
Hot rats in August
Tranny mix tapes
Passed around
Like bacteria
Back in the 70s
You wouldn’t
Believe the things
You could see
Dude I’m 27
I know but
Just think about
The infected streets
I already have
Source material
My old man
Who are you
Calling old man
Hey do you think
Blind Willie McTell
Ever played a game
Of William Tell
It’s hard to tell


Blind leading the blind;
never mind the mines—
gold and coal are buried
in land, mined for minds
to implode, explode, re-
load and unload; you
live and learn and learn
to die, ride the night
for day to open eyes.

Fallen Poem

What is second chance love?
What is a Syracuse session like?

I have a soft spot for industrial
college towns - what a pleasant
paradox; don't you agree?

I had dinner with everyone's former
gay best friend one fall evening
ten years ago before the snow;
my father bought us all burgers
and milkshakes and told us
about female rugby players
and fire respirators and then
came the rain and how gorgeous
death can be as a bookmark;
my dad tells me not to worry
but worries are like wires
to program and to tangle.

I can feel smoke when it's blown
and now we are westward dragons
feeding into bundled circuits.

Books are the most archaic outlets
with plugs to be plunged inside out.

Fault Lines

I can’t avoid bee stings
in my abdomen when
my shortcomings are
called out in the open.

I didn’t mean to smash
those beer bottles, and
I didn’t mean to quote
the mouthed words of
a racist from some film
you’ve never even seen.

I could apologize to you,
so I will apologize to you,
but as the words reveal
the message, I realize
how it is empty; yet I’m
full of apologies, none
the less of the action
in the first place, really.

When I ask for something,
from you or you or you,
it is my way of admitting
I am not truly self-sufficient;
this is not as becoming as one
might think, or so I think.

I can be pretty crazed,
and sometimes dazed,
and it’s no one’s fault
but my own; I’m sorry.


Blind leading the blind;
nevermind the mines—
gold and coal are buried
in land, mined for minds
to implode, explode, re-
load and unload; you
live and learn and learn
to die, ride the night
for day to open eyes.

Fermented Flowers

A man I knew when I was a senior,
in the life before this one, could not
distinguish the difference in spelling
between orchid and orchard; and I am
not sure if he really knew the difference
between the two words at all, honestly.

Flaccid Architecture

Maybe I am a Yakuza
and I chant threats
in deep poker rooms

Maybe I buy lattes
and throw them away
without any apologies

I will make things hard
for this humid city

I will make it sweat
for everything it needs


A woman stands her ground
A man stands where she says

She claims his name
The same thing is said
Over and over again

This is the most friendly battle
In the history of fair warned war

Flexing Out West

A PDF of love songs
inaudible to anybody but me.

If there is anything comforting,
it's a shared bed
when sleeping in the desert.

I feel like a queen
when I play mix-tapes
from the late 90's.

My days are now gradients;
some are up, some are down.


Thomas Jefferson was a sculptor
Bernie Madoff was a lioness

Lead walls led astray
Ash trays and rash ways

Puff smoke like a halftime show
Puff chests like a post game show

Every deal is a good deal
When your hands are dirty

My sunglasses are half full
My hyphens are out of control

When you dress like a German
You're likely to get more respect

I can throw bricks and not care
But wind through a net is mine

And raw soil compounds itself
Pounds and litter by liters

And rubber souls are overrated
Whitman's soles are prorated

Now I sit in a capitalist cemetery
With waterfalls and public art

I will turn stones with my tongue
And lick defeat like a sponge

I will sail to Vienna this summer
With all my words in tact

Four Facts

Monitor shark is a real man
Mercury is a real planet
And every fear is real to me
Though I’m not afraid of much

Frazzle Dazzle

you come home to water sliding
on prurient porcelain tensing upward
of course any direction is welcome
when facing the fear of losing
goals like a Québécois kitten
or becoming anorexic on the streets
I see black and white Euro masks
in our hot tin future poesy parts
and I blow imaginary smoke
out of my imaginary Winstons
looking out the back window
down to the imaginary picnic
with food held like Steinbachs
and people riveting like Steinbecks

Get Gone

In a rouse colored room
I scan scrawled notes
left by previous tenants:


Giver (9/11/13)

I met a woman from Pelham
with a husband from Hoboken
and three kids from Bay Ridge.

She is a veterinarian by trade
and a fortune teller by day.

Her husband comes from mechanics,
now he sells cars from Asia.

Her one son used to be in punk bands,
now he is an artisanal baker.

Her other son used to be an addict,
now he is a pharmaceutical rep.

Her daughter is the receptionist
at her husband's dealership.

She asked me where I'm going in life
and I told her I'm leaving for Los Angeles.

She said, "No, I mean WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?"

I said, "I want to be remembered."

She said, "Give me your hand."

I handed myself over.

She tickled my palm for a while
and told me I am a giver,
but I need to give more.


A tailed man
told me a tale
of a telling town;
he said we should
trip together
and put together
the Northeast pieces
of a landlocked life
we both wanted
to unchain of sorts
of course but of course
we would both stay
the course we chose
or rather had chosen
us by seen or sawed
bits of past participles
and future particles.

Handicapped Wheels

Barrel-chested best friend eating armadillos for lunch. Cactus planted and isolated breaststrokes supplanted, this is far from sensual. A man is a man and all boys have a plan. Ill-fitting fates. Midnight states and surreal mates. Teenagers drinking out of brown paper bags, outside a SoHo Starbucks. Drunk, aging chola yelling at her new ex-boyfriend. Red wine spilled on Swedish wood panels. Worst dream of late. Nighttime neverland. Landscape fever paintings. A fever, a favor. Wax and wine. Whacks and whine. I faxed a fine and what's mine is yours. Foot sores to remember my dead year. Foot thoughts to remember corner storage. Insufficient data. Text must match image. Brittle American network, broadcasting a simple ride. You can go far in life on handicapped wheels.

Heterosexual Love Poem (Hallmark Version)

Loving a man
Loving a woman

Is essentially the same thing
In essence it can never be

Hippocratic Moment

Data entry is just a dream
Pimples seem like the past
But I’ve had one on my back
For the past week or two
And I’d like to hear a violin
When I go to sleep tonight

(Reality is not real in this life)

I hear American Football
Every day in October
I drink blood like beer
Every day in November
Because I am thankful
That I’m still sort of alive


I have to be honest, I have to
I have to be honest and say
It really hurt when you chose
Not to walk the few blocks
To hear me honor you, and us,
To a familiar, yet fresh crowd;
It was the last time I would rid,
Shuffling objects and words
Like a grocery store clerk
Back in Allegheny County;
I want to be a King with you
So I have to be honest, sir.

Hope Thrift

Finding a rotary phone
in a house is like a miracle
if you believe in miracles.

Burnt toast in the summer
is like irony if you feel like
getting faulty vitamins.

But it's cold as Hell now,
and nobody really knows
the temperature there.

And I want to call home,
but I want to spin numbers
to collect familiar voices.

Human Resources

A bitten apple
is still fresh fruit.

A wheel on fire
is still a wheel.

And at midnight,
on the banks
of the LA River,
I find fulfillment.

Humble Proof

I was so rattled by the agnostic perch
of a conflicted kangaroo that I left out
insignificance—as a theory, as a rule—
and now I’m under it’s thumb, squashed
like a garden, midway through October.

Now it’s almost spring and there is no hop
in the weeks. Kangaroos become sloths;
hanging is so in season. Seasons feel like
years, and my nightly news lacks resolve.

All it takes is an extra few seconds to take
a second look. But then a second becomes
a minute, and a second look becomes
a third, and no dice on bronze anything.

And when you stare at anything for longer
than a few seconds, your field of vision
can become plowed insignificant. Humility
can be gigantic in the microscopic world.

If you have no proof, you have nothing;
unless you have humility. Would you
be willing to risk reward in order to chisel
your own stones? That’s humble proof.


Love can be like an icicle, frigid and to the point.

I'm Over Here

I was in a Euro-themed cafe, or so it appears from the aesthetics. It was "under construction" at the time. It's always "under construction" though. This time, I was drinking an Americano with Soy Milk. What do they call Americanos in Paris? How about in London? Charles In Charge as a wake-up call. Sex In The City; Sex In What City? New York? Paris? London? I saw Kim Cattrall in a friend's work of art recently. I saw Sarah Jessica Parker at a friend's art opening recently. I wonder what John Ashbery would say to her if they met. Which one? It doesn't matter. They probably have met. I wonder what John Ashbery said to her when they met. I'm staring at myself staring at a man smoking a cigarette, smoking two cigarettes. I've been thinking a lot about electronic cigarettes lately. I can't figure them out. Imagine Anna Karina smoking a blu Cig. Imagine Richard Prince appropriating their ads. I figure it might be like cooking sushi. Smoked salmon rolls—no thanks. But this fellow I'm staring at looks like a smoker should. He looks sexy. He looks like he's in pain. I don't like pain. I do love sex. I'm scared of painful sex. Little known fact: I used to be a quarterback. You obviously can't put two and two together. It's okay. Most people can't. Plus, the world needs more safe people. And anyways, don't worry. Be happy. Be Pink. Bobby McFerrin lingerie shopping—try getting that one out of your head. Without you, I need a mental map. While you're off eating Chinese dumplings and plotting new routes, I'm getting lost in the Middle Earth tones of Vuillard. Have you ever tried to make a painting? Tell me something more painful. Let me repeat myself. I don't like pain. Maybe that's why I don't make as many paintings these days. But if you've ever tried to make a painting, tell me you've never gotten lost with Vuillard. I wonder if they had Americanos when he was alive. What do you think they called them back then? What do you think they called Americans back then? In New York? In Paris? In London? Did you know that The Grapes of Wrath was published only one year before Vuillard died? I'm not one to speculate, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find Tom Joad at Zuccotti Park when shit was going down. I wish there were more natural parks for me to roam and streams for me to swim. But if it's not commerce, there's always something else getting in the way. Isn't it ironic that every day, more trees are cut down to build new stores, yet unemployment is still sprouting? Wow. The streams in which I swim to get from one idea to the next, from present to past to future, but not always. Sometimes I see seafood, sometimes I see drunkards. Can you drink red wine from a glass designed for white candles? Have you ever made your own wine? Have you ever made your own beer? I want to make my own wine. I want to be a mood-setter. Red wine and white candles are mood-setters. Beer is unruly. Beer is unsettling. It has its moments though. Like could you imagine Christopher Walken drinking red wine in The Deer Hunter? No way. And I mean, that movie definitely sets a certain mood. But not the one for which I am particularly aiming. I've never gone hunting. I've never shot a deer. I've never shot anything, not even a gun. Hmm. Horses, they do get shot, don't they? I know a man who likes to wear a robe while watching movies and a jumpsuit while shooting guns. I don't like to wear either. I like to wear comfortable clothes, but I'm more uniform. I'm kind of like a union man out on the town. I just like to walk around. I wish I could stop time. Just for a second. Photographs claim to do that. But they don't. I wish I had a better solution than cameras. I wish I had a better way to explain my stories, my memories, but I don't. Words don't suffice. And I've already acknowledged that pictures don't either. So fuck! What's the point of art? What's the point of poetry? Why am I talking to you? Am I just talking to myself? Am I just looking at myself? Glasses on the walls, glasses on the floor, glasses on my face. There's humor everywhere, if you want it. I can deliver if you want. 30 minutes or less. I've been trying to be more concise, as a rule. But like beer, I'm unruly. Like beer, I turn certain things on and certain things off. Humor, solemnity, silence. I am malleable like oil paint; not like concrete or bronze. Have you ever noticed that many painters who find success decide to make bronze sculptures? I don't think I've ever seen a good one. Maybe they should try concrete. Maybe not. Maybe this is an unpopular thing to say, but maybe painters who find success with painting should stick to painting. Making a great painting is maybe the hardest thing I can think to do. Why follow that up with some polished bronze turds? Wait! I must eat my words, again. Jasper Johns' bronze Ballantine cans were pretty amazing. But may I remind you, beer is unruly. God, man. Sometimes I eat so many words, it's a wonder I'm so thin. Sometimes I drink so many beers, it's a wonder I'm so thin. Sometimes I drink so many beers, I think about God as man. Jesus, man. I was serious when I said I wanted to be more concise. I want to be as concise as an owl. I think owls are probably the most concise animals. Hoot! Oh! Hoot! Owls are the solution. If only I could be an owl, perched on my tree branch, hanging out, spinning my neck like Linda Blair, making timeless mind paintings. But how would you know what they were about? I guess you would have to trust me. I guess owls are not the solution. Everybody has trust issues and I have ego issues, obviously. I want you to look at me. I want you to listen to me. I will make noises and movements for you. And if you pay attention, I will thank you by saying, "You're welcome!"

Impenetrable Poem

When you write so many words, punctuation becomes wildlife in the jungle.

Impinged Poem

Rip that hip shit
Compact dusk
Dunked under
And dawned on
Abdominal bees
Stung straight
In me sideways
Downed sweat
Acquired slowly
Such is such a
Swept up suite
Of old Elvis hits
And cracked lips
Licking out loud
Now thinking too
Three long nights
I liked that one dream
G-Rated gore
Couched swarms
And coughed out
Post-it notes
With one-liners
To remind me
Of my impingement

Indigent Poem

Guilt can be a good thing
or it can just be a thing.

Sometimes I feel awful
about conversations I have
when I'm lying in bed
next to a good person,
and I ask why I don't relent.

Sometime I feel the offal
of my serried agendas,
hundreds of e-mails
written every week
adding up to a life's work.

Any collection can be epic,
any thought can be surmised.

But it's essential not to essentialize;
I have found it more productive
to read than to see, as seeing
is of nature, and reading is of desire.

I want to sequence my needs,
linking chronology as a counter
to my fraught facsimile existence.

I add up activities and question
the sum, unsure of my ignorant
and eager ways, feeling feigned.

My duties can be stacked
like chips in a can; an irony,
because I hate Pringles.

And if I can, I mean could,
I would, I mean will…
apologize to my father.

He will be a grandfather soon,
and it will be time, eventually,
to acknowledge the silent ways
I have omitted due payment.

In Habit Fuzz

Suck up one hundred ash trays
Down in Baja with Barbarellas

Stamp out the empirical filth
Of an urban planning textbook

I had an agenda before this city
Now I have an objective objective

I'll be leaving like a screensaver
By the time you read my e-mail

Once when I was in Oklahoma
I saw a soaked purple penis
And Kid Rock was on the radio

Once when I was in Jersey
There was a prizefighting lesbian
Who told me I should go to Israel

Once when I was in Florida
Mounties in spandex shorts
Asked me if I was a faggot Jew

Once when I was in Israel
I was offered paid slavery
They said it'd get better

Once when I was in Japan
I learned about Capitalism
And became a Communist

When I think of museums
I think of bird shit and hot dogs
Life feels more alive in car rides
Brief coasting to the beach
Or somewhere relatively silent
I am a nudist sympathizer
As long as they're in the water

Inhabited Self

Washed up good
Dirty reminders
Swift family
Robbings galore
Broken resorts
Shattered glass
Glistening ashore
Old Budweiser
Cans collected to be
Used as telephones
Pulling up to drive-thrus
I always pull back now
Tact is crucial when
You're with carnivores
I can't get rid of images
Abstract snake tags
East Side vs. West Side
There has to be other
Directions to slide
There has to be other
Depressions to try
What gets you up
What gets you down
What's got me now
Is the Lake Eerie Blues
But you brought me
Some Ear Buds
So I'll have some
New Blues to bear


I prefer my jocks on pages or screens. I prefer my tacos stuffed to be corny. I prefer not to turn lights on for power.

I would like to hang out in a parking lot all day, someday. I would like to go parasailing with my mom someday. I would like to preserve myself like pickles or jam and not have that be a poor metaphor for my days.

If I were a metal dude, I would want to be heavy. I have realized I am a bit of a feather. On top of that, my hairline is scarred from the neglect of past equations.

One thing I can say with certainty is Craigslist is a place for new starts. I am coming around to the stories I've put off. Can we maybe go for a drive together, with no destination in mind?

Juan told me to avoid places with money. How much is ever enough? When I try to process wealth, I just end up picturing Andre Rison's house in flames.

At this moment, I am sitting under a palm tree that kind of looks like me. I've been drinking Coca-Cola out of a can and staring at a stuttering neon sign, and I'm considering how to construct my next statement. A taxi just pulled up to my tree and asked me where I'm going, and I tell the driver I think I'm supposed to be behind the wheel.

It's Plural

It's only smells
said the bassist
from the band
from the mysterious
make out lounge.

It's premature
to claim reins
when you've
never left your
self before this.

It's a sad fact
that you lose
your autonomy
every time you
go back to him.

John's Song

Every exterminator knows
the worst is yet to come.

You can stomp and stamp
messages in subtitles,
but underground themes
always transcend scored
brain terrains. And worse
worn sweaters seethe
and sear holes into skin
called home. Discomfort
is a lodge, an inn, within
which night terrors itch
at fears you didn't know
you had in the first place.

Read The Bible: humans
weren't meant to survive.

June Bug

June Bug wrecked me
with chicken pot pie

I swore I was going
to become vegetarian
as soon as I got home

But June Bug said no
and put on the Ramones

She got some gravy
from the Dominicans
and said, “Let’s Get Wavy”

June in Drop D

A new beer every day
makes the liver feel grey

It's been raining like
every afternoon
and I miss the South

The East could be West
but the West prides in stride
and the East flattens hope

Sculpt your play in isolation
as there is no assistance here

Promises theorized in real time
become crystallized in no time
like amber waves of restraint

Shaking hands refrained
I feel the gap between us
and distance is undefined

A map is more of a metaphor
than most people think

None of us are defined
merely by crooked lines
or even crooked minds

The stories we tell
are only ever as good
as they're remembered

Judgement tableaux sewn
to the cloth cut to be wrung

Every single thing smells
like young dandelions
and other tricky weeds

All the ducts are taped
and all the aped punks
are now awake at 5 am

Gang signs are romanticized
when they're hidden at night

The days are stretching
like women on steroids
listening to Suicide Jazz

But I whistle the new dirge
as I walk down Nurge Ave.
and toss ice cream dreams

This June is in Drop D
and the sun is lost on me

Laissez-Faire Burlesque Show

On Thursday, a FedEx cashier
tried to fuck my girlfriend—
I didn’t even realize at the time;
I was too busy caressing scabs.

On Friday, a U-Haul representative
told me my humorous analogies
won’t bring back the furniture
her corporation damaged.

But anyways, I got $100
out from the Chase across
the street, and I felt fresh
from the wrists down.

But that feeling doesn’t last
at the end of the month,
or when you pull up to a pump
at a Chinatown gas station.

I always feel pretty filthy
when I leave Chinatown
or a gas station; any Chinatown
or any gas station, anywhere.

I’ve been washing my hands
every hour the past two weeks;
I even bought eco-friendly soap—
city oil is bad for adult head wounds.

Once, I washed my hands
at the Chelsea Home Depot,
and then my hands smelled
dismal, like Pizza Hut crust.

I haven’t eaten a slice of pizza
since my best friend curdled
another year and I told him
how much I would miss him.

I mostly eat vegetables these days,
and painkillers and antibiotics,
and vitamins—because the vegetables
basically help balance the other pills.

I was in Walgreens yesterday, picking up pills,
and an employee with a Walgreens logo
tattooed on his forearm told his co-worker,
“I’m my own boss.” I’m my own boss, too.

Last Day Of Business

Damned evidence
High piled conceits

Eager beams of brevity
Briefly wavering ripples

Light speed governance
Goodbye to night feeding

This weekends are bloated
I’m just avoiding weakness

Loosen up your innards
And unzip your hidings

Lebanese Dreams

Slipped an obese drink
into my cheek, and well,
I tied a knot you knew
around my left ankle
and got right about life;
thought how text is telling,
and I’m a poet, you know?

So like…that means, you
might want to listen to me,
and tie yourself into tradition,
and the ends of good stories.

Lifetime Personal Fantasies, LLC

Redacting the overhead lights
Full-on fluorescent skin burns
There is nothing left in galleries

I contemplate the past
I write on the present
I speculate on the future

A sculpture of my body
A painting of my face
A performance of my death

Linguistic Coordinates

The sprawl of my drawl
Cannot be contained
By false regionalism

Lock and Key

Some people call their wife
"the old ball and chain."
Sometimes, this is how I feel
about my MacBook Pro.

I write down so many of my thoughts,
like a suburban housewife;
I can relate when I'm in Target
or channeling a therapist.

Dr. Katz was a good TV show,
House Arrest was a good movie,
the produce is really good here,
but I need to get out more.


A llama perched on itself
unlocks its jaw
and pretends not to be
staring back at me

But I know that game
and I don't blame him

There are children littering
all around the two of us
and drunk loiterers laughing
like it's The Memory Motel

I empathize with the llama
filled with stifled desires


even the most twee boys
speak abstractly, shaping
their mouths for sweet
people who never come.

most faces cannot absorb
the punch of soy sauce,
but if you like to rage,
you might try anything.

a suggestion though:
let’s relax like the 80’s.

when it’s this time of year,
everyone wants to go mad.

Man Purse

If I could parse
my man purse
into gold friends
silver acquaintances
and bronze strangers
I would be better at business.

Mauer (Excerpt)

Losing light daily
I am a wookie
I am a walrus
Paul McCarthy
Flaccid candle
Betsy Ross
Take liberty as is
Launder taxes
Preshrunk for life
This one is enough

May Day

One hundred pounds
Can be a hernia

One hundred blunders
Can be a year

One minute in Siberia
Can be death

May I Tell You

Sitting on the perimeter of a Puerto Rican baby rager, I scan the crowd full of asses—looking fabulous and listening to Fabolous. I think about how you would want to be here, reading one-liners and sipping on a Scotch and soda. I think about how you would love listening to the parrot of earnest cynicism, but you’ve got your original generator by your side, popping air bubbles.

Hey, I’ve got mixed family and a surrogate grandfather at my table. Hey, I’ve got a hot dog and potato salad and it’s not even June yet. But hey, you are out on the West Coast, so now I’m thinking of you on the West Coast…curling your hairs, staring into blue skies, skewed by skewed romance.

Every day, I pray to get grey with you. I don’t need you to be three thousand miles away to say it. Hey now, there are saints across the street from where I am sitting and I have a bald guy in Prada shoes asking me, “Hey, I could be a cop, right?”

I investigate the downstairs bathroom. Two black men, pissing in the stalls, asking each other what they’re doing here. I walk back upstairs and see a framed impasto painting that looks like a Van Gogh poster. Further to my left, on the main hall walls, there are beauty queens careening. I spot 1985 and now I’m done. I go back to my seat, or at least where I was sitting. I look around me and now I have past and present hustlers—pig skinners and poker jokers. “You want some of this or do you want to go home?”

The bald cop asks everyone he knows for a cigarette. Two people offer. He takes both offers and says, “Cop God.”

By the time I get home, I remember you won’t be in bed tonight. You are on the West Coast, so now I am thinking of you on the West Coast again…wearing summer shoes and sipping on a vodka lemonade and it’s not even June yet.

Meta Meta Poem

Scarlet Letter, Hardcover, Throwback / Neon rainbow turtlenecks for some future protests / I don’t think I can get behind neon, rainbows, or turtlenecks / I don’t think I can say I like any of those things, at all / I want to at least look Utilitarian, like Tom Hayden / There is a difference between purists & idealists / Idealists don’t cry as much, I think / Spilled milk & jazz fills in second-rate studios / “Stoner Rock” is probably the laziest music genre ever / All rock music is for stoners / All stoners are lazy / Generalizations are unfair & that's why philosophy exists / I do not get offended if people disagree with me / I get offended by singular visions & double standards / I get uncomfortable when people act like someone from MTV is filming them / I get uncomfortable a lot, but you most likely wouldn’t know it / One time, I had to eat Ethiopian food because my ex-girlfriend’s dad told me to eat it / I have a movie idea: Raising Arizona in New Mexico / The last time I was in New Jersey, DJ Twee was spinning “Jock Jams” at The Sex Dungeon / The last time before that, it was Cam’ron, on & on, all night, at The Hamilton Motel / Alien pizza is only a bad idea if you let it be / I used to smoke Camel Lights because they were free / Menthol is an unnerving thing, personally / But hey, big praise for the Fjord Taurus / Introverted Junior Gemini / Meteors despise Communism & Sno-Caps are the worst snacks / Matters of facts / Daddy dawn of the Dead Moon rising / Sun Chips buried beneath the sofa seats, in between the love seats / All it takes is an extra cushion & then you’re out of love & full of snack food, looking down at your mid-life crisis / Christ, you are so condescending / Your tone is almost as deafening as The Bible, book on tape edition / Your opinion is worth about as much as an Unsigned Artist Edition, which depending on the artist, might be quite an expensive opinion / I’ve got some expensive ideas / I’ve got another movie idea: how about a Blinky Palermo biopic, featuring Gerhard Richter as a supporting character / Now I’ve got some news: United States Apparel is the new place to work after you get a BFA / American Apparel was recently bought out by China / China is not expensive dinnerware / Medieval Times can be an expensive dinner / Time can be so ironic / Time (the concept), not Time (the magazine) / When you’re not thinking about time, you might think about signs and symbols / When I think about signs, I think about wanted signs—like what is a wanted sign & what is an unwanted sign / When I think about symbols, I think about Chinatown—like every Chinatown I’ve ever been to & how bad they all smell / When I think about bad smells, I think about stoners—their arm pits, their apartments, their weed, their beliefs, etc.

Metro See Me

Friendly dog fights
Raised weeknights
Or wait is it risen
Back flip like Pavlov
Checked foot steps
Caught on guard
Caught on at all
There is still some
Case of neuroses
In GPS thoughts
Crates or containers
There is a vessel
There is vanity
There are aloof roofs
To keep us dried out
Olive oiled pillows
Chick pea babes
Ponytail poetry
Bubbles in brain
Sustain wind train
In any weather
The true foreigner
Always feels foreign

Midnight, January 29th, 2013

I caught a bug in my belly
with my pants half-around
my ankles and my ankles
are swollen like a gorilla
looking for buried treasure
in Atlantic City. While lying
in bed, I wondered if Obama
was lying when he caught
Bin Laden. No screenplay
or memoir can certify denial.
And I wonder what I would
wield if I wandered long
enough to flex anything.
Painting was dead, but
then again, nothing is dead
as long as you're looking.
Think about road kill, think
about any good museum.
Olympia was an elliptical
exercise of political pursing;
perceiving can be a pursuit,
in itself, and what's the point
of volcanoes anyways? Oh,
I'm about to explode with new
ideas I have to write down,
but I'm stuck, waiting for
the G train, and I'm tired,
and it's my girlfriend's
birthday, so I guess I have
got a half an hour to work
things out and then I need
to go get drunk with friends.

Mind and Body

ID Soft Hold
License Now
Lead Up And
Lay Off And
It's Amazing
What Rolling
Up Sleeves
Can Do For
Your Mind
And Body.


I either have mono or cancer
I can feel a beaten muscle
Thumping on my hip bone
The stereo is playing Paul Simon
I agree with Edgar Allen Poe
Paul Simon is a soft turd spiral
He is a butch woman in July
And I am a dying man in August
But if I can make it through summer
Without a nap in a hospital bed
I'll feel better about the drills
In my head and screws in my belly

Monster Energy R

There is a fine line between MMA and MDMA and it's called cocaine.

Morning Announcement

My front teeth are warning signals
for even the slightest of omens;
oh, man! The stench of Pisces
is overwhelming in July's sun!

Rain on lenses; rein it in now!

This August's sanctioned soil
will be more illustrious than any,
and altruism only goes so far
in new unions; I can be brave!

An ego is an ego; here we go again!

Musty Mug Mean Mug

I know a man who knows men—
he is a soldier, without training.

If I were to militarize myself,
I would seal myself off like him.

A four star general, in theory;
a film in the making, and if I,
I mean, when I, make a film—
what a source of sorcery
he would be, resourceful
and soulful; though, he’s
not concerned with afterlife
soap operas; he only cares
about keeping a clean life
in the present; Lever 3000.

Mystic, California

There is a woman who stands
naked on Mt. Hollywood
almost every single night,
like a new age surveyor.

Her ID reads: Gabriela Mathis,
her signs read: Gabby Mathis.

She reads palms for a living
and sleeps with older men
for the pleasure of God;
her Mexican neighbors
refer to her, colloquially, as:
La Flor del Rey Supremo.

It's a Wednesday afternoon,
which means Gabby is smoking
Camel Lights with Abraham,
her bartender sex friend.

Every Wednesday afternoon,
they smoke cigs while he mops.

They talk about philosophy—
he studied philosophy at UCLA;
they talk about game shows—
once, she fucked Bob Barker;
they talk about their fathers—
his died in Vietnam, hers in Iraq.

He used to only fuck
actresses on WB shows
and other stuff like that.

One Wednesday afternoon,
Gabby sat down at his bar
and ordered a gin fizz.

He became her regular Wednesday;
sometimes they do acid together
on evenings when business is slow.

She always spends the night
at his place, where there are trees.

They watch television together
after he orgasms; he has Hulu Plus.

Interspersed advertisements
in songs, in unison, sublime.

Natural Poem

I can be an exasperated man boy
It's mainly just for entertainment
I get a kick out of this behavior
But sometimes I want to kick myself
For the edgy embarrassment I serve
On a round table for all of my guests

The difference between friends
And family is blood and loyalty
Math is a part of nature so naturally
Numbers determine all the odds
Some combinations provide more
Comfort than other combinations


Some people are never wrong—
a condition of commitment;
lacking such and such and so on,
phrases repeated ad nauseum.

Nauseating nautical studs,
sewn on leather jackets,
kamikaze one-off style.

Flown over and blown over,
again and again, we start
back at the beginning, diva.

Son, you are what you want,
and what you want is what
you won, from years of wonton
desire, poured from enemy bowls.


You thumbed your prints;
I fell sorry for your heart.

You went for a jog in LA;
I saw the ghost of Ed Ruscha.

Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik;
Gun Powder, too, remember.

You brought wine for food;
I thought, “An idea, too good!”

You said, “What’s for dessert?”
I said, “Let’s stretch out first.”

We can flex our nets and watch
The results instantly, and cheaply.

New Deli

You are my hero
You are my gyro
I want to swallow
Your juicy bits

that slide out
from the sides
and give back
some courage

To stay warm
I know it's cool

to pull energy away
nowadays anyways

and plus despite spite
breaking bread is love

You are more than savory
I love every shared calorie

New Era Salary Cap

What is the purpose of having a resume
if you already have a job, my friend asks?

I often think about my grandfather,
and how he simultaneously had three jobs,
but probably never once had a resume.

I often think about the last person
who spent their last day at the first place
they ever went to work—details, please.

What is the purpose of getting a pension
if the government just takes it away, I ask?

New Getaway

Strike and match
The avid contenders
Set up and fed up
Bored enough to play
Grey enough to be gay
Free from anxiety
Ideas come and go
Slow to pass time
In URL life lines
Lives lie in piled up
Plied out lies lined
In tagged quotes
Mercurial rants
From fans of old
There are no fools
In supporting roles

Turn the keys
Open the door
Pull it forward
Put it in reverse
No looks at all
Dirty pavement
Come clean now

New Zip

Brown stripes
On brown solids

Packaged lives
Made in Italy

Anna Paquin
I've moved on

Nmenomic Disorder

Oh Jesus, my backside is possessed!
I had another Poltergeist of the spine,
and no Parliamentary decision can
make or break what I need to take
the load off the barrel that rolls on
down the Niagara of my nervous
system, systematically stifling
every step I take towards normalized
day-drifting; really, I want to know—
what is the difference between
Crispin Glover and George McFly?

A-E-I-O-I don’t fucking know, man;
I took more Valium than prescribed,
and when I woke up, typing words,
I day-drifted towards dreaming about
a movie where the Wobblies win
the war; but anarchy is a bad idea,
after all, and adult punks are like
sad tattoos on society’s forearms.

No Further Comment

Former artist and philanthropist, now private consultant, housewife, and proud mother of two suspected of lewd behavior, corruption, fraud, and racketeering.

No Regrets

drink dish soap in advance...
gurgle so you have no regrets...
swallow for self-tortured guilt...
spit for self-effacing rebellion.

I remember the first time
I was bludgeoned by painting;
it was Bjarne Melgaard,
and I couldn't help but think
about this roided-out rapist's
regrets, cycling through
his endless novel notebooks
whiting out vanilla shakedowns...

he must have some remorse—
everyone grapples with the pain
of words wished unsaid, actions
left undone, feelings wound round
the swollen fingers of fumbling
hands, and most of all the lingering
debate of hands on vs. hands off
in audiovisual communication today.


When you were choking like Reggie Miller, I thought about watching the O.J. Simpson chase with my parents. That was the moment I learned the poetry of bad decisions. I'm almost thirty now and anything can happen. I am a white bronco, turning myself over.

Last night, I drank a twelve pack and the reality of dying in New York felt like a testicular cyst I could not remove. This morning, I drank an entire carafe of grapefruit juice and felt like I was in a burning U-HAUL. This afternoon, I slid the ridges of my feet along sidewalks cracked by gladiators, and I spat on discarded dentures plaguing my future. I paused halfway home and realized the possibility of someone else writing my obituary is not something I trust.

Every time I fall asleep, I ask myself: If I buried everything I own, would anyone bother to dig it up?

October Rain

Virginia can be so Soviet;
Texas can be so Texan.

State troopers are more
tense than terrorists;
or maybe they're more
like virgins, with sisters
so sinister yet novel.

Slogans are scams
for weak bastards,
but even at its worst,
language can evoke
beliefs otherwise foreign.

Love is everywhere,
not just on t-shirts
and other shit you find
on freeways between
speed traps and Santa Fe.

I've seen so many paintings
in the plainer parts of America;
landscapes I'd paint if I could—
if you stare a while at the expanse
of nothing, you can understand life.

Virginia can be so Soviet;
Texas can be so Texan.

Ode To Vitriol (I’m Not That Kind Of Man)

I walked around in white dust
and Miracle-Gro for long enough,
and I still don’t have a carpet
picked out for future dragging,
but by the time I got to Switzerland,
I just wanted to sit down in something
with good lumbar support, you know?

You’d be surprised how coldness
can make a thin man hungry,
and I was surprised when I saw
African furniture and fake fruit
shortly after my previous travels,
but I’ve seen those things before,
on the Internet, multiple times.

I kind of think bananas are the real new
media; does that make any sense? Oh God,
have you heard the new drama? Isn’t it ironic
that Artforum is still in print, instead of like
a really expansive message board on the Internet
where people could have forums about well,
whatever; there could still be lots of ads…

What would the ads look like in magazines
devoted to new media? Would they look
like the pop-up ads on new media websites,
or would they ironically look like the pop-up
ads on Angelfire and Geocities? Christ!
Do those things still exist? What do billboards
look like up in Alberta? Calgary vs. Edmonton?

I want to go back to Alberta
(for the first time, technically);
technicalities are a funny thing,
sometimes they’re kind of foul,
and sometimes they’re just real;
but back to Alberta, I want to go
back to Alberta—want to join?

I was thinking about this man I know;
I was thinking about advertising;
I was thinking about how a globe
can be a head, really, if you think
about science and medicine; and
I was thinking about how I’d like
nothing more than back surgery.

I was thinking this while thinking
about losing my hat, but I didn’t
lose my hat, I just lost my mind;
and I wanted to get back in
a decent gripped chair before
I was stuck, paralyzed, on a bed
too tall to crawl upon, myself.

Of Nature

Say so long to all the rats
below concrete feet.

Up there, up in the air,
there is no more false hope.

I met a metaphorical actress
at the second coming
of a worm's encomium.

She was adult-oriented;
she was of nature—a poem,
a mixed media message.

When I read most words,
I like to imagine characters;
have I told you how I love
the Korean alphabet?

I can throw stones as far
as you'd like to go with me;
I can salt wounds like a bear,
and all fish are fair game.

One Man Think Tank

I saw torn Hispanic concert posters
for blocks that seemed like miles,
and I thought of La Dolce Vita.

What a good movie;
what a damned mood
one man can contrive.

This man, your man
is ignorant to the true
meaning of ignorance.

How can one man saw away
so much of his life and make it
as if I had anything to do with it?

Your unfortunate friend
sullied my Scotch fantasy,
and made pickles bitter.

I was having a full-on Session
with two beautiful women,
and a man of epic stature.

What more could I ask for?
I did not ask for a fired up
asshole, stronger than Prep-H.

He put out the candle
more times than a cat,
yet he was unforgivable.

Not even visiting firefighters
could have contained this rage;
his rage was like a hurricane.

He was a phony on all fronts,
and I am a man who likes to give
benefits and avoid doubts, if I can.

But what a combination of Carhartt,
Prada, and sculpted dollar bills
to tri-fold purchased emptiness!

I’ve never met condescension
in the flesh quite like this before;
it felt so tragic, almost traumatic.

It felt like Stretch Armstrong,
rubbed in alcohol and smoked
like a kindergarten forest fire.

The firefighters had been paying
for fortuitous two-way charity,
and I couldn’t blame them.

They climb ladders and ladders
are my biggest fears, aside
from conversations like these.

But I got distracted from his shit,
when I overheard a girl talking
about an açaí berry cleanse.

She was telling a Flatlander
who looked like Tim Roth
how much better he’d feel.

I had just gotten done
eating pulled pork
and deviled eggs.

I felt like Ralph Macchio
was simultaneously kicking
my belly and shredding my ears.

Sometimes you have the privilege
to be the meat in an Alex Jones
and Noam Chomsky sandwich.

Sometimes you have to concede
to the fact that diarrhea is a cycle
from foot to mouth to tail and derail.

Pages & Plants & Plumes

I dreamed I shat the bed
(literally, not figuratively),
and it truly made me like
Rauschenberg combines
even more than I already do.

I woke up later than usual,
feeling like sanded ply,
but my asshole was dry,
and I couldn’t help think
about human evolution.

I’m not talking science,
I’m not talking creation
I’m talking you and me;
you had moved forward,
now you’ve stepped back.

And I hate how your tongue
is now soaked in Sriracha,
and mine must be soy sauce,
sodium-free, or else my throat
could be torn out, metaphorically.


Many people’s memories
are soaked in sepia sweat,
but I cannot live like that.

We document our actions
in anecdotes that become
such legendary minutiae.

There is endless wisdom
in the unwritten captions
to our misplaced images.

Language is where life
transforms its actors
into more than people.

A simple sentence can be
a blueprint or a medallion;
bookends to excellence.

Patronized Poem

Bouncing a bagged salad
Like a beguiled Baby Bjorn
This mother says she spilled

Splattered tomatoes
To make a tattered tot
Cry over a lost milk photo

Peace, Love, and Air Hockey

There’s hassle on the icy streets
of New York City, like it’s 1978.

Jimmy Carter wasn’t so bad, guys.

I missed every slashed moment;
I miss Pittsburgh, I miss hockey,
I miss leaning on pool tables,
wishing they were for air hockey—
or better yet, for shuffleboard!

Put sand in your teeth, on the table;
put shoes on your feet, come here!

Oh no, I’m alone again in Brooklyn.

I miss Pittsburgh, I miss hockey;
I think Yinzers miss hockey, too.

But I prefer the English language,
while drinking fresh Straubs,
and Yinzers prefer me to shut up
while my friends play darts with girls;
why are bar games ironic in New York?

I guess when it starts to snow, I think
of perennials and The Man of the Year.

I could never understand limited options
when it comes to any one thing, really.

I could never understand how a man
could be a French-Canadian Italian.

I could never understand how people
couldn’t just come together as people.

What’s so funny about peace, love,
and air hockey? What’s so funny?

Peace Signs & Symbols Of Pride

You once called Yourself humble
and didn’t understand why I might
laugh at such a personal revelation

I was embarrassingly apologetic
and offered to cook You Ramen
because what else would I make

now whenever I get on MTA trains
I miss passing over posted pelicans
in the capitalized moats slightly
outside My own castled ruin

everybody has their wander years
and I wandered through Mid-Atlantic
states asking not to mind My mind
dying breaths on sleepy Amtrak rides

He is one of the few people I’ve met
who has allowed Himself to be tarred

We tried to feather our past heads
with complementary word piles

but virgin hands can barely build


You locked your eyes onto my spine;
I thought that was a unique perspective.

I guess perspective can be taught,
but looking is just something you've got.

From my vantage point, the world ends
when you decide to stop looking at me.

Post-Jesus Sojourn

My Catholic guilt
Is greater than yours

Sin and the weather
As dinner conversation

White meat twice in two days?
I feel like a revolutionary

I decide to write a long manifesto
On manifestos in the new year

I've got an itch for something
And I wonder about Winnipeg

My skin is dryer than the air
And my dead skin is undead

I wake up to gravy-colored pus
I want to tar my brain shut

Airplanes can be so timid
Are they affected by the locals?

I prepare for a new sojourn
With a bowl of wild rice

I take an escalator up the mountain
And watch UbuWeb at the top

Post-Post-Impressionist Poem

There is really no single poem
is the best line anyone has said
outside a line within a poem.


nail polish is snuff for any freak go on girl go on get your freak on block the box block your sinuses break my back break my stack I don’t remember the last word I wanted to say the last one I wrote if you promise to read I promise to continue to write if you promise to pay attention I promise to continue to pay attention oh now I am losing every cloud they are tumbling for bravos which is no surprise considering all the claps I’ve heard during the dimmest bouts over the course of these dualistic years you know when I want to withdraw from wraiths I try to get above ground and periscope but I often end up just walking around Harlem looking for any kind of seltzer water my nerves raised up and shot down to ground level down there debris is free down where you must always improvise on your feet in your sleep on your feet you can combine and categorize you know I realized recently the best big pictures have subliminal messages I recently heard a voice whispering to me at a diner Tipper Gore tip her more stuff the snuff clean out your emblematic arsenal and any associations you might have with me I am not who you think I am not who you think I am a man with nautical knots tied around his intestines and intentions trying to find any kind of bubbled water and you are just a period looking to be used


Pupils always look up
when the sights
are at peer level,

but when all birds
are losing nutrients,
life is tough to salvage.

Progenitor Poem

You are a classic driver
I am a thin-skinned diver

I haven’t forgotten
Any reckless word
You have shared
On endless rides

You are an unorthodox thespian
I am a post-shamanic understudy

The way you sway
Like a mad cowboy
Fiending on Nicorette
Is so Off-Broadway

You are Atheist Sandy Koufax
So am I Abbott or Costello?

Your jokes are so flat
But the delivery of each
Is so Goddamn kosher
They put me in a pickle

Proto Memories

Summer is an illusion;
Winter is my friend.

Cervezas always taste good to me,
but I say if you don’t like the selection,
just BYOB wherever you are at the time.

I’ve been feeling stocked lately,
filled with fleeting ideas
of fleeing these earned ways.

You can fly your own plane
into Jamaica Bay if you’re tired.

I mean, if you’re tired of life,
cold water is the remedy,
and a warm bath levels
out the spinning heads
we don’t anticipate.

Oh God! It’s the future!
And Old Spice is in the air,
and I’m ready to go
underground to huff
churros and rusty cuts.

I’m getting scrappier now,
or more so than usual;
and I guess I’m framing
a post-future for my novel—
my admitted autobiography—
where I have a square jaw
and a slick side part
and I’m quoted as saying,
“Female equestrians are perhaps
the most elegant of all humans.”

Quantitative Quality

mildew peaked floors
wet off-white walls
and after hours specials
make me realize the reality
of Thin Lizzy beer guts

stale popcorn pizza toppings
discount route canal booze
and post-punk post-parties
make me realize the reality
of cheap crust beer muscles

the madness of black and white
is like a drunken bus driver
twenty minutes into his shift
and I never meant to bring
that rabid dog to the mechanic

canine saliva on imported hoods
is no more than grease on a spoon
but like anything it’s the principle
and for a dog that likes to bark
his disease isn’t quite contagious

but as quickly as he appeared
he disappeared to some suburb
for a spell a trade an exchange
of intellect and intellectually speaking
he was a smart guy despite his antics

I never believed in magic until I turned
twenty-five and turned a silver dollar
into a quarter and then I flipped it
onto the back of my hand and my palm
told a stranger I had a good sense of humor

you know good humor is good nature
cotton ball nightmares are no good
thanks for the wine-stained weekends
we’ll go hiking through new cities
after I put down the old dog's book

Real Script Reel

atheist addict talking about his demons
walking through the Spirit section of LAX
on the way to Long Beach and security stands
smoking because they can and that's enough
talking about creeps giving them the creeps
and that’s like the way a stick hits a snare
a bass a tom a bomb freewheeling in the air
a commodified community on fire from afar
and the locked limbs are still wailing in situ
watching quarters clank like foggy mugs
it's like money doesn't matter so much
if you never had much before the war
what war your war the one you know best
buy a crest if you have no pride at all
buy a dime if you care less than I thought

Reality War

braised bottoms of objects
teeter in done wrong time

and do run rune tongues
flicker the tops of tunnels
filled with bunker to bunker
trepidation and Tupelo tremolo
sways us like good luck charms
green in serene new novel ideas

I wrote a story I'd never tell
I shared the synopsis
as if a summary could halt
the sprawl of real time

in real life I thought of her
a virtually real reality
which is all life has ever been
but some folks want more
so they tell fearful stories
they'd never put on paper

lies are what good people
tell themselves to feel bad


Women make me a man.


Where is Brooklyn
Don’t ask me tonight
I forget my state
My mind is lost
You could call Rachel
But her phone is off

HTTP 404 Not Found
Error Error Error Era
I told you I cannot find
Brooklyn or anything
My bones are collecting
At the bottom of my body

I am one more Hefty bag
Away from being recycled
Yet everybody seems to think
I’ve got some kind of karma
Is that how that shit works
Oh yeah, reincarnation

Reliant Seduction

William Turner in Atlanta;
Ted Turner in Boston.

A lark on a steel branch;
A mousegun on a dashwood.

Mercedes races in Morocco;
Identities born on papyrus.

T.S. Misdemeanor Eliot;
Oh, you’re a clever one—

Why don’t you indent,
Or use coy punctuation?

I’m a clever one, right? And
I’m not reliant on seduction.


There is a day that will come
where cows will lie face up
and rattlesnakes will cuddle
and I will be content for once.

Rhyme Aide

Orion is a word for night trap
I am a word for life trap
The moon is my night snack
Anything goes on the right track

Right Talk

The blood in my ankles has ceased to flow and my belly has become something like sour dough. I’m pretty sure Ibuprofen is a placebo. I prefer an alphabet of vitamins when I can remember my preferences. A cactus is the most beautiful thing to beware of when in nature, and there's nothing better than cucumbers in a sticky climate. I realize this on my way out the door. As I think about how nice it would be to have a gin and tonic with Rachel tonight, I spill coffee all over my slacks. Clumsy, erratic behavior is natural for transplants. I have begun to make a real effort to keep all of my limbs. I have begun to understand why people become more conservative with age. How? I am not sure.

Rosetta Stoned

Everybody knows Neil Young
was a great musician, but I don’t
think we need to see the words
“Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”
anywhere ever again; where I am
is somewhere, where I am going
is next level. And as much as I like
Zuma songs, I like Zuma photos
even better. Sadly, if you were to be
unfortunately lucky enough to see
foreclosed homes in person, you
might know what it’s like to speak
the language of shut down. Pounds
tagged to bricks and shingles slapped
in your face, can you read the notice
or are you too high on ignorance?

Sad Village Poem

I’m not one to make toast,
but I would delight in the sight
of morning marmalade glistening
across the room from your hands,
folded like freshly bleached rags.

I try not to slide in hasteful pride,
but you wipe away the slightest
dirt from my mind; your skin
after runs at dusk is sterling;
no, it’s more nacreous, and soft.

My attempts at restraint are null,
as forced geography attenuates;
now I’m left with words bygone pens
would slash, yet I keep writing
because that’s all I have. I’m alone.


Breasts of the best
I think of her when I eat
Two slices of whole wheat
Egg salad in-between

The castles are plenty
Where I've rolled eyes
And hills are alive
In blouses open wide

I will tack French flags
On Belgian fried walls
Stand proud in Prague
My colors mopped on

Science & Fiction

There is a familiar scent to this furnace—
it smells like the warm wood lugged
from Kent, England to be burned
from past to present; and now, as I
mill about from present to future,
my mind is a camera obscura,
obscuring names, carved in trees,
but I must demystify the muck.

I hear an eagle caw in the distance,
I see a Cyclops crawl in proximity;
there is a black and white photo
of Tudor architecture, hanging
in the right side of my head
and a steel drum set, pounding
in the left temple, sending
jolts of appropriation down.

I feel the wrath of God, pulling
on my left arm, down to my elbow—
the God I am told to fear by the Tanakh
and by the Westboro Baptist Church;
but Margaret tells me not to believe,
and as long as I feel the warmth
of her wood, whatever pain I feel,
I can put in the furnace to burn.

The irony though is that we preserve
just enough trees to meet some quota,
but we don’t use them to stay warm
any longer, so my metaphor is porous;
and this is the problem of poetry,
and this is the problem with love;
I try to be eloquent and get burned,
but for reasons I cannot explain.

However, reason has brought me
to believe a good woman’s touch
is the purest of cures; but I wonder
what do women get in return for all
that they have given me? A poem,
perhaps? Or even worse, casual words,
spoken in conversation? I apologize
for every apology I have submitted.

You know, you can always say no;
but what if you do not know what
you are turning down? Privilege
often allows one to pick and choose,
but when I am stuck with my face
flattened on my bedroom carpet,
and the touch of my good woman
is my only hope, I’ll say yes.

I could never understand science
fiction, though I could understand
fanboys—fantasy is their good woman;
for me, it was always such a worry
to discern the difference between
science and fiction, when I have spent
more than half of my years in school,
and half of my days writing stories.

Seasoned Lust

Leather pants
at end times;
summer's over,
the sky is dead.

Wait months for flowers.
Oh, the scent of lavender
on a young woman's skin,
the sorrow of elderly men.

Peel back your desires
like an arthritic feline.
Rinse your scalp out now—
new world hydraulic brain.

Washing away sins
with lather daddies,
we can lose ourselves
like change in cycles.


I will sit on one side
You will sit on the other

We will stare at each other
Until one day I must die

Self-Portrait as a Word Artist

I tried to write a self-portrait
with the assistance of others
in a blank space where I thought
I could roam free, and I could,
like a cat; I suppose you could
call it a Cat Heaven, or at least
a cat haven. But I did not want
to sleep where I worked. I am
not that type of bee. I hope my
boxing did not sting. Isn't it
curious how the harder you try
to not be something, the easier
it is to, in fact, be that thing?
I never want to be aloof, but
that is only a perceived adjective.

Objectivity is a great subject,
but if it is not impossible, then
it surely is improbable. When I
was in the cats' basement,
I felt like a bird, crunk on
flying dogs and the spirit
of Mitch Hedberg. I truly
believed I could consume
everything and recycle
it all like a humanitarian poet.

But what does that mean,
anyways? I think I want to give
as much as I get; I think that’s
what I’ve always wanted, and
maybe that’s from the pride
of my hometown—hard work
pays off, it always told me.

I met a writer recently, from
my hometown—I like(d)
his overall vibe, but maybe
he Is a little too hardcore for me;
maybe I’m a little too softcore?
Maybe he’s a little too “Oi!”
and I’m a little too “Oy!”?
I think we could both agree
we’re the right amount of “Yoi!”

But he told me he hated
art, and I thought to myself,
“How could anyone possibly
hate art?” And I thought to
myself, “How could anybody
who reads his writing at art
galleries hate art?” I asked
him this, outright, and he said,
“Good point” and bought me
a shot and a beer. He was
drinking Guinness and Jameson;
I refused Guinness, which I think
maybe reinforced my previous
core points. What really got me
about this guy and about guys
like him, in general, is the utterly
useless insistence on “class
struggle” among white youth
with master’s degrees. Not to
generalize too much, because
that makes me just as guilty
of a tripping on guilt, particularly
the vanilla flavor I’m talking
about tasting. But you know,
I’ve been thinking a lot about
class struggle lately, myself,
but not in terms of me
versus me, anymore, like
this guy seemed to be
going on about. And that
was a shame to me,
because I think he is better
than that and I think his writing
is better than that, but from
my experience, growing up
where I did, where he did,
I could empathize with him;
however, living where I do
now, this seems ridiculous,
because I’ve seen real
class struggle, I’ve shopped
in grocery stores that don’t
have actual produce, and
that’s class struggle; this
guy can get some good kale
if he’s in the mood for it,
so I have a hard time
listening to a guy in Levi’s
lather his soap box about
brotherhood when I have
to sisters and no brothers;
don’t get me wrong, I love
male camaraderie, I just
can’t stand misogyny,
and I think there can be
a very fine line when
you get a bunch of dudes
in patched jean jackets
or Varsity leather jackets
rounded up together,
talking about ideals,
because I think, ideally,
ideals require one to
think outside oneself.

Yes, a very fine line,
very fine lines, I’ve been
thinking about very fine
lines, while trying to write
this self-portrait and well,
I've been thinking lately—
maybe I'm not a poet.
Maybe I'm a "word artist”?

What is a word artist?
Who is a word artist?

Maybe it’s someone
like Mitch Hedberg or
Jack Spicer or Jeremy
Sigler. The latter was
my professor and he gave
me the confidence to say
and do whatever I wanted.
Don't worry about perceived
adjectives; worry about the
ones you write. Spicer taught
me about marathon writing
and self-appointed vocabulary
and how every poem is the
spawn or sibling of the next
or last. And Hedberg taught
me that comedy is the best
poetic device, period. Forget
what your professor told you
at your workshop when he or she
gave some monologue about
Randall Jarrell. And I mean,
really, who the fuck cares about
a sestina when one line can
deliver a single good punch?

You know what? I think FSG
should publish a book of Mitch
Hedberg's jokes, edited by me,
with the foreword written by me.
But not until they publish my
manuscript first. It doesn't have
to be FSG though. They're just
the first publisher that came to
my mind. I mean, any dope
publisher would suffice; maybe
even a University Press?
Although, they'd have to let me
be in complete charge of design
and layout, considering I am
a "word artist" and not a poet.

So, like I said, I tried to write
a self-portrait this one hazed
and crazed night in public,
and I think I succeeded; well,
I’m pretty sure I succeeded;
well, at least that's what the cats
all said, but regardless, at least
now I have written some fine lines
as a "word artist," and I didn't
even have to see a "word shrink."
I just had to listen to my favorite
talk radio show and sit at my laptop.

Semi For

Cultural codes
Societal signifiers
Juxtaposed poetics
Ascetic aesthetics
Investigative empathy
Glossy sunlit printouts
Without any warning
Oh hey now that it’s 2013
When do we say grace
You know what you need
Gridded note pads
To share your feelings
To share your faith
But you can be silent
If you are in the public
If you are published
I know I have an MFA
But I think it’s okay to say
Academics can be dicks
Where are their feelings
Where is their faith
All wise men say
Get the spirit in you
You can find it anywhere
On any street corner
A bolted liquor store
Bolt is a funny word
At once stationary
Yet gone without notice
And you don’t notice
Anything until it’s gone
I like the way some phrases
Sound better when spoken
In German or French or
Isn’t it strange how different
English can sound based
On its place of origin
Human Resources
Everything is open wide
When you are fresh
Showered with ideas
You can lose your own
When did you get cleansed
Did you wash them all away
Okay answer me this
Courbet versus Vuillard
Futile comparison you say
I say fertile high-contrast
Correspondence is paramount
Self-sufficiency is no option
For living in this city
Let’s raft up the Hudson
We can tell our stories
I mean I can tell stories
Diagrammatic campfires
Origin of the New World
Mobs of marble men
Claiming their rites
Right and wrong
Were just words
Back in those days
Sovereignty was all
You can count on that
You can count on some
Things and things have
A way of thinking alone
Inanimate lamp turn on
Oh now I have an idea
But this time I’ll hold on
Hold on let me make sense
Do you have an inventory
Of all your recent grids
Please share your feelings
Please share your faith
Providence as a town
Providence as an idea
Provincial ideas
Leaving sister cities
We can posteriorly
Straddle the equator
Until we’re slutty enough
And rinse our mouths
Then shut them in ice
Chosen career traps
Tempers get so hot
20/20 sense of solution
Wind chill whispers
Don’t be rude just don’t
Don’t swim in canals
Nothing good can come
From being locked
And damned it can
Be simple to survey
Get your belt now
There are so many uses
For a belt you’d never
Have a clue unless
You have a cow
But we’re not cartoons
And we’re not Hindus
You’re not a Buddhist
Are you a Buddhist
Tell me something
I didn’t already know
I’m going to work on
Shadow puppets now
With or without you
It’s so cold you’re so cold
Oh Chinese snow fans
Surprise physical therapy
Burn all Chuck Taylors
This world doesn’t need
Any more floppy shoes
I’m tired of this country
I’m tired of complaints
Mine or anyone else’s
Every man needs space
I cannot speak for women
But I believe in equality
I’m going to my place
Arctic Circle Attic
Anti-Arctic Climax
It’s not okay to confuse
Global issues once
You are thirty or so
It is okay to wax
Oils after painting
Can you imagine
A candle-lit landscape
Painted en plein air
19th Century Style
In the 21st Century
Me neither but I can
Imagine off-setting
The original somehow


I was sitting in the back of Panera;
I noticed half a dozen med students
and a man in distressed jeans
pacing around the soda fountain.

I thought he was gonna piss himself;
he had had so many Coca-Colas,
I thought for sure he was going to
at least piss off some panini presser.

I was reading the new Brooklyn Rail;
I was thinking about what Lithuania
must have been like before the war,
and if I were to enlist, how I'd serve.

At the same time, I was ahead of you;
three hours to be exact, three hours
can make all the difference in a world
where timing is everything, they say.

Shitty State of Poetry


Shoes & Shows

I am one bike ride away from never
I left my new shoes on the boat
It’s about as long as a reggae song
Or maybe some regular-sized sled
Oh, I left my shows on there too

Like as in not limited to:

Seinfeld and Friends DVD box sets
Cell phone videos of ashy Dave
The aged bottles of philistine ex-girlfriends
The Collected Poems of Keith J. Varadi
And a mondo white flag for never

Shogun Ho

How beer pours misogyny
Is a tenth wonder of mine

I gave up on a face down dance
A game of war and tugged collars
I can hear the kamikazes barking
Even when the words are typed

It's a squandered moment
A sauntered event frozen

When Japanese men celebrate
Maids are often made to be
Brazen lanterns risen round
Revolving door worlds

Surly solvency comes at dawn
I can finally get some rest tonight

Shunned Science

I check my e-mail
on the rusty toilet
of a public stall
at a restaurant
I’d never eat at

Nothing comes
no hope for ideas;

I think about how
the night before
a mentor of sorts
called me cynical
though he grinds
like a Norse man;

Delusions are books
you can’t check out.

Side Effects

I am a girl sent
from your psychic
mystopian novels
to supervise you,
or let you pin down,

I think Flaubert
would have a fit
watching me
and you debate
the unsung songs
we text each other.

I was always reluctant
of chest tattoos until you
shared your own ideas
of romance, when I was
strung out on fatigue
and anti-anxiety pills.

You are no doubt, the best
foreign film ever made,
and I don’t need sub-titles
to understand your scripts;
though I wish I didn’t need
scripts to watch films now.

Sing A Poor Soul

Knotted arches
Wooden carpets

Brick roads gone solo
Motörhead in tandem

555 numbers heard
In Budapest bars

Stars spell mistakes
I make with intake

This laundry can't clean
Itself with Muddy Waters

Six Times

When he was my age
He was full of glory
I've filled up on some
Myself in these years

I've got plenty of coffee
Flowing through my veins
And I hate to be contained
But I'm okay with plastic

Ceramic is finding a home
In places other than China
And I'm happy to diversify
But I'm still okay with plastic

When I was on residency
In the Arctic of America
I couldn't fully escape
The warmth of home

I watched a man snap
He was on the edge
Of some sort of awe
And some sort of aww

Any moment can shatter
Like ice On Golden Pond
I am so fond of my father
He is strong like a Fonda

I want to be strong like him
Like plastic or like gold
Not like ice or ceramic
He has never shattered


Sitting in a Buick
In the parking lot
Of Shop ‘n’ Save
As a tiny soldier
I forget my age
But I remember
Giving up donuts
And listening
To Tone Loc
On the old WAMO
Before Sirius XM
And I didn’t know
What “Medina” meant
And I didn’t know
Where my mom went
And I didn’t know
Who was better
With deflections
Tom Barrasso
Or Ken Wregget
But since I wanted
To be left-handed
I preferred Barrasso

Slow Release

Removed the web between
My thumb and my index finger
As an exercise in meditation

Thumbed through a whored index
Of lives I've screwed into dirt
And weeded back out of demand

Let go of sulking nights
And grasped my own ass
For qualitative control

Shook a gas stove to prove
I'm not a bored American
But nobody was watching

Got oil under my fingernails
Smoked two cigarettes in a row
There are no rules in isolation

Pictured a sunset from a bungalow
Pasted some crowns on mouths
And gave up on gangsterism

The end of a day isn't the end
Mourning is just another form
Of acceptance and I'm on sale

Solitary Witness

What kind of strip club has bathroom tile compositions for dance floors? I bet there's at least one example of such a crunchy contradiction somewhere in Portland, Oregon. My ex-girlfriend lives in Portland now. Hold on. I'm not implying anything. She's a propitious person; and she just happens to live in Portland now. I would have never seen that coming. She also smokes weed now. I would have never smelled that coming. She used to not shower after riding her bike. I never minded though, because she still had an inviting scent. Arm & Hammer laundry detergent. I started buying Arm & Hammer laundry detergent after dating her. I wonder if her scent has changed since she started smoking weed. I've always thought marijuana kind of smelled like bad body odor and vice versa. So (my) logic would tell me that someone sweating after smoking would not release the most inviting of scents. But let me freshen the air. I saw rocks thrown repeatedly, yet sporadically at a wall tonight. They were flung like harsh words, again and again, charging like a bull into his own shit. I watched one after the next spring into action, spring into wood, praying for the collapse of this contraption. I was surrounded by young, attractive cosmopolitans, impervious bystanders, waiting for word on the after-party. For the most part, they were well-groomed and well-educated. They were sipping on beers, paying attention to shoes in the room. I couldn't pay attention to any shoes, with the exception of one pair of French work boots. And the owner of these boots and the legs that swung the feet inside like rusty pendulums told me he thought his heart was going to explode. He said he wasn't sure if love or cocaine was the cause. I couldn't tell him. I'm not a doctor, therapist, or user. I couldn't tell you about "causes," of any kind. People always want a cause. I want effects. I felt like this scene was full of accented affects. I felt like I was at a hip bar in Tel-Aviv, watching a reenactment of a story a Jew heard from his militant Zionist cousin in the military. THUD! CLANK! THUD! THUD! CLANK! What was initially a microphone metronome in dire need of repair had evolved into a tranquil self-help tape, spoken in onomatopoeia. I had become transfixed. My current girlfriend, who doesn't smoke weed, but does take care of me, pulled out the clatter dagger and pointed me in the direction of a small Asian man being escorted out of the "bar" for trying to steal free beer. The man with the exploding heart had been talking about "free play" earlier as a suspect phrase; now he was arguing that this "suspect" had "free play" on the "free beer." The men escorting the young "thief" out of the building seemed to disagree. I had noticed them earlier, but I was mainly trying to figure out what look they were going for..."Secret Service Agent" or "Limo Driver." By the way they spotted this stealthy sloth stashing cans into his trench coat and the way they casually whispered into his ear and whisked him past the shoegazers, I would argue they were shooting for the former. Ironically, as my girlfriend and I decided to innocently flee the scene, an older "Secret Service Agent," who resembled Tom Wilkinson if he had a buzz cut and who spoke like Danny McBride if he had a Brooklyn accent, told a mutual friend of mine and my girlfriend he could take as many beers "to go" as he wanted. Free play replay. I wonder if my ex-girlfriend would steal beer without being told she should (or could), now that she lives in Portland and smokes weed. I'm not saying any of these things proffer or preclude any of the others. (My) logic isn't always "logical." However, I know for a fact, my current girlfriend would never steal beer. Granted, she doesn't like the taste of beer or the scrapes on her skull that ensue upon tasting it. But that's not the point. She has scruples. She has respect. She has strong convictions and currents. And she has the ardor and fortitude of Corita Kent. And although she gave up God before she got to puberty, she has a pious personal message. You can see it in her strut. But rarely can you hear her sidle. Her presence is peculiarly placating, especially in this tense nexus of commotion we grind within, and despite her own inward outbursts. THUD! THUD! CLANK! I've still got those rocks in my head, but I know I can sleep okay as long as I'm next to her.


I break calculators in my sleep
I can't count the hours I'm awake

I am arrested by myself
My love is my key and cuffs

Every house is a module
Every room is a cubicle

I walk from space to space
But now I have a car

There are so many roads to drive
I am an ambulance, man

I chase dreams like a hyena
The sun shines more these days

Spoils Happen

“When it comes to women, you’re never too old for humiliation.”
I heard that in a movie recently, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

My girlfriend has been getting frustrated with me more lately,
So she’s taken to hurting me when we’re alone in our apartment.

I say that’s okay, because her words are drowned out by walls
Soaked with neighboring insanity, and nobody else can hear them.

And anyways, after years of self-directed humiliation, I’ve learned
What’s the use in crying over spilled almond milk? Spoils happen.

Storytelling (Open Source)

There was black ice on the road that day. On days like that one, I’m glad I don’t drive often. And anyways, I don’t think driving is good for writing. A good poet prefers public transportation or the motors of their own bottom limbs in motion, and not just because he or she is poor.

When behind the wheel, you can only briefly spot peripheral moments. When walking, you can press pause, or slow motion, fast-forward, or rewind. When on a bus or train, you can write down your observations like a beat writer. You can think I am referring to a journalist, or you can think I am referring to a “beat writer.” But even Jack Kerouac would tell you; it’s the moments off the road that really count.

So on this grey lonesome day, I was strolling along on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, watching grandmothers push empty blue carts around, trying to figure out what to buy and bring home. What do they really need though? Better question: What do I really need? Even better question: What does anybody really need? We all need food and water, obviously. That’s all we really need. But that’s not all I really need, actually.

On this day, I did need food. I did need water. I did need coffee. Guacamole or sauerkraut were the options. “I guess I’ll just get water for now,” I thought. So I headed towards McCarren Park and meandered through as if I was a tour guide, but there was nothing to talk about and nobody to whom I should be talking. I finished up my tour and was at my final destination.

I slid down the stairs as if I was wearing Heelys and got a new MTA card. I could hear a banjo being picked apart, but upon closer inspection, the man holding the banjo was really just playing cycles, like New York. New York is just cycles. One day, you’re here; the next day, you’re not. One day, you do this; the next day, you do that. This bluegrass youth had made me feel like sincerity really does exist down South. But really, this kid probably went to Grinnell to study comparative literature and ended up moving to Asheville, where his ex was from, and where he picked up that detuned banjo, those gangly suspenders, and that poker hat. Then he just ended up in Brooklyn with the rest of us assholes, thinking somebody would eventually give a shit about him. I’m rooting for him, but the act needs to evolve like an iceberg. Can you imagine that? An island, comprised of ice.

“The next Rockaway Parkway train is now approaching the station.” I thought about what it might be like to just ride the fucking thing all the way to Canarsie. I’ve always wanted to know from where Zappa’s bias stemmed.

There was a nice, unusual ambiance to the car that day. A Mariachi was playing Krautrock on his accordion to the crowded L train passangers. A small Austrian boy was playing with a yo-yo on his mother's lap, or I suppose it could have been the au pair. Suppositions and superstitions are like hairspray suppositories in this city—stories John Waters would likely love to drift upon.

I remember one night, I wanted to watch “RuPaul's Drag Race,” but I remembered I didn't have cable. I was feeling nostalgic for nonsensical programming. So I lifted myself through Chelsea elevator galleries and couldn't help thinking about how I used to watch episodes of "I Love The '90s" with Staci, just so I could spend time with the best laugh I’ve ever heard.

Doesn't it feel like an Acme anvil was dropped on your foot whenever you have to ask yourself whether or not someone else realizes how much you really do love him or her? I am not wily enough to get depressed about it. I am a Modern Lover, rich with knowledge about pop culture pleasure islands. Can you imagine that? An island, comprised of pleasure.

Close your eyes. Think about it.

You know how some people dream in other languages? Sometimes I dream in other decades, particularly the '90s. I think dreams are a place for you to willingly and willfully lose yourself. I think the ‘90s were a place where I lost my nostalgia, or perhaps misplaced it. If you were born in the ‘70s, would the ‘80s be that time for you? Or were the ‘90s just that confusing of a decade?

Another place to willingly and willfully lose yourself is a tree fort. I never had a tree fort. Television told me as a kid that I should. It was not only cool, but also an essential element to boyhood. An essential element to childhood was the drive-in. I was lucky to have one down the street from where I grew up. I was unlucky to have a father who hated their vibes.

When I was in high school, I remember drinking Robitussin in my older friend’s band’s van at the local drive-in. I remember my friend who owned the van trying to kick open the windows, because he thought someone had stolen his other drugs. I remember in high school, going to see the band At The Drive-In and thinking to myself, “The drive-ins in West Texas are probably similar to the drive-ins in Western Pennsylvania (since the football is similar).” I think this idealized, idyllic setting of the drive-in was due to the depiction of these environments in teen movies, just like pep rallies that were the teenage equivalent to a State of the Union address or ragers thrown by a friend (or just some kid from your biology class) while his or her parents were out of town.

When I was in middle school, I wanted to get everybody in town hyped about our soon-to-be victory over this team or that team. When I was a freshman, I could hardly wait for my first rager. By the time I was a senior, I didn’t even want to go to prom. I don’t know what I expected, really, or why I expected it. Looking back, I was definitely cognizant and mature enough to comprehend that what was going on in my life wasn’t nearly as cool as it was in the seminal coming-of-age movies of that era—the ones that informed me and supplied the wistful winds of my pleasure island.

I accepted the fact that I lived in Pittsburgh and they lived in Los Angeles; I lived in reality, they lived in the movies. Nonetheless, I did have some sort of expectation. I expected that whether I became the nerd or the jock or something somewhere in-between, high school would be cinematic and climactic, in some way, and that would carry on in post-graduate life.

It’s been almost a decade since I graduated from high school and I have noticed the way in which high schools and colleges are now depicted in television programs and movies is way different than the nostalgic way I remember them from growing up. I think that reality television has a lot to do with this; the really strange and surreal thing to me is that I feel like high school and college are now actually depicted a lot more like how I remember those periods of my life, except in a hyper-stylized manner.

At some point in graduate school, I realized there was this giant leap between when I came of age and now. This period sort of left out a lot of the ingredients that create the nostalgia that folks, like myself, crave. I actually had a dream recently that Rachel and I were high school sweethearts in one of those idyllic settings that I’m talking about; it stirred up a lot of questions for me. It made me think about how people used to think about past, present, and future compared to how we do now.

There was no expectation for people to get a master’s degree or doctorate degree back then. There was no expectation for people to hop around jobs the way people do today. People married high school sweethearts, they got a decent job, had babies, went on vacation at Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head or some shit. I know for a fact people in Pittsburgh still do that shit. But I don’t think the fact that there is a distinction between them and myself simply has to do with decisions in career paths, like the fact that I’m an artist and they’re a firefighter or something. Maybe it’s like, “Hey guys, I’m trying to find my pleasure island and you guys are just trying to find pleasure on the beach…”? Pleasure is pleasure, and it's an open source to tap.

Straighter Than Narrow

There are trains to take where I live
There are pains to stake where I live

There is a song to sing where I’m going
It’s called "Me and My Arrow" and I’m going

Stuck In White Plains

Stuck in White Plains again
Yesterday was Yonkers
Impromptu dinner and a movie
I got fruit salad from Chili's
And saw an action movie
My dad will probably watch
On HBO at about 3AM
In about nine months or so

My dad doesn't have patience
But he has plenty of compassion
Though l think he'd be conflicted
About why I am where I am now

Walking near old architecture
I saw when I was still a boy
I remember laughing with elves
And wanting more from women

Sitting on the Metro-North
Heading Southbound now
I see the strangest couple
A Chinese businessman
With acne and a giant bag
And a mentally ill woman
Listening to Miley Cyrus
On her DJ headphones

She keeps banging her back
Into the anti-ergonomics
Occasionally leaning over
Into him for cheek kisses

She asks him over and over
What he wants to do tonight
He just kisses her cheek
She asks him if he wants
To leave his bag at her place
She says it will be safer there
Because she has a lock
On every one of her doors

It used to be unclear to me
Why men stayed at bars
After getting off work
Now I'm just unclear

Sturdy Tongue

You cannot
Depress me
I have far too
Much to say

Style As Substance

White head secrets within
A hurdled griddled man
Landlocked up with zipped lips
Cracking up cracking eggs
On the scorched and deserted lot
Of the formerly flooded Texaco
Down by the border of yes and no
Your money is as good here
As it is anywhere says Art
Idealism is international
Is a phrase that he once said
At a dinner party post-opening
And now he e-mails in German
Whenever he talks about Art
Back-and-forth air mail
Like fashion forward tramps
Playing double entendres
At the U.S. Open on Telemundo
Closed Captioned in real life too
But is there any style to him
Says the lined up fine point
Letters hugged in dark irony
¿Que? K! ¿Que? K! Okay
Let me tell you what I’m gonna do
Says the lady in the Mars Black dress
I’m gonna grid out your life
I’m gonna show you your signs
Enacted in all their glory
The way that manufactured stars
Would have seen them in past lives
Close your eyes and bend over
So as to touch your toes
To the cold rabble rubble
And then take your fingers
And stroke the overgrown hairs
Of this state of being you have
And have refused to accept
Think about your misaligned
And malignant self-diagnoses
You have cradled structure
Yet you still have none
You have laid low and leaned on
Yet you still can’t hold up
Any argument you put forth
¿Que? K! ¿Que? K! Okay
Wait am I still watching Telemundo
No you are watching me okay
Okay so then now what
Now stand up then lie down
Okay so then now what
Now strip down to nothing
Okay so then now what
Now look up to the sky
And tell me what you see
I see Independence Day
Painted by Vija Celmins
Directed by Steven Spielberg
And hung in the living room
Of my brand new apartment
And I want to get dressed now
Okay so then get dressed
Wait these aren’t my clothes

Style Points & Substance Pangs

Malls of America
Malls of Americana
American Gothic
American Goths
Bob Dylan Blues
Bauhaus Bruises
Medicare, Medicaid
Bedhead Band-Aid
Where'd you get that shirt?

Waking up in caves
Painting with oils
Out of gas, out of ideas
Unemployed pet sounds
Writer's block abortions
Cinder block pregnancies
Youths need to Howl
Deaths need a ground
Starting lines, finish lines
Gus Van Sant creepathon
I might be too high...

Sudafed Pseudo Dream

Two men I've met before
Crossing streams now
In their designated corner
Posted up doubly public
One stares me down
The other turns his back
They chug and chuckle
Like Beavis and Butthead
Greek lightning bolt shirts
Silent thunder social shirks
It can be so wild the way
Timing can tender time
One minute you're on time
The next minute you're more
Just a passerby being
Passed by and by people
You thought you knew
Or were maybe going to
Anti-knowledge and do
Not acknowledge disses
Dismissals and dismantled
Glorified glory holes suction
Cut-outs for the sad taints
Oh the faint ones become
So plain in mourning light
Plane sight is morbidly
Rationed and fashioned
Factored and now factual
And in factions divided up
Tongue tales sucked off
Puckered and plunged
The sad circular ones
Can have each other

Sunday Night Salvation

I woke up at 10 PM
Accidentally caffeinated
Shoved an Italian hoagie
Into a bear's mouth
And pissed on my feet
To save my dead body

Surrender For Progress

Every toe can flex
Like it is a bicep
But there are bricks
In bones and ligaments
And nobody goes anywhere
Until shoes are removed
And the rest is dropped
And the body lets itself
Be tickled by Earth

Tabled Times / Fabled Rhymes

Seven lemons
Freed highways
Stained courses
Acted upon mélange
An orange mirage
Obscene puddles
Calvino disasters
Scenic bargains
Borges pardons
Cast out words
Drenched bodies
Seaside fires
Kerosene dreams
Breaking sonnets
So so so solemn

Tales From The Cryptic

to peek
we sneak
our peaks
past prime
time hours
full well
history is
but like
fine wine
it pops off
now & then
when left
to personal

Talking To You

Imagine a life in X-rays! What do you think cheesesteaks look like in a botched colonoscopy? What do you think your political correct rhetoric would sound like if I were to press record? When you were talking about Colts, were you talking football or beer? Both would be a surprise. Either? Both. Do you remember that time we saw first floor scissor paintings? That was pleasant. I’m serious. Seriously, what Institute of Contemporary Art has the best architecture? How would I know? I’m serious. I don’t know. And you know what else? How are we going to archive the Internet in the future? I was thinking about that, when I thought, “You know what else? There is no denying that Eddie Van Halen is outdated.” And then I said, “2013 is going to be a lucky year! I can feel it!” An Asian guy standing next to me at the rest stop restroom urinal looked at me like I either had a Bluetooth in my ear or I was crazy. I had nothing in my ear and I’m not crazy. And just because I can’t always discern the specific ethnicity of a person, doesn’t mean I’m racist. And just because someone is wearing all Carhartt at a rest stop, doesn’t mean they want to get in your semi-trailer. But hey, I will say…there is a whole world out there that you don’t even know about, that I don’t even know about. But I want to see it. Do you want to see it? Do you want to see it with me? Last night, I saw a gourmet chef diner. Last night, I saw a thousand dollar cell phone. Last night, I saw an obese girl double-fisting glass bottles of Yuengling while falling asleep to loud music, and I thought for sure she was going to drop at least one on one thousand dollars. Have you ever wondered how people do it? Have you ever wondered how people do anything? It’s amazing to think that work boots are real and that American flags can be used as outerwear and that someone would ever kiss a dead tooth. But really, it’s just amazing to feel alive. And I say whatever you need to do to open your eyes, do it.

Texas Is The Reason

Rachel bought me a six pack
of neighbors to say hi to me,

and she said thanks for the love;
I said thanks for everything else.

I am two years to thirty, and I have
one person to tell me I am okay.

Sometimes it just takes a moment
to realize Texas is the reason

that the country is dead,
and I’m still alive with her.

That Scent

What is that scent?

After midnight,
I sometimes smell
a grilled cheese
with ham and grease,
lots of grease.

What is that scent?

I miss New York,
and all the delis
on every corner,
even though meat
makes me sick.

What is that scent?

There are LA nights
when I think about
Manhattan nights
when I drank Urquell
from deli coffee cups.

What is that scent?

I think I farted in bed,
but I was asleep
until the moment
when I caught a whiff
of grilled ham and cheese.

The Bumps

My skull is as soft as my brain,
my teeth grind like Detroit digits.

I can allow slippage
if my surroundings can harden
the collected mimetic pieces.

Some people sprinkle cinnamon
around the perimeter
of their living quarters.

Superstitions are just mantras,
and my mantra is like a secret.

The Details Are Unwound

The details are unwound
Parking lot psychology
Thinking about what is home

Locusts in the winter sun
Dishwasher alarm on repeat
Zucchini bread burned again

What's the last dessert you'll eat
How old will you be by springtime
There are deserts but not here

In two years I served so many
I am the McDonald's of poets
I love everyone to a degree

Fault lines are palms to be read
Disjointed statements are warm
The radio is playing my first kiss

I took a Stevie Nicks road trip
Women on Ducatis at dusk
Breast feed my insular fantasies

The Nerve

I have to pay
for a place
to store all
my good ideas?

The Origin

Rude boys
Nude noise
Tied about
Noose round
Boots ousted
Round the pen
Scribbled scarf
Biological like
The man you
Often are
Mistaken for
Which you are
Mistaken I'm
Taken by dots
On canvases
Wooden knots
Misspell spells
Of absence
And absinthe
Oh how I wish
To go sprout
With my love
Upon Flemish
Reading first
Of Japanese
Short stories
And now I have
Oh how I want
To be a wanton
Samurai scholar
Sloshing along
In unionized
Oxford shoes
Cobbled in vain
Clashed in plain
Sight I see anew
I see a new life
And fearless men
Crawl on freshly
On fresh linens
Stretching globally
Lines crossing out
Lines finishing
Out West midway
Back to the origin

The Spoils Of The Wasteland

People often say they're spoiled,
yet this phrase is often muttered
at the most indulgent of times.

We know we are gluttonous apes,
but we continue to act as gods,
smashing grapes with our fists
and redacting our past efforts.

A facsimile paused in motion
can be a lifetime achievement,
awarded to any slouching cretin.

I wipe perspiration off my glass,
take another sip of rye whiskey,
and ruin the runes of my self;
this is as good as it's going to get.

Time Passes Slowly

Floor as portal,
walls becomes landscapes,
a ceiling in transit.

Now, I am here...
where I stand...
and I like it.

Somewhere between
solitude and loneliness,
we can find clarity;
this is the place
where we become(s) us.

Streets are outdoor offices,
galleries are indoor bridges,
studios are storage containers.

Isn't it funny
how we all make conversation,
yet we fear making statements?

We write 'notes to self'
in liquid eraser
to uncover tentacled traces
of passed over standards.

We take for granted
every sacrifice previously made;
every question we once asked
is simply repeated
in new vernaculars
we call "contemporary."

Do you remember
anything from any lecture
you've ever been to,
or do the words
(more or less)
appear to be
like the portraits
painted in Northern skies
as you approach the winter?

The sky is always above us;
few other things are facts.

And that's the thing
about lecturers...
aren't they all conjecture?

But a portrait is reflexive,
it's reflective,
it's obsessive;
and we are all obsessed
with ourselves.

So when we look at the sky
as we walk toward work,
when we dig through our minds,
as we walk toward a work,
of course,
we are thinking of ourselves.


Your title means nothing
in this country, boy; which
country do you think we're
in right now, man? That's
the thing? What's the thing?
That's always the thing.
Hmm. So what's your favorite
Zeppelin song? And who's your
favorite Zeppelin member?
We must be at the precipice
of some prescient moment.
Let me guess. "Immigrant Song"?
Or maybe "Communication Breakdown"?
Jimmy Page?I like all of those picks,
butI prefer Bonzo for my favorite
band member. He was a wild one.
But I can't not think of a band
as a team, because that's what
it is; if you forget this, you fail.
What's your take on teamwork?
In my opinion, sports and art
aren't so far apart. Despite my
love of individuality, I prefer
team sports. So wait, maybe
John Paul Jones is my
favorite? He just wanted
what was best for the band.
I just want what's best for
the band, too. What band?
Well, there is no band. I'm just
trying to make a point, and
I guess my point is Jimmy was
a respectful and respected
dictator, but a dictator no less.
And despite my respect of
and for respect, I must say
I am fundamentally opposed
to dictatorships. Moreover,
I believe it to be necessary
to disagree, to lose control,
even to be a bit reckless,
at times, when it's called for;
what do you call that need
in your country? Here, we
call it freedom. Here, we call
it liberty. Here, I call it excess
in moderation. America, the
beautiful country of libertines
in training; explaining middle
roads can be a hard drive,
filled with soft window vistas
and firm handshakes for good.


I was in a coma
when you sent me
your scripted letter;
the auto body lost me,
and the Mediterranean
got musical, after all.

Tuesday Splayed

Just tell me what you want
Mexican handshake
Thyroid typhoon intel
Earthquake soil spillage
Wine mule and whine milled
Wind and milk stirred till
Simplicity stains wood
Oh zip codes are cryptic
Gin blossoms out back
Bottom-side-up retro
Finish the soundtrack
And we're back to dusty
Bowls spun on flat tops
You can be so guile
So agile and so can I

Turning In

A parking trailer in Denton
seals the night cap;
too many tequila drinks,
too many men.

At midnight,
it's time to piss,
and time to turn in.

Twisted Travail

Feeding the captain Americanos
And cigarettes until he's deathly

This train coughs as it jogs away
There is blood in these forests

Stories of slumber soaked in
We all show our travel stains

Now rise with other night rangers
Piled like bears, beers, or biers

You can mostly do your business
In places with young economies

How old is no longer young?
Grey hair on fresh faces is hot

I am worn like a thrifted sweater
New York lacks alleged nutrition

Where is fair trade hiding lately?
I am wasted in a wastoid bar

There are napkins enflamed
On tables outside the window

There are Inland Empire ballads
Scoring our notes on verses

I wake up at four and write slowly
I feel productive in the calmness

Wasps and crust punks blow
In the nipples of Berlin's winds

The idea of filling small plots
Is a gruesome gamble of wits

Everyone needs someone to listen
But suicide hotlines are hopeless

Two Months Time

Soggy socks
Steel toe struggles
Kicking fruit cans

Rotting apples
Fijis on Fuji Film
Hawaiian pizza

How can we relate now
What's your bank account
How's your credit score

I don't mean to intrude
It's just I thought you
Were into finances

People think I am
But you actually are

My older brother
Introduced me to Jad
And now I'm waiting

For the right night
To cut and construct
My own flying saucers

I would like to fly away
To a loveless planet
Where you can be safe

If you've never felt love
You've never felt hate
And that must feel good

Two To Seven

I am not lonely.

Two Week Peak

When I collect words
I don't feel like a poet
I feel like a poem

When I leave myself
I am not vexatious
I am on vacation

Ulcer Counter

I was a body double for myself
back in the Orange Alert days
of Middle October, and now,
I look like Syd Barrett after
his fantasy lobotomy. I was
a cool ranch hand on some
Big Pink deep cuts, and now,
I'm teasing aluminum shards
out of my left palm. Have you
ever been so terrified of your
future self, you clamp down
on a tuna can until you smell
the stench of your former
mistakes? The total pressure
of what's at stake; the missing
muscles, tenderized, forever
eyed. It is best to cut your best
words in the morning, after dreams
like these. Filet of whatever and
so on, etc. Floyd "The Butcher"
or whoever and so on, etc. Once,
as a child, I passed out, sitting
up, at an Italian hair salon. Rocky
Mountains, Rocky Relationships.
Westside Connection, South Side
Approximations. A grand reunion
and a grab bag for good luck. Okay.
I only really talk when I know a real
conversation is in sight, but I can
adapt for small talk in small towns.
I say: Well, at least I'm not from
Glenwillard; and hell, I didn't fight
the Viet Cong. That's real pressure.

Whatever, etc.

You don’t have to eat vegetables
if you don’t want to eat vegetables,
but you can’t live without water.

When I sift through gravy,
I avoid the dead fingers,
wagging like nixed dreams.

In the jet-lagged morning,
I am drowsy and anchored,
preferring the Pacific now.

I want the sun on her back,
I want her back in my sight,
I want to be back where I was…

Pan Am, Panasonic, Polaroid,
doo-wop shakes, soda pop kisses,
diners, kickball, whatever, etc.

Whole Poem

How dare you put a fake candle
in front of my face! I want to see
real light with those who make me
believe that living is worth living.

There are only a few things I would
not do in order to wake up next
to a good person in North Canada,
in June, trusting them with my time.

Don't you want to try to push pines
out of your face like a fake candle,
and see what else you can see?
I will take the back of my hand

to the bottom of your back, reverse
palm your spinal reservoir, dried out
from the sun we shared earlier,
in our future, and I'll suggest we dive

into the lake I made with my mind.
It's a shame there is a skin drought;
you know water looks infinite
in the brief wonder of a painted sky.

Imagine John Constable in Alberta;
a stretched canvas—the only thing
between him and momentary delight.
And now, if you find pleasure, it is

obligatory to present an explanation,
step-by-step, one-by-one; and I am
one, of all people, to be sarcastic?
No; I am a demanding fucking citizen!

I want an explanation of everything—
well, just about everything; but then
again, I can't help but feel like I am
being an asshole when even I want

just a momentary delight and I can't
have it; how dare I put a real candle
in front of my face?! Sometimes
I try to adjust my reading light

to make it seem like a revelatory
revolutionary lamp, shedding
knowledge—words and wielding
power; you don't know power

until power knows you. Your stories
are a sidewalk drain, sucking words
like a wieldy vacuum; life is a job,
life can be funny. I will not tell a joke

that is not funny. I will not make a job
out of jokes; but I will turn jokes
into a job, by punching lines over
and over until the piece is whole.


My girlfriend put Hoisin sauce
on sweet potatoes and rice;
and the only reason why I knew
that would be excessive
was because one week prior,
I had read that Hoisin sauce
was made of those ingredients;
I am trying to keep my mouth shut
more often, which is why I’m writing
even more than usual these days.

Wilted Stance

I see some men
on Soma or some
other variant script
scraping by and by
God they look scrubbed
in old NFL jerseys
or something similar
they drag their hi-tops
across bottom fed streets
like feral Jesus lookalikes

who are you to judge
who am I to jury

but you called me
and you called me
and you called me
agnostically here
but where did you
call me from really

212 to 412
who are you


Wise men tuck
their running shoes
under their beds
and choose to walk
most of the time.

Wonderwall (Power Ballad)

I am watching a bee get drunk
and thinking of all the bad jokes
I've been told up until this point.

I am looking at three consonants
in a row, or um, animal mug shots,
and they look like a Malevich.

Signs, signatures, currency:
you can change your life
any way you prefer, really.

Bur often, it's more laborious
to think than it is to act; hey,
what is a manifesto today?

When you see protestors,
what do you think about?
I guess I think about the past.

I think some walls are left alone
because we need to remember
what it must feel like to be alone.

I have painted plenty of walls
and they always turn out white,
leaving me to think about race.

Wooden Words

Dudes in SUVs using cologne as air freshener
Babes in flip flops stammering like mushrooms
Every mouth is dry like the first time

A twin is better off than his reflection
An inhaler is like butter on a T-bone steak
We can all melt in mouths if we're really sad

World Tour of America

it's been my dream
to see every state
since I was a junior
in New Jersey dorms
laying in bunk beds alone
or with some undeclared
individual and thinking
back and thinking forward
when are you finally you
when are you finally declared
after all anyways and any
way you cross your legs
or put the side of your head
on the outer skin of either
arm curled like Massachusetts
you still are slightly dreaming
day or night and so am I
thinking about time travel
fast forward train travel
in my future windows
my future my windows
are clearer like mirrors
and I can swivel scope
through and around
and round and round
I can see Massachusetts
I can see both of my arms
I can see Rachel walking
barefoot on our front porch
somewhere in West Texas
or maybe further west
in grass or sand it's the same
cracked nail polish clashing
with the cracked land surface
and I don't know if she sees
the same things I see
but details are minorities
they need to be heard
and holy shit Donald Judd
was a smart white man
but I've already seen
a lot of Texas and I think
I need to see more states
before I can settle on any
state of mind and I don't
want to settle until I go
on a World Tour of America
as if I'm a male Madonna
with a new foreign accent


Baby birds are always talking
Beach sand is always greener
Mad chatter in the summer sun
It's never winter in my world


There are so many sirens tonight—
cops, medics, and woo-woo girls;
glow sticks are flares for the freaks.

Maybe I should have a drink
to feel sorry for myself
and fit in with the rest of the city.

I can patronize myself
as much as I want,
as long as I'm in America.

And you know what else?
"Kafkaesque" means nothing
to anyone from my high school.

My cigarettes taste like accidents
after I finish most of my poems,
and there is comedy in all art.