Monday, August 31, 2009


more for my money
let’s get this straight
right now: I do not enjoy
my free refill.
I’m not a big coffee drinker
and one cup is enough
almost too much
but when I go back
for my free refill
and start in on it
I begin to feel sick
as though I’m going to throw up
but still I choke it down
as much as I can take
because I want to get more
for my money
by drinking my free refill
I get two cups of coffee
for just under two dollars
which brings each cup
to cost a buck
the exact amount I feel
that a cup of coffee should cost


given a platform to express themselves
people will eventually start to complain
there’s a new section
in the online version of our local paper
where readers can give reviews
and it’s become very clear
that some of the locals around my city
are not happy with the service
at a certain major coffee shop
one complains that the service is not delivered
with a smile
and another muses, “it seems the baristas
would be happier chatting amongst themselves
than making me a latte.”
my favorite was this:
“it’s as if the staff there don’t love their jobs.”
what I’d like to know about these people
these reviewers
is where the hell they came from
and if they don’t like the way things are going
around here
why the hell they don’t go back?
I find the service at this particular corner coffee shop
to be exceptionally acceptable
and without being a cocksucker
that’s all you can really expect from people
who have no reason to love their jobs


our secret
when I brought her home
the first thing she said
was, “you have no sheets
on your bed!”
as though I didn’t already know!
“they’re in the wash!” I laughed
and they really were
or maybe it was the dryer
nothing matters after midnight
“let’s drink the tequila!” I shouted
so we drank the tequila
and jumped into bed
my bed with no sheets
and in the morning
after asking for a pledge of secrecy
she took a cab home
later in the day she texted me,
I just threw up at work. Thnx 4 a fun night!
I smiled and thought,
what a babe! I hope we can do it again

Sunday, August 30, 2009


the big concern
it’s a big concern
in a certain neighborhood
where I walk a dog
when the household cat
does not come along
the neighbors come out
and give me nervous looks
and ask things like,
“but where is the cat?”
or, “oh, no! Is the cat okay?”
or, “nothing happened to the cat, right?
There’s usually a cat that follows you.”
but the truth is
the cat really just does whatever
she wants.
on some days she comes along
and some days she doesn’t
and most days
she pops up for a little bit here
a little bit there
just coming and going
and doing her thing
just as she damn well pleases
and for that I’m jealous of her
because I, too
would like to come and go
and do my thing
just as I damn well please


dollar plan dream
I just bought a bagel
and a cup of coffee
came to $4.10
about two dollars more
than it should have been
see, I’m on this dollar system dream
where everything is only a buck
I’d be willing and happy
to spend a dollar on anything
a bagel, a coffee, a beer
a shot of whiskey, fuck it!
I can only imagine
the life I could live
if everything was just a buck

or rather
the life I could have lived
before my mechanic
called me up this morning
and said the work on my jeep
would cost over eight hundred dollars
leaving me just enough money
to sit here on my ass
in my room
for another week
eating a bagel a day
drinking nothing
and wondering where it all went wrong

Saturday, August 29, 2009


the chair
I have this chair
I bought at GOODWILL
for $5.99
it’s an old rocking chair
with a wicker seat
and no armrests
it rests in the corner of my room
usually supporting a few dirty shirts
or a pair of jeans
with the belt still through the loops
it’s one of my favorite belongings
this old rocking chair
and sometimes I lie in bed
and gaze at it
think about the places it might have been
the asses it might have rocked
the chair itself
seems to hold some wisdom
like it’s been around for long enough
to have overheard some secrets
then just the other day
while lying in bed
and feeling like I knew nothing
nothing at all
about myself
or the world around me
I realized that since I’d bought that chair
I’d never actually sat down in it
and I considered that maybe
if I sat in that chair
I could absorb some sort of wisdom
gain some knowledge
or have a revelation
but instead of getting up
I remained in bed
because it was comfortable
and I was warm
and because I’ve already learned
a thousand times
that ignorance really can be bliss


no ma’am
she was middle aged
with brown skin and black hair
and by her looks
she’d never gone hungry
she sat on the curb
smoking a cigarette
as I walked by with a dog
“cute dog,” she said
reaching out her hand to pet it
the dog, Sal
sniffed her and stood there
kind of not knowing what to do
that was how she was with strangers
“I’m not from around here,” the lady said
and the way she said it
I could tell she was waiting on
a lot more than a bus ride
she took a drag and looked away
blue out a nice, big lungful of smoke
watched it disappear
and said, “but then, none of us
asked to be brought here, right?
Nobody wanted to come into this world.”
I smiled back at here
and gave a little tug on the leash
and before walking away said,
“no, ma’am. I guess not.”

Friday, August 28, 2009


just one
the AC blows
while I sit on my bed
and suck at beers
I’m good at this
so very good at doing this
when the temperature tops ninety outside
and the bars don’t interest me
and there are no women
pestering my mind
while I sit around
and suck at these beers
I smile at my contentment
for I used to think I’d never tire
from the bars
and the rampages
the weeklong benders
but here I am
only 29
hiding out on a Tuesday night
while I can hear the music
while I use the pisser
the music coming from the patios
and the screams and whoops
of the nighttime revelers
I snap open another beer
and slam the door shut
content to be sitting back on my bed
wearing only a pair of boxers and a smile
maybe clothes don’t make a man
but a mood sure makes him different
and right now I’m just not in the mood
to do anything
I could blame it on the heat
or my back which has all but healed
I could say I’m getting older
growing up
but it’s not like I won’t go back
it’s not like I’m throwing in the towel
hanging up my belt
it’s not like after I’m a six pack in
I won’t pull on my pants
sneak into a shirt
lick the still stifling air and say,
“fuck it, maybe I’ll go out for one. Just one.”


my little game
it has become like a game
my little game
to submit a poem a day
to a certain online literary site
whose editor has decided
to play a little game of his own
that being
to reject my poem each night
I copy one of my little works
paste it into an email
and write, “Dear Editor,
Please consider my following poem
for publication in your online journal.
Thanks so much
for your time and consideration.
Sincerely, Jackson Warfield”
and each morning he replies
in a less than personal manner
“Sorry to inform you, we will not
be using your work. Good luck
with it elsewhere, and please be aware
that we publish less than 1% of the entries
we receive.”
I’ve decided that if I submit one poem a day
even if I never wrote another poem
I would be able to bother this editor
for at least a few years
and hope and believe that
either one of my poems will hit
and be published because he likes it
or maybe because he just wants me
to stop submitting.
whether I finally get one published or not
it is a fun little game to play


it was 92 degrees out there today
invoking various terms such as
hotter than hell
or hot as balls
or it’s a fucking furnace!
but not so in the grocery store
in the grocery store
where you could see your breath
it was about fifty degrees colder
people hunched their shoulders
as they jogged up and down aisles
pushing frost covered carts
you’d see somebody
standing in the cereal section
hands to their mouth
blowing on their fingers to keep warm
as they contemplated whether to buy
granola or maybe something
more fitting to the climate
like oatmeal or mittens
I went in for a Powerade and some chips
but was soon perusing
the hot chocolate section
envisioning myself in front of a fireplace
with a warm bowl of soup
a blanket wrapped around me
and slippers on my feet
I stomped the floor as I walked along
to keep the feeling in my toes
and on the way out
after paying the cashier
who was shivering behind her register
I looked into a mirror
at my red nose and purple lips
and wondered, “what the hell is it all about?”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


man of few words
I was twenty four
and building a house
with my father
when I told him
that I was going to be a writer
he nodded casually
didn’t look up
from a board he was measuring
and said to me,
“I also used to think
about being a writer
but then I realized
I didn’t have anything
I really wanted to say.”


reverse psychology
it doesn’t bother me
when I go into the Pizza Factory
over in the 800 Islington Street plaza
that the same man is always there
and when I walk in the door
he smiles and says, “two?”
assuming that I’ll be ordering
exactly what I order
every time I go in there
which is two slices of cheese pizza
but for a friend of mine
it’s a different story
he calls in for delivery
and when this man answers the phone
he recognizes the number
and after receiving the same order
so many times in a row
assumes the usual and says,
“the usual?”
but upon hearing this my friend hesitates
and suddenly changes his order
he told me he does this
because he doesn’t like
when somebody tells him what to do
what to eat and drink
and he also doesn’t want people to think
he’s becoming predictable
when I think about this I laugh
and wonder if maybe he’s taking it all
a little too seriously
or maybe he’s just been smoking a lot of pot

Monday, August 24, 2009


nobody likes it
when I wear my short jean shorts
I come out of my room
and my housemates grunt
and sigh and go, “ugghh, come on.”
and when I go out to the coffee shop
people see my white spindly legs
and if they know me
they come up and say, “really, man? Really?”
and because of this
because nobody likes
my short jeans shorts
or ‘jorts’ they’ve been called
I like them even more
and I like to wear them more
strange that way
how something that brings others
irritation and misery
can bring me loads of glee
strange and also very amusing


the smudge
under the seat
of one of the toilets in my apartment
there is a large and terrible smudge
it can’t be determined
what the smudge actually is
but it’s there and it’s sick
and nobody will clean it up
it’s like this silent test of will power
between the three roommates
and none of us are giving in.
I believe that they
like me
feel that whoever created the smudge
should take care of it
wipe it off the seat
and sterilize the area which it covered
make it somehow disappear
but day after day it is still there
and I can feel the tension mounting
none of us have spoken of the smudge
it’s too awful a subject to bring up
what with loathsome jobs
bad backs
and the utility bills now due
there are bigger and more pressing issues
like rent coming up
the toilet paper running out
and the Sox being now six games behind the Yankees
but this smudge
it remains
day in and day out
growing longer and wider each night
driving splinters of insanity into our eyes
filling our ears with whispers of insanity
filling our minds with accusations and curses
oh, help me god!
I can’t stand even being here any longer
I run now
I run away from it all
and back out into the night


dodging raindrops
on and off it rains
these days
like we’re in some fucking
tropical forest
it’ll pour for an hour
and be clear blue sky
five minutes later
or it’ll be clear blue sky one minute
and then be drizzling for hours
little gobs of spit
flying from the mouths of the gods
as they sit upon barstools
in the skies
haggling over riddles
of dead souls
the gods
I laugh
to live forever must be so boring
what a pain in the eternal ass
so what can a man like me do
but go out
and dodge the raindrops?
see this little city of mine
in a damp, shiny mist
I go into the bar where I work
and look for my paycheck
at first I can’t find it
so I shout
the bartender
a friend of mine
he comes over to see what it’s all about
he looks on the same shelves I’ve looked
and says,
I don’t know, man
goes back to pouring beer
I go behind the bar and check the other place
where it might be
and the first thing I grab is my check
I rip it open to make sure
it’s for the right amount
and it is.
I make off towards the bank
the ATM
with my work check
and one other check
it feels good to make a deposit
in my short life
I’ve already spent long stints
only making withdrawals
one, two, three, seven, eight months at a time
yes, it’s nice to be making deposits these days
I leave the ATM and round the corner
to the coffee shop
I’m not going in but I like to walk by
like to see who’s at it
who’s up to nothing
of course he’s there
the phantom of this goddamn town
or at least my version of it
the one who spends every night
wandering in and out of every bar
searching for the action
the girls
I want to grab him by the shirt
yell in his face
I get a hold of myself and slip past him
sitting there in his chair
starting to warm the burner of hope
maybe I’ll check out the bookstore
pick out a few books and flip through them
of course I won’t buy
but it’s fun to look
I open up the door
and some jerkoff
is standing in front of a large group of yuppies
telling them how to make HARD MONEY
all their eyes turn to me
and it’s like by complete accident
I stole his thunder
but I’m not in the mood for being stared at
so I turn back towards the door
hobble out into the night
the raindrops are coming down faster now
harder to dodge
they remind me of teardrops
but whose
I cannot recall
they belong to everyone
as though each was a pearl
which we passed around the world
hot potato, wet teardrop
I pass the parking garage
remember the night I woke up in the stairway there
or the night I met a friend and talked for hours
blowing smoke out over the city
I head back towards my apartment
make an assessment of my journey
I walked out with a check for forty nine dollars
picked up the check from work
that one was for a hundred and eighty five
I deposited them both
a two hundred and thirty four dollar gain
the rains come down harder
so I walk close to the buildings
under the awnings
I open the door to my apartment
and make for the third floor
remove my shirt and pants
lie back down in bed and decide
yes, I will leave again
I will stay as long as I can
save up as much as I can
and I will leave again
South America, this time
Columbia, probably
I have a contact down there
I will stay on his couch until I find a place
with a corner bar
then I will find a girl
a gorgeous native beauty
we’ll have some train wreck love affair
which will last maybe a month or two
then I’ll either leave in the night
or stay
and see what it feels like
to have her brother’s knife against my neck
I’ll promise to stay
and then I either will or I won’t
and I will do that until the money runs out
and after that
who knows
it feels strange to tell you this
like I’m impersonating some prophet or seer
like I actually have some insight into my future
like I’m some sort of night time mystic
rubbing a stone to know the truth
but I’m not
I’m just another drifter
in a world of coming and going
where you can either be afraid to leave
to go at it alone
or be afraid to stay
and go at it alone

Thursday, August 20, 2009


form of prayer
twenty nine and strong
always been strong
not jacked
no muscles ever bulged
from my shirt sleeves
more the fit type
you’re a lot stronger than you look
that’s what they’d say
after a little friendly scuffle
I was that kinda guy
but not today
no, no
today, like yesterday
I take in one of my lessons in humility
and mortality
every few months
my back goes bad
I can never really pinpoint an action
or occurrence
maybe it happens by sleeping the wrong way
or maybe it’s because I thrashed too much
playing the sex game
or got all twisted up
in a wrestling bout
whichever it is doesn’t matter
I’m reduced to my bed
any flat surface
to sit in a chair
or the seat of a car
or on the toilet bowl
is to invite pain
to walk is to rely on the puppet strings
of a laughing, maniacal puppeteer
I stagger and scream
grab onto a railing
a table edge
anything solid and within reach
I only walk when I need to
for work
or to get to the bathroom
after hours upon hours in bed
I tire
I get bored
so I kneel
Jesus Christ
I’ve never kneeled in my life to pray
not once
have I knelt down
at the edge of my bed
or in some churchhouse
I was raised to meditate
to sit on my ass
cross my legs
stare into the middle of the nothingness
and wait for god to pull up the shade
make me see the light
not now, though
the back won’t allow the Indian position
now I can only kneel
and I kneel for salvation
in front of my desk
my bare nipples level with the keyboard
the only light I see
is the light from the computer screen
it is not holy
not to them
but once speckled with words
my words
it becomes holy to me
so now I pray
now I write


he rode a brand new black Harley
and wore a black t shirt
above a pair of jeans
and black boots
his head was shaved
and around it was wrapped
a black bandana
and he had all the looks of
being a real baddass
except that his fly was down
and he didn’t know it.
people he knew came by
and they’d speak for a few minutes
but nobody had the balls to mention it to him
that his fly was all the way down
so they’d go on their way
after awkward conversations
which they spent
trying not to glance down at his open fly.
every time he looked over at me
I’d bite my lip and look away
try not to let him see me laughing
not because I was afraid of him
or what me might do
but it was really the only good thing
I had going on in my life at that moment
while I stood in the doorway
spitting out sunflower seed husks
and checking the occasional ID card
waiting around for one o’clock
when I could go home to sleep the dead sleep
of a bored, exhausted, dog walking poet

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


garbage man
I want to be a garbage man
to spend my days
hanging on the back of a truck
jumping off now and then
to toss trash into the compactor
oh, to be a garbage man
to wear one of those neon jackets
and swear and growl and laugh
with the other garbage men
as we accelerate and brake through the days
disposing of the people’s refuse
if only I could be a garbage man
smell and feel
the stinky wind in my hair
the grime on my face
maybe a tin of tobacco in my pocket
yes, I want to be a garbage man
with good benefits and holidays off
paid vacations and security
I could be happy
leading my humble life
and every shower
would really mean something
I could go home in the evenings
to a clean apartment
a couple dogs
and a dozen beers
and the beers would mean something, too
I could sit on my couch
and enjoy the stillness and the quiet
and every morning I could get up
and throw it all away

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


rough wood frame
on my wall
near my desk
there is a picture frame
that I built myself
it contains four postcards
which I bought in Maui
when visiting a lunatic friend of mine
at least once a day
or more likely once a night
the picture frame falls to the floor
either it is bumped by my chair
my rolling desk chair
or it is knocked over
by some drunk friend of mine
or sometimes
even a strong wind is enough
to reduce it to the floor
but ever day
more likely every night
I pick up this picture frame
this collection of postcards
all trapped in rough wood
which I salvaged from an old pallet
and I put it back up on the wall
I could move it
this picture frame
tack it into the wall better
maybe use seventeen nails
and forty one screws
or I could be more careful
in my rolling desk chair
or more careful with who I invite over
but I don’t
I do not do this
because I like the ritual
the somehow sacred ritual
of the falling of the picture frame
like the ritual of sleep
of breakfast, lunch and dinner
of falling in and out of love
these things that you just do
because it seems they are supposed to be done
because they have been done forever
since the start of your life
holding on and letting go
this collection of postcards
framed in rough wood
is the story of the human spirit
knocked down and rising back up again
and again
and again


the moments of my madness
in the moments of my madness
I stand and acknowledge the sun
it’s golden rays punish me
scrub me with the idea of god’s grace
grace like the light from distant stars
which existed long ago
but are now extinct
strangled by the procession of time
murdered and butchered into intervals
minutes and hours
days and weeks and months
years and decades and centuries
light years
a cloud blocks out the sun
in the moments of my madness
and I am again aware of this world
the screaming baby
being dragged along by her mother’s arm
the roar of a motorcycle over there on the street
the sudden commotion at a table
when a cup of tea is knocked over
and the hot water splashes legs and laps
the man standing over my shoulder
pretending to be looking away
he could be a narc or a horse thief
for all I know
or the single black kid in this scene
dancing to the beat in his headphones
as a dog barks and snarls at him
the young mother
who bends over her son’s stroller
suddenly stripper-like
revealing the bottoms of her ass cheeks
the lump of her muff
all these things that happen
these flashes of images
moments of sound
that fill in the seconds and minutes
the days and years that make up a lifetime
I take them all in
absorb them like so many soldiers
retreating from a vast opposing army
I do this all
while sitting in a chair
on a sidewalk in the world
before that cloud passes by
and I stand again
to acknowledge the sun
in the moments of my madness

Monday, August 17, 2009


think of you
I never thought
I was doomed
than the next guy
just that maybe
I was aware of it
a little better
or sometimes a lot
on the next guy.
I never thought
I was cursed by women
than the next guy
and I knew they were equally
cursed by men.
I never thought
I would die
or live forever
but goddamn, baby
I sure did think of you


I’m writing this to remind you
when I’m fat
an old
and have given it all up
I’ll think of this moment
this exact moment
sitting up here in my attic room
137 High Street Apt C
Portsmouth, NH 03801
on the fifth day in August
the year of 2009
half past ten
I’ll think back and remember
me sitting here
sweating in the night
a pair of cut off jean shorts
covering my ass
my thick, curly brown hair
growing wild from my head
these cheap beers my companions
who come and go
like the moments of my clarity
I’ll think of the sand
on the soles of my feet
and the burrito still in my gut
the dogs that supported me through this
and the family and friends
who didn’t try to stop me
I’ll think of the girls I loved
the ones who might have married me
had I been insane enough
for that institution
I’ll think of the road
that was always calling my name
sometimes whispering
sometimes screaming
and I’ll think of the flickering light
the fluttering flag
the insects crawling across the computer screen
I’ll remember writing this poem
to remind myself
that whether driven mad
by whiskey or women
or sitting cross legged
under the forgiving gaze of a living saint
whether on some yacht in the south pacific
or in the drunk tank or the sheep fields
hungry and thirsty
broke or rich
whether basking in glory
or rotting in the gutter
I’ll only be living
just living and passing through
the various stages of life
in a world forever changing

Sunday, August 16, 2009


the flood
the people are hustling about
their sandals go CLOP
and SLAP against the brick sidewalks
they speak in various languages
and carry shopping bags
from designer stores
and all are acting
as though it is about to rain.
but when I look up at the sky
and when I sniff at the air
I can’t decide
whether it is really, actually the rain
that is coming
or if maybe
it’s not just the end of the world


if I believed that life should be fair
I would have made a bigger stink
this beautiful Saturday morning
when I packed my things for the beach
went down the stairs
and outside to my driveway
to find the back rear tire of my jeep
completely flat
and if on this morning
I believed in the gods
which I sometimes do
I would have been sure
they were laughing
up in their clouds
or on top of their mountains
on golden chairs
I would have been sure
they were mocking me
because they caught me
when I was feeling pretty damn good
sober and rested and excited
filled to the brim with enthusiasm
for the day
and how quickly that dissipated
as I dropped my things
got out the jack and the spare tire
wrestled with the lug nuts
(which seemed to have been tightened
by the world’s strongest man)
and went through the ordeal
of loosening the wheel
which was rusted to the axle
knocking the whole jeep off the jack
while sweat poured from my face and my hair
and I cursed fate
damned fate
until I’d gotten the tire back on again
pulled out a long screw from the rubber tread
fixed it with a home repair kit
and went back on my way to the beach
with the reminder that sometimes
many times
things just cannot go the way you wish them to

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


she came out to drink
and sulk
about the man who’d broken her heart
ruined her life
and the friends
who weren’t acting up to par
who weren’t there when needed
only there
when they were in need
and when she left
in the morning
it was in a bad mood
and with a bad hangover
and the quiet knowledge
that she owed money or favors
to all the hotdog vendors in town


passing by
I pass by your window, friend
and hear you inside
with the others
laughing and talking
for many years I’ve wondered
what it was all about
what it was that you were talking about
laughing and cheering and celebrating
but I know now
that you do not know
that your thoughts are like maimed animals
limping around the forest
of your mind
simple and humble things
struggling to stay alive
and they
like you
do not know, either
but still I wonder
and this wondering is obnoxious to me
like being nagged by your mother
to do the dishes
vacuum the floor
and take out the trash
you just want to turn and roar,
“enough! SHUT UP already!
the dishes and the floor and the trash,
they don’t matter a fuck!”
but rather than answers
I would give up the questions
in the space of a vole’s heartbeat
I would do this
and it would be something done so genuinely
with so much determination
that I would never have any regret
never again a thought about why
when I pass your window
why you are in there
talking and laughing
and celebrating
I would stop in front of your door
and put my hand on the doorknob
I would turn it
without knocking
and walk right in


just another day
the humidity today
is like a great big wrestler
who has your head
locked inside his armpit
while he rocks back and forth
choking the life out of you
and because of this
the animals are lazy
yes, the animals are lazy today
lazier than ever before
the dogs won’t even lift their heads
to go for a walk
and the cats sprawl out in the shade
meowing curses at the sky
as I pass by sweating
sweating from my face
and my arms and my legs
and my balls
they sweat, too
I loaf along
too hot to complain out loud
I keep my thoughts to myself
occasionally letting out weak groans
deep sighs
crossing the road
I see a squirrel
and the squirrel is not
moving how squirrels move
it is just ambling along
no hopping today
no bounce in this little squirrely’s step
just one paw in front of the other
left right
left right
moving like some tiny grizzly bear
shambling along
doopty doo
doopty doopty doo
just another day in the steam room
another hellish day in July
in New Hampshire
now that the summer has finally come
another day
just another day


more on runners
apparently running
is not bad enough
for some of the bastards
who dwell in my little city
more and more now
I see them running
plodding down the sidewalks
the streets and the roads
inviting misery
beckoning in pain
like some long lost exceptional lover
what the fuck is wrong with these people?
what are they thinking?
on the sidewalks
the streets and the roads
there is broken glass
and rusty metal scraps
there is shit and piss and puke
blood and semen and snot
spit and phlegm
for fuck’s sake
for fuck’s sake! I want to yell at them
as they jog through their delirium
put on some goddamn sneakers!

Monday, August 10, 2009


around this town
there are plenty of people
who think they know my name
but they really don’t
they call me by various deviations of my name
thinking that it is, in fact
my name
but I do not correct them.
the days go by
and the weeks
even years
there is this one fellow
who’s been calling me the wrong name now
for nearly seven years
he just hasn’t realized it
hasn’t picked up on it
and nobody
including myself
has ever bothered to inform him
that for seven whole years
he’s been calling me a name
which is not my own.
it is a neat feeling
to have that over somebody
almost like a secret
like you know something they don’t know
and armed with that knowledge
you are a better man


the anti kiss
I rub her elbows
and her forearms
and massage that perfect ass
I squeeze her knees
and tickle the soles of her feet
with my big toe
my hand runs up her thigh
and over that spot
warm and inviting
and I make circles around her navel
up to her breasts
her large, taught beautiful breasts
which I play with for a while
cupping them like softballs
or flicking her nipples
and giggling
burying my head into them
every now and then
I run my finger
over her lips
and then again
with my big toe
I slip off her underwear
but as I’m closing in for the kill
she asks, “are you ever gonna kiss me?”


humanity lost
down in Florida
in community college
I once took a class
in environmental conservation
the professor was a cynic
or maybe a realist
it’s hard to differentiate these days
but he was hellbent
on the idea that the human race
would not survive
another hundred years.
throughout the course
we learned about ozone depletion
global warming
the end of natural resources
and throughout the course
girls would leave the class, crying
having been assured of humanity’s demise
“if things don’t change,” he’d shout
“in fifty years we’ll be the living dead,
zombies walking around
bleeding from our eyeballs
and every other orifice in our bodies!”
“if we keep going down this road
we’ll be doomed. DOOMED!”
I found the class mildly entertaining
a little glimpse into the future
or one possible version of it
but now, ten years later
it doesn’t seem that things have changed
all that much
sure, we’ve got some ‘green’ products
and some hybrid cars and trucks
but we’re still living
like this earth is our ashtray
which can be emptied or discarded
at a moment’s notice
we’re still living for the moment
caring little about the future
but that is just the nature of the beast
the beast of humanity
the nature of laziness, greed and procrastination
I’m not as hellbent on destruction
as my professor might have been
I try to take it as it comes
but I do keep an eye out for the tears of blood


when death dies
who will know
when death goes to die?
the mailman
the crane operator
or the gymnast on the rings?
who will be here
to see the end
of all the little things?
the mind is lost
the brain is lazy
and the soul is too terrified
to come out of the dark
so who will be here
when death goes dying?
the ants in their mounds
or the birds diving under the water
or what about the snow fleas
on the melting glaciers of the world?
who will it be, my dear
when even death, dies?


right place at the wrong time
today at the supermarket
again my luck ran out
because in the parking lot
I began to push a cart
with a badly broken wheel
at first I thought
to hell with it!
a broken wheel
cannot stop me!
and as I pushed and pushed
towards the building
I began to feel superior
to all the other customers
who were pushing their carts
in from the parking lot
because I had a bigger heart
I accepted the cart with the broken wheel
accepted it for what it was
a broken cart
yet still I felt compassion for it
more compassion than I would have felt
for a perfectly fine cart
I wanted to grab men by the shirt collars
and flick old ladies in the ears
and say, “look at me! The merciful
on the poor and beaten down!”
but as I made my way inside
my thoughts began to focus less on myself
and more on my cart
my crippled, bastard cart
it swayed to the left
when I pushed it straight
and when I tried to correct it
the wheels went haywire
and the cart wanted to go nowhere
it just skidded along
as I traversed the aisles
then came the people
watching me push my gimp cart
laughing and talking and yelling
like the poor often do
and a woman came up and said,
“hey, what’s that tattoo on your arm say?”
I told her it was a secret
and she said, “is that why you got it? So that you
could tell people it’s none of their business?!”
she was ferocious and angry
but she buzzed right
past because she had a cartload of kids
who wanted a cartload of groceries
and whatever the tattoo on my arm said
it wouldn’t change that
and so I traveled the aisles
tossing in a box of cereal
a tub of dip
a bottle of hot sauce
when I made the checkout
the bagger boy recognized me
from one other single encounter
and he started heckling me about walking dogs
how many I walk each day
whether or not it was my only job
how much I charged
this little prick couldn’t have been more than 14
and he was slow as anything
about transporting the groceries
from the conveyor to my cart
my bunk cart
my feeble and pathetic cart
but when he did
and when I’d gotten my change
I tore out of there like a bat out of hell
and when I got back to my jeep
I wrote this down: Wednesday, 4 PM
another dismal time to go food shopping
try much earlier or much later
and be sure not to go to the line
with that specific bagger boy
oh, and also
no more pity on the carts
in the end they always bite you in the ass


they do not come
I sit here
and scratch the backs
of my fingers
but still the words
do not come
I read an article
on masturbation
and pour myself a glass
half water and half orange juice
but still the words
they do not come
I contemplate
love and hate
life and death
men and women
cats and dogs
but still the words
they do not come
I comb my hair
and blow my nose
dig up a little tin of black shoe polish
which my house mate had asked about
but still the words
they do not come
I look around
watch my flag shiver
in the breeze
of a window fan
I get bitten by a little fly
swat at it
and end its life
but still the words
they do not come
so I give up
not forever
but for the night
and I lie down in bed
my head on the pillow
my flesh on the clean sheets
and then the words begin to come

Saturday, August 1, 2009


all at stake
I lost my shirt
to the owner of the night
bet it all on black
silly me
to think I even had a chance
punished with exhaustion
I lie in bed
there is nothing for me out there anymore
except an empty fish bowl
full of skeletons
and so I dream
though not asleep
my eyes wide open
I dream about that which I know
cannot be found
and when I’m done dreaming
I blink my eyes
get up and piss out yellow water
and brush my yellow teeth
I should be out there
warming some barstool
giving a speech to an audience of cheap beers
and warm bourbon
I should be looking for god
or at least a tidy piece of ass, but no
here I sit
shirtless now
sweating in the glow of a naked bulb
which flickers on and off
leaving me sometimes in the darkness
and sometimes in the light
I am disinterested now
but still I watch this world go by
like a roulette player
watching the ball spin round and round
when he has nothing riding on it
no wager at all
except the thought
of what could have been