Monday, November 30, 2009


thrown out
she was blond and big breasted
and I had been chatting her up pretty good
when the end of the night came
she wrote her phone number down
on a cocktail napkin
handed it to me and said, ‘call me.’
the following night
I started rooting around my room
looking for the napkin
checking my pants pockets
and my wallet
and all over my desk and floor
but then I stopped
and standing in the middle of my room
I remembered that just before I left the bar
just after I told her good night
and that I looked forward
to hanging out with her again
I had blown my nose right into the napkin
and after doing that
while she was standing there watching me
I’d thrown it right in the trash
along with the rest of my chances

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Muffin Stuffer
he went by the name Muffin Stuffer
and he was the head doorman
at the Irish bar where I worked
and most times when a girl walked in
he’d check her out
then look at me
and with his eyes open very wide
he’d poke one of his fingers
into a hole he’d made with his other hand
and make a loud kissing sound.
hour after hour we sat in the entryway
checking IDs and staring at the walls.
Muffin Stuffer was capable
of only very brief verbal exchanges
and most times his words were unintelligible
often just grunts and snorts.
at the end of the night
we’d sweep and mop the floor
take our fifty bucks each
drink our shift drinks
and listen to the bartenders bitch
about this and that.
then, tired and mostly sober
we’d lock up the place
get into my car and drive down Route 1
and when Muffin Stuff felt the time was right
he’d say, “here” and I’d pull over
to the side of the road
where he would get out of the car
and run into the woods
without even saying goodbye

Friday, November 27, 2009


here comes November
could be a fucking corpse
long dead and frozen
but it’s just another
cold seat
park bench
and above me
the near naked trees
with the remnants of bird’s nests
that slouch in the branches
while the north church
clock bell
clangs five times
welcoming the dark of night
which roars in with the trolleys
and the buses
that pick up and deposit
all sorts of mineral people
that grow together to create
the livelier aspect
of this town
but then a mosquito
a fucking mosquito
bites my face
and I’m stunned at the audacity of the thing
it being November and all
she should be dead
but she’s not
and I scratch at the lump
on my cheek
and daydream about
another woman to love
but I cannot picture her face

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


glory days
he was the kind of drunk
that never got sick
in the nights
but always when he woke up
in the mornings
while I was lying on his couch
my belongings crumpled in a nearby corner
I always came back into the world
to the sound of him throwing up
tremendous heaves
like he was screaming death
at the toilet bowl.
then his footsteps
pounding across his floor
back to bed.
I remained on the couch
watching the snowflakes
dive down and sting the earth
while I mentally planned out
another pathetic day.
this was my life as a dog walker
in January 2009:
living on a weak broth
of hope and pity
and doing just fine

Monday, November 23, 2009


she had a smooth face
pretty as hell
and a pony tail
of long dark hair

we shared a glance
as we pushed our carts into
the cheese section
and she continued on
while I stopped to pick out
a block of sharp cheddar

when I started again
I looked up ahead
and saw the backside
of her blouse
and her black pants
and what an ass!
it was big and round
and didn’t match the rest of her
but it all made sense somehow
like it was the sun of her universe
everything else
just gravitating around it

I lost distance
when I stopped for milk
and then had to go back for orange juice
but in the next aisle
I almost caught up to her
as she selected
a salad dressing, balsamic vinaigrette

for five aisles
it went like this
her gaining ground
me gaining it back
until I skipped the pet section
hoping to pass her
near the bagels
or the sourdough bread

maybe I would say hello

but she didn’t appear in that aisle
or the next
and by the time
I was picking out celery
at the far end of the store
I knew that tonight
like most others
I’d be eating alone

Sunday, November 22, 2009


for seven years now
I have had a little black comb
one of those little black combs
that has molded on one side
for seven years
I have used it daily
and doubted the truth in that claim
tonight I picked up the comb
and with a simple, easy motion
broke it in half.
I put the two pieces
back down on my desk
and with my head in my hands
stared at them for nearly a minute
finally, I looked up at the ceiling
and shouted at the top of my lungs,
“is it all a goddamn lie?”


before she went to sleep
last night
my housemate’s radishes
were in the fridge
yet when she got up
in the morning
they were lying on the counter.
our other housemate
is out of town
which leaves only me
as the culprit
can you explain
why I would do such a thing?
such a meaningless
absurd and odd thing?
to come home late at night
lock the door
leave my shoes neatly
in the entryway
tip toe around the house
as to not wake anybody
brush my teeth
drink a glass of water
and finally take out the radishes
and leave them on the counter?


pull the curtains shut
open the drawer
and pack the pipe
when you’re not out there
hittin’ it hard
you’re in here
taking it easy
pumpkin peezy
and the thoughts you have
and the fingers you use
to peck at the keys


the beast
the thing is a goddamn wolf
with hairy, black balls
the size of grapefruits
that swing between its legs
as its owner walks him
on a thick rope
around our little city
to remind the general populace
that machismo
however strangled
and so frequently shunned
is not yet dead.
you should see the people
run out of the way
when they notice this thing
or watch them jump with terror
when the owner
leaves him in his car
to bark at passing strangers.
just the sight of this beast
makes you ponder dragons
and warlocks and medieval curses
and on a cold, rainy day in October
with a running nose
and an exhaustion upon you
like a steel blanket
and your home bar
not yet open
what else is there to do?

Saturday, November 7, 2009


here in heaven and hell
there was to be flooding
in the northeast
and strong winds and fire
in the great basin
the snow storms
were to hit the mountain ridges
of the west
and a tornado warning
was given for much of the south.
160 people had been killed
in a car bomb in Baghdad
60 of them young school children
while 8 soldiers had just been
blown apart by a roadside bomb
in Afghanistan
a fifteen year old girl
at her homecoming dance in California
had been gang raped for two hours
while a dozen people stood and watched
and the Dow was up eight points
that was the brief bit of news I watched
on CNN this morning
before going out to walk dogs
and try to stay dry
despite the rain


legal limit
every weekday
I go into the Pizza Factory
get two slices of cheese pizza
and either a Dr. Pepper
or a Cherry Coke
and when the need arises
which it often does
I walk over to the liquor store
grab a handle of bourbon
and pay whatever it costs
which always is one cent
less than an even dollar.
and what is a penny these days,
unless many are acquired
regularly and steadily
and that’s just what MADD is doing
with their little plastic canisters
at the checkout
and every time I buy
a handle of bourbon
I reach over to put my penny in
thinking it’s for a charity to feed the hungry
or clothe the naked
but at the last minute
see that it supports an organization
that has long since become more
than mothers concerned about drunk driving
and is rather run by wild teetotalers
who would prohibit all alcohol consumption
if given the chance
and I turn and walk out the door
and throw my penny into the nearest gutter
before getting into my jeep
and driving home
still wildly hungover
and possibly still over the legal limit
for all I know


another thing
I’d like to know about
the birds
is where they go
when it rains


dinner guest
on my little wine rack
there are three bottles of wine
which must be drank tonight
so I invite over my only two friends
the sun and the moon
figuring one bottle for each of us
but neither of them show
and I sit at the dinner table alone
with a large casserole
some fresh baked bread
and a salad.
after I finish the first bottle
I hear a tapping on the roof
then on the windows
and finally at the door
I approach it cautiously
open it up and say to the rain,
“hello, there. come in, there’s plenty of food
and if you’re like me, I imagine you’re
going hungry.”


uh huh
the luck was on the wheel
the whiskey in the jar
and the leaves on the trees
were burning down the world
when I saw her in the parking lot
of a supermarket
we exchanged greetings
and she said, “so, you’re growing a beard?”
I looked away from her green eyes
and said, “I’ve been busy
with many things.”
a few geese flew overhead
outcasts from their flock
and there was a chill in the air which
served as a reminder
for those of us who didn’t like winter
that we were fucked for another six months.
when our eyes met again
she said, “you’re kind of weird, you
know that?”
and we both smiled
because we knew that wasn’t true
not that thing about me being kind of weird
but that other thing
about me growing a beard
and about being busy
and even the color of her eyes
that too, was a lie