Your Damaged Decorations 4.0

December 2013  It’s beginning to look a lot Gridville- everywhere I go 12/25/2013


Her Merry Christmas





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Her Merry Christmas


Somebody has a Mom

Maybe sister, perhaps Aunt

that is sitting out there tonight

wishing you would walk in the door

of the kitchen,

the barroom,

the bedroom

and give her just one good reason

to believe/forget the world’s cold shoulders

and hard edges and all that shit she has had to eat over

all the years might have meant something

more than the FWB de-jour or an

ex- husband that barely speaks to her

the old friends that seldom call

not to mention the children that

ignore/take her for granted.


She’s listening to the Christmas music

sitting in the colored lights with a glass of wine

the tears are barely an after-thought

as she wonders why you never showed up

in her life and perhaps if you did once

why she ever,

ever let you go.


                                                Attitude House           12/99




Christmas Visit Snapshot

Nearly noon along the Hudson

Brilliant light about

descending rust wine

iron crane wench hook

set in blue and white midday relief.

McNamara’s daughter isn’t coming

Johnny in Singapore

You sit in here alone

listening to the bartender

tell that the pickpockets are

using box cutters this year

up on 86th and Lexington.

Back in the Big Red Mountain booth

way downtown beaten worn linoleum

I’ll call you from the payphone

in the back near the pool table

while listening to the killer jukebox

resurrect Spike Jones singing,

You always hurt the one you love.


From  Attitude House   12/99


Home for the Holidays

Pre C-Mas 2012 041 This one*

 Can you find any words left

for the long runway and this familiar foot rest.

All day miles melted past

and you were able to sit still silently propelled

just reading and taking notes.

Your big idea of time off.

Now before the last leg of the trip

you heel toe briefly at rest

  before pushing on the sidewalk square

with an older eye.


Attesting to this as I walk in the door

overheard from the local boys over the pool table


“Here comes the professor…..

wonder where his footnotes point tonight?”


So you take your place at the bar and

drop a tentative temporary anchor


always remembering, remembering

where you came from.


                                                                                                Greenport Christmas 98

Attitude House 2000


Bob Rivers NR*

He’s Dreaming of a White Supremacist Christmas


Just about a day before Christmas

early evening quiet barroom

couple of regulars, off-duty bartenders

gentle snow at the window, soft music low in the background.

Easy holiday season conversation

locals drifting in & out between Christmas shopping

to get warm, grab a cold one, maybe a bite to eat.


In the middle of the sparse crowd sits this guy.

Beat up peaked ball cap, barn coat and muddy rubber boots

smoking alone.


Bartenders all dolled up in her Christmas dress.

She even had a slight hint of glitter on her cheeks.

She’s flushed with excitement.

Big night later, annual staff party.

Just a little girl in Christmas morning still

peaking out of her eyes.


It’s drift and rift quiet banter time

between a few friends.


Every once in awhile our boy in the middle lets loose

with an unsolicited comment.

Like: Fuckin sucks, I hate all this Christmas crap.

(While staring straight ahead)


He’s getting expressly ignored.

Not getting a rise out of anybody.

Figures he’ll give another shot.


Fuckin assholes, fuck the lights, fuck this time of year.

Fuck that Jew bastard hippie carpenter, what bullshit,

if he walked in here tonight, I’d personally nail him to

that fuckin tree again with his own fuckin hammer.


Regular A shrugs.

He remarks, Yeah it ain’t Christmas till somebody dies.



Followed on the heels by regular B who counters with,

Yeah my grandfather was killed by a drunk driver a

couple of days before New Years back in


Girl behind the bar pales visibly.


Door opens.

Regular C walks in the bar and announces,

well that’s it she wants a divorce and the doctor

tells me today that my stool sample came back positive.

Christ pour me a shot…..hell make that double and

while you’re at get these guys something……Merry

Fuckin Christmas.


Meanwhile laughing boy sitting in the middle of the

bar is staring at the regulars with his mouth open.

Scoops up his change and smokes and heads for the

door muttering over his shoulder.

Man what a bunch of fuckin sick losers, I’m going

somewhere where they know how to party, I mean

after all it is goddamn Christmas.


Regulars A, B, C. and bartender sit in silence.

Finally B goes, Anybody know that guy?

C pushing his shot glass toward the bartender

says, I think he’s the guy that plays Santa at KRAPMART.

musta had a tough day at work.

Yeah…. Regular A offers philosophically

the holidays can be rough on us all.


From Attitude House  12/00-2/01


Nor’easter for Christmas


(for Monk)

Monk ice*

And he started

talking in

back alley doorways

with a mug full

of parking lot teeth

as the gale wound

up her fist from

the east and positively

dared him to jump

across four feet of lapping blackness

from the aft deck

to the floating dock

gleaming slick in salt water ice

to square of that drag line.

Of course he did it.

Now the red and green

of the old Claudio

liquor sign flickers,

buzzes and glows

around his head like

a sucker punch halo

as the flags up on top

off the poles

sport boners.

Of course

He did.

From The Terrible Now

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