Po o’ the Month

Of the Her Light in August

August 2020– To start this month I proudly present some selected works from my fellow poet and friend Marie Anzalone- Quite frankly ? I am clearly in awe of her sprint and talent- Recent Visual Tone Poem by Marie

Marie Anzalone is a US national living and working in the developing world. She is a professional scientist, economist, translator, and artist; also trained as a life coach, writer, and business manager. She lives in rural Guatemala with a passel of rescue dogs, cats Alexa, Emma, and Pippin; sheep, goats, an underground greenhouse, and a garden. She is finishing 3 scientific publications for her master’s degree in 2020-2021. She has been writing for most of her life. She welcomes travelers to her home, and will be able to offer author retreats after the COVID pandemic.

Marie is an active member of the Writers Cafe community, and also of the Quetzaltenango Poetry Club “Casa los Altos.” She writes and edits in both English and Spanish. Her writing has been featured in the human rights journal “Namaste,” as well as in several anthologies, and literary publications by Versewrights, Rising Phoenix Press, Circus of the Indie Artist, and the Larcenist, among others. She is a frequent contributor of researched articles and essays for The Wisdom Daily magazine.

She has 6 stand-alone works of poetry, and was the editor, translator and/ or co-editor on several other books. She tackles themes of multi-culturalism from a woman’s perspective in her works, and has started a series of workshops for empowerment of women, which she offers in both languages as well- most recently, in 2019, she was invited to address this theme in Mexico and Guatemala.

Aside from her pending scientific research publications, she is currently editing and designing a custom series for Spanish language learners, writing the manuscript for her fifth bilingual poetry book; and assisting 4 poets, historians, and story writers to publish their works.  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8393469.Marie_Anzalone  

https://www.writerscafe.org/hauntedfox 

  https://coldhungryinlove.wordpress.com/blog/

I Had Some Dreams

A Poem by

Marie Anzalone

Second of three poems based on a series of extraordinary dreams over the past two weeks

I had some dreams.

Some took me to the edge of cliffs

before throwing me off; some made

me see perfection in a wildflower.

Some dreams led me to isolation

and others connected me to ancient gods.

Some dreams made me believe in love

and others raped me in my sleep.

Some dreams ran in herds

like buffalo in North Dakota in

the 1700s, and others were as elusive

and solitary as a heron in a marsh.

Some dreams fed my body and soul

with new and exciting things and

others ate me alive. Some dreams

took me to places I could never even

have imagined and others kept my

mother and me prisoner in our own

home. Some promised me the universe

and others robbed me of all material

possessions. Some dreams whispered

to me in the absence of all background

noise and others shouted from the rooftops

of bustling city subway stations.

Some dreams wanted to buy me and

others tried to sell my soul.

Some showed me only who I

was not; my dream of you

showed me who I most want

to be and how to get there.

*

Rain in Quarantine

A Poem by

Marie Anzalone

translated from my original in Spanish

 

This is how my ancestors lived,

I think; as I tend seed beds

and wash shirts in a bucket

with a stick. The land is dust,

every drop of water, precious.

I wash a fork and use that water

for 20 seedlings, 3 colors

of lettuce. In the realm where

family is king and togetherness,

religion; I am easy to overlook.

The Outsider; I travel to town

to feel the accusing glances:

You brought this here; and I want

to scream, no I did not. You did.

A virus thrives in dry, in dust.

You did. We all did.

A virus thrives where land

is destroyed, green things,

turned to dust. It transmits in drought.

We made that decision when

we killed too much that was alive.

You made that decision with

the closure of research centers.

Curiosity, the desire to know more

than daily consumption, is the

cradle of civilization. The

creation of ideas.

 

Cut the tree, the land dies.

Eliminate compassion, replace

love with suspicion; the soul of

any place, withers and dies,

like so many green leaves choked

in dust and waiting for tending.

I too, want tending. To be held.

Reassured, not even that I

will live. But that I matter.

A land puts down its activity

and holds its loved ones

a little closer, a little tighter.

We wait for what our grandparents

called, relief. We wait for dawn.

We wait for someone to find

a cure. To say, “resume normal,

go forth and make joyful noise

unto the lord, once more.”

We may not know what to

call it, but we all know how to

feel the drops of emergence

on our upturned faces. Like so many

lettuces, like untended roses.

We all need to be free of the dust

of human failing, human fear.

We all pray for some kind of rain.

 

Triggers

A Poem by Marie Anzalone

Response to majority supremacy in the US and abroad. Read on international radio July 6, 2020

“Triggers”

I.

I would not be a poet,

if I did not feel the terror

of extinction, held

like hatred by so many living

components of this little blue marble;

if I did not also hear the prayers,

of every oppressed man in history,

who turned his face to the moon

when his brothers, turned their backs,

on him. I could not call myself a poet,

until I knew the story of every girl

in my class, afraid to raise her hand

when she knew the answer. I cannot

be a poet, until I learn to love the free-

as much as my cultures adore the idea

of freedom, but secretly hate

every young woman or old man

who has the audacity, to find it,

live it, grow it in their gardens and

basements and printing presses.

I will not be a poet, until I know

how and when and where

and with how much intensity-

to takes sides, to take a stand,

to take a book, to take a knee.

II.

The woman jealous of love,

scorns the other, who lives, free

and alone, in her own small home,

earning her own keep on her own terms.

The man afraid of his inner voice

fill’s God’s silence with useless noise.

Those who never bought a painting

ridicule the artist;

those who never wrote a letter

to a dead lover, say the poet’s words

have no value.

III.

“They” made me do it, you say.

Hangs wrung in false helplessness,

and I had no choice. But-

Your mother may have chosen

your toxic lover- but you chose to stay.

Your cousin does not ask to be insulted

for being gay- you learned the words.

George Floyd did not kneel

on his own neck; the system you built,

did that. The devil did not pull the trigger-

you did. The immigrant did not steal

your culture- you sold it.

China did not steal your job; you

refuse to pay a few extra cents

to your own neighbor.

Your girlfriend did not make

you abuse her to the point

she doubts her own sanity.

 

Without the food harvested

by the poor, you starve.

Without Indians to protect your water,

you die of thirst. So do the salmon.

The boy you lynched or shot

for being out of place on your street-

he did not disband the power

of the court. You did.

Stop making excuses.

Stop making others responsible

for what you do or did.

Own it, take back control-

of your hands, your words.

I would not be a poet,

if I swaddled your comfort

in a warm blanket, changed its diapers,

and fed it honey from a plastic spoon.

*

The shame of inability

A Poem by Marie Anzalone

I.

We lose so much of life

in the space of not trusting;

in the waiting for planets

to align, the right moment

to be invited in, given

permission by the divine.

I should be there with you,

holding your hand through

this grief, but a pandemic and an

inability to say who you are,

to me, get in the way,

stay my hand, shorten my grip.

 

I take in the sun by day,

contemplate the rain on the roof,

by night. When my friend died,

like for you, the hardest part

for me, was there being

no goodbye. No body, no

permission to be at the funeral.

I don’t want that for us.

II.

I have become an expert

at counting shadows, telling time

by the slant of sun on the garden,

knowing which bird trills

what song, from where, each hour

of every day alone in my own space.

 

I hold a doctorate in unsaid things,

I am a master of paintings for which

I never seem to have the right colors.

I hide ocean liners of passion

behind curtains woven of friendship.

I pretend to only understand half

of what I hear and see. I could write

a novel with nothing more than

spider silk, carving knives, and

garden soil. My actions tell the truth

when my mouth forms partial lies.

III.

To know an artist’s heart

watch how their brush or pen

caresses, strokes, massages, stabs,

or timidly approaches her subject.

 

As I am subject to you

you own most of my nights now;

I woke one morning

and a silver cord was tied

from my soul

to your midsection.

An ocean liner

was moored in my garden.

A story was demanding

to be written, out loud;

a painting came to life

in my teacup.

 

Something softened

in the way you come to me,

I almost see me now in some

lines drawn by your pen.

I drink 2 liters of liquid

a day but it is your water

my body wants to absorb,

like sunlight, like rain

in good soil.

IV

I sit here listening

to thunder and water drops

the rain sheeting off roofs.

I am ashamed that I cannot

hold your hand through your pain,

now and every night. And

I wonder- do you and I

ever sit, watching the same

river, from the same banks,

in any of our nights apart?

*

Solitary Confinement

A Poem by Marie Anzalone

If we don’t make it,

I hope the birds inherit the earth.

Great big flocks of them;

all colors, a celebration of

their own resilience in front

of their own pandemic

of unchecked human expansion.

May they carry seeds and fishes

and reclaim what we selfishly

took and took and took;

centuries of entitlement;

decades of “not my problem.”

May ducks dive in clear waters;

may sparrows sing

from abandoned WalMart

warehouses; may warblers

return to public spaces

where horns don’t blare. May

a renewed sensitivity awaken

in our children; may they

paint denizens of the sky

again in artwork

and make dishes and lamps

in their likeness; in the 18th

century we spent time outdoors

seeing God’s grace in a swallow’s

wing, a falcon’s dive;

visual expression of man’s

desire for remembrance

in solitary confinement.

 

 

 


July Gridville Fricassee Au Jus

July 2020- Selections from the July release Retread Rubbereden 2020 forth coming – 

Right Terrible Now at first glance

Behind your Mask 2020

In Dragon Speak

These days

We look at others

Through ugly eyes

And hear them

In dirty ears.

And terrible now

We seldom see anybody’s face

Anymore just the same ole

Adverted glance and distance

Social prophylactics protocol

Six feet apart above or under the grave.

 

Those days of wine and roses, you thinking going

creating custom voice commands for text and graphics

editor to flawed commands based on

Larynx Malapropisms

to be able to work on certain angles

the collection of memory

wild intangibles

A Plague on their own-

-for V Wolfe & Emily D

Emily preferred to stay home anyway

While Virginia driven besides herself

To the Shelters in the underground

As the bombs fell.

How quickly the moment passes

As the bottle swings in a few

people that should be lightning bolts

like they strike you

 

when you least expect it to that matter

with those that return to you hopefully sans empties

ignoring thunder

Transformation

East 7th street

Quarantined

Deserted

No beer at the Coal Yard

No Pizza at Iggy’s

That blessed Cheeseburger

At Paul’s

Not a chance.

Gone with Wind

Like it was axed from HBO

 

Who was that person who took one you once

to where you always wanted to be  ?

on the page

on the sidewalk

like so much unbridled heart gift

with a voice that has a mind of its own

So is it ?

polarized time

polarized time pulverized after the fact

every third word repeats the code

as a virus for Iris

when here in this terrible now

we measure our steps

in coffee spoons

March in place

Treading water

Into mud

Wishing for fins

Or at least gills

While all the dirt of the earth

Fails to support us as top soil

Until the finish

When we return.

So just maybe he is reminding you slowly still in the terrible now

not making much sense in Newspeak

Grief is done

barking up the wrong tree

We  have done our time

paid pretty good respectively

I still think you all got off

rather mercifully.

But I didn’t

Perhaps it was those both barrels at once

I lost my old man and you in the same month

I stood and took it

At that time you were strong and weak

as the flesh and spirit are bound to be

Yes the sails shredded

Rutter shattered

the tide came and went

leaving us just a couple of extinguished red flames in the rain

thinking of that day

When we never had the guts or heart

To say it to each other-

face to face to end our dance

without the mask

when we still had the chance.

-Retread Rubbereden 2020

 

 

 


June turns the page-

June 2020 –  End of the month update pending-info on next Book in July-

 

Narration/text composition/arrangement- Vincent Quatroche

Image association – Kayla Cunningham

Acoustic Piano – Matt Wiggers

Sound realization Dan Berggren

2020 Shorts

Slips-

(for Leo Gorcey aka Terence Aloysius ‘Slip’ Mahoney)

-looks if youse guys are gonna sing

Would you mind trying to that in Venison ?

 

Sure- it might happen

But then it would be anti-climate

 

You Nose youse guys have gotten

Pretty used to using me as an escape goat

 

Well from the looks of youse

I would ascertain you’ve been on Gullibles Travels

 

Terrible now I find dis de-Lama

Rather interplanetary and need

To try and figure out just what

The big de-Lama is

 

Well-

It’s pretty oblivious

What happened.

*

Special Occasion Designation Nation

 

This year I was thinking

I just might re-gift

Some of my Rescue dog Poetry

For you-

 

*

My Career in Porn

 

Yes-

Briefly back in the 70s

 

I was a stunt Dick

 

Later in life

I did the voice-overs

For when they forgot

Their lines

*

Behind your Mask

Some days

We look at others

Through ugly eyes

And hear them

In dirty ears.

Uncollected 3/20

*

The Girl from Podunk

-circa 1973

Lucinda

Danced on the horse shoe bar in bare feet

In Mitchell’s that Tuesday night and hiked

Up her black skirt and red petticoat

To mid thigh grinning figure 8s down

At the locals who were going nuts

And she couldn’t buy a drink

For the rest of the evening.

 

Towards closing time

She picked me out like a face in the crowd

And took me out back

To the waterfront harbor docks

On a splintered stringer straddled me

Locking our eyes she said

While sadly shaking her head

Hovering above with that long black curly hair

Falling on my face like theater curtains

Opening like at the start of a movie about

All the years I had yet to live and understand

just what Lucinda meant by telling me.

No…no…not you…my good man

Uncollected 20202


If you Fool with April 2.0

April 2020- Additional new work pending –

Christ Climbed Down

For Lawrence Ferlinghetti 1958 

A Crucified Christ

Hidden in the cellar

Behind the oil burner

For 57 years-

He might have remained back there

Indefinitely if not

For the oil tank that sprung a leak

And needed replacement.

 

Like a mummy he was wrapped

In swaddling ancient newspaper

The N.Y Times from February 23 1958

Sunday edition

Mostly in the sports and fashion section

Including the race results from Hialeah

 

Surprisingly he was heavier than you’d think

Even sans cross-

As I gingerly carried him up the steep cold war stairs

From the cellar and propped him up against a tree

In the backyard in the shade of a late Sunday august afternoon.

He hadn’t been out since the Winter of 1958

Moved from the apartment over Van’s Hardware

Next to the shipyard.

To 12 Sutton Place

 

He was molded sculptured out of plaster of Paris

Slim limbs w/ the Pax Fish symbol in his arms

And legs like holy tattoos

The nail holes in the center of both his outstretched

Hands and crossed feet for mounting and hanging

 

I sat in a lawn chair regarding my father’s creation

And contemplated blasphemy by wondering if

I should offer him a beer-

After all I was having one.

 

And it’s time to come down off the cross boss

your last supper is getting cold

I don’t have any wine unfortunately

So Christ-

Have a beer

Uncollected 8/2019

Advice for Aspiring Alcoholics

  

Listen

if after beer number three

you don’t feel

at least mildly optimistic ?

And after number dozen

you’re sobbing in your pillow-

Quit.

Collected circa 2014

*

Why is April the Cruelest Month ?

 

Hard to put a handle

on this label.

So I asked my students

who originally wrote

this line.

 

They “peered” up at me

with such a deep bewilderment.

 

All except for that one girl who sits off on the left hand side of the room

who rolled her eyes and let out a sigh while huffing indignantly ,

“I don’t even see what that’s even supposed to mean.”

 

I guess now wasn’t the time to introduce the line,

 

“I see myself dead in the rain”

 

Maybe it was the bookend of chilled dawn memory

sandwiched between the evening dusk desire frost.

Sniffing the smell of the shit hitting fan

tends to make you a “little thirsty”

by the end of the day.

 

OK.

How about

“a lot….. of  “little thirsty”

 

Perhaps it is the terrible now taking hold

like one real “stick it to um” bastard of planet

The distance of the years gone by realized numb

is a growing, gnawing squeezing in your chest.

 

But really it’s that stranger’s hand in your pocket

You know that one you discover

upon putting your own in there

to fish something out.

 

And it looks like somebody already beat you too it

In some other April

where somebody else’s memory

picked that pocket clean

of all you ever desired.                                                     Collected     4/2004

*

One for ears from Mr. Cedric- Stop him if you’ve heard this one

*

 

 

 


Ready the March ?

March 2020- Call for prices-

Mad March World

In this light

March simply has

nowhere to go

but……on.

 

The step in the day

a longer presence

of illumination into

the afternoon later now

every new year born

in this same way.

 

There is this sense of urgency

a sort of headless Madness

that ignites

brittle tree limbs to

fan fine struck fingers

in complicated silhouette

 

flung across the horizon

like a bottle of India ink

spilled and splattered

upon a pale blue sky page.

 

I send these words

mere reflection

auditory stenography

purely dependent

on perception systems

beyond my grasp or control

 

Along the prescribed channels

as the pale blue light

drains the light

from the sky’s page.

 

3/11

 

Fragments of the March

 

Light upon the lake

Waves frozen in mid-break

 

Broken Shafts of weak March sun

newly poured upon cracked and

shattered sheets of hyper-white

entrenched ice

a history of persistent bitter air

trapping flowing waters still born

beneath.

 

Light upon the Lake

waves frozen in mid-break

 

Barely Marching sun

arrested impressions

strange frigid contours

rivets of pressure

compacted tighter

isobars deceptive surface

unlikely to support any weight

 

Yet enough to entrap

a fool’s misstep

 

Light upon the Lake

Waves frozen in mid-break.

 

3/11

Of texture and Color

 

Waiting in the door

the bartender with some

exasperation shrugged

all I heard was a spicy bloody Mary.

 

I nodded in agreement and immediately wrote down

You change the pens color in me.

 

It was the creme feel to the page

somewhere in the sheep and oil skin

 

To the touch that defines the lines content

in context calling in a fluid hue

all that two parallel paths

can carry between them

all they can contain

in the ear that listens

closely for what the eyes sees

left for you upon

the crème of the page.

 

You can’t touch color

or so they say.

 

However the request to bathe

in tone and shade is to extend

to reach out the hand and try

 

Touch were all the colors

never answer to their proper names

and refuse to simply run out and dry.

 

Perhaps then it is that desire

to request the color of the pen to change

is what so very few can do to each other

-for each other.

 

No one chooses anything here

The first glace into the other’s face

that rings the bell or

reverberation between

the four eyes looking into

the crème of the page

as it goes……………..ding.                                                      3/11

 

Last Day of Winter

 

So sing blue sky without

memory on the cusp

of seasons exchanging gears.

March in transition chilly

with a deceitful light promising

warmth but delivering

stark fingers puzzle scissors

purple brown sleeping limbs.

 

The air in the room hisses

in more chilly silence

Students bent to their task

glance out the window

hoping an answer appears there.

 

A flag flutters stiffly at the end of a pole

like it was an end of the broadcast day

announcement.

 

But this is mid-morning

for such a terminal signal

a sign-off, a blizzard of white noise

so the clouds defuse the light

and the classroom darkens…

 

A blanket of gray descends…

bringing with it a big black old memory

of a time like this before

where the silence bores into the ears

and fatigue of vague weariness

invites the eyelids to begin to droop

 

There is always the sleep of change

reminding each fleeting season

just how short our time on earth is

in March.

 

3/09


February is a Short Dog Typo

February 2020 New Work

 Narcissus Echo

(For M A O’Hara)

They were home in bed after an evening out for dinner and drinks that had progressively

Degenerated in the sullen silence now between them. He didn’t know it yet but this

Affair was having its walking papers being processed,

After he had some observation about how lousy the restaurant she had picked for

them. She sat up and shook her head saying- You are some Narcissus-

He had heard all this before- a kind of default negative character assignment when

His relationships were going south. Usually he just let it go- but not tonight.

They had the following exchange

So if I’m Narcissus do you know what that makes you who ?

Who ?

Narcissus/ girlfriend Echo

Echo ?

Yup. Not only that but everybody seems to have him pegged, but very few seem

To know anything who she was

Who She was ?

Echo was a very good looking Wood Nymph. She had one annoying characteristic

However she was bather mouth- would talk the ear off anyone she met.

So one day Zeus has come down from Olympus to frolic and knock off a few

Stray Nymph’s in the woods. His wife Hera (also known as June) was very aware

Of her husband’s salacious hobbies on earth and followed him to catch the old lech

In the act of his indiscretions and she might caught him too….but she happened to

Run into Echo. As you can imagine Echo wanted to talk to the Godness about everything.

She ran a blue streak babble detaining Hera’s pursuit of her wayward husband, Zeus seeing

What was going on escaped clean away back to Olympus.

Later on Hera figured out that Echo had perhaps purposely distracted her. She was pissed.

So Hera took away Echo’s voice and pronounced from now Echo could only repeat

The last words spoken to her. So in one respect Echo would have the last word forever.

A rather ignominious gift to round out the punishment.

So Echo is wandering the woods on that day and sees young Narcissus a rather spoiled very

Good looking teenager out hunting with the boys. Now all the other Wood Nymphs thought

Our boy was to die for- But he wanted none it.

Now Echo sees Narcissus and goes nuts. She wants this beefcake in the worst way.

But she can’t speak to him first. She starts stalking him. He gradually becomes aware

Of this and is kind of creeped out- and he yells out go away beat it and of the course she hears back

Go away beat it. This goes on for awhile till Echo can’t stand it anymore. She sneaks up

Behind Narcissus and knocks him flat and straddles him. Her intentions are very clear.

No Dice. Old Narcissus isn’t into this sort of thing. Yells at her I would rather die than

You have me. Echo humiliated in tears replies Have me.

Echo continues to follow him till he comes to that pool of water. (which was created by the

Gods to punish this rather vain teenager). Truth was Narcissus wasn’t very bright to begin with

Anyway. His birth and been as questionable as Echoes- (but that’s another story) A Seer named

Teiresias had told his mom (Blue Nymph) that her stunning son would be ok only if he never

Knew himself, Get it ? The stupid bastard probably never knew it was his reflection in the

Pool. So you might know the rest by now- Narcissus withered away and died because of a lost love and Echo did as well a few feet away pinning away for him.

Back in the bedroom she was getting dressed getting to leave and said

Well that stupid story proves my perfectly- Our relationship has some very serious issues and rather discussing that you tell me that stupid story where you actually defend and try to justify that guy – no wonder you spend most of your day when you aren’t working watching Porn and drinking beer.

Know what ? You are Narcissus and  you can forget that bullshit about Echo/

I know what I want-and that’s not you– Goodbye Baby-

He shrugged as she walked out the door and called after her Goodbye Baby

 

Uncollected 2019/2020


January 2020 Hindsight 4.0

January 2020It gets late early out there.  -Yogi Berra

Mixed Signals

 Encased

Inside

the very center of a

January icicle night

with all the colors

running silent

screaming black and white

and the top of the tip

of the tongue’s pigment.

 

Encased

Inside

the very center of a

January icicle night

He ran from the room

like an errant fire engine

in his eyes was the lighthouse

on fire while a confused group

of hastily summoned volunteers

wondered what the next best course

of action might be

either make a run to connect hoses

or watch out for the jagged rocks

off the shore line shrouded in icy fog

or just shrug and leave quietly

by the clearly illuminated fire exits.

 

But instead

they sat arrested by him

in his wake

his warning

his smoke

while wondering

what could be next for all them

Encased

Inside

the very center

of a January Icicle Night.

 

From Sometime Grief-       12/11

*

Strange Winter

These long dry days

when pavement yawns bare gray

grass sleeps brown

and light shivers lost

without the blanket

of snow to surround..

 

So very quickly January

settles into herself

without memory’s delay

the novelty of newness

wearing thinner

every day.

 

Not a second thought

escapes here to slip away

nowhere goes the tongue

explaining nothing further

other than the day to day.

 

In this strangest Winter

forecasters scramble to explain

the lack of punch in the season

the vacant numbness

in practiced silence

to justify and ordain.

 

So stillborn

time seems

when a lull

in the beginning

seems to betray

what you know is coming

now to you any day.

In this the Strangest of Winters.

Uncollected   1.2012

January Letters 2012

 

So soon the light struggles to return

to fill the new year wolf ticket sky

in a lingering tentative twilight

towards some vague promise of Spring

merely a rumor of illumination

left in a hand written note

taped to a bus shelter on the corner

of 33rd St.. and Lexington

asking you in rhyme by name

 

What did all the years mean…..   …… ?

 

I recall writing those January letters

imploring you to reconsider

that annual ritual of tossing

the poet out of your life.

 

Now as you have finally succeed

you still read in stubborn justification

safe in the distance from these words afar

telling you exactly

what you never had the heart

to tell me

to my face.

 

Mute the voice

Blind the eye

drain the last pool

of affection dry.

 

What is written here now

has a place beyond words

where language is the

shallowest of vehicles

for sequestered emotions

scattered to the four corners

of isolation, exile

estrangement and banishment.

 

Distance now is the key

after you have left another

in so very deep

that the hope of a journey back

to all the lost moments are everything

that you can no longer keep.

 Uncollected 1/2012

 

 Get that Poem…

Written in the Coal Yard 102 1st Ave. between 6 & 7th St. East Village NYC Sunday Night 12/11/11

Listen there you

and better listen good

get the poem off your chest already

and then

take that crestfallen chin

with you.

 

You really want it

to continue to dig

a hole in you ?

Better face it at last.

Nothing you write really matters here

so it’s really time to try to forget it…

Write it down and then burn it.

 

If it was all just another

of your ill-advised creations

of the heart

then reconcile

file

and

at least try

to resist your insistence upon remembering

anything more about all this….

 

But you at least took your lumps

and I mean did your time

in payback zone all alone.

 

Some things I suppose

you could have said better

what rage you deferred

was perhaps at first what you should have thought better of…

or maybe your second guess was just the worst.

 

So now in this place past the end

you still feel that you would rather have had

it all done to you

than do the same hardness to another.

 

So they get the brake

They get another pass

But just how long

In their lives

Do you think that’s

Gonna last ?

 

But at least for tonight

and I mean right now

just for once

you can walk just right around the corner here

and get that poem off your chest

and take your skinny ass and crestfallen chin

with you.

Uncollected  12/2011

Another year ? Another Dybbuk

The Dybbuk Dreams

It was in the first few nights of the New Year

when all promise and disaster were as unopened mail

that the past had a walk in his sleep.

The Dybbuk’s hands opened old draws

shuffled through forgotten pages

Pausing to repeat a line of a letter

here and there.

Ashes were stirred and long dormant old flames set free

to flicker. Then the night faces could dance once more.

Night faces coming back to visit shining

eyes to glow back into.

 

Another year rolling itself out like an immense black wing .

Your sleeping form swept along in this night flight,

those waking hours, now the specter, this was the soul

strolling hand in hand with the eternal freedom of

time asleep.

 

She walked once more upon the mores, in a chilly thick fog.

Here where she had always known that he waited for her

In between anger and consequences,

in this dreamscape of quicksand recall where mushroomed

marsh islands of what might have been.

 

They both returned to this shadow realm of still photographs

hung and propped in the endless stark arms of winter.

Here where the past stood naked and true.

Both came with small hands grasping deep into the heart’s

pocket. Each visited at different points

along the dream curve, with separate dependencies and

versions of the same story.

 

They left messages here for each other.

The last word over and over. The promises of reconciliation

and forgiveness. The sensation they shared of never being

able to meet face to face again, outside of this place

of half light sand deep grey pools. Always to return to

the same beaten path, in the corner of the dream.

This place where the images of each other’s faces

in those frozen photos snared arrested looks

and eyes of love and delight that once were shared.

 

They both returned to this place, every so often

to get a face full and

look down at the other’s footprints

left in the path

from the night before.

Another Rubber Eden 1997

NEXT !

                                                                                            (For R.B)

The wonderful life Christmas is over

One tries not to be depressed.

Maybe re-read Brautigan’s piece

From 1963

Where he and his friend were

so depressed over Kennedy’s public execution

that they took pictures

of discarded Christmas trees

abandoned in the gutter

and then proceeded to get drunk

while watching a slide show of them later.

 

I get that.

All those rolls of left over wrapping paper

all about the place.

The lights that need to be taken down

before the neighbors start with

the “white trash” wisecracks

 

 

One thing you can say about Christmas

in this post modern area,

Once it’s over.

It’s dead.

 

A lot of build up.

A product orgy climax

 

And the day after ?

Forget about you

 

The day after Christmas

is like nailing a wood screw

into the back of an old friend

Who shows up once a year for a visit.

 

And as he walks out the door.

You slam and lock it on his heels

Hissing, “and don’t come back till next year,

You pain-in the-ass bastard.”

 

Thankful ?

Sure.

 

This year I was thankful I didn’t end up

in the paraplegic chair

in a nursing home in Baldwin

after that nasty fall

down the Cold War stairs

back in your hometown

that ended up with you

kissing some concrete.

 

Instead I made it back here on Christmas Eve.

Just in time to have a good cry

With Alastair Sims.

 

Greeting from Gridville   12/03

 


December always comes last 2.0

December update 2019-   Your ghost at the door knocks again

Greenport Christmas 1967

 

I’m walking next to my father

on a chilly, but clear Christmas Eve

down to the movie theater

just past supper time

under a brilliant canopy of stars.

 

The sidewalks are hard solid grey

cracked and buckled slabs.

We walk the mile

side by side

as we always have.

We have been doing this

since I learned to walk

and was able to keep up.

Tonight I’m going down to work with him.

Pre C-Mas 2012 041 This oneThe town glows silently tonight

The storefronts decorated.

We pass swiftly the last few blocks

down to the other end of town.

 

We can’t be late to start the show on time.

 

We stand in front of the darkened theater

as he fishes his keys out to unlock the lobby doors…

He has them attached on a long silver chain

There are a lot on the ring….

 

As I stand next to him searching for the right one

I can smell the low tide bay a block away

in the cool night air.

 

Once inside the theater is dark…

 

He goes in the office and I hear the snap of the circuit breaker

relays bringing to life the light the Deco Movie Palace

 

The orange chasers on the huge marquee dance in a mad circle

outside in the Christmas eve night.

The movie theater is alive.

Gushes great sighs of forced warm air.

The crowd is sparse.

I sit up in the near empty

orchestra/lodge in the front row

of the one thousand seat house

eating popcorn and drinking coke

and watch a comedy farce

that I hardly understand.

Even the second time.

I sit through the two showings..

the Seven and the Nine PM.

 

There are even less people for the last showing.

 

A little after eleven I watch my Dad

kill all the lights

with the same circuit breaker snap

sequence.

I watch the movie theater go back to sleep.

 

We ride home with Jimmy D

the projectionist

in his work van.

I sit in the back with all the tools

on a overturned milk carton.

 

He smokes cigars

and barks a hard husky throaty laugh

as he farts

which makes him laugh harder…

 

I like him

and the sound of his laughter

but I hope when I grow up

I don’t find that stink as funny

as he and my Dad do.

 

He pulls up

in front of our house

near the Sound Bluffs.

 

As the engine idles

They talk in the front.

I ask if I can go inside.

I’m sleepy.

Need to go to bed.

It’s Christmas eve

and I’m 12.

Too old for Santa

but not my dad.

 

12/07

 

 

 

 

 

Cool Whip June Christmas

Could anything

look much better

than a white plastic

former Cool Whip

container presently

filled to the brim

with old-fashioned

glass shelled peanut

sized multicolored

electric red, green,

orange, purple

Christmas bulbs just sitting

there on the workbench

out in garage

on a brilliant June evening

ending so slowly

the longest day of the half

disappeared year as a gentle twilight

shroud of dusk descends

so slowly ushering in another

fragile fleeting gift of Summer?

 

Except you.

 

Nor’easter for Christmas

(for Monk)

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’s

liquor sign flickers,

buzzes and glows

around his head like

sucker punch halo

as the flags up on top

of the poles

sport boners.

 

 

Of course

he did it.

7/07

 

*

iStock_000004726670XSmall

Serial Visits

*

The whistle is the period
in this motion sentence.
Punctuating movement
calling cooling coffee steam
escaping gray minuet figure 8s
in a rocking cardboard tray.

Go ahead.
Spill it.
After all
how many years
have you been ending
your life sentence
in this paragraph.

Awareness unraveling
to some temporary core
where you define
your next visit as the
last lap of time and distance
measured increments
like rungs of a ladder.

That track bed ratio
of rhythm and ties.

 

 

How do they sing in their beds so ?

What is it with that whistle
that you still insist upon
that you hear so clearly
much less
ride off
into a sentence of movement.

Present future
Past period.

Take a deep breath
of the dark roads awash
in wire to wire rain.
Do you stop to heave a sigh here ?

In relief awash or gasp for air
15 hours after ignition.
Do we have your
arrested attention
yet ?

How can you hope to convey
this flight
this passage
A shadow’s dance
In lock step perpetuation.

What kind of ticket shall we call this then ?

Miracle, weary ritual
or merely picking
from the fabric of your reflections
a thread you wove
that called you by name incessantly.

Into a dream
from out of a dream.

Where you step
and step again
all over it.
On it.
Just past it

Inside you.

Greeting from Gridville -2004

*

rotate_1101100831

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.”

Attitude House 12/99

*

Pre C-Mas 2012 041 This one

Homecoming

*

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 the legs put the sidewalk square
with an older eye.

Attesting to this as I walk in the door
overheard from the boys over the pool table,
“here comes the professor…..
wonder where his footnotes are tonight?”

So you take your place at the bar and
put out.
Always remembering, remembering
where you came from.

Attitude House- Greenport Christmas 98


November said Nada

November 2019- Post Thanksgiving Thoughts-

The Ancient Mariner reading Lucky, Lulu, and a Cat Named Bo (Cold Turkey) for “K’s” Ghost City Cabaret II Halloween Edition @ Cornelia Street Cafe October 15, 2018 – Video courtesy of Mitch Corber

Presented here is good friend and guest contributor featuring recently published work by Poet extraordinaire Bernard Block.

Fable of the Mermaid and the Starbuckers

A satiric riff on Pablo Neruda’s poem, “Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks”

By   Bernard Block

All these Starbuckers were there inside

When she entered, nude.

She came from the East River,

She lost her way. Eyes came from faraway.

Wended her way between hookers and bucks.

No one noticed. Who was she?

Glided into Starbucks.

Did they see?

Gray faces, gray tables

White spaces, gray fables

Smell of coffee, smell of money

Ringtone tinkled Lovely Rita

Someone seeking Goddess Sita?

Fingers tapped Blueberry

Brains blogged Strawberry

Twitter blogged I-phone

Tarragonswiss gelatocone

Pointy heads cyberspace

MySpace  YourSpace

Beyond time and face

Eyes glazed laptop

Educated—Stop and Shop

Eyes—Wi-fied

Viral infection since July

Did they see?

No one asked

Who was she?

She did not know tears

She did not weep

She did not know dreams

She dared not sleep

She tried, tried to imagine

A pirouette

Did she forget

Did she forget

She did not know words

She did not speak

Eyes were birds

White and meek

Arms were topaz

Lips—coral light

Eyes were birds

Stripped in flight

Silence twined her glistening flesh

Blindness blanked her golden breast

Glided by

Who was she

No one noticed

Did they see

Suddenly, she left by that door.

She entered the river, gleaming

A white stone in the rain

Only hearing her refrain

Without a backward glance

She drew a breath

Swam toward never

Swam toward death

— Published in Thrive Global  August 19, 2018

*

All Souls Day

*

November shrugged at the time the masks slipped
Stripped away in the face of high wind warnings as if in this season begged advisements cautions

Still mild that morning fooling few to believe
That this day would pass swaddled in gray soft gauze
While the light diffused diminishing increments

Was that encroaching mist unraveling like a ball of yarn
To cascade down a slope of cotton
Falling needle pinpoints liquefied

There was this puncturing of scattered shallow puddles
Reverberating in sound wave concrete circles
Auditory auditions sharpening a deaf set of eyes

In these stains of ink
Lurk faceless memories I think
Past Persona gone non-grata

November shrugged at the time the masks slipped away
To reveal the naked face of high wind awnings
As if this season begged advisement cautions

Stripped away now in alibis and warnings

-Got Abstract ? 2014

*

Bright

Yellow weeping Willow

hangs her head

caught in the corner of my eye

waving goodbye

 

Long finger limps

strum the empty heaving air

moving in the tentacle string wind.

 

Cascading color

tangled water crest fallen

as stray estranged leaves

scurry across black gold

 

While the adjacent playground

is deserted of children

today

 

A lone fire hydrant

squats silently chipped red

not playing

not playing

at all

today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VQ Collected circa 2012

*

Are We really his Reality TV ?

When the vox populi

turns a moron into a sandwich and asks what would you like on this ?

Hero President or Nero

having at this instrument that was more that he had

bitten off-

and had to chew  – always some mouthful to swallow

and sleep between the sheets of a well when you make your bed…….

ci incontreremo quando i sogni si scontrano

as Rome burned

Uncollected VQ 11/10/16


October Boo Man

October 2019-  My reruns ran me over in retreads

Recycled from October 2014 in redux

1010092131In the End of October

*

The day had been the kind of grey
that elected itself spokesman
for the afternoon.
The voice chilled with a certain
knowledge of pale blue diluted
into a chilly white that promised lassitude.
The voice is saying the seasons
are in collision and we are in the locking in.

Fall has spent weeks gathering on the ground
and Winter as of yet is disinterested
in the whole business
refuses to go to work
so the ground shuffles the leaves like
a card shark ready to
deal ice cube deuces for your hand.

The time of the mask comes and goes.

So the night fills and drains costumes.
Stalking Quick Bank; Celebrity hero murderers,
Syntax gender victims seeking damages; Purple
suited stunt person blubbering compassion and
politeness; decapitated rock stars, mutilated
millionaire ex-cheerleaders and just plain folks
caught in the crossfire, carjacking drive-by
random acts of brutal insanity of choice or chance.
Legions of green, yellow, red, black and white
three foot high grunting kicking punching power
midgets morphing into respected connected influential
public officials and politicians that are shaping the
course of personal liberty in your lives.

The traditional allotment of vampires, ghouls, demons
and blood thirsty fetus snatching liberal aliens.
What freedom the night affords.
All the secretaries become waitresses, the waitresses
begot actresses, the actresses begot whores, the whores
begot Raggedy Ann princesses, who begot
gypsies and then as the dawn breaks they all turn back to
secretaries.

The great hangover of our self-deception on
all souls night.
I watched you swim the twilight
while the trees are stripped of their delicate garments.
You are swallowing the dusk in buckets
drowning in a swirl of mad flight as the undertow of
the wind sucks and pushes brittle leaves dragging
their finger nails along the sidewalk.

On the way home, I’ll buy you a pumpkin
and we can carve a face into it and take turns
guessing whose it is.

1031091736

Another Rubber Eden 92

*

Taken out in the American Trash
1471 1st Ave. NYC
Halloween 10/2010

*

I was standing at the urinal
in the Men’s room in American Trash
and the devil strolled in and positioned
himself next to me and unzipped
and I glanced over and said

Hiya Satan.
Long time no see
How’s the old demon tonight?

He coolly regarded me in the mirrors
reflection in the mortal image in front of us
and corrected me saying,

That’s Lucifer to you son.

He asked me what I was supposed to be
A beat writer I replied
He smirked.
Finished pissing
vanishing in a plume of fire and brimstone.

And I thought,
“What….no deal?”

So I retreat back into the barroom of humorless costumes
as the night of masks passed with a the dead captain singing
with a ring toss dildo attached to his loins
that love won’t keep us together
when Bad Barbie strolled in
still in the box
with a five o clock shadow
and unlit White Owl Tiparilo
ordering a drinking next to me at the bar.

And of course.

She had a proposition for me.

-Sometimes Grief 2012

*

October Nocturne

(for the Phil & my son)

Even Damnation is poisoned with rainbows

-Leonard Cohen

October evening in the railroad earth

Were Wolfe and Jack once rode

Split this month in half

Between Summer and Winter

And allow the days to Fall

As they May.

 

Earlier in the afternoon when you showed up

On the sidewalk in front of his apartment

Looking so lost and beat

The brother from another planet

Grinning at you with amusement said

 

So what do you think you’re doing cursing for Sailors?

 

Tonight I sleep in the arms of St.Mark

This place where you cut your

Beatnik teeth over on E 7th forty years ago.

Back then you knew how to get to only

Two places in the City-

Hess’s apartment

And Veryonna across the street.

 

So with the Ancient Mainer and my son now a full grown man

We kibitz, mug and joke around on the stoop in front of Phil’s place

Thinking the three of us are like Matt Dillon Mickey Rourke and Dennis Hopper In Rumble Fish as we head for the bar around the corner to

Over beers try and figure out just who is who tonight.

 

  October 2018

*

Osculating with the Ocelots

When we filter our words

We strain out thoughts

Away from the desired intent

And then attempt to hit the

Dartboard of coherency

With these dull verbal flechetts  (Fa-chets)

And even worse aim

Depth perception.

*

Meeting Geo the Wheel

I remember years ago

Running across him at the bar

After some poetry reading

And the lapdog barfly writers

Were crawling all over him

Circling him like the sharks

Had hung a pork chop around his neck.

 

*

The Art of the Wink

Can I ask you a question ?

When was the last time somebody winked at you ?

Better yet- when was the last time

You winked at someone ?

Now consider this

Has the wink become a lost art ?

When was the last time you lost something

Fragile, dear and precious

In the wink of the eye ?

Do you remember your last favorite wink ?

(and what it meant)

And how about the most disturbing wink ever ?

Clearly much like a good laugh-a pregnant pause- a fleeting deep glance

What has become of the Wink ?

But I will tell you this much-

I never want to have to think either before or after a wink.

*

Academic Smirk Alert

Coming out of the Film Analysis class he had just taught

That early winter morning as the hallway flooded with

Shafts of sunshine the hallway abruptly faded as this little dark

Cloud in a mini-skirt, knee high white go-go boots sashayed

Towards him moving in the opposite direction

Spotting him glowered lowering her brow

To avoid eye contact

And sending the clear message-

So this is the asshole I keep hearing about from Professor McPricker’s school of disdain.

He shrugged, sighed and sadly shook his head

Thinking why in holy hell did he still manage to attract this kind of sophomoric horse shit.

He let out a rather conversational  assessment  of the encounter in exasperation saying

Whatever  

And immediately she echoed

Whatever

Well now he thought-

I guess we’re in agreement about that.

*

 Narcissus Echo

(For M A O’Hara)

They were home in bed after an evening out for dinner and drinks that had progressively degenerated in the sullen silence now between them. He didn’t know it yet but this affair was having its walking papers being processed-

After he had some observation about how lousy the restaurant she had picked for them. She sat up and shook her head saying- You are some Narcissus-He had heard all this before- a kind of default negative character assignment when his relationships were going south. Usually he just let it go- but not tonight.

They had the following exchange

So if I’m Narcissus do you know what that makes you who ?

Who ?

Narcissus/ girlfriend Echo

Echo ?

Yup. Not only that but everybody seems to have him pegged, but very few seem

To know anything who she was

Who She was ?

Echo was a very good looking Wood Nymph. She had one annoying characteristic

However she was bather mouth- would talk the ear off anyone she met.

So one day Zeus has come down from Olympus to frolic and knock off a few

Stray Nymph’s in the woods. His wife Hera (also known as June) was very aware

Of her husband’s salacious hobbies on earth and followed him to catch the old lech

In the act of his indiscretions and she might caught him too….but she happened to

Run into Echo. As you can imagine Echo wanted to talk to the Goodness about everything.

She ran a blue streak babble detaining Hera’s pursuit of her wayward husband, Zeus seeing

What was going on escaped clean away back to Olympus.

Later on Hera figured out that Echo had purposely distracted her. She was pissed.

So Hera took away Echo’s voice and pronounced from now Echo could only repeat

The last words spoken to her. So in one respect Echo would have the last word forever.

A rather ignominious gift to round out the punishment.

 

So Echo is wandering the woods on day and sees young Narcissus rather spoiled very

Good looking teenager out hunting with the boys. Now all the other Wood Nymphs thought

Our boy was to die for- But he wanted none it.

Now Echo sees Narcissus and goes nuts. She wants this beefcake in the worse way.

But she can’t speak to him first. She starts stalking him. He gradually becomes aware

Of this and is kind of cheeped out- a yells out go away beat it and of the course hears back

Go away beat it. This goes on for awhile till Echo can’t stand it anymore. She sneaks up

Behind Narcissus and knocks him flat and straddles him. He intentions are very clear.

No Dice. Old Narcissus isn’t into this sort of thing. Yells at her I would rather die than

You have me. Echo humiliated in tears replies Have me.

 

Echo continues to follow him till he comes to that pool of water. (which was created by the

Gods to punish this rather vain teenager). Truth was Narcissus wasn’t very bright to begin with

Anyway. His birth and been as questionable as Echoes- (but that’s another story) A Seer named

Teiresias had told his mom (Blue Nymph) that her stunning son would ok only if he never Knew himself, Get it ?

The stupid bastard probably never knew it was his reflection in the pool. Ok so you should know the rest by now- Narcissus withered away and died because of a lost love and Echo did as well a few feet away pinning away for him.

Back in the bedroom she was getting dressed getting to leave and said

Well that stupid story proves my perfectly- Our relationship has some very serious issues and rather discussing that you tell me that stupid story where you actually defend and try to justify that guy – no wonder you spend most of your day when you aren’t working watching Porn and drinking beer.

Know what ? You are Narcissus and  you can forget that bullshit about Echo

He shrugged as she walked out the door and called after her Goodbye Baby

To which she spat over her shoulder-

Goodbye Baby.

*

Humoresque

And John Garfield just told Joan Crawford-

You know full well you have a blank check with my emotions.

*

Central Casting has been notified

You know what you’re like ?

A two dollar plastic frame.

Cheap and easy to find.

*

Drinking in every second

Five senses walk into a bar

And start buying rounds for each other.

Bartender doesn’t know what to think about this bunch

Except perhaps he needs to speak into their good ear.

Mostly much of what you see is still wet anyways

And runs into your eyes upside down and backwards.

While touch and smell debate

Till taste tells them all

To just shut up.

*

Please don’t play that again Sam

And of course

You had better remember this

A kiss is still a kiss or a swing and a miss

While a sigh as become an alibi

It would seem the fundamental things have gone array

As time goes by.

June 19

 


September will remind you 2.0

September 2019 –  Falling Shorts    2012

In Synesthesia

Three kinds of listening:

Wind chimes without a voice

The incomplete sentence of silence

Lexicon stripped of shivers

When did my delight

become a dead language ?

 

*

Cancelled Cooking Show

When someone has

really gotten deep

into your kitchen.

 

You’ll never find

that recipe again.

 

October is…..

October is what

you once said

to an empty door.

 

*

The Spider leaves home

These are our ghosts now

trapped like ashes

in an abandoned cobweb.

*

Remember we are not….

And he had this stiletto cackle

laugh like a manic trip hammer

Woody Woodpecker

*

Never be

Try to never be

a shitty thing to do

Sure.

Say what you will

Do what you do

but if any that just means

washing your hands

to do what you had to ?

 

Try to never be

just another

shitty thing to do.

*

Bitten off

One might be wise to bear in mind

that all the hurt you have done

in appetite and menu

will someday return

to eat at you.

 

A nibble here.

a mouthful there

when you once bit off

more you could chew

-Got Abstract ? 2014

*

Saying Grace in Rocco’s Castle

When your infected

with color

images burn all night

no escape, intermission

or respite.

 

Twenty years ago I heard it

bent to a purple ear.

He was the handsomest man

you had ever seen.

Errol Flynn living down at the wharf.

You made him laugh so hard

in that afternoon at the café.

His boat moored upon the bay

where you tossed your beret

away at midnight.

 

Now

you sit in a pool of neon

right next to the door

and in the light and silence

you get a breather

and ponder which hope

you’ll drown first tonight.

 

Outside the winter moon

slices off a kiss to February

as if to say

you’d be better

off to forget

what you can

while you can.

 

All the things that you

have always persisted on

insisted upon

have uniformly

disappointed and deserted you.

 

In here the floor plan

issues enough elbow room

for you to reconsider

that cardboard partition

you count on to hold court

between all your illusive delusions

and that running gag

that doubles as your memory.

 

-Attitude House 2001

*

and yet the wheel turns again- October only a matter of time and the days are sneaking by you

 

Pull in the soften light

as October nears neigh

a new moon across the sky

in the next street over

hear where your absence

passes aspiration in a blur

of newer older days where

Fall emerges fresh

in still born green leaves

patches of watercolor encroach

like your temples gray

Turning away from the truth

the days are sneaking years by you

diminishing the sight

stiffening the limb

Time winding you down

ebbing your energy

singing in the empty driveway

the vehicle of your flesh

is late

and growing later all the while

so I still strain to hear the sounds

I need to

while resisting the same I’m forced

to endure

the terrible ticking of the now

in my ears

A sound I find

I cannot refuse or resist.

-Greetings From Gridville   10/09

 

 


August Reruns are on

August 2019- live link to a performance @ the the Three Cups Lounge in NYC 7/29/2015 for Phillip Giambri aka Rimes of the Ancient Mariner- Silver Tongue Devil Poetry Series-

DSCF6382https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYGz6-Y_tYM&feature=em-upload_owner

*

Local Trinity

Night after night I would watch him
insisting upon tossing a pair of blank dice
and snapping his fingers hissing,
“what are the odds?”
And then the perfume of the moon
would linger in the air echoing
“what are the odds?”

Night after night.
I’d watch him and remark,
“this is strictly none of my business
but are you aware those are blank dice?”

He regarded this and simply remarked,
“doesn’t change the game or the odds
that you are not
just another ugly American
addicted behind the wheel
looking for the action
the sure thing
the real deal
knowing you’d settle for;
the rind, the peel, the squeal.

He had been a “wannabe” so long
that the “never was” in him grew curious as
to whatever became of that tired old “has been.”

Wanna see where the “wannabe” lingered too long
getting around to informing his “never was” to look
up that tired old “has been” and have a little fun
with his ass.

Wanna know how the “wannabe” was elevated to
the status of a “has been” after being allowed to skip the
“never was” designation all together,
it happened on that night when the “never was” happen to run
into the “has been” and grabbed himself fistfuls of his lapels
and snarled, “who never was?”
He wasn’t quite finished yet, however and with their jaws inches apart
snapped, “Listen you, I was a nobody before you were even thinking,
“wannabe” and my “has been” will see your dick in the dirt.”

So what are the odds?
Maybe some night you’re down at the bar
and three of them stroll in on the
perfume of the moon.
The “wannabe” buying them all a round.
While the “never was” fishes those dice out of his pocket.
But it’s the “has been” who is holding court with the
bartender and if you lean in a little closer you can hear
him saying, “Of course the dice are blank, what did you
expect, there’s a very good reason they call them “bones”
You be better off watching where you step either on the way up or
down because you never know who might have heard those
footsteps. Yeah, footsteps, they echo you know. It’s like this;
If you can remember where when, you can remember how now.”

Attitude House 2000

*

Talking in Punch Lines

DSCF6378There he is again.
Just sitting there
Looking like
Busted-in “Lite-Brite”
Puss in squid
On early release
promising to break out
the O most holy id.

So when he started talking in punch lines
Down at the bar one night
Nary an eyebrow was raised.

How many will it take him tonight?
Five.
One to steer.
One to work the pedals.
Two to push and one to sit under the hood and go, “varooomm, varooomm.”
I won’t come in your mail.
Rentacunta.
Kunta Kinte
Lepra-coon.
It’s hard to tell.
They keep slipping down the drain.
Six.
One to change the light bulb
And five to write the environmental report.
A Sipnic
A spigot.
Why? You want to know why?
Because they’d honk the horn, squeal the tires
and play the radio too loud all the way to the moon.
Dago forward.
Dago backward.
And when Dago flat
Dago Wop! Wop! Wop!

No doubt about that and the buttered popcorn wasn’t bad either.
The difference?
Well…one you shuck between fits and the other you…
Tippy.
Barry.
Curly.
Seymour.
Pete.
Muffy.
Patience.
Sandy.

“O yes you can” said the farmer
“You just can’t understand him…
He said there are more fuckin geese than
You can shake a stick at!”
“I don’t know”
Said the parrot
“I got a hard-on and fell off my perch”

I know what your thinking right about now.
Where’s the poetry in half a joke?
Why does this revelation have to be like discovering
carpet tacks stuck in the finger holes of bowling balls.
You want to roll with this but
But really what are you left with?
The carpet tacks?
The punch lines?
The poetry?

Is this what your really left with…the short end
of a sharp shitty stick poked at you
from an ordinary everyday
little prick.
And O yes and don’t forget
the O most holy id.

If you ever really
knew the entire routine
would you feel better?

The newlyweds stopped at a Bed and Breakfast
for a room for the night.
At noon the next day, they still hadn’t gotten up yet so the
Landlady calls up the room to announce last call for breakfast.
“Don’t worry about us,” yelled down the groom, “we’re living on
the fruits of love.”
“FINE!” screams the farmer, “but quit throwing the dammed skins out the window
-They’re choking the ducks.”

ibid  A H 2000

*

Still Quoting Ron Swoboda

(Swoboda was an out fielder for the NY Mets in the 60s. He made the catch in the 1969 WS. The quote attributed to him was- why am I putting some much effort into such a mediocre career)

*

Listen don’t get involved with any
of this poetry business if you think
You want money, recognition,
or encouragement.
You would be better off doing
something useful or profitable.
A plumber, for instance.
That’s right.
Hell yes.
Don’t laugh.
Nobody laughs at plumbers.
Too expensive.
However poets?
Har-dee-har-har.

Almost ALL poets
(even the big ones,
in fact especially the really good ones)
lived fairly miserable lives
and rarely were successful in their own lifetime.
The rest have their collected poems end up in
the landfill library after their death.

You’re a poet huh?

What are you
fucking nuts?

Can you really tell people with a straight face;
“I’m a poet”
Personally whenever on the rare occasional that
I’m introduced to somebody as a “poet”
I’m always fairly certain they heard “asshole” instead.

Poet’s big week:
The reading at the local community college with six people in the audience.
The woman in the aisle at the market who wants some of your poems for her daughter.
The high school class you conducted the workshop on great American mediocre poets.
The phone call from a local celebrity offering a paying gig five years too late.
Local newspaper prints one of your poems, (with all the typos intact) reviving
discussion in community that you’re a moron.

And still you refuse to give up
or in
and the past week’s events actually encouraged you?
To go forward with:
the plans for a second self-published book
to follow up on the wild indifference that greeted the first one.
To go forward with a CD compilation of the past 15 years of
generally ignored recorded poems.

This fabulous obscurity
that’s taken a lifetime to achieve.
I’d be more disappointed
if I had ever really worked
at any of it.

ibid A H 2000

*

The Alcoholic Adjunct of the Month Club

That fall they had asked dad what he’d been up to?

“Purchasing major appliances and flying off at the handle.”
came the reply.

Dad regrouped.
Said fine.
Now it’s my turn.

“Why is it that talking with you is like dropping a jar
of mayonnaise on a shag carpet?”

Dad smoldered.
That broken jaw at large.
He’s awaiting shipment.
Any day now.
Something’s going to give:
Liver, kidneys, lungs, gums
hell, take your pick.

In the mean time
run his tags
test his urine.
Recite that alphabet
backwards.
No Jake Brakes
for Dad.

He’s not fooling anybody tonight
down the end of the bar as usual
with his 5 dollar and eighty cent
royalty check wrapped around the lamppost.

So tip your hat
or
shoot him five
but
let’s talk with four eyes
and get the story straight

Dad hustled
and I mean hustled
man,
to make it right.

After Work Beers

Cool Thursday evening
around quarter to seven.
Just after the 4th of July.

A work crew in orange tee shirts
line the bar for after work beers.

Blacktop I think. (from the looks of them)

The round went like this:
That’s 3 Buds, a Labatts Light, and Michelob.

They’re fairly sedate.
In fact; lifeless bunch of orange tee shirts.

But c’mon they are after all pretty beat.
You ever try spreading that stuff on your
feet for an eleven-hour day?

Yeah. No surprise here.
5 sweaty men with 5 sweaty beers.
Speaking low to each other, hunched over
butts and ashtrays.
They look as depressed, ornery and exhausted
as they have a right to be.

After all
Guess what they all get to do tomorrow?

At one point
Foreman announces,
“Let’s go and get some chow”
and in response more than half the crew
drinks them off
leaves the bar
leaving only two guys behind.

They decide to have “one” more.

Every crew has its’ “hard core.”

Would Hank have to explain it to you?

(For CB)

Man…..
would he ever look at you right now
and say, “You my friend…
You are out of place, time, and luck.”

Your old stomping grounds
look like the Monday morning after
the Circus elephants broke camp
at the carnival’s trailer park.

Better, face it kid
They don’t hand out Bukowski breaks
on street corners and if you don’t get
that through that thick skull of yours soon
your finished.

You never had his guts, endurance, or talent.
You’re at least as ugly
as he was
little debate there.
Sure you drink beer too…s’ what?
But whatcha expect anyway?
A thousand loser poets used his
smelly old fat ass as some sort
of measuring stick.

Believe this; your better off
trying to keep
your wife and kids
close to you.

Especially at the end.
The end always being a little nearer than you might think.
The finish always softens everyone up.

No. Buk would only look
at you and sadly, slowly
shake his head saying,
“sure you can buy the beer,
just don’t try reading
any of those horseshit poems
of yours, OK?

Holiday for Non Sequitur

Ok for you there Mister Pecker- head Poet
as if we all had plenty of time
to decode your cryptic contradictions
trying decipher the thin line you whine
between bravado and bingo

Is that strange verbal lurching
dance you schlep across the
vowelscape of the phonic bible
romper room really all that
important?

How about just for tonight:
You keep your piss and vinegar
Your sentimental bullying
Your paper wasp microphone
Your information age road rage

How about just for tonight:
You stand with me in the marketplace
You try to see what it is I see
O C’mon it’ll be fun……!!!!!!!!

We can blindly stare at anyone
who is not readily recognizable
codifiable, simplistic, one dimensional
cardboard cut out of derivative contrived
popular culture based reality and point fingers!!!!

Then we blend back into the shuffling trace of the mob
where the drooling innuendo laced drivel of
PRIME TIME media indices cow eyed moronic
compliancy and consumption.

Moo! baby. Moo!

Hey look lets face it.
Some of you out there haven’t had an original thought
in your head since before Kramer was considered clever.
O did I hurt your feelings?
Good. Now you know I feel.

Just for tonight:
Suspend belief
Entertain the notion that this
debilitating diatribe is essential to your
understanding of operation of the
brutal vending machine
they have made of the earth and
why on certain nights I feel like
the devil’s playground located in
the center of a third rate small time circus.
Wherein all the rusted battered amusement
park rides are constructed by shaky and suspect
picture sentences composed by blind drunk
carnies at five in the morning.

And you can guess whose got a pocket of
free passes with your name on them?

Later in the evening
we can hit all the same old haunts
See all the same old faces
say all the same old things.

Once I did try this new place.
It was upscale and snooty.
They had a dress code.
The doorman eye balled me with disapproval.
“Hey” he said, “You need a tie to get into this place.”
So I turned on my heel, went back to car
and got a pair of jumper cables. Fashioned them into
a Windsor knot around my neck.
Marched right back that bar and presented myself
to the bouncer.
He regarded me for full thirty seconds.
Finally he let out a sigh and with a resigned air
hissed, “all right smart ass, go ahead in….
but….”. he grabbed me by the arm and warned
…..just don’t start anything.”

All selections taken from Attitude House 2000

*

The 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time

After going to St. Agnes for early morning mass that Sunday with Edna

Next we stopped at the IGA

And I happened to run across by chance one of my poems

in the frozen food isle.

It was about 70 years no and hand on a pink pin striped shirt w/ button down collars and gold wire rim glasses sporting a dignified full head of neatly cropped

Snow white hair that when it spotted me out of the blue years exclaimed in pure

Wonderment as I crossed his path near the potato chips

Exclaimed- My God……are you still alive ?

 The nature of the observation was delivered in anything far from a

Congratulatory intonation or tone.

Stunned  I merely shrugged checked out thinking about this

after in the parking lot as I returned to the car to put away the groceries in the back seat and told my mom I forgot something inside the store and would be right back.

Marched right into the IGA again. Quickly scanning all the isles asking for it.

Spotted that sorry SOB

at the end of the succotash aisle

Ran that Poem down- and he saw me coming too none to happy about it.

 

I confronted it and introduced myself and forced it to shake my hand and

Asked just what the hell as the meaning of previous  remark ?

 

At this point it got real sheepish, with lower eyes mumbling something

About Lucky Ward hastily shoved off to meat counter.

 

And I couldn’t resist I yelled after him-

Yeah well- you always were a lousy poem anyway                          Q- Bop City 2018


High Dry Goodbye July 4.0

July 2019 – Last licks for July

Ordinary Roar

 

July will linger just near the door

as it is time now to go

and in a sigh or perhaps that ordinary roar

inform the waning afternoon in the calender’s 

numerical voice that you number is up.

What startles you with all it’s whispering are

concussions that wakes the waves to break

and break over the short eroded rocky bug infested

disappearing shoreline.

I hear strange voices in this ardent insistent wind.

I feel a tongue just inches from my ear that speaks

‘in that sigh or ordinary roar that these years I

was assured I wouldn’t be able to hear anymore.

All about this hazy animation of dirty white foam

driven madly on and upon.

So parade a secession of walkers across the face in

the beach. They nod or speak appearing as apparitions

that drift windblown on the most silent of feet.

Only some will find the courage to speak.

Scraps of paper and fragments of prose difficult to define

whip by in a helpless driven fury.

Now expression has little opportunity for introspection

or reflection. The art of language has been lost in

the stiff insistence of a brisk lake gust of wind.

And the sky above is so blue and blank

and it’s almost like time herself has slipped out

of her harness and has run on the shoreline

riding on the wind, being blown all over the beach

naked, wild and free of the sigh or that ordinary roar

of us as July lingers near the calendar’s door.    7/95

-Rubber Eden 1996

*

Long Island Sound

 

Now in this past of a punched ticket

at low tide I drink down this July sun.

Cathedral afternoon of canopy blue

in an endless awning sky;

Myself looking at the sealed plastic bag

of fiddler crabs as bait

thinking how hot and doomed it was inside

there.

Now after the rituals were observed

and completed nude solitary on the beach

Walking as elderly on the thousand stones

toward the water

wanting into the cold salty stinging sound

Your balls drawn up into a hard sphere

The waves at you ass the erect nipples

the water licking everything in degrees at once.

The excitement form the prospect of entering her

as she enter you.

These ten years past her flesh now sea better yet sound

Under this sky, bright bare to the shoreline shoulder

I’m dunking. Going under. Full immersion. Opening my

eyes underneath. The pressure of the silence has its

tongue in my ear. I’m coming up for air. I push off

and explode in high white foam.

I look back on the beach

to see who is lying under the makeshift driftwood

lean-to as the Sound breeze chops the darker blue

waters white while fluttering the contour sheet

in animated penciled in ripples.

And I recall falling into your eyes that moment

and never looking down

still finding I never, ever hit the bottom.

Even now.

-Rubber Eden 7/91-2/93

*

Classic live performance w/ full libretto from the streets of the lower east side NYC. Vincent Quatroche disturbs the peace on the corner of 1st Ave & 4th Street outside of the Karma Lounge on a June evening in 2012. Cinematography by John Dunn.

 

Yeah……But…..

(Burletta))

 

Yeah but

Yeah but

Yeah but…..

                                                                            Andante

Yeah  Yeah Yeah……..yeah  But…

But But…but….but…..yeah….but….

YEAH……BUTYEAHBUT YEAH………BUT !           Forte

Yeah but                                                              Prestissmo

Yeah but

Yeah but…..

Yeah  Yeah Yeah……..yeah  But…

                                                                            Ritardando

But But…but….but…..yeah….but….

YEAH……BUTYEAHBUT YEAH………BUT !          Ostinato

Yeah

Yeah…..Yeah

                                                                           Alla Marcia

Yeah but…….but…..but…..yeah…..but

YEAHYEAHYEAH………Yeah                       Crescendo

But…..but………………BUT !!!!!

Yeah…….Yeah……Yeah……………Yeah…..

 

BUT…….But……..but………yeah but….                      Allargando

                                                                                

Yeah    but…….Yeah but……yeah but……

YEAH BUT !!!!!!!!                      Fortissimo

Yeah but

Yeah but

Yeah but…..                                                                    Alla Marcia

Yeah  Yeah Yeah……..yeah  But…

But But…but….but…..yeah….but….

YEAH……BUTYEAHBUT YEAH………BUT !                    Crescendo

Yeah but

Yeah but

Yeah but…..

                                                                                          Decrescendo

Yeah  Yeah Yeah……..yeah  But…

But But…but….but…..yeah….but….

YEAH……BUTYEAHBUT YEAH………BUT !

Yeah

Yeah…..Yeah

                                                                                        Accelerando

  

Yeah but…….but…..but…..yeah…..but

YEAHYEAHYEAH………Yeah                               Sforzando

But…..but………………BUT !!!!!

Yeah…….Yeah……Yeah……………Yeah…..

 

BUT…….But……..but………yeah but….                         Staccatissimo

 

Yeah    but…….Yeah but……yeah but……

YEAH BUT !!!!!!!!                       Stentato 

 

Yeah but

Yeah but                                                 Agiato

Yeah but…..

Yeah  Yeah Yeah……..yeah  But…

But But…but….but…..yeah….but….

YEAH……BUTYEAHBUT YEAH………BUT !    

Yeah but

Yeah but

Yeah but…..

                                                                Furioso

Yeah  Yeah Yeah……..yeah  But…

But But…but….but…..yeah….but….

YEAH……BUTYEAHBUT YEAH………BUT !

Yeah

Yeah…..Yeah

                                                                    Sotto

Yeah but…….but…..but…..yeah…..but

YEAHYEAHYEAH………Yeah

But…..but………………BUT !!!!!

Yeah…….Yeah……Yeah……………Yeah…..                             Risoluto

 

BUT…….But……..but………yeah but….

 

Yeah    but…….Yeah but……yeah but……

Aw…….forget it.                          Bruscamente                           

– Got Abstract ?  2014

 

 

 

*

At the end of turned pages

July gushing stream

vibrant shrouds and shade ripples in shadows

all the busy harsh traffic sounds so far away

I can gently orbit here just minutes from another planet nearby that I need not visit

in the newborn summer heat the rustle of the red maples from St. Agnes or genuflecting and benediction rustling in acknowledgment.

The progressing afternoon like apple red patterns in undulating rhythm

where the wavelengths frequency of sound light exchanged glances and

remember the last time they danced like this.    -Got Abstract? 2014

 

Steam Heat Cool

 Hottest day of the Summer so far that year

In mid July on fricasseeing  1st Ave and as I’m

Doing a steady sweaty schlep approaching

The corner of 12th street

And this eighty year old guy appears

in the heat waves like an oasis mirage

In a powder blue double breasted suit jacket with

Boxed square cut shoulders like Cab Callaway used to sport,

His cream dress shirt with ruffled button down trim has a mile

Wide grape tinted tie freshly off the rack from the 40s held

perfectly centered with a gleaming diamond stick pin clasp

tan trousers with crisp razor creases, heeling toeing spotless

white bucks with pink shoes topped off with an extra wide brimmed

vanilla fudge swirl Fedora and Harlequin blue sunglasses

And not a drop

And man I mean not drop

Of sweat on him.

-Q Bop City 2018

July Fragments 2012

Just so much Space

 

You can move only so far

I’m told in a very small space

Most human skulls are about

roughly the size of two fists

Yet they contain everything single

Perception one can fathom

In a life time about the universe.

 

So that world between your ears

Can be as wide or narrow as

You make it.

 

Shrink or expand

Exclude or include.

 

But I would advise you

To take care with the dimensions

You will ultimately design in there.

 

Because that is all

You are going to take with you.

 

His Yellow Tonka Truck

(Attributed to Matt H)

Outside of the bar that evening

After discussing guns and booze

He said….

And I just didn’t have the heart to tell him

Playing so contently in his sand box

With his yellow Tonka truck

That someday he was going to

Have to deal with women.

*

Remembering Herman

Herman Munster was an artist.

He loved the strange sounds of words

And how meaning could jump the tracks

From children’s books to surrealistic art.

So the TV monster based upon Shelly’s nightmare

Found notoriety and fame as being the

GD nicest fiend on the block

Who like to phrase his delivery

In the cadence of his mom.

Fighting back with Art

-For Doug

Wishes always it seems

Have to take a back seat in some cab

While nightmares ride first class

Like a holiday heart attack

That happens in front of the kids

On the Thru-way

Headed out to see the fireworks

And the numbness will continue

Till the awareness shows up.

*

Duck  Dvorak Duck !

July early evening

After a stunning warm

Summer day with a brilliant blue

Sky without a memory of a cloud

In the world.

 

In reflection while the radio plays

Dvorak thinking over all the swings

And misses that fate has taken at you

Over the years.

 

Best take care before you

Grin and smirk…

Missed me….

 

Because

You can trust me on this one.

Something

Somewhere

Is  always just now

Winding up

And headed straight at you.

 

So it perhaps might be

A bit premature to request

Fate at the piano to play

Ellington’s

I’m just a lucky so and so.

-Got Abstract ? 2012


Burning June Out

June 2019 – Swinging for the fences in Q- Bop City  (selected pieces from Seeing Eye Ear/Q Bop City/new work

Of the Summer Solstice -every fleeting evening light, wish & sigh as brief as in the wink of an eye

Summer Soul 1

1st Day of Summer

Solstice scimitar shaft
Slicing search torch
Gleaming longest burn
briefest pinnacle of light
declining seconds after
a descent commences…insight

The shadows start their
Encroaching erosion
Immediately… sans deferment or delight

Beware
Learn that lesson
From those who would
Build their world
On your ashes.

-Got Abstract ? 2014

*

Dwindling Shadows of June

 

(Audio version from the CD Quatro-Vox 2013)

In the dwindling shadows of June
dancing in her
twilight skirt
gushing vermilion liquid
time is like a broken
Capillarity in the calendars
main line artery.
You can’t hope to contain
any of the torrent
Just drown maybe baby
Because the
big drain is on
You can feel the pull
you can feel the life
leave you
diminished
ever closer to
the finish
Not some abstract
intellectual property
but a cold hard tangible reality.
Your ebbing confidence
in a narrow shallow vision
in the past semi-protected
you from the harsh truth
from too much disappointment
There are no prospects
for replenishment here
This dissipation bathed
in spectacular warm light
is waning
the dissipation grows in the encroaching shadows
and takes
what was given
in the finite
while what is being
taken away
is
infinite.

-Sometimes Grief 2012

Burning June

Each June sunset

burns like a stick match

struck against balance

left in the calendar box.

Right now I’ve got a few left.

But who’s counting ?

I am.

 

Narration/text composition/arrangement- Vincent Quatroche Image association – Kayla Cunningham Acoustic Piano – Matt Wiggers Sound realization Dan Berggren – From the CD Collection Seeing Eye Ear 2018

Dreaming in Paintings

 

There are these blank canvases

In my mind every night

And sleep brings dream pigments

To adhere as clear as if etched

In razor brushes so indelible

Frame after frame

Like someone’s home movies

From another dimension.

In the morning I can’t remember

Anything about them

Except I can still see intact

The memories of what

I don’t understand

Recognize

Know my place in.

 

But these paintings are still there.

Like pages unwritten

Yet containing this message

I know is there

Like being aware of portals

To a spirit world

Picture window

To what

The eye has not seen

The ear has not heard

What no mind has imagined.

Returning back to

This corporeal reality

Which seems so gray and shallow

Is a real drag

After knowing those paintings

Where fire is water

And earth  is air.

Dancing between

in disambiguation there.           

-Got Abstract ? 2014

*
*
*
*

New Year Shorts 2019

What Kind of Guy was He ?  7.0

What kind of guy was he?

He was prone to taking victory laps

Before he really had been anywhere

Or even sniffed a finish line in his life.

*

The Georgia Peach

 

One sports writer of the era

Once wrote that Ty Cobb

would climb a mountain

To punch an echo

*

Merkle’s Boner

 

After all these years

I’ve earned a place

In the record books

As the Fred Merkle of poetry

*

The Truth about Lassie

*

 

First off Lassie was a dude in reality

Not a she but a he named Hal

Not especially obedient cooperative or well trained

And in general really disliked children

 

They had to smother Roddy McDowell’s face

With ice cream so that Hal would lick it

And as for that scene where Hal

Gave Liz Taylor that long loving look?

 

One of the stagehands

Was holding a steak over Liz’s head

Just out of the cameras frame.

*

Yet more lost Dogs

Nobody refers to them

As Frankfurters anymore.

 

 

*

Recalling a NFL Hall of Famer  

 

I still remembering watching him in the bar

Over near the cigarette machine

On August  training camp evening

Glowering in disgust at everything & everyone

And I thought:

This guy has the world by the ass

But that look on his puss

Suggested he could only smell shit.

*

Drum Roll Please

It truly could be said of him

That walked to the beat of the length

Of his own plank.

 

 

*

Why all the Tinsel ?    

         for Boni Iris

 

When she was a little girl

As we were decorating the Christmas Tree

She asked, Dad why do we have to hang this Tinsel stuff ?

It’s messy and gets everywhere-

 

And I told her- well that’s the point

You’ll find it all the coming year

Around the house to remind

You of this Christmas past

And hopefully the next one to come.

 

 


May would never Say-

May 2019- New work from Q-Bop City (Published 7/2019)   https://www.amazon.com/Q-Bop-City-Vincent-Quatroche/dp/1984541226

April Shorts

Genderizing Kafka

Ok look-

Have your way-

He never fell under the bed one night

And woke up a monstrous vermin

She did instead

Turned up as a lady bug

And the family

Still

Did better.

*

Your Frozen Rope

Of silence

Ending up a lasso

 In the center of a halo.

*

 

What did he say?

And he pursed his lips

Smirking like a rats’ ass sideways

and said…..

*

The Vindictive Proof Reader

When’s the last time

You looked a painting

And in triumphant satisfaction

Dismissed the work

Glibly stating

That’s spelled wrong 

 *

Am I out of Costume?

She glared at him

And spat

Don’t be insolent

He shrugged

Sorry

I was going for obstinate.

*

Who derailed you?

So you can stop giving that look

Like I was the engineer

Of your latest train wreck.

*

Literary Crime Scene

I write these flawed poems with typos and mistakes

In the shape of orange accident cones and if you want

To understand them?

You’ll just have to cross the yellow tape

And take your chances.

*

Substance Abuse Diagnoses

 She looked at him with clear disgust and said

You realize of course you are rife with multiple addictions

He replied- Well perhaps

But I like to think of myself well rounded in that regard

And BTW I’d appreciate if you would lay off my hobbies.

 


April isn’t fooling anyone anymore

April 2019- Going to lead off the month with some recent work from a couple of great writers/friends.

Anthony Murphy –

http://www.Read650.com • “Straight Outta Ireland,” a Read650 live event, was part of Carnegie Hall’s spring festival, “Migrations: The Making of America,” and was recorded March 10, 2019 at City Winery, New York City.

*

Phillip Giambri- The Amorous Adventures of Blondie and Boho (Two East Village Dive Bar Coyotes)”Episode 11 of  13 in pending release of new book –

Brenda and Bubba

Brenda and Blondie are “best buds.”

She works noon-to- eight at Dave’s on First Avenue

Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Drinks are cheap and she pours heavy.

 

BoHo meets Blondie there around one

for their weekly afternoon buzzfest.

Bright sun filters through the large dirty front window

illuminating a classic village dive joint,

with iconic late ‘60s juke box

and a pool table with warped sticks

and chewed up felt.

There are hard and fast rules here when Brenda’s working:

The TV only shows Yankee games,

with the volume off,

‘cause her husband Bubba likes to watch the game

and listen to “The Sultans of Swing,”

so you better not play anything else on that juke box either

while Bubba’s there,

or the plug gets pulled.

 

Brenda’s a worn out version of Dolly Parton

without the high hair

and a thick muffin top where her waist used to be.

Bubba’s a younger version of Richie Havens.

He loves Brenda, the Yankees, Dire Straits,

and after two tours in Afghanistan, heroin.

 

Everybody loves Bubba

‘cause he’s so sweet on Brenda,

he’s so freakin’ mellow,

and he seems to know all the best musicians

who ever play the Village;

he’s that fuckin’ cool.

Just don’t mess with his Yankee’s game,

his “Sultans of Swing,” or his woman,

‘cause then he gets downright Green Beret on ya’.

 

Blondie and Boho check out of Dave’s around four

with a good buzz and a need for some play-time.

Gonna’ try to break that old bed again before dinner.

 

Funny how quick life changes ‘round here, though.

Jump ahead two weeks:

Brenda calls Blondie to tell her Bubba’s gone;

dead from an overdose.

Blondie and BoHo are devastated.

Such a sweet guy.

 

BoHo meets blondie at the bar.

They take up a collection,

but barely enough is raised for a cremation.

What to do with his ashes?

Well…. they’re resourceful, if nothing else

down in the East Village.

They put Bubba’s ashes

in a Maxwell House coffee can,

at the end of the bar, under the TV set,

with his Yankee hat over the lid.

Bubba’s home.

 

Next month Brenda says

the landlord’s sold the building for fifteen million

and the bar’s closin’ in a couple months.

Probably gonna’ be remodeled

into a knot-head Hipster joint with high prices,

so Brenda’s outta’ work

and Bubba’s lost his final resting place.

Blondie and BoHo get drunk with Brenda

and cry while she’s huggin’ Bubba in that coffee can.

 

Without Bubba’s disability check and no job,

Brenda can’t afford their apartment anymore.

She moves to a roach infested, six floor walkup, in Chinatown.

 

Blondie and BoHo are thinking things ain’t lookin’ so good right now,

but hey …. they’re dive bar coyotes.

This ain’t the worst they’ve seen.

They’re street smart and they ain’t dead yet.

 

Darla and The Dungeon

 

East Village dive bars are droppin’ off

faster than a prom dress in a pickup truck:

Mike’s Place, Broadway Charlie’s, Downtown Beirut,

Cheap Shots, St. Marks Bar, Grassroots, Continental,

Coal Yard, The Central, and lots more.

 

Blondie and Boho drop by Double Down Saloon for Happy Hour

and run into Blondie’s pal Brenda.

Seems like Brenda’s got herself

a handsome new lover boy

who looks to be a good bit younger than her.

She introduces him as “Bungie” and Blondie asks,

“What the hell kinda’ name is that?”

Brenda says his real name’s Russell

but she gave him that nickname

‘cause he’s had a pretty fucked up life

but always manages to “bounce back”

and stay focused and positive.

 

They all chat for a bit

with Bungie commenting that he lives in a loft

over on Attorney Street by Parkside Lounge.

He mostly writes and publishes online “Flash Fiction”

and fills in for cash

with a hydroponic, computer-controlled, grow in his loft;

mostly the high-end “Yellow Haze.”

Says his product is excellent and sells really well

with his downtown dive bar buddies.

Blondie and Boho immediately feel a kinship with Brenda’s new guy.

He’s a writer, he’s cool,

and they wanna’ try some of that Yellow Haze.

 

Boho asks Brenda how she’s doin’

since Bubba passed and Dave’s closed.

Said she’s still livin’ in that walkup in Chinatown

with Bubba’s teenage daughter Darla.

 

Blondie says, “What?  We didn’t know Bubba had a daughter.”

Seems that her mama’s a junkie hooker

who runs a steady trail in and out of lockup.

Darla leaves home at fifteen and couch bounces

with different school mates from St. Brigid’s

while tryin’ to track down her dad.

 

She scours local bars and junkie crash pads,

eventually learns that Bubba had passed,

and that he has a wife who’s livin’ in Chinatown.

Long story short: Darla’s finds Brenda, moves in with her,

and is a senior now at St. Brigid’s High School.

She has really good grades and wants to be a nurse.

“Damn!”

Boho asks Brenda how she’s gettin’ by for rent money.

She says she’s workin’ at a private club

in a basement on 3rd Street,

across from the Hell’s Angels.

 

She and her of out of work bartender buddies

decide to open up their own joint.

She remembers a Puerto Rican Social Club

called “El Gallo Rojo”

that was busted for illegal cock fightin’ and shut down.

Been sittin’ empty for a year,

so they check with the landlord

and get a two-year lease for $1,100 a month.

They all pitch in and fix the joint up

‘til it looks like a real bar

and doesn’t smell like chicken shit anymore.

They contact a lot of their old regulars,

tell them they can join the club for twenty-five bucks,

and get a lot of takers.

 

The club’s been open about six months

and it’s called The Dungeon.

She invites Blondie and Boho to join.

Says she works noon to six Monday to Friday

and it’s usually open ‘til around two in the morning.

They’re doin’ good, it’s fun there,

and drinks are always five bucks.

Blondie and Boho stop by the club

the following day around four

stepping carefully out of bright sunlight,

down crumbling cement steps,

into a very dark space,

definitely justifying “The Dungeon” name.

 

As their eyes slowly adjust,

they find the it looks very much

like the old dives in the neighborhood.

There’s a juke box, pool table, dart board,

a DJ setup, and even a small space for dancin’.

 

Comin’ as no surprise,

sittin’ on the bar, below the TV,

is a Maxwell House coffee can

with a Yankee cap over the top.

They each tap the can,

say, “Hey Bubba!” hug Brenda,

and offer up fifty bucks to join the club.

 

They notice a striking young girl

in a Catholic school uniform

sittin’ at the far end of the bar, smokin’.

She looks totally out of place among the bar regulars.

Brenda introduces her as Bubba’s daughter Darla.

She doesn’t like bein’ alone in the apartment

so she hangs out here after school

until Brenda gets off.

She looks like a bi-racial gal, with olive skin,

striking blue eyes, and long blond “dreds.”

She’s wearin’ a pleated plaid mini skirt,

saddle shoes, and white blouse.

She gives Blondie a big hug

while smiling seductively at Boho.

Boho’s thinkin’ there’s lots more to be heard from this one.

 

Every Saturday is themed music night at Dungeon

with downtown DJs Ms. Cal and Oscar Oscar spinnin’ the hits.

There’s Punk “moshes,” Shitkicker Rockabilly nights,

Disco Nights, High Hair Heavy Metal Nights,

and even Swing Dance contests

with gals sportin’ vintage dresses

and guys in Zoot Suits.

 

Blondie and Boho quickly become Dungeon regulars

and she’s always out there on the dance floor

with her sexy ‘80s moves.

Cyndi Lauper was even spotted dancin’ with Blondie

one late Saturday night at the club.

 

Everybody knows everyone

and everyone dances, drinks,

smokes, and tokes with everybody.

It’s even better than the good old days

in the bars they closed,

‘cause this is more like family here.

They’re makin’ the rent,

the bartenders are makin’ a decent livin’,

and life is good at The Dungeon.

 

Blondie stops by on a Thursday afternoon

to hang with Brenda for a few hours

only to find the place closed.

She peeks in the window and it’s dark inside.

Even the neon beer signs are off.

She texts Brenda and asks what’s up.

Brenda says meet her at Double Down in an hour.

 

Blondie walks in to find her sippin’ a whiskey

watchin’ vintage porn on the bar monitor.

Looks like a digitized, black and white,

of an old 8mm from the ‘40s:

A naked bald guy wearing only black socks

is goin’ down on some chubby chick

with a dark barbwire triangle of a bush.

It’s actually pretty funny.

 

Blondie grabs a stool next to Brenda,

orders “a double Jack, back”

and asks what’s goin’ on with The Dungeon.

Brenda lets out a deep sigh, chokes up,

and silently trys to fight back tears.

She swills down the rest of her whiskey,

takes a deep breath,

and says Darla starts bringin’ two of her friends over

to smoke and hang with her after school every day.

Unknown to Brenda, they’re all sneakin’ vodka

from behind the bar

and pouring it in their cokes when she’s busy

or not payin’ attention.

On more than one occasion,

Darla’s friends are noticed by regulars

staggerin’ out of the bar.

 

Sonny, the President of the Hells Angels

stops by and tells Brenda

that the girls in uniform leaving the bar

are attracting attention on the block.

The Angels are concerned

about police snoopin’ around.

He mentions the cock fighting that was here before

and the police attention it caused.

He says, “As of right now, we’re closin’ this place,

and ya’ll got two days to get your shit outta’ here.

You’re not welcome on this block anymore.

Do you understand me? Do you get what I’m sayin’?”

Brenda nods and starts sobbing as he turns and leaves.

Darla and the girls stare in shocked silence.

 

Everybody’s outta’ work now

and they’re all really pissed at Brenda

for fuckin’ up a good thing.

She’s back on welfare and very depressed.

Darla keeps her head down and her mouth shut

around Brenda these dark days.

She’s scared.

Brenda stays curled up in bed crying a lot.

Time passes slow, hard, and painful for several years.

 

Darla quits college her senior year

and after two years of singing covers in Hipster clubs,

decides she’s gonna’ be the next big “teen sensation,”

like Madonna and Lady Gaga.

She reinvents herself as Darla Dungeon,

packed in Neo-Goth black latex and blonde braided hair

down to her artificially enhanced, Kardashian, bubble butt.

 

Things don’t always happen like ya’ plan though,

and three years later she’s found lying peacefully

by Harry Houdini’s grave in Brooklyn;

“works” still by her side,

and a needle in the femoral artery of her leg.

Like Houdini, she discovers too late

that sometimes the magic just don’t work.

Now . . . on any given lazy summer afternoon,

on the thirty-first floor of that new green glass,

hi-rise, monster on Astor Place,

you can find Brenda

quietly preparing a Chateaubriand for two.

How she ends up here in this glass tower

overlooking the Astor Place Cube,

is the result of an unexpected magic carpet ride.

 

Seems Bungie is sharp enough and knowledgeable enough

to buy into the legal marijuana trade early on.

With his writing background,

an extensive knowledge of growin’ product,

its customer base, and how to move it,

he scores big time.

“Bungie” is no more.

He’s only known now as Russell

by their “new money” millennial friends.

 

In the living room, tokin’ “Yellow Haze,”

he sits workin’ on his iPad,

carefully proofing next month’s issue

of his industry leading Ezine, “Pot Luck”.

 

There’s a large fireplace opposite

the floor to ceiling glass wall

overlooking The Cube.

The fireplace mantle consists of a wooden shelf

cut from the dark stressed oak

of some long-gone dive bar.

On it, sits two Maxwell House coffee cans;

one topped with a vintage Yankees baseball cap

and the other, tightly wrapped in black latex.

 

An Ultra HDTV mounted over the fireplace

casts silent images of a Yankee’s game,

while quad Bluetooth speakers pound out

Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing.”

 

Things seem pretty damned good right now,

if this is the kinda’ life you were deamin’ of;

but hey, even though they don’t look it,

or live it anymore,

underneath all this glitter shit,

they’re still dive bar coyotes,

and I’m thinkin’ they’ll eventually realize that,

make some changes,

and get back to who they really are,

just regular folks; like you and me;

OR NOT!

 

 


Was it a March or a Drag ? 3.0

March 2019- After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ‘I want to see the manager.”

William S. Burroughs, The Adding Machine: Selected Essay

Narration/text composition/arrangement- Vincent Quatroche   Image association-Kayla Cunningham  Cuica- John Stratton

*

Daylight Stealing Time

 So we lose a little time

in the wee hours tonight

We steal the hour here.

Conspire to hide.

 

O Please don’t wonder where.

 

C’mon…

Squirrel away an hour in secret

Pull backwards at the hands of the clock face.

Tick along with me.

 

Let’s make the red finger talk

as it passes us by again and again.

 

Tonight we turn back time

Won’t you turn back some time with me.

Like crisp clean chilly starched sheets.

Peel away the day

and slip in between.

 

Won’t you turn your back on some time with me

upon that maybe once perhaps we just might agree.

 

We might steal that time

hide in the lost hour

put it away somewhere

where they’ll never find it

never even miss it.

 

In the cool clear evening

after all the daylights busy color has faded

and all that is left is just us

clearly a jail break

a common escape

is in progress.

 

I hear sirens in the distance.

I see sirens in your eyes

They report an all points bulletin.

The authorities are baffled.

As we speak

Roadblocks are being planned.

 

Officers will produce snapshots

of our expired images

The ones we once looked like then

in the silence of the hours

we stole.

 

Our crime

is public knowledge.

The purpose of the theft

was always open

to common conjecture.

The motive attributed

to persistent desire.

 

It is after all

the only clues

we will leave them with

even if

our fingerprints

are all over each other.

After we are all over everything.

 

Won’t you turn your back

on some time with me

upon that maybe

just once perhaps we might agree.

 

To get away with

one secret perfect crime.

 

                                        – Greetings from Gridville  2005

c4daaa03-09d8-467e-826f-117ed61e6377

Where the Blue Miracles March

I stepped into this light once.

Like a blue print dance floor

All the steps laid out for you

Cha Cha Cha

Charade-

All the future in the world

Denoted in foot Notes

 

 

-Uncollected 2/2019

*

Lost March Marbles

When you finally lost

Your marbles in March

There were these knowing looks

All around.

 

The rules are unavailable at this time.

As were scouting reports, rumor or conjecture

While all this then is just memory on the March

All heel toe retreat cringing in seasonal lecture.

 

The rules are still unavailable at this time.

 

The iris in your cat’s eyes lost

Looking in other mirrors

Small round and ultimately

Quite manipulative.

 

While at once some forgotten name

Is merely a marginally interesting game

 

So you’re left thinking

about more marbles

lost in the March

and just few of their names:

 

Ade, Beach ball, Lutz, Oliy

Onion Skin, Oxblood opaque

Plastic plaster China toothpaste turtle

Steely Mica swirly Sulpinde

 

So it’s down the Bunny Hole

I’m afraid with you then without a kiss

And just what game will it be next tonight ?

Knuckle Down Keepies or Quitsies

 

So you show them all

There Tiger.

-Got Abstract 2014

*

Locks

Throughout the day

mercy’s flame

flickered in the March

wind shaking

a fist in every face

rattled every locked door

in windows beating

cracking glass

calling out by name

all those who would

extinguish mercy’s flame.

 

Locked out from the inside

Locked in from the outside.

 

Did any of that matter

in the least now ?

 

Throughout the night

now barely illuminated

faded Mercy’s flame

March winds beyond

the touch to not even

fan

to combust dying embers

with sleepy red eyes

back to life.

 

No.

 

March was trying all the locks

the gust could muster

nothing was intended

to be allowed

to come back

to life here.

 

Throughout the years

now neither warmth

nor hope

still smolder

in a place

where

dark rings of scorched memory

reduced to white fine ash

to be blown away.

 

In the wind that March locks

shaking

a fist in every face

rattling every locked door

in windows beating

cracking glass

calling out by name

all those who would

extinguish mercy’s flame.

– Got Abstract 2014

*

Seeing Eye Ear CD- Locks/Mercy’s Flame audio version (reissue Summer 2019)


Short Dog February

February 2019– New Work & a Short Story from Terrible Now 2007 reprinted in Short Dog Stories 2013

shattered-clock-1

So Sonic 2.0

We are so sonic

in tragic desperate dissipation

living with as much dissolute passion

in a quarter of the allotted years

left in the gas tank of youth

with the needle

sinking towards E.

Running now on pure desire

the last burn catching up to us

now would allow

one last glorious gallon

rubber burning acceleration

after dreaming

a lifetime of this

pedal to the metal

sonic furry driven between

us and away.

5/07-2/17 Seeing Eye Ear 2018

*

1984-2017

Henry VIII TudorThe Clock struck in Twitter time to post. POTUS adjusted his bathrobe and palmed his device thinking as he snapped off the remote on the telescreen snarling time to teach those Idiots the lesson for today.

Sleep eluded him most nights. All six telescreen Hi def 48 inch hype cyber link real estate reality blared on 24/7

The Leader had one in every room. All Staff had strict orders. These windows on his enemies were never to be off line

Sometimes of late he would walk the halls in the White House in the wee hours.

the gravity of his position was not even lost him.

Thinking I have the codes- is this what it’s like to be God ?

Abruptly his teenage son burst through the door

Eluding the Secret Service detail-

Asking- Hey Dad I have a question for you

 Q- Bop City  2018

*

Your Ad Here

     Becker Desire gradually became aware of the blinking LCD sensor on the nightstand next to his bed. A pale blue light gathered behind his blackout curtains (which didn’t open) indicating daylight of some sort. These days it was always merely a matter of just to what degree the constant gray would lighten to. There hadn’t been a bright sunshine day in the range of his limited memory. Desire was barely 12 years old. Becker was one of the lucky ones. He had his own comfortable habitat cubical and an employment. Two conditions of modern life for young people in those days and times that was very scarce and coveted. Becker’s parents were dead. Well that might not be true. He knew his father was. His benefactor. Before his suicide two years before, he had “sold” his son into this position. Becker was a Guest Host. Desire’s mother could still be alive. He doubted it. She had been exported to the local Cable Access Porno Pool and Community Chest when he was very small. He remembered her as being rather pretty and young.  Life had become very cheap, brief, and brutal on earth in recent years. The rich still lived well. The rich always manage to live well. True they accounted for a very small percentage of the still dwindling population, but they controlled the government and the army. The only problem was they tended to get bored.

That’s why they had Guest Hosts. That’s why Becker had a job.

Scrambling to punch the first circuit prompt w/ his consumer evaluator, Becker lost his balance tangling his feet in the bed sheets and fell hard and flat on to the floor, smacking his head with a loud resounding

 

THWACK

  Instantly the room erupted with laughter and approval. He shook off the blow and barely made it to the portal with his card to insert before penalty and the first corporate commercial jiggle blared across the room.

 

There was the sound of relief and approval from the monitors.

 

Another day had begun.

 

That was a concept Becker was increasingly falling out of touch with. He knew he was allowed a sleep cycle of varying length every fifteen hours. Becker had no concept of time in the traditional sense, much less free personal time. As Guest Host every single action, choice or movement in his habitat cubical was monitored, speculated and wagered

 

upon. The vast void cyber audience made up of the affluent and privileged caste votes and gambled credits upon the outcome of all Desire’s consumer decisions. And he had better log in and make them precisely on time. As long as he maintained a certain amount of profit margin for the system where thousands of other Guest Hosts (like himself) toiled with endless consumer choices, his “job” was safe.

 

However the only two real aspects of reality he was terrified that he truly understood was his “Expiration Date” and “service interruption”. Both contingencies were fatal to his rather comfortable, stable way of life.

 

Becker Desire knew next to nothing about the state of his own country or the world in general. When he was seven he was given an intelligence/aptitude test to determine him as “Serviceable” (able to do maintenance jobs) or “Expendable” (bright but of no real utility or value) Society & the social order had caved in on itself. Conditions were bad. Very bad. Indeed everything that could have gone wrong in the dawn of the 21st Century in fact had. From a general environmental collapse (fragile all ready but hastened by a limited nuclear exchange over the old blood feuds in the middle east, there were no winners, instead Israel and Iran no longer existed and surrounding oil fields were now going to be radioactive for the next 500 years) to an ensuing global economy’s evaporation, the only real thing that still was robust and functioned fully was perversion and greed. The internet had continued to flourish in a most bazaar fashion. Civilization (what was left of it) was regressing to a very basic subsistence existence as quickly as it had climbed above it during the 1900s.

 

Desire only knew he had choices to make. And he better make the right ones or his easy way of life was over. While he knew next to nothing about the outside world, he was sure it wasn’t good. He had no idea even where he was outside of his four walls. He might be on the grounds of a military compound or in the basement of a wealthy citizen. His shipment of supplies slid down a chute on a regular basis along with a program log. All foodstuffs, personal hygiene items, clothing, entertainment options (DVDs, CDs etc) literally everything an eleven year old could want or imagine was provided wordlessly and without human contact.

 

Becker Desire never saw anyone in person. He had been drugged in the middle of the night a long time ago and had awakened in here with a headache, an audio file of introduction, job description and operating instructions for being selected as a Guest Host.

 

The following is an excerpt of the introduction greeting transcript:

 

Congratulations…insert name here  on being chosen as a Guest Host. This exciting and important position is a coveted opportunity for you to help shape, sustain and guide your nation’s essential consumer choices. Many very important and wealthy fellow citizens are relying on you to assist them in putting our great nation’s economy on the road to solid recovery and prosperity. Everything you need will be provided. Make good decisions. Wise consumer choices. Remember we are all counting on you. Remember you are the hope and future of a brighter tomorrow. So good luck insert name here. our newest Guest Host !!!

 

At first Becker had no idea what they were talking about or what was expected of him.

But Desire was a fast learner. He had to be. There was little margin for error.

 

The Guest Host was a mediator between a strange Post -Modern hybrid of E-Bay, Las Vegas and the old Nielson ratings system.

Rubbing his head Becker went to the bathroom. It was time to make his first choices of the day. What tooth brush, paste, mouthwash, soap, even toilet paper would he use?  He had a dozen to choose from. This combination of these basic items could make thousands of credits (there was no longer paper money) to be won or lost in his first ten minutes of his consciousness. Speculators were wagering credits upon who was wagering credits on his choices and further more there was heavy action on whether he would make it back to his log in station on time. Double or nothing. Becker had to log in to the system every few minutes and that schedule changed from hour to hour. In addition, there were those voyeurs who were always watching the little boy.in his most intimate  moments and with the prospect of puberty looming; surely his masturbation habits would cause both ratings and wagering to spike. How many times a day could he do it? Whose porno did he find the most interesting? What kind? The possibilities of that seemed endless. Desire was a hot property and his stock was on the rise. Every wall of his habitat cubical was covered with immense flat screen HD displays all showing different commercials and ad campaigns based upon the products he was provided with and encouraged to choose. And of course there was more wagering and speculation on that connection. In addition each screen had embedded video camera units transmitting his actions. There was virtually not a single action or movement of Desire’s that was not generating action, perpetuating distraction and entertainment, revenue streams for a degenerating culture trying to keep the collective mind off its own demise.

So the time passed. When Becker ate. They bet. He watched DVDs. They wagered. Listened to CDs. They speculated. Lost and won. Personal fortunes came and went, acquired and were squandered based upon every single trivial pre-teen preference that could be generated to occur in a controlled speculative environment.

Becker was aware of his tenuous position. He could be cancelled at anytime. He had an Expiration Date. Most Guest Hosts rarely survived past the age of sixteen. In rare cases, there was thing called Syndication that Becker didn’t really understand, that might extend his shelf-life (an alternative name for his present existence) for a few years.

The other more immediate threat was the dreaded and terrifying “Service Interruption”

This had happened twice since Becker had been in this place. It had only lasted a few seconds, but everything shut down. Everything. Complete separation from the mainframe. If Becker was off-line for more than 30 seconds the speculation on whether he would make it back live on time before he was dropped might sustain him for about two-minutes. Attention spans were short these days, plenty of other options (i.e. Guest Hosts) and time of course was money. The infer-structure grid system that kept the internet operating was deteriorating all the time. Becker had no way of knowing this.  But on the outside all supporting frameworks were not only over-taxed, but more failed and went off line permanently every day.

Desires interior intellectual and emotional world was pretty much flat lined between his constant duties of the guest host, choosing for others and making them money, being completely inundated and overwhelmed by a steady flood of vapid massed produced visual and audio stimulation that amnestied as it etherized. But he had one favorite file.

It was left over from his father. And he had found it in a rare free period during his sleep cycle when he was restless and wide awake one time early in his career on a DVD compilation of animation he was supposed to view and make a determination on.

It was something called an Old Warner Brother’s cartoon. His father used to watch it with him and laugh, in what seemed like another world and lifetime a long time ago.

He didn’t understand who the obnoxious parody of Red Riding Hood in Bobby Sox was. In fact he didn’t even know the Little Red Riding Hood story. Who that Big Bad Wolf was. The grandmother. The talking rabbit. He could not fathom the world that had produced such a rich dance of song and color. But he remembered his father laughing

and him laughing along with him. And the song that girl used to sing;

. …….ta da da da dad da..  The five o’clock whistles on the blink, The whistle won’t blow and whadd’ya think? My pop is still in the factory ’cause he don’t know What time it happens to be. .The five o’clock whistle didn’t blow. The whistle is broke and whadda’ya know? Oh! Who’s gonna fix the whistle? Won’t somebody fix the whistle? Oh! Who’s gonna fix the whistle? So my poor old pop will know. It’s time for him to stop….

  And that ending. That rabbit and bear sharing a carrot while the girl piled high with heavy furniture in her arms, sweated and strained spread eagle over a shovel of white hot coals looming closer and closer. He never understood why that part was supposed to be funny or why they had done that to the poor little girl.

But now he knew how the girl had felt.

She was just about his age. She didn’t look like she understood anymore about the position she was in than he did about his current one. She just kept looking down as her bottom sank closer to the fire. It was only a matter of time. He wondered if the Talking Rabbit and Big Bad Wolf were wagering on how long she would last.

Becker Desire was waking up again. He could see the pale light behind his curtains.

Only something was wrong. Very wrong. There wasn’t any flashing light waking him up.

His screens were all dark. Lifeless. Worse yet, the perpetually sealed entrance door to his habitat cubical was open ajar. He could smell smoke. Voices were yelling something in the distance.

Desire instantly knew what had happened and what was going to happen next.

All bets were off.

                                                                                                   7/08

New Year Shorts 2019

*

What Kind of Guy was He ?  7.0

What kind of guy was he?

He was prone to taking victory laps

Before he really had been anywhere

Or even sniffed a finish line in his life.

*

The Georgia Peach

 One sports writer of the era

Once wrote that Ty Cobb

 would climb a mountain

To punch an echo

*

Merkle’s Boner

 

After all these years

I’ve earned a place

In the record books

As the Fred Merkle of poetry

*

The Truth about Lassie

 

First off Lassie was a dude in reality

Not a she but a he named Hal

Not especially obedient cooperative or well trained

And in general really disliked children

They had to smother Roddy McDowell’s face

With ice cream so that Hal would lick it

And as for that scene where Hal

Gave Liz Taylor that long loving look?

One of the stagehands

Was holding a steak over Liz’s head

Just out of the cameras frame.

Yet more lost Dogs

 

Nobody refers to them

As Frankfurters anymore.

*

Recalling a NFL Hall of Famer  

 

I still remembering watching him in the bar

Over near the cigarette machine

On August  training camp evening

Glowering in disgust at everything & everyone

And I thought:

This guy has the world by the ass

But that look on his puss

Suggested he could only smell shit.

*

Drum Roll Please

 

It truly could be said of him

That walked to the beat of the length

Of his own plank.

*

Why all the Tinsel ?              for Boni Iris

When she was a little girl

As we were decorating the Christmas Tree

She asked, Dad why do we have to hang this Tinsel stuff ?

It’s messy and gets everywhere-

 

And I told her- well that’s the point

You’ll find it all the coming year

Around the house to remind

You of this Christmas past

And hopefully the next one to come.

*

February Shorts 2012   Collected in Got Abstract ?

 

unhappy-little-one

Overheard outside the Pre-K Room

 

And Sara just barely

four screamed in

such exasperated

soap opera desperation…..

You’re ruining my life

 While a little boy with

moon shaped head and

big oval eyes remarked

He’s got purple all over his face…

 

How does he live like that ?

 Kids.

*

A Beer in Winter

 

Tonight it feels like

I’m drinking beer

with Dr. Zhivago

Laura’s not coming

but she did send

her wolves.

*

Blow Me

 

Sure.

She took a lot of wind

out of his sails

only fair

she put it there

in the first place.

*

My Face Won’t Book

 

His memory is

just this untied

website shoe lace now.

 

Put that one

up on your fucking wall.

*

If the shoe fits

 

Don’t get to excited

you probably have it

on the wrong foot.

Idiot.

 *

You could count all the Carnies in Canarsie

in your last ride on the Cyclone

 

That Amusement Park

of broken hearts

is regrettably

closed till further notice.

 

Seems all the rides ?

 

Got old…..

 *

Dirty Rose

 

And he finally

spit the bit

like

a dirty rose.                                                                  2/12

 

Give them bread and Circuses  – for terrible now


Never Shake that Dybbuk on a January Night

January 2019- New Work – Seeing Eye Ear- 2018

Mixed Signals

 Encased

Inside

the very center of a

January icicle night

with all the colors

running silent

screaming black and white

and the top of the tip

of the tongue’s pigment.

 

Encased

Inside

the very center of a

January icicle night

He ran from the room

like an errant fire engine

in his eyes was the lighthouse

on fire while a confused group

of hastily summoned volunteers

wondered what the next best course

of action might be

either make a run to connect hoses

or watch out for the jagged rocks

off the shore line shrouded in icy fog

or just shrug and leave quietly

by the clearly illuminated fire exits.

 

But instead

they sat arrested by him

in his wake

his warning

his smoke

while wondering

what could be next for all them

Encased

Inside

the very center

of a January Icicle Night.

 

From Sometime Grief-       12/11

*

The Dybbuk Dreams

*

Random-Harvest-(1942)---Ronald-Colman-773750It was in the first few nights of the New Year

when all promise and disaster were as unopened mail

that the past had a walk in his sleep.

 

The Dybbuk’s hands opened old draws

shuffled through forgotten pages

Pausing to repeat a line of a letter

here and there.

 

Ashes were stirred and long dormant old flames set free

to flicker. Then the night faces could dance once more.

Night faces coming back to visit shining

eyes to glow back into.

 

Another year rolling itself out like an immense black wing .

Your sleeping form swept along in this night flight,

those waking hours, now the specter, this was the soul

strolling hand in hand with the eternal freedom of

time asleep.

 

fog 3She walked once more upon the mores, in a chilly thick fog.

Here where she had always known that he waited for her

In between anger and consequences,

in this dream scape of quicksand recall where mushroomed

marsh islands of what might have been.

 

They both returned to this shadow realm of still photographs

hung and propped in the endless stark arms of winter.

Here where the past stood naked and true.

Both came with small hands grasping deep into the heart’s

pocket. Each visited at different points

along the dream curve, with separate dependencies and

versions of the same story.

 

They left messages here for each other.

The last word over and over. The promises of reconciliation

and forgiveness. The sensation they shared of never being

able to meet face to face again, outside of this place

of half light sand deep grey pools. Always to return to

the same beaten path, in the corner of the dream.

This place where the images of each other’s faces

in those frozen photos snared arrested looks

and eyes of love and delight that once were shared.

 

They both returned to this place, every so often

to get a face full and

look down at the others footprints

left in the path

from the night before.

Fog 2

-Another Rubber Eden   1/95

Here in the Rubbereden

List of the End of January

*

Snow coal cone lump ashtray pustule

shrinking in the corner of the parking lot.

(Ah….early spring)

 

Sound of clogged carburetor gagging on itself.

*

(Great…now you’ve flooded it)

*

Lost key trunk eye-hole with yellow handle

long nick Phillip screwdriver protruding.

(Nope that didn’t work either…keep swearing)

*

False dawn slapping wind banging away

slamming cheap tin bed frame freight train

ready to orgasm and derail.

*

Centipede shadow crawling measuring spoons

scurrying across the dingy white moon soaked linoleum floor

looking like a pool of quicksand.

*

Brown plastic garbage can rolling down the block

yawning in the gutter.

*

Air raid siren blast exploding

in a razor blade cable running through your ears

jerking your head off the sound sleep pillow.

(This was only a test)

*

Child’s dream speak night talk back lit in

orange dragon space heater steel teeth

hissing at the bars on the crib.

(Some childhood memories are best forgotten.)

*

Fresh creme of the New Year

curdling in the calendar’s carton.

*

Whose face is that on the side?

*

Another Rubber Eden  1/89

 


Dismembered for the Holidays Reprise

December 2018-“There are times when those eyes inside your brain stare back at you.” Charles Bukowski, What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire

NEXT !

                                                                                            (For R.B)

The wonderful life Christmas is over

One tries not to be depressed.

Maybe re-read Brautigan’s piece

From 1963

Where he and his friend were

so depressed over Kennedy’s public execution

that they took pictures

of discarded Christmas trees

abandoned in the gutter

and then proceeded to get drunk

while watching a slide show of them later.

 

I get that.

 

All those rolls of left over wrapping paper

all about the place.

The lights that need to be taken down

before the neighbors start with

the “white trash” wisecracks

 

One thing you can say about Christmas

in this post modern area,

Once it’s over.

It’s dead.

 

A lot of build up.

A product orgy climax

 

And the day after ?

Forget about you

 

The day after Christmas

is like nailing a wood screw

into the back of an old friend

Who shows up once a year for a visit.

 

And as he walks out the door.

You slam and lock it on his heels

Hissing, “and don’t come back till next year,

You pain-in the-ass bastard.”

 

Thankful ?

Sure.

 

This year I was thankful I didn’t end up

in the paraplegic chair

in a nursing home in Baldwin

after that nasty fall

down the Cold War stairs

back in your hometown

that ended up with you

kissing some concrete.

 

Instead I made it back here on Christmas Eve.

Just in time to have a good cry

With Alastair Sims.

-Greetings from Gridville 2004

 

 

 

Po of the Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serial Visits

The whistle is the period
in this motion sentence.
Punctuating movement
calling cooling coffee steam
escaping gray minuet figure 8s
in a rocking cardboard tray.

Go ahead.
Spill it.
After all
how many years
have you been ending
your life sentence
in this paragraph.

Awareness unraveling
to some temporary core
where you define
your next visit as the
last lap of time and distance
measured increments
like rungs of a ladder.

That track bed ratio
of rhythm and ties.

How do they sing in their beds so ?

What is it with that whistle
that you still insist upon
that you hear so clearly
much less
ride off
into a sentence of movement.

Present future
Past period.

Take a deep breath
of the dark roads awash
in wire to wire rain.
Do you stop to heave a sigh here ?

In relief awash or gasp for air
15 hours after ignition.
Do we have your
arrested attention
yet ?

How can you hope to convey
this flight
this passage
A shadow’s dance
In lock step perpetuation.

What kind of ticket shall we call this then ?

Miracle, weary ritual
or merely picking
from the fabric of your reflections
a thread you wove
that called you by name incessantly.

Into a dream
from out of a dream.

Where you step
and step again
all over it.
On it.
Just past it

Inside you.

12/03 Greetings from Gridville

*

stock-photo-a-red-industrial-hook-suspended-by-two-wires-at-the-end-of-a-boom-251137231

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.”

12/99 Attitude House

*

Pre C-Mas 2012 041 This one

Homecoming

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 the legs put the sidewalk square
with an older eye.

Attesting to this as I walk in the door
overheard from the boys over the pool table,
“here comes the professor…..
wonder where his footnotes are tonight?”

So you take your place at the bar and
put out.
Always remembering, remembering
where you came from.

Greenport Christmas 98 Attitude House

 

 


Who Novembered When ? 2.0

November 2018– Updated 11/23/18- Left overs update

When Black Friday comes

the Consumers of Gridville

huddle in the parking lots

in predawn frozen blackness

waiting for the sensor doors

to activate and swing open

so that the ensuing stampede

into the widget warehouse

can gush cheap trinket

torrents of electronic desire

to purge themselves

of what limited imaginations

they have left and haven’t

squandered and impaled

upon product acquisition

suggestions programmed

to them by fiber optic

daily behavioral vampires

so well appointed

with glistening fangs

of fashion compulsion

obsessive consumption

in a GPS vortex

instantly alerting them

of the nowhere

they lust….

 

Is here

In stock

On Sale

And they simply cannot

live without it.

 

from- Sometimes Grief Barks up the Wrong Tree  2012

*

The Ancient Mariner reading Lucky, Lulu, and a Cat Named Bo (Cold Turkey) for “K’s” Ghost City Cabaret II Halloween Edition @ Cornelia Street Cafe October 15, 2018 – Video courtesy of Mitch Corber

All Souls Day

November shrugged at the time after the masks slipped
Stripped away in the face of high wind warnings as if in this season begged advisements cautions

Still mild that morning fooling few to believe
That this day would pass swaddled in gray soft gauze
While the light diffused diminishing increments

Was that encroaching mist unraveling like a ball of yarn
To cascade down a slope of cotton

Falling needle pinpoints liquefied

There was this puncturing of scattered shallow puddles
Reverberating in sound wave concrete circles
Auditory auditions sharpening a deaf set of eyes

In these stains of ink
Lurk faceless memories I think
Past Persona gone non-grata

November shrugged at the time the masks slipped away
To reveal the naked face of high wind awnings
As if this season begged advisement cautions

Stripped away now in alibis and warnings

Uncollected 11/13.

Maybe Some Novocain?

 

Chock Full of Nuts

is no longer

a  heavenly anything

anymore

Transparent as black coffee

understood at last;

He was now merely

half a pound of chopped chuck

handed over by Bruno Kisski

Who spoke fluent tracheotomy

to an over the counter fool

wrapped in stiff white common paper

with the price

penciled in on the top.

 

All I had to do back then was pocket the change

and deliver it back around the corner.

Once it ticked upon your face

and the sound escaped upon your ears.

The price

The time.

All that you never conceive being true

Merely justify the overhead

and defined the bottom line.

 

So now you try to force the black hands forward

Faster than they are supposed to go.

While a single slim red finger

that sweeps so sure and fine

that seconds soundlessly slide

in an inkling of eviscerated hope

 

The movement imperceptible impression

toward an inevitable destination.

Maybe some

Novocain in November

Maybe not.

 

This would then plug your ears

To hear any further

Than just you what

You didn’t want to hear

To believe this;

the texture in this request

to embrace the selfish din

and when put to the question

to the naked test,

“Where is it have I been?”

 

Smile and nod and start with, “Listen….”

 

I would pull the fingers from deep your ears

and lick the wax

that accumulated in there

to harden, numb and deafen

 

Next  I whisper now,

“Watch”

You just watch

Then tune the tongue out

in time to match

the mute with the deaf

over a bottomless cup of

freshly brewed

numbness.

  • From Sometimes Grief 2012

 


October never forgets

October 2018- Either it’s coming for you or I am with a Seeing Eye Ear in Quattro Vox

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Q -Bop City

Education

For Sarah

They were the Teachers

They were the Vehicles

 

The blunt object

That forced their door open

Just a crack so could think escape.

 

They were the spark

The enablers.

Telling you on a fog shrouded

Far away beach one afternoon this-

 

That everything was only not permitted

Forbidden and questionable-

But possible.

 

So I let you

And you let me

So much that followed

Was a dream that

Came true

To some degree.

 

Some pay up front

For all to see

A reason

A lesson

A curse

Rendered ransom relegated to some stray verse

 

Some pay up front

For all to see

In the face of what we once

aspired to be.

 

Vincent Quatroche 5/2017

The Colleagues Talk 2.0

Kafka on Kampus   (for K)

As he was pulling out the parking slot on a sweltering Thursday noon

His colleague came running up flagging him down waving his arms

With this wild look in his eyes and breathlessly exclaimed

The administration has sold the naming rights to the college ! 

 

He immediately pulled back in and cut the motor

Got out and stood before him and replied- say what ?

 

Catching his wind gasped that’s rightthe bastards just posted the news

On Prof talk- it’s official starting this Fall Semester this school is

Now named Kafka Kollege –a yes that’s Kollege w/ a GD K

 

No Shit he remarked are you kidding me ?

 

His colleague shook his head emphatically and continued……

 

And that’s not the half of it- all of the buildings on Kampus have been renamed

As well as part of the agreement-

All the Dorms are now called The Penal Colony

The Kampus Center is The Castle

The Theater Department is The Hunger Artist

Academic Affairs? The Judgment

English ? Parables & Paradoxes

Science ? The Metamorphosis

Public Safety ?-Before the Law

Human  Resources ?   The Trial

Student Affairs ? Give it up

 

We stood in stunned silence sweating in the oppressive summer heat

Then my colleague broke into this really strange serene smile

And purred out-

But I do have some rather good news-

Seems all the Administrators, Deans & Chairs even the President

Have been transformed into Ungeheuer Ungeziefers( literally “monstrous vermin”)

like Cockroaches and Dung Beetles

and are hiding in their offices under the desks.

Vincent Quatroche 6/18

Swinging for the Fences in Q-Bop City

 

Of Odds & Pitch Counts

Some people are born

With two strikes on them

Others start out with the count 3 and 0

And go through life

Always content to just take that walk

While the former keep swinging at that one in the dirt.

 

If Only

 

If you could only

just write one poem

that sounded like

Ben Webster’s

Tenor Saxophone

Then maybe

somebody might

listen to you.

 

I bet infinity 

is just endless talk

or worse yet….

Discuss.

 

Burning June

Each June sunset

burns like a stick match

struck against balance

left in the calendar box.

 

Right now I’ve got 27 left.

But who’s counting ?

I am.

How the West was Lost

 

Have we all become a race

Of distracted cyber pioneers

Too embarrassed to admit

All that we never knew is

the only remarkable thing about us

Remembering the trivial

Forgetting the essential.

*

Hearing Aide

 

Received a postcard in the mail yesterday

Offering either an agnostic apostle

Or generic prosthesis-

 

And I didn’t hear a sound

Or a leap of faith.

 

*

Fuck Waste book

 

Listen here

You can just skip the Like Box

And the dislike Box

Heading straight for the

I don’t give a shit Box.

 

Vincent Quatroche 6/2018

 


September in Q-Bop City 3.0

September 2018- Selections from recent collection of Po Prose Short stories published July 2018

*

Remembering Echinacea

They said on the package

These seeds are for the Fall

Where this old poem reverberates

In the dirt dreaming of flowers

Out of season. 

 

Hear these lines

In the voice in your head

Cross threaded counter clock wise guy

Always just dim enough to try

And get the lid back on the jar.

 

Pandora would be so proud

To think a cyber citizen of the Terrible Now

Might still let loose holy hell

In this numb estrangement night

With a keystroke choke hold.

 

Blossom there you Moron

Your persistence of memory

Where they dug all their seeds in you

Only to disappear like a melted stop watch

Before they ever had the chance to bloom.

Q- Bop City 7/18

Sound Light 

And then the sun went

Behind the clouds

Mid-afternoon on a

Mild late September Sunday.

 

McCoy Tyner played

West Philly Tone Poem

On the radio.

 

Somewhere in the next yard

Over

A crow had a good hard

Laugh.

 

The colors in here are trying

To embrace me.

Console and soften

A hard edged truth

About loss and remorse.

 

As a freight high balled

At the grade on the mainline

Next block over

While the engineer

This time didn’t hit the horn

Three times as he usually did

But I distinctly heard

A voice say

Your time is coming.

    Q-Bop City 7/18


August Sucker Punch

August 2018- Selection from new Collection Q Bop-City

Nothing to See Here

Well I honestly didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. In the past there was always somebody to pay for what I wanted behind me.

-Actress Gene Tierney’s explanation when caught shoplifting in the film Whirlpool (B & W 1947)

 

No Yellow crime scene tape.

No chalk outline of a victim on the asphalt.

A crowd didn’t gather.

Perhaps someone wandered by on the way to

the store and might have glanced here

in this direction looking for something else.

Just curious.

That’s all.

But really ?

No one saw anything.

A bored cop took the complaint

from an anonymous source.

Turned out to be a false report anyway.

It was ascertained that truth was the only injured party.

But nobody could locate that

And it never showed up at the hearing anyway.

The only charges filed were dropped later

due to lack of any real evidence

Or indication of criminal intent.

 

So Enough.

Nothing to be seen here.

Not even Poetry was called in to question.

So just….

Move along.

Nothing to see here.

5/2011