Thursday, November 18, 2010

hey little girl

hey little girl
this is your world
before there was you
life was kind of blue
but now you're here
so very dear
i'm lucky to have you

hey little girl
this is your world
daddy's little dancer
daddy's little prankster
such pretty eyes
they tell no lies
i'm lucky to have you

years from now
i'll be dull and gray
life is funny that way
hard of hearing, my mind is drifting
but always know
that i remember yesterday

hey little girl
this is your world
such a pretty thing
the best of everything
your little heart
we're never apart
i'm so lucky to have you

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


i am 33.

i see the same people on the train
every morning.
you'd think they know it's
my birthday but most either
read a book or shuffle their feet;
some listen to their ipods.

i am 33.

in the office i get
the obligatory
congratulatory remarks;
everyone eats cookies and
brownies and ice cream.
i pretend to work the rest of
the day by filing documents
or sending important e-mails.
later i take the train home
and drink the good red
while sitting on the couch
watching some heart-gripping
reality crap
on t.v.

i am 33.

this is almost half of my
projected life,
and i only remember
about half of it
so far.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

On Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski knew how to satisfy a woman with his tongue and wasn’t shy about telling us this. Mostly a drunkard, known to dabble in poetry and writing, Bukowski appears to have been a very capable lover.

In guise of his alter ego, Henry Chinaski—the protagonist in Post Office (1971) and Women (1978)—Bukowski would mount any number of ladies, often with complete disregard to age, race, nationality, or even guilt. Indeed, if great writing echoes great living, then Chuck—who was pushing sixty in those days—must have been a genuine German-born, American-bred stud.

Yes, for Chuck, life was about booze, women, writing. Let it be known that this writer shall make no attempts in discrediting Bukowski’s drinking. He was a master of this great art, and few could ever rival him.

However, this writer shall make three bold statements, for which he may (or may not) receive tons of hate mail. He respectfully asks any hate-mail writer to please do him the courtesy of sending a handwritten letter, with a genuine tongue-licked stamp, thank you very much.

Henceforth, the three bold statements:

1. This writer is better looking than Charles Bukowski. This statement, in itself, does not lend much credence, since Chuck would be first in line to admit that his looks did not stray far from a very handsome mutt. (Please Google "Charles Bukowski" and click on images.) But, since looks do play a role in getting laid, it does provide a nice segway to the second statement, which is:

2. This writer is a better lover than Charles Bukowski. Hard to prove, yes, especially since one of us is dead. Ideally, one could compile a list of all past lovers, use a standardized rating system through an array of questions, and then compare the scores. Since that seems like a pain in the ass, let me just say this: I’ve yet to fail in bringing a woman to orgasm (insert disclaimer here).

Which brings us to the third, and final, bold statement (this is the statement for which this writer expects to get hate mail):

3. This writer is a better poet than Charles Bukowski.

Well, hell.

Two outta three ain’t bad.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Piss Yellow Sun

Before your comatose eyes, the tall, tall skyscrapers of Manhattan jut into the sky like a row of deformed teeth. The gray-bearded train conductor, an overachieving and overbearing son of a bitch, announces your arrival at Erie-Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken.

Another fucking Monday morning.

You disembark your train in an orderly fashion, along with the other caffeine-buzzed worker drones, and march in an orderly line toward the Path station, where you hop on a rollercoaster ride through the tubes underneath the Hudson to your menial job on 14th and Sixth.

Somewhere up in the sky, that piss yellow sun, like a coward, is hiding behind a dozen fat, gray clouds of sleet and rain. You know these clouds from Friday, when they blasted their icy pellets on your face and your neck and your $395 cashmere coat, and that same evening you crawled in through the door of your one-bedroom Co-Op, half-drenched and freezing-ass cold, like a stray cat who escaped a near drowning.

For two years, you’ve worked in the City—THE CITY!—and lived in New Jersey, too far from the beaches of South Miami, where you grew up a blue-eyed surfer dude. Yes, you’re an expatriate of sorts, determined to make it here in Gotham, The Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps, The Capital of the World.

But you’re more bitter now than before. Your dreams seem hopelessly unattainable, as each fleeting day disappears down the sink like yesterday’s coffee. There was that play that was never produced. Your script that was never greenlighted. And your stories that don’t get published. Still, you keep telling yourself: I am here and I am real. This one true sentence fuels your creative fires, and it gets you through this day and the next.

You’re eyeing the clouds now, suspiciously, like an amateur weatherman, attempting to gauge their every move. Your short walk to the Path station has you winded. You walk down the steps to the platform, slide your QuickCard through the slot, enter through the gate, and board the departing car. Somebody shoves you from behind just as the doors close.

Already you’re hoping this day was over. So many nights, dead-tired after work, you’ve had recurring dreams of being reincarnated as Ezra Pound, writing poetry and smoking opium in your Co-Op, all day and every day. Not to become famous or to make a handsome living, but because POETRY IS LIFE.

In those dreams, your existence is just as—not MORE or LESS, but just as—significant as anyone else’s. You’ve found your voice, you’re using that voice, and the people are listening.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Jersey City Soul

I know Jersey City by its putrid smell. The elevator at the Ninth Street Light Rail station stinks of rotten eggs. That—and something worse. Maybe paint thinner. Or puke. Or both. Nobody seems offended but me.

Like capitalist worker ants, in single file, we march out of the elevator and pace up Congress Street to our respective homes. Most of us anyway. The others, downtrodden like me, take a detour to any number of corner pubs for a few cold ones before dinner.

I stop at The Corkscrew, my usual pit stop (WE HAVE BEER + YOU SHOULD DRINK IT!). Just the jukebox, bartender, and me. “What’ll it be, brother?” Enough with the small talk. Gimme the $2 Oktoberfest. I inhale the beer, but the throat keeps wantin’ some damn air.

“How’s dat city job treatin’ you, brother?” says Luke, the Tender of Bar, once my ass settles on the stool. “Still vertical,” says I. “I keep sucking those taxicab fumes and drinking this beer, but I’m still vertical.” Says he: “You know, at the enda day—dat’s wha’ counts.”

Amen to that. I get up and slip a quarter in the jukebox. Ray Charles, soul man, rewards me with his hoarse, sweeter-than-Jesus voice.

“You seen Pédro yet?” “Shit, brother,” Luke says. “Nobody’s seen Pédro. You know dat.” What the hell? Two whole days now the guy’s been MIA. Shit. Don’t tell me Pédro is trying to lay off the sauce. Jersey City ain’t for quitters.

Outside, at long last, night is falling. Somewhere else a dog barks, as a despondent me trudges home.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sick Inside

A white suburban kid in a black Suburban is keepin’ it real on wheels. Yankees hat on sideways, chains a-rattlin’, leaning out the window on Central Ave. Wearing a black shirt with gold lettering: THUG 4 LIFE. Yelling obscenities to the chicas.

Oh, yes. Welcome to Jersey City, baby. This ain’t boring, pale, gentrified Suburbialand. No, this is the place where we’re keepin’ it real for the betterment of (hu)mankind. This is where yo’ shit smells too!

Where I’m walking, the street is littered with litter. We got the debris of human consumption, like art, on display for the general public. You won’t see this at the NYC Met: McDonaldland burger wrappers carried by the wind. Oven Fresh Pizza!™ boxes trampled by pedestrians. DJ fliers for The Corkscrew (61 Congress Street; $3 house margaritas on Wed nights!). Payless and/or Target coupons. Used and abused condoms. A dirty syringe. More broken glass from 40 oz. bottles of malt heaven.

I can hear the Ninth Street Light Rail. Clouds above me start spilling their rain. Brrr. Feels more like sleet to me. Must be close to 30 degrees on this restless night. I hope it snows.

I take a detour to Fisk Park on the way home. From here, you get the view of lower Manhattan. I been there once. But this is home now. Jersey City, baby! For better or for worse.

Build yourself up, J.C. Make your boy proud. Gimme a happy ending.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Last Call

Let this be the drink of the damned! Pédro says, grabs the last tequila bottle from behind the counter, dumps its guts into an oversized shot glass. Swallows hard. Passing out eight seconds later, his left cheek hits the table. Probably chipping a tooth. Definitely bloodying a lip. A tough drink this bandito brew.

I, of course, have long since resigned from these vomit-enducing, soul-depriving beverages. Bad for the liver, costly on the pocket book. But, alas, no Man is a Perfect Beast. Flawed, I do give in to these indiscretions every now and then.

“Your friend,” queries the barwoman, “he’ll sleep here tonight, no?” “Sure,” comes my reply. “This bar is like a second home.”

I pat Pédro good night, pay for his drinking, then stagger to the room we've rented down the street. We all could use a good night’s sleep.

Too early, the cursed sun is blinding. I have a quick breakfast (runny eggs and weak coffee). Then I check on Pédro. Snoring loudly, he’s still hunched over the table. But as a seasoned journeyman, I know: Let a drunken traveler sleep it off, lest he become a burden on the voyage.

I’ll give him ’til noon.