threw it away


doesn't happen every day
and you just
threw it away

you stupid

so I went on my way
the very
next day

(is that all
there is to say?)


coffee cup rhymes

(some days, the cup is half empty)

coffee cup rhymes

Floated on the road with cold drops dripping, exiting the cab after the customary tipping. Shambles of the storefronts, dirty glass panes, the clogged drains full of fallen leaves, uncleaned eaves. A funeral home bereaves, breathes, grieves, they line up in procession as the motorcycle leaves...

A child, infant, a suckling innocent, warm mother, extended family, the fourth homily in a stone church. Brothers, no sisters, burning joy like a skin blister. New life but no new wife, it’s no disaster (not like that movie, Twister).

Years pass, a ghetto blaster, teenage procrastination, fears of class tension, Hedges and Benson, fireworks reversed, the voice and tone terse, things were better once, but now they could be worse.

Rebellion in the body, brightness in the eyes, the smile the dimple, the mouth wide, the grin, so eager to begin, dive in, swim. Chance for an expression, relief depression, an obsession, no more clutter, a direction, all clearing bearing clean, an objective, some perspective. Resurrecting the spirit, a coolness, bold in sweeping surface; finally, a purpose.

Challenges, obstacles: the landlady, the rent, the hydro bill. Swill swallowed, indigestion, nasal congestion, reality, no insurance, just assurance, friends and concurrence, blurred observance, another acquiescence. Face up and look around, heads in sand, submission to that one particular gland. It’s Friday night, so stay up, uncorked bottle, dress full throttle, sit back, relax, get excited: you’re invited to meet the band.

Cycles: doubt, elation, penetration, the shock, the pleasure, relief, touching is a crutch, a drug, you’re my charming little lady bug. A made bed, a swept rug, you plug away, wait for graduation day. You pay, buy, get paid, apply, pray, sail the bay on holiday; you get by, congregate, agree, laugh it off as heresy; the cheque is in the mail.

You’re wrong: a storm, hail, wind, the house is not strong, it’s frail. Don’t fail, don’t quit until you find a job, keep at it, shutter the pane, windows, doors, ignore refrains--it’s just your brain. Holes in socks? Invest in stocks, triple-bolted locks, scotch on the rocks. Bet another chip, pass the dip, take a trip, the Titanic, a sweet ship, crew drunk but unsunk. Don’t slump, don’t slip, keep a grip on loose lips and we’ll make the port alright.

Lust, a man lost in a woman, God’s plan, propagation, cosmic props, girls and boys sneak in stores, buy sex toys. Write your vows kids, you’re both virgins, say ‘I do’ and then begin. Unzip, expose hickeys scars and body blows, consume your mate and swear off hos; the end result, nobody knows, where it stops and why it goes. Five star galas, seasonal shows, a nice steak knife, trophy wife, jealous prizes, eaten crows. Name your son, your future, hope, a scapegoat, leave your will for tots to tote--it’s eighteen years til they can vote.

Work, salvation, humiliation, dignity, personal property of the soul, back bent, lowly tasks, shoes eaten to the sole. Today’s a gift, the present, impress upon the future, import from the past. Sell them old ideas, profit panaceas, cooking up a reason to conquer North Korea. Damn the torpedoes, I do it for libido—do I look good in a Speedo? Shut the office in Toledo, boy we had a blast.

What the fuck? Bad luck, felled by a stroke, no joke, he’s done but had fun, in college took a toke. Hospital visits the doctor prohibits, only kin, no friends, it’s just cancer, happens often--take it like a man. Shut down the machine (in comas no one dreams), get real, it costs a thousand bucks just to buy his pills.

Step up to the plate, you know the drill: send them to heaven twenty-four-seven, stick the family with the bill. He grows cold, chills, old, over the hill, boo hoo, he’s dead, tough luck, my how time flew, that’s life, tell his wife I’m sorry, let’s clean up for tomorrow, Fred. Sorrow is another day, and there’s a waiting list for that bed.


mind game

warning: there's a poem about you, somewhere on this blog site.

can you find it?

ps: I'm sure you know who you are.

bad simile girl

(easily among the top 1000 most pointless things ever written)


bad simile girl

like a bat out of hell
like for whom? the bell
like venus or mars
like wunderbar

like a jaguar cat
spotty, reflexive
like a diplomat
chatty, pensive

like marmalade
spread too thin
like a meaningless receptacle
like a semantic ramekin
a linguistic porcelain dish

like missionaries in a jungle
like a monumental blunder
like anthrax in the mail
like bread crumbs in a jail
like nothing

(please look for me by the barbeque
I'm turning on a skewer
I looked through every side street
and I found you in the sewer)

I don’t like it because
it’s not perfect:
it's like sabotage
like a mirage
like a millionaire with a
lousy accountant;
I looked at you, wrote you down
compared you to the whole world
but it was insufficient
you couldn't do it justice
it was just like
you were a
bad simile or something


I'm back!

Much more to come.

Not that I'm going to explain my absence - the author's life is quite boring, I assure you - but three weeks senza cupcakes makes a blogger hungry.

To satisfy that backlogged appetite a bit, here's something I wrote just before I left:

to the brunette waitress at kos

you look like that girl in
your cowboy boots and
irish skin you
ask me what i want

‘just pancakes for now’
i’m hungry as
you bend over
look down at me

‘how’re your milk shakes?’
i’m wondering
your legs eyes hair lashes
‘oh they’re the best’

yes yes everything’s all right
yes yes anything else?
just the bill please and your
heaving bosom

(for more on kos check out 'the great brunch debate'... ah it's good to be back.)


'blind love

...the only kind of love is stone blind love.'



On hiatus

FIAC is taking off for a while -- about three weeks.

I need to regroup.

More important - and this is so very, very important - I need to pay a visit.

I'll be thinking about you.

In the meantime, here's a bit of advice. You may have heard it before:

Show, don’t tell

I am smitten.
happy, yet
I’m crying, because
life is a poem
and I’m so bad
at writing.

(don't tell, show!)


keyboard sneeze

Coming home in the aftermath, there was the tall brew smash, the best of the yellow dog the half wit chocolate milk making mothaphuckaz, the police state vagabonds, the jive turkeys from Nepal, the Einstein lookalike self-portraiteers, the viscosity-slime-sipping rinse pigs squealing in your ears; it was the pointlessness of soda that bubbled into me, it was the Swan from Minnesota that leered suggestively, it was the dreadnought in the Baltic that leaned precariously, it listed hard to starboard, the men clamoured gleefully, “We're listing hard to starboard, and we do it A-B-C!”

the monosyllabic meaning of loof

(yes, precisely)

the meaning of loof

the loof is a fish
a bit of a fool
it squawks when it talks
and pukes in its food

the loof likes to pry
and buy lots of pie
fresh from the shop
where pies like to dry

'poof' goes the loof
when it tastes a fat fig
and the loof has a pig
that can dance a pig jig

I once met a loof
at a sad loof show
this loof hit the roof
when I made him eat crow:

"I don't take dupe,
from a moop of a guy,"
the loof said to me
when I poked out his eye

and "don't cross a loof,"
did the loof whine thus,
"cuz if you mess with us,
we'll mess you all up!"

and some loofs ARE a mess
they got crap in the tank
best not to test 'em
(best to leave the space blank)

but a loof is a thing
that's hard to put down
when a loof busts out
it burns the whole town

the loof is a bitch
a big old wreck
it cares not a whit
it feeds you the dreck;

so watch for the loof
and don't rock the boat
loofs are quite mad
they'll kill your pet goat

cuz the loof is a goof
a bit of a doof
as it hums and it drums
in the al fa bet soup


Ecco il mio amore

(song for De Andre)

I met you in January, four years
after you died
-it was cancer of the liver-
the two of us in my father’s country;
you would have been 63.

I heard you soft, lilting
singing in my father’s tongue, before
I finally learned to speak it;
my timing wasn’t right
but yours was always perfect.

I was only three when
you asked me “where,”
“where is your love?” and
“when did your heart die?”
but I never answered, I was just a child.

21 years flew, and
“they’re coming to ask about our love”
for once I did not hesitate;
we sang of Marinella
and the king who kissed a prostitute.

And they kidnapped you; locked you in a cave
that’s where love, red love, got you
-to the Mountaintop Hotel-
how you forgave those bastards
I’ll never understand.

Then, you fell; to me, it mattered
you’re far away, that matters too
so I play a record for you
a candle song to you
wishing I had met you.

But I swear, that afternoon on
the church steps, in the porticoed city
a guitar and young man made music
-such human, wistful sound-
he was you, Fabrizio; he was you, and I was found.


the last 72 hours

The sunset orange as it always is, the locomotives stern as usual, the umbrellas dependable the way they are. We were on holiday again, and you were burning up; your skin pale and salty, your feet shapely and alabaster. The bbq hot burned away loose char; the mosquitoes called a truce, they stapled it to cottage door: “your human blood disgusts us—spill it yourselves, on your own time.” And so we did: 280 burned to death in Paraguay. The seaweed tickled us, and then strangled us; the zebra mussels congregated and sliced sunfish to ribbons. I thought, there is strength in numbers. And cowardice too.

For ten hours I was inside a breeze; my toes talked to the grass, my nostrils full of mink shit and crayfish heads; the watermelon on my lips, the hot beef flayed to bits on a grill. Lake air breeds an appetite. But my skin always blushes in the sun, so I went back to the city. I drove the lake road, visited my new home. Empty and humid, with wood floor gleaming and ceiling scrubbed white - I like it that way. Though it won’t be empty long; soon my friends arrive, having met their Waterloo.

Orange again: terror alerts, policemen frantic, the grenade tossing paranoia, the yodel cocks, the village: velour-covered sacred scarred wraith-men with hook-hands and pig noses who whisper and cut dogs to pieces. (What contrived cinematic rubbish). In Little Portugal basements lies furniture borrowed from the abandoned shack: I stole your bedroom mirror and placed it lovingly it in my hall; I see you inside it each time I walk by . "You look just like me; like who I used to be, when we shared each other… you and me." What I mean is: I can’t tell what I look like anymore.

We wandered invisible to the edge, we crept underneath fingernails, we chewed on ice blocks and screeched chalk across tablets, but it was quite unnecessary: the truth was all over the front page – you can never keep a secret.

The parade in full swing on Lakeshore, black and brown and olive men jiving it, getting along, everything irie, nothing wrong; only three days of the year it’s like this. Otherwise it’s rat-tat-tat and the name-fame-blame-game; tribal domination, Jonesian competition, elation too little too late. You hear, a little boy drowned in a river yesterday? They ought to outlaw swimming in rivers, they should... They ought to outlaw idiots like that. For some of us, there'll never be enough reasons to shut up; for the rest, there is never enough kleenex.

But for you, you, I tear hair out of my body with aluminum tweezers, and the wounds leave little red marks all over my feet, but they disappear in hours--another well-groomed esthete. I am vainer than you know—it doesn’t show, I know—but I’ll be beautiful for you; I’ll glow like ruby when you see me; at the gate you’ll seize me; I want you to want to breathe me; I will even wear cologne.

And soon I will be home.

(I’m so lousy on the phone.)