Monday, September 16, 2013

Buy "Se Refiere a Nosotros: Poems for You" here!

Isn't it pretty?

a month of Sundays

you come home from
the bar again


hoping he will call you,
know that he won't

for many reasons,
the most pertinent being

that he doesn't have
your new number,
no one does,
and that's how you like it

good and hard
with no chance for redemption,
I'm sorrys,
or even a good bye,

just you and a bottle
that doesn't help but
offers a pretty good
for being
so fucked up

and Drunk
and Alone
on a Tuesday night.

(from Se Refiere a Nosotros: Poems for You)

t bars

Slow night
at the cat house.

Women sit with their backs
against the wall and wait for

maybe a drink.

The men lick their lips and
take their pick of

sagging breasts,
broken smiles,
nervous fingers.

This is a loser's game;
This job gets better with a drink.

Slow nights
for fast women
don't end well.

Some get drunk
and some start fights
and no one wants to pay.

Men wait in the parking lot for
the women who will leave for pills.

All this pussy
just waiting for a buyer
and no one wants to pay.

Women leave with the men who
lick the powder off their noses.

It's better for business
to finish in the car.
They cost less that way.

(from the guns get bigger and bigger and the girls move further away)

small favors

last night at the bar where
we sometimes see each other.

there is a show,
music fills the spaces left between
the bodies of all the people who
come and go through a little place like that.

i am working in a club across town
so i do not hear,
until i am home,
and from a boy who did not see,
about the the someone who was struck,
the man who is a man no more
because a car sent him from this world to the next
at the corner just outside the bar.

and i do not know
his name or even
the color of his hair,
only that a body lies in a pool of blood
in the middle of the street--

it could be you,
it could be you.

and the news won't say a thing
and the boy wants comforting
but his body makes too too much noise lying in the bed beside me while
maybe you are expiring on the pavement
and i am not there to collect you.

no, i cannot sleep
next to this whole and breathing body
so i leave it in the other room
and curl up in the darkest place i know
wrapped in the blanket we once wrapped ourselves into.

and as i sleep my dreams are
when so often they are
full of You.

and in the morning,
waiting for a word
and there it is:
You are alive!


And breathing and sleeping and alive, somewhere,
it doesn't matter where,
and now I know that I can live without you
no matter who you live with
or where you keep your body,
so long as you do
and so long as your noisy breathing
keeps someone up at night.

I make breakfast and it is the best food
I have eaten in a long time,
and really the boy isn't all that bad.

You are alive.
You are alive.
You are alive.

Thank God for that.

(from Se Refiere a Nosotros: Poems for You)


and while I am driving through these obstacles
and away from my obligations to be with you and only you,
you decide that I am not where you want to be.

But the car is stuck in fourth and the brakes won't work and
racing ahead of me is a train on the tracks
and the conductor throwing empty bottles from the window.

and you are waving safely from the other side
calling out all the reasons why I am not enough
so I pull the emergency brake but it comes away in my hand and oh god
this is the plot of a bad movie and if I'm dreaming
please let me be dreaming and
please can I wake up now.

But still you are waving and I am drowning
so I try to throw myself from the car
but the door is stuck and the window won't break
and the train, oh god, the train.

(from Se Refiere a Nosotros: Poems for You)

populist poets

and from these failed relationships that make up your mid twenties,
all you have left is a collection of books you would never have read on your own
(which are mostly ok but you could just as well live without)
and hearing loss suffered at shows for bands whose names have long escaped your memory
(and for that there is good reason, and now you know for certain-sure that you do not like punk music)

and your husband (God bless him) does not listen to punk music
and reads only the sports section and the occasional political magazine
(and for that and other things you love him and you
appreciate that you know that he loves you and where he sleeps at night)

but you never dance together until 4 am in a bar full of strangers you never stop to know
and you never miss the train on purpose to sit together on a beach and
watch the clouds run across the waves like foam

and this is the result of those mid twenties relationships that have brought you to your early thirties
where you are so much happier and your life is much more certain--
but yet, but yet---

(from Se Refiere a Nosotros: Poems for You)

one more trip to the record store (a poem to Postsecret)

One more trip to the record store

"Nothing helps,"
she said, "but
and kissing you."

Her words flew
across the country to
shake me
from my dreaming,

to take me to
that summer

I came to the edge of reason,
when I felt that
rush of madness,
that dazed and giddy

that was loving you.

And then you went,
so now I find myself
with only
weed and vodka,

while that lucky girl
can still count on
kissing you.

if I smoke enough,

when I am alone and she is
kissing you,

and if I drink my fill
of Swedish vodka,

and if,
while I
am smoking
and drinking
while she
is kissing you--

if I play enough
ten-cent records and
put that heart on the stereo
one more time

and do not think
too clearly

of your face
and of your smile,

that haze of summer evening on
the lips that she
is kissing,

then I can stand another day
that you don't call,

another day of seeing you or not,
and of wondering if I will,

another day of longer, colder night,

another day that she has
and kissing you.

(from Se Refiere a Nosotros: Poems for You)


it's nice to have
a bar

you know
some of the people

and the boys
think you're pretty
but you're

Jerry's girl now
so they don't talk
to you much

Jerry is a good guy
but he'd
fuck their shit up if
they crossed the line.

and it's nice
to be
somebody's girl
even if
you'd rather be
somebody else's

and Jerry is
a good guy and
he actually likes you,

not like
that other guy
who just wants
to cause trouble.

and it's nice
to read a poem
with not much
emotion in it,

just a "hey,
look at that,"

like the
at the end
of the bar

of a woman
on a horse,

almost falling off
smiling because
it's ok,

she isn't
moving very fast
and the ground is
not that far away.

(from the guns get bigger and bigger and the girls move further away)

beat beat beat

This is shit.
Your life is shit.
The Beats are shit because
their shit is only relative to your shit because
you think it should be.

And I hope they are
laughing at all of us in our
Buddy Holly Ginsberg glasses because
they are all dead and
we are just now catching on,
catching up and latching on to a term used
half a century previous and served in cheap hotels because
that’s where all the wealthy disaffected youths end up
when they play at artistic unpretention.

And how embarrassing
and sad
that our idols are all men
who would laugh at our pretension,
who beat themselves and fucked cheap whores because
Life is shit.
Life is short but days are long
so fill them fill them one by one until
you work up the courage to do something about it,
you bastard,
you sad amalgam of what you think you ought.

Want to blame someone for your boredom,
you piece of shit?
Want to feel sorry for yourself,
for your misdirected derring-do?
Blame Sesame Street.
Blame everyone who told you that
Anything is Possible,
The World is Your Oyster
Today’s letter is a perfect circle—meaning everything.

Fuck those guys.
You can’t have everything.
You can barely get enough so just
Shut the fuck up and go back to your
Regularly Scheduled Programming.
It’s hard enough to just get by,
let alone make it,
and when your gods tell you to take
those pills with whiskey chasers and
Give the bitch what’s coming to her—
Well, you and the bitch both get royally fucked.

Speaking for the bitch
(and by bitch I mean anyone who,
waking up one night and rolling over to see
so perfect and beautiful in your unpretentious naked sleep,
starts to whisper in your perfect ear
words like

I love you no really and not in the put me in your poems way: the way that means please will you pick Baby up from school today he has a fever and maybe we should buy a house

and reaching out to stroke your perfect hair,
place a hand upon your perfect arm,
wants to see you today tomorrow and forever
as your perfect unpretentious naked self,
embarrassed by your shortcomings,
sometimes proud of some minor accomplishment

Honey, I changed the bulbs in the bathroom I know they have been bothering you)

I have this to say:
The Beats are dead,
some much too young and others far too old.
All of the Great poets are dead because
while they lived they filled their lives with living
and that doesn’t look like much while we’re all still here to do it.
Sometimes it does look like squalor in cheap hotel rooms,
nights spent alone in front of the television that Someone will later fill with
women, booze, and cigarettes—all of them.

But usually life looks like
too much laundry,
too many errands,
not enough time or interest or strength
to get things done and
God why won’t the words come.
It is not a show.
It is not a play.
It’s a great big fucking mess of
I derring-fucking-don’t
despair won’t pay the bills.

And your shit,
your show of disaffection,
your play at player of the arts,
is preposterous.
Want to be a Beat?
Want to live like Bukowski?
Spit on his grave.
Flip him the bird and write your own shit,
find the poets writing today and read their shit,
stop fucking around and make shit happen.
Beware the guy who doesn’t look like you with words you don’t want to hear.
Beware the women who ask for happily ever after and want to turn your nakedness into new life.
They are creating new poetic forms,
They are writing a world you don’t understand.

Most art doesn’t look like you,
you heirs-apparent to the throne.
New art is frightening because it doesn’t sound familiar.
You don’t make poetry by dressing like a dead man.
Go fuck yourself, but when you start fucking back—run.
Burn your books if you have to but by all means:
get the fuck away from turning yourself into a graven image.
Soon we will be dead as doornails dead and
you’ve got to be more than what the world has already seen
if you want anything more than a drink and a fuck and a gun to the head, so

Take off the glasses and find your perfect, unpretentious naked self.
Your own Self is enough and quickly decaying so
grab it and hold it and throw it away. More will follow if you
write about what moves you,
write about your nakedness and the tears and the scars and the holes in your skin.
Turn your carefully worn button-downs into a quilt and
make some fucking love.
That’s the shit that isn’t really
Shit, and
doesn’t always look like
what you think it ought.
Go make it.

(from the guns get bigger and bigger and the girls move further away)