Bukowski Mondays on a Wednesday: The Strongest of the Strange

You won’t see them often
for wherever the crowd is
they
are not.

These odd ones, not
many,
but from them
come
the few
good paintings
the few
good symphonies
the few
good books
and other
works.

And from the
best of the
strange ones,
perhaps
nothing.

They are
their own
paintings
their own
books
their own
music
their own
work.

Sometimes I think
I see
them—say
a certain old
man
sitting on a
certain bench
in a certain
way

or
a quick face
going the other
way
in a passing
automobile

or there’s a certain motion
of the hands
of a bag-boy or a bag-
girl
while packing
supermarket
groceries.

Sometimes
it is even somebody
you have been
living with
for some
time—
you will notice
a
lightning quick
glance
never seen
from them
before.

Sometimes
you will only note
their
existence
suddenly
in
vivid
recall
some months
some years
after they are
gone.

I remember
such a
one—
he was about
20 years old
drunk at
10 am.
staring into
a cracked
New Orleans
mirror

face dreaming
against the
walls of
the world

where
did I
go?

The Daily Rut

I fell in love with the
pins & needles of
my daily rot.
Going back and forth into
and out of the same restaurants,
coffee shops,
porn shops.
A never ending boredom.
Soulless.
A frigid dejection of the every day.

Loneliness grows on me
Like a rash on a whore.
Absolute separation from reality,
from this sad, dead generation.

Drinking with the desolate
lit up my eyelids,
the drunks of the streets—
they never grew up,
only having aged outward.

Sun stirred,
disappearing behind smiles
stained with whiskey.
I head to the troff in the back stall,
staring glimpses into sunken eyes
of disheveled & worn
PhD’s and M.I.T’s
high on meth in the bathroom.

I used to befriend their kids.

Noticing scars upon their flesh,
the palms of my lashes rise.

To catch each tear.

Published in Having a Whiskey With You Issue 10, April ’12

At First Sight


Heartache.
Cardiac veins drip onto the streets
like oil paints that
have yet to dry,
To satisfy.

Sadness.
Emotionless souls takes over,
blanketing our bodies
like coffins
at night.

Nothing happens
but something should,
smoldering anger underneath
our skins have yet to show
but will.

Vagrant lives head in opposite directions
but always come back to
one another.

At first sight.

Published in Having a Whiskey Coke With You Issue 10 April ’12

Ode to Hank

The one side of his tongue was rough,
downright ugly in its intentions,
yet his other side was less so–
more melancholy.

His words are hard,
rough and raw like his life.
They called him the “Poet Laureate of Skid Row.”
Pimps, whores and penny-pushers were his muse,
the best friend a low life could have.

Most wanted the rawness
every day, all day. I too I must admit.
Yet the tenderness and truth
deep in his alcoholic soul,
I could see a cracked rearview inside
his crustiness.

Such beauty that which comes out
from his rustic hands and deep crevassed face.
His words, like his face, tell of lasting sorrow
that scarred till death.

What beauty.

Bellowing up from the soul of heartache
I see myself in him.
The desire for a loneliness that
lasts a lifetime.
With only my typer,
alcohol and music,
in a room on fire where only the words are left bare.

I read him and I feel whole again.
Knowing that I’m not alone;
that through his own pain
my own seems almost as tolerable.

Bluebirds never left him but
in understanding his madness,
I am able to join him and hopefully
I to wont have to try.

Appears in my collection, Scribbling’s From a Beer-Stained Napkin: Moonlighting Between Heaven & Hell

Bukowski Mondays: A Poem Is A City

a poem is a city filled with streets and sewers
filled with saints, heroes, beggars, madmen,
filled with banality and booze,
filled with rain and thunder and periods of
drought, a poem is a city at war,
a poem is a city burning,
a poem is a city under guns
it’s barbershops filled with cynical drunks,
a poem is a city where God rides naked
through the streets like Lady Godiva,
where dogs bark at night, and chase away
the flag; a poem is a city of poets,
most of them quite similar
and envious and bitter …
a poem is this city now,
50 miles from nowhere,
9:09 in the morning,
the taste of liquor and cigarettes,
no police, no lovers, walking the streets,
this poem, this city, closing its doors,
barricaded, almost empty,
mournful without tears, aging without pity,
the hardrock mountains,
the ocean like a lavender flame,
a moon destitute of greatness,
a small music from broken windows …

a poem is a city, a poem is a nation
a poem is the world …

and now I stick this under glass
for the mad editor’s scrutiny,
and night is elsewhere
and faint gray ladies stand in line,
dog follows dog to estuary,
the trumpets bring on gallows
as small men rant at things
they cannot do.

Farmers Market

Staring down from my window sill
to all of the lonely people.
Weaving their way through each other
to get prime spots to showcase
their mundane lifestyle they’ll
forget in 24 hours.

Glistening in their florescent pink
sunglasses and straight,
skin-tight jeans.

Life lasts only seconds when
walking around blind.
In horror the view turns ugly.
As skinny jeaned,
pink sunglasses and
winter hat wearing sycophants
wage war on the organic
streets below.
It’s Rodney King all over again,
but now their shuffling to LMFAO.

Happy Hour

Getting drunk alone
is not a laughing matter.
At least I don’t have to listen
to the incessant chatter of a small man
making believe
he’s an intellectual.
At least if it were a woman,
her breasts would be a nice change
from the blah blah blah.
But what are the odds of that?
Walking all over my soul with the chatter
is nothing but mind numbing.

Trying so desperately to talk
Faulkner,
Byron,
Hemingway,
Oh fuck…
and Shakespeare.
Correcting the bartender on how to’s.
Small mouths trying to talk big,
arguing,
soiling what is left
of my everyday.

Leave me alone with my beer,
drunken soul and my own
decrepit thoughts.