With Sean Cole.
December 1, 2008
December why must you start so wet here, and kick
Chicago and Ann Arbor with a white foot? I don't get it.
December your chill is no match for this shut-in,
West Wing and Nash Bridges reruns alternating on the t.v.
December you flash red and then green -- blushing as my
nude roommate puts her food away. Grow up, sir, it's only flesh.
December rabbits, rabbits, rabbits my first words out loud this morning
Bringing you in with good luck the monthlong
December don't hide under that conifer. All the elegies in the world
are looking for you. You're the last act, after all. Bunny up.
December order me a sicilian pie with mushrooms
But cut it so all the slices have crust, ok?
December it's one for the money but no one ever told me
one what. Until I know that I'm staying put -- showless.
December I don't pay for ice, I gets it free, see?
I gets it free.
December 2, 2008
Please take a little time to enjoy the view
It’s something that I so really like to do
so, really, lean up against this glass with me.
Floor # 40 is a myth. We're in space. The city
says so little, just sits at the bottom of its mine shaft.
And you're there in the time slip
And nothing can ever be the same.
This is lame, this leg. It doesn't dance. Behind me
the whole office puts its hands on its hips, knees
collapsing. I face west. Wishing you'd walk over
and ask me, "may I have this last stand?"
December 3, 2008
Mario Cuomo, cop a damn squat and let me
do your portrait. What the hell is wrong with you?
I had the tailor let out your old Brunswick (Georgia) Pirates uniform,
heard you were a pretty good centerfielder ’til you met the fence up hard.
Andrew Card has seven paintings in his attic now. Younger than his
under-Reagan years, he looks. You? There's Sanskrit on your face.
Yes, yes, I know, you wouldn't trade a Cuomo for Seven Cards,
but are you now the Hamlet of the Hudson River School instead?
One whose dad is dead? Absent from this castle yet among us?
Take your face and hold it in the air. I'll hurl my paintbrush.
December 4, 2008
sideways unopened futon sleep
into a morning neck crick
sick, I take upending slow
everyone on earth will hear a creak
peek ’round the bend
go inside yr head and hide
snide frolickers exeunt through
the park outside as I hit kitchen
December 5, 2008
Today is Ninja day. It's pirate day. Today the whole staff
at the Globe wears sweater vests. No joke. It's called the "Vestival."
I'm not sure that I believe you. I don't feel like googling to
check on your veracity. But, no joke, I think you're fucking with me.
Nope. True. And as I am an honest fuck I'll pursue: it's Hug Day,
when all IT guys triage bug reports. Bugs not hugs. It's also Veteran's Day for booze.
Hug Day? Booze Day? Mug Day? Youse Day?
All this gleep and glop has just confused may.
Would you believe the Dutch think this is Christmas Eve? Some guy
named Sinterklaas arrives tomorrow, bearing hash.
I do not believe in hash, except at that party in my yard
That time my folks had traveled far, yes that time I did believe in hash
December 5 Krampusnacht! December 5 is here! December 5 is
Communicate With Your Kids Day! It's the 339th day of the year!
339th day of the year? That can't be so, get out of here.
I'll do my math when math is done, but you said party, you said fun.
December 6, 2008
I just got a haircut
A best friend’s wedding tomorrow
And no matter how I don’t care about all that
(the grooming not the bride and grooming)
I just got a haircut
There will be pictures you know
But document me how you like
I’m only feeling so-so
Used to shave my van dyke off because it scared mom’s
As I subway goo’d at their kids
Now it’s just my own mom
Who likes to stare at this yid
(I cut it all shorter,
I do like my beard,
It’s still red like my hair was
When I was, when I was.)
* * * * * * * * *
Sabbath dinner last night.
First one ever. Nervous
grab my groomer. Switch it on.
Forbidden. But I'm goyish. Jewy,
yes, but not one drop Semitic.
Run the buzzer up one sideburn
toward the temple. These are Rivkah's
friends. Bearded men with kipots
on their pates. Kids wear zizit.
"Zzz" goes razor up the other
side. Payos dangle from the heads
of patient men. Yemenites call
side-hair "simanim." Boston I'm
all tufty, worried, tie my tie five
times before I get it right. Rivkah
asks me, "do we leave a light on
when we leave?"
December 7, 2008
Soon, we'll all live in white
bells live, now.
first we'll white sleigh
but soon flakes sewer all in.
December 8, 2008
everytime i'd remember i'd forget "fuck
everybody," i said to the barber. schlepped in
like some mope from a beatles song. "mow it off,"
i said, " i'll play him-him in the play this year, whatever
his name was that comedian. given I found love
notes in a shoe box aimed at what's her face I got little
to groom for. all you lonely schmendricks your names escape me.
December 9, 2008
Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm sure I'm right
If u figure me out
Can we figure me in
Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin
I've got enough fun friends
I don't need no more
Yr seniority don't matter
Walk the fuck out the door.
December 10, 2008
i sound like demi moore
but I can't paint myself
without a lozenge handy
still sound like demi moore
called my sister, wished her
a husky 41st this morning.
all day climbing down into a can.
now I sound like demi moore.
i liked blame it on rio demi moore
no small affair demi moore
one crazy summer demi moore
before she had implants
before she turned plastic
i liked bruce willis before demi did
he was like a demi-god, sipping
half a coffee in a cafe for the non-bald
i liked how spy magazine cropped
his face onto demi's molting body
i used to jerk off to about last night demi moore
the her and rob lowe falling in love, falling in sex demi moore,
i wanted rob's blue chicago cubs cap with the red C on it,
I wanted to be rob lowe wanting to be with demi moore
December 11, 2008
Starry night except stars are glass filaments in goy windows.
During red and green lit santa nativity scene december drives
as we passed each glowing house my dad would say "Goyim, goyim, goyim"
beat his chest like a roof bell. "It's a salute," he'd say. Today
my Rivkah says "let's find all the icicle lights." Two whole oldies stations elfed out.
Two whole traveling tree families work at two corners two blocks from another
One 1987 Chevy sliding toward certain brake job. One Elton
look-alike leaning into wind, new bank-envelope in hand.
And some porridge warm inside of me
And French horns, and firs. Put a star up there. Or a bird. I don't care.
Oh this turning orb is still predictable.
December 12, 2008
Three days old
My cold’s a different kind of awful each day.
Pour bourbon in your nose. It hurts
but helps too. I did it Monday. Tons of ouch.
Did you know people think that if it's made in Kentucky it's called bourbon
And every where else it's called sour mash, but that's just not so.
A Sprite down south is called a coke. Everything's a coke down there.
As in, "What kind of coke you like? Sprite? Sasparilla?"
The first time I did coke was in a room at the grand hyatt before
representing papua new guinea at the national model u.n.
Guinea hen ambles behind hut at South African game preserve.
What's his damage? Divorce. The damage is always divorce.
I'd like to divorce this three-day-old cold of mine,
don't even want no alimony.
That's called a 1A. Ask the clerk if you can see a judge
December 13, 2008
Peppermint Patty: please hand me an ornament.
We were in king’s plaza shopping center in Brooklyn when my friend marci’s parents told her she was getting a dog for Chanukah, a german shepherd they named Candy. I got an acoustic guitar, quit lessons after a month ‘cause my finger tips hurt.
I lean on the piano and look deep into the furl of your brow. The girl I really like is too pure for this type of Schubert variation.
i picked up the guitar after quitting the piano after a year of lessons.
I ran like hell at the ball, hoping the inevitable wouldn't happen.
after the guitar my parents bought me a yamaha clarinet for seventh grade music class. It was in the back of the closet come fall.
After I climbed down off the roof, I realized the whole flight had been in my imagination.
after that i'd bring it to my college newspaper office during no-sleep layout weekends, call myself the king of swing and hit way off notes through a brokendown reed.
One day I walked halfway to school before discovering my blanket bunched under my armpit. It just happened.
when we lived in flatbush the brooklyn academy of music wanted eight-year-old choir kid me to live there and study voice. my mother thought i was too young to live away from home.
One year the other kids and I met Vince Guaraldi. He composed us a whole new
carol, called us "kittens." I grew in love with him.
as senior in my k through 12 jewish day school, i joined the chorus partially to befriend the younger sister of the girl i liked, helping the little ones with their ties before we sang at alice tully hall.
When the bunch of us woosh out hands before the Christmas tree it blooms ornaments. Our wishes become truths through hard work and perseverance.
December 14, 2008
I’m gonna go outside today
Gatherin’ all my errands to do at once
Figuring the route so I’ll come back sooner
Proof pages to jesse
Scrips to the drug store
Head to a staples,
the one further from home but nearer the pharm,
For memo pads for daily pants’ pocket,
And Letter and tabloid paper for printing,
Then back to the pharm for drug pick-up,
Then back to jesse for final signoff pages
Then back inside
I like inside.
* * * * * * * * *
Finally back home. Drove
two hours last night to Portland.
Long way to travel for a party, arrived
late. Glided up and down Summit Street
peering house numbers. None
corresponds. Left car at curb to search
on foot. Arctic air curling both hands into
bird claws. Every address wrong. No sign
of merriment. Old man gazes out at me from nervous
kitchen. I call and call and Carol doesn't
answer. I climb back in warm car and uncrumple
the directions. South Portland. Not Portland. Who knew
you could build a whole new city by sticking
a prefix on the old one.
December 15, 2008
Dim already. 4:12 PM. Warm.
The employed need no coat for this commute.
Really, "The employed need no coat for this commute"?
You're Sean Cole, dammit, can't you come up with anything better than that?
Dim already. 4:12 PM. Warm.
David yelling at me via email to send him better iamb. He's mean.
"Better iamb"--nice! I originally thought it said better lamb, which made me
think of lambchop, shari lewis now 10 years gone, and why I should send you
Dim already. 4:12 PM. Warm.
As though it's spring, I remove both sock puppets, hang them up
beside my Nesmith hat.
My youngest niece, who I call monkey, with a y, more than her given name,
michelle, with an e, would like the way "Nesmith hat" sounded but have no
idea what you were talking about.
Dim already. 4:12 PM. Warm.
Unzip my name. Take the "n" off and lean on promenade railing,
I keep picturing Beyoncé singing
Unzip my name, unzip my name,
And wondering how she'd unzip her name.
Dim already. 4:12 PM. Warm.
Stars get ready to grace proscenium. Lobby lights blink on, off. A
cough. Then nothing.
Yeah, nothing, that seems like an end, right?
December 16, 2008
Wake at five
Sitting on my bed
Remote on my leg
Check my email
Look at the news
Say i'll be quick
Six-and-a-half hours later
I set my alarms to get three more hours sleep
Before my event tonite
But I just might
Put deodorant and powder on
Walk in the bathroom
With boxers and undershirt change
Decide no hair wash
But my pits are deranged,
Throat clears me awake
Gotta dress me
Gotta leave take
* * *
Fiendish! No holes
shirking since six when
Rivkah and I went rouge
grocery shopping, then rolled
through Somerville looking for more
psycho yule homages. What happened next
is so not PG I won't pantoum you with it. Suffice
with this: I'm the most fortunate lay clergy since that film
about the star-crossed spiritual advisor to the Massachusetts
senate -- a movie that doesn't exist yet but I'm going to write it!
December 17, 2008
Good morning Mr. Broken Thermostat
My dad listened to president carter
set our home's thermostat to 65
"if you're cold walk around the block then come back in,
You won't be anymore."
"Thank goodness for mercy," we collectively say to the toolbox.
My dad gave me a toolbox
when I moved back to brooklyn
"this is gonna come in handy
sooner than you think."
Our hands move toward the sink, and fold in prayer beneath the hot tap.
My dad and brother helped me
when I moved back to brooklyn
"we got replacement nipples for yr sister's bottles around the corner in
1957 at the borough's only 24-hour drug store"
Our Landlord, who's in the living room, hallowed be thy owner's manual.
My dad owned a powder blue 1969 Karmann Ghia
Until another car came crashing down our street
"I never should have parked the car
in front of the house."
Midday comes, and with it brand new warmth derived from hardware store.
My dad would buy store brand mayonnaise
Put it in the old hellmann's jar
"don't tell your mother,
let’s hope she won’t know"
December 18, 2008
The dominos don’t end on this
You want no structure
And I just took a piss
Structure is for foster kids. Or games.
Poems aren't orphaned blocks of wood with dots.
This is not a villanelle.
The very first line's by aaron sorkin
From a west wing episode
The dominos don't end on piss
TV kicks poetry in the ass.
Frank O'Hara almost said that.
I would like to be paid in pizza, I said.
Vicky and her boyfriend came back from vermont snowboarding
"do you know if there's a pizza hut nearby? A papa john's? A domino's?"
"aargh! you live in New York City, get ray's pizza," I said.
"we have a craving," she said.
See? Structureless. Just when you thought
we were going to three-line you to death.
December 19, 2008
One month into my 38th year God
says "eff it," ends the whole world under
white, cold, calm
It's like blame landing.
I'll lie here, under the wet
wig of all that regretful
Last day of my 42nd year Clapton
says "would you," knows my name
cocaine, blow, Bolivian marching
It's like same remanding.
I'll try beer, wonder the pet
pig and all of that hateful
December 20, 1966
My folks say I was my sister’s 10th birthday present
Tomorrow’s her birthday
Today is mine
When all my clothes were outfits
her friends would come over
dress and redress me repeatedly
* * *
My sister's 10th birthday gift was a divorce
December 10th, same day
as Emily Dickinson.
With all the world's lovers
failing in their resolve, she got
mean. Humiliated me with dad's porn
when her friends were over.
December 21, 2008
Solstice: deriving from Latin "sol" meaning "solar," same root as "soldier." Norse God "Saul" marched his horse toward Saturn, blotting out partly the sun. Partying on Earth starts early. Women doff their habiliments for less solid cloth. "Stice" comes from "Sistere" meaning "sister." These are the origins of the phrase "soul sister."
The Human Be-In was on the winter solstice.
Nixon resigned on the winter solstice.
Rick James released Super Freak on the winter solstice.
Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in the World Series on the winter solstice.
The Greeks pulled that Trojan horse bit on the winter solstice.
I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus on the winter solstice.
Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay climbed Mount Everest on the
Marlon Brando had fake Native American Sasheen Littlefeather refuse
his Oscar for The Godfather on the winter solstice.
G-d said to Abraham, "Kill me a son" on the winter solstice.
Solidaritee: An apparel company created on this day 1987. Apparently they make "gender-crashing" yoga Chanukah gifts. I'm not joking. Today was solstice in 1962 when America tells Polaris to seize Britain and Polaris refuses saying "What is 'seize?'" The reason researchers say Charles de Gaulle was elected to victory this day was
because the Sun roamed closest to France. A closet in Belgium yawns for the injustice of it. St. Sulpice: a beer garden in Montreal which, when the stars are violent, breeds flirtation.
Kurt Cobain was born on the winter solstice.
Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase on the winter solstice.
Jell-O pudding was invented on the winter solstice.
Fitzgerald wrote Gatsby on the winter solstice.
George Washington kicked some British ass on the winter solstice.
Pandora opened her box on the winter solstice.
Captain Matthew Webb swum the English Channel on the winter solstice.
Secretariat won the Triple Crown on the winter solstice.
Secretariat's shoulder was pounded into a poultice on this day, 1973. The skin stretched tight over a drum. A tympanum. Singular for tympany. The whole symphony marching out to Bronx Hill, hitting horse bones against corse hide. Equinus: the Latin from whence St. Thomas Aquinas gets his name. Let him divine us. High school was nothing compared to this renewal. Equifax: strike our tax debt from your jacket ledger. You are Scrooge Act 5. Act 1 is behind us. Minnesota: vote this season into office with your caucus poll. America: nab a neighbor’s hand and nestle on the nearest hummock. Hock your voices to the world wind. Let us all sing "ho," the word "ho," like St. Nicholas only singular. Let us all plough new runnels in the snow, lay down in them like angels cryonically chosen for a future now.
Sean Cole and David Kirschenbaum wrote this on the winter solstice.
December 22, 2008
30 years ago today,
in Lenox, Massachusetts,
on winter’s first day,
December 22, 1978,
Bernadette Mayer wrote her classic poem Midwinter Day.
Not on winter’s middle day
Does this mean Monday is midweek?
I’m just saying.
Dream-standing. Power yoga to the people:
you show up. I've had you here now a bushel days.
Your tower on the dining room desk. Everything
is flexible with us. Today I spoon in and out of crowing.
Your Alaska clock is like the sun climbing out of a hole.
We get up. Everest. Damn dark it'll be two hours before
I'm watching you do Utkatasana in front of the fireplace.
7:20 diet cherry kool aid pee
ice fill mets tumbler
grab nyc tap poland spring 1.5-liter bottle
touch trackpad lights up screen
paolo emailing from his honeymoon about the anthology
don't surf, back to bed.
10:20 nyc tap poland spring pee
ball blanket up on futon's bed pillows
Clear papers, magazines, files stack off old classroom chair
Tune sports radio 66 wfan in to hear huge jets fan joe benigno rail over
their loss—"Oh the pain."
Sit on opposite end of futon,
put feet up on chair,
MacBook on my lap.
10:58 mute football talk,
turn tv on to abc,
The View begins in two minutes.
I tell you 10:45 because I mean 11:00. It's understood with us.
Much is. "Mush," I tell myself, thrashing my own leg. The bus.
You don't wanna. Too in love. Ice has built an awful town on top of this one.
House too warm to leave even for four days, to swap even for New York
where afternoon hits like wind on a brick sail. Soon you'll clock the East
Village with your blue boots. Each step one second. Clack.
Cluck. A hundred buses land there every dusk. Each one
filled with solitary lovers bracing for the cold like a present torn open.
Breakfast is late lunch
spinach and tuna mixed together.
(I'm out of mayonnaise.)
$2.24 in my checking account,
another $15 in my wallet.
Eating is an exercise of
opening cabinets, the fridge, and the freezer
and thinking what can I make,
since ordering in can't happen right now.
Wash a bowl to eat from,
and heat up some of last night's enriched white rice in it,
combining the spinach tuna mixture and the rice
and put some nyc tap poland spring in my ice fill mets tumbler.
The Empire State Building's blue and white
They've changed their lighting patterns,
no more all red-green December except first blue-white Chanukah night.
Now four days blue-white,
six days red-green on north/south sides
and blue-white on east/west sides,
then nine days red-green
In all, not a bad time to be a Jew with an Empire State Building view.
It comes early. 4:30. Already, no one can see his left hand.
I say "his" because I mean mine, ambling this moon
scape. Every step takes one hour, one whole evening,
dear. The world is a hip rolling an empty cup.
I'll have you know I saw her tonight. Never happens
but first the dog ran up and then it was three years earlier.
Three of us wandering kings. Three kids playing
broken house. I talk about people she doesn't know. New
chums and their problems. Soon I'll meet one of those
friends at subway stop. We'll eat Indian, drink dark
rum ginger beer, nauseate by the fire. I'll drive
him home. I'll lie on the couch tonight. Black and white
Christmas Carol lurching me to sleep. Past comes first.
past always comes first. every dream seems not one
i'm falling asleep and waking up with my laptop on, yes, my lap,
waking up 20 minutes later with a bit of headache,
tonight i'll go to bed earlier,
not so early as to effect my sleep patterns,
but earlier so as to catch up on sleep
even though you can't.
December 23, 2008
'Tis the season to be arrested for shoplifting. Prosecutions
through the roof. Once upon a time, in New Paltz, I thought
of filching snack cakes from the Lil' Peach but I didn't
have the balls of holly.
when i was in junior high
we'd go to good ’n' plenty,
the candy store next to my synagogue,
while my nonjewish friends would engage the cashier
i'd be down on the floor
scooping packs of topp's baseball cards into my tallis bag,
alongside my prayer shawl.
we'd bike to the schoolyard a few minutes later,
split the take.
December 24, 2008
working at chemical week
the woman who's my assistant or co-copy editor
expressed a desire that all of the copy be broken up
the larger pieces,
like 15 short interviews under one heading
so today, to make her happy, i did just that,
i broke them up.
then i see her walk toward andrew wood
my then chemical week boss
and complain that they're all broken up
"she wanted them separate, so i separated them," i yelled to him
as i walked toward him.
"either i'm an idiot or she's gaslighting me."
i realize i'm not wearing a shirt, any shirt at all,
not even a v-neck undershirt,
and that my blue jeans have no belt on
and are unbuttoned
with the fly down a litle bit,
like i'd just ate too much at a holiday dinner.
maybe i should put a shirt on, i think, and look around.
most of the other guys aren't wearing shirts, no shirts at all,
not even v-neck undershirts.
* * *
This isn't a work shirt at all it's just hair. Not a "hair
shirt," a la monasticism -- I'm a hirsute copy-editor feigning
ignorance of standard operating couture. i.e. I cracked
the dress code, i.e. all you fools in pants pale in smarts
beside my poet sensibility.
I am a 24-hour poet.
My fly is down. Walking toward you, you'll soon realize
I'm nude inside. All these rules don't apply to my 6' 3"
350 pound body of work with lush fur growing from it.
I am many men, with many pairs of pants bunched around
I am vast, I contain multi-dudes.
You've main-framed the argument all wrong my vested
pal. Soon you'll pay me what you owe me: attention.
Soon I'll get my due. 14 pairs of slacks. Plus severance.
Plus "I'm sorry" painted on your chest with a violet
apologizer. I know where every woman in this office
keeps her hairbrush. I am thorough. And I will never
stop researching the work-a-day poem that is reality.
December 25, 2008
The last christmas I celebrated was in 1994
candace’s dad's and step-mom's house
met them for first time that night
we excused ourselves to go see new version of Little Women
with winona ryder and the my so-called life girl, claire danes,
it was five days after i seven weeks into us
asked candace to marry me on our shared birthday
she turned 22, i turned 28,
on the floor by her seat in the middle of the movie cobb
at the sony lincoln square theater
with a knotted up straw as a ring,
a long one, the ride back to her east fifth between c&d third-floor walk-up.
* * *
I’ll have a bleu cheese and bacon Christmas burger without you. That is,
if I can effing find a place that’s open today. Enough non-revelers around
you’d think locating take out or better yet delivery wouldn’t mean going all
Vespucci on this town. Such is food. You’re in New York, eating dim sum as is
the wont of your people. New York the eating is the greatest part.
The rest, though, I could live without. The rat rent. The need to outsprint
every other potential tenant just to hug uncomfortable in your twin hole. CBGB’s
closing, the constant threat of tourism, no wonder the whole place is one big
alcoholocaust. Cruella de Vil moved to Albany for a reason, mademoiselle.
I don’t expect to be fed this evening but at least I can languish by the fire-
place and wish the grocery store were open so I could buy wood.
* * *
take a highway away from me
and i'm in the car you see
no delivery today
so i order yesterday
a sicilian pie with mushrooms
don't tell my diabetic doc
no flurry of activity
pass on a christmas party
to sports radio and paper layout
while drinking flavored seltzers
because they're cheaper then soda
in my local supermarket
in every supermaret
i prefer raspberry- and orange-flavored
the lemon just don't work
but in a bar i ask for lemon
sometimes i ask for lime
looking like an alcoholic
which isn't really a crime
unless you crash your car on the highway
13 already dead from accidents
so i stay in my home
this christmas day
’cause i'm a jew
and a shut-in
with a deadline to meet.
* * *
Two folks in the past two days have asked
me if I've seen Elf.
"Yeah," I've said, "I cried."
Both were quizzical.
"I just think it's so funny," both said.
"Yeah," I said, "When they lifted the sleigh with
the power of their belief, I bawled." Like some
George Bailey, rubbing Mary's face asking, "Hey.
Do you know me?"
December 26, 2008
one of my sister's long island railroad friends was randy gordon,
the editor of ring magazine, the boxing bible
my sister connected teenage me with him eventually
me going to their offices-
slash-boxing hall of fame
(i marveled at how big former heavyweight champion primo carnera's gloves were,
all 6'6" 270 pounds of him)
doing some clerical work
helping out with the ring record book,
their boxing annual,
even meeting the publisher,
the legendary burt randolph sugar,
who'd sign a copy of the book he cowrote on muhammad ali
and gift it to me.
i was as tall then at 14 as i am now, just a bit under 6'3",
weighed 150 or so,
"you'd make a great middleweight with that reach," randy said.
"a great middleweight."
By now I can say this: I have been searching all day
for a box that will fit this miniature bench. It's like a park
bench for Barbie. Smaller even. Two big holes in the seat.
Salt and pepper shakers nestle there. It's a tandem
toilet for Barbie's twin nieces. It's a going away present for my best
friends. February they leave: breaking my heart. No box
will fit this gift. I've tried. The box my socks arrived in Friday, special
socks that someone stole with all the other clothing in my
back seat. The box that Jenny handed me before boarding
a South African jet. "It's a great phone, Seanie," she said,
"I've been using it." The box in which I made a mouse home
for an American mouse. It was ailing. Some parasitic agenda filled
its innards. Instead of dead I wanted it alive so I could speak
with it, discuss mouseness. The box I live in now, alone, without
my friends who've have[who’ve] fled to other coasts, to the East Village, the edge
of Perth, Australia, the Saudi town on the Gulf, one of the Twin
Cities, I can't tell them apart, and the heart of Oregon where we
wonder "what rain will land here? What boxes can we escape each
other into." The bench has a photo of Brockton, Mass., on the back of it:
birthplace of world's only undefeated heavyweight champ, Rocky Marciano.
December 27, 2008-sean then me
Brought up in the country of get your own
fell far but the barn (came) up & smacked me
Do you see what's interesting about this?
The air is interesting.
Moon up over the embers.
The crystal haze
It is unlike night.
It's odd to have a separate month. It
is nice at Nice. Wander
but ideas are obscure and nothing should be obscure tonight
December 28, 2008
In 9th grade Spanish class
our assignment was Quien soy yo?
Who am I?
I got up in front of the class and said
"Mi numero es veintiocho."
"Yo rompio mi tobillo en los beisbol playoffs."
My friends in the class knew the answer right away.
"Tu eres Cesar Cedeno,"
the Houston Astros centerfielder
who was one of my favorite ballplayers.
"Mi ciudad es muy aburrido," everybody said. Assignment
was get up and tell the class about your town. Nobody
prepared. Alex Weiss's mom was from Spain somewhere so
he already knew how to habla on and on about his birthplace.
December 29, 2008
Overate. Feel like a round ornament hanging
for dear life from an evergreen branch. This
condition is known as "Jolly Body."
when i call my brother on his cell phone
a picture of me,
at my bearded best,
atop it the words
"Here comes Santa Claus," say the children
as I roll down the street. They throw black
snow at my sleigh. I light a smoke. Seems
no one needs to be good anymore. Whole
year to make up for poor behavior.
there's no time to make up for poor behavior
just behave, truly
just be good for goodness sakes.
December 30, 2008
(words from Sean 12.30.01, 02, 03, 04 poems, collaged by dak)
David, we’re setting off to your city to say goodbye
be in a bar with terrorists
in a hole,
unable to evade the guilt I am feeling.
Maybe this world can only hope to sidestep hell, cancer, fire, plutonium, fear.
Tonight I am not buying it.
People could, I swear,
my neighbor couldn’t.
I dreamed amnesia tomorrow,
many things a moment.
I wonder when you step out windows,
escape the end,
sorry, my shoe hit a mall,
an explosion blowing it upward,
David, we’re setting off to your city to say goodbye
be in a bar with terrorists
in a hole,
unable to evade the guilt I am feeling.
(words from dak 12.30.04, 05, 06, collaged by Sean)
Bob Geldof looks really thin.
Dylan should be organizing an extra
meal a day for him. I’ll buy tickets. Even Dylan
has a pretty face but sickly.
I wouldn’t say it’s diabetes. But body changes
can be quite disturbing. Even certain
pairs of my pants have grown bigger. I’ll be driving
to Jordan to sell some tickets to friends.
Dylan’s car, maybe. I don’t have the money
to put fifty dollars toward a new cell phone.
So don’t call to tell me I look thin.
I know I look thin. I know a credit
card can kill me. I know unemployment
can worry my father. But The Mets
don’t say my vacant outfit looks un-hot.
Multiple messages from home:
“Yre the only goon
with a pretty face,
a tight can,
a gay heart
and a fax number.”
I won’t call back.
December 31, 2008
New York. Unique new year. You near.
After rehearsing the Star Wars poem-songs for tomorrow,
Jesse invites me to stay for dinner with him and his kids in their new apartment.
We settle on Chinese, and he says he's going to pick it up.
"Dude, you live in the city," I tell him, "you don't pick up food."
But my intercom doesn't work yet, he says.
"You give them your cell number, have them call you from the lobby,
you go down and meet them there."
What if the delivery guy doesn't have a cell phone, he says.
"He'll have a cell phone," I say.
Ian’s party. Arty paeans written by bitten, wry Brooklynites bookleting.
"We have no chairs," Jesse says, "hope you don't mind standing when you eat."
Sitting next to his kids on the couch I say,
"Why don't you just bring the kitchen table in here?"
Droll bopsters on dance floor. Big screen ball dropsy. Flouncy door beads part to pot flower.
Watch the beginning of the SpongeBob movie on their 13-inch tv,
me sitting, all Schoens restless, sitting and standing
as we eat our Chinese food.
Eight-year-old Logan's coughing nonstop,
one spoons the hot-n-sour soup he ordered.
“I don't like it,” he says.
I tell Jesse he can have my tofu vegetable soup,
and Logan eats it right up,
cough slowing down a bit
Back room. Boom: we're in the cookies. Milk reduces booze influence, Rivkah says. I moo at her.
Around nine i bundle up for winter walk home
although it's only a block.
Say to Jesse's kids,
“Alright tonight's the only night each year you can say this line,”
and tell them "See you next year."
Logan, is laughing crazily,
his 12-year-old brother True rolls his eyes.
“Alright,” I tell them, “here's the rest of my fifth grade material:
“You're pretty … pretty ugly.
“How do you say pig in French? Pig in French.”
(And you can substitute any word and any language for that one,
like how do you say cow in Hebrew? Cow in Hebrew.)
Logan's still rolling, True still eye-rolling.
“True, these jokes will suck until your 25,
when you're 25 they're going to remind you of when you were 10
but also be so dumb that you're gonna laugh like Logan is.”
Ride home. So cold, lit. Hive roams in head. Loll to sleep. One leap moment. I'm 2,009 years old.
All the New Year's Eve specials aren't doing anything for me,
nothing on my premium movie channels
or the basic cable ones that always have what used to be called the movie of the week
so i scan through my dvr's library
and watch something so memorable i delete and don't recall it.
(I find that deleting recordings from dvr to free up space
is almost as pleasurable as watching recordings from my dvr.)
My 15-year-old niece calls from new year's sleepover.
"Uncle David, what's wrong with Dick Clark?"
“He had a stroke monkey,” I tell her.
"Happy new year," she says.
“It's a quarter to, call me when it's the new year.”
At three minutes to 2009 i default to Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve
(now with Ryan Seacrest as buzzard-in-waiting),
see the Times Square light descending bright between the buildings over my terrace
as the countdown ends and the clark's happy stroke overkiss.