welcome back,
thanks for remembering
that doing this
is an inseparable part
of your character

you just needed a break

no, i get that

except that you’re a liar

you’re being lazy

and you need
to get
your shit together


this is an endless war
there is no armistice
there is no eye of the storm
there is maybe
a time to prepare
and a time to rest
but time is a shitty date
and he will abandoned you
through the bathroom window
at a fancy restaurant
leaving you with the check
and no ride home

but seriously
welcome back
it’s nice to have you here

it was a very long summer
but the winter is starting
to look pretty badass



About these ads


oh man
you motherfuckers love your live local bands
and your froyo shops
you watch hbo religiously
and you love to throw packets of color
at each other
you love your dubby step
and your sufjan fucking stevens
so why don’t you motherfuckers like poetry?

you love your new age
mind expanding we are all one concepts
your love everybody and your empathetic swansong
you love all of this
but you refuse to hear it out of the mouths of
gibson arkind williams kerouac the other williams
and a lot of other really talented motherfuckers
who do give a shit about poetry

did high school shake it out of you
do you hear glade commercial haikus
and militant douchebags challenging math
when you think of poetry?

you ever think of john coltrane
or steven colbert or your idiot little nephew
trashing your bathroom
for the poetry that it is?
poetry doesn’t have to rhyme
it will not bite
except for that’s a lie
poetry is not dead
it is undead
it is crawling out of the ground
like the zombies in Michael Jackson’s
thriller video
yeah you know
shit’s undead
and it’s not sleeping well
because the internet
is the graveyard
and poetry
is the singing-and-dancing
super star zombie
Michael Jackson
from the video
for his 1983
hit music video




those blue hospital signs always
try to point me towards the drunktank of your heart
submerged for months
in your chinese water torture cell
i dreamt a blue dream
but the audience was watching and waiting
they always loving a ticking clock
so i had to escape

and now i drive down streets
and i rename them whatever the hell i want to
and i take my own detours
around the memories we staked into certain crossroads
like housing developments
dirt holes with pregnancy tests and empty shooters
but i drive around them
i do what i can to drive around them
but those blue signs are everywhere
and i don’t know if the h is for heaven hell or hospital
and i don’t know if i’m the visitor or the patient
and i don’t know what i don’t know
and i don’t know what you know

or if you’re at boston logan airport
sitting at the arrivals exit
or if you’re still chained to a bed
in flashlight city
but i do know most days these things don’t bother me

but those blue hospital signs always
try to point me towards the drunktank of your heart

those blue hospital signs always
try to point me towards the drunktank of your heart




i want to get
and grumpy
with you

i want to
eat ice cream
from the tub
as we
sit together
in our tiny home
watching twin peaks
on the couch
and you’ll have to
explain the
whole damn thing to me
i’ll be old
and i won’t know
really what the hell
is going on

i’ll make us cookies
but they’ll probably be
and taste like cigarette
smoke but you’ll eat them
and when we’re done
with the television
we’ll walk around the neighbor
hood and talk about whose funerals
we’ll have to go to this week
and we’ll walk in silence too
and i’ll love you
you know that
i’ll always love you
even when i’m fat and grumpy
and can’t remember shit

i’ll drive us down the road
at twenty-five miles per hour
on a forty-five mile per hour road
and we’ll listen to bob dylan
like it’s bobby darin
and i’ll hold your dried-up hand
in my dried-up hand
but i’ll probably have a stick shift
because i’m planning on being
a stubborn old man like that
but you’ll smile
and i’ll smile
and we’ll smile
and death will be napping in the back seat
with the air conditioning blowing on him

i’ll tell you i love you
and you’ll say what, i didn’t hear you
and i’ll say nevermind
because nevermind you know i do
because i told you a long time ago
that i wanted to get fat and grumpy with

and the grandkids will come over
and we’ll bore them out of their minds
with our great stories with huge gaps
in the middle of them where our memories skip
like old records
and they’ll be thinking about their ipads
and their yolos but we’ll make them
hear our love stories
where i’ll make up a bunch of bullshit
because the details will be long gone
but the feeling sure as hell won’t be
and i’ll cook them meatloaf dinner
and you’ll teach them how to play
checkers and i’ll look at your beautiful face
and try to recall what i did
to give you each and every one of your
lovely wrinkles
and your eyes will be no less bright
no less beautiful
and they say women don’t age well
but that’s bullshit
you’re beautiful
you’ll always be beautiful
even when you’re fat and grumpy
and teaching the grandkids checkers

we’ll go to flea markets
and barter the cost of a new toaster oven
and we’ll go to movies at ten in the morning
and we’ll laugh at the funerals
we’ll smile at the funerals
because we’ve been to so many
one for your old pal chuck
and one for my old pal douglas
and we’ll drive hand-in-hand down the road
and into the mouth of the great black something
and if it swallows us whole
or if it chews us up
it doesn’t matter much to me
because i won’t remember much
except that you were the one
that i wanted to get fat and grumpy with
and that was nice



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i’m in la la land
with the angels fresh off the greyhound
and the devils that grew from the dirt
with the monkeys swinging from the chandeliers
and the alcoholic typewriter
the ghost in the machine
the ravers in the skeleton ballroom of my skull

i can’t afford to write this poem

i can’t afford to drive to hanging lake
let’s face it, i can’t afford to pay attention
i can’t afford to drive to work
i can’t afford to go to the coffee shop
and buy a cup of coffee to help me write my way out

i can’t afford to watch the television
i can’t afford to miss you as much as i do
i can’t afford to dream
and i’m far too tired to sleep

at hanging lake there’s a vertical road
that waits patiently for me
and i will ascend it like mercury in a thermostat
and when i get to the top
i will see the waterfall at the top
(naked and waiting
texting me at one in the morning
asking me to come on over)

and i want to go really i do it would mean a lot
but i can’t afford to drive to hanging lake
and hanging lake ain’t coming to me any time soon




we stood inside the abandoned house
taking in the wreckage
like pages torn from a bible
carpet pulled up
thick dust on top of empty shelves
sunlight catching broken glass windows
like a mother grabbing her wandering child’s hand
you said it was so loud in there
the stories that scream in silence
the stairs that creak
and the lives that were lived and lost

and you knew to stop there
some message in a bottle
washed up on the shore
at 3015 kalmia street
and you spotted the glint of it
as we drove past
on this bleak and beautiful day

i wanted to sleep there
to stay in that house for the night
and wake up tomorrow morning
and help it regain its legacy
put a chest paddle paintbrush to its walls
and shock it back into consciousness

i don’t know what i’m trying to say
except that there was something in you
that knew that there was something
to see in this abandoned house
that flashed in front of us
at forty some miles per hour

i’ve been taught to look at the mountains
the sky the trees the murals on the sides of buildings
but you reminded me how god hides
in the places you’d least expect to see her





rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
we become afraid of our own shadows as they sweep over us
like a smallpox blanket but we will not go blindly

we will hang streamers from the rafters in the high school gymnasium of hell

we will paint with our fingers on the skin of our lovers

we will hold their hand as we descend the stairs into our parent’s basement
and this great depression which might be more of a grand canyon

we are armed with our teeth our bones and the best playlist ever made
the will to not will to the powerful powers that be
we know that the past has an ace up his dirty fucking sleeve
so we challenge him to a game of chinese checkers
and the wind blows into the gluten free donut shops
like a zen song like a child who has never seen a television set

men with legs like bicycles
women with wings like gods
the cash register building like the mountains of nepal
sinking slowly into the tarpits of new amsterdam

we were born a cactus patch but whereas you might assume
we would try to splay our arms outward
praying to every single cellular god there is
the truth is we just really want someone to embrace us
and sing us the song of freedom
the one that i heard as a child

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
because it’s a shitty hotel you’ll find yourself in
with dollar store wallpaper and see through toilet paper
with neighbors that scrape at the walls and haunted bedsheets
but the view ain’t too bad if you know what you’re looking at
and they got netflix there, so there is that

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
y rul
dive into the 3 foot section of the pool of the eyes of the person
sitting right fucking next you to on the bus because you ain’t got no car
you don’t need no car but you do need to take a vacation
and unwind you overwound wind-up bird and you need someone to love
i believe this i believe before anyotherthing i believe
and have a chocolate bar too ya know
because life is short and shit

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
because the movies are scary and the movies are depressing indie flicks
but you just might learn a god damn thing or two about yourself
as you stay up all night dancing around your scattered papers
arm in arm with insomnia and mary jane and insomnia and mary jane

because love can coexist with freedom you just have to put in
a great deal of effort if you want to learn to juggle fire
in a suit soaked in kerosene

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
and make your room your empire of confusion and madness
because empires are made to fall and new ones will rise
and those empires will fall and new ones will rise
and then those empires will fall and new ones will rise
and i’m gonna watch it from the rooftops sipping sizzurp with ginsberg
and the ghost of christmas present
and the roof will cave in i’m sure
and i will fall like alice through the miles and miles of bullshit
and when i land it will be at the bottom of a well
in the black night of the soul
and i will rage
and punch
black night
of the soul.





I walked down the way to the neighborhood McDonald’s like I did every day. It wasn’t too far. I was very lucky to live within walking distance of the burger establishment. The day was nice enough. A bit hot, but there was a cool breeze catching in the trees of late summer. It seemed as if the heavens were smiling down upon me.

I walked into the McDonald’s and saw people all around me. Some were smiling as they ingested their reasonably priced burgers but some of them looked less than happy. I walked to the counter where Jim, a nice young man who regularly helped me with my daily transaction, smiled at me and said

“Hey Al, how are you doing today? Welcome to McDonald’s,”

“Thanks, Jim. I’ll just have my usual,”

“A Big Mac combo?”

“Yeah, super-sized,”

“Well, Al, we don’t do super-sized anymore, but I can make it a large for you?”

“Large is fine,” I said, “I just really like saying ‘Super-Sized’,”

Jim took my five dollar bill and exact change and gave me my receipt which I crumpled and put in my pocket.

“Here’s your cup, Al,”

“Thanks, Jim,” I said, snatching the cup from his hand, I went over to the soft drink dispenser and filled my cup with very light ice and 48 ounces of ice cold Coca-Cola. I grabbed a large lid and a straw. I unwrapped half off the straw and then blowing into the straw, shot the other half of the wrapper into the trash. From there, I went back over to the lobby and waited, my arms crossed for my burger and fresh French fries.

I watched a lady and her son gather their food as they called out her order. She got a chicken wrap with a large French fry and her son had gotten a happy meal with chicken nuggets. The woman guided her son to a booth and they began to eat.

A skinny man who had rung up just as I had entered the McDonald’s came up to gather his four Spicy McChicken Sandwiches. I was marveled that such a skinny guy could eat so much food!

Then I heard them call my order out. BIG MAC AND LARGE FRENCH FRY? I went to gather my lunch and said to the lady behind the counter,

“Excuse me, miss? Can I get some hot mustard to dip my French fries in?”

The woman looked at me sadly with a smirk.

“You know, I’m very sorry, but we don’t have hot mustard sauce any longer. They discontinued it,”

“What?” I said, “There must be some sort of mistake. You see, I get hot mustard sauce everyday to dip my fries into. Are you sure you’re not just out?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry, sir. We simply don’t have it anymore.”

Her voice sounded slower each second. I could hear my heart thumping in my ears and my hands shaking. A great red rage began to overcome me as the woman behind the counter looked at me, her eyes filled with terror.

“You have to have some back there somewhere?”

“I’m really very sorry, sir. We are all out,”

“You can’t be all out!” I yelled, “You just can’t be!”

“I could get you some barbecue sauce, sir? The French fries are very good in barbecue sauce?”

“I don’t want the barbecue sauce! I want the hot mustard sauce! I come here everyday!”

It was then the anger overtook me. I threw my tray of food behind the counter and screamed ferociously as a coffee pot was shaken off the counter and crashed onto the floor.

“I want my hot mustard!” I yelled again, punching my fist into the Coca-Cola drink machine and knocking over the lids and straws, the salt and pepper and the little packets of ketchup. Some people began heading for the door, as others out on the patio looked in intrigue. I could feel their eyes on me as great globs of sweat began pouring down my face.

“I come here everyday!”

A manager came out from behind the counter, his hands out in front of him as he said to me,

“Sir, I’m very sorry, but I’m going to need you to calm down. You are being out of line. I’m sure we can solve this in a rational manner or I’m going to have to ask you to leave,”


I felt my hand curl up into a stone fist and saw myself swinging at the manager. Next thing I knew he was out cold, as the rest of the restaurant exited out the door. I began flipping tables, I threw a chair threw the window where there was an ad for a new burger sandwich. I could see the red in my fists. I jumped over the counter and shouted my demands again to them employees. I grabbed a teenaged employee by the red polo and demanded that he find me hot mustard. I threw him down and he crawled out the drive-through window in fear for his life.

“HOT MUSTARD!” I said, “I COME HERE EVERYDAY!” I said, throwing the deep fryer onto the floor as cornered employees screamed in terror. “I DESERVE HOT MUSTARD!” I said. “I NEED HOT MUSTARD!”

I pulled the drawers of burgers out, I swiped the mess off the counter as I lurked closer and closer to the cornered workers.

“It’s not our fault!” they said to me, but I knew better than that. They worked for McDonald’s. They were McDonald’s. They were keeping the hot mustard all for themselves. They looked at me like I was the devil himself, but I knew I was in the right here. The customer is always right. I yelled it at them.

“The customer is always right!” I yelled. I was a hero, standing up for my rights. You can’t just give someone something they love then take it away from them. That’s not fair. I approached them even closer my breaths ugly and harsh now on their faces.

“Please don’t hurt us,” said one brave employee desperately, wearing their McDonald’s employee visor, “Here, here’s a coupon for a free Big Mac combo.”

“Oh, that would be great,” I said, taking the coupon and exiting the McDonald’s. The day really was nice enough. A bit hot, but there was a cool breeze catching in the trees of late summer. Maybe tomorrow I would go back and try the Sweet and Sour sauce.




to a friend

i’m a single white dude
living in the middle of america
and sometimes i get overwhelmed

i think you have a pretty
valid reason to get overwhelmed
i mean
you work forty hours a week
at a job
that some weeks eats at people
like a disease
and you still manage to
take care of
your two little girls
(who seem to be everything
to you)
and i think that alone
is pretty fucking amazing

if that wasn’t enough
you are out there seeking love
trying to put the spotlight
on a beating heart
during the shit show
that is dating in your
(probably dating at all)
and you say you don’t even know
how to love someone
but from everything i’ve ever seen
that seems to be all
that you ever do

life throws a lot
at all of us
and it does it
in a way that is anything
but just
but there is a certain
fairness in the fact that
it doesn’t discriminate
it just comes in
out of nowhere
like a tornado
and picks up your nice cottage home
along with any other riff raff
it gets too close to
and throws it down the

what i really want to tell you is
when you said that you
feel like a crazy person
who can’t even manage their life
that couldn’t be further from
the truth

in reality
you are an amazing person
who somehow
finds a way to manage
her crazy life
every damn day