Cabbage: the Poem

December 6, 2011

I wake up to the smell of cabbage

I am sleeping on a giant cabbage leaf

The blue . . . no green . . now orange

Rib caged baby lion in a now current

Monster of coolness of sorts sorts the

Mail on his autumn leaves in Louisville

A cup of Earl Grey tea you fancy?

Fancy me? What did I do?

Where did I go?

Carpet cleaners are coming around noon.

Can they, would they spray me down with pink poison?

So, I can breathe again

Slim Gilliard would love the gibberish singing you screech

To me about fried ice cream and potato chips.

Alternatives? Drink snot and call me in the morning.

Call someone before you snuff it, off it, give up.

Please.

I’d like to catch up first.

Not save you. Live, learn and breathe with you.

You can go anytime just talk to me first.

Please

Something in the way she crowds around me

Grinds spines in the old chop shop

Aunt Dollien operated by herself

I should have, you should have

Helped her. Bloody mess it was.

Not she. 117-years-old and still

In charge. We listen and obey

She rides off into the distance towards the rising sun

Like the girl with no name in a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western.

Bang Bang. You shot me down.

Bang Bang! I’m vested and not crying yet

Ready

To meet my Angels. Are you?

Powder blue suntan, flowering yellow hair,

Insects in your eyes, resting, not doing any harm

They need rest too, ya know.

Sink deep into an opiate coma with me

With him, with her, everybody sing

“All we need is Love”

The bed drops softly to accommodate

Our bodies.

“Everybody is just a little homosexual. Whether they like or not” Allan Ginsberg once sang through my departed allies.

The piss in your pants somehow comes off

As a romantic gesture. just not sure who or whom or me.

Romance, courting and foreplay have changed.

Piss, spit and a clean T-shirt is all we desire

Under the brown, dark chocolate brown, chair

That wiggles when I turn on Wagner.

Maybe it’s German. Jewish.

“You should burn it and find out.” Jack said to me

Wiping the cocaine off his Skrewdriver T-shirt.

Salute the master. Carry his bones to the crematory

Make sure he’s powdered. Maybe a nice face powder someday.

Bring your tired looking face back to life.

They call you “face job” ya know?

I call you love.

Is life worth the sadness, the happiness, the ups and downs?

Worth love? Worth death?

Worth money?

(pause and take a deep breath.)

Tuna. Grazed grazed 2 day old fish  marked down 58 percent.

Thank God for the rain or the smell would have turned on the perverts and scared the little girls.

Take me back to the thousand foot

Red tranquil trees hanging over my head

Terrifying peace as the sun goes down.

Dreams don’t have to die

Ya know?


The Deadly Secret

November 4, 2011

 

The Deadly Secret

 

I’ve heard that term so many times.  never thought it would apply to me. It did.

 

I had trouble breathing 4 -6 months ago.

 

Months went by and my left arm went back and forth from slight pain to numbness sometimes. My chest was occasionally tight. My breath was short and became shorter every few days. My little secret. My deadly secret.

 

Deadly secret.

 

I mentioned it briefly to a couple people but I wrote it off as a panic attack or being out of shape and they agreed. No big deal. I took extra anxiety medications. It sort of went away. I tried to convince myself it went away. I’m too young to have a heart condition, right? So I kept my deadly little secret.

 

I went back to my cigarette smoking, too much coffee drinking and over eating bad foods. Ate, drank and smoked as much as I wanted for a few months ignoring the arm pain and shortness of breath.

 

My deadly secret was about to surface. It started off like most days. I woke up in the morning and had my usual several cups of coffee, an energy drink and as many cigarettes as I could smoke. No breakfast for this guy.

 

After a long urination, my breathing became difficult. I assumed it was anxiety or another panic attack so I took my anxiety meds and was stupid enough to light a cigarette. I’m always stupid enough to light a cigarette.

 

I had to put the cigarette out before it was finished. This went against one of the rules of my smoking rulebook. Rule 3: Never put out a cigarette before it is finished. You can see how serious this was getting that I broke a smoking rule.

 

I decided to go the hospital. My roommate was home and asleep because it was Labor Day.  I didn’t want to bother him. I packed a bag and wandered to my car. It got worse. I tried to get in my car and couldn’t make it. I stumbled back in the house.

 

I tried to wake up my roommate but didn’t have the energy to do much more than knock and slightly shout his name. No answer.

 

I called 911. I couldn’t breathe and figured an ambulance can get me oxygen faster than driving to the hospital. I searched for a small paper bag to use to breathe in and out of. All I could find was a paper grocery bag. I used it until the medics arrived.

 

The medics arrived within 5 minutes or so. Luckily the hospital was close by. I was put on oxygen right away and wheeled away into the ambulance by 3 or 4 medics. It was so nice to breathe.

 

I spent 6 hours or so in the emergency room and was diagnosed with bronchitis and discharged. There was a huge note on the release forms that said “DO NOT SMOKE” so of course I smoked while I called my roommate for a ride home.

 

It was hot and humid when I got home and I had trouble breathing. Our air conditioner was broken so I called my mom and asked if I could sleep there. I packed my over night bag etc and settled in at my mom’s.

 

I had one more cigarette and tried to sleep. The symptoms all came back and my heart hurt this time. My mom drove me back to the hospital and after hours in the emergency room I was admitted with a heart attack and I was to have triple bypass heart surgery asap.  I did.

 

This all could have been avoided if I didn’t keep such deadly secrets.

 

 

 

 


Poetry is for Wimps

September 2, 2011

I hate poetry. It’s for cowards that don’t have the balls to say what things directly and tell you what they really want to say. That’s what I used to think. I thought that for the years I’ve been writing my ramblings and prose because a lot of the standard poets I’d been exposed to were boring. All fluff and evasive.

 

Let me back up. As a teenager I loved poetry. I loved rock music and I especially loved the lyrics. I loved the Beatles. I had no idea what their words meant all of the time but I got something out of it. In the 8th grade I discovered Jim Morrison. Well, the Doors then Jim. I followed the trend of what everyone else was listening to and since there wasn’t much great popular music my Middle School and High School were into classic rock. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC DC, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors etc. All great lyrics. I loved the simplicity of some and the complex descriptives of others.

 

Then I found the book called No One Here Gets Out Alive, the biography of Jim Morrison. I fell in love with his persona. I bought every Doors album and learned every lyric. I bought Morrison’s poetry book. Morrison led me to reading William Blake and Dylan Thomas. This was poetry I thought was cool. Many people I know call him a hack. Maybe he was  but so am I and almost every artist, musician, writer, director etc. that I love.

 

Jump ahead to my mid 20s. I lived with a couple of friends and one was into a lot of the art, music and books that I was. He had spent his entire life building up knowledge of beat writers and their influences and punk rock and it’s influences. I grilled him for knowledge and books and records. I learned constantly about writers and bands I heard of but didn’t get into. He was my muse.

 

It was my second childhood of many more to come. I was making art constantly, listening to the Sex Pistols, The New York Dolls, the Velvet Underground, Patti Smith and reading William S Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and eventually Arthur Rimbaud and Jean Genet. It was a learning experience I will never forget. I started writing poetry, lyrics and short stories. They weren’t the best but I was trying to find my voice if I had one.

 

I started showing my art in galleries, coffee shops and book stores. I was actively participating in poetry readings. It was one of my many new beginnings. These artists and my friend have become part of me on a deeper level that is still with me today.

 

Years past and I evolved into other creative activities. Life started taking over like working and paying bills and girlfriends. I kept going. From that point of my life I knew I was an artist and had to create on some level or another.

 

Back to poetry. I went through a period and all I wrote were prose. Mostly simple stories and journals sometimes incorporating heavy descriptives then back to simple writing. I was developing as an artist, a writer, whether I liked it or not. Even when I’m not drwing or writing

 

About 9 or 10 years ago I got heavy into writing and I wrote and wrote non stop sometimes. That’s when I stopped liking poetry. That’s when I came up with my opinions stated in the first paragraph. That’s when I thought all poetry sucks. Then I remembered Charels Bukowski and a lesser known and in my opinion the greatest poet ever, Steven Jesse Bernstein. I prefer their prose but I love the way they write poetry. No rules. Just say what you want however you want.

 

My life’s mission statement is stolen from a poem by Patti Smith’s poem calle Babalogue that she recite before performing her song Rick n Roll Nigger. “I am an American Artist. I have no guilt.” I try and remind myself of that everyday.

 

The reason I was thinking about all of this is because I was at my favorite coffee shop last night for internet access since I don’t have it at home and I discovered that there was an open mic planned for the night. I hate open mics these days. I wasn’t in the mood to hear a bunch of people singing and guitars etc. then I found out it was a poetry and spoken word open mic. I thought this might be more interesting. I over heard some of the people that were there and went back and forth whether they are full of shit or interesting. I went with interesting.

 

I listened and there were some pretty good poets that also knew how to read it aloud. I listened to each poet and considered reading. Once I mentioned it to the older woman sitting next to me she gave me a push. I was actually a little afraid of reading. I picked out a few of more short more powerful and humorous pieces and eventually I read them. I could feel the energy of the room rise with each word that came out of my mouth as I read from laptop. I was nervous but still pulled through. I tried to be humble afterwards knowing how great I was, I am, as people complimented my poems.

 

It was a good night. I felt good having read after years of being out of the scene. It got me to thinking about poetry and my personal history and my mission statement. I am an American Artist. I have no guilt.

 

I might even go back next time.


Coffee Shop Blues

June 30, 2011

Holy shit. What do I do? I’ve been in hiding out alone in my house for so long and now that I’m out and making new friends and socializing I’m not sure how to react, what to say and what to do. When it comes to women. When it comes to her.

 

I’ve had a stressful day and wanted to hibernate like I did for the past few years but I found myself at the same coffee shop ordering the same coffee and sitting in the same place. I had to make a few phone calls, texts, and emails to move along the things that are stressing me and it was time for a cigarette break. There she was. Sitting with her back to me outside at a table immersed in work on her lap top or pretending to be immersed in it.

 

She was there for a while but this time I was compelled to talk to her. Tall blonde in tights and high boots that I thought were awesome so I told her so. They were sexy. We talked about boots in summer, men shouldn’t wear sandals ever, and people we knew. Normal conversation with a pretty blond with pretty blue eyes and nicely shaped legs. Not my usual type (blonde and blue eyes) but she was really nice and good looking. We talked and talked for about 20 minutes and seemed like we were hitting it off. Maybe we were or maybe we weren’t. I have trouble reading people after not being around them for so long.

 

She had to make a phone call so I went back inside and worked on a few projects for almost an hour and I wanted a cigarette and might have to leave soon and didn’t know what to do. Do I ask to see her again sometime? Do I ask for her phone number? Do I ask for her email or facebook page? Or do I just blow her off and forget about it? Write it off as just another person I met and leave it to fate (if there is such thing). Do I just pussy out like I have many times in the past.

 

I sat at my table and I looked up now and then and watched her working on her computer and texting through the sun filled window. I was kind of frozen. I wanted to smoke. I wanted to leave. I figured I’d go out to smoke and talk to her if she was free and ignore her if she was busy or acted busy. Then I thought I’d grab my stuff to leave, light a cigarette in front of her and say goodbye. The end.

 

I prefer casual acquaintances these days anyway. Jus as I stood up I saw her stand up and pack her stuff.. Didn’t know what to do. I felt like a stalker if I coincidentally walked out as she was leaving. Was she coming inside to talk to me or say goodbye? Nope.

 

She walked away from her spot outside the coffee shop. All hope was lost. I thought.

 

If I meant anything she would have come in. Oh well.. Fuck her. It got me to write.

 

It was at least safe to go outside. I did. Just as I sat down and lit my cigarette I glanced to the left and saw her at the parking meter. I ignored her. Suddenly she was in front of me talking on her cell phone. She kept walking but looked at me and waved. Was it a wave goodbye? Wave hello again? A wait a minute wave? She stood about 10 feet from me on the edge of the side walk. I was too consumed with myself and what could happen I couldn’t hear her conversation.

 

I imagined her telling someone “ I met this cute guy and we talked a lot. He’s nice but I think he’s stalking me now. Staring at me right now.”

 

I waited to finish my cigarette and a small skinny body appeared in from of me. It was a guy I know and haven’t talked to in a long time. I tried to focus on talking to him as I finished my cigarette still glancing at my fleeting coffee shop desire.

 

I followed him back in the shop and took my seat. I forgot about her fast. I guess it was what it was. Another person that entertained me for few minutes in between my coffee shop hanging out and writing.  Goodbye young lady. Goodbye for now.

 

Oh wait who’s that girl? I gotta go. . .


I Love to Smoke – Found Pic of the Day

June 30, 2010


Global Warming & Cigarette Smoking

June 23, 2010

Heat first. Every year I try so hard not to complain about the heat. I try to deal with it and hide in the air conditioning until the summer is over. Problem is that my current living situation doesn’t allow me to smoke inside. I love sitting on my porch with my cigarettes, coffee and laptop when it’s less than 77 degrees but once the heat and humidity crawl in I go crazy. Sure, I’m sure you’re probably thinking “smoke less” or “quit smoking” but I don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to quit smoking. I love to smoke. For some reason I seem to be more creative when I’m smoking and drinking coffee. It’s n my head. I know that. I used to think that I would never be creative without drugs or drinking. That’s changed. So, I’d rather sweat it out on the porch just so I can smoke than work inside the cool air-conditioned house.

After this last month of being unemployed I’ve finally balanced my time. I spend so much time outside and so much time inside. I spend so much time looking for a job and so much time writing. I go to my meetings pretty much the same time every day. I go to bed and get up around the same time every day. It’s not a tight schedule but it’s better than the habits I was falling into. It might sound boring but it works for me until I find a job or the weather gets cooler or I make a living off of my art. The heat has at least helped force me to schedule a routine in my life.

My enemy has become an unexpected ally.


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