Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ensnaring Vision

In a Lang classroom too cold for

a mild June we met,

a freshman wet behind the ears I

shivered intently with

five freshwomen,

our ambitions set in the way

our fingers strained against cheap

black and blue Bics

waiting to prove I deserved to

come to Lang with

a steady pen and

sharp need to please

from the first poem,

the first hurled stone

against the frigid room of femmes

arrayed in a rectangle around the table.

When we got our first in-class writing prompt,

we were told to write about a

specific body part,

I wrote about my hair,

tangled in inescapable hugs,

how it shrugged combs off

my head like black bramble,

curly and vicious down to the last

twisted tangle,

at the time I thought the poem

a gamble since I sought

their cherished first impressions

hinged on perfection in this jam session.

It was then I felt the incision of

Jasmine’s gaze on me

jealousy scrunched in her

raised cheeks as she tried

to read her new challenger

to the throne of best writer in B258,

she wrote with great gusto about

her eyes and how they changed color

like a mood ring,

as two hazel bands pinned me under

their sting as they asked

questions of me with a blinking wring.

With lunch came great relief

from constant sitting

with not-to-subtle shivering

a refugee from the room with

too much air conditioning,

I went slithering to the sunny courtyard

to bask like a sluggish python

on the concrete steps

when she appeared

with hands on her hips,

a determined pylon to keep me

from sitting alone sizing up

an escapee from the

interrogation her look intoned.

I was struck,

left prone by the azure networks

running under the cream of her skin

my legs were moving me alongside

her on 12th Street

before I even knew I’d given in.

“I didn’t think I‘d find a writer that

was better than me in HEOP,”

she breathed

as we passed East Side Copy,

after a few minutes of chatting about

our new classmates,

“who is better than you?”

I asked, thinking she was

talking about one of our peers,

nodding at me she silenced

my small chattering fears

about not being ready

for Lang when she sprung upon me

her master plan to procure artists of all kinds

to combine under her guiding

hand to take over their respective art worlds,

mere pearls ripe for the snatching

that we HEOP hatchlings

needed to grasp them and make them ours.

Nodding enthusiastically,

I disagreed with her earlier

statement as we strolled down University

she stopped and looked up at me quizzically,

her olive flecked eyes a

snakebite around my throat,

“I know genius,” she said suddenly smiling

laughter sneaking from round mouth

still walking roundabout the corner

of University and 12th Street walking a

half step ahead of me,

trying hard to keep my leer discreet

from round ass to legs to street

she almost seemed to shine under

the hazy white sheet of the June afternoon,

Jasmine a curvy bloom

alive with her scheme leaving me

struck by the diabolical sheen

of her eyes ochring from dull green

to a rusty tinge between gold and amber

my low self esteem was evaporated by

her casual dream.

I wanted her to be mine until she

mentioned her man Jason

the aspiring rapper,

cutting a seam in the soaring balloon

of my hopes making

the walk back to Lang

a long one paved with

my secret disappointment

and our public laughter

hers a pealing bell

against my low shy chuckle

slightly feeling knees

buckle I feel the first

stray bullets of adrenaline

waking electric corpuscles

in my cheeks finding I couldn’t

stop smiling, energy reverberating

in hot indigo wires in me,

a nest of restless limbs

lost in the lithe latte ocean

frothing up her forearms

rolling over the shores and spaghetti straps

of her black and white striped tanktop

as we trudged up the 11th Street stairs

ears buzzing in the static of our small talk.

Even to this night I try not to sulk

at that sunny June injustice,

the wincing clench of meeting

this winsome lass

my fingers bound,

my aching reach not exceeding its grasp.


With eyes half-lidded and harsh,

twilight intentions surround me,

she won't let up

with slight smile and guiding hips

that twist counterclockwise assaults

against me so fiercely

my hipbones are jarred

She undulates, pale

in the trace of the striped spotlight

Of streetlight, a lithe viper

eyes like amber agates

hard and widening at her task

as I bask in the shifting valley

of her back, right palm

planted in the hilltop of her shoulder

my fingers take root, gnarled

under her shoulder blade,

as her thrusting pace bade

to drive myself deeper,

a sliding explorer

in a humid glade,

soon in my many slips

I am made a slave,

her calculating smile

the teeth of a fly trap

I clutch her warily

as the tamer does the asp

except I shudder, bitten

inching into twitching

wet murder

Her hurried gasps

only confuse me further

into surrender,

swaying with her

in some frenzied dance

of tongue and teeth,

gleaming like knives

serrated and plunging deep

and sharp,

making us slick

without reservations

Inhibitions long

forgotten in the

waves of her moans,

she an island roamed

stomach to spine we


I am the diving serpent

she my writhing world.


Savoring the scratches,
I fold to expectations
stoked too hot, too fast.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stroll Through the Garden

Women, like flowers
expand as light passes quick
through them,
here in Washington Square,
an open-air market
where they'll be picked,
fickle though they are
as they parade through
the narrow walkways,
beautiful solo or as
part of a strutting bouquet

1st Avenue Routine

Echoing the millions of steps
before these I trot down
familiar chameleon streets,
their shadowed skins pulled
tight over my own,
caked with rats and shaking
with a cacophony of catcalls,
the thud of drunken pratfalls,

Surrounded by the piss-tinged gall
draped on me, on you, on all,
an overcoat of potential adventures
to seize these 13th Street tropes,
to open our throats to
the lurking nightlife,
shady assailant with an unsteady knife

A mugger with deadly poise
when it has an arm around
our shoulders as soon as our jaws
go slack in it's friendly squeeze,
it strikes unseen
under the happy sheen of
stupid whiskey grins

These evenings sending
us lurching down the street,
bodies languid with lust
trusting our trains
will bring us safely
home again.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nights at the Niagara

Ghosts of the past
run a shadow gallery
as live as the Louvre
in lieu of the lockstep
march of the hourglass
long trudged over
the true basic training times
in college where
we like fledglings
waddled out of the gate
with an unsure gait,
searching for our footing
in the dark,
squinting at quaking feet
instead of peering forward
at seemingly impossible goals
representing stern gaols
rising up in the
imperceptible distance

Though in tonight's instance,
those lofty perches are
forgotten in the flood
of vodka and reminiscence
made distinct by this
night of cameos
the throes of which
sit heavier than hot lights
on the highlights of genius
splattered against the wall

Spray paint of the subconscious
sitting splayed out
amongst the storm
of rabble rousers
out and about
in this Lower East Side parade,
a midnight carnival carved
from the fruits
of restless nights
in restless rooms,
the toil from their tombs
the sum total of
a typhoon of restless swoons
swirling into momentary celebrity
shooting us all high into
an orbit of everlasting celerity.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Needing Frenzy

With a tiny beep
a fleet of expectations
are launched like small ships
in my bloodstream,
an armada of bravado
set to sail with me
toward a text invitation
to vivacious company

I try to remain steady,
can't get lost in the heady
predatory shift of will,
as a lusting hand takes
control of the wheel
my oars thrusting forward
towards potential sexual thrills
heartbeat alive with
the trill of man's cherished
primordial goal,
to get the girl
who always sits on
a seat of power
perennially thirsted after,
the brass ring on
this mating dance merry-go-round

Grappling with this on
the hissing J train rocketing
city-bound I wear
the face of a pensive hound
eyeing food just out of reach,
clacking toward a potentially
lurid future the face of this girl's
significant other assuredly
smother my ambitions once hot
as a blazing fireplace.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Recall and Response

All memory is

revisionist, mirrors on

a bed of thick smoke.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Raided Whilst Sleeping

Busted suddenly,

the soldiers in blue jostle

this dream is jarring.

The Mission Statement

Fresh from a trip
I return home with
newfound fervor burning
me up like a fever,
eager to strike at the heart
of my Gordian knot tying
up master plots taking up spots
in burial plots,
the mental graves of a craven
turned necromancer,
armed with syllable-sharpened lances
with battle standard pennants snapping,
I tire of empty words
and hunger for your empty skulls.

The Visitor

I dreamt of you last night,

unexpected guest star in a ream

of strange dreams churning

like froth behind my eyelids,

swiftly cycling what-ifs

grown in the chill hours

of night’s ocean,

with me at the tiller

of an adrift ship

Do you still think of me?

I wordlessly stammer,

suddenly remembering

a recent whim to Google your name,

potential internet salvation

encircled by a burning shame

at being an unchanged sham

Do you still think of me?

I cannot help but repeat

news of your upcoming marriage

swam with purple on a screen,

wedding gift registry

causing a deadening inside of me

shrinking away from what was peeked,

a confirmation of you peaking into

the prime of your life

while I choose to remain enmeshed

in the flimsy dross of strife

Do you still think of me?

The question almost burns,

toss and turn,

I’m watching shadows that aren’t real

and still lie still and yearn

for something that barely lived

a relationship unearned,

left behind with new pimples

and high school histrionics

Do you still think of me?

I mouth in the first

moments of morning

trickling into a borrowed bedroom

bolting upright

out of this subconscious segue

making it’s way unbidden

to my chest beating out

old rhythms in the bloodstreams

you had wrapped around your fingers

wry smile and cocked eyebrow

raised in a self-assurance that made

me feel simultaneously loved and sick,

Do you still think of me?

I think about you

leaving bubonic memories pushing

against the sub-basements of my subconscious

until they made their way through the floorboards

late last night from first kiss to the last fights

to the last thing I said to you

at our high school reunion

as you stood next to your stout marine beau

aglow with being happy

and I could only venomously choke out

“see you next year”

sneer plain as day on my face.

Do you still think of me?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Child Support

How can I respect
a man who doubled as an
unrepentant shade?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Other Side of Night

The dawn begins it's periwinkle intrusion

on the windowsill,

a dull canvas of light slowly brightening

as Brooklyn springs to life,

after another deserted Bushwick night

punctured by rain and people

with soaked purpose

willing to brave it now giving way

to those pounding the damp streets

toward enslavement or those not caring

where the hours or days went,

our modern mainstay,

but anything's better than being a pensive penitent

enshrouded in a tent of regret.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The One

If I ever could

meet my alternate doubles

I would kill them slow,

they walked through the doors

the other green side of which

I will never know.