bukowski and friends

House-hold

coming up the stairs
with all the lovers
you have had

at once
a party,
a rebels march,
a taking back,

of the creaking tomb
now owning your morning
and your night walks,

I can see myself,
falling, into the ocean
or, a pendulum swinging
on a crooked branch.

you can’t see me
like I can

and that’s what makes it
easy, like yours,
hard, like ours,
complete, then mine.

a set of advantages
builds,
oceanic

and all that rests
is the applause
of crowd laugh,
of foot twitch,
of airs,

untold,

of a tour,
of a chorus,
of everything,
in-between,

buy the hat,
sing the dance,
make it yours,
and mine,

mine
is an easy calligraphy
in-between the mad,
coarse
dance that
shuffles us,

into new, exotic
singularities

we want to raise
our finger
into the air

and ask it for anything
but what we already know

so that,
and this,
and our dream
meet,

a half burning finger
in-between

that stings,
and sings,
and singes,

that easy binge,
it brings
us cover
to honesty

it brings us
closer to sovereignty,

and it clings us
to the envelope
so that we cannot
grow
without
that

and we go
we go until
there is none left

and that is it
for us

isn’t it?

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One Size

I can’t stand shopping.
I used to love being a kid in the cart and
grabbing stuff from one aisle when nobody looked
and then dropping it somewhere else:

maybe I was a child anarchist,
maybe I was a shit,
maybe I was a fucking artist,
without proper tools or inspiration.
so I took to the shelves and remade them
in my own twisted version of store planning,
in my own storm of shop dropping,
two decades too early,
two little fistfuls of products, poised
to my own devious ends.

Years later when I worked in a grocery store
all that karma was reduced to a single bill
I owed what I owed and at the end of the night
I had to fulfill the duty of looking for products
that been left in the wrong spot
the entire fucking store, shelf by aisle by freezer by display
for lost items, that they called “orphans” in case the
average minimum wage employee needed reminders that this
was a dire and crucial element to the job.

I think about the orphans when i shop now
and still once in awhile create a little chaos
for the next kid whose just trying to finish their shift
and get to some party where they can talk about how
it makes no sense to call them orphans since
they have never really left the florescent home
and they would by this logic call shoplifters kidnappers.

I have to shop sometimes though.
It is water boarding for my soul.
I loathe every salesperson not because
they invite it but because I just detest everything about the phony process.
I even start to sound like Holden Caulfield.

I needed boots though.
It could not be helped.
The previous week I had done a rush job of foot wear.
I had bought a pair, believe it or not, an entire size larger than mine.
This is how much I hate shopping.

They were like clown shoes after a few hours.
So I wore two socks.
but then my feet got all sweaty
and I’m pretty sure some sort of
athletes foot started to flare as a result.
They were on sale too. So no returns.
Now i had to return to the scene of the hell-crime.
I had to do twice what I reluctantly do once a year or more.

So I tried on 18 pair.
No luck.
everything felt like it was hard and designed for robotic footed beings.
everything felt like a twisted Cronenberg three hour retelling of Goldilocks,
with redheaded temper replacing blonde earnestness. Every sales clerk was
more and more a grizzly.

I gave up on Pay-Less.
It should have never crossed my mind to enter since
it looks about the quality of Al Bundy’s shoe shop,
and that can never be good.

I ended up back at the place I started.
Endless bus rides, hours of muzak and increasing
sense of panic driving into my body,
back to the fucking shire I went, seeking the impossible.

I saw them out of the corner of my twitching eye.
They gleamed like fucking Excalibur.
but then they walked like geisha clogs.
5 more pair.
5 more runway walks.
you always fucking wish the salesperson
would just fuck off
and not watch you do your test walk
like what am I going to do?
run out of the store in tight boots?
has this happened?
is it an epidemic?
i start to think about how this must be the shittiest job in the world
watching for potential kidnappers
putting boxes of orphans on shelves like a
detective at the end of some show
and finally
a pair of Timberland’s spoke
my fucking language
and I almost threw the size 13’s from hell
back at the sales clerk and
decided against it
I almost put them on the shelf
but didn’t
I just walked home
proud for having avoided a total rage out
and put the 13’s in the box the Timberland’s
my sacred number 12’s
had come in, and I put the box in the back of my closet
next to the other things
I like to pull out of retirement
for a laugh
now and again you need
to laugh at your own foolish abandon
of logic
of reason of
all fucking hope

because boots are made for walking…
and orphans are made to be re-shelved,
and shopping is for masochists,
see you again next year.

The Truth

I fucking hate it all.
I hate needing it.
Having to encircle the moment
where I finally stoop back
down to the desert of tomorrow
and eat my own faith alive,
some kind of vulture for
my own survival, my own future.

I love that I can leave it all.
I want to bring them all with me
but they’ve always known that vulture kid,
and I’m heading somewhere new.

I’m heading to you, kid.

The Meta-Movie-like Hangover Experience

Head like a Hellraiser cube.

Eyes like Demons.

Feeling about a foot tall like Puppetmaster,
or some remnant of Harryhausen’s Ghost.

Woke up this morning like Groundhog Day.
Wanted to Lennon Bed-In my way out of it.
Couldn’t find the light switch like Waking Life
meets Philip K Dick meets 12 Monkeys,
or Mice of Men meets T-2, making robotic motions
slowed down like Fear and Loathing’s
man on an ether binge scene.

I’m stuck in my own meta-remake like
Last House on the Left meets
Cabin in the Woods.

My head feels like Blow Up.
I wanna throw up, like the
intertext of Stand By Me.

I want to crawl up inside a replicant,
I want to be Deckard, I want Daryl Hannah
from Clan of Cave Bear, to teach me about fire,
and how to be a better warrior, like Braveheart.

My fucking head feels like Scanners,
just seconds before the bang, like original
Total Recall, just before “Two Weeeeeeeks!”
and even a little like the Red Mist leftovers
of Hurt Locker opening scene.

My stomach is like Videodrome.
I could reach inside and pull out a pistol,
long as any of Eastwood’s, but surreal
like one of Nicholson’s Joker props.

My sinus’ like that guy in Crocodile Dundee
in the New York House party, eyes red like the infected in
Return of the Living Dead, Jonny about to scream
“Ginaaaaaaa!”. My nose filled with shit that alternates
between Slimer in Ghostbuster green and
the 80’s The Blob’s pinkish hue and the yellowy rust of
the alien in Enemy Mine.

I’m propped up at the table,
like Texas Chainsaw family,
or even the elder zombies in Dead Alive.

I feel like Gilbert Grape. I try to talk,
sound more like Mumbles from Dick Tracy.
Pale like Powder.

My memory is all Memento meets Hangover
meets Being John Malkovich.
I feel like the actual New Jersey Turnpike.
Like Kafka woke me up in a script for a
Basketcase remake
and all I can do is try to scream but my mouth
is all Mr. Anderson shut, or
even Twilight Zone movie-clamped up.
Either way it’s Eyes Wide Shut darkness.
Event Horizon of the holidays.
Candyman mine as well be in the shower,
and I’ve begun to turn like American Werewolf
in snowstorm. I just want to get back to school
like Dangerfield or Slater or Cusak
in any number of films.

I just want to dance,
like the guy in Dazed and Confused.

Where’s the easy voice over of Daniel Stern?

It’s a fucking miracle we survive every day.

This poem is best read to this:

It’s a fucking miracle we survive every day.
I don’t ever forget that fact that the internet shows you
that every single terrible piece of shit you thought was out there
is just the first stage of the real hell of them all out there, in their undecided,
cynical, high and drunk and violent natures, casting their own shit in verse all over the world.

You can tell me that you see a world of rainbows and honeysuckle at midnight
out there in the one and the zero forever fields, but it is also slain bodies of a million
and it is the empty crevice of idiocy that drives all of them together to fight for their
own pop star suicide and it is the end on repeat in your room for three days and
it is the spectacle of it all removed of all repercussions and given all manner
of righteousness and it will always be this way until we finally go right over the edge.

Some of us will praise
the coming back
of the night.

Some of us will go right on back to our supermarket mimesis,
wandering through a burning, rat-filled Wal-Mart
aisles of melting celluloid and human fat,
everything seeping into the new history and tainting all the fresh ideas again,
it’s a fucking miracle we are less like the matrix trilogy than we are.

But I guess we have Baudrillard
and Nietzsche to thank for that.

You can tell me all you want that it is just a movie, that it is just reality,
that it is just Africa, that it is just truth, that it is just some beat poem or elegy.

I will be left,
in the night of reason
to fiddle my way into
seeing something more.

It is just in some of us,
just in some of us
to be curious with anger
to have an angry
curiosity is the only
healthy aggression you can
ever hope to inherit from
anything you take into your body
your eye
your mind.

Treat them with some fucking Respect.
Then tell me you don’t see the potential for doom in everything else.

Tell me it’s not a miracle,
every day
we get another.

Crazy Butterfly,

Crazy Moth

If Crazy was all moths’,
baby I’d be a bulb, like 80-watt!
I would give shop-talk
something to squawk
about and I’d chalk
my own crooked outline,

I’d rip the shadow
off-a-Rip-Van,
and do the James Brown
half walk off
the stage with it, son,
ima’ rage when the time come!

See spots? hell I see flower pots
with leering sunflower skulls on top!

I want to sing the world a
hybrid of Imagine and Hurt
turn the hysterical mob up
to full blown tangent, demand it!

If I was an episode of Crypt Keeper
Tales, they’d a never aired it!
If Crazy were a punishment,
I’d have three sleeves of demerits’,

so let’s take the concertos’ out
back and blow the angel kiss,
see how weird the symphony can get,
fantasia meets heavy metals freakiest .

I’m Always ready for all that and more, shit,
I was born crazy, practically inherited it!

If ghetto life were an asylum
I be the asshole warden,
the tremens jittery janitor
and the public enemy #1 up in it!

Come unlock the red devil.
The truth is like the shallow
to the grave to the shovel.

Un-muzzle me I promise,
I’ll quiet down.
I’ll do better.

(by promise mean never)
(by never mean ever)
(by all means not)

Swigging, the Light Fantastic

Give me one more big fucking swig.

I want to leap out of a window some days.
It is nothing special.
I am not infected with anything,
it is just the slow drawl of truth,
giving you what for,
while you wash the whole
floor of the library, with your eye.

I want to creep into the auditorium
and rip out all the seats
and force everyone to dance
at every event
even dog shows
even hockey
even pope visits
and especially pope visits,
but crunking, all of us, dry humping
to his slicked back religioso.

I want to sing in the basement of the madhouse
with my headphones duck taped to my ears
so they can never break me out of my routine,
not easily, you’ll never take me
from my own mad shuffle,
without a fight,
without some scratching,

and some twitching,
and some devil tongue,
and some downright tongue.

I want to eat all of the spirit.
I want to fuck on tombstones and in catacombs.
I want to piss my name in the snow of your culture.

I will be the prisoner out in the yard,
collecting rocks,
making a crude chess set,
trying to learn a new way to say fate,
producing a work that is
half scream,
half tune.

Give me one big swig,
and you can have me
for another day here.
I will close the window,
quit the dance and find
my own way home.

Just give me that bottle.
Give me five minutes of your time.
Give me your first born.
Give me your Jack and
I’ll give you my Queen.

I still have the black one
up my sleeve for later anyway.

Give up already,
we’re already 9 floors down,
and 18 more to go.

Get ready for the finish,
it has nothing to do with circularity.

I wanted to give you one last
echo is all.

Is that not what you longed
for from them all?

Just one reverberating kiss
to guide your final ascent?

Or would you like to come along,
have some fun beneath?

Dwelling Within

We would explode some nights.
I was such a terrible friend.
I’ve never deserved any of them
and that is especially the case for
those that invited me into their lives most.

He was like most in the fact
that he could control
and lose control of himself
no matter how much he drank
and snorted and fucked, he never
lost his “wind cut suave”.

That was one of our sayings.
We have thousands now.
Knowing us is like reading
A Clockwork Orange
without the dictionary at the back.

I’ve cursed at him a blue streak.
He’s pummeled me or threatened worse
with a single, well-known look.

We talked about our poetry,
we laughed about everything,
mocked everything sacred,
defied every sense of decorum.

Drank the well dry.
Snapping back and forth,
we started an art between us.

Like a demon it grew to undermine
even our modest attempts at control.

When she left me he calmed me down
and rationalized me with a stern talk.

I was in a state. I had whipped my
baby blue typewriter at a wall and
sworn off love of any kind. I was drunk.

When the drugs crept into me and
I was a marionette on fire, he grabbed me
and shook me back into a state with which
I could at least understand my ultimatums.

When I forget with a heavy dose of hate,
my obligation to write, it is always his words
which fulfill my need for inspiration.
I won’t let anyone get the last ones.
Not even you, old friend.

Especially you.

One day we will skirt through
New York in a limo
rails and some dj bl3nd playing.

One day, film
an entire scene of our banter
with all parenthesis included
in off beat,
quick turn to another camera angle
hahaha,
yes.

Keep Walking, Tough Guy

If it’s a chore you won’t like it.

You will consider half of the journey
shameful and exhausting.

Every early morning run to the liquor store
will be a shameful thing and you will
choke on all the smoke, the
smoke after smoke after smoke.

Do not get into this scene, if you want
you’re hands to be lazy.

You will be scrawling all night.
You will be chalking the brick.

You will see words in your puke
and poetry in your piss, alone.
You will not like this if you
do not already fucking love this.

This is the little village
on the way to Rock n Roll.

This is the beaten hand and road.

Put your thumb up and hitch on by.
You won’t find a dry eye in this spot.

And if you do
it’s just sleeping.

The Nightmare of the Zombie

It was the way it always is.
I was in a cemetery with Judith
and we were talking about how
bizarre the whole fame thing is.
How it’s absolutely the work of
bad ju-ju, of hocus pocus, of mice
transformed into the size of men,
of ants and birds and bad things like that.

I guess it was the wine, and the moon,
and the small vortex that opened up,
sort of like in Quantum Leap, so
damn conveniently at the end of each episode
before little Jerry O’Connell got shot by
angry white men or run over by a truck.

We ended up in Los Angeles, but it was
more like a Ridley Scott L.A., and I realized
I was in one of my dreams again, or
I took too much, man. Then I chuckle
while repeatedly saying,

“You took too muuuuuch, man.
Took too much.” just like
del toro’s Gonzo, until Judith
points out the old cemetery
and we wander over.

It’s huge. Like,
a shopping mall of carcass’.

And of course the song from
Return of the Living Dead
plays on some ghetto as a punk
with a Mohawk and a chain
from ear to lip walks by
and spits near my feet.

And then the first heads
start to pop up,
and before you know it
they’re all there.

Orson Welles.
He looks about the same. Belligerent, too.
Hemingway. His head is sort of a mess.
But he has the same jovial spirit!

Bukowski is there.
And Marilyn Monroe
looks pretty damn good.

Which Judith notices me noticing and
makes some ridiculous comment about

how I can only get it up for the paranormal and
cartoon chicks, and I say something like

Jessica Rabbit is practically human.
It’s all her voice.
Shut up and let’s meet some
zombie celebrities!

Everything was going really swell.
I was like a kid in a decomposing candy shop

I talked about Fitzgerald with Ernest ,
and about drinking with Chinaski,
and movies with Welles.

Then we made the mistake of going to some
fucking party and you just knew something
shitty was going to happen, it just felt bad.

The kids at the party just dissed all of them,
if they knew them at all, and called them misogynist
or said they were drunks, or both.

They said Orson Welles was
slow and over-rated.
And no Tarantino.

I wept.

They said Hemingway was
just a representation
of the patriarchy,
and a dirty man,
and Bukowski they
said made Ernest look
like a fucking saint.

I sank.

I don’t even want
to re-describe the way the
feminist crowd devoured
poor Norma Jean.

I understood
where they were coming
from but at the same time,
even a zombified Marilyn was
exhaustively enchanting.

In the end, the old stars left.
Bukowski and Hemingway said they

were gonna go to a fight,
or have one themselves,
whichever happened first.

Poor Orson went looking for some old woman.

Marilyn went out the window rather than
spend another minute with all the bores.

That’s usually when I wake up.
Sometimes me and Norma make out first.
There I said it.