Thursday, February 9, 2017

"That Guy Over There -- Telling That Story" and "The Other Day, When it Was Raining"

That Guy Over There -- Telling That Story

That story,
That that guy over there,
Is telling to those people over there,
Is not an interesting story.

Those two people
Pretending to be interested
In that guy's story--
Are doing a really good job
Of pretending to be interested
In that guy's story
I feel sorry for them.
I am really glad
That I am not one of those two people
Who have to be listening
To that guy's story over there.

That guy, over there,
Telling that story,
Seems almost as self-satisfied
As that guy at the Ladybird restaurant
On MacDougal Street
Last month:
I think he must have been an actor,
And Jesus fuck was he proud of himself
Telling his endless fucking story
About who the fuck cares
Jesus fuck he was entertaining
Although not quite entertaining enough
To ruin our excellent meal.

But this guy,
Right now telling that story--
Maybe his story is actually good--
One of the two people listening to him
Is laughing.
They both seem to be enjoying
That guy's story.

Still, he is way too proud of himself.
I am glad I don't
Have to listen to him
And I am really glad
I am not him,
And that I could never be
As self satisfied as him.

If I am ever as self-satisfied
As that guy telling that story,
Please kill me immediately,
And then bring me back to life
And kill me again.


Of course,
As Leslie just correctly pointed out,
I seem awfully self-satisfied
After having made my comments
About that guy, over there, telling that story.
I think my days are numbered.

February 9, 2017

The Other Day, When it Was Raining

The other day, when it was raining,
I thought of that time, a long, long time ago,
I think it was a Tuesday or a Wednesday,
And it was raining, and I was walking home
From the Pioneer Supermarket
On Bleecker Street and Sixth Avenue
And I was happy, and I was singing,
And yes, I was singing The Carpenters:
"Rainy Days and Mondays"
(An early hit for Paul Williams,
Who also wrote "Rainbow Connection," and
Who also played Virgil in
Battle For the Planet of the Apes).

So I was walking, and singing
(I do this a lot, and sometimes
People catch me doing it:
The last time that happened,
Earlier this week,
I was singing Cohen's
"If It Be Your Will,"
To make sure I knew it,
For yesterday's performance at Hi-Fi,
And the person who caught me
Outside singing, said
"People will think you're crazy,"
Which maybe they do.
And maybe they're not wrong.)

But, so, anyway,
I was walking, and singing,
"Rainy Days and Mondays"
On a rainy Tuesday or Wednesday
In 1971 or '72, most likely,
And this man said,
In a kind voice
"But it's not even Monday."
And I smiled and walked on,
But I thought to myself,
The song isn't about
Rainy Mondays:
It's about rainy days and Mondays:
Either one.
They both always get
Paul Williams and Nancy Carpenter down.

But what has always gotten me down
For 45 years,
Including, most recently,
The other day, when it was raining,
Is that I didn't make this point
To the very stupid (although very nice) man
Who interrupted my singing that day.

February 9, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Veganity is Not Always a Shield

Veganity is Not Always a Shield*
(A sequel to Veganity is a Shield)  

Today, on display,
On my way back to my office,
Not chocolates, no:

Veganity is not a shield from Oreos,
Nor most potato chips, Fritos,
Peanut butter, Wheat Thins, lollipops,
The list goes on and on. It never stops:
Many cereals, breads, pastas,
Tequillas, rums, whiskeys, scotches, vodkas,
Popcorn, Chick-O-Sticks and Swedish Fish
I almost could eat anything I wish
Last year, perhaps my most ill-advised dream
Came true: Ben & Jerry's vegan ice cream

It's hard to stay away from candied fruit
Again this morning, I tried on
The Suit
Two and a half months later, I'm so close
If I backslide again I'll be morose

I hope that shortly, less will be revealed
Veganity is not always a shield.

January 18, 2017

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Veganity is a Shield

Veganity is a Shield

When I pass by the chocolates
That are out there, on display
Impossible not to notice
On the way
Back to my office
Freely offered,
For anyone to take

I am grateful
That I am vegan
Else I would be all over that shit
Like white on white rice
And I still got a
Suit to fit into

I'm so close to fitting into that suit
I can taste it
The way I can almost taste those chocolates
That I don't want to taste

I am not vegan
For my health
Or to lose weight
Or to practice self denial
Or to postpone joy

But sometimes
Veganity* is a shield
That protects me
From myself

January 4, 2017

*I am well aware
That "veganity"
Is not a word

Thursday, December 22, 2016

"Thinly Veiled Advertisement"

Thinly Veiled Advertisement

I was pissed off in the supermarket that the guy in front of me had like 25 motherfucking items to my one fucking item, and that if I hadn't taken the time to decide to get the generic over the name brand item, I would be where he was, so I let out a little "fuck" just a little too loud and he turned and looked and I looked away and pretended I was pissed off about some unrelated thing.

Because for some fucking reason, I'm trying to be a better person, and when I went over my yesterday last night, the worst thing I could remember doing was being so in my own head in the elevator that when somebody sneezed, I forgot to say bless you, and I thought, that's a pretty non-evil fucking day. And last night, I felt pretty good that that was the worst thing I could think of that I did that day.

But already, today, I was fucking up a lot worse. So I wanted to try to repair whatever little damage I might have caused, not because I believe in karma, because I totally fucking don't, but because there is something inside of me these days, clearly, that makes me remember, many hours later, if I forget to say bless you when somebody sneezes, so I know it's going to fuck my day more if I don't do something about this little "fuck" that I let out.

He looked like one of those rock and roll guys who would play in one of those cover bands on Bleecker Street, back when they had those places and maybe still do--Tuesday's at Kenny's Castaways type of thing. Back when there was a Kenny's Castaways. He had the long black hair and a hat, and I don't fucking know--I just got a rock and roll vibe off of him.

And the supermarket Sirius radio station had Sister Golden Hair playing (and, parenthetically, I had listened kind of closely to it a month or two ago and noticed the word "correspondent" in it, which I had never noticed before so I looked up the lyrics and learned that it's "I've been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find, But it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind" which I was glad to know because it kind of sucks when you have a tune running through your head and you don't know the words, and so now I do), and I figured he would know the song, so I was like "This is America, right?" and he was really confused, and I realize now that maybe he thought I didn't know what country we were in, but I quickly added, Sister Golden Hair, that's what they're playing--it's by that band America, right?" Which, of course I knew, and would have known even if I hadn't recently looked up the lyrics, but this is another thing I'm trying to do, and am actually fucking doing--make banal fucking small talk with people. And of course, if I really didn't fucking know who's song it was, and if Google didn't exist, I would just do what I did back in the 80's and call up Jahn and be like, "Jahn--who had Sister Golden Hair?" and he would be "America" and then I would be like, "Oh fuck, yes, of course, America! Thank you." Because that's one of the things Jahn could, and still can do.

But this guy at the supermarket had no idea, and then he said "And I'm a musician, I should know that." And I said, "Oh, what do you play?" and the thing is, I'm certain that a year ago, I wouldn't have given a shit what this guy played in his stupid fucking cover band that doesn't even cover Sister Golden Hair, but now, for some reason, I do.  A little.  I mean not really very much at all. But maybe a little.  So he says "guitar and keyboards." And I say, "Oh, what band? Do you play around here?"  As if I didn't know.  But I didn't know, because he said, "Just me. I make videos and post them on YouTube. I've got four million views!" And the old me, who isn't really going anywhere, is thinking this is this era's version of Tuesdays at Kenny's.  But I just smile.

And he says what about you? And I say, "Oh, I'm not a musician.  I'm just a vocalist. And a lyricist." And he says, "Well, that counts. Do you play around here?" And I tell him that one of my bands is playing at Sidewalk CafĂ© next Wednesday, although I decide not to tell him that it's me and a bunch of excellent female vocalists and musicians, and that the band is called Sensation Play, and that there's somewhat of a dominance/submission theme to the band (as well as themes of love, loss and sex in general), and that it's our first time playing, because what if this guy went to the show and heard me performing "Because It Pleases You," or singing "Own my cock," (stuff that even for me, is so fucked up, I won't even post it on this blog) or even old King Missile songs like "The Love Song (Faces On the Wall)?"  I mean, maybe he would like our covers of Cait O'Riordan's "Broken" or the Leonard Cohen cover we're going to do, but I think some of the shit might freak him out.  Some of the shit freaks me out.  Somewhat.

But he's like, "I know that place! That's great!" And by now I'm paying for my shit while he's still trying to collect his bags, so now I'm ahead of him and that fucking supermarket door doesn't open most of the time--you have to push it, so I push it open, and I see him with all his fucking bags a motherfucking mile behind me and so I hold the door open and wait a fucking hour and a half until he catches up to me and he says "Thanks!" and I say "Of course!" and as we're going our separate ways, he says "I may see you next week," and I say, "I don't know. That might be a big mistake," and he says "Don't put yourself down" and I say "Self deprecation is my forte," and he laughs and smiles, and I'm smiling too and I feel good. That's the weird fucking thing. I feel good.  And I'm smiling.
I could have just been fuming at that guy the whole fucking time for having so many fucking groceries when I had expected to be in and out of the supermarket in a minute and a half because it was 7 in the morning and who the fuck does a week's worth of grocery shopping at 7 in the morning on a Thursday.  And I would have enjoyed how much I hated this fuck, but instead, I was enjoying making him smile.  So who the fuck am I?

And it was totally lost on me, until just now as I was reading this over before posting it, that I'm the one in the cover band. I mean, I will probably write some more shit for Sensation Play if we ever play again, which I really hope we do, but right now, it's mostly covers.  Of course, a lot of the covers are King Missile covers, so I did actually write the words, but still.  A cover is a cover is a cover.  To cover Gertrude Stein. 

I guess it's too bad Kenny's Castaway's is permanently closed. I'm not doing anything Tuesday night.

December 22, 2017

Saturday, December 3, 2016

"President Trump"

President Trump

I was trying to think of a nickname for the new president. The first thing that came to mind was President Shit, or President Shit for Brains, and they're not inaccurate, ‎but somehow they lack the proper punch, the proper oompf. President Diarrhea is nice, but it's too many syllables, and besides, the diarrhea that he invokes is way more disgusting than the normal diarrhea you might picture in your mind if you were just sitting around picturing diarrhea in your mind.

I'm thinking about some really loose, really diseased shit, with chunks of the most horrific, horrible bits of shit in it: corn, obviously, and pepper, and bits of black and green shit you don't know what the fuck it is, and really, I would also want to conjure up an image of sticking a funnel down his throat and making him eat it. And there's really no word for that. And certainly no one-syllable word.

Jon Oliver likes to call him Drumpf, and that gets close to it. But I'm beginning to become convinced that there is no word. I think instead, the solution for me-although I'm open to other solutions here- is to just call him President Trump, with the caveat that the word "trump" should, from this moment until the end of time, evoke the image of forcing the most disgusting diarrhea-like person imaginable to eat the most disgusting diarrhea that can possibly be conceived of. For now, at least, that works for me.

December 3, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Not a Happy Day"

Not a Happy Day

It was by no means a happy day. Not a single happy thing had happened There had been some things that he had hoped would happen that would have been happy, and those things had not happened. And some sad things, that he had hoped would not happen, had happened.

And yet he found himself smiling. He found that he was happy. He found that the pilot light inside of himself was on, was glowing brightly and flickering happily, and seemed to be packed with the promise of a possible conflagration of joy, given the proper catalyst. That is to say, he had hope.

He smiled at the clouds over the Hudson on his way to work. As he rode along the bike path, he sang the saddest songs he could think of and they made him so happy.

Over the course of the day, he found himself continually looking at his phone, in hopes of a happy call, a happy text, a happy message, a happy anything, but nothing came. He continued to smile and remain hopeful--not in a desperate or pathetic way, or in a false way, but in a real and true way. He didn't know empirically that everything was going to be fine. In fact, he knew empirically that it wouldn't be fine--there would be, over the course of the rest of his life, sickness and death and heartache and despair and all sorts of other sad things. But he knew, somehow that he would be fine. And he knew that there would be happy things in his future as well.

The day went on, with nothing particularly good or happy happening. He left the office and went on about the things he needed to do, and they all got done, which gave him some small comfort. He went home, happy that nothing truly bad had happened, and sad that nothing all that happy had.

He had looked forward to this day, and as it died, he found himself lying in bed, sad and happy, and looking forward to tomorrow.

November 29, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016

"Just Beyond the Staten Island Ferry"

Just Beyond the Staten Island Ferry

Just beyond the Staten Island Ferry
I saw a high school student, elated
Over his successful hand-feeding
Of a peanut to a squirrel.

The nigger took the peanut
right out of my hand!

He shouted to his friends,
As the squirrel darted back
Behind the brush.

November 3, 2016