Thursday, January 28, 2016

Three Short Poems

The Rind
If I were 93
I wonder would there be
Any sense of urgency

And would there be
An even greater sense of
Being wrung out like a lemon
For its very last drops
Or of the universe
Being wrung out
For its last drops
Of something
Being wrung out
For its last drops?
January 25, 2016

Is it as impossible
To take a picture of your phone
With your phone
As it is
To hold your right elbow
In your right hand?

As it is
To see yourself
In the mirror?

As it is
To hold a moment
In your head?
January 28, 2016

To get back at you
For ending things
I got my new girlfriend
To seduce your new boyfriend

Now that they're together
And we're both free
How about you
Get back together with me?*

January 28, 2016
*Notes: For some reason, I feel compelled to assert that I've never done anything like this, nor do I know anyone who has. The poem came to me today, fully formed, while standing in front of the coffee machine at work.

For that matter, I believe the idea for "Riddle" also came to me while standing in front of the coffee machine a few days ago, and was initially going to be about how I had cracked the screen of my phone but that I couldn't take a picture of it because, you know, right elbow-right hand. But when I came to write it today, it came out differently--worse, I think. That's why it's generally better for me to write these things down as I think of them.

And as long as I'm writing notes, I believe "The Rind" came to me when I looked in the mirror Monday morning and thought I looked old and dried out. I thought it was a bit to whiny to publish on its own, and plus, I didn't want it to compete with the poem (or story, or whatever it is) I published Monday, so, here it is now. Hardly worth the wait, but it's not like you were actually waiting for it anyway.

Monday, January 25, 2016


I've invented a new diet:
Whenever you are hungry, instead of going into the kitchen and eating, go into the bedroom and fuck or masturbate.
Water and clear broths are also permitted.
This diet won't work all that well if you have a job, unless you have either a lot of self discipline or an extremely permissive employer.
However, I have a week off work, so I am testing this diet out right now.
I will let you know how it goes.

I'm on Day Two of the Fuck or Masturbate Diet
I have checked the scale twice today and I haven't lost any weight, but I am not discouraged.
My theory is that I've replaced some of my weight with water weight.
I've been drinking an awful lot of water.
I've had eleven orgasms.

I'm on day Three of my diet and I've already run out of the clear broth, and it was tricky making more because I felt that I ought to jerk off while I was making it. So it was like making the broth with my right hand tied behind my back. Then, after making the broth, for balance, I jerked off with my left hand tied behind my back. My conclusion is that before beginning the Fuck or Masturbate Diet, clear broths should be prepared in advance.

Day Four. For several hours today I was so weak with hunger I couldn't have made it to the kitchen even if I had wanted to. I did make it to the bathroom. I have decided that it is probably not a good idea to leave the apartment, because if I were bump into a friend, and that friend happened to be eating a pretzel or knish, I would grab it out of his or her hand and devour it right in front of him. This diet is important to me, but it is not worth losing friends over.

It is Day Five of the Fuck or Masturbate Diet and if you're just joining me, the idea is that instead of eating, you fuck or masturbate. Technically, I suppose, it should be called the Fuck or Masturbate Fast, as the word "diet" implies that some kind of eating is involved. When I first concieved of this project, I thought I would probably be unable to resist eating, and I didn't want to feel like a failure. But here I am, on Day Five, and I haven't eaten a thing, and I've lost six pounds and I've had 38 orgasms. I'd say so far, it's been a success.

I'm on Day Six. I've begun to hallucinate every time I orgasm. The Hindu goddess Lakshmi appeared to me several times today and promised me wealth, fortune, and prosperity (both material and spiritual). Then her husband Vishnu appeared and asked me if I was fucking his wife and I said no, I swear: not even a hand job (note: Lakshmi has four arms, and each one has a hand). Vishnu appeared to believe me and then disappeared. I haven't seen Lakshmi since, and it's probably just as well as I am so hungry at this point I might have tried something with her.

More hallucinations: I saw Kali, goddess of change, preservation and destruction;
Parvati, goddess of love, fertility and devotion; Radha, the life energy of Krishna; and for some reason, Daenerys Targaryen, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and of the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons, and she was, in fact, in this vision, riding a dragon, but-and this is interesting-it wasn't Drogon. It was Veserion. This made absolutely no sense to me, and I'm starting to become concerned for my mental well being. I am glad to be returning to work tomorrow.

This morning, I returned to work, but before I did, I ate three bowls of cereal, two vegan sausages, a fruit salad, and toast. Then a bowl of chili, some tortilla chips, and peasant bread. I drank a quart of orange juice and then had some sorbet. I gained back three of the eleven pounds I lost, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I had 53 orgasms and a few of them were mind altering and enlightening and all of them were entertaining. All in all, I am pleased with the results of this diet, and I expect I will try it again the next time I have time off work.

January 25, 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Pinckney's essay
In The New York Review
On Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me
Does not say
Whether Pinckney likes what Coates is doing
And I would like to know.
He makes it clear
What Coates is doing -
The tradition from which he is drawing, his antecedents
The essay is insightful, informative, thoughtfully written,
But lacking criticism or praise.
I've read Between the World and Me
I have my opinion, although it's been challenged
By the opinions of others.
Other people's opinions matter to me.
Even though, as Chimes said, "Opinions are cruelty."
I've read Pinkney's essay
I will read it again right now.
Ok. I read it again, and I still don't know:
Pinckney, what do you think of Coates?
Maybe I don't need to know.
Maybe it shouldn't matter.
And maybe I ought to appreciate and emulate
Your reticence.
A lack of opinion can be cruel too.
But maybe less so?

Friday, January 1, 2016


God help me, I loved that man's pants. They were a dark and stately grey, with an understated green plaid pattern, barely distinguishable in a brief glance , which is all I dared to take. I didn't want to stare.

But by God, they were fantastic pants. Cut in a traditional, but by no means stuffy or conservative, style. Not the least bit trendy or hipsterish, but timeless and tasteful and true. They were true pants, and God help me, I wanted them.

I am not normally prone to jealousy or covetousness. To each their own I say, although I would favor a massive redistribution of wealth from those who have far more than me to those who have far less. But in that moment, when I saw those pants, I also favored a redistribution of those pants from the man who was wearing them to me.

The man who was wearing the pants seemed perfectly amiable and had I had his self confidence and success, I might have been able to ask where he got the pants. Perhaps I would have learned that I could buy a pair for myself, around the block for forty dollars. Or perhaps I would have learned that they were purchased in Europe for 400 euros. But I learned nothing of the pants, so I will never know. I will never have such pants. In the moment, I could not ask, so consumed as I was by envy and greed. All I could think of was how I wanted the pants-those very pants. Not my own pair, but that pair, and not later, but now. I want them now, I thought. I wanted to hold a knife to the man's throat and say, "Your life means nothing to me, pig, but if it means anything to you, you will give me those pants immediately." Because I wanted those pants so much.

Oh those pants! So much better than mine, that made me feel suddenly ashamed, as if I were wearing pajamas. Perhaps the man wearing those pants wears pants like the ones I have on for pajamas. I have, very occasionally worn these pants that I have on for pajamas. But here I am, on the first day of the year, wearing these pants instead of those wonderful, glorious pants. Pants of transcendent splendour an‎d beauty. Fuck me, I wanted those pants so badly I could taste it, like ashes in my mouth.

I wanted to tear the pants off of him and put them on right there and then and head off in style to St. Mark's Church, to the Poetry marathon. ‎

Instead, I walked right past him, did not smile, did not acknowledge him or his pants. But he has ruined my day, perhaps my year, perhaps the rest of my life. That man and his beautiful fucking pants. ‎

January 1, 2016