Tag Archives: writing

#11: Universal Indifference

Hearts carved in ice
The flecks like rice
Fly in the pale light

Blown by fans
We understand
The composition of man

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party
Your name on the list

To succeed
Courteously
In the race to exist

Universal Indifference (x2)
The grand inference
Universal

You want to know
How you go
From station to station

The velvet rope
On which you choke
Tastes better than hatred

The radical
Principals
To which we adhere

Yet the symphony
And pornography
Both disappear

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#10: 99 Cents

Borrowed my lady’s
Dodge Seneca
For a trip to the city

She doesn’t like me
Only seeing her lightly
But it pays to have her pity

Dropped my band
Killed the cafes
Scored myself an advance

Now a hotshot Columbian
Leather bearded Ruffian
In this Western Romance

99 Cents
Won’t get you in
You need the full dollar x3

Can’t make rent
While waiting on their check
I need some quick dough

She chastises me
There’s no art in poverty
We kiss and I go

Philosophize on the ride
Garden to 95
All friends need enemies

Then near the Lincoln Tunnel
Tollbooth reads:
No pennies

99 Cents
Won’t get you in
You need the full dollar x3

Oh my God
Ms. Attendant
Pennies are all I got

She said you’ve passed before
And been warned
How could you have forgot?

I negotiate her mercy
And she delicately
Pours my pennies from the coffee tin

Starts counting ‘em individually
The horn blaring cacophony
Tells me the shape I’m in

99 Cents
Won’t get you in
You need the full dollar x3

You only have ninety-nine
She says and I cry
But I counted them like an Arcadian!

She eyes me coolly
Replies sternly,
“But one of these is Canadian.”

Ever so fleet
I jump in the backseat
Searching for the bronze face of Lincoln

One hundred pennies
I scream at myself
What the fuck were you thinking?

99 Cents
Won’t get you in
You need the full dollar x3

Finally I find it
A dirty gleam
Between the seat cushion

The penny I need
For all eternity
Thank Jesus it hadn’t been pushed in

After I get that thirty-five
I continue to drive
And park by Washington Square

I gaze ‘round for the me
Who knew he was
But he’s not there

99 Cents won’t get you in
You need the full dollar x3

This is where we came
When we were young
And thought the city loved us

The Village
Where we wanted to know we knew
There were so many like us

This is where I found myself
Where I was no one else
This is where I fit

Now I dream
Of a window in the clouds
Where I can close myself in

A sax man’s playing solitary
Under the arches
And a thousand miles away

A woman holding five cats
Wearing a witches’ hat
Keeps screaming Bill I don’t know what to say

I sit down on the cool marble
And lower my eyes to
My Trax sneakers

Am I going to make it?
Who does make it?
Is it the faithless or true believers?

99 Cents
Won’t get you in
You need the full dollar x3

Tomorrow is mine
I say to the arches
And the stars hiding in the dark

I’m a Sagittarius
That means I’m an archer
And I’m still aiming for my mark


#9: Places You Took Me

Followed your silhouette
From the band shell
To the Bowery

Never turned your head
While moving your legs
You made quiet company

Always pondering
Your next experiment
Now I wonder where
Our chapters went

Places you took me
Faces who knew me
Because of you

You wanted to excavate
The bones of my
Neighborhood

Said you were different
From those girls
Who thought they understood

Well honey that used to be the home
Of Rudolph Valentino
And these midnight spray-painters
Believe Mussolini a hero

Places I took you
Phases you passed through
Cause of me

Well I guess we were too different
In that way
Similar people can be

My father was a bookie
Yours was a professor of philosophy

But god it felt so right
Strolling in Strawberry Fields
With our glasses of moonlight
Places you took me
Faces who knew me
Because of you

Places I took you
Phases you passed through
Cause of me


#8: Stem of Time

A gray afternoon
On Fifth Avenue
Where dreams and reality
Rendezvous
The homeless man
Wants to dance
With you
While you walk through
Filament truths
You thought knew

The folkies negotiate
Their record contracts
While slugging pills
For panic attacks
God forbid their truth is a lie
Like those secrets kept
Between you and I

Ten pretty lyricists
Atop Carnegie Hall
Tangled in parachutes
Thrashing for their fall
Meaning means nothing
At all

And on the stem
Of Time
You and I
Comprise a 21st Century
Lullaby
Though the roots are strong
The stem does bend
We climb and we don’t know why
For the rose
That must be our end

Another twilight
Over Riverside Drive
The fortress shines
Like it could be alive
An accident ahead
A stranger might’ve died
You are impatient
Because you need
To drive

Back to the neighborhood
You want to escape
Where they haven’t calculated love
Without their hate
And your meat is waiting
Don’t be late
For all the ways you call
Emptiness fate

And what you deem ambition
Annihilates the self
Because your happiness
Is owned by someone else
In you, I loved me
Naturally
In the age of media
Connection’s an anomaly

Now you are gone
And I drive alone
Passenger seat empty
I could call you on the phone
I want to but I can’t
And I know I won’t
And you will and you might
But you don’t

I never wanted you to be a ghost to me
We were young and we were flesh
And for a second we were free
Now I am once again
Someone like me
Rubbing static crumbs of light
Within America’s dream


#7: Don’t You Know

All that violence
Made it inconvenient
To fit into the narrative
I’m supposed to belong to

My friend carried a stickball bat
Because they wanted to kill him
A couple years later
The drugs did it for them

He hung from the windows of speeding cars
And encouraged me to write
Somewhere in time
I’m hanging out with him tonight

He’s part of history
Reluctantly
As are all we
And who tells the story

Don’t you know
Don’t you know
A pretty pop song makes the world go round
Don’t you know
Don’t you know
If you ain’t pretty
They don’t want you to make a sound

I, me, and my ugly voice
Remember every wrong choice
I could be easily gone
I received a reprieve

You, found me in the noise
You comforted me
I wanted to die
And you showed me what to need

So, I fell in love with you
And you saw my soul bared
You won’t speak to me these days
But I still think of you when I’m scared

When my mind gets dark
I think of him
I think of you
You both wanted me to write
Maybe you both understood

How do you?
Reconcile a second life?


#4: For Some Reason

You had a place
In Park Slope
Cheap wine
Got stuck in my throat
In the autumn season

I was sniffing
Around cold turkey
And your critiques
Actually hurt me
Reversing my treason

They had finished
The arena
The night you said
You were leaving
Like you were teasing

For some reason
You saw me magnified
And it was more pleasing
Bumping Biggie in my ride
Down Tillary
When I swore you knew me
More than anybody

For some reason
You knew how a lie could be true
Those moments
When the third person is you
And it’s inconvenient
The way real chapters end
How I’d love
To call you my friend

Was I Brando
On the Waterfront
Or a gothic bon vivant
Obsessed with
Dying

It was a time of
Linsanity
Obama and
Possibility
We were decoding Mayan

Over ambulance sirens
We rewrote
Perfect silences
With fingertips went from
Crying

For some reason
You saw me magnified
And it was more pleasing
Bumping Biggie in my ride
Down Tillary
When I swore you knew me
More than anybody

For some reason
You knew how a lie could be true
Those moments
When the third person is you
And it’s inconvenient
The way real chapters end
How I’d love
To call you my friend


#3: Colors of Surrender

Shred of a memory
The end of our history
A lonely diner in the snow

To harmonize with the enemy
For the need of their money
Now I know I must go

And when you say
Our war is over
It shouldn’t take the weight
From your shoulder

I saw you
Coming over
In the colors of surrender

Our booth in a white tint
Upon the table a napkin and mint
You explain the terms of the treaty

To be an adult is to compromise
The ideal is unwise
To feed your family is not greedy

They were our songs you owned
A shared dream you loaned
To those who’d find our sidewalks seedy

And I remember kissing
A four-leaf clover
When we were kids
Before life got colder

Then you tell me
What you told her
You got to get paid
If you’re a pretender


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