Saturday, March 1, 2008

Poems beginning with an epigraph from Sean Cole

03.01.08-10:52 p.m.

“Eastern Mountain Sports is a bitch.”
—Sean Cole

As a kid
I had a big crush
on that girl from Escape to Witch Mountain
and its sequel,
Return from Witch Mountain,
long blonde-brown hair
sweet face that wasn’t totally
riding along in that Winnebago with the crazily stylized W’s on its sides.
The last I saw Kim Richards was in 1985’s Tuff Turf
as the girl of the leader of the gang The Tuffs,
until a young James Spader comes to town
and reckons to steal her away,
accompanied by his sidekick,
Robert Downey, Jr.,
who plays drums in a band fronted by Jim Carroll.

(written 03.03.08—2:00 p.m.)

“Actually, I don't really think Eastern Mountain Sports is a bitch.”
—Sean Cole

don’t hesitate the search
out there
not too late
to grip it and rip it
rip it good

(written 03.04.08—3:12 p.m.)

“Spam the torpedoes.”
—Sean Cole

in summer camp
for lunch sometimes
we would go hawaiian,
eat thin slices of ham
covered in rings of pineapple
and some sorta syrupy, pineapply sauce,
wash it all down with bug juice.

(written 03.05.08—7:35 p.m.)

“Rode to chapel in a tiny car to hear the clown homily.”
—Sean Cole

one-day job #7: pizza hut

first day:

watched training video
got shirt, name tag
told of policy that if you miss one day
then you’ve worked your last day

second day:

walked with judy from her dorm room
to the yellow ’74 gremlin
my big sis passed down to me
when she got her white ’82 thunderbird
car didn’t start
kept shirt, name tag
didn’t pick up check

(written 03.06.08—3:04 p.m.)

“Drum up your own constellations I’m tired of this ish.”
—Sean Cole

i could always spot
orion’s belt in the sky
growing up under a sparsely lit long island sky
i’d yell for my folks to stop
at the bottom landing before our 16 hi-ranch steps
guide my mom’s left eye
alongside my right shoulder
right hand pointing to orion’s belt
before showing them the rest of him.

03.06.08—6:18 p.m.

“All the world’s Aquaman pajamas need ironing.”
—Sean Cole

at seven
fell for spidey’s adventures on the electric company
asked mom if i could
be spiderman on halloween
she said sure
and we bought the costume at our local five and dime,
lamston’s on church avenue,
come trick or treat time
mom wouldn’t let me wear the mask
afraid it would cut off seeing bad guys
who only the real spidey could fend off
but she’s an artist
and so painted a spidey face atop my own.

(written 03.09.08—6:50 a.m.)

“One more flax seed gift basket from them and I’m gonna grow a new bathroom.”
—Sean Cole

them flax seed gonna
grow gift
more gift

a new bathroom
from one
and I’m gonna

(written 03.09.08—6:42 a.m.)

“Only on-air contest that would take me is ‘American Mydol.’”
—Sean Cole

when my sister was on the 20,000 Pyramid
she tried to get her celebrity partner
Phyllis George,
a former Miss America and an NFL Today pregame show co-host
to guess a word by giving the description,
“it’s black, and made of worms i think.”
after the round was over and the word went unguessed,
Dick Clark asked my sister,
“Who told you that licorice was made of worms?”
our mom shouted out from next to me in the audience
“Her father.”

(written 03.10.08—11:49 p.m.)

“Tonight I go on the radio to talk about poetry.”
—Sean Cole

Hello, I bore you, I owe you, I owe you
I want you to go and play your game…game
Hello, your sari, looks good on you
I want you to say that there’s no blame…blame

Should we talk about the leather
Should we talk about the innocence

(written 03.11.08—12:11 a.m.)

“Whatever happens, your stock answer is: ‘I’m sorry my dear, but I am the governor.’”
—Sean Cole

sorry about the orange juice
i know i shouldn’t have drank it
but even diabetics slip a bit
every so often

but can i tell you how it tasted
those 64 ounces
of tropicana original

liquid gold we used to call it
growing up our folks did ration it
too expensive on their budget

but now in 40 minutes
i drank the whole half gallon
and i didn’t test my blood sugar
so it’s like it didn’t happen.

(written 03.17.08—1:23 a.m.)

“Good morning, operator. Please give me Client 9.”
—Sean Cole

i told my sister
that i could’ve taken the governor
over to 11th street
found him a girl for $40,
no paperwork needed.

(written 03.17.08—1:26 a.m.)

“A breathless city awaits its head.”
—Sean Cole

your foot pointed up at his little head
is not the end he wants to be receiving
shelley duncan
retaliate retaliator
but retaliate right
shelley duncan
next time just do a barrel roll
toward the second baseman
shelley duncan
a real man doesn’t
appeal his suspension
shelley duncan
just own it.

(written 03.17.08—1:37 a.m.)

“Only the lobbyists know how I feel tonight.”
—Sean Cole

you wouldn’t know just how i feel,
says billy crystal,
about wearing the yankee home pinstripes,
number 60,
the day before his 60th birthday,
striking out in a six pitch at bat against the pirates,
leading off the game.

the next inning,
michael kay’s interviewing crystal,
from the yankee dugout via remote,
kay telling him he did the job of a lead-off hitter,
taking some pitches to allow his team an opportunity
to learn what the pitcher has that day.
“did you say anything to the guys when you got back to the dugout?”
“yeah,” crystal said, “he got me out on two cutters.”

(written 03.17.08—1:10 a.m.)

“The difference between this and Junior High School is the booze.”
—Sean Cole

done copy editing
switching from oscar peterson,
where there are no words to go against the ones i’m fixing,
to turn the television on
and make the corrections in in design
to a double feature of barbershop and the perfect man,
(on the lifetime movie network
and starring hillary duff trying to help her mom,
an itinerant heather locklear,
find happiness and, eventually, love
in the person of sex and the city’s mr. big, chris noth,
the perfect man that is, not barbershop)
nodding during the latter while spell-checking
on caffeine free diet pepsi
hitting apple-z to undo just in case.

(written 03.18.08—2:45 a.m.)

“Chris Noth and I both attended the same college, studied poetry, and went to Indonesia after.”
—Sean Cole

after dinner
we went to our house
don’t yell about the night time
it really is the right time

(written 03.18.08—2:46 a.m.)

“It’s true: a normal ‘fistfight’ does not involve iron supplements.”
—Sean Cole

involve yrself
and the rest will follow
no fists to girl
it’s yr pride you swallow
I don’t drink
’cause my leg ain’t hollow
lithium take
I’m not gonna wallow

(written 03.18.08—2:49 a.m.)

“JPMorgan Chase bought Bear Sterns for two dollars a share and all I got was this lousy recession.”
—Sean Cole

I never saw a grown man whiten
before or since
as much as Michael Hoyt,
senior editor of the Columbia Journalism Review while I was interning there
on Black Monday,
October 19, 1987,
as, pre-internet,
the reports trickled in on the hour,
It’s down 100, 200, 300,
Until it hit 508 points
And I saw whatever blood was left go somewhere for a bit.

(written 03.19.08—12:56 a.m.)

“They zombified my Mac. That get a bigger schlong email? Apparently from me.”
—Sean Cole

that summer camp
the one that went Hawaiian
with thin slices of ham
covered in rings of pineapple
and some sorta syrupy, pineapply sauce,
one day at lunch jeff, a jcit,
junior counselor in training,
whipped out his cock
and rested it on his bunk’s table
(I’m unsure if bug juice was the beverage offered that day.)

(written 03.25.08—10:46 a.m.)

“Seven years later, I wonder if that’s what Arthur C. Clarke had in mind.”
—Sean Cole

regie set the chairs in a circle
especially so people would surround
the all-female breakdancing crew from the bronx
at the 2001 a boog odyssey event

at clean-up i found one of their skully’s
told myself it was angelina’s
and wore it when my ears didn’t need the no-cold fold

(written 03.25.08—11:05 a.m.)

“The people in the city are basically good and mean well.”
—Sean Cole

my mom and i watch eli stone
this show about a corporate lawyer in san francisco
who gets a tumor that presses against his brain
inspiring visions he must decipher
which lead him to take cases that now help the helpless
her in her home
me in mine

(written 03.25.08—11:13 a.m.)

“Sunny day. At least that’s what my window says.”
—Sean Cole

when jeremy of the band sunny day real estate
found his religion
his rhythm section quit
and joined the foo fighters

(written 03.25.08—11:23 a.m.)

“Only trouble with trombone is the lip balm bill.”
—Sean Cole

mostly i pronounce rachel’s last name properly
but then i repeat it
lips on

(written 03.25.08—11:27 a.m.)

“USO is fifty year’s old. When do the B-52s play in Afghanistan?”
—Sean Cole

risa called at four
reinviting me to the release party
her label was throwing at a hotel on the west side highway
for the new b-52s album

“Yeah, I still have to ship the magazine tonight, so no time to really get away,” I told her. “Besides, I think that party’s going to be a little too gay for me.”

“They’re going to have three listening parties,” she said, “this one will be the least gay. I mean, it’s going to be gay, just not the gayest.”

(written 03.25.08—11:36 a.m.)

“The alligator on my sweater eats the rose atop your boob.”
—Sean Cole

the p.a. announcer says
“that knicks’ basket was by malik rose”
two of his five points for the night
in the team’s latest loss
number 50 for the season
second most in the league
way aways from those titles with the spurs
something even a $7.1-million check can’t totally erase

(written 03.31.08—4:06 p.m.)

“4,000 helmets balanced on top of rifle butts.”
—Sean Cole

you don’t need a gun
just got to say “Hey Hun,”
in that southern accent of yours

(written 03.31.08—4:06 p.m.)

“Glow worm, where’d you get that luminous clitellum?”
—Sean Cole

during color war
this Olympics of sorts at my summer camp
I was usually entered into the fishing competition
The place they’d bury those of us who weren’t so great at the regular camp sports.
We’d get up at five in the morning
And both sides were at the dock by six a.m.
It was 60 minutes of fishing,
Whichever side caught the most fish winning,
So when you got one
and the hook wasn’t coming out of the fishes lip easily enough
your team’s counselor who got morning wake-up with the fish kid’s duty
would shout “Rip it out, rip the hook out.”

(written 03.31.08—4:20 p.m.)

“To future us, this is the past.”
—Sean Cole

talked to my eldest niece amy today
19 years after a scheduled c-section brought her to all of us,
a 20-minute conversation,
longer than the past year’s combined.

(written 03.31.08—4:25 p.m.)

“May your ancient Chinese gondola navigate the pronoun waters.”
—Sean Cole

I like caramel-colored fizzy water
I’m the son of a sodaman
but dad he did teach me
don’t buy soda in a restaurant
not at 12 ounces for $2.50.

So after dinner I go to the duane reade
see what they have on sale,
diet 7-up two liters a dollar a piece
and 89 cents for 1.5 liter coke products

at home as much fits
goes in the freezer
set the alarm at 38 minutes
before filling my 32 ounce met tumbler with ice
and grabbing a bottle of caffeine free diet coke

(written 03.31.08—4:41 p.m.)

“Soap does not spoil. However, soap carved out of broccoli...does.”
—Sean Cole

if you carve me a new tooth
out of something that’s shiny and bright
will it appear to be real
will it fit me alright

now i’ve got a shiny new tooth
that i thought would fit me okay
but in my baked ziti right there it was
in a ziplock bag i put it away.

(written 03.31.08—4:48 p.m.)

“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a bitch.”
—Sean Cole

I like blueberries
and strawberries
and crunch berries
but not boo berries.

03.31.08—5:04 p.m.

“Month ends in Canada. This isn’t an epigraph. I’m really in Canada.”
—Sean Cole

i haven’t traveled in a while
i don’t even mean air travel
i mean any sorta travel
haven’t been to philadelphia in five years
boston in four
albany in three
my mom is thinking of taking my middle niece melissa,
her middle granddaughter
away for a weekend to montreal,
bringing me along as the buffer.