New York City

There is darkness
has been for days, maybe years.
So there is darkness and dreams;
yes the dreams,
freshly painted shapes and shadows that had been,
but will disappear when he wakes.
As he tries to recall what just happened,
something sprouts from the corner of his mind.
Who was he? Or where?
He lies and waits
then just slightly he realizes
something was gone.
It falls away and he remembers
the song of his self.

It’s a strange feeling
to wake up
not knowing who or where you are.
It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain.
but he enjoyed those moments.
This is how it felt to be a soul:
traveling from dream to dream
in search of something
except darkness.
And when it wakes up,
the soul’s immediate joy:

Father, we live among these people,
eat, drink, laugh, and joke,
Try to be one with them;
and for awhile we are.
We thank you father,
for showing us what life can be,
without ghosts and their tearing words,
and with the warmth of love;
but now it is gone
and we know only anger and pain.
But we breathe and feel
the drums vibrating the walls around us
and waking us up.

Great Sun,
we dance under your eyes
at your feet.
These lives,
our great songs,
the paintings of our lives.
Listen, please, it’ll make you laugh
until your stomache comes out of your mouth
and dances with us.
And Father, for your stomache, we give you our hearts,
our creations,
our ghosts,
for we know they are really your children
and us just a dream
to gather them together.

The sun pulls my eyelids open and reminds me of this world.
The bright beams pierce through the shades,
passing over our two naked forms,
and flooding the brick wall.
But if there was no sun?
There would be no shadows,
just dreams
and the dead.
Cities are filled with the dead, living dead,
walking about, trying to understand how to be alive.
A generation that has no one to turn to.

The cluttered dreams perish,
leaving only a crisp squinting glare,
and I know it’s morning.
When the darkness seeps back into the cracks and sewers,
burns away consciousness,
I find myself sitting on the edge of the mattress.
A bank of fog comes up from the dirt of the brain
and covers everything.
I fall back
brushing against her.
I try to remember
the dreams
the images,
but I can’t.
I pull myself back up,
glance at the clock, and realize,
I’m late for work.

Her eyes crack open,
she groans and pulls me to her mouth.
“Don’t go.”
“I have to.”
Her blue eyes stare at mine
and say goodbye.

There is a force
that draws me forward,
like a magnet across my life.
It’s as if I had no control of my fate.
I tried to fight
struggling against the changes,
but everything changes,
comes and goes.
I want to stay,
but I can’t
everything leaves,
including me.

I get out of the bed,
slide my pants on,
walk toward the door,
pick up my shirt, button it,
and look out at the city.

Outside my window
are tires,
shopping carts,
trees, concrete, bottles, cans, trash, people, cars,
traffic lights, wires, pigeons, telephone poles,
other windows, Coke machines, Pepsi machines…,
but the sun shines on it all.
Life is not bad, just depressing sometimes.

I pick up my coat,
open the door and walk outside,
down the stairs,
and out into the streets.
Cold air blows through the man-made glass steel mountains,
congeals the snot in my nostrils and freezes my lips closed.
I cannot breathe.
My ears scream.

Every morning is like this:
a grasp at something that is real;
but is it real?
My fingers stick to the doorknob.
I yank ’em loose.
Pain is more understanding than love or friendship.

The streets hold something dear to me:
emptiness, disease, and wandering.
Where does it all lead?
No one has told me.
Some have tried,
but their answers are always inadequate and insufficient.
I have traveled across this nation of lust and greed.
Still I see no truths.
What I do know, seems meaningless.
The knowledge I have compiled in this brain is worthless.
I know nothing of the creation,
only man’s destruction,
and walls
covering vast segments of nerves and arteries.

Look, every morning,
I walk and talk with my ghosts.
I live this life
out in a world
that has no meaning,
no existence.
I do exist.
However different I am from them,
I do not feel that it is bad,
just different.
I must not be shy nor scared of it,
just accept it
the pains along with the joys.

I felt it when I was a child,
the horror of friends, those hurting ghosts.
They beat and chased me down the street to my house crying,
tore up my bike
and made school a living hell.
It was then that I learned fear:
cold hard emptiness.
My father was too drunk to care.
My mother too busy
getting fucked by every socialite to even notice.

There are other memories,
but none as crisp and vivid as the first.
It was then that I realized
I stood alone,
and began not letting anyone close enough to know me
nor see how completely lost I was.
I grew up wandering around,
searching for answers.
“To questions that meant nothing,” I was told.
meaningless dribble.”

I raise my head to face the sun;
gargoyles and lions cling to the brick walls around me.
At night these stone-eyed beasts come down on the city and feast.
I grab the handrail to the stairs and hop down into the subway station.

Subways are cold, damp, smokeless horror halls.
Graffiti covers the walls and trains,
gospels, prayers of a lost generation,
alienated, with no home but their hearts.

The brakes squeal, squeak, then groan to a stop.
I rise from the bench.
People quickly jerk up about me
push and slam me against the doors.

I spin
everything spins
faster and faster
hard to stand
I fall

No matter how hard I try.
I light a cigarette.
The feeling is gone,
leaving me empty.
Nothing is left.
A want.
A dream.
A Sun-dried Carcass.

I’m trapped here
in a bed of snakes and spiders,
for hours I’ve laid,
feeling flesh wrap around me
and filling my stomache with webs.

Spiders’ legs curl up underneath their bellies
as if they’re praying to the gods for a breeze
to pick ’em up and take ’em away.
But that breeze will never come,
not when they want it;
because the gods are fools.

I know I might seem crazy
but I am not.
There are things I see differently than you, that’s all.

I light a cigarette butt
I found on the floor,
sit down and try to think.
Still nothing,
just minor subdued thoughts
form in my head.
The smell of blood
on the tip of a needle
around my head.

Skulls break under my feet
shrapnel flies into my stomache
I fall further away from you
forgotten half memories
of someone I once knew.
The memory fades
like a dream in the middle of the afternoon.

who are you
to come and steal me?
See how when I put myself in you
all becomes spirit.
I can feel the rush as I get sick.
I find it hard to get motivated these days.
There is no peace in my stomache.
It fights everything I eat.

The subway cars pass by outside,
annoying me as
I try to write a letter
to explain how I feel.
But I can’t say,
what I want to say;
I really don’t understand
what’s going on in my head.
It seems sometimes that I, too,
have become a ghost in this world,
living in dreams,

How many times have I pulled myself out of bed
drained of meaning
promising myself not to die.
I must be able to deal with myself
understand my feelings.

Who am I?

Nothing but a word man,
putting images and feelings upon paper,
hoping someone someday might understand
what I’m trying to say
and not judge me;
because there’s nothing like a friend to listen
and than tell you,
your just pissing in the wind.

It’s been a long time friend.
Dust covers your keys;
I wonder where all those words,
which danced periodically in my head went.
I feel a little dizzy and empty these days,
or should I say too full of things.
The words simply pass through me
and leave,
going in their own direction,
leaving me nothing but
rotting teeth
dried up eyes and decaying veins.
Strangling for breath,
and disgusting,
this death I do not want.
This crawling
is not my way.

But fragments of these thoughts
are all that can be written,
-less spoken.
I see reflections of you:
a broken needle lies under the seat.
Light bulbs pass
a bottle rolls across the floor
and the train suddenly stops.

The world has grown strange;
the feelings
they come
and then they are destroyed.
Everything I thought that had been written
was nothing but a thought
a dream
a mere fantasy I had before
I was told what to write by god.

I must defend myself,
but how do I fight these feelings which form
inside my head,
vandalizing everything I might possibly believe in?
I will not be dragged down into a coma once more.

The train jerks.
Everyone looks up as if on cue.
A man twists in his seat
ruffles his newspaper
and clears his throat,
always keeping an eye on me.
The light blinks.
The train jerks once more
and slowly starts moving.
The woman behind me gives out a cheap chirp.
And the train remarks
“Fifth Avenue.”

I stare out the window
and watch the words dance across my face
For the first time I realize the grip she has upon me.
This is no longer a game.
To whom can I tell these feelings?
Who will understand the need?
The falling?
The deepness?
I know pain, but pain I’m familiar with
and don’t feel when she’s around.
Only when she’s gone
does my stomache dance and sing the song of pain.
the way I feel with her.

You know sometimes I like silence;
it allows me to think see
the rising smoke from the cigarette
cover your face;
but sometimes,
I want to talk,
tell you,
this silence traps me,
holds my meager words back;
maybe you don’t want to talk to me
never did.

Never mind, no matter what I do,
you’ll keep coming back
a part of me lies in your mind,
growing each day.

Where do dreams start?
Changes are inevitable.
Explain how one feels.
It is hard,
when one does not understand the meaning
of the words
nor the feelings themselves.
They come in the middle of another sleepless night,
burning up with all the other goddamn stars,
shooting across, ripping the heart out
and dragging it across the sky.

Explain this to me.
The images.
The dreams. The hopes. Of what?
Explain the nothingness,
as I walk out your door.
Explain the passing of light. Of the heart.

When I woke up beside her in the middle of the night,
I’d watch her, as she slept.
She’d turn on her side, then her back,
but she never faced me.
I wondered what she was dreaming,
or was thinking about in her dream.
But what does it matter?
One day I’ll wake and there will be nothing, but ghosts,
noisy ghosts, their voices rattling in my head,
telling me of snakes and spiders.


There was passion
the touching of lips
a wind passing from mouth to mouth;
but what of light?
Those pigments which shine through the window.
Is it alive, too?
Is it dancing?
Tell me, why does the radio keep fading in and out?

The ocean fades in and out,
rises and lowers itself.
I find myself standing at the edge of a wave
the foam licking and tickling my toes.
I get this urge,
a feeling: wanting so bad to walk
up the milky-white lighted path to the moon.

She pushes me away,
I can feel her fear.
Her rock walls.
Her castle.
These things I cannot climb.

I watched the sun go down,
the street lights come on.
I felt the darkness enter my bones.
The muscles stiffen in the back of my neck
and begin to hurt,
my knees, my fingers, my eyes, my stomache, my spine,
all begin to throb,
my whole life
talking at once.
I try to ignore their continually rattling words
which circumvent my brain.
It hurts.
I shroud my memories and feelings
with the pages of ancient texts;
nevertheless, they find them,
always do.
They employ ’em against me.
That’s when the anger comes:
hard hurting silence.
I need something besides brown sugar and molasses,
something to ease the pain.
I stand up and leave.

Straight Forward?
There’s nothing that stands between us;
But I stand here on a street corner waiting for the bus
feeling bad because you say there is.

Music comes from a window, enters me:
I walk across the street,
following it,
forgetting the bus
only the music registers in my brain,
drawing me to lean up against a brick wall,
and watching the bus drive away;
the bus driver gazes out his lighted window at me.

I walk into a bar.
Get myself a shot of Johnny Walker Red.
Shoot it.
Get another.
shoot it.
another and a Guinness,
sit at the bar.
Friends come up to me.
About what?
I don’t remember:
starting bands,
getting fucked up,
being fucked up,
going skinny dipping,
making time machines.
I get a pitcher.
Forget. Fade. Where are we?
Where do we go? To a party? Bed?
Is there a reason ?
I don’t think I understand the purpose for all this,
nor the cold breeze which comes in from the open door.

I’ve Realized,
drinking would be too obvious to appease me.
When you come and stand before me,
my hunger so blatant
so easily distilled
reached to nothing,
but a decayed fibre of cotton
running through my veins.

Last night, I threw up all night long,
my stomache turning itself inside out.
I lost everything in five hours,
leaving my stomache in the bottom of a trash can
somewhere in Central Park.
I beside it,
Every nerve in my head and body pounding
into my very existence,
leaving me nothing, but a cold crust of toast.

I woke up sweaty, burning from the afternoon sun,
coiled up in between two trash cans on East Sixth Street
at the edge of Alphabet City.
This is no longer me.
Something else lives in my veins
forcing me to want.


There’s a memory I have of last night:
being woken up by you
coming over
unsure of what’s happening in your life,
unsure of the choices that you’ve made,
afraid, hurting,
telling me words
words you call truths.
I take these things, for they are all that you offer;
but they decay in my hands,
leaving me nothing.
So all I do is listen, wait,
and wonder if this is a dream.

I did not come here
to be judged and cursified. [1]
for your sins and failures.

I will not carry your cross of fears on my back,
thorns piercing my brow,
my bare feet bleeding from the cuts
given by the sharp slivers of glass
hidden in the cracks of the sidewalk.

I see you are not one I can trust;
though you say differently,
you’re trying to peel my skin off with your words.
I have closed myself to you;
you can never enter again.
I’m afraid you might steal something else.

Fade into a field
covered with kudzu and weeds
through the tress
passed a deer stand
a pond
down a hill
following a stream
there is a creek
a scene
two figures
sitting down,
touching the water with their toes
as their legs dangle from a moss covered rock.

form whispers
thoughts of words.
I have slept with darkness
her fingernails
razor wire
cut through the bone of my life.
Here, have a glass.
I’ll even pour it.
Here, drink my life.
It will give you strength,
tangled and pushed into isolation.

Mother, I called today
to ask you a question.
Who am I?
You do not know me, mother.
You have a thought of what you want me to be
and it is a beautiful one, but you don’t know me.
My ghosts raised me in the shadows of your lust.

And father, you know me even less,
been gone since I was ten;
you have only a guess at what I might be.
You come at me with orders,
telling me I am wrong in living my life the way I do.
Where were you when I was growing up, needing guidance.
No father, you do not know me;
you make your judgments on my decisions
without even hearing the evidence
or the story god has given me to write.

How easy it is to run,
to get on the streets and dance among the ghosts,
screaming with them and being one.
Wholeness is nothing but a lie.
A lie, one tells oneself, so he can live.

Glass blue figures melt into the walls.
The body
tossed up on the hood and beaten,
rolls to the ground,
The crowd forms.
Blue lights waver across a brick graffiti﷓covered wall.

Anger fills my fingers
grows into my arms
and up into my head
downward into the heart,
and springs from my eyes and lips.
I’ll kill you.

Half faces
of people I hardly remember,
stroll across the sidewalk.
I’ve seen these people,
day after day,
haunting the streets.

The last hurt is turned inward;
so cold your tongue sticks.
“I can’t love you anymore,
it hurts too much.”
You take a step…

Blood drips from your eyes.
Is it sleep?
Patterns linger
nets of stars

…moving down in a circle
and fall backwards.

As I stand here gazing over the brown polluted water of the Hudson,
I think about swimming,
dancing among the fish.

The moments of sleep which frightened me the most
are those which follow
after the light is off
and I’m trying to construct a dream.

Can you make yourself believe
that there was a moment
a cease-fire
two strangers standing silent
holding misforgivings, and pains,
deep in their stomaches;
and for a moment
hands touch
and then part unknown.

And yet,
the words you have spoken to me in the last weeks
have been those of an estranged goddess,
making me forget all we shared.
I’m sorry,
I can’t remember our love.
It was state dependent.
I don’t have to worry about it anymore.


I gave you love in bits and pieces,
the only way I know
protection maybe
but you don’t have the right
to stand there
screaming at me,
accusing me of hating and using you.

There’s nothing that says
you can’t call me.
You accuse me of drifting,
of being tortured.
The words confuse me,
disorient me.
I feel like a traitor,
drifting confused.
I feel bloated from similar feelings.

The answer:
knocked out with Ludes and Scotch,
and sucked into a deep deep sleep.
What should I have done?
What should I have said?
What I didn’t say.
What else are we caught between?
Another sky?

I found myself walking down Broadway,
long fast strides
my arms slapping my legs:
ropes on a flagpole on a breezy winter day.
I was trashed,
drunk, stoned, and wired.
I was cold,
real cold.
Thoughts jumped around in my head;
but I could never keep one down long enough
to see what it was.

The prophecies speak for themselves;
nothing can be added.
They bred among themselves.
But what of us?
Do we have lives then?
Can we change fate?
Can we decide,
we don’t want to move the arm that way
but this way,
and the fingers like this?

When the night closes in
covering all that I have built,
do I then observe my incline?
Do I then rise with the moon
and gaze down upon the ocean of my dreams
and see her wading through the waters I have drawn forth?
How open is the soul when one wants to cross?
A spoken word here,
another there,
I step on each one as I climb,
afraid to glance back.
She might not be there.
But if I did?
Am I losing faith,
faith in believing?

Survival is a hard word:
large mountains covering the landscape of the heart.
They keep one from seeing the next day,
or even wanting to.
But there are passes to follow
and springs
bubbling up
jumping playfully over the rocks
and into the valley.

I enjoyed our last drink and talk.
I will miss you.
I once loved you,
but you took that love away from me.
So I say goodbye to you today.
We’ll see each other again,
I guess,
maybe not.
It hurts realizing that.
I’ll remember that last shy hug
as we parted
knowing all too well
life has put us on different roads.

There, spread out before me,
wide open nothingness
broken up by thin lines of blood;
the only way the poet speaks.
The poet talks loudest
in silence.
His words echo through your caverns:
crisp deep and layered.

That is blood singing
as it ripens on the page.
The poet shows you his insides,
at least listen and try to understand.
You don’t have the courage to do the same.

There is always shit and more shit.
It accumulates and piles up.
No matter how many times you clean it up,
there’s more
hidden under the table
in the corners.
My hands smell of it.
For years I have tried to clean the smell off
but the stench gets worse,
leaves me here alone
staring at these lime green walls
wondering why I even try.
Yes, we can be friends.
Yes, I do understand.
One must find oneself.
Leave me alone now,
I must lick my wounds.

Cars drive up
at the red light
some slower tan others
leaving black lines
on the road
marking their domain
a bug
out there now,
vibrates the painting above me.
I go to sleep.

The ghosts
I can feel them come in.
They open the door,
show themselves in.
Don’t even say hi.
They just sit down on the couch
pull out a cigarette
and fill the room up with smoke,
the smoke comes to me
says “I’ll hide you
cover you up so you can be one of us.”
My skin crawls
off my bones
onto the floor
and out the door,
leaving nothing but a skeleton
in front of their eyes.
The ghosts come up to me taking,
always taking;
and I can’t say no.
They pick my bones.
pick ’em clean:
bleached white in the gas heater.
I look frantically
for herb
It doesn’t matter what.
I need something to ease the pain,
the scream.

I cut my knuckles off one by one,
Stick needles In my veins:
a sacrifice to the gods.
however the gods don’t listen.
They don’t understand.
They only laugh,
so hard the ground shakes and opens up
letting more demons out.
The demons encircle me,
run me around the house,
for some defense,
some place to hide;
then I hear music,
a pounding I my head.
I want to sing it;
but the words stay in my head
and I scream
until my lungs are dry of air.
The pounding continues.
I cannot sleep.
Please let me sleep.
I am.
These ghosts are not.
I am real.
These ghosts are not.
But they seem real,
coming up to me
sucking my blood from my veins.
“Open yourself to me.” You ask.
I want to,
but you will leave;
because the ghosts will attack you soon.
Help me if you want.

It’s getting cold.
I don’t understand these words
which come to my head shaking.
Soon a cold drizzle starts to fall,
coats my clothes,
seeps into my skin,
and becomes my blood.
I realize that it is not fear
that grows but
I have been twisted because of alliances and treaties
I have made
and been forced to make.

Lies, confusion
I can’t open my eyes
for the fumes from the exhaust
of the taxi which passed
chokes me
and holds my eyes closed.

I’ve forgotten what love is.
It’s quite ludicrous I think;
but it’s my own fault:
the inability to act
out of fear of rejection.

So now I’m left with the undertones
that pull me under.

I’ve forgotten the power
that puts life in my body;
So I can come here
and stand in my own vomit.

You gave me life in your death,
the ability to open the door to another room.
One door must close,
so one can open another.
That is the rule;
however there are always exceptions :
Locked and dead-bolted
holding one out and the other in

I look into the window of an art gallery,
and I remember a pain,
the pictures remind me of your face.
Memories change
and rearrange themselves.
It’s hard to talk these days.
There are few one can trust.
It seems useless;
I try to explain how I feel;
But, the wind merely takes my words
and throws ’em miles down the road.
I wonder if anyone will ever hear
what I have to say.
I wonder if it really matters.

[1.] Cursified: today no one is crucified;
however, some people will cuss you out
until you feel as if you were crusified.