The October Project 2006, with Sean Cole

Monday, November 06, 2006

*The first poem each day is by Sean, the second by David.*

October 1, 2006

Nude. Near dead from heat stroke. Walls are closing in.
Two strange men stare straight ahead from corner. Steam
revs heart rate toward what could be total arrest. And Dad
picks now to tell me what he’s learned about cremation.
“You don’t have to leave ashes,” he says, “keep you in there
long enough you just dissolve.” “Um, yeah,” I say and look
his body over, mine already in disappointing ways. “Guess
ashes are for the living. Something to have.” I then go blind in
one eye. “So I’m asking,” he says, “You want ashes?”

(written 10.02.06—12:24 a.m.)

i live close to penn station
leave apt at five after three
and make 3:20 train
with time to buy train tickets
without the on train price increase
(note: i discovered on the train
that senior citizens don’t pay a fee
for buying their tickets on the train,
so i tell my dad
how he never has to
rush to the train station again)
arrive at my sister’s house for yom kippur
first she yells at her daughter
who yells back
then my mom yells at someone
i say to my dad
at the other head of the table
“looks like we’re the only ones not to yell yet.”
“you know fuck you,” my sister says, “fuck you.”

October 2, 2006

Dear Congressional Page,

I offer my heart, present the friendship of a mature
caucus chairman, and what do you do? Tell goddamn
Hastert my e-mails are “sick sick sick!” Well,
fuck you! I didn’t spend 12 ape-shit years putting up
with the loo-loo Boca Ratonians to be run out on a rail by
some snot nosed Boy-lita who can’t even drive.
If I’m so sick sick sick why’d ya get a woody when
I I-M’ed you from the stump. Sick, my lad, is ingrate
Tempur-Pedic humping gavel-teases – sick is callow,
grass-stained track-freaks with socks in their jocks.
You can take your lacrosse stick and yam it up some
prom-queen’s bohonkus for all I care, investigate
the subtleties of pre-calc on Spring Break. If I ever
see your reference-needin’, cradle-ridin’, push-up doin’,
woefully-under-aged-yet-beautiful butt in West Palm Beach
I’ll kick it straight into Westgate. You can keep your future,
I’ve got a whole, super, star-lit promise of my own
to fulfill! LOL tadpole! BRB! Not! Ha ha! Maf54 Signed Off.

(written 10.03.06-8:04 a.m.)

my mom’s still not talking to me
after i didn’t come home for rosh hashanah
so i had to come home for yom kippur
although i wasn’t really in the mood
and she still wasn’t talking to me
even though i came this time
doing that “does-anyone-hear-anything?”-thing
whenever i would try to talk to her.
i kept trying to explain to her
that if she was going to freeze anyone out
that it should have been my big brother
“how many of your graduations did he make? none.
“and how many times did he blow off the high holidays?
“and how about when he would work on cars at his auto shop
during the high holidays?”
but still she didn’t talk to me.
thus is the burden of being the good son.
October 3, 2006

Something there is that’s glad I’m not a dad.
4 girls dead in Amish country, murdered. No
divesting from the sickness of the world. Read
about it sitting on my sixteenth of an acre. Landlord
scoots his little nephew out the basement door before
locking up, climbing stairs to meet him by the deck.
One small breath before the kid gets bored
with wanting back in, turns and runs directly toward
the sound of Fed Ex rumbling up the street.
No adult but me to yell him stop. He turns again
as if to say “Yeah? What the fuck, old man?” Landlord
comes out wonders why the hell I’ve gone all white.
It takes a goddamn village and I’m the idiot.

(written 10.04.06—1:47 a.m.)

this may be the greatest night on tv
(at least to me)
tuesday night’s on what was the wb
(and upn)
at eight there is the gilmore girls
then at nine comes veronica mars.
so at my parents they’re watching other programs
and i go to the den by myself for two hours
for the second episode this season of the gilmore girls
and the start of season three of veronica mars
and it doesn’t disappoint
this greatest night on tv
to me.

October 4, 2006

I eat nothing but sandwiches. Have
ruined lovely gourmet meals jamming
them between baguette halves. Steak tips whole
Thanksgiving plates caper-dappled salmon omelets an
alphabet of vegetables – and soup. Soup sandwiches
do not hold together well. The guy in The Jerk
sequel nibbling an entire side of meat on white
is me. (Released in 1984. I wonder what George
Orwell would’ve made of that. Maybe a sandwich.
He shoved Animal Farm in between two other
books. In 1972, Raymond Mungo published
Between Two Moons. I have it here, hugged
by All the King’s Men and another Mungo novel
with a ménage a trois scene in it. Ray and some dude
make a girl-panini. She curses them out after.
Every night we spread ourselves on wheat
bed, pull the covers over, lonely carcass lolling
under comforter. Liquid makes up more than
half our bodies. Sandwiches the rest. Hand me
everything like this. Deliver the world between
two other worlds, Earth between birth and whatever.
Put all of it between something and the same
thing. And goddamn it if you love me put
sandwiches between other sandwiches.)

10.04.06—10:54 p.m.

at the first mets playoff game of the year
with my friend philip
i chew off jordan’s ear
and a whitefish salad sandwich
that my mom made
on a buttered bialy
with a beefsteak tomato slice
and a bit of romaine lettuce

October 5, 2006

I’ve learned to make s’mores indoors. You place
half a graham cracker on a paper towel top it
with a chocolate square and one up-ended
marshmallow. Then place the whole affair into
the tub. Run half a bath, hot as possible, let
stand for half an hour. Strain, then gingerly lift
remains into a burning room. (Room must be
lit thirty minutes in advance.) Set fifteen cans
of aerosol whipped cream around perimeter
and allow to explode. Reach in with long-arm
pizza paddle, scrape together metal shards
and discard. You’ll then have several
well-charred, dairy collars of fabulous density,
a graham, choco-mallow freckle and less
than a room. Consume one gallon gasoline.
Digest and process over whipped cream rings.
Set each alight. Quickly lift “grachocalow”
with hand of sister and dip into each flaming
halo. Then place molten sum into a battered
hamster (punched I mean, not rolled in flour)
wait for one more hour and remove. You should
have half a softened “groclow” pallet dinted
on each end by stomach acid, and no more
hamster. Demolish other half of cracker
and inhale (nasally works best). Refrigerate
what now can claim no label or identifying
taste, wait a baleful lifetime laced with dim
regret and consume. Serves four.

(written 10.06.06—5:14 a.m.)

play for me
i’ll play for you
but, wait, i don’t play anything
would it be ok if i read you a poem instead
would it be ok.

October 6, 2006

Dear Tony Hoagland,

You should have ended that poem with “Signed,
America.” The last eight lines aren’t as strong as
the Dear Abby trope about the blood-soaked
dad returning home from business trips with
nice gifts. And I don’t need the “Springdale
Mall” echo at the end, feels too tied
in a bow. But I’m one to talk. A) This poem
will never be recited on Writer’s Almanac.
B) I almost started it with “Paper comes.
Picture of a phallus on it.” Meaning silo
on a naked hill. Thatch of black-clad people
down below. Then I saw the headline: “Sorrowful
Farwells in Amish Country.”
“I’m a tool,” I thought.

(written 10.07.06—10:33 a.m.)

Dear America,

Last night Ian and I went to see Tom Hayden talk about the Chicago 8, because he just wrote the intro to this new book composed solely of edited down Chicago 8 trial transcripts and Jules Feiffer sketches from the courtroom.

On the walk there Ian gave me a Malachy McCourt for Governor button and magnet. I had hoped that he had one of those one button at a time buttonmaking machines, but he didn’t, he had them made up at Café Press.

One of the students at the New School remarked how Newt Gingrich visited their campus recently and had a huge crowd, and that if things were right in the world Hayden’s audience numbers would be reversed.

Hayden said that one of the things people forget to focus on in studying the sixties were the assassinations—Jack, Malcolm, Martin, and Bobby—and their effect upon various movements and policies.


October 7 2006

Dear David,

What Tom Hayden told you is true, the assassinations
are key. What he didn’t say is they were part
of vast plot fostered by the coastal media elite who control
not only the flow of information (aka propaganda, the first
ingredient of a coup) but transportation, education,
agriculture, import/export, medicine and cartography and who
have siphoned ninety-five percent of the nation’s actual
wealth in a shadow economy built to buttress their own
amoral ends. The engine that propels this plan is national
empathy. Hence whenever John and Joan Q. Fence-Sitter
would begin to sniff the fulsome salt of this revolt they’d off
a popular insurrectionist or member of their own cabal
(the latter only when things got desperate).

Kennedy’s head was detonated by remote. Ergo magic bullet
theory, ergo the Alice in Wonderland compunction
to pin it on some ancient dynasty of Hitlerian mind-lords.
Oswald was one of theirs. Ruby too. In fact, Ruby Tuesday was
written by them, not Mick Jagger. Though Charlie Watts
did shoot Malcolm X and Martin Luther King (was paid
a bag of high-grade Turkish hash for each murder).

Sirhan Sirhan was the original organist for the Rolling Stones,
which is how they appropriated him. They don’t call it the British
Invasion for nothing, David. Except in this case we invaded
ourselves with the help of hot, young, long-haired man-tarts
in tight slacks who are actually highly-trained, inhuman
killing machines. The lie that you, that America has utterly
inhaled is the most successful campaign of thought-control
in world history. I tell you this in confidence, aware that you,
like me, are an apostle of the truth, no matter how excruciatingly
it stings to learn.

Yours, in mutual patriotism,

Mark A. Foley, former Congressman of Florida.

10.07.06—11:08 p.m.


gee, congressman foley, they’re very upset;
you gave us the love that every
child oughta get.

you never touched me
you never cared
me at arm’s reach
getting only stares.

the yankees have lost,
the mets about to win
people looking at my room
no one moving in

October 8, 2006

M. and I are arguing about the Nick Adams stories.
“They’re sooooo booooooring!” she says, “Oh
here I am at my manly camp site doing man things
with a manly older man. We killed a bear, then fell
in love with an Indian girl and then I cooked us hoe
cakes using my hand as a spatula ’cause that’s how
frickin’ manly we are.” “I think you have to be a boy
to enjoy them,” I said, reminding her that hoe cakes
saved my life eleven years ago. Only flour in the cupboard.
Would’ve starved in my apartment otherwise. Yesterday,
we argued all the way to Salem about how to get there.
The city was engorged with tourists trying to fell the Elizabeth
Montgomery statue. “They forget,” I said, “The point of the story is
there were no witches in the first place.” On that we concurred.

10.08.06—11:04 p.m.


my dad calls everyday
asking where resumes were sent
i say nowhere dad
luckily he doesn’t get bent

if you will take my resume
and go and find me a job
i will be so indebted
maybe cut my hair into a bob

it’s not the work i’m afraid of
i’ll go almost anywhere i’m told
i just don’t want to interview
right now i don’t feel so bold

October 9, 2006

Today’s poem was e-mailed to me by someone named “Motion Picture.”
I’ve edited it here and there. But for the most part, this is how it

“Follower is friendly and discreet of personal.
Hell Religions Compared, Bible is About Creation.
Network Homepage am, Directory Google am, Groups am.
Disobeyed. Brought sin into world of sin. Host is most terrible.

With heaven must accept his gift?
Will please when?
Allowed and could browse freely.
Story bad things about why Learn about them.
Eternally separate, mankind and God, but Jesus Christ.
Creator loved him so much he died cross, paid penalty.
Read story. Story bad in things about – why Learn about
Reality Hell Religions?
Friendly discreet personal. Do you have web page? Share This.
Discreet personal, do you have web page?
Learn about Reality!
Not allowed and could browse.
Desire that.
Different in keywords gene.”

(written 10.10.06—2:53 a.m.)

few potential roommates
my bank account bare
after a creditor’s levy
i don’t care

but i do
and u know it
and i know it too
got no money for nothing
and i want some ice tea mix

peanut butter from the jar
was my late night snack
couldn’t waste a bagel
that’s a meal for tomorrow

i freeze my water
so i can chew on my ice
it’s not so bad
and it tastes pretty nice.

October 10, 2006

Two potential outcomes.
Tomorrow drive north
to Nova Scotia, over-
night there then fly out
to Sable Island, smile-
shaped sand dune, home of two
full-time scientists, two hundred
horses, wild, countless seals, mice,
bats, bugs and one
tree. Stay three
days – five if storm erupts. Or
head south to Hartford
airport. Meet president
of ScentAir, a firm that sells
aroma-guns to thousands of hotels.
Wants to schpritz me something
titled “White Tea” smell of
Sheraton, and somehow
sunshine. Whoops
just got a call.
It’s Hartford.

(written 10.11.06—4:30 a.m.)

it’s harder to upgrade your computer
when you don’t have a job
when there aren’t guys in the IT department
who aren’t your friends
and haven’t played your shows
when you’re still on four-year-old versions of all your software
but you make do
because they’re good enough
to do what you need.

October 11, 2006

It’s hard to be a hand grenade with no
pin in your noodle, waiting to explode. So
much potential but no boom yet. No boom-
let even, just the dull, rehearsed thud
of underthrow rolling in your hood.
It’s been hours. Even room service stood
you up, no one will comply with your demands.
Then the needle starts. A tickle first but soon
debilitating: perhaps you’re a dud.

(written 10.12.06—9:00 a.m.)

planning to go home tomorrow
to go to a mets playoff game with dad
(he likes it better when i go with him to the game
than when i meet him at the game.
so instead of subwaying from city,
i long island railroad to folks
then drive with dad to shea.)
do i shower in my apartment
or in my parents’ place;
do i bring the three or four
supermarket bags of dirty dishes
to clean in their dishwasher
(since i can run them back to manhattan
on saturday with the car);
do i bring dirty laundry
to clean in their washer/dryer
so i have clean clothes
for just a few more days

October 12, 2006

Birthday Acrostic for My Friend Brendan Greeley
Really everything I write, have written ever, somehow is
Elicited by him, even lists of different types of gulls,
Naughty e-mails to dead apostates, checks
Drawn on long ago divested accounts, there’s something
About the way he pays me to compose every last mash
Note and IM and ransom letter for him that… um… well just

Gives me a lot of inspiration, don’t know quite how else to
Relate it. Which can be a problem sometimes, I mean sometimes,
Especially when he’s under deadline or there’s a woman he
Especially wants to excite and I have a little writer’s block, he’ll say
“Look, De Berger-hack, I’m your goddamn gravy train, so don’t
Even think of giving me some sob story of ‘Oooo I’m not
Your little coin-op Yeats who’s able to create at will.’ That’s

(written 10.14.06—12:53 a.m.)

every time i do something with my dad
it’s heightened by the this might be the last time i do this cool
thing with my dad vibe
like tonight, cardinals at mets league championship series game 1,
and we’re in my seats i have for the playoffs,
upper deck, row q,
five rows from the top of the stadium,
where the lettering, for some reason,
ends at v,
and we talk throughout the game,
watch my neuroses played out by him
“why are those people getting up so early in the game—ridiculous!”
and shell and eat the peanuts i had him buy for us,
’cause he likes them better than pistachios.

October 13, 2006

This is Just to Say

I have forgotten
to send the poem
that was in
my outbox

and which
you were probably
the text of

Forgive me
I’m inofficious
and so gross

(written 10.14.06—12:59 a.m.)

Dear Sean,
Hope you got the letter,
and i pray you can make a visit down here.
it’s what i so often want, crystal clear
and i don’t care about others wishes
all those sons of bitches
fuck them all
lying in the bathroom stall
i just don’t want their advice
except about head lice

Dear Sean,
No one’s in my parents’ house but me
and the fridge is full like when i was a boy
and so much iced coffee that my dad does store
for when i make these trips
and my favorite codes are zips
just thought you should know
it’s been a long time since i’ve been with a ho
you see i can’t afford it anymore

and three resumes in nine months is just no good
all the people out here kinda understood
but i don’t

Dear Sean,
There’s apricot nectar in the fridge
so decadent that i diabetically want to consume
even though the house is empty
and i’m a little afraid
but my laundry’s drying
and i’m not going anywhere anyway,
not today,
dear Sean.

October 14, 2006

Dear David,

Writing from the tire store, torn
right front, rode on rim one
mile before realizing, hit curb
too, don’t know how much that had
to do with it. “What’s love got
to do, got to do with it?” Tina
Turner intones. “Nothing,” I tell her,
“I’m talking about my car. And I love
my car. Its name is Doc. Last two
letters in license plate are ‘R,
X’ but it’s not that kind of love.
Although I have had sex in my car
which means it IS that kind of
car.” “I’m bringing sexy back,” says
Justin Timberlake. “Whoa!” I say
“I just need a new tire!” Gored by
curb, calamitous rumble, steel on tar.
Pulled over Park Ave. waited
an hour for grouchy tow-guy
to detach flat, replace with toy.
No breakfast ’til two, today
Practically over, only thing
accomplished is this poem. Oh,
and picked up mail, deposited
pay check, ate breakfast, bought
new, right, front tire, 98 dollars.
(written 10.15.06—2:48 a.m.)

i told you how
after i agreed on an amount
and she asked me
not to cum on her face
i did
though intentionally

and how now,
without a car,
when i was last able to afford to,
i would walk the block by the church
find one and hail a cab.

“i guess you can’t bring them back to your apartment
on the subway,” she tells me.
no, i say.

October 15, 2006

Everyone in the world has a Boston
accent to my ear, the Pope, everybody.
Everybody sounds like they’re from Revere
or Southie, scampishly dropping their R’s then
scooping them up like a frazzled baby-
sitter when it’s time to say words that end
in “A.” “Petah and Liser ah havin’ some
pizzer fo’ dinnah tonight, Bawby, you wanna
join ’em?” A quote from Kofi Annan at the UN
summit last September, I’m not exaggerating,
everyone’s from Boston.

10.15.06—11:48 p.m.

as a 10-year-old,
i worked on losing my brooklyn accent
and did.
when i lived in the boog house in albany
during long phone calls to my parents
it would return
rod and jon laughing through the thick.
October 16, 2006

Cold hands. Unfit
for afternoon’s demands. Temperature
still reads middle-age outdoors. In here
it’s like some valedictorian was killed, still
roams room to room, bored. Wasted
20 minutes this morning, tapping
“warmth” into different search engines with one
finger, left paw crumpled to my collar bone.
Couldn’t tell if I was warming it or just
cooling my shoulder. Nearly a whole tin
anniversary ago, meeting Uncle George: “Oh!”
he says, “you know what that means. That means
you got a wawm haht!” No George, I say,
silently, It just means my circulation is poor.
There’ll be no Georges anymore, or Dorothys
or Lauries or Carols or Eugenes. They’ll thrive
where they thrive, in Florida or some
climate like that, withdrawing from this rigor
mortis. And all the flora in this igloo
will expire, its last breath a plume of blue
frost. And the dog will retire to its place
in some far apartment, dreaming about
heated displays of ownership. And Lord
knows all these storm windows aren’t
going to close themselves.

(written 10.17.06—1:14 a.m.)

london broil with my folks
baked potato with mustard
red and yellow peppers, and small tomato slices
with balsamic vinegar for dipping
when we finished
dad and i ate peanuts
leftover from the mets game last week.

October 17, 2006

Day begins with egg
splashing into pan hot
Italy oil, sistering.
Sistering? Yes. All I can think
of, when it hits, is my
sister, we were little, squealing
“Ewwwwww! Chicken
abortions!” Last night ripped
open week old Cornish Game
remnant with bare hands ate
every last ingot. Ultimately,
chicken got revenge. Ah,
but who’s your daddy now,

(written 10.18.06—1:54 a.m.)

got haircut and beard trim
at barber college
to look more human
while showing the apartment
to potential roommates.
my mom will say it’s a little short.

October 18, 2006

Adam looks up at Eve’s
ankle – they’d been going at it, he asked
‘What made all this?’ ‘The Big
Bang,’ she said ‘Well,’ he said
‘where did all the stuff come to bang
from?’ ‘God made it,’
Eve said.
Adam thought a minute.
“But who made God?” he asked. She said,
‘He banged into being, something about
berating himself too often. Got
mad, went boom.’ ‘But what,” said
Adam, ‘made the stuff that banged when God got
so dang mad he burst?’ ‘Angela Bassett,’
Eve said, ‘She went, “Hm, I think I need a God
around, someone to make more things
like me,” she said, “I need being made and maybe
helped over puddles sometimes without
bellowing.”’ ‘But then who,’
said Adam, ‘made Angela Bassett make God
get mad go blam?’ ‘The guy on the tube,’
said Eve, ‘he crooned and crooned, a kind
of early Orpheus, he wung until a moth came
out his mouth and flapped the whole Typhoon
into effect. It’s why we call it that the small
things govern what we say to one another.
All of this is pre-ordained.” “By whom?”
he asked. They spoke this way.
Went at it again.

(written 10.19.06—2:13 a.m.)

parking by the auto shops by shea stadium
we avoid the first block,
where one of the guys who works there
had cordoned off all the spots illegally
and forced my dad to pay him $10,
saying we could park there
but he wouldn’t watch the car
meaning he’d break something on the car,
after us parking on that same street for free
for the past 33 years.
but there were either no spots
or no spots dad felt like parking in,
so we went back to the now $10 block
and found different guys running the block
and six days later the spots were now $20
with the same promised protection,
dad said ok even though i wasn’t happy,
happy he had a spot
and didn’t have to deal with exiting the stadium’s lot after the game.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

October 19, 2006

Dear David they’re sneaking into our brains with their
fragrance munitions. A whole new wave of behavior
control, it’s called aroma marketing. The man in Hartford
fluttered a glass vial under my nose – Eau d’Play Doh. All
the sudden I was back in Mrs. Schaffer’s class sucking
on a Batman statuette I’d made. He used the word
“deployed” a lot. It’s tactical, like Tinkerbell,
sorcery with just a touch of Rumsfeld. The founder of the firm
was a Lockheed Martin engineer who left to work for Disney.
Created smells for It’s a Small World and for Army
simulation training. It’s Musak up your nose, I swear,
the man in Hartford used to work for Musak. Was at a trade
show, he told me, bent down to grab a scrap of paper that said
“Sugar Cookie” on it. “Because I’m kind of a crazy guy
I smelled it,” he said. “A nosy guy,” I told him. Transported
him back to grandmother’s house in Rushville, New York,
he said. Knew it was happening. Totally helpless. Had to take
over the company, finally. These days he’s hawking synthetic
nostalgia, collapsed in a briefcase of six dozen whippets. It’s
true what Proust said. I’ll paraphrase here: “There’s no factory
like the olfactory.”

(written 10.20.06—12:35 a.m.)

i was headed home from my folks
after seeing the mets tie their series up 3 games all
when my dad asked me to stay
to go to my sister’s house and watch game seven with him
we watched my niece michelle
dad picked up a pizza
and i rummaged through sis’s fridge for beverages,
cans of diet tropicana orange, diet sierra mist,
and diet wild cherry pepsi,
a plastic bottle of snapple diet peach ice tea,
later grabbing some pulp free non-tropicana orange juice.
the mets game was 1-1 most of the way,
helped along by a two-run homer saving endy chavez catch
but then a two-run homer to the same spot in the top of the ninth
and the cardinals were up 3-1,
three met outs to go.
and the mets got two runners on,
before they got three outs
and the only place they were headed was home for the winter,
i almost wished they had gone down 1-2-3
so all of us weren’t teased,
but they don’t go out like that.
after carlos beltran took strike three
to end the game
i remotelessly got up
and turned the tv to leno, then letterman.

October 20, 2006

Have seen one Fenway game in life. One any stadium.
Five years old. Father plops me down in green
bleachers, praying I stay hetero, unaware
that green, on Thursday, means your queer.
Men the size of aphids career grass, chasing atom.
Hours of skull-collapsing actionlessness. Then, at once,
crowd jumps to feet, completely interrupting my,
albeit horrible, view of field. Never went back. Twenty-eight
years later, Chicago hotel bar. Cubs have driven city almost
to matricide. Everyone in room’s a public radio
producer. All eyes on TV. Sox up 3 in 9th. Yankees smack
3 points to tie up game. I wrap each hand around a scalding
hot, invisible baseball, scream, “No! No! No!”

10.20.06—11:12 p.m.

another day
trapped in long island
“This is David Kirschenbaum held captive,
day two, and I’m Ted Koppel.”
stayed last night,
’cause dad wanted me to watch the mets game,
then this morning
us all at my sister’s place
her daughter sick
for a third pretend day
though she’s good enough to act and sing her roles
and then she pulls the i don’t feel good can i stay home,
so my going home at around noon
became staying round
’til my sister’s errands and meetings were done
and then jeeping to my folks alone
to watch the programs i would’ve taped on my own vcr.
we did have a nice sabbath dinner,
and watched some tv,
before i head bobbed through taped ugly betty.

October 21, 2006

M. and I are arguing over how to spell the word
“jih-zm” I insist it’s G-Y-Z-Y-M a la Ginsberg’s “Last
gyzym of consciousness.” M. says “no it’s J-I-S-M, spelled
that way in every novel I’ve seen it in.” “How many
novels are you reading with the word ‘gyzym’ in it?” I say.
She doesn’t respond. We make a 50 dollar bet and then
forget ’til morning when she remembers the bet wrong.
“You said 50 bucks it’s spelled your way,” she says.
“No,” I say “50 bucks it’s NOT spelled YOUR way.” No
on-line dictionary lists Ginsberg’s goddamn spurt of phonetic
wisdom. Only and Wikipedia list
hers. Wikipedia: Jism may refer to a slang term
for semen, a fluid secreted by male animals; a term in Hindi
meaning body; a 2003 Bollywood film; the Jordan Institution
for Standards and Metrology; the Joint Initiative Synergy
Movement. “See?” she says, “mine has its own listing!”

10.21.06—2:07 p.m.


you look like maggie zurawski
but i think you like boys
my old girlfriend candace
went shopping for toys
with her friend alicia
it’s bothering me
more now than then
it’s time to stop worrying about the past
or things that have gone, things that didn’t last

i’ll still call you back
i always do
it’s not a commitment
it’s a question of who
of who’ll always love me
and if i’ll care
about being alone
about all of the stares.

October 22, 2006

Yesterday: removed half a donut from a plate
on the bed and ate it. My house has turned into
a series of ant hills, day old morsels carried down
them in ant lorries. Almost 35 and living like
the guys in Bosom Buddies. Or Oscar frigging
Madison before Felix moved in. Maybe they named
Oscar Oscar after the Grouch, both men couched in
garbage you can’t tell me that’s a coinkidink. One high
school day we’re taught the word “serendipity,”cheer-
leader perks up, says “That’s the name of a clothing
store!” Teacher, true to the old rhyme, shoots a dirty
look. Chances are both of them are dead, or at least still
residing in Millis, Mass. In other words, “kind of dead.”
I mean them no harm as I brush crumbs and cigarette
remnants from my bed. I wish them clean homes, or at least
immaculately maintained grave-sites.

(written 10.23.06—2:48 p.m.)

yr girl is prettier than u girl
and u said u only date pretty girls
but i wondered how you could say that
since you’re not really pretty
(though anyone can see you are sexy)

October 23, 2006

Today my hero called and said I’m good. Had just
unstitched the “S” from my chest, was holding it
over the toilet when the phone went. All this
time it’s only stood for “Sean.” “I believe
I can fly.” Which will be unfortunate if I actually
try to. No manual for this suit. Hair a flame of typical
curls. Lawyer girlfriend. It’s Robert Culp who called.

(written 10.24.06—1:18 a.m.)

if you say you’re coming
can you come
you wanted to come earlier
i asked you to come later
and right before you were to come
someone came themselves
and i turned the lights on for them
in every single room
so when they came to see my home
it would be no tomb
and i left the lights on for you
in great anticipation
did i ever tell you
how i loved janet jackson’s rhythm nation?
but you never showed up
and so an hour later,
i turned off all the lights i didn’t need
and grabbed to drink some partially frozen water.

October 24, 2006

Nice to see you! Do you wish to become
multi-orgasmic? The great predictions are made.
The increase is up seven percent lately. Drill
this stock in the head, boom day later state-
ment. This watch is fictitious this pill
is fantastic. Don’t be surprised if you’re able to spill
it all over her workbook a go-go. Try us the women
will flam to your pump-hut like battery art. Better get
in on this hot topic, better loosen the bonds of your
awesome memory. Freak luck like this doesn’t come every
day the the way you will once you take this obvious
Michael enhancer. We all got on Barbie, we ate what they
gave us. We all topped our wallet off by commodifying
our lemon relievers. Swing low, cat monitor, swing
silently closed. A fine song. We loved it. Stop.

(written 10.25.06—1:37 p.m.)

i’m beginning to dislike the gilmore girls
it’s something i never thought i’d say
but see there’ve been plot lines
that i haven’t liked
like why would rory ever take to heart
the things that logan’s father said
then go and quit yale
and not know just what to do;
(and why would she still be with logan to begin with)
and why give luke a child,
a 12-year-old daughter he was never told about,
which would lead to luke and lorelai’s breaking up,
and lorelai going that night into rory’s dad christopher’s bed
(who she’s dating now,
going with to paris now).

and i want to stop watching the gilmore girls,
but they say that this is the last season,
about 18 episodes left,
i guess that i can stick it out,
i’m probably gonna stick it out.

October 25, 2006

All the radio is gone. The sets are on but
every anchor is in Evanston, drinking.
I’m with them. Flew here in silence, the pilot
explaining how the plane works on channel
nine. We do this yearly, leave our studios and drink
in Illinois listening to the radio, which is lit up, and
soundless. We talk about what could be coming
out of it. We make slur racket, e.g. engender
neologisms. And record them. And go home.
And play them on the radio.

(written 10.26.06—3:02 a.m.)

most of the craig’s listers seeking my room for rent
are sending me their descrips
(some instead immediately enter into questions
about me and the room and the apartment,
leading me to ask them about themselves
before i’ll invite them up for a look).
but some of the craig’s listers seeking my room for rent
are also sending me their pics.
i’m never sure what to do with them.
i keep looking for the physical deformities that they must have
and want to share with me in advance
to see if i’m ok with their ailments,
but don’t find any.
today one woman sent me what can only be described as a sex kitten pose.
she’s coming by to look at the room tomorrow.

October 26, 2006

Tony says he heard the word
“Yes!” yelled atop a man’s voice one
room over. “So I guess,” he says “there’s hot
man-on-man acton happening next door.”
“How do you know it’s man-on-man,” I say.
“Oh,” he says, “Two men’s voices. Plus,
one called the other ‘man.’”

(written 10.27.06—10:53 a.m.)

i left my apartment today
for the first time since i arrived last week
took the elevator down six flights
to go and check my mail
and there was the new issue of sports illustrated
just like i thought it would be
and then i returned to my apartment today.

October 27, 2006

I left my body today, fortieth
time since arrived mid-week.
Floated six flights down hotel
skeleton. Elevator a notorious
snail. There in room spilling
people stood a hero saying I should
be listened to. I knew he’d say
something, not that, or for that
long. Then, returned to lobby, ate
supper with him. Non-failure evening.

(written 10.29.06—12:20 p.m.)

another potential roommate comes by
with a really beautiful girl
he introduces as his friend
they walk through the apartment
which is nice and is clean
and then we reach my room
the former living room
which i haven’t cleaned for this search,
i mean it’s not like there’s garbage laying around
but the futon is covered with clean, folded laundry,
and like a thousand copies of boog city.
i’ve been wondering if this is why
i haven’t found a roommate yet
but i don’t care enough to make it look alright,
so now i do what i did tonight,
lead with a jab at myself as we enter the room,
“yeah, this is my room,
as you can see it’s a bit messy.”
and the pretty and elegant girl
walks through it to the terrace,
and she has a glow about her,
which makes me feel ok,
as it’s normally these girls
who have the guys’ ears.

October 28, 2006

My little horse must think I’m queer.
I have no horse. So, weird to mention
him I guess. His name is odd.
He has no name. Although, unlike
the song, he hasn’t gone through
anything. Again, no horses here.

My little heart is in a cab.
Electric mare. Except it has
no head, nor hide. We take the road
less traveled toward O’Hare. Weary
monogram behind my brain, I die some,
dream I’m some nag’s heart about to bust.

My little train’s about to leave.
I’ll stay the night, flap my carpet
sometime noon tomorrow, white-steed
bird, like myth ’cept no one’s heard
about it. We’re nameless like our non-
existent breed of whack-job stallions.

(written 10.29.06—12:40 p.m.)

all the copies of the flipbook
i made for the segue reading today
sold out
enabling me to have some income in my brokedown days
before i went to bed yesterday
i ran out 30 copies of the pamphlet
and i grabbed them when they were all done printing
my toner i knew was running low for weeks
but i didn’t have the $120+ to replace it
and most of these pages came out all streaked through
so i threw them into my recycle bin
took the toner cartridge out
shook it back and forth and side-to-side
and then printed just five copies
to see how they’d go
and they looked sweet and streak free.
so i went to bed
and this morning
printed them out in five copy increments
shaking the toner back and forth and side-to-side
and i figured the goal was to get 20 clean copies
and after i had done just that
i tried to run a few more out
and they came out crazy streaky and that was that
so after giving the authors and a host a copy,
and keeping one for myself,
i had nine copies to sell
thanks or no thanks to my toner
and i sold them all and they paid for groceries.
i’m thinking that once i get a new toner cartridge
maybe i’ll start making pamphlets
for other readings,
maybe link up with a series that i dig,
except then i’d have to leave my apartment.

October 29, 2006

Saturday rise at 8:00 before alarm having gone
to bed at 4:00. Try again to watch sex-filled video
on internet, preparing for interview, I swear. Cab to
film summit South Wabash continue attempting
to call up director’s johnson on screen at Starbucks, afraid
of near-peepers. Walk back Columbia College 8th floor
panel on No Budget Filmmaking, secret to feed
actors working for free. Conduct interview including
the question “Your penis is in episode three.” Sweet
kid 25-year-old prodigy, four movies above his
johnson, going everywhere very quickly. Cab to O’Hare
Marriot, doze and dream I’m sharing keyboard with
prodigy pianist, paparazzi snapping flash blubs in
my area. Wake up thinking water bottle is left forearm.
Write poems to David, missed one yesterday too much
happening as you’ve heard. Blueline meets Belmont, bus
to Broadway, mom on phone explaining step-dad’s
knee-replacement, lots of pain all over. Meet pals outside
record store, soft tacos, beer we brought ourselves. Long
Negativland show about lack of God almighty, poignant,
moving, awfully long. Nap some in audience, dream
nothing. Walk to bus where two new friends discuss new
theory about girl-clothes: no costume-trousered women
anymore. Halloween’s now Ho-Day, day all female
revelers wear hot-pants. Girl in dowdy outlet get up,
holes cut out down low for plug to go, proves case more
than anyone. Bus back Belmont, wait for late train, three
to Forest Park come and go before the first to
Cumberland. Doze on subway, dream I’m eating salad.
Wake with mouth in comely ‘O,’ opening, closing,
embarrassing. Doze again dream I’m eating cole
slaw. Wake thinking maybe didn’t have enough
for supper. Walk to hotel, cold as hell, as hell is cold, Piers
Anthony said so in On a Pale Horse, read in ninth
grade, friends would call it Under Male Horse,
joking. Grab a smoke, new pack, smoke in frozen
October shadow. O, o, o, escaping broken
grimace. Finally return to bed, heavenly
pillow they call it. Switch on cable fall
asleep to CNN discussing brush fire. Wake
Wolf Blitzer interrogation breakfast airplane Boston.

(written 10.30.06—3:51 p.m.)

my about-to-be roommate comes to the door
i sit him down in the kitchen
two copies of the lease are there ready to sign
can he look at the room again
he asks
you mean you want to see it one more time
before you hand me all of this cash
i say
he looks around, asks what will stay
everything except that torch lamp.
and we go back into the kitchen,
and after a few more questions
we sign the leases
and he cuts a big check to me
and even though it won’t clear for two days
i hand him his apartment keys
because you have to hand someone apartment keys
who’s just given you a big check,
though i won’t call him my roommate
until two days from now when that check clears.

October 30, 2006

M. asks, “Have you written a poem about my ass yet?”
“No,” I answer, “But I will.”
“No, no,” she says.
“And,” I say “I’ll start it.” M asks, “Have you written
a poem about my ass yet?”
“No,” she says, “really I…”
“No, really,” I say “I will. No one will know. No one
will know I’m talking about you.”
“I don’t think…” she says.
“No,” I say, “It’ll be fine.”
“I just thought,” she says “it was at
the forefront of your mind,”
“It is,” I say, “And I’m going to write a poem about it. It’ll
just be this entire conversation.”
“No, no,” she says, “Time out. Poem over.”

(written 10.31.06—11:13 a.m.)

to the church off the second avenue bus i saw her
it had been six months to the day since i’d seen her
and every time i did see her it was really nice
and here it was being really nice again
maybe it’s because we don’t see each other that often
but i don’t think that’s all it is
i just know that i saw her on the way to church
me just off of the second avenue bus
and it was really nice.

October 31, 2006

Some guy dressed up as a guy on a motorbike flips me off
twice, left, then right, his hands dressed up like
two birds. A car dressed up as my car had honked at him. Traffic
light in red costume. Someone dressed like someone shocked
at my driving acumen has a horrible mask on. I don’t look, dressed
as I am like someone who could give a shit. A large group dressed like
my co-workers welcomes me to the office which is dressed
as a radio station. They win the prize so far. Perfect touches like the desk
dressed as my desk covered in loose hairs, the clocks all running twice
the speed of normal ones. I forget who I’m dressed like halfway
through afternoon and begin guilt. A kid on a Career Day tour
tries to take my face off. I dress him up like someone to be angry at
for the rest of my life. Soon the sky tries dressing like a pale
wound but fails, goes to later party as a corpse. I walk out under its
white orchid. Uncanny how good at this everyone is.

10.31.06—11:39 p.m.

i’m almost out of lithium
gotta go and get me some
i’ve been good
’bout not fucking ’round
missing more than a day or two
throughout the year
gotta get me some
gotta make me run.

my renewals are all gone
doc won’t see me anymore
gotta get me a new doc
to get the scrip
to skip the shock
and today
finally money
can pay a doc
for a scrip or three
gonna get me some
never had a taste for rum
i like my