Friday, March 17, 2017

A BAD LUCK WOMAN

"Many a good man has been put under a bridge by a woman."
--Henry Chinaski

and she's all mine.
She was sick & suicidal
when she found me.
Just the kind I like.
I got her well
& she thanked me
by twisting the knife
into my innards
like she was twirling spaghetti.
She was Faye
& I was Jack
and this was Chinatown.

I couldn't quit her.
I couldn't quit her
before it cost me my job,
my money, my sanity and
nearly my pad--eviction notices
blanketed my door. Her absence
bothered me more than anything real could.
But I fought
the good fight
until her boil
became a pimple
that I sometimes,
even to this day,
absentmindedly rub.
My poems
as my life
doesn't concern her;
she cares
only if I still care
about her; only
in that regard
she's like
the rest of us.
I do not say
this is good
or bad but is...
until yesterday...

I saw that someone
from Canada peeked into my blog.
I had that feeling
that we all have
from time to time: anxious,
troubling and worse still,
curious.
I contacted the three readers
I have up there.
No, they said, not them.

Later in the a.m. I was woken
by a stiff white light
shining into my eyes & the outline
of a monster with a peaked hat.
There's a fire, the voice said,
sorry to wake you like this, but you have to get up and out; too much smoke in here.
I reached for my sweats and sweatshirt and slippers.
I walked out into my hall where six or seven other firemen were doing their thing.
I noticed my lock was busted, its entrails hanging by a thread.
Everything's OK now, one said, sorry about the lock, but we had to get in.
Yeah, I said, it's OK.

I was saving money to buy a comfortable chair and light stand so I could read and watch whatever.
That's all gone: 400 for a lock and house call; New York's a stick-up without a gun.
She probably knew that. I don't know how but
I know she knew
that.
Chop Suey anyone?

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

IT CATCHES YOUR GUT


like a fishhook
baited by an old
& patient angler
& deftly cuts you
and out spills
an intestine's worth
of memories; a bowel
of inane blather; a fly ball
lost in the sun.

And there you are
flopping around
on a wet deck
blood smeared & useless
save for your goddamned history:
almost rolling a 300; making it
with a heavy legged waitress
at the end
of her shift; endless nights
and endless breasts and endless beasts
that you commanded and told where to sit
& when...and now
nothing, being tricked
by the cheap lure
of loneliness
as another organ
gets pulled from you and you
can hardly even moan.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

NO, STAY THERE


she said
with her hand,
light, yet full
of urgency.
My mouth
wrote
curlicues
inside
her privacy.
I signed
my name
with my breath.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

SATURDAY NIGHTS ON A CONEY ISLAND BEACH


we'd lean our backs
against the concrete bunker
built during the second world war
to look for ships & subs
who might try to fuck with us,
and our shoulders and arms
would touch and I'd pass her
the joint
and then the bottle
of wine and we'd look
into the blackness
and tell each other
secrets no one else knew:
her mom used a hair brush
on her while my father choose
a belt buckle; he ripped farts
in the middle of the night
waking us up while her mother shacked
with a family friend next door.
I ran my hand along her thigh
and marveled at this easy intimacy;
how I hid and ran and dodged
and she told me I didn't have to do that anymore...
and neither did she.

We sauntered along the boardwalk
to Nathan's and had a gloppy Chow Mein Sandwich
and a Beef Bar-B-Q bun for a buck
and shared a large fries for 50 cents more.
The night had sharp jaws and edges,
but we had our own space, enough
to feel safe within as she slid her hand
through my back pocket as natural
as the stars coming out while the salted air
alerted my nipples and I reached over
and put my hand inside her shirt
and found one of hers and she jerked
and laughed and I laughed and I knew
I had some more pot in my pocket and
would not be going home
for a long long time and might
catch a beating for that but that
didn't enter my mind.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WRITING


My hands
have wrinkles,
seven hundred
and eighty four of them
to be exact:
770 poems,
3 novels,
1 memoir,
and 10 short stories.
You might say
I have honest skin.

If I don't finish
this poem
I'll stay
at 784
and never get
another wrinkle.
More than that
you can't ask for.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

THE IDES OF MARCH COME EARLY THIS YEAR


I'm not that strong.
This does not come
as revelation
simply fact.
If she had rung
my bell
one more time
I would have
opened the door.
She's the navel
of pleasure/pain
in the dreamer's heart.

I would have eased
the needle's tip
into an old
& trustworthy vein.
It would have slid in.
It would slide under
hardened flesh.
It would have slaked thirst.
And it would have
made true the bargain's lure:
find what you love
& let it
kill you.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

THERE ARE TWO THINGS YOU MUST NEVER EVER DO:


One:
Answer your phone;
and two:
open your door
after midnight.
Unless
you're a fool
or
you're in love
with your past;
or
angry
at
your future.

or

love to fuck
with danger,
misery,
pain;

or

just plain
stubborn.

I'll wait...

there's somebody
on your line...

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017