Friday, January 20, 2017

THIS INAUGURATION DAY IS A DAY


for Monk,
Thelonious
that is; it's
a WELL YOU NEEDN'T day,
a NUTTY day,
a STRAIGHT, NO CHASER, day,
a BLUE MONK, day.
Turn off
the news,
the TV.
Do not
read.
Forget
what you know.
Give yourself
over
to the dots
that can't be
connected,
but
(somehow)
are.
Arm yourself
with a chuckle,
a knowing grin.
And once sated
move forward
into the breach
and take up
the fight
again.

Norman Savage
Bronx, NY 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE


Working with the addicted,
the deranged, the borderline,
the schizo affective, the bi-polar,
the recently released, incarcerated,
the twitchy, the nervous, the traumatized,
the treated mercilessly, the tortured,
the stigmatized, the one's whose first word
was no, whose innards boast the picket fences
of fear, too early and too complicated and too monstrous
to look through and too briar rich to get through without
bleeding to death is almost as hard
as loving them.

I should know:
For fifty years
I've made a living
off them & tonight
I'm taking one out
to dinner.

I myself
am one
& divide
against
myself
as tides
come in
& try
to drown
me.

There is something rousing
about jousting with impossibility;
something stirring
when the strings
are struck
in the hearts
of masochists.
Sometimes
they even summon things
of beauty.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

SCRUBBING THE STAINS


cannot help
but leave a stain
but that stain
is smooth
like a chalk outline
around a dead body.
It's been hard
work but I've had help:
my ex has never called;
the nut from the north
has kept her distance;
I've had no uninvited
knocks in the middle of
the night; my parents
are dead and I've buried
"the bad
with their bones;"
and my brother
has trouble
of his own
that I,
unfortunately,
can't help with.
All in all
this past year
has been better
than good
for me; so good
that at times I believe
something bad is close
at hand.

I still make mistakes,
plenty of them, but
they are new,
too.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

SOMETIMES IT'S SO STAGGERING ALL YOU CAN DO IS WEEP


There is a point
rusted inside you
that is reached
when words collide
with your history;
they freeze
& bleed
into your next breath.
Time dissolves.
Pain
which was muted
& runny congeals
& engulfs.
You are lost
inside your flesh
desperate for air;
your defenses
useless;
your rationalizations
in neat boxes
of misery;
your reason
banished; your control
dismissed
as folly.

Hold tight,
my friends.
This visitor
doesn't stay
for long
because
it never left.
It's just reminding you
it's hungry.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

Thursday, January 5, 2017

"LOADED"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NwKZ9ZsgGA

Been listening
since new years
forty-seven years ago;
I was twenty-two &
loaded myself: my guns
were loaded; my body
was loaded; the times
were loaded & The Velvets
were loaded. I thought
I was dangerous I thought
I'd change literature I thought
I'd fuck endless women through endless nights and take endless drugs through endless dreams and thread my way through this endless life and bend this life to my will...
nothing bent
except me.

I still listen
to "Loaded,"
but now straight
as a steel rod
without its steel sister;
my gun
shot blanks
and life
was my master
while I
was its
masturbator.

Here, have
a listen.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

IF YOU LIVE LONG ENOUGH


it all comes back:
skinny ties,
berets,
goatees,
unfiltered cigarettes,
jazz,
existentialism...
all that stuff:
"Pour soi,"
"En soi,"
"Hell is other people,"
"condemned to be free"...
you know,
RESPONSIBILITY
FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS kind of shit.
(And maybe another world war,
and devastation death rubble
and bread lines soup lines Maginot Lines
and despots dictators demigods de facto
and foolishness & fucking
and more than a Guernica abstract
and bad teeth & misery so thick
you won't be able to piss
without a bishop or rabbi
to direct the stream.

(And
I could be wrong.

(But
I'm not
am I?

(And you don't think so
either,
do you?

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

STEALTHLY, A THROWBACK MOVES FORWARD


She was
a white-gloved
street whore;
Picasso's mistress,
Isadora's partner,
Baudelaire's muse,
a lower east side
gutter hugger
when there was
a lower east side
to fight the chill
inside a world
full of spoons
& white cotton.
Now she fights
off dementia &
boils by forming
words in a darkness
of her own making
& singing to lights
of her own choosing.
She's pulp
in all its
glory.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017