Tuesday, December 29, 2009

BLIZZARDS

I grew up
in a blizzard
of bullshit.
When I finally came
out of the gash
the doctor
should have
handed me
a muffler
and ear flaps.
Instead,
he gave me
a shovel--
and I've been digging
out ever since.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

THE TOWERS CRUMBLED AND MY BALLS, THOUGH SAGGED, ARE STILL THERE

The towers fell,
as did my marriage
a few years after.
Both left
their scars
inside
and out.
This decade
has not been kind
to any of us.

Yet, for me,
the old fears
are gone.
It must be because
I’ve done most things
at least
once
and having failed at them
done them again
and again
and again
probably
explains it.
After some time
your failures
are like your farts:
hardly noticeable and,
if they are,
not too bad--
for you
that is.

Physically,
I’ve never been worse:
my legs are shot,
my lungs wheeze and bubble with thick globs of yellowish phlegm,
diabetes has eaten parts of me whole,
my dick has taken off
to parts unknown,
my pump’s rewired and beats only
when medicated,
but the writing has never gone better.
What I thought was complicated,
like the inner workings of a cunt,
was really rather simple: if you stay
at it long enough,
have a little talent
and a little luck,
and work it
honestly
she will come
and so will
you.

This was not a trade-off
I knowingly made.
But after all the women,
all the jobs,
all the hirings
and all the firings,
all the misses
and near misses,
the hospitals,
institutions,
incarcerations
forced
and otherwise,
the dinners
and lunches
and afternoons,
the cops and the rent,
the hopes and handfuls
of shit...
it was rather nice to hear
Bach and Mozart last night
at Carnegie,
have a simple plate of Chow Fun
in Chinatown today,
come home
and put one word
after the other
until this
appeared.

It was so easy
even you
could do it.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

MY SIDE OF THE PILLAR

I'd gotten to work late,
of course,
but still needed a smoke
to brace myself
against the agony
that waited for me
upstairs.
Each day,
contained it's own difference,
or indifference,
in it's own particular way,
but was constant
in its agony.

Leaning against
my side of the pillar
was another guy
smoking
taking up
my room
my position
my hedge;
and my second spot
was taken, too.
Shit.
I ambled over
to my least favorite choice
and lit a Lucky.
After two drags
the first guy moved off
and I slid over.
Better, I said,
exhaling.
I drew in deeply.
The day can now begin,
I reasoned,
even though
I knew
it had already
begun.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

CALENDERS

An Asian chick,
gorgeous, young,
in a short, hot skirt,
approached me--
an old fuck of a man,
as lost now
as I was sixty years ago,
waiting to go into a job
I didn't want anyway--
to bum a smoke.
I knew why
she looked coy
and disarming
as she slid up to me.
Sorry,
I said.
At first,
her comprehension
escaped her.
She looked again at me,
questions and shock
fucking with her orbs.
Listen,
I said,
I have a few left before I get off the grind,
and pussy,
at this point,
is not as important as a sweet Lucky.
She rounded and split.
Another good insight, I thought,
wasted
on the young.

Norman Savage
New York City, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ABSENCES

This poem is Betty's

You will know me
by my absence
as I know
all things
by theirs.
The absence tells me
where the hole is,
and then,
slowly fills
with desire.
They beat
constantly
like an empty heart
filled with something
like death.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A POEM TO MY READERS


The best ones
are the people
who come to me cold--
without ever seeing
my face or hearing
my voice or experiencing
my charms.
They breathe
on the words
I've written
and
if they like them
they read on
or
if they don't
they leave;
it's an easy commerce.
The good thing is:
either way
we're both
still breathing.

My words
are selfishly crafted;
they're not designed
to stop a war,
or foreclosure,
or make the world a better place.
Sometimes, quite the opposite.
But, speaking just for me,
at times, have saved
at least
my life.
Perhaps, the same
can be said
for yours.
Some might say
that that is
a cheap victory,
and that might be true,
but it's
ours.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

THE REAL GHOST OF BERNIE MADOFF OVER YOM KIPPUR

Bernie has left
his featherbed
behind; no longer
are his balls bouncing
on clouds,
but instead are hitting
a two inch mattress
on a concrete slab.
You can see him
kneeling
and fondling himself,
smiling a bit
like Mona Lisa
awakening
memories
of better days
and nights.

The Jews
of past
and current
ovens
peer
through the bars
no longer angry,
but still ashen
over crimes
they've yet
to commit.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

STICKING IT IN, and STICKING IT OUT

I stuck it out
and got lucky
with the words.
I always knew
I was good,
but also knew
that being good
never mattered
for much.
Certainly,
I got nothing
from the cunt
who spit me out,
or the cock
who stuck it in.
You have to be
just a little crazy
to want something
bad enough
so that the madhouses, hospitals,
firings, sabotages and self-
destructiveness makes
sense.
But even then
you still
have to get lucky.
It's never all talent:
it's being able to breathe
in those dark
and awful spaces;
kindness of some kind
from women
who knew better;
it's all manner of things
that rise
or fall
without permanence
or meaning.

The end will come
soon enough
for all of us.
I know that mine flirts
with me
like never before.
I know this, too:
I've already got mine;
now go
get
yours.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

THE CUNT

is everything:
the beginning and the end.
We crawl from it
and to it,
for all our days.
Damned is the man
who resists
and damned is the man
who doesn’t.
The bees who flutter
and the mice who crawl
caught in immeasurable madness
now
and forever.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2003

Friday, July 10, 2009

THE TALKING HEADS

scream from the left
and from the right
about Michael,
and Sarah,
and fucking,
and sucking,
and covert,
and overt,
and inert,
actions
concerning
the whole sick stew
while
we bleed
from boredom,
ennui,
fear,
hopelessness,
silently
within
our own screams
as we try
just to stay alive
and out
of a cardboard box,
or a wooden one which,
at times,
would do
just fine.

But we deserve
no better.
We have not been good
to ourselves
or others.
We easily betray
the most basic
kindness'.
Thinking
is all
too easy,
and dying
is never done
well; it happens
slowly, in
cre
men
ta
ly:
ah, no, no, ah,
a bit, ah,
please, no--
as the praying
mantis
rears
up
and devours
not heads
but souls
like
mine.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

MICKEY, MARLON, & ME

I drove with my King
in the King's chariot
into the Kingdom
to see a bigger King
play an even bigger King
in a movie
about the Kings of our time.
But my King
was secretly
a disappointed King,
a pretend King,
a fake King,
a false King
(but still,
he was
my King),
and I've been
in jail
ever
since.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

MY FATHER, REVISITED

cloaked
in a loving garb,
having fully realized
the reasons for adulation
single-mindedly succeeded
in redirecting my paths
to approximate a lumbering,
diseased and labored mixture
of blood and bone.
his thick and corpulent flesh
helped repel
a tissue thin, pin shaped,
needle of truth
that insistently jabbed
against his fleshy grain:
as much as he was a lover,
was he a sinner
to those who loved
and trusted him.
he used
their love,
their trust,
in indecent ways
repugnant,
even to himself,
that a balm
of constant consumption,
was one of the few remedies
to rid himself of the disgust
that ate at him as he,
ate at them,
satiated the starkness
of steel.

if he knew then,
that he’d lived,
beyond
matrimonial slavery
and familial idolatry,
he’d have turned Jell-O
into concrete,
ice cream,
into lava
hot from the core
to his gullet,
money,
into bullets,
Cadillac's,
into shotguns,
to effect
an exit
for an audience
of one.
my mother
who,
in her last two
poker playing decades,
knew,
in her heart
of hearts
she needn’t run,
or even walk,
to win
at his own game
of self-serving
whinery.
she knew,
she’d proceed
him, knew,
how much
he’d detest
her coming
in first.
his thoughts
distracted
by the whir
of sickness’
inconsistencies,
unpredictability's,
that needed signatures,
exactness, a chosen,
if not intelligible,
nightmare, harsh
in daylight’s principles,
unforgiving in their erratic pejorative
of moving all
of what they might,
tunelessly,
try to move him.
the nerve of her,
to leave him
so fat and breathy.
the audacity
to just stop
caring
unable to think
beyond her next
minute.
always
so stingy
in the ways
of sex;
always
so unaware
of his needs
beyond
his next feeding
or outburst
of disappointment
of disapproval
in the sounds
of voices
only he could hear
of crass, but soothing,
eastern european inflections,
intimating deep and luxurious
goose down and feathered
armaments.
french toast festooned with churned,
and freshly made,
barrel butter, cinnamon, the dark cloves
and tracks, running down lanes,
with recently tapped
maple syrup, singing,
almost gurgling, in their crevices.
there’d be eggs,
if he wanted them, bacon,
of course,
if he wanted it, and
coffee, black and hot,
with a steamed mixture
of sweet milk, and honey, and,
home made
sticky buns, if
he wanted them.
how could
so much love
go unpunished?
and still,
he felt,
picked on;
still,
he felt
unappreciated
by all he felt holy:
money
and memory.

now,
the onion gears,
once so sharp
and pungent,
whirl away
in a soft pulp
unable
to catch
and control
what had come
so naturally to him.
of course,
he was bred
from it
and for it;
bred
to control
a spiked
and wicked, duplicitous,
untrustworthy,
capricious,
and an inchoate
world with what power
he could muster
or bluff.
he bullied,
bought,
bungled,
and blighted
his private landscape;
he watered some,
ignored others,
reversed fields,
began again until
each blade of grass
groveled and fought
against every other blade
for whatever drop of water
was kept hidden
in a bucket
he professed
had leaks
and would
eventually
go dry.

now,
most things
are dry.
now,
the exception
is the constant.
now,
he cannot control
not even his bowels.
in this,
his cataract times,
his hardened wax times,
as his colors drip and run,
washing themselves free
of creation’s embrace,
as his sounds of songs and sex
get muted and lost
in the straw and sawdust
of creation’s wheeze,
he counts the minutes
to his next feeding,
he tosses aside
those minutes
as the day
diminishes
and the night
grips him
with geometry
stripped
from memory
or desire.
now,
he keeps
a light on
at his bedside
while the television
roars,
as if
demons
are afraid
if someone is awake
or has company. they see
his naked lumbering
on legs jiggling with fat
and weakness; they see
the flesh from his belly
belittling, and hiding,
his genitals,
as he rummages
for anything
to chew on. they see
him lumber back
and into bed, a bowl
or dish,
or plate, in one hand,
a glass of liquid
in the other. they see,
as he nods, his head
falling side ward, with and to
the wine,
the barbiturate,
the analgesic
he had ingested
earlier, and consistently
to give the screen
the opportunity
to become blank
and soundless.

one day,
much like today,
or tomorrow, a day
that might have held
a laugh,
or a promise,
he will go,
without especially meaning to,
beyond me, beyond
all of us,
but won’t be
disappointed.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2004

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

MY FATHER

will slowly lumber
from wherever
he is standing
or sitting
or sleeping,
and snuggle
next to a worm
or the charcoal hothouse
with as little
or with as much
understanding
as when he slid
down the wet fleshy mouth
held opened
and fastened
by pain
and promises.
if he does
indeed fall,
which is much more likely,
he’ll not notice
the bounce
of objects
near,
how they will lift themselves
and sometimes fly
from their moorings;
he will not feel
the heft of three hundred pounds
making room for itself;
he will not hear the sounds
that bodies sing when kissing
concrete, or woolen carpets,
or floorboards, tiles, linoleum,
or the soft feathers
of pillows
scarred by the indentations
of dreams.
he will have died
without being suckled
by all the women
who held him
through endless days
and nights; he will
have died
without his sons
who suckled him
in ways
they shouldn’t have,
coming to rescue
a panoply of errors
of judgment,
of haste,
of impulsiveness,
of lies, deceits,
betrayals, of pitting
one against the other,
in self-serving cruel
and merciless acts
of benevolence.
when his breath
cuts the dust of rest
and reward, he will have gleaned
no further understanding
of who
or why
this is,
only a lament
to a world
unaware
of how fine
and generous
a gentleman
he truly was.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2004

Monday, July 6, 2009

THE REPLACEMENT GAME

The leaves looked the same:
banana spotted brown, withered, rotten--
but they would return.
The rusted cars and cans
would be replaced.
The loves who’d abandoned you
would knock
in one form or another
some night, perhaps
in another form--
All was right
with the world.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2003

Sunday, July 5, 2009

MY WIFE'S CONUNDRUM

She ran,
like a convict,
seeing a sliver
of chance
at what
she didn’t know.
All she knew
it was away
from the bars
of a marriage
gone sour.
Her mother,
alone
and praying
for her
aloneness,
was her
guide.
Her father,
drunk
and faltering
held her
in his sway.
She had loved him.
She had hated him.
She had wanted him
to know
her name.
I knew
her name,
but did not
remember
and worse,
understand
how important
her name was
to her.
I did not
love her
like he
did not
love her
with a warmth
that begged
for a kind of intimacy
that drunks
have drunk
away.
I was almost him
though.
I met his age;
I met his anger;
I met his disease;
I met all
her fantasies.
What she could not
understand,
and what gave her
pause,
was that I spoke
English;
that I knew
her soul
and what
and how
her soul
thirsted for.
It confused her.
It took many years
before
she realized
that I would never
go away
which meant
she
could never go away
unless
she tore
the flesh
from both
our bodies.
Which, she did.
It is over a year now,
and the only thing I still fear
is the fear
of infection,
or worse:
barometric
isolation
in a ward
that has neither
time
nor space
for healing.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2004

Saturday, July 4, 2009

TRYING TO SPLIT

Blood caked moon
sits atop the eyes
of a praying mantis
whose head
is inside
the mouth
of his lover.
Whoever goes to pray
needs no coins
or sins.
It snaps
like a guillotine
cleaving,
memory,
from desire.
My wife
long ago
removed
herself
from our lives,
takes seriously
her vows
of language.
A language removed
from meaning while
the ants meander
and the flies gather
upon the corpse
of failure.
The corpse
who reads
these words
as if stitched
inside the lids
of eyes,
and acts
as reminder
or foreboding
to what will come
from what
will not.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2004

Friday, July 3, 2009

COULD I JUST TALK TO YOU?

for K.S.

forever,
if I promise
not to take up
too much
of your time?
would you hold
my hand
in your strong
workmanlike hand and fingers
and squeeze
when I come
to the hard parts?
could I smell
the sawdust
in your hair
and count
the callous’
on your palms
while I speak to you
of secrets
and lies
of a heart
that has forgotten
how or why
to beat?
will you allow me to see
how your soul
is ingrained
with what you build
and show me
how you build
your soul
piece by piece while
my fingers feel
the excitement
of your tears
as I trace your mouth
with your own salt?
can I go
yakkity yakking
into the night
while you remind me
where I lost
my place?
can I just talk
forever
with you? I need
little else: food,
water, air are all
so boring,
so superfluous,
so bourgeois and you know
how much I hated and feared being that. I feared that
more than dying--perhaps living
would be better stated, but not better
served. could I
arrive on my word chariot,
my horse’s mouth full
of foam and nostrils flared,
and whisk you off
for however long
forever is?
in this time,
this time now,
I will content myself
by talking
to the strangers
inside me
knowing
with as much surety
as I’ve ever had
that one
of those strangers
is you.



Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2004

Thursday, July 2, 2009

THE BATHROOM AT SLUGS'

in the far east,
on third, between B & C
was hot. It was over thirty years ago
that even taking a piss in there
fucked with your imagination. It smelled
of sex, quinine, morphine, reefer, body odor
and wastes. Before sets, inbetween, and after
there were lines. Sometimes singles, often times
couples of the same or different orientation.
There was a kind of understanding: sometimes
it took longer to get hard, or find a vein,
or role and fumble with a stick, and so you waited.
The ones with priority were the players. They needed
to do their business and get the hell back. Besides,
in truth, that’s why most of us came to Slugs
in The Far East. The other joints where cats could work
ideas into riffs for weeks or a month at a time,
like The Five Spot or Half-Note,
were already dead.

One night late Lee was on the bandstand blowing hard
sweating into the collar of a stained white shirt that had
pin-pricks of dried blood in the crook of his arm
when his common law entered. She walked up, opened
her purse, took a gun from it, and shot him dead
during his solo. She turned, walked calmly back,
placed the revolver on the wood-scared pock-marked bar,
and ordered a drink---scotch, I think. And waited.
The bartender, Frankie, served her without saying a word.

After awhile people started to breath, some whispered, and others
went back to the bathroom.
“That no good motherfucka sonofabitch deserved that killin’,”
an older chick nearby said, “that junkie bastard usin’ her bread
for his vein was bad enough, but his bitch’s vein too, that’s even worser...
someday he be back though, hope he learned his motherfuckin’ lesson.”

The ambulance came, and so did the cops. They took out one living
and one dead; which was which I couldn’t say.

I don’t know if Lee ever did come back. I do know this:
men will be men,
and women women; that is the task,
and that, my friends,
is the terror.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1997

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

POEM

To move
with the ease of eels
gossamer shrouded
snakelike charmer
beguiled and fashioned
from grace and memory
voracious, slippery
and shaking
like aluminum
crinkled
and shimmering
in a spectral sun.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1998

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MILES OF MEMORY

pinstripes and polkadots
and swagger; a voice
sounding like his balls
are in his throat; full of gravel
and Joe Louis and, of course,
his horn
muted
by a love,
his love,
our love
of darkness. we wait
as peanut shells crunch
beneath 3 a.m. highballs
in the 9th circle
informing us
of style: the answer
to everything:
how to dress
who to listen to
or talk about.
our heads surreptitiously twisted
each time the wind
rushed in a body
not his
we casually turned back
to the conversation...
or shot glass... or chick
we were trying to make
while evenings danced
and everyone was young,
and brilliant,
and affected
with drama; our loves
dangerously alive
or thick with death
like wet ash;
music framing each intent
with motive, quixotic
and sublime in it’s queer logic
informing gamble
not yet oil slicked with living
too hard or recklessly. our precipice,
our wit. those who could not solo
got out of the game early; those whose ideas
came from books
were delivered
to same; never getting laid
they hunkered back
to Brooklyn or Jersey or Queens
to await marriage...perhaps dentistry,
perhaps both.

Those nights we passed,
how full
and empty they seem now
stuck in the mind
like gnarled venetian blinds;
yet they emit light
of a certain kind,
one that is informed
by pleasure.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1999

Monday, June 29, 2009

MY CHOPPERS

are negotiating
with what remains
of my mouth: chew this
slowly, you fool; too sticky,
idiot; asshole,
that side no longer exists.....and so on.
Sugar has eaten parts of me whole.
The ride of word passion bloodied sanity.
I’ve fucked with the odds; they have rendered me
a chalk horse, scratch, even money
to be turned into glue
anytime soon.

This coat hanger of flesh is closer to seventy
than fifty: half a foot of intricate plumbing
and rewiring on my pump, a mouth
full of rot, fingers fattened, gnarled and bent,
eyes blurred with cataracts thick
with sugar, liquor, and dope hued saturation.

I’ve had a long continuous fist-fight
with death. People were merely pre-lims.
Usually outclassed and not very interesting.
I’ve stuck words
up deaths’ ass more than once.
He was with every woman I’ve ever slept with;
he was between the sheets of every institution
I fell asleep in; every tooth that was pulled
he yanked on; every drunk I’ve ever been on
he found money for; all the senseless mornings
of going to be fired from a job
I didn’t want anyway, he waited,
at a gin mill or dope spot
to put my rage into my fist,
or vein. A wise and patient man
death is. He’ll have to be.
I’ll fool with him some more.
Death hates Life.
Words are Life. They leap around
like ballerinas in the brain. They make fun
of teeth, and hearts, and pricks, and cunts and balls, and beerbellys,
crooked fingers and phantom limbs; they laugh
at the silly ravings and meanderings of ants;
they are the final hedge against inflation or devaluation
of the soul; they are the salt edged tit;
they provide power
as the game works
on.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2000

Saturday, June 27, 2009

CALL IT GUTS

the way the body works
through fear
turning towards the edge
of your Procrustean climax
and allowing your feet
to fall
over the side
dangling
head bowed;
milky cataract eyes
sifting through the bones,
(the geometry of dreams),
(the cross and the drummer;
the hiked skirt; a riff
of wonder; pools slick
with scag oils)
palms flat,
fingers smoothing creases,
elbows locked, (the back, however,
is humped, curved, a loose
contingent of ganglion,
nervous tissue, vertebrae
shocked, shorn, subverted
from it’s makers intention),
a push, a rise
with little fluidity; but purpose
catches hold: You fuck,
I will bend you today;
I will carve my name
into the sides of days
into the teeth of beggers
into the cocks of grayhounds,
and cunts of fire;
I will piss my dreams
into the toilet of life
and get on with it.

The only affirmation I need
is the one I got up with:
You’re up you bastard,
whatareyagonnado?
to serve
a power
you know
nothing of.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1998

Friday, June 26, 2009

RECONNECTIONS, CIRCUMVENTIONS, CUT & PASTE

There’s a scar running
from my right ankle to my right testicle
where my right vein used to be; it must have been a long one.
The surgeons lifted it during the quadruple; they also heisted
a mammary vein, which you can’t see, and reconnected my heart
to keep the pump pumping.
There have been other physical alterations: teeth yanked,
gums opened and scraped to the bone; fingers crooked and bent
from sugar blues and four black gangerous toes pulled and flushed
down a toilet and into the sea for fish to eat.
There was a delicious agony in all that
like a love affair
gone bad,
repeatedly.
Yet this was better: freshly laundered sheets
for your asshole to sweat through; Gods vein of mercy,
morphine, to fondle the few remaining body parts left, and ease
the imaginative stew to percolate and simmer. You are leaving
the world in small quantities, and what’s left
is less functional,
less dangerous,
less important,
but no less real...
for you that is.

Kat, my wife, came near
to see what was up
with the writing.
Very depressing, I said.
At least you’re able to get it out, she said.
Not really, I said, but I’d rather be banging the typer
than taking this shit out on you.
Good idea, she said, I’m feeling blue, too, baby...and I might
be able to kill you, especially after you put my tit through this ringer, and,
in the shape you’re in, that shouldn’t be too hard...size
is no big deal, know what I mean?
Yeah, indeed I do, I said, and lifted her shirt.
Her auburn nipple was as close as pleasure dared to come
these days, and I simply put my mouth around her dark brown pinkish wonderful aureole and nursed.
She murmured slightly.
Baby, she said, Seinfeld is on at 9.
Huh, I said, I thought the murmuring was for me.
Just thinking, she said,
don’t take it personally.
No, I said,
of course not.

There is really only one way to end this day...or poem
for that matter...quietly,
very very quietly.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1996

Thursday, June 25, 2009

WITHOUT DANGER

There is something to be said about dying early
with some teeth left in your head, heart,
maybe soul.
Before the style, the risks,
and the ventriloquist,
who shucked pain like so many vibrant husks,
sheds you, too. Memories are saccharine; letters,
humbled by twenty years, are yellowed signposts
of genital decay, signaling fear...and worse:
obedience.
Without bluff, without balls, without danger
is defeat.
Boring, moronic, mind-numbing
day to day capitulation to instinct leashed
like a trained seal waiting
to get fed.

ARF, ARF, ARF.



Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1997

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

THE DAYS RUN FASTER THAN THE WAILING WIND

This terrifies me: the sunflower
as geometry; wind twisting inside my skull, a mad orphan
of light; oceans salt thick and ugly; young children
praying; the dry lick
of evenings; walking
on the wrong side; pellets of fear,
like mouse droppings, ricocheting
off gut walls; the cat approaching
forgiveness; mouth cotton numb;
speech that punishes silence;
sticks with flesh and ashen hues;
rides into a moonlight shot
with blood yoke and song;
river moss and mud and marsh
and mules that cannot go another step,
slag heaped and sullen in a winter sun;
honesty among intimates; innocent scavengers
picking at the end of my days and ways;

and where will I go
when this living stops?

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1998

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A CHRISTMAS GREETING TO MY FELLOW HUMANS

There are those
who always seem
to be happy; never knowing
accidents of any kind.
They have been winners
at genetic roulette, and
hardly ate a bone cooked
more than once. Usually
they smile, if not laugh
at the postman’s legs,
on the street, in supermarkets
only if in the company of others.
Perhaps they were prepared well
for life’s catastrophes, or have a faith
that transcends them. I’ve never seen them
in clinics, in gin
or Medicaid mills,
foraging for food
thrown out, for money disappeared
from a hole in the pocket
or head; stolen
without warning
or retribution.
Usually these aren’t the ones whose bodies are at war
against themselves: acne, tumors, diverticulitis,
dementia, boils, warts, madness; their lives aren’t waged
against landlords, and bosses, and politicians
who possess the trait that all men of power do: indifference.

I’ve not drank, nor written a poem, in ten years.
I’ve not been missed. The word has mattered
to those that own the presses. Tribal chiefs
and The Medicis have understood this well. Those writing
control only their demons; they only matter
if lucky, as commodity.

I’ve just come from the supermarket. I do not need
a basket. They watch me, as I watch them.
I saw a couple holding hands as they debated
salsa: too hot for him, too mild for her.
He whispered something in her ear, and they laughed.
She leaned in closer, and rested her head
on his shoulder. I moved
on.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1995

Monday, June 22, 2009

MY BODY IS BLOATED

with poems
lately...as well as
deep angry pustules
that litter my back.
For the last three years
I had to squeeze one
just to get a poem out.
Now,
all I have to do
is breath.

What a lucky, lucky man
I am.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1981

Sunday, June 21, 2009

ONE FOR NANCY

Nancy says
shes on top
of the drug problem.
That’s made 5 Columbians
with stiff dicks
very happy.




Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1982

Saturday, June 20, 2009

O SOLO MIO

for Clara Gualtieri


My spleen; my liver; my heart; my lungs;
my cock; my cunt; my balls; my eggs;
my eyes; my ears; my tongue; my teeth;
my arms; my legs; my toes; my fingers;
my car; my truck; my brain; my ideas;
my blood; my viscera; my jism; my cum;
my tits; my milk; my house; my oven;
my pots; my pans; my money; my money;
my money; my stocks; my bonds; my property;
my feelings; my shirts; my pants; my panties;
my briefs; my socks; my leggings; my shoes;
my desires; my fears; my purpose; my mucus;
my thoughts; my body; my roots;
my success...

my failures,
however,
are yours
and yours alone
for not loving enough
what is mine.

Bow wow, bow wow, bow wow.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1981

Friday, June 19, 2009

CAUTION


Beware the hands
that are calloused
by self-love and who offer
only their fingers to shake.
Beware the ring
that owns the circle; beware
the love that holds
the ring. Beware the skin
that is smooth inside
and out; flowers
without roots. Watch
for sane people who dizzily boast
of their craziness. Avoid being
too long with somebody who is not here
today. This is a time
where bored men are driven
to the short stroke; tired
from the prom
from the promise
from what is
not.
It is a good time
to sleep. To forget
the tricks of history;
to settle
to hold on
to quietly die
while business slaps its thighs
in unison. Be careful
around police
on strike, they will kill
like you or me. Never trust religion
worn around the neck--
God never intended
to get paid.

Beware for what you think
is true
only now
and not then
and not later.

And when it’s time
the breezes will come,
as they always have,
without any help from you.
If
they be soft and warm
consider yourself
lucky,
because someone,
something,
had the sense
to make a liar
out of all
of us.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1977

Thursday, June 18, 2009

DETECTIVE JOE FRIDAY

it was winter
and distances
that kept us together,
in the cold and opague night,
dreaming of each others bodies
and the slow restlessness
of spring;

spring
with no youth
attached
and dense mists
covering the space
where the afternoon was; two bodies
somewhere near,
afraid of the yellow fog.

II

can you
understand? that I need people
and poetry--all things
that intrude? can you?
understand? what I don't
tell you?

morning
mechanics
rise
like a sleepwalker
to decay a little more.
meticulously folding my dreams
and romance into a locked drawer
fearful they spill into hands already
wet with nightmares.

III

a song sung in hot summer
confuses the chill that winter
predicts and dismisses what's between:
a waste
of words.
stopping as if to look
with disgust (even hatred!)
at myself and you!
for believing
all the wrong reasons.

deadly,
silent
walls, empty
hands without
hands, or even
rings, and the confusing
one-sided glass add
to time's disorder
which is also
yours.
and now frost
inhabits a mouth
which once
lured bees.
I've become afraid
of mysteries
too easily solved.
I watch it grow dark
around you and barely notice
the sun's replacement; only
the word, "love" twisting,
like a political promise, hardly
heard in the dusty white night.
"love,"
you said,
"me," (and took a step
backward; away
from the light, away
from the love.) no step
can trace this insane dance;

there isn't even a dance.

(a familiar state
this aloneness, in which everything
is fuckable; (a curse
this emotion.)

alone, now,
knowing that somewhere,
out there,
struggles are going on:
the sun's shove;
the surf's assault;
even the air pushing
against my skin--and I think:
life,
a sack of eggs
dropping
ever
so
slowly.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1974

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

LOGIC

She was old,
and her vast
cunt smelled.
But I was a quick
shooter. Besides,
her ass & legs
fucked history
where it breathed.

How old are you?
she asked.
Which part?
I replied.

Two lovers,
plotting.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Monday, June 15, 2009

ONE FOR JOHN

John Wayne,
doctors said,
is in stable condition today
after having everything
from the neck down
removed.
He’ll be given,
as protective measure,
a football helmet
upon his release
next week.



Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1976

Sunday, June 14, 2009

YOU MIGHT THINK...

that I’ve learned something---
after putting Porches
with Volkswagen souls, silk
suits and ties and Egyptian cotton shirts,
cashmere socks, friends, promises,
ghosts, Kleenex hours
as thick as bouillabaisse
in my arm---
I would have come away
wiser.

But here I am
still loving
with my dick
still sucking
the needle
replaced with the green tit
of a Heineken bottle backed
by scotch, tequila and later
cognac; a head full of lush
looking up, yeah
it’s time, finally
time to go and not
a minute too soon;
stumbling into Saturday night’s morning;
a route home; how much
to tip; are my cells saturated
enough; is there anybody
to go home with; anybody
who might hear the whisper
of desperation too?
Last Call, oh
shit, it’s
time.

They come slower
and not as sure
they do. Struggling to sip
radiator fluid; nickel lives
rusted by 10 cent memories
of making it. Women
and money
like horse shit. Pockets thick
for spending. Cars loaded
with laughter speeding crazy
towardsIdon’tgiveashitwhere,
underthetable, whenhe’snothome,
aslongasit’sgood, you know
it’sgottabegood.

You might think
that after the streets
and rooftops; eager
to please 20 year olds,
and more eager 40 year olds,
whiteandblackandbrownandyellow
with thighs like mars bars;
the nights of cancer,
and suicide days; three quick holes
in the chest; more scared
I’d have to do this again.
But then the nights that sweat
energy of snapping our fingers
knowing we’d found it,
for a second, privileged,
above the cut,
not even angry,
the gut filled, the eye
frozen, the brain connecting,
you might think
I’d had enough. Wrong,
and right, right
and wrong;
nana nana nananananana;
a kid, huh,

with orange-red cheeks
big as basketballs;
wanting the sugar;
wanting the rush; wanting
to eat it all...
and that would not be enough
nothing
would not be enough.

You might think
the letter that God sent
would have something more
than a rent due notice;
I’m daring you,
I’m double daring you:
your mother’s Tralala;
you suck wind and dress funny.
Well, c’mon.
You know where the fuck I am.
This all wouldn’t matter
if you didn’t.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Saturday, June 13, 2009

ONE FOR SAMMY

Tell them Sammy,
tell those know nothing scrunched faced motherfuckers
who envy your rings
your women
your religion
your one eye
your chalkiness....tell them
about your situation----
like coming up
with your weekly
vig payment.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Friday, June 12, 2009

ONE FOR THE FRENCH

Yesterday
I threw my nuts
overboard.

C’est le guerre.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ONE FOR JOE CONRAD

By Jove!
I’ve got a hard-on!
Perhaps I should stick it
into the heart
of the first cunt I see.

Perhaps not...




Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

CUPS & STRING

phones will be out
3-6 weeks: tough
to communicate
face to face.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

HER 33rd.

everything comes
in threes: three openings
to enter
and exit; three loves
to compare
and contrast with; three lusts
that conflict
and confuse
us.
in your own dark wood now
at 33, you should know
that heaven
and hell
is bullshit
anyway.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1976

Monday, June 8, 2009

I EAT LIKE A PIG

My mouth sloppy
from fried grease.
My hands are littered
by cheap white paper napkins
that were ripped and beaten
by French fries' film.
I mix potatos
and ice cream.
I chew beef
and bean sprouts.
I am worried
about premature
graying.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1979

Sunday, June 7, 2009

NEW AGE

"Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow"...

again The Moonglows
and Frankie Lymon playin
for small change
while the fat boys
work off another
quick one; the scorched hand
does not remember. a new
age. history has taught us
nothing--nothing that fools
can use.
do ya think
it's too short? huh?
whatja say?
too short, I said, is it?
wait a second, it's almost over.
hey, this is important, that's a fucking soap opera, this is everything. can't ya shut it off?
I can't; I'm in the middle of a, a, a,
feeling; way don't ya go into the bathroom and yank it--
it'll get longer.

your move.
once made made--
remember, no bullshit, better think
wrong
from the start breathing
life into a smelly corpse--
how we intellectualize masturbation?
hand position?
direction?
aim?
stroke?
c'mon Hugh
they'll be other bodies
washed-out
of turrets
and university towers.
a scattered stream
of vomit
concealing the pure juice of senses
somehow gets lost; afraid
to be uncovered like the shivering skeletons
of thought, a blood-jet
splattering
(upon) the white light of memory
or what was thought
as desire.

turn-out
the suns' soft sell
of a darker shadow puts to sleep
loves' secrets giving us the eel
of night to catch. as whores flash
from their turnstile life
what dribbles down
their muscular leg
while we,
calm as cow,
cud the bilious stew
of imagination.

strangely
we gain
in the loss
any loss
that leaves us somewhere
where we weren't; not exactly there
but a point (rusted
in the mother's womb) neither
right or left
just over
a notch.

bat figures fly
from mouths that oil
their words; actions
defined as black or white slip
in a slate-colored world.
Bela, Bela,
how could you do that?
to poor Renfield?
Bela, his spiders, he loves
his spiders so, how could you?
What are ya talkin bout, you idiot? Haven't you ever taken
abnormal psych?

eyeballs bridging the seas
of asphalt I strain
to see what head
is being given; just a little
taste. while the man outside his chauffered mercedes 600,
on the lip of the road is harmlessy peeing
into the stares of chevys
holding back
a laugh.

lord
& taylor
nakedness.

a contusion arching,
like some taunt bow, our backs
while the arrow is always
us. we aim, a convulsion
of flesh, toward institutionalized steel
of tradition hitting
with a syrupy cry
like he's going
into the world
for the first time.

"Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow"...

I hear approaching footsteps
and am afraid they are coming to my room;
(I do not want to be bothered)
(I long
for company.)

my mark, under
my boot, a lucky
strike.

skidmore girls
benson hedges mick
jaggar, letter stuffed with numerical
love leaves falling
like dandruff.

I see the end (of things)
too quickly and am nervous
that they will die
before I do
and I'll
have to fix them.

our poets contained
on plastic circles that sell;
a faith
in shadows
and sunglasses; a look
towards the sheeted mirror.
even a river has a tendency to turn
on itself; a damp
drizzly november bordering
an arizona dryness
and you, trying to fuck
with the souls' thermostat.

"Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow"...

an army of gerontions
in patchwork denims hugging
what history has left blank.
and memory fondling
subtle confusions; a staged
decadence cascading
crystal light on washed-out dungerees; premeditative
wear; an exercise
in delineation. our fears
left us anesthetized, our courage
bottled-up or shot-up;
we
are not you;
you
are the dying parts
of me; die
already, won't you die
for me? (I'm you kid, you're supposed to do anything for me)
(you did in my dreams)--a generation
slain in slumber.

I'dgiveyaanythingIgotforlittlepieceofmind.
ass, John, that's it,
isn't it? ass, ya know,
comfort, mama,
ya know, c'mon
ya know.

Hey Thomas,
imagination killeth,
not just letters.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A HEART, LIKE RAW, LIKE BLOOD, LIKE SCARFACE, LIKE VALENTINE'S DAY

1977, 250 lb. weightlifting nazi, kills 6 today,
including himself, (why not?) 4 heads
get blown off in indiana, wig
also gets blown off but not head,
(vanity stays intact.) a man
is made to eat a shotgun in cincy,
(the shotgun gets tricked.) a child
greets life in brooklyn by getting raped,
beaten, and thrown off a roof,
(what else is new?)
and I
didn't receive one goddamn card today,
not one,
either they are getting smart,
or my mailman is jealous.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1977

Friday, June 5, 2009

NOT A MINUTE LATE

it is 12:37 p.m.
on a hot friday.
I will get up at 1.
why
I don't know,
except that exactness
always obsessed me.
usually you can find me
with one cigarette
and one match;
one friend
or none;
one love
or absence. only
the complexity of my miserable
but beautiful soul
hiding
beneath the sweated sheets
appreciates
the time
I've given it.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Thursday, June 4, 2009

THE GOOD EYE

for Chris Mooney

I am lucky
to sometimes see,
to sometimes taste
sweet syrupy honey
in the folds
of a spoon;
flesh or steel
matters less
and less.
I am young enough
not to be completely
hammered in. There’s that blow
between rounds. And
they can’t stop it.
My manager died,
I’ve made them
my trainers. My opponent
is kicking my ass
around the ring. I wink
at the part of him
that’s covered by stunning silk;
a right whooshes past
like underground train suction;
punches have a cauliflower sound.
I am not there.
I’m with a woman
who likes her men beaten
a little
around the edges, just a bit
spent. I’m ranked always,
but never dangerous
they figure. I never win
or lose officially; each fight
carried over. I fight
from a sense of defeat.
For some reason
they have always given me
the biggest and meanest
to try and teach me
lessons.
Tomorrow
there’s a poem I’ve been meanin’
to write, I say
in the clinches.
A poem, a poem,
you freak, a goddamn
poem you fuckhead shithead
freak cocksucker creep
I’m gonna rip your fuckin’ heart out;
I’m gonna make you pee blood,
faggot.
Hey,
that ain’t bad,
I’m gonna put that in;
like the rhythm; yeah,
that’s a good one.

The eye a slit
puffed with economics
and dumb stupid idiotic
mind-numbing jobs; jobs,
that are all, finally
dumb. Swollen, no matter
what you do, with wars
of marsh rats. Tigers
sold on forty-deuce glowing
with the urgency of Christ
killing off the right ones always
the right ones; a plan
so intricate we can’t see it,
they say. They had
too much time to themselves
to steal and secure; that part
is over. Slugs,
without lust, without song,
without fever; as loving as cancer
and not as good.

My eye is diseased, swollen
but never shut. And I
love it. I love it
when I slip it past em,
when I do it anyway.
He did hurt me,
especially in the 21st., 22nd.,
and 23rd. round.
I got some licks in
in the 24th. And am
still here in my own dark wood 30th.
He can’t understand why
the 31st. don’t mean shit
to me. He tries harder
for the big toe tag. From
the floor, swinging
for the bleachers; a tape measure
job. Hell,
I have always loved to fight someone
who telegraphs his shots.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

POEM

hairy armpits, small
breasts, catholic
nipples, a thick
bush--

we made it
somewhere around
6 a.m.,
moist, dark, drunk--
a reconciliation
of sorts.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A HOT BATH, MAHLER, AND CHIVAS

my balls ache.
after 6 months
the sac drops
into the mouth
of memories. Ah,
what the Hell...
a hot bath, some
scotch and music
to soothe
the hunchbacked day.
I look at it
bobbing
up
and
down,
and place my hand
gently
around the smooth
wet flesh, not quite
believing it attached;
not quite understanding
who it is
that
owns it.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1977

Monday, June 1, 2009

A STRANGE LOFT, WOMAN, AND VACANT CAT

for Ruth, Jackson's last whore

roaches in the cat box--
no cat--bathroom tiles
etched with pubic hairs
closer to my face
than where the owner slept
peacefully.
I was hoping
that the elimination
of my wastes
would take longer--
I had nothing much
to do that day
--but the espresso,
heat, and a strange bed
fired it out
like piss.

there I was, 14th Street,
noon, blazing sun,
not a tree for miles
looking for air-
conditioning and American
coffee.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Sunday, May 31, 2009

NOT A MATTER OF DECISION

Rag picker
picks at rags
at a basket,
Houston and 3rd;
an old time Bowery bum
bums his way
with a wire shopping cart
in the noonday swelter;
squeegee man
grime thicker then his skin weaves
through his maze of stopped
cars; summer came
a few months early as beds
like buds
begin to open: cheap lodging
translates to more wild Irish
and less worries.
new waves
of young drivers, their faces creaseless
and careless turn
their wipers on
squeegee man's play:
the old slapstick.
some give
what their hand falls on;
some praying
for the green light;
some laughing
as their bellys quiver
for the unknown
years. then there are some
who see their fathers,
their selves,
and grip the wheel
tighter, stare straight ahead,
and drive
to where they never
intended to go.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1977

Saturday, May 30, 2009

SOME YEARS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS

Last year
at this time
she
had my cock
in her mouth
while I
ate her delicious cunt.

Now
we hardly speak
even when
we infrequently meet
across the street at the saloon
she waitresses in.

When this occurred to me
I shielded the page...she coming
closer.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Friday, May 29, 2009

JESUS SAVES

at which bank?

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Thursday, May 28, 2009

ONE OF MY FEW LOVE POEMS

for Amy Short

When your beauty fades,
my lady,
stones will feel it; traffic-lights
will give out
double messages;
priests will kick in
stained-glass windows;
circumcisions
will knit---
but I’ll calmly tell ya
that you were always ugly
in the part
that matters
least.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

POEM

I sometimes stand
on street corners
missing my chance
to walk
lost
between lights
in thought of tail pipes
and fine,
rich,
women. two,
three hours
on a nice day--
walk--
don't walk, walk--
don't walk, walk--
I'm in a limo
with a tall
scotch and "what would you like to do tonight,
dear?"
"ah, let it unfold, let it unfold,"
(she loves me
for cute phrases like that).

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1976

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BATTLE PLAN

I plan
to be in the shower
when my apartment buzzer buzzes--
running out
with water
my only shield
laughing
as I explain
how I thought
she'd be later.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1976

Monday, May 25, 2009

THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR

water breaks
inside of bellys that ache
from a labor
of love
lost eventually; inevitable
selfishness.

he leaned against her
gently,
trying not to show
frustration
in movement
he zippered
and quietly
left.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1974

Sunday, May 24, 2009

POKER PLAYING MIAMI BEACH LADIES

Fat; slim
cigarette
holders
holding true
menthols beneath
frosted hair
have sons
who are
faggots
or alcoholics
or drug addicts
or gamblers
or are
just plain
mad
dreamers
from strong
sweatshop
money.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1979

Saturday, May 23, 2009

THE WAY THE DEAD LOOK

He looked at me
the way dead men look
at worms.
I hit him
3 fast ones.
All he did was smile.
Jesus Christ, I said.
I walked on,
quickly.


Norman Savage
Greewich Village, 1974

Friday, May 22, 2009

THOSE THRILLING DAYS OF YESTERYEAR

Blew into a bar
2:30 a.m. with the night
tucked into my armpits;
my balls fisted
in two fifties.
Hey Bartender,
give all these suckers a round.
They twinkled, tinkled and slurped
through a yard
of dream juice.
I looked them square
in their eyes and said,
in my best Lone Ranger’s face,
Hey you bums, you love me?
YEAH, OH YEAH, WE LOVE YOU.
You do huh, well
yous can all go fuck yerselves now.

I never returned to that town
either.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1977

Thursday, May 21, 2009

SCARED OF MONEY

I had just paid
my August rent
in September;
October
was already a step away
from beating on my door, lurking
like a natural progression.
My car
ran on some mechanical
loyalty like a fighter
coming out for the 12th
not knowing how or why...

no matter; 5
or 500---
it’s all piss
through the proverbial sieve
eventually getting to people
who only bank it.
tonight, my 5
will get me 4
Buds, the bartender, Frankie
will buy me 2;
I’ll leave him 1.
Somehow, it all
works out.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON'S EVENING

for Dutch


I like all of em,
big, small, fat, thin,
just so long
as they don’t talk
large,
and this one,
he said,
I don’t think nobody’s
ever winked her
ya know what I mean?
I know, I said, go on...
Anyways,
like I was sayin’
I liked what she ordered:
sherry, cream...
and made the bartender
put it in a sherry glass,
and this a hot Wednesday
afternoon, 40 cents,
she’s entitled,
right?
Right, right, what happened?
Nothin’, nothin happened, nothin’
else, I just liked that.

He always told those kind of stories;
if there was a point to them
you had to decide where
it was.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

RUTHIE

She had class,
Ruthie did---
from her black lace
underwear to the way
she laughed
at all my lies.
And although
I was 20 years
her junior
she kicked my ass
with pure heat.
Ruthie, come ta bed.
Nah, don’t feel like it,
let’s stay up...
Dracula’s on in an hour.
But shit, Ruthie,
I’m beat.
Your beat!?,
how the Hell should I feel?
But Ruthie, Ruthie
you women age slower:
no job, no rent, no stupidity...
I gotta be up at 5.
Fuck 5, she’d holler, we’ll laugh
at 5; at that hour,
at those wages,
there are plenty of jobs...
only idiots have loyalty
to people who have none.
...
Ruthie, you’re right,
fuck that...
you got some tuna?

We had almost an hour
to kill.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1974

Monday, May 18, 2009

NICE GIRL

not too pretty
or ugly
slightly overweight...
eats bagels
drinks diet pepsi...
plain
to the point
of madness;
does not know
how to lie.
after 20 odd years
has not given it up
to anyone.
her parents
are proud,
but slightly
embarrassed
by her
situation.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1977

Sunday, May 17, 2009

GOD and ME

She was married
10 years to a guy
she never loved
(and 5 years before that
to an alcoholic
or something),
neither of them
deserved her, my friend
told me.
There’s no God,
he went on,
for someone like her
to be so good
and so unlucky;
she’s heard about you...
wants to meet you...
just don’t act like an asshole.
It’s no act, I said.
Anyway, women have a hard time
being with me for a full day...
let alone for 15
consecutive passes.
Don’t make fun,
he said, she isn’t one
of your ordinary whores.
I kept my mouth shut...
there was no point in debating
“ordinary” as opposed to “virtuous”
so we went.

In less than 2 weeks
it was all over;
she couldn’t stand it
if I closed the door
to the bathroom, let alone
what was left
of my mind; had trouble
with silences
of all sorts; chose
not to “share,” a calling of men
in this new age
of caring.

About a week later
I ran into my former friend;
He had given up
on me
and God.
For once
I was in
good company.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1976

Saturday, May 16, 2009

WHAT IT IS TODAY

I can still afford
a night of scotch
and a few beers.
I get as much sleep
as possible
with
or without
a woman;
with
sometimes makes it easier
to sleep;
without
makes it easier
to get up.
Without
also increases
longevity,
saves nerves.
I'm not really saying anything
new.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Friday, May 15, 2009

HER BACK IS TO ME AND I CAN'T QUITE FIGURE OUT HER NAME

She’s at the juke box.
I’d like to be behind her,
put my two hands gently
on her hips
and press
my cock
into the crack
of her skin tight jeans
feeling the sweat
the grind,
slow,
slow, so
slow
the jump
pulse
the sticky
circum
stance
for the 2 play
quarter.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1979

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A HAND-ME-DOWN

I know a woman
who’s very nice.
She has an ample amount
of everything.
She has also fucked
Bob Dylan
three (3) times.
Which means,
in a way,
so have I.

I wonder if my grandchildren
would be interested?

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CAPTAIN VIDEO

is dead.
He died
not far from me
in a cheap, transient
Lexington Ave.,
soon to be torn down
hotel
that the $2.00,
truck drivin, acne faced,
need to feel somethin
people
give
to the not too pretty,
no good connections,
street action lovers,
jacked-up,
diseased hallway,
fake leather,
mouse droppings,
blow-job missing
piece of the puzzle
hooker
contracts
to.

I wonder how
Ed Norton feels?

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1977

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

IT HAPPENED THAT WAY

today
a good friend
told me
that he
had broken-
up
with his ol lady.

who cares?

it sounded
like a death
had happened.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Monday, May 11, 2009

IF YOU ONLY BET ON CHALK HORSES DON'T EVER EXPECT TO MAKE ANY MONEY

my one plant
is ugly.
and dying.
I don't know
what kind of plant
it is; I do know
it's dying; you can feel
those things.
I must admit
I haven't done much
to prevent it: no water
for days; made it stay
in my coldest window
in the dead
of winter & likewise
my hottest
in summer. I figured
I'd test it
much the same way
I've been tested.
I'm not crazy
about most things
that require attention.
I mean, when I die
nobody will say
that it wasn't
my fault. instead,
they'll say
now careless and foolish
and self-destructive I was
and that I didn't care
about anybody else so
big deal he's dead...
I couldn't agree
more.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Sunday, May 10, 2009

HOOPS--3 AND HALF POINTS

My sweat stutter steps
with time ticking 2:47, 2:46,
2:45 remaining fourth quarter
time out, Celtics. Knicks
down by 6. WE WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU
THAT THE ICE CAPADES
WILL BE COMING TO THE GARDEN ON
(shove it up your ass,
play already, I was never one to win
or lose, slowly). AND ON DECEMBER 7TH,
THE NATIONAL HORSE, (Jesus Christ),
SHOW, and all around me
I could see
early exits. Fine suits, and finer women,
as bored with basketball as they are embarrassed
by underarm stains, clinging
to cigar chompers who somehow had comps
that night; even though The Knicks
were losers 1975. Seeing
or being seen in The Garden was no big deal back then;
not very impressive to big accounts,
just, like wives, a tax-deduction...or favor...or both.
Me, I loved them
but bet against them. I mean, shit,
3 and half points, a New York sucker line:
this was Boston 1975, New York 1975;
no Reed, no deB, Frazier playing
like he was caught stealing, Bradley
back to the books, Gianelli looking like a pimp
from Debuke, just The Pearl
was, well... The Pearl; all in all
not nearly enough
for just love.

Celtics inbound, cross
mid court, working the clock, (how many of us have been able
to use time like that?) a shot, a miss,
rebound Knicks, 2:21
quick up court pass
Frazier, Monroe back
to Frazier baseline good.
Boston by 4 (less the 3 and a half leave a half) shit
don’t slow, play
your game, run, now’s no time to forget
who you are. Depleted audience
filling The Garden like 19,500
shouting methedrine as I feel
sleep coming on as Scott gets trapped,
panics, throwing the ball to someone
who isn’t there. Momentum shifts;
Knicks look like 1970, take there time
set up, 1:23, Monroe working one-on-one (trouble
for me) twist, twist, fake crippled knees
spastic garbage magic 2 points
:59 seconds time-out
Boston. Plenty of time
Heinsohn tells em, be cool
but careful, work for a good one---
problem: Holzman’s sayin’ the same thing.
And with two teams working
for the same thing
I’m paralyzed, being choked
by simple arithmetic---
down 1 and a half points, :59 seconds it’s almost
train time. The only thing keeping me
is the hope that give men erections
in the desert; or the last woman
4 a.m. bar time as I pour her a free one;
so I’m still there
with 100 ways to pull this out
up here surrounded by maniacs who only leave the arena
when the competition is over.

Jojo at the key, pulls up,
flicks his wrist, shoots, rims
the basket, a ton of muscle
straining for a ball,
it’s Silas, thank God, (He must of bet Boston),
back out, :24, :23, :22
Knicks going mad for the ball,
Scott, White, back to Scott, :17,
:16, :15, Scott rainbow shot
slash & a foul I smile.
Scott converts 3rd. point as The Garden
empties like the hoop after the ball goes through:
air & twine.
I stay around, hell, there’s still :11 ticks.
Ball in bounded, up to Pearl (no, no) quick
to Bradley, (No,No) behind double screen (NO!)
too much rim & SILAS again like God
when he does the right thing,
is there. I get up,
fingering my pocket;
wanting to remember thin
to fantasize fat
by 1 and half points and a yard;
1 and half fucking points, I mutter.
It’s getting really tough
to make a buck.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Saturday, May 9, 2009

DON'T BOTHER

they do not bother
except to bother
and then wonder
why I don't bother
except to bother
and it bothers
all of us.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1971

Friday, May 8, 2009

SPRING (CENTRAL PARK)

Rican congas
thumping rhythmically
through thick reefer smoke
fills my head
with a time
that was
and soon
will be.

Norman Savage
New York City, 1973

Thursday, May 7, 2009

SQUISH

the squish
of fever climaxed
are poems
between stomachs
sweating.

Norman Savage
New York City, 1973

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

FOXY

I was smoking
a cigarette waiting
for a steady thing:
a job, a woman, immortality.
I settled on
finishing the cigarette
and clocking the hot
pre-summer New York
action. a young
grandmother walked by
wearing a yellow t-shirt
with the word “foxy”
written in red above
her left flabby tit.
she wasn’t wearing a bra
or much of anything. it was
hot. she stopped and carefully
lifted a Pall Mall
from her case and slowly
lit it as she looked
at me. she looked good
and knew it. I figured
she was a scotch drinker
and probably very smooth
at whatever she wanted
to do. I began to laugh
at my thoughts
‘til I remembered
30 years ago
when she would walk
into a room,
any room,
and everyone
took her
seriously.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

OUTSIDE

anxiety shoots
from stiffened flesh
and, for the first time,
this day, I'm somewhere
where I'm not.

Norman Savage
New York City, 1973

Monday, May 4, 2009

JUST THE NECESSARY WORDS

somebody stole a book for ya in the night,
that's all; that's all ya should tell em.
pretty romantic ya could make it---
if ya think about it;
even desperate.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1971

Sunday, May 3, 2009

BREAK-NECK SPEED

I've always run
into the first pair
of outstretched arms
and found them lacking
a body behind them.

Norman Savage
New York City, 1972

Saturday, May 2, 2009

YEATS AS PISCICULTURALIST

Autumn falls upon
wintered souls heated
from deceptive springs' child
summer. Aprils fool
is us;
in October, almost able
to see an end it is hard
to sense a beginning--though it frolics
on our soon numbed fingertips.

Liquid dreams,
seasonless wants
left aching in steel sun rays
breaking mirrors and nights warm
wetness. a woman
who's body torments me,
who's face eludes me, yet
I anxiously lower the lid
on something I wish to control,
but can't.
my second self
oozing
and fused
into tonights workshop.

I see fishermen
in dried-out streams
up to their thighs
in illusions
of being where the fish is
but isn't. they have not moved,
waiting for the fish' return,
refusing to believe that water
must preceed them.
my page is as naked
as a single word
and as painful
as a warm image
fading.
how we slide
into safetys structured pretense.
what's outside those black plaster-board walls?
(I don't care.
it's not safe.)
byzantium's daydream, inside
the razor resting bubble,
is somehow less real that still waters'
circles. we bathe in the scented oil
of fantasy in times cruel seconds hanging
on the edge of hourly panics.

Poor W.B.
looking at his limp ego
and jumping
into a one-paddle canoe
that had nothing cept leaks.
good poetry
does not make
a good woman,
eh?

Norman Savage
New York City, 1972

NO SHIT

Bullshit!
the man said.
Me, I couldn't care
from which asshole it came--
it was shit,
pure and simple.
Naturally,
he was more browned-off
than I was--
it was him
that it fell upon.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1971

Friday, May 1, 2009

A HUNCHBACK IN DISGUISE?

(bent) back hump
shadow looms lost
among natural things. trapped
in mosaic and stained
glass answers the following
question: can god be
a deformity?
the answer,
on the screen, in black and white
clearly tells us
that we may
be looking
in the wrong
places.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1971

Thursday, April 30, 2009

ON MY BIRTHDAY; THIS YEAR

Whew!
I don't remember
how I got here!
so fast!
with fiction
behind me
I speed
toward the slowest
of conditions.

I'm the only one
that holds the pen.
so much power!, that
on Jane Street I ripped-up a dream
and neatly disposed it
in a trash can where it still
lies, smeared
yet legible.
it surprises even me
this want
for a strange warm pool
where water has the consistency
of evaporation.

in this myarid of highways
there is really only one
that gets traveled
and so many rules
are translated into one--
survival,
for as long as necessary
or possible.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1971

FORTY-DEUCE

Striptease night,
laughing
at the days blatency,
curls
inside dampness
as cosmetic whores
frown
upsidedown
in neon
madness.

Norman Savage
New York City, 1973

POEM

sizzling sun
fever at noon
as the outlaw rides
into the spoon.

his escape spilled
from the spiders lips
and he, only able to kiss
the ghost of a spirit, choose
to be, Hamlet,
once again.

Norman Savage
New York City, 1973

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

COSTS

This book
of empty white pages
cost me
two bucks and change
to purchase new,
and also cost me
X number of days
to fill up.
It will cost you
about the same,
minus the X,
of course.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1971

POEM

Ah, go on,
fuck yer brains out;
you been layin
in that position
too long anyway.
nauseating commercials
on the radio sayin
how glorious to be in love--
are they kiddin?
at the end
ya love yerself,
maybe,
if yer
lucky.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1971

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

EXTENSION

you'd be amazed
how fucked-up
things can get:
like finding
a dead
love.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1970

ANYWHERE

I want to be
somewhere
where I'm not,
and not know
I'm somewhere
when I get there.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1971

Monday, April 27, 2009

SOME WOMEN

Watch out
for the woman
who says
she never lies
to men
about love
which makes it
all the more amazing
and impossible
to comprehend
that she's alone
and constantly
being lied to---
something's
up.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1978

Sunday, April 26, 2009

1 PM--4:30 PM

the movement
of the Italian telephone company
moves
as fast as shit
through a flypapered tube.

Norman Savage
LaSpezia, Italy 1970

SHUTTER

I go,
like a mad photographer
with my pen
& little blank book
trying to put
a seed
into a flowerpot;
but a buttonhole
is not desired,
and the coat
seldom worn.

Norman Savage
Sitges, Spain, 1970

ROLES

pretentious motherfucker
writing in front of people
trying to make real
something, anything
assertive;
being a poet,
or cocksucker,
is really
no big thing
unless
the poet is good,
or the cock alive.

Norman Savage
Madrid, Spain 1970

FEAR

forget the night
it is too dark
to go into

Norman Savage
Paris, 1970

GET AWAY POEM

Letsgetthefuckouttahere.

Norman Savage
Paris, 1970

Saturday, April 25, 2009

THE TERROR

Alone
in my postage stamp,
coffin-shaped crib;
step-up piss-stained crapper;
blue salami kitchen--tonight,
11:47 p.m.,
on the border
of disorder...east/west village,
double-bolted,
fox-locked,
Monk filled,
and not in the best of shape times,
have the feeling
of being
discovered.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1979

SIMPLE SHIT


she said things to me
I knew she didn't mean,
but I hadn't heard them
in such a long time,
I figured,
hell,
whatthehell, sounds
pretty good; besides,
more things than my dick
needs watering; yeah,
make it grow; yeah,
that feels good,
too.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Friday, April 24, 2009

CIRCUMSTANCES

we were both drunk
and springtime horney.
I can remember kissing
the sweat offa her belly
and then the sun said,
time.
after
she told me her brain
was full of spaghetti,
(her best friend told her
she liked me, and she was fucking
a 65 year old owner of famous restaurant)---
(I could get around her best friend,
but what are you going to do with money
and food?) And so, I went home,
showered clean,
went to work
late,
fucked-up,
and very
tired.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1975

Thursday, April 23, 2009

THE KID

for Stevie Cauthon

She wanted it
first thing
this morning not knowing
that my dick
hardly ever rose
with the sun, (last night liquored up & bent
outa shape was easy enough...her being fresh pussy
didn’t hurt either.) But now, Christ....

She did know;
her legs knew;
her ankles locked knew;
her hands were O
so gentle
as we turned
into the stretch.
I felt the rise
that pushes God aside.
No whip,
no spurs,
no cheap muscle.

I probably paid
11, 12 dollars & change.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village
Spring, 1977

I WAS TIRED OF WHORES

There’s only one way to be sure:
I stand outside seminaries
and wait
til the little girls
are ready
to take their vows
and I whisper
to them,
you sure, you sure
you know what you’re doin?

Sometimes I go home
with two
or three
of em.


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1976

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

TWENTY-FOUR YEARS REVISTED BY MYSELF

for me & Dylan Thomas


as my dog
lifted his leg
to pee
I coughed
bringing up
smoker's sputum
which i quickly discharged
to the black street. i turned
away
from the obvious
habit, but not before
an icy ripple in my toe
forced me to kick-out
and shiver.

were you scared?
i'm here now
where you were then
and i'm scared.
your last line
you knew,
of course,
still left you
and me
with no choice except
a life time
of indecision.

before that "meat eating sun"
struts alongside me,
i'd like my name
to appear
in print,
as yours did.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1971

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

LUCK HAS NO DEFINITION


There's a black Labrador
that runs
across the street
when there are no cars
coming. He's a very smart
dog. I've seen him
almost everyday
for the last 3 years
up and down my block
dodging dogs, humans,
other obstacles.
He knows the area
better than I do.
He never shits
on his block; he knows
where home is and when
to go there; much better
than me.
Then on a day,
just like last spring,
his nose full
of heat smells, a step
will be lost. His brain
slowed from use
will be there
to deceive him. He'll look
both ways,
as he always had,
and seem to see
nothing.

The driver
will get out
dumbfounded
and angry.
Passers-by
will walk
a little faster.
Dogs on leashes
will sniff and tug
towards their own,
only to be guided
away by a force
more fearful
and powerful
than the dead
black Labrador
lying like a penny
pitched
against the curb's edge
never sensing
how lucky
he got.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1977

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BREAKFAST

AND HOW WAS YOUR MORNING?

Gypsies in the mayonnaise jar;
women hinting
at surgical procedures;
wish bones
& jellied bromides.
The fizz.
Root canal
8 a.m.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1976

Monday, April 20, 2009

WELL, IT MAKES CENTS

Fyodor,
you old Russian motherfucker,
how the fuck are ya?
Hey,-----
I finally figured it out:
you couldabeentakinashit
when the idea hit ya.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1971

Saturday, April 18, 2009

THE NUREMBERG EGG is a 26 page poem that I worked on from 1967 to the spring of 1970. It got me my BA degree from The New School for Social Research.

"BA" could also mean, "Bullshit Artist." Either one applies. Anyway, that's how I met Allen Ginsberg who mentored me for two years and edited parts of this poem. I've always been, as so many others have, indebted to him. For some reason that I haven't figured out, I'm not able to transcribe the form of the poem and so words, fragments, phrases, and lines, that were supposed to look different on the page can only now be viewed one way. There is nothing else to say about it.





THE NUREMBERG EGG

I
"You cannot get away.--Let me follow the roads here again, burdened with my vice, the vice that sank its roots of suffering at my side as early as the age of reason--and that rises to the sky, batters me, knocks me down, drags me after it."
--Rimbaud

now that i think about it
it reminds me of an
eviction notice
served by a rubber glove.
i can still feel being caught
and pulled
by my wet head out smoothly
as i locked
my feet inside her thighs
and hung in there
sweating.
i saw him grin,
“the little sonofabitch is tough,
but don’t worry,
we’ll get him.”
and he did
and again
i was speechless.

crystal halls
(cat calls)
in a carpeted house
conceal the bare basement
of half digested experiences:
electric heat
air-conditioning
two-car garage
& a little white
poodle.

II

sitting in a stuffy room
thoughts longing to breath---
you taking it all in
staying behind
---a memory drug
numbing nerves
that wish to run
to a lyons house
that stinks from sheet soaked piss
dead wine bottles
insane innkeepers
presents a mysterious aura
for the intruder.

---can’t escape
from a warm carpet
under cold sheets

played in the summer snow
winter warmth
as the days/months/years eluded us
crept away
unnoticed
while we thought of all the time we had
all the instants
contained in beginnings/ends
thrill seeking of warm thighs
and sighs
wide grins and hand shaking
until the 12 o’clock bell
summoned
& we ran
afraid to be late.

---can’t escape
from invisible chains
anchored
to a nonexistent dock.

in bed we stayed
fucking ourselves to death
(from an inverted hard-on)
---swarms of dollars in my head
islands with brown-chested dancing girls
tickling my cock
with wet tongues
(i loved every minute)
until sleep
brought tomorrow

i cringed
under a banner of laughter
from a funny line
they never knew
how deep it went
longing
for some sort of veracity.

i could say
with surety
on a hot moonlit evening
while flickering candles lick wine glasses
some girl
leaning backwards
would say,
“confusion is the cause
that sets the course.”
i’d become an aristotelian
at the wrong time;
this would only hesitate
her departure
& my celibacy for another evening---
I DIDN’T SHOWER TO HEAR THAT!
FUCKING IS WHAT I WANT TO DO!
(No Bullshit)
RIP OFF PLENTY OF ASS!
(am I getting crazy?---
commit me.

time is slipping
(already it takes longer to get hard)
sliding
off
my
back
to a book
not yet read
to a legacy
not yet written

III

ma,
stop screeEEching like chalk,
talk low.
two fathers
father/father
living a lie---
man (i dig this shit)
it started like this
in a six floor walk down
so don’t leave
you can’t
pretty paradoxical
& for once
i ain’t jiven.

IV

(chicken fat in a clenched fist

(a little ball of fat at twelve
johnny-on-the-pony pillow
then the hospital
with an unrelated disease to me
not a sore throat or usual cold
something called diabetes
making me skinny & old
at eleven
but
being traditionally young
i didn’t let it bother me
too much
went out
to prove
i was never sick.

as this story begins
in a stone fortress jr. high
where objective awareness took a back seat
to scenes & times---
gaudy ponchos
white tennis sneakers
square-tipped shoes
black leather jackets and
shiny sharkskin pants so tight
that it held up socks, back then
as the crotch puffed up
innocently---(neat)
“fuckin” was the Great Adjective used
in front of everything:
“look at those fuckin girls,”
“i can’t, i gotta go fuckin home,”
“last night, i got the best fuckin fuck you ever scene,”---
you get the fuckin idea;
anyway, the school i went to
thunderbird was the fuel used, or maybe it was tango
those satisfying beverages
in-between periods
as the girls eyed us suspiciously
envying the difference between the sexes.

comic book classes
note passing & whispering
about how she has a marvelous cunt,
“i heard she’s hot for ya, you could
fuck her easy.”
“fuck her.
i wanna fuck that one over there.”
but outside that shit stopped.
it was fights, basketball, slap ball, stickball,---
“take preston, that motherfucker hits tree sewers.”
they would hang around
waiting for their man to finish
and tend to personal business---
teased hair so high
you could actually see thru it,
clearly a sign for then; black rings
circling their eyes, cheap perfume, (canoe)
under their arms
making us hard & hot,
we’d stare at those with big tits and say,
“now there’s something to hang onto.”

saturday nights
on the corners
of couches
i’d turn into the great rhetorician
in tune to the mellow kings---
girls melted---internalizing
thinking
that tonight
maybe was such a night and
“holding you so near,” was a musical innuendo
for things to come---
“it’s got to mean more.”
“of course.”
“you aren’t the type to tell your friends....?”
“are you kiddin? you think that I’M like the other guys?”
“no, but I want to be sure.”
“SURE, YOU WANNA BE SURE?
ARE YOU FUCKIN’ KIDDIN’?
I TOOK YA BOWLIN’, TO, TWICE, TO THE MOVIES,
YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE I’VE BEEN SEEIN’ FOR WEEKS NOW,
AND YOU WANNA BE SURE. WHY DO YOU THINK I’VE BEEN SEEIN’ YOU?
i like you, that’s why,
and i think this could develop
into a meaningful relationship....but if
you don’t wanna....”
“no, it’s not that...”
“if you don’t like me as much as i...”
“no, it’s not...”
“then let’s stop becau...”
“NO”
sly motherfuckers
their little vaginas itching
for a touch
behind their mother’s unhip asses
sticking
their cute little tongues at 15
into a nicotined mouth
digging the first taste of saliva
syrup for them.

high
in the alley
i was like some great greek god
hurling the mighty ball
against our adversaries
(it became much more than that)
religious rites every friday and saturday
for the next 3 years.
meeting all the scum
that floated like a bad dream
in & out of doors from coney island
to middletown new york---
action was the thing
that reigned
above all other wants---
i was good!
better than school
better than other sports and
people were betting on me!!!
crowds, who knew my right arm, took out
case 5’s and 10’s trying to end the night
rich.
all in the right arm, 10 frames
“up 2 sticks, 3 boxes.”
“need a turkey.”
“cover 200?”
“you’re covered.”
all night into the morning
2 people, the ancient contest---
once you feel you gotem,
gotem by the balls,
never let go---keep churning
‘til his guts splash
over the scorers table---
(do what you do best
right?)
if it wasn’t the alley
it was the pool room---
there’s something about poolrooms & bowling alleys
that lend themselves
to action:
soft green/hard wood
clinking of colored balls/explosion of 10 pins
bridged by the smooth stroke.

tattooed arms
long hair combed in either a square back
or duck’s ass
bopping on kings highway
to a tough tune,
bad wheels lookin’
for a reason---
“you said sompthin’ bout my girl?”
“eh, no, i eh, don’t even know your girl.”
“you don’t know MY GIRL!
WHY YOU LYIN COCKSUCKER!”
BANG
BOOM it would start.
toughness was fun, excitingly
mistaken for a jelly jewish identity
surrounded by friendly insane wops
i made it work
being ballsy and loud
befriending the people i knew
protecting them
by my associations,
never bullying anybody---
people knew i was mean just by lookin’
at my scared snarl---
DON’T FUCK WITH ME, MAN
(please)

my folks got frightened---
“BOWLING ALLEY BUM,
GANGSTER, BASTARD,
my luck
i should have a son like you---
look at david, so nice, so refined,
so much respect for his parents
(respect, i hate that word)
your poor father and i have no luck
raise a child to be a bowler,
a gangster; is there any future?”---
“i’m leaving.”
“leave already, leave, go on and leave already.
enough, enough, i’ve had enough
your children should only give you
what you’re giving me and your father.”
“o.k. i’m leaving....”
“WAIT, WAIT, FIRST EAT,
WALK THE DOG,
AND TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE, (goddamn him.)”
always the garbage---
i could be dressed up
or balls ass naked,
taking a leak
or a good shit, still
there’d be that piercing cry:
“THE GARBAGE, THE GARBAGE.”
---i still don’t know really if it was garbage
for garbage sake
or just because that was
a way of showing i cared....about something.

abraham lincoln is alive & well and living
in brooklyn.
surviving years of decay
in an atmosphere of sterility
tended by a horny nun.
a big game---
more effort taken in cutting classes
than going to them.
pink cards by the dozen
3 envelopes so full that a truck
was needed to lift my file in my senior year.
big play in junior year by folks:
PLAN ONE:
find out what’s fucking him up;
PLAN TWO:
cure him (or it)
PLAN THREE:
get him into a college---
even if we have to build one!
what put them on my scanty trail
was the story older than prostitution:
“he has the potential, if....”
well, a battery of psychological tests
was the first step
in the ultimate solution
at n.y.u. for $100.00---”oh yes, well worth it.”
days & days (repeat)
(repeat)
(repeat) to find out:
i have the potential, if...
big trouble was study habits;
score so low it couldn’t be graded;
suited to be anything from an english teacher
to a minister---
which my folks would have settled for---
anything but a bowling alley bum.
once finding out that there was a brain
somewhere in that scatological body of mine
a shrink for “the cure” was next---
(a bad case of the clap would have been easier
and less painful)
---first shrink
stared at each other for 40 min. last 5 min. he asked,
“what are you thinking about?”
didn’t tell the prick.
this went on for 3 sessions
‘til i decided to leave
out of guilt
for wasting my parents bread on this asshole.
---second shrink
was great; went to him religiously
every wednesday, talked my poor
heart out---blaming my mother
for the way i dressed, smoked,
pissed,---the whole thing---
he called me an asshole,---
i understood. things got much better
but after 9 months my folks couldn’t see
any visible proof of my recovery
so they terminated the relationship.
i couldn’t blame them; i still bowled,
smoked, and fucked off. they called him an asshole,
in defense i called them assholes,
he called me an asshole---
pretty balanced, huh?

anyway, things started to change.
college was something important
(for my parents sake; (besides, i couldn’t
figure out a fucking thing to do with my life)
but with a 77 average there weren’t many ivy league schools
i could go to.
sullivan county community college accepted me.
requirements--------------------------------------------
blood.)

V

mashed potatoes on the wall
upstate
first school with fetal pig remembrances
of out the window
in double file
to double time
& time
that merciful healer
of small abrasions
of wife fucking
(somebody else's)
all very ethical---
she dug it.

pagan ritual, frazers’
vegetation cults all in
april
the cruelest month

HEY---
where’s my tarot pack?
quick get my cards---
it’s all in the queen’s cunt----;
hairy secrets
don’t wake me---
can’t you see
my emissions.

VI

ditch diggers
in south east asian snow
give me a gun,
sets of works, a tambourine man
on every corner;
“fast american crackers
trying to pass themselves off as europeans.”
brasz knew it
even from the lower east side
he saw clear across the country
into everybody’s heads
& puked.
who’s etherized now
t.s.?
& where? that’s far more important.
“everywhere,” you say?
“is it perfume from a dress
that makes me so digress?”

VII

i was judged
insane, by my own peers, man,
imagine that?
mere spectators
who want to suffer
my insanity. the sadder
i feel, the better
the experience
for others.

VIII

she’s pushing me
against the literal wall
hysteria
i’m sure of it
only yesterday she kissed
my forehead
and asked me to repent
(imagine that?)
ME
a good contraceptive catholic
way beyond the pleasure principle/sense pleasure
/hedonistic pleasure
cryptic, man,
it’s all vague
billy should not have died
he should have
vered away.

IX

dressed in drag
i’m getting married (in the morning
ding
dong
the bells
are go-
ing
to
chime)
to some
10th. st. faggot
who loves me
in silence
with frills & curls &
sweet smelling perfume
so nice
so soft
so...

X

my education
took place in subways
& 2nd. ave. johns---
prophets, i tell you
prophets:
---”nothing sucks as much as
success”
9-5 with fat faced bosses
2 cars with some skinny chick
that has bushels of hair
up and
down her arms and underneath her chin;
kids that fuck her
up and
down while you’re riding
that l.i.r. to boredom
` never to be seen again
lost in obscurity &
loving it.

XI

it’s all ambiguous, man,
nepenthe
some lost nymph
in some lonely wood
birch bark
all over her ass
“KISS ME”
she screams
& gives me
her cheek (of all things)
to say
the least
i was confused
(crisis)
so i took my cuban missile
disarmed it &
split.

it’s all phallic (also)---
smoke rings, pens, pencils, doors,
keyholes,---everything---even god
and i bet the pope
would like to be a nun
on fridays.

XII

you are there
while here
being & becoming
what you are already
existing thru nonexistence
starting from where you did not start
ending where you began
beginning where you ended.

“No Exit”
(“they are not consulting me
passing invisible judgment;
prematurely i have died
without accomplishment.”)
death does not come easily
or planned
“but at that moment
your life is completed
ready for the summation.”)
spit on rock
and fire
rasknolnikov, you bastard
drop your ax.
in that instant
a manifestation of my (his) free choice
an apparition whose presence haunts me
old ideas smother
while spontaneous flashes ignite in their wake;
we lose ourselves in agony and millennium
to save ourselves, only to lose
ourselves....freedom.
cheap tricks
all to deceive the forgetful eye;
emerson’s transparent eyeball,
smerdyakov’s head,
“you are---your life, and nothing else.”

XIII

surrounded by myself
my own flesh
forming infinitesimal cisterns
in my head

lead me to christ, o lord
make my sins
absolve themselves.

these hands are no longer hands to create
but only to rest themselves on an empty page.
CREATE MOTHERFUCKER
CREATE
silence, no response/inanimate
(why should i trouble myself
with ideas that are too much discussed
by me?)
of a blueprint love,
exactness, baby, that’s what counts
no mistakes
reminiscences
of long ago
can’t imagine what it once was
i there to fuck it
or stroke it
‘til i burst into flames
at the touch of a hand,
(speculation, all this
speculation bullshit, “ i would
i could
maybe
might have,”
potential possibilities---
all unredeemable in time)
carrying productive sperm
to give life
to another dead person
which is only the result of living (loving?)
living is a prelude
or the finish precedes the start
this precise moment is no longer
words are straightjacketed
i mean they strain
and crack
under the pressure
of too many tongues.
i’m trapped in the amorphousness of limitation
in the middle of being & becoming
non-existing/existing

lead me to christ, o lord
let my sins
absolve themselves.

XIV

a ransacked palace
stands alone on a ravaged hill
blocking the unassailable sky
behind it.
its jewels taken
halls left bare
stripped of all possessions
save a barefoot child with small splinters
crossed on the souls of his feet.

i must leave
the fruit is ripe after being nurtured
for twentyoneyears.
i have no arthritis
suffering from no constipation
obligated to no old masters
running out now
hurdling, actually
radiant---
twentyoneyearsold.

XV
"Was I wrong? Could charity be the sister of death for me? At least I will ask forgiveness for having fed on lies. Let us go now. But not a friendly hand! Where can I find help?"
--Rimbaud

but beware
the monkey demon
is here
all around us
watch out
for his claws
stinging flesh
sinking his teeth
into every pore.

i must escape
this lunacy
which has lasted
ever since
i became cog-
nizant of the fact
that
where is mom’s nipple
now?


POSTSCRIPT TO THE NUREMBERG EGG
THE ANSWER

the answer lies


somewhere between the thighs
or in the brain
of the organ.

the truths of scientists
are nothing
compared
to the truth
of the
moment.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1967-1970