Tuesday, March 31, 2009

At One Time This Was a Certainty


with half an eye
of the voyeur
while the rest
of my sight
looks inside
at the exhibitionist,
I, eh,
in my hand
my, eh,

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1967

Monday, March 30, 2009

Get Me


I stare at him
through 103 m.p.h.---get me;
you missed me through bags
of scag; get me
out of impulse; take me
while fucking
anybody, swallowing
anything; get me
out of here, I’m waiting.


I pushed harder
on the pleading

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1968

Sunday, March 29, 2009

CHANGES: the following poem was published in a countercultural newspaper in the sixties, Changes. It was started by Susan Graham Mingus, the wife of

musician, Charles Mingus. It was an alternative to the already staid, Village Voice. She published four of my poems, the first of which is, "Sunday" and had Andy Warhol take the pictures which I would have liked to attach, but can't. The pictures, grainy black and white images, show hands around a large cock and the other of a circumcision in the head of a large cock. I would imagine they were meant to convey the masturbatory poems to follow. All poems, all "art" is, in a certain way, masturbatory. Who else should the artist try to please?


body repose,
mind nomadic;
constant flux even on the day
of rest. all is quiet. the rape
goes on. and on. coercing
love over food, soft beverages
and burps of what happened
during the preceding six days.
it is boring,
with feeling.
slick, sophisticate gray-haired
news shows are on t.v. tell us
nothing. except that you can't catch
the week on one days notice.

Sunday drivers litter
the streets
making easy going impossible.
everybody wants to go
easy. too bad.
stay home
and wait.
and wait.
wait for relatives
to sneak up
and say,
I don't recognize you,
and whatever became of what's her name?
who died
while they
were cooking
for the holidays.

that misused day
of waiting
for Monday's
dull blade
that cuts sharper
than a straight-edged razor,
but goes unnoticed,
ssh, silent.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1968

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fore-Play, Here-Say or Wish-Full Thinking

Longer and dryer
then a sealed empty jar
I wait
without sex
wishing perhaps
to die
with an erection
and without
a coming god.
He will never come
while I'm alive;
anything else
is fore-play,
or wish-full

I came,
between her legs
wet and gleaming;
the daylight
and spent
the rest of my life
like fucking is--
getting back in,
while getting back
at her.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1967

Friday, March 27, 2009

No Mistake


The way back home
is not always
the easiest.
Poe’s fall
was not

Norman Savage
Coney Island

Thursday, March 26, 2009


for Jesse Gilbert

Ain’t no question
who got more rhythm;
even in the early mornin
when my eyes strain
against the fresh day
it seems
they got up dancin
their fingers
as they pee
and hum
as a toothbrush
crosses their teeth.
I see them later
in the Sugar Bowl
as I struggle
over a second
their Pepsi

It doesn’t stop,
it never stops
I believe
it is born with
and grows into
a different set of colors;
a saxophone solo.
Kerouac felt it, tried
to live it,
and hungered
to be it.
I read Jack early
and remember my thumb
s t u c k o u t;
it cost me something:
living on a white line...

and looking for a father.

Norman Savage
Coney Island
October, 1965

Reflections On a Nuthouse


I’ve sat in lysoled rooms
with interns
who had the gift
of my brain,
to dissect,
for free; starched, fresh, as white
as the Klan’s hood, they probed
with words painful
as a dentist’s little silver hook.
It didn’t matter to them
that my eyes were full
of jaundice, or fear, or hate
for them
and of them.
What was left of my mind wondered
how many of God’s little children
enjoyed getting whipped, maybe beaten
by bad dope, or worse, betrayed
by their lover who holds their heart
like an instrument of horror?
These young slugs. My God,
hospital sheets had more depth: they stretched across
age, drained sickness and blood
into their bodies, even laughed when a nurse
crawled in when nobody was looking.
What did those young docs care
if I missed my ice-cream hour;
or if my whore made money
with no one to give it to;
or I couldn’t bet the Knicks at home
getting a point over the Celtics?
I was trapped, and this was science,
pure, strict, shit.

Norman Savage
Coney Island, 1969

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Still Confused, But Pleased

A month or so ago, after great disappointment of having my memoir, JUNK SICK: CONFESSIONS OF AN UNCONTROLLED DIABETIC, fail to get published by Farrar Straus & Giroux after a years worth of editing and work, I decided to seek alternative ways of getting my work out before the disease I've been living with for 50 years now catch up with me. I've given it a lot of help. My agent told me to bide my time and wait, but after forty five years of humping against it, I decided not to. I knew that the publishing industry, as so many other traditional industries in this country, was in a state (perhaps a natural one, like the dinosaurs), of "correction"; shedding its dead skin.
And so, I found Smashwords and published it. Since its publication and accompanying interview, it's doing very well. The literary reviews it's gotten--Teleread, GalleyCat, on some blogs--have been very gratifying. And I've been trying to do what I can to get the word out--but it ain't writing. Not really. And so, I've decided to just do what I can about that and fuck the rest. Whatever happens, happens.
But I've been confused what to do on a blog. I think what I'd like to do is just put some of my poetry on it. Some have been published in small rags and mags of the sixties and seventies, even a few in the late nineties, but recently I've gotten back to it. Poetry, for whatever reason, is my rhythm, and I think that before it goes away I'd like to try and get that down as well. So, what I've decided to do is go back and put on this blog poems, with dates, best understood by other writers and artists, and those who also have a feel for a time and place.
Here's the first one:


sticky, like tar
stuck to the roof
of his mouth unable
to swallow so choked
instead smiling his
own death. he saw.
slowly packed his bags
and waited.

Norman Savage
Coney Island,

My memoir and accompanying interview can be found at:

Interview : http://blog.smashwords.com

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Story of my life. Which just got published, on Smashwords. JUNK SICK: CONFESSIONS OF AN UNCONTROLLED DIABETIC. I'd thought a few months previously that it was going to be published by a prestigious publishing house here in NYC until the shit hit the fan and my agent called and said, sorry, ain't gonna happen. Shit, I thought, been writing for forty years, had some success with small press' in the late 60's, early 70's, and had been working on the memoir nearly 25 years. She told me to hold tight and work on the novel I began six months ago. Damn, I might be dead by that time. My body began to betray me at 11 when I got diabetes and held fast through 45 years of junk, booze, assorted pills, love affairs, jobs, a marriage and near homelessness. Lemme try to see if there's another way.
Artists are a strange breed: either they're sucking your blood or sucking your cock. Drunks and junkies live on the edges as well: grandiose doormats. I felt pretty good getting some air with the book and like a goddamn moron going into this mind numbing job six days a week, 10-12 hours a day, trying to pay my rent. I guess I need the tension.
I'll do what I can to keep this blog humming, but writing for me is not a day to day thing. Sometimes I want to stay in bed or scratch my ass and not work. In fact, each day I don't have to work is some kind of victory for me. So if I miss a few days you know am either taking it easy or stringing up a noose, or up on a cross, or escaping into an easy delusion. But hold fast, and I'll try to do the same.
The following links are to my memoir and interview. The third link is to a piece I read in The New York Times today. It made me ashamed to call myself an artist.

Interview : http://blog.smashwords.com