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