Wednesday, April 27, 2016


of this:
slowly committing suicide
so others can do something else
while watching. It's true,
I've become rather good
at it, practicing as I have
for six and a half decades,
but so what?
you can catch up
with a little diligence.
Don't worry,
you don't have to be terribly
aggressive; you don't have to go out
and buy a gun or a noose or a plastic bag;
you don't have to lean into a subway car,
or ride over loose-strung rickety bridges
in the dead of night during an ice storm;
you can capitalize
on what is already
working for you: keep smoking
after your heart attack; ingest some thick
runny Brie and sit there
as it narrows your arteries,
don't move
for anything;
keep your ass glued
to whatever seat it's on;
watch TV and nibble
while fighting
with your lady
or your man
or your kids
or your landlord
over nothing;
stay poor
and eat poorly
and always think
it's the others' fault (that's never hard
to do and very important);
drink up until it begins to hurt,
then just sip
until they tell you to stop
then say, "fuck-it"
do it anyway
because "no one really knows
or gives a shit if they do."

I am just trying to lead
by example.
And I think
I've done that.
Now get out
and show me
what you got.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2012-2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016


her undress
my tongue
to see
her scars.
she said
how they curve
like a sorcerer's trick
under a thick coat
of fur.
Touch them,
she said,
they come alive
under pressures
and penalties.
I laid back
I'd seen it
but couldn't
the number
on her

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016


her dream
of swimming
in a sea
of teeth
by ovens
of hate.
would she
have me

A storm
was at
our elbow.
We bowed
to belief
born of
grief's shadows.
had we come
to such sadness?

We dined
on Mulligan Stew
from an old Chinaman's curfew;
the tin forces
of a steely wind
braced us
for the lactating

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016


The laughing dice
and the bored stickmen
for the next

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I gotta Big Cock!
That's right! Big!
Very Big!
I mean Big!
My father had a big one.
Grandfather, too.
Come from a long line
of Big Cocks!
Yes, I do! Big.
My great great grandfather
had a schlong so big
that after he took a piss
he didn't shake it out,
he had to kick the fuckin thing.
That's right.
One tough man.
And a smart man.
Went to The Yukon
in the Gold Rush days.
He had a huge huge huge
Penis. Yes he did.
Opened a whorehouse
& a restaurant;
he fucked em
& fed em. That's right.
Talk about pole numbers!
What a pole he had!

The train is leaving
the station; the sad-eyed
ladies are rowing home;
the Big Top
is shuttered
as the laughing bones
lie bleaching
in the sun.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Sunday, April 17, 2016


to have dinner
with a female
and watch
her fingers
slice her need
into small pieces;
how deft she is
with a knife & fork
working her way
through a thicket
of motives.

Neither of us
are in a rush
to move toward
dessert; we know
we will arrive
there soon enough.
There is no danger
of running out
of room
for that.

Some things
never get

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016


think I'm funny
when I flirt with them.
I'd have to be dead
not to--
that's how beautiful
they are;
the most precious fruit
in a supermarket
of extravagance.

They are lit
from the inside;
their blue/black skin
glows with the kind of light
many people, who are smart,
will read by.

You are not old mister,
no,no,no, Mamouda and Neeva sing,
we do not see age,
different in my country.
I come from a Kleenex culture,
I tell them, "Use once,
then throw away."
They laugh
and know
it's true.

I shop there
for many reasons:
it's closer
to my leaden
& lurching step;
the food is better;
the butcher slips
me a steak
& charges me
for chicken;
but it's the girls
who mean the most;
it's the girls
who tell me
not to worry;
it's the girls
who bring me food
when I'm sick
or miserable;
or out of sorts;
it's the girls
who bring me gifts
from their Senegalese village:
a painting, a bracelet,
a picture of their family.

And so I spend
what little money I have
to be loved
even now
at my age. I'm a poet
you see,
stupid, irrational
in regard
to things
lesser beings
think of as rational:
If I did that,
I believe,
I'd waste
Better to contemplate
and God,
and cherish
no matter
how slight.
has to

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


always followed
by the silent
Fuck You
writ large
or small
once the lights
dimmed, the doors
closed, the mice
scurry and shadows
leave behind fears
like droppings
and your demons
Get out
the knife,
cut along
the perforation;
the spike,
jiggle the vein,
ride the white horse,
purge the loving dinner,
slip your panties
off those frozen ankles.

How good
being bad

The gasoline
smells so good
each time
I fill the tank.
Almost as good
as the mimeograph
machine smelled
as I printed copies
of "Ode On A Grecian Urn"
for Miss Edelman's class
on a hot and pregnant day
sixty years ago
tomorrow imagining
my fingers fingering
her breast, my mouth
in her ear,
the ink still wet,
the pages moist,
I wept from excitement.

I sat next to
an old colored woman
on the crosstown bus.
She'd sowed a mean leopard print
onto her denim shirt
and had a leopard hat on her Sunday morning perm,
red nails, buffed, and red lipstick sitting proud
on her lips, I inhaled her
renegade blues walking up and down the aisle.
A hard-headed lover, and head turner,
stubborn, opinionated,
twisted with abandon,
we knew what stop
to get off
and off
we got.

I said.
Yes, Daddy,
Your sweet self,
I replied,
Come and get it.
The demons stood back
and let me go get near.

It was only Wednesday;
and I'm off tomorrow.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Sunday always feels
like some kind of Psalm
at the end of some kind
of brutality.
It needs
not to be studied
in ways that imply
but fear.

I will resist
hurting myself
today. I will
take another
into my
I will trust
the Lord
& lean
not into
my own
I will allow
to direct
my paths.

But first
I have to
then I'll see
what's what.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016


this old?
I don't think so
in spite of all
my body tells me.
I don't think
I am time
& time only--
though I carry
a King's baggage
like a Pullman Porter
in the Georgia summer
I would like to think
I fuck with time
as much as it
fucks with me:
I can be seven
when I want to,
hanging on a limb
from a garden snake;
or seventeen
& hanging by a thread;
but not the sixty-eight
I am just hanging
around waiting
for the curtains to part.
Only yesterday
my berry browned arms
swung from trees
& my hands held wood
carved to strike a hardball;
my fingers held a pen
meant to seduce
& buck-up a weakened bone.
I can see with clarity
all which came before,
but not a moment after
it all stops.
And where, I might ask,
do we go

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Monday, April 4, 2016


were old friends
from Brownsville
Brooklyn in the forties.
Both had failed
at life
from an early age:
they packed crates
& read
The Harvard Classics.
Each had that old school
sinewy thing happening
and now were stevedores
on the docks.
They worked
& whored
Dutch smoked Pall Malls
& Mo Camels.
Drank straight
whiskey. Slept
when they could.

One day
Dutch spied a chick
coming out of chic village brownstone.
he said,
to Mo.
Ya see that chick?
No, where?
There where?
There, there.
Mo wore those coke-bottle glasses
and had to squint through them.
No, where?
There you idiot, there. And spun Mo's shoulders around.
Yeah, yeah, OK. What about her?
Dutch repeated. I want you to go over and bother her. I'll count three beats and go over and get ya off her...then I'll make off with the chick.
What the hell? Mo said. . Let's get a drink.
No, I like her. I really like her.
What are ya gonna do?
I'll throw a punch, you go down. Simple.
I don't know.
C'mon, Mo. C'mon.
OK, Ok.
Dutch watched as Mo went across the street and sidled up to her.
He saw her twist and squirm and try to get away from him but Mo blocked her.
Dutch walked across the street.
His blood bubbled.
He didn't pull the punch,
but hit Mo square in the mug.
Mo hit the ground
bounced up
& hit Dutch.
Dutch went down
bounced up
& hit Mo.
Then they grabbed each other
in a head-lock
& both went down.
The chick walked off.

She was stupid:
she was surrounded by love
and never saw it.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016