Sunday, March 13, 2011


Home, you knew,
was always impossible;
and so you tried
to fashion a life
away from it.
You were able
to make up rules
that had nothing to do
with reality
except yours
at the moment it was happening.
For the guys
playing sports
or gambling
it was Hindu.
If a ball
would hit
a crack
or submit
to a sudden gust
of wind,
or the dice
hit a rock
or somebody's foot,
you could call, "Hindu"
and that would mean it's
a do-over.
No questions asked.
Sometimes you knew
it was bullshit,
whether from you
or someone else,
but the lie
was tolerated.
Perhaps we all knew
that soon
we'd have to go back home again
and hear
bigger lies
that cut
than your father's belt
or fist
or silence.
you could never call,
there could never be,
a do-over;
just an accumulation
of little murders
each day
in your soul
you no longer knew
whose soul
was being punished.

you grew
into the coat.
It offered
a certain kind
of warmth
and even though
you knew that warmth
had the smell of death about it,
it was a smell that smelled
like home.
I became good
at recreating that smell
everywhere I went
until I didn't need anyone
to kill me anymore;
I did a pretty good job
by myself.
In fact, if someone
was as bad to me
as I've been to myself,
I'd have killed them. Instead,
I've only killed
the kind ones.

I was too dumb,
too stupid,
too scared,
to know
or understand that;
too many people
stood in harm's way
who I never meant
to harm, but meant it
all the same.

I'd call a Hindu now,
but there is no one left
who'd hear
or care.
With no plan
or help from me,
it's worked out
very well

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I was always attracted to weird weather
of any kind, but especially rainstorms,
ice storms and blizzards. The crazier
the better. I was always praying
that the gods would be good to me
and allow me to stay home
from school. Any excuse
was good, but legitimate ones
were better.
I'd be glued to the TV
to get every and all updates.

It took the major stations forever,
but they finally had to hire black
and Puerto Rican reporters. It was to those
hearty souls
to get their ass'
into the meat of the matter.
Whatever storm there was
you could count on the local stations
to sacrifice a black offering
to the sponsors
who loved disasters
of any kind.
The white sages of local wisdom
would cut to those poor fucks,
and place them
at the edge
of an ocean,
or in the middle
of a four lane highway,
car and truck crashes
piled up at either side
with ice ripping into his eyes:
"Now we go to JJ Gonsalez at Jones Beach.
JJ, how's it going out there?"
JJ looked like the leaning tower of Pisa
as he fought to remain erect;
the wind and rain or sleet and ice
whipping through his clothing and around his balls;
a black mic clutched to his gloved hand,
the hood of his parka falling off his head
as his Afro was spiked straight into the sky.
"Kinda rough out here Chuck, kinda rough,"
as he struggled to even be heard through the gale forced wind
pushing the waves closer to his feet.
"Gonna be bad out here tonight, Chuck;
the whole community has been evacuated. Gonna be bad."
"Thanks JJ; we'll get back to you later. Be careful out there
you hear me."
But JJ couldn't hear shit;
he couldn't wait to get back into the truck
or fucking car
or any goddamn thing
that had four sides.
And then you saw Chuck,
back in the studio and you wondered
whether you'd see JJ tomorrow.

It's been a rough winter this winter
and tonight
with storms ripping the shit out of most of the country
some snow some rain
inches of water fell here in the northeast.
This time it was Brian
kicking it over to some other poor black fuck
who I saw last night
in the same new river
saying generally the same thing as JJ did
all those many years ago: "Gettin bad,
gonna be rough,
folks are out of here," etc. Instead of a parka
he wore hip waders
and a cool looking microfiber of some kind
probably waterproof;
but Brian was still Chuck,
safe and warm
while the poor black fuck
was still JJ
how he could hold on
to a gig
that was saved
for him
after years and years
of journalism

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2011