Friday, July 27, 2012


They say I'm sixty-four,
almost sixty-five. But that
is only what they say. Which part
are they talking about? The reality
is much harder to measure.
We've tried to draw lines,
impose definition,
trying to simplify
It's all been futile.

I feel near death;
many things
are broken
or have rusted out;
but I felt that at twenty
and thirty
and forty.
My constant companion
of fifty-five years
cries out
for compassion,
and I'm either lazy
or mean-spirited.
Diabetes will,
like my one plant,
fend for itself
for awhile. I'm

sitting outside
at a cafe
across from my ghosts,
getting a lung full
of New York exhaust
I watch
the parade
of flesh.
Faces and breasts
and hips and tight
hot everything flit
by, uncreased
by experience
or common cares.
To them
I'm just an old calendar,
but I still try
to drink it in,
catch an eye knowing
a life can turn
on luck.
Once in awhile
a person older
than myself shuffles past,
using a cane, pushing a walker,
holding on
to an aide.
They fiercely concentrate
on their next movement.
But, for some reason,
they go on. Perhaps,
they like me
wanted to give up the fight
fifty, sixty, seventy years ago,
too, but were like me
a coward.
Instead, I pulled the covers up
to my neck,
or drank
or shot enough dope
to make a little space
for myself.
That's all you really need
you know? A little space.
Somewhere where
they can't get to you
for a beat; a space
to play in.
And I was lucky
to find over the years
those spaces
often enough
to frustrate the demons
and amuse the gods.
I remained confused,
confused and so very

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012


My friend, Profane,
introduced me
to his cousin--
a beautiful young thing
--who lived in Brooklyn
when I drove him
out there to visit.
Her eyes were green
and backlit and
curious as she watched
and recorded my movements.
Soon, we were in my car,
headed for a hot dog
in Coney. Her body inched
closer to mine the more casual
and crazier I drove; punching it
up to seventy and eighty,
predicting the moves of others
as I weaved in and out
to freedom.

Being older,
and the expansive man I was,
full of insight
and bullshit
(and unemployed),
she visited me
in my crib
before she started work
or school,
or whatever she came to the city for.
She'd arrive,
in the bathroom,
slip into something silken
with animal stripes
then quickly find
my most vulnerable spots
without hesitation
or speech.
She'd shower after,
dress, say good-bye
and leave. I followed
her sound until I heard
the click of the door

One day
she said:
soon you will grow tired
of this, too.
And left.
The needle
had already moved
toward empty
two weeks prior.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Every once in awhile
the female creature
walks by--maybe one
in ten thousand--
that had been made
by an artisan
of the gods.
Each are put together
by the poets
of aesthetics: giving the world
just one of them
to admire: Marilyn, Ingrid,
Grace, Halley, Liz, Sophia,
Audrey, Lena, like Bird and Bach,
Bee and Trane, Miles and Monk, Jackson
and Vinnie.
There is not just
one type; they can be pure
or mongrel, but somehow
in this game
of genetic roulette
the egg and semen conspired
to fall on the right number.

Other women,
who've always had
digitalized eyes
record the picture
and try to remain
aloof, but will spend
lavishly for their essence;
men, childishly, pretend
that money and success
can equal cock
think they can buy
into their presence;
and sometimes they can,
but usually find
they can only afford
a Tijuana whorehouse
and a two dollar penicillin shot

I've spent a night
and sometimes a few years
in limited battle with some.
At first
it felt magical,
almost blessed,
to think you've been chosen,
not by them, but by them
and not for your charm
but for their inner
the skin
you find shadows.
A cylinder is broken;
a piston won't pump;
it overheats
with neurosis
at a light;
it can't start
while parked;
it shimmies,
or pulls
to a side,
or is all over
the road.
It needs work
and you're broke.
The love making
is the love making
and that's fine
while the upholstery
still has that leather smell,
but the fights are still the fights
and they come even from the most sensual
of grills.

Still, it's nice
when you see one
and nicer still
when they pass.
I always make sure
to breathe deeply
and hold it

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2012