Saturday, April 13, 2013


The Betty Poems

has a digestion problem.
It does not matter
that she is brilliant
and beautiful. No matter
how much
it's never enough.
is the only
that gets
She sits,
spitting out
or puking-up
in whatever
she swallows--even,
or especially,

And the only doctor
she will admit
to help her
is male.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2013


I know what it's like
staying on a crap table
for more than thirty minutes
making pass after pass
after pass; or getting laid
in a whorehouse
with no money; pissing more
than most people drank; or feeling
the purple fear of powerlessness
alone, as a blood red sun set
or rose on invented days
as the tin foil ways of my life
shook the glinting sun
into the corners of a brain
that no longer worked
or really wanted to.

I know what it's like
winning games
by half points,
and losing some
as well; or getting beat
by a twelve year old
drug dealer
in some south Bronx shit hole.
I know what it's like
eating for free at Le Cirque,
The Four Seasons; sipping
on three hundred dollar bottles
of red wine or white wine
from Oregon and France
while cracking open shell fish
from the cold waters of Maine
with the owners
at the owner's table
in the kitchen
with the chef.

I know what it's like
to talk wise
to the makers of fine leather shoes
from Italy and
the shoeshine men
on 42nd Street; to enjoy
two boys going at it
for fifteen rounds
and fucking whatever whore
was on my arm
that evening, the springs
being as hot and bloodied
as the ring.

I know what it's like
to have love
but never loved
back--not in ways
that went beyond
the act. And had thought
I was beyond that,
incapable of making those
contritions, leaving me alone
but peaceful. Coming
from where I did
it all made sense.
But then you came,
jimmied my door,
forced your way
in, lifted me
by my neck and shoulders
shook me out
of my wet and rumpled clothes
and fucked me silly.
I surrendered
without much
of a fight.
For the first time
I knew what expectation meant,
what senses were designed for,
why a heart was made to beat,
why brains functioned better
confused and heated. I knew why
I had to breathe.
What I did not know
is how love lies
without meaning to;
how each body moves
in its own orbit
and sometimes that orbit
is repelled by the sun.
And now I know
absence born
by desire
but that is fine
with me. At least
I now know what it's like
to have had it once
the way the poets
had it; the way fools
have it; the way children
have it. And that will have to do--
it has to--
for now.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2013