Thursday, September 29, 2016


I was in
deep shit.
in the placenta
of doom.
Just whispers
by a tube.
No crazed Latinos
signing on the sides
of trains. No one
protesting. This
was God's turf,
His zip code.
Her cord
kept me
while I heard
her fight
with a cock
& all her other
as she schitzed along
on her busted wires--

--until those Klieg lights
& Arctic cold fucked me
beyond belief. I stood
naked in that prison yard
of cold steel instruments
& rubber gloves
& wondered: where
did the time go & why
it didn't take me
with it? How blood reasons
before the brain computes
and how
I was really

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016


For some
its cardboard containers
of Chinese food.
For others
it's homework.
And then
there are those
who gently put
320 mg of meth
in the icebox.
But for all
there's the devil
in the middle:
do I eat,
do I do,
do I imbibe?
Hear it

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


For A...

I defy
the eye
to see
it. That's
how quickly
I change.
You might
a sleight
of hand.
But you'd still lose
your money or
your heart...usually
Leave them both
at the door
you enter.

(I've just gained
your trust.)

Make yourself
at home,

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016


for all of us.
My ex-wife's
Nagasaki shadow
stuck to the wall
of my heart
remembering the heat
from an early morning
pumpkin colored blast
to the early evening's ash
settling over us
and the rest of us

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016


of my apartment
I find myself
weeping a lot.
I hear about veterans
committing suicide
for stuff their bloated
bellies can't keep down;
I see dogs abandoned
and caged and shivering
and naked beyond their understanding;
I see mothers weeping
from a sidewalk ricochet;
I watch a foreign paraplegic
grasp a diploma and future
between two of her working fingers;
I read a young woman's grasp
of a tilting and incomprehensible world.

I've been a defensive man.
Quick to anger
& quicker to judge.
I've tried to play
it safe and found
no safety in that.
There is some kind of muscle
memory of heroism; maybe
I'm Greek and have absorbed
some ancient blood myths.
I don't know.
But the world has bloomed
despite thoughts of cruelty.
I've seen shapes
seemingly unimpressive
impress most of all.
I'm an old dog
learning how
to become

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016


are the mind's hinge,
a swinging door
always oiled,
they allow memories
to pool, a synaptic
broker between
Amy's ass
& cold Jello,
a night spent
for a fix
and fixing
a flat
on a Montana highway
under a hot unforgiving sun.
An inner loop
that spoons against
what was flesh
or taste or smell or touch,
a sweet nipple's sip
of scotch and a drunken stroll
home, a different home,
than what was home
a moment ago.

It's a messy detachment
and a cool be-bop prose.
It hedges your reckless bet
knowing the dealer cheats.
It's her thigh
and her leg, her laugh
above her heart, her mind
fondling her breasts
when I stole glances
between boardwalk slats
of pink panties
and black curly hairs
curling around lace
before I called an eight ball
in the side pocket.

It's reading aloud
to hundreds while fearful
of a question, of wasted
decisions and hours shit out
like so much glad handing
to time's curse. Distance
is a lie to manage movement.
Each moment brings
its own semicolon.
When in doubt
you should use one. Welcome

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Ian Fleming
and Mickey Spillane
against the spine
of whatever text
they had us read from
in my high school classes.
I liked Fleming's sophistication
and Spillane's guts in their
Bond & Hammer personas.
You could call me bipolar now,
or just fucked-up then.
But however the marriage worked
it allowed me to cop uptown dope
and fuck downtown dowagers.

I like polarities
and extremities of weather;
I like black & blue blues
& Verdi Requiems.
It has never endeared me
to the family of girls,
who eyed me
with suspicion--justified,
I might add--
or the supervisors in all the jobs
I've had--which was the only thing
I earned. I've had little patience
with the days and had to sit still
over nights without end. I bitched
and complained and never apologized.

I still appreciate how Lawrence
can rip off a piece of ass
with class and those pulp dimes
who ejaculate before they unzip
themselves. Which way
do you prefer?

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016


in high school
I lusted for.
It was not desire,
but need. But she
was tangled up
with a moron.
You can argue
against anything
except stupidity.

That next summer
things had changed:
her mom was fucking
a Communist neighbor
and she had abandoned Russian
for an Art major in college;
she knew what lies were
and how to create some
of her own; and I got smart
in the cosmology of drugs
and bullshit. She'd also quit
the moron and watched
how her body leaned in
to itself. Her eyes
were still cat's green.

We read Ramparts
& Ginsberg, sung Dylan
& Motown, smoked pot
& fucked whenever
& wherever we could
& survived some of the onslaught.
But not all of it;
she's dead forty-five years now
& I'm still going--not as strong
but still going. Our pain,
inviolate & absolute, created
a union having little to do
with love as we imagined love
to be, but each time I think of her
it's different--and that's
a real poem.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016