Tuesday, January 29, 2019


walking the deck
of The Pequod.
I thump
up & down
the empty stairs
of my brownstone
with my cane
sounding my own
particular madness
raging at God's
insensitive deafness
& my brown & drying
departed youth;
a body
in the midst
of rebellion
& decay.

I will give any man
this enigmatic gold doubloon if,
with this harpoon,
forged by a devil's fire,
to find for me
a memory
that doesn't speak
in simple sentences,
but rhapsodizes in soliloquies
righteous of prosaic complications--
going one step
to the next,
going out
& coming home
& warming myself
by the word furnace
of make believe
so elementary
& so endless.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019


The first thing I did,
besides looking for exit signs,
when interviewing a potential lover
in her pad
was note her books--if any
--and/or riff through her albums
& rate them.
Depending on my find,
I'd consider how long
this affaire de coeur,
dalliance, or
just plain old
would last.
The find--if any--
would provide me
points of entry;
it helped compute
her shelf life.
I can't say
I was picky.
Any poetry books
beside Rod McKuen,
would keep me reading;
any stylist,
beside Kate Smith,
had me listening.
Eager I was
to plumb the depths
of her disease,
while constructing a nexus
of meeting points
& be-bop hymns.
I needed to know
if she was a Hallmark card
or someone who demanded
no distraction
or an LP of endless consideration.
I thought I knew
my way around this life
and what was worth
my time and
what wasn't.
Don't you?

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Saturday, January 26, 2019


A finger,
the pinky,
has been lost
in the cooker
once you've tasted
You'll always
what it looked like,
but you'll never,
never ever never ever
be able
to get it

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Thursday, January 24, 2019


listening to Trane
& Monk's Ruby,
My Dear
on a rainy New York
afternoon bending
into evening
allowing myself
to be soothed
by a love
that straddles time
& its infirmities.

Within the moist breath
of a whisper
I feel the hand
of my green-eyed lover
nestle into the small of my back
amid the smells of candy apples
& cotton candy on a steamy
Coney Island night.
Every once in awhile
she leans in
& kisses my neck.
A delicious shiver
wriggles inside me.
Mmm, I go.
I dare to cup her breast.
She does not
deny me.
We are coming from,
& on our way to

We've come through
the briars
of adolescence,
but hold a rose
in each of our hands,
a red rose soft
but indestructible.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


often times more.
My laser sharp focus
& perception
gives way
to the jangly route
of interpretations
& judgements.
My translators
are certain
of their acumen;
each are convinced
of their skills
in decoding
history's symbols
& signposts.
My mushy brain
becomes a Wellsian mirrored
ping-pong table
played by masters
of irrefutable logic
& evidence.

Senses impress,
the rest impresses
upon me.
She loves me...
but why
does she love me?
You can see
how flummoxed
I can get
at such obviousness.

I'm in the market
for a tourniquet
for executive functions
of all kinds.
I've heard that Amazon
will deliver it
to my door.
But how to pay for it
is still an open question.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Sunday, January 20, 2019


For Hannah Sullivan

I am a lover
of words; I seek
fantasies through
metaphors, beauty
through suggestion.
It is a time
when gravediggers
wait for the earth
to dismiss its frost;
a time when ladies wait
in ladies garments
for New Jersey truckers
to grab a handful of cock
before their I95 mirror
of masculinity.
They carry their hairy husk
of doubt
and dribble from a slack mouth
of evening's fast lanes.

I'm in Florent
sitting next to a high yellow princess.
We listen to the nightime swish
of meatpacking blood
slicking cobblestones maroonish,
thick with animal stink.
I've been to The Vanguard
and heard Cecil solo.
She listened to a different music.
We're both hungry.
We will both go home
but not together.

A limp wind kisses
against boredom.
A bluetit crab
curbed by rumors
of the sea
burrows deeply
into my lover's dreams.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Sunday, January 6, 2019


Good fences,
a flinty New Englander
once wrote,
makes good neighbors.
And I've constructed
millions of them.
I've tried to keep out
the many bad
and dangerous sides
of my mind
that assault
from places known
and hidden;
that spreads its poisons
or trumpets its disdain;
the side that believes
that love is finite,
that kindness
is for faggots
or mothers,
that bleeding
reveals flags,
that color is destiny,
that poems are limp-wristed,
and that my heart is really really
and beyond reproach.
But somehow the pebbles
or stones
or boulders
get moved
and all my time is spent
shoring up
a more porous
It's taken me
almost a lifetime
to learn
a most basic truth:
we can never know
the other
we allow them
to sit at our table
and discuss mysteries
both big
& small,
until the stones
are rubbed
of its

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019