Monday, February 18, 2019


Happy Birthday, Toni.
And thank you.
Thank you
for locating
my heart,
corroded as it was
(& is),
& pumped it back to life
at moments that I thought
it was failing.
You've done it
& are doing it
for fifty years.

Have as grand a time
as I am having
cracking open
your newest work.
Much love, baby,

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019


& I don't forgive much,
& so,
I don't have much--
except much to say
which really
isn't much
to speak of.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Monday, February 11, 2019


And therein lies
my confusion:
I am
all ages
at all times;
I blow bubbles
as I blow by
reason; I cheat
on common sense tests;
I've found a home
on the cusp
in extremis;
I've indulged
a radical obediance.
I've flown high
on an electrical trapeez
naked, wondering
where the hell the bar is...

Under my pillow
I have a warehouse
of fantasies;
my sock drawer
is filled only
with holes
& secrets; I keep
your breath
inside my own
to shape the glassblower's art.

I need not get
any older
than I was
when a kid;
when madness
was vivid
& possibility
endless, when nothing
made sense
& feeling
& only feeling
an old & abiding

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019


was Sam's crossover hit;
Monk was about to play
The Five Spot
for a month at a time.
The year was 1957
and I was about to crawl into a closet
with a ten year old girl.
I was friendly with her cousin
who lived around the corner from me
in Brooklyn. Ever play strip poker?
she asked. I can play Go Fish & War,
I countered. Ever see a girl's thing?
she asked. Just my mother's,
I countered. That doesn't count,
she said, you wanna see one?
I do. Yes I do.
OK, but you have to show me yours.
Right now, stupid.
We were in her parent's living room
and the sun was pouring over us
lighting the sins we were surely
committing. But sin is delicious
anytime, anywhere, any age,
no matter if you know
what the hell you're doing
or not.
I slipped off my polo shirt
& squirmed out of my dungarees.
Now you, I said, holding fast
to my underwear.
She unbuttoned her white blouse
& took it off; nothing much
there. Stood up & wriggled
out of her blue & black checked skirt;
her Catholic school uniform
& placed herself before me.
Let's go into the closet, she said.
I didn't know precisely why
she said that, but I didn't argue
with experience.
She left the door open
and removed her panties.
I stared at it; it was
so smooth,
so contained,
I could have looked forever.
Now you, she said. Dazed,
I slipped them off
feeling the heat rise
in my neck & face.
What thrills I had
looking & touching & licking

Somewhere Sam is sweetly
making love to a microphone;
& Monk, that lover
of the inexpressable note,
has heard what he alone
is able to hear & is dancing
around his keys.
In due time
I will find them both
and they will be part
of the whole, the whole
crazy thing
we call

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Sunday, February 3, 2019


on the edge
of my bed, surfing
back & forth
between The Warriors
& Law & Order--
Curry hits a 30 footer,
McCoy offers man one,
25 to life,
Warriors up by 5,
McCoy says, "take it or leave it,"
it's 9 degrees outside,
my nipples dance to the air
that startles them from afar;
eyes sift a tabletop full of medicines:
syringes, needles, insulin, inhalers,
and Lucky Strike
next to a Coke can ashtray;
one woman after the next
elbow each other aside,
languishing, dancing, whispering
the once in a lifetime kiss
they offer and take
away as Perry Mason ends
& The Twilight Zone begins (
the realization
that my parents are dead
effects me less
than the beautiful girl
nurturning flowers
by her graveside
) and I think:
how much gray
can one man take
before he goes mad;
how much uncertainty
before each word,
each poem, laughs
at you? Not much longer,
not much more,
I think, but that
is the problem
with thinking.
Hitchcock fits
into his silhoutte
as his & my
next half hour
I hope it's
s good one.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019