Wednesday, August 21, 2019


but before laying it down--
before putting pen to paper,
before putting fingers to keyboard,
before putting mouth to mic,
I must stop
to procrastinate.
I could tug
on my balls,
dig in
a little;
the decision hanging
in the balance--
type it?
scribble it?
into this smartphone?
or maybe take a shit?
brew a cup of tea?
or coffee?
start a fight
with dead people?
or look for butterflies
in my fist?
maybe stringing up
a rope?...

You see
a poem
has an urgency
I want to control
because it feels so good
and comes
so infrequently
I want to punish it
for being so stingy
while making love to it
for being so goddamned sexy.

The risk, of course,
is having them die
before they fully show,
but who said
being a hedonist
was ever easy.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Sunday, August 18, 2019


Fifty years ago
I had everything
I wanted: Eileen
was in my basement bed,
a half ounce of coke
was an armsreach away
in my nearby drawer,
a few fat buds
of Katmandu reefer,
a smell as pungent
as wet earth,
waited to be rolled,
my '68 Porsche
was parked outside,
& my parents,
who supported my manias,
were nowhere to be found,
God bless them.
An FM underground
was carrying the concert live,
but alla that
wasn't enough
for Eileen. (I realize now
that some women
want the real
to be really real.)
"Let's get into that cool short of yours,
we could be up there in a few hours," she said.
"Fuck that. It's a fucking madhouse up there, baby," I countered,
"let's do another line, smoke some of this beautiful bud, fuck around--
hell, we'll believe we're there--without the slop."
"C'mon, Savage,
I'll give you the best head
you ever got in the mud," she laughed.
"It's too late, baby, we'd never get near the place;
the fucking interstate is backed-up,
they're closin 95 & 17, no fucking way, baby."
"C'mon, Savage,
you lived up there--you know
all those backroads & shit
--we'll make it"...
"We can make it down here--
it's clean, air-conditioned,
we got all we need & we got showers &"...
"Oh, Savage,
I'm gonna split--
if I can get there
I'm gonna get there.

And get there
she got.

But I didn't know that
until 14 years later
when I ran into her
in Miami Beach.
She was a waitress
in a Jewish outpost of pastrami
& heart attacks and was a little beaten-up
around the edges, but
still sexy as all Hell.
I tried to get her
to fuck me that night.
I knew she wanted to,
but wouldn't that night...
or ever again. Music,
back in the day,
was principled,
& apparantly,
so was she.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019


you could die
from constipation?
It explains
why I write.
I'm determined
to get the shit out
one way or
the other.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


in the vein
like you're getting
into an old pair of slippers
only to find it collapsed
and you searching
for a new one--
what a drag!
You've worked so hard,
been through so much,
only to be betrayed
by your own damn body
and its secret
expiration date.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Sunday, August 4, 2019


Joni trills
in the shower
while I play
in the days' news.
Coffee bounces
from sleepy beds
of conflict
& balm
as I smell her skin
being put on--
fragrant layers
like fronds
in our overheated

In the afternoon
while evening sleeps
so peacefully, I'll read
to Toni her words--
music in a white man's mouth
drunk on her rhythms turning
the heart's coal
into diamonds.

Tonight, there's Simone,
both Nina & deBeauvoir,
their acid tongues disrobing
my bourgeois notions
of all things man
and all matter, women.
How we might be glued
to this affair of living,
but the living need not
be less than joyful.

And then,
there is you--
a fugitive
from your body's embrace,
a renegade from your country's enclosure,
who I've loved all my life
without knowing not your name,
but your jouissance,
who I whisper to, who I pray to,
in the dark--
blue as the tangle of smoke
from a shared cigarette
as it rises in the moonlight,
as gentle as wisps,
from Miles' Spanish horn.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Saturday, August 3, 2019


After crossing
a canyon of fear
where small deaths
were lily pads
across the divide
& finding her fingers,
then hands, pulling me,
like liferopes of possibilities,
(and despite an erect & pulsating newness),
gave form & meaning to Curtis' Gypsy Woman.

poetry made sense;
we were meant to be sung.
Old as we were being born
into a soiled & sordid world,
yet as unabashed as desire must be,
we read each other
in that mischevious look,
a smile worthy of Mona
and a leap into a trust
that defied your history
granting, finally, a childhood,
full of fancy & exploration
flushed with a kitten's curiousity
and a lion's hunger.

We bumped hips
making our way
from the stale
high school morning
into a new day
of frivolousness--
she in her jeans,
tight hot everything
and me in my coolness--
cutting those stupid classes
of dullness & dandruff,
trying to figure out
how I could be this lucky.

We had taken the chance to look
for that most elusive minute
in a corner of convenience--
whether in a four postered bed
overlooking the Atlantic,
or on a mildewed mattress
in an abandoned Coney Island tenement--
to discover each other
again and again and again
in an indifferent home
that was vacant that day
and welcomed our foolishness
and our courage
to enter.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019