Sunday, September 29, 2019


were days
to lick
your week's wounds
while trying to avoid
repercusions (& concussions)
& trips to the family's farm
of home-grown kosher guilt.
It was a day littered
with traps
sprung from short-term memory
and long held grudges,
and the poisoned paranoia
of projection missles
launched into an already
scattered mind.

Sunday was a reminder
of not what you were,
but what you'd never become.

But away from the yapping
I would think of journeys
into the mouths of ideas;
each cavity, a tunnel;
each country or little town
held its own language
of pain as I dived
to meet where each exposed nerve
came from; where the roots
were rotten, where they shimmered
naked before my inexperienced eye.

Love was salted with fear;
empathy, a narcissitic fatality.
Seeking safety, I found a bed of lies,
which I was happy to cover myself in,
allowing the whispers to warm me
as I searched for an ending
that didn't feel so goddamn awful.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Monday, September 16, 2019


is like a Billie & Lester duet...

is like sin caressing the anxious blood...

Her nipples sore
from her baby's greed.
She knew he'd grow
into his need
and take advantage
of every extended tit
and suckle until enough warmth
lined his belly...

My flesh
awaits yours;
my lips taste
your taste.
An old man
whose memories
are almost as dry as a twig
yet spill what little sap is left
into a feverish enterprise
of grief.
History's bastard,
a slow rendition
of want...

I know I'm a sucker
for pain,
and have a cavernous sweet tooth
for memory.
And what else is memory
if not a seductive trip
down a mine field
that always leads
to loss...

Now these old bones rattle
from a barren cold
and what else
beside the blast furnace
of a flower
that swells & drips its honey
into a spoon that swirls
the spillage of time
into a hot brew
that thaws & forgives the mind
while it coats & soothes
the stomach
will suffice?

Just leave me alone
& let me drift...
on a reed.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Sunday, September 8, 2019


if you happen to be male
and weigh less than a lightbulb
and a little red Kaluta
in the thrall of early September
when they rock 'n roll
on their search & destroy mission
with every Kalutaette as they can
for up to 14 hours at a time,
fucking their brains out
as they were known to say,
using sperm stored since summer's end
& depleting huge amounts of testosterone & corticosteroids
in their best imitation of Chinese rabbits
until their guts become ulcerated
& explode:
Cause of Death: Exhaustion.

But they died happy:
No after-sex phone calls,
No deciding on a name for the kids
& no need to support them or the ol' lady;
no in-laws to visit on Sunday
when traffic is the heaviest,
no listening to office betrayals
or how Nipsy or Bipsy or Tipsy
fucked up at school,
and no thought,
should things go south,
of alimony to shoulder--
just exhaustion,
that blissful after-sex sense
of oblivion, of coming
& going all
in the same stroke--something
most men
would die for.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


positioned between them
the heat from their white purity
invading my pubescent hospital pajamas
flushing my cheeks
igniting my regions
as I Bobby Darined my way
through Mack the Knife.
1959 was the year,
diabetes the disease,
Brooklyn the place,
an all male hospital ward my home
of dreams, rock 'n roll,
& trouble
percolating like a virus gone wild
in a rapidly aging eleven year old body
finger snappin, pretending
I was both the singer
& the song.

After the fear
loosed its grip
& needles & shots & tubes
snaking from mouths & assholes & veins
to bottles hidden beneath beds
or crucified on poles
& strange & bearded men
lost their ghostliness,
my body regained its hum
and my little Panasonic its life.
She stood propped against the door,
in all her beauty, her starched white uniform
& pronged pointed hat atop her cornsilk hair
couldn't conceal a body wanting to explode
from its confinement, watching me
mouthing lyrics, snapping fingers,
and gyrating against the pillows
allowing Bobby's hipness to take me
to where I wasn't.
I couldn't have known
that everything we are
or was going to be
was held in a tune.

I caught her
watching & smiling
a smile that wasn't--
a smile meant for a lover,
a smile that wasn't cute
but coquettish; a smile
on a different highway
with a different destination.
She held her slim index finger
up in the air...soon she was back
with another nurse. Slowly
they came to my bedside
& she reached for my hand
& led me, on trembly legs
to a supply closet across the hall
where they pressed against me:
"Sing it again, baby," she coaxed me,
"just like before."
I began to stammer.
"It's OK, baby, sing it again,
just like before."
And just like that
I snapped my fingers, found the beat,
& the shark came out
to play.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2019