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9.7k · Sep 2018
the dirty poet Sep 2018
i see the flyer at starbucks

"are you caucasian?
without mental health
and drug problems?"

i don’t know the answer to any of these questions
is a jew a caucasian?
is the occasional naked, ****-slamming drunken rampage
a drug problem?
as for mental health
i’m a deadbeat poet and unpopular pop musician
i’ve got a job fighting death and boredom
and i just changed my facebook password to "eat ****"
my frustrations have driven weaker souls to homicide
but are these PROBLEMS?
1.7k · Aug 2018
the dirty poet Aug 2018
it’s not about you at all
you get swept up in people’s definitions
hung on the wall in someone’s frame
you’re artifact on the edge of their radar
to your family, you’re a son daughter sister brother
and technically yes, your mom bore you
(and still does)
but must you accept all that goes with it?
you were born in new jersey
must that make the sopranos and bruce springsteen
your problem?
artists paint you as lame and superficial
the boss works you like a crossword puzzle
to the government, you’re a fraction
to the rich, you’re money to be spent
to the cops, an obstacle
to the bartender, a lousy tipper
they convince you, they’re persuasive
but must this be your face?
it takes a lot of energy to break free
you escape once to find yourself in another cage
it’s a russian doll of captivity
maybe it's not worth it
how many times can you wake up
and say **** it?
856 · Aug 2018
the dirty poet Aug 2018
man, that phrase covers it all
the shower curtain falling
the autobody repair bill
the inevitable nuclear bomb
those genius republicans
the “innovations” at work
my invisibility in a crowd
melting glaciers that swallow continents
the horror in the mirror (past a certain age)
realizing you live a stranger’s life
our phones compelling us to jump off a bridge
running out of milk for our wheaties
that’s showbiz
793 · Jul 12
how tough?
i don’t need a bar
i need a distillery
595 · Apr 4
when someone insults you
it shortcircuits everything good
that happened that day
or week or year
it plays on a loop in your mind
igniting a roulette wheel of reaction
that might whirl out of control
so watch out *******
479 · Jan 23
this week thurston moore liked one of my videos
robert hunter liked one of my poems
and some japanese kid liked my latest soundcloud tune
that’s sonic youth, the grateful dead and the asian empire
if you’re keeping score
like i am
416 · Dec 2018
the dirty poet Dec 2018
alcohol and *******
and ******* at his wife
he chose to jump out of a sled
and land on his head
his christmas present to himself
now he’s tethered to a ventilator
with a bolt in his brain
his intracranial pressure
is scaling mt. everest
that there santa’s elf
is the textbook definition
of ******* up
402 · Nov 2018
the dirty poet Nov 2018
there are no stupid questions
only stupid answers
simple answers to complex questions
torpedo the invaders
school shootings?
arm the gym the teacher
very satisfying ***** solutions
they'll get you elected
377 · Jan 25
you think a rich twit
when he eats the banquet he calls supper
cares whether the peons are republican or democrat?
he just cares that the soup is served hot
377 · Feb 1
(for my fellow dharma bums)

why is this backpack so heavy?
chicken & country cole slaw
forks & knives & spoons
a bicycle helmet hanging off
a sketch pad
          the next 100 years
          how the beatles destroyed rock’n’roll
a walkman & cds
          the soundtrack to the darjeeling limited
          faust’s first two albums
          tom waits & alan holdsworth
          compilations of local prog rock
          modern blues & albert king
old newsweeks
a black t shirt & blue scrubs
a folder with poems & instructional material
          the brain death protocol
a stethoscope
but why is it so heavy?
must be the hot sauce
318 · Sep 2018
the dirty poet Sep 2018
man it’s twee heaven
i’m in a coffee shop reading malcolm gladwell
trying to ignore the hippie barista
and a sensitive young patron
as they compare their hard life and times
a dude comes in, a famous mess
barefoot, pajama bottoms and drunker than a tavern
"can i have a free french cappuccino?"
the barista says yes and while she makes it
he leans into my space making comments
he’s way too smashed to deliver with any trace of pinache
"here’s…  this guy…"
she gives him his coffee
"oh man… it’s not french…"
he staggers out of the place, cup in hand
the kid customer asks if he comes in a lot
"he’s been in here a few times," says the barista
"the guy ever wear shoes?" i ask
"i don’t judge," she says, lip ring quivering
no judging from her, except for me--
constructing a gallows and sentencing me to hang
for being old, male and normal
well she’s got me there
the dirty poet Nov 2018
i'm a curator of all that dissipates and evaporates
not only memories of my grandparents, my dad
now my mom
but the flesh tonsillectomy i performed on the rocks
in maine when i was 17
my wife's heartbreaking smile
and "come on down to my boat, baby"
a happy 60s tune no one remembers
305 · Apr 8
playing the ***** at a puppet cocktail party
couldn’t be an easier audience
but my check is still in the mail

saving a skinny woman with chest compressions
single-handedly so-to-speak
i wasn’t alone but i’ll take the credit
the others were weak, i was going heavy
and that’s when she came back

resurrecting my villain for the TV series Heroineburgh
an afternoon shoot with 3 young ladies in tight spandex

saving another woman with team compressions
went on for 60 minutes before her heart reignited
a christmas miracle
though i unplugged her 2 days later
continuous seizures

getting 3 of my 4 bands on one compilation
that and a quarter would give me a quarter

falling off my bike twice in 5 minutes
car ran a red light, then got doored in the bike lane
today was the first day my sprained wrist allowed pushups
(helps with those chest compressions)

making a money hat for the video i’m shooting for the Dumplings
they’re the Rolling Stones of my favorite bar

went to a hypnotist at the Fringe Fest
failing to get hyponotized
"you were obviously resisting," said my wife
i don’t know
i think i’m just obviously me

playing my ***** on a movie stage
for 8 second segments with the movie
don’t ask
we made $96 and bought tacos for $95

now i’m listening to my swinging new louis prima album
reflecting on this groovy month of spring
292 · Oct 2018
the dirty poet Oct 2018
gotta love the scientists
with the weak attention spans
who get the job done
284 · Aug 2018
the dirty poet Aug 2018
a wacko version of hamlet

the patient came up to us raving
a naked swollen giant
his basketball *****, his endless belly
every system failing
we prepared to put him out
so we could stick a tube down his throat
plug him on a ventilator
and insert lines for safekeeping
he tried to lean off the bed
take it easy man, i said, restraining him
who’s susan? asked the nurse
good night, sweet prince, i said as we gave him the drugs
we intubated him and took him down to the OR
where he passed twenty minutes later
283 · Aug 2018
the dirty poet Aug 2018
years ago i spent a winter in san francisco
living in a mission hotel when it was cheap enough
i met a charming young lady
and we kept company for a couple of months
we went out, we stayed in, we had fun
and one night she said "man, you’re so cool
about going out with a black woman
it’s like it makes absolutely no difference to you"
and i thought, she’s black?
that might explain why when we hit the clubs
the black men were staring razors at me
279 · Aug 2018
the dirty poet Aug 2018
yeah yeah yeah
it’s tough staying true to your true love
but people have no problem being faithful
to appetites and abstract ideas
they have deathless devotion
to *******, pizza, star wars
shopping, automatic weapons, jesus
i myself have been happily married
to jumping jack flash since i was 12 years old
i’ll be in love til the day i die
269 · Feb 18
the rich need your money to stay rich
the rich need your labor to stay rich
they need you to shut the **** up and keep digging
it’s really very simple
"try a few more," i encourage
i’m doing a breathing exercise
with a young multiple GSW
"you ain’t no doctor
and i’ll stop when i wanna ******* stop"
an amiable attitude
directly correlated
with multiple GSW
238 · Apr 27
last week i had to put down my little cat peppy
after nineteen weird years of love
sadly now i can leave my boots in the hall
knowing she won’t *** on them
the supergenius' race-baiting strategy
is gonna bite him in the ***
his base (in every fragrance of the word)
will still boogie down with its war-dance
but he's gonna motivate a lot of people
to put a brake on the fascism

things didn't end well for mussolini
201 · Mar 23
i am a poem
with an inception and a finale
you’re the best stanza
making it whole and sublime
and now i snap shut
i float away, complete
200 · Sep 2018
the dirty poet Sep 2018
i worked christmas and the day after
both time-and-a-half days
unless you worked christmas
then the next day wasn’t overtime
that’s ok
i wouldn’t wanna break the “nonprofit”
with my unbridled greed

if the company you work for
says tuesday is wednesday
unless you have a union or quit the job
tuesday is wednesday
193 · May 21
he was combative, strapped to the bed
but he could still express himself
he spit a tooth at his nurse
“and there’s plenty more
where that came from, *****”
191 · Sep 2018
the dirty poet Sep 2018
if you juggle your scrumptious **** in my face
to sell your sound
i’m talking to you, beyonce
then you better open up when i come knocking
or i’ll take you to the better business bureau
you work for me,  i don’t work for you
the endgame of religion is transcendence
and since the holy books are bedtime stories
i’m talking to you, deuteronomy
if we get a lift to light from a **** superstar
as we aim for the great beyond – BEYONCE
if she’s our prayer, so be it
different compound, same chemical reaction
i’m talking to you, oxygen
you all work for me
or you don’t work at all
190 · Jan 19
my father died when i was 14
presenting me with an unsolvable calculation
and a bleak though accurate view of reality
my wife and i didn’t die when the kids were kids
and that was a gift to the children
which we took back a bit by living
and the drinking, a mixed bag
but no divorce and no funerals
you’re welcome, kids
188 · Aug 2018
the dirty poet Aug 2018
from the shower across the dayroom at shaver psychiatric
naked as the dawn, a spring in his step
his nuts hanging, he’s a happy man
until he slips in the doorway to his room
falls and hits his head
he wakes up to find eight of us staring at him
"are you with us sir? we need to assess you"
he’s still stark naked
"yeah yeah, ok, hold on a second"
he grabs a towel and starts buffing his nuts
"we have to get your blood pressure sir"
"ok, ok, hold it a second," he says
continuing to polish his testicles with ambition
the scene goes on unchanged for fifteen minutes
he’s way clean and dry down there

now every time i take a shower and wash my crotch
i have to smile
the dirty poet Sep 2018
boring, useless and impossible
i understand why these are not the first listings
in the job description
but they should be somewhere on the page
benjamin franklin was created by benjamin franklin
one of his most ingenious inventions
you could never read all the books about him
when you finish one, two more have been written
i party in his colossal footsteps
thanks ben, for lending me all those volumes from your library
you invented bifocals, i see clearly
your stove warms my heart
i give away my **** too -- no patents for me either
let’s jam sometime on your glass armonica
i’m packing one of your divided soup bowls on my next ocean trip
i’m sick of losing my clam chowder to the waves
these terms you added to the lexicon:
"battery," "positive," "negative," "conductor," "discharge"
i’m positive i bought a battery the other day
you designed the first penny – only now an anachronism
no matter how many of those saved pennies have been earned
all those aphorisms, my god
i bet you mumble them in your sleep
you started the philosophical society, me the secret music society
you studied whirlwinds and gulf streams when sailing to london for a cup of coffee
you designed flippers, hung onto a kite for windsurfing
used the kite to summon lightning
invite me next time you blow up a thunder house with an ungrounded lightning rod
we’ll make pittsburgh tremble
and congrats on the grounded lightning rods
you saved millions of people and neutralized religion
it’s not the deadly finger of god, the vengeance of the lord
it’s just a buzz
lighting the streets at night comes in handy
though the night watchman concept has gotten a bit fascist
brokering the french alliance was stellar for our onion soup supply
but your suggestion that we unite these states
i’m not sure that one’s gonna stick
and thomas jefferson was a cockblocker
we declare independence from his scolding us for all our mademoiselles
183 · Dec 2018
the dirty poet Dec 2018
you gotta do what you gotta do
and even if you DON'T gotta do it
you gotta do it anyway
it’s necessary
182 · Sep 2018
the dirty poet Sep 2018
alienation isn’t profound
it’s the nation we live in
but my alienation is epic
i’m alienated from the hepcats in this dive
the ladies who ignore me
the god who hides from me
the cops on the street
the politicians who “represent” me
the managers who “manage” me
the hicks i work with
the patients i work for
myself for eating meat
the motivation that abandoned me
the technology that sidetracks me
the music i’m commanded to enjoy
certainly the dart players
the capitalists, the communists
the smokers, the foodies
the carpenters, plumbers, electricians
rats, tigers, lions
the trolls who hate anyone who does anything
i do love cats and dogs
alcohol agrees with me
i’m popular with bartenders
i dig commercials
and the people who read these poems
thanks for listening
181 · Sep 2018
the dirty poet Sep 2018
i bought a chevy impala station wagon
off the fire chief of hackensack
it was safety yellow and glowed in the dark
had a ball on top but the chief took it with him
still a switch for it on the dashboard
way cool
until the master cylinder snapped
on my way down a steep viaduct
with my two kids in back
no brakes all the way down
splashing into a busy intersection
at the bottom of the hill
sure wish i’d had that siren

cooler still was the car before
bought for one dollar from my uncle
who’d inherited it from his oddball best bud
a scientist/author of a popular cosmology of the universe
it was a 1973 gold dodge coronet
the name conjures ancient cop shows
a huge sporty firebreathing beast
eight mighty pistons and an oil leak
i drove it for two years
until the vital fluids gushing out like the mississippi
forced me to abandon ship

the greasy kid across the street found a buyer
we waited for him one saturday morning
around the corner sailed the identical car
same color gold, same year 1973
couldn’t have shocked me more if two statues of liberty
came crashing into each other in hudson bay
the four cuban dudes driving up were thrilled
cannibalism in their eyes
my car was stripped for parts as they disappeared

now i have a new minivan and ball-busting car payments
nobody gets cooler as they get older
169 · Aug 2018
the dirty poet Aug 2018
last night we went to this fancy new restaurant
i ordered the most expensive thing on the menu
dry-aged prime beef with all the trimmings
best steak i had in years
paid for it with my wife’s unemployment money
these days they give you a debit card
which the restaurant took no problem
hey, just because she’s out of work
i have to suffer?
165 · Apr 15
when i was ten years old and we were moving
i recall those sessions with the real estate agent
i was suffering and she was happy
i was watching my world disintegrate
leaving my friends, my school, my home
my sister and i would never feel comfortable again
and this real estate woman was having a ball
enjoying the transaction, making a few bucks
digging life
i remember wishing we could make an even switch
i could be her, happy and whole
she could be me, losing so much

now i work in a hospital
and as i treat the weak, wheezing and dying
spending time with them and their families
and their desperation, resignation and grief
while for me it’s just another workday
punctuated with lunch and coffee
i see they too wish for an even switch
they’d leave me languishing in the bed or waiting room
while they hop on my bike listening to the beastie boys
on their blissful way back home
165 · Dec 2018
the dirty poet Dec 2018
one of the mellower insults of the aging process
is that things that were cool in your prime are utterly forgotten
if they’re pulled out of the attic everyone chuckles
and giggles at you for thinking you were cool to like them
even if they WERE cool and you WERE cool to like them
155 · Jun 15
jackson browne's Late for the Sky is an uncanny song
illuminating the moment right before you split
with someone you love
the latenight time when despite all the swerving
you see the end of the road
the grieving and inevitability
built right into the overtones
i liked it before i had a girlfriend
and when i had one and we built a world together
and broke up
i listened to it and shook my head in recognition
and thought what a good song
154 · Feb 24
i’ve decided to know everything about everything
perhaps a tragic endeavor
but i’m optimistic
i’ll follow newton’s 1st law of motion
first a smidge of research
launching observation
floating on instinct
sailing on forever
that should do it
my mind is rippling with patterns revealed
i know about you
i know about the rain
i know about you and the rain
my secret knowledge
is that YOU have secret knowledge
and here’s good news
i will be charitable with my wisdom
153 · May 14
every once in a while
stan asks me to hold his phone
and watch his unit
while he attends a prayer service
in the hospital chapel
it's cool most of the time
but come on stan
do i ask you to hold the phone
while i smoke a bone with satan?
143 · Jun 1
waiting for the stars to align
there’s tacos, the kids, the cats
and us
and the stars loop de loop
to scoop us up
143 · Oct 2018
the dirty poet Oct 2018
exile is our fate
looking for a way home
even if we’ve never been home

exiled from my pulitzer
from my place at the algonquin roundtable
barred from the scotch of st. james 1966
john lennon’s holding my throne for me
but i can’t get in the club

exiled from our world conquests
our lives of leisure
exiled from the parents of our past
our children and ourselves as children
from the summertime of youth
and in the end
exiled from this ****** earth
141 · Nov 2018
the dirty poet Nov 2018
look at this:
"adobe meat-free beef jerky"
subtract the beef from beef jerky
what remains is an edible toxic dump
and that’s not a bad idea
drop the masquerade
erase the window dressing
from now on the only commodities in my kitchen
will be vegetables and a bowl of sugar
a plate of salt, a platter of caffeine
a dish of alcohol
138 · Dec 2018
the dirty poet Dec 2018
i’m tired of my imaginary friend
he’s been loyal
always there for me
but can’t we be done?
i need my liberty
and i know he’s sick of me
136 · Feb 12
once you're out of diapers

TV stars and pop singers don't compute
you look at a magazine
"my god, these people have no eyebrows"
you don't recognize them
you're not supposed to
they're not programmed for you
they're not singing to you
they're not designed for you
you're free
131 · Oct 2018
the dirty poet Oct 2018
an arrogant conductor hires me for a show
it’s a cultural exchange, as we’re from different tribes
he gives me guitar music, a D chord with 4 staves
i ask him how he wants it played
"as it’s written!"
but the 4 bare slashes tell me nothing
it’s like working in a restaurant
and getting an order for chicken
"how you want this chicken?"
"follow the recipe!"
and the recipe is a picture of a chicken
so i cook it the way i like it
basted with latin flavor
oh, he’s ****** after the show
but the audience eats it up
123 · Mar 9
it was the greatest sputum sample ever collected in this hospital
the guy wasn’t coughing, he wasn’t doing anything
except lay there like a dead fish
we’d smash the ezpap mask on his face to inflate his lungs
the doctor asked me to get a sputum sample to see what was growing in there
"the guy does nothing," i said.  "he doesn’t cough"
"can you NT suction him?"
push a plastic catheter up his nose, into his lungs
"that’s pretty invasive for a sputum sample"
"can you do it?"
"yeah i can…  i never have for that, but i can…"
so i go in with his nurse and my student
i have the catheter ready, all lubed up
i’d want a lot of **** if it was my nose
but first i put a sample jar under his mouth
and say "look dude, i need you to spit in this cup"
i don’t know if he’s listening or what
"if you can’t do it i’m gonna go up your nose with a rubber hose
it doesn’t hurt exactly but you’re not gonna like it
but i won’t do it if you can spit in this cup"
his eyes are half open
he’s possibly considering it
then we hear a rumble
it’s like the awakening of a volcano
we hear it coming up the pipe
"YES!  DO IT!"
it sounds substantial and it keeps coming
i open his mouth and holy mackerel
there’s a gallon of yellow mucus
it’s astronomical, a ******* tidal wave
i shake the cup under his mouth
but he doesn’t spit
his mouth is full as a bucket
but it’s not going anywhere
"give me that yankeur," i say to the nurse
she gives me the stiff suction wand
i don’t even plug it into the vacuum
i just use it to scoop the phlegm from his mouth into the cup
"o my god," says my student
she’s getting an education today
i keep scooping, filling the cup
"wow," says the nurse
she’s seen a lot but she’s never seen **** like this
"ALRIGHT, DUDE," i say, capping the cup, laughing
it’s the greatest sputum sample in the history of the world
122 · May 24
art, chix & wine are fine
but artchix & wine are divine!
122 · Jun 3
ruth buzzi lay dead on the lawn
ruth buzzi, star of rowan & martin’s laugh-in
dayglo spinster with a hair net
like a spider web on her scalp
foil for arte johnson
remnant of a comedian
lay stiff on the lawn
my wife placed her there for decoration
she thought it was perfect
well it was perfectly disturbing
our friends were uncomfortable coming over
i reasoned with her
"we can’t have kids here"
but my wife thought it was a cool garnish to the house
she laughed, fixed herself a tito and tonic
and plomped down in a chair on the porch
admiring the lawn
122 · Apr 18
i could give him ten breathing treatments
he’s still 84 years old
struggling to breathe at 4:45 in the morning
i could give him twenty treatments
he still has CHF
jamming the right chamber of his heart
flooding his lungs
he’s not drowning in it, not yet
but every breath is a squat ******
i sit with him at 4:45 in the morning
administering useless medicine
watching ice truckers, shooting the ****
it’s not lasix, which is what he needs to flush the fluid
but i’m good company and so is he
and that will have to be therapy enough
at 4:45 in the morning
121 · Sep 2018
the dirty poet Sep 2018
as the house of cards comes down…
if you can’t see that all the money in this country
is stored in the stingers of a small hive of queen bees
you’re not paying attention
quote me all the smug hard-hearted factoids
you can scrape off the radio
brand me tax-for-the-greater-good criminally naive
you might have a point, maybe there is no greater good
if it involves you and me together
i don’t know what i’d do to spread the gravy
resurrect leon trotsky?
but if you don’t think the rich have too much money
you’re a sucker
119 · May 2
the frustrations of biff are a technicolor epic
his bottomless thirst to be coronated king
of film, music, literature, performance
when will the world recognize genius?
reward genius?
worship genius?
******* genius?
he’s the id for all us artsy types
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