The Stark Comma

Grifted from the madness of it all.

How Bout I Just Recite the End

One day I’ll sip some coffee in some cafĂ© that faces the sea on some street in Pescara and tell you all about it with a laugh;

Baby, there was a time when I couldn’t afford to have a bank account. A 20′s drifter who thought luck to be every other man’s word.  When I grinded out odd jobs in odd towns for a Shakespeare playbill . When I was just so damn angry. Angry at the sky for wearing a lighter blue. Where a small victory would be how polite a lit mag’s rejection letter could be. Drank and chased women and smoked and gambled. Baby, that time is rear view on some dusty scrapyard era gone by.

But now look baby, I got just enough in my pocket, got my third book going shinkansen, got luck and got you; the one who is giving this sunset fits. I’m full.

“I’ve heard this one before,” she said with a smile.
“Oh have ya baby?”
“But, tell me again.”
“How bout this, how bout
I just recite the end.”

And the sunset melted enviously into the sea.

Poem During Work

I just want to go home, drink wine and sit in
my underwear at my olivetti;
Cause right now I have to put up with
mindless work in a cubicle where the
fluorescent bulbs above cloud my head, dim my eyes, dim my being.
Out for a smoke,
“At least the wind died down,” coworker says,
smile and reply mindless meteorology. I don’t care.
I just want to write in my underwear and drink red and fantasize about
all the beautiful birds that I have
yet to screw.

A Feast to Last

Fuck I’m lonely.

I have brief visions of meeting her on a sunny afternoon in our rain.
Two Murakami
characters trying not to think too much, trying
not to despise humanity.
She comes over and asks to sit,
takes a spoonful of my gelato without asking,
goes into a story about when she was a little girl,
holds back salt glisten til she can’t,
I’ll dab away a single droplet with my thumb
I’ll tell her about my anxiety disorder and issues with my father
she’ll comfort me with just a look.
We walk the town whose namesake has occupied time longer than we care to to think
she kneels and pets a german shepard, smiles for the first time
tells me she paints, but hasn’t in
months- depression paints her.
tell her I am a writer of rubbish and balled up sheets- the trashcan is my
biggest fan.
share a smoke on the steps of a cathedral
we don’t believe in any of it; just
feast on the brevity of
stub cig out on a gargoyle;
stand up, sigh and grip each other hard enough to haunt forty
more years.
Then we go our separate ways.

In these visions, I always wonder if she looked back.
I sure as hell did.

Slum Night

I want to keep the night turned to sorrow;
there is an elderly black woman in a bonnet picking flowers across the street, a lovely petal study.

The night kept sorrow;
drunk flies skipped stones across mighty oak weight, begging for mosquito itch.

“Sorrow,” the night said;
I pissed in the sink and mumbled lines from some play about some man who lost a horse race, the fool and his ripped ticket.

Sorrow the night wept;
trite words punctuated on the edges of yesterday’s times on and on and on until newspaper boy’s yawn throw, a stoop riddled sorrow.

Coffee Lid

She left lipstick on
her coffee lid after every
sip. I asked her the color;
she told me to scratch an
itch on her
shoulder but then got it herself. On and
on about some squabble
with her roommate; I submerged with
steam wand.
She noticed and stern washed,
“Why are you with me? Sip.
Coffee lid-
Thought, Is it carmine or more of a cardinal red?


I am a critical human being. My past
lovers knew this yet
they stayed till the end; a
slow methodical critique of the
things they could not provide me,
that no one could provide.

I am a loner. I prefer a jazz roll and
typewriter punch over conversation and big
to do’s. My friends
know this and don’t invite me out
anymore. They know the no. I do make
appearances though, in the way that
washed up actors make appearances
at low rent conventions. I do it for the
currency of material punch.

I do not date much anymore. My parents
know this. The who are you dating has
lessened as they have learned their
lesson. Nothing compares to the woman I
have in my mind. She revolves; and to
the women that try for coupling, it is
not even a fair fight. She’s got class.

I eat lunch in my car at work. My
co-workers know this and have stopped
with the where should we go eat
today. I’d rather stare at my cigarette
smoke stained visor than bullshit about
tube shows or what their dog did over the

I stand by myself at parties for the most
part. Other attendees know this. I’ll drink
their booze and eat their food while
looking at picture frames. Get drunk
just enough and then make a pass at the host’s
best friend.

I am an asshole and I know this. Well, not an
asshole per se but rather a critical loner who
prefers solitude over

Port Paint; There Just Wasn’t Enough

She parted her hair like
a harlow. Said it was her harlot
doo and due to this, the
postman hadn’t come ’round in weeks; “I just throw ‘em away.”

I poured her some port and
she dumped it on the carpet,
pushed her fingers into fibers and
painted; “Rambling red droplets,” she sang.

She lit a candle in my bathrobe, blew it out just
as quickly. Then disrobed and folded
it like flag; placed it at the edge of
our bed-
“I don’t know who I am anymore but I must find Kafka.”

With that she left.
I went to the window, looked below and saw her;
naked and washed in a late night humid rain, hailing imaginary yellows.

East Orange Must

I still remember the must of
that couch I slept on-
an East Orange must.
The man across Hoboken smiled as
he ate chinese food but
he didn’t share
any nostalgia. Just fits of the
women he didn’t meet thus didn’t
It was all just one big swing back
then. Transmuted into a transient down
garden land, a lush fragrant garden land.
And from the man sleeping on orange
must, the night
before Jessica recollect, that Italian
beauty hair
grip on beach tongue wag. He gave a tap on
orange couch for the
dust particle float in furnace vent
blind flutter and
remembered the women he met yet
didn’t love.
You will write a book about all of
the women you didn’t love properly;
the Hoboken stranger eating chinese
loses teeth to a gum slip sigh. An eight year
ago moment of must.
Nostalgia for the unloved.

Last Bit of Green

Looked at my hairline in the steamed mirror,
poked and prodded it; recession
had a dream last night that I pulled out
half of my hair and handed it to
my sister.
I was unbalanced,
a night of whisky is a toppling turvy
feels like a vice squeezing everything out
of me.
Drove up to the gas station and bought
a pack of smokes,
this should center,
sat at a red light, lit one, let it dangle in my mouth;
the familiar retina burn,
as I waited impatiently in my jazz haze,
about thirty high school runners passed
my car
pink lungs fresh legs more than an
ounce of happiness and
full heads of hair
they gazelled around the corner out of
Light turned and two blocks up I
pulled up to the bar as
I needed a good watering this morning
lips to beveled, look up at the mirror
below bottles;
I saw the
last bit of my green fade out of view.

Cheesecake Chit Chat

So polite.
when all we want is to strip each other of
loom pump and let
nerve ending rub complete our

So polite.
stiff our attraction anatomy for please and
thank you bow and curtsey in gala
ballroom du jour

So polite.
introductory nice to make your
acquaintance tongue thrust when
we want another kind

So polite.
we boil it down within second that lobe
hidden I want to take you from
behind while we share hot breath

So polite.
hemisphere southern broils amidst
cordial buttoned up cheesecake
chit chat

So polite.


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