Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Incredulity Tour Tour (parts one & dos) Diary, entry #3: Signage of the Times

Here I am with MsHellion, standing on the corner of Willow & Weird, the boyhood street of Louisville, Kentucky's most infamous native son: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. (Speed Limit 15? I think not!)

To say this was one of those misty-eyed moments one so rarely enjoys in life would be completely understating the point. If not for that niggling sobriety thing, I'd have cracked open a bottle of Wild Turkey and chugged heartily in tribute to one of the great influences of my artistic worldview.

Instead, I had a bracing cup of sassafras tea, and on the way out of town stopped in at the Wild Turkey distillery. There I proceeded to break the Wild Turkey, by reading selected poems from The Incredulity Tour to it, and interjecting the occasional "Who's the bitch, now?"

It was only after much closer examination, and a couple of strong hints from MsAPhillips that I realized I was actually riding a barrel carefully decorated to resemble a real turkey. My bad!

(Photos by MsAPhillips)

8-word poem

Are things
Better now
Than they
Were then?


Those readers familiar with my poem "It Will Be a Train" know that I value a fresh-smelling public restroom. Well, Saturday I took the Caltrain from my hotel just south of downtown San Mateo to San Francisco proper. While I enjoyed the forty-minute jaunt, perched on the upper tier of the double decker train car, I must object to the stench that emanated from the WC below.

It was a particularly rank brand of rancid piss, so strong that I had to choke back dry heaves at least thrice while trying to keep my aim true - yes, I actually had to use these facilities myself - through watering eyes. Mission accomplished (somehow), I repaired back to my seat on the upper deck.

Moments later I spied a middle-aged couple of German tourists (you can tell by the sandals) entering the same restroom together, where they remained for a good twenty minutes. What the frig?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

8-word poem

Do you remember
When you called
Me "darling"?

Friday, July 29, 2005

8-word poem

So you think
You know
The real me?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

iTuneage - recent baker's dozen

1. "Honey Child" - Bad Company
2. "The Power and the Passion" - Midnight Oil
3. "Tear Apart" - The Makers
4. "Blue Turns to Grey" - The Rolling Stones
5. "Burn" - Deep Purple
6. "Hungry Eyes" - Eric Carmen
7. "Georgy Girl" - The Seekers
8. "Loneliness" - Horslips
9. "Betrayal (Sorcerer Theme)" - Tangerine Dream
10. "Conquistador" - Procol Harum
11. "If Looks Could Kill" - Rodney Crowell
12. "Here Comes the Night" - Them, featuring Van Morrison
13. "I Wanna Be With You" - The Raspberries

8-word poem

Why didn't you
Want a more
Successful man?

8-word poem

Are you the one
I've been waiting for?

8-word poem

Do I make
You feel
Like a girl?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

8-word poem

California dreaming:
Terracotta roofs
And Spanish
Street signs.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Incredulity Tour Tour, part dos.

Believe it or not, my sojourn out west has spawned an impromptu second leg of The Incredulity Tour Tour!

Pics and observations of my first-ever visit to the Bay Area will follow shortly. Apologies to all who have missed my usually clockwork-like blogging.

Monday, July 25, 2005

8-word poem

If you're going
To San Francisco,
Be sure.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Hating the "goodbye" part, but looking forward to the "hello"

So, today is my last day at this freelance gig. The one where I finally had my own office, with windows. It has been great in every way, and I'm sorry to be leaving, though the lure of a full-time job with benefits proved too attractive.

I guess I'll never know if the offer to "make things permanent down the road" (upwards of a year from now) would have ever materialized, but God knows I've been handed that line before (astute readers of this blog will recall my six-month stint at the place that rhymes with "schmotham" and the full-time job that never was there).

Tomorrow I get on a plane headed for San Francisco. It will be my first time ever in that city, one which I have dreamed of visiting since 1984. La Bouche Douce will show me around a bit over the course of the weekend, and then on Monday in nearby San Mateo I begin training for my new job, which carries the title: Production Specialist. Is that spiffy, or what?

It's exciting to be starting a new career, though it's always difficult for me to end things. As a child I hated finishing a glass of soda at dinner knowing that there would be no refills, and the idea of an empty glass was too much to bear. The fact that it took me 25 years to complete my B.A. is also indicative of conclusion trauma (pursuing two master's degrees directly following points to my subsequent horror of separating from academia).

I am thrilled to finally be headed to San Francisco, though, and at a point in my life when I have the perspective and faculties to enjoy it (not to mention the wonderful company). I will definitely try to hit the famous City Lights book store, and perhaps visit the Haight (am I pronouncing that correctly? Hate?). Not sure if they still have cable cars or not - my main notion of the city comes from watching Rice-a-Roni commercials as a youngster.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

8-word poem

Everyone reading
The new
Harry Potter
But me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Farewell, "Sandals" Habib

You, the guy who flagrantly disregards the dress code here, the place where I've temped for lo these past five weeks (according to my time sheets). Now I am moving on.

Our bathroom habits were remarkably similar in that we only crossed paths at the sink - you on the left, me on the right. Looking like Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast, but without the violence or street smarts, you dried your hands and face with exactly three paper towels each and every time.

When I glanced down to see if the industrial hand wash was sudsing, you stole away on your sandals with the calm of a ninja.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Since it is dry,
Give me your hand
Before I am old.

Loving me for me—
As it should be.

My dreams, my oasis:
Working class autopsy
In invisible ink.

I’ll thank you not
To feed my dog;
There’s nothing to see.

Monday, July 18, 2005


The sound
Of sound
You thought

You never
Had it
So good

Discard that
Sad optimism
So futile

You've been
Broken like
A horse

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Dreaming of the someone
You could be

Four-in-hand, plus fours
It's all good

Just pucker up and blow
All night long

Saturday, July 16, 2005

8-word poem

But if I
Don't kill
Who will?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Inside the Blogger's Studio

I asked the hilarious and rant-prone Yournamehere to interview me. I will answer the questions shortly, but first, I am contractually obligated to explain the rules to this inquisitive round-robin.

Here are the instructions:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "Interview me." "Blow me" or "Eat me" are not acceptable substitutes.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different. I'll post the questions in the comments section of this post.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1. Besides the people you hang out with, what was your favorite part of your recent trip to my hometown, Louisville, KY? The Chocolate Long John donuts from Nord's.

2. Would you rather have all of your poetry published in the world's most prestigious literary journal or be allowed to read a poem on "Late Show with David Letterman"? Explain. Definitely being published in the world's most prestigious literary journal. Like many poets, my ego is colossal. Prestige would more than make up for the fact that I will never make dime one from my poetry. Besides, as much as I love David Letterman's caustic and irreverent humor, reading a poem on his show would leave me wide open to his rapier wit. And that would probably hurt my feelings.

3. What is your favorite thing about living in NYC? No car needed.

4. What is your least favorite? The noise.

5. If you were forced to go back in time and spend one day as an infamous historical villain, who would it be and why? If Caligula counts, then him; the man knew how to throw an orgy. If he's not technically a villain, then I'd go with Jack the Ripper. Always liked the name Jack, plus he had a medical degree (or so it is supposed).

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Bitter dregs—
Your last comment
Hits my throat:

A room-temperature
Rolling Rock.

Pregnant pause;

And it’s like
Airplane food

The bottom
Dropping out.

For Posterity... SNIFF!

The Incredulity Tour Tour

FRI 7/8 7:00 pm
InKY Reading Series
"Stranger Than Fiction"
The Rudyard Kipling
422 W. Oak Street
Louisville, Kentucky

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Me a Meat Poet?

I have to say I've never really heard the term before, and am anxious to find out exactly what a Meat Poet is. However, it doesn't seem like a bad thing, especially as described by Richard Lopez in this extremely kind post about my blog and the two poems I have featured in the tiny (fourth paragraph down).

Many thanks to Gina Myers for pointing me to this wonderful piece of news.

8-word poem

Stranger with
A resume:

Your eyes

iTuneage - recent baker's dozen

1. "No Regrets" - The Walker Brothers
2. "The Kids Are Alright" - The Who
3. "Sister Havana" - Urge Overkill
4. "Chain Gang" - Sam Cooke
5. "A Summer Song" - Chad & Jeremy
6. "Jean and Dinah" - Robert Mitchum
7. "Life Won't Wait" - Rancid
8. "Here Comes Your Man" - The Pixies
9. "Lounge Act" - Nirvana
10. "Foi Na Cruz" - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
11. "Martial Law" - Lou Reed
12. "Rock Bottom" - Kiss
13. "Dominique" - The Singing Nun

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Incredulity Tour Tour Diary, entry #2

Back in Brooklyn, New York. Never was a pack of street kids playing in an open fire hydrant such a welcome sight (and only because I am such a nervous traveler).

The Incredulity Tour Tour - which was a smashing success - is now over. The one and only stop: Louisville, Kentucky. The people of Louisville (correct pronunciation: loo-uh-vuhl) were utterly charming and wonderfully responsive to my poetry stylings.

Though I must question their taste and sanity based on the latter, the former characteristic is no surprise. MsHellion, Dr. Chingasa, Dottcomments, Eek!, Bethmerica, and Yournamehere have all done The Bluegrass State proud. It's hard to imagine friendlier folk.

Pictured above is the full-color cover artwork of The Incredulity Tour, photo by A Phillips. Many thanks to her for piloting the tour bus. Many more of her great pics documenting the event to follow.

Those who missed out (i.e. everyone who wasn't at the InKY reading) can get their own copy of the chapbook for a mere $6 (plus $2 postage if you need it mailed) by contacting me: The tour may be over, but there's plenty of incredulity to go around.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Incredulity Tour Tour Diary, entry #1

The drive down here was somewhat taxing - especially when I was behind the wheel (who knew hands at 10 and 2 was so out?). Guess I'm just a born pedestrian, which explains so many uninterrupted years of living in New York.

Arrived in Louisville in time for a short nap, a bracing shower, and a quick trip over to The Rudyard Kipling for the InKY reading. The Rud, as it is affectionately referred to, is a charming venue with a great stage and sound system. Eek!, co-curator of InKY, is doing a tremendous job of promoting this fine reading series judging by last night's large and enthusiastic crowd.

There's nothing quite like Kentucky hospitality. Bethmerica emailed me a couple of days prior to the reading, wishing me a safe journey. MsHellion and Dr. Chingasa sat with us and later introduced us to their favorite Mayan restaurant. Mole + duck = inspired eating. Discuss and repeat!

I felt quite relaxed as I read from my two chapbooks, a selection from the tiny, and a brand-new poem, "The History of Fireworks and Parades," written especially for the occasion. As serendipity would have it, poet Erica Kaufman's roommate is a Kentucky native and was in attendance. A long-distance call was placed to Yournamehere at the appropriate point in the proceedings, so he could hear the first public reading of "You Will Be Pleasantly Surprised," a poem dedicated to him. He is clearly missed by his Louisville posse.

A late-night tour of downtown Louisville, courtesy Dottcomments, uncovered many unique sights. Photos to follow.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

On the Road

Tonight we begin our journey to Louisville, Kentucky. There on Friday evening I will be reading my poetry at The InKY Reading Series, as part of "Stranger Than Fiction" night. I'm very excited to be taking my act on the road.

In hand, thanks to the awesome efforts of graphic artist/poet/all around great guy Jim Fastiggi, I will have copies of my brand-new chapbook The Incredulity Tour. Which is only fitting, as this trip has been dubbed "The Incredulity Tour." Technically, it is "The Incredulity Tour Tour," I suppose.

Regardless, we are thrilled to be hours away from embarking on this sojourn.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Dottcomments' mention of Chacos in a recent blog entry reminded me of that other c-h shoe style: the Chukka Boot.

Also frequently referred to as the Desert Boot, the Chukka is the shoe-boot of my youth. Along with Sears Toughskins, they defined a generation.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

iTuneage - recent baker's dozen

1. "Cherub Rock" - The Smashing Pumpkins
2. "Always On My Mind" - Willie Nelson
3. "We Are the World" - U.S.A. for Africa
4. "Jet Airliner" - Paul Pena
5. "Surrender" - Cheap Trick
6. "Born Slippy" - Underworld
7. "The Tracks of My Tears" - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
8. "St. Thomas" - Sonny Rollins
9. "What I Like About You" - The Romantics
10. "Rock 'n Roll, Hoochie Koo" - Rick Derringer
11. "FFF" - Public Image Ltd.
12. "C'mon Everybody" - NRBQ
13. "Lo Boob Oscillator" - Stereolab


There are people
Who think
Roger Moore
Was the best
James Bond.

Sounds about right

My ideal job, according to, is: shoplifter.

Monday, July 04, 2005

8-word poem

Did you hear
The one about
The loner?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

8-word poem

Fireworks, parades:
Do two
More idiotic things

Saturday, July 02, 2005

8-word poem

Life: It's
The ticket—
But void where

Friday, July 01, 2005

8-word poem

Can't you just
See it:
A life explained.