Writings on the Shithouse Wall
Good Time Gals Bad Time Boys

Be My Therapist

I want to tell you everything.
I want to be vulnerable ala Brenee Brown
I want to cure my toxic masculinity
By embracing my “feminity”
And exposing trauma so deep you can drown.

After all, you have the degrees
A veritable mistress of butterflied psyches
Schooled in pin boards and dichtomies
joined on the patriarchy.
Motherhood meets mastery and empathy.
Listening without judgement
While leaving me to a jury of my own peers,
Erected egotic edifices eroded by the winds
Blowing through cryptic crossroads
that challenge me to slay my father.

Be my therapist.
I want to tell you everything.
Let me cry into your arms.
And hold me with the strength
that I will never know.

Creator of Worlds

Creator of Worlds

You make art.
You summon emotion from a featureless plane.
Your slender hands guide indelable ichor.
through unforgiving curves
Where perpective means everything
And assuptions nothing.

A picture is worh a thousand poems
Regardless of the brevity of the imagery
I can describe a hand with allusions and allegory
But you start with a base of originality
You can sketch a hand that people can see
The same way we all see hands.
You can stipple in textures
Showing the callousness of over worked fingers.


A funeral flower for a wedding
Sat in a vase atop the mantle.
Next to a stone statuette of a Bastet goddess.
A smashed picture frame
had fallen into the pit of the fireplace.
Soot smeared the white of the bride’s emulsified white dress.

Dumbly, I tried to reassemble the frame.
I tried to smooth the shards along their jagged lines.
I tried to fix the insufferable mess it had become.

“Relax.” She said to me.
“It’s just a picture.”
I looked over my shoulder and found myself alone.
The apartment had been stripped of all belongings.
The flower, the statue and the frame had remained untouched.
A sacred shrine of what was that I refused to pack.
Until the last minute.
When the land lord awaited outside for the key.

The statue of the Egyptian cat
had been brought from her childhood.
Tall and black.
It perched on its narrow haunches
And wore a regal collar of hieroglyphics.
I marvelled at why she had left it.
“Relax.” She said to me.
“It’s just something I picked up in a garage sale.”
Again, I was still alone.

The flower still smelled sweet.
It’s stark white flower curled like cupped hands.
And the jutting pistil bristled with golden flecks.
I inhaled deeply.
It smelled of her.
Even through all this,
It had never stopped blooming.
“Relax.” she said.
“It’s just a flower.”

A Poem About Beauty

Here are three most beautiful things I’ve ever heard,
about drinking, whores and excrement:
“Write about something else, for fuck’s sake.”
“You’ll never be anything but above average.”
“I don’t want to be married to Bukowski.”

I’ll take that advice.
I won’t sing about the sluices of my city
clogged with the vomited insights
of self-destructive escapades.
I won’t whisper
about illusory dreams
dissipating from over-flowing ashtrays,
like acrid snakes that bite the eyes of the stubbornly hopeful.

I’ll plagiarize Byron.

I’ll write about a flower.

It’s white.
It’s got a few green leaves.
It reminds me of a perfume
Bought from an Arabian street peddler
on the clean side of Faneuil Hall.
It stinks cheap.

I Love You, Mom

I love you, Mom,
As you panhandle for golden lollies
and scab cigarettes off passersby.

You were beautiful, once.
You were as pretty as the faded floral dress,
hanging, gimballed, off your bony shoulders.

Unlike most sons, I see you every day.
I watch you bleach and fade and loosen.
I watch your flowers go a little more gray.
I pass by your usual bench
as I walk to work.
You still wear the fuzzy, mint green slippers,
From a Christmas,
eight years ago.
You occasionally bark crude solicitations at the young men.

Yet, you never solicit me.
Even, if your milky eyes only perceive
a motion blur of pinstripes and briefcases and silver wrist watches.
You never bum a smoke.
You never ask for change.
You never say, “Thank you,”
when I press a fifty into your thin hand.

I love you, Mom.