Gentlemen, beware


Beware, my friends
We watch you
We study you
We read your words for authenticity
We observe your taste for inflicting violence
We notice your pretending attitudes
We see your covered barbarism
Your guarded sentiment
Your arrogant judgment
Your disrespect
Your falsehood
Your condescension
Your pomposity
Your dislike
Your hate
Your crude objectifying mocking
Your ugly baseness

Gentlemen, make no mistake
We watch
We see
We comprehend.


Wild. Jammed. My mind is crammed, man. Packed, overcrowded. Thoughts, sardines lined up in a can. Smelly mackerel, gefilte fish feelings.  Pink salmon slalom run emotion. Tuna and olive oil filled and slammed. Tin can. Tin pan. Alley wrinkled, exotic vision. Bursting dirt dreams. High expectations. Low return. Low road goes nowhere. High road won’t exist. Just pave it over. Crazy baby, psycho child. Surreal moment, heavy lifting, arms get tired from so much strain. Strained intention, whispered hate. I’m just tired, that’s all. Don’t ask. Expect nothing. My feelings are my own business, not yours. Detach. Attach. Bother, don’t bother. It matters not. Take what you will. Crazy. Crazed. Jammed. Jam, jam candy man. Expect nothing.

Down My Mangled Mind


Down my mangled mind
You haunt the reaches
Of each tear
Each cut
Each bruising wound
You force the memories

Down my mangled breast
Your shrieking breath awaits
Scorching wind

Down my mangled hip
I fear your wrath
Punishing, blistering fright

Down my mangled thigh
You ease up
It’s cool
I try

Down my mangled foot
We start again
Hold me close
Loop back
To that stained mind
That grey cut
That unforgettable dismal place
Open, sucking torment



Finding Fury


What is hell but the fury in me? The hatred that can explode without warning. That self-immolation, that despicable, vile loathing that imprints an image into my cerebral cortex. I am not good enough, insists the graven image, that revolting torture carved on my flesh. I will always be less than I desire. Never happy. Unworthy. I turn to golden calves for wanton relief. But the truth is there for the remembering. It can cut me down at the knees. Its relentless driven message – directed, precise. It permits no escapes. I am useless. I am a waste of a human being, a waste of a living being. Let me descend into my own rot, make my appalling mistakes. Let the faults speak as loudly as my tattooed skin shrieks foul to a sick universe. This hell, this fury, this determined rip, this unyielding tear. This afflicted place.

The Mistake
Soak your pride in acid rain
Clip past the quick
Silence sentiment
Scrape the evidence from your fingertips
Drown uniqueness in categorical denial
Burn the prints
Gut a jealous turn
Cut and let fall your naiveté
Down, down
Till the budding branches
And all hell is happy

Messed Over


I just can’t control it lately. I’m messed up, messed over, crazed and running in circles, can’t figure it, so messed up. I suppose you’d never know it. Because you never guessed how difficult and savage the teen years were, how cruel. You can’t see me even now in this old, graying body. We only see ourselves; we know no one else’s despair. We don’t know each other, not really.



“[Sir Billy’s steel]

Billy was insistent. If Glory was ready to puke, he didn’t care. “Aw, come on,” he said with a nasty whine. “You know why we came out here. Don’t play all innocent with me.”

So much for chivalry. I’m tired and I just want to go home. The bleachers are damp. My foot aches.

He pulled her toward him and kissed her with an ugly impatient passion. “Stop it, Billy! Cut it out!” she demanded. He wouldn’t listen. He held her with one hand while the other pushed its way under her shirt to her bra. He shoved his hand under it and felt her naked breast. Gloria tried to pull back. I didn’t mean for anything like this to happen. I’m not ready for a boy like Billy.

She slapped at Billy’s face, and as she did, he suddenly let go. “No broad is worth this!” he snarled. She fell onto the bleacher seat. She hit her back and tumbled down the steel steps to the ground. She lay on the damp dark grass.

Billy was infuriated. He said, “I only went out with you on a bet to see if I could get you laid. You’ll never be popular. You’re a joke, always in la-la land. You’re probably a lesbian, that’s what everyone says.” Billy the Cruel walked away as though he were king conqueror of the world, back from a successful crusade. “I showed her,” he announced to the dark field and hidden woods. “Must be a lezzie.”

When he was gone, Glory pulled herself up off the ground and slowly limped through the field, past the diamond, past the carnival, past the gate, and home. She couldn’t remember ever feeling worse. Couldn’t recall a time when she felt less like the queen she had always imagined herself to be.

She closed the bathroom door, and with a dull razor she found in the drawer, cut fifteen slashes on her thighs and on her breasts. One slash for each year of my failure of a life.”




Sometimes my emotions sit right on my skin. Sometimes they stick in my brain. Sometimes my thoughts are so muddled with unidentifiable emotion that they flood my head and sweat my skin. I don’t know what I’m doing; I don’t know where I am. Where am I? Where the hell am I? Crazy. Strange. Strange, old friend, inscrutable strangeness, you’ve been with me a long time.

“How I hitched into Boston just the other day. How the glare of the sun in the trucker’s eyes had blinded him for a moment, how we’d almost crashed into the guard rail. It was lucky – he’d had his hand on my leg for balance; I grabbed the wheel and turned us back onto the pavement until he could recover his sight.

It’s pure luck I have a body so many men want to touch, so many seem to need. Like the guy on Tremont Street who confused me for a street walker, who offered me thirty bucks to have sex. When I said no, you’re confused old man, he looked sad as he walked away, as though he had missed the experience of a lifetime. I would have been so lucky to be with you, he seemed to be thinking.”

In this excerpt from PERSEPHONE IN HELL, teenage Glory is confused too. She’s wondering what her life amounts to. She can’t think of what she’s worth. Her thoughts are all muddled up, circling round and round that grey matter, searching for a way out. Circles never end; there’s no way out. It’s crazy, weird. Strange, damn strange. No way out.