Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It seems like so many memories are returning to this yellow post. Like people imprisoned they return to a promised land. Lots of things to unravel, to unknot, lay out straight like a long string. Sometimes with a smile and grin I'll greet these memories that seem to be me.


I got my first Chirstmas card addressed to my name, Tortelli. It came from someone I hadn't heard from in a long time. The Ghost of Charles Bukowski wished me Season's Greetings.
"Thanks, Charles," I said to the sky.

The Fight

There was a fight outside the One Lucky. Two strangers clashed. Broken beer bottles cut up each man's face. The police came, but the men had run off. Trails of criss-crossed blood were left behind. The cops questioned the bartender 'Beer Mugs' Moran, but he had eyes that went bad whenever there was trouble. The rest of the witnesses were just as blind. The policemen shrugged their shoulders and said good night to 'Beer Mugs'. With a nod he served another round.


Tonight I drive with a fallen angel in my car. I don't know her name and she wont say. We listen to music on the radio. Talk a little. Maybe she'a got too big a secret to tell. First time ever with this fallen angel, deep bruises under her eyes. I'll go to someplace where she can hide and I can drive away.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

53 years old
Sometimes there's a blindness in my mind's eye
I see darkness in a mortal sky
Rays of light turn away
Bend in this absent universe
I'll rise up like a city somewhere
But here a morning sun awakes me,
Awaits an answer from a restful eye
In desperate time I pray mercy to another day
Darkness creeping as blind as a mortal sky

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I walk alone through a rusted part of town. The last jobs and men left long ago. I turn up my collar against a raspy wind; make a weary dance to a working man's song. Thankful for a final drink--a few days away from this empty part of town.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I sit at a computer and drink cans of diet coke. Popcorn touches these salted lips. With frustrated fingers I can barely type to a yellow screen...a post seems like a distant dream; that oasis hidden by a desert storm. So I sit with blood shot eyes as an eeriness turns inside. Thunder Road plays on the radio: one last chance to make it real. It's late so soon, past 3am. Time to undress a cool bed and sleep long in this empty room.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Kiss

Johnny the Kid almost had a first kiss. A date held him tight--he felt the heave of her chest. When his lips almost touched soft skin she pulled away and moved along, shadowy as innocence in the night. Johnny the Kid instead had heart ache with a hurt deep inside. But he was too young to know she was young too.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2 Posts

The Night
A cripple and a fat man sit at a stripper's bar. Wasting away. Wasting away. A lover's song plays. Pearly whites. The Devil's eyes in blond disguise. A young tattoo slithers and peels as snake skin. "Cheap round for all!" The fat man cries to empty chairs. In this lonely place the cripple lauds his wanting tongue: "Before," he says. "I died in a crash that took half of me." The time is late in retreat down smoking stairs. The heavy one helps the disabled's descent. A story as a stage stripped from a human page.

The Kid
Johnny the Kid had a fifth wheel inside his head. Sometimes it would get out of place. It'd get jammed and get stuck. His life a mess. He'd think:
I want winter in fall
The summer as a burning place
I haven't seen Johnny since he was a kid, but I wish him the best: that crazy wheel jammed inside his head

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wings for Thursday Prompt
I'll walk and walk on an autumn night, early winter
In between these seasons I'll stroll, alone I contemplate
This heavy coat
A wool cap pulled over my eyes British style
These hoping hands resting in lined pockets
I'll look up to points of light like gleaming crystals
At peace I'll be with my human self
Someday I wonder too about this retiring life
Where will I be when early winter turns?
With snowy wings I'll fly in peace
My breath as ghosts left behind

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


She survived on a minimum wage and misshapen men. They'd come sometimes late at night: staggering, slipping, tripping up from the One Lucky where they drank what ever cheap booze they could. She'd walk the worst of the rubber legs to the counter stools and sit them and then serve Pyrex coffee. They liked her smile, easy manner. Inside they knew she was just like them. Though it was understood she didn't drink and wouldn't want to be seen with their type in a social way. Word was she was saving up to get out of the Square Corner for good. But that word had been going around for a decade or so. In the meantime, she served mishapen men in porcelain cups and hoped for a Prince Charming on a neon night.
I sit in a chair Big and Easy, like the City of New Orleans
A friend of mine brought it from there
I never been to that crescent place
Where the French Quarter sings
A Creole dances under a jazzy moon
Someday it'll be Big and Easy, eating jambalaya in a place far from here

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Seen Fire and Ice
She's got cast iron eyes,
Ignited lips with a fiery kiss
I see her stare
Touch her hardness as red hot steel
Warm inside
Deathly eyes
Burn me, burn us, the white smoke rising
We need each other like fire needs ice

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tell Him

I sat in a Chinese restaurant and believed I was losing my sanity. Three a.m., steam rising. Hazy green tea leaves. My lonesome spirit debating this lost soul. Why am I the blogger I am? The darkness came late. Human flotsam squandered on a tiled floor. They walked from the night cold, these broken men: the bruised, the drugged, the desperate screams of DTs and spider walls. Ziggy played on the radio like an old Underwood. The ghost of Bukowski, the miasma of bad spirits on Szechuan riders. An old whore's fishnet stocking I imagined against my poetic legs. The waiters, tough like shark skin soup, barked in clipped East Asian tones. Time to go. Time to find a hardness of life in days past.

I made it to the One Lucky, the red neon sign crying in wisps of gaseous tears. The bar tender named 'Beer Mugs' Moran welcomed me.

"Long time no see. Whaddya have, Tortelli?"

"The usual," I replied. "A green pen, a yellow pad, and a tall glass of ginger-ale. Extra ice."

"Manny's been asking about you." Beer Mugs added.

"Yeah, sure. Tell him I'm home."