urinating in my uncle’s toilet
my penis like secretariat
in the Belmont Stakes
headed to a 31 length win
“moving, “ as CBS announcer Chic Anderson would say,
“like a tremendous machine,”
except i don’t have hall of fame canadian jockey
ron turcotte to guide it home.
in kinda diner
in their hometown of oakland
hear green day come on the p.a.
“i’m in oakland in a kinda diner,
and green day is on.”
“what song?” he says.
“welcome to paradise.”
this slightly upscale diner
in the castro section of san francisco
my folks and i went to on my dear jill stengel's recommendation
before the boog reading a few blocks away
at books & bookshelves,
over dinner the clash's "lost in the supermarket" comes on over the p.a.
and i tell my dad about the clash
and how my first naropa summer,
20 years ago,
all the writing and poetics department boys fell in crush with the same girl,
in from london,
and how that summer,
in my room in the chautauqua lodge in the flatirons
on my cd boombox,
early mornings and late at night,
i would listen to "lost in the supermarket" on permanent repeat
while readying and unwinding from my day
because of her.
on the #4 bus
by the back exit door
there's the girl in a 49ers jersey
in tight real blue denim blue jeans
i love, love, love her
oh so very much.
’60s exhibit at the oakland museum of california
(when i'm in oakland i think of trane devore)
an anyone but LBJ for president button reads
A.B.J. in ’68
no wine at the liquor store by the bart
which only sells beers and snacks
on time for shabbat dinner in berkeley after #65 bus from bart
my uncle went insane last night,
so i called up new flights on my macbook
to cut my trip short
my mother said you shouldn't go home,
let's talk about this in the morning
my father said if you want to go home, you should go home
my mom's the only person i wanna be with from this group right now
so i stay behind,
push my suitcase 10 minutes to the nearest shopping mall,
to the cvs,
two-liter pepsi products on sale, 99 cents each,
and a subway sandwich,
can't figure out how to watch the tv,
search for the local station, an oakland station,
to hear a's-tigers playoff game on the radio on my macbook,
finally find the national broadcast by turning on nyc espn radio station
my uncle has the thermostat set to 77 degrees
so it actually blows hot forced air off and on through his central air system
to make sure the temperature stays at a steady 72 degrees.
50 shades of fucked up.
my favorite time in my aunt and uncle's house
was blowing off sukkot at my cousins,
lowering the temperature to 67 degrees,
leaving the backyard door off of the kitchen open,
and cranking the kitchen fan.
if only i figured out how to work the tv without the remote,
instead of listening to the a's and giant's playoff games through the computer on the radio.
picture this, true shit:
it's 10:15 at night,
my uncle won't let me watch saturday night live at 11:30,
or my folks anything at 10:15,
so they went off to bed
an hour-an-a-half before they ever go off to bed in back home.
i stay up.
my aunt screwed up taking her pills today,
like my dad a few days earlier.
i tell her, like i told him,
that i've been taught
by pharmacists and doctors
that you have certain times you take yr pills
and you can't make up doses,
you just skip yr dose
and get back on sked the next day.
like my dad she ignores me.
she asks my uncle to turn on the tv
so she can watch tv to keep her up
while she stays awake to take her next dose of pills.
he keeps urging her into the bedroom,
so he won't have to put the tv on with me there.
she says she's gonna fall asleep in bed
and forget to take her pills.
he says he'll keep her up.
she eventually relents,
pauses as she walks by me,
and says "this is ridiculous."
a few minutes later i turn the tv on,
it again saying hit ok so the tv and cable connect,
but even though i can't find the remote
this time i've seen that the cable box itself has an ok button on it.
the box turns on to channel 210, fox news,
the only channel we were allowed to watch on our last stay,
and only glen beck then.
i need to reach a low number to get to nbc and snl.
i arrow up on the box,
figuring they have like 300 channels.
as the number passes 300 i keep going up.
he must have 400 i say,
then 500, 600, 700.
in the mid-thousands it freezes.
i shut the box off,
turn it back on,
hit the ok button again,
and begin again,
this time going down in channels,
discovering channel 3 is nbc,
keep the volume crazy low until snl, before my mother calls me into their room.
"hey dad," i say,
"i figured out how to turn the tv on, i'm gonna watch saturday night live."
"david," he says, "please, please, turn it off."
there's something about listening to hole's live through this album
when yre wishing to commit justifiable homicide
that alternately tempers and inflames.
please know that you are loved
to new york
and all points where they know you
to some point
do know how these people treat you
and feel you deserve to be treated
and that most anyone of them
"um, yeah, fuck that"
and open their doors,
and their beds,
and their wallets,
and their cupboards,
cuz's last patient ran late,
so no time for her to drop and wait for me while i grab food,
i opt for her to drop me at the recently opened old brooklyn bagel & deli in oakland
i've gone there my last two days in California.
the first time i went to the register to order i said,
"I grew up in Brooklyn,
I live in New York City.
I'll tell you how they are,"
and laughed with the cashier.
i order the same thing,
a toasted garlic bagel,
with lox spread,
lettuce, tomatoes, and onions,
skip the large chai because i'm broke and
i just refilled my water bottle at my cousins'
and wheel my bags three blocks back to bart to thea irport.
the last time i wished your baseball team well
is the last time i'll wish your baseball team well.
who thinks yankee manager joe girardi,
who has four siblings,
is a selfish bastard
for keeping his dead father on ice
since last saturday,
when the yankees had an off-day on tuesday?
"Girardi will attend the funeral service Monday in East Peoria, Ill.,
which would be the travel day after Game 2 of the AL Championship Series."
9 days after his father died,
in the next series.
if you just read it
you'll know what it's all about
you won't need me to explain it
just pay attention
it ain't very hard
just be a bit considerate
in long island,
wilders for dinner,
chinese food at so far, so good.
toward the end of our meal,
her dishes already taken away,
her leftovers wrapped up,
kimberly points to the bowl of noodles in front of her,
"do you want me to have them taken away
so we can have more space? kimberly says to me.
i take a quick look,
"nah, i'm good," i tell her.
"i don't think you understood me," she says
"i want them to take the noodles away so i'm not tempted to eat them."
i pick up the bowl,
whisk it in front of her face
set it in front of me,
grab a noodle and dip it in the duck sauce.
when i visit my parents
i visit the entenmann's discount store,
i just come for the bread,
not the chocolate chip cookies,
the crazy discounted arnold's light wheat bread,
$4.69 by me in Gristede's,
here three loaves for five dollars,
yes, here three loaves for five dollars.
i buy five (one for my folks).
free movie day
and we're going into the city,
because my folks have two doctors' appointments
and i need to get bloodwork done,
and then we can make a 1:45 argo by my apartment,
two adults free,
pay for one senior.
the girl in the black tights
has got the palest skin,
the kinda skin
that requires a brimmed blacked sashed sun hat.
the girl in the black tights
is in a turn-around-
i hope no one's walking behind me,
because i'm gonna turn around
i went to one event today
and another was only two blocks away
so i went to two events today
i think i'm good for a while
cvs, 3:46 p.m.
5 diet coke 2-litr bottles, 97¢ each
cvs, 3:49 p.m.
2 diet dr. pepper 2-liter bottles, 97¢ each
2 diet coke 2-litr bottles, 97¢ each
2 coke zero 2-litr bottle, 97¢ each
exterminator appointment today
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
to find the moths eating the wool sweaters
so my alarm rings at 8:20
just in case the doorbell won't wake me,
and start to watch homeland episodes
to catch me up on the new season
i'm gonna say just say stop emailing me
i can't tell what's going on,
what's the tone.
we'll talk soon enough
then i'll know what you're saying.
"Still ahead [on The View] …
Alanis Morissette's performing her latest hit"
her latest hit.
So nice to see
your postcard on my kitchen table
as i begin my night time rituals—
a few slices of light wheat bread,
often nothing on them,
so i can rip the crusts off
and eat the bread in little bb's.
the film she's out of my league is set in your city, pittsburgh.
i like it
and i like you.
cvs, 5:03 p.m.
multigrain cheerios, $3.69
orange powerade, $1.49
half-gallon skim milk, $1.99
gristedes, 5:26 p.m.
store brand, from the deli slicer, yellow americna cheese, 1-1/4 pounds, $5.87
store brand, half-gallon diet iced tea, $1.49
smucker's natural peanut butter, no salt, $4.59
reese's pieces, $1.79
axelrod peach light yogurt, 60¢
we published your work
you signed up for our email list
now you want off of our list,
your inbox is "overflowing"
just hit the delete key,
the overflowing will end soon enough.
every time i hear a character in any show tell their partner,
"don't worry, i'm not going anywhere,"
i think they should worry,
because i said that once, too.
there's talk of a kurt and courtney broadway musical
and the first reaction is a bit of a yikes
i think of all the shows i've seen since i was a little kid,
and how there are capable people on broadway
(or thinking about working on broadway)
who can make this happen right.
does that mean they will be the ones given a chance to do so?
does it mean it won't become such a big bloated excess of a budget
that, to make their dollars back,
they may feel they have to water it down
for the middle american tourists who sustain broadway year-in and year-out?
but i do think it's possible for this to reach broadway
and be a good show that folks like me,
nirvana and broadway fans,
will be proud of
and not a longshot possibility either.
a few days ago,
talking about the impending hurricane sandy,
my dad said "go out on your terrace,
and lay your bicycle down,"
so today i put my cell phone in my pocket,
in case the terrace door locks behind me somehow,
put my haven't-rode-it-since-the-last-millennium 10-speed on its side,
took the mannequin head i found years ago outside of the high school of fashion industries
off of one of the handlebars where i kept it to spook imaginary onlookers,
and brought her inside so she wouldn't fly into someone.
rain isn't too loud against my air conditioner
wind bows my big-bedroom window
power's still on
the only dvds i own are less than zero and an elvis costello videos collection
(i just realized they're both elvis costello related,
less than zero named after the costello song of the same name)
so i look through my vhs tapes,
grab one labeled,
you guessed it,
and it's a five-plus year-old tape
with the last episode of the gilmore girls
followed by the last episode of veronica mars.
a while later eject the tape,
pull out the tab.
my cable out,
all of the shows i dvr'd had only sound, no picture.
today, my cable up and running again,
all of them had the picture, too.
i think it's because i'm a good son,
or something like that.