last night to bed
i see the film the bodyguard has 90 minutes left
can’t make it, too tired
catch dawson’s creek
(pacey just kissed joey for the first time yesterday,
and i wanted to see what came next,
although i know what comes next)
and at the end it says the bodyguard is on next,
and i watch sports morning show,
and then tune in for the final half hour of the bodyguard
and cry five minute before i’m supposed to,
conditioned by so many viewings of this movie that i will always love.
i don’t really ask for much
but i like it when i get it
you offered me a book
after offering me a drink
and then paying for my meal
and then today a lengthy thank you email
i wanna call yr folks and tell them thanks.
ian and i are in the kitchen at a small gathering with a couple of others and this guy from naropa, chris luna, was on my left. The luna guy is a combination of luna, himself a ferocious talker who knows everything, and chris stroffolino, a ferocious talker who knows everything, particularly music. the luna-stroffolino guy doesn’t stop talking, as i keep turning the pages of the book in my hands and get a paper cut, and decent blood flow as i turn each page without reading, just to stay away from the discussion so i don’t kill luna-stroffolino. finally there’s a pause, and i keep hoping no one engages him, especially ian. then ian engages him.
i am telling ian how the entry in timeout for this club restaurant/club baby jupiter doesn’t list their cross streets. (in reality, the club, closed for a few years now, used to be on stanton between ludlow and allon streets. in the dream it seems more like avenue a across from the park, like between E.7th st. and st. mark’s pl.) ian and i are in the room off the kitchen in audrey tatou’s apartment, that french movie actress who has huge brown eyes and starred in the film amelie. ian and she start talking about the huge wicker basket she has on the floor. the basket is sort of basonet-shaped but without the depth. ian talks about where he got his and how he keeps his cds in it. she says how she’s been thinking of doing that, too. i tell her she can push the cds to the right and let the baby sleep on the left.
in big hall in nyc,
seems sorta s.i. ferry waiting area-ish,
they’re announcing some nfl thing,
i think new hall of famers are to my left in the front toward the stage,
someone has the exact old new voice sign that was painted on cardboard in our old school newspaper office
i want to get it from him,
but have to pee and go do a bathroom search
see an open fridge
and go to close it and see a maid putting away groceries
ask where a bathroom is,
she says upfront.
i walk there and everything’s over
and new voice guy is gone.
mayor bloomberg recognizes me from the presidential announcement the other day
and says it’s nice to have a new yorker here,
i’m wearing a grey suit,
which makes me think we’re in cleveland.
i go to the bathroom
and it’s labeled after one of the boroughs,
i’m glad you got yr minidisc player back
from our good friends at the u.s. postal service
i was going to insure it
but the post office had closed
and i didn’t have to go out again
(not for six days)
so i left it to chance
(thank you chance)
gilmore girls is progressing
until its end
we all know what’s to come
and though i know
that luke and lorelai will be paired once again
i want to go there
and go there
and go there again.
waiting for nathaniel
at the chelsea square diner
i call up medicine shoppe
to renew one of my scrips
and the woman answers “rite aid pharmacy, can I help you?”
and i think i heard her wrong,
i tell her i want to renew a scrip,
and she asks me for my last name,
but my pharmacy always asked me for my renewal number,
and i ask her is this medicine shoppe,
and she tells me no this is rite aid,
what happened i say,
paul closed the store and sold us all his prescriptions,
and i hang up.
i don’t wanna be with a chain again,
they don’t need my business,
don’t need my cash and carry,
so it’s time to pharmacy shop again,
where are you
i haven't heard back from you
why do i keep havin' to check in,
first i send an email
and a few days later another one
and then i call yr home and work numbers
it's the same all the time
and i never understand why
when you tell me you've been busy,
when the truth is that no one's that busy,
how hard is it to make a phone call
even one to say you're too busy to talk right now
even one where you ask if everything is ok.
sent another gossip item about the view to my sister
please don’t tell anyone that i tape it everyday
so on my non-work days (everyday) i can sleep as late as i want
it’s gotten more interesting with rosie there (um, o’donnell, hello)
not that i like her,
she’s kind of a bully,
but bullies help the plot move along,
everyone knows that.
i’m the host of the oscars
and it’s taking me a long time to get ready.
for some reason i’m doing it from my seat in the crowd,
about five rows deep.
next to me,
with someone i know,
are giant cue cards with jokes on them.
i put on my pants and shirt,
and they fit fine
but my pant legs are sewn together in one spot at the calves.
i go backstage
and cut off matthew perry on the way to the lady producer who picked me.
she’s busy, but the seamstress is there and fixes it.
i walk toward the stage,
but still need my tie and have to pee.
i go into some back room
while a techie guy is at the other end of the room.
it looks like a projectionist’s area from a high school auditorium.
so leave and head to a different part of manhattan,
grand central station i think,
wearing my oscar’s outfit.
once there i go outside
and then realize i need to get back,
and want to cab,
but only have two singles in my oscar pants,
so i go back in and take the subway to union square to host the oscars.
once back, i realize wouldn’t it be cool
to do a whole new monologue that none of the producers have ever heard?
but more importantly,
there’re billions watching this show,
i have to mention boog city.
another gossip item sent to my sister about the view
this one from page six,
and they’re saying that rosie wants her own show
so she’ll have ownership
and a lot more dough,
i hope she doesn’t leave,
even though she’s a bully,
because bullies help the plot move along,
everyone knows that.
boog city is finally getting a bit electronic
i can now make pdfs again
(years after everyone else could, but what can you do)
it’s so easy, it’s hard to believe
so offering pdf subs to everyone,
which is like 40 people so far,
i hope the file’s not so big that it clogs up their email accounts.
set my alarm to meet my mom at the doctor early,
working on four hours sleep without four more i want now,
but mom has clogged arteries, maybe,
and wants somebody to be there for the test,
’cause the doc says sometimes people need help getting home afterward,
and i like my sleep
and i like not leaving my apartment
but i like my mom more.
you can finally play
it makes me feel really pleased
sorta like the bees knees
no, just like the bees knees
i tell my sister to remember the ides of march
even though i never quite know what it is,
brutus killing caesar?
and she puts it into an email she's writing
the beginning of the film kuffs (1993) has an extended,
in apartment dancing scene,
where a shirtless george kuffs,
played by christian slater,
and his girlfriend, maya carlton,
played by the model milla jovovich,
who’s in a white tanktop and matching panties,
and they’re dancing ’round his apartment,
tickling each other
this may be as good an opening to any film ever.
i get an email about the
1st annual, 1st ever nyc anarchist book fair at judson church
read it as
1st annual, 1st ever nyc antichrist book fair at judson church
if you don't tell me your name
then i won't send it to you
i'm not a fan of anonymity
it’s the fourth anniversary of the war
and nathaniel is hosting a day of readings
i’m out in long island and i can’t make it
but i probably wouldn’t have gone anyway
it’s nine to five
and i sleep until at least noon
though i don’t like the war
and i do like nathaniel.
i like your name
the way they both flow together
the way they're like no names i've never seen alone and together
it's something i think of everytime that i see it pop up in my email inbox
this guy from my college paper
who was pretty damn annoying
had his obituary in newsday today
and following his name it said
“noted for streisand shout-out,”
and it brought up one of my favorite games
how when walking after a reading with a big crowd of poets
and no one has an idea as to where we should eat and drink
and no one’s paying attention to the traffic
how invariably there’s one near miss
one or more members of the throng eluding a motor vehicle
and i always wonder what the headline on the story would be
if the dozen of us were hit by cars
and some lived and some died,
would the word poet be mentioned in the headline?
it might make it into the text,
“they had just left a reading at st. mark’s church,”
and fall beneath a headline like
cab kills six, injures five on second avenue
came home today
after leaving on the 14th
nice to be home
sent files ahead
i'm so sorry (potentially)
starbucks has a new record label
and it’s signed paul mccartney
and i’m not sorry (potentially) about that
because i know that you don’t care
the article said,
that starbucks is talking to
that starbucks is talking to
about signing to their new label
and that’s why I’m so sorry (potentially)
see rachel levitsky on W.31st street below 8th,
which spurs me to get in touch with rod sperry,
even though she is wrong rachel.
i get in to cab
rod drives in back
and he switches into front passenger seat,
which has a smaller driving set-up,
after a while i am headed crosstown on 14th street bus
to work on paper with sean cole.
bus stops at 8th avenue,
i’m unsure it’s 8th
and don’t see where sean cole is on bus
i finally leave,
grabbing what i think is my coat,
and see a grey, hooded sweatshirt on ground
and think it might be mine,
but i realize i’m wearing mine.
see sean at door of bus with his bike and am relieved.
once we exit
i think i’ve left all my computer equipment aboard the bus with rod.
there’s something about juliana hatfield’s voice
where everytime i hear it
it feels like i just heard it
where everytime i hear it
i feel like i wanna hear it again
i’m in boston to read at the middle east, which isn’t the middle east at all and is located off some corner in a real open traffic area, like if you took the other streets away from the angelika movie theater corner. sorta like that circle newsstand in cambridge with traffic flowing ’round it. rod sperry, who cofounded boog with me, is there and injured, though i don’t know how he got hurt. i go with him to the hospital and then later sit in a funky café downstairs wondering what i’m going to read. i think about reading this piece i’d written earlier about a road trip to boston, but i don’t have it with me and i don’t want to ask my roommate to look for it on my computer. i go up to the hospital to check on rod, and he says he’s ok. i ask if he needs anything and he says he’s tired, so i go.
now it’s light outside, and i’m sitting behind a picnic table set aways, a bit from a main shadowy walking street. i’m sitting there, maybe going through my work for the reading, and, for some reason, i’m naked, though, with the weather so nice, figure people will only think i’m going shirtless. a cute blonde, who from afar looks like that actress kerri lynn pratt, starts walking toward me, quickly, and then pauses. she then makes a mad lunge beneath the table to grab my clothes, so i hold on as tight as i can to a sweater and t-shirt, as she walks down the street with her friend.
my computer was running slow
so i was going to shut it down
before using it again
so i grabbed my memo pad
and wrote down all of the websites i had open
so i could reopen them after i watched a gilmore girls rerun:
nydailnews.com (still had to look at entertainment and sports)
usatoday.com (to see their coverage of joe theisman being tossed out of the monday night football booth)
acagalleries.com (to remind me to call dorian about the reading series’ start date for next season)
google.com (image search for olympic swimmer amanda beard)
imdb.com (checking if the miniseries from 1980 the contender is based on the book of the same name by times columnist robert lipsyte that I read in junior high)
si.com (to read peter king’s monday morning quarterback column, and then it’s tuesday edition)
folkartmuseum.com (to remember to tell mom about that martin ramirez exhibit i saw mentioned on the sunday morning show hosted by charles osgood)
bowerypoetry.com and cake-shop.com (august calendars so i could check on booking time for a poetry and music festival)
and some erotica site.
15 years to the day
i still always cry at christian laettner’s shot
to help duke beat kentucky
capping off his perfect day,
10 for 10 from the field,
10 for 10 from the line.
i’m in boston with sean cole in the back room of some venue we’re going to read in later. it’s the apartment of some hippie girl we don’t know but have befriended real quickly. we’re reading in hours and now just laying down with her on the floor, atop some huge, multi-colored throw pillows that when put together are as big as a queen-sized bed, with her in between sean and me, who are are a foot away from her. all of a sudden while we’re talking she begins to kiss me, a real passionate kiss, the kind you give someone yre gonna die with or someone you just met and’ll never know again in a few hours. and then she separated slowly from my mouth, searching our tongues with her right index finger and thumb for something that had been in her throat, finding it, a piece of melted chocolate mint, and flinging it away.
she asks how long we’ve known each other and we say at the same time “10 years,” and then i say it was just our anniversary, worried that she’ll think it was really our anniversary, but too afraid to look like a homophobe to clarify.
i mention how i had brought two paintings from ny for sean to celebrate and she awwwwed. and then i began to describe the paintings, with him chiming in that they were by this brooklyn artist, steve keene, who had seen he wasn’t getting a lot of sales with his larger work so he decided to mass produce his work on wood that was around a foot-squared and then i notice that over sean’s shoulder, toward the bottom of the wall, was a steve keene, though it looked like it was painted on tin. “that’s him,” i tell her.
then someone opens the door to this backroom apartment and i hear them announce that sean cole and david kirschenbaum will be reading later, to come back or stick around for awhile. someone pushes a giant shopping cart, the kind you’d see in some movie studio where they wanted to take pictures of people so they’d appear tiny, and it’s filled with popcorn. they go out to an alley through a sidedoor.
and my birthday calendar
tell me it’s rachel’s birthday tomorrow
but i know she’s prone to last-minute traveling
and faraway weekend getaways
so i call her at work today
and we chat
it’s weird when you haven’t talked in a while,
though our conversation’s easy,
and it flows like always.
but when we mention things that have happened
and we missed
we have to pause,
and I don’t like those pauses.
a lifelong friend and i finished playing phonetag and i asked him why he called, because he’s one of those friends who half the times calls just to check in but the other half he calls because he has a question or wants me to map out a potential trip for him (he still doesn’t have a computer, but that’s another story).
so i ask him why he’s called and he can’t remember, and then a few minutes later he does. “hey, you doin’ anything on sunday?” “nah,” i tell him. “you want to go to mohegan sun to see the p.b.a. championship?” p.b.a., as any sports geek like me knows, stands for the professional bowlers’ association, and philip’s been a bowling buddy since i was a teenager.
that’s when i started bowling, when i was in the 8th grade. i was getting in trouble in school all the time, getting these things they called referrals each time, more than anybody else in walter s. boardman junior high school. anything from the petty--talking from the back of the room where i’d always sit--to the, well, not-so-petty--multiple fistfights in locations ranging from the school bus to the cafeteria to the classroom to the gym.
so they said i should see a social worker, and i started seeing the one at school, miss brotman. and i talked a bit more in therapy then i do now, and i told her how my dad wasn’t really around. not in some sort of deadbeat dad sorta way, i mean my folks just celebrated their 53rd anniversary a month ago, but in the old school teamster sort of way.
dad was a sodaman, driving his mack truck to deliver rc and diet rite colas, nestea iced tea, and all the nehi flavors throughout long beach and the rockaways. and he’d be gone every weekday before i got up and almost every weekday not return until near my bedtime. so miss brotman suggested that he and i do something together each week that was just ours, and somehow that became bowling.
dad and i joined an adult-child league that fall of ’79, along with a friend of mine and his dad, who years later over a bong i was told was molesting his daughters. it was a handicap league, so each person would get a certain amount of points added to their score, depending on how good, or not so good, they normally were.
we didn’t have a handicap because we were good. well, because dad was good. dad grew up in the lower east side, on 3rd street between b and c, before making the big move uptown to 7th street between b and c. bowlmor lanes is in the same spot on university place just below 13th street that it’s been since 1938, when dad was eight. a few years later he would walk across town and become a pinboy there, standing behind the set up pins, waiting for the first ball to be thrown each frame, then moving the downed pins out of the way if a spare attempt was needed, or resetting all 10 pins following a strike in their four-row triangle before the next frame. soon he would be the one bowling, and when the pinboys saw that they had his lane they would try and trade off with a newbie who didn’t know that my dad threw the ball so hard you had to be careful a pin didn’t hit you square between the eyes.
so each sunday morning my dad and i would get up, he’d make us cheese omelettes, and then we’d head over to oceanside bowl. and for the next few hours all we’d do was bowl, three games a piece, against another adult-child pairing. invariably dad would give me advice, and, invariably, i’d ignore him, or become frustrated, as i’d cradle my sparkling blue columbia 300 ball where my chest meets my belly, the lanes’ oil darkening my shirt, before heading home with the sunday times to mom, recounting our exploits.