Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

The Poor Boy

August 2, 2011

At the dedication of a statue
in St. Louis, July 29, 2011

Never mind the profligate’s storied priors.
Tax evasion. Federal teenage traffic.
Maybellene and Johnny B. Goode remember
who did the driving.

Dirty heat at Blueberry Hill this morning,
hear the root beer factory’s bang and choogle.
Somewhere Congress struggles to raise the ceiling.
Not in St. Louis.

Let the city councilman sleep til Sunday.
Let the cell phones photograph total strangers
rubbing bronze and ducking the lyric sidewalk,
touching the Gibson.


In a Taxi from de Gaulle

October 30, 2010

This morning the plaster-white dome of Montmartre
presents to the highway a century’s grime.
It hemorrhages clouds from a cold Sacred Heart

to color the city of Ingres and DesCartes
a boulevard gray. In the interest of time
this morning, the plaster-white dome of Montmartre

speaks not of its grand contribution to art,
but more of its neighborhood’s canvas of crime.
The hemorrhage of cloud from its cold Sacred Heart

calls forward the spirit of Camus and Sartre,
the pipe smoke that wanders and couplets that rhyme.
Of mourning, the plaster-white dome of Monmartre,

of man in the city and man set apart.
A neutralized palette of carbon and lime
is hemorrhaging clouds from the cold Sacred Heart

to vistas bequeathed by a third Bonaparte,
on steps of the Commune, the pilgrim, the mime.
This morning the plaster-white dome of Montmarte
bleeds into the clouds from a cold Sacred Heart.

Paris, October 3, 2010

Carrer Nou de la Rambla

July 13, 2009


We hike down to the bottom of the Rambla,
maybe to report a stolen wallet.
The statue of Columbus stands so tall, it
casts a sundial shade on the ensemble,
fat and foreign, lolling through the stalls
of animals and flowers. Turning right,
we pass the Hotel Gaudi where the night
is calling as it does when twilight falls.

A little further in this corridor
we give up hope of finding the police.
The bars disgorge their guilds to the caprice
of crime where cracked graffiti chafes a door
that totters, bleeding like a razor wound,
a smokey light congealing in an ark
of misery. And from the cobalt park
across the street, we hear a croaking sound,

an ancient whore who cackles as she’s taken
from behind in what at first appears
to be a murderous attack. The jeers
about the square convince us we’re mistaken.
That we’ve come too far. That it is we
who might need help. Or that we’re helpless now,
anonymous, uncompassed on a scow
of shipwrecks in a road behind the sea.

Barcelona, June 22, 2009

Photo by Lacomba

Statue in Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona

July 8, 2009

parc statue

Alley in La Ribera, Barcelona

July 1, 2009


A Wall in Cork

May 12, 2009

wall cork

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon

April 26, 2009


Huncke Brought to Book

April 24, 2009


I finalized my book deal with Seven Towers, the publisher in Dublin, over the weekend. We had a signing session after dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Sinners, which has a picture of Adam & Eve (the snake and apple moment) on the cover of its menu. Huncke is due out in about a year.


I’m very happy to be associated with Seven Towers, which has published Quincy Lehr and is about to bring out a book of poems by Ray Pospisil. They have also launched a weekly reading in Brooklyn, The Last Wednesday Series, which will be a twin event with a monthly reading they host in Dublin. In Brooklyn, the reading is at Rocky Sullivan’s bar in Red Hook. The Dublin reading takes place at Cassidy’s Bar. Check the websites for details—the New York reading debuts next Wednesday, April 29.

As for the trip to Ireland, it included splendid weather and a splendid weekend with Sarah and Oran from Seven Towers. They introduced me to Ross Hattaway, a poet originally from New Zealand, now living in Dublin, whose poetry has a distinctively eastern sparseness and imagistic feel. We also had dinner with Steve Conway, whose book, Shiprocked: Life on the Waves with Radio Caroline, Seven Towers is promoting. Very interesting guy—Radio Caroline, named whimsically after Caroline Kennedy, was somewhat literally a pirate radio station, anchored in the North Sea from the 1960s to the 1980s. Heady times.

From Dublin, I headed to Cork and read at the weekly O’Bhael reading at the Long Valley. Great atmosphere for a reading, and wonderful poets.

I am currently in Lisbon, Portugal. Another world. Right up there with Paris, Venice, and Istanbul in terms of first impressions. I will post some photos and videos when I return.

Off to Dublin

April 17, 2009


I’ll be in Dublin for the weekend. I haven’t seen the city in 25 years. While there, I will make it a point to hunt down pictures by Jack B. Yeats, the brother of William B. Yeats. I should find some at the National Gallery. Above is Hungerford Bridge.

More from the road,

The Men’s Room at Sodoni’s

January 28, 2009


They’re laughing at your Willie, damn their eyes–
Sinatra, Sammy, Dino in the mirror
hung above the urinal. It’s a clearer
shot than you’d allow the funny guys
who jump you when the swinging john door slams.
You know the inexcusable Goombahs
and Sam are gonna sing to their comares,
that entourage of luminary gams,
and by the time you zip, the restaurant
will share their little joke (or yours) as Dino
flops on Sammy’s back. E’sprit de corps
gets loud in this belittling casino,
noted for the lavatory taunt
of Rat Pack bastards screwed against the door.

San Francisco, California, January 25, 2009