The April Project 2006

Friday, March 24, 2006

(written 04.02.06--10:17 p.m.)

called my brother on his cell phone
told him there was something
that i'd been wanting to tell him for awhile
that i was finally able to tell him now.
what, heaasked me.
i'm, well, gay, i said.
and we went back and forth
for the next five minutes or so
him asking me gentle questions,
supporting as i figured he would,
until i told him,
steve, what day does your calendar say?

04.02.06--10:19 p.m.

it was hotter than i expected
at the mets pre-opening practice today
we sat in the sun,
got too hot so we moved into the shade
home from the ballpark,
i pee and then wash my hands
i see my nose
now a shade of cooked flesh red.

04.03.06-4:30 p.m.

you in your
david wright shirt
was the best thing
for me today.
the mets won 4-3
and i enjoyed that
but not as much as
you in your
david wright shirt
that was the best thing
for me today.

(written 04.06.06-12:59 p.m.)

i look for the mail
in my email box
like i once peered out my parents' window
at their mailbox
then every 10 minutes
looking for mailman legs
now every minute
for a flashing envelope

and today's highlights
in both boxes
was an email from anselm berrigan
inviting me to read
on a wednesday night next year

and i said yes, naturally,
as i was honored to be asked to read
but i keep thinking
of who reads on wednesday nights
how it's usually an old-timer
paired with a young comer,
someone who has a rep an mfa
and a perfect-bound book or two
who submits to many pubs
and gets accepted too.
and neither of those people is me,
and i hope that's ok, it will have to be.

(written 04.06.06-1:19 p.m.)

i like the
sugar free, decaffeinated nestea iced tea powdered mix
but at $5 a jar it can get pricey
and so when i'm low on funds
i switch to wyler's light mixes
and save a $1.50
which is 3/4 of a cottage cheese container.
my dad and i bought wyler's mango iced tea once
but we won't do that again.
we did find out that their lemonade's good,
not crystal light good,
but good nonetheless.
but two weeks ago
i wanted iced tea
and i was broke some,
so i bought wyler's.
and the first batch was so nasty
but i wouldn't throw it out,
and so i doctored it up with lots of fresh squeezed lemon and four or five ice cubes,
and i had done it,
i'd saved my wyler's iced tea,
and it had done it,
it had saved me.

(written 04.12.06-10:06 a.m.)

i don't want to go to therapy no more
i bring this up every time i'm in therapy
but instead my therapist says,
"why do yoou feel this way?"
and it ends up with me talking
through another therapy session,
until next time up i say,
i don't want to go to therapy no more

(written 04.12.06-10:12 a.m.)

last pre-passover shopping trip
i try to buy only what i'll use before then
because once a package is opened
i'll have to throw it away
and i'm too poor to do too much throwing

(written 04.12.06-10:16 a.m.)

another year
and another empty seat
next to me at the mets game
i wish i were a stockbroker,
a lawyer,
maybe an accountant,
there'd probably be more baseball fans there

(written 04.12.06-10:27 a.m.)

i check my mailbox
on the way to the ballpark
it's a letter to check
if i should still be getting public assistance
and although my income has decreased
and i'm on up and up
there's nothing to scare you like the word

(written 04.12.06-10:31 a.m.)

so i call legal aid
and they have me call another legal aid
and i go through four different branches
until i get one to listen
says postpone the hearing
and then we'll sit down with you

(written 04.12.06-10:32 a.m.)

my gallery reading series
is on 20th street between 10th and 11th avenues
and in almost three years
all but once we've after-poetried in the neighborhood
and this nighti hear someone mention where the crowd is headed.
"yaffa? you're going to yafa from here?"
that's st. mark's place between 1st and A
meaning everyone who doesn't live
in the east village
will subway to another neighborhood to eat and drink
and then subway home.
so when i sound astonished
the guy says,
"is there a place for a vegan to eat around here?"
which told me that either he or his girlfriend
one of them was a vegan
and didn't approve of my diner suggestion
now if you're the one vegan in a crowd of non-vegans
let me dispense some advice to you
go to the diner
no carmelized tofu tonight
have a salad
a fruit platter
maybe some carbs.

(written 04.20.06—11:26 a.m.)

i skipped the first passover seder
rather than be with my brother-in-law
he's a bastard normally
but with some wine in him
it's accentuated
i stayed home
eating all the apples i had left
keeping the holiday without delivery
and then i realized what i could get
and came a greek salad
hope that's ok.

(written 04.20.06—11:39 a.m.)

hanging at my parents' house
thinking it's gonna just be us three
reading the story of passover
taking it down real low key.
but then my mom says we're going to my brother's seder
in 10 minutes
and she's fragile more so than usual
so i go,
and it was ok mellow,
no pain, no pain,
and on the way back i think how one niece isn't readying for college
and then i'm told the 14 yr old is outside smoking
and my brother has long hair now
and a motorcycle
i think he needs to try a little harder.

(written 04.20.06—11:46 a.m.)

my mom felt guilty
that they were going to a friends' for dinner
announcing all the things i could make
but was fine with matzah
and either cream or cottage cheese
and a two-hour nap.

(written 04.20.06—11:47 a.m.)

with my favorite greens
(my only greens?)
at the suburban hippie cafe
seeing them rarely
as i live in the city
but that's how it goes
everybody knows.

(written 04.20.06—11:50 a.m.)

go with my one mets fan niece
to see my favorite team play
i meet her at my sister's home
and my niece wants to wear shorts
i tell her no way
that she'll be cold today,
under the overhang
so she layers up
and wears long pants.
we get to shea stadium,
park by the auto repair shops
to save the parking fee--$13--
like dad taught me.
walking to and through the lot to our seats
my niece turns to me,
"thank you for making me wear warm clothes."

(written 04.20.06—12:03 p.m.)

back to the city
just in time
to pick up the paperwork
the hearing people requested
though no lawyers and me
understand why there's going to be a hearing
i hope they'll tell me
when it happens
i don't know how this works.

(written 04.20.06—12:06 p.m.)

running an errand
has me walking by an old job
only one person i'd like to say hello to
(another i'd like to see naked)
but it's too early for him to leave for lunch
(and i don't think she'll let me see her naked)

04.19.06—9:55 a.m.

baby tomkat

on the day of yr first child’s silent birth
yre on my tv screen with dawson
as he talks of dreaming of kissing you
while you await his train back to capeside
over your right shoulder
a huge poster of your husband
for his forthcoming film looks over you

(written 04.28.06—7:58 a.m.)

i like that you now work
one block from where i live
and how nice that today on your birthday,
yr 21st birthday that we’ve been friends,
that you could come over for lunch
on passover’s last day
and i could heat up pot roast that my folk’s gave me

(written 04.28.06—8:04 a.m.)

the tv star
is going out with a girl
who you went out with before
only you thought you were going out
but she thought you were going friends
so then you were only going friends
you guess

(written 04.28.06—8:07 a.m.)

an inside day
between two outside ones
because I didn’t want three outside days
and i thought of calling philip
joking “where are you, yre an hour-and-a-half late”
for our cancelled meeting place
but i forgot

(written 04.28.06—8:11 a.m.)

one the hardest maneuvers
is to attend a reading
and then to skip out on the next one
even though you know the readers
especially tonight
when there’s only the shortest of breaks
and the second group’s readers arrive early
so you stay for both
then go outside for air
missing most of two readers
but not all of them
and then you say
thanks and goodbye to all
on yr way to indian food
with the first reading’s group

(written 04.28.06—8:16 a.m.)

don’t say a word
don’t tell them anything
until you know why you’re there
and then once you do
don’t say anymore
and walk home from tribeca to chelsea
to head clear

(written 04.28.06—8:17 a.m.)

tonight after the boog show
where the attendees were sparse
i offer a duo their cut off the door
10 bucks
but they tell me to keep it
and then one of them says
i’ve been meaning to send you
yr cut from our show a while back
and hands me a 20-dollar bill,
so now some groceries again for me

(written 04.28.06—8:29 a.m.)

the things is
when yre cheating
people forget when yre on their side
and helping them win ballgames
as after a game-tying pinch-hit homerun
in the bottom of the ninth
has the fans in a lather
and all of barry bonds’s teammates
wailing on his back

04.27.06—11:15 a.m.

i keep thinking
i’m going to be cut
while the guy right by me
sells loosies for 30 cents a smoke

and the yelling guy says don’t lean on
his friend’s leather
hanging from the wrought-iron fence

and I keep thinking
i’m going to be cut,
while on the line at the church
for legal assistance
first they offer me food
from the soup kitchen
but I turn it down
for the cottage cheese on a half of a hero
sitting in my jacket pocket,
with 32 ounces
of sugar free decaffeinated nestea iced tea

and I’m wearing my leather jacket
and it’s gotta be 70 degrees,
but it’s harder to take it
while it’s on my back
and so I’m wearing my leather jacket
while it’s gotta be like 70 degrees out here

and they’re still standing outside of the church
though they look too clean to be homeless,
maybe they just want to hang with friends,
though I’d rather be alone inside,
hanging with my tv.

(written 04.29.06—9:44 a.m.)

so they named rosie o’donnell to the view
to fill the seat that was meredith vieira’s
who’s taking over katie couric’s today show chair,
while katie’s the new dan rather

and there are many things to wonder here,
like will we take our news from a bleach blonde with a fake sun tan,
but the newest news now is what star jones must be thinking
now that rosie’s come on board,
because star’s lost 150 pounds
and says it’s through diet and exercise
but there’s a big buzz that she had gastric bypass surgery
and just won’t say so.

but rosie last month
posted this poem on her blog:

star jones had weight loss surgery
she had part of her stomach bypassed
that is how she lost 1/2 herself.
she refuses to say this
which is her right
but we do not have to pretend
we do not know.

so star shrinks b4 our eyes
we know the truth
but nod as she talks about
pilates and will power.
i am sure star jones
beneath the beyoncé bravado
is a scared lil girl
who grew her body big
strong and safe.

me, i’m going to take a little time to enjoy the view.

(written 05.01.06—6:37 a.m.)

how nice it must be to be
d'brickashaw ferguson
fourth overall pick of the new york jets
not only will he sign a contract with $10+ million
he'll be playing for his hometown team
practicing 15 minutes from where he grew up
and where his parents still live
it must be nice to be d'brickashaw ferguson

(written 05.01.06—6:42 a.m.)

everytime i see her
(which isn't too often)
i get intrigued about the thought
of her and me
the way we always talk so easily
and that flirty little laugh of hers
i dunno, i dunno.