World Affairs from the Sidewalks of Life

“We must love one another or die.”
― W.H. Auden

All of us, thrown into the slaughterhouse
of history,
thrown into a world of assassinated Caesars
and crucified Christs, into a woeful
world of bombs and mayhem, a
world one madman away
from nuclear annihilation,
a world of rich buffoons and
censored truthtellers, a world
where cancer eats the flesh,
and inflation eats the earnings,
and progress eats the soul.

I emerge from a grimy dive bar on E 4th Street
and sit on a gratified bench in the 3pm hot sun
to watch the frantic folks babble on phones
and walk with an unholy detachment
on the sidewalks of an evanescent

Everything is noisy and zooming by,
fast fast fast,
the great symphony of modernity —
cheap amusements, diversions, billboards of
smiling stooges, steel and cement and wifi,
guns and knives and needles,
conmen, thieves, and murderers,
fat wallets placed in the back pockets
of adderall-souled bigshots looking for the kill,
but hey, I just sit here half-drunk in the
golden afternoon and admire the girls
because the world is ugly
and they’re still pretty in their rustling skirts,
and their lavender smiles make me smile
as they stroll by my saluting eyes.

O America America America
what have you done to your children, these cogs
in a relentless wheel, these nervous news-watchers,
these swollen toads of bitterness
and anxiety who wage war on
their own lives. Goddamnit,
this place reeks of mediocrity and madness,
I say let us burn burn burn the hollow creeds
and the bureaucratic rules of this
waiver signing society and let us revive the
Promethean fire of the dead poets.
have more to offer than any of these pathetic
media folks who have a
vested interest in keeping you and I
“adjusted” to the soulless
status quo.

Let us burn burn burn
the headlines of treachery
and the flimsy thrones of all these
pallid-hearted politicians, and
let us do away with the life-negating
dogmas and all the
and the childish delusions
that sustain these idiotic inanities
of a belligerent world.

Luckily the ravens still flutter
in the demented wind
and the lilies bloom somewhere far off
in spite of the murderous affairs
of the world, and here I am,
sitting in the golden afternoon
on the incomprehensible streets of mankind
half-drunk with a 4 day beard
thinking of nothing valuable,
nothing special,
nothing revolutionary,
just sitting there in the
golden gloom of the afternoon
dreaming about pine forests
and jugs of wine
and old trains
slicing through prairies
while quietly awaiting
the next lavender smile
to pass by.

Prisoners of Plenty

It’s Friday, the day after thanksgiving
and bloated bodies, infused
with fierce anticipation of scoring
even more trinkets and gadgets
at a discount on credit,
have been up since 1 am,
perhaps earlier, standing
in long lines in the dark
in front of stores.
Some even bring tents
to get an earlier
As soon as the doors open, they’ll
eagerly make their way in,
nudging and pushing and slobbering,
stripped of the remaining remnants
of human decency, with the sole
intention of possessing
another object they
think will bring them
or improve upon their inner

Sanctimonious servants of the
status quo, forever kneeling
at the altar of heedless
consumption, their
only function.

And Proust and Emerson remain
and the wildflowers on the
side of the road remain
as with the stars that hang
in the night.

One of the last great American poets
died this week at the ripe
old age of 94.

Robert Bly.

However, like his words,
his death is of no
to the early morning consumers
elbowing their way to
the TV section.

They have never read anything
or pondered on anything
beyond the advertisements
suggested to them.

“Reclaiming the sacred in our lives
naturally brings us close once more
to the wellsprings of poetry,”
writes the poet. But our ears
are no longer equipped
to hear his cry.

The very few important figures
in the western world have always
been ignored.

And everything that is beautiful
and profound has been buried
beneath the ruins of false progress
and the illusion of security.

Children of a hollowed-out empire,
habitual flesh with a childlike
understanding of what’s
going on in the world, they
continue their relentless quest
to satisfy their synthetic
relinquishing their lives to an
insidious system
that sustains itself merely
by their submission,
their fidelity.

They deem this — good citizenship.

The American Dream at last,
an endless commercial, an emotional
wasteland plagued with shopping centers,
quick-marts, theme parks, and prisons,
the sunny afternoon suburban streets
as desolate as the souls who inhabit them,
the good folks bustling and bantering,
gorging themselves to death on Netflix
and the never-ending news cycle,
spouting facts to conceal
their illiteracy.


The epitome of

Prisoners of plenty,
severed from the

I Don’t Believe You

I don’t believe you,
you with maimed souls
sermonizing from high up
in your ivory towers,
you pretend purveyors of justice,
you apostles of false purity who
deliberately misconstrue your
impotence for prudence,
you morose molesters of the lifeblood
who spew mindless mantras
and parade around labels
that you convert to absolutes,
you who attempt to garble truths
to accommodate your
muddled worldview —
to massage your feeble sensibilities,
falsifying human existence
to make virtue out of your fragility,
you crusaders of sterility,
you champions of censorship
who sneer beneath banners,
detesting everything
that reeks of vitality
as you type away
with uncalloused fingers
in the basement of life, waging
digital war on a world
that you’re too frail-spirited
to revel in.

Writer’s Block


I sit in front of the blank white screen
in the dark staring like a dunce into
the glow as Miles Davis plays
on a little speaker
on the desk.

I’m paralyzed in spirit,
fingers too lethargic to move,
mind too hazy to put words

I see death flickering on the walls,
and the shadows of the night
taunt me as I attempt the first
word. I delete it. I’m sinking
helplessly into the floor, into
the abyss of nothingness.

I slap myself in the face and write a
sentence and then backspace it.
It’s shit. I’m shit.

The hand reaches for the bottle.
The thumb lights the cigar.

I sit and stare.
I sit and stare.
Miles plays on.

Come here pretty girl, maybe
a little taste of that love residue
will pull me out of the jaws
of defeat, huh? Yeah, that’s it,
that’s it.

I sit and stare.
I sit and stare.
Miles plays on.

Who am I to write anything,
I haven’t lived,
I haven’t done anything worth
writing about. No one cares,
no one reads,
no one sees or cares
about anything outside the vicinity
of the HEADLINES and their mortgaged
homes and TV addictions. Fuck it
man, it’s useless. A waste
of fleeting time. Everyone’s
minds are already made up
anyways so why let this
demon possess you?

What gave you the right to put
words on the screen
and hurl them into the
digital sea
for people to

Perhaps I’m just
a phony,
a swindler,
a fake.

Who am I to write.
Who am I to say things.
Just give it up.
It’s a losing game.
it’s all been said,
it doesn’t need to be said,
the words don’t resonate,
there are too many words, and
too many voices
and we should
all just sit quietly
in the storm
and wait for the

No. No. No.

Straighten up you pathetic
motherfucker, get a hold of
yourself, say the damn thing,
say the thing that people
are afraid to say, say it,
reveal it,
you have no allegiances,
you have no party, you’re
politically homeless, a vagabond,
no one owns you like those
frauds in magazines and newspapers,
you’re not getting paid for this shit,
you have no editor or a specific audience
to cater to,
say the thing from the heart,
say the thing that stirs WITHIN
and the gods will be with you,
say it while the
buildings crumble
and cities burn
and rivers run dry,
say it as men with soiled souls
censor and guard against anything
resembling a hint of truth,
say it as the fish
vomit dioxins in the sea
and the elephants hemorrhage in the sun
and the bumblebees in the wild
landscapes go extinct,
say it as the law of diminishing
marginal returns strangle the
empire, say it as the midnight
descends over the lifeless bones
of a glassy-eyed generation,
say it, say it, say it,
make the world shake
and the worldviews rattle, sprinkle
a little doubt over the plague of
certainties, and, like Prometheus –
unleash the fire and preserve
only that which is worth saving –
which is very little.

Hold tight to the illusion
that it matters.

Straighten up, Erik, and say it.
As the poet once said, “writing
about a writer’s block
is better than not
writing at all.”

Infinite Fall


Rigid beliefs dehydrate our lives.
You can see it the eyes of the humanists
and the Christians and the hopeful
among us. Never alive in the moment,
always planning for something that
never comes. Thinking we humans
are divine creatures that must rid
ourselves of the guilt of our birth.
The FALLEN man, the FALLEN creature,
what deluded animals we are.
Can’t we see that we’re mere
accidents of backseat lust? A
blip in the spectrum of eternity.
A dying organism thrown
on a planet that we ourselves
are killing. 

Forget heaven, forget utopia,
I want to suck the marrow
from the bones of this life.
The one given to me by sheer
luck of a rapid sperm. I want
to forever gulp the sacred womb
that lies between the exotic
thighs of this world.

The only way
is to fall
the great infinite fall
from the disillusion
of the artificial light
into the deliverance of the dark
where the heart weeps tears
of great ecstasy and love
flourishes untainted,

Is there a place
for my lamented flesh
here in this unfettered
purgatory? Will you not
have empathy for the
iniquities committed
on the way down?

Or will you forever point
your hypocritical finger
and shake your embittered head
behind the rusty bars of your
own self-imposed prison?

Paradise is for the unliving.
Stay there. I have no

But to be a creator,
to be a curious life liver,
is to be in exile

New York Chronicles: Man in Exile



“We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way,
begin no day where we have ended another day;
and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us.”

~Kahlil Gibran~

We only have a few breaths on this unforgiving planet.  And I’ll be damned if I live this brief life like some domestic pet jailed up behind this white-picket-fence rendition of the so-called American Dream where everyone gets caught up in the same patterns and suffers the same damn fate — the death of the soul.

I want earthquakes, explosions, and fury comets across cosmic skies — I want to taste every aspect of this planet. I want to roam the unknown and float thru its heavens and trudge thru its hells.

Give it to me — you folks can keep your safe lives watching your nightly TV programs, sidelined on the field of dreams, vegged out in front of hypnotic screens all angry at each other — I’m settin’ out for the holy grail. Continue reading

Damsel in Distress


She loved me early on because
of the mystery and the potential
she thought she saw in me.

She liked the edgy words I wrote,
she liked the art, and the way
I carried myself. She fell for
those worn-out Red Wing boots
and that leather flask of soul
forever placed in the ass pocket
of my stained jeans.

She was curious over that
battered old rucksack
stuffed with poetry and pain
that hung heavily from
my shoulders.

She was enthralled by the allegory
in the tattoos and the hardback
vintage books of Baudelaire, Emerson,
and Poe I carried to that dingy
dive bar at the edge of town.

She said it did something to her,
I was dark but pure, she saw it in
the language of my eyes. I was
unlike the others she said, I
didn’t give a damn about
what most cared for.

She liked that.

I never understood who she thought
I was. I tried to warn her but she
just clung tighter to the man
she thought she knew.

My intense hunger for solitude started
to take its toll on her. She hated that
the art was a priority and she refused
to reckon with that ragged old shadow
that engulfs the core of who I am.

It pissed her off when I skipped out
on the cocktail parties, the beach trips,
and all the other festivals of her life.

For her, it was impossible to fathom
how a man could dwell so comfortably alone
in the back alleys of the endless night.

Now she throws ashtrays at my head
when I come home at 3am,
and she
takes a knife to the art,
and laughs
at the poetry
as mascara tears
stream down her
pretty little face.

I tried to warn the little
high-heeled damsel
before the distress
took her to that
crazy place
they all

Once again,
she ignored my pleas.



if you take a minute to unplug from the white noise
you can see it plain as day

we’ve been programmed by the programmed —
teachers, priests, parents, politicians,
corporations, like always,
have passed down their ideals,
their demands, their laws, their
rigid rules, and expect us
to take them on without
too many questions

and we do

we’ve been lured away from
which is why most of us
never become
who we are

we live out our lives in a dull
comatose state with a constant crave
for security and cheap entertainment

our beliefs are born out of an unthinking
acceptance of what is

as Schopenhauer saw all too clearly
over a century ago, “the majority of men…
are not capable of thinking, but only
of believing, and… are not accessible
to reason, but only to authority”

I don’t like it

I don’t want to live how they live.
I don’t want to succumb to what they’ve
been succumbed by

I want to wage war on their empty peace,
on their blind acceptance of it all, on
their pledges of allegiances, on their
duplicated morality, on their
unread minds

I don’t like it…

the obvious
the mundane
the predictable

I don’t like the cost it has taken
I don’t like the souls it has taken

I don’t like the 9-5
or the faceless faces within those hours,
or the empty smiles and polite gestures,
or the meaningless work we’re duped into doing
to support a stagnant lifestyle we despise

I don’t like the news or what goes on day to day

I don’t like the fashion or the trends or the politics
that the people invest so much of their
fleeting time into

I don’t like their recycled viewpoints
their virtue signaling vanities
their soulless conversations
their coffee shop sentimentality

I don’t like it

the ladies medicate their loneliness
through endless social media scrolling,
the suburban men pop pills & watch football
to dilute the agony of an unlived life,
the old folks, mutilated by inflation
and boredom, wear it on their faces

I don’t like it

the most comfortable are the most defeated,
nothing to struggle against
they become flabby
and spiritually
and they lose
themselves in the wastelands
of meaningless

everybody watches the same things
everybody complains about the same things
everybody buys the same things
everybody is the same

give me something outlandish,
something that has a little fire,
a little gamble. give me the deviants,
the outcasts, give me Mack
and the boys of Cannery Row,
give me Jack Kerouac slobbering
drunk spitting haiku poems on
MacDougal Street at the edge
of dawn, give me Jim Morrison
on that Miami stage, give me
2pac with his middle finger
raised to the skies after being
shot 5 times, give me
Jesus Christ lookin’ deep
into the eyes of his executioner…
“My kingdom is not of this world”

I need unthinkable thoughts
mystically erupting from
tattered minds on the verge of
the madhouse. I need guts,
and bleeding hearts who see the
world as a magnificent lie, as
Emerson knew

those who don’t have the same
worn-out ideals as everyone else.
those who understand
that it’s not meant to be understood
the free-thinkers
the classic literature readers
the troubled poets
the daytime whiskey dreamers
the back-alley wanderers
the Nietzsche ponderers

I’m tired of loud spectators,
give me the doers. give me those
with a little skin in the game

give me the fresh vitality of a liberated prisoner,
the perceptive ears of a Bob Dylan listener

give me those who refuse to splash
around on the surface of a dying world,
give me honest eyes that never lie to me,
give me those who rage under fiery stars,
unchained from the domestic bars
that tame the many

give me something

Don’t Be Like Them


Don’t be like them. They want you in the ranks,
the mob — the clan of dullards who want you
to live according to their stifling ideals.

They want you brain dead and
soul dead like them. They want
you to work the 9-5. They want
you in a cubicle. They want you
to be a sitcom watcher. They want
you to pledge to their flags and
worship their gods. They want you
take a side. They want you to settle
with their politics and vote for
their two-faced leaders.

They need to be led
because they’re too weak
to lead themselves. Continue reading