The December Project 2013
December 1, 2013
i have another friendship that's about to end
i don't plan these things,
most of the time,
but it's easy to sense
when your calls go unreturned for months,
and you haven't seen each other all year
and it's december 1.
December 2, 2013
i need to cut my nails
all of them,
so my fingers stop sliding off the keyboard,
and can maneuver the touch pad.
my family keeps urging me to get pedicures,
but diabetics and pedicures don't mix,
so i'll get a low-fi one from my podiatrist
in a few days,
and fit my sneakers a bit more easily.
December 3, 2013
everytime i go for a psych intake,
shifting clinics and all,
everytime they ask the same questions,
with a big one being,
"Do you currently feel that you don't want to live?"
and i always give the same answer,
"I don't want to die,
I just don't feel like living."
i ask myself this question pretty often,
performing a sorta self-intake as it were.
December 4, 2013
after first dollars of month,
a bag of navel oranges and one of granny smith apples,
three plum tomatoes,
potato chips and pretzel rods
sour cream for onion dip,
plain, nonfat yogurt
for the grape nuts and raisins in my kitchen,
orange and red powerade,
and a half dozen half gallons of store brand diet iced tea.
i still need paper plates and plastic ware,
’cause i've never been too good at washing dishes,
except when i was paid to.
December 5, 2013
music brought me to the divestment movement
first the special aka's "free nelson mandela"
with it's "i'm begging you, begging you please"
looping into the title,
then the little steven inspired sun city song and album,
which led to me co-organizing anti-apartheid protests on campus,
to hofstra saying they divested from firm's doing business in south africa,
to me reviewing their financial portfolio,
finding out they hadn't divested,
writing about it for the front page of the new voice,
the school announcing it's divestment shortly thereafter.
"i'm begging you, begging you please."
December 6, 2013
note to self, again:
naps of more than 50 minutes,
like those lovely two to three hour ones
where you wake up all warm
but extra cloudy
fuck up your sleep cycles but good
note to self, again:
not going to bed once it's 6 a.m.
so you can stay awake
and take an afternoon nap
and get your sleep cycles back in gear
works ok, as long as you observe the first note.
December 7, 2013
lunch at my favorite,
the former cafe le gamin,
housed in the oldest building in chelsea,
once home to the assistant to clement clark moore,
the man who helped plan the neighborhood
the man who may or may not have written "a visit to st.nicholas,"
fruit salad and a chocolate crepe with philip,
followed by coke family two liters at 99 cents at cvs,
and a whole lotta jugs of store brand diet iced tea at gristedes.
yes, a good day.
December 8, 2013
at the leaves of grass marathon reading i co-organized in albany's washington park,
the first real big poetry event i ever helped make happen,
i had a framework of readers and times,
but we also fit in passerby who wanted to read some whitman to close the fall,
and julie was one of those passerby.
a few days later,
when we ended at her door,
i said "is it ok if i kiss you?"
and she said, "yes."
December 9, 2013
sleep my six-feet-two-and-a-half inches on half the bed,
because the other half is covered as i clean my room,
because you should only touch things once when organizing
and i'm already awaiting a second
and don't want to make it to a third.
December 10, 2013
my sleep patterns bad enough
as i push the boog envelope
working on what's become the 50-page boog reader,
more than double any previous issue.
one of the lessons my big brother taught me is
"there's always something else to do,"
but eventually you have to stop doing and go to bed.
so i shut the tv off at 3 a.m.,
decide maybe a clean bed would help with my sleep hygiene,
do a second touch and move everything off the bed
and onto the futon i cleared off two days ago,
grabbed a couple of slices of 40 calorie wheat, toast it,
throw some cold american cheese on it
(i'm wanting the cold and hot tonight)
and eat them as i write
providing a base for the sleeping pill that kinda works.
December 11, 2013
venue searching s.f.
one from last two events can't,
focusing more on the profit end of its operation
and i dig that
i ask them for another potential venue
they're booked solid except a day i want
but they want to take a breather then,
they recommend another venue,
which asks for an event proposal,
which i dash off within the hour.
December 12, 2013
nyu langone medical center's wifi connection
and an approaching editing and design deadline
keeps me from thinking about
how my dad's 2-hr surgery
to remove his gallbladder
is now in its fifth hour.
December 13, 2013
ask my mom if she knows where i was 31 years ago today,
one week away from my 16th birthday.
my first concert,
pat benatar at madison square garden.
December 14, 2013
saturday we lost my mom,
arrange to pick her up on the side of my building
go park car to see where she is,
check every door leading in and out of the building,
check my apartment,
check the sides of the bed, sis says,
check the bathroom,check anywhere she could have fallen,
call the building security office,
they say call 911,
10 minutes later mom's alive, she says,
five minutes before the cops come to lead the search.
December 15, 2013
get car with mom
so she won't get lost
and finding me callin' the po-po.
December 16, 2013
cleaning the 8' by 8' space
the building needs
for the asbestos clearing work it's doing
as part of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning project
its midway through,
when i lift a box of ephemera,
old boog notes and files,
publications from sundry small presses i've hosted through the years,
when the bottom gives out,
and i take a new box
and reconstruct it,
lifting it across the room,
throwing my right arm beneath it
preserving the untaped box.
December 17, 2013
(to the tune of nirvana's sliver)
ever since i fell asleep
while driving my father's jeep
tapped bumpers with one car
and then i drove a little far-
ther smacked hard this time
i'm ok, but our cars aren't so fine
get home in one piece
don't wanna die,
talk a good game,
but mom would cry
get home in one piece
get home in one piece
get home in one piece
December 18, 2013
my cousin cindi's two days older than me,
i enjoy wishing her happy birthday
calling her some derivation of old in my wishes
December 19, 2013
my cousin kenny's birthday is today,
one day before mine,
i always wonder if i didn't call him to wish him happy birthday
if he would remember to do the same a day later.
my sister's birthday is the day after mine.
wonder if she thinks the same thing when calling me.
December 20, 2013
which i still like to do each birthday,
then sean cole
who took me out to dinner at one of my favorite places,
which has a vegetarian fryer
(mmmm, spring rolls and scallion pancakes),
then margaritas and tater tots
at one of my top two places in my neighborhood,
then blue bloods and hawaii five-o on my dvr.
it was a good day.
December 21, 2013
it's bad enough to have four names
on your birthday cake
but to have to be there
while your mom buys it
and then have to pick it up the next day.
December 22, 2013
after four name on my birthday cake birthday
bum ride back to city with allan, pavel, and kenny,
and i from the backseat chat with allan and pavel
about our city and culture of many kinds,
while kenny smartfoned the whole way.
December 23, 2013
building construction project
ejects me from home at 7:00 a.m.
i have until 7:00 p.m. to kill
so settle with bags of food and drink and macbook
in building's comfort room,
which is oh so comfortable,
they have a fridge,
one of those one-cup making coffee machines
(i choose the hot chocolate)
a slew of black leather couches
color tv w/cable,
i walk in the rain to gristede's
get a half-gallon of store brand iced tea from the dairy section
and a banana for my plain yogurt and grape nuts
December 24, 2013
there's something about
a call from your mother
when your throat is choked close with a phlegm sidecar,
and sleepier than sleepier than sleepiest,
Christmas Day 2013
we buzz through more of the christmas movies
we've been dvr'ing and watching for the past month or so,
finally catching up.
December 26, 2013
while pouring the box of elbow noodles into the boiling water
i realize this isn't a regular-sized box,
look at the box,
see it's double the size
and ask my mom what to do,
"pour it all in," she says
i don't know if there will be enough water i tell her,
"it'll be ok," she says.
it takes 50% longer to cook,
and now we have meatballs and marinara noodles for tonight
and cottage cheese noodles,
and garlic, oil, and a bit of salt noodle to come.
December 27, 2013
my brother's auto glass shop's waiting room
has been transformed into a nail salon,
i have a few months left to high school
and have transferred to one by him
so i could work there more easily
and finish out my term.
my brother's away,
i'm getting dressed to head to school,
and decide to put on a thick, red-striped oxford,
that metropolitan museum tie,
the one with the egyptian theme,
and a blue blazer.
i'm standing among all of the nail salon stations,
admiring myself in the mirror,
notice i haven't tucked the shirt in,
but like it anyways,
when a girl in an adjoining station,
a young, old school looking brunette,
an anna kendrick-a-like,
says, "i can help you with that."
December 28, 2013
same clothes for sick week
not smelling myself,
maybe it's the lozenges,
the first soda in days
(diet dr pepper)
December 29, 2013
don't tell my mom
it's been all downhill
since the first Kennedy Center Honorees class?
December 30, 2013
multiple quarts of iced water with squeezed lemon
December 31, 2013
spot a poet
behind her yell
she turns around
and then anne waldman
smiles, wishes me happy new year,
gives me a hug and a kiss.