All posts by wangzen

Java Me Darkly

Java me darkly, my darling
Java me darkly, my love
Odin’s sperm I soak
Satan’s spawn I sip
Strangling struggling anima
into buckets brimming brine

I face down this Cerberus and his three heads
Sleeplessness, Anxiety, and I-I-I forget
What mysteries do you hold?
One sip and then?
I dive into your muddy waters
Sweetened with kisses, bitter with regret
I’m waiting for the downfall
the freefall with no ripcord
the jitters, the shakes
I drink you, but you dr-i-i-ve me
And I no wanna come down

1 Cup
Not perked, but dripped
Not gulped, but sipped
Straight up, black, liquid shadow
Hotter than the tropics, sweaty, forbidden

2 Cup
Cream in it, could you cream in it?
Mmm, yumm
Sugar if you please
I like my coffee lumpy

3 Cup
Now I’m in for it
My head burns, my throat burns, my groin…
I can see in the dark!
Every word I write is inspired
Every word I speak a gem.



4 Cup
I count the cracks in the ceiling
the jumping sheep are LONG gone
leg of lamb, rack of lamb with mint jelly
lamb CHOP lamb CHOP lamb CHOP
(This would all be very funny if I didn’t have to
get up at 6 a.m.)

5 Cup
I see my landlord
rent is due
I scream,”How much do you want!”
(make “chop” motions to wrist, elbow, shoulder)
“Whole ting, gotta come off.”

6 Cup
I have a vision:

A man is standing in front of a microphone, ‘This
called “Rain and Coffee”.

White walls drain the night away
like coffee pushing fatigue for later
I’m sweetened with memories of kisses
bitter with choices, with refusals
hard driving in search of blue in the nightmare
Can’t drive forever, thoughts of you not
A truckload of cheap fixes, mother’s milk
mainlining the legal alienation
the only thing – the rush, the false feeling that//
love used to give
a faux caress, putting nerves like coins, on edge
And she rubs my shoulders while telling me

This is it, this is the last time

her smooth thighs on either side
and I’m driving, driving, driving///


I say I love you to the swirling black
adding powdered white to soften the blow
of the pounding rain.’

How much do you want?
Whole thing, gotta come off.

7 Cup
(Traffic noises distorted by Doppler)

8 Cup
You will never sleep again
You’ve forgotten to forget
Can you help me?
I need help.

9 Cup
Every nerve like bare electric wires
like bare aborigines dancing
like barren deserts, hot and dry
like memories you can’t bear
like the scream you can barely contain
like teeth bared
like you, barely hanging on
like 18 wheelers bearing down, bearing down,
bearing down on you!

Shut Up! Let him sing.

Java me darkly my darling
Java me darkly, my love
Java me darkly my darling
Java me darkly, my love.


Schism – Click image to play the flash movie


“For a hero loves the world till it breaks him” (William Butler Yeats)

Lay open the gape
see what bleeding comes

I laugh in the tiger’s face
dance in the smoldering coals
pride myself on survival
from the fist to the kissed

drag your bones in a pocketful of ashes
caress the club, love what smashes

I chase herizon
with the hair of the one who loved me,
and the scalp of the one who fought me
Mountains fall, make way for the valley’s return
valleys give way to rivers
oceans and shores and mountains rise again

I am dwindle and smack
I touch both sky and ocean
hopeful for the grand reunion
but savage hearts beat weakly
when faced with defeat
I sign terms on the withered vista
The victor breaking promises within earshot
promises thin as the paper they were written on

And when will I see my loved one again?
dreaming of you behind walls made stone
And when will I see you again?
my blushing bride, full of pride?

vows made on fractured plains
hide the tectonic
tsunamis swallow whole what once rose so majestically
‘I loved that which broke me’

separate the fragments, piece together
the broken history, follow the
spoor to what conquers
littering clean high desert plateau what heroes this Century brings

Only this caesura of lies to break the continuity of despair.
A parenthetical aside in a life of passive affections.

I am the broken
the shadow took me
where is that which once inspired?
A prism through which tortured light beams darkly
stains among clear water, the jester’s
painted smile concealing the frigid, the remote

I am cold and sleep eludes me
Where were you when the darkness came?
A back turned, face to warming pastures

Grapple me to sanctuary
What? Where?
and what has been broken cannot be mended
a river runs dry
a ship keeling runs aground on rocky shoals
a bell tolls:
forever…is forever…



waiting for my lover
enarmored against me
sheathed in metallic waistcoat
dinner: bloody lamb’s shank
then murder

why do you scheme this?
all I ever did wrong
was to love you.

in the end you only
met my eyes in
reflection pools
shiny katana
mirrored teardrops
and memory

hello lover
what tiny helpless thing
did you kill today?

Am I uglier than your movie stars
measure less the long feline strides
of brazilian supermodels strolling the walk?

despite hydroxycut abs
chiselled tris
and calves so sharp they cut?

that’s all I ever do for you now
inhaled upon sword
entrail droop,
eviserate myself

to remembered lips
that used to say things like:
‘…you are what makes me
realize that music loves a virtuoso’
I loved that false image I had of you.

hair droop vision blurred
by snakes descending
to kiss

I hear your winged steed
the beast that hates me
hates me still
your blade singing from its sheath
freed to free me
come to me in
in muscled strides
lay the groundwork
the justification
assuage the guilt
you won’t feel
for killing me

what a hero.
what a stud.

you fail to realize
fail in your accounting
the ocean between us
the fog
no pegasi can traverse
I hold the only vessel
and I refuse to cross

and in the years of your frustration
when you think upon what might have been
the glory that would be heaped upon you
the accolades you said you didn’t care for
and the feasts of helpless things
even though you finally won
in my loneliness I refused to provision
starving alone on a foreign shore
I had your failure to comfort
and knew when I looked above me
in the scarred sky above
no constellation with your name
would circulate upon my still form
for forever I will love you
even though I cannot expect the same
at least I have small satisfaction
that your heroism is undone
you will age without memories
of a glory sang to kings
and I will lay forever
eyes blind from the luminary burn
a false night to comfort me
before the true night descends.


New York is not New

"UA Flight 175 hits WTC south tower 9-11 edit" by UA_Flight_175_hits_WTC_south_tower_9-11.jpeg: Flickr user TheMachineStopsderivative work: upstateNYer - UA_Flight_175_hits_WTC_south_tower_9-11.jpeg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

New York is not New

the subways are steel worms eating at the guts of the city

And I have seen it, ghosts rising
in a cold October sky
Brought to my knees by the towering
gravestones hundreds of stories in the air
The hundred stories of ordinary people
living ordinary lives with extraordinary conclusions

Let me tell one to you:

A 32 year old actress living with 4 roommates
in 1 Harlem flat
waiting for her 1 break
1 face built for Checkov
1 body a die cast leaving no impressions
She’s 1 in a city of thousands
meeting 1 brokenhearted traveller
negotiating thousands of streets made familiar
A French speaking native New yorker
for ten years makes it so
And I have seen it, a sky lit by sky lights
Sushi supped in Midnight cafes
faces lit by candlelight
Young men reading angry poetry
at the Nuyurican and St. Marks
And I have seen her, a desperate woman with a hand outstretched
Catchingos for the latest fix


And I have seen it, a gravesite
tourist trap selling tchotckes
for the passerby
Ground Zero, where the tourists go
Buy yer tchockes here!”
A photo of the dead for you
A big fat hole in the ground,
16 acres to bury the dead on hallowed ground
and still it isn’t enough
And I have heard it: a sweet harmonica and guitar band
overamplified, bleeding into the city streets
And I have felt it: a fear as I walked across a shrouded Thompkins Square
A wife divorcing me a continent away
And who will I tell this to, my tale of a city on fire?
to the wind, and to the wind it is given
Time to go home, take a step onto a plane and
disappear into thin air.


Double Entendre

I thought you were the perfect girl
I dreamt we walked hand in hand by the Atheneum
I talked of our future and you
a golden fire, flushed dark
sparrows from tangled limbs.

You lived with your boyfriend on Fillmore
who dropped you off not suspecting a
thing, trusting, like a lover, trusting
we made love in my garret apartment with
paper thin walls, your screams shattered tea cups in China and broke my heart.

I thought you were the perfect girl
a black and white photograph
like the Keaton films we watched
on love seats at the Red Vic
while the rain outside softly adding it’s tympani to the soundtrack
their thoughtless trajectory in mindless pursuit of oneness.

And you across the room asking me
asking me what I want to do to do and I answer you
and you answer me, ‘if you want to touch me, then just touch me.’

Mantled in heavens like cloaks of stars
an open equation facing the eye of an angel
glinting with the fine strands of celestial knowledge made manifest
the color of water, a voice the sound of a nova collapsing of hearts breaking

Nothing is forever

what has a beginning has an ending,
and if I say it’s heads up, you ask what’s on the other side?
: an open equation facing the void

and where were you when you realized that you had to guard against the world?
wondering if your feeble limbs could grow courageous?
and what age were you when you resigned, and took up the plow of an everyday life,
brushing aside past dreams to a place called Enough?
and where were you when you rose in vertical velocity to overcome adversity,
and fell against a world with timeless patience eroding willfulness like rust?

Like Euridice, the spiral took you
what does not stand together tumbles apart
stones wept, moisture beading on fevered limbs

and here I stand years later,
argus-eyed and keen
absolving the past in laughter and forgetting
and still you exist in a gilded frame
daring me to forget
prodding me to laugh
saying, ‘what a perfect gift
such a beautiful failure.’

It’s the real thing


Embrace your insanity
Don’t always do what’s right
in a homogenized marketing world
I ask you, “What are you selling?”

enamored of love
trying to be a man in a world
with few masculine role models
we fight club our way to annihilation
invigorated by our righteousness
empowered by our tragedy
we stomp on third world countries
as if they were actually a “time tested opponent”
relieved in the end that:

what was feared broken was merely bruised
what was trashed was barely used
what was found guilty was merely accused

All only a premiere, a taste of what is to come
Kingdom come
A real tragedy, heartfelt, authentic
and a real response
unlike the thrashing of the world
The ferreting out of an endless disease
The Forever War
It’s all about ka-ching!
And vengeance
and clear objectives
with enemies dressed in black
to keep my dog Nubi safe from rat poison and nuclear attack
where love is absent and romance is dead
when arrayed against a backdrop of a dying dead race

but is it really?

I take up the challenge for the spelunking of the real
the authentic in a starbucks-mickydees-gap world,
I clamber for a trumpeting of love
The guts to say, “I am in love with you,” and mean it.
To say, “I hate you,” and mean it.
To say unequivocally, and without doubt’s shadow
“It’s all going to be okay,” and not lie
To cut up your credit cards and pay cash –
No! Gold bullion. No! Barter. No! Hunting and gathering,
and living off god’s green earth. Yes!
Bypassing starbuck’s drugs, mcdonald’s unhappy meals
and gap fashion nazis

unplug your life
turn off the technicolor nightmare
drink from the zesty and refreshing mountain spring
of authenticity.

It’s the real thing.


Cú Chulainn

"Ferdiad" by E. Wallcousins - Charles Squire, Celtic Myths and Legends. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

15 stone you are
weight bent backwards upon my arms
hair trails in blossoming eddies
life inked against clear; a reflecting sky
bright shining deflects darkening day
water to our waists

‘Scáthach failed you. I failed you
In my succeeding’
This, this cut unveils the core of me
Petals fall to either side
So wounded I see not the amputation

my heart

You, so worthy see not the destiny
My fate to win till three days dawn
And you, fair Ferdiad
A hero’s fall embraced
My fate to want

A different life

Stay my hand
Another word with you, brother
my regret
in serving your imperfection

spear feint
~ same as the other three hundred

and twist
unexpected, novel and
even in death
you recognized: brilliance
how like a mistake it seemed
and you, your counter thrust
which felled armies
failed only once
within my trap
even in your gloaming
you thought, ‘How clever that was
I would have never believed
it, but here
written in steel and blood
your signature
and life’s work
upon me.’

I regret to inform you
of your imperfection
and my overarching perfection

Your fate handed to me
so clear like an arrow to its target
took it
had to
couldn’t stay my hand
twas how: I was made
like birds in flight
or fish in sea
‘twas my pleasure to kill thee.