The Story of Ben and Maggie…

Follow the fucked-up yet inspiring love story of Ben and Maggie, a quirky, character-driven romantic drama set New York City in 1980.

Never read my novels? Now is a good time get drawn in!

The Offbeat Rhythms, Volumes 1 and 2 are available here.

Poem: “Amsterdam”

Colors of autumn, fragrance of nature,
Wooden walls among cobblestones.
Moss on the trees and weed in the breeze,
Urban chaos amidst wilderness tones.
Mellow the voices, euphoric the air,
Shades of the past with the sounds of today.
Cloudy the sky and tempered the sun,
Rain on the wind, yet the gloom’s kept at bay.
A heart full of people, and people with heart,
Winding a rope around copper machines.
The music of time in the veins of her alleys,
That feel of wet leather against digital screens.
Smoke in the system, concepts of science,
That tannin scent over marble floors.
Slow-moving madness, everywhere, nowhere,
Muted expressions behind elaborate doors.
The future in check and the past on the wall.
A darkened sense of fear and yet calm.
Thousands of years and yesterday’s tears,
Too alive to destroy, too dead to embalm.
The secrets of ages, semantic riddles,
An ancient land perched on high and down low.
A city of somethings, a city of nothings,
A city with dreams and despair in escrow.
Low on the map and high on the mind,
All quarters converge in the square.
The beginning and end of humanity’s sadness
Is lost, and then found again there.

Poem: “Opus Simplicity”

All life begins with an atom,
And death begins with a life.
All children begin with a husband
Who may or may not have taken a wife.
All songs begin with a moment.
All moments begin with a drink.
All potions begin with a wizard
Who’s stopped up his bathroom sink.
All science ends with religion,
And religion always ends with itself.
All books begin with a tree
That’s felled, then cut for a shelf.
All tears begin with a question,
And all questions end with a mark.
The question before us now is,
“Just what the hell is a quark?”
All roads begin at their endings,
And all endings begin with a road.
All healing begins with your heart,
And all hearts are doomed to explode.
All secrets begin with a riddle,
And all riddles are written near lakes.
All lakes begin with a trickle,
Or the fornicative product of snakes.
All truths begin with a lie,
Most lies embody some facts.
All facts are rooted in fiction,
And fiction is what the truth lacks.
All ashes begin with a fire,
All fires begin in your brain.
Most brains are the product of scarabs,
And scarabs are clogging the drain.
All drains end with a tunnel,
All tunnels were drawn by Van Gogh.
Van Gogh was thought to be crazy,
But he wasn’t, believe me, I’d know.
All veins are sustained by a pump,
All pumps are sustained by the will.
Life is a lie that we want to believe,
And death is reduced to a pill.
All poems begin with a rhythm,
All rhythms being with a beat.
All beats are based on bereavement,
And sadness is joy incomplete.
All atoms begin with a tremble.
All trembles are birthed in great pain.
All pain is the source of great pleasure,
And pleasure comes with a chain.

Poem: “Lost for Words”

Tell me a story about something sacred.
Do you believe in a higher love?
Tell me a secret, tell me a riddle,
Tell me you know what I’m thinking of.
Is there a question? Is there an answer?
Tell me the words you want me to say.
Give me a signal, throw down the rope,
Rescue me now or get the fuck away.
Speak in a manner that betrays your intentions.
Is there a deeper meaning here?
Give me a ladder, send down a lantern,
And work on your grammar, it’s vague and unclear.
Give me a moment; I want something special.
Make me remember that I’ve alive.
Tattoo it deeply on the walls of my brain,
I want to live and not just survive.
Tell me the thoughts of your innermost mind.
Do you believe in the eternal night?
Tell me the beginning and tell me the end,
Or tell me nothing and get out of my sight.
I won’t walk that hall with you tonight,
I won’t sleep in your room.
I won’t lie on your bed,
I won’t fondle your womb.

Poem: “Verse Noir”

First the door, then that click of the lock,
Turning off the light…
That’s the way I started the night,
That’s the way that I got feelin’ right.
There’s grime on the mirror, but that’s usual here,
This place is like a tomb…
That’s what you think when you stand in this room,
It’s like being inside some malevolent womb.
Down the drain, and she’s calling my name,
So I don’t make a sound…
Pretty soon she’ll stop coming ‘round,
Pretty soon she’ll forget what she found.
There’s blood on the floor, and there’s blood on the door,
Someone else has been here…
Probably someone with intentions sincere,
Maybe someone with motives unclear.
Shoot the vein, and then make with the chain,
That’s the way it’s done…
You’re not the only one,
You pretend that it’s normal,
You pretend that it’s fun.
There’s a tap on the glass, and she’s flashing some ass,
Now the mask is in place…
You wipe all the tears from your face,
You open the door and you occupy space.

Poem: “Snap”

I slid between the stalls to find you weren’t alone.
I saw you there with his hands in your hair,
And I heard your satisfied moan.
In truth, I shouldn’t be surprised,
Though I know I told myself lies.
It’s a game we play in our minds when we say
That we’ve changed (but soon we get wise).
I stood so calm and cool as I watched the scene unfold.
Then I turned away with stoic dismay,
My anger just barely controlled.
I stepped out into the night and
Walked back home in the snow.
The flakes were light and so virginally white.
Could anything be less apropos?
I walked up the steps of our once happy home
That now seemed empty and dead.
Was it ever not thus or truly for us?
Was it only ever me in your bed?
Foolish questions that don’t matter now,
Though I loved you, I must confess.
Oh, I loved you true; I would have killed for you.
Nothing says love like excess.
So with eyes vacant but crazed,
And my face betraying a grin,
I punched at the wall as I went down the hall,
To our bedroom, and I kicked the door in.
I didn’t take long for me to find
That for which I went home to search.
And with it safely concealed and my motives revealed,
I slowly walked back to the church.

Poem: “Missive”

Intentions fall by the wayside.
You built love on shifting sand.
If you feel you’ve been misunderstood,
Then you fail to understand.
Aversions gather in secret.
You poured your heart out like wine.
If you feel you’ve forgotten your place,
Then you need to straighten your spine.
Disturbance is jagged like Kafka.
You tied your boat to a comma.
If you feel your sentence is dragging,
Then chop it and call out for Mama.
Tendencies tend to be sneaky.
You caught your skin on a hook.
If you feel that knowledge is wanting,
You might want to banish that book.
Expressions caught in the current.
You drew lines in feverish haste.
If you feel there’s something to salvage,
Then let nothing go to waste.
Impressions built upon anger,
You stored your guilt in a box.
If you feel you have unfinished business,
Then you might have to jimmy those locks.
Wallowing feels like a blowjob,
The gods are unkind, I agree.
If you feel you’ve got something to say,
Then say it; I’ve got places to be.
You can’t commit suicide in shadows,
You can’t undress on the street.
You wanted to find a toy for the baby,
Instead you found troughs of raw meat.
Depression is warm like a pillow,
And joy is cold like a stone.
If you want, I can summon a rainbow,
Then fuck you and leave you alone.
Entropy tastes like tomorrow,
Tomorrow tastes like a clit.
I’m cooking your clit in a soup,
So you see, I’m mentally fit.
Memories hang in the balance,
A prostitute hangs in the noose.
If you feel you’ve been given the shaft,
Then wake up and call out for Zeus.
Salvation is small like a pebble,
You find it only when you let go.
If you still feel that you need to be saved,
Then there’s still so much you don’t know.

Poem: “Circadian”

Once more into the sludge of the morn,
Where sleeping and waking are yet again torn
Between life and death; between love and scorn,
Between being buried and being reborn.

Once more into the thick of the fray,
The edge of tomorrow with the dirt of today,
That center where madness and sadness give way
To pain overwhelming, and pain kept at bay.

Once more into the war on my mind,
That egg sack of memories and feelings maligned,
That cesspool of images and urges inclined
To be ever in conflict with bounds undefined.

Once more into the pasture of loss,
Where more than just saviors are nailed to the cross,
Where rocks never roll or gather up moss,
Where gold never glitters and eyes never gloss.

Once more into the hallway of meaning,
That bleak corridor where saints are convening,
And skeletons dressed in white satin are leaning
Against all the doors which their fingers are cleaning.

Once more into the death of my youth,
That moment in time the bedevils a sleuth,
That place on the map that resembles a tooth,
That place in the mind that cowers from truth.

Once more into the heart of the night,
That silent abyss between black and white,
That place where darkness recoils from light.
The place where wrong is an inversion of right.

Once more into the fog of Foucault,
Where snow never gathers and wind doesn’t blow,
That place where the pendulum’s swinging too low,
That dark situation where platelets won’t grow.

Once more into the kingdom of pain,
Where sperm doesn’t quicken and blood doesn’t stain,
Where “yesterday” and “tomorrow” refrain
From working together to soften your brain.

Once more through the doors of perception,
That coffin where sex is a curdled expression,
That tombstone of mirrored, shattered reflection,
Where truth is a lie and love a deception.