David A. Kirschenbaum
editor at boogcity dot com
after spending most of months on end,
past year on end,
past years on end,
holed up alone in my apartment
a cap falling off one tooth at the beginning of last month
three pieces of another breaking off at month’s end
(no dental or other insurance)
i venture off to long island for new year’s week
(the food is free out here
even though my parents have zoomed into lower middle class
with lower class coming up on the left).
i bagged on poproj’s new year’s day reading invite because
i didn’t know if I would be able to make it to the east village
after bagging on every doctor’s appoint this manic depressive diabetic had skedded
for the past month
didn’t know if i could deal with being surrounded by hundreds of people I didn’t know,
and, worse, hundreds i did.
so headed today to my sister’s
to junk food and see giants maybe make playoffs
and wished i was laying in my apartment on my queen size
eating 40 calorie whole wheat toast with cottage, cream, or american cheese.
a week after chanukah ended
finally together with folks
for late lunch potato latkes,
so good you don’t need any sour cream or apple sauce.
for dinner ellio’s pizza,
just like past 35 years,
though not really ever for dinner
over cbs shows back from their december repeats,
followed by clementines,
my dad peeling his in one piece,
forming one perfect s after another.
tuesday is free movie day for cablevision customers
folks free at area clearview cinemas with one card
and then me at full price.
but it ain’t worth $11 to see the new mission impossible in the theater,
so i’m planning on staying home.
before i say so,
folks decide to not winter up or bother driving a ways to see it either.
instead late lunch,
salmon salad with celery and onions chopped right into it by mom.
mom yells to me downstairs,
“come up now, lunch is on the table.”
it’s almost two in the afternoon,
and i don’t want to keep her waiting
so i go the bad diabetic route
and don’t inject myself or check my blood sugar.
sat in my folks hyundai
while my dad got his spine triple-checked
to save them 40 upper east side parking bucks.
it was like 30 degrees in the car,
but i didn’t wanna waste any gas or overheat the car,
so i just sat there in the cold by the pump listening to sports radio,
sipping a bottle of water so i could hold my pee in until my folks return,
probably two hours or so later.
i’ve started watching the gilmore girls again,
it’s been like six months,
dvr’ing the weekday repeats on the abc family channel
the three-pack repeats each saturday on soapnet,
(each network at a different point in the series’ run)
even though i was gifted the series box set a few years back.
(i never bothered hooking up the dvd/vcr an old roommate gave me on his way into
his boyfriend’s place,
and i don’t feel like watching them on my macbook’s tiny screen).
it’s a different kind of viewing on a fifth or sixth time through a series,
anticipating dialogue verbatim,
watching and then rewatching different moments
(always lorelai’s karaoking luke “I will always love you”
in the somewhat disappointing final season)
and fast forwarding through many storylines
(try as i might i can’t erase three seasons of logan huntzberger).
salad with raspberry vinaigrette
turkey hill diet caffeine free iced tea
and chocolate pudding with whipped cream.
dinner, check plus.
new commercial with old american idol winner kelly clarkson comes on the tv.
“she’s fat,” my mom says.
“yeah, she’s put on some weight,” i say.
anorexic niece melissa makes up a tune and sings it to everyone for me,
“that’s the pot call-ing the kettle black.”
“better than being anorexic,” i tell anorexic her.
turkey hill diet iced tea is $2.59 in long island by my folks,
for a gallon, a fucking gallon,
that’s 20 cents less than a half gallon in the city.
it’s gonna be a turkey hill night, yep,
a turkey hill night.
back in my apartment
meet sean to write more states’ poems
where we write together about states where we both have been
when at one point we realize we don’t have that many states in common.
“with new york we’ll have written about nine of the first 32 states,
and if we reach the max on the rest,
we’ll reach 16.”
which isn’t really that bad,
every so often i think about buying a pedometer
to measure how many steps i take each day
from bedroom to bathroom to kitchen (in assorted orders)
without leaving my apartment.
the forced hot air,
combined with a first viewing of part one of Rick Burns’ Baseball documentary
leads to an unplanned hour-and-a-half nap.
a virus ate a hole in my dad’s spine
and he’s been thinking about surgery
but going to rehab first
but his back still hurts
and he’s wearing his brace more often than not
and he’s gotten three opinions
and they all say have surgery
the last saying he should do six more weeks of rehab and then decide
but dad’s went with the other two and skedded the surgery for sooner,
and you never know about surgery,
especially at 81.
watching tebow and the broncos against the patriots
and all the divine intervention in the world isn’t helping them
as they go down 28-7 at the half.
I scan to see if any decent movie is in my folks’ den dvr
or starting on their premium channels any time soon
(but we’re on the half hour)
so we settle on a block of three everybody loves raymond on nickelodeon
dad and i want pizza
but it’s midnight in long island
three hours since real pizza delivery time
“how about domino’s?” he says.
“sure, that’ll do,” i say.
and i sat next to him
and hopped on my macbook
to order it online
and when i’m done my dad asks if he should call
to make sure the order went through okay.
and i showed him the bar on our order,
where each step in the fulfillment process
fills another chunk of the bar
until it reaches the being delivered step.
and that once one step on the bar is filled in,
then we’ll know it’s all good.
and as the first step on the bar fills in,
my dad goes “Nice.”
cousin kenny’s in from san francisco
so we all go to kosher chinese
and kosher he and kosher me get to eat anything on the menu.
“why don’t you get another cart and we’ll split the list,”
my dad says to me as we go grocery shopping at waldbaum’s.
“nah, let’s stay together, we’d only save a coupla minutes anyways.”
turkey breast with gravy
cranberry sauce with oranges
and roasted potatoes
i told mom it would’ve been an A
but that the canned kernel corn dropped it to an A-.
two mini-bialies, toasted with cream cheese with 16 ounces of tap water
kosher hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut
1 liter of tap water
slice of pizza with some garlic powder and a liter of diet pepsi
turkey off the bone, with lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, and russian dressing
and 1.5 liters of diet dr. pepper
tortilla chips and chunky salsa
ben and jerry’s new york super fudge chunk
2 liter of caffeine free diet pepsi
had an unauguration poetry reading the night before,
ian and kimberly sleeping in my bed afterwards,
me on the futon.
we quickdress at 4:00 a.m. alarm,
then 10-minute walk to penn station
and bus to d.c.
where we marched around the city, chanting against the unelected dubya.
eleven years later i still can’t find my bush-cheney inauguration black stocking cap.
rewatched old john cusack demi moore film one crazy summer,
this time with my folks.
“I mean, it was good, but no brain surgery,”
I said to my dad when it was over.
“yeah,” he said, “no brain surgery.”
as the giants played the game
that if they win would send them to another super bowl.
i keep thinking if this would be the last time my dad and I would do this.
back in my own bed tonight
after staying with my folks for a bit
missing the pleasant company
the filled fridge and square meals
watch dvr’d tv until five a.m.
internet porn until seven
realize the today show’s on,
tune in to crush ann curry some more but she’s wearing mom slacks
flip between sports radio show tv simulcasts,
espn’s mike and mike in the morning on espn news and espn2,
wfan’s boomer and carton on msg (with no boomer it’s more morning zoo than sports),
readying to go to bed,
but they’re about to announce the oscar nominees,
reprogram favorites on remote control to e, nbc, abc,
to make flipping between the oscar news easier,
plan on steadying with e,
but they have all the wrong hosts,
so i bop between good morning america and the today show.
they say phil simms is coming on boomer and carton in the nine o’clock hour,
dvr it and set sleep timer for 28 minutes,
radio always on sports radio 66 wfan,
catch some simms there, bandana over my eyes,
no alarm set.
another diabetes day and i’ve spread out on a napkin
my blood sugar testing machine (my glucometer)
and my injectable, the now paula deen-sponsored victoza.
must not want to die die if i’m still doing this.
it’s 11:30 at night, and i’m ready to order some groceries from fresh direct,
29 minutes to make the deadline for tomorrow delivery.
i check the available delivery slots,
everything after two o’clock is open.
so i shop from six weeks ago’s shopping list,
trying to keep it around $50,
tweaking and retweaking,
eliminating the bag of potatoes,
cutting the number of half-gallon turkey hill sugar free iced teas
from eight to three bottles,
checking the time with every change,
until getting the total down to $72.08, including delivery charge,
and with three minutes to go start to finalize my order,
get to “choose time”
and every friday slot has been filled.
i have an eight to noon appointment
for someone from my building’s maintenance department
to find the leak causing my bathroom’s plaster to peel
set alarm for 7:58 a.m.
go to bed at 6:15 a.m.
one friend just went on public assistance,
another’s little kid was committed to the psych ward.
my abnormal’s feeling a little less abnormal right about now.
this one here’s for all of you
people people who withdrew
from intel ops near and far
regular people wish on a star
dribs and drabs are not for we
the stolid few intelligensee
listen to the greek chorus sing
tell me more it is the thing
last minutes are not for thee
ignorance too far to see
hard it gets but what to do
send in the seal team numbered two
on my left palm i’ve written
POEM, to remind myself to write these daily poems
bandaid, because i’m all out of spiderman ones and haven’t found new fun ones yet
bellevue, to make a dental appointment and check on psych services
ACA, to ask the gallery’s co-owner for an extra hour at our final event there
Dr. Inada, to see if i can get my levothyroxine scrip renewed
FEGS, to make an appointment with a new psychopharmacologist
on the 23rd street bus heading east,
there’s this crazy cute little girl,
while i’m talking with her mom,
the little one is just so happy, so damn happy,
and notice on the back of my left hand,
underlined and in all caps
LITHIUM, because i ran out yesterday,
and think maybe i should write Nirvana next to it,
so it won’t maybe be weird, me and this cute lil girl.
Half hour later i tell this story to my nutritionist,
“You should just write Nirvana next to it.”
i like my nutritionist.
after i un manic d treated cheated on candace with an east 11th street blowjob
we didn’t talk for two weeks
and then she called and we talked a coupla times
after five weeks of living with my parents,
after candace threw me off of east fifth street,
she called and said she wanted to have dinner with me,
indian food on east sixth street,
in two hours,
just enough time to shower and reverse rush hour drive from long island.
the seven months we’d been going out she always wanted to have indian food
and i’d always said no.
i didn’t know what to order
so she ordered for me,
matar paneer, green peas and cheese,
(the only dish i still order to this day, save a salmon concoction twice)
and we started back together.