The September Project 2010
By David A. Kirschenbaum
These are my poems from a project I did with another poet where we each wrote our own poems with the titles taken from front page and lead sports section headlines from local papers in our hometowns Below are my poems only.
i was afraid again that my roommate would kill me
it's not based in fact but still does scare me
i have no shades on my windows
so i wear blinders to sleep
not the one's with elastic that tug too tight on me
but a bandana like my 40something peers
of the rocker variety
wear to hide their ascending hairlines.
and wow, it's still here,
this irrational fear,
i can't cover my eyes ’cause my roommate might kill me
i hear a noise through the sports radio and uncover my eyes
there's no one there
it's five in the morning
now it's five thirty
i'm gonna eat them left over stuffed shells cold
and stay awake through the dawn
i'm drinking half-frozen water
chewing on ice chips
now it's six thirty
i'm gonna try and go to sleep
hope my roommate don't kill me.
On the band All's 1989 album Allroy's Revenge
the eighth track is a cover of the classic "Hot Rod Lincoln"
opening with the machine gunned
"my pappy said son you're gonna drive me to drinkin'
if you don't stop drivin' that hot rod lincoln."
Rod Sperry who cofounded Boog with me
turned me on to this album during the ramp up to our first Boog books
during one of his many "you've never heard of …" music tutorials
when we'd quiet his dorm single down to nothing
but his stereo
up as high as it would go for that space between tracks two and three,
to hear him whisper his word "hypolovely"
(he knew the band).
before lowering it down quickly
as track three kicked in.
Coroner studies baby’s death
$250 and we'll say it's not a baby
say there wasn't a death
say there wasn't a baby's breath
Reds fall in St. Louis
first St. Louis hours
layover on way to Louisville
for poetry and music insomniacathon
i Metrolinked to the Gateway Arch
took my shoes off
and stuck my feet in the Mississippi.
the fastest I ever got a car was
somewhere ‘round a 100 miles per hour
on the drive with barry goldstein
in my folks’ first new car
a white 1986 pontiac sunbird
to visit david best at lehigh university
during all our freshman years
i dare-pinned the sped-o-meter,
which only went as high as 80
the steering wheel shaking in my hands,
before I brought it down without a ticket,
until on my way home
I got one for rolling through a red light by the midtown tunnel.
got to go and see
him walk inside
got to go just be
him thinkin’ suicide
got to begin the end
him sends out dots and dashes
got to see it all again
him sufferin’ succotashes
Taliban defections stall
If I defect will you
And see me right on through
If I defect will we
Runaway and see
Reds drop second vs. Colorado
June 15, 1977 was a sad day
tom seaver was traded to the reds
And two months later my mom and dad and I
Went to shea to catch tom terrific’s first game against his old team
And we didn’t have tickets as we pulled into the shea parking lot
But my dad scored three seats for us on our walk to the ballpark.
‘I Forgive You’
every other weekend
we’d visit my aunt marion and uncle saul
in fairlawn new jersey
I’d go into the basement and talk basketball with my cousin howard
who had season tickets to the knicks
I’d go upstairs and talk music with my cousin kenny
The biggest Elton john fan you’d ever meet
Or go outside and help my cousin Allan Altman
As he filmed his latest super 8 spectacle
Then rolling down the elementary school’s deep green hill
Depression over buy and eat junkfood
Wake up to throw up in middle of night
Call boss early, 8:00 a.m.,
To get his machine and call in sick
Watch today show
Listen to someone pump the latest must-read howard Hughes biography
First plane hits
It’s not that big they’re saying
An accident they’re saying
We watch today show together
Second plane hits
Mom and sis want me to head to long island
“no one is looking to crash a plane into my apartment complex,
three blocks from the towers
I find out later my coworkers leave in one of three ways
Some leave immediately after the second plane hits
Others leave while the towers are falling, downtown a dust bowl,
A few stragglers wait out the day and leave in the evening.
A week later when I return to work the subway smells like death.
A Hit With the Fans
there’s nothing like the fans
at a WNBA game
all these women and little girls
Cool Your Jets!
during day camp at the Y
summer of ’77
we took the bus to hofstra university
to watch the jets during training camp
and i fell in love with Bruce Harper,
a short, speedy third-down back and kick returner
from a school I’d never heard of
who gave me his autograph on the sidelines afterward,
with a big swooped number 42 aside his name.
when I was 13 or 14
there was a tv movie on
where young teenage girls
in an attempt to increase their breast size
would have there elbows bent at their side
and thrust them backwards
all the while chanting
we must, we must
we must increase our busts.
Candidates Trade Blame
I would play tea party
with my niece michelle
she served the best air
best that I could tell.
Let Me Hear You!
I was living in Albany
when I saw the indie film Hear My Song
at the only indie house in town,
With Real Buttered Popcorn!!
The husband of the family I’d occasionally baby sit for
told me it was the best movie he’d seen in a long, long time,
I went to see it the following weekend.
it never stood a chance.
the plot of the movie blown away
starring the two coreys, haim and feldman,
twisted a bit
to a final didn’t see it coming twist,
but i was covered by the multiple rewinds
of a pre-implant nicole eggert nude scene.
Got a call from my in from San Francisco cousin kenny
“We have an extra comp ticket for jersey boys tonight, wanna go?”
For some reason I remember teenage solo singing
Frank Valli and the Four Seasons
“December 1963 (Oh What a Night)”
all the time.
We sat down low,
Turnout still falling at Masses
Before I die I’d like to go to a Christmas mass in a black church.
On Sunday, Bengals are upright citizens
I go minimal for my birthdays
ask three or four friends to comfort food at trailer park
usually mac and cheese and sweet potato fries,
sometimes a half order of the fries and the other half tater tots,
before going around the corner
to see a show at the upright citizens brigade theater.
Mad Carl Disease!
I read this one Mad Karl Rove Disease.
Are those tears of joy in your eyes?
Drake cuts are called ‘too much’
My dad delivered Coca-Cola when I was in junior high,
drove a truck through parts of Queens and Long Island.
All the routemen would befriend each other,
trade chips or cakes for soda.
My dad would brought home tons of Drake’s cakes
so I could collect the baseball cards contained in the boxes.
Reds open series with Padres tonight
When the Mets beat the Reds in the 1973 National League Championship series
My brother and sister jumped on the field and celebrated
brought a piece of Shea Stadium grass to grow in our Flatbush apartment
Flubway! Weekend delays will cripple 18 of 19 lines
The sign at the downtown C train says its running okay
so I take my 300+ pounds down the stairs
to see the entrances roped off.
Turnout may tilt to GOP
I figured a low turnout
what with the rain forcing the event inside
ended up with a crowd of performers plus three
in the basement.
15-year wait could end at home
I still call my parents’ home home.
Casino Funds to Run Streetcar
The end of the month
is giving me the crushing feeling
the next one will be sweeter
& without the hurt that made me mean
as summer dialed down & left me its arrangements
brittle yet safer by breaking free of pain
i'm trying to sleep through my days
forestall the pain by staying under my covers for an extra two hours of half-sleep
and two more of the same
then tv coverup any sad thoughts as best i can
(reruns of scrubs work pretty well)
after which I barely made it back into my language
I was thinking if it fell to me now
to be good, to even be good to my instincts I'd fail
dumb then to wait for attention to come
back as if it weren't a thing I make from high wagers
saving everything to go big delicate serenity
I'd fuck up by not being gentle enough with or being
impatient or worse than that, dull
Day after, business is booming
i remember senior year in high school
watching the day after
that tv show about a nuclear holocaust hitting Kansas
it was in the middle of the cold war
and the news reporters kept interviewing people to gauge their fear
i just wore the pale blue t-shirt i bought
after the russians bombed the korean airliner out of the sky
scrawled with red lettering saying "Russia Sucks"
Oh god I love that movie!
& it terrifies. I remember in 3rd grade calling a class-
mate a 'commie' which I'd come to understand
idiomatically as something awful
though I didn't have a clue what it was.