1985: Mix Tape, TDK Chrome 90 Minutes

Side One:
Hüsker Dü, “Broken Home, Broken Heart”
Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
R.E.M., “South Central Rain (I’m Sorry)”
Ready For The World, “Oh Sheila”
Chi-Lites, “Oh Girl”
The Cure, “Boys Don’t Cry”
The Minutemen, “This Ain’t No Picnic”
The Jam, “A Town Called Malice”
Black Flag, “Rise Above”

Side Two:
The Go Go’s, “Head Over Heels”
L.L. Cool J, “Rock the Bells”
Power Station, “Still In Your Heart”
Paul Young, “Every Time You Go Away”
Men At Work, “Overkill”
Todd Rundgren, “Hello, It’s Me”
Cyndi Lauper, “Time After Time”
Prince, “The Beautiful Ones”


Filed under Shader Outtakes, Shader: 99 Notes on Grief, Car Washes, Making Out in Church, and Other Unlearnable Subjects

The Equalizer: Second Series, including some Adagia I wrote. Get it here.

Pages from The Equalizer - Second Series


Featuring poetry by Samuel Amadon, Cindy Arrieu-King, David Bartone,Charles Bernstein, Anselm Berrigan, Edmund Berrigan, Anne Boyer, CM Burroughs, Nicole Callihan, Willa Carroll, Junior Clemons, Evan Commander, Rob Crawford, Daniel Davis-Rogers, Ray DeJesús, Michelle Dove, Paul Ebenkamp, Carly Eichhorn, Natalie Eilbert, Cathy Eisenhower, Frank Fabre, Jessica Fiorini, Jennifer H. Fortin, Drew Gardner, Jules Gibbs,Tyler Gobble, Kenneth Goldsmith, Nada Gordon, Bradley Harrison, Andrea Henchey, Sean Patrick Hill, Randall Horton, Thomas Hummel, Marsha Idlewine, Jeffrey Jullich, Paul Killebrew, Jennifer L. Knox, Eric Kocher,Krystal Languell, Amy Lawless, Noel Long, Pattie McCarthy, Sam A. McCormick, Tracey McTague, Kasey Mohammad, Amanda Montei, Lindsay Rose Moore, Jess Mynes, Daniel Nester, Danielle Pafunda,Guillermo Parra, Michael Peters, Brett Price, Nate Pritts, Grace Quick,Layne Ransom, Meg Ronan, Kawaji Ryuko, Zach Savich, Kelly Schirmann,Sandman Simonds, Abraham Smith, Danez Smith, Eric Sneathen,Sparrow, Adam Stutz, Dawn Sueoka, Sho Sugita, Hunnel Tolland, Víctor Valera Mora, Paul Vargas, Kevin Varrone, Maya Weeks, Patrick Whitfill, Tyrone Williams, and Mark Yakich

The Equalizer – Second Series [pdf]


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Filed under Poems, Shameless Self-Promotion

Philadelphia: Ruby in Paradise, 1993


I wanted to escape to New York. Hiding out in Philly would have to do.

My main hangout, besides cheap bars like Dirty Frank’s and McGlinchey’s, was TLA Video, where Kieron and I rented art house films. Tape boxes sorted by director or themes (“Jane Campion,” “Noir,” “Women In Trouble,” “Eisenstadt”). With the ankle settlement money, I could live cheaply while I shelved books, and watch movies.


In Ruby in Paradise, Ashley Judd plays a woman who moves to a small resort town in Florida to make a new start. There are scenes where she walks around in a nightie, listening to nothing happening, the sound of the waves. I watched it over and over the first week in Philly.

Looking back, I should have done more with this time—written “The Waste Land,” perhaps, or plowed through Proust. Instead, I watched movies and drank beer. I’d walk around 1614 Spruce and rearrange furniture, put a spider plant on this table or that, play Miles Davis’ Down on the Corner or Jack Johnson.

In my alternative universe, the abusive redneck man she left was Deena, my psychotic ex, and I was Ruby, who wanted to decide for herself who “she wanted to be.” She went on motorcycle rides with bad boys. I was Ruby. Ruby c’est moi!


In the movie adaption of my life, Crystal will play the part of Sassy Black Video Clerk. Crystal worked at TLA Video. She played obscure Prince songs on the stereo, and I’d compliment her choices.  She wore a biker jacket, had a huge afro, smelled of patchouli and had ribbons in her dreads. She raised an eyebrow whenever anyone said anything to her. It was easy to make her smile, but difficult to get her to talk. I know the dynamic of customer and counterperson: the person has to interact with me. I can make jokes and they have to react. Most of the time laugh.

She was also the only person whose line I got into at TLA Video. I did this because Crystal did not judge me for renting adult movies. I’d hide the fact I was doing this by renting a trio of tapes: the highbrow movie, the movie I’d actually see, and the one I’d spank off to as soon as I got home.

I’d approach the counter with a Derek Jarman film, Blazing Saddles, and a Busty Broads Compilation, and Crystal didn’t flinch. She just got me my tapes. Years later, I saw her on the L train in Brooklyn and introduced her to my wife. I felt the need to do this.

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Filed under Shader Outtakes, Shader: 99 Notes on Grief, Car Washes, Making Out in Church, and Other Unlearnable Subjects

Kay Kyser introduces the Sonovox in the 1940 film “You’ll Find Out.”

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Filed under Really Really Beyond Camp, Riffs

Recently scanned: New York Halloweeen Party, 1994.

Halloween 1994
It’s an oversized chair and when you sit in it and lift up a big baby bottle you look like a baby yourself. Get it? This was taken in Murray Hill in October 1994, when I first moved into New York City.

My Lord, I’m still wearing Doc Martens at this point.

And let’s not forget Mr. Angel of Death walking by.

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Filed under Beyond Camp

1982: Mixtape, TDK Normal 90 Minutes

TDK - D 90 - 1

Side One, “Hard Side”:

AC/DC “You Shook Me All Night Long”

Billy Joel “It’s Still Rock and Roll”

Pink Floyd “Another Brick In The Wall (Part Two)”

Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight”

Foreigner “Urgent”

Journey “Any Way You Want It”

Waylon Jennings “Theme From “The Dukes Of Hazard” (Good Ol’ Boys)”


Side Two, “Soft Side”:

Fleetwood Mac “Don’t Stop”

Air Supply “All Out Of Love

Eddie Rabbit “Driving My Life Away”

Kim Carnes “Bettie Davis Eyes”

Bruce Springsteen “Hungry Heart”

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Filed under Shader Outtakes, Shader: 99 Notes on Grief, Car Washes, Making Out in Church, and Other Unlearnable Subjects

Poem from 1995: “Sign on Trainbridge: Trenton Makes The World Takes.”


I suspect the jerk-off
they just threw off the train
doesn’t believe in God, because

if he did, he’d have sat down
like the conductor asked him. Instead,
he did the scofflaw’s walk

down the aisle, a drunk
in a cemetery who pees on the headstone
with the funniest-sounding name.

He slipped into another car,
to chintz on his fare. Nothing,
you see, gets by these railroad

employees, especially freeloaders.
They are acutely aware of this abuse.
God is the same feeling you get, sitting,

waiting on a bench in Trenton,
the empty transfer platform, open-air
cold with glinty metal. No train yet,

but it’s paid for. That’s it.
That’s all. It’s our shared desolation.

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Filed under Poems