The August Project 2005

Sunday, July 31, 2005

08.01.05--11:16 p.m.

my new medical plan kicked in today
ending two plus months of nothing at all
but i reach someone at their offices
i have a doctor to see
i'll have a prescription to fill
but i have no card from my new medical plan
and she told me they send the membership packets out
within two weeks of your start date
and i didn't want to tell her "really?"
but i didn't because what's the point of that.

(written 08.04.05--1:28 a.m.)

there's always a moment
every year on this day
when i think of you thurman munson
crashing your plane
while practicing takeoffs and landings
at the akron-canton (ohio) airport.

(written 08.04.05--1:36 a.m.)

i spent hours on the phone
to get me some more lithium
called my shrink i haven't seen
he said seven days he'll have for me
but the shrink on my plan i wanna see
is backed up for four weeks
so i call old doc
to give me more dope
mama take me home

(written 08.06.05--12:31 a.m.)

dear major matt,
i'm sorry the poets are still sucking,
truly sorry.
that you listened to them talk about their small presses
and then while you played your songs they didn't
listen, that is,
they went to the wine and chips,
looked through the printed matter,
and talked to each other
at volumes so loud that you and your guitar kept fighting to get through.
the dozen of us sitting and listening
and applauding and thanking
couldn't have been happier to hear you,
but you know that,
and you were even ok with the talking,
you're like my dad that way,
this whatever way,
i'm never sure if it makes life more relaxing
or gives you an ulcer
all i know is you reminded me of my dad tonight
and he's the best man i know.

(written 08.06.05--12:37 a.m.)

i called rachel today
because that's what i do on this day every year.
"hey, guess where you were 14 years ago today?" i asked her.
"is that today?" she said.
and we talked a bit about it,
and about now,
and about the complete sentences her son jamie is saying now,
none of which i'm remembering right now,
and it's still so there,
rod and i off the greyhound from long island
walking to copies now on central ave. in albany
and there are the first two boog books,
micro-mini composition notebook replicas that rod had designed,
one in white, a flipbook,
with his poems on one side, mine on the other,
the other in red
with just rachel's poems,
and that night we went to artists for a new politics on madison
and read from them on the eve of rod and i's aborted cross-country trip.
rachel said jamie's starting pre-school next month.
"yeah, it's a religious name, but it's not a religious school."

(written 08.07.05--11:35 p.m.)


even from where i sit in the stands
i can see how tall you are
a six-foot five-inch australian
basketball superstar

everytime her teammates threw
the ball into the paint
she made any move she wanted
every move that you can't

and it was three blocks from my apartment
with two slices in my hand
to go and watch this goddess play
to be among her fans.

08.07.05--11:51 p.m.

went into kitchen at 9:05 p.m.,
just after watching rob lowe, julia ormond, and bunch of hot youngins i have to imdb
in the lifetime summer miniseries "beach girls."
listened to mets beating cubs at shea on wfan,
while making two gallons of nestea caffeine free diet ice tea.
then made five cans of tunafish so i'd have it at the ready during the week.
toasted onion bun, put tunafish on it, and then half of a plum totato i'd just cut in half slices.
went back to bedroom with just under a half-gallon of ice tea and an open tuna'd onion bun at 9:45 p.m.
turned volume up on mets game on espn.

(written 08.09.05--2:35 a.m.)

here's what i discovered
through an imdb search
for the television show Nash Bridges
a little after one a.m.
that the person who co-wrote the pilot
with the star Don Johnson
was Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

(written 08.10.05--11:45 p.m.)

i stumbled upon an unreleased album today
by one of my favorite bands,
and though i'm happy for the music new to me
i just couldn't believe
that when it listed the band's years
it said 1992-1995.
broken up 10 years?
aging just doesn't become me.

08.10.05--11:54 p.m.

all the bosses are gone
to a conference in seattle
and tomorrow it's just me and simon
so i've picked through my videotapes to find movies he might like
but more likely that he'll do like last conference,
watch a bit, make me stop at every phone ring or me talking during it,
and then say it stinks and go back to his desk.
eurotrip or prozac nation,
either way i'm good.

(written 08.12.05--1:21 a.m.)

i am wondering if it's wrong
that if on the days when i test my diabetes
if i buy a bunch of sugary stuff
--tonight a box of goobers
and another of jelly belly jelly beans--
so that they don't show up on the reading
when i test in two days.

(written 08.15.05--1:19 a.m.)

my niece michelle had a small part
as one of the ballplayers
in the musical damn yankees
but the girl who played lola
i can't really describe her
except she wore a red dress
and she moved, well, and she moved
at the diner afterward
my sister told me
that lola was turning 16 soon.

(written 08.15.05--1:34 a.m.)

i brought some laundry to do
did it in the evening
three outfits to cover me
from paying to get my laundry done

(written 08.15.05--1:01 a.m.)

this morning i discovered
while watching the what's on channel
that bring it on, again was on
and so i flipped to it
and watched the whole thing
and afterward mom wanted to watch beaches
but right after bring it on, again
the first film bring it on was on
so i had to watch that again
wondering if i wold pick kirsten dunst
or eliza dushku
and being taught again that the name
for the matching panty covers
that cheerleaders wear under their skirts
being taught that they're called a spanky.

(written 08.18.05--12:27 p.m.)

i got in to work at 9,
an hour or before normal,
because the rest of the office is at our conference
in seattle,
simon shows up a few minutes later
says he'll be gone all day,
last week he mentioned that he had to get new headshots done
and asked if it was ok by me that he'd be missing two or three hours
i said it was, because what else could i say,
and then two days later someone he knew died,
and now both things were on monday,
and instead of doing the right thing
and rescheduling his shoot,
he split five minutes later
and i was all alone,
the air conditioning didn't work either
(two fans didn't help)
i sat in a coworker's chair
thought of her and masturbated
a few hours later
someone came to buy some of our office furniture
and stacked in the front were seven chairs including that one.

(written 08.18.05--12:50 p.m.)

i'm liking summer tuesdays
more than most other summer weekdays
the gilmore girls at five on abc family,
then back-to-back at eight on the wb,
three hours of gilmore girls,
three hours of gilmore girls.
i'm liking summer tuesdays
more than most other summer weekdays

(written 08.18.05--1:00 p.m.)

i have this old friend who cut me off
just like she knows i've done to others
i think it was because i spoke of her at work
where she works no longer
and the interns that know her
told her what i said
but i never understood the cut-off
as everything i said were things i'd already said to her.
and so i got rid of all my links to her,
considered her done,
until i heard from a coworker
through those same interns who started this,
that she thinks that i'm the grammarian
commenting on her blog mistakes
but i'm not,
i'm over it,
and now i'm not
over it
for awhile.

(written 08.19.05--1:44 a.m.)

it was the first time that i'd waited overnight
for tickets to a concert,
tickets to anything
and then 22 years ago today
i was in the upper deck of shea stadium
with my friend barry and my cousin cindi,
who was visiting from northern california.
i think my friend mark and his sister sandy may have been there, too,
but i don't remember.
it was raining as the first band took the stage
everyone was booing them because they weren't who we came to see,
but r.e.m. played a half hour set
and then they left and we all were happy.
mtv original vj martha quinn
was the one hosting the night
and everyone booed her
except me who had a huge crush on her
(ok, i even google image searched her just a few weeks ago)
next up were locals joan jett and the blackhearts,
who were greeted to a real nice reception,
and they played a bit longer set
and we all only knew two songs,
and then they went off,
and we waited a little while,
and then we all geared up,
began applauding feverishly when we all realized it was time
and then The Police took the stage,
six years to the date that their current lineup had formed.
two years ago i didn't know who The Police were,
there was this girl nancy a year ahead of me in school
who listed her in the yearbook as one of her favorite bands,
and that was enough for me to hate them,
but then i began to hear their music
and watch their videos,
and i began to like
so i waited overnight with my friend mark
and we got tickets in the upper deck of shea stadium
and when The Police took the stage it was like nothing i'd ever felt
we were all jumping up and down
and the upper deck was shaking
to the point where we were like,
"oh shit, the upper deck was shaking."
and there are only a few other things that i remember from that night,
like how halfway through the show the police took a break
and they had cameras follow them backstage
where they had a tea break
and sting wore a wide-brimmed hat.
and the only thing that i remember from that night
was local rock station wplj
was handing out those cloth stickers we'd put on our jeans back then,
the kind that was rectangular with rounded corners,
the background was a light purple with red lettering atop it,
it had a picture of The Police on it,
and it was all i could do to try and get one of them that night,
but it was another 15 years until i did
when i found one for sale in a shop on West 8th Street.

(written 08.22.05--11:56 p.m.)

i have a hundred dollars to last me ’til payday
which divided by six means 16 bucks a day
but i go shopping and spend $78.20
and start to freak
until i find a 20 hidden away
that's not so bad
not so bad
i start to say
i just bought 4.14 pounds of grapes
i should be okay.

08.20.05--11:08 p.m.

i flip on the end of the met game
i'd left it when they were up 8-0 after three
with pedro on the mound
now it's the top of the ninth
andthe nationals have closed it to 8-6
and looper's on the mound
and he blows the lead
but luckily woodward's single in the bottom of the 10th wins it,
and it's 10:40
and i scan to watch,
and see that clueless is ending at 11 o'clock
and i turn to bravo to catch the final minutes
because it's always been one of those movies
where the final minutes are even better than the whole movie,
no matter how good the whole movie is,
and within a minute i'm almost crying
(the scene on the steps)
and then all of a sudden it's
general public's "tenderness" in the background,
where is the

(written 08.23.05--12:02 a.m.)

went to bed at 7 this morning
another night of getting lost in the t.v.
(the things i'm writing all sound like "the video killed the radio star")
i normally stay up until two, sometimes three
but if a show catches my eye at 3 o'clock,
one i haven't seen in a long time,
say murphy brown,
all of a sudden i'm watching still more t.v. shows
and then at six it's the local station's morning team
all the while i'm drinking my diet caffeine free iced tea,
and then two episodes of coach like it's 1993
and now i'm thinking that it really is sunday
and so i get under my covers, blinders on,
put sports radio on, face my wall, and mmm away.

(written 08.23.05--12:18 a.m.)

i went to work but had nothing really to do
we had a skeleton staff back from our conference in seattle
and they were concentrating on our move in two days
so i just answered the phones
and surfed the internet
read the local gossip columns, poet friends' blogs, espn and sports illustrated dot com,
tomorrow sounds like it will be more of the same,
though early on our internet will be down,
and come wednesday we'll be in the new office,
my walk from home now almost two blocks longer each way.

(written 08.27.05--12:18 a.m.)

i got the next boog city's poems in an email
from my poetry editor dana ward
and quickly going through the work
just to see the authors
i hate what i'm going to do
see i give my editors autonomy
because i wouldn't have picked them
if i didn't dig where they were coming from
but here dana got work from an author
with whom i'd had a mutual fall-out
and the idea of this poet's work
appearing in my paper would genuinely have made me sad
(it's really too much to go into here)
so i let dana know
and now the poem won't appear
and i guess that that's what i want
though i really wish that all this had been okay instead.

(written 08.27.05--12:44 a.m.)

(sing like a smith's song)

it was the first day in the new office
the first day officially
it wasn't a real regular workday
but instead i moved around boxes
and helped yoram as he built and mounted shelves
listening to classic rock
then walked the one flight down the steps
and exited through the hidden wall.

(written 08.29.05--1:45 a.m.)

a phone call from my brother
is an unexpected thing
but one comes today

he and his wife
are headed to see a broadway show
and ask if i want to meet for dinner

and so i mention ben's
a deli from home
that all of us like and is also here

so i meet them there
and we have a good time
and he treats me for my fried chicken

before they drive me home
10 blocks away
in their white stretch limo

i wonder when he'll call again
maybe soon i hope

dinner with bro and sis-in-law
then limo home

(written 08.29.05--1:21 a.m.)

it's friday
and we get out early for the sabbath
and so i always go food shopping

since i don't really cook
it's a very strange list
but it's always the same

i buy some onion rolls
for some kosher turkey breast or cottage cheese
and three plum totatoes, too

i buy a whole lot of
nestea sugar free decaffeinated iced tea
to make hundreds of ounces to drink

and some green grapes
and no-added sugar apple sauce
as my weekly deserts

and breakfast for work
raisins, nonfat plain yogurt,
and a box of grape nuts

some no-salt
smuckers natural peanut butter
and a loaf of seven grain bread for it

then maybe some chips and salsa
or some sour cream, chips and pretzels
but this week i only bought the former

and sometimes orange powerade
or apple juice
even entenmann's chocolate chip cookies

and this week two one-and-a-half liter
bottles of fresca
that made me happy, so very happy

(written 08.29.05--2:46 a.m.)

another saturday on my bed
watching the mets play the giants in san francisco
another saturday on my bed
enjoying the new extension cord
that brings my laptop to me

08.28.05--11:35 p.m.

(sing like a smiths song)

if i eat grapes
and you lay on my shoulder
will that make me feel one year older

this was a good one
this august 28th
this day i've made a holiday for myself

i saw rachel and jim
and i read to jamie
all he could do to not sleep

and i ate pierogies
with extra sour cream
and drank a lime rickey

then we walked to the park
the charlie parker jazz festival
and jamie began to dance

we saw nathaniel painting the ages
of the u.s. iraqi war dead
in the order they were killed

then we walked on over
to hear bluegrass for kids
and jamie danced and tried to walk upon the stage

then they walked home
as he still hadn't slept
and i went over to nathaniel

he painted the ages that i read to him
and then we packed up
and went to go hail a cab

at the bowery poetry club
we chatted with nan and matt
then heard them play as schwervon

and then king missile iii
played a greatest hits set
the best i've ever seen from them

and then we shared a cab home
kissed each other goodbye
and now i'm watching a lot of lifetime tv

if i eat grapes
and you lay on my shoulder
will that make me feel one year older

(written 08.30.05--2:28 a.m.)

(sing like an early liz phair song)

i left work
at four p.m.
to work on the paper
after a nap
but i didn't nap
and i watched tv
my laptop leaning against my leg
and i designed the pages
and filled the holes
with space for ads
payment to flow
and i see my new psychopharm doc
at 8:00 a.m.
so i shoot for bed at midnight
but there's more tv that i want to watch
so i drink iced tea
and eat puffed corn
there's a quantum leap on my t.v. now
2:36, 2:36,
and i'll be asleep in 40 minutes or so
it's been a good day, such a good day.

(written 08.31.05--2:09 a.m.)

wound up getting less than a rem cycle last night
up to the new psychopharm by eight
wasn't too please with the offices
not as clean and more crazies
but the doc seemed alright
cracking a bunch too many jokes
but when he talked i really liked him
i'll be seeing him in three weeks.
he never asked to see my old records,
but was about to give me a new scrip.
i questioned him on this.
"no one fakes a manic-depressive diagnosis to get lithium,
lithium isn't gonna help you get high."

(written 09.01.05—1:22 p.m.)

(sing like a smith's song)

another day, another new doc
he looked like a guy i knew from not long ago
so when he felt my scrotom sack
i was feeling a bit ambivalent