Love Letters

I have no Idea who you call at night. I never asked for your cell number. Its those wild blues. The grey blue, its that laugh. I sat there with a smoke in my mouth. A thousand drags, a thousand draws on life looking at your freckles. I wondered how you looked before the sun came before you were kissed with so much beauty.

I woke like any other morning and looked around me, I looked at the sun through the window, unsure of how late it really was but when I turned I saw your back and each drop of light that ever touched you. I looked over you like a field. How long would it take to get across you? Each freckle a blade of grass. I wondered when first light had touched your back. I was sucked in. The scent of your hair made me breathe deeper. A thousand freckles unsure of where to begin.

The next time I hooked my finger on your jeans, the tip touching your hip bone. Like citrus you said to me and I thought of lemons. I was sure I smelled and tasted of the earth. I was sure I was low tide. But you said no you taste like citrus.

Cookies and giggles we laugh within our eyes. Your sneakers scuffing my shoes. I can still feel your hip bones and the way your breath was drawn as we touched cotton to cotton.

How you said we had gone to far. I agreed and you slept better. You slept better than you had so many nights before. But I lingered in the late night waiting on the chirps of birds because I could not contain myself. Wondering why  I wanted to write love letter again when I never even asked for your number.

Getting Published

article

I have published 18 articles and poems since May and this is what I learned.

 

  1.  Put yourself out there.  No one is going to find you in your basement apartment behind your bong or under the beer cans you should be recycling.
  2. Write!  Write as often as you can, when you can and where you can.  I don’t care if it is in the can or on the can.  Write on your gay friend’s white bare ass for all I care.  Write, write and then rewrite.
  3. Know your weaknesses. Work on making them better or at least try to avoid them.
  4. Demand honesty!  You are not going to get the truth from your mom or your girlfriend.  They love you and do not wish to crush your dreams.  Well at least your mom loves you.  I hope.
  5. Deal with it! You’re not Hemingway or James Joyce.
  6. Know who you are!  Make no apologies and find like minded people.
  7. Read!  Read the classics.  They are classics for a reason.  Read the greats in your genre.
  8. Market yourself.  Face the fact that you are a word whore and a pimp all rolled into one.  Shake your money maker Biotch!
  9. Get a website or a blog and update it.  So I don’t follow some of my own advice…sue me!
  10. Write! Write,write and rewrite!
  11. Find writers!  Get them in your corner and bounce ideas off of them.  Let them proofread your work and listen to them.  You do not need their approval just their skills.
  12. Write!  Write, write and rewrite.
  13. Don’t forget! The pen is mightier than the sword.  You are a mighty word throwing thug.  Now go out and kick some ass.

Cutch

 

osprey header

Photo by Tom Poet

In one day Cutch managed to fly 286 miles. He made it from Long Island to South Carolina in two days.  Five days later he was in Cuba, he then crossed the Caribbean and by September 27th he has in Columbia.  Tagged with a GPS transmitter he was being watched the whole time by ornithologist Rob Bierregaard.  On the 29th Cutch’s signal stopped moving. Rest assured there were no Colombian cartels involved in his untimely demise.  He died while doing what osprey do, hunt for fish.

cutch-flight

Photo “borrowed” from Mr.Bierregaard website

Cutch was accidentally impaled on a piece of a tree sticking out of a pond on the Chico Mono Ranch.  At first Cutch’s death was thought to be an assassination but it turned out to be an accidental suicide. Mr. Bierregaard thought Cutch may have been shot down at a fish farm or something but it turns out he just didn’t see that little bit of branch sticking out of the water.

cutch-pond

Yeah I “borrowed” this one too

There is still hope for North Fork Bob an osprey who is figured to arrive here on the 1st or 2nd of April.  North Fork Bob has had a transmitter on since August of 2010 and still appears to be going strong.  That’s good news.

I know the osprey by me is back already and as far as I know he/she doesn’t have a name.  I just call the osprey TP for the piece of white paper sticking out of the nest.

tp osprey

Photo by Tom Poet

 

osprey flight

 TP taking off after I went to close to the nest

For the full story on Cutch and how he made national news check out the story in The Suffolk Times.  I’ll be keeping an eye on TP since he/she is right by where I go fishing with my girls.  I can always feel spring coming on when the birds of prey arrive on the shores. And Please remember to always check the water before diving.  Have a great summer.

 

Check out the Cutch’s flight and story here.

North Fork Bob

Richard O. “Rob” Bierregaard, Jr.

A.J. and Dee Bones

“I can’t believe you can’t smoke in bars anymore”

“I miss those days.”

“When the smoke would roll out the door.” Dee bones said as he laughed and crumbled inward covering his mouth so he wouldn’t spit.

“World has gone to shit.”

“Ain’t that the truth Joe”

The little bartender in her tight jeans opened a box of mint.  The top covered Joe’s keys.

“You just gonna open your box like that?”

Her dark hair covered her eyes as she looked down.  Three colleges boys looked on from way across the bar.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to.” Then it hit her. What he meant by box, her face snapped from under the cover of her hair.  Her eyes straight on.

“Now who’s being rude?” Joe asked.

Dee bones gestured away.  Joe taking it all in,  grinned.

“You are?”

“So I am..I am.”

Her face attempting to be angry blushed over with a smile.  Average Joe’s eyes bedroom soft pierced her tough but playful front.

“I couldn’t help it, it was too easy” he said.

“I Didn’t even know what you meant at first.”

“Are you new at this?”

“At bartending? No!”

“Perhaps it’s early?”

“It’s the end of my shift”

“You’re not coming on to me are you?” he said.

Her arms went to her hips, she moved to the side.

“No.” She looked over at Dee.  Dee bones smiled and laughed.

“Coming on to you is my job. I’m the one buying the beer.  So who’s the fucking Mojito for?  One of those 12 year olds over there?” Joe asked as he gestured to the three guys about college age.

“Yep”

“I think they are fighting over who loves you more”

She looked over her shoulders, looked back at Joe and smiled.  She started grinding the mint, starring.  Her low cut top revealing her soft white cleavage.  Joe never stopped looking into her eyes.

“So who loves me more?”

“They all do.” he said without hesitation.

Her smile bigger, her  grinding harder she finished up the drink and walked towards the college boys. Joe drank her in.

“How do you do that?” Dee bones asked.

“What?”

“Just say shit like that!  I would get punched in the face.”

“No you wouldn’t.”

“Yes I would.”

“No You just don’t talk like that.  It’s not your nature.  Smoke?”

“Sure.”

“That’s some good fucking beer.  What do you want to try next?”

“The porter”

“Cool.”

They but their jackets on like Amour and walked out into the cold winter air.  The red tip of their Newport’s dousing snowflakes as they smoked.

“Fucking bullshit smoking out here”

“Can’t find a good bar anymore, the true twisted addictive personalities stay home now, all the characters are gone. Makes it easy for me.”

“It’s always been easy for you A.J.” Dee Bones said.

A.J. flicked his smoke halfway into the parking lot, it rolled into the grate above the storm drain.  Dee bones put his smoke in the cigarette receptacles.  They walked back into the bar a trail of smoke following them.

 

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ithaca Flower Power

 

Weighting in a perfect 7.5% ABV

I can’t say enough good things about this beer.  Citrus bursting suds, malt base and a fresh hoppy flavor a beer lovers palate would consider paradise.  Chuck full of grapefruit and a touch of pineapple, a biting beer full of heaven.  Reminds me of…..

Beer advocates 95 out of 100 World Class Rating

Rate Beer 97 out of 100

Untappd 4.09 out 5

The Brewery spin

Enjoy the clover honey hue and tropical nose. Simultaneously Punchy and soothing with a big body and a finish that boasts pineapple and grapefruit. Flower power is hopped and dry-hopped five different times throughout the brewing and fermentation process.

My Smoke and Toke Take

Has a great golden color and the lacy head remains on the glass.  Nice bite, great hoppy flavor, leaves just enough bitterness on the tongue and has a clean finish.  Can barely taste the alcohol.  Great beer. Refreshing, strong and flat out awesome.  Ithaca Brewing company has a winner with this beer.  The best beer I have consumed in a long time.

Port Jeff Starboard Oatmeal Stout (SOS)

 

Weighting in at a whopping 9.2% ABV.

This is a stout with a kick and half. A hint of chocolate, thin head from out of the growler and a minimal aftertaste of alcohol.  Leaves lips sticky but then again I was smoking a bit when I tasted it.  Could have been cottonmouth…

Beeradvocates gave it an overall rating of good.

Rate Beer gave it a 3.68 out of 5.

Untappd gave it 3.74 out of 5

The Brewery’s Spin

Summer’s final ferry has departed from Port Jefferson Harbor, and colder weather is imminent. A suitable remedy for winter’s inevitable arrival? Starboard Oatmeal Stout. A luscious, velvet-smooth pour of sweet chocolate, roast, and comforting warmth, Starboard Oatmeal Stout is brewed with flaked oats, brown sugar, and raisins. Breakfast in a glass, basically. Dessert, too. Every meal, actually, and the perfect companion for contemplation near any serene winter landscape. Especially a shoreline.

My Smoke And Toke Take

Overall I enjoyed this stout.  Aptly named SOS because after a few you may need to be rescued from the couch.  It packs a punch and will certainly get you whacked out of your skull if you have more than a few.  For a beer with 9.2% alcohol you can barely taste the alcohol, has a dry finish, silky going down and a brown sugar stickiness on the lips. Good stout, kick ass buzz!

 Tom Poet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goldfish On A Double Shift part 1

My cousin Mac went to the other High School in the district.  After school we worked at a gas station that was across from a strip of stores, everyone who hung out at the stores knew us.

“That’s him”

“Who, Mac?”

“Joe!”

“That’s the fucking guy who has been harassing you at school?”

There he was all five feet seven inches of him. I towered over Joe and so did Mac. But Mac didn’t see it in those simple terms. My cousin was an outcast at his school like I was at mine.  We were dirt bags or burnouts. Joe was athlete with a bad temper who had a reputation as a bully.

“You can take him.”

“He’s a fucking Dick!”

Between “you can take him” and “he’s a fucking dick” we agreed I would go out and talk with Joe.

I walked out from the booth at the gas station to arrange a show down of sorts. After all the stores were our stomping grounds.  I walked out with a click in my neck, popped loud by a shoulder shrug and head twitch, with elbows in and a long gate to my stride I approached Joe.

Joe was at the pumps with three of his friends, basically a car full of jocks.

“You Joe?”

“Who the fuck are you?”

“My cousin thinks you’re a dick and he wants to kick your ass… at six, after the bosses leave.”

Not the best opening line and Joe took offence to it. He called me a few names.

The next thing I knew he had me in a headlock and he was pounding on my face. All five feet seven inches of him leaping on me like a crazed animal. Mr. Cool, with the credit cards and his buddies cheering him on, was kicking my ass. Mac finally made his way out from the protection of the booth while my face was being punished and my eye blackened.

Joe had not thought this out and either had I. I grabbed Joe by the balls and the back of the head, took three running steps, leaped and brought him down face first to the ground. A mushroom cloud of blood erupted across the concrete, his eyes rolled behind his head.   I ran towards my cousin who had a crowbar in his hand and was running at me.

I screamed “I think he is dead”.

It was the summer going into eleventh grade. I forgot my own size and strength. Joe’s eyes finally rolled around as they put him in the car. I knew this wasn’t over and Joe’s friends would be back with some big boys. Maybe the rest of the team and some brothers, a wave would come our way. I grabbed the pipe from Mac.

“Looks like I am working a double with ya!”

To be continued….

Goldfish On A Double Shift part 2

We looked out from the booth and hoped our friends would show up before the sun went down. We had a payphone. Back then cell phones were worn on your back like a day pack.

First call was home but my older brother was working construction somewhere. The twins were in the armed forces. We didn’t call Mac’s older brothers because his brothers weren’t like mine. I had proved that over a dish of ravioli’s.

I knew Joe would be alright once I saw his head roll and eyes roll around. I knew he was at least alive. I also knew in that instant I had changed things, disrupted Joe’s Place and elevated my own among my group, the kids in High School and the mechanics at work. I had protected my cousin by knocking out a bully

A mad looking mechanic, a biker type who hardly ever said a word to me saw the whole fight and wanted me to tell the tale seconds after it happened. The mechanics and the manager smiled and listened to me tell what happened. We all finally agreed that more guys would show up later.

Pumped up by me the young lanky guy brawling it out, the mechanics gathered their biggest crowbars and handles. They waited by Mac and my side an hour after they were off the clock.

A half hour in to the mechanics free time a big 4×4 truck screeches into the gas station packed with angry kids with weapons. The mechanics grabbed their weapons and prepared to confront and scare away the angry group that had come to fight Mac and me. Mac and I were told to stay in the booth.

One guy I had never seen before stood out from the rest of the group. He was big, blonde and looked like the extreme version of Joe. He stood behind the wall of kids, confronting the mechanics with finger pointing and gestures toward the booth. I watched like a goldfish from out of my bowl.

I had no chance against this guy and if I was to confront him my time had to be then before the mechanics left and this big blonde Kong came back. Our friends had not gathered. They were either playing handball at the school or smoking pot somewhere in the last of the woods.

I handed the pipe back to Mac and walked out to meet the gathering.

There was no pop in my neck this time. There were no long strides. I walked with a slow swagger. I smiled and came out of the booth like I was the Grand Poobah. My courage had grown in a few short hours. I walked out with a childish joy, a cocky grin and my best bluff I could come up with.

The mechanics couldn’t turn from the wall of foes and had no choice but to watch me walk up from behind them. I had no weapon in my hand and I was tossing M and M’s into my mouth. I squared up to blonde Kong from behind the mechanics.

“Tell ya what. The mechanics are gone in a half hour, come back then and I’ll put you in the hospital like your buddy”.

I walked back to the booth with knees knocking.

They went home.

Later that night they jumped Mac, about a block from his house and just a few minutes after we split up. Their numbers were down to three with out blonde Kong. Mac tricked one of them into chasing him around a corner. A pipe to the body sent yet another one off to the doctors. Mac was left without a scratch but Joe had to show up to school with a broken collar bone, a yellow bruised face and a patch still on his skull from the stitches.

A week after the fight I saw Joe at the 7 11. He pulled up in a car as I came up around the corner, on my ten speed bike. I put the kickstand down peered through the windshield at the driver, Blonde Kong, only to be greeted by Joe apologizing to me. His able hand reached out for a handshake no more than waist high. I tried not to shake his hand too hard. I had broken my collar bone before I knew the pain he was feeling. I could see his wounds and he was man enough to confront me with regret. I told him I was sorry too. I held the door open for Joe, went inside and bought a Big Gulp. We never spoke again.

Super Dad

I come home to my Dad in between the two twin beds I have jammed together to make one bed. I am at the age where I am out growing everything even my bed doesn’t fit me. In slow motion I see my Dad pulling out my bowls and my bong from between the two twin beds. There are four bowls, one bong and my Dad is enraged. I’m in the tenth grade and one of the bowls I handmade in wood shop is in jeopardy of being in my fathers possession.

In the back of my mind I’m thinking I spent a lot of time on that bowl. Planning it out, sanding it and hiding it from the wood shop teacher. There was getting the fitting so the bowl on the pipe could be changed for a different bowl at any time. I liked that bowl a lot but Dad was pissed and I was starting to fear for my life.

My Dad a cop of 26 years was not happy to see that his son was smoking weed. This was the first time he had ever come across a storage of my paraphernalia. I’m busted and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it but like any tenth grader I try the “They’re my buddies” excuse and I even make up a fake buddy name. But my Dad cuts me off with the simple fact that my homemade bowl has my nickname painted on its side. I spend a month on punishment, meaning I can’t go out after school or on weekends. I have to go straight home.

To add to the punishment Dad also takes me into the Bronx’s and drives me around the ghettoes he works in, attempting to show me what I may become. He is convinced that because I like to smoke weed I am going to become a heroin addict or a junkie of some kind. He drives me through the shittest parts of town hoping it will scare me straight but what I see is poor people. I’m in tenth grade so he can’t push me out on the street but he tells me that when I turn 18 he won’t tolerate this behavior and I will be on my own if I don’t play by his rules. He threatens me with military school, even leaves pamphlets on my pillow at night.

We are not driving around in a police car, we are undercover and its kind of fun. Dad has his gun with him, he is an old school Irish cop and about as tough as they come. He works out more than me. Jogs and generally loves being a cop. He sees himself as Dirty Harry and has a reputation to match. Dad can tell the scare ride through the ghetto isn’t scaring me so he pushes it further and tells me I have to stay in the car while he goes into work.

He parks his car a few blocks from the police station on the streets, in the Bronx’s, during the 80’s, leaves me in it and goes into work. I open the door, walk to the Jamaican deli, get a few beef patties and smoke a bowl of weed around the corner from the station. I make my way back to the car and wait for my Dad to come back. He does. He brings me lunch and I eat it. No sense in letting him know about the beef patties besides I have the munchies.

The ride around the city is more fun than it’s punishment. Dad realizes the “scare tour” is hopeless, he changes tactics. He knows he has time. A cop always has time to wait a junkie out and he tells me this fact all the time.

From the tenth grade on I get busted on and off by my super cop Dad. Dad relentlessly pursues my every move. He retires his last year on the force number 26 as I am graduating High School. I become his main case.

Aware that I am the main case I become better about hiding my stuff and not letting him catch me. I clean my room of all weed, seeds and even twigs. I know Dad is looking to bust me once and for all. He is convinced only tough love will get me off “the pot”. Super cop is on a mission.

This isn’t like tenth grade, now. I am 18 in college, working and paying for my own education, books, car, car insurance and most of the clothes on my back. I can’t afford the expense of an apartment. If I am going to be able to afford my tuition, books, car insurance I need to stay home.

My education, my goals, it all depended on having a roof over my head. But Dad couldn’t afford to have me walking in red eyed on the weekends. So he went looking for evidence. DNA if need be, he would find something. He did. Four pot seeds in the radiator.

I argued illegal search and seizure without probable cause. Dad simply stated that it was his house and he didn’t need probable cause or a search warrant to check my room.

Fucking Cops.

He held four pots seeds up and with a dead straight face told me I was busted and kicked out of the house.

It was harsh.

It wasn’t like it was a bong or a pipe with my name on it. This wasn’t like a Briar pipe, with an interchangeable bowl, sanded to a glass finish, with a poem in honor of it painted on the back and little greenish clouds. This wasn’t like finding that work of art my bowl from tenth grade. I was getting kicked out for four pot seeds found in the radiator.

For the next month I went from one friend’s house to the next crashing on what ever couches I could find. After a little more than four weeks I broke down, went home and talked to my Mom. She got me back in the house right before a big paper was due in school. I was under strict orders not to bring any pot into the house, so I didn’t. I left it in my car.

Between full time school and a full time job I was working my ass off. I had my first day off in little under a month and I wanted to celebrate. I wanted to smoke a joint.

I had no buds left but I had two fat roaches in my car ashtray. I removed the two half joints from the car so I could roll them into one joint. I was going to smoke the joint outside but I needed papers. I put the roaches down on the kitchen counter and went down stairs to my room to find some rolling papers. I reached across the bed for my nightstand and the down pillow felt cool, comfortable. I kicked off my shoes, my shirt and my pants when I realized I had not gone to the Laundromat. I didn’t have a change of clothes. I stretched across the blankets and fell asleep. I must have locked the door behind me out of habit. Growing up in a big family you learn to flip a lock with a thumb motion as you shut the door.

During my sleep Dad and Mom come home, a day early, in a good mood and pleased to see my car in the driveway. They know I have been working hard and doing the right thing.

They open the door to the house, walk in and find two fat roaches of some of the best weed money can buy on their kitchen counter. Dad goes into a fit. On the way down stairs Mom tries to calm him down. I am of course sound asleep dreaming of a girl in photography class.

My Dad starts pounding on my door with his fists and screaming my name. In a deep unexpected sleep I really have no idea where I am at or when I fell asleep. This is the type of sleep you wake out of feeling you are late for something or like it’s the next day.

I hear through the fog of the long hours and the deep darkness of my slumber my father shouting my name. I hear him screaming for me over the dream landscape. He is in the distance. There is a loud pounding. Still half dreaming I can’t figure out why my Dad is shouting in my photography class.

I wake up in my windowless basement bedroom, confused, I quickly jump to my feet and in the darkness try to focus on my Dad’s voice. My head snaps in several directions. I hear him. I am come to the conclusion that he is in trouble.

I screamed back out to him “DADDDDDDDDDDDDDDD” as I lowered my shoulders and run full steam into the darkness towards his voice. I hit the door in full stride busting it off the hinges sending splinters flying. My Dad standing behind the door takes a massive hit. I stand on the door in my underwear all 6 feet two hundred pounds of me, the door beneath me, my father beneath the door. Dad is staring up at me.

“What’s the matter? DAD? What?” I am screaming.

I have no idea what’s going on.

“DAD. YOU ALRIGHT” I frantically repeat?

Puzzled about why my Dad is under the door everything starts to come into focus.

“You alright Dad? You scared the hell out of me. I thought you were in trouble”.

He reaches up with his hand. I thought he was asking for a hand up. I reached out to help. But I don’t hear him say “thanks for trying to save me”. Instead he says “I found these” I look at his hand and I see almost two half joints. I am too tired in my half sleep I thought my Dad was getting murdered or something. Two roaches, four pot seeds, I could care less at this point. I just ran into the dark, half nude, through a door to safe him.

I turn back to the bed, exhausted, willing to accept my fate and with bigger worries on my mind than my Dad’s feelings about what kind of a person I am. At that moment I was a force heading in a direction that not even my father could stop.

Dad goes back upstairs realizing that I would put my life on the line for him, that I would break through any door or wall for what I believed in. I was putting myself through college and doing the right thing. I had grown up to be a man. Either that or his head really hurt. In light of the harsh punishment I had received for the four pot seeds he reduces these charges and lets me go with community service.

Community service means I have to do yard work and fix the door. I get put on parole as well, meaning I can’t get in trouble again for the next six months.