Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An Inadequate Keepsake

This is
the best day of my life.

I'm not fooled
by its mundane patina,
its ordinary facade.

It is a golden day
it is not a memory
nor a dream.

It is real,
and I am awake,

and this is not
a poem,
but rather
an inadequate keepsake
of an ineffable grandeur.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cornerman Pep Talk (In Between Rounds)

"You just have to do it.

There is nothing here
to fear
but fear,
and you must
stand that bastard down.

what are you afraid of?
Looking stupid?
Looking pointless?
That's not gonna kill you.

Get in there!

don't be your own
worst enemy,
be his worst
bloody nightmare,
and beat that monster
worse than
your dad beat you
and worse than
life beat him.

Listen to your cornerman:
all you can do
is re-enter the fight,
keep punching
and refuse to
stay down.

When that bell rings
don't look at his face,
just kill this ugly animal.

Forget that he is
your evil twin.

He's trying to kill you
but damn it,
kill him first!"

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Bill Cosby Rape Accusations Have Me Very, Very Afflicted...Right!

1. She was raped
at knife point.

No question.

She reported it
but justice was
decades away.

I believed her
and lived with her
and her hyper-vigilance
and her PTSD
and her inability
to emotionally connect
with me.

2. Did I ever tell you
that I was accused
of rape as well?

She was
an angry married sow
who wantonly pursued me
right after my wife left
and she boiled
when I didn't beg her
to leave her husband
after we fucked,
stupid and sweaty
in a hazy, August afternoon.

She couldn't bear
to be discarded
as easily as I did
(which is why you
don't fuck
newly divorced people)
so she told her
hillbilly caveman husband
I raped her.
He threatened to kill me.

Three months
after we fucked,
then came the
wrapped in a false accusation.

3. Lessons Learned:

Time is of the essence:
if you're raped,
report it immediately.

If you're falsely accused,
defend yourself immediately.

Don't give any one
any time
to make up
their own versions
of what happened.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Holy Ritual

If you light a candle
as part of the ritual,
without thinking,
without devotion,

then it is just that:
a ritual,
an empty ritual.

If you light a candle
and you feel the connection
to the eternal flame,
to that which commanded
let there be light,
it is also
a ritual,
a holy ritual.

Friday, November 14, 2014


If I strike out
on my own
and get lost
I am alone.

If I follow you
and you get lost
then we are both

I love you
and I trust you,
so I say
let's go

and try not
to get lost,

but if we do,
at least
we won't be

Not Optional

From the beginning
I had no doubt:

we are to love
and take care of
each other.

Liking them,
is optional.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Unseen Three Haiku

They cannot be seen
but each one, Air, God, Music,
make this life real.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 12 and January 6

Every November 12
I remember,
thankful that they found
each other
and eventually made me.

If he didn't die
they would have hit
54 years on
November 12.

This coming January 6th
my Pop would have been

Between these dates
came Christmas
the best time of the year,
a time my mom said
my father was relaxed,
maybe happy.

They seemed happiest
at Christmastime.

It was always
the best time of the year,
many years
it was the only good
string of days
I knew.

So, every year
I start playing
Christmas music
November 12
and I end 
January 6,

for the precious gift
of memory,
which becomes more
fragile with each

Muse Trouble

Poised to write

come out , come out
wherever you are

I admit defeat.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Weather Report

The national weather map
with its colored waves
purple, blue red
in an inverse bell curve
of temperatures
that will dip from
the mid 70s
down to the teens.

In just one day.

Our nation
will be one
prematurely shivering,
freezing monolith.

Except California
and Florida,

where it remains
sunny and perfect.

how's that news?

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Blind Faith

Who suffers more
from blind faith,

the one who believes
in what he cannot see

or the one who only believes
in what he can see?

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Itch

There is an itch
in the middle of my back
just out of reach
and i scrape myself
like a pathetic grizzly bear,
against trees,
stucco walls.

Try as they might
no one can get right at it.
Either it's the wrong pressure
Or the wrong location.

It's maddening
this unreachable nagging
that cannot be answered.

I used to fear it would
drive me insane,
until I realized
it was the thing
driving me.

Thursday, November 06, 2014


is a
fleeting thing.

Only fools
try to
contain it
as it
dries up
and dissolves
upon touch.

All we
can do
is make
our hearts
and homes
ready to
welcome her
and maybe
convince her
to stay
just a
few minutes

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Keep This Moment

Keep this moment
as a memory
but not a museum piece.

Make this moment always shine
like a diamond 
under a spotlight, 
make it sing like
a bird before dawn.

Let it be alive,
a rose in perfect bloom,
thick and swollen
with red passion.

Let your fingers
slide over and pluck
this stringed harp
and feel the reverberation
deep in your soul,
echoing a million times
or more.

Keep this moment
and really study the light
caught in her hair,
her lips,
moist and inviting.

Keep this moment
because somedays
the sun will be hidden
and the birds will be asleep
and you'll need
these memories
to get you through.

Keep this moment,
I know you can't,
but that doesn't mean
you shouldn't try.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Dirty Lenny

“Heroes aren't born,
they’re cornered,”
said the Foxx.

I wasn't around
to see his battle,
I only read about it.

His modest proposition
to say the things
he thought comical,
the things
everyone thought
but were too timid to speak,
brought him to light.

Some intone his name
as one would a martyr
for the hipness cred,
forgetting his own definition
that a comic needs
“to make an
audience laugh
at least once
every 20 seconds
for a period
of not less
than one hour.”

Some try to see him
independent of his milieu.

You can’t
because he couldn't exist
without the repression of the fifties,
with its paranoid boundaries,
and spooky religious superstition.

The nerve he let tumble out
fueled by hypocrisy and speed
was a crazy quilt of jazz argot,
metaphysical poetry and
Yiddish schtick
at a seedy San Fernando club.

They called him
Dirty Lenny,
and he was my favorite kind of hero,
Jewish, with a correct sense
of moral righteousness
not unlike
Jesus, except
Jesus wasn't
a junkie.

Lenny Bruce
my hero,
done in
by heroin.

Monday, November 03, 2014


It's easier to surrender
the warm summer nights
to the first chill
of Autumn
knowing I will be
under blankets
of stars
and promises
with you.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

I Believe in Heaven

The Ebola nurse
and her spaniel
after between apart
for three weeks

or the soldier father
back from Afghanistan
seeing his
toddler daughter
talking for the first time

both elicit
the same tears.

The natural response
of such reunification
is primal:

we existed
before we were born
in the infinite,
together with God,

Bringing us down
to this blue planet
makes us
human and alive
and finite.

I believe in heaven
because I believe
in the power of

everyone finally
together again,
awash in a mist
of embraces, laughter
and tears
of thankfulness.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Heroin Game

Sure, it's a game.

You put down your nickel,
and you take your chances,

but make no mistake,
the game is rigged.

It lets you win
at first,
and you ride the high.

It's unlike
you've ever known.

It's like your first pastrami,
the best blow job
and infinite Christmas presents
all rolled into one.

You coast for a while
and it begins sneaking up on you
that you're
winning less
and paying
more and more
for an ever diminishing

you win at first,
but remember
who plays
cleans up or dies.

don't play.

Not even once.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Stench

I ran up to my front door
stuttering my key into the lock
and I could feel that presence,
a stiff, steaming stench
breathing at my back.

I turned on every light,
reflexes at the ready,
and I inspected the room
(there are only so many places
a psychopath can hide in a studio

I snuck up
on the shower curtain,
and whipping it
to one side,
I found nothing
and then proceeded
to give myself a one-handed scrub,
with my kitchen knife
poised in the other.

I lay myself down
in the darkness,
safe in the knowledge
of the gun in the drawer,
the knife under my pillow
and the door
chained and tripled-locked,
and I drifted
into slow, deep-breathed

The last thing I remember
before feeling
the piercing of my chest
was the stench,
laughing and derisive:

“I knew you’d
fall asleep.”

[Written for Fireblossom Friday at  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2014/10/fireblossom-friday.html - write something scary...boo!]

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What I Kept From My Father (a Dia de los Muertos tribute)

I kept his humility
but not his shyness.

I kept his loyalty
but not his tribalism.

I kept his laughter
but not his derision.

I kept his discipline
but not his strictness.

I kept his skepticism
but not his cynicism.

I kept his patriotism
but not his blind allegiance.

I kept his faithfulness
but not his routine.

I kept his integrity
but not his inflexibility.

I kept his hairline
but not his irregularity.

I kept his high cholesterol
but not his naivete.

I keep him inside me
but never hide him.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Making Peace with War

There is always war
waging somewhere.
This is the nature
of this pageant
that begins
bathed in blood
and ends
in the snuffing out
of the breath.

Even Jesus,
the Prince of Peace,
was at war
with those who did not
honor God.

Trying to eradicate
this malevolent pulse
will keep the foolish
and the naive
running in circles,

so I try
making peace
with war:

Yes, I see you,
but I refuse
to fight back,

or cause your demise,

and I will not
to your
destructive ideology.

Live and let live,
you can't kill me
for this soul
has no beginning
and no end.

[Posted for my friends at dversepoets.com - come on in and lose your war.]

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Love Note to the Muse

Turn me on baby

wrap me up
in your electric
fuzz guitar solo

send the firecracker
giggle of spicy coconut
chicken to my tongue

give my body
a gazelle’s grace
as I jete
off the cliff

and then spread
my wings and land
just south of
the fragrant field
of sunshine roses.

Let the Beatles music
and let this guitar
be the extension
of my arms

soften this heart
to catch a glimpse
of God
in every shape and hue
and tone

and help nurse
my hopes in this borough
of disappointment and filth.

It’s an ugly world
but you always give me
x-ray specs

to penetrate
and see all those things
otherwise hidden and divine

and give me
a pencil and paper
always within reach
to prove that
it’s more than
a dream

turn me on baby
you know what I need.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Want To Be an Old Man with You

I want to be an old man with you
to weave a lifetime tapestry
and repaint bedrooms,
plant more Korean box woods
and take more pictures
of the kids as they dress up
and become adults.

I want to be an old man with you
and feel the warm,
reassuring grip of your hand
as we stroll through Decembers
and sit on our bench
on the warm July nights
beneath a blanket of ancient stars.

I want to be an old man with you
and remember all the ways we changed
and inwardly smile because
we never were in doubt,
not for a second.

I want to be an old man with you
and hear you laugh a million-fold
to dry your tears, both happy and sad
and feel your heartbeat
when in your embrace,

and to wonder
who said “I love you” first,

and to revel

in its infinite echo.

Friday, October 10, 2014


As the Earth
orbits in lazy silence,
we are mostly helpless
but to do the same.

I am ever amazed by
the orchestration
of falling leaves,
ripples awakened
by the pebble,
roses proclaiming
ecstasy in the breeze
not just for their mystery,
but because they were
put here for me.

Dear Jesus,
your followers
want to put you in a box
of containable contradiction
to carry around
and show to their friends
and possibly make a sale or two.

I don’t need to know.

I just want to
feed your sheep
with humility and gratitude,

even when all I have to offer
are crummy little poems
like this one.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The Goddamned Wart

He sits on the knuckle
of my “fuck you” finger.

I've had him removed
at least 7 times
but he must like me
because he keeps coming back
and uglier than ever.

They tried cutting him off,
freezing him off,
burning him off with putrid chemicals,

but he returns,
and defiant.

I try not
to obsess over him,
he’s less than
an inch
so I try to keep him
in proper perspective.

If I fight him
and just try
to rip him off with my teeth
I’ll only end up
and the sonofabitch
will just return again.

Why do you love me so much?

I can almost
forget you’re there
as I gesticulate when I speak
sometimes enamored
with my own brilliance
and I know my listener
is similarly enthralled,

but then I catch a glimpse of you

and I become self-conscious
and my timing gets shot
and my soliloquy dries up
and I rein in my hands.

Even if I wanted to show
my wedding ring
everyone will see
the goddamned wart,

but perhaps that
is his purpose:

to remind me that
while I sometimes
temporarily delude
myself into thinking
that I am perfect
I am not,

but also to remind me
that I don’t have to be perfect
to be lovable to someone

warts and all.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Inevitable Conclusion

No poetry.
No wisdom.
No insight.

Just life
and work
and mental illness
and discouragement.

I always said
if I'm not writing,
then I'm not a writer.

This blog mocks me
just waiting for something
to give it purpose.

So, I'm going on hiatus,
as they say in TV land
where my dreams of writing began.

Thank you for the kind words.
Thank you for your attention.
Thank you for making me believe
I wasn't invisible.

There is a heaviness
in my heart lately
and before I surrender
and let it win,
I need to get offstage.

Maybe I'll be back,
but if you ever want
to get in touch with me,
just read what I've left here.

When you read me,
then there is no existential question
of whether I exist,
whether I matter.

When you read me
I am in your mind,
and if I ever make it through
to your heart,
to your soul,

that's closest
of all.

With much love
and respect,

this is your humble servant
Buddah Moskowitz

signing off
for now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Yay, Fullerton!"

We were transfixed,
watching the
slow-speed chase
that Friday afternoon
in 1994.

A white Bronco,
an unlikely center of attention,
an even more unlikely
murder suspect
who held a gun
to his head
as his narcissism
would not allow

From our
Southern California
living room,
my Pop and I
as the newscopters
followed O.J.
from Mission Viejo
north to Irvine,
Santa Ana,

and as if on cue,
we both looked
skyward out of the
sliding glass patio door
and saw the
tiny army of helicopters
that was taping the chase
from above,
the chase that was beamed
to the world
and to our living room
in Fullerton.

We smiled
and cheered,
not for O.J.,
but because we felt
a perverse pride
that our modest hometown
was part of this
news story.

“Yay, Fullerton!”

It’s still one
of my favorite memories
of my Pop.

Monday, June 09, 2014


1982 and
synth washed New Wave
was the soundtrack
of college days,
and my college pub
modestly marqueed

I couldn't believe it:
The Texas Nightingale,
and her heartache
wise blues
would be singing
for the blonde-haired
Born Again Christian
at Cal Sate Fullerton?

And no cover?

Must be a mistake
I thought,
but I got there early,
took my place
on the side
of the stage,
as her time drew near,
she was escorted
to the stage by the pianist.

She leaned against
the piano,
a legend,
a modest mountain
of passion and pain,
laughter and learning,
singing her slightly salacious,
saucy songs from the 1920’s
 and I loved every minute
of it.

The crowd wasn't interested,
they ignored her.

Sippie and I were both
outsiders here,
and I stayed there cheering
her on,
basking in her glow,
the halo of the gifted.

Her set ended,
and rather than escort her
she was unceremoniously
seated out of slight
behind a speaker.

I had to go to class,
and as I walked by
she appeared in thought,
perhaps wondering
how she was received,
where she was,

I broke her reverie
with a stage whisper


and she looked at me
trying to place me,
and I smiled and
stage whispered

and she beamed
and cocked her head
in acknowledgement,

and we connected
in the way that
the blues connects
us all.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

That Elusive, Undying Flavor

The hunger never leaves
and it rarely takes a break.

Like a furnace,
it keeps demanding
coal, fuel,
lest its flame die.

The world is one
endless smorgasbord
of desire and temptation
and I have committed
to keeping kosher.

Tamed desires are
merely tastes and
I want
that wildfire,
so consuming,
an all-encompassing conflagration
moving with such velocity
that I no longer care
whether I am alive
or I am dying.

When I find
that thing,
that elusive, unending flavor,
I will consume it
and consume it
and consume it

until I can
no longer
desire it,
or anything else,
ever again.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hey “Poet”

Hey ladies,
Prince Charming isn't coming
to your door,
that’s the UPS man.

If you want him, get off the couch
and get him.

Hey loser,
you think you’re ever getting laid
on a regular basis
without a job?

Put down your bong
and make yourself
useful enough to get paid.

Hey “Poet”,
you can wait for inspiration
to randomly glide by
like the prize
in a shooting gallery
and hope you
catch it in one shot,

or you can
don your camouflage,
strap the quiver to your back,
put on your
night vision goggles
and go deep inside
the slippery, steaming darkness
and sneak up on it,

and pounce,
feeding lustily upon
that which you've hungered for,

and when you’re sated,
release it,
give a reasonable head start
and begin the chase again.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Take Me Deep Into the Flower

Take me deep
into the flower.

Let me search
for the mystery
of her beauty,
of her scent.

Though the answer
will elude me,
we both know
this silent, devoted
and unabashed worship
remains the only
glorious response worthy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Put down your pen,
power down your computer,
turn down the lights,
and with desire pulsating
over and under
every tantalizing curve,
write your poem,
your skin on mine,
until our threesome
you, me and the moon,
float away in the
cool, dark night.