NEW FICTION: Bourbon & Blondes has arrived!

From the bus stations of Rt. 66 to the smoky, neon-tinged jazz dives of the big cities, these wanton tales of longing introduce us to vixens on the fringe and those shifty men that drove them there.

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Watch: The 'Bourbon & Blondes' Book Trailer

Get your shot glass ready because you're about to enter a retro world of showgirls, drifters, barmaids and thieves.

The eternal question for scribes?

In this new social media landscape, the question becomes: Is blogging dead? It just may be...

Watch: The 'Front Page Palooka' Book Trailer

Read the pulp novella that one reviewer called 'A potboiler in the style of old school writers like Mickey Spillane, Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler...'

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WAY LATE (poem)

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Earlier tonight, The Boss took the stage and started a last string of dates at Giants Stadium, slated to be demolished. He debuted a new rousing new tune for the event called "Wrecking Ball" and offered up his memories of the Meadowlands ("where mosquitos grow as big as airplanes," he sang) and asserted that life will go on when "all our youth and beauty have been given to dust," and "all our little victories and glories have turned into parking lots."

Great tune. Enjoy.

Rock's Steinbeck says Goodbye to Giants Stadium


Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the maverick of "Brick City."

... or poetry for that matter.

I recently got sucked into a powerful documentary series that's been airing on Sundance called "Brick City." I must admit that I was instantly attracted to viewing it because I work in Newark, the subject of the film.

It's created and directed by the award-winning filmmakers Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin, and it fans out around the city of Newark, New Jersey to capture the daily drama of a community striving to become a better, safer, stronger place to live.

Against great odds, Newark's citizens and its Mayor, Cory A. Booker, fight to raise the city out of nearly a half century of violence, poverty and corruption. In the five one-hour episodes, the lives of Mayor Booker, citizens on the front lines, and key figures re-making the city – from developers to gang members and youth mentors - intertwine in a portrait of a city at a critical moment in history.

Newark, New Jersey is known as "Brick City" for its architectural style, urban strength and human resilience. The city has consistently been a battlefield of high stakes drama, and in the wake of the riots and rebellion that exploded in 1967, it became a symbol of American urban decline. Filmed in the second full year of Mayor Booker's administration, "Brick City" follows the Mayor and member of his administration and average Newarkers who are engaged in the complex, difficult and essential work of urban renewal.

Think HBO's "The Wire" but in real life. Staggering, sad, funny and above all, powerful. Check it out. If you have cable or on-demand, you should be able to view it that way.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Shit, doesn't every writer?? I know I need it every day, multiple times a day. In any case, one of the legends has coffee dating as far back as the 9th century, first discovered in Ethiopia by a goat herder named Kaldi. He noticed the stimulating effects that the coffee berries had on his goats and began to experiment with them.

A century later, coffee began being roasted and traded by Arabs. From there, the beans entered Indian and European markets and the first coffee shop opened in Constantinople in 1475. From there, coffee's popularity grew at an exponential rate.

Today, over 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year. Staggering fact?? It's a world commodity second only to oil.

To celebrate this historical and important beverage, check out a piece I wrote for a long dead magazine.

And finally, check out this Bukowski-inspired awesome coffee mug.

NO ONE WOULD BELIEVE ME (flash fiction)

Guy walks into a bar - my little hole-in-the-wall bar, as matter of fact.

It was in mid-August and about three in the afternoon when I saw this elderly man, a stranger to me, limp up to the juke and labor over his selections. At the start of the first note, he smiled and made way towards the bar, dragging his cane slightly behind him.

After serving him my best sarsaparilla he told me that it was a special day and that he wished he could be with his daughter.

We talked a small bit, his songs finished long before his third sarsaparilla and, as he left, slurred "Thank you very much..."

And then it hit me and got the chills - the songs, that voice, a daughter. No one would believe me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


OK... Making this one was fun. I'm reposting this here on my blog because YouTube seems to take down every video made that doesn't have their "sanctioned" music attached. Bummer.

So, that said, there are plenty of Kerouac videos out there. This is a short video I created that tries to capture the aura, essence and bravado of the tough guy scribe. Have a scotch for me, Jack, wherever you are...

And by the way, when in hell is someone going to make a Kerouac biopic?? Looking at him in some of these portraits, I nominate Daniel Craig. Yes... James Bond. They sorta look alike.

Friday, September 25, 2009


It’s one of the world's most famous beer and today, Guinness celebrates its 250th birthday. Celebrations kick off in Dublin, Ireland, where a host of musicians including Kelly Rowland, Sir. Tom Jones and Kasabian will perform at venues across the city.

To read more about it, click HERE.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The candles flicker as I sit
and listen to the wind scare
the bejesus out of me.

Out of nowhere, it comes,
and I think something
is out there.

I hear trees and bushes rustling;
I wait for a cat to wail but it never does.
It stops, and I figure I have to close
this screen door.

No fucking way it's staying open.
No fucking way...

When the screen slams shut, I hear
something else as I spin my head
and hear the loudest creak
in my life coming from

A chill sweeps by my face and I
can feel the candles taunting me.

I watch them until they melt.


Just saying... Came across this pic online today and it was so wonderfully Bukowskified, that I had to post. How do you think 'ol Hank would've enjoyed this joint?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I've long said that had Bruce Springsteen not been a rock god of the highest order, he'd surely make a fabulous showing as a poet extraordinaire. For proof, I suggest snagging a copy of his lyric book "Songs" at Amazon.

In any case, The Boss turns 60 today and my colleague Stan Goldstein wrote a fabulous piece on his 60 favorite Bruce moments. Check it out HERE.

You can also enjoy this classic Bruce video to a classic Bruce song... Happy Birthday Bruuuuuuce!


Too amazing not too share... When movie legends or rock stars die before their time, we sometimes console ourselves with the adage that it's better to burn out than fade away. That said, a new ad created for a South African agency by Velocity Films might make you scrap that notion and think differently. The guy playing Dean is simply amazing. This is what James Dean would have looked like had he lived. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

GRADUATION DAY, 1940 (flash fiction)

Look at them. Dumb as it sounds, these chaps chucked it all and gathered enough scratch to put themselves through Clown College during the Great Depression.

Some would stowaway to Europe and practice their craft in an elegant manner while others would stay in the States, hopping onto carnies in the Dust Bowl that migrated towards California and the movies.

The rugged types, though, usually headed towards either the big rodeos of the Southwest or The Steel Pier in Atlantic City (the latter needing brutish men for that inhumane diving horses act).

Whatever the case, people pointed and made a fool of them but at the end of the day, there was money in their pockets. Not much, mind you, but it beat standing on the bread line in the rain.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


You just gotta love drunk celebs ... Better yet, drunk celebs behind the cork AS THEY WORK. So, that said, check out this priceless clip of Orson Welles half-in-the-bag while shooting one of those vintage Paul Masson Wine commercials of the '70s.

And remember, they'll sell no wine before their time ...

Saturday, September 19, 2009


William Faulkner once said "There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others." Well, late Mr. Faulkner, have I got a social networking site for you.

Connosr is the place to be. Fans contribute ratings and reviews to help you decide your next single malt purchase. Whiskeys are broken down into Scotch, Irish, and American, and can also be browsed by dozens of user-created tags such as vanilla, smoky, earthy, and spicy.

Enjpy and I'll see ya there!

WHAT WOULD SWAYZE DO? (flash fiction)

While this isn't the most embarrassing moment of my life, it certainly stands out as one of my defining moments of nervous stupidity... Enjoy this piece of flash fiction that was the answer to a challenge calling for our most embarrassing moments

It was Fall of 1987 and all I can remember about it now was how crisp the air seemed.

After waiting what seemed like an hour on her couch, Darlene and I hopped into my 1978 Buick La Sabre and headed towards the movie, my first with a girl.

As we watched Johnny Castle take baby out of her corner, all I could think of was my next move. Do we go out for ice cream or do I take her home?

Walking up to the car in a sweet little hand-hold, I patted my pants furiously with that spazzy panic that every guy knows all too well.

Sighing, I looked at the movie poster and admired how cool Swayze was before turning to Darlene, "Do you have a dime? I have to call my mother so my dad can unlock my car."

MORE THAN ENOUGH (flash fiction)

This was the answer to a counting counting challenge... Tell a story using one, two, three... at the start of each sentence.

One time was all it took for me to be pushed.

Two beers and a jukebox tune into my night, I watched them walk in and I dreaded what would follow.

Three ugly dudes with Brillo pads for beards decided that this was the night they'd wreak havoc on an otherwise peaceful joint and saddled up to me at the bar.

Four typists getting the jump on happy hour drew straws to see which one of these hoods would park their boots underneath their beds.

Five minutes, that's all it took, for one of them to start in with me - a poor schnook with glasses and a book.

Six lessons of karate, that's all I had, but it was more than enough.


This came from a challenge someone proposed over at the Six Sentences Social Network. While I thought about 'sixing' other writers for the challenge, I wanted to explore a scribe who I admire more and more these days: John Cheever. His short story collection is one of the best I've read...

So I give you ...


He had a rough day in the city and after a jarring ride from Grand Central, the last thing he needed was to hear about how the maid wasn't doing her job.

Or about the kids at school.

Tonight, Johnathan needed time for himself. He needed time to read his paper and watch Cronkite; needed his gimlet sitting in the living room, hearing nothing but the crickets.

Johnathan needed all this to tell her he didn't get the promotion yet again. So he quit.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Well this just blows...

What frugal person doesn't like libraries? They're like a video store, only better. Which is why it's horrifying to learn that thanks to the economic meltdown and the state of Pennsylvania's inability to pass its budget, the Philadelphia Free Library is closing on October 2nd. They'll be ending all services and programs, and closing all of the buildings.

Oh, and by the way... They want all of the books back, too.

To read more about this travesty, click HERE.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I love Men's Health magazine. It's filled with so much more than the obvious gym rat advice and this is funny little nugget popped up in their article "Life Observations: 17 Things You Must Never Water Down."

Check out number eleven:

11. Whiskey. True story: While sitting at a bar we like, we heard the bartender take an order for Jack Daniel's Single Barrel and Coke. "Who the hell orders that with Coke?" we asked. "Julian Lennon," said the waitress. Naturally. Goes to show: When you corrupt whiskey, all you do is embarrass Dad.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


Good thing Chuck Buk didn't live in Arizona. With all his "dukin'" he may have gotten hurt.

Check out this piece of crazy: Arizonans with concealed weapons permits will be allowed to take a handgun into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol under a bill recently signed by Gov. Jan Brewer.

The measure, backed by the National Rifle Association, will require bar and restaurant owners who want to ban weapons on the premises to post a no-guns sign next to the business' liquor license.


To read more, click HERE.


I was speaking with someone the other day about one of my favorite Bukowski poems, "To the Whore Who Stole My Poems." Is that a great fuckin' title or what?? In any case, here is the link for the text in case you haven't read it.

If you don't feel like reading, sit back and enjoy this fan made tribute with good 'ol Hank reading it.


We all know that good ol' Hank loved his vino. Fot that very reason, I couldn't pass up not posting this odd friggin' whatever this is... Gary Vaynerchuk has long talked about pairing wine with cereal and he recently went “there” and paired three wines with the classic kiddie cereals Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Odd...

Annoyingly, I can't embed the vid so here is the link.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

THE WELL (flash fiction)

Now and again, all writers go back to the well - that place they tap into where inspiration and dreams are born.

Like an assembly line in a jailhouse cafeteria, the well gave Hemingway his graceful brevity, it's where Dante Alighieri first drummed up that wretched descent and where Fitzgerald conjured his flights of fancy.

Edgar Allen went there frequently but one night after dipping his hand deep into that chasm of creativity, he came back with something not exactly suited for him and was perplexed.

Leaving, he passed William Sydney Porter, otherwise known as O. Henry, who didn't look exactly thrilled himself.

"I've got a collection of tales here," Poe said, "they're whimsical, optimistically charming and ironic. Useless to me."

"I have something quite disturbing," O. Henry replied, "a ghastly poem tracing a man's slow descent into madness. Let's trade..."


The lacquer cracker on the jukebox kept skipping so I told that bum of a barkeep to unplug the hunk-of-junk once and for all. It wasn't a time for the rah-rah's of wartime propaganda and I needed to think.

Think about my two crumb-bum partners. Think about which of 'em deserve the loot to begin with. Think about how I could hop a freight with the dough and no one would see this two-bit newsman again.

But then I heard the squeak of the back door open and those high heels approach, slowly. When I heard her gun cock, I knew she was alone.

As I took one final drag of the Chesterfield all I could think was, "Even when we were married, this broad never did know how to share..."

Friday, September 4, 2009


Okay, I'm gonna pimp my shit for a sec... Check out my minor appearance in the gritty literary journal ZYGOTE IN MY COFFEE, released by Tainted Coffee Press.

Zygote in My Coffee (often referred to simply as "Zygote") is a popular underground independent print and online magazine dealing mostly in experimental and "street" poetry, though it also publishes content that includes short fiction, social commentary, political rants, one-act plays, erotica, and adult-oriented comic strips. The magazine was started in San Jose, California in December 2003 by poet and cartoonist Brian Fugett, who later moved to and now publishes out of Kettering, Ohio. At one time, co-editors included Karl Koweski, Aleathia Drehmer, and C. Allen Rearick.

Zygote In My Coffee has so far released well over a hundred online issues and six print issues. After five years the magazine announced its defunct status in late 2008 but later resumed publication with a slightly limited schedule.

If you wanna be super swell in my book and buy one, click HERE.