Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Please click play to enjoy an audio reading

In the gutter, you tend to
notice things normal
people wouldn't dare dream.
You notice puddles;
And that befriending a hungry
pooch can be your biggest
mistake or quite
frankly, your only hope;
Nerf footballs make the
oddest shapes when each
end is chopped off and
they make damn fine pillows;

Blended beers from different
bottles don't taste all
that bad once you get used
to the initial warm jolt;
If you think women are hard
to come by in the waking world,
brother, just wait until you
haven't showered for a fortnight;

You realize that the time
of day doesn't seem all that
important anymore;
Bums celebrate Christmas;
You hair can hurt;
A small radio tuned to a lonely
talk station will get you through
the coldest of nights;
Oh, and a can of soup won't hurt;

You remember your best job
and wonder how it all went
And then you remember;
You start to blame people;
Your shitty company;
cheating wife;
that fucking president;
And then you take another
sip of that glorious hooch
and hope you pass out
before the wind keeps you awake;

You look at children walking
to school and that makes
you weep on so many different
levels that it's incomprehensible;
Their bounce reminds you
of promise and that's
something long gone;

You savor matchbooks;
You consider knocking that
old lady in the head just to
get off the street and land
in a nice warm cell, but then
you remember your mother and
hear her soothing voice;

After a time, the gutter
makes you read people
much better than you would
normally; you can see
where they went wrong;
It's in their eyes.

"Lottery Man" by Anthony Venutolo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Hosted by The Internet Archive, download MP3 here. Music by RobinHood76 "Christmas Background1" and provided by The FreeSound Project.


  1. WOW! I not only feel as though I was there-I feel you were. You made me think that you knew this all to well. Good work, Ant. Now get out of there and go celebrate.

  2. Peel back the layers and we are all the same deep down inside. One happens to keep their job and the other doesn't.

    You have so much insight, Anthony. Insight into the human spirit is one of the greatest gifts I can think of.

    This is just amazing. Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad to have known you this past year. You and yours have a wonderful holiday.


  3. guttural. great read of a great write here ant. feliz navidad.

  4. check out this awesome music video shot in NYFA, modest mouse bukowski, Enjoy!

  5. There but for the grace of god... bravo, Anthony. And Merry Christmas. Peace, Linda

  6. Okay, Anthony, this is so damn good, so damned insightful, that I don't know how you could have written it without having *been* there! But I refuse to believe that you have been there. Now I'm all mixed up!

    But I am grateful (oooh, that warm grate feels good)for the insight you have given me. I think I understand the classic bum a little better now, and may have a bit more sympathy for them. And it's sobering to know that it could happen to any of us.

    I love the line, "Blended beers from different bottles don't tase all that bad once you get used to the initial warm jolt..."

  7. Thanks for reminding us about all the poor folk who are living on the streets at this time of year -- I worry about this when it gets cold -- Christmas is no fun for them. You showed it so well. They have brighter pasts and keen regrets.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. This is amazing on so many levels, it allows for the reader to take a moment and walk in the shoes of the character, feeling the same feelings, thinking the same thoughts, hoping the same hopes. I was truly moved by this piece and the reading is a fantastic addition.

  10. Great work Anthony.

    Merry Christmas and all the best for 2010.

    regards, David.

  11. I'm very glad to have found you and your poetry. Thank you, Lisa

  12. I've lived this life. And you captured it perfectly.


    Well done.


Say something... Anything...