In The Now

In a voice reminiscent of Raymond Carver‘s minimalist realism, Charles Bukowski‘s raw journals of life’s underbelly and Alan Ginsberg‘s poet-political essays, Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized, short stories, philosophical essays, poetry and prose are funny, insightful and heartrending, describing often in non-linear dreamscape narrative with the liquid lyricism of a poet; the love, loss, joy and angst of the fascinating and often mystifying connections of men and women in the intimacy of their daily lives. His writing style is both Anti-Novel and Imagist; fragmenting and distorting the experiences of characters, forcing the reader to build a reality to the story from a disordered narrative, stressing economy of language; writing free; with precise imagery, clear, sharp language, clarity of expression and meticulous visual images in musical phrase. – Gino Rossi



Originally posted on Nick Masesso, Jr.:

“Compared to war; all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.”George S. Patton

The bone-dry Persian Gulf heat has sweaty index fingers on the fruit of America’s hands slipping across hair triggers mounted on floating space age kill machines set to deliver silent death from the sky over another religious backwater whose people still hack enemy heads off with scimitars over some incomprehensible nonsense that probably never happened in the 12th century. In the aftermath we’ll likely have delivered more Hatfield’s and McCoy’s style vengeance, killed and maimed more innocent Syrians, than the devil of Damascus Assad wrought in the obscene and sadistic heat of his chemical weapons attacks.

Unlike the heated anguish ridden and tormented moans of outrage over collateral damage from drone strikes that kill far less than errant rifle, mortar, cannon or war plane fire; it’s not likely we’ll hear much heated…

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“This is a violent civilization; If civilization’s where I am. Every channel that I stop on, got a different kind of cop on; killing them by the million for Uncle Sam.” Gun – Gil Scott-Heron

Boys, some no older than those sacrificed to the worship of guns, wasted at yet another school shooting this week, like almost all boys, were introduced to their first taste of manhood by throwing a ball around the back yard with Dad. Sport for boys symbolize maturity; we compete and watch admiringly and often worshipful, the professionals; a phenomenon corporate, capitalistic and American as “baseball and apple pie”. Professional sports are the military’s number one recruiting tool.

This weekend the NFL will start every game with jingoistic American flag waving extravaganza’s, with flags the size of the entire field, hoisted by spit-shined troops from all the armed-services strutting like real life G.I. Joe props complete with medals and real guns sending a subliminal message to America’s youth to join the army and be tough and brave like the gladiator pituitary cases on the field; about to chance ruining their health for money. All festivities accompanying the games will combine unspoken words of patriotism with multimedia presentations replete with renditions of The National Anthem and God Bless America while Stealth Bombers fly overhead.

What all that pageantry has to do with football, or the other sports that do much the same, is the link of sports tomilitary service; where you’ll get to compete but with a gun; and we’ll give you free of charge a bunk and grub and life long health care, life insurance, subsidized housing for the young wife and child along with a modest paycheck and a chance to blow stuff up just like in those ubiquitous video games that glorify murder that we weaned you on; albeit murder by “the good guys against the bad guys” perpetuating the obligatory obscene xenophobic myth.

But moreover the whip cream on the apple pie is, and this is the accepted politically correct practice of all Americans, honoring our warriors as if they were not just the tip of the spear but the foundation of the nation; you’ll get respect; every young mans quest. Bashing the troops for any reason is akin to treason in our society. So from babies; its sports good, army good, guns good. Is it any wonder we’ve spawned a culture that has resulted in America having half the guns that exist in the world and more guns in the country than people?

I’m not saying sports are bad; I played and I’ll be watching. Nor am I saying ban all guns since it can’t, unfortunately, be done. We are where we are. But guns are for cowboys in Cripple Creek, Wyoming, cops and army guys; they have no place in the modern city in the hands of civilians. Besides; truth is; real men don’t use guns.

In my youth we still had street fights using only our fists. The Italian kids Vs the Polish kids was a regular obligatory match. Every one carried at least one or two trophy scars from earlier fracas, badges of honor for bragging rights and a teenage macho ritual.

Chicago was a city of alleys. In the old days the alleys were the main streets where rag men in daylight clumped along cobblestones in wagons pulled my beat down nags and housewives leaned over dilapidated balconies buying fruit and bartering for worn out second-hand clothes and pots and pans. On dark summer nights turned moist with heady smells, these alleys became battlefields beckoning the warriors.

Car loads of young toughs on the way to match deeds with reputations, or make new ones; the taste of adrenaline in our mouths, all sinew, muscle and bone aching to be unleashed, raw nerves, high anxiety and hot wire tension. Beautiful then, heart breakers and life takers we’d enjoy saying, but no one ever died. Once you conquer the fear of close hand combat you discover that it doesn’t hurt when you get hit, not then when your nerve is up and the adrenaline and hot blood is pumping. You hear the punches but you don’t really feel them, until the next day.

The two boss stallions square off while the pack sizes up the prey. Gradually more guys step to each other and before long everybody is throwing hands. It’s a hell of a thing to watch and everywhere we went there were girls. Sometimes they even got into it, slapping at each other harmlessly and pulling hair.  Soon someone would yell “Bulls” and off we’d stagger to our chariots like wounded Spartacus, scrambling to safety to lick our wounds, kiss the girls and lie about the force of each blow. It was how it would be decided who you were, who was who and what you were.

Everybody except the truly psycho even spoke of using knives let alone guns; where no contact is required and nothing is risked, nothing decided, nothing affirmed. We all just wanted what boys today want, to feel like we are somebody, to show what we were made of and in the same way a soldier signals to his mate “I’m here for you” experience the camaraderie soldiers are known to say is why they fight; and when it was over, all that was needed to be known, was.

Indian Summer

Originally posted on Nick Masesso, Jr.:

“The Indian Summer of life should be a little sunny and a little sad, like the season; infinite in wealth and depth of tone, but never hustled”. – Henry Adams

Returning to my comfort station, reclining as calm and safe as a man watching a snow storm from his fireplace, resplendent in my throne as form-fitting as a dentist’s chair; the Technicolor movie that never ends burns outside my writers window; bringing me once again to a level of consciousness and sense of detail rarely met. The weather seer on the magic box tells me this very day brings forth the peak of Fall’s funeral colors.

Autumn leaves empty of promise as a woman past the magic of birth cascade choreographed in a wonderland as quiet as asylum walls, yet hot as the boiler room of the damned; death colored egg yolk yellow and shot through with…

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Harvest Moon

Originally posted on Nick Masesso, Jr.:

 “Autumn is the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ― William Cullen Bryant

Surfing ever-deepening grooves carved in this country road by repetitious smoothing from my extremely low-frequency sounding spaceship tires, I zone into my own private symphonic opera. A humongous full moon meets my high beams and swallows the horizon. Pitch dark street light free ribbons of black asphalt snake along narrow paths to home and back separating the wild from the man-made world. By their grace I live in this dirt and courage wilderness.

I wave, as is the custom here, to the other spacemen travelers inhabiting our lifeline corridor as we whiz past each other with that all too familiar catatonic stare that monotony turns all commuters faces into; a kind of crazy, irrational drunkard swoon that seems to us all too rational. We are compatible complaints; dutifully fulfilling our social contract and coloring safely inside the lines.


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Defenses & Fences – Borders & Boarders

A young man in Mexico,

poor enough to live in a hut

with a dirt floor,

fiercely religious,

speaks no English,

crawls across an imaginary line

in the Desert

in the dead of night

to OZ.

He labors bent over

in a strawberry field

picking my food

for sub-standard wages,

no health care,

no other kind of care,

no safety codes,

no rules that favor him.

He pays taxes to an invisible hand every payday

for which he receives nothing.

He is reviled.

One day men with American flags

festooned on their drab military style uniforms


They call out “Criminal”.

He looks around to see

who they speak of

as their well fed

white knuckles

grip his arm.

He is going home.

Migrants in Mexico

who risk the road to Xanadu

are folk heroes.

They are urban mythologies.

Those that hire them,

the Patrons,

rich and powerful,

when weighed against their brown Mexican sweat,

are the beneficiaries.

Closed borders did not make America.

Borders open to young men and women

everywhere did.

Is it a crime to cross that line?

To feed hungry children

or wives or mothers

or only to hope

to improve one’s life?

Shame on the heretics of the American dream

and legacy.

An American is not defined

by which side of an imaginary line

he is on.

In Martin Scorsese’s epic historical film

Gangs of New York”,

the war in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen

for cultural dominance

was fought between

the Nativists,

born right” (in America)

and the foreign hoards (immigrants).

The present day debate on the “illegal”,

an unfortunate term,

smells like the stench in the five corners section

of New York City

at the dawn of America.

Take to the streets.


Tear down the fences.

Build bridges instead.

Fences’ Fool – Americas’ Maginot Line

It won’t work you know.

The Germans proved that in 42’.

It’s a curiosity now,

a tourist destination,

a monument to man’s stupidity.

Patton said then,

If mountain ranges

and oceans

can be overcome,

anything man made can be overcome.”

Besides, The American Ponzi Scheme,

the world’s fastest escalator

to the American Dream,

must have new boarders at the bottom

to take the ride up

so the fortunate few

at the top


Without the Latinos,

now the only Americans left,

(that used to be the province of the Japanese),

we are no longer America.

Archaeologists will find

the “left behind”

had fat wallets and small necks

became soft and decadent.

Like Rome.

The Maginot Line

The slaughter of French soldiers in the offensive operations of World War I haunted the nation and France was unwilling and unable to assemble a large standing army after this terrible loss. Fortifications were therefore necessary to provide time for a general mobilization. Moreover, French generals had concluded from their victory at Verdun in 1916 that defenders always triumphed.

The Maginot Line was never tested. It’s supposed impregnability lulled army leaders into complacency. They neither extended its fortifications along the French-Belgian frontier to the sea nor grasped the significance of the new German tank tactics that permitted Germany in 1940 to skirt the Maginot Line and break through the thin French defenses in the Ardennes.

New Americans Needed

We were great once,

when we huddled in masses

yearning to be Free,

before we hid behind phones

in glass and metal cars,

xenophobic, torturous, murderous.

We are ugly,

gelatinous masses now.

America belongs to the Seekers,

not to those here resting

on her fat belly.

New Americans are Needed

Apply within.

In the Hope Business




End Borders

Give Amnesty

Tear down fences

Build bridges

Give Sanctuary

Abolish the State




can not


cautious and




same time.


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