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



Nick Masesso, Jr.

“Little story about Jack and Diane; two American kids doing the best they can. Jackie wanted to be a football star; Diane; a debutante in the back seat of Jackie’s car” – John Mellencamp

Jackie woke from sleep a wanted man. He rolled over to greet the sun busting through a beat up shade in his studio apartment above O’Malley’s Bar and gently flung an arm over the queen sized bed and found it empty; Diane was gone. He rolled out of bed and made it to the window and looked out on Hells Kitchen; that place the Devil made when God was sleeping.

“Shit man, I gotta get outta here” Jackie mumbled as he rubbed his eyes awake. He glanced towards the bed and saw Diane’s picture on the wall. She was no more than thirteen years old then, sitting on a balcony of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Park looking out over the majestic snow-capped…

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Carnival in Purgatory

Nick Masesso, Jr.

Baby here we stand again, like we’ve been so many times before. Even though you looked so sure; as I was watching you; walking out my door. But you always walk back in like you did today; acting like you never even; went away.” “Here Come Those Tears Again.” – Jackson Browne

I didn’t want to hurt her feelings so I went to the poetry reading. The roads snaked like a river, a main cable that plugged right into her. I knew as I hit the door it wouldn’t be anything. These academy kids had all the juice squeezed out of them years ago. In another ten years they’d be looking out office windows in high rise buildings on some Market street wondering why their lives were so meaningless.

The room was full of zombies, walking dead, fake people who never stared into a wound in their lives. They…

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Nick Masesso, Jr.

“If America’s for the winners; what’s for the losers”?  Junior BonnerSam Peckinpah 

Well, those boys just couldn’t keep still. It was only Thursday night and the late spring sun was still dancing vapor trails over the Golden Gate Bridge on San Francisco Bay and there they were, once again, hanging with the Bowery Boys. It was a real tough crowd this time of day; hard drinkers with sullen shadows; longshoremen with grizzled hands and hobos rolling in off the gutter with a fresh fiver from a deposit at the blood bank. Joey and Roy were as fidgety as trapped animals and they would not be tamed. They knew this was not going to end well so they took their pleasures as they could and to them living any other way was a waste of life.

Joey tucked a C-note under his empty shot glass and…

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Armor of Innocence

Nick Masesso, Jr.

He could tell by the way her face lit up each time she smiled which was often that there was joy and passion and a lust for life still pulsing inside her battered heart. This occurred with each breath out as if it were the face she showed the world. Yet with each breath in as her face relaxed he saw the miles of bad road she’d traveled set deep inside the crevices around her gentle mouth. He thought the rhythmic in and out breathing that changed her face was the war she was fighting with herself just like some of the hold outs he knew who had yet to give up on that youthful hope of innocence.

In his youth he sought the faces in the crowd that met his as they passed on the street with a knowing grin as if they shared a universal secret that it…

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Christmas for the KKK

is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” – ― Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us: Poems

The rain threatens snow tomorrow, while today begins Fall’s last days of temperatures in the 40’s; all 30’s from now on with the futures escalator bullet headed down. Such as it is here in the north country. Six months of winter makes a man appreciate summer all that much more.

We pick-up Thanksgivings organic Turkey Tuesday from the health food store; the pumpkin pie Wednesday from the local bakery. Carol’s birthday and Christmas presents are all lassoed and for now I’ll just ignore the bills that’ll come due later; anything to get my mind off the god damn presidential election.

If it weren’t for my woman I’d brush aside the whole festive seasons spectacle like most years when I bachelor the sucker. But, costs and other annoyances of having a full-time night woman aside, they do, if you have a good one and here I’ve been blessed; sooth the savage beast inside every man and tame his hermit, recluse persuasions. I won’t be exactly singing Jingle Bells or anything of the sort but life sure is better with company.

The best part of the worst part of winter is having a decent reason to blow off the gym and other existential errands and recline in luxury under my reading lamp and perform that task that allows me the ammo to write; reading. Miles Davis autobiography has been inhaled and Bruce’s (The Boss) auto-bio was ordered and rumored to be en-route but I do believe I got ripped off; shit. I’ll have to devour some more Kerouac or Bukowski while I re-order from a reputable seller and wait for its arrival.

Meanwhile I can’t push aside the ugly wind blowing hard across the globe; a rash of strong men rulers chosen in many countries, some where we don’t normally see that kind of thing, in response to perceived or actual chaos. It’s a Let Daddy Fix-It thing I guess and well I suppose in a democracy we get the government we deserve as de Tocqueville opined. But this new phenomenon is something to keep a good eye on.

This isn’t Nixon, who for all his character faults, while similar to our new headache, at least knew a thing or two. Nixon gave us the E.P.A. and made nice with Russia and China when those things were thought to be impossible. Nixon didn’t work for himself; didn’t feather his own nest. Mini-Mussolini is already doing so. Hey, Prime Minister Abe of Japan – Meet my daughter Ivanka – She’s opening a hotel in Japan – Y’all look out for her; ya hear?

We hated Nixon for prolonging the Viet Nam war for eight more bloody years and for having character flaws of Shakespearean complexity; insecurity, resentment and the urge to lash out at those he perceived as enemies, like the present president-elect, but we more so felt sorry for one so flawed as a human being. Trump, god help us, so revels in his too long to list geological size imperfections that he’s made it normal to express his and by proxy our, worst instincts. We judge alone, secluded in our own silo-bubble and hate on those who do not share our views. This is our collective disease.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) there have been more than 701 incidents of harassment or intimidation reported following Trump’s election. Most occurred in K-12 schools and on university campuses. Many, though not all incidents, involved direct references to the Trump campaign.

Not much to do but wait it out; certain one so odious will fold in shame under the weight of his own corruption and thereby redeem us; warned never to be so vengeful against the “establishment” again, stay frosty and keep on writing.

Best wishes for Happy Holidays. #presidentelecttrump #trumptrain #antitrump #trump #mini-Mussolini