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

 

Morphine Dreams

Nick Masesso, Jr.

I slept with that old Devil again

last night

she crept in round midnight

cuddled right up, spooning me

she’s hot on the outside

steamy

all fuzzy velvet on those sharp red horns

but her breath

dank and fowl

and smelling like sulfur

comes from her insides.

She took her best shot

She’s use to winning

and all fighters know

the hardest opponent to beat

is the one that hasn’t yet learned

how to lose.

She tagged me with her greatest hits

had me seeing stuff

hearing stuff

crazy stuff

scary stuff

and when she felt confident she had me

she stoked up one of my Camels

took a hit and passed it to me.

I had a drag

then rolled over so she could

see my smile as I

extinguished the hot tip

on my tongue

we listened to it sizzle.

What God never tells you

is he’s scared…

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Intimate Strangers

“She’ll change so suddenly; she’s just like mercury – She’s entwined in me, crazy as can be; yeah, but she’s all right with me“ – Mercury – Counting Crows

We met cute. I’d locked myself out of my apartment and if I’d a’ had a cell phone, which I do not, I wouldn’t have had the phone number to call for rescue anyway. So, by virtue of cosmic gamble, I walked east instead of west and knocked on the front door of the apartment two doors down from mine in my heavenly duplex complex. She answered the door cautiously, somewhat hiding at first behind some invisible worn-out wall of flimsy cardboard she’d erected to keep away those I suspect she thought might carry bad vibes. I scaled it in seconds.

She had a kind of dark hazy light around her that summoned something akin to the heroic in me and just as suddenly I felt a mild wave of protectionism surge in my psyche. In an instant it seemed we’d become what I can only describe as intense yet intimate strangers. So, words were exchanged, her phone offered, and the deed done; I split the scene to await my rendezvous with the cavalry. Later that day, out of a sense of panache girded by common courtesy I left a thank you note with my phone number in her mail box offering my services should they ever be needed. The rest as they say is current history.

Now she tells me she loves me every day, delivers hand-made artsy cards and love letters with great frequency and rubs my feet with sweet-smelling potions for hours at a time and I’ve never even asked for it once. Christ; she even cooks; and real good too. I normally can’t spend too much time with women unless it’s centered around sexual magnetic energy and the subsequent mattress gymnastics since they simply do not interest me. But on our first date we shared a gab-fest that lasted seven hours.

She tells me “you make me feel safe” and after the four words every man wants to hear most from his women, “I believe in you”, it’s the best five words any guy can ever hear from his soul mate. She has that perfect mixture of needing me while not being needy. She has her own life and that too ranks high on my woman/partner/lover wish list. She’s smart, sexy, sweet, loving and tilts toward her Mexican ancestral peasant warmth and strength. Her favorite way to make me laugh is her imitation of a Cholo switch blade artist saying, (if any other woman so much as looks at me;) “I’ll cut a bitch.”

She knows how to act like a woman and how to treat a man; a dying art form. She’s also promoting my career while having her own; a modern-day Lee Krasner to my Jackson Pollock. They say opposites attract and given our designer simpatico I guess so. However, and this may well be the best part of it all, my new girlfriend and I could not disagree more. I’ve had girlfriends wherein we were so alike, so precious, I ended up wanting to punch us in the face. If we’re out walking and there’s a split in the path, simultaneously, like a well planned comedy sketch; she says let’s go left while I point right. When she’s cold; I’m hot. If she’s hot; I’m sweating.

She’s got this 80’s goth cum Mestizo Indian style thing going and while she wears it well my contemporary American western style makes us look like we ought to be on opposing sides of the Spanish-American war or members of an savant-guard post punk rockabilly/jazz fusion band. She’s a technology geek perpetually wired in, while I still rely on a land-line for my phone; probably the last guy around without a cell phone or a GPS in my car. She’s into Werner Herzog and Wes Anderson while I favor Scorsese and Coppola. Maybe it’s our generational distance, which god knows she informs me of frequently, that accounts for our many dichotomies. Since she is the better part of two decades younger than me; that may account for some of our differences; but it works just about right for me overall since women my age are way too old for me.

I could go on; fill another page or two with similar contrasts that keep us loaded with debate material for conceivably the next millennium; but at this point you probably get the point. Yet despite this seemingly incompatibility we couldn’t be more attracted to each other. All our seeming differences pale in insignificance when superseded by the undeniable fact that she has the kind of face I want to fall asleep and wake up to? I can’t recall being more comfortable while at the same time more stimulated by any past love partner.

And so it goes. Just when I thought I’d jettisoned all attachments in an attempt to achieve my own personal brand of enlightenment, sequestered deep in my post recluse period, (now safely inside my new country gentleman period), I suddenly find myself jonesing for one more night wrapped around my loves warm and tender thighs like tinfoil; yearning for one more slow-motion kiss from her soft and yielding watermelon sugar lips.

Blue Moon

Nick Masesso, Jr.

“There’s an angel on a ribbon hanging from her armoire door. There’s a cupid with his feet crossed on the bird-cage by the door. There’s a baby angel drummer, his eyes are open wide; and two more tiny cherubs on the mantle side by side.” – Too Many Angels – Jackson Browne

Not so long ago I left my rented loft in the shadow of the freeway and said a long goodbye to the ghost I left there in that perfect writers’ garret and snuck away in the deepening night with the ocean at my back; looking east.

Tonight an ancient breeze carries the smell of the lake and its piney phantom scent seeps through my castle walls that keep me distant and wisely at bay from this supernatural night. The full blue moon cuts through my flickering candle flame carrying the sweetness of life still and alone on dark eyes; an…

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Birthday Happy

“It takes the night to clear all this mess away; the obligation, the burden and the light of day. It takes the night to fall between the world I obey, and a world where I hear angels play”. – The Night Inside Me – Jackson Browne

Those coveted magical hours asleep have passed me by now. Even though I’ve been twenty-four thousand eight hundred and twenty days alive today, sixty-eight winters, sixty-eight summers; the merciless sunlight will not grant me safe sanctuary from its garish glare. So I acquiesce, leave our cherished dream world and open my eyes; embracing the many-colored beast and wonder. What fresh hell is this?

I woke up in pieces in this cardboard town; conscious and aware for fleeting moments, then disappearing again and again, insentient; struggling to ebb, evaporate, vanish; hanging on to this tender night a while longer. It’s tough to make it in a world stirring when the heart is naked. I just can’t get enough of the night.

The daylight world outside is tugging like a hobo at my sleeve. I hear fragments of music carried down the wind from some distant radio; like listening to your telephone voice whispering echo’s soft and low. While California’s shaking like your fond memories in my brain, you’re the whispering and sighing of my tires in the rain.

I’ll wait for the setting sun; lying incognito under the Milky Way, holding, lingering for night to set me free and receive my birthday gift; the famous Perseid meteor shower that inexplicably peaks on my birthday. It will award me fifty to one hundred meteors per hour in my treasured midnight-dark sky. I don’t know what to make of that enchanting supernatural happenstance.

Tracking my memories from that first day to this, that first victory; the winning sperm from Dad’s joyous moment, beating out five hundred million of his others by the whimsical nature of fortune; through all the other victories and defeats, that despite my mad path still finds me mostly winning; yearning for just one more adventure, one more kiss from your perfect fairy-tale lips.

I should have been dead five or six times that I know about, or damaged at the least. Yet now I’m strongest at the broken places, at the top of my game. Maybe this is heaven; the women loved. It’s to those gentle ones my memory runs. Or maybe, more likely, somewhere in-between, a Purgatory, wrapped in a Roman Carnival, with Barker’s on the Midway.

Light Enough To Fly

The sun sets on Gotham.
Superman repairs to his
Fortress of Solitude,
mixes a lime green cocktail,
lights the first kryptonite cigarette of the day
and broods.
He contemplates his dissociative disorder.
He has loved like a fountain
It has left him with nothing.

He throws up the bat-signal
and Batman rings.
He asks his friend
if he too
feels disconnected from everything,
which is to say,
not connected to anything.

“I live alone in a bat-cave,
everything I own is black
including my wardrobe
which
is rubber.
Do the arithmetic.”
They share a knowing chuckle.

Their women have left them and
moved in with each other
in order to seek other dangerous men,
yet one’s less complicated.
They are not breeders but
they are looking to settle.

As the two men
unwind the tale of their days
exploits, triumphs and praise,
a silent truth lay
between them.

They know that they could never fly
so incredibly high,
could never achieve that
Olympic-wide smile,
unless they emptied themselves,
and went
all-in.

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