22 posts
  • kevinosullivan 23w


    The pie plates and cans flutter from simple kitchen strings. A gale is blowing sixty plus miles an hour outside. Fitting as it's sixty plus degrees and almost Christmas. An old world deterent of animals in the backyard vegetable garden. It sounds as if the spirits are dancing tonight. The blue tarp which blankets the wintering fruit tree sings like a sail. Our New Bedford home where the docks are surely full. The salty fishing crews must be out on a tear. That mischief is in the windy warm air. Blown in from another place, smelted from danger and dreams. This gale is raw astrological energy that must disperse itself. Emotive wind, ripping like fractals in the routes of time. The banging racket and howling whistles, announcing to the future that the past is near.

  • kevinosullivan 28w


    The western sky with the downing sunset
    The vibrant blues and pinks on white sky
    Like elementary school writing paper line
    So it rises in the offshore east to Ireland
    Go West they say where it shines brighter
    The first frost has hit and the snow nears
    Among the whalers ghostly street haunts
    "Another Night in The Whaling City" plays
    Having heard it sung in far western lands
    I felt a nostalgic draw to the cold old city
    Lonely, unemployed and depressed I am.
    Having my living from harvesting the sea
    I dream on sunshine and dry desert vista's
    Keep the misery, artistry and poverty mix
    I can't survive another deficient wintering
    Not enough solar vitamins here for living
    The place kills you over six long months
    Hiding inside, or braving those elements

  • kevinosullivan 30w

    Ryders Grave

    Autumn Nor'easter wild this Wednesday
    The Whaling City foliage litter the streets
    Leaves on branches expose oak rot limbs
    Long internal decay awaiting a final fall
    Grey wet noontime illuminated moon like
    Like a lit Albert Pinkham Ryder painting
    Such grace in subtle temporal urban flora
    With dreams of years of layered oil paints
    A "roof and crust of bread" but no easels
    I plan for frigid painting in the cold garage
    With solitude and darkness to push the oil
    To convert my emotional moons into trust
    Our reclusive literary father revered again

  • kevinosullivan 30w

    The Light of Ryder

    Fears of water awaits the dying crew
    Cold and dark in nocturnal lunar hue
    Ryder's light seeps as if his brushes knew
    His rusted umber and Prussian blue

    That beautiful tragic scene on calm night
    All who witnessed left fraught with fright
    A vessel consumed by spiteful moonlight
    The sea she takes to satisfy her appetite

    All souls lost fishing in peaceful scenery
    New Bedford's own fiction from memory
    Having imagined the end alone in imagery
    This description better ends life's misery

  • kevinosullivan 94w

    a still life

    Top down cruises slowly by in a midlife Corvette,
    Grey wispy clouds drift above on a lighter grey sky
    The days heat radiates from the concrete sidewalk
    Bats emerge frolicking for the night shift hunt
    Window compressors hum and windchimes ring
    Dogs serenade eachother from two blocks away
    Married retired men sneak walks to the packie
    I witness it all, barefoot and calloused tough
    Fleeting moments; a still life of my adopted city
    Awaiting the inevitable gentrification again,
    Just another humble decree of the working poor


  • kevinosullivan 122w

    The Winter Westbound

    Overboard, he fell off the dredge
    A clammer setting out the hose
    Into that icy winter
    Blow the hoses our Captain hails
    Ten minutes away we steam
    The radio crackles with fear
    Located afloat, a beacon flashed of
    temporal hope
    To no avail as the sea stole his warmth
    His lifeless body hauled up in the galley
    Too soon yet again
    Another death of a New Bedford commercial fisherman.


  • kevinosullivan 126w

    Till tomorrow, Pursuit.

    "Good Morning dock. All is quiet in the Whaling City. I haven't seen any whales or whalers about today. It is as if I am the only bearded salt left. It's Christmas time for us of raucous means. That stillness, devoid of wind or movement beyond scattered gulls. Some generators purring to keep the heaters on. I checked the oils, pumped the bilge and scanned over the dock lines. Till tomorrow, Pursuit."


  • kevinosullivan 215w

    #showerofsound #anothernightinthewhalingcity #whalingcity #newbedford #wgalingcitypoetry #apprenticepoet #poetwanbab #darktriadpoetry #publisheditburn #literarytherapy #shantysociety #nbma⚓ ("song title" to our cities punk rock anthem written by The O'Tooles and sung by them, The Pourmen, Jesse Ahern & the roots rock rebel revue and other NBMA bands.

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    Shower of Sound

    Rumbling exhaust whiny and foreign,
    In through my window.
    Our rented apartment home so ghetto yet sovereign.
    Passing at night, hiss quieter tires then unloads the bar drunks, loosers and liars.
    Yell at their lungs, slurring in pain; a nightly ritual with change of the cast but the script is the same.
    Distant explosions, gunshots perhaps. Thoughts of the gang members running the traps.
    Music and sound drift in with the wind. A dog barks or a burnout then silence again. "Another Night in the Whaling City," a shower of sound.

  • kevinosullivan 219w


    Its March 14th in the Whaling City, 40° and sunny at 4pm. A foot of snow meltwater flows down to the harbor. As Springs first day but a week away, I embrace the vernal change. Like a hibernating Black Bear, once caged inside by drifts of cold, white and dark. Surrounded by artists and crime, illegal seafood, drugs and grime; I think of Marfa, Texas. I dream of the warm sun as they sure must often dream of wet cool rain. What an artistic installation it would be to build a pipeline to West Texas. An exchange of excess commodities from one art haven to another. Our surplus of snow and rain flowing south for a thousand plus miles to contribute to an art oasis in the desert. We now transfer toxic oil to soon pollute aquifers, contributing only to our extinction. Perhaps one day we will need to pipe drinking water or oxygen to breathe too. Perhaps my grandkids will be less critical, cynical and gullible. Perhaps when enough is enough and our acid filled oceans have risen 30 feet. Massachusetts a brownfield, without precipitation awaiting earths cleansing ice age.


  • kevinosullivan 239w

    Toxic Clams

    an acrid wind blows like a lance;
    mustard gas oil mixed with clams.
    stinging nostrils even if covered in sand.
    run out the cages to find the bombs among shells, rocks and earthen calms.
    oily residue despite rinsing water; on go us capitalist clammers, fast to the slaughter!


  • kevinosullivan 239w


    a westerly breeze blows fall through the night.
    open windows to moon light and leaves rustling.
    we all sleep together though our baby is now a teen.
    "Another Night in The Whaling City"
    A neighbors cheap hand rolled smoke wafts in, as a reminder.
    This is not utopia but it is the best we have yet found.
    It is all we can afford.


  • kevinosullivan 247w


    Passing in droves, undocumented migrants riding cheap bikes to work.
    Their made in china mountain bike specials or lime green bmx's in line for miles.
    Follow the leader they go from Guatemala to here, fleeing utter poverty, war and despair. Then housed together they clamor for work. On the sidewalks they ride unsure of the customs and laws.
    To the fishhouses they flock, their warm blooded bodies in thermal shock and awe.
    Evolve and assimilate they will as all past groups before.
    First being faithful and sending moneygram, quickly they forget old wives and kids. Moving on up they get new wheels, new women, better jobs and new digs.
    Bikes give way to car payments as new baby mamas are made. A tale of two cultures, dual families of mothers often an open secretive charade. Machismo men who won't cook, clean or do laundry. Curved cowboy boots, shiny belts; cartel heroes and Our Lady of Guadeloupe sundays.
    Quickly they change, Chinga they say.

  • kevinosullivan 258w

    Sounds of Simplicity

    Sunbathing skinhead on the stoop of another faiths chuch.
    Hells Bells ringing while impact wrenches sing out a rapid burst.
    The north sounds of my Whaling City while I seek out sobriety, in my noontime home group at Seaside Serenity.
    Don't pitty me and my sun freckled pigment, I have found simple perfection at home in my tenement.

  • kevinosullivan 259w

    Brooklawn Park

    pebbles and gravel, bottlecaps and broken glass.
    a decaying condom ring as the park swings creak past.
    discarded opiate injenction needles among devalued users.
    rugged pitbulls, skaters, students; some daily visiting, all of Whaling City lower class.
    hardwood trees, granite monuments and ball fields of verdant Blue grass.
    Ricketsons shanty foundation stones unearthing his former properties special claim.
    abolitionist memories echo distantly on underground trains, yet somehow new versions of slavery still always remains.
    Alcott, Thoreau, Emerson a few among more would all gather to revel, inspire and create tales of literary yore.
    here lies my muse in all her literary past, her current urban detrius; my inferior shifting beachhead between all of times surging, temporal and superior written score.


  • kevinosullivan 261w

    Jesus of the Streets (part deux)

    He has been visiting Seaside Serenity, most likely he is not an alcoholic. Maria fears him while alone but serves him coffee and cookies if others are there. Most likely she is fearful of much, God, death and Arthur aka Jesus of the Streets. At 11:45 daily, Carlos starts cleaning up the coffee urn and sure enough, then in he walks. There is a seat near the door where he momentarily rests, I catch him in the corner of my eye. I think surely Carlos sees him as he starts cleaning, when I wave to him, unnoticed. Maria is out back locking up the closet for fear thieves will come to still our cookies, kleenex and AA literature. Sharon stands up and heads for the table, only to grab a few pretzels and close the kitchen slider. Is he being purposefully ignored and shunned? Am I the only person in this room to care enough for him? I am called to action as Arthur rises to almost leave ungreeted, uncared for, unserved. I ask if he wants coffee as he relaxes in his metal folding chair. His reusable grocery bags of trash he has collected from the street at his feet. I tell Carlos I need coffee and then ask where the sugar and cream are. I feel I am racing against selfish resistance as the coffee soon will be dumped down the drain. If we all k ow this poor soul who suffers so much, comez for a simple cup of coffee in a disposable cup, if we cannot save him atleast a cup coffee destined for the sink. Are we not determining him as disposable l, unwelcome, inhuman and unwanted? Of course I fill it to much and spill off some in the trash. My nerves uneasy as I give him his coffee in front of all the fake spiritual people. I spill coffee on Arthurs black leather shoes with velcro straps. Now I grab napkins and wipe the coffee, thus kneeling before him. If Arthur is Jesus incarnate and again resurrected may my half ass attempts show my humanity. For what do we have if we are without humanity. In hindsight I failed him by not also getting him cookies or pretzels for fear of others seeing my service. Anyone can preach humility, sobriety, recovery and spirituality from the podiums. To me life is lived with intentional poverty in living contact with Christ at Calavary. I am but the penitent thief, Arthur or another like him is an Angel walking anong us. I look up to Arthur for his chosen cross of walking and service in silence. Anyone can get sober, just to fuel ego and pride. To witness your own brothers brutal death and be broken down mentally yet still so kind. Many think he is homeless and or dangerous, I know he is neither. More is learned and shared among us as we discuss this interesting character known and seen everywher in our Whaling City. He most certainly is blessed. I am sorry for not feeding this man among our bounty, for my own refusal to cobtribute financially to its acquisition. I was blessed today to go back in the gutter among the sober oligarchs and serve my fellow man, a nonalcoholic and clean his shoes in public. I wan't to serve God more and be more spiritual. Please God, give me more opportunities to serve, though I am mostly unfit. Let my penance be lived among your walking Angels of humanity with humility. I felt compelled to bear witness to his simple existence, poverty and humanity in writing some months if not years back when I started writing. I started observing him awhile back, drafted a few chance encounters and recently been seeing him more at my noontime meeting. He smiles, his sunglasses crooked and hat askew and mumbles "old man" the other day; others say he calls everyone "old man". I appreciate the gifts I have, my family and ample luxuries. I envy his simplicity and trust he is living well. I feel so empty compared to his spiritual simplicity. He seems most free from sin then anyone else I have encountered in my life. Perhaps I will see him from my porch today and can share a meager meal from our bare cupboards. Perhaps I can invite him into my home, thus inviting God further into my life. I cannot help but see the similarities of Arthur and the Leatherman, a mysterious charachter clad in patchwork leather clothing. He wandered New England on a presumed cycle and route, saying little to nothing for years. He was_______. Stopped to come to Arthurs defense as read in future (part tres). The Leathermans body was found with a french prayer book anong his meager possessions. I wonder if Arthur is also some sort of spiritual pilgrim.


  • kevinosullivan 262w

    outdoor incense

    smoke on the breeze
    birds contributing
    Lucero plays Sweet Little Thing
    eyes eat vitamin d direct from the sun
    people watching from mere feet above
    red bushes on fire
    no single cloud tarnishes the sky
    summer approaches
    my meditative existence
    poetic exercise
    fuel for a life


  • kevinosullivan 263w

    Uphill Growth

    I crisscrossed my ascent like a slow moving snake. Skinny Lister deafens my mind. Uphill at seven, the sun is thinking of resting. I sit at the rose coloured windows of the white church. Catching my breadth on the granite wall before bringing in their barrels. I guess I got my days wrong in the Whaling City, no coffee maker in sight. Jehovah's got a full hall, i see. No doubt formulating an early morning door knocking session in the hood. I was raised to never answer the front door or leave any witnesses. I can see a Cashman excavator dredge on a barge down in the river. Idle at moving cbcs from this cities industrial pasts of pollution. A brisk wind blows winters last stand. At least my two wheeled steed has not failed me recently. Home apparent since sober at last. Alone in fear less as acceptance gives way to growth.

  • kevinosullivan 267w


    Crusty chick pushes her elderly abuelo up the boulevard with the flow of traffic. No official bike lane here but where it would be painted. Green potleaf winter hat wool hat and the short hair and heavy build of a butch. Hes has long hair with a flannel shirt and sweatpants that you know hes slept in them for days.

    As I take their inventory again as I sit on my porch. Not a dusty grainer, just my housie homebase of an apartment for the last decade. My throne is a thrift store wooden bench which has character at last. Ashtray fire and New Bedford winters then direct sunlight has peeled enough of the finish. I hit it quick with a wire brush and tightened it up with some galvanized framing nails. Weathered and antiqued a sorta ghetto chic. My cynical alcoholic mind thinks they go to buy booze, scratch tickets and tobacco on his social security income as they pass.

    She could be a visiting nurse it obvious he isnt far away from a ride in a hearse. She could be his only surviving relative or not. Nothing left for thought, since more was revealed. The cigarette smoke masks the scent of booze and pain, true poverty in vain. Sure enough they parade down my street in front of my viewing area.

    Sweetpea suns herself at my side as "Mischief Brew, Thanks Bastards" in my ear. Springtime, sunny and sixty-two has my feet itching the soles from my shoes. Being a few months late on my rent is a bad time to go. Must wait for thok oe wi dow of a miracle to capitalize om the cycle of debt. Once I get paid up I take off to travel. I either tour with bands as an unpaid roadie/merch guy and wannab tour manager. Or I hit the rails to scratch the itch. My sobriety was conceived and achieved on the road and I must return from what worked to recharge my batteries. Its only April 10th and I have done two, seven thousand mile trips since November of last. My gut is huge, my skin is pale, soon fearing my own shadow will be real.

    So long boredom, hello hunger and peace. Must throw my Highwayman moniker under a strange bridge. Inwardly I think #LATFO outwardly I am #KINGOFTHEROAD and #HOBOSWITHOUTBORDERS spelled out in sharpie and chalk. To make my meek mark in this temporal world. Ashes to dust in a ripple, barely ever to be remembered in the winds of time.

  • kevinosullivan 268w

    Just right out the window

    Tines of a metal rake scratching the pavement.
    Grape vines pruned and symbolically burned.
    An empty rolloff dumpster clatters down the road.
    A single engine airplane flys in on approach.
    Springs sounds of young birds chirp distantly.
    Backup alarm quick, heard and gone.
    Fenways opening day keeps others inside.
    With dogs barking joyously walking a chorous of noise.
    The city is seemingly reborn and alive.
    I am in bed enjoying it all, a witness in writing during Poetry Month.
    Reminiscing of past Spring days while doing the same.
    Awaiting new surprises since life is a mysterious game.
    Cold fresh air through the house with incense aglow.
    Theres a bustling world just right out the window.


  • kevinosullivan 261w

    Jesus of the Streets (part un)

    I see him around, time and again.
    Wandering around shuffling, circling the dark pavement. He has a small tote bag but something about him is not your typical homebum. I am a connoisseur of homeless, a natural profiler of all mans patterns and detail. I have spent much time in the gutter studying the discarded and destitute. I have learned over our half dozen meetings is that he is bulletproof, safe, private yet somehow friendly and incredibly simple. He smiles and continuously shuffles in circles, alternating sidewalk for street, somehow avoiding cars. Midnight in winter his jackets not zippered, no bedroll, no gloves continually spinning his small back waits on the sidewalk. I want to follow him. I have road freight trains, hitchhiked and walked for many miles while accepting the cross of personal voluntary poverty*. I have interacted with many homeless, addicted and afflicted on the road, in hobo jungles or in the halls of recovery.
    I nicknamed this man Jesus and can spot him by his silhouette from many hundreds of feet away. Somehow I have only encountered him but a few blocks from my apartment. I have given him cans of soda a few of our nights after arriving home with a trunk full of groceries and seen him out long after bars close. No intelligible words are exchanged barely we ever lock sight, he cannot speak.
    Our visits are short, akward, painful yet comforting. I feel love around this man whom I know they all fear and hate. I should mention that I am not exactly Ghandi; I have a love for humanity but end up hating most people. Im a complicated individual who has my share of closets full of skeletons, daily demons and shortcomings. I dont fell superior to this man, in fact I am in awe of his complete abandon for comfort. I am somewhere high on the Machievelian scale, with narcissistic tendencies and more psychopsth then sociopath and Im also an alxoholic in recovery. All of the testing Ive done has been done on informal online quizzes with the exception of my alcohlism. Thats confirmed by my lifes evidence and my own admission. I noticed him tonight while walking and talking to my small dog. I think this mentally ill man is the Son of God. So I devised a litmus test to prove his divinity. SweetPea is a chihuahua protective, angry and bold; a regular six pound napoleon who barks at all people.About eight houses away I asked SweatPea if she wanted to go see Jesus.
    I then said if this poor soul is Jesus then the dog should send me a sign, to not bark if it was him.Using a pet for spiritual sounding board to confirm a deities existence does sound a bit odd. Had the results been different O would have shared them. Sweatpea seemed nervous like the grinches dog as they descended the hill towing the sleigh. She crouched and seemed scared but not a sound was made. I greeted my hypothetical messiah & looked at my dog for confirmation, then started to pray.
    I didnt realize it at fitst till I noticed some people smoking to my right, I was praying out loud. Most people today would be quick to admonish me for such behavior as praying the Hour Father and a few Hail Marys out loud. I wont even think what a shrink would think of me seeking theological confirmation from a dog.
    I dont know if this was Jesus walking among us. I dont doubt the divine or thibk we as him as humanity would treat the newborn king any different then when we met him last time. I cant believe a fraile mute man can survive frigid New Bedford winters with a minimal amount of gear in a canvas tote bag. Parents bring more stuff to the beach or to the park. I am intriged and want to k ow more, do more; be more. I ve hear the term "Dont Walk By" before but never prior have I felt sympathy or curiosity. I have dwelled on the skids and encountered many dually addicted who suffer from disorders that are made worse by not being on daily meds. Mas ny on the road or the streets are houseless and not homeless with homeless being a state of mind. Most of the xhronic homeless ramble and rant between being drunk and or high.Most of these types are too far gone even for the patience of me; aself described Catholic Worker. This Christ like fellow seems absent of all alcohol, drugs and medication. He also seems so harmless yet scary somehow. I know I was the same guy who was talking to dogs earlier about my choice for a savior. Is he schizophrenic? Why can I read other people instantly upon meeting, profilling them, their careers and determing their threat level. But not this man, he seems like he recognizes me, occasionally a distant half wave. Am I envious of his position in life? I guess on some level I sm. I also worry about him; even Jesus of Nazareth got crucified. With a wife and child and busy body landlord I cant bring him home. What does he want of this life? What do I want of mine? I recently dreamed of living in community with others who share my Christian radical ideas of ditect action. With my own wife suffering from anxiety and codependence; even having guests over for coffee is tough at times. I must protect my daughter from pedophiles and more. But what would Jesus do? What would he want of me? I struggle with the words vocation, occupation and find that I am deep in the abstinence of both yet wanting to do more. I help where I can but feel guilty. I know I can do more even though we are poor. We have extra space but couldnt even commit to a good friend staying for 2 weeks to prevent his own demise of life on the streets. He has a job, is in a program with almost free housing; is sober and my pal but I said no. Dorothy Day said that each house should have a Christ room to give hospitality to guests in need. She said they ate Angels walking anong us. So in ten years I have had between 1& 2 unused or underused bedrooms. I also have beennas much as nine months behind on paying rent. Im a habitually late rent payer who doesnt have a working oven or heating system. We heat with 2 oil filled radiators and owe $4k to the gas company. We utilize medical protection during the 8 months not covered against winter protection. Our mini fridge acts as a microwave stand. We are poor. I am poor by choice, my wife recieves disability that goes to it all, shed rather me work but I am tited. Im tired of the monotony of the employment cycle. I am no nore happier ear ing $100k then earning less than $10. We get food stands of course but who around here doesnt. Back to my selfishness of bogarting my home. Perhaps I should reconsider my decision to allow my friend to crash here for two weeks. Perhaps I should follow Jesus. Perhaps I should do more for others. Perhaps I should find more work where I get paid. Perhaps I should mind my own business. Perhaps I should investigate Jesus of the Streets to see if he needs more than a soda. I want to do more of my less but have a greater impact.

    Three more sightings of him. The first he was walking from behind the Wilkes library near Brooklawn Park. I thought back to drinking booze behind there in isolation when I still suffered. I then saw him near the store while walking SweatPea. Then last night while we illegally drove our car to the emergency room. I noticed him several miles from my neighborhood. He was walking towards a side street that enters the highway. I have no doubt that had we drove home and waited, that our Jesus would eventually appear. I think he walks on a route or atleast revisits places and has patterns. I think back to my late night pilgrimages visiting Catholic Churches during Lent. I would walk with my backpack visiting up to 12 Churches per night. I would walk till I could no longer stay awake; then take sanctuary. I know the custom is no longer practiced and doors long locked. Regardless I feel home when at a Church of the Holy Sea; hallowed ground. I would roll my bedroll beside somewhere and rest until morning mass. I dont know if my Jesus is divine, spiritual or even religious but anything is possible in Gods world.