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Trail of Glitter

by The Bitter Poet

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Where do I start? At the beginning, I suppose. In an acting class where I was not supposed to be that day. In a random sitting down next to her – Well, I guess it wasn’t so random. I saw her blonde hair and blue eyes from across the room. And I was instantly drawn to her, drawn to sit down right next to her, right there on the front row of that acting class… Because I am always drawn, unconsciously, to The Unavailable Woman. A pregnant stripper, and she’s still in love with her abusive ex-boyfriend? My Dream Date. A thirty-something associate movie producer putting in 80 hours a week at the Tribeca Film center? In my final draft, she’s The Mother of My Future Children. A twenty-something neo-hippie hiding out in Eugene, Oregon, on the run from the suicide death of her coke-dealer boyfriend? I’ll stop at nothing to provide her with every Grateful Dead bootleg concert CD her little heart desires. A downtown bi-sexual burlesque dancer specializing in S&M psycho drama, with a stalker ex-girlfriend she still meets with for lunch once a week just to keep her happy? I bought my handcuffs yesterday. A forty-something avant-garde choreographer, hanging out in New York for two weeks, on her way back to Seattle where she lives with her two pre-teenage sons? I booked my Jet Blue ticket this morning. A corporate lawyer, tri-athlete, wine enthusiast… and she’s just returned from China with her brand new adopted infant baby Chinese daughter? For her, I’m prepared to spend the rest of my life manipulating her Blackberry. Let’s go back to that acting class, shall we? I could see her unavailability in the flick of her shoulder length high-lit hair, in her blue eye shadow, in her skirt and blouse that were just a shade too conservative for a young woman in a New York City acting class. And I could feel her unavailability in my pours, in my pants, in my knee caps, in my bones, in my bone, in my moles, in my warts, in my back. And I know it when I feel it: The Purely Unavailable Woman, who won’t admit that she’s unavailable, who won’t admit that she’s married, or engaged, or impossibly and forever tied to another man, another place, another time. I love that kind of woman! Maybe you’re that kind of woman. Maybe 10 years ago, when you moved to New York to become an actress, you got a job waiting tables in a West Village bistro. And your manager was an Italian dude who needed a green card or he was going to get deported. So for $2000, you married him so he could get his green card and stay in the country. Because you can buy a lot of head shots for $2000! But to fool the Feds into thinking that it was a “real” marriage, he had to move in with you for two years, didn’t he? And he started out sleeping on your couch. But then he started sleeping in your bed with you, didn’t he? And then you bought a dog together, didn’t you? And then you buried your cat together, didn’t you? Oh, it’s complicated! If you’re that kind of woman, prepare yourself for some un-fettered Bitter Poet Love!
Our neighbors they smoke, the ones below A great battle has started over Sherry’s cigarette smoke It’s a killer they say, I want to live, we want to have kids someday The kids shouldn’t have to smoke with the neighbors below They ought to breathe clean air but, yeah it’s the city, I know Outside our bedroom a building crumbles there’s dirt everywhere There’s dirt in the air, dirt on our food, dirt in our sheets, dirt on the loose Under our bed the cat chases dirt like it’s a live dirt mouse Let’s forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes Forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes Just roll over to me And let’s… Our neighbors next door play video games all night Guns blast through our bedroom wall it’s a great military fight We lie in our dirty bed and contemplate sex As the video bombs go off oh, the fictional death And suddenly it’s quiet and we roll over to each other And listen… And we laugh at the boy next door in underwear shooting at jets Let’s forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes Forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes Just roll over to me And let’s Forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes Forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes Roll over to me And let’s breathe…
It all started when Miss Stella Blades wasn’t available for the gig, she said “call Miss Bunny Trouble.” I called Bunny, she said no. Bunny said “call Miss Bambi Guns.” I called Bambi. Bambi said “sorry Hon, not my kind of gig.” But Bambi said “Baby, who you really ought to call is Miss Sparkle Penny…” And I did. Miss Sparkle Penny stumbles into the restaurant Even today I can see her move toward me in her dirty blonde bouffant As she struggles with her little girl toys, she says “yeh, yeh” just like the hip-hop boys She shines as she slides into her seat So green, so bright, so small, so in-demand She says “I think it’s beautiful, what you have done” Then she goes away to put the rest of her make up on But in my eyes, on my cheek, in my food, on my drink, In my script, on my naked hip… She left a trail of glitter That night at the show Miss Sparkle Penny dances around, she throws her clothes down She flicks her head at me to give her more, and in the sound the crowd goes crazy After the show she stays late, we talk close… I'm not weak but I failed to keep my distance Then a weekend at the beach, two nights in my room, a kiss at the yoga center And in my hair, on my chest, in my bed, on my desk, In my lips, on my naked hip… She left a trail of glitter She meets me for dinner down on Avenue A, she’s got a short black dress and an awkward sashay She wants me to see that her clothes are all clean, I ask about her necklace, she says “someone gave it to me…” We walk to her temporary home on Avenue D, in the wet July heat we kiss in the street Then she looks me in the eye and she says “I want to date other guys” Then she lets go and I know it’s over But in my ears, on my couch, in my sink, on my towel, In my spit, on my naked hip… She left a trail of glitter I wish I could say it’s all over but I’ve learned my past carries forward I try to date new women, but I can’t get close to any new girls because I keep finding out the hard way that women who DON'T wear glitter, they KNOW they don’t wear glitter On 3rd and 2nd, on 6 and D In the back garden on 10 when we got dessert for free At the corn-dog stand on the Coney Island boardwalk, on the lawn behind the stage when she got confused by my jaw On the frozen margaritas at the Bryant Park Café, in the chalk at the trapeze school on the west side highway And in my hair, on my chest, in my bed, on my desk, In my lips, on my naked hip… She left a trail of glitter
I remember a painting of a drummer boy, in full uniform of blue A tiny kid, drum sticks ready, a blank face, is this really it? I felt sorry for him, I felt bad for him I hope he grew up and got happy, found out what he really wanted to do, like Riding horses, going to the zoo Skiing down mountains, swimming nude Never wear a uniform again Kissing beautiful girls Kissing beautiful girls, kissing beautiful girls Never wear a uniform again, kissing beautiful girls I felt bad for him, stuck in that painting up on the wall of that museum I hope he grew up and got happy, found out what living life is really about, like Leaving home to chase his dreams But waking up broken hearted not knowing what it means Lost and drunk on a city street Losing all of his friends Living with mistakes, running out of food Stealing money, scared of someone new Never wear a uniform again Kissing strange girls Kissing strange girls, kissing strange girls Never wear a uniform again, kissing strange girls Cause one day he’s gonna meet her And five years later he’s gonna put on a black tuxedo And on a boat in the sun He’s gonna look up and smile and see everyone His face will be full, the sky will be blue He’ll see her in gold light looking beautiful Someone will ask and he’ll say yes I found out what I really wanted to do, like Running on the beach, flying through the trees Doing a honeymoon in Costa Rica Never wear a uniform again Kissing one beautiful girl They’ll be riding horses, going to the bug zoo Walking up volcanoes, diving in lagoons Never wear a uniform again Kissing one beautiful girl Kissing one beautiful girl, kissing one beautiful girl Never gonna be alone again, kissing one beautiful girl Well, I hope that happens, I hope he finds happiness I hope someone paints a picture of him when it happens I hope that picture hangs in a museum where some sad kid can see him I really hope all that happens
When I fall asleep I can’t breathe I wake up gasping for air Angry I need to see a doctor One that my insurance covers Something’s wrong A guy’s gotta breathe, you know I shouldn’t be here I should be at home looking up the names of doctors in the insurance company’s big book of doctors But here I am with my coffee and my headaches and my dreams And my day is all planned out I will cry at my therapy I will cry at my haircut I will cry at my day job Yes, there amongst the art for sale at auction I will cry And then I will go home and cry myself to sleep and wake up in an hour and a half gasping for air Angry Angry at the doctors Angry at the insurance companies Angry at the girl who won’t call me back Her name is Alexis She works at the Simon & Schuster audio book department She’s got red hair and blue eyes and I was sure we were falling in love Something’s wrong A guy’s gotta breathe, you know. I’m writing a book The title: Advice From An Old Poet To Another Old Poet Always do your dishes You never know when the water might run out Always be nice to young women who are nice to you even if you do not love them The ones you love will treat you poorly and worse, ignore you Always get up early to write your stories At 7am the coffee is magic At 10am it tastes like medicine Stay up late if you can Be in silence That’s the only way the find out whether or not your apartment is haunted If there are dirty clothes on your bedroom floor then pick them up and put them in a bag for dirty clothes Unless they are the dirty clothes of your lover then leave them where they fell Savor the memory of that moment There will come a time soon enough When she will no longer want to tear her clothes off for you There will come a time soon enough When her clothes and the care and the maintenance of them will be more important to her than getting naked with you If there are new sheets to purchase, purchase them Some stains in life cannot be removed And one must be unburdened of memories of good sex with old girlfriends Memories running over and over in your head like the looping photo slide-show on her old Myspace page Get out of town Go quickly carry very little It’s important to arrive at your destination free Especially free of the brown Adidas shoes she bought for you last fall just as she was disappearing from your life Never ask for anything that you really want She’ll give it to you then she’ll silently hate you for it She’ll hate you so much that she’ll break up with you without really telling you that she has broken up with you And when she DOES tell you that she has broken up with you it’ll be over dinner at your favorite restaurant so now you can never go back there again Something’s wrong A guy’s gotta breathe, you know Advice From An Old Poet To Another Old Poet Live Alone. Live Alone. Live Alone. Live Alone. Live Alone.
When we first met in my mind ain’t no mystery I can see you at the bar and you are smiling When we first met in my mind ain’t no mystery Now we go to bed silent and crying You say hey man we got to work on it But once you whispered let’s stay perfect forever You say hey man we got to work on it But now we just get lonely together Now you always drink your wine from fancy glasses But when I first met you all you drank was beer Now you always drink your wine from fancy glasses But it was drunk and grilled cheese at midnight our first year Your friends call for you and say hey come out and play My friends say well yeah sometime soon Your friends call for you and say hey come out and play But our first winter was just you and me and nothing to lose When we first met in my mind ain’t no mystery It was you in a dress me in leather pants and we were easy When we first met in my mind ain’t no mystery Now if you haven’t changed, maybe it’s me Now you always drink your wine from fancy glasses When I first met you all you drank was beer Now you always drink your wine from fancy glasses But it was drunk and grilled cheese at midnight our first year
She said “No.” And now, she’s gone. She booked herself on a Dangerous Dames of Downtown burlesque theme-cruise to the North Sea. I’m alone. I accept it. Let go of all your memories of her. Let go of your memory of the way she used to shout her fiery affirmations: “The Universe wants to fuck my Truth because my Truth is hot.” Let go of your memory of her angry outbursts: “Goddamnit, Bitter, a blow job is NOT sex! It’s just fucking fooling around!” Yes, let go of all those sweet memories, Bitter. And look elsewhere. Look uptown. There’s a real estate boom happening in midtown. New towers are being built filled with beautiful workers. Beautiful single women, who are all acting like they’re in their early 30’s. Thousands of them. Maybe a million. If they’re actually in their 20’s, they’re acting more mature, thinking about buying condos and engorging their 401K’s. If they’re actually in their late 30’s or, gasp, their 40’s, they’re rabidly working out, shopping for the hottest jeans and lying. Look there in those midtown towers, Bitter, for the Beautiful Uptown Corporate Middle Manager. She’s beautiful and she works in the middle of a corporation! She’s in her tower 60 hours a week and when she’s not she’s taking a continuing-ed class at NYU. She’s got a Singles Season Ticket to Jazz at Lincoln Center. She takes annual vacations to St. John’s with her best girlfriend who is a very important person in her industry. She’s got a regular share on Fire Island with a group of friends who are also very important people in her industry. Every 3rd Sunday of the month she meets for brunch with her all-female book club. She watches 3 Netflix movies a week. Where does she find the time? Find her. Find her. Find her! And invite her to the Morgan Library on Friday night to see the Irving Penn portraits of great artists. But be sure to speak about artists in the 3rd person: “they; them; those people.” And don’t tell her what you do. If you have to tell her you’re a writer, tell her you’re a writer for the pharmaceutical industry. Tell her you actually enjoy the challenge of making the required disclosures on drug labels sound benign and pleasurable. And be sure to express lots of anger, resentment and resistance to all attempts by the government to insert itself into our lives. Tell her you believe the market should be free and unregulated. Free the market! Unregulate it! Set it free! Tell her you believe that’s the American way. Tell her, just look at this Morgan Library for example. It’s a beautiful castle built by a mighty oligarch. We wouldn’t have it now if there had been market regulation in its day. It’s a beautiful castle built by a mighty oligarch, and today it is filled with the portraits of flakey artists. Most of those artists drank themselves to death. Most of those artists wore funny clothes. Most of those artists fucked around a lot. Look at them all now, hanging on the walls of the oligarch’s mansion! Follow that path Bitter! Lay those capitalism as orgasm lines down on her and she’ll swoon. And when she swoons, catch her. Catch the Beautiful Uptown Corporate Middle Manager in your arms. And happiness… Will find you.
I’m throwing everything out tonight I’m throwing everything out tonight I’m throwing everything out tonight And the first to go are the How To books How to buy a house in foreclosure with no money down and after you move in How to fuck the millionaire living next door How to get healthy by obsessing over the food you eat How to detox your alcoholic parents How to cook like a drunken college student How to make love to a woman over forty How to write a screenplay exactly like Toy Story How to do pretentious short films like they do at Columbia University How to write a poem about something How to ingratiate yourself to your roommate’s rich dad How to visualize your dream apartment How to visualize your dream girlfriend She’s funny, scary and elusive. She dances like a maniac because she has to. She won’t talk to you sometimes and it’s not because she’s mad at you. She’s just like the Italian tourist you saw at Starbucks with the big brown eyes, and when she looked at you with those big brown eyes, she stopped you in mid-latte. And you wanted to go over and talk to her but you couldn’t find the courage. And so the next day when you saw her sitting on the stoop of the hostel around the corner from your building, all you could muster was a quick “Hi” as you scurried on to the bank, making excuses to yourself about why you couldn’t stop and talk, because it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and you hadn’t showered yet and you look like shit, but she recognized you from the Starbucks and you didn’t stop and talk, you blew it! Let’s get back to visualizing my dream girlfriend… She whispers in me ear that she can’t stop thinking about me because of the way I kiss her. She’s got crazy hair that she flicks over her face for some mysterious reason. And all week long in my mind’s eye I hold onto the picture of her flicking her hair over her face as she’s lying in bed next to me. And then she finally she comes around late on a weeknight in the heat of the summer’s first wave. I open the door and there she is. She’s beautiful, again. I’m throwing everything out tonight And the first to go are the How To books How to book your own band whether or not anyone really wants to hear you play How to be your true self in 30 days How to write the great American novel the way a real writer would How to draw pictures the way a talented child could How to make chicken soup out of your soul How to fucking think positive you stupid motherfucker How to stop worrying today and start masturbating tonight Everybody now… I’m throwing everything out tonight I’m throwing everything out tonight I’m throwing everything out tonight And the first to go are the How To books How to raise your self esteem to a level where you feel more important than everyone around you I’m throwing it all out tonight And the first to go: Emotional intelligence for dummies
Dirge 02:59
Last spring I dated an actress for about 6 weeks. It was a lovely experience. Then, she went away on a vacation my herself to the Far East, to Central Asia. She came back. She showed me her travel photos. I thought we had a nice reunion, but she was no longer interested in dating me anymore. I was broken hearted. I wrote her this love poem. It’s in the form of a dirge… Ohhh, ohhh, oh This is the story of Ellen McCoy An Irish American Girl with a touch of the Asian Ohhh, ohhh, oh I lost her to a longhaired Swede named Sven Sven… Where? Where did I lose her to a longhaired Swede named Sven? On the side of a Himalayan mountain… I saw her, entwined in the arms of Sven On the side of a Himalayan mountain How? How did I see her entwined in the arms of Sven on the side of a Himalayan mountain? She showed me the picture! Ohhh, ohhh, oh Ohhh, ohhh, ohhh Don’t date a twenty-eight year old! Before she goes to Nepal…
Beautiful Downtown Performance Artist I love you! But I’ve been out here for ten years putting’ on this act just to chase you Chasing you from your first hula hoop trick (remember Harrisburg, PA baby?) All the way to your latest outrageous reverse-gender sex role attack Elbowing my way through your wake down Avenue A Sprinting across Houston with your Ludlow babes Crawling through my puke back up Avenue B They said I blacked out at you feet on Avenue C But all I’ll admit to is crashing your gig down between Ridge and Attorney Beautiful Downtown Performance Artist I realized last night I can’t chase you no more And I cried outside that L train stop as you slipped out of my hand And I watched you go pied piper style into the night And you were killing all those certified alternative kids You had them ipod shuffling to your beat all the way down Bedford to Grand Beautiful Downtown Performance Artist This is what I’m gonna do for you: I’m gonna change everything for you No more living on the edge of reality for you No, for you: I’m gonna buy us a house in New Jersey! We’ll have a flag on the front porch A TV room A basement for storage Sprinklers and hoses We’ll have a driveway We’ll have a spot all picked out for the swing set ‘cause you know, kids, someday All planned, of course Gotta make sure the house is in a good school district Gotta research that on the Internet Oh, the Internet! Yes, the Internet! We’ll have rooms that we don’t even use A treadmill in the double garage A gas grill to grill vegetables on and we’ll have dogs An electric fence to keep the dogs in An alarm system to keep the criminals out Floodlights to spot intruders Satellite TV so we can watch everything A kitchen big enough for a little league team A walk in closet for you A walk in closet for me And you’ll have your own bathroom! So what do you say Beautiful Downtown Performance Artist It’ll be just you and me living a vacation style life Hell, we’ll put in a shuffleboard court Let’s you and me give up this living on the edge of reality lifestyle It’s all prepackaged now anyway Just go down to the Urban Outfitter website and fill your shopping cart like all the pretenders Oh, the PATH train awaits us, my love! The PATH train awaits So, wash away your glitter Peel off your duct tape pasties Cast away your fishnet stockings Be true to your false eyelashes Shine light on your midnight blue eye shadow And come with me to a central New Jersey bedroom community Where all the new houses are built on old farms And the people The people Are real, real, real
You saw a movie last night about your past The scene in New York City that was dying just as you started living You threw yourself into a crowd that was desperate to play, to fuck, to laugh You remember hundreds of them, maybe there was only 50 Now, no friends, no provocateurs, no drug addicts, no wild eyes Just you, your stiff back and your question: Can you find it again? Cucaracha, Cucaracha You wrote some words down, paid people to watch They gave you their true response, it pissed you off So you crawled into your depression, stayed a full month Now your 2-month slump has turned into a 3-year way of life On the subway, an actor asks “hey, what’s going on, haven’t seen you in awhile” But you don’t have an answer The doors close, all you got is your question: Can you find it again? Cucaracha, Cucaracha You know, someday St. Peter is going to ask you “What you been doing?” You're gonna say “Making art for free and trashing people who make money.” But you bought two a/c’s so you’re ready for the summer heat And you keep wearing the same shirt you bought at the turn of the century And you keep talking about the record you’re gonna to make And the tour you’re gonna to take And the girl you’ll be marrying And the babies you’ll be having But St. Peter says “Too late: rents are going up we got to charge you market rate.” So you go to pack your bags but all you got to take is your question: Can you find it again? You saw your ex-girlfriend last night, she’s 6 months pregnant: too late You used to go out drinking, now you’d rather sit home watch the news: too late The girls used to make you crazy, now you can’t even see them through your haze You’re too old to have a kid, wouldn’t be right for an old man to raise a son Besides as soon as he got old enough to talk, he’d say “Hey old man, I got one question for you: Can you find it again?” Cucaracha, Cucaracha Cucaracha, Cucaracha Got to find you again


Trail of Glitter is The Bitter Poet's first full-length solo album. The album’s 11 tracks capture the highlights and low-lights of The Bitter Poet’s past decade. From being single to finding love and marriage, Trail of Glitter follows his personal misfortunes and petty triumphs, as he grapples with his own failings in the pursuit of love, lust and fame in New York City’s downtown music and performance art demimonde.

“The Bitter Poet’s “Guy’s Gotta Breathe” is a manic, almost unhinged anti-folk stream of consciousness anchored by literate, specific lyrics and an engaging vocal performance. It is a whirlwind 2:46. His voice moves from a grumble to a howl throughout the song, keeping the listener close with his tenor’s ratcheting tension. The tension finally explodes at the end of the tune, providing a fitting end to the wild ride. If you’re into The Mountain Goats’ lyrics, you may find The Bitter Poet to be incredibly appealing. In the way of all unique things, the song does takes a moment to adjust to. After you settle in, it’s really impressive and calls for multiple listens.” –Independent Clauses


released May 6, 2016

The Bitter Poet: vocals, guitar
All words and music by The Bitter Poet (Secret Candy Music, ASCAP)
© & (P) 2015 The Bitter Poet

Recorded and mixed by Alex P. Wernquest, Basement Floods Records, Catskill, NY
Mastered by Jon Hildenstein at JLM Sound, Jersey City, NJ
Photos by Michael Alan Wells, NYC


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The Bitter Poet Brooklyn, New York

The Bitter Poet's anti-folk, indie-rock, musical storytelling is darkly humorous, intense, gritty. His songs are honest to a fault, yet over-the-top and grandiose in the style of Tom Waits or Nick Cave.
Musically, his straight-ahead rock chords and carnival-like lyrics blend humor, pathos and outrage. He has been described as “Lou Reed meets William Shatner” and “The Doors meet Jack Nicholson.”
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