I See Hunger's Children -
Selected Poems 1962 - 2012

Author: normal
Artists: Charlotte; Stephen Kerner
Genre: Poetry, Trade Paper, 6 X 9
Publisher: Lummox Press (PO Box 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733-5301)

Publishing Date: April 2013

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    He was raised in post war, then mill-town
Passaie NJ. He received his sophomore high school education at the city library & times square...He cut his teeth wailing poesy in Greenwich Village circa 1962-64 at the legendary Rafio Cafe.

    normal has dwelled in 47 not so exotic port of calls. He held & dropped 60 sundry, checkered & mostly factotum gigs and spent the past 35 yrs as an RN. He claims his writing sensibilities significantly enhanced by the likes of the beats, Henry Miller, Vallejo, Vonnegut & ee cummings.              

    In 1992 he began sending his work out & from '92-2001 pub­lished between 450-500 pieces, mostly in underground rags with 2 chappies [chapbooks], Blood On The Floor & American Child (also from Lummox Press) . He dropped off the planet for 5 or 6 years & emerged again in 2006. normal lives deep in the forest in Saugerties, NY... I SEE HUNGER'S CHILDREN is his first major collection.



    "This is no tourist, no phony poetaster, Ginsberg riffer, Whitmamesque street boy, but an authentic voice of the street, the real street, singing a song as it was meant to be sung, in a time when such singing was possible...normal is the voice of the homeless, the victimized, the disaffected and the disturbed. These are poems born of the street, of the vagabond heart, the true restless American spirit that Whitman spoke of when he heard America singing. Too often, now, we hear of singing like the dolphins in an Eliot poem, who do not sing for us.  normal sings for us, that is, to the poet in us all and we should listen."  Alan Catlin (excerpt from a review)

     "I first became aware of the poet normal through Lee Crabtree, then the Fug's keyboard man, in 1963 or '64, at the Peace Eye Bookstore on the Lower East Side.  Thirty-five years later I be­came re-acquainted with his poems.  I liked his honesty. I like the "jolt" of reality in these works, and the inten­sity of images such as the "devil hair of barbed wire',' and "diamonds of light beg forgiveness',' or "a parade of wrinkles." Go forth. normal."  
Ed Sanders (former Fug, poet and bon vivant)

      "normal picks up something of no seeming importance and sees the whole of humanity, struggling forward towards some unknown destination. Poems like American Child, I see Hunger's Children, Blood on the Floor, and American Enough capture the inherent angst, the schizoid complex of what it means to be a citizen of the world and the USA. These are powerful poems indeed. Their power lies not only in the scope of their imagery, but in the connectivity of each idea on which the imagery relies." RD Armstrong (from the introduction)



for those brothers & sisters whose eyes burn still in heaven


Poem Found In The Ruins

Of The Old Cafe Rafio
Greenwich Village, Circa 1962-64






I  see them in the skeletal mockery of a city’s 16th

generation opening dawn dragging their brazen feet

thru the ribaldry of an early morning sun

on midnights pale street corner whistling Dixie

weeping ankle deep in winters savage wetness

wane & screaming a hand leering message to cruel scoffers

in polished shining fuck limousines

amidst starvations immortal war crying/laughing in the

sovereign ecstasy of an all night diners tearless

last booth

or asleep alas on a Freudian forth floor landing

wrapped as dead fish in dejected puke newspapers

I  see them dying in some Foundling-like hospital poor-boy

motherless nameless & as yet not reaching their first

birthday because the food soured stale in their stomachs

for lack of love

and then to rise like a reincarnated Christ to walk in

threes & fours hands in pockets in the stupid hush of

phantom daybreak

waiting, contemplating Chinese aphorisms in the dried

senile grass of a tawdry park, aping the sage, waiting

for the sun to kick its holy way thru the faceless cameo

clouds --- a belated midday sun that never does show

its virgin face

these angry ragamuffins humoring their raw squalor

with a guffawed-moan jerk of the head«& standing like

cigar store indians in distant rooms until rabid silence


hovering, scatting in the snowed-in wonder of some

piebald alcove to John Coltrane’s lordly hymn cry juke

box piss red on the untilled soil mundane womb of breath

& breathless

I  see them beyond the mushroom wind standing in rags

in the midst of some raw alley rain writing obscene

stone slogans anti rat bastard anything anti love

while those of fur & fortune sit in gluttony watching

their 1951 Abbott & Costello TV reruns for the l7th &

18th time in succession

then running dirty-barefoot thru canyon streets
of industrial cathedral wasteland holding their 5 day
empty mentholated stomachs screaming clamoring for
sexual crescendo while cross-baring placards &
placentas for the release of Cardinal Mindzendty
for Einstein to reinvent the Rosetta Stone
for Casanova to cakewalk in the Light of the
Conquering Moon
I see them standing nostril deep in great holocaust
oceans consumed only in shouting holy for the
immortality of Universal Love while watching their
breaths dissipate into the pagan night in prayer
for brethren of the shouted word
& getting busted for sad vagrancy by a benign cop
who lets them fall out for 32 hours in steel valhalla
of jail nazi solitary
laughing in & out of grandfather shabby Menlo Park
Bellevue Chestnut Hill Graystone Rockland & top
floor Brooklyn House of Correction with their feasting
hoards of sadist pervert guard & inmate & seatless
toilets only because the cosmology of the insane does
not conform
I see them screaming for sacred civil rights while aging
10 years a night
while preaching beatitude & peace while blowing joints
packed in the front page of the National Enquirer
while tossing thalidomide bennies into George Lincoln
Rockwells fishbowl at 4 in the morning
while wearing black armbands for Caroll Chessman 3
years after his murder
while turning a dirty groin & breast to Nirvana in
hope of an answer while performing the sodomy of
asking too many questions that have no answers
I see them shackled & thrust by the coliseum public
into the black well of crocodile waters where they
chant 30 days & nights for the survival of humanity
for enormous statues of Buddha & Harpo Marx to be
erected on Yucca Plats for the preservation of Fire
Island from the claws of a feral BuiltWel plague
for a New Frontier goliath political movement headed
by the Mattachines
for the formation of a black-Jewish-tongued Hunts
tomato tasting union
for 23 Boston tea societies to march barefoot to the
hills of Alabama & search out William Moores cold
murderer & when they find him genuflecting
in mercy for the poor ignorant bastard
I see them during a lunatic cold war marching & crawling
& swimming thru the Central Park Zoo as they out stare
the crewcut students of 01' Miss carrying posters of
the coming of a mulatto New Jerusalem
as they themselves are thrown out of the colleges &
private schools because they showed at tuesday night
vespers with their little nude statues of Genghis Khan
Boris Karloff John Birch Henry Miller Andy Devine &
Topps Baseball trading cards & solicited them to the
reverends family Howdy Doody Loki & good ol' Ronald
as they sit 8 across in the public lavatories of
democracy & mimic tv commercials from black midnight
till black noon
as they wave poke-a-dot handkerchiefs as they hallucinate
Coney Island while dancing bare-ass-gay & nimble with
Cerberus & Ichabod Crane around mammon campfires of
total & complete corporate bestiality
as they give themselves wholly to the ghost of Aleister
as they lay upon burning cemetery grass with visions
of Walt Whitman dragging Halleys Comet on a cross
thru the Constellations of The Apocalypse
as they charade suicide on the skyscrapers ledge
to preach against the bureaucracy demon of organized
as they march daily to the state hospitals with
knotted veins strangulated hernias pregnancies
social leprosy & The Miracle of Mere Preservation
I see them dancing upon limousine tops into the purple
shudder night
burning an Easter bunny on Easter Sunday upon a flag-
draped pyre piled high with ventriloquist dummies &
evangelical burlesque queens just to see who in the
vast crowd is guided by emotion
listening to an old mans dying last word
scouring an ageless Lower Eastside for the historical
Spanish Connection then score-rush-flash-groove-
settling back on a broken street corner to dig the
Establishment thru the Looking Glass of Truth
crawling out of The Rabbit Hole the grave/or Bates
School of Business to run screaming down to the Bowery
to let hungers adults be guidance-counselor & the
Valhalla fink called Existence the final exam
throwing pacifist mud pies at society's big molly
­coddle fight rape hot engine drink fat deeze-dooze &
dans pompous taper pants children & send them running
back crying to arms akimbo Ma & Dada exposed to dirt
free thought & the kiss of cherubim for the first time
in their whoremongering churchgoing lives
storming every country club from Flushing Meadows to

Montauk Point with torches searching out the Frankenstein
Monster & the Underwearian Diaries of proud tipster
Gunner Joe McCarthy
petitioning plush uptown offices with truffle hogs &
dowsing rods all because they smella rat in the water-
crest sandwiches
having pity for the poor god of hoodlum streets
arming the radio with Trotskyite explosives
having sex
giving up sex

tap dancing with Gene Kelly down the steps of Machu

conjuring up nude images of Thoreau Shiva & Emma Goldman
on a Ouija board while strutting thru a cold Harlem

damning God to Hell

scribbling profane Utopian campaign epigrams on the
National Archives Building
converting to Shamanism
masturbating 6 days a week
giving up masturbation for Lent
returning to masturbation for Ramadan
constructing Jacobs Ladder with the feathers of angels
going to pot
going to Mecca
going to Dallas

traveling out to Oklahoma only to experience teeth-
chattering honky-tonk nocturnal emission in an old
indian blanket
Nirvana Paradise
Secaucus NJ

dredging the Great Passaic River for new chapters to
Freud's Interpretation of Dreams
run track
make track
eat penicillin pie
scratch old irritations

swearing at every woman that wears shoes
swearing at every woman that doesn’t wear shoes
chanting the Bhagavad-Gita Ah!Sunflower & Whitman's

The Sobbing of The Bells 40 days & 40 nights

beating back the hag masses of the world with Emily
Dickenson’s bone corset
embracing The Void The Abyss Quasimodo Sapho & Venus
having a head
getting a head
shooting donkeys elephants & holy cows with existential
shotguns & nihilistic delight
assaulting Charlton Heston with a tongue bath
making it under the Tree of Eternal Hate
build for a better future
naughty muscatel in asylum mission homes
urinating like dogs

courting vestal virgins with Bolshevik humor



selling the Brooklyn Bridge

being mature

being banal




going insane for the last & final time

& at the end of the day watching the Skeletons Digging

& at the end of the day die


I hear America crying

I see hungers children  the protagonist saints of an
if and but future sprawled as ghosts in the desert
I see her children black & white & yellow & indian
shoulder to shoulder life to death sin to virtue
hop skip & jump chewing off the same bittersweet
apple to the very core of American Principle
I sing to these innocent days & to the fires upon
the horizon

I see hungers children in the city’s 20th generation
opening dawn-^neither -screaming nor rioting but
staring coldly silent statues in the park at a
ruptured bald eagles fading way & feathers & us - -
- - waiting

this IS my home  where home is in the soul & soul
in the heart & heart in the mouth
where songs are sung sagas are erected & poems

where the circus clown is no longer a martyr but
a prince

where my eagle craps the voice of a free people
on the Kremlin dome

where strength no longer be shown in bicep but
in imagination & Peter Pan is King of The Flagpoles
where hair grows long teeth rotten nerves numb
charityfat & the bluebird twitters aloud Keats
"Truth Is Beauty"

this is my home where hungers children awake me
each morning with a tender angry kiss

I see hungers children where baby becomes man & man
becomes God


Greenwich Village NY