Archive for ‘The Inertia Variations’

December 13, 2012

past, resent, future


Living in the present, negligibly;
regretting the past, sweepingly;
and speculating upon the future,


November 5, 2012

In Honor of Election Day: Three Inertia Variations


I may as well face the fact
That I am no longer capable
Of doing what I once believed
I was capable of doing.
Not that I had any reason to assume
That I was capable of it.
It was just a feeling that I had.
And now I have a different feeling.


Take some initiative…
Do something with your life:
I get up from the sofa,
Walk across to the table
And write these words
Down on a scrap of paper.
Then I return to the sofa and
Fall asleep.


I ask little enough of myself,
And I cannot even accomplish that much.
I would rather sit here, obsessively undriven,
Doing as close to nothing as is humanly possible.
Entertaining, occasionally, a pang of grief
Or grievance. Fixing on a stray regret or a memory
Drifting like dust in sunlight, or
A shadow falling over a shadow.


September 12, 2012


Beauty depresses me,
Knowing that it’s temporary.
Positivity requires too much energy.
And even if I were happy,
I wouldn’t admit it,
For that would be insulting
To those who are not ,
And those who pretend to be.

(Artillery, Sept 2012)

May 23, 2012


In support of stand-up stand-up guy Rick Shapiro. Vlad the Retailer: 4270 Melrose. Saturday May 26th, 8pm. $10.

April 20, 2012

National Poetry Month on the Sunset Strip

April is the cruelest month at Book Soup.

January 21, 2012

CXXVII (the missing Inertia)


This compulsive need to ‘actualize’ myself
Has consumed far too much of my being.
I wish I could divest myself
Of this tiresome illusion
That I have something to offer.
It would make it so much easier
For everybody concerned.
Not that anybody else is concerned.

January 9, 2012

‘A work of the highest moral, social and aesthetic value’: The Inertia Variations on Amazon

Inertia Variations on Amazon

January 7, 2012

Literary Event of the Year… so far

Book Soup and Kerosene Bomb press presents.

The Literary Event of the Decade

On Thursday Jan 19th at 7pm,
John Tottenham and Anthony Ausgang
will appear at Book Soup.
8818 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 659-3110

Tottenham will finally be putting the Inertia Variations to rest,
giving the last-ever reading from his lauded collection
of 8-line poems on the subject of work-avoidance,
indolence and failure.

Ausgang will be bringing The Sleep of Puss Titter to life –
the hallucinatory ravings of a hyper-articulate madman –
with a rare public airing of his inimitable spam novel.

This promises to be a night that will be spoken of for years,
featuring two innovators and orators of the first water.
Don’t let the remote (for some) location, inconvenient hour
and lack of parking come between you and this
night of high-spirited seriousness.

August 2, 2011


There are no levees capable
of withstanding the torrents of distraction
that surge through my mind. Tender
resentments, useless trivia and tired lusts
are carried along like debris on a swollen river,
from which, very occasionally, a lucid thought
emerges, only to be sucked back down
into the sewage of pettiness and vanity.

May 3, 2011

Life Without Work

To do nothing
in this day and age,
when so much pointless work
is being produced,
could almost be considered an achievement.
It all compares most unfavorably
with my own imaginary
body of work.