4 Poems by Alec Cizak @AlecCizak

Punk Noir Magazine


I’m not supposed to decay

in a bachelor’s apartment.

I’m supposed to coil with

Beautiful Women around the world,

heave breathless on beaches beneath island palms,

against Bloody Mary sunsets laced

with opium violet and marigold tequila.

(I’m supposed to live a life

too good to write about, dammit!)


I scrape flaking skin off the soles of my feet,

punch a clock at a transportation job where


gives a fuck about my being a “genius and all”

and I listen to an apartment manager unbound

by a spine ground crooked by gravity;

he tells me what loathsome scum I am

for submitting my rent check on the fourth

instead of the third.


She fits the palms of producers and directors

and flimsy actors using her as a shield against

TMZ and twitter mobs and late-night hives.

She turns her vagina inside-out, so that

men without courage may wrap it ‘round their faces 

and call it a beard.

She serves Apple Martinis at Lola’s on Melrose,

accepting invitations to casting sessions on dirty couches 

hiding colonies of crushed roaches.

She washes the seed of personal assistants

from her damaged alley, in a grime-colored bathroom

where the light flickers to an unsteady rhythm.



Somewhere beneath the Hollywood hills,

I step on the canvas shoes of a stubby stranger

sporting a Dodgers ballcap; he smells like beer,

tells me I look like the fat, hairy gringo who’s

fucking his sister; “She’s pregnant, my friend,”

he says, “You better take care of that shit.”


Somebody once told me,

when the Red Line tunnel blasted

through the Hollywood hills, thousands 

of rats swarmed the workers. They were

waiting in the walls, like secrets, ghosts,

lurking between Sunset Boulevard

and Burbank.  Maybe Johnny Carson,

Mickey Cohen, or even Fatty Arbuckle.


Sometime in the future, I will

fondle my girlfriend on the Red Line,

while the train is deep underground,

chiseling tracks laid by a thousand rabid men 

chewing seasoned pork like someone might 

swipe their last meal while it’s 

still in their hands.


Children trudge

in single-file past 

imposed portraits of 

masochistic self-loathing;

the rotten, lunatic corpse

of banished individuality

peels off its skin,

dips it in alcohol,

sets it on fire,

and inhales it

through the eyes.

Children flock

like a herd of sheep

in the museum of chaos.

Walls melt, the air wobbles,

a drooping study of a burning idol,

smiling inside the flames,

one hand motioning, ‘come here,’

the other one extended

in a ‘stop’ gesture.

Children learn

at the tour’s conclusion

they have the freedom

to do as they are told;

They are smarter than that,

but not enough to see:

The signs with ‘poison’

etched in drab strokes

are not lying the way 

everyone else is.


Alec Cizak is a writer and filmmaker from Indiana. His books Down on the Street, Breaking Glass, and Lake County Incidentsare available from ABC Group Documentation. ABC will publish his novel Cool It Down in 2021. Cizak is also the chiefeditor of the fiction digest, Pulp Modern.