Reflections on Peace

Things are moving along.

Hacktivists and graffiti musicians and magic wordsmiths,
the comic tradition still lets some jesters have influence.
There is still some room out in the backyard for a garden,
the bad boys have learned to read more than Jim Morrison.

I’m glad I grew up selfish and broken and unable to speak.
Gave me practice for when the drawbridge came down,
a chance to think things through, over and over again,
with and without the ego and that other shadow, rehearsing.

To do more than learn to preach, you have to listen to many,
if not most importantly, peer into your private self,
liberating and looting every limb and every single shelf.
Presenting your treasures to all your early audiences;
your family and later, withdrawn, to your sacred self.

Things have moved along quite a bit again since then,
with super brands of eXistenz and squads of night killers,
and reclaimed space, and violently re-stated demands.
It would almost be sinister if half of us weren’t farmers,
the other half engineers, doctors, and English professors.

The steampunk anarchist is just the action figure after all.
The people are the people, diversely wide, greatly stretched
their purpose not fully found so impossible to be pressed or,
set against their master-narrator’s caustic, embryonic chest,
not some monetary S, but a great and solid rebel’s fist.

Because that’s what every human in greatness is.
And that’s always been the truth of this here protest.

David is always David; Eve is always Gaia and every young mind
has a new kind of poem, cure or tool, sewn into their genetic sleeve.

We’re always going to take the holders of unkempt land rights to task.
We’re always going to brace in local-ness when pressured.

A million little gardens, a million tending, tended, hands.
A million then standing, clenching them again.

Things keep going this way, we might just have a chance.

I don’t like the word War on this day, or any really. It sounds too organized. Massacre is far more fitting. Groups of people killing for small powerful people, for land, for power, for nothing good, except maybe intermittent peace between more massacres, more atrocities, more power-grabs. I like to imagine you Jack Heffernan, my great-heffernan1

heffernan2grandfather, as a brave kid in 1914. Truthfully though, and rightly so, you were likely just trying to survive another impossible climate: the Glace Bay coal mines, where your 14 year old self struggled to live out each day. Perhaps you thought he had already seen enough horror, so why not enlist. One lie about your age and you were there, within a year of training, taking orders from the highland soldiers. One lie: now corrected on your enlistment papers. You said you were born October 8th, 1897, when in fact it was May, 1900. You were a child. You had the luck of the Irish too; given to the strength of the “Women from Hell” as their scared combatants dubbed them for their long, the 73rd Black Watch , those Scots’ long hair and kilts on the battlefield keeping you safe. You took shrapnel at Vimy, April 9th., and at 18years were discharged. The Youngest Newfoundlander wounded at that time, in the Canadian Army. The luckiest luck there is. A piece of bullet in your thigh saved this family tree. Without, who knows. And that’s what today always reminds me of. So many didn’t have Jack’s that got to come back. How many men and women who would’ve been doctors or artists, or given birth to them? How many beautiful and hard-working souls thrown into slaughter? It is not enough to remember. Nor was it for you old Jack. You trained other young Jack’s to pack parachutes in WWII out of Montreal, operated an aircraft welding and trade school in Montreal and qualified Approx. 1,500 Men and Women for work in aircraft factories. Your hands never left war. You were called in to inspect and renovate 3 chutes that were salvaged from Sir Frederick Banting’s crash off the coast of our home, Newfoundland.

When I think of where, and of what, I come from, I always say the Town of the Gould’s, Jack Heffernan’s home, his kin and his gift of hard work, his bravery, gave me a chance to at least attempt to be great as well. I come from the place he was lucky enough to come home from another massacre and begin his in. Sleep well Old Jack, as I always, I salute you, completely.


Workin’ Away

Hands are so dry from latex gloves
maps for flesh bound cities that
don’t exist unless the work does,
lines around a lizard eye,
fantastic light bearing down on them,
making shadows hide their shame.

My limbs are crooked and uneven
like my foot size;
just enough to annoy me a little,
but lost on the casual observer,
they hold up the racked skeleton,
keep the unkempt uniform cloaked
body from falling out of it’s cage.

And yet
I’ve never quite been before
so entranced,
even in love
as I am now
with it all,

as I am now,
as I am now
with it all.

standing by

whenever i listen to ben e king

i remember my first friend who was not white

and how we stayed up late

singing that song

and how he was this amazing light

when i left the island of my childhood home

and moved to the city, to the mainland.

if you haven’t understood

that love is the only solution

to all our ignorance

and fear of each other

you will kids.

you fucking have to.

Kurt’s Character

Someone sang it once and they were right
“I only have to do it”

and I was a little fucker back then
when I heard it, and I thought it meant,

I was meant,
for more than what
men are usually meant for.

Someone picked up a brick and
dipped it in cow shit and threw it

threw my dreams later, too

that summer
and it didn’t matter
no, not anymore.

Someone went away and
now the songs are even worse.

Anyway, I say this only now to you
because for one,
I wanted to know you loved me

enough to follow me down here,
and two, because you are just another

character who will either be
or not be

fifth business of me,

oh me,

oh me, indeed.


Someone sang it once and they were right
“I only have to do it”

and I was a little fucker back then
when I heard it and I thought it meant

I was meant
for more than what
men are usually meant for.

Someone picked up a brick and
dipped it in cow shit and threw it

threw my dreams later

that summer
and it didn’t matter anymore.

Someone went away and
now the songs are even worse.

Anyway, I say this only now to you
because for one,
I wanted to know you loved me

enough to follow me down here,
and two, because you are just another

character who will either be
or not be

new poem

new poem: let me black out your early morning smile with the knowledge that nothing will ever last as long as this night let’s contort for a bit and pretend our limbs might have some sort of secret locked between their shuffle let’s joke the seizure of dance into being anything else I want to hear your limbs cascade the rocks the ocean knows how to lie because its been stuck around us all this time let’s get a good ole sing song around the fire of this camped out shit song and when it hits hard lets not forget that everybody rots inside the same earthly shell lets not let ourselves forget that as nice and kind and good as you think you are being in the end we all rot in the same contaminated earth let’s not forget that as much as you played and prayed and weighted in on this thing that in the end we all rotted to the core and were left as we started when it gets ugly don’t forget the ugly are here waiting for the cause know that we are all waiting for some other ugly fuck to replace us in a long long line up of others who have just fucked their existences into this moment and know that you are nothing else but another warm snowflake in the shit of now in the shit of now there are many, many new promises made know that death is your blessing it is your chance to not give a fuck your chance to be bukowski and when you get really dark and down know that you wasted all the moments in-between to know this is to at least have some sense of truth in between your knees before it starts to bleed irrevocably until it seethes until it secedes itself to the throne of your own final, rattled breaths lets be real it all ends and nobody can stop it nobody can stop it and nobody can ever hope for anything else but this lets be fucking real a scream in the face of life is a scream nobody has a goddamn chance we all die alone and our bodies are instruments left to rust that just happen to dance again before anyone thought possible and when I go I hope I go like a dusty trombone like dirty saxophone like an ugly piano like a simple struggle I hope it breaks open a pit inside me in surround sound and fucking sing-song I hope it oozes out of me like no tomorrow like no sparrow had a shot outside my own vision when I go I hope I go narrow against the edge of it I hope I redefine the idea of a crow that pecks its owns eye out I hope it spills speaks splurges outside of me like there was no tomorrow when I go it better be worth it because other wise ill get hard and wronged and horny and ill flip every fucking table in this joint and every head will and every eye socket and every limb will pop will blow


I wrote your name on beach rocks.
It took me all season but I made sure to cover
a decent plot of the summer-lands
so you would find it attached to mine.
You could keep your name, we could both hyphenate.
I laughed.

I wrote your name in swirling fonts.
I added hearts.
I was sick.
I knew we were never meant to be.
But I practiced the dangerous devotion
of all early love in a kid’s hands.

Just like when at 12 I knew
Steven King was meant to adopt me.
He just had to meet me, hear my stories, and

I planned it all out.

The T-bone over the high iron gates,
to distract his Rottweiler’s.

I buried a dream or too as well,
but they were mostly muffled screams
and kisses that got lost in the rain
on a night where a baby fox watched us
make love,
and it was too beautiful afterward
to think about more than once
after every new major life shift.

I learned the calligraphy of tired and high
and over-excited bodies in beautiful folds
and creases, sleeping in what is impossible
yet never even for an instant awkward.

I rolled a joint from a Bible’s page once,
with honey and desire.

I swore it was the last time
I lent out my papers at life’s parties.

I kept going.
I found new loves, new chains, new homes
and new rocks.

Film Slag

Watching the end of the movie
it rarely matters which one
I can always envision improvements.

Planning another doomed escape;
I’ve got a pocket of creatures who
vie always for my attention

(which is daily tighter
wrapped over the rest of my
god-forgotten soul)

Coming back to the ground
where all the first stories
dawned on me,

and dosed me with something to get
off the million wrong highways
I would’ve just died on,

have a back pack of note books
I’ll never put down, and gadgets
that I use mostly to send more
into the vault, now and later, too,

I’ll be reworking, rewriting all the
different ends, even yours, yes,

even you.