Month: March 2013

Losing the Teacher

I’ve always been quiet, and even more so scrawny, even frail in form, and most especially so when in that most wretched and inspiring, that most depleting and renewing of places; the institutions of education and vocation. I make this distinction not to inflate the story herein; for be assured it is a short and narrow version of a variety of moments. I have always been a thin fellow, and at 30 years and just barely entering my 3rd year of university, (and what was incidentally my first since leaving St. Mary’s in Halifax to come home, to Memorial), I was just a little less so on both accounts. I was still in that earliest of stages to the campus: when I entered the tunnels I wasn’t sure where I would end up, when I wanted to go to the Library from anywhere, I walked above ground no matter what the weather…it was…trying. Instinctually, I took a day before classes started and mapped out my class locations- I was after all, a two year vet to the game and the race.

His class was three of my mornings, every week, earliest of them too. Anyone who has had a morning class knows how debatable mere attendance, let alone the gods forbid, attention, can be at these classes. But I love short stories, and from the start I enjoyed His lectures both for their literature, and his personal asides. There is not even really much mystery to why the fondness was so instantaneous either, I hate to disappoint, although in fairness: I warned you this story was short. It’s really hard not to be content with a teacher who at once evokes figuratively and literally, the reincarnation of Santa Claus with white beard, round face, blue eyes and even pot belly, and in temperament were like the kind sort of grandfather everyone idealizes someday. He even had a couple blue wiry veins along the nostrils, like mine did, although I suspected for different reasons.

It helped that the stories were so good I think; Poe’s “House of Usher”, “Sonny’s Blues”. “The Lottery”. Oh and that one where the captain watches over his men in a boat after their ship is sunk. That was one of my favorites. When He read passages from the story He got into the roles of the different men, and even waved when reading the part about the useless priest on shore. I got a real kick out of him I must say. It wasn’t one particular thing he said or did either; it was the overall way he said it all. He was almost…sly the way he snuck knowledge into stuff. Took a little while, see, because as I said I have long been thin and quiet, and even after you age some, the rooms of uniform chair-desks, still have a way of…quieting you. The room, and my foolish choice of spots in it- they kept me uncomfortable for most the semester. But I took solace, perhaps especially so, in the Grand-Pa-Santa performed tales all the same.

Front Row, top left had corner of the class. It’s been one of my preferred seats for some time now; you are far enough away from most the students to avoid most eyes, and when the time nears you can make a decent bolt around whoever threatens your anxiety-like, sweat-drenched, and itchy exit.  All because of one unseen, but major issue which quickly, ahem…’arose’ that first morning. I hadn’t really considered, and it worsened as class progressed with such steadiness that I actually began to clear a course of each one based on my state of discomfort- each state that worsened told me we were one step closer to the climax, then the denouement, and finally, His final remarks on the story. My release from this mental ambrosia, this physical hell. You see, the entire circumference of the left bank of our class, our troop toward understanding- our exile from darkness to lights unfathomable- was window…window that called the heat of earths mother, a window that was directly and forevermore, facing the god-damn sun.

It was not even an issue for much of the left bank of the institutional trench; it was just the top corner of the teachers desk – which incidentally He never once sat at, for obvious reasons standing centre, in the beloved and cool shade of the other 80 percent of the warzone of quiet ignorance and brilliant conjecture of young minds, which somehow surmised my place in the whole of things- skinny, quiet, and usually somehow on the fringe, mature student in the hottest little corner of the room, wondering on that fateful morning when silence killed the battlefield all over- even (and be assured to my shock) my own lips couldn’t find it- the name of the town or state or city of the days short story. And there he was, finally exasperated with months of only a couple students answering the bulk of the questions, and ready to blow his top. They had finally done the impossible with their silence: they had broken the sunny demeanour and light hearted kindness of Grampa Santa. But first, a lesson in the history, short as it had been, yet excruciatingly long for me, of that very quiet front.

As established, I was older than most 2nd years, having doddled a bit with my course load and not entered University until 27. And I have always been thin, and quiet. And fair skinned. One might even hazard the term, “red haired and freckled”. There we have my state, and of course here we are  at my predicament; the sunny corner of short story class taught by coolly shaded Grand-Pa Santa, who just happened to be a naturally gifted teacher of one of  my fondest subjects, as though the torture of basking in the rising sun, magnified by double pained Atlantic ocean style windows. Already born quiet and thin, it seemed my lot to waste away in sweat during what should have been a joyous traversing of the hollows of literature. I should have been as free as that biplane pilot in the Alice Munro story, but instead I was stranded, with only one calming source of hope- the man himself.

Every once in awhile his Newfoundland accent washed up, quite intentionally mind you, and yet he didn’t do it haphazardly. It was so sparse, see.  And He used it to both drive a point home and restate a previously “properly enunciated” version of the same sentence.

“So…what’s ‘dis all about”. “Now, what in god’s name is Poe on about with dis passage”.

That was part of the charm I guess. He already emulated Gramps, now he occasionally became the old man when he was on the piss. For like Him, Gramps could manage mainland elocution just fine- if he chose to do so. Unlike many younger teachers, he didn’t waste time trying to win the affections of his students either. And to me that was respectful of him, the profession and us most importantly- to be an ambassador of learning, a Captain of the written word as it were, this is an honourable title in my opinion, and it’s one that needn’t wilt or waiver in the face of modern youth’s expectations of “new wave” teaching. Rather than capitulation, we got these wonderfully crafted excursions into the jungles of each authors mind and life- we became enthralled by osmosis- myself perhaps also some photosynthesis- of being in his well laid path. We were safe from many things, though. We wouldn’t be spoiled. Fooled into thinking it was easy to navigate a great short story. Imbued with the notion that stand up comedy and lecturing university are one in the same. No Sir.

We were going to learn the easy way- which is to say the only way, that is, the Right one.

He was never forceful, quite the opposite in fact. He would ask and re-ask and re-ask questions, never a hint of stress level raised, never any indication, save the accent coming out in planned, perfect intervals for humour and emphasis that anything changed in him despite its obvious challenge. Especially when it was place names and easy stuff like that: stuff that was on the first damn page. But he didn’t. And I guess that’s where I found some recompense for silently melting to death in the top left hand corner of the chemistry building at memorial, those September days. To raise that arm and quietly break the calm more than usual. Because I was about to experience one of the quietest semesters…of my life. Perhaps, I thought, squinting one day with arm raised so as to both block sun and grab His attention, of all time.

Yes ,it was That quiet. Young people today, I remember thinking, are just quieter I guess. Tweet, Text, Gaming Online. It’s all very semi-social, and often with the graces of distance between target and shooter, talker and listener, teacher and student, to wit. But even by that standard, this class was a trench of young kids yet unable to even raise the white flag of uncertain hypotheses. It got so that each time I raised my holy thin branch of relief, I would first look back to the class and just make sure I wasn’t being too eager. I’m no greenhorn remember. Never once did it occur that way. Never. Once.

Maybe it was because he was so kind, the kids could sense it as a way to subvert the morning and half sleep through his lectures, my answers, the wind whipping around the curtain in the left corner of the room, the only redemptive burst of cool in the sun-lit area, which was two desks away from me at all times. And not a word mentioned that wasn’t dragged out, often with such reluctance He almost had to do it himself. It was a horror-show some mornings. If I had read the wrong story or not had a chance to re-read the one we were covering, it could get truly atrocious, even gory.

But then one day the impossible happened. Nobody could answer the first and most basic question of the story. I had been under incredible stress that week, my best friend and fatherly-influence, my grand, grand Grampa…had taken a stroke. Then a second. Now he was hospitalized. He was tied up so he wouldn’t continually rip out his own feeding tubes, with his gnarly, bar-fight-fed fists. He was 76, and still drank a flask or a half in the evenings with is best friend “Prince William”, a black lab “left on his Texada Island property by some crazy old goat lady down the way. He whined all night in my boot on the porch II wouldn’t look at em at first.” Mick had just had the second of what one day would be all three of his sons, all to Heroin and her varying side-effects; OD’s, HIV-related pneumonia. Found inevitably in parks and dirty hotels. Eaten by a war unacknowledged.  He had been my confidante for a decade or so of close conversations and laughter and home cooked meals, and now, he was one foot in the grave and refusing anyone outside his own kids the chance to visit.

And here was this man, who by all accounts had given it the best fight a man can give in the battle for young minds’ attention and, god forbid, the insight of that holiest, most divine thing: an individual thought. A step. It was all he had begged for, just one foot gained. It wasn’t as though he’d expected us to win the war. Just take a yard. Even a mile. And all that withstanding, if nothing else couldn’t we please Name the god fer’saken town b’y da jeeesus. This was late November now. We had been to the House of Usher, we had survived the sinking of the Lusitania with Stephen Crane and we had even worn the smothering sad injustice of Gogol’s Overcoat, and now we would fumble and break the perfect demeanour near the end, hung up on a story I can’t even recall, though I am sure it was either Cheever’s The Swimmer or Carver’s Cathedral. I mean these were modern stories, not like Poe with the weighty tongue of old gothic- and yet I couldn’t summon the answer. And he finally broke. The man who had been by all intents my Grand-Santa, smiling back at you when you asked who is speaking in A Clean, Well-Lit Place, smiling when he agreed about the ending of “The Yellow Wallpaper”, smiling and kind despite the artillery of silence and more silence daily aimed toward him, despite all the eyes blankly unable to mouth even a guess and left him to lean on even the hope of one- had finally had enough.

“Well.”

“Well I Just Can’t Believe It. I mean come ‘Awn guys”

“This is ‘tree months IN”

“Does ANYone know the setting? It’s not a big question here guys… ”

I think of him now with the other running list of them. The good ones; Mr. Pardo and the voice’s he used to do on the side for his friends and neighbours answering machines. He decided to quit the job eventually and do voice work full-time.  Mr. Hadwyn; taught me the word ambrosia, in the context it was the word he used when he had to smooth something over with the missus- “just compare her to ambrosia, the fruit of the gods gentleman.”. Ms. Macdonald who wanted my short story to get published way back in grade nine. And Mrs. Kelland later in adult high- the one who he held all other people to as a sort of moral and human meter-stick. Who attended my first big readings. The ones who should never have had to run out of patience. Not because of that gawd fe’ersakin quiet, of all ‘tings.

I was perfectly out of place to see it all; I was older, I was 3rd year, I was the guy who’d deluded himself out of adolescence with delusions of being the next Jack Kerouac or London, but ended up looking more the Burroughs, or worse, Huncke. I could see the literal unfolding of the silence over just a single gap of time – a decade and a half or so- from my earliest years as the tall lanky ginger, wise-cracking but otherwise shy kid. In high school I don’t really remember cell phones. Just weed and hacky sack, pool halls and public parks. Now a hush comes over the titillated mind. The over-twittered, under-spoken. A nation of shyness to hold us back.  And the last few good people aghast at the funeral of conjecture, of discussion, of thought- paid to try to hustle a few marks into an average, nothing more than monks robbed of their patience, hope. Passion.

And yet, by the next class, his temper returned to the infinitely Buddha-like smile and, as though Cheever’s Swimmer, half –senile, or as even the rider who manages to escape Usher- Mr. B- made his way through the trenches of quiet once more…a few good hands to aid, be assured, but amidst the fiery true force of a silence just the same.

By the time I lost Mick, exams had rushed past. I wasn’t really there anymore though. I was finally making my way from the hellish prism of that vantage; court side to the slaughter. It didn’t even occur to me until shortly before sitting down to provide my portion of the events leading up to December 8th that he was technically only a few parking lots away the whole time. My grandfather, who hated more than anything the thought of dying for years in a hospital, visited by those he hated but loved. He had refused me admittance after the second stroke with the spastic waving of clawed hands, a childish face according to one family member, who in her usual crudeness had remade the sour pus and claw outside Carnell’s Funeral Home.

The entire time I was writhing in wonder and later despair and being powerless in his end, he had made his way closer still to my discomforted place.  Whereupon he was eventually sedated and restrained after several, quite violent and swift attempts to dislodge his air tube- he finally followed that hellishly bright light.

Mick loved a few things enough to break his staunch agnostic approach to life. “I say a prayer still for my boys dead and buried” his eyes red each time they came up, “and my old man.” (his father, a veteran at 15 – notoriously declared himself the youngest Newfoundlander to enlist, lying about his age at 14 to escape the coal mines of Glace Bay)

He loved to drink, he loved his dog, he loved a woman once, and he loved to tell and almost as much hear a great story. Maybe I am misguided in my detail of his last attempt then; perhaps; hearing the silence broken by the voice of a clearly trained professional in the trade of storytelling and re-telling and re-telling again – perhaps ole’ skipper wanted just to get a better seat for the show!

To sneak one last laugh out of it all! To be away from dat god forsaken hospital. There’s a story yet to be told. It’s a good one, about two atheists who end up praying on each other’s souls, in the end.

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She Has You

She is the one that first caught me.
The half human, half faerie half witch.

She listened to Tool and
she knew what am Athame was,
always buying books written
by women with strange pseudonyms
like Raven Moonchild.

This weird stuff was always happening.
Once she was saying the word paint
As I fished out a magnetic word from
Its frigid pagination into my typewriter,
the very word she’d said, and

“she had a dream about it all” and
“I was never going to be rid of her”

and “I have another inside me”
and “I’ve only shown it to you and
the clergy. ”

I haven’t got the heart to leave anyone
Or go on or forward someday unless
I sit for a minute and consider her
diamond-like personalities.

I had no idea what feminism was then,
but when I read “The Yellow Wallpaper”
I thought of that summer, (just before
“Kid A”) when we lived downtown
and she found this real pattern behind
the wallpaper. I saw it. She saw it. It was there.

People shuffled her into a hundred different
diagnostic hooplahs after that, but I knew she
wasn’t crazy. She was a real woman,
and womanhood Is a disease that is treated
as a mental illness, which itself?

Is just a way to keep the creative people
at a workable, distant and level, population
of shaky people in food by courts and on
corners screaming about their insect
encrusted genitals by the time the meds
have all gotten pumped in,
perched like prescription Jesus-
Zombies in rows along every major city,
reminders that thinking at all can
lead to lucid, stigmatized doom.

Anyway, every time I hear Kid A I
think about her. We barely heard it
in the same room more than a couple
times, but what was great was she
of all people had bought a cassette
of the thing and I later discovered
it was defective. It played the opposite
side Helter Skelter style in the background
on both sides, so you in effect had an entire remix
of an album that had already departed from
post-Kid A Radiohead. It was the single most
beautiful mistake that has ever existed.

And it’s gone.

Sometimes I put one on in one player
and the other in another but
it’s not the same. Plus who knows
what cocktail of wonder and drug
and what stage of depreciation the
ears were in, it’s hopeless to even
attempt a cosmetic replication of something
operatic, organic. Environmental.

My Own Private Piracy

I started young-
Let’s just say I sailed the seas
at seven or eight.

Cassettes from the radio and
beta-max’s with laser-disc’s
my Chilean step-father took
me to these places where we
rented, not bought, compact discs

from cheap wall shelves and wire ones
usually found in corner-stores that
only had a couple VHS to choose from

but they were filled with great stuff.
I learned Bob Marley from there;
And Ice-T and Guns n Roses and
Even PM Dawn; dad taught me the art
(My first really-) of the mix tape. And
After that I took it and made hundreds
Maybe more.

We had a satellite dish
Hector, my father, really loved good things
Food and music.

(I think about it now we had it all for awhile,
Even when they fought all the time and laying awake
It ate away at what sense of safety I had finally been allowed
Sometimes all I remember is him telling me we were divorcing
I was watching that terrible Doc Hollywood movie that was on Cinemax

It was such a terrible movie, I felt bad for Michael J Fox at the time
Fuck, I was only 12 or so and that to me was life’s unfairness laid bare –
The kid was great in the 80’s but now he has to face it like the rest of them.
I always wanted him to be my older brother when he was on Family Ties,
And now here he was forced to take any role.)

Over the years I always pirated something;
from the library, the cd rental shacks, the radio.

I even had a side business for certain friends
when I worked at Chapters
before I got too paranoid to make the seasonal
shopping list.

And then the technology finally caught up with us.
We have been chasing discographies ever since

my neighbour and I have an almost competitive
relationship when it comes to a weekly exchange;

You get anything new? Oh yeah? Which Episode? 405? N0?! SIX? Really…

Sites have changed over the years:
Mininova.com, then Pirate Bay.org,
then Demonoid (RIP) and Speed.cd

Each one has its pro and con list;

Mininova; Pro great for high seeding torrents of new shows and movies, albums etc.
Mininova also has a Terrible search engine; even the most basic title searches come back with foreign cams of Harry Potter instead.

Pirate Bay has an even worse engine. Don’t bother searching for anything, ever. Also, its dirtier than a dead French whore so double scan it before penetrating a’ la Windows.

Demonoid was great , it had a ratio system though – you had to share back – or upload- all the info you downloaded, and If you go too far in the red you are booted.

Demonoid rarely opens its gates for new members; once a month for a few hours mouse cupping palms hover their sweaty shaking click fingers over pointers to pounce all at once, likely shutting down the server at the same time, and regardless of that event, only a few gaining entry anyway- just for a chance at the treasures which are hosted there.

Speed says it al in the same; these torrents come so fast the actors are still learning their lines sometimes! The folks who run it are Nazis sometimes about ratio, and if you mention another torrent site, you mine as well have shit in their collective mothers mouths, it would be the same reaction I assume. I’ve heard of honor, but snobbery among thieves? Come on now.

The products or “booty” being pirated? Well that’s an entirely other and trickier affair to explain.
It would almost seem easier to list what is Not being stolen, absorbed, suckled, schemed, digitally raped…Film? Everything new and most of the old, the weird, the taboo, the early works of all the greats

I have Kubrick’s first short flick; a documentary on a flying padre- yup a religious guy who flew a biplane in Mexico. Rodriguez’s student film. Chomsky interviewing Oliver Stone. De la Rocha interviewing Chomsky. Actors playing the Beats. The Beats interviewing each other. Caligula. Bunuel. Leary’s acid test. Great for house parties.

If it has been put to digital memory- it has been looted by the stealthy movements of programmers somewhere, thus becoming available everywhere…

Lady Fate

I fell for this girl who
also called herself fate
when allowed to take
another name.

We met in summer school,
this cramped class, a far too
idealistic teacher, and this
young, perfect encounter.

I read No Great Mischief and
The English Patient that year,
Both of them were the some
of the first words I really got
swept away by. Macleod and his
similes, Ondaatje and his
Herodotus histories of desert
storms. It was enough to fill my
notebooks with proud dream
journals and even six months
Sans drunk if I recall.

I was already betrothed to a girl
who had never known a trustworthy
role model in her entire life. Her family was
cold, her mother might’ve inspired
Nurse Ratchet, clamped down the kind
hearted father he didn’t even
remember having a pair by time
I showed up with my Kerouac
and my heirs apparent. I, who ordered
Salmon when we went out on their
dime because is somehow felt
like the right thing to do, like it made up
for their having ruined the girl’s youth.

This fate lady though, was different.
She was all black straight hair
and daddies attitude and heart
on her sleeveless, summer arms.

I told her I recognized her and she
just about lost it.

“How could you have seen me?
I thought that show was only on in the states!”

It was, but I had a step father who loved
technology; we had laser disc players and a
satellite which meant I had Nickelodeon
when it still had some integrity.

I had been unimpressed with her show, but
she was clearly caught between finally showing
something emotional, she was proud and
wanted to be fawned over for her claim to fame.

Then the fire drill.

I smoked then but was trying to quit, so
I was wandering outside hoping to bum one.
The crowd thinned out, and eventually it was
just me and her, in one of the few cinematic and
romantic scenes in all my existence took place.

It started to pour. Sun shower.
My personal favourite
of all the varieties of rain to stare upward into
arms outstretched, crucified by joy.

Then she did. So I did too.
There we were in the sun shower,
arms stretched out, heads raised
toward the fragments of light ripping
through the dissipating wall of cloud,
completely silent, a temporary relief.

Just like Gordie Lachance and the deer
in Stand By Me, I kept that to myself until
just now, when I reopened it for you, like
a butterfly wedged in a bible for 12 long years,
dreamt of often, but never actually let
back into existence. Still just as perfect, too.

Sleep well,
Lady Fate.

S. Heffernan

The people on the bus
(go to hell in a hand basket fast without
social customs in place).

(aka “welcome to Thunderdome, bitch”)

No matter how far we come as people,
the public transit experience will always
feel cold, like communism in Western movies,
or like penal institution transport crossed with
a ship of fools motif. For me however, it’s an
essential tool in understanding human behaviour
(and its lack therein when it occasions).

The best time to people watch is
the morning or late night, when
the world of the worker is worn
away like reality TV 5 years ago
and people really get their zombie
looking selves into half-sleep states.

There are a variety of styles of bus rider.
Each reflects a persona in society.
There’s the tough guy/asshole.
He’s easy to spot since he’s the only of the
Male species who will sit next…

View original post 399 more words

The People on the Bus

The people on the bus
(go to hell in a hand basket fast without
social customs in place).

(aka “welcome to Thunderdome, bitch”)

No matter how far we come as people,
the public transit experience will always
feel cold, like communism in Western movies,
or like penal institution transport crossed with
a ship of fools motif. For me however, it’s an
essential tool in understanding human behaviour
(and its lack therein when it occasions).

The best time to people watch is
the morning or late night, when
the world of the worker is worn
away like reality TV 5 years ago
and people really get their zombie
looking selves into half-sleep states.

There are a variety of styles of bus rider.
Each reflects a persona in society.
There’s the tough guy/asshole.
He’s easy to spot since he’s the only of the
Male species who will sit next to a woman
when seats next to other men are available.
In some cases such behaviour is accepted- a
bar for example. Not on the long haul that is
the metro though, no my track suit friend, best
to flip that Monster Energy (death) drink ball hat
around, take those Ridiculous tri-colored sunglasses
commemorating the 1992-93 Toronto Blue Jays franchise
off, and just stand the fuck off to the side as you likely
will in other forums in life im sure until an early
death by some random douchbaggery or other.
(My guess is robbing a gas bar, who knows!)

Stuck next to him was the lady who sits as little
As possible but rather tries to hover on her ass cheeks,
and almost appears fearful of the physical bus itself
as well as our resident asshole. She’s not a lifetime rider
like him either, usually she finds someone or becomes
a driver herself.

Next you have students. Most of those are texting,
a few still read. Fewer are weirdo’s watching the rest,
like me, for non-sexualized purposes (those lot tend
to fall under the Blue Jay 93 douchebag from earlier).

Then you have a few workers, and some people running on
fewer pistons than the general “norm”, your rockers,
your cursers your rocking cursing singers, all living it up
like they just don’t give a fuck, next to them, the skeets
and the slags, the skanks and the hags, and all that glitters between.

You have a few young parents, a lot more young mothers,
the occasional Clergy or Sister, people too injured to drive,
too poor, people too drunk and (or) too high. It’s a veritable
smorgasbord of life! As a cheap student-writer of cheaper
writing still, I really can’t fathom wanting to leave the living
Opera some call “the welfare wagon” others the “losermobile”.

But I think that’s mostly peoples
pride making them feel they need to qualify their
existences as more than the rat race they are
jammed into (just like anyone on that bus) and there
is nothing that’s going to change it – no ride,
no sweet, sweet ride will ever change that.

And you KNOW what Marcellus Wallace has told us of Pride?

“The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting.
That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.”
Pulp Fiction, 1997

“What’s the Guy Gonna Write About?”

I was feeling blue, which, when you’re a gingery red,
feels more like a harsh purple I hear.
And it was all due I believe in my fear that

the bottle had magic I need and will now
sound like a weaker (morally tender already) writer of me.
I did what I always do (since last week)

and put on the Bukowski recording where
he says something like
“they’re always asking, you know
what will he write about now without
the jobs and without the desperation
and he was so smug and said even if I end
up in a mansion with all the trimmings

I better still be able to write.”

Last week I saw one of the saddest old men
at a food court in a mall, he had a dirty, blue
Red Sox hat laid before him as me and a friend
sat at our relatively youthful table next to him.

The other pathetic people at the food court at least had
a group to hide in, to guffaw and gum their cheap dentures.
All I got from him was his loneliness, vacuous and stolid.

It was like the whirlpool of poetry that most
just watch while idiots like me prostrate ourselves
in all manner of walked wild, all for laughs and kicks.

And here was this fucker who Just About
smudged me with tears, sitting alone.

(Not even a pad to scribble Secret,
half crazy notes and malformed nudes
of the food court wenches in

How inappropriate that would have been,
If I had…

Can you imagine if I did that?

And with that thought I was saved.
It takes me away from the muzak-neon Epoch.
(which in recall has Carmina Burana as soundtrack).

My friend, a fellow writer,
and I have a dark tradition.
We preface a rant with
“Can you imagine if I Just…”
And just let a rant off, minus

Morality,
Ethics or
Class or
Sensibility.

I would like to think this has some deep
rooted, sociological function.

“Ah yes, the Can You Imagine – it often
centers around a social hazing- a negotiating
if you will, of the social contract/narrative level
of acceptability and Norm displacement is utilized
to come of age in the driest of social morays”

Some bullshit like that.

Really though, it was born of our
constant employment of it
prior to a detailed description of some depraved,
indifferent act.

“Can You Imagine if I just went
Fucking berserk right now in this line up
And started belting out Queen loud as fuck
while some half nun/stripper unveils a Gatling?”

Shit like that will always keep me going.
Even if it’s running form an angry PC crazed mob.
Anything’s better than that food court.

Coming Soon (to a Poem Near You)

People talk about film youth like
you lose something human in the process
but I love all the memories attached to
all the things watched and re-watched again.

I remember Mr. Destiny was on all summer one year,
And staying up watching HBO’s first run of
Tales from the Crypt on Elgin Street.

Cheers with Diane and Coach in Newfoundland
then rounding out on the mainland,
years later With Becca, and Woody.

Imitating John Mclaine and jumping off
our back deck yelling
“Yippiekayay Motherfucker!”

Or Chevy Chase “Happy Hanukkah, kiss my ass,
kiss his ass, kiss your ass”.

Taping City TV midnight movies or
Boston late-night horror-thons onto
blank (superior recording quality to VHS)
BETAMAX tapes.

(Night of the Living Dead,
Rebel Without A Cause)

Blitzed on shrooms watching The Doors
and The Wall and writing illegible poems
I still have somewhere.

Watching Basquait and mimicking
his SAMO graffiti with J-,

The infinite re-watching of
Toy Story with Jack to the point we
all knew it word for word.

Blade Runner with Hector,

Pollack with L-
the painter and wild one
whose image is forever connected
to Ed Harris now.

I have fewer memories without a filmic
soundtrack than with.

Coming soon,
another screen night kept
up by a viewing moon,
waxing, waning into next years
coming attractions.

This is Sparta (but not the movie)

I didn’t meet you at a bar.
I am not your friend,
we are not comrades.

This is not a real war
and this is not my true intent,
but blinded we’ll walk a little

straighter, don’t come here.
We hate this but leave before
the song’s through.

I didn’t invite you, this
is invective with a personality.
I didn’t try it came in twitches
and in concert.

My fingers aren’t trumpets.
and the features of the sky
in no way resemble leviathan,
the priesthood or another Jesus.

This is not pick-up trucks rusted hood.
We’re talking one of those old school,
“Blockbuster” joints before boo-tied
treasure got flicked to the parade-mob,

like violent Mardi Gras, this is no
party. This is misery I swear this get’s
too ugly and raucous to pacify or
make famous and chain to a linked brand
fence for carrion devouring, sacrifice.

This is Sparta.
This is Contra,
this is Birth.