Distraction

One Size

I can’t stand shopping.
I used to love being a kid in the cart and
grabbing stuff from one aisle when nobody looked
and then dropping it somewhere else:

maybe I was a child anarchist,
maybe I was a shit,
maybe I was a fucking artist,
without proper tools or inspiration.
so I took to the shelves and remade them
in my own twisted version of store planning,
in my own storm of shop dropping,
two decades too early,
two little fistfuls of products, poised
to my own devious ends.

Years later when I worked in a grocery store
all that karma was reduced to a single bill
I owed what I owed and at the end of the night
I had to fulfill the duty of looking for products
that been left in the wrong spot
the entire fucking store, shelf by aisle by freezer by display
for lost items, that they called “orphans” in case the
average minimum wage employee needed reminders that this
was a dire and crucial element to the job.

I think about the orphans when i shop now
and still once in awhile create a little chaos
for the next kid whose just trying to finish their shift
and get to some party where they can talk about how
it makes no sense to call them orphans since
they have never really left the florescent home
and they would by this logic call shoplifters kidnappers.

I have to shop sometimes though.
It is water boarding for my soul.
I loathe every salesperson not because
they invite it but because I just detest everything about the phony process.
I even start to sound like Holden Caulfield.

I needed boots though.
It could not be helped.
The previous week I had done a rush job of foot wear.
I had bought a pair, believe it or not, an entire size larger than mine.
This is how much I hate shopping.

They were like clown shoes after a few hours.
So I wore two socks.
but then my feet got all sweaty
and I’m pretty sure some sort of
athletes foot started to flare as a result.
They were on sale too. So no returns.
Now i had to return to the scene of the hell-crime.
I had to do twice what I reluctantly do once a year or more.

So I tried on 18 pair.
No luck.
everything felt like it was hard and designed for robotic footed beings.
everything felt like a twisted Cronenberg three hour retelling of Goldilocks,
with redheaded temper replacing blonde earnestness. Every sales clerk was
more and more a grizzly.

I gave up on Pay-Less.
It should have never crossed my mind to enter since
it looks about the quality of Al Bundy’s shoe shop,
and that can never be good.

I ended up back at the place I started.
Endless bus rides, hours of muzak and increasing
sense of panic driving into my body,
back to the fucking shire I went, seeking the impossible.

I saw them out of the corner of my twitching eye.
They gleamed like fucking Excalibur.
but then they walked like geisha clogs.
5 more pair.
5 more runway walks.
you always fucking wish the salesperson
would just fuck off
and not watch you do your test walk
like what am I going to do?
run out of the store in tight boots?
has this happened?
is it an epidemic?
i start to think about how this must be the shittiest job in the world
watching for potential kidnappers
putting boxes of orphans on shelves like a
detective at the end of some show
and finally
a pair of Timberland’s spoke
my fucking language
and I almost threw the size 13’s from hell
back at the sales clerk and
decided against it
I almost put them on the shelf
but didn’t
I just walked home
proud for having avoided a total rage out
and put the 13’s in the box the Timberland’s
my sacred number 12’s
had come in, and I put the box in the back of my closet
next to the other things
I like to pull out of retirement
for a laugh
now and again you need
to laugh at your own foolish abandon
of logic
of reason of
all fucking hope

because boots are made for walking…
and orphans are made to be re-shelved,
and shopping is for masochists,
see you again next year.

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People Love Puppies

It is morning and you
cannot tell me you
are happy to be outside
in the sunshine
not if you are like me
and you stay up later
and sip beer and tap at keys.

There is no coffee shop
jazz smooth enough
to straighten your
knotted neck, and a light
but effective sharp jab
of pain around the temple region
is just praying you try
and focus on the screen
or a page or anything
that is not a puppy.

The patrons are all
gathered around one,
a baby black thing that
is going to be loud
and annoying before it dies
and leaves the family
in shaky tearful messes
on the floor, and not
before it leaves a couple
hundred runny sloppy ones,
to step in still warm,
to curse at while half gagging
on the mysteriously pungent
stank that manages
to come out of
a toy bred ball of fur
and teeth and drool.

But that’s it, nothing
you can do about it-
you cannot stop them
before falling in love.

What can be done?
People love puppies.

It is not

for KW

It is not for you, it is for me
to walk the streets at all hours still
and sing a little, maybe a dance move or too even
if I feel especially on the end of it all,
I’ll weep uncontrollably.

It is just when I am off the stuff for “a few”,
even text the old Argentine “Yeah no drink till June”
that he’ll get a dozen garbled after-texts
which barely make any sense at all.

Well, if they were from anyone
but me,
that is.

It is not you kicking cop cars and slipping them the finger
before running. Unless you’re one of my cohorts.
In which case you’re likely also wielding a trumpet,
the car is likely on fire, the police are likely, confused and
powerless.

I thought of him the other night
when CTV National exposed some random stories,
one where a rape chant originated at my old University.

One about a strange incident in Parry Sound,
in which dozens of Garden Gnomes,
stolen over a period of time, or was it one night?

Who can be sure, they were all lined up in a parking lot,
though
that much is for sure, all in rows, neat and uniform
and giddy and frolicking

like they didn’t give a fuck,
like nobody had abducted them at all,
like, well, foolish garden Gnomes look,
is all.

It reminded me of the great Gnome slaughter of ’98.
I wish I could remember it.
Like King and Salem’s Lot,
some of the demons are yours but
you can never get un-got.

It is not me I seek in the mad ones I have
followed, like weird news-reel made real,
it is within me, that I hope to share even a shard
of them, like a Skesis trying to get a Gelfling,
in Dark Crystal, to sell him some
more soul.

Some more time, to live in digital youth.
Let’s dance tonight, on the old downtown roof.
The one from the past, all sticky with truth.
I’ve got a story for you, that nobody else will
get but you, & just have
to hear what happened next.

I’ve got a story and
it is not
for anyone else.

Love Letters from The Heat

    Dear internet, fuck you.
    When I think of all the time
    I couldve much better spent
    eating my own feces,
    or destroying an ant hill,
    or bleeding to death under the stars,

    it makes me so mad,
    I could sky dive without a proper pack,
    or devour fire ants through a sive,
    or chuckle to death in some wild drug fit.

    Dear internet anything is better than
    getting a high score,
    on a face book game,
    and auto-inviting and auto-annoying
    a dozen or so friends afterward.

    Makes me feel like
    spitting blood while casting a shadow,
    and humming the Blade Runner theme,
    while walking into a plate of glass, into a
    vat of beer and dying, drunk,
    cursing you in every language, like
    Neo with the drunk kick boxing, like
    it was downloaded into me,
    some sort of Pulse-like demon,
    internet- fuck you – I’m going back
    to the movies
    and a comic book or two.

    Dear internet, how about another drink.
    I left my keys in your sink the
    dinner is on the table, just as well…

    let’s spend the night together
    fuck it.
    There is nobody else
    out there
    anymore
    in the streets
    its like
    Surrogates
    or worse
    The four-hundered and fifty first
    farenheit, even.

    Dear internet give me back the
    prison of my books
    and give me Berlin bricks
    from shitty strip malls
    if not the garden give me the
    hose curled up and eating itself.

    Something to see outside in the day,
    give me a reason not to click
    another four hours
    on to the road
    a million dimes
    for stories could
    be sold.

    Give me a hitch-itchy finger
    that dissolves in the mousey mess
    like salt
    dropped
    into it,

    Let me have the keys I am leaving you.
    Let me have the keys I am stealing
    away from you.

    I want all my empty eyes back
    I want my friend to come and pick me up
    I want to go home
    internet,

    you’ve got me all Hurly Burly
    in my morning pants
    you’ve got me scurvy
    carpal tunnel and a handful
    of other surf related diseases.

    I might have gone on to be somebody.

    I might have gotten out of this backseat.

    I was in many rooms,
    and there were teachers and
    counsellors
    and even some lovers
    and the rain
    and the kisses
    they were suits
    I wore.

    I was good.

    I was always good, trying to be better.

    Internet, give back Cobain’s diary,
    at least the stuff about his divided life,
    the one of books and thoughts and the one TV brought.

    Internet, get off my back.
    I’m going home with Anna Karenina tonight,
    and you should be jealous.

    Read and weep.

    Read, and Weep.

Confusion is a Kiss Best Re-heated

It does not matter that I am not always able to be water.

It does not matter that the woman said “Holyrood” (pronounced Holy-Rude)
and that the old fella heard it “Hollywood” and was at first astounded.
All that matters is me walking past, and sitting back at my desk,

and knowing 12 years ago, some poet wrote about his
apologies being like thorns, hoarded and kept in a mason jar
to solve some unknown “X” immunity, that basically
“the roses didn’t mean shit” in a bizarre dollar store notebook

where someone has written in as large as the letters can fit,
“what’s that shit smell” in bold, obviously meant to convey silent rage, letters.
Or maybe it’s just meant to be a joke, left over from some cranked out night.
Maybe it’s meant to be another of those things that doesn’t count.

But all you know is all I show, and that’s what counts.
So know that safe in heaven, dead, they all have notebooks too.
And keep going. And fill this one, too.

This is obsession. These are the rules.

My Fuck-it List

Fuck It List
For when I have testicular cancer, but not the touristy kind like Marla. The real shit.

( For when I have testicular cancer, but not the touristy kind like Marla. The real shit. )

1. Know Bill Murray. (Even if only on twitter, but preferably drunk enough to get him to do the final monologue of Scrooged).

2. Steal the Deckard trench coat and terminate the replicant known as Harper.

3. Produce a record with Immortal Technique that incorporates soundbytes of Marcos in Chiapas. Produce another record but with Ice-T, but Ice-T in Law & Order, like in character and shit.

4. Get an imdb account finally, to end once and for all the ridiculous number of misunderstood analysis of the actor known as Danny Glover.

5. Change name to “Please Take Me Now” and move somewhere literal, like the old South. And only talk to Natalie Portman.

6. Dig up Bukowski and get him laid.

7. Dig up Freud and get him cock-blocked. Take that, Mr. Mom.

8. Get lost in the woods with Stephen King and tell a decent enough scary story for him to give up the crown in exchange for my untying him.

9. Reduce the Replicant known as Tom Cruise to despair.

10. Sedate the cast of Cheers (Shelly Long AND Kristie Alley) then have them all awaken in a replica of the set. Let nature take its course.

11. Tell the hell spawn known as Ann Coulter just what I think of her, before sealing up the well.

12. Die with tears in the rain, like the Replicant known as Rutger Hauer.

“Epic Fantasy, Schmepick Scantasy”

Epic Fantasy Schmepick Scantasy,

give me the summer of our love,
and I will forever me oval faced,
pancake iris’d, enveloped by the arrows
and pointed spears and deadly artefacts
of your bad, bad love. I can get back to it,

but as of yet I am always confined
to the scrying scope of a neighborhood crow
who took up territory a block over,
by the used car lot and corner store,
that same hot, hot year. Once in awhile

I can see a glimmer of your head from
the strict hedges, unmistakable curls
no less telling than the very fingerprints
on your charcoal stained fingers. Once I heard
us make love, me and my cackling scrawny

soul’d salut, all bark and very little, limpid bite.
You, turning out the kids from the back porch.
Walking out into the summer when all
the lady bugs were mating, like jazz-dust
shook from the blanket of the night, trailing
around your vixen, freckle crescent smile.

Caw.

Your orange zest and patchouli and acrylic paint.

Caw. Caw.

The sound of your bangles smashed against
the august humidity of midday.

Caw.

And then I’m gone again over the downtown core,
past the burger stand and the grocery store and the
tacky Chinese restaurant awning, where some angry
Chef tries to beat me to death for shitting on his clean,
recently de-shit-if-ied walkway, so I caw again and swoop.

You can keep your epic fantasy series.
I’m making my own.

Shit WILL Get Ugly

You know what I am expecting in terms of my writing life?

To struggle. Big time.
To weep some mornings,
to scream and jump on the page
and shit on it too.

I am expecting nothing less
but an all out assault
on my every dream
and whim and fancy,
a degrading of my soul
down from terror-child
to the next level shit
that makes my worst nights
on blow look like a merry go
round populated by innocent
and perfect children, among other
constructs that don’t really exist.

I am expecting to have my
intestines engorged by more liquor,
to have my heart pumped of every
good thought or inclination I ever had,
to lay in at least a few more piles
of my own shit and vomit and piss
and tears and even a bit of blood.

I plan on things getting dirtier, more
disgusting and depraved than my limited
spectrum of sin in youth could’ve envisioned,
but often tried during come-down and came up with
a vast and seemingly infinite farmers field
filled with burning foetus’ each ones scream like
a Tool track played backwards while someone’s
getting raped in the back ground by a demonic monkey.

I am counting on the constant reminder
that I am on my path too.

The kicks in the face from the angels
of distraction; vice and sex and the murder
of clean thought by divine dancing.

I am ready for the next 25 years,
then to get bitter and fat and angry and old.
I am ready to look like Bukowski and feel like him,
to fuck away a dozen hotel whores a year
in to the oblivion of my charred, gingery bastard’s soul.

I am expecting the next generation to become
like a mongoloid to me, ugly and barren of anything
but my fear and my oscillating thyroid,
my evaporating liver, my incongruently toppled spine.

All of it.

Except giving up, packing it in, giving in,
letting go, stopping, resisting the scratch
and scrawl and type and tap and trickle
and rush and flood of word flow.

Fuck that weakness, and silence and parting of ways.
I’ll save my last good lines for my eulogy, a litany of
Highways crossed, skies divided, universe wiped clean
Of each other’s eye-stars.

I’ll still be there scrawling, sure.

Poem in the Key of Shadow

I call him my pharmacological doppelganger.
He is the me I would have certainly been,
had I not jumped from the rooftops of my own
semi-serious conditions, to the streets of our
hand written to chalky wall poems.

I call him the one I am glad to have avoided,
the one whose parents must have cared so much
they made too great a movement toward the shelves

at the behest of all the recent (best selling) authors,
and got him all plump on the pills, all pale and low-pulse,
distant and dreary. He peak’s at you, a puppy under a blanket

of hoodies for bands he’ll never get a chance to see live,
and from the perforated palace of a hundred Star Wars
side-quest novels that keep his imagination resuscitating
before being re-submerged, over, and over and over.

But he avoided all the bad trips, and all the near-od’s.
He doesn’t have a single scar on him.
He’s the perfect model for how it pays to plug

the heart up and batten down the eye-lashes with
sleepy time pills and hell, what was this world going
to do with a quiet, shy type but turn him into the new
poster child for disaffection anyway?

There aren’t enough Nirvana albums yet?
We haven’t lost enough of the pumping heart of
Eliot Smith? Does Buckley wash up again?

The cure for life is quiet. It will always look
better on paper and in theory. If there is any problem
with him now, it’s the “solutions” effect.

Cue theme of The Twilight Zone. PS,
I call him my shadow.

Dancing King

The Dancing King

He gets on my route once in awhile,
or really I should say, I get onto his bus,
since he is the king of everywhere he goes.

He waves his hands around like he
is constantly doing the media propagated
“uhn-uhn, Oh, no you did-ent”
while simultaneously waving his hands
to old school-tape cassette and airline headphones.

I try to guess what he is listening to sometimes
and come up with a variety of things which suit the
hands wax and wane, the pomp, the pageantry.

Sister Act (The Official Motion Picture Soundtrack.)
Dance Mix ’94 (especially Return to Innocence)
New World Symphony or Matthaus Passion.

Or maybe Miles Davis like me.

He is the most free, least concerned with appearances
person I have ever seen, and I envy his predicament.

I have always secretly wanted to live as
though in a commercial where it’s ok to
sing aloud, where the mail delivery person
chimes in and the various ethnic groups all
jive together and the coffee looks too black
to be real, matching fanatically kempt lawns.

Everyone would follow The Dancing King,
half enchanted half epileptic, we would all
enact a masse, feverish crunking, bodies going
off script in every possible way, manically
preaching the good twitch, the holy creep, the
trippy hallways of Kubrick’s The Shining.

Arms directing the traffic of stars, legs kicking
up the dust of the Neolithic and the Tribe and Clan
Village of the Damned looking kids brought
back to life, disconnected, discombobulated then
slowly regaining their senses, like the end of Surrogates.

I get off my bus and walk the streets like
Neo after he understands he is in The Matrix.
It’s a great soundtrack too. The Dancing King
inspires like Di Caprio in Gilbert Grape or
Hoffman in Rain Man, but I’m no Fred Savage
in The Wizard, and besides, it’s the rest of the
world that needs to be rescued, The Dancing King
already found his “Cali’fooooorniiiiiiiia”.