Elegy

Freezes & Thaws [I & II]

Freezes and Thaws I

She was sure the package
would not arrive Friday.

They’re kicking up
an awful fuss!
The Post is cutting back
deliveries!

The people of St. John’s were they,
especially in matters concerning
government, doctors,
or postal workers.

In her account of things,
it’s us, vs. them.

They’re closing everything
down here now.
Nothing left in Newfoundland,
no work, sure not a store left Downtown!

I’d almost believe her
if not for the waves of
new store-fronts.

It’s clear.
Nan’s world,
not the city,
is shrinking.

Oh, no mail Fridays now
?
I ask, knowing
this is not so.

She’s a cold one today.
Be sure you keep your hat on tight,

her morning words
are often weather related.
Blow ‘da head off a ya.

It doesn’t seem that bad
by my window, Nan!

I use the fact
the living room
is at the opposite end
of the apartment,
to defend incoming predictions
of untenable weather.

Nan often concedes,
since it’s a theory
she thought up.

Yes the wind is on the back, see,
so when ya go out be careful!

We’ve lived together
since Pop passed away,
and I came from Ontario
to attend University.

Not raining at least, hey?

This is my tactic:
to negate one element,
with the absence of another.

If there’s enough wind to blow the head off ya,
at least it isn’t the rain whose
every drop would fill a bucket!

Too hot? At least it would
be dark soon.

Well, at least it isn’t snowing, hey?

and the battle continued.

No, she returns,
but they’re callin’
for heavy snowfall
around the Bay,
whether or not now
we’ll have it,
nobody knows.

Hard ole day lookin’ out!

Freezes and Thaws II

Last semester,
in German Post-War Film,
I learned about
freezes and thaws.

Relations with Nan
are like the wax and wane
of Soviet-ruled East Germany
before re-unification,
when, The Wall torn apart,
thousands of separated hands,
grasped to reconnect.

Like the professor says,
it’s a matter of
constant freezes and thaws.

This fact’s echoed again
this term, in Soviet Cinema.
Khrushchev would allow
more liberal arts to be made,
then, in a cold-snap,
everything has to tow
the party line again.

Did you hear about the
ghost ship from Newfoundland, Nan?

I don’t bother mentioning
its name, Lyubov Orlova,
is that of a Russian film starlet.

Keep it simple.
Current events.
Weather.

During periods of thaw
our exchanges are
almost fluidic.

The warm water of
communication extends
beyond courtesy.

I keep my door open and
she can see me
from her rocking chair.

This leads to
open fraternization
on a variety of news items.

Yes, and wherever that ship
ends up now my son,
them rats are getting off her!

She’s heard about the ship,
which means we can
further the discussion.

The boat is lost.

Nan suspects,
it was intentionally set adrift,
by the Port Authority,
most conveniently,
in International waters.

It’s filled with
what the British tabloids
are calling cannibal rats.

Yes that’s true Nan,
I mean there is no way
to track the thing now,
since the rats took over.
No radar or nothing, hey?

I know that when I move out
in the Spring
it will be harder.

The mornings quiet
as an empty water.

Instead of painting her apartment
twice a year,
she might have to do it
every four months.

The fleet of miniature spoons
that adorn the walls
on massive collector shelves
will be taken down more often,
each one soaked in a sink
of polish and hot water,
then returned
to individual hanging positions,
like hundreds of miniature
violins, dangling by their necks.

They tell of her life and family,
who always send a spoon
when they move West.

Every province is there,
even the Territory’s.

The Prime Ministers up until,
and including, that fella Trudeau.

The royal family,
one spoon for every marriage
worth mentioning,
up until poor old Diana.

Birthstones.
Provincial flowers.

Their cleaning is
guaranteed to soak up
at least half of a day.

Well, at least it’s gone from our area, hey Nan?
Do you need anything while I’m over at Sobeys?

I’m good, Nan.
I have my key if you’re going, just lock the door.

Yeah I have class shortly.
Talk to ya after!

I sip on coffee,
and scour the paper for
something to top the ghost ship.

It won’t be easy, but,
something always washes up.

Just then,
the familiar boots
followed by the shuffling
of our mail box
being filled.

Lying, All Week

I went around with
The Blower’s Daughter and Delicate
in my ears
because I wanted to
look at every person in the street
like we were in the
credits of a movie,
of a great life,
together, and
we didn’t even know it.

I try not to do this anymore
it is too hard to go home
after that rush of eyes
meeting for once,
for only one moment,
just one brief smile,
and a hundred moments

that flicker in futures
that are no more real

than love at first sight,
left alone in an elevator
or peace on earth,
rolled up in a newspaper,
or a last unicorn,
scratching on maps
its last whereabouts,

or anything else they’ve sold
out of existence,
cornered into stalls
of soundtracks,
made typical like
lucky trolls or
Marguerite umbrellas.

I still go out.
Music is still my wet street.
It’s still filled, too,
with eyes like that.
I just don’t write about it anymore.
And that, more than any of the rest,
is the best lie I’ve told,
all week.

Seeing Permanent Red

They say us red heads have
tempers like East Coast weather
unpredictable and vicious.

I would argue this point but
it would only send me into
another full blown raging whirl wind.

I turn into a Snickers-less Joe Pesci.
I become Oppenheimer.

Without a moment’s notice.
Even my Jekyll is more like
most people’s Hyde.

Today when I could not find my hat
I felt like I needed it
like some average Junky,
then the more I couldn’t find it,
the more I became Herbert Hunke.

Suddenly I was a barrel short
of 12 angry monkey’s.

I miss a bus and start mumbling
to my room:

“How in the history
of all the holiest fucks
of fucking fuckers
have I lost this goddamn hat
when I have yet to leave the
house today?”

The theories get elaborate, fast.
Some kind of starving, stray
micro-goat-like creature
which normally subsists off odd socks
has not found one lately and has
decided to get brazen.

I must still be wearing it I say,
and pat my red, slowly
sweat-gathering
heavy hair.
Nope.

I check the legs of jeans
startling my bed’s frame
like crusty farmer clothes on
rickety, birch fences.

My inner Shining
declares that
Genes got me here
to begin with.

I go to punch air
and I hit the corner of my door
gashing open my hand,
now I’m bleeding and
cursing and mumbling and
tossing clothes around
like a baglady at the last
Sally Ann sale of the Earth
positive that any second I will
start to shit out everything
I have ever lost
and that’s a lot, a lot, a lot of shit.

By the time I give up and
put my hoody on
I’ve missed another bus
I’ve screamed in italic’s of cuss
I’ve prayed like a desperate Catholic
to a Mexican pick up truck’s Jesus-rust.

Curse this temper of mine.
All it was ever good for
were broken Super Nintendo controllers
dry wall craters covered in NIN posters
and a good post-meltdown chuckle
like the one just now,
while writing this poem.

Maybe that’s enough.

Crazy Butterfly,

Crazy Moth

If Crazy was all moths’,
baby I’d be a bulb, like 80-watt!
I would give shop-talk
something to squawk
about and I’d chalk
my own crooked outline,

I’d rip the shadow
off-a-Rip-Van,
and do the James Brown
half walk off
the stage with it, son,
ima’ rage when the time come!

See spots? hell I see flower pots
with leering sunflower skulls on top!

I want to sing the world a
hybrid of Imagine and Hurt
turn the hysterical mob up
to full blown tangent, demand it!

If I was an episode of Crypt Keeper
Tales, they’d a never aired it!
If Crazy were a punishment,
I’d have three sleeves of demerits’,

so let’s take the concertos’ out
back and blow the angel kiss,
see how weird the symphony can get,
fantasia meets heavy metals freakiest .

I’m Always ready for all that and more, shit,
I was born crazy, practically inherited it!

If ghetto life were an asylum
I be the asshole warden,
the tremens jittery janitor
and the public enemy #1 up in it!

Come unlock the red devil.
The truth is like the shallow
to the grave to the shovel.

Un-muzzle me I promise,
I’ll quiet down.
I’ll do better.

(by promise mean never)
(by never mean ever)
(by all means not)

Dwelling Within

We would explode some nights.
I was such a terrible friend.
I’ve never deserved any of them
and that is especially the case for
those that invited me into their lives most.

He was like most in the fact
that he could control
and lose control of himself
no matter how much he drank
and snorted and fucked, he never
lost his “wind cut suave”.

That was one of our sayings.
We have thousands now.
Knowing us is like reading
A Clockwork Orange
without the dictionary at the back.

I’ve cursed at him a blue streak.
He’s pummeled me or threatened worse
with a single, well-known look.

We talked about our poetry,
we laughed about everything,
mocked everything sacred,
defied every sense of decorum.

Drank the well dry.
Snapping back and forth,
we started an art between us.

Like a demon it grew to undermine
even our modest attempts at control.

When she left me he calmed me down
and rationalized me with a stern talk.

I was in a state. I had whipped my
baby blue typewriter at a wall and
sworn off love of any kind. I was drunk.

When the drugs crept into me and
I was a marionette on fire, he grabbed me
and shook me back into a state with which
I could at least understand my ultimatums.

When I forget with a heavy dose of hate,
my obligation to write, it is always his words
which fulfill my need for inspiration.
I won’t let anyone get the last ones.
Not even you, old friend.

Especially you.

One day we will skirt through
New York in a limo
rails and some dj bl3nd playing.

One day, film
an entire scene of our banter
with all parenthesis included
in off beat,
quick turn to another camera angle
hahaha,
yes.

What In The Holy Demon-Fuck Is Going On Around Here?

It is getting to the point
where aliens
would be a blessing,
and that is when
you just know
there is nothing out there
but star dust
and inattentive,
non-existent,
or too damn proud God(s)
but most likely nothing,
but particle after particle
of cold steely space
that creeps up every old woman’s
spine just before
she makes a final,
upward arch.

Even Cassiopeia
had to break her back, once.

It is getting really fucking ugly
in the desert oil states,

and the opposite but parallel offices
where the next moves are made

are looking an awful lot like
where paedophiles and terrorists
go to dream and play and pose
next to pictures of Satan

like at some fucked up,
godless bacchius carnival,
where babies roast on spits and women
are ripped apart for sport and pheromones.

It’s getting a lot like
Mad Max Fucking
Thunder-dome
Or Home Alone redux’d a la David Lynch.

Soundtrack is Badalementi fused
with Dj Bl3nd,
touch of the 9”Nails.

Something to keep the fuckers
up on their cross,
my guess.

I’m tired of the end of Spartacus.
Rudy needs a new Jersey.

I’m picking up for the Kids in the Hall.
I’m wondering where the fuck we are.

Killing over paper, oil, and hate.

That is what the fuck
is going on
around here.

That, is where we fucking are.

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.

Typical “Nirvana” Inspired Poem

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
through my dreams later
that summer
and it didn’t matter any more.

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.

Dancing Story Man On Corner, Begging

Pacing on one foot at a time, like he
was in the chamber that helps you stop smoking in Cats Eye.

Like electrically charged atoms, dancing to Mozart.
Like a busted up whore, tripping on too many Benzes.
Like a kite, free from its master.
Like a master, free from his shackles.
Like the token black guy, in Blazing Saddles.

“Got chore stories here-e-e-e-e-e-e!
Step right up!
Poem for a dollar on the theme of your choosing!
Page a blank prose for 5! 3 for 10 people!
Come one! Come all!”

He has one for the bored housewife.
It starts out boring like a Harlequin.
And jumps by page 5.

(She was a multiple personality of a soap star.
This is why her lines had been so bad, so far.)

He has one for the boy that lived down the lane.
About a mission to drive all the drivers of the world, insane.

(The final page is on fire, smells of burning rubber
and sounds like the dancing of brick walls breaking out from under a fender)

“How about one about a detective whose cases all blend into one perp,
Turns out all along he’s been hunting God!”

He twists and turns on his feet all day.
At night he looks out his small, underwater window

Looks like Nicola Tesla, head arched back.
Looks like a more peaceful Stanley Kowalski.
Like a playing card.
Like a saint.

Like me.

I Drank the Kool-Aid Just to Fuck With Them

The whirlpool of the internet
churns out its daily pantomimic
consideration to the better vibration
of Miles’ Silent Way I’m back on his
planet again. I am free from the heady turmoil.
light extends from a skull in some cave
of some forgettable asshole who was
either too afraid or brave enough
to cut his arm off a’ la 127 Hours,

Yes! But, we can take solace in knowing
with every one that cannot, dozens more
one day will be, and will Will their being,
into better positions. It can seem cold to see
it all in such mathematically romantic symmetry,
or it can be the single meme of peace to
reverberate for a minute before being
comment ripped to pieces in caplock
der-der-der’s all the way through Sunday.

The wave of hate that churns out one Hitler
Meme after another churns out more truth
some days than the national news media
summons in a season. The layer upon layer
of new and inventive ways of rubbing the
shit of Monsanto into people’s unknowing
faces and the rapid spitfire insurgency of
Alex Jones para(noia)phernalia alongside
pictures of blue skies and white lines, it all
fuses into one collective kerfuffle and like
deadly unpopped kernal to the proverbial
mouth, shatters the only thing keeping us whole.

It all builds in crescendos, and fills the division
between the real and the believed and the disbelievers,
if anything, further adding to the Conspiracy Theory
and others of the franchise, so now
Thomas Pynchon may just as well be writing for
National Geographic and American Scientific
and that dirty, word hungry Popular
Mechanic, well he just keeps drinking and
clicking and re-posting the night away,
by most readily definition,a purists and divine WASTE.

WASTE- We Await Silent Tristero’s Escape