Extremism

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.

It’s a fucking miracle we survive every day.

This poem is best read to this:

It’s a fucking miracle we survive every day.
I don’t ever forget that fact that the internet shows you
that every single terrible piece of shit you thought was out there
is just the first stage of the real hell of them all out there, in their undecided,
cynical, high and drunk and violent natures, casting their own shit in verse all over the world.

You can tell me that you see a world of rainbows and honeysuckle at midnight
out there in the one and the zero forever fields, but it is also slain bodies of a million
and it is the empty crevice of idiocy that drives all of them together to fight for their
own pop star suicide and it is the end on repeat in your room for three days and
it is the spectacle of it all removed of all repercussions and given all manner
of righteousness and it will always be this way until we finally go right over the edge.

Some of us will praise
the coming back
of the night.

Some of us will go right on back to our supermarket mimesis,
wandering through a burning, rat-filled Wal-Mart
aisles of melting celluloid and human fat,
everything seeping into the new history and tainting all the fresh ideas again,
it’s a fucking miracle we are less like the matrix trilogy than we are.

But I guess we have Baudrillard
and Nietzsche to thank for that.

You can tell me all you want that it is just a movie, that it is just reality,
that it is just Africa, that it is just truth, that it is just some beat poem or elegy.

I will be left,
in the night of reason
to fiddle my way into
seeing something more.

It is just in some of us,
just in some of us
to be curious with anger
to have an angry
curiosity is the only
healthy aggression you can
ever hope to inherit from
anything you take into your body
your eye
your mind.

Treat them with some fucking Respect.
Then tell me you don’t see the potential for doom in everything else.

Tell me it’s not a miracle,
every day
we get another.

fame poetry (Poem on the Inner Mechanism of a Short Story Writer)

I want this to be a good little twister.
I want Twilight Zone style karma.
The protagonist. He’s a Jimmy.
A Jimmy Jetson.

He’s Canadian with German parentage,
and he gets teased constantly by
jerky Nazi salutes’ and bad German accents.

He doesn’t give a fuck though,
because he read Mein Kampf
and he knows Hitler was a
fucking Jerk-off artist,

and Jimmy Jetson was born
in Jasper, Alberta,
so what the fuck did he know
about his heritage anyways?

The story is all about this
great art project he is planning.

He is reading lots about Andre Breton,
maybe a few quotes.

At least an allusion.

The story hinges on his frustrated
attempt to create a work
that will dwarf anything,
anyone has ever done.

He also wants to give those fuckers
around town something, bad.
He crucifies himself of course,
and has utilized local homeless
and orphan kids
(it’s a dystopia)
stuffed in an homage
to the taxidermy of Norman Bates,
and they are all in poses
of the crucifixion.

There is even a Pontius Pilate.
Was previously a local postal worker.

I can’t decide if that is too overt
a reference to Bukowski, or not.

The end is like an
apocalyptic mass suicide-in.

All the worlds artists
and all the worlds poseurs
all jumped up on crosses,
convinced it was a sure-fire
way to secure their family name
in truly worthy artistic fame.
It gets to the point it is fused
with reality TV and a showy game,
where people get plucked
from the fringes and made
to make it through razor blade mazes

and then churches pop up everywhere,
and everything is basically
the same way it was before Jetson took off.

(Jimmy Jetson walks off
into sunset drinking bottle
while mockingly taking Christ
poses and screaming like Seal on “Crazy”)

And then the story gets lazy, up on it’s cross,
and falls down too, and gets reborn as moss.

And even the moss is a little alienish,
Steven King as Jordy saying, meteor shit!

And that’s all so far I have of it.

Burning to Matter

The easy thing to say has always
made me want to eat acid,
but, like, not the fun kind,
like the deadly-burn-yr-belly-like-Alien, kind.

But I would rather burn
than be burned.

I will be alive when you bury me, there still
when they scatter me back,
and I will be there,
there,
when all the easy things
have had their cheap dance,

to mean something,
is to outlast everything loud
and proud
and pomp.

Easy goes out the door,
when time stretches the canvas out,
large.

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.

Awake

It’s around this time at 5:30 am
that many things happen
I get off work at 3 am
so I’m privy to it all

the high rollers are getting
to the bottom of their baggys
and the seagulls are waking up hungry
like a Patti Smith record
and I’m easy into my 5th pint and
the sweat will flow tomorrow
like grains of eager rice from me
but at least I have Sunday off
to type and transcribe and soak and rinse
and all the people I spoke to tonight smiled at me.

Because the good thing about life is how we can work together.
It really is that simple.
The rain is hitting black cement
like chunks of flour thrown down by
the angry gambling, coke high gods above us.
Like hot water to a stainless skillet.
It dances and looks like cheap cgi.
It is a sheet in the wind three miles up
the Southern shore from Sin Jawns.

Then I’m on the Procal Harem
is there any but one song?
and I’m back in Bramalea at 8
I’m with Miles Davis in the shitty kingdom
and I’m friends with him
I’m sensitive
to everything
from the start and
I still am
on my best days.

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 for the Harvey Danger song, “Radio Silence”

I don’t know that I am anything
but a Frankenstein robot, poet model,
a heart made of sound bytes
and those parts of speech
from my better friends and loves.

I don’t know that I’m not doomed
to be like
“the lo-o-o-oonie up in Togus”

I’m afraid not of patterns in the
program or the walls, but the
Dead Literary floor that’s turned
your average neighborhood underground
into a snotty man’s hyper-ceiling.

I think it’s a little demeaning to
expect your audience to know what
you’ve been feeling when it’s
layered so heavy beneath
your “intensity” which I think
we can easily ascertain as just
some assumption of superior rank

in a non-existent illuminati
of time immemorial. You think you
have the prose of an aural aurora borealis?

Maybe so, but what’s its function aside
from your peers and a few couture critics?

I link my day to a page and afterwards,
scour with most basic set of senses,
my surroundings Are the next sentence,
line, next moment, next kiss, write, next,
dream, write wake next, sip cackle groan vent, next,
write, next.
and it just goes on like this.

If you like dj Bl3nd maybe
you’ll like my schizoid-script.

I beat the beat beaten until
Broke, and beaten, got out-spoken
and beat the silence back that beat him!

Let us beat the wool
with universal words
like Ya Basta!

And while the inner circle
of finely crafted naval gazing
fills in the required allotment
to be considered a kind of
crafty craftsmen,
help the others row the
Drunken Boat ashore.

“I get out of bed like Rimbaud,”

(Anything else you pay more)

The new words will be spoken
and will resound with a bored thud,

A Shock-Shock-Shock you
(Yeah-Yeah-Yeah)
when you see they’re just
the same primary colors’.

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”.

Meanwhile, Back at the Glass Cabin…

(for R.E. and M.W.)

Up until now, I only understood my old friend in passing. I mean I knew his type of (or rather what I until now regarded to be) his type of cynic. Or even a passive aggressive way of dealing with the acceptance of legions upon legions of things one knows today that readers of Dickens’s serials didn’t likely have to bear the weight of. I’d get drunk and pick arguments that had no real conclusion, knowing he would say the same things he said, and I would say the things he said. And I would feel smug, and then shameful for thinking that of someone so important to me. There are certain voices in your life that might take you a decade to hear properly, but when you do you have one of those synchronistic clashes of a bunch of things like at the end of Signs. Except creepier because I actually do bear resemblance to the scariest 2 seconds of an alien apparently, ever.

“It’s always been bad. Have you read the Canterbury Tales? Shit has always been bad, but I believe people will figure it out. They always have.”

Then I would go on about some new internet sensation, something about Monsanto or Bees (but nothing so ridiculous as the last parts of The Happening), and we’d always end up at the same seeming loggerhead. Recently I found the center of that kernel budding in me, and much like the cocoon-gestation state for the baby face biters of Ridley Scott’s far superior, (pre-Prometheus puritan right here) Alien/s series, the early life of what I will call the “letting go of fictional friction” because I see now that is what it all is. Fiction.

Even if the government is out to get you, what good is it to run around like Charlie Sheen with your crack cut off?

Our fear for the future is a frictional fiction, something we invent to justify whatever we need to, in order to survive in body and mind. This shouldn’t be mistaken for the real kind of change people pursue as a result of the need for change, like reducing ones footprint or recycling (unless you worship at the church of Pen & Teller’s bulls**t) or any number of proactive tings people are doing in hordes nowadays, like the kid in Pay it Forward Because people can do things in a calm way, a collective way, after being presented with facts and proof, and logical and sane practices in presenting them. But nobody ever changed the world with worry or the worrying of all around them. No matter of scare-mongering or chicken little-fretting ever really amounts to anything, except antagonizing one’s community. State your concerns, write them out, act them out, film them or sing them or scream them to the nearest mountain (like all those terrible Scripturama’s, or even the occasional gem), and let it be, like the song, the sentiment and the necessary sacrament to the acceptable social cues and norms.

Because otherwise you’re just waiting for someone to teach you a similar lesson. Like at the end of Rudy when the coach got the ole “we are all Spartacus” treatment. Nobody left in the Western hemisphere is going to benefit from being grabbed by the proverbial shoulders’ every day and called a “sheeple” told the sky is poison and the government is under their boogeyman beds (like Howie Mandel before the germ thing in Little Monsters).

You know what? People need solutions. People need a hundred more Venus Projects before one finally sticks, they need engineers busting their assess and they need to understand how rigged the democratic system is. They can learn all this in morsel like bits of earth shattering info, but I have yet to see anyone in my life take to the kind of fervent, snake-oil hucksterism of most extremist conspiracy nuts (Alex Jones, et al.) when they pound the same points in daily, in some effort to – for all I can seem to interpret- ascertain some level of control in their lives. Join Greenpeace. Sell your car. Dig wells. Plant trees. Garden. And yes, collectively mobilize. But there’s no need for Jerry Maguire tactics. “Gee you know, that maniac in the street daily screaming about chemtrails dear, I think we should really heed his prophesies of doom, don’t you?” – said but nobody rational, ever.

And I for one stopped reading a bulk of the more preposterous links. I don’t benefit from that kind of hyperbolic mindset even if its 80 percent true. Why? It’s gaudy, that’s why. Yeah I said it, I like my philosophy like I like my women, presented clearly and cleanly in fresh, and inviting formats. I don’t go for the bottom of the barrel assholes like David Icke and Jones et al. I’m sorry. That’s not how you win friends, and it is only how you DISASSOCIATE good people form learning anything. So from now on I read nothing that’s hackneyed and ridiculous, unless it’s my own poetry during the dreadful next day scan, like buddy with his Kublai Kahn in Pandemonium.  If it has some level of professionalism and doesn’t simply reiterate the Alex Jones “They Are All Part of One Grand (I’m kind of off my meds so I see grander patterns than usual) Insidious Plot of Illuminati”, then I just scroll on, brothers and sisters. Unless it’s Unsolved Mysteries, I have a soft spot for that level of “professional” terribleness it imprinted in childhood. Perhaps that’s why I have trouble taking people seriously that present facts like Sean Penn high on blow in Hurly Burly mid-rant.

Old friend if you are out there, know that I acknowledge it. You were right. It’s never THAT fucking bad. People will rally, and shit will get fixed, or it won’t. No need getting out of your groove over it, right? Besides how else are we ever going to get to see a post-apocalyptic world where you can buy peoples experiences on the black market like Strange Days, if it doesn’t keep on truckin’ right? We already have Juliette Lewis primed as a singer for it too…

I guess what I’m saying is, I would rather talk movies, than hollah at the masses so often, they fail to listen when I finally do, Marvel and Greek God’s forbid, say something. Leave the slaughterhouse to the task of setting about chickens sans top, now and again. It’s been happening since Chaucer and will long after “Mr. Vickers” aka “The Heff” aka “Ginger” et al.

Dedicated to the Spirit of Film Friendships,

Namely Mr. Ebert

(and the sock puppets formerly known as Theodore and Roosevelt)