first world

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

“The Gleek”

“gleek”

building up saliva in the salivary glands using some stimulus, like sour food or yawning, and then pressing the tongue upon the glands, causing the saliva to shoot out, usually at an impressive distance. Urban Dictionary

for the gang.

I don’t know where this little atrocity began.
I can tell you what I know though.

For me it started with the kids from The Heights.
This one kid Deckard in particular, but the lot of them
Were like something out of The Sandlot. Literally.

Albeit, the cartoons and movies, the porn mags and weed
have all since increased in varying potency’s, so this
lot were a plenty more crude in their delinquency.

It was like art to them I swear.

One summer for various social-political reasons
I had left the safety of my gang and splintered off,

and somewhere between the first girl I loved and the
first one who shagged me up, I spent about 8 weeks
embedded in the tribe of the fixed income housing
that loomed over our streets relative calm like

Edward Scissorhands place, but they were always
The most fun to hang out with, the richer kids were
boring and as the middle class kids, you naturally
wanted something to do that wasn’t a reminder of
the fact your mother was still basically ruling your shit.

These were the closest thing I had to a gang for that period.
I admit when the time came to make amends with
Whatever tryst stricken friend I was eager to do so and get
back to more civil surroundings, (where I wasn’t wondering
when and if I had already been the next victim of “The Gleek”

The Gleek was one of a variety of means by which the
young demon boy child could take their saliva and turn it
into an assaulting weapon of mass disgust-ment.

There was a more crude one wherein the attacker uses
index and middle finger as launcher as well. Other, more
theatrical and ornate ones which I never attempted. I was
only there for a quick time and didn’t want to make waves,
spittle or otherwise. They used to take turns choking each
other out and once in awhile someone woke up Gleek’d on.

Come to think of it, that was a little funky.

Hell & Uniformity

First Job

I remember the best and the worst of it.
The thing I hated most was the smell.
It had literally the miasma ghost odor of
every local butcher, medical lab, mechanic
and who knows what else, as its clientèle.
They washed the blood and shit, the vomit,
the grease and the chemicals. I remember thinking
the ISO 9000 and whatever on the sign looked
so Very Assuring coming in. This, compounded
by the sad and quiet Asian ladies who pan faced,
with no sympathy for you and you all fear of that deadpan,
worked the clean garments out on the other end,
in a complex splatter of trolley-style racks
that held all the shirts individually, then uniformly
by the dozen, forming clean corn rows of cotton
and polyester urethane. I hadn’t read Conrad yet, so
I didn’t know about it all yet. I had this yellow tape
player, and I remember listening to Radiohead, Kid A
and it was so fitting. “I’m not here, this isn’t happening”
then the guy yanks me on the shoulder and grabs the
thing and then and there I heard the gnawing movement
of the ornate trolleys of clothes above us on endless
shuffle, the massive washers, the cranes that hoisted
the denim dirty bags in the back, back with the little
elfish shop keeper. Reality kicked in fast. The fumes
made you high I swear, but not the good kind I had
enjoyed, more like the shitty time when I smoked
too much hash after eating a pizza sub from the Mr. Sub,
I remember it smelled just like BO and I wondered how
I could’ve ever enjoyed them, and forever associate
this factory and that smell on a submarine or pita.
The shop foreman was an ass and the manager
was better but he always treated the recent immigrant
types like shit, which in turn made me with my limited
understanding of life and heart felt connection to
The Autobiography of Malcolm X, associate labor
with cruelty and baseness for awhile I think. I found out
also that the manager, the little elf man with his ZZ Top
beard and short, stocky but frail due to limb stride,
had a sick kid. Here’s the thing though he said the kid
had leg Perthy? I have looked and I even googled it years later.
Was he a liar and a racist little elf or was he some rarer,
more susceptible to rarer, less-documented disease? My
biographers will have to ponder this and other mysteries.
(Postscript: I obsessed over this detail and gave it
one more university effort and it turns out he likely meant “Legg-Calves-Perthes”
syndrome – the French threw me off.)

The thought of nobody really ever giving a shit
kept me digging just those extra, necessary feet.
If I ever get out of this life alive, let me
have a night or two by a fire to tell you some more
of these wretched & beautiful work hazard stories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legg%E2%80%93Calv%C3%A9%E2%80%93Perthes_syndrome

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

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.

Post-Humour

He thought he would have had it,
if he had only been richer,
or poorer.

He thought he might get a
better girl and write legends.

If he had made money
from stock exchanges.

Got his life back from the
web and the net and
all those tangled tangles.

I could’ve killed him
a hundred times:
from highway overpasses
he could’ve leapt,
or been strung
up on any number of
neighbouring trees.

I could’ve strangled him
some nights
when he went on about
how it wasn’t fair
that some
new age writer had gotten a
new
contract and here he was, just

“taking up space in spiral margins.”

I almost threw him to a pack
of wolves one night
in shame,
but I knew I would only wake up
feeling like I had chewed him myself.

So I did what had to be done.
I buried him. He’s still there of course,
Only now he’s got the weight of Hardy
and Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell
to keep the little bastard at bay.

Then I took away all his weak and
(programmed) Middle class
inclinations;

to drink as though Rimbaud
and await new lines in temper of a child.

To talk like the
Lizard King high on some psyche’s
bought with pawn shop or rent.

All of these things and more got curbed.
And only then did my Self sit down,

encouraged by having shut the hell up,
And wrote for its own reward.

And I am with him still.
And we aren’t going anywhere,
But through this stack,
Through these cracks,
Through this black old game.

Not to hijack Frost,
but that shit made
all the fucking difference
in this terrible little
bastard red-head’s life.