Humanity

“Game Plan number 999” aka “The Final One”

Because the cavern walls have stretched behind me so long now, from that very first taste of it, and my path has curved deeper and into multiple directions and winding, twisting moments…I have decided to travel again. First, to complete the novel, then, to travel with it behind me, in me, and to master it’s retell. Then, to see wild animals, monkey and all manner of bird. To master something else. To teach. To teach children to master something, and to learn from the people around me wherever I roam. I’ll slowly repay my debt; well no, not the student one, it’s gargantuan by this point, haha, but maybe, just maybe, with the will of my every story, which is really 87 percent other people’s gifting me with theirs, I can carve out a travelling, learning, teaching and feeling empire of moments, to wander through as it crumbles in my old, wise because still learning soul’s, final trek.

I always save something immediately when it’s good. This one is the one. As Beck, quoting in cut-up-Negativland fashion, once quipped, “Things are gonna change I can feel it!”.

To give a Star Wars theater experience to my boy, to make my sister cry at her wedding with joy, and Mom of course too. To give Gramps a star, and Mickey a sober, dry run of it for at least a year at a time.

And then to finish the book, to continue sending messages to the people I love, but to go.

I am going to abandon, for a time, all physical connection to my past. I am going to cleanse, to de-age, and to re-connect with this path. I got back on it. But that’s nothing compared to where I’m going. Out of the cavern and into the pan-every-land triumph. I’ll die broke and most likely in debt, but will not have lived, for a second longer than necessary, for Nothing.

In life thus far I have purposefully derailed my future enough times to cause a sort of series of changes to my perspective. By finishing a commitment to school, and actually embracing changes I had not thought possible, I have gained the confidence to really continue my quest. To actually occupy my moments. And to write for all who have inspired me, a thank you letter that explodes in a dozen mini-narratives, like a fractal of a human set of memories. I have personified the fool, I have shaken the dreams of my life into the rivers of my notebooks, I have panned for something to hold up, more powerful than gold. I have found love, like Burroughs for his cats, in the eyes of strangers, and I have crept into friendships so unique and varieties in their connection’s forms that I can honestly say I am ready to know all love. To know all of the forms of the language of human and worldly connection is my ultimate end now.

If it is possible I will give everything I have for my work, but I am no longer foolish enough to think that process is anything but a divination of truth through other people.

The dark, brooding years of self-derailment are over. For all they taught, I offer a work of that long period’s reflection. To myself I offer the following promise. I will go out in the world. I will share the story, and in doing so, build an entirely new one. There is an architecture to joy and I am learning it’s finer points lately. It’s a pretty fantastic existence.

I think I’ll have a time with it.

I think I’ll make graphic matches with the sky, the ocean and the people in the cities I enter like a ghost and leave like a child, sad but alive with movement within and without, more synchronized, less defeated.

It will never occur to me that I have gone astray or I am lost, except in that perfect moment, looking out at the moon in Thailand, dancing to the craziest music, and alive in the truest sense. And I won’t stop, can’t stop, until I get there. Until I reach the personal, solitary zero hour, and am a phantom of my earlier self.

I think the evenings of my life will fill with my words thrown down at all hours, and early jogging and loads of dancing. I want to teach the kids English, teach myself humility and self-love, and just go, go, go.

I Think I finally understand Neal Cassidy.

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.

The Nothing and My Statue

I want to tell you
about the nothing
and how it was on my back
from late 90s to just now.

My first time was
just a six pack
of coca cola I was
12 maybe 13,

and I was up all night
with the caffeine propping up
my stinging eyes like,
twitchy invisible insect germs,
holding up heavy red curtains.

I used it to get more comic books read.
It gave me the strength to watch
entire nights of reruns.

I moved onto vodka pretty
much the next summer.
Because it made me think I was
an extrovert and a revolutionary,
and because Val Kilmer drank
as Jim Morrison and I wanted to
be a rebel like him.

I always sounded more like
the Lizard King after some drinks.
It was like the liquid gave me skill.

First pack of smokes found
in The Beer Store parking lot on
Chopin Street in Preston.
They bought me the prison yard acceptance
of first year high school.

I smoked more green any man ever seen,
we had something called wheelchair pot and
I laughed at the sky.

Our crew donned Value Village polyester and
tie dyes from local hemp shops.
We slunk through corn field grids
like eager pony tailed lab rats,
hunting down the cheese of
some wheat kings secret plants.
Dried them out in our parents rafters,
sold the shit for better stuff.

Drank a bottle of Robitussin
because some raver chick in
funfer pink told me it was like Acid,
which was hard to come by and
always made me feel like Neo,
even before The Matrix came out.

My first line was the last thing I
ever put on my back,
through my nose.

I say first because it’s all
the same line,
one massive one that stretches from
a cramped apartment on St. Andrew’s hill,
winds through the jungle of a hundred
dirty stalls, stripper’s breasts, mirror and
chipped dinner plates.

I earned a twitch in the final years,
when I would go for days at a time,
I can’t quite tell you
for too long about it
without risking the
abyss taking me back
you have to take my word
you have nothing
to lose by gaining better ground
in this war,
you lose only your mind when you
play the game with the Nothing,
the nothing,
the not-knot but
not-rope
that you see hanging
from your neck on trees
the next morning,
you’ll have to take my warning
as it is.

I’m just not far away from the fire yet
to turn back and laugh
without risking a salty
statuette of my good intent.

I’ve earned that much.

And how.

I sip coffee in the morning now
with all the music that
was always there to
bring me into sleep,
it is the drug I will always
lean hardest on.

Note of Hunger

[In The Footnotes]

There was a rat
in the heart
of Dickens that
ate away at him.

You can find everything
in the footnotes.

You can spend hours
in their margins.

You can arm yourself.
You are Spy vs Spy.
You can give
everything in the text

a shot of adrenaline,
a battery charge.

A rude wake.
A muffled tear.

The smell of the workhouses
comes up through the floor.

The sounds of
the children
as their bones
become brittle
in hard beds.

The claustrophobia
of the chimney sweep
is given legal parameters.

A rat makes its way across the
secret history of
snuff and Mudfog
to snack on the
salivating eye of a student.

I roll up my sleeves.
Not to get to work.
But because it’s warm
in the workhouse.

My eyes aren’t dry they
stayed up with the orphans
long enough to hear their
stomachs churn in on themselves,
nibbling at the lining.

The riots are breaking out,
the poor are organized
with fire and fury and
the full stomach of the court
is foul, is fallen into full view.

You can smell it on their breath.
Something is rotten.
Something is happening,

in the footnotes,
you can hear the heart
of the orphan
beating to Beethoven’s 6th.

Smashing with a frail fist,
the locks on the food cupboard.

PR men don’t exist yet,
they’re still wet dreams in
Hitler’s unborn henchmen,
but propaganda is as old
as Constantine.

All the King’s men
can’t hide the
footnote.

The one that breaks the truth up
passes it around in
edible, ingestible morsels.

The collection plate is full.
The cup runs right, right over.

Everyone asks for more truth.
Everyone dreams of escape.

Nobody gets out of it without answering.
The clergy are not even safe.

Footnotes for all of them.

Let them have knotty
endnotes, if not.

Your Story

I met you on Route 18.
It was the ugly morning
two after my Mick’s ashes
were put besides his father
and his son’s bodies.

You could see that
I was willing to listen to just about anything
that was not my vacant body
colliding with each bump
in the road and swerve of the transit.

This is the route to his house.
The one I took every weekend I could get off
from the butcher shop in the grocery store in town.
This is the last time I am ever taking this bus.
You see that I am clutching an acoustic
in a flailing black coffin.
Like it is all I ever had.

You start telling me about your quest.
To bring Home Hardware to its knees.
They stole your idea,
your patent pending,
for an apparatus that is both
tape measure and magnifying glass and level.

They stole it right from under you,
and you didn’t care what stood in your way,
you were getting it back.

I thought about the windshield wiper guy,
and that movie that I think only robots
don’t tear up watching,
especially when you told me

how your wife left
and your kids were all grown up
and nobody was on your side
but you were gonna spend your days
making that corporation pay.

It wasn’t the money, either.
It was the truth.
You wanted the world to know
so you had the paper
write an article and you made copies of it.

You let me tell you about the guitar,
and how it was a piece of crap,
truly beyond repair, no strings, warped.
Mick had told me to take it one day last spring,
and it was that ugly day,
when his remaining children,
puffed chests and dry eyes,
had left the wake to go hear the will called out.

When I was told I was not to be their
upon their return, I left.
I left the crowd who
didn’t know my grandfather,
not the way I did.
Not as friend.

I walked past his house.
I finished my 6th beer.
I opened his pickup because
he never locked it.
And I turned it on and
put in the Johnny Cash cd
I had burned for him
a few years back,
when anything that impressed him
I did with a son’s joy.

I wept a little. I cried some more.
I got out with a mission.
I would go into his house
that was never locked, one more time
and I would take my guitar.
My useless, weak instrument.

And I would learn to play
Silver Haired Daddy on it.
It was a song he had cried to many nights
when telling me his own father’s story.

You, Windshield Wiper Man,
you had to ask then, why was I returning
the guitar in its tattered vessel now?
And so I told it true.

His children had called the police.
They had told them I had broken in,
like some criminal, and stolen the only thing
I had left with.

Something he had given me.

So the officer had forced me
to either return it,
or face charges.
It was only right.

Then, you looked at me,
and we shared that moment,
that realization we had both
been put on quests that were
about more than money.
More than family.

Truth.

I told it all then.
How his children had become suspicious when
I started spending time with Mick.

How they had flown in from the West Coast
most having avoided any contact with him,
unless he was buying them condos.

They had learned to roll
their eyes in every language
when he got a few drinks in
and started to tell a familiar story.

And I was suspect.
Because I was interested
in every one of them.

That was when you looked at me,
strange man on a strange quest,
and you said that
no matter what they did
they knew they would never get his
love or respect
not like I had,
and that was all they could do,
was try to take everything else,
even a broken guitar.

You told me
“your story is his story”
and nobody will take that away.
Nobody can.

Then you got off at your stop,
heading toward that massive
Home Hardware.
They were gonna hear from you.
Until you ran out of time.

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.

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.

Missing Page from The Book of Love

You can make yourself
comfortable being
all manner of monster
to other men

and in the end,
past the fence
of slashed flesh and
heaped sorrow’s,

passed vats of tears
and blood shed

you can love yourself
and even,
somehow,
have learned
to love those
who managed
your hate
to begin with;

“man is a wolf to men”

and the wolf has
integrity where most
men merely mask it,

make a morose show of it
make it look like a book

you can paint
any colour,
your life
that is-

make it shine
and don’t despair.

The real monsters aren’t out there.

They’re in here,
my boy! Not outside!
They’re in here!

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.

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass” – Anton Chekhov

Chekhov wants the glint does he?
I’ll give him something to talk about.
They were beautiful and terrible girls.
“We’re from fucking Montreal man-”
I heard them telling some meat head outside,
and I just had to call back
“Hey, I was born in Montreal!”

Because exotic dancers have always
been fascinating to me and
in my darker moments back then I called
them strippers like everyone else
because I loved certain poets enough to
risk alienation by the crowd at Starbucks,
and because above all else I lived for story,
and story was always about the details.

The ring-leader was leathery in face,
haggard old mop hair held back in a
fraying scrunchy that I can still see, slowly removed,
back at the castle of other dancers who all slept.
This was after the after hour club I went to with them,
like some proud puppy eyed kid, the other meat heads
all staring at us, eating my face with their eyes,
quick as the blow went up noses in every stall.

We ditched a couple other meat heads that
wanted her and the hot one to go back to a motel,
but wouldn’t let me come. I realized I was a feeler.
A tool to see if creeps were to be trusted or avoided.

We cabbed to their secret lair, where no men were
allowed to tread. We crept up a winding staircase,
dawn starting to stain our shadows, the older one
shushing me, the young one smiling at me and saying
things to the leathery one I couldn’t understand on
my mere catholic grade school, non-street French.

There was some sort of comfort knowing I made it
back to the inner sanctum, after all was said and done,
and all the shit was gone and the road rocket slammed,
I sat on the toilet as the steam removed her from my view.

She wouldn’t let me alone, naturally, with the blonde,
and this meant I was sitting on a toilet that faced a mirror
watching the leathery girl as she tried to talk to me and
then in French occasionally to herself, which was the best
thing really, I had heard in a long time. I grabbed a chunk
off the top of a nearby empty case of 24 beer and I jotted
a few deets from the night, and I bet its kicking around in my drawer
with all the other sacred artefacts.

When it was time for me to go she pulled out her
deodorant stick and uncapped it revealing a tight
wad of money instead, and gave me cab fair, and
more or less assured in me, as I know still to this day,
that people are all just looking for someone they can hang out
with, safely. That we are all pretty decent. Even the leathery ones.

But meat heads should never be trusted.