Love Poem

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.

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poem for La Mer [NIN]

Graduation

I am almost done it,
that quest I told you about, and
I promise I will make it back,
and I will no longer try to
save you from yourself.

I will let the kiss in the bus stop
rain go unnoticed I will not
smile at the driver from
outside, dampening with
every extra tug back toward you
in your sleek bomber
you with those Docs on your feet.

Because I have read more
of Gilbert and Gubar now.
I know it is me who,
like every power hungry fool,
has been your bane, and
I know the boon is knowing better
than to tie rocks to a feather,

I am going to shut in on myself,
I am the book of hate for objectified
love,
but I still miss you.

I will find a way
to make it back
but I will first
eradicate, even that
foolish desire.

I will run through the library
with the scissor of open books,
I will emulate no other poets.

I am here now.

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.

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)

The Girl and the Good

-when we meet she is trying to pop a
pop tart and I am so
caught up seeing her
smile as she did this
I plum forget that I
am not planning to
fall ever again
so quick and so hard,

because
it is not a really
fair thing to do
to someone, or yourself.

She has been to Gibraltar.
I have been to Maine.

We are both art minded
but she loves the visual,
I am bogged down in wordplay,
and besides all that she is beautiful
in all the easily located ways.

I am a map buried beneath
torn flesh
hidden behind bookshelf eyes,
begging limbs like prison bars,
twitchy pyrotechnical hair,

I am under there,
somewhere, the sheets are
never going to come
out from over my head again,
not for you, or anyone,

I swear.

Hey what kind of pop tart is that anyway?

She Took My Hat

I danced with a girl in the mud once.
It was sloppy. Our feet made schlepping noises
as we strove to disengage them from each
wet, mucky step. It was like fly paper for flies.

I remember she had this big, brilliant smile like
a clown the whole time, there for my amusement.
At some point she absconded with my salt and pepper cap,
like it’s an old skipper hat black and white freckled in color,
not the hip hop all female act, Salt n Peppa.

Nobody would ever steal that shit.

Women have always been good at stealing my hats.
There was my “New York Fuckin’ City” black with white letter,
a ball hat I cherished a gift from my aunt.
Lost that one in a hospital after a friend of
a friend od’d on E like the first night I met him,
and I forever the Gordie Lachance, went along
in the ambulance along with some random blonde.

What her deal was I am not sure.
Ambulance chaser in a skirt?
I couldn’t have been any more blind.
I tried my classic lean in on her in the elevator but
she was just in love with that hat. And she got it.
Didn’t even cost her a kiss.

I’m such a lush for people.
I’ll take anything you have.
A word exchanged in an empty hospital bed,
in the dark, where nobody is around,
or a deep muddy dance to George Clinton
on some old abandoned air strip.

My fedora in 2011.
Liberated by a wild night at
some after hours bar.
Another two skipper caps at least in BC.

It’s really been a pleasure though.
Who the fuck am I kidding?

My Own Private Iola

I will stop
thinking about you
in your doc martens
and your blue bomber
in 1997,

when something comes down
with a monkey wrench
from heaven

and beats it all
out of me
for good.

For good, the bad
go hungrier for
longer than any of the
God-mammals could
ever last for.

Up our Jerusalem sleeves,
we set the records to skip
back, to the same spot
dropping the needle
again and again
into a bucket of silence.

I can’t get out of the
meta-universe
she is a pleasure to have
as a curse.

Put the posters back up,
get me a job at some
fast death food market

and eat my fingers
out from under themselves
every night, in-between
chapters like the very
Spy vs Spy that first
entertained me

more than the central prose,
the para-text is a devious,
blazing star you cannot

scrape off like gum
on your spokes,
you cannot eliminate like
Constantine blood on your Keds.

This is the ugliest in a set of three poems,
these are the stones thrown at the stoned.

You are my first fist,
clutching my first page.

Crumpling up the demons,
wrapping up our moments,
it is like getting ready
for X-mas in Hell.

But it is still better than
letting go, completely
of that story.

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!

Glass Slipper

Here, another secret love song for the ephemeral lady of the ages who,
shining in the atmospheric disparity of now,
manages to still make me smile.

I wanted to let you know you were exceptional
and you have no worries about anything bad
getting the better of you because you are one
of those exposed nerve types who braves way to much
of what is really going on to ever lose track of yourself.

There is this beach in California that became beautiful
as a result of all the garbage people flicked off a cliff,
and slowly, over the years, despite an awful thing done,
the beach became overrun with perfect, rounded globes,
rounded glass of green from the sprite bottles of the 70’s,
and orange from rusted car windshields, all of it now
given over to the strong argument for light and truth.

And even though the same people originally responsible
came with the hordes of others and slowly with shovels and
gallon buckets pilfered her new suit, leaving a couple rubies for
the desperate late comer tourists to hustle amidst her sandy locks for,

I still think it is amazing and remains worth nothing that
the struggle in everything is like this. It permits us these moments,
and we can all race rapturously to accumulate a chunk of it,
or we can lay in a bed of precious trash made glass or
we can be the beach itself, let the world make us
its temporary Prometheus, and either way I had
to say to you that you are like that California beach to me.

(Or I’ve lost myself in the allegory and given over to the infamy of romance)

It is only a matter of time and the world will take most your jewels.

You will still be perfect to spend days with though.
You will never get boring to me.

I am your biggest fan.
Sign me up for the newsletter of your heart.

Yours,

The blade of light that cuts across the page
of the recent tome claiming you which,
stinging eyes, washes up just a little
more rounded, more solid, soul
than before, kept warm, loved.

We’ll have a kiss one day.
I have a sense about these things like
a photic sneeze that
last’s one hundred nights, finally giving over
to a glint of waxed moon, giving
over to the precise waves of time,
giving over to truth.