Meta-Rant

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.

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The Nightmare of the Zombie

It was the way it always is.
I was in a cemetery with Judith
and we were talking about how
bizarre the whole fame thing is.
How it’s absolutely the work of
bad ju-ju, of hocus pocus, of mice
transformed into the size of men,
of ants and birds and bad things like that.

I guess it was the wine, and the moon,
and the small vortex that opened up,
sort of like in Quantum Leap, so
damn conveniently at the end of each episode
before little Jerry O’Connell got shot by
angry white men or run over by a truck.

We ended up in Los Angeles, but it was
more like a Ridley Scott L.A., and I realized
I was in one of my dreams again, or
I took too much, man. Then I chuckle
while repeatedly saying,

“You took too muuuuuch, man.
Took too much.” just like
del toro’s Gonzo, until Judith
points out the old cemetery
and we wander over.

It’s huge. Like,
a shopping mall of carcass’.

And of course the song from
Return of the Living Dead
plays on some ghetto as a punk
with a Mohawk and a chain
from ear to lip walks by
and spits near my feet.

And then the first heads
start to pop up,
and before you know it
they’re all there.

Orson Welles.
He looks about the same. Belligerent, too.
Hemingway. His head is sort of a mess.
But he has the same jovial spirit!

Bukowski is there.
And Marilyn Monroe
looks pretty damn good.

Which Judith notices me noticing and
makes some ridiculous comment about

how I can only get it up for the paranormal and
cartoon chicks, and I say something like

Jessica Rabbit is practically human.
It’s all her voice.
Shut up and let’s meet some
zombie celebrities!

Everything was going really swell.
I was like a kid in a decomposing candy shop

I talked about Fitzgerald with Ernest ,
and about drinking with Chinaski,
and movies with Welles.

Then we made the mistake of going to some
fucking party and you just knew something
shitty was going to happen, it just felt bad.

The kids at the party just dissed all of them,
if they knew them at all, and called them misogynist
or said they were drunks, or both.

They said Orson Welles was
slow and over-rated.
And no Tarantino.

I wept.

They said Hemingway was
just a representation
of the patriarchy,
and a dirty man,
and Bukowski they
said made Ernest look
like a fucking saint.

I sank.

I don’t even want
to re-describe the way the
feminist crowd devoured
poor Norma Jean.

I understood
where they were coming
from but at the same time,
even a zombified Marilyn was
exhaustively enchanting.

In the end, the old stars left.
Bukowski and Hemingway said they

were gonna go to a fight,
or have one themselves,
whichever happened first.

Poor Orson went looking for some old woman.

Marilyn went out the window rather than
spend another minute with all the bores.

That’s usually when I wake up.
Sometimes me and Norma make out first.
There I said it.

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?

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.

2 Sentence Poem.

One really long one (one really short one)

1
What little teeth it had,
the beast under the bed the girl chucked an axe at
and her scream, how it sailed out of the
old style, non plasma or flat TV
as the occupants of the old style chesterfield
that looks like the color of vomit after seeing Nickelback,
spent their fingers on scratch tickets then when they
were all gone smelled what was lodged in their feet
and their navel’s, exchanging at times to contrast
who had the better catch, fingers curled like little
ugly teeth that gnawed snapped and left gashes in
everything until tonight, when everything goes quiet,
before one of those Donnie Darko style accidents
where its nobody to blame just fate and some kinda strange
time travelling ugly rabbit that looks like it
descended from Steve Buscemi’s mouth, all lizard like and gnarly,
and that was it for them, and the movie ended,
and the beast bore its teeth on some other poor unsuspecting TV
and it just kept going, and the world governments were all
too busy fucking with the people and keeping it all hush hush
to ever figure out that it was not the far Left or the Jihadist
who was systematically wiping out humanity, but those tiny, ugly teeth.
2
It was those tiny, tiny teeth; they were the ones to be blamed for all this.

My Walk Becomes the Music Video for “Hurt”

For two weeks I have watched
the mountains of snow
slowly eliminated by the
Atlantic in April, and eventually
revealing a crude patchwork
of garbage, lost items, and animal
carcass’ for me and the rest
of the neighborhood to jump-step around
anytime we wish to take the catwalk
to our beloved Esso and Timmy’s.

I make the trip 3 times a day
when I’m working from home.
Each day for the last couple weeks
I have had an added adventure
of watching the decay of snow,
then the slow perusal with my eyes
of all the treasures left behind:

condoms, ziplock baggies,
hair nets from Tim’s employees,
cigarette butts from everyone,
children’s toys, lighters, and
of course the pigeon and the rat
I took to calling Pestilence and
Vermin, as though they were characters
in some mystic saga I wasn’t writing.

Vermin’s tale had started to look
like a frayed mop’s dirtiest strand,
and he was forever frozen in a position
as though leaping in the air like a sheep,
except thin like paper now.

Pestilence started out the week
still retaining much of her shape,
and the crushed Purple abalone of her breast
was slowly transformed like
The Artist Formerly Known As Prince
Into a spectacle, something grotesque and carnival,
before finally succumbing to the
Dirt and grime of exposure.

Now, her intestines are zombie-grey and fiddle head-shaped.

Now, the Spring comes, to re-rapture life.

The Gas Station Angel

Hell exists. I have seen it. It is contained in a stretch
of about 6 city blocks in Downtown Vancouver where
people twitch out like glitch background characters in
a sandbox game, every third vehicle is law enforcement or paramedic.

I would get up at 6 am and take a bus there, with the other
Suckers and suits. By the time the shift ended I was sweaty,
and had my fix of junkies for the week, no matter what time it was.
I had learned empathy from their ashtray faces, their rusty chain link arms.

Horror is not a genre to them. It’s a state of being,
Wedged between “waking” and “high again”.

She always came mid-day and always wore a cheap green coat
I was sure she bought at the Value Village next to us, along with
the strange costume bangles she wore to compliment her over-applied rouge.

It was a wind breaker, wrinkled as though left a hundred times
after rain-walks when she has forgotten her umbrella again,
and again, and now the thing was as withered as her
vein splayed hands that count loonies on the glass counter as I smile.
She was an Irish princess to someone once, and Hastings a booming community.

She looked like Jessica Tandy (whom I secretly teared
up over at 12 in Fried Green Tomatoes and feel far
less ashamed now than I did for it, thankfully.)

She would come in and buy these French Vanilla
powdered machine drinks, made buy some massive
and dark corporation with little care for the former
Princess of and Irish Poet, nor Hastings or its glitch mobs.

Sometimes her husband had a chance before work
(his suit and tie never perfect, him always mildly agitated)
and would walk the four blocks from their cramped, dim- lit apt.

I know it because one day, much to the anger of my boss,
I walked her back there when she all of a sudden, having left
and gotten ten feet, all of a sudden perked her head up like
a Scottish Terrier hearing some inaudible sound, seemed altogether
lost and out of herself. She did seem off to me earlier, but
I hadn’t noticed, busied by a slew of usual as usual.

The Greek Goddess I never had the courage to chat with
except to learn she worked in “publishing”.

The one we called “Mr. Chu” whom was the one homeless
one allowed free loitering-reign in the store (a common practice
I noticed in many stores throughout the city, something I always
rationalized was both for Karma and a handy witness to deter or
in the chance report malicious behavior, of which this neighborhood
could provide enough for a thousand gas stations and Mr. Chu’s)
of course all he ever wanted was the washroom key, he was
granted microwave access and spent hours stood at a lottery table
that nobody but him seemed to use, and scribble childish pictures,
occasionally laughing to himself, causing me to smile and stop.

The man I called “The Gambler” because he ritualistically
came in 3 times a day and dropped hundreds on Keno,
and I decided must work in some type of stereo business
or manufacturing, because his hands were clean but he was
always in a denim jacket and smoked cigarillos and what
the fuck did I know at 21 anyway you’re thinking and you are right,

I didn’t know shit.

But when I saw her there, lost, I couldn’t not walk her home,
carry the drinks (her quiet seemed to testify to accidentally
pouring a second but having been too embarrassed to say.

She had the sweetest frailty, the bluest eyes, long and straight
and still mostly blonde hair and I thought, the slightest lilt in her voice.
She mentioned having been confused, and when she realized I was
listening she calmed down pretty quickly, and we reached her apt door,
and I even came in and set down the syrupy, leaky mess of the cups.

Seeing she was safe, turning to leave, I will always remember that the
entire place was bathed in yellow light, and dozens of paintings had over
taken the entire place, everywhere space permitted they were jumping out;
each one of a sunet, or a valley, or an ocean and Cliffside

Some were quite good, but the ones closer to me revealed someone else
had painted them, more child-like, less aware.
The suns looked like burning sunflowers in the sky, the clouds and cliffs
often shared commonality to the point of bleeding into one another.

She had been slowly giving over to fantasy, as all around her the old streets
were filled with anomalies, and walking back to a reprimanding boss,
the sun cutting through the high trees, to Victoria and Hastings,
I knew there were only so many canvas’ and pages to fill before
we all end up negotiating the dark like the Irish Princess or Mr. Chu,
and all we get is now, now is heaven- now is West Hastings, clean
and ready to greet us each day.

Best Friend

My Best Friend

for HJM

When I needed someone
to protect me from the car
of angry Mexicans I
drunkenly slurred at one night
by merely getting out of
the car while I shivered
a bit in the back seat with
scrawny ginger shame,
it was him.

When I needed someone
to grab me by the throat
and push my face into
a desert of glass on my patio
after roughing me up and
letting me struggle a little,
it was him.

When I need someone to
goad me into picking up the pieces
when all the whore has run out on me
and all the drunk still in me

writhes and whimpers
“like a little ginger bitch”
Again, I am indebted,
to him and him alone.

You can talk on and on
about the myth of masculinity.

You can talk about male hegemonies,
and about the patriarch.

But I still dig having a best friend
like Christian Troy, you know why?

Because the world is filled with Kimbers,
and nobody wants to be Sean McNamara

All the time.
Anymore.
Or ever.

When I come across
The newest picture of
someone having done something
too stupid not To be
internet-mummified
by way of meme;

a ghastly old woman painted
to look like a demon
or one of a ginger zombie
Ronald McDonald making love
to a deadite dressed as a nurse
while in the background
various characters from Hellraiser
and Event Horizon do foul things to
stuffed people with stuffed animals,

It’s his wall I copy/paste it to.
Not even my own.

And that is what a best friend is;
the person you excitedly take
a new piece of discovered darkness to.
So you can both laugh at it, in the face,

And try to find something to top the others
recent post. Another heaping handful of hell,
to pass the hours with.

Anything else would be healthy and balanced,
all that other boring shit reserved for those
earning their way into heaven with
public displays of pompous charity.

When we find people like that we just nod,
look to one another with bug eyes on the side,
knowing full well that shit is just for show.

Comic Book/Stored Antithesis

The soft, off yellow light often
produced in the dim chamber
of your childhood comic shop
and its ability to seem
from the kneeled position
over gargantuan strip boxes
of back issues, back then, in the
middle of your proverbial Sandlot
to act as temporal vortex.

A conversion of worlds,
a threshold.

Campbell was right.
It is all journey.

(This one shop owner in our core
had an eye patch and a limp
and I’m sure he did jail time
for weed. He hired us as helpers
me and my buddy from Sekura)

We had the whole back of the
store to go through, just tons of
back stock and all the new stuff.

It was the greatest thing that had
happened to me since Zelda and
sure, maybe even Shadowrun.
(but that’s entering the debatable)

I found The Maxx and Savage Dragon
as the boys from Image left their own
safe worlds and travelled to unknown
riches

(most of them anyway, Sam Keith
is like me I bet and re-watches Cheers,
missing Coach and Diane and the 80’s

as they go by in a slow tightening of flare
and lessening of hem’s, until culmination in
Rebecca’s premiere a la red leather mini-skirt. )

Reading a superhero like Keith’s Maxx gave
me new dreams as a writer. Aside from Steven King,
no other influence has tainted me so deeply,

as those I found in the downtown comic book
stores (there were three at one time, where now
only one will ever at a time today)

Frederick Philip Grove talks about how he
found this call to adventure in Siberia when
he encountered these Khirgiz herdsmen who
yowled and yawped and sang out the true
beatific essence of life, masked in beard and
riding a slow trail to insignificance.

I don’t regret my influences at all.
The darker the Cave, the brighter the sunshine.

Poem in the Key of Shadow

I call him my pharmacological doppelganger.
He is the me I would have certainly been,
had I not jumped from the rooftops of my own
semi-serious conditions, to the streets of our
hand written to chalky wall poems.

I call him the one I am glad to have avoided,
the one whose parents must have cared so much
they made too great a movement toward the shelves

at the behest of all the recent (best selling) authors,
and got him all plump on the pills, all pale and low-pulse,
distant and dreary. He peak’s at you, a puppy under a blanket

of hoodies for bands he’ll never get a chance to see live,
and from the perforated palace of a hundred Star Wars
side-quest novels that keep his imagination resuscitating
before being re-submerged, over, and over and over.

But he avoided all the bad trips, and all the near-od’s.
He doesn’t have a single scar on him.
He’s the perfect model for how it pays to plug

the heart up and batten down the eye-lashes with
sleepy time pills and hell, what was this world going
to do with a quiet, shy type but turn him into the new
poster child for disaffection anyway?

There aren’t enough Nirvana albums yet?
We haven’t lost enough of the pumping heart of
Eliot Smith? Does Buckley wash up again?

The cure for life is quiet. It will always look
better on paper and in theory. If there is any problem
with him now, it’s the “solutions” effect.

Cue theme of The Twilight Zone. PS,
I call him my shadow.