Nostalgia

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.

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.

“Fucking Rimbaud!”

You decided nothing was sacred?
And we stayed all night and chalked
lines of poetry all over the city walls?
Do you remember?

The gorge we jumped into
And how water shot into my ass and had
me crippled for like a week and we laughed?

You screamed “fucking Rimbaud buddy!”
as I leapt off, and that was hilarious on its own,

(I’d rented the VHS copy from Videoscene in
Preston heights and decided I would be a poet.)

We had our crow bars in station wagons at the
junkyard so we would always find them,
and dance around smashing windows like
“The Mask” or “The Joker” just casually
mocking the possibility of our detection.

(I secretly always wanted to be chased by
A dog named Chopper I think, it was my
fave part of the best movie I had ever seen.)

I keep them all in my drawer, these snippets-

It might not be Ray Bradbury Theater,
but it’s a start. Now, let’s go make some more magic.

“Epic Fantasy, Schmepick Scantasy”

Epic Fantasy Schmepick Scantasy,

give me the summer of our love,
and I will forever me oval faced,
pancake iris’d, enveloped by the arrows
and pointed spears and deadly artefacts
of your bad, bad love. I can get back to it,

but as of yet I am always confined
to the scrying scope of a neighborhood crow
who took up territory a block over,
by the used car lot and corner store,
that same hot, hot year. Once in awhile

I can see a glimmer of your head from
the strict hedges, unmistakable curls
no less telling than the very fingerprints
on your charcoal stained fingers. Once I heard
us make love, me and my cackling scrawny

soul’d salut, all bark and very little, limpid bite.
You, turning out the kids from the back porch.
Walking out into the summer when all
the lady bugs were mating, like jazz-dust
shook from the blanket of the night, trailing
around your vixen, freckle crescent smile.

Caw.

Your orange zest and patchouli and acrylic paint.

Caw. Caw.

The sound of your bangles smashed against
the august humidity of midday.

Caw.

And then I’m gone again over the downtown core,
past the burger stand and the grocery store and the
tacky Chinese restaurant awning, where some angry
Chef tries to beat me to death for shitting on his clean,
recently de-shit-if-ied walkway, so I caw again and swoop.

You can keep your epic fantasy series.
I’m making my own.

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 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’.

I would want to be, such a control freak.

This is why I don’t go online anymore.
Because you can’t move
without running over someone’s tow
with a “gas guzzling earth murderer”
and the second you start to wane from
your dedication to the cause,
be it the chemtrail or truthers you piss off
by saying maybe, just maybe it’s not quite
the way they think it is, but somewhere in the
uncomfortable, awkward and far less
headline catchy middle.

You’ve now got to play out like Ralph Fiennes
or Donald Sutherland in “Land of the Blind”
and suffer the rank change.

And you just know the anti-abortionist
is never going to click with the intensely
adamant breast feeder just like the rabid cyclist
vegan folks aren’t down with the family guy crowd
there are exceptions, but it’s true as the examiner,
if you believe anything, anymore. I don’t.

The problem with
thinking is it takes you away from community.

The problem with community is it isolates
You from the chance you might not be permanently
shitting the veritable truth yourself, either.

It’s a constant kerfuffle.

People are afraid to go on the bus
because of one terrible beheading,
but we rush headlong into this forum
of words energized by frenzy, hate, fear
love even- the love of the quest to figure it
all out and then post enough links to black
out all the world, even your friends too,
until it blacks out even you, from yourself.

That’s why I’m online again.
To clarify why I’m offline again.

And you can’t get the Christians
and the Scientists to stop hitting each
other back long enough to find out if
the chicken even laid an egg,
so don’t bother!

Camp Edward promises eradication of
Camp Jacob by tomorrow and the xbox crowd
has a serious bone to pick with ps3, despite
both encompassing the same trivial thing!

The People for a more Buddhist America
have begun to antagonize the American Tea Party
by online praying protests and the Jonesboro
army of faith is filling up comment sections
faster than Jesus can say “go fish”.

The Occupiers can’t seem to agree with the Truthers
as to what’s more important, truth or occupation,
and the 1% don’t say much because they own all
the websites and paper mills that profit from all
the protests and provocateurs and promulgators.

The pirates keep looting and laughing at shoppers,
who blame the looters for the deterioration of
all fandom, everywhere. Fanboy’s hate everything
except the old school and safe retro of their childhood’s

and while they espouse the extremist philosophies of
spoiler edict and Puritanism of the remake genre,
everyone else is clicking link to virus laden porn
while typing yawning emoticons to each other,
and making grand recycled hip-statements they
read on Jezebel or somewhere for “thinkers”
who constantly chastise the flock (re: sheeple)
and call the process anything but what it is,
an intellectual fleecing.

Over yonder a crowd of gawkers for every celebrity
invented for every badly written pilot or failed script, ever.
And further still the men who swear they don’t eat
but instead inhale flowers, then the ones who are
eating the fucking sun, eye’s first, noone of whose parents
are even willing to own up to giving birth to them.

It’s getting more and more crowded with assholes,
and that’s why I read Bukowski before bed now instead
of a ticker or newsfeed; no matter how bitter he gets,
His truth still beats anything online right now.

Insects we are, moving under rocks that are so
violently lifted that nobody has time to
regain any sense of composure before we’re gang
raped by the light of the modem-verse.

And that’s why I’m back online,
to discuss how much better offine was.

Ginger Rant, ‘oeuvre’ and out.

Strangers Follow Us

We are the haunted few still
undistracted entirely by screen
or pandemonium or dance, and the
stranger’s have always followed us.

This bus I was on once was
overrun with their
loud, obese stories and I
could do nothing to avoid our
imminent collision.

On my left was a young girl and
her “old man”. They
were some of the first junkies
I ever met. I was intrigued, but
wary also. I wouldn’t be taken
on my first trip out West.

I had months of notebooks and
all intents to make my mettle as per
that great Ontarian ritual-voyage
to BC. I would smoke weed and
write of all the things done wrong
by the world to the artist.

I was basically full of shit and
sure of its value to the world.

These two were heading out of
a long haul doing rehab for family
members piece of mind, all the time
planning their Bonnie & Clyde escape.

I ended up seeing them on the streets
periodically as I job hopped like some
come from away or illegal, barely keeping
some jobs long enough to take a second pay.

Behind me and junk row
was a strange solitary girl
dressed in a mix of rag and garbage bag
and patches of herself seemingly just
flesh with marker or paint.

She became if you haven’t guessed yet,
an early lesson in the unpredictability
of cross country busing,
to this younger, yours truly.

Somewhere between the beginning and
the long anticipated end of the prairies,
it started:

a noise so jarring and yet unmistakable
no matter how inexplicable it seemed,
began to emanate from the last row of
the slow going people’s Greyhound,

like a roll of tape being constantly ripped
off about 4 feet of itself at a time in well
timed, 5-8 second intervals, for at least
a half an hour although it could’ve been longer.

I slowly peeped my head up and looked
to see what was going on, since others
ahead were doing the same to me .

And there she was. Taping up her feet and
upper leg. By now she had socks of tape.
Teen junky’s Old Man got up and threatened

her, I want to say with a knife but I think he just
smelled bad and go close to me and I code him
as more harmful, more foul than he really was.
I do remember clearly the way he said. Each. Word.

“If.You.Pull.Another.Strand.Off-”

And I remember how the bus driver,
stirred to action by the Jerry Springer Show
brewing on his back rows, pulled off to the side
of the road somewhere just outside Canmore
and, making his way past each now spellbound

and rubber necked passenger, found and for some
reason I still don’t quite understand, assumed
we were all together; the greasers and the socials

and me, a young bullshit scribe, now admittedly a
little petrified at the prospect of being left in a strange
and uncertain land with such savages. I had to make it
out west, I couldn’t let it end like this.

“I have no idea who this nut bag or these
Freaks are Sir! I’m not with them!”

“I don’t give a shit, all of you make
me stop the bus again, you’re all out.”

The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful.
I stayed awake in fear of reprisals against me,
besides who wants nightmares of being tied
up in tape and poked with needles when you can
scribble your first poems on British Columbian soil,

off to find some new strangers to pry another
poem from.

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