Novella

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.

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.

Losing the Teacher

I’ve always been quiet, and even more so scrawny, even frail in form, and most especially so when in that most wretched and inspiring, that most depleting and renewing of places; the institutions of education and vocation. I make this distinction not to inflate the story herein; for be assured it is a short and narrow version of a variety of moments. I have always been a thin fellow, and at 30 years and just barely entering my 3rd year of university, (and what was incidentally my first since leaving St. Mary’s in Halifax to come home, to Memorial), I was just a little less so on both accounts. I was still in that earliest of stages to the campus: when I entered the tunnels I wasn’t sure where I would end up, when I wanted to go to the Library from anywhere, I walked above ground no matter what the weather…it was…trying. Instinctually, I took a day before classes started and mapped out my class locations- I was after all, a two year vet to the game and the race.

His class was three of my mornings, every week, earliest of them too. Anyone who has had a morning class knows how debatable mere attendance, let alone the gods forbid, attention, can be at these classes. But I love short stories, and from the start I enjoyed His lectures both for their literature, and his personal asides. There is not even really much mystery to why the fondness was so instantaneous either, I hate to disappoint, although in fairness: I warned you this story was short. It’s really hard not to be content with a teacher who at once evokes figuratively and literally, the reincarnation of Santa Claus with white beard, round face, blue eyes and even pot belly, and in temperament were like the kind sort of grandfather everyone idealizes someday. He even had a couple blue wiry veins along the nostrils, like mine did, although I suspected for different reasons.

It helped that the stories were so good I think; Poe’s “House of Usher”, “Sonny’s Blues”. “The Lottery”. Oh and that one where the captain watches over his men in a boat after their ship is sunk. That was one of my favorites. When He read passages from the story He got into the roles of the different men, and even waved when reading the part about the useless priest on shore. I got a real kick out of him I must say. It wasn’t one particular thing he said or did either; it was the overall way he said it all. He was almost…sly the way he snuck knowledge into stuff. Took a little while, see, because as I said I have long been thin and quiet, and even after you age some, the rooms of uniform chair-desks, still have a way of…quieting you. The room, and my foolish choice of spots in it- they kept me uncomfortable for most the semester. But I took solace, perhaps especially so, in the Grand-Pa-Santa performed tales all the same.

Front Row, top left had corner of the class. It’s been one of my preferred seats for some time now; you are far enough away from most the students to avoid most eyes, and when the time nears you can make a decent bolt around whoever threatens your anxiety-like, sweat-drenched, and itchy exit.  All because of one unseen, but major issue which quickly, ahem…’arose’ that first morning. I hadn’t really considered, and it worsened as class progressed with such steadiness that I actually began to clear a course of each one based on my state of discomfort- each state that worsened told me we were one step closer to the climax, then the denouement, and finally, His final remarks on the story. My release from this mental ambrosia, this physical hell. You see, the entire circumference of the left bank of our class, our troop toward understanding- our exile from darkness to lights unfathomable- was window…window that called the heat of earths mother, a window that was directly and forevermore, facing the god-damn sun.

It was not even an issue for much of the left bank of the institutional trench; it was just the top corner of the teachers desk – which incidentally He never once sat at, for obvious reasons standing centre, in the beloved and cool shade of the other 80 percent of the warzone of quiet ignorance and brilliant conjecture of young minds, which somehow surmised my place in the whole of things- skinny, quiet, and usually somehow on the fringe, mature student in the hottest little corner of the room, wondering on that fateful morning when silence killed the battlefield all over- even (and be assured to my shock) my own lips couldn’t find it- the name of the town or state or city of the days short story. And there he was, finally exasperated with months of only a couple students answering the bulk of the questions, and ready to blow his top. They had finally done the impossible with their silence: they had broken the sunny demeanour and light hearted kindness of Grampa Santa. But first, a lesson in the history, short as it had been, yet excruciatingly long for me, of that very quiet front.

As established, I was older than most 2nd years, having doddled a bit with my course load and not entered University until 27. And I have always been thin, and quiet. And fair skinned. One might even hazard the term, “red haired and freckled”. There we have my state, and of course here we are  at my predicament; the sunny corner of short story class taught by coolly shaded Grand-Pa Santa, who just happened to be a naturally gifted teacher of one of  my fondest subjects, as though the torture of basking in the rising sun, magnified by double pained Atlantic ocean style windows. Already born quiet and thin, it seemed my lot to waste away in sweat during what should have been a joyous traversing of the hollows of literature. I should have been as free as that biplane pilot in the Alice Munro story, but instead I was stranded, with only one calming source of hope- the man himself.

Every once in awhile his Newfoundland accent washed up, quite intentionally mind you, and yet he didn’t do it haphazardly. It was so sparse, see.  And He used it to both drive a point home and restate a previously “properly enunciated” version of the same sentence.

“So…what’s ‘dis all about”. “Now, what in god’s name is Poe on about with dis passage”.

That was part of the charm I guess. He already emulated Gramps, now he occasionally became the old man when he was on the piss. For like Him, Gramps could manage mainland elocution just fine- if he chose to do so. Unlike many younger teachers, he didn’t waste time trying to win the affections of his students either. And to me that was respectful of him, the profession and us most importantly- to be an ambassador of learning, a Captain of the written word as it were, this is an honourable title in my opinion, and it’s one that needn’t wilt or waiver in the face of modern youth’s expectations of “new wave” teaching. Rather than capitulation, we got these wonderfully crafted excursions into the jungles of each authors mind and life- we became enthralled by osmosis- myself perhaps also some photosynthesis- of being in his well laid path. We were safe from many things, though. We wouldn’t be spoiled. Fooled into thinking it was easy to navigate a great short story. Imbued with the notion that stand up comedy and lecturing university are one in the same. No Sir.

We were going to learn the easy way- which is to say the only way, that is, the Right one.

He was never forceful, quite the opposite in fact. He would ask and re-ask and re-ask questions, never a hint of stress level raised, never any indication, save the accent coming out in planned, perfect intervals for humour and emphasis that anything changed in him despite its obvious challenge. Especially when it was place names and easy stuff like that: stuff that was on the first damn page. But he didn’t. And I guess that’s where I found some recompense for silently melting to death in the top left hand corner of the chemistry building at memorial, those September days. To raise that arm and quietly break the calm more than usual. Because I was about to experience one of the quietest semesters…of my life. Perhaps, I thought, squinting one day with arm raised so as to both block sun and grab His attention, of all time.

Yes ,it was That quiet. Young people today, I remember thinking, are just quieter I guess. Tweet, Text, Gaming Online. It’s all very semi-social, and often with the graces of distance between target and shooter, talker and listener, teacher and student, to wit. But even by that standard, this class was a trench of young kids yet unable to even raise the white flag of uncertain hypotheses. It got so that each time I raised my holy thin branch of relief, I would first look back to the class and just make sure I wasn’t being too eager. I’m no greenhorn remember. Never once did it occur that way. Never. Once.

Maybe it was because he was so kind, the kids could sense it as a way to subvert the morning and half sleep through his lectures, my answers, the wind whipping around the curtain in the left corner of the room, the only redemptive burst of cool in the sun-lit area, which was two desks away from me at all times. And not a word mentioned that wasn’t dragged out, often with such reluctance He almost had to do it himself. It was a horror-show some mornings. If I had read the wrong story or not had a chance to re-read the one we were covering, it could get truly atrocious, even gory.

But then one day the impossible happened. Nobody could answer the first and most basic question of the story. I had been under incredible stress that week, my best friend and fatherly-influence, my grand, grand Grampa…had taken a stroke. Then a second. Now he was hospitalized. He was tied up so he wouldn’t continually rip out his own feeding tubes, with his gnarly, bar-fight-fed fists. He was 76, and still drank a flask or a half in the evenings with is best friend “Prince William”, a black lab “left on his Texada Island property by some crazy old goat lady down the way. He whined all night in my boot on the porch II wouldn’t look at em at first.” Mick had just had the second of what one day would be all three of his sons, all to Heroin and her varying side-effects; OD’s, HIV-related pneumonia. Found inevitably in parks and dirty hotels. Eaten by a war unacknowledged.  He had been my confidante for a decade or so of close conversations and laughter and home cooked meals, and now, he was one foot in the grave and refusing anyone outside his own kids the chance to visit.

And here was this man, who by all accounts had given it the best fight a man can give in the battle for young minds’ attention and, god forbid, the insight of that holiest, most divine thing: an individual thought. A step. It was all he had begged for, just one foot gained. It wasn’t as though he’d expected us to win the war. Just take a yard. Even a mile. And all that withstanding, if nothing else couldn’t we please Name the god fer’saken town b’y da jeeesus. This was late November now. We had been to the House of Usher, we had survived the sinking of the Lusitania with Stephen Crane and we had even worn the smothering sad injustice of Gogol’s Overcoat, and now we would fumble and break the perfect demeanour near the end, hung up on a story I can’t even recall, though I am sure it was either Cheever’s The Swimmer or Carver’s Cathedral. I mean these were modern stories, not like Poe with the weighty tongue of old gothic- and yet I couldn’t summon the answer. And he finally broke. The man who had been by all intents my Grand-Santa, smiling back at you when you asked who is speaking in A Clean, Well-Lit Place, smiling when he agreed about the ending of “The Yellow Wallpaper”, smiling and kind despite the artillery of silence and more silence daily aimed toward him, despite all the eyes blankly unable to mouth even a guess and left him to lean on even the hope of one- had finally had enough.

“Well.”

“Well I Just Can’t Believe It. I mean come ‘Awn guys”

“This is ‘tree months IN”

“Does ANYone know the setting? It’s not a big question here guys… ”

I think of him now with the other running list of them. The good ones; Mr. Pardo and the voice’s he used to do on the side for his friends and neighbours answering machines. He decided to quit the job eventually and do voice work full-time.  Mr. Hadwyn; taught me the word ambrosia, in the context it was the word he used when he had to smooth something over with the missus- “just compare her to ambrosia, the fruit of the gods gentleman.”. Ms. Macdonald who wanted my short story to get published way back in grade nine. And Mrs. Kelland later in adult high- the one who he held all other people to as a sort of moral and human meter-stick. Who attended my first big readings. The ones who should never have had to run out of patience. Not because of that gawd fe’ersakin quiet, of all ‘tings.

I was perfectly out of place to see it all; I was older, I was 3rd year, I was the guy who’d deluded himself out of adolescence with delusions of being the next Jack Kerouac or London, but ended up looking more the Burroughs, or worse, Huncke. I could see the literal unfolding of the silence over just a single gap of time – a decade and a half or so- from my earliest years as the tall lanky ginger, wise-cracking but otherwise shy kid. In high school I don’t really remember cell phones. Just weed and hacky sack, pool halls and public parks. Now a hush comes over the titillated mind. The over-twittered, under-spoken. A nation of shyness to hold us back.  And the last few good people aghast at the funeral of conjecture, of discussion, of thought- paid to try to hustle a few marks into an average, nothing more than monks robbed of their patience, hope. Passion.

And yet, by the next class, his temper returned to the infinitely Buddha-like smile and, as though Cheever’s Swimmer, half –senile, or as even the rider who manages to escape Usher- Mr. B- made his way through the trenches of quiet once more…a few good hands to aid, be assured, but amidst the fiery true force of a silence just the same.

By the time I lost Mick, exams had rushed past. I wasn’t really there anymore though. I was finally making my way from the hellish prism of that vantage; court side to the slaughter. It didn’t even occur to me until shortly before sitting down to provide my portion of the events leading up to December 8th that he was technically only a few parking lots away the whole time. My grandfather, who hated more than anything the thought of dying for years in a hospital, visited by those he hated but loved. He had refused me admittance after the second stroke with the spastic waving of clawed hands, a childish face according to one family member, who in her usual crudeness had remade the sour pus and claw outside Carnell’s Funeral Home.

The entire time I was writhing in wonder and later despair and being powerless in his end, he had made his way closer still to my discomforted place.  Whereupon he was eventually sedated and restrained after several, quite violent and swift attempts to dislodge his air tube- he finally followed that hellishly bright light.

Mick loved a few things enough to break his staunch agnostic approach to life. “I say a prayer still for my boys dead and buried” his eyes red each time they came up, “and my old man.” (his father, a veteran at 15 – notoriously declared himself the youngest Newfoundlander to enlist, lying about his age at 14 to escape the coal mines of Glace Bay)

He loved to drink, he loved his dog, he loved a woman once, and he loved to tell and almost as much hear a great story. Maybe I am misguided in my detail of his last attempt then; perhaps; hearing the silence broken by the voice of a clearly trained professional in the trade of storytelling and re-telling and re-telling again – perhaps ole’ skipper wanted just to get a better seat for the show!

To sneak one last laugh out of it all! To be away from dat god forsaken hospital. There’s a story yet to be told. It’s a good one, about two atheists who end up praying on each other’s souls, in the end.

This is Sparta (but not the movie)

I didn’t meet you at a bar.
I am not your friend,
we are not comrades.

This is not a real war
and this is not my true intent,
but blinded we’ll walk a little

straighter, don’t come here.
We hate this but leave before
the song’s through.

I didn’t invite you, this
is invective with a personality.
I didn’t try it came in twitches
and in concert.

My fingers aren’t trumpets.
and the features of the sky
in no way resemble leviathan,
the priesthood or another Jesus.

This is not pick-up trucks rusted hood.
We’re talking one of those old school,
“Blockbuster” joints before boo-tied
treasure got flicked to the parade-mob,

like violent Mardi Gras, this is no
party. This is misery I swear this get’s
too ugly and raucous to pacify or
make famous and chain to a linked brand
fence for carrion devouring, sacrifice.

This is Sparta.
This is Contra,
this is Birth.

The Parenthesis Buzz

Note: Parental Advisory – Parenthesis Buzz Poetry is for the sick-minded, the low and base and sardonic and for anyone who can laugh at South Park, headlines and every other terrible truth on the Naked Lunch menu.

A poem for the movie They Live,
(and people with mildly dark senses of humour)

If you’re duplicitous and you know it, make it show.
(whips a hundred treasures out a window)

If you believe in God cover your ears.
(burns every bible ever written while
dancing hysterically and naked and mad)

This is the evolution of style into bleak satire.
(empties deadly virus into water supply)

This is Sparta. (Kicks man into well)
This is Hell. (“I am God here”)

Good morning dear! (gargles acid and spews it)

Hello Ms. Jonson lovely rose garden as always!
(stomps fellow shopper on Black Friday)

The movement will not be televised!
(entire generation misses point of The Matrix)

I love coming here to eat, so delicious!
(feeds tapeworm in jar under table)

Oh Tommy I’m so glad you found a nice girl!
(spraypaints doll hooker green for irony)

Can’t wait to stretch out and chill after a long day!
(digs own grave with breaking finger nails and all, buries self.)

Poem ends with rash series of empty threats.
(Ginger. Is. Coming.)

Up Early (for Gary)

I’ve been up before;
up so early they called it
better late than never.

I’ve torn at the panties of night like
a creeper under its dominion,
but I‘ve never stolen anything
that wasn’t stolen
from someone else.

So here: a story in place of the
final pieces of the poem you were
just hustled into the heart of –

I have just enough time to tell you about Gary,
the junky piano player I ran into a few
times more than I would’ve liked,
but enough, it seems, to have educate me
on the naked and ugly edicts at the last
supper of the fallen addict.

Gary was the guy who my painter
friend introduced me to during
my first real night in BC.

Gary could go through a bar
it seemed and slap and shake a dozen
people that eagerly greeted him
for whom he had been.

None of this came immediately
to me though, I studied him each
night we were desperate enough
to have dial his number.

When every other
contact we knew who held had bailed,
& even the street strangers scuttled off to
warm holes of their own hard won highs,
then? You had to go to Gary.

And it was never pretty.

But I was still obsessed with the idea
of the junk. I had picked up a spectator love
of Burroughs and like cockroaches all
this other stuff now festered in my unkempt soul.

I had a Golem-like Huncke or two,
who skitterishly dashed into dark crevices
when you switched on a light.

There weren’t any lights left for Gary.

I can go back to the moment I
understood the drug when I saw his
life displayed before me.

He had a piano still somehow.
It wasn’t in great shape I wonder
if he still does now…

On it were pictures of the other man
he was. Suited on his wedding day,
with a pretty young thing in his arm.

Completely oblivious to the shit
that the proverbial box of punk
rock and weed were going to
carry into his soul, soon enough.

It’s really that simple.

Then he played. He played and the
first time 5 years later in Uni when
I read Sonny’s Blue’s I thought of
Gary, the same way I do when I see
a grocery store rotisserie chicken, too…

Why? Because one night I had to witness
an unnecessary further cautionary
lesson, a follow-up to the lonely
broken piano reminders that the
man had already provided.

I was with the high strung Quebecor,
“La Fletche” we called him.

He loved the powder like me,
and like me had been destroyed
by our previous peak into
Gary’s living room void.

“Faaaaaaack eh?”

So when Gary refused,
boldfaced to score for us
one night until, and I quote

“I get my fucking chicken,
a whole fucking bird right now.”

we were slower than usual to comply.
Not because we thought it was an
outrageous request,

(I once paid the line of people
ahead of me once at a Tom Petty show,
2 pints ran me 75 dollars all told,
but the experience was worth it,
so I could do strange)

The Frenchman and I saw something
that night, that horror movies can’t touch:

a grown man in a dirty black
overcoat and greasy slicked-backed
Goebbels-Nazi-hair, with pock marked
cheeks to match, hunched over beside
what remained of his victim,

a sad smattering of bone and a few inedible bits
of torso frame; a mirror of the man himself
prostrated and licking his nimble, tar/crack
stained fingers one at a time for the remains,
then, with the exuberance of a ghost-
occupied school boy jutting up, and began to
re-animate toward the door, the cause, the high.

The Truth.

I don’t have time for much more tonight,
Up early tomorrow for once for something
Far less dark and sinister;
A paper on Rome and a midterm on
Shakespeare.

Rear Hindsight

In the room one over, the radio
dollops out bingo winners along
the southern shorelines, slowly,
patiently, the old woman listens with
poised dabber.

One floor up the old couple
try to do it to Cohen like
they used to and it is
awkward and squeaky.

Down below a near-retired
and exuberantly drinking
school teacher whips another
batch of profanities up for her
poor, meek husband, who kind
of resembles James Cromwell but
with none of the power of his roles.

I especially like the American Horror Story
Character; he out did himself there.
I wonder if any war criminals live in
this area? I don’t have any particular suspects,
The local drunks are too far gone, the
criminal element far too juvenile and high.
Nazi’s though, they make the best villains.

A couple doors down a gay couple
who have moon rays on the lawn
that are always getting
kicked over, though not for any
malicious reason
just the proximity to the
housing area where, not
As though they have a choice
in the matter, the poor pass on
criminal excuses and anger and
addiction (that’s what the screen says, anyway)

I’ve tried despite my inclinations,
to remain a more hopeful
And empathetic sort.
Lord knows they’ve tried.

I remember a bus trip from BC
o Ont, and me and this
Really nice black guy from Montreal
were sharing smokes much of the way.
I ran short half way back,
so it was handy. But anyway this
couple got on somewhere in Calgary.
Screaming baby. Memorable.
I was such a miserable young traveler.
In the middle of the
night the young couple got into
some intense thing.

It increased an audible decibel.
The look on the Montreal guys
face when we both heard the slap,
the whimper that chased
after it, and that strange human moment
where we both I assume
considered what options
were next available.

There aren’t any hero’s
In that one I’m afraid.
The fight ended and
the other passengers all
pretended to be sleeping
while the girl hid her weeping
and the repentant and shamed
young boy sternly
begged forgiveness.

Ladies Man

One of the best weed highs
we ever had was around ‘95.

We just started grade 8, my younger
accomplice, who was also a come
from Newfoundland-er.

This kid was a born hustler,
a ladies’ man at 15.

He was great for shoplifting and
in general I owe all the
(extracurricular) criminal/delinquency
to be had in my
Half-assed attempt at being cool, to him.

(Sorry, no energy
for the manic
distancing tools of reforming
grace, or redemptive hindsight,
or even casual reminiscence.

And fuck all the after
school misery, too.)

There is no
Good Will Hunting to be had,
and nobody left anyone
For better things either;
he still has a way with
the ladies, even if the fates have
dulled his senses,
encouraged by all those pretty horses,
the gunmen and the lever,
the stirred-up and the Hammer,
an anvil and a believer.

“You hit on the run,
The run hits back on you.”

That kind of hyperbolic
hyper real meta-
Monster ego destruction

of the Roman persuasion;

the kicking of
men and women into eternal fall,
the removing of hope,
the unadulterated slaughter of it,
time.

Anyway we used to smoke this stuff
up by Cherry Tree Island
(a Portuguese guys backyard
we had assumed as ours),

And one spring, a principal of a near-by
school came up and started giving us
Shit, and I (brave because I was moving
across town and this asshole didn’t
know me from Job) told him a slew
of inventive ways to get fucked, and we
darted across fences faster than he could
flair about in the loneliness of useless
threats; he didn’t fucking know us.

Fuck him.

Those early highs were so liberating
I felt like god whenever I got a few
puffs into the night. We would gorge
on Frosted Flakes and fits of near-fatal
laughing forever, make fun of his retarded
family with their accents so much stronger than
ours, and which we’d never have again the same.

Our unique speech already
like clippings of hair on a barbers floor,
got devoured by the
clean, close shaven-ness of,

The Mainland Dialect.

Stupid Questions

What Do You Do?

I write.
Usually, at night I

rebuild streets
to Miles Davis symphonies

I erect a hundred effigies to city lights
fill dozens of chalices, full.

Oh no I mean,
what do you do so
that society doesn’t
do away with you,
call you scab or fleck,
fuck you from existence
on any given/slow motion
night?

Simple,
I find new things to write about.

I practice my funeral pyre
To the trepidations of horn
and hammer.

But don’t you need something
More?

I have the absinthe nightmare
of my adolescent hi jinx.

I replay my stupendous pride.
Internally, at my soulful cine-plex.

I sneeze and Greece eases into the ocean
a little further, I shit and LA loses a mile

of shoreline,
I trip, and dynasties lay to ruin, smoulder.

What about security, how do you sleep?

Like Kubla Khan meets Mario Bros.
With a slice of Fincher and Lynch.

I sleep between scenes, in a pinch in a ditch,
always the same; another watcher, another eye.

Dreams?

The epic fallout of our time.

Hopes?

To live long enough to see it all fall apart.
And write the first post-apocalyptic poems.

My First Third

Being a snippet from bits of sharded truth I will later collectivize so as to have tricked self into producing a sort of “novel”

I Remember Every Fucking Song I Know.

They are like hip rainbows that use primary colours to insist I keep walking straight, keep the faith alive, and keep my freedom’s mute anthem on bust despite nobody there to encircle you they keep you alert to it all anyway. Because you never know. Isn’t that how the song goes? Or is that some comic on the periphery jabbing at my memory trying to sink me when I barely just saw sea, see?

Every night I dream I am more and more trapped in Nuketown, this level we played to death in Black Ops, before I sold the system and just determined to stare at it until I filled it, this screen, with the pitter-patter oncoming of words and more of them. Marching back home like an amnesiac emperor or better like a Gibran-character, back to the boat for more adventure and bigger lines on the map to take us even to Conrad’s blurry spots. It helps they design the houses in the game like the ones in our suburbs, and my characters aren’t going to war with Fal’s and Aug’s (words I would’ve never learned-and to what image of corresponding weapon to boot- without the Baudrillardean construct) instead my troupe is enacting these crazy war call rituals, crooning and mooning. Making it, some of them, and later a great rumble (something from my childhood reading of The Outsiders?) but the thing is the music. It’s there but only in snips; it curls in Greek letters to the floor, burning still with insight.

It’s all given the soundtrack I have to assume my heart knows no division in its love for the audio-mood-swing-spectrum-saving-grace-oh-fuck-that’s-an-amazing-track-have-you-heard-their-discography? –life, it’s the one that takes you past every moment’s security detail.

Every night I dance a little then make my way into this Western Frontier town style saloon, and Juliette Lewis sings that track from Strange Days where she oozes sex into the mic and it interrupts criminal activities miles away. Later I sit with all the cast and crew of the movie, I’m sort of scribe or gopher its unclear and irrelevant. They want me to remember lines for them but I’m too busy hitting on Angela Basset who I’ve crushed on since 91 and Boyz in da Hood, and we talk about her diminished role in the movie and what it meant to the female perspective in the narrative, I even recall a rush from sounding so intelligent- and then we talk about Ralph Fiennes’ character and how useless he’d be without his one true friend.

Every night I’m another colourful lie and another impish step toward making something universally recognizable and dead inside, something epic and intentional. Maybe tonight I’ll do the poem i meant to all year about the manager Tim Horton’s, how she initially reminded me of the actress how played Arabella in the Kate Winslet version of Jude (the Obscure) just her nose and face proportions of course, and how forever I assumed that was her character until a friend mentioned her having had the lad with dreadlocks who delivered the cream and sugar. Sometime dreams are dwarfed by reality, that kind of thing.
Who knows.

Every time I think of poor Jude lying there while the world graduates another class of men beyond his reach, I just about cry. That book should be handed out and forced into the hearts of young poets like offal’s into a grinder, turned into a lesson, made a mark of. Emblazoned. I cringed when I knew, envisioning him on top of the table saying the prayer in Latin that I’d never even gleam close to Hardy’s life, or Conrad with his arms rowing, or Frederick Phillip Grove cutting dirt first for that matter in Can Lit or the rest of them, not like Blaise and her prodigious early novel , or Rimbaud’s 18 year old strokes on the board revamping versification in the late 18th.
I was just going to have to manage with what I had; comic book and horror movie references, general meta-reference obsession, a working knowledge of the humanities, some misplaced youth spent emulating the beats to a disheartening level of precision and mimicry. And yes, more than

a few addict-edges rubbed against for kicks, darkness, light, the whole show to keep a rhythm to what I felt at times might at least pay some homage to the greats.

But I digress. Back to the Arabella coffee wench. (no offense of course to my first lover of a similar name who made great Kraft Dinner as it happens.)