Vancouver

Can You Do It?

Can you do it?

It is 2002 in BC, somewhere the ghosts of that night still haunt.

She went around the hotel and
asked if any of us knew Johnny
and none of us did all we knew
was fix and formula
to get some more
but she went around anyway
really just hoping to run into
anyone even a new
Johnny.

It feels like House of the Rising Son
is always playing in some room.
The hallways are all slanted.
I could be in the movie The Doors right now
when the boys meet The Velvet Underground,
but I am not and it smells like piss and sweat and cunt,
altogether, in one stank, rank miasma of odor.

But I am alive and there is some rock left in the room
past the bitch crying into a microphone
and the one filled with darkness and eyes,
and I can taste it now, covering me in sweats
and dry, insipid heart beatings, and I am there,
whenever I get caught off guard by someone on
some corner in some shitty bad place, I am there.

And then, I am not.

It is still the same cracked out place I am sure,
and the bulldozers when they finally do take it,
a plume of soul smoke will erupt in the air like Poltergeist.

She went around the place
like some dour, damsel or Susanna,
finishing the corner of every ladle,
but the corner eats everything too long
left around it, a whirlpool that leaves tragedies
hungrier than she is, before she shuts down.

She looked at me that one night
and out of nowhere asked,
pointing at the crumb on the floor,

Can you do it?

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A Series of Drawer Poetry

Drawer Words (i)

While its nothing as cool as
Ray Bradbury’s office on the show I ate up religiously
I do have a drawer that functions the same way.
Today seems like a drawer day.

You release your demons, your Kraken,
your ancient angels and your dragon girls.

Here’s a little flyer for the night
me and an artist buddy of mine
teamed up with this real smooth cat
“Lou” who used to work at a check cashing place
in the West End of Van City and he always told
such vivid and entertaining stories.

In one, this real jerk was giving
him a hard time,
but Lou, never one to be moved,
since he did have a couple
inches of bullet proof
between him and said antagonist
he very earnestly gave him
the international mime-sign
for “blow me”, even using
his tongue to create a phantom
cock protruding awkwardly out
one cheek at a time,
to which the asshole entered
fully-automatic fuck head mode,
and this just made Lou
all the cooler, a shit eating
have a nice day grin on his face
retelling the story, matching ours.

He ran his own promotion company
which consisted of
him and his token white boy
(as much a necessity as a partner)
and I remember dropping
my words on him
(literally a binder full on his lap,
I was so young and no decorum at all)

And he had a look like
“ah, you’ve got rhymes, but can go freestlye?”
and I likely gave a returned petrified, “Nope”.

I did my best that night,
my friend was experimenting with some
slide projection art,
and as I gave my best anti-Bush poem he
drizzled red paint on a slide of his face,
I realized performances
are often much more effective
in your mind than they ever are,
but still we managed to shock
an Arrested Development-style band
from Georgia who I will
never forget the look of fear
said they’d be
too afraid of getting shot
to ever pull a stunt
like we just did,
back home.