Work Poems

Note of Hunger

[In The Footnotes]

There was a rat
in the heart
of Dickens that
ate away at him.

You can find everything
in the footnotes.

You can spend hours
in their margins.

You can arm yourself.
You are Spy vs Spy.
You can give
everything in the text

a shot of adrenaline,
a battery charge.

A rude wake.
A muffled tear.

The smell of the workhouses
comes up through the floor.

The sounds of
the children
as their bones
become brittle
in hard beds.

The claustrophobia
of the chimney sweep
is given legal parameters.

A rat makes its way across the
secret history of
snuff and Mudfog
to snack on the
salivating eye of a student.

I roll up my sleeves.
Not to get to work.
But because it’s warm
in the workhouse.

My eyes aren’t dry they
stayed up with the orphans
long enough to hear their
stomachs churn in on themselves,
nibbling at the lining.

The riots are breaking out,
the poor are organized
with fire and fury and
the full stomach of the court
is foul, is fallen into full view.

You can smell it on their breath.
Something is rotten.
Something is happening,

in the footnotes,
you can hear the heart
of the orphan
beating to Beethoven’s 6th.

Smashing with a frail fist,
the locks on the food cupboard.

PR men don’t exist yet,
they’re still wet dreams in
Hitler’s unborn henchmen,
but propaganda is as old
as Constantine.

All the King’s men
can’t hide the
footnote.

The one that breaks the truth up
passes it around in
edible, ingestible morsels.

The collection plate is full.
The cup runs right, right over.

Everyone asks for more truth.
Everyone dreams of escape.

Nobody gets out of it without answering.
The clergy are not even safe.

Footnotes for all of them.

Let them have knotty
endnotes, if not.

Get Me To The Geek (or) Better Dancer Than Me

He would dance sometimes

high out of his fucking mind

and it would be like something

in the background of Mass Effect

or some character in the movie Strange Days.

He was free only then.

Other times it got sloppy like Kurt and Goldie in

 Overboard, more booze than uppers and maybe

a few too many nights in a goddamn (“I say God-damn”) row,

and he looked more like Elaine dancing on pain meds on

Seinfeld

Seasonally, a haggard rendition of Chevy Chases

Fred Astair and Danny “fucking” Kay rant

while twitching like something in the background of

Scrooged during the X-Mas party scene

where Bill Murray could’ve totally gone home

with the cute secretary and has to watch it

all in the Ghost-bleachers with that crazy cabbie fuck.

Maybe a rowdy alien at the Cantina, busting a Jedi-Funkified remix.

He would dance sometimes like the white kid

In The Power of One, but that was strictly for the purest high.

He would dance around a glass table and finish al the lines

like a champ. Like Rocky meets Hurly Burly,

On K he was MJ in Moon.

On whites he was schitza-a-shiva on a tilt a whirl,

an arcane hunter of shadows.

Bob Marley on 9 hits.

Enough of everything, and the mother fucker floated like

Powder, or that patented Spike Lee head/shoulder angle,

ghetto blaster over the other.

A big, bad motherfucker like Uma and Travolta in Fiction.

Like Carleton on Fresh Prince.

But no matter how blasted, how gone how other worldly,

how Sheen-i-fied or Scottied

he might have gotten he never,

ever pulled a Risky Business.

Dance magic Bowie? Enough shrooms and sure.

The classic Julia Stiles gets taught to dance “black”?

Enough pheromones and Beer from a brown paper bag,

and anything is possible.

Finally done, he’d head home.

Find something to watch.

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.

Fuck This Job

I know he was Korean because he always took the time,
after insulting me in his native tongue, to translate.

“You know what I just said? I said
‘You Are a Useless Fuck’ in Korean!
That’s what I said.”

He would actually get on like that.
His life seemed to be pretty empty;
divorce had him haemorrhaging cash,
he barely saw his son, and he was always
miserable and convinced employees were stealing.

(this was exacerbated by the fact that the lead bartender,
some guy form Barrie, who gave me a job after I showed up
there and spent 100 dollars on Absinthe, was indeed ripping him
off, and good, for quite some time before I showed, then he quit.)

And he left me in his place to do a job I was untrained to do,
instead my training consisting of a long prolonged Korean lesson
or two, each time I attempted to do anything- serve or cook or clean,
and he would watch me, and wait until I needed to be told “No”.

This all only went on about a month, until I finally pissed him off
and he fired me, but not before I threw a glass of Absinthe
at his wall and told him to go fuck himself, in English,
using my hands in non-official ASL to even translate this lament.

Back then, anyone who insulted me in the workplace got a similar
farewell. I could go through 3 jobs a week in BC and never run out
of terribly oppressive managers to tell the same to. It was great fun.

I guess my super power that counter acted this villainy is that I did
bust my ass pretty good for the kind and generous few who taught
me better words, and received in return similar encouraging.

If you treat yourself
like you deserve
to be told off in
any language
you will universally
be saying to those
you encounter that
you are worthless.

You need to know when to say
“Fuck this job, and you as well”
in the universal tongue.

And that’s what the old fucker taught me.

He would hold after hours parties at his club
and all the young girls would flirt with him for drinks
and I figured that was pathetic and I felt kind of sad for
him just before I looked at him smiled, slammed what was to be my
last Absinthe at Tribeca on Georgia, and heaved it in his direction.

That stuff always did bring out my inner Bolshvik.

The Electric Ginger Kool-Aid Acid Test Experience Or How To Avoid Death By Gingercide, by Red Vickerson

The Electric Ginger Kool-Aid Acid Test Experience
Or
How To Avoid Death By Gingercide, by Red Vickerson

The Argentine and I had been friends
on the surface for years, but secretly we
tried snubbing the other out like
Spy vs Spy on mescal or a sadistic,

Red-Headed road runner facing off
against a better looking (somewhat)
version of the Javier Bardem villain in Skyfall

(But no less dark and certainly as deadly. )

Little did the mad southerner know,
his usual concoctions, (likely some type
of hybrid new age tantric majick mixed
with the older school brouhaha of
dark variety I suspected but could never prove)
all the while, it boosted my tolerance.

Because you see, when you’re a red-headed-
Bastard-step-child living in an anti-ginger world,
you build a certain second skin, see.

You learn to Suspect interference,
to anticipate anti-Ginger sentiment
at every turn and to remain

Ginger proud
On the outside
at all times.

I took to parading my belief’s
as a humorous shtick in around
2005 and flipped quite the return out of it,
not to mention a back log

of information on hundreds
of involved parties in public displays of “G-Hate”
I became like the Stasi or the KGB, or G-Men
and kept similarly laborious notes.

I invested in a new phraseology;
Gingerfictation, Gingiduce, and
Ginscrimination namely.

To which he even playfully executed
a response of late
Which included full on Gingercide;
the ultimate party gift!

The gingerier the better!
And how fucked that gingerier
is an accepted word!

(see http://hernanjmonzon.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/how-to-kill-a-ginger/ )

I spent hours re-watching every red-head
Coded film (2,227 or so)
and found all the necessary algorithms
of hate to confirm my suspicions;

a worldwide plot to eradicate us
has failed time and time again,
because we are the chosen ones,
and must mobilize, as my weekly
pamphlet and webcast
“The Red Truth Diaries” explores
in more detail.

(see “The Red Mailbox: Stories for the
Formation of a New Red Initiative”)

In the end this endless war
will undoubtedly burn
but will be forced to take small and minor place
amidst the greater atrocities of oppression in history.

But we will keep absorbing souls,
and gaining freckles for each one,
like vampires, in the folkloric pop culture
Et al. public subconscious long after every
Other demon has been vanquished, extolled,
expired.

We. Are. Le’(Gin)gion.

(drinks anti-freeze, absorbs another soul,
Moves on, cackling like Ron Howard
During the 2001 Oscars saying yeah bitches!
A Beautiful Mind is an allegory for my people!
When I use Albino’s I’m really saying
“Gingscrimination”)

We will rule one day,
and forced Gingrifying will
take place in every city.
A mass, unconsentual
Gingrification, indeed.
It will be like when the Christians
Fucked the Jews out of Rome and
Ieverything went to shit, but more epic.

And it will be me and the Argentine there
laughing, piss-poisoned-drunk and only
to willing to encourage mayhem further.

Such it is, being the Red Other.

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.

Blooper (Meta-Self) Rant

Something about a good blooper reel for a show you love.
It’s like being part of the family, seeing them laugh and flirt
and kill the tension and keep the momentum and fall apart,
and reveal little inside jokes. It’s the ultimate peek show.

The proverbial meta-televised fifth business.
They taunt the extras jokingly and make fun of the other
Actors, outdoing one another in bravado and ingenuity.

It’s like seeing the kitchen staff break rank
and station and jostle with each other during
service lulls as you head for the bathroom,

or out for a smoke, or just to wander (if you’re
like me and plate check Before ordering);
I’ve worked a few restaurants I know how it can be.

I worked one that had the whole kitchen
outfitted with hard working El Salvadorian
guys who weren’t citizens yet? They worked
them like it too, you can count on that.

Funny thing was wait staff had to
band-aid tats and take out piercings, cut
hair and be white and fairly cute

to cater to the family restaurant image
they were attempting to operate under.
All along a bunch of hilarious jokers
and generous ‘others’ getting ridden
like slaves, while the douche bag who hired
us all sat up front eating amongst the diners
in the middle of lunch like some goddamned
aristocrat. It was enough to make me quit one
night when I had had and done and taken too much.

There’s something exhilarating about
quitting a bad job. I compared the owners
personality to drift wood, I believe.