humor

Freezes & Thaws [I & II]

Freezes and Thaws I

She was sure the package
would not arrive Friday.

They’re kicking up
an awful fuss!
The Post is cutting back
deliveries!

The people of St. John’s were they,
especially in matters concerning
government, doctors,
or postal workers.

In her account of things,
it’s us, vs. them.

They’re closing everything
down here now.
Nothing left in Newfoundland,
no work, sure not a store left Downtown!

I’d almost believe her
if not for the waves of
new store-fronts.

It’s clear.
Nan’s world,
not the city,
is shrinking.

Oh, no mail Fridays now
?
I ask, knowing
this is not so.

She’s a cold one today.
Be sure you keep your hat on tight,

her morning words
are often weather related.
Blow ‘da head off a ya.

It doesn’t seem that bad
by my window, Nan!

I use the fact
the living room
is at the opposite end
of the apartment,
to defend incoming predictions
of untenable weather.

Nan often concedes,
since it’s a theory
she thought up.

Yes the wind is on the back, see,
so when ya go out be careful!

We’ve lived together
since Pop passed away,
and I came from Ontario
to attend University.

Not raining at least, hey?

This is my tactic:
to negate one element,
with the absence of another.

If there’s enough wind to blow the head off ya,
at least it isn’t the rain whose
every drop would fill a bucket!

Too hot? At least it would
be dark soon.

Well, at least it isn’t snowing, hey?

and the battle continued.

No, she returns,
but they’re callin’
for heavy snowfall
around the Bay,
whether or not now
we’ll have it,
nobody knows.

Hard ole day lookin’ out!

Freezes and Thaws II

Last semester,
in German Post-War Film,
I learned about
freezes and thaws.

Relations with Nan
are like the wax and wane
of Soviet-ruled East Germany
before re-unification,
when, The Wall torn apart,
thousands of separated hands,
grasped to reconnect.

Like the professor says,
it’s a matter of
constant freezes and thaws.

This fact’s echoed again
this term, in Soviet Cinema.
Khrushchev would allow
more liberal arts to be made,
then, in a cold-snap,
everything has to tow
the party line again.

Did you hear about the
ghost ship from Newfoundland, Nan?

I don’t bother mentioning
its name, Lyubov Orlova,
is that of a Russian film starlet.

Keep it simple.
Current events.
Weather.

During periods of thaw
our exchanges are
almost fluidic.

The warm water of
communication extends
beyond courtesy.

I keep my door open and
she can see me
from her rocking chair.

This leads to
open fraternization
on a variety of news items.

Yes, and wherever that ship
ends up now my son,
them rats are getting off her!

She’s heard about the ship,
which means we can
further the discussion.

The boat is lost.

Nan suspects,
it was intentionally set adrift,
by the Port Authority,
most conveniently,
in International waters.

It’s filled with
what the British tabloids
are calling cannibal rats.

Yes that’s true Nan,
I mean there is no way
to track the thing now,
since the rats took over.
No radar or nothing, hey?

I know that when I move out
in the Spring
it will be harder.

The mornings quiet
as an empty water.

Instead of painting her apartment
twice a year,
she might have to do it
every four months.

The fleet of miniature spoons
that adorn the walls
on massive collector shelves
will be taken down more often,
each one soaked in a sink
of polish and hot water,
then returned
to individual hanging positions,
like hundreds of miniature
violins, dangling by their necks.

They tell of her life and family,
who always send a spoon
when they move West.

Every province is there,
even the Territory’s.

The Prime Ministers up until,
and including, that fella Trudeau.

The royal family,
one spoon for every marriage
worth mentioning,
up until poor old Diana.

Birthstones.
Provincial flowers.

Their cleaning is
guaranteed to soak up
at least half of a day.

Well, at least it’s gone from our area, hey Nan?
Do you need anything while I’m over at Sobeys?

I’m good, Nan.
I have my key if you’re going, just lock the door.

Yeah I have class shortly.
Talk to ya after!

I sip on coffee,
and scour the paper for
something to top the ghost ship.

It won’t be easy, but,
something always washes up.

Just then,
the familiar boots
followed by the shuffling
of our mail box
being filled.

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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.

One Size

I can’t stand shopping.
I used to love being a kid in the cart and
grabbing stuff from one aisle when nobody looked
and then dropping it somewhere else:

maybe I was a child anarchist,
maybe I was a shit,
maybe I was a fucking artist,
without proper tools or inspiration.
so I took to the shelves and remade them
in my own twisted version of store planning,
in my own storm of shop dropping,
two decades too early,
two little fistfuls of products, poised
to my own devious ends.

Years later when I worked in a grocery store
all that karma was reduced to a single bill
I owed what I owed and at the end of the night
I had to fulfill the duty of looking for products
that been left in the wrong spot
the entire fucking store, shelf by aisle by freezer by display
for lost items, that they called “orphans” in case the
average minimum wage employee needed reminders that this
was a dire and crucial element to the job.

I think about the orphans when i shop now
and still once in awhile create a little chaos
for the next kid whose just trying to finish their shift
and get to some party where they can talk about how
it makes no sense to call them orphans since
they have never really left the florescent home
and they would by this logic call shoplifters kidnappers.

I have to shop sometimes though.
It is water boarding for my soul.
I loathe every salesperson not because
they invite it but because I just detest everything about the phony process.
I even start to sound like Holden Caulfield.

I needed boots though.
It could not be helped.
The previous week I had done a rush job of foot wear.
I had bought a pair, believe it or not, an entire size larger than mine.
This is how much I hate shopping.

They were like clown shoes after a few hours.
So I wore two socks.
but then my feet got all sweaty
and I’m pretty sure some sort of
athletes foot started to flare as a result.
They were on sale too. So no returns.
Now i had to return to the scene of the hell-crime.
I had to do twice what I reluctantly do once a year or more.

So I tried on 18 pair.
No luck.
everything felt like it was hard and designed for robotic footed beings.
everything felt like a twisted Cronenberg three hour retelling of Goldilocks,
with redheaded temper replacing blonde earnestness. Every sales clerk was
more and more a grizzly.

I gave up on Pay-Less.
It should have never crossed my mind to enter since
it looks about the quality of Al Bundy’s shoe shop,
and that can never be good.

I ended up back at the place I started.
Endless bus rides, hours of muzak and increasing
sense of panic driving into my body,
back to the fucking shire I went, seeking the impossible.

I saw them out of the corner of my twitching eye.
They gleamed like fucking Excalibur.
but then they walked like geisha clogs.
5 more pair.
5 more runway walks.
you always fucking wish the salesperson
would just fuck off
and not watch you do your test walk
like what am I going to do?
run out of the store in tight boots?
has this happened?
is it an epidemic?
i start to think about how this must be the shittiest job in the world
watching for potential kidnappers
putting boxes of orphans on shelves like a
detective at the end of some show
and finally
a pair of Timberland’s spoke
my fucking language
and I almost threw the size 13’s from hell
back at the sales clerk and
decided against it
I almost put them on the shelf
but didn’t
I just walked home
proud for having avoided a total rage out
and put the 13’s in the box the Timberland’s
my sacred number 12’s
had come in, and I put the box in the back of my closet
next to the other things
I like to pull out of retirement
for a laugh
now and again you need
to laugh at your own foolish abandon
of logic
of reason of
all fucking hope

because boots are made for walking…
and orphans are made to be re-shelved,
and shopping is for masochists,
see you again next year.

I Spit Your Reason Out

You stated in some circumstances,
we were only meant to work
and slumber in the after-party.

I fought with you I renamed you
cascading demon titles.

I even learned your enemies signatures,
paraded them out for you,
easy like a dealer, then hungry like junkies.

Complicit I charge in all you do
is an angle of you, you, and you.

I won’t go any further
around the room,
just stew on it as you feel fit.

Permit me the moment though
to wave my finger in the air
and tell you just what the whether
has dealt- whether it was rape or capital
assassination of character, whether it
was art science and political
or just another junglist off on a rant
about their own caved-into-stronghold.

I will not re-right your arrows.
Gibran was right, their sentience
it narrows so ol’ natural that
you reminisce about the subtlest
inference of it, like oil of olay
commercial, jagged little glass
plucking the skin in imperfect melodies.

You know what kind of like I like,
the kind of hate you hate to hate.
We are simple side by side
wallet photos
fridge magnets
matching joggers.

We are the constellation anyone can name.
We are easy.
Not simple
Sexy, not sultry.
Unless we wanted to be.
Unless it got out
of hand and turned
out that way.

I spit your reason out,
you judge me perfectly.
We dance on the floor like
marbles
eating through a mason jar
onto hardwood, we hard hoods of
hipster pre-destinations and
another amalgam of personal,
preliminary muses.

You and I are like two magazines,
thrown arbitrarily onto
the same laundr-o-mat floor,
in a hold up that became a
flash mob and ended in
a kiss that had virus’
named after it later,
and love songs, too.

This Is Goodbye (Poem for the Girl I called Olivia Wilde)

You are Blue Foundation
that song that grips the sublime contusion
and makes it sing.
You are the very shallow thought
I have had since 12

rolled up into the redeemed power of a star
a kiss
a dance move previously unknown
I rest my heart on the thought of you
despite us having known nothing of one another.

It is in the casual way you answer a question.
With a buried sense of delicate hope to be taken seriously and not
seen for nervous you are, like all of us, like that.

I have no idea if you know it but
you can learn a lot about a person
through details.

You are a smile away from staling my every sunshine filled day
and replacing them in terms of valuation.

You are a clinical yes you are going to live
in the face of dreams all week of terrible terminality.

I may have given many poems
to many beautiful people in my life so far,

but each one remains special,
and you are no different,

aka
you are.

Wild.
Before my eyes.

Wild.

Rebel Kind

I want to round up all the money lenders also.
I know how it sounds.
All messianic and counter to love.

I assure you of my virtue,
through ignorance and rant
layered over a couple of firebugs of truth.

Opening a can of worms is impossible since
people started doing it,
so I usually spend a chunk of all my days
finding alternate versions to compliment
or to encourage something like “it”.

Tedium is the paradise of the poet.
That is an ageless fact, like
money and taxes.

Pursuant to your recent enquiry,
the stars do in fact taste like fame.
The odour is infamy. It eats your nostril raw.
It leaves you like
a meth head
with nar bitta tooth lef ‘in yuh’ jaw.

If you stay away from star dust
you stay clear of hot tar.
If you close out the sun though,
you turn to a ghost, which isn’t currently in vogue,
and mine as well me the morgue, how bizarre.

If you turn enough times in your grave you
can create energy for unborn post nuclear kiddies.

If you broadcast the inner machinations
of a conch shell to the cosmos
you will cause a cataclysm of falling stars,
which Benson & Hedges Corp. will envy and try to
find a way to sue or outlaw or destroy or corrupt.

If you listen to Nick Drake at the back of the bus
you can hear everyone’s thoughts and you glimpse the
certainty of the sublime, the twitching corpse
of people conjoined.

Look! –
the Child’s pompous head turned up and
crazy guy dancing with his
cd walkman circa 89
and the factory eye s
and the girl with 12 inch soles
and the one with eyes like Mennonites
and you a little half tipsy from years of cid
sitting back with a notebook and-

this is my stop.

axe, the question

The secret glances
between two musicians
the one that explains
a hundred jams that
preceded that moment.

This is what the
world spins upon,

this and dancing crowds
whose laughter,
and whose open joy, prevents
all out anarchy.

total destruction.

This,
the axe
and the question.

Into This

My Life
(as a Late Night Talk Show)
Sinister, move over, me and Conan have this one.
I have guests show up all the time,
nick named these two

‘Dep and Den’
(formerly Depravity and Denigration)
The last time we had them on
they left everyone’s mouths agape
like cheap creaky coffins.

My laugh
(as an other-worldy cackle)
that scales the backs
of the wicked and the political
scathing them with red chalk board scribbles,
and praying that their God will take them quick,
they will see my ugly face like a blimp,
empty of empathy because
nobody gives a shit about rich white suits,
least of all a manic, destitute poet.

My smite
(as an unending self-played joke)
the product of which is chopped up into dime bags,
given to street-wise hipsters in lieu of
real truth, my hackneyed projections like
low housing sand castles that all smell of burned smoke.

My music
(as war call anthem for revolutions without a cause)
that lures the ugly and wicked into taking
back the dance floors and public spaces like book stores
believing they have something, finally to fucking fight for,
and pirouette into innuendo for days on the high of not giving a shit.

My idea
(of a good time)
is breaking everything sacred into sacrament
and leaving the rest for the next hungry word saint.

What are you into?

It’s a fucking miracle we survive every day.

This poem is best read to this:

It’s a fucking miracle we survive every day.
I don’t ever forget that fact that the internet shows you
that every single terrible piece of shit you thought was out there
is just the first stage of the real hell of them all out there, in their undecided,
cynical, high and drunk and violent natures, casting their own shit in verse all over the world.

You can tell me that you see a world of rainbows and honeysuckle at midnight
out there in the one and the zero forever fields, but it is also slain bodies of a million
and it is the empty crevice of idiocy that drives all of them together to fight for their
own pop star suicide and it is the end on repeat in your room for three days and
it is the spectacle of it all removed of all repercussions and given all manner
of righteousness and it will always be this way until we finally go right over the edge.

Some of us will praise
the coming back
of the night.

Some of us will go right on back to our supermarket mimesis,
wandering through a burning, rat-filled Wal-Mart
aisles of melting celluloid and human fat,
everything seeping into the new history and tainting all the fresh ideas again,
it’s a fucking miracle we are less like the matrix trilogy than we are.

But I guess we have Baudrillard
and Nietzsche to thank for that.

You can tell me all you want that it is just a movie, that it is just reality,
that it is just Africa, that it is just truth, that it is just some beat poem or elegy.

I will be left,
in the night of reason
to fiddle my way into
seeing something more.

It is just in some of us,
just in some of us
to be curious with anger
to have an angry
curiosity is the only
healthy aggression you can
ever hope to inherit from
anything you take into your body
your eye
your mind.

Treat them with some fucking Respect.
Then tell me you don’t see the potential for doom in everything else.

Tell me it’s not a miracle,
every day
we get another.

Skytalk

Mazzy Star in the Sky,

Some sort of cloud last night
that thought it was a painting

stretched close to the moon like a
cradle, and then a human leaning

over a note book, and then a stretched,
grey alien face, and I didn’t have much time left

for contemplating it but I
wondered if some life form

watched it also and then, saw it
turn human ugly, but who has time for science
fiction any more, why just the other day

a woman broke down on the bus
complaining of the smell in her head

and all around her, so that she
couldn’t take it any more but nobody notices

much in head-phone-screen-
oasis-face-matrixes.

If we all had time we could, I bet,
think our way out of this.

But look at that clock it has it in for
all of us, even the little dogs, too.

We could escape yes, the few of us but
I am not sure what I would do with you.

You are all a bunch of clouds, huddled
around a flicker-faded moon.

There is no time for any of it.

.