Have I Ever Told You About My Ghost Sister?

Have I Ever Told You About My Ghost Sister?

When we were young
Mom would ship us off
to spend the summer
in Newfoundland for what
must have been her
own personal bit
of relief as well.

I loved these trips.
They meant I was without
a bedtime because I
had always stayed up late
but grandparents never anticipate
their home becomes the
largest open cage for the most curious
of child-mice, and I discovered
in those summers, my love for late night TV.

Cheers was still in its glory,
Diane’s dress was pure 80’s conservative,
and Sam’s hair was still flush with colour,
even Cliff had hopes he wouldn’t die
only having lived with
his mother, who was the great
and the marvellous Jessica Tandy.

It was after 1984,
the summer when Rebecca,
as though signalling a shift
in the public conscious,
took over when Shelley Long mistook
her popularity for greatness.

I remember because I hated her at first.
She didn’t read like Diane.
She was all about money.

That was the year I met my Ghost Sister,
and just the once.

During the day I had
left my model glue under the
kitchen table where I spent many
of my days, back when being under a table
was not merely acceptable but in fact
the greatest place one could occupy in the house.

Under the table was where
you got all the best stories.

I heard my Aunt Jane tell Nan
over Tetley and Camel’s, about
her husband’s gall-stones and
how it was “like a golf ball coming
through a garden hose”, an image I
have never forgotten either when
watering the lawn or seeing a second
of golf on TV before shuddering
changing the station to, hopefully,
a pre-Becca episode of Cheers.

My grandmother had a small fit
over my younger sister, a creature
I had decided was mostly a waste of time,
except when I managed to get
a moment alone and made a grotesque,
zombie face, until she wept, and then
adults came and nobody understood why.

She had somehow gotten the cap off
the model glue, proving she was not
completely a pile of baby fat and stupid,
and was digging right into it like it was
plum sauce, her chubby fingers the chicken nugget,
and my Nan made sure I understood, in typical
“I don’t believe a child can be too traumatized” fashion,
that I had almost poisoned my sister, to death.

That night, she came to me in a moment of lucidity.
I had never seen a ghost, so it was exciting before
it became completely terrifying,
when she pointed toward me, as if to say

“soon I will be able to speak,
and your faces of zombies
will be known to the world”

before she literally tipped over,
sideways, like she was cardboard
that had been held up by a gust of wind,
and her phantom-form mist-and-blue light,
evaporated into the floor,
presumably to the downstairs of the house,
to watch something that was on TV,
or to finish eating my model glue,
and I knew then, even without being
aware of it fully,
that I loved the terror of my imagination,
and that I only had a few good months left,
before Sis learned to talk,
and then,
the gig was up.


Poe’s Girl

You are sure of it
with Portishead’s Roads
on the bus
you find the perfect harmony between
the sublime terror and
the sublimity of love

and you suggest to me I
might want greater things
than between lines
and hung out to dry later

I might do well now
to respect that and
all that other in effect
noise language
had little to no effect;

I was born in a black and white rainbow
with the volume ‘pumped’ into the noise like
liquid slaughter for a feast of fools and clergy
all indistinguishable in the intellect’s dark,
an abysmal landscape, watching Dark Crystal
with no understanding of legend or fantasy yet,

but it was better than nothing at all
and no time exists to lament
an un-had level of opportunity,

so I bury the curse words in my kids backyard
and I know the story of
Freddy Krueger and The Tell Tale Heart,
and Frasier read a violent version of Dickens
to me when I was but 12, so it’s only a matter of time,

and patience,
and dirt.

Before something’s uncovered.

“Where is the feast we were promised?” – J.M.

We Call It Art

We call it all art nowadays.

Plato and Aristotle would have no part of it.
Miley Cyrus is like a Chair on a stage, just twittering on hind legs,
marionette to popular trend and marketing ploys of men in sweaty,
bulging suits, in dark towers somewhere.
But we call it art and it is shit and we put it up on the shelf
next to beautiful music and the very rot of it carries. It does.

We expect kids to grow up and think and reason,
when the bleached sugar cane that is shoddy, thoughtless,
base exhibitionism and objectification is fed to them, from day one,
long before they can possibly develop taste, we dis-place their buds.

We expect a plant to grow when we urinate on it daily,
starve it from any sense of contrast between homogenized sales
and what a million real musicians etc work toward;
to be taken for the merits of their craft. Not their looks, or sexuality.

And we put right next to all of those hard won records,
any old thing doing any old thing. It can be total cultural appropriation,
stifled and quick edited for MTV-teat-weaned expectations,
and we will fight for the merit of it,
while gigging, serious artists, are struggling everywhere.

Gaggling around a teen who can barely keep her shit in the public eye,
like vampire photo hungry zombies, and then calling it her right.
What a fucking joke. That’s like fighting for a slaves right to more slavery.
Arcade Fire. That is music. That is at least something you can get behind and support.

We give kids the fast food of a thing, then wonder why culture is so bankrupt of
any kind of mature, decent mainstream art.
We poke at a fire and wonder why we sleep with burnt feet.

It is ridiculous. It is absolutely a clogging of the arteries of culture and media.
And it is just sort of sad, too. It’s not maybe immediately tragic the way a riot or
an assassination is. But it festers. It is like saying: here-
here is a million dollars for your exhaustive “art” and,

and then we will pay women in strip clubs a fraction of that,
and they will basically do the same thing,
and we will call one art and one indentured servitude to patriarchy.

And tell that to our sons and daughters.
By creating a mass media that shouldn’t be learned from.

And social malaises which should.

And expect them, in their first scenes, to discern between them.
And the real, real. That although it’s every person’s right Not to be denigrated by proxy
of ridiculous objectifications, or thought of as only flesh. Chatelaine magazine is no less culpable.
Nor any slew of advertisers. Because now you’re fucking with art.

This is where youths should be able to go when they have shitty parents.
When they have no parents. When they’re young parents. Anything.
And they should have the chance to bring themselves into a higher state of consciousness,
a better self-theory. Something. Not to associate art with wholesale pop porn.
This is not a good thing. We cannot seriously undertake altering
the male, neo-liberal underpinning, if we are still letting our vital source
become tainted at the mouth, alarm yourselves. Be angry it has gotten this bad.

Artists deserve better, kids, people in broadcasting deserve to make a better product.
And Miley Cyrus deserves better. Get her to Julliard or something. And fuck Nickelback.
Fuck senseless art. It ruins our chances at bettering our chances, and our future.
Those we are entrusted to watch over.
To aim, like Gibran says- and not bother to try and control.

America has always had this fascination with anybody getting to the top,
and it is the best thing sometimes about her.
In this case the most valuable artist would be a beacon of skill,
but also cultural consciousness. Someone like Bjork. Patti Smith.
If our greatest were truly our brightest, if by our tact and nature
we were only allowed to be judged, this would never be a problem.

The entitlement of fame and the American Dream of capitalism
which freebases the drug of fame, then pumps it unflinchingly,
into the crucial, unforgiving veins of creativity itself.

If art were still held separate from the greedy spying eye of those suits,
then we might not have this problem,
and artists could better channel assistance, effect social change.

This superstar thing makes music ugly.
Julliard should operate like some kind of work camp for privilege to check itself.
They should run a detox privilege program.
Courses might explore the nuances of appropriation.

How you are actually insulting sex workers world wide
by imitating what they are forced to do for pocket change.

Like some over-paid, under fought boxer
who gets outrageously enumerated
whether he tries, or says fuck it.

Art should be better than this.

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?

People Love Puppies

It is morning and you
cannot tell me you
are happy to be outside
in the sunshine
not if you are like me
and you stay up later
and sip beer and tap at keys.

There is no coffee shop
jazz smooth enough
to straighten your
knotted neck, and a light
but effective sharp jab
of pain around the temple region
is just praying you try
and focus on the screen
or a page or anything
that is not a puppy.

The patrons are all
gathered around one,
a baby black thing that
is going to be loud
and annoying before it dies
and leaves the family
in shaky tearful messes
on the floor, and not
before it leaves a couple
hundred runny sloppy ones,
to step in still warm,
to curse at while half gagging
on the mysteriously pungent
stank that manages
to come out of
a toy bred ball of fur
and teeth and drool.

But that’s it, nothing
you can do about it-
you cannot stop them
before falling in love.

What can be done?
People love puppies.

I Drank the Kool-Aid Just to Fuck With Them

The whirlpool of the internet
churns out its daily pantomimic
consideration to the better vibration
of Miles’ Silent Way I’m back on his
planet again. I am free from the heady turmoil.
light extends from a skull in some cave
of some forgettable asshole who was
either too afraid or brave enough
to cut his arm off a’ la 127 Hours,

Yes! But, we can take solace in knowing
with every one that cannot, dozens more
one day will be, and will Will their being,
into better positions. It can seem cold to see
it all in such mathematically romantic symmetry,
or it can be the single meme of peace to
reverberate for a minute before being
comment ripped to pieces in caplock
der-der-der’s all the way through Sunday.

The wave of hate that churns out one Hitler
Meme after another churns out more truth
some days than the national news media
summons in a season. The layer upon layer
of new and inventive ways of rubbing the
shit of Monsanto into people’s unknowing
faces and the rapid spitfire insurgency of
Alex Jones para(noia)phernalia alongside
pictures of blue skies and white lines, it all
fuses into one collective kerfuffle and like
deadly unpopped kernal to the proverbial
mouth, shatters the only thing keeping us whole.

It all builds in crescendos, and fills the division
between the real and the believed and the disbelievers,
if anything, further adding to the Conspiracy Theory
and others of the franchise, so now
Thomas Pynchon may just as well be writing for
National Geographic and American Scientific
and that dirty, word hungry Popular
Mechanic, well he just keeps drinking and
clicking and re-posting the night away,
by most readily definition,a purists and divine WASTE.

WASTE- We Await Silent Tristero’s Escape

My Walk Becomes the Music Video for “Hurt”

For two weeks I have watched
the mountains of snow
slowly eliminated by the
Atlantic in April, and eventually
revealing a crude patchwork
of garbage, lost items, and animal
carcass’ for me and the rest
of the neighborhood to jump-step around
anytime we wish to take the catwalk
to our beloved Esso and Timmy’s.

I make the trip 3 times a day
when I’m working from home.
Each day for the last couple weeks
I have had an added adventure
of watching the decay of snow,
then the slow perusal with my eyes
of all the treasures left behind:

condoms, ziplock baggies,
hair nets from Tim’s employees,
cigarette butts from everyone,
children’s toys, lighters, and
of course the pigeon and the rat
I took to calling Pestilence and
Vermin, as though they were characters
in some mystic saga I wasn’t writing.

Vermin’s tale had started to look
like a frayed mop’s dirtiest strand,
and he was forever frozen in a position
as though leaping in the air like a sheep,
except thin like paper now.

Pestilence started out the week
still retaining much of her shape,
and the crushed Purple abalone of her breast
was slowly transformed like
The Artist Formerly Known As Prince
Into a spectacle, something grotesque and carnival,
before finally succumbing to the
Dirt and grime of exposure.

Now, her intestines are zombie-grey and fiddle head-shaped.

Now, the Spring comes, to re-rapture life.

Must Be Nice


I Don’t Understand This,
you say, you’ve had enough?
Of the stuff?

I’ve never heard of this “too much”.
It sounds pretty fucked.
Like, why would you be at in the
first place if you could’ve said no to start?

Like, how you gonna shit on addicts
when you can’t experience that your
self. Like, how many rejects you

think it takes, to get a Hunter Thompson
or an Irvine Welsh?

It takes millions to produce nation
and one mutant to tell them all
“Go to Fuck”

It’s like a feeling of satisfaction
you say, and I would love
to empathize
but I’ve done, would do
anything in a bag
any size
any way any time
when I was laid back
in the dark of that shine.
That “Mine.Mine.Mine.”

What the FUCK is enough?
Never had it,
Not one time.

But you enjoy the comfort,
That shit sounds divine.

Best Friend

My Best Friend

for HJM

When I needed someone
to protect me from the car
of angry Mexicans I
drunkenly slurred at one night
by merely getting out of
the car while I shivered
a bit in the back seat with
scrawny ginger shame,
it was him.

When I needed someone
to grab me by the throat
and push my face into
a desert of glass on my patio
after roughing me up and
letting me struggle a little,
it was him.

When I need someone to
goad me into picking up the pieces
when all the whore has run out on me
and all the drunk still in me

writhes and whimpers
“like a little ginger bitch”
Again, I am indebted,
to him and him alone.

You can talk on and on
about the myth of masculinity.

You can talk about male hegemonies,
and about the patriarch.

But I still dig having a best friend
like Christian Troy, you know why?

Because the world is filled with Kimbers,
and nobody wants to be Sean McNamara

All the time.
Or ever.

When I come across
The newest picture of
someone having done something
too stupid not To be
by way of meme;

a ghastly old woman painted
to look like a demon
or one of a ginger zombie
Ronald McDonald making love
to a deadite dressed as a nurse
while in the background
various characters from Hellraiser
and Event Horizon do foul things to
stuffed people with stuffed animals,

It’s his wall I copy/paste it to.
Not even my own.

And that is what a best friend is;
the person you excitedly take
a new piece of discovered darkness to.
So you can both laugh at it, in the face,

And try to find something to top the others
recent post. Another heaping handful of hell,
to pass the hours with.

Anything else would be healthy and balanced,
all that other boring shit reserved for those
earning their way into heaven with
public displays of pompous charity.

When we find people like that we just nod,
look to one another with bug eyes on the side,
knowing full well that shit is just for show.

Shit WILL Get Ugly

You know what I am expecting in terms of my writing life?

To struggle. Big time.
To weep some mornings,
to scream and jump on the page
and shit on it too.

I am expecting nothing less
but an all out assault
on my every dream
and whim and fancy,
a degrading of my soul
down from terror-child
to the next level shit
that makes my worst nights
on blow look like a merry go
round populated by innocent
and perfect children, among other
constructs that don’t really exist.

I am expecting to have my
intestines engorged by more liquor,
to have my heart pumped of every
good thought or inclination I ever had,
to lay in at least a few more piles
of my own shit and vomit and piss
and tears and even a bit of blood.

I plan on things getting dirtier, more
disgusting and depraved than my limited
spectrum of sin in youth could’ve envisioned,
but often tried during come-down and came up with
a vast and seemingly infinite farmers field
filled with burning foetus’ each ones scream like
a Tool track played backwards while someone’s
getting raped in the back ground by a demonic monkey.

I am counting on the constant reminder
that I am on my path too.

The kicks in the face from the angels
of distraction; vice and sex and the murder
of clean thought by divine dancing.

I am ready for the next 25 years,
then to get bitter and fat and angry and old.
I am ready to look like Bukowski and feel like him,
to fuck away a dozen hotel whores a year
in to the oblivion of my charred, gingery bastard’s soul.

I am expecting the next generation to become
like a mongoloid to me, ugly and barren of anything
but my fear and my oscillating thyroid,
my evaporating liver, my incongruently toppled spine.

All of it.

Except giving up, packing it in, giving in,
letting go, stopping, resisting the scratch
and scrawl and type and tap and trickle
and rush and flood of word flow.

Fuck that weakness, and silence and parting of ways.
I’ll save my last good lines for my eulogy, a litany of
Highways crossed, skies divided, universe wiped clean
Of each other’s eye-stars.

I’ll still be there scrawling, sure.