Revolution

The Nothing and My Statue

I want to tell you
about the nothing
and how it was on my back
from late 90s to just now.

My first time was
just a six pack
of coca cola I was
12 maybe 13,

and I was up all night
with the caffeine propping up
my stinging eyes like,
twitchy invisible insect germs,
holding up heavy red curtains.

I used it to get more comic books read.
It gave me the strength to watch
entire nights of reruns.

I moved onto vodka pretty
much the next summer.
Because it made me think I was
an extrovert and a revolutionary,
and because Val Kilmer drank
as Jim Morrison and I wanted to
be a rebel like him.

I always sounded more like
the Lizard King after some drinks.
It was like the liquid gave me skill.

First pack of smokes found
in The Beer Store parking lot on
Chopin Street in Preston.
They bought me the prison yard acceptance
of first year high school.

I smoked more green any man ever seen,
we had something called wheelchair pot and
I laughed at the sky.

Our crew donned Value Village polyester and
tie dyes from local hemp shops.
We slunk through corn field grids
like eager pony tailed lab rats,
hunting down the cheese of
some wheat kings secret plants.
Dried them out in our parents rafters,
sold the shit for better stuff.

Drank a bottle of Robitussin
because some raver chick in
funfer pink told me it was like Acid,
which was hard to come by and
always made me feel like Neo,
even before The Matrix came out.

My first line was the last thing I
ever put on my back,
through my nose.

I say first because it’s all
the same line,
one massive one that stretches from
a cramped apartment on St. Andrew’s hill,
winds through the jungle of a hundred
dirty stalls, stripper’s breasts, mirror and
chipped dinner plates.

I earned a twitch in the final years,
when I would go for days at a time,
I can’t quite tell you
for too long about it
without risking the
abyss taking me back
you have to take my word
you have nothing
to lose by gaining better ground
in this war,
you lose only your mind when you
play the game with the Nothing,
the nothing,
the not-knot but
not-rope
that you see hanging
from your neck on trees
the next morning,
you’ll have to take my warning
as it is.

I’m just not far away from the fire yet
to turn back and laugh
without risking a salty
statuette of my good intent.

I’ve earned that much.

And how.

I sip coffee in the morning now
with all the music that
was always there to
bring me into sleep,
it is the drug I will always
lean hardest on.

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It is not

for KW

It is not for you, it is for me
to walk the streets at all hours still
and sing a little, maybe a dance move or too even
if I feel especially on the end of it all,
I’ll weep uncontrollably.

It is just when I am off the stuff for “a few”,
even text the old Argentine “Yeah no drink till June”
that he’ll get a dozen garbled after-texts
which barely make any sense at all.

Well, if they were from anyone
but me,
that is.

It is not you kicking cop cars and slipping them the finger
before running. Unless you’re one of my cohorts.
In which case you’re likely also wielding a trumpet,
the car is likely on fire, the police are likely, confused and
powerless.

I thought of him the other night
when CTV National exposed some random stories,
one where a rape chant originated at my old University.

One about a strange incident in Parry Sound,
in which dozens of Garden Gnomes,
stolen over a period of time, or was it one night?

Who can be sure, they were all lined up in a parking lot,
though
that much is for sure, all in rows, neat and uniform
and giddy and frolicking

like they didn’t give a fuck,
like nobody had abducted them at all,
like, well, foolish garden Gnomes look,
is all.

It reminded me of the great Gnome slaughter of ’98.
I wish I could remember it.
Like King and Salem’s Lot,
some of the demons are yours but
you can never get un-got.

It is not me I seek in the mad ones I have
followed, like weird news-reel made real,
it is within me, that I hope to share even a shard
of them, like a Skesis trying to get a Gelfling,
in Dark Crystal, to sell him some
more soul.

Some more time, to live in digital youth.
Let’s dance tonight, on the old downtown roof.
The one from the past, all sticky with truth.
I’ve got a story for you, that nobody else will
get but you, & just have
to hear what happened next.

I’ve got a story and
it is not
for anyone else.

Burning to Matter

The easy thing to say has always
made me want to eat acid,
but, like, not the fun kind,
like the deadly-burn-yr-belly-like-Alien, kind.

But I would rather burn
than be burned.

I will be alive when you bury me, there still
when they scatter me back,
and I will be there,
there,
when all the easy things
have had their cheap dance,

to mean something,
is to outlast everything loud
and proud
and pomp.

Easy goes out the door,
when time stretches the canvas out,
large.

Best Read in Voice of “Claptrap” from Borderlands “on Wee-e-e-e-e-d” (half baked reference remix not included but sold seperately at an inflated and ridiculous, almost Avatar like, price)

Welcome to Meta-Mart!
Your one-stop shop for all your reference needs!
Ash in house wares will show you around!

How about some nice Krueger Sheers for the missis?
No? Something less ghastly perhaps,
have you tried the Beetle-juicer plus diet pro?

Welcome to Meta-High!
The première educational facility, for future reference!
Classes offered this semester include:
“Ridgemont to Breakfast Club: the study of hallways as leading motif”.

Welcome to Meta-Poem!

Where this poem stops, looks around,
examines the competition,
and self-immolates on page while blasting
Rage Against the Machine wearing only
Alice’s best laid Chains!

Welcome to the end of the Matrix.
Welcome to Thunder dome.
Welcome to Wendy’s.

Welcome to Go Fuck Yourself!

and

Thank You,
come again.

(in the voice of Apu but a robot.)

Welcome to my left foot,
in harm’s way
up your ass.

Welcome to the Lone Ranger
finally pissing Tonto off enough
that he just eviscerates his skull
with a blunt weapon, around the fire
now,
his shitty, soppy blood trickling into the flames,
being eaten and spit back into the world as smoke,
rising into this very poem,
in this very moment,
welcome to the City of Light.

Please, enjoy your stay.
(in the voice of the Vancouver Skytrain,
or the countdown to self destruct voice of Alien)

Welcome to the evolution of the side kick,
into the arch-nemesis.

Welcome to the Mass reading aloud of your enemies,
your every weakness,
your each subtle neurosis,
your constant need to reference movies,
your empty stomach filled with good, Irish drunk bravery,

and your last, sketchy attempt at infamy.

Welcome to finally using your time wisely.

Now get off my stage.

I have something to burn,
somewhere to be.

Another vague fucking reference to ensure
you don’t get
too far off
into that forest-

modern/post.

“Epic Fantasy, Schmepick Scantasy”

Epic Fantasy Schmepick Scantasy,

give me the summer of our love,
and I will forever me oval faced,
pancake iris’d, enveloped by the arrows
and pointed spears and deadly artefacts
of your bad, bad love. I can get back to it,

but as of yet I am always confined
to the scrying scope of a neighborhood crow
who took up territory a block over,
by the used car lot and corner store,
that same hot, hot year. Once in awhile

I can see a glimmer of your head from
the strict hedges, unmistakable curls
no less telling than the very fingerprints
on your charcoal stained fingers. Once I heard
us make love, me and my cackling scrawny

soul’d salut, all bark and very little, limpid bite.
You, turning out the kids from the back porch.
Walking out into the summer when all
the lady bugs were mating, like jazz-dust
shook from the blanket of the night, trailing
around your vixen, freckle crescent smile.

Caw.

Your orange zest and patchouli and acrylic paint.

Caw. Caw.

The sound of your bangles smashed against
the august humidity of midday.

Caw.

And then I’m gone again over the downtown core,
past the burger stand and the grocery store and the
tacky Chinese restaurant awning, where some angry
Chef tries to beat me to death for shitting on his clean,
recently de-shit-if-ied walkway, so I caw again and swoop.

You can keep your epic fantasy series.
I’m making my own.

Comic Book/Stored Antithesis

The soft, off yellow light often
produced in the dim chamber
of your childhood comic shop
and its ability to seem
from the kneeled position
over gargantuan strip boxes
of back issues, back then, in the
middle of your proverbial Sandlot
to act as temporal vortex.

A conversion of worlds,
a threshold.

Campbell was right.
It is all journey.

(This one shop owner in our core
had an eye patch and a limp
and I’m sure he did jail time
for weed. He hired us as helpers
me and my buddy from Sekura)

We had the whole back of the
store to go through, just tons of
back stock and all the new stuff.

It was the greatest thing that had
happened to me since Zelda and
sure, maybe even Shadowrun.
(but that’s entering the debatable)

I found The Maxx and Savage Dragon
as the boys from Image left their own
safe worlds and travelled to unknown
riches

(most of them anyway, Sam Keith
is like me I bet and re-watches Cheers,
missing Coach and Diane and the 80’s

as they go by in a slow tightening of flare
and lessening of hem’s, until culmination in
Rebecca’s premiere a la red leather mini-skirt. )

Reading a superhero like Keith’s Maxx gave
me new dreams as a writer. Aside from Steven King,
no other influence has tainted me so deeply,

as those I found in the downtown comic book
stores (there were three at one time, where now
only one will ever at a time today)

Frederick Philip Grove talks about how he
found this call to adventure in Siberia when
he encountered these Khirgiz herdsmen who
yowled and yawped and sang out the true
beatific essence of life, masked in beard and
riding a slow trail to insignificance.

I don’t regret my influences at all.
The darker the Cave, the brighter the sunshine.

She Has You

She is the one that first caught me.
The half human, half faerie half witch.

She listened to Tool and
she knew what am Athame was,
always buying books written
by women with strange pseudonyms
like Raven Moonchild.

This weird stuff was always happening.
Once she was saying the word paint
As I fished out a magnetic word from
Its frigid pagination into my typewriter,
the very word she’d said, and

“she had a dream about it all” and
“I was never going to be rid of her”

and “I have another inside me”
and “I’ve only shown it to you and
the clergy. ”

I haven’t got the heart to leave anyone
Or go on or forward someday unless
I sit for a minute and consider her
diamond-like personalities.

I had no idea what feminism was then,
but when I read “The Yellow Wallpaper”
I thought of that summer, (just before
“Kid A”) when we lived downtown
and she found this real pattern behind
the wallpaper. I saw it. She saw it. It was there.

People shuffled her into a hundred different
diagnostic hooplahs after that, but I knew she
wasn’t crazy. She was a real woman,
and womanhood Is a disease that is treated
as a mental illness, which itself?

Is just a way to keep the creative people
at a workable, distant and level, population
of shaky people in food by courts and on
corners screaming about their insect
encrusted genitals by the time the meds
have all gotten pumped in,
perched like prescription Jesus-
Zombies in rows along every major city,
reminders that thinking at all can
lead to lucid, stigmatized doom.

Anyway, every time I hear Kid A I
think about her. We barely heard it
in the same room more than a couple
times, but what was great was she
of all people had bought a cassette
of the thing and I later discovered
it was defective. It played the opposite
side Helter Skelter style in the background
on both sides, so you in effect had an entire remix
of an album that had already departed from
post-Kid A Radiohead. It was the single most
beautiful mistake that has ever existed.

And it’s gone.

Sometimes I put one on in one player
and the other in another but
it’s not the same. Plus who knows
what cocktail of wonder and drug
and what stage of depreciation the
ears were in, it’s hopeless to even
attempt a cosmetic replication of something
operatic, organic. Environmental.

Lady Fate

I fell for this girl who
also called herself fate
when allowed to take
another name.

We met in summer school,
this cramped class, a far too
idealistic teacher, and this
young, perfect encounter.

I read No Great Mischief and
The English Patient that year,
Both of them were the some
of the first words I really got
swept away by. Macleod and his
similes, Ondaatje and his
Herodotus histories of desert
storms. It was enough to fill my
notebooks with proud dream
journals and even six months
Sans drunk if I recall.

I was already betrothed to a girl
who had never known a trustworthy
role model in her entire life. Her family was
cold, her mother might’ve inspired
Nurse Ratchet, clamped down the kind
hearted father he didn’t even
remember having a pair by time
I showed up with my Kerouac
and my heirs apparent. I, who ordered
Salmon when we went out on their
dime because is somehow felt
like the right thing to do, like it made up
for their having ruined the girl’s youth.

This fate lady though, was different.
She was all black straight hair
and daddies attitude and heart
on her sleeveless, summer arms.

I told her I recognized her and she
just about lost it.

“How could you have seen me?
I thought that show was only on in the states!”

It was, but I had a step father who loved
technology; we had laser disc players and a
satellite which meant I had Nickelodeon
when it still had some integrity.

I had been unimpressed with her show, but
she was clearly caught between finally showing
something emotional, she was proud and
wanted to be fawned over for her claim to fame.

Then the fire drill.

I smoked then but was trying to quit, so
I was wandering outside hoping to bum one.
The crowd thinned out, and eventually it was
just me and her, in one of the few cinematic and
romantic scenes in all my existence took place.

It started to pour. Sun shower.
My personal favourite
of all the varieties of rain to stare upward into
arms outstretched, crucified by joy.

Then she did. So I did too.
There we were in the sun shower,
arms stretched out, heads raised
toward the fragments of light ripping
through the dissipating wall of cloud,
completely silent, a temporary relief.

Just like Gordie Lachance and the deer
in Stand By Me, I kept that to myself until
just now, when I reopened it for you, like
a butterfly wedged in a bible for 12 long years,
dreamt of often, but never actually let
back into existence. Still just as perfect, too.

Sleep well,
Lady Fate.

The People on the Bus

The people on the bus
(go to hell in a hand basket fast without
social customs in place).

(aka “welcome to Thunderdome, bitch”)

No matter how far we come as people,
the public transit experience will always
feel cold, like communism in Western movies,
or like penal institution transport crossed with
a ship of fools motif. For me however, it’s an
essential tool in understanding human behaviour
(and its lack therein when it occasions).

The best time to people watch is
the morning or late night, when
the world of the worker is worn
away like reality TV 5 years ago
and people really get their zombie
looking selves into half-sleep states.

There are a variety of styles of bus rider.
Each reflects a persona in society.
There’s the tough guy/asshole.
He’s easy to spot since he’s the only of the
Male species who will sit next to a woman
when seats next to other men are available.
In some cases such behaviour is accepted- a
bar for example. Not on the long haul that is
the metro though, no my track suit friend, best
to flip that Monster Energy (death) drink ball hat
around, take those Ridiculous tri-colored sunglasses
commemorating the 1992-93 Toronto Blue Jays franchise
off, and just stand the fuck off to the side as you likely
will in other forums in life im sure until an early
death by some random douchbaggery or other.
(My guess is robbing a gas bar, who knows!)

Stuck next to him was the lady who sits as little
As possible but rather tries to hover on her ass cheeks,
and almost appears fearful of the physical bus itself
as well as our resident asshole. She’s not a lifetime rider
like him either, usually she finds someone or becomes
a driver herself.

Next you have students. Most of those are texting,
a few still read. Fewer are weirdo’s watching the rest,
like me, for non-sexualized purposes (those lot tend
to fall under the Blue Jay 93 douchebag from earlier).

Then you have a few workers, and some people running on
fewer pistons than the general “norm”, your rockers,
your cursers your rocking cursing singers, all living it up
like they just don’t give a fuck, next to them, the skeets
and the slags, the skanks and the hags, and all that glitters between.

You have a few young parents, a lot more young mothers,
the occasional Clergy or Sister, people too injured to drive,
too poor, people too drunk and (or) too high. It’s a veritable
smorgasbord of life! As a cheap student-writer of cheaper
writing still, I really can’t fathom wanting to leave the living
Opera some call “the welfare wagon” others the “losermobile”.

But I think that’s mostly peoples
pride making them feel they need to qualify their
existences as more than the rat race they are
jammed into (just like anyone on that bus) and there
is nothing that’s going to change it – no ride,
no sweet, sweet ride will ever change that.

And you KNOW what Marcellus Wallace has told us of Pride?

“The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting.
That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.”
Pulp Fiction, 1997

Post-Humour

He thought he would have had it,
if he had only been richer,
or poorer.

He thought he might get a
better girl and write legends.

If he had made money
from stock exchanges.

Got his life back from the
web and the net and
all those tangled tangles.

I could’ve killed him
a hundred times:
from highway overpasses
he could’ve leapt,
or been strung
up on any number of
neighbouring trees.

I could’ve strangled him
some nights
when he went on about
how it wasn’t fair
that some
new age writer had gotten a
new
contract and here he was, just

“taking up space in spiral margins.”

I almost threw him to a pack
of wolves one night
in shame,
but I knew I would only wake up
feeling like I had chewed him myself.

So I did what had to be done.
I buried him. He’s still there of course,
Only now he’s got the weight of Hardy
and Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell
to keep the little bastard at bay.

Then I took away all his weak and
(programmed) Middle class
inclinations;

to drink as though Rimbaud
and await new lines in temper of a child.

To talk like the
Lizard King high on some psyche’s
bought with pawn shop or rent.

All of these things and more got curbed.
And only then did my Self sit down,

encouraged by having shut the hell up,
And wrote for its own reward.

And I am with him still.
And we aren’t going anywhere,
But through this stack,
Through these cracks,
Through this black old game.

Not to hijack Frost,
but that shit made
all the fucking difference
in this terrible little
bastard red-head’s life.