scattalogical

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.

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Glass Slipper

Here, another secret love song for the ephemeral lady of the ages who,
shining in the atmospheric disparity of now,
manages to still make me smile.

I wanted to let you know you were exceptional
and you have no worries about anything bad
getting the better of you because you are one
of those exposed nerve types who braves way to much
of what is really going on to ever lose track of yourself.

There is this beach in California that became beautiful
as a result of all the garbage people flicked off a cliff,
and slowly, over the years, despite an awful thing done,
the beach became overrun with perfect, rounded globes,
rounded glass of green from the sprite bottles of the 70’s,
and orange from rusted car windshields, all of it now
given over to the strong argument for light and truth.

And even though the same people originally responsible
came with the hordes of others and slowly with shovels and
gallon buckets pilfered her new suit, leaving a couple rubies for
the desperate late comer tourists to hustle amidst her sandy locks for,

I still think it is amazing and remains worth nothing that
the struggle in everything is like this. It permits us these moments,
and we can all race rapturously to accumulate a chunk of it,
or we can lay in a bed of precious trash made glass or
we can be the beach itself, let the world make us
its temporary Prometheus, and either way I had
to say to you that you are like that California beach to me.

(Or I’ve lost myself in the allegory and given over to the infamy of romance)

It is only a matter of time and the world will take most your jewels.

You will still be perfect to spend days with though.
You will never get boring to me.

I am your biggest fan.
Sign me up for the newsletter of your heart.

Yours,

The blade of light that cuts across the page
of the recent tome claiming you which,
stinging eyes, washes up just a little
more rounded, more solid, soul
than before, kept warm, loved.

We’ll have a kiss one day.
I have a sense about these things like
a photic sneeze that
last’s one hundred nights, finally giving over
to a glint of waxed moon, giving
over to the precise waves of time,
giving over to truth.

My Own Private Piracy

I started young-
Let’s just say I sailed the seas
at seven or eight.

Cassettes from the radio and
beta-max’s with laser-disc’s
my Chilean step-father took
me to these places where we
rented, not bought, compact discs

from cheap wall shelves and wire ones
usually found in corner-stores that
only had a couple VHS to choose from

but they were filled with great stuff.
I learned Bob Marley from there;
And Ice-T and Guns n Roses and
Even PM Dawn; dad taught me the art
(My first really-) of the mix tape. And
After that I took it and made hundreds
Maybe more.

We had a satellite dish
Hector, my father, really loved good things
Food and music.

(I think about it now we had it all for awhile,
Even when they fought all the time and laying awake
It ate away at what sense of safety I had finally been allowed
Sometimes all I remember is him telling me we were divorcing
I was watching that terrible Doc Hollywood movie that was on Cinemax

It was such a terrible movie, I felt bad for Michael J Fox at the time
Fuck, I was only 12 or so and that to me was life’s unfairness laid bare –
The kid was great in the 80’s but now he has to face it like the rest of them.
I always wanted him to be my older brother when he was on Family Ties,
And now here he was forced to take any role.)

Over the years I always pirated something;
from the library, the cd rental shacks, the radio.

I even had a side business for certain friends
when I worked at Chapters
before I got too paranoid to make the seasonal
shopping list.

And then the technology finally caught up with us.
We have been chasing discographies ever since

my neighbour and I have an almost competitive
relationship when it comes to a weekly exchange;

You get anything new? Oh yeah? Which Episode? 405? N0?! SIX? Really…

Sites have changed over the years:
Mininova.com, then Pirate Bay.org,
then Demonoid (RIP) and Speed.cd

Each one has its pro and con list;

Mininova; Pro great for high seeding torrents of new shows and movies, albums etc.
Mininova also has a Terrible search engine; even the most basic title searches come back with foreign cams of Harry Potter instead.

Pirate Bay has an even worse engine. Don’t bother searching for anything, ever. Also, its dirtier than a dead French whore so double scan it before penetrating a’ la Windows.

Demonoid was great , it had a ratio system though – you had to share back – or upload- all the info you downloaded, and If you go too far in the red you are booted.

Demonoid rarely opens its gates for new members; once a month for a few hours mouse cupping palms hover their sweaty shaking click fingers over pointers to pounce all at once, likely shutting down the server at the same time, and regardless of that event, only a few gaining entry anyway- just for a chance at the treasures which are hosted there.

Speed says it al in the same; these torrents come so fast the actors are still learning their lines sometimes! The folks who run it are Nazis sometimes about ratio, and if you mention another torrent site, you mine as well have shit in their collective mothers mouths, it would be the same reaction I assume. I’ve heard of honor, but snobbery among thieves? Come on now.

The products or “booty” being pirated? Well that’s an entirely other and trickier affair to explain.
It would almost seem easier to list what is Not being stolen, absorbed, suckled, schemed, digitally raped…Film? Everything new and most of the old, the weird, the taboo, the early works of all the greats

I have Kubrick’s first short flick; a documentary on a flying padre- yup a religious guy who flew a biplane in Mexico. Rodriguez’s student film. Chomsky interviewing Oliver Stone. De la Rocha interviewing Chomsky. Actors playing the Beats. The Beats interviewing each other. Caligula. Bunuel. Leary’s acid test. Great for house parties.

If it has been put to digital memory- it has been looted by the stealthy movements of programmers somewhere, thus becoming available everywhere…

Coming Soon (to a Poem Near You)

People talk about film youth like
you lose something human in the process
but I love all the memories attached to
all the things watched and re-watched again.

I remember Mr. Destiny was on all summer one year,
And staying up watching HBO’s first run of
Tales from the Crypt on Elgin Street.

Cheers with Diane and Coach in Newfoundland
then rounding out on the mainland,
years later With Becca, and Woody.

Imitating John Mclaine and jumping off
our back deck yelling
“Yippiekayay Motherfucker!”

Or Chevy Chase “Happy Hanukkah, kiss my ass,
kiss his ass, kiss your ass”.

Taping City TV midnight movies or
Boston late-night horror-thons onto
blank (superior recording quality to VHS)
BETAMAX tapes.

(Night of the Living Dead,
Rebel Without A Cause)

Blitzed on shrooms watching The Doors
and The Wall and writing illegible poems
I still have somewhere.

Watching Basquait and mimicking
his SAMO graffiti with J-,

The infinite re-watching of
Toy Story with Jack to the point we
all knew it word for word.

Blade Runner with Hector,

Pollack with L-
the painter and wild one
whose image is forever connected
to Ed Harris now.

I have fewer memories without a filmic
soundtrack than with.

Coming soon,
another screen night kept
up by a viewing moon,
waxing, waning into next years
coming attractions.

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.

Psych 1000 Test

I hate tests. I don’t even
like a foot race if I can avoid it.
I just prefer to read movies.
Yeah I said it.
I scan it all.

I’m like one of those
barcode scanners at Sobey’s
but for useless movie knowledge.

So that’s how I encode
(encoding: processing of information
Into the memory system)
What I can for them.

Memory Retrieval techniques:
Free Recall is an easy
One- because Total Recall
The sequel should have
been “free,” with no prompting
of audiences to pay attention.
(Prompting-re: Retrieval cues)

Mood-Congruent memory was
my adolescence coles notes style,
so that’s nothing.

For the parts of the Middle Ear
I thought of “Middle Earth”,
then Cambridge my hometown.

This Memory Cue always brings
this comic strip me and Pugs read
at Kings Palace. The protagonist of
the strip was hailing the greatness
he saw as Hamilton
Aka “THE HAMMER” – which,
Along with the Anvil and Stirrup
Make up the middle (earth) ear.

For the Cochlea, I know it was that same
spiralling, boney liquid filled tube
a proff I knew had to have operated
on as a result of it being “off level”
and giving her extreme bouts of vertigo.

Parts of the eye and their function,
Tricky? Not for a savant as I though.

Since Rod is already conjuring
Roddy “Rowdy” Piper!
And the Rods are responsible for
white black and grey (which recalls the aliens
he so valiantly strove to kick ass against),
I have an easy They Live memory cue.

E.S.P. and Parapsychology are easy
Because they’re just silly.

Synesthesia carries into poetry
“I can hear the smell burnt toast”
also works.

For “visual cliff”
I imagine Carla throwing
Cliff off an edge as an ‘experiment’

Psychophysics? Norman Bates with
a textbook in his other hand.

The student survives.
The movie lover adapts.
The poet gets…inspired.

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.

My First Third

Being a snippet from bits of sharded truth I will later collectivize so as to have tricked self into producing a sort of “novel”

I Remember Every Fucking Song I Know.

They are like hip rainbows that use primary colours to insist I keep walking straight, keep the faith alive, and keep my freedom’s mute anthem on bust despite nobody there to encircle you they keep you alert to it all anyway. Because you never know. Isn’t that how the song goes? Or is that some comic on the periphery jabbing at my memory trying to sink me when I barely just saw sea, see?

Every night I dream I am more and more trapped in Nuketown, this level we played to death in Black Ops, before I sold the system and just determined to stare at it until I filled it, this screen, with the pitter-patter oncoming of words and more of them. Marching back home like an amnesiac emperor or better like a Gibran-character, back to the boat for more adventure and bigger lines on the map to take us even to Conrad’s blurry spots. It helps they design the houses in the game like the ones in our suburbs, and my characters aren’t going to war with Fal’s and Aug’s (words I would’ve never learned-and to what image of corresponding weapon to boot- without the Baudrillardean construct) instead my troupe is enacting these crazy war call rituals, crooning and mooning. Making it, some of them, and later a great rumble (something from my childhood reading of The Outsiders?) but the thing is the music. It’s there but only in snips; it curls in Greek letters to the floor, burning still with insight.

It’s all given the soundtrack I have to assume my heart knows no division in its love for the audio-mood-swing-spectrum-saving-grace-oh-fuck-that’s-an-amazing-track-have-you-heard-their-discography? –life, it’s the one that takes you past every moment’s security detail.

Every night I dance a little then make my way into this Western Frontier town style saloon, and Juliette Lewis sings that track from Strange Days where she oozes sex into the mic and it interrupts criminal activities miles away. Later I sit with all the cast and crew of the movie, I’m sort of scribe or gopher its unclear and irrelevant. They want me to remember lines for them but I’m too busy hitting on Angela Basset who I’ve crushed on since 91 and Boyz in da Hood, and we talk about her diminished role in the movie and what it meant to the female perspective in the narrative, I even recall a rush from sounding so intelligent- and then we talk about Ralph Fiennes’ character and how useless he’d be without his one true friend.

Every night I’m another colourful lie and another impish step toward making something universally recognizable and dead inside, something epic and intentional. Maybe tonight I’ll do the poem i meant to all year about the manager Tim Horton’s, how she initially reminded me of the actress how played Arabella in the Kate Winslet version of Jude (the Obscure) just her nose and face proportions of course, and how forever I assumed that was her character until a friend mentioned her having had the lad with dreadlocks who delivered the cream and sugar. Sometime dreams are dwarfed by reality, that kind of thing.
Who knows.

Every time I think of poor Jude lying there while the world graduates another class of men beyond his reach, I just about cry. That book should be handed out and forced into the hearts of young poets like offal’s into a grinder, turned into a lesson, made a mark of. Emblazoned. I cringed when I knew, envisioning him on top of the table saying the prayer in Latin that I’d never even gleam close to Hardy’s life, or Conrad with his arms rowing, or Frederick Phillip Grove cutting dirt first for that matter in Can Lit or the rest of them, not like Blaise and her prodigious early novel , or Rimbaud’s 18 year old strokes on the board revamping versification in the late 18th.
I was just going to have to manage with what I had; comic book and horror movie references, general meta-reference obsession, a working knowledge of the humanities, some misplaced youth spent emulating the beats to a disheartening level of precision and mimicry. And yes, more than

a few addict-edges rubbed against for kicks, darkness, light, the whole show to keep a rhythm to what I felt at times might at least pay some homage to the greats.

But I digress. Back to the Arabella coffee wench. (no offense of course to my first lover of a similar name who made great Kraft Dinner as it happens.)

Grocery Lists for Demons

Grocery List for Demon

Sometimes standing rarely up straight
And outside and studying the story of my Self,
I see a cosmos of constellations.

Each one its own nation.
With different rules to live by.

I live in a painting with Borges and
My best friend and some days it looks like
A Hieronymus mural,

where the people are laughing
as they slaughter one another with
scithes and other medieval regalia.

They’re laughing like bloody thieves, and they are.
I suppose that’s what you call your inner Daniel
Stern voiceover put to the lysergic boot.

I call it art.
Get off my cloud,
outta my sky.

That is what the good few do.
They make the rest a background.

And the poem gets hi jacked with their laughter.
And that’s when you make a Bill Murray
Scrooged speech,because to pimp laughter itself is

Legend.

To sing something loud
and embarrassingly badly.

Sometimes half decently,
But most of all freely,
You sign,

“Another Demand. “

“I stopped writing poems,”
Gets spoken as though meant

“Starting this instead,”
Handed me something.
I added my thoughts.

Something about how it was

“All music smashed on a floor and reassembled,
Save the Maestro whose fingerprint remained,”

Sometimes its all perfect.
For everything else, there is hyperbolic
License.

Hero Retardant

If you want you can have it but it gets hazy mid-way thru.

My behaviour is unfit for anyone expecting to run for office.

My social-carbon-retro-hetero record is marred.

Now I’ll never be married.

I just May have invited a new style,

but you’ll be damned if

you’ll get

your hands on it.

You can’t get in here without a pass.

The pathology needs one part meltdown,

a sliver of suicide tendinitis,

(acts up)

on you when you practice the art of

dancing without the crowd,

within them, around them, then thru.

All you want is them and all they want is you,

you and you

don’t seem to pay any more attention

and more; no more.

I picked up a few ya basta’s.

A few tickets got pirated and ticket masters

rightly shaven left from the Right

downloaded, at the right

time, uploaded in the right hand.

All you want is money,

we’re flipping switches on.

So the dance can keep,

the dancer keeps watch.

Keep the joints ready on a mat

in rooms like quiet, praying Muslim.

Hindsight Bias?

You’ll think you saw that coming.