youth

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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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.

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.

Aphorisms for the Ugly White Page

For two and a half hours I stared at you,
you sexy white thing. You endless white thing,
you blank, ugly fucking whore
of a blank, white, single screen.

I wonder what you were thinking
while I was tripping over a closet of memories
like a black out at a party
while everyone rummages to smoke outside
in someone else’s shoes.

Like people about to go down in a ship.

My step father rolling his oversized
cotton sleeves in messy pastry mixing up with the
coffee stained back office of his garage and the
coffee in white Styrofoam,

creating a place where none existed before,
but where nothing but smell and longing
are able to say enough in their statement.

There was good in here but it was
only ever enough to keep warm, singly by.

Even the character feels weak and goes head-first
into a plate of glass as some bad homage to something.
Not even the reference seems worth it.

But we do it anyway don’t we?
It’s the only dedicated relationship I have,
so it has to be like this sometimes.

Even when there is nothing to say,
we have to live like this.

I know you don’t like me when I write to Miles Davis,
but I do it anyway.

You know I veer toward a schedule only for you
to smash it into new mosaic.

But we work together somehow.

We block out the blindness,
bad line after cliché after shaky reservation.

We work in record stores and on buses and other random,
non-momentary states.

Got married back in high school.

Have nothing but boxes of us now.

Boxes and ticket stub match pack haiku’s.

Ann’I still love you now, for every
new white fucking page.

The Girl and the Good

-when we meet she is trying to pop a
pop tart and I am so
caught up seeing her
smile as she did this
I plum forget that I
am not planning to
fall ever again
so quick and so hard,

because
it is not a really
fair thing to do
to someone, or yourself.

She has been to Gibraltar.
I have been to Maine.

We are both art minded
but she loves the visual,
I am bogged down in wordplay,
and besides all that she is beautiful
in all the easily located ways.

I am a map buried beneath
torn flesh
hidden behind bookshelf eyes,
begging limbs like prison bars,
twitchy pyrotechnical hair,

I am under there,
somewhere, the sheets are
never going to come
out from over my head again,
not for you, or anyone,

I swear.

Hey what kind of pop tart is that anyway?

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.

My Own Private Iola

I will stop
thinking about you
in your doc martens
and your blue bomber
in 1997,

when something comes down
with a monkey wrench
from heaven

and beats it all
out of me
for good.

For good, the bad
go hungrier for
longer than any of the
God-mammals could
ever last for.

Up our Jerusalem sleeves,
we set the records to skip
back, to the same spot
dropping the needle
again and again
into a bucket of silence.

I can’t get out of the
meta-universe
she is a pleasure to have
as a curse.

Put the posters back up,
get me a job at some
fast death food market

and eat my fingers
out from under themselves
every night, in-between
chapters like the very
Spy vs Spy that first
entertained me

more than the central prose,
the para-text is a devious,
blazing star you cannot

scrape off like gum
on your spokes,
you cannot eliminate like
Constantine blood on your Keds.

This is the ugliest in a set of three poems,
these are the stones thrown at the stoned.

You are my first fist,
clutching my first page.

Crumpling up the demons,
wrapping up our moments,
it is like getting ready
for X-mas in Hell.

But it is still better than
letting go, completely
of that story.

Awake

It’s around this time at 5:30 am
that many things happen
I get off work at 3 am
so I’m privy to it all

the high rollers are getting
to the bottom of their baggys
and the seagulls are waking up hungry
like a Patti Smith record
and I’m easy into my 5th pint and
the sweat will flow tomorrow
like grains of eager rice from me
but at least I have Sunday off
to type and transcribe and soak and rinse
and all the people I spoke to tonight smiled at me.

Because the good thing about life is how we can work together.
It really is that simple.
The rain is hitting black cement
like chunks of flour thrown down by
the angry gambling, coke high gods above us.
Like hot water to a stainless skillet.
It dances and looks like cheap cgi.
It is a sheet in the wind three miles up
the Southern shore from Sin Jawns.

Then I’m on the Procal Harem
is there any but one song?
and I’m back in Bramalea at 8
I’m with Miles Davis in the shitty kingdom
and I’m friends with him
I’m sensitive
to everything
from the start and
I still am
on my best days.

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

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.