"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



Joseph’s star of David glinting on grey H+M sweater

Cruising West Queen West  high noon  Sashaying under

faint February sun   Jewessflowerchild   Ash Wednesday

Substitute 6 points for ashy cross   Did you notice the one

on forehead of shrieking mother at Florida massacre?


Google Earth zooms in on Jewgirl  still prancing   When a

shot rings out  +the boys who just jostled me begin to run

In my fantasy I bleed out on the world’s 2nd coolest street

In reality I  yellow bellied +afraid  hide my Zaida’s star under

my scarf


Not the bold resistance fighter in the woods outside of Warsaw

Big talker   But let us revisit this stroll in 2019   Bravery seeping

in through hardening arteries   Preparing for the death of the last



When you will be called upon to place a yellow star on your foreheads

+walk through neo-Nazi streets   Daring the world to repeat its brazen

atrocities   Heads held high   No more an invisible minority



1969 Bathurst Manor Toronto  Jewish Ghetto

My bro + friend (whose parents were resistance fighters

Warsaw Ghetto) walk home from school  A car pulls up

+one of the 2 teenaged young men calls out:

Hey  you Jews?  

Why  don’t you like Jews?

Ya I like them  

I like them better dead






Winter 2018

Star of Joseph Marlieb   1891-1973   RIP



I grabbed the bull by the horns  as hipster arriviste was

cruising the same cane seat  at Balzac’s   I tapped the

faux-lumberjack guy on the shoulder  You Leaving?   Ya   

Seat was warm    So warm that I broke into a sweat

+wondered if I was overcome by a  lovehotseatsickness


Heart jumping out of chest  mostly because another hipster had

just tapped my breast?   Hand slipped  apparently   In any case he

wanted the seat next to me   MAC: sadistic vixen  lipstick  against

pointy incisors  frightened him away   Now I sit  +contemplate love

a day after Valentine’s     Likely wearing one skull too many



Tru Love..



Winter 2018





New neurologist said this should have resolved itself by

now   Well so should a lot of things   She wore mushroom

coloured Blundstones  exact shade of her boiled wool suit

Lips dry as a bone  a wasting purple lipstick  likely  MAC

Purple Nurple    Yet she asks me !  How many bottles of

water do you drink?  As I sit there cool as a moist cucumber

Even after waiting 1 hr    The patient before me was late


This after a 2 yr. wait to genuflect at her Blunnied feet   Poor

little poet on a stormy February day  when the white tunnel

does not stop at Wonderland  a la Alice  but at cabin fever  +a

whitebrite claustrophobia  boring into your brain


Wherever you look  white stuff   some yellowed   some browned

And Torontonians crawling upon bellies due to a world shortage

of salt  +sanity   In an Ayn Rand world  (think Atlas Shrugged  

+ We The Living)  mediocrity + incivility went unrewarded

(are  you listening Justin?)  And the late patient would have waited

until the other 26 were seen  but not so in squeaky  PC clean  2018


I grabbed my silver lamé jacket shrieking  Viva la Revolución!  Head

pounding  stomach squeamish  +made a bee line for Reposado  where

the Anjeo is served by  lush Zøe   And the Mezcal is full of succulent worms

for munching    Viva civility!      Viva Dr. Agave!





Winter  2018



Ice inches thick   Recently a friend said:  The snow is so

beautiful   But he hails from a North Atlantic town called

Souris   The yiddish word for  suffering   A Pollyanna Canadian

not unlike husband #3   who often quotes the Inuit   They have

261 words for snow  the ultimate collaboration with the inevitable

I would rather collaborate with the devil  sell my frigid soul for a

one way ticket to the Mayan Riviera  where American retirees drink

frozen Margaritas  +make new friends of Canadians in ill health


Many more of us than you think suffer these whiteskydays  with glazed

eyes  nausea  +turgid heads   One hip young woman  contemplating bangs

(big mistake in February)  said to me   just before I swooned  at  Schmaltz 

Dundas+Ossington: I feel not quite myself   I feel the colourless sky an

inducement to over indulgence in chicken schmaltz in particular   Divine

elixir of the shetl Jew  meant to put hair on chest  +inches on various body

parts    Eaten or slathered


One of these white February days  wearing perhaps one too many wool layers

I shall wrench that honkey groundhog  from his Wairton grave  to perform once

more for our amusement  (recently crushed in a thresher)  Or better still employ

the Ratus Honkus  Furry oracle of the snow  who likely knows more about being

white than most   O bitter little poet with chilblains  on arthritic knees   Take heart!

Only 9 more weeks until the first spec of green


*honkey – perpetual liar



Winter  2018









Admonishes a Kia Super Bowl ad  worshipping : youth  audacity  +

reckless abandon  Infact predicting their “coming”  As if old people are

not audacious  leaving this place in droves!   Steve Tyler  Leper-messiah

Drives a Kia around a track  Morphing into rock divinity   Now 20  plump

of lip  Hard of glute + thigh   Am I really writing about a Super Bowl ad?

Watched my first  in its entirety  last night   Cherry pop  +tequila chasers

Pretty-boy Brady  all mine


Saw grown men reach out to touch the silver Lombardi   Like the relic of

a saint   Saint Hubris?   How do grown men of the Abrahamic religions do

this?  Idolatry  by any other name   Better to touch the bark of a healing tree  or

the head of a baby   Transform  2 point conversions into humility   Hail Marys

into dignity   Isn’t that what Roger (the Dodger) Staubach meant when he said:

I like having sex   I just like having it with my wife


These same warriors cried  as the trophy-god went by   Some sobbing openly  for

crippled future bodies    And minds concussed into states of un-glory   Men  paid

more money than the GDP of certain countries    The Kia commercial  tells the

old man  to: Feel Something Again!    Hubris of another kind   Do the youthful

jingoists think the old have stopped feeling?     This is quite likely


Well just the opposite is true   For beginning at 59  there is a sharpening of the

sense of smell  as the other senses  dwindle   Who needs a sharpness of  taste

touch  or sight  when that chair by a sunny window beckons?   And the scent of

the hellhounds propels you to summon the courage you never had    It wasn’t

courage  propelling you to marry 3x  or to have 7 babes   It was unconsciousness

letting you think you chose!


Steve Tyler’s old face  now craggy + hanging off of chiselled bones  The steely

hooded eyes   Speak volumes   A worn cavern of experience    The totality of:

Boy  Man  Senex    The acceptance of the road’s end   Now walking backward to

his beginning   As my old mother has pointed out time+again:  No more gurus  

No lovers   No teachers    In the end  time is simultaneous    Embrace it


And yes  zillion dollar Kia commercial  unless one is comatose  he or she will feel the

shutting down of circuitry   Cell by cell   And smell your youth festering   Just as you

the scent of agey-mouldering    One doesn’t become less    One becomes more !

Hey  there had be some prize for hauling your ass  compass-less  toward the non –

weight bearing shower     Just go quietly   +savour the four handed rub down





Winter  2018 memory of Lee Atkins..the Plunging 1st football hero..



There is a bird the size of a 3 yr. old child  who visits my

mother’s balcony  Is he a giant hawk or peregrine?  He looks

at me hungrily  Yellow slits for eyes  glinting  Talons curled twice

around the rail   He has plans for my old mother  +he whispers:

You too sister


Handsome as a groom   Natty tuxedo plumage   Regal spotted head

Sharp hooked beak: The better to taste you with my dear   Such a

flirtatious ferryman  so close at hand   It makes one want to sit up  +

take notice  Is this destiny manifest?  Am I manifesting  or manifestering?

And what of my old mother?    Time is wasting


Certainly a kind of calm acceptance has set in  amidst my incessant chattering:

To avoid falls upon awakening  sit at the edge of your bed  count to 10  then

dance the horah with wild abandon   Perhaps I should listen to my own advice

As I have just learned that there is a rare gum disease laying in wait   As churlish

dentist drilled down into my soulhole  he chimed: This could be hereditary!


Oh no   Not many teeth in the heads of closest ancestors   Father regularly gagged

on foul denture   And  with not a little glee  I threw it down the incinerator  as he

lay dying   I screamed: Be prepared to meet your maker  You the most vile of late

life instruments   Yet in spite of all the gnashing  I throw caution to the wind  +search

for  a Caribbean island upon which to expire


One without a dentist  but with a fine 17th century synagogue   And a rare species of

flower   Sensing one’s last breath  it releases a scent   Top note: Ecstasy    Middle:

Harmony    Bottom note: Horny adolescent suitor     Breathe deeply     You are

getting sleepy





Winter  2018




Dentist said: It’s very bad  while poking around inside

my head   But I already knew that   Mouthfuls of blood

since Xmas   Yet here in bleak  Reaper-friendly January

the crucifixtions of 2017 begin to evaporate  As the pull of

Spring seduces  with bunnies  chicks +chocolate   Carlton

card hell  around the corner  Won’t you please just let me

bleed out in peace?


Easter  manufactured from the pagan celebration of Oster

Worship of the egg   The Great Round  Giant hips+thighs  All

that the fame whoring culture of now despises   No you are NOT

woke  as Ms. Steinem + other hip intellectuals would lead you

to believe


Last night on the Grammy’s  scantily clad young women gyrating

on the knees of men   Hair flicking  Soul eviscerating   How do you

expect to get behind #TIMESUP  amidst all of this vibrating?  I mean

to really make a dent  +stop worshipping the objectification  of breast

vagina  +penis  alike


In the Neolithic  when the naked ape was naked  the body was worshipped

as fertility God/Goddess  Mind you  we still performed human sacrifice  of

young virgins  But that is just the duality of the human being  From sublime

heights to profane crevices   Sacred substances to cesspools of the mind

Powerful men dropping like flies


And the humble dung beetle wagging a finger: I told you Apes  water finds its

own level  Ditto depravity   But today there is hope!   You know  h o p e   That

which springs eternal  Lurks in the darkest corners  Even among  the just trying

to survive  the mildly depressed+worried   It is that twinge inside  when humans

see:  a road  a mountain  an alcoholic at the LCBO counting out pennies for four



The twinge of hope  as I stand in front of the gallows on Bathurst St. each week

(where my old mother paints the Jazz greats in a dingy room)  And shout at the

top of my lungs: OPEN FUCKING SESAME!  The creaky doors of fate creak open

Take the step!  And all will be provided for safe passage  You can relocate to Peru

where reportedly the government is seducing ex-pats with $12 pedicures   Or do not

take the step   And continue to play checkers with the monster in your basement



I want my immortality now  bitches..



Winter  2018




Did you know that there are 3 dark sky sanctuaries in

the world?   Chile   New Mexico   Great Barrier Island

Places where darkness must be protected   As we seek

only enlightenment  endarkenment is frowned upon

So too  sanctuaries of the flesh  where one’s face might

be preserved   So that it will be recognizable to oneself

by your 6th decade


One day you awake  +you might as well be in the southern

hemisphere   Where the night sky is unrecognizable  Bearings

lost  you grow boisterous in company   And while you used to be

animus possessed  now you are just  possessed   Ditto your dear

old friend with the spirit of a dove   You find that he will spend

6 mths at a Sally Anne work camp  No cell phones  No lubrication


No candy coating of vicissitudes  gone to pot in vats of craft vodka

You know you’re in trouble  when you cannot tell the difference

between a hole in the ground  +your new condominium  Maybe one

+the same   But take heart  for in exactly 2 weeks  the seeds begin to stir

On the pagan:  Imbolc  (Feb. 2nd)


All despair will implode  +out of the seeds will explode  unshriven

possibilities    Like a job at an ad agency (seriously)  +your MIA dignity





Winter 2018  ..bring on.. IMBOLC.. Rise Up..


King Cake Baby  Mardi Gras  New Orleans





There are no stars there  just fallen worker bees   Rising up

from bellies  through contemplation   work  +abstinence

Inebriate starvation at the Salvation Army    There but for the

grace go we   While here on my street a jack hammer  jacks

constantly   And the foundations of my beliefs badly shaken

Not stirred   Ditto my soul in the bosom of Abraham !  Pardon

the flights of baroque     Or do not


Out here in the world  everyday  another man is destroyed by rudely

asking  or not asking  a teenage girl to fellate him   See these televised

downfalls daily   See the un-leader of the Ontario Conservative Party  Boy

next door haircut  shaking  +flailing   Boy next door no more    Just another

man-pig   And yes  everyone is innocent  until proven guilty    Have they

never heard of masturbation?   Too easy?   No chase?   No power to force

down anyone’s throat?


So  will the #Metoo movement trickle down  +help child survivors?

Some raped orally by age 3   Isn’t that about an abuse of power too?  Or is

it just about madness?   I seem to have more questions than answers   Shall

we abolish certain members of the species?  Or just subject them to the acts

they have enacted?   Forgive me  or do not    Vengeance is no longer PC



I am the end of a gorgeous line. But there’s no comfort being

who I am. Forget. Forget. The stars are out. The marble moon

slides by.    (Mark Strand  Blizzard of One  Pulitzer Prize  1998)




Winter  2018  ..when the tip of the iceberg doesn’t begin to cover it..





It’s difficult to write about familiar topics: decrepitude +

death  on day one in the silver lamé  Bonnie   A shrunken

little Moto jacket  designed by the feisty  Rosa   Named after

Ms. Parks  + Luxemburg    My bro gave it the thumbs up:

Elvis would approve!


Bonnie Parker Barrow  never officially wed the illiterate

bank robber  Clyde   Her first husband at 15  Roy  died in

prison   Dropping out of school early  Bonnie had designs on

poetry  but was destined for bloody notoriety   A clip on Youtube:

Bonnie’s face smashed against the glass  of a bullet ridden car

Circa 1934


Bonnie wanted more  than life in abandoned shacks  +riding

shotgun with Clyde   Ride until you die!   Her motto was

prescient   A bullet-deflowering  on her way to the wedding  in

the hereafter



*(as imagined by poet in silver lamé..Write until you die!)

Clyde is coarse  Roughly handled  and non-consensual   I gaze out

at wildflowers along the roadside  Miss my mama  and wonder about

her own servitude in my birth-house  Where all I ever wanted was to

imagine words erasing the grimy days  +the dirt roads leading to open

faced slaps by broad-handed men   Made you quiet  wary  +flinching often


Escape looked like a man   Squat  +dirty   Pedal to the metal  hair blowing

in the breeze  Finally free of daddy’s bellowing  Just plain free  (bitches)  to

be whatever I want to be   Teacher said I’d never amount to anything  But

she too  caught rough hands with her cheek  no matter all her book learning

Maybe it’s just these times we’re living in  The girl I’ll raise will drive her own

car  and hit back whenever necessary


RIP  Bonnie Parker Barrow  1910-1934 

Write or die!



Winter  2018



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