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



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





A tooth is rotting in my head   Root of the problem:

A general lack of magic in the air   This will soon be

remedied  at Carleton University  Where a program in

the  Conjuring Arts  is newly offered   Magic  Deception

+ Illusion   My triple major  come September 2018


Husband: You’ll be a master of manipulation!

Me: Be?




Winter  2018 just stink a little bit..   H. Atkins  coined 1962 



Bowie’s face on a pillow in a window  in a place called

SPACE   Ersatz glam  workouts for the holier than cool

David’s face now mashed behind a snarling Torontonian

There are no girls with mousey hair  there   Has Bowie been

dead for 2 yrs.?


I step into  SPACE  +place my craggy hand on the growling

hipster’s shoulder   Have the decency to un-mash David Bowie

I flail  grabbing the pillow  +make haste along John St.    It is

65º today    In layers of mothy wool  I begin to feel quite faint

Though I have not fainted since packed against hard  Drive by

Trucker minions  at the Phoenix


Husband + brother still traumatized   Follow my every move with

hound-dog eyes   At our next concert  where if truth be told  I almost

swoon  at the feet of the sweet Afro’d singer  Benjamin Booker   The

room begins to spin  + I focus on a psychedelic eye  high in a corner

Whereupon   I am transported!


Up+up +up  into a stratosphere where: 40 yr. old cousins with 5 yr.old

sons do not die of lung cancer  on gorgeous Spring days  at St. Joes

(a hellhole  with no working oxygen machines in the Emergency)  In

this sphere  David Bowie + his mother  admire my new found joie de vivre


Newly freed from having to  be something   there is an undoing of the

stress fractures   My face relaxes   Teeth unclench   David’s mum says she

will find me a kimono + slippers    And David blows me   kisses



Back on Earth  Husband’s refrain:

What took you so long? What were you doing?

I was tying my bootlaces

Husband:  Oh  I thought you were having a stroke




Winter 2018   RIP David Bowie  January 10 2016



Another tv star to run for Prez   She never said she was

bigger than Jesus  or better than Jesus  but  neither did

John Lennon   Now there would be a fine president!   But

you know what happened to him  post character assassination

Cold pavement  bleeding out  at 40


Oprah may not be barking mad  as is the current resident of the

all White House  but there is little doubt as to her outsized  ego

Each +every copy  of her magazine has her photo on the cover  For

there are no other personages the world over whose causes are as



Oprah is gunning for beatification   The Pope is a fan   Genuflecting

before her large assets regularly   He will waive the part where saints are

Catholic  for Mother O   It’s just hard to trust her snake oil lust for a throne

Last night she spoke in near tongues at the Globes  where La Streisand  face

nearly unrecognizable from surgeon’s knives  squinted  +shuffled  before her


Crude jokes were lobbed at Harvey  +meaner ones at Spacey  but it really just

seemed all highfalutin  +hollow   More self-congratulatory than: We are the

vanguard of a new world order   Some even used their  plus one invites  to

bring an  activist  along!  And there in $10,000 gowns  +$300,000 diamonds  they

forgot that these activists  have  always  been around


Last year  +the one before  when the fame whoring Hollywood horde  did not invite

them to the party   Left them in obscurity  to claw their way past cops  smothering

a black man  selling cigarettes  on a Jersey street   Freeze this frame  + in your mind’s

eye travel to their mansions on the hill   Closing ranks against Harvey  who last year

was called  a God  by Saint Streep


Surely to God  someone knew that he was a serial sexual predator?   But whistles

were not blown   The power dynamic is a poisonous brew   Far be it for plebeians like

you to judge these powerful women   Souls were sold  +it is no secret that the human

conscience has always fallen victim to hubris  along with the other deadlies

Especially gluttony


I’m not saying I am bigger than Jesus  or better than Jesus   I’m just saying   Let’s

turn the high beams off of these glam-ladies  who gesticulated madly  as no female

directors were nominated    Let’s address instead  the real age old power imbalances

around since  the naked apes crouched in caves    might is right


In 2017 world orphanage tourism was being  phased out  because:  the dirtier the

rooms +the hungrier the children  the more $$ tourists bequeath   So now all foreign

money will disappear  +children  especially girls  will be left at the roadside  or be

drowned in rivers







Winter  2018  …for all children living among debased tyrants..





..eyes dead and sightless  crouching there pale and naked

The brain that pulsed in a dull glass bell.  It swung its head

from side to side   gave out a low moan  turned and lurched

away..    (Cormac McCarthy   The Road)


Post apocalyptic treatise   The creature  reminiscent of the orange

beast  currently terrorizing the world  Finger on a VERY BIG button

Bigger than that of the stout buffoon with a mushroom cut   He who has

his sites set on California   Then make your way east!  Insane young man

It finally seems possible in our lifetime   The much vaunted apocalypse

Set in motion by an idiot-stand-in:  for a president  for a God


Times like these stir up memories of simpler times?  When we huddled

under our desks at school  +an alarm sounded in the hall  Drills for some

distant apocalypse  Not yet the teenaged gunmen with weapons of mass

destruction  picking off students like bobbing apples in a barrel   Heads

exploding willy-nilly


Or a most perfect day from your childhood   One you’ll want to savour as

the button kings continue their pissing contest  Both of small mind  +absent

soul    1965  parents out   Old grandfather in front of tv  watching wrestling

+wrestling with invisible men   In a vinyl+metal rocking chair  purchased for

his yearly visit   Until emphysema claims him in a sanitarium   Sainte-Agathe-

des-Monts   But first a family trip to visit him


Your father bridles at the uncut pizza  tears it apart with his hands  +declares:

Dumbest bastards God ever created    A cousin who wasn’t thought especially

swift  but  in reality  his brilliance rivalled that of Heidegger  intoned his own

 version of: beings unto death   When in a Montreal singsong  he pointed at us

children  like a balding Jewish reaper:  You’re gonna die  +you’re gonna die

We’re all gonna die!


45 yrs. later he is still alive   Your father not so lucky   nor the cousin’s only son

Who perished slowly from a strange Legionniares’ like disease   During his

protracted illness  his wife would call our mother  quite high on her declining

husband’s medical marijuana: I hate him like poison  she’d say   One supposes him

to be in a better place   than the one where we contemplate a crossing   Over stinking

scablands    Once the button boys have their way




WINTER  2018



Packing for Big Sur   Moving there   8 unopened boxes

after 16 yrs.  still in the crawlspace  Straight into dumpster

Separating the wheat from what is trash   Piles of detritus

feet deep     What + who  to keep?


The demarcation point of New Year’s day  stirs anxieties

Resolutions  for the faint of heart    Things to grab hold of

in the 364 days ahead   Lives broken down by some ancient

mathematician into: seconds  minutes  hours  befores  afters


Keep the naked ape counting   Trick him into believing that it is

not onelongdayandonelongnight ever repeating itself    But rather

an ingenious treadmill  of beginnings  +endings     More illusions


Like happiness  +freedom    Suitcases strewn  Hiking boots packed

Big Sur is mountainous   +there are handsome Argentinians   Miraculously

you have lost your fear of the San Andreas fault!  And of leaving this frozen

wasteland of a place    Where 21,900 days have come +gone


There were large dogs   horses   a pack of grimy brothers    And yet each

morning as you prepared to walk onto the stage  +increasingly so    You

know  that they cannot keep extending the run   And you have read the

manual: Surviving Earthquakes  most thoroughly   Stand in a doorway

It is the strongest place in any dwelling  Or don’t trust me +be crushed like

a flea beneath your bed


Doorways are liminal   So too the limen of New Year’s day  a tricky beast

Still groggy from tequila  + 6 bags of Skittles  you believe in new frontiers

But what you really long for is one last Cormac McCarthy novel  +a blanket

Perhaps even a pacifier   It is the coldest winter since 1960  And what are all

those suitcases doing on the goddamned floor anyway


..handsome Argentinians of Big Sur..



Day 1  2018     Can I get a witness?



On my way home to write a poem about  the sword  (it’s not

sward  it’s sword  father bellowed)  I see a one-legged woman

get into a car  alone   Driver’s seat dexterity enters psyche   It is

-23   Hunks of ice floes  pepper city streets   She smiles ferociously

+walks at a clip  among dead eyed boxing day refugees


Yesterday I talked with a young friend about the sword he’d received

at 18   A full blown Jedhi number  glinting   Envy ricocheted   His 10 yr.

old brother + me  sobbed pitifully   I too coveted his weapon   The things

one would do with a sward  are different at 10  than at 60


Though the woman now driving home  foot frantically moving  gas to brake

to gas  brake brake  knows the sword intimately   While we sword coveters

day dream of jousting infamy   With dragons  not surgeons   But still  a sword

is a useful instrument  Perhaps living by the pen is for pussies  while growing

old is decidedly not


For at the start of each decade  there is a slicing away  of unformed forms  of

oneself    A cleansing of what has been festering  if one is lucky    Otherwise

Ebeneezer-like  drag it around for eternity   Rattling chains in living rooms of

friends    That obsessional knot  the one you cannot untie   Pick away as you

might  with fingers grown thick+arthritic


At 10: back the bully Keith into a corner  impress upon him which bitch rules

He who sucker punched you on the way home from school   At 20: cut away

dreams  in fact hack them quickly  It hurts less?  At 30: carve your initials into

clouds hanging upon peaks at Big Sur   Hungry for conversion of new dreams

into  as yet un-hacked reality


Though you begin to see  there is a certain symmetry to all this foreplay   Carve

away the fluffy stuff  chop the dross into one inch cubes  +the next decade appears

All pink +baby’s cheek   Until it begins to dawn that no sword will save you    40’s

50’s   60’s  emerge   You learn to live by your wiles+your wits  or not    No need for

that sharp flirty ego    All dressed up with no place to go


Now you know what Jung actually meant after his NDE  when he said: you won’t

need your little worker bee  Where you are going  the dead will hang on your every

word    There you will be a rock star refugee  newly born   Same as when you arrived

here  newly born  +they hung on your every word    Rock star in a birthday suit    And

smart    Don’t ask




Winter 2017

…here’s to poems filled with daffodils + sunshine as requested by most readers..



Keely Smith died this week  Louis Prima’s diva

Sexy in a 1950’s kittenish way   Tight tight tops

Pointy bras   Pert bob   Faux impertinence   You

have to wonder though if Louis was prone to rages

Black moods?  Why else would she appear his plaything?


Keely  part Cherokee  part Irish  A woman of her time   Seen

but not heard   Louis’ first girlfriend   All the boyz I know  still

love their 1st girlfriends  Except for one bro  whose first was likely

his last   Beat him senseless  often   Unfinished loves leave a trail:

of burn marks about the chest


Once in grade 7  my bff  (a dead ringer for Joni Mitchell  named Joni)

+ I   clomped down the stairs at high school  trying to figure out the

difference between: destination + destiny   The Vice Principal behind

us stopped to ponder   But he didn’t seem to have been slipped the answer

A thick set man  squarejawed  +Narc-ish


Perhaps there is no difference  We have all lived lives of unfinished business

Destinations impossible to reach    Like the horizon that keeps moving  or the

dream of my parents going on a trip   their destination impossible to ascertain

Perpetual unconscious fog gets in the way  Repetition compulsions  +chasing

your rotting tail


Destiny a place you get to  but your body is no longer a player   The destination

a place where your bliss will be handed to you on a silver platter  +you won’t

recognize it  nor will you need it   So what did Joseph Campbell  New Age guru

mean when he said:  Follow your bliss   He meant that you are the only likely

destination    So stop searching and sit down in that chair



..if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there

all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you

are living.     Joseph Campbell





Winter Solstice 2017   RIP Keely Smith  no man’s sidekick..



Rich ladies eat crumpets  +chat up vacation porn

Throwing out names heard by forlorn   Big Sur

Amagansett   Manhattan at xmas   Barbuda

Yesterday in Vogue the nuptials of Kate Upton  +

Justin Verlander were chronicled    She of the

pneumatic breasts   He the Astro’s pitcher  28 million

per year


Standing on a precipice in Tuscany  flowers flown in

that morning from Barbuda   By the boatload   So many

monied coincidences    The ladies have the vacant look  of

easybreezy manmade dolls   Speaking of french fries at various

ports of call


It is hard to care whether the afternoon train runs out of track

And deposits them on a barren plain  where coyotes sneer +yip

Heartless?   Yes    (the Verlanders too)    See this now empty room

A couple sit down  facing me  +order xmas nibbles  wordlessly   We

are so close I can smell their sinusitis


It is as though I am a magnet  in my black layers  lace at the knees

Hecate about me   Yet they do not flee   As I wrap my scarf to leave

the end flicks their bowl of rarebits   Whereupon the silver haired man

who looks like Leary  gets down on his knees  collecting mashed olives



I place my heel at the base of his spine  + I climb    He is a stair   And I

glare  especially at people like these  +those at the beach   They sit up

against your thigh +pick sand out of their cracks   Lemmings!  Lemmings!


Back slowly away from me   Grow an imagination  +a pair  but do not tarry

here   You dance contest winners    You who feed Hummingbirds though the

feeders are deathtraps    You with your heart conditions  +your smallhappy

Flee!   Flee!





Have you ever been in a room where old men in

threadbare suits  sing their threadbare hearts out?

Sweat coursing  they come up beside you   Sweat now

flying into hair +eyes   One bold creeper bestows a

bordello scented rose   It cannot be packed for the trip



Border dogs +guards would howl at the reek of your cheap

carnality   And crocodile tears wouldn’t save you from tooth

+ jowl    But wait  the same bold bluesman has stolen a kiss

Lips moist  laboured breath   Grizzled one tempts you out the

side door   +onto the back of his bicycle


Through dark parishes  +a cemetery or 2  you come to a halt at

a rickety pier   Backroads astride the great Mississippi   It is here

that you are baptized    He trembles  +moans in tongues  as frigid

black water licks    Red hair  medusa-snakey  flares out in a fan


You float  +a zillion stars above  form constellations in the shapes

of old men with guitars   Next night it is you up on stage  knowing

you will miss your plane    Now the bride of Little Freddie King!

What was before was never yours   so you have lost nothing   From

this day forward juke joints call yo name



Winter  2017

for Lightnin Lee + Little Freddie King  for the kiss+the rose  Siberia New Orleans 2013

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