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

Archive for the month “April, 2015”



John Milton sold Paradise Lost on April 27  1667  for 20 pounds  5 up

front  +3 more 5 pound pays  Paradise Lost didn’t even rhyme  +blind

Mr. Milton dictated it to scribes as he lay in bed  Not simple times: war

plague  the great fire  all conspired against him    It took 4 yrs. before a

contract was signed


I want a scribe  +a contract too   Some people call me the poet of gloom+

doom  But that is not true  I have just mailed 3 poems to the Humour Issue

of our country’s finest poetry journal   The one entitled Bitched should get

in    Hands up all who slapped their thighs while reading it  (April 1  2015)


Perhaps my scribe might cheer me up   He can begin by: licking salt off of

my limbs after a work out   +gradually move onto pitting Bing cherries   &

placing them on my forked tongue  one dark cherry at a time  He might then

scurry about my boudoir collecting words from shadows+closets    +all

manner of orifice  where Satan usually hides them   Somehow I doubt that you

are still slapping your thighs ladies&gentlemen



Realistically   Satan seems more my purview   what with a bird’s eye view of

Hades from my consulting room   where desperate children fled our modern

plagues  day in+day out for an eternity  Hands up all who vote for sending this 

poem to the Humour Issue



Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block

to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely those of humanity.”

Matthew 16:23


paradise lost


Paradise Lost  Paradise Regained  John Milton

10 books  10,000 lines of Verse





Spring  2015   Who you calling dark?




1st butterfly   1st magnolia blooming

many hipsters lay  splayed in my park

today    several inch closer  +gaze blankly

2 guffaw +slap their sides oh so raucously

they surely need some valium or some ddt


writing as an exercise in futility    as someone

close has said to me:  writers just pretend they’re

writing  +call that a profession    this has led to

much rumination  & caramel anejo


which hasn’t dulled the realization that: this person

is not my friend  +people who speak with blunt edges

sometimes  speak the truth




what’s called a normal life

a series of grainy mistakes  +an

irritating fear of words  

(Rosemary Waldrop  love, like pronouns)



Spring  2015



Rescued from a drug den at 8   twin brothers 5

names rhymed   New Mom+Dad changed all 3

to match their fancy   Now children don’t come

when called


Workers checked their hearing  +sent them for

therapy  then new Dad cut off teddy-bear’s head

In therapy he said:  My Dad beat me every day 

+screamed in my face for fun   He eyed the bears

on rocking chairs    Run therapist   RUN



She’s leaving now cause
I just heard the slamming of the door
The way I know I’ve heard it
Some 100 times before
And if I could move I’d get my gun
And put her in the ground
Oh Ruby
Don’t take your love to town

(Mel Tillis  Kenny Rogers)



Spring  2015



learning to disappear began with birds  moved on

to horses  +huge dogs   even the odd squirrel or 2

a horse is a 2,000 pound animal he said   show

fear  +you can die    later in rooms full of toys   feral

children close at hand  theories discarded


one boy faced the wall for a year  as i sat zazen   turned

doll’s house upside down  violent bashing  +crashing of

furniture  people  +pets    holy mayhem    as his family

exploded  every week at 2:15     gradually his depression

eased   he smiled once   handsome now   muted mask of 1/2

alive   dropped for seconds flat


later  the invisible therapist  rides again  with 19 yr. old woman

flapping like a caught hawk  up in the windowsill    she leaked

warm urine  everywhere   30 yrs. of invisibility when necessary

children come out of dungeons  +reveal their torturers in psycho-

dramatic reveries


is it a wonder that people looked at you in horror  at their dinner

parties?   you  granted immunity from humanity in day job  by night

your chitchat emptied rooms with regularity    sex me    

invisible therapist     sex me



There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to gain, a time to lose.
A time to rend, a time to sew.
A time for love, a time for hate.
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.
(ecclesiastes/george aber & pete seger)






She eyes me suspiciously  It is Spring 2015  Vicious landing

Sleet  +hail   frozen citizenry   All of the women I see:  eyes 

glazed over  dull-skinned  +gnarly   One threatens to bite me


Not so Harriet Quimby  who on another fierce April day  flew

from Dover to Calais  her signature purple silk flight-suit  &

seal-skin stole  luffing in the breeze


1912 an open single prop plane  Ghostly pale +gorgeous  Harriet

died in an air-show crash later that same Spring   Her debris washed

up on Wrangel Island  home of the Wooly Mammoth  contemporaries

of the pyramid builders in Egypt


Love Dalen  researcher at Wrangel (U of Sweden)  posits that

Harriet Quimby may in fact be one of the first documented

extraterrestrials   Like humans  Mammoths have 2 sets of

chromosomes  Harriet had 3   On why Love devoted his life

to the study of  Wolly’s   his analyst remains silent


Today walking on the frigid streets of my city a sign said:

It’s true   even if it hasn’t happened yet  






No Spring  2015





Could there ever be a man more lovely than Jamie Fraser?

Scottish hunk  on night-time tv   Turns every cliché into poetry

Claire stays with him despite rape by an English captain    &

suffering the scourge at the hands of witch-burners


So  is it healthy to attach oneself to such fantasy?  Blue light of tv

+caramel glow of anejo  addles the brain   As Jamie’s brogue plays

hard +fast with a girl’s will to live  in a place where: on her birthday

in late April it sleeted+snowed    +the wind licked her most ferociously


She came to rest in the trees on Philosopher’s Walk U of T    You’ll find

her there still  when the cherry trees bloom  in blossoms as pale as her

brand new white shoes  wings


emily carr

Emily Carr  D’sonoqua

Wild Woman Of The Trees




Spring  2015



un-happen the bypass surgery  the

longest scar you’ve ever seen  maybe

in history   upper chest to ankel   cut

me from stem to stern    said he

un-happen the debris in arteries  his

father’s death at 63   massive coronary


leave  the charm  the laugh   the solitary

comfortable in his skinness  leave the bravery

to face the Medusa without a mirror   leave

the horse  +his favourite movie star   +an

open road    un-happen the marlboros



Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic

future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded

us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run

faster, stretch our arms out farther…  And one fine

morning –


So we beat on boats against the current, borne back

ceaselessly into the past.  

(F. Scott Fitzgerald  The Great Gatsby  1925)



tom mix 2

tom mix 1



Spring 2015   for Harry Lee Atkins   who would be 94






1st month of Spring   Peregrine in cobalt sky

Transports you to a time when hawks fly high

above suburban yard   Dive-bombed small

brother too   Father never believed it   Grew up

on a farm +inner-city  where hawks chased Jew

boys down back alleys


Driving along   green Impala  menthol hanging

from Paul Newman lips   in seconds fists flying

toward mouthy-man in muscle shirt  rat-bastard

nearly killed us   Mother shrieking LEE!    While

Henry  who later took an Anglo name  sat cowardly

swatting flies  +pretending to tickle brother’s thighs


It was 1965   grown man could play such pranks back

then    Today carted away by Children’s Aid    Maybe he

should have been   Colourful family   horse traders  book

makers  football players  uncle drove the get-a-way car at

17  pardoned in 43    Dream a little dream


Backsplit house on Toronto ravine   A wild & peculiar scene

Daddy tapping foot to Bobbie Gentry  cowboy hat askew

Say sister: What were you +Billie Joe Macallister doing up

on Choctaw Ridge?   Daddy gone for 26   +now Mama doesn’t

seem to wanna do much of anything



A year has come and gone since we heard the news ’bout Billy Joe

And brother married Becky Thompson; they bought a store in Tupelo

There was a virus going ’round; papa caught it, and he died last spring

(Ode To Billie Joe   Bobbie Gentry   1967)


bobbie Gentry

Bobbie Gentry  Nice Jewish girl from the Delta



Spring 2015  (




She is 5 ft. 11  blonde  lush  pneumatic  skirt ends

at cheeks   no stockings   just read 60 pages on

secularism   Kisses boyfriend bye  red beard  Munk

School Global Affairs   Not a hipster  couldn’t be   looks

more trust-fund pedigree  future Prime Mistress


It’s 15 Celsius  1st day in 6 months  sprawl on grass  without

blasts of frigid wind creeping into every orifice   Also the day

half the globe away when: Bring Back Our Girls Now  And

Alive  became:  Never to be Forgotten


First anniversary of the seizing: 276 girls  54 escaped  some

clinging to branches of trees from back of an open truck   3

dead   snake bite  malaria  dysentery  Now sex slaves +fighters

Never see their families


President Buhari former military ruler of Nigeria said: We must be

honest   Euphemism for: We aren’t looking anymore   Malala Yousafrazi

Nobel Peace Prize  shot in face by Taliban  promised scholarships for the

girls     219 living in loveless forced marriages to terrorists



When a man loves a woman   he can’t keep his mind on nothing else   

He’ll trade the world for the good thing he’s found  




Spring  2015    RIP Percy Sledge  






Virgil Gus Grissom  1st casualty of the 1st seven astronauts

of U.S. manned space flight   Gus died in 67  perished in a

fire aboard Apollo 1   All were: superb physical specimens

with genius IQ’s  none taller than 5 ft. 11   the dimensions of

the Mercury capsule


Gus looks older than the rest   He looks like a friend who died

John Glenn is the only one of the 7  still alive  Godspeed Gus Grissom  

Posed in spacesuits  silver with many zippers + round white helmets

Smiling faces  robot-men  except for Gus Grissom  serious  +intense

Hand of Mcfate on his left shoulder     It is 1959


14 yrs. had passed since the great liberation   NASA hopeful after rape

+pillage of planet    70 yrs. now come & gone  Buchenwald survivors lay

flowers  They wear their striped pyjamas  +one man his striped cap   His

home held 250,000   More than 56,000 died there  from  torture   +medical

experiments    +starvation


Next to these images today  our National newspaper displays  3 girls

hanging out of a window  one clutching a small stuffed cat  all looking down

at fellow students  U of Nairobi  who jumped to deaths in mistaken terrorist

attack    Felix Muriuki a 3rd year student said: I could see students jumping  

one of them landed on his head


Now move your eyes down the page  right smack in the middle of all this  in

red+blue  is Hillary Clinton: The deck is still stacked in favour of those at the

top  she said   Her strategy in the next race for President will be to avoid a sense

of celebrity  


Despite wealth+fame Hillary cares about ordinary people:  I want to be their

champion!   Her blue hawk-eyes may belie a just folks sincerity   but more likely

they scream: Don’t fuck with me  and especially  no questions about Benghazi


I leave you with the fresh faced men of Mercury 7  explorers of the heavens   And

the news that: today’s largest manned space flight will be one way  86,000 Canadians

have signed up so far    They unlike Hillary   are proud to be celebrities


She is plump. Her beak is open.  She breathes hot hawk breath on my face.

Formidable talons.  Sleek.   (H is for Hawk   Helen Macdonald  2014)



mercury 7

Simpler Times   Mercury 7   1959


gus grissom

RIP  Gus Grissom





Spring 2015   





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