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

Archive for the month “November, 2015”



stomach turns  nausea roils  a tide of migraine creeping in

flat implement to side of jaw   cold steel rail impales inner

most self   seeks out final refuge   girl in wheelchair on saturday

said: hope is a form of courage   I say: courage is a form of

hopelessness on steroids    at some point the night weasels come

+you fight on    old bottles of old wine



gatsby girl



Winter  2015




In bed with paper +Humbert  who looks at downed Russian

plane   Face of Putin wretched+elfin stares back at him   You

get the face you deserve   says Hum’s mum  a Lolita scholar

with  a dry sense of humour


I am currently attempting a  re-invention tour   My last career

was striking  only in its adherence to the unglamorous   This

time around I aim to re-vivify the haggard    Bring me your

immutably fatigued  your careworn minions   +with a macabre

sense of comedy   I will eradicate melancholia itself


Last week I hired a new staff member  within minutes she brightened:

I’m not stupid  I can see you have powers   I tried to withhold the truth

But now discovered  I had no choice but to hurtle her toward her newly

dead “Poppy”   Her severe depression  there for all to see  lifted     I know

on paper this does not sound like anything fresh    But any further follow

up would ruin its magic



You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.  

Vladimir Nabokov  Lolita  


humbert 2




Fall 2015



cackling co-ed intones   Trying to write a poem

Steel-grey day  pre-christmas light  17 gunned

down at a playground  Bunny Friend Park  9th

Ward  New Orleans  yesterday   Dead +maimed

celebrating  with Po Boys  12 inch southern sandwich

crawfish or couchon   merlitons+hot sauce

jacomo fi na ne


It was yesterday too that a five year old I know waxed

specific about what he’d do with all of his money: I’ll

buy a jet +some guns +shoot everyone who teases me

Tiny tormentors weighing heavily


Radicalized at 5 by gun-toting media-minions   Homegrown

super-hero nihilists coming to a playground near you   A descent

into de-socialized mayhem   But what if you had a teacher who

applauded you for living beyond the frames of violent video games?

Opiate for the masses of children


2 brothers of Daesh  1 blown to bits in his suicide vest   the other

dreaming of guns+planes+grenades  +Brussels   Today in lockdown

as lone brother relishes the silence of his final daydreams   His parents

hope he is killed soon


When the shooting finally ended there was a deep silence.  Dr. Hefez

unfolded herself from under the table. What she saw was boucherie –

butchery.  “They were me.  The same hair, the same shoes.  Just girls,

going out for a night on the Canal St. Martin.  ( Dr. Louise Hefez  30 yr.

old survivor  Paris terrorist attacks  November 13, 2015)



Fall 2015



Think about the streets of Paris  July 16 1942

Let us travel back to another reign of terror   To

Nazi occupied  Vichy France   To the infamous

Véldrome d’Hiver roundup 


Thousands of families were amputated  Parents put

on trains  Children as young as 6 months left to fend

for selves  Only later to be herded onto eastbound cattle

cars   One family had barely enough time to hide small

son behind a trap door


His bones found by prodigal sister  after the War    She

survived Auschwitz    Parents ashes scattered here+there

A strange smell emanated well into 1943   The pillaging family

did not know what to do  when no amount of fumigating could

expunge the scent of small jew


Paris has seen rivers of blood it is true  Heads on pikes 1792

Barack called the recent slaughter: acts against humanity   Have

they not all been?  The lights of Paris dimmed   A tapestry of liberté

A tapestry of blood rimmed tides


But  should we braid together past+present   +dig deeply into micro-

history  we can see  that YES we are all Charlie  + Hymie  +Zainab


Jade water –  the Aztecs called human blood   They fed it – hundreds of

living sacrifices a day – to the sun   This  the only nourishment the sun

god would take  (Annie Dillard  For The Time Being) 


Charlie Hebdo


Fall 2015  O Bartleby O Humanity  Herman Melville  Bartleby The Scrivener






Bush the roofer visited today  jovial diviner

Single-toothed +agile climber   Beaten down

by water   ice floes bursting through duradeck

membrane  Broken condom-inium hell   Once

was a  time sublime   No chattels   No urban water



Yesterday Hamlet on campus U of T  mean age audience

18    Not the usual phlegmy coughers   Diseased boomers

nowhere to be seen   Sat among the mouldering teens   Smells

wafting up all around me: sweat  yeast  +sex    All instantly

asleep with Hamlet’s: TO BE  OR NOT  TO BE


The girl’s: thick+sturdy  lacrosse thighs   short plaid skirts

feral eyes  Loads of ginger headed boys  pink-skinned +

hunting   Teachers look pubescent too   tight pants   high

breasted   Dreadlocked Narcissus leaned in: Lady your

perfume is sick!


It was beside the crumbling bell-tower  where final bluebells

bloom  we talked of Gertrude’s complicity   His sweat fragrant

+Oedipal   caught in the webby fibres  of my favourite Zara sweater



O that this too too sullied flesh would melt   Thaw and resolve

itself into dew  O most pernicious woman!  Get thee to a nunnery




Late Fall  2015



See this man   Modigliani head  elongated neck

Leans against a tree  world-weary about the watery

eyes  Eyes that cried him a River Styx  Pallor greyish

yellow  tell-tale sign of years in cells   Roméo  Roméo


Roméo Phillion: Victim Of Wrongful Imprisonment   dead

at 76   Reminiscent of a child I knew  9 yrs  eyes also full of

un-cried tears  Locked in room  used bed as bathroom  Almost

climbed out 14th floor window   No one would have missed him


Step dad in prison for: breaking my mom’s face   May still be in

diapers  never toilet trained   Took 2 yrs. to notice office had windows

+2 yrs. more to look outside   The cell he was locked inside was locked

inside of him   Therapist crafting a key from base metals    A soul-food

alchemy   Eyes so blue  like her father’s   Countertransferential stew


Back to Roméo   31 yrs. in prison for a murder he did not commit   Twin

brother Donald in prison for 2  he did    See this child  Roméo    See this

mother  Yvonne   Father’s mean-streak ran deep   Sent twins away at 8 while

mother birthing 9th


Residential school for orphans+truants  St. Joe’s  Broke Roméo’s body  Spirit

scarred some too   Run by Brothers of Christian Schools  replete with beatings

+sexual abuse   Lost+living by instinct  a habitual liar  with no sense of right

from wrong  (Roméo’s obituary  November 7 2015)   Multiple suicide attempts

in prison  one with fishhooks sent down his throat


Charges withdrawn this past July   Roméo’s alibi lay buried in rotting police

records   Went directly to the CN tower on the day they set him free   Come

gentle night  Come Roméo  Take him and cut him out in little stars  And he

will make the face of Heaven so fine  that all the world will be in love with

night  (Romeo+Juliet)





Fall 2015




I am compiling a list of reasons to resist suicide   Other reasons

than as Hamlet posits: The dread of something after death   The

undiscovered country  makes us rather bear those ills we have

This conscience does make cowards of us all


For Hamlet  cowardice  +fear of the great wide open  turn the tide

against egocide   Why not send me your list? (#Itsallaboutme)   Surely

at the top of ones list might be: the pain this act would cause others?

But then again maybe Will had sunk into a depression so deep his eyes

saw only death  decay+betrayal  fast tracking the promise of the cradle

+heading straight toward the grave


Here is what a modern day Will has to say about this human-ape: Our capacities

for making ourselves unhappy  +for torturing ourselves+others  remain undimmed  

We are a properly puzzling animal  not very well suited to contentment or peace

(Alain de Botton)    Twice this week I have both heard+read that we live in the

shadow of a personal apocalypse  A mini-Armegeddon  Should this not breed a

dark buoyancy?


Pessimists are far better prepared for death  as are depressives for the giant meteor

There is a the constant dress rehearsal amidst the glory   Yes!  The bell is tolling for

me me me   And there is no shortage of incredulity over a distaste for the Reaper  Is

s/he not a parental figure?  Even more complex than those who brought you here?


Turn around +face the death mask   Carry it with you in your pocket   My own lip

gloss is so shaped   A daily dose of dress-up-hemlock for the morbid fashionista

Did it ever occur to you that the skull is our most democratizing symbol?   The

greatest leveler of them all?   No race  No creed   No emblems of wealth    No

preference for gender identity


We all have one buried  under hat+hair+skin  a rather thin protection for such a

personal treasure   One that remembers little  the body you have hauled around

Best of all  one who remains guileless +smiling  long after your last stand


So for all happy optimists  you may stave off said Reaper  with a tincture of

Egyptian mummy   Or for those too old for dancing  get yourself a monkey gland!




Paolo hamlet


Fall 2015





Sticky note on cover of Al Purdy’s: rooms for rent

in the outer planets  1962-1996    Note says: go see

Al Purdy’s statue  Queen’s Park   So here I sit  at

stone Al’s feet    Al Purdy  Poet  1918-2000  carved

into concrete


Long bobbed hair  all in black   shirt sleeves rolled up

Cool deshabille   Al gazes off into now ochre trees   That’s

poets for you  autoerotic pencil flailing  in lonely parks +

freezing cafes


This poet sits on Al’s left knee  gold Chanel shoes glinting

in November rays   Al missed Justin’s swearing-in today  by

15 yrs.  Don’t know how impressed he’d be with the ceremony

There was Sophie G.T. clutching her heart   blonde locks

flapping in the golden girl breeze


2 tiny throat singers all shock+awe  as our Governor General broke

into loud gaffaws   Al won the GG award twice in his lifetime  Born in

Wooler Ontario  died in Sidney B.C.  Someone called his poetry: effortless 

gratuitous magic   Not a poet certainly   Now I wipe word-sweat off of

stone Al’s brow   if he could move he’d surely seduce me


Al thought love: a comic disease  yet I kiss his cold cheek  + squirm on

his knee   Too late to resist becoming poet-cliché   Sun now setting  time

to climb off of statue   When Al Purdy groans  +hauls me back  2 french bullies

begin to howl   as I succumb to advances of giant stone Al



she stands above him as a stone goddess   weeping tears and honey

she is half his age and far older  and how can a man tell his wife this?

(Married Man’s Song 1970  Al Purdy)


al purdy statue



Fall 2015







a smooth girl sitting ramrod straight  against a tree

albino squirrel dangerously close to me   as i prepare to

bolt momentarily  over there 2 topless men spar  is it a

hipster thing?  their jeans ripped oh so perfectly   yes you

might die from beauty  in my park today


many of us hope Justin legalizes pot in the coming months

the governor of colorado has said: no new people became users

its just old hippie resumers   specking out my vaporizer   going

to add buzzy-buddha to night time anjeo ritual    these are the

kinds of things you look forward to  when as Pete Townsend said:

all my friends are dead


late last year a woman at starbucks whispered to my brother:

my dreams they aren’t as empty  as my conscience seems to be

he married her on the spot  this his 2nd marriage born at starbucks

1st wife a psycho killer from poughkeepsie


but then  he did have a wicked jew-fro at 9  +lived for anything jimmy

hendrix said   when father asked him what he’d like to be  he said: black

Now gold wolf howling in the setting sun  park going dark  time to run

the whole of a story is never told



Fall  2015



We talked of tombstones  + a blue dinosaur  rising from

my father’s grave   He couldn’t be saved   her husband of

23 yrs.  Wheelchair bound for the final 4   went down for

the count in his early 60’s   Steve had small hands


Carl Jung noted that diminutive hands prophecy  an early

demise   Now beside me  astride a bungee rope  a guy balances

spideyesque   +on his T-shirt it says: fuck life  fuck death   Sam

Beckett would not protest


Yesterday at the Beckett Trilogy  in a darkened theatre  coughers

coughed  Drowning out the sound of disembodied lips  Lady beside

me shouted: Silencio!   Cough  rheumy +wet  turned to choke

Get that rat bastard out of here  I broke   I broke  I broke   Beckett

is all about  repetition


The longer a man stays in a form not his own  the greater is the peril

of losing oneself  permanently    With depression there is the fear that

should you get clear  you may leave some of your best parts  in the

blues dumpster    This is not necessarily a bad thing  especially if

mundanities eat your soul  +chitchat is anathema


Now spiderman beside me juggles coloured globes   All things have a

name  I implore you: discover the name of your shadow  and yours

shall be: my get out of jail free card  +my bullshit meter   even though

I need them so desperately  Today China changed its one child only policy

+ the masses will now be allowed 3      Bullshit meter   tingling





Dia De Los Muertos  2015


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