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



Are you guys Jews?

Why, don’t you like Jews?

I like them better dead.


We were reminiscing after shopping plaza closed

in old hood just recently   My brother’s memory of

when he +friend  whose parents had just escaped the

Warsaw Ghetto  were walking to the plaza  in search of

candy  +burgers juicy at the Red Ruby   They were 10


You couldn’t eat just 1

Server: You ate your burger so fast!

Brother: No! You never brought it.


Server mystified   Brother’s favourite expression: I’ll gladly

pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!    Plaza taught us

to  want   +later to order liquor on pads  with small pencils fixed

to a string  The emphasis was on the C  as in: controlled substance

LCBO men  Rod Serling lookalikes in white shirtsleeves  gave us

stern sidelong glances


But early years filled with characters  before substances and OD’s

Like Marky   Boy with shopping cart  wore antennae  +parents would

later pay for whatever he shoplifted   And Jerry  in his orange Javelin driving

around endlessly   He sucker punched me in stomach  on a day with no breeze

Now in Forensic unit for stabbing his mother  fatally  *(see poem: Jerry Can

You Hear Me   AAC   June 2012)


Ugly Jewish ghetto  low buildings  suburban grey   Some nouveau riche with

swimming pools   Hey  a girl can dream    One father  a Jaguar XKE  low slung

like buildings   Metallic blue   His daughter went through a windshield just out

of high school


Gas station at one end of plaza  run by a churlish man   He never did believe

someone syphoned gas from me   Brother a.k.a. Wimpy  shared the Dodge with

me   Needle regularly on  empty  pre the long drive to U of  T   Where they taught

me about Boris Pasternak  +later at The Faculty  how to reclaim souls from the

trash heap: Therapist  you can hit me with the biggest stick   + I won’t feel it


It was raining one day in 1963  sidewalks slick  doughnuts in the plaza lot   Terrance

the  dumbest  boy in school  pastey white  but oh so sweet  sat beside the teacher   +

sometimes under her desk?   Fell from brother’s car  crushed instantly    Not the last

death either   Teller shot in head at bank  (Beatle Bandit incident)  where mother

sent me regularly


Teller: We can’t hand over cash to a child M’am. What does she look like?

Mother: She is beautiful!


Smile spread across teller’s yet blood splattered face  while I cringed in blue trench

coat  + as boy of my dreams called them  piss yellow  boots   He grew up to be an

Elvis impersonator  + would be charlatan  (see poem: You’re So Fine You Blow My

Mind   /Song&Dancegirl   AAC  2013)  


Does this sound like your neighbourhood?   Did you wake up to see curtains of visible

ultra-violet light +super sized aurorae   +listen nightly to the cacophony of crickets

+new survivors screams    Too many friend’s parents transported after bedtime  on

trains  to the outskirts of Polish towns   To round-ups   +camps with names like




Bath. Manor Life

Bathurst Manor Plaza

Bath. Man. plaza




Summer 2016
























Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: