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

Archive for the month “August, 2017”




On the roof across the way a pigeon is dying   If he

does so quickly   he will avoid the swoop of the peregrine

White + sprackled  he once threatened to carry me away

As I sat splayed in the hot tub  feet from him  +tried not to

breathe  Talons curled twice around the branch that will not break


He was approximately 2.5 ft. long    I’d seen him swoosh +grab a

giant raven  quite close to where Mr. Pigeon lay dying   In Faulkner’s

As I Lay Dying   Addie lay dying  beside a window where her son worked

an adze  sculpting her coffin   Her husband  a Southern loser  married a

farm woman  minutes after Addie’s cancer-fetid body  washed away in the

great Mississippi


I promise not to write about ice+biting winds until November 29th

Instead I will share pithy-isms of  Torontonians  I meet along the way   to

my salvation   Today  a young man sales clerk asked me if I’d seen the most

recent Game of Thrones episode   Remarking  that the curve of my lip  +red

frizz  reminded him of the witch  which many before him have quipped   Also

Glinda from Oz


I don’t watch it

Why not?

My husband didn’t take to it

But it’s the only show where men can watch

dragons copulate with naked women

He’s not into that

Lose him!


On the drive home I fantasized about dragons copulating with naked women

+ knew that my husband and I would finally have to go into therapy   Or it might

just be cheaper  to buy another tv




Summer 2017






Some go to their neighbour  seeking themselves

Others to lose themselves   paraphrasing Nietzsche


muggy  first autumn leaf  on dying maple tree  outside

yellow stucco townhouse   how is gord downie?  our nation

turns  it’s lonely eyes to you   usually come upon the  final

leaf  brisk november day   then it’s gone  small tree freezes

under canopy of 14 stars   soon


stars! there are no stars anymore!  old mother spits  where

did you see them?  where?   clear city nights  september to march

pleiades blinks  overhead   are you going to spend your time

pretending you are not dead?   a voice in a dream said   40 winks

mid-poem  i think    epiphanic drool  a dead giveaway


i have never sought to find myself in society  nor lose myself there

Nietzscheans cannot slot me   the truly godless gaze slack jawed at the

ones who say:  man makes plans  god laughs   laugh back  long+hearty   

god’s wrath is just another name for anxiety  frozen millennials


unplug   tune in   look up   way up   those aren’t stars

they’re  flashlights





End Summer  2017





So said Jean Paul Sartre   What could he possibly mean?

That freedom is contingent upon one’s  degree of imprisonment?

That every small act  even the most minute  was an act of

defiance in face of the boot?  Or the waiting train for the long

ride to Polish towns with death camp names?


Yet freedom as a condition is not native to human existence

As Beckett mentioned  We are born astride a grave  But even

if one may  compartmentalize  deny  +anesthetize   it is also true

that you + I are dropped into a story written by who?  One which

unfolds with seeming choices at every step   except   for the beginning

+the end


Nailing one to a family  to a place +time  + to a demise  One which is

exactly the same in physiological specifics for every single one of us

Organic matter  to decay  to pushing up daisies  Organic fodder for yet

another storyteller  Sartre was likely pulling our existential chains   For

isn’t all of human existence contingent?


Upon where you show up   +through whose chute   Whether your storyteller

is benevolent  or brute?   And just about everyone is a storyteller these days!

Taking a shot at demi-god-ery  at immortality   So why not run with the middle

part of your story?  Head for Mexico!   Escape your family   They probably won’t

notice anyway


Shoot yourself if you must  +watch your storyteller turn to dust  He never expected

you to take the reigns   Mostly  scrape the surface  for it is in the underbelly where

you can hide for years  quietly pretending to be passive + unfree    I tell you now:

there is a saddled horse at stage left  waiting   +a wild eyed creature  crouching in

the grass  loving you  secretly


It was just a dream. You dreamt him. 

You can make him do whatever you like.

Where was he before I dreamt him?

You tell me.

Then I woke.  From his dream or yours?  

There is only one dream to wake from.

(Cormac McCarthy  Cities of The Plain  1998)





End of Summer  2017    ..good riddance





1,035  stand in line   U of T astronomers with beady

eyes  caution us: DO NOT look into the sights of 

the sun  These glasses bestow immortality  but only

for those who know the difference between  the waste

+ the organic  bins  


On a loud speaker a professor blares: You bastards killed

the Boreal forests  + now you love the universe?  Eclipse 

glasses are x-ray vision  for those born between 1941+1957

Solar eclipse porn   From the sublime  to fried Mars bars  + a

muscled young man wearing pink Jockeys who begs to give me

a sports massage  ( I was born within the cut off dates)


I walk among the sweating soulless at the CNE   Many wear the

eclipse glasses  but do not look at the sun  Many more are bleating

+ eating huge quantities of cheese curds + gravy  I watch the celestial

wonder  +know that the next time it occurs  I will be out of here  which

makes me want to throw caution to the wind


I enter the food court +find a vat of gravy with a pump handle  I slather

it on  Dogs follow me along the path of totality   We are here for what

amounts to a few hours  a day at most  I am reluctant to let the eclipse go

The first among a list of lasts  But the gravy smells so good  +there will be

puddings +tequila  when I get home


We feel around making sense of the terrain, our own new limbs,

Bumping up against a herd of bodies  until one becomes home.

(Tracy K. Smith  Life On Mars  Pulitzer Prize)


End of Summer 2017  ..hit the road jack..










Like a paradise. Kinda’ place sorta’ kills ya’ inside.

Warm yellow lights. Mexican tile all around. Copper

pots hangin’ over stove. Ya’ know like they got in the 

magazines. Blonde people movin’ in and outa’ the 

rooms, talkin’ to each other.  Kinda’ place you wish you

sorta’ grew up in, ya’ know.  (Sam Shepard  True West)


orange cylindrical lights  with holes carved out   wallpaper

mostly turquoise   parents champagne taste went to waste in

dog days  but by mid-70’s corduroy sectional +lambskin throw

(from Sheila’s in Yorkville)  an elaborate phone  gold+enamel

leather horsey accessories   +horse-head bookends to a life of

racehorse notoriety


these streets filled with doctors +lawyers +nouvea riche shysters

wouldn’t trade it for friend’s father’s jaguar  she through a windsheild

on her boston campus  at 23  father flew her to best plastic surgeon

tiny abrasions around nose+mouth  as we sat in Paris cafe  she Sorbonne

rich girl purgatory


my father certain she is lesbian +after me   maybe    at 10 i stood outside

her ballet classes  face pressed against glass  ate their rich people’s candy

+ the whitest pistachio nuts known to mankind   in Paris she told me her

mother thought her ugly  hated herself passionately   with a passion i

reserved for the lavish dolls dotting her bedroom  from parent’s exotic



one night i crawled through their milkbox +hid behind the couch  i missed

my gorgeous parents  my ratty brothers  +my dog   missed my bed with a

hole in it  chewed by poodle named dilly    my father: that’s one stupid bitch

not a word he used unless describing female canines


i still miss them  + know it was  the kinda’ place you wish you sorta’ grew 

up in    from the vantage point of the shredder of mid-life   when the pretty

blonde people   +the rich neighbours pale in comparison to the raw+authentic

humanity  the fervent love+ the hardening of arteries   the cancer too


for it is not true  that you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear   we spun

gold out of yarn   especially on sunday+monday    ed sullivan  + howard cosell

the demi gods  in the back split house  of the setting sun



2 weeks left of Summer  2017




When I said the word death  the young psychiatric resident

looked afraid  Then she looked away  +said: it’s really hot in

here isn’t it?  Already contemplating  Stygian gondoliers  Her

fear melted into  the field   It was a windowless room  Her pallor

that of a tomb dweller    I pressed her further


Don’t people in their 90’s feel close to death  in the biblical sense?

She began to sweat  +rhyme off the benefits of mindfulness meditation

as though it were a goddamn panacea  Personally I doubt highly  that a

93 yr. old would feel more alive by sucking a raisin for 35 minutes


Isn’t the idea  in late life  to become more comfortable with being less

alive?  To find a cozy niche in the bardo?  But she is too young +talcumed

to succumb to  projective identification  with her patients    Too much +

one flirts with psychosis   Just the right amount +you walk a mile in the

shoes of the man from Galilee


Perhaps it’s just an ego death after all!  Crucifixion a metaphor  for nothing

left to lose   And perhaps as you near that bend  the jettisoning of everything

begins  Of every signpost  Of everyone you have ever known  Of your bearings

( I don’t feel like I live here anymore  I feel like a live in some shitty hotel  my

old mother said)


The way station of your own personal crossing   Maybe it is just smoke +mirrors

+ there is no way to bring cheer ( i.e., mindfulness is awesome! Let me grab you a 

raisin)   Maybe fear is an awakening  +maybe you must be terrified to be turned

upside down  wet+bloody   Be slapped  +put on a cold scale  then measured for

yet another suit


Remember that nirvana is reached when you are finally free of the wheel   And

maybe mindfulness  in the final yards  forces you back into the tunnel   I know

another woman  98   Her family let’s her sleep  +stay in her pyjamas all day  Her

wit is wry   +she has stopped trying to escape   It is the young psychiatrist in the

airless room who is in need of grace  And decidedly not  98 yr. old  Lillian May


I hate being myself in my life which isn’t a movie and never will be.  

I hate having to eat. Having to go to the bathroom. Having to live in this body..

(Sam Shepard  Angel City)



Summer 2017









All roads leading in+out of me are oblique   Not that I was

ever a lover of linear  Life a circuitous route to: #fillintheblank 

If a map had been handed out I would have squandered it

Now on secondment to the Purgatorio  with flaming red hair

Looking more like Woody daily  (No not Woodpecker…pecker)


Yesterday a young nephew reported:  A friend said  that he saw

my uncle walking with a flame haired call girl!    Said brother

blushed purple   His call girl decidedly blonde right now   Old

poet remonstrated (a la Jimmy Durante: That’s no banana  that’s

my nose)   That was no call girl  boy    That was me


It has always been my bane  (or boon?)  to look escort-ish    Once

in a therapy session with a cheating Polish boyfriend  the therapist

said: You dress kind of tarty  I took it as a compliment  +slashed his

tires    That was 32 years ago


I wore:

A $500 black patent leather pencil skirt    

A $750 clingy red merino sweater  

And $1,750  black Chanel heels with giant roses

Boyfriend was a Polish dybbuk prince   No shit


Today I sit (in paisley +denim+suede cowgirl heels)  Tarty

Reading Sam Shepard’s Seven Plays  Post-it notes prominently

displayed around his chiselled face  They say: write about lazy

man’s synchronicity i.e., algorithms  fake news  fake Gods  Russian

orphan girl dancing with wild abandon


Sam is still glaring at me   Bedroom eyes  Untergahucked eigen

(yiddish for dark circles)  Slash of mouth  wants a redheaded

call girl  bad   Instead Jessica Lange showed up +tortured him for

30 yrs.  Likely PTSD after manhandling  by Kong


I’m sure that Sam would have been no problem for me   Though I

may have given him a run for his money   Hear my last analyst  +current

husband’s lament: Why do you have to be such a tiger?   Implosions on

the horizon  ( POW!  BAM!  SPLAT! )


Final digression  I take you back to the young Russian orphan  dancing

with wild abandon  at a wedding in St. Catherines   A godforsaken place

Timmy’s full of those who couldn’t find a Starbucks  gnashing    While

Natasha-esque teen is dancing   Adopted at 3 months  now 18    Mother

dead last week    Fell from horse  +not found for days


Girl in black lace  Long+lean  Black eyes +hair   Deadness to spare   But on

the dance floor  she morphed  into Elvis+Mick+Aphrodite androgyny   There

she danced her grief  +danced our longing to be free  Mostly of the need to get

back on the 406  +return to homes we never should have bought in the first place



You hunt for a way of being with everyone. A way of finding how to behave.

You find what’s expected of you. You act yourself out.  (Sam Shepard  Action  1974) 


RIP Sam Shepard  Nov 5, 1943 – July 27, 2017



Summer 2017   Ode to the memory of discovering BIG SUR  1987










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