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

Archive for the month “April, 2018”



Last day of April 2018   A sickly looking Canada goose   1/2

in 1/2 out of verdigris pond  U of T   Sickly poet too  a lighter

shade of pale green  Has she been gutted  or swept clean?  One

precipice too many for angsty Jew   Another winter come+gone

Ended in plague of ice   God’s testicles frozen too   $18,000 roof

leaked   Act of God  said Snidely Whiplash the Roofer   Ice Goddamn!

sings Nina  up in heaven


Goose inching closer to me   Nasty looking cuss  one eyed  like nephew’s

rotting dog   A recent picture of Chloe blinking on Insatgaram  Really?

This is all you have to show me  you bugaloo motherfuckers?  (..this

stolen from Dr. John’s producer upon listening to  Gris Gris  an album

full of Delta witchery..)  Up here in the Great White North  the founders

too squeamish for Voodoo  Just Old+New Testament vengeance wreaked

By male sky Gods  white hair  +freezing testes    It’s a cold cold place to be


All of which tempts poet to seek a warm country where the national drink

involves sucking the worm dry  +swallowing it    Instead of being the worm

sucked dry by a country devoid of fairies   Founders  Stoics   Jesuits  +Saxons

But there is hope!  Soon the first ever Centre for The Conjuring Arts  at Carleton U:

Focusing on  perception  illusion  deception  influence  +theatre   (..sounds more

like Trump White House than academic pursuit..)


Whatever the case may be  it sounds perfect for me   At about the age of 10  bros+I

discovered a well in a basement closet   One in which a variety of personages lived

Bearing uncanny resemblance to adults in positions of authority  i.e., the racetrack

lady  + a muscled strongman   The rabbi’s grandson  a foaming bully had his own

well  peopled with Chasidic sadists    These days  we don’t call upon them anymore

But maybe we should


Help us build the thin veneer of hope+good cheer remaining in adult children of

parents who battled McFate  not all that successfully   Especially in areas of heart

+ mental  health   And raging against the fading light   We had a pet giant as well

Looked a lot like father   He  the raging bull  of an overly orchestrated  suburban

existence    Father +his horse Tex   Yes  we had a horse too   They have been home

on the range for nearing 3 decades   Steering clear of those vengeful Gods   Taking

siestas under Bohdi trees  +chasing senoritas around the dark recesses of heaven

Magic was made for our family    So do sign me up please


Carleton U received a 2 million $ gift for the study of  Conjuring Arts  + a donation

of over 1600 texts on deception. (Reported in Globe+Mail April 28, 2018)



Upon hearing of my application  husband #3 said:

U will become a master of manipulation! 






Spring  2018



ROOM 1009


Late into the night my cousin + I  discuss  anarchy   He believes

big money   big brother  +shadowy industrialists  own the world

The petite bourgeoisie still lulled into torpor  with their bon bons  +

chintz seats   And today  anarchy  reigns   Right there on my Bubbie’s

street up in North Toronto   A lone driver in a white van   Mayhem  on

a Spring day   Orange body bags   People running   bleeding  +sceaming


Local newsies ask imbecilic questions: Did people run toward the bodies?

Yes   And away from them   Anarchy  as in the fall of Rome  when moral

backbone  (do Sapiens have one?)  broke down   This week too in India  an

8 yr. old girl  Asifa Bano  was raped +murdered   She from a nomadic muslim

tribe   2 of the 8 gang rapists were police officers   1 was a priest   They are all

in custody


The rape of children is not uncommon in India, where 1.3 billion

people are squashed together in an area smaller than Quebec.

There are 54 child rapes each day, and the number is growing.

(Globe+Mail  April 21, 2018.)


A few years back I worked with a 4 yr. old boy   Adopted at 2   Apparently

the agency  did not know much about his birth family   Dig deep  I strongly

suggested  During each session  a vivid depiction  amidst choking +screaming:

A baby is trapped in a stroller in a motel bathroom   Smoke rushes in from under

the door   More crying +choking ensue   The baby cannot move


Many months later a package from  the agency   An old file uncovered   Parents

were drug addicts  living in a motel  3 children locked up for hours on end   No

food   No toileting   And yes  a fire   My client the only escapee   In our mind’s eye

we see smoke filling his nostrils  +lungs   Arms strapped down in stroller   Later

in sessions he will tie the doll baby in place with sadistic pleasure


The months add up to years   Sessions shift to the savannah   where our boy

becomes enamoured of elephants   Tenderly lifting them out of bins  washing +

feeding them   And as he begins to thrive outside of the playroom   Our good-bye

party looms   One day he says: The great thing about elephants therapist   is they

have their own hose!


Today in our national newspaper the obituary for Daphne Sheldrick   Saviour of

Africa’s orphaned elephants   When Daphne was asked in 2009 why she admired

elephants so   she replied: Their tremendous capacity for caring.  They have all of

the best attributes of humans and not many of the bad.


We can add to this: hoses    The healing epiphany in the playroom?   Many

elephants were brought to the motel   They showered and fed the babies when

they were alone in the dark   And when the smoke came they knew just what to do

That’s the great thing about elephants   But no elephants on the streets of Toronto

To stand in front of citizens as the white van approached   Or even a lone elephant

To lift the troubled young man right out of the van  with its hose






Bloody Monday   April 23   2018






Yesterday a friendly +handsome roofer  leaned in close

He said: Are you afraid to get your hands dirty?  Now

handing me a..  (would this be brothers un-pc joke  ie.,

You’d pet anything ?)  No!  He handed me a moist bundle

Twigs  foam  caulking    No one has ever given such a gift

to me


Yes Corey  roofer of my dreams  my hands are dirty   Quite

sullied   from my years spent in the trenches of humanity  With

the suffering   Digging in the dirt  as husband #3’s analyst  in a

Brixton accent  said of Psychotherapy  He also regularly chimed

re my biting wit: She said that!?    Yes    I did


Now I sit with this early nest  discarded  as Peregrines ate the

first chicks of house wrens  Corey also said: I want you to feel the

moisture my dear    Such a gentle roofer  And feel it I did   Perhaps

a little birdy-blood on fingertips   Wash as I might  this stigmata is

permanent   Reminding me of fledgling parts of Self   They never saw

the light of day   Couldashouldawoulda  Actor  Dancer  Rodeo Queen


As Corey left  he said: Now pet this   Stiff  upper lip  fancy lady   This

here leak may never reappear   That’s the thing about water  + beauty

One is wily and the other indifferent    I sit back +marvel at my roofer’s

dialectic   and wish I had met him years ago    Before exile set in



Homo Sapiens is the only species 

to suffer psychological exile.

E.O. Wilson




Spring  2018




Hot tub a phantom now  + so too Pleiades   The 7 sisters I

watched cross the sky  blinking archaic codes  to those in

the know   Immortality is free!   they said   It’s not a perk!

If you were all told this  the powers that be  would never have

been able to tithe you so lavishly   The body  a carpetbagger of

the soul   Rented  +rent   they blinked   You there filthy squatter

Don’t get too comfortable


Now having dismantled the hot tub up on the 5th floor rooftop

where water continues to pour in until this day   The past 4 have

brought the ice storm of the century  Rivulets run from surround

sound ports in ceiling   Onto me   As I toss on the night sea journey

Medical pot  induces blank spaces  where crooked sailors used to wink

There is no REM  on THC


I miss those sailors more than life itself   The force of which diminishes

in the 2nd 1/2 of life   Soon the jettisoning of an Ego   One who worked in

the salt mines of consciousness for some 61 yrs.  It may be a relief to not

have to be   To rest on laurels of head-banging   Sit quietly   Not being smart

or pretty  (bitter psychiatrist to beautiful mother: I’m not here to be pretty)


No clearly not   Nor to gaze into the recesses of a human soul  +see beyond

what stares you in the withered face   The whole of a life   One that cannot

be reduced to fit that tiny corner of your reductivist brain  Where pat answers

sit beside antiquated revelations  bullshit  +deep vicarious pleasure  As your

own pleasure centres enfeebled by years of looking  but not seeing   No cataract

surgery invented for this malady


How does this happen to one who wanted to vanquish suffering?  Your skills

at observation are rusty   That sine qua non of all sorcerers  +pedophiles    All

night now the patient wails in the mother tongue of her ancestors  And I too have

begun to sing in Russian  This at 4 a.m.   When the Ego  we will soon ditch  hears

knocking  +bells tolling  in these endless numbered days +nights   Except  they are

not     Yet  not here to be pretty  wasn’t slipped the wisdom of the Pleiades   Does

not see  the poet  in the rare beauty   The Ego railing against its jettisoning



When I clamour for God  he sends me back to time.

I want to sin, to be free. It’s as if God’s smacking me around,

pushing me away –  

(Adélia Prado – 1987 –  Griffin Lifetime Achievement Award Poetry  2014)




Spring 2018

..Ms. F. Marlieb 94.. was published in the Montreal Gazette at 10..

.. she is also a rare beauty..








I say to the BIG BURLY MAN at Metro: You going in here?  Now gesturing

to the cashier I am approaching   BBM at Metro: Darling  I don’t know

where I’m going   We commiserate   There is nothing vivid about today

Dark  grey  hulking April   He takes my comrade in arms chitchat  for

something else  +follows me to my car making soft mewing sounds


A lot of men call me pet names: darling  honey  sweetheart   The ones I know

have reserved others: Frosty  a.k.a. strong forthright woman  though this is not

what they mean  It rhymes with  witch   Also: Little Aprill Loo   Red   Munia (!)

Sister Christian   3rd husband: Buzzkill  due to penchant for moaning about

anarchy quite endlessly  +Buttercup  as in  suck it up   These might be heard

as somewhat endearing


Perhaps it is time to reign it in?   Effervescence   can be bloody tiring   for all

Do not confuse humanitarianism with people person   which I am decidedly

not   Last night well into the wee hours  I tried to convince a young interlocutor

that my real interest is in the  microcosm   +he suggested I may even be a

Republican!   Sans the gun lust   But it became a little tricky when I waxed

romantic  on Leon Trotsky  (Lev Davidovich Bronstein)   Trotsky is not the

answer to anything!    And he left in a huff


But Trotsky did more than dream revolutionary dreams  even though he ended

up ice-picked in Mexico   And his revolution  ok  a hammer + sickle fuck you

to the masses   A gateway to the Gulag  that swallowed up the poet Akhmatova’s

son  Lev   + later Osip Mandelstam   The great poet Anna A.  stood in line with

bread for Lev  for up to 16 hrs each day  while he languished in prison  One surefire

way to bring her to her knees   You cannot suck and blow at once   Tow the party line

or never be published again in your lifetime


Today there is much talk of  Revolution   And so many different movements afoot

But none feels terribly Trotsky   Yet in the face of another chemical attack on Syrian

children  it may be time for anarchy+apocalypse  a la  Cormac McCarthy’s: The Road

Mere Revolution will not do   Without despots herding + opiating us  we run amok

And after the Fall  deep in a glade  the one un-butchered family who remain  wonder

how they will steal the fire   Gnash pointy incisors +howl at the moon   Utopias are for

innocents     Suck it up



Once there were brook trout in streams. On their backs were vermiculate

patterns that were maps of the world.  Maps and mazes.  Of a thing which

could not be put back.  Not be made right again.  In the deep glens where

they lived  all things were older than man  and they hummed of mystery.  

(Cormac McCarthy  The Road  2006)





Spring  2018   btw  Zara has a Spring shoe  lucite heel  with a goldfish in it   U in?





(January 28, 1911 – March 22, 2018)

There is a knock at your ornate Forest Hill door  +all

over Toronto  sadistic soldiers  are banging down  more

doors  (..and you thought the Handmaid’s Tale was bleak..

Please do remember  it’s FICTION  people!)   From these

homes they extract babies  Some bayoneted on the spot  some

saved for  other sport


Parents are pistol whipped  +worse   Rounded up into flat bed

trucks   The shrieking right out of Bedlam   Now the parents are

put on trains  to camps where  work will set them free   Can you

imagine this?   I want you to   So do  2,000 plus Jewish children

600 of whom Van Hulst saved  in Amsterdam 1943   They need you

to  IMAGINE this    Only 75 years ago!


A scene that played out all over Europe   Notable for the numbers

of children scooped  is Paris  Where the children languished in an

empty  (of their parents)  apartment complex  until more trains were

found   In Amsterdam  as the Nazis approached  many of the children

were abandoned in a makeshift nursery  Van Hulst had to choose  +took

12    Later he said: Why not 13?


It was never about who he saved  but always about who he did not   Now

across Toronto denizens watch as children are marched  +dragged through

manicured streets    Most people do nothing   But 4,326 rise up!  (5,595

Dutch rose too)   And they begin  in the shrill chaos of wrenching+screaming

to take the hands of single children   Remember  there are a few thousand   so

stragglers  are saved


These Righteous Torontonians take the children home   A few semi-charred babies

are placed in trunks  +ferried to Sick Kids where Doctors Without Borders  graft +

mend   Who are these heroes  +heroines?  Your friends?  Your neighbours?   I mean

I want to believe they are mine  as much as you want to believe they are yours   Now

fish darting among bones  shovels full  into Lake Ontario



All I really think about are the things I couldn’t do – the few thousand

children I couldn’t save..  Johan Wilhem Van Hulst)


When Germany invaded the Netherlands there were 140,000 Jews, and

by 1944, more than 100,000 of them had been sent to concentration camps.


SPRING  2018    ..Toronto the Good..



Just picked up daytime Medical Pot   It only has traces of THC  

said the young spacey assistant  You can even drive!   But will

I thrive  +come to care more about Megan Markle’s looming

princess-hood?   I’m actually hoping not to be such a buzzkill  by

constantly drawing attention to my long suffering family  (*12

consumptives among us)   Or go on+on about my degenerat ..



Let us start anew   On a recent night I stood pressed against hard

bodies   Mod Club  Trucker’s show  Hyperventilation seconds away

A good 200º fahrenheit   Sweat trickling into waistband of  Mom Jeans

A  body odored melancholy about the hipster crowd  Facebook about to

go down  Boomers not dying off  +leaving plumb jobs fast enough

(Yes  Buzzkill..)


One magnificent girl  all Stormy Daniels blonde+buxom+swaying  sidled

up to me   She edged my husband out of the way  +planted a THC tasting

kiss upon my lower lip  (not a BUZZKILL)   She said: Baby  you taste like

tequila  +smell so pleasant   Do you ever dream queer dreams?   Yes!   Just

recently my car careened wildly  +turned into a surfboard as I hit Lake Ontario

Run away with me?  


Last night we huddled under an awning at Billy Bishop Airstrip   April snow

turning to purple rain  Her white t-shirt wet +clinging   The scent of baby powder

wafting   Lighting out for new territories   Taos  and later San Miguel de Allende


This kind of queer dream?



I wish I were a girl again. Half savage and hardy. And free.


Nelly, do you ever dream queer dreams?  Yes, now and then.


(Wuthering Heights  Emily Bronte  1847)





Spring 2018



Day 5   Weedy + anathema   Now a script for every bodily +

disembodied  function   You will have REM   You just won’t 

remember them  said be-zitted young man  at the Med Pot

clinic   He spoke slowly  eyes furtive +darting    He doesn’t

even know what dreams are for


C.G. Jung is rolling in his grave   Dreams  the portal to the

oldest language before language   Will you sell your soul for

a night’s sleep?  You must give up birdsong too   They will

sing but you won’t hear them   But your pinball skills will be

greatly enhanced 


And the past 4 mornings  your face  recently emaciate  +worry

ridden  is silky of cheek  +25!   Once a lineless  unpancaked  young

woman   About to leave your young husband  Embark on an odyssey

out of  Purdontory  (*home address from 4 -19)  where your marriage

was arranged   His grandparents lived on your great great aunt’s street

In the ghetto  Palmerston Blvd.   Circa 1938


Some think you should return to brunette   But blood coloured hair makes

a statement   Now an old  1/2 crazed sister  with the face you deserve  walking

snowy April streets (*some guy in Oregon blames the Jews for snow!)  Yesterday

you explained the blood libel to husband #3   As you listened intently for the birds

you can no longer hear   Generally they have brought word of father  133 birds sat

at his knee on his last day    Now 29 yrs  +counting    Yesterday you saw him  but

don’t tell the  doctor..










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