Friday, October 27, 2006

Miles Davis

This is a train station. There are
schedules to keep to

going somewhere (a note, a note
as cold as the bending sky) on alternate tracks.

This is the way doors open and close—irrational
on the lips of an overwhelming sanity—this is
the corner and the turn—a line of streetlights
weaving through the night—this is
holding the thought of a chord against the first November snowfall.

I will remember rooms and conversations and rain against
dirty windows—the way smoke snakes to doorways where strangers
enter—that feeling we have deserted the world to enter it
and the curled lint of conversations sliding from the skin of workplace
family faith construction sidewalks alleys lazy theologies.

This is arrival at midnight. Hesitation. Full stop.
Buskers of the faith music will carry

us into morning and street sweepers—
six men walking to work—the confusion

of a trumpet crossing against the light—
oh so very eager to.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ruminations on Genesis

There’s a way we feel the other world—
note, chord hung on the wingtips of the sun or
snagged by the waking moon—
no words, no words at all, just this sense of how
everything moves—in waves
as though the oceans of the world have come knocking
to say hello and do you remember me,
your friend from the first moments.
Fables and Ethics

we’re led to believe
and must choose—
is the colour of dying green
like leaves hanging over this old mill race
or is that colour confusion
between one aspect and the next
as though an iceberg has landed

in the Sahara desert and bestowed the destruction of water
on one soldier and not another—
the blind bullet/the blind poet screaming against the end
The Man Who Overdosed on Creativity

He saw the chasm between himself and words
placed on the horizon’s lips in a pick out meanings disarray of kisses.

It was love—dry love heaved out in a torrent of stairwells,
café’s, clandestine meetings between the sheets of King and Queen Streets.

It was separation and desperation during the moments of intense heat
when flash fires burned away all flesh to leave skeletons dangling
from the remnants of indecisions and impulsive actions.

It was taking up residence on the edge of a road leading into the impossible
and it was the impossible of keeping one foot balanced on the world
and the other balanced on all the ways in which the world was not.

There was only one opportunity to jump in either direction.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Classroom Cautionary Which Might Be Ignored

the damaged child clutches his damaged language
and communicates through another world

he’s off his teachers mutter between bouts of discipline—
he understands with different/no values this child of a missing home

in a silence of voices he sits—prays for empathy and understanding
while setting fire to each and every bridge snaking out towards him

and pointing his finger at obstructions—bang/bang/bang!
the walls all rise higher and the moon refuses to set

A Security Guard Falls Into Nightmare Before the End of His Shift

don’t blink—you’ll miss

perhaps the night shower
that scattered worms and leaves onto a cloudy morning’s earth

or the white crinoline spread across
back roads when Queen Snow has returned

don’t blink—in this turbo world
you’ll fall asleep

a father—a lover—a son
and wake up a terrorist

stalked by the easiest solution to the meaning of security

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Suggestion For Positive Attitude

I have never discovered truth
(seagulls against moon) crying
in a cloak of dusk (red fallen ellipses
the devil’s work) and willing light

(no/we imagine mysteries as though
they’re cloaks laid across minutes
to disguise them)

but in the shadows an afternoon sun deposits
on the grain work of cities/streets/window views
(the thunder of an accidental storm)
and silhouettes swooning (through drawn blinds)

because (I have never discovered) truth
is the interpretation of dreams (sensitive
to light) and magic—that café where

(in the way history swoons)
we sit by ourselves and the world flows
over us (tsunami, tsunami, running bright)—
incantation to an idea/I see (branded on every action)

the way hope bends light into rainbows
before racing forever away

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Argument for more Life

soft dust of destruction falls on hardtop memory (and
we are); we dream in binary—pact between two who

survive/continue one step at

the point you made in our café, listening to that jazz guitarist,
sun scrolling down his left hand, wine
on the table, then magically gone—

we walked left from King Street and ended up in fields of houses
packed European (before suburban madness) around downtown—

we read signs proclaiming existence

in increments of culture, as though there’s a differentiation between
one cell and the next occupying space
within the yell we are—photographs on falling snow

The Jazz Accordion Player

buskers at the corner of King and Scott
Saturdays during market hours
(weather permitting).
He lives in the suburbs by a protected
wood-lot with spring trilliums and
jack-in-the-pulpits—a stream, a path.
He’s fallen in and out of love
as though life moves with the rhythm
of bellows and ends with the uncertainty
of enough air to play that one last note.
The jazz accordion player dreams
of being in a band, playing a Yamaha
keyboard and seeing Canada coast
to coast from the window of
a white van in need of an oil change.
At the corner of King and Scott,
he imagines playing the Frigid Pink
version of House of the Rising Sun
and having someone stop,
listen and say, Yes, I remember that moment.
The jazz accordion player plays
for vendors bringing in American fruit,
white sausages and chicken wings,
rye bread, dried flowers, frozen fish
and he worries about the bleak,
imploding November sky.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Couplets, Haiku. We
were walking Oslo harbor.
It began to rain.

The cafes’ tables
were full, awnings funnelling
water away from

red wine glasses.

An Ibsen rain, an
Ibsen line—as dreary as—
oh, life revolves a-

round so little. We
build it up and tear it down
as though there can
never be happiness.

Yet we hope against all reason
to be a raindrop on our childhood
falling on the Rosetta stone.
I’ve gone

looking for the scent of you
in words
and I’ve gone looking
for the reason you
live in words. There’s

nothing to touch except to touch

and a blade of grass tickles my cheek.
Not dead, my body feels misplaced
against this slope where the sun is really
looking for grapes/not

anything beyond a reason to survive seems
too much for the table/too much
for the chairs arranged to catch Marie Platz—
an ego away
from—I know the sound
of a chevy engine breaking downtown open wide looking for
you—looking for the speed of you—

looking for the pedestrian way.
Untitled Notes From Work

Having shed the carapace words,
is there time for a review of the hundred sides
you’ve given each event strung
pearl necklace between one-thirty and three
(showers and sun/sidewalk and lawn/
drink and book), or do we continue our dance
to the hip-hop saxophone riffs we’ve attached
to our education in current events?

Perhaps and perhaps not—not when you look like that—something frozen in the amber of recorded fact—no, not now, like that.

In the ballet of how much we’ve both lost, history will remain unwritten by a certain hand and survive—a wavering light in the shadows.

Will it not?

Two river meet and then…
which oxbows and meanders are
the rustle of events? Which thunderstorms breaking on
fragile branches in mountain alleys
speak up to become?

Oil and water running down the windowpane of events—
oil and water and time to be shaken together and separate again.

Jam a riff in piano, sax and drums—woman in shadows (and dressed in), summer room—her hand rising with cigarette smoke as if (when have we taken the time) to touch, to morph a minute into wine and angel notes full of the grace of chords, the fabric of dusk, the odour of flight (down stairwells, arrhythmic footsteps, a surprised cry), when gravity turns us into statues—jam a riff for the American street, the American comedy of money, the accordion man displaced (pennies on a bent and scratched bureau, a view of smokestacks stretching to), elbows jutting through doorways—the accordion man with European eyes, playing Tin Pan Alley and acid rock; (America, the beautiful) hearing lithe veils around campfires—the accordion man dancing to the rhythm Boeings tattooed into the soil of a thousand unresolved arguments for the safety and creativity of a uniform, silent layer of dust.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

When Johnny Tells Stories

The sky won’t disappear
and that soldier with his casual gun
slung over his shoulder is a cloud.

Trees sliding down the horizon to the river
are philosophies like railway tracks
linking place A to profit B.

We only imagine we know how storm clouds
congregate in armies and slash
through the comfort of armchairs in back yards.

How we listen is by constructing myths—
one page of time after another flipping over
in the wind before we can feel.

We are neither woman nor man—
we are stories laid to rest on the ticking arms
of a sundial—that place where we imagine.