Friday, October 31, 2008

age cripples words as though
they track the body slowly easing –
or are a tree bent to almost resting
against the frost-touched ground –
the day the roses in the back
flower bed blacken and die –
as though they’re steaks
on the barbecue too long neglected
because the bottle of Bordeaux
has more finish than a desire to eat –
or the rhythm of our complaints
no longer draws us together like
opposite-poled magnets in
the magnetic field of understanding –
that position we reach when
we each have professed out love
and our need – that poses of
stubborn resistance to gravity between
two bodies moving inexorably
together while dancing to the beat
of separateness – lacking commonalities –
or a reason to share the same
breath of words at one time
and in one place which cannot be
as long as we are two duelling planets

Friday, October 24, 2008

Writing becomes origami zebras,
will not stop rain or falling leaves,
the red crush of descending sky.

Chicken Little lives, Chicken Little lives.

Wide-screen, HD oracles pontificate
zig-zag Wall Street Zeitgeist
in lieu of October baseball.

Immigrants stand outside Tim Horton’s,
smoke and discuss the thread
and needlework of impoverished pasts.

They nod their heads, they smoke and drink double-doubles.

Skateboarders rule the curbs,
an old man stumbles before catching himself
in the middle of twenty backwards steps.

We have money for the theatre; we have
money for the arts.

On stage, we give the man in his wheelchair
a standing ovation. His words and music
have moved us beyond ourselves.

Ten beggars congregate at city hall. A gong sounds.

Our prayers are urgent pleas to the origami gods –
an aging queen, six dead prime ministers.
Anything for a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

God is Good at Dying

young, I learned the faith of cycles, how
hop-scotch adhered to rules and a toe
falling onto the sidewalk meant the end
of my turn,

or an unanswered question
in geography class confirmed that I knew
nothing beyond the neighbourhood of
my house, my blanket, my bed

positioned to a rising moon, the tug
of gravity, the riddle of a dark
through which street cleaning machines
wandered on summer nights

evaporated by morning dew and games
in the schoolyard, trips to the corner store,
conversations with ants and squirrels
scaling the corporate jungle trees,

societies withing spiralling aspects
of Kitchener, from Farmer’s Market
to the library, city hall and King Street,
snake eating its commercial self

and I watched it all die to be born again

stock market, house prices, the cost
of almonds compared to dates from
foreign countries, softener salt, razor blades,
retirement or continue working

faith in the market, throwing out floppy disks
of arcane programs, a wealth of
useless Windows © manuals, ten
years of National Geographic, vinyl music

the perfect karmic way to wealth,
good sex, good skin, low blood pressure,
a diet of pornography, ten children,
servant’s quarters about the credit card,

greed on demand and bodies igniting
in twenty thousand renditions of Jonestown,
the unimportance of a mere child, the way
the animal lurks behind a man’s eyes,

fear, fear, fear, greed, greed, greed,
twenty bottles of Bordeaux, one Burgundy,
a yacht, brushed brass appliances,
calamari on a salad bed drizzled with olive oil
to feed the void of bones where god continues to die

Monday, October 06, 2008

When my heart stops – it will be
with the midnight sound
of a freight train crawling west.

Goderich. Then north. Sudbury.

Then west – beyond redtail hawk’s
eyesight into the event horizon
of birch oceans swaying

like wheat sways in Saskatchewan

when storms bump and grind
their way to Ontario. When my
heart stops – time will drop –
icicles in indeterminate March.

The world will be perceived as
a negotiation of revival
for some.

When my heart stops – midnight

will consume the minutes
and hope will fill the empty
spaces between all the words

which once set sail for Byzantium

heavy with the raw oar freight trains
dropped at rail’s terminus –
my life in Canada.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Stock Market

in the village of paper
fear winds topple the most solid structures

and nothing will ever be enough

I imagine a street person walking Key West street
in rainfall between sunshine and more rain

his backbone supports yacht devoured in sunset
and Chardonnay his song off-key and alien

in the city of Corvette and seaside real estate and fenced
privacy he is the alternative

stockbroker Bukowski yelling at the neighbours who cavort
as though the Morlocks will never collect

a penny a dime a quarter a dollar a get out of reality free card
somewhere on the boardwalk where a hurricane

becomes the landed immigrant changing everything
in a moment when exclusion from the club

doesn’t really matter at all

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Man Who Lost His House to a Hurricane Has Emigrated to the Moon

from water to dust
and in movement away
there is a taste of rust

a feral release
and hunt for home
so far below the sky

a knapsack against footprint and sentence for the memory of

waves and wind lashing
life in ten thousand
pieces of flotsam

until water recedes
the battlefield of known
against unknown

and untenable circumstances of time and place

I look to a future which has failed to exist / somewhere beyond the Magellan cloud / a murmur
of small sighs and birthing cries / a swallow on top of the light above the door / the splintered
tree which once kept leaves / hop-scotch chalk on the cracking sidewalk / ice cream cones / cold
backyard beer / slivers of love wrapped tightly in hands and white sheets / a final warm sigh

and eyes which are
now insensate dust
and leaked potential

I walk the kingdom
of moon and marvel
at how oceans dream

how they become a crusade marching across the infidel face of land

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

History Lessened

these are the days of
eddies in the wetlands / slow
river meeting ocean / leaves
dancing in the thalwag

like confused mice
maze-bound / a surge
of days pushing events-detritus
into the songs whales sing

far out / where memory
can no longer see / where
the event horizon is
no longer breached / where

the world is a point and
the magician makes
everything vanish
and words are cracked

cobbles on a road
which is really a tin can /
string tied between beginning
and ending / or the point where

the bungee chord has accumulated
as much potential energy
as is possible and reacts /
flinging events back

helter-skelter / word storm / word
speed / you relate your
strobed history / I marvel
at the gaps / you fill them

with the hundred stories
you’ve considered and discarded
until now when the sun is low /
the wind picks up loose

stragglers / a stand of events sways
slowly south and life is
as fragile as the next day / you are
my mother / you are changed /

you are loved