Monday, October 31, 2005

Sunday morning drive along Lakeshore Boulevard, north shore of Lake Ontario, winding through three cities. The charter boat docks are empty, it's the last of October and chilly. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Howls, 2005

for one nation / for one colour / for one way of life
to tell another that they’re not worthy of—

and to sit back and say that prejudice is justified
and painful discrimination will be a way of life—

that is for that nation / colour / creed / to lose
all credibility as a voice that should be heard—

a voice which says it speaks in the name of freedom
and humanity when in truth it speaks only

out of narrow self-interest

Friday, October 28, 2005

First cup

coffee (coffee and) coffee cup—
container (contained though)
coffee fills cold morning (rills
in kitchen air) and we (we are)
alive (radio talk) and speak (though)
heat on activity (yet frost)—
and our words (tumbled sounds)
broken on indifference (our) words
mock shepherds (flockless) our
(words) scattered words (odourless)
assume indifferent invisibility
(between sips and) coffee fills
unfettered time

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Not now, I'm vacationing with words

Words are setting—long slope
of the sentence as though

though we have tongues which are
wet clay / though we have tongues
which are night / though we have music
which drifts away

and we touch so little.

Oh, always reaching / surrounding
in the cocoon of our imaginations

and we imagine warmth / we imagine
motion / we imagine the linear between
point and point

on the plain which is wet clay / which is night
where we see daylight

and history / and the ownership of history
which is definition.

It all comes down
to moment and words
which stretch the moment / which stretch
the moment’s skin over
the emptiness between / which stretch the thin wet clay
until the moment
we imagine we
see purpose
greater than the void.
The lingo of travel

This is harbour.
Ships dock
here. Forever in the rhythm of harbour.
And waves.
And the music of docks.
And the music of descending sun
stepping into
the enclosure of hands
grasping stray notes
of harbour.
And docks.
And clouds airbrushed against harbour
wavering in wind
strayed from confused sun.
This is harbour.
Rising. Falling. Named the confusion
of civilizations. Rising. Falling.
Docked in earth.
This is harbour.
Tree. Roots. A singular line shot
at the horizon’s mouth
which eats the earth.
And eats the earth
because this is harbour.
As small as
a moment never lost.
Or a hand. A look.
A hair which is flag in the wind.
This is harbour.
Ships dock.
And also hope.
Hope in the eye of inevitable storm.
This is hope.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Snake Speaks, After All These Years

I am naked
sitting on these concrete stairs
between door and street

and the sun chases shadows
to the corner
and the lights go green and red.

Windows are closed to October
to the sounds tree bones make
with cold wind—

I am naked
and the garbage waits
to be picked up Thursday.

On the skin of the snake
always shedding
and growing

I am naked and though I recall
the beauty of Eve
before societies

the truth bores under my skin
and I am as naked as
one drop of water

in a storm-tossed ocean—
as naked
and as alone.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Echoes in the Apple Tree

concrete and bricks are
the dividing land
as once
glaciers seeped into ripe
savannahs and further
down Earth’s lips we danced
on deserted beaches
and danced on deserted beaches
until we dissolved
the mad night
to conceive
ourselves into civilizations

concrete and bricks are
the dividing line
between our skins
and the skins of trees
savages on the dropping
rolled horizon
and the skins of each
mortar and clay crucifix
stolid border for rutted Gordian roads

I remember musty
cigarette smoke and coffee musk
crept to the cracks by kitchen
windows and words
curled through languid air
to cut into
the sound of jazz
and rock
and blues

one bass line became
the ticking clock
the creaking chairs
the shuffled glasses
the empty bottles
the sound of opening
and closing doors
the feel of bodies pushed
by air against the air
of frail realities

tonight street light sings to the apple tree
and a single apple hangs
from Indian ink skin
as though it’s smiling
an erotic apple dance
to a swollen bass line

dancing and beckoning
with moves
it learned under the moon
on an advancing beach

and Indian ink skin covers
the reaching arms
the beseeching arms
the toxic torso
the ice which is a serpent’s ice
the eye which stares
blindly like serpent’s
eyes and the need
which drives us
like and is the tide
reaching even though
we chant the chant
of ignorant and crumbling rocks

not again
not again
not again

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dreaming of a different time, a different place: Mississippi River morning, New Orleans. Posted by Picasa

Skyline structures. Posted by Picasa

Lackner Woods, early morning. The leaves are descending slowly this year. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Picking Apples in October

The old are dying and I’m old and the pains that run through me like lumbering freight trains on rusty dilapidated tracks are not from any recent births in my being that I can recall and the apples on the back yard courtland and macintosh have been falling for weeks and rolling in the unruly grass or forming craters in the flowerbed before rotting or being eaten by the chipmunk that lives under our deck (who has also decided that the elbows in the protruding roots of the hedge are a good place to store apples) or drunk by yellow-jackets or eaten by those things which look like ladybugs but are something totally different and perhaps sinister because they stormed our border without visas or passports or is it the skunk which I saw sniffing the front yard mulberry tree because I’m certain I’ve seen his droppings around the side of the house but this is about the four bags of apples I picked today and for christ’s sake, it’s mid-October and when I was a child that meant we were eying the sky for snow and the road for road hockey but this year we haven’t even had frost yet and the roses are still blooming the inpatients an army creeping off to somewhere as though they’re on a holy crusade and the courtland I cut into four pieces was damn sweet and that’s not the taste of October that’s not the feel of driving out of Waterloo past the Mennonite farm lanes where men in plain black stand beside their unhitched buggies selling potatoes and apples and other late-harvest farm fare to the tourists and such on their way to St Jacobs and tourist shopping and I don’t have to stop because I have the two apple trees (which I planted eighteen years age when we moved into this house) full of apples as a testament that what I see today in the falling leaves and the bare threads of bushes as though their skin has been stripped from them and only the bones are left as though this vision I have is not the truth and the aging year is just a piece of the puzzle because the apples hold something in October which is not October just as the pains in my knees and shoulders and the funerals we now go to are not the sweetness of all the years which lie behind us yes all the sweet years fermented into the taste of life.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Love Song to Residence

— we visualize in-fragment
construct ill-framed home —


I receive breath / steel from
you as startling as a bullet
confused / just having
pierced a trembling artery / and coffee
brews / it is morning in
the desires of paperboys / stale
songs conquer the uplifting
choir of rising
from the night’s wrinkles / I am
repetition once again / this Tuesday
buttered and swallowed
with bus fare / a smile for Mrs. Todorovic
and her brood of garbage bags / the sun
sliced by picket fence / spread
on sidewalk where naked weeds
go suburban uncontrolled
and a past rain / so like
a past lover / has etched
its signature in the boulevard


am I to believe
there was always so much
unknown in this karst body
benign above deep flow / evolution
as hidden as magma / as chilling
and abrupt / beginning crying end
with the entangled mountains liquid
hollow / liquid / bent over
each sunbeam ever shed
by this dying star / abrupt goodbyes
and bills / hurried semaphore
over the bows of storm-tossed careers
and deep to deeper the emotions’ flow
in a hand on hand / foot by foot
at the door / the car / the door / briefcase
and the door with two
confused sides and everything
beneath consumed / am I to believe


I inhale your breath of asphalt dung
and dream / sweet sixteen
on the blacktop ribbon / through the rain
your songs / your words drip down
the throats of down-spouts / gutters
and licentious drains /am I
to dream / each concrete corner
bending to another door and jazz
yes jazz in the dim-lit drifting
cigarette smoke / jazz smile / jazz
frown / jazz chord-ed out
a-chord dis-chord / black and white
keys / night and day / jazz in a crib
crying with a trumpet’s voice / jazz
growing / jazz as choice / safe
jazz / choose jazz / jazz
for the life of it / tour
the USA with jazz
today / jazz lines
in the box / jazz deep
in your veins / karst jazz
on the geomorphology
of an aging face


oh Harriet Nelson / I knew your smile
your home / that Ozzie
would return for ever and ever
just as I knew Donna Reed / played
with her daughter and son / in Mayberry
spring / oh the house was never
empty / I never alone / the rafters
never creaked with the pain
of being / the bomb never fell
and I learned the only difference
between heaven and hell
is the sound of a trumpet through
the open window of summer / the sound
of a trumpet deep in the veins
of youth / the sound of a trumpet
from King Street to Queen / leading
the children’s crusade through time

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Miracle When Water Floats

This woman who stands immersed in an air
of flowers / though it is November
on the eyebrows of such dismal clouds /
this woman whose hand is on a handrail
which has the scent of basil crowding in
from a former memory / this woman
has already noticed the snow lurking
in the doorways and the alleys / heard the faintest
cries of genesis in a ground yet unfrozen
and this woman wearing yellow in the grey / this woman
carrying a nothing which is too heavy / this woman
smiling at the crystalizing air / she has no secrets
and she feels herself absorbed by everything
around her / this woman who has bent
herself into the years until she’s gained invisibility.

— a sixties flashback —

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Having wound down the escarpment on Appleby Line, we crossed the railway tracks and were greeted with this scene, so appropriate, as Mohawk Raceway is less than five K's away. Posted by Picasa

October Field: The rust colour seems appropriate for an aging year. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 10, 2005

This Year In Paradise

It won’t have an impact on changing visitor patterns.
But, you know, it’s shameful that people would try
to scare visitors when they show up,
travelling hours to get to what we call paradise.

—— Jeb Bush, commenting on Florida’s new
shoot if you feel threatened self-defence law
and the campaign against it.

This year in paradise, the angels carry Uzi’s
and on the beach, the bikinis and thongs
are bullet proof.

The policy is neither left nor right,
just straight ahead without any thought
that deviations are possible.

Become compressed into the army of one
defending the nation of one
against all change in a changing world.

In Venice, St. Mark’s Square is again flooding,
just like New Orleans. And Pakistan wonders
if the world will ever stop rattling.

We began as nomads long before the towers,
cathedrals, bridges spanning heaven—
long before there was too much to carry.

When there was only grass and the breath
from a thousand glacier tongues
scolding us on our endless journey.

We began as nomads long before the gravity
of our potential and dreams buried us
in our places as though we are deep-rooted trees.

This year in our image of paradise, the angels carry Uzi’s
and when we drive, we imagine that the road belongs
to the last man standing.

And don’t remember that in every nomadic tribe,
some are always left behind.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

When a Genre Crosses the Tracks

Mary stops at security,
says her department
will be gone
by November. Just

She’s not worried yet,
speculates on how many more
cuts will occur.

Her daydream slips on
the banana peel of night.

And as she walks
away, I think;
this is like watching
one of those old
horror films where a hundred
people are suddenly whacked
and the monster has
yet to be given
a face.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


foolproof but we poets
are fools

recycle boxes
and the arms of Mr. Norm

until the juggernaut of commerce
prose melts into the human form

and we walk a certain way
from the café

to the copy centre juggling
the forms of our mentor

Mr. Will and his bill to let
the language breathe beyond the letters

arranging themselves into androgynous
greetings at the corner

of a thought beyond profit
or how Mrs Smith

will live so long before she no longer
takes out the garbage

or continues to breathe
even though her garden

continues to grow Impatiens
long into October

and the first frost of that month
when they turn into incomplete sentences

and are underlined in green