Somebody had to wake up

October 31, 2011

I had a dream. Or maybe it was a new television series. Everyone died in their sleep. The whole planet. Right away you imagine that someone had to survive. A wino. Someone working the graveyard shift. Someone who couldn’t get to sleep. Even in your dreams we as homo sapiens are eternally optimistic. Somebody had to wake up. And somebody did. Me.


October 31, 2011

God, I was cynical. And with good reason. But I think I was also happy. Easy to criticize the world from the comfort of a nice soft woman.  Action. Hadn’t considered that. Then I wouldn’t have known what to do. And knowing would have had to be sure. That it is the right thing to do. That’s the problem with comfortable moral people. They wave their fingers but refuse to do anything. I think a revolutionary has to be a bit of a socio-path. He has to be able to step out of the moral confines of his upbringing. And that is dangerous. Because out there it is easy to get lost. And become the tyrant you so much wish to dethrone.



sitting……………………….at ease

grinning…………………………with a handful of photographs

feeling……………….to the depths of your soul

…………………………that the tube is a card trick

“revolution is no answer.

you don’t get the weekends off.”

baying………………………………………at the masterpieces

“many of the poems are (or seem) haphazard

loosely conceived and similar to one another.”

waiting………for the tourists who will ask questions

…………………in some blubbering gibberish

…………………while they show photos of gangsters.

“and do you know what’s really cute?

before angie goes to sleep

she kneels down at her bed

looks up at the heavens

and prays to the U.F.O.s”

begging…………to ask that important question.

…………………….who needs transcendental medication

…………………….when one has the C.B.C.

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Every weekend I would rush to read her column. They were always economic, insightful, and very funny. I can’t remember her name. Maybe she was a he. But I loved her reviews. Of restaurants. And that’s the life of a critic. They are the most easily forgotten of writers. Because they are parasites. And I mean that in the best possible way. They live only as long as their host is in the limelight. But unlike most artists, they make a decent living, marry happily (or not), send their kids off to college, and die, gasping for breath in an empty hospital room. I have been hurt by critics. One, I swear never read the book he was ravishing. I have even been hurt by critics who loved my books. They didn’t go quite go far enough in their praise. You see, the whole thing is about vanity. And the critic’s is the largest. Even larger than the artist. Because he/she decides who is worthy.

That’s it. I’m out of here. (Beginning to sound like a critic myself.)

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I couldn’t spell a word

October 30, 2011

my first experimenting with being john lennon. also ferlinghetti. words are always fun. when i started writing. i was three. or thereabouts. my mother bought me a notebook. and i told stories. if i couldn’t spell a word. i asked. if no one answered i would draw a picture. or cut it out of a newspaper or magazine. and stick it in. introduction to collage.





ivy gypsy rose

policeman under my chin

he speaks russian

i speak lennon


finger snail

so slow to put it write

mustard corn machine grins iron clap traces

plastic braces

bout with the flu mismatched faeces

read the news follow the races


wet dreams general sighs

wars all over his stingy thighs

smiling and sayin

something needs to be said.

It made me sick

October 30, 2011

This poem was written during the Watergate Investigations. My love affair with America was waning. The Kennedy and King assassinations had hurt. Now, I was repulsed.  American confidence was turning into bluster. And bullying. But I was too hard on the generation of Nixon’s. (My parent’s generation). I think they were the most unselfish, hard working of people. They lived through a depression and two major wars. In Canada they brought in public medical care. In the U.S. they brought in civil rights legislation. In Europe and Japan they raisedthemselves from ashes. But they weren’t always well served by their leadership.




teddy’s stick up marilyn monroe doctrine.

franklyn’s new dealership.


new frontears.

and now trick dicky thinks he’s the little dutch boy

sticking his thumb in his mouth

so there won’t be any leaks.

its obscene and absolutely poor verse.

here we have these bunglers leading their own shadows

while the silent majority extend their constituency

to the other side of the sod.

war generationed genes.

how can we understand them.

after the depression and the halocost

the lot of them took their lives

molded them into hammers

and spent the rest of their days banging away.

and their offspring

(to expand upon a metaphor)


refuse to move lest they be nail’d.

Meet that blonde chick

October 29, 2011

I don’t know what I’m talking about. Or ‘was’. I’d been reading a lot of Hegel. And so my thought processes ran a kind of maze. As if an idea was a white rat. And I was keeping tabs on how long it took the little bastard to realize he wasn’t going anwhere. And I was trying to be vague. I think. Because there is no better way to hide the shallowness of a notion than to be abstract. Confuse the discussion by suggesting that you have just scratched the surface. This is thinking as a form of advertising. You want everyone to think you’re intelligent. But  you don’t want to say anything too specific because they might realize that you’re stupid. I don’t know if I was aware of any of this. I just wanted to fit in. I think. And meet that blonde chick sitting in the corner.





“A joke is the epigram on the death of feeling.”


the muted collage

the postman’s invention

once prufrock’s private snicker

the painters’s little jab in the bourgeoisie’s ribs

the mid wife’s colossal foolery

the mutant consciousness.


“All order society puts the passions to sleep.”


working by brail

the artist feigning boredom with the new moment

relieved himself of its chaos,

‘let it be used on their barricades

on their slogans, and placards.’

in their attempt to wake us from our slumber

our much touted revolutions

were mere examples of the

good manners of the oppressed,

overcoming their rage to make

a final gesture to their old masters

and upon awakening

we were overheard to say

‘perhaps we not offer them adequate



“Rational thought is interpretation according to a

scheme we cannot escape.”


the panhandlers now wage

their moral defeat against Watergate.

the automobile

once king of the road

against the subway system

petroleum versus electricity

order versus law

(it becomes clear that the last century was only a way station.)

the victims of what we did not believe –

we now find.

(it at least resembles a gesture of discovery.)

the saturation of the many

seeping into the consciousness of all.


the old order hovers “like an exaltation of stale gas”

in the days when

we are sieged by the pedagogy of crowd noises.

I wanted to be real

October 29, 2011

I love T. S. Eliot. He was the first poet that I read who used collage. Pasting pieces of his works together to make a new whole. As I mentioned before there was a girl I loved. My first girlfriend. At eighteen. First year university. And it was all too much. I wrote dozens of poems about her. And when we broke up I burned all those poems. I watched the flames eating away at all that passion. The flames went out. I grabbed bits and pieces of paper and stuck them on paper.  And put together the poem below. Which only goes to prove I think that I was more interested in the idea of love than the girl. Otherwise I would have relit the fire. I was ashamed of myself. I wanted to be real. But I wanted to be a poet. And the two were in conflict.




through the cracks in th

e wall i can hear the small talk rambling

on in the hall;

shelley looked so frightful

when her bronze boy lover left.

he left slamming the front door

but the house was mute and deaf.

i was smoking a cigarette

that put me on a wing – torn curtains drool upon the

streetlight shadows

an old oak drooping bent

over a hollow like’\

an old man begging for care and

then forgetting

why he’s there.


i tried to sketch your portrait

but you stole my rock.


a roman circus passes my way

eight days after friday;


unknown voices

soar to flame

so i go dreaming down the street





the grass is smoke

upon the factory’s heat.

all the walls flee

you’re not impressed by their rout.


breeze caresses the flame.


rubber careemed off the street

black shivering beds

sighing with the roll and scortch

magic dawn flushes,

the fury of the night stalls.


laces of my boots cry

that its someone to pray to.

toothless sun laughing at me.

walls are closing floor rising up.

i want to go up and touch your face.

dust drained from his skull.

the caution signs r blind

perfume swallows the air.


silence bleeds.


TIMBRE yells the vet

before he mends the old hookers

falling crotch. lovers separate

& crawl into marble rabbit holes.

i saw the hardwood melt

down upon your face.


against a bus stop he leans

with his guns in his eyes.


kissed a girl who didn’t want to be touched

manufacture some hate

aren’t you getting kinda stout?


don’t you realize yr a self

conceited egg tonight i met

jesus with a bottle of zing in his hand.

a lonely elephant asked me today


i was as mirror of discontent.


we should all wear pink

and be forced to carry around portable sinks.


drenching darkness empress

coca cola clown

onion blood baby

blow me. let me follow it down your throat.

i have sat inside my room

placed my fingers inside your wounds

touch’d things smoother than moonlight,

seen you hide from the cruel dancers.


a spider weaves suicide across the moon

t hide the memory of a king

who hung himself one afternoon

one sticky afternoon in the seaweed

beneath big blackman’s beach.


spring lingers on

sleeping under the snow.


moses kissd all the virgins with rain,

gave them passports,

put them on the cattle train.


one must please the customer.










my bride stood before me in yellow

she was scrawny


& sour. a tinge of resentment on her breath.

get outta here

i mean would you please leave the room

i wonna think about the love you gave me

but i don’t want to think about you.



i can hear my daddy’s poetry

building stand naked

& faceless

sounds of groaning uncles

& their voices.

i met a child in the back of the back room.

she came wearing a badge.

i lifted her latch

burnt her on my minute steak.


i announced i was running for god

& everybody gathered around to ask why.

don’t get too close

i couldn’t handle an overdose.


close your eyes. you’ll never go blind.

watch the seagulls fly in their cage

broken beer bottles in the grass awaiting a victim.

lonely romeo trapped in her canyon

a wooden waste basket full of crawling hands

a crowd of a thousand breathing

a skinned woman

desks and silver spoons choking

her visions of you have kept her

up through the night.

she weeps like a tyrant.


through the cracks in the wall. i

can hear the rambling on

of small talk in the hall.

look at michael trying to apolo

gize with his jokes and his cur

ls and his gift of pea

rls and his lost wor

lds. antiques will replace old ladies.

my grudges she warms like white coals.

– i’m losing the beat.


what about the year of 56

when men breathed fire

and men threw sticks.

He doesn’t like it

October 27, 2011

This was written about a friend of mine. His life seemed tortured. Nothing helped. Drugs, alcohol, women. I tried to imagine what his pain was like. And as I imagined I got pretty depressed myself. Depression is a serious illness. But in your youth there is about it… adventure, romance, attention. I hated the iconic view of artists as martyrs. Suffering for their art. And they were sensitive. You could tell. Because they suffered. Not me. I did art, wrote, painted, etc. because it was fun. And it got me into the company of a different type of woman. But my friend suffered. And he still does. And he doesn’t like it.




I hid beneath your bed

waiting for you to arrive

found some holes in the wall

you painted from sight

your fist the brush.

I put my fingers inside.


And when you did not show

I crawled into the closet

and prayed to the walls,

lets go on a honeymoon,

I want to die.

Void of anything

October 26, 2011

Ever heard of dark matter? Its supposed to make up 80% of the matter in the universe. Which means that all those bright dots of light that we see in the sky are 20% of what there is… there. A friend of mine, a science teacher, calls black matter… pretend matter. We know almost nothing about it. Perhaps it exists at an atomic level and so is invisible to us. We are the iceberg above water while  ‘pretend matter’ is below the surface. It does however affect gravity. And apparently it has warped the Milky Way. Causing the edges to rise up like a LP that has been left of a warm stove. (Scientific American Vol. 305 #4)

What’s worse. They say that there may be a ‘dark galaxy’ moving through the Milky Way. Galaxies without suns. What does that mean? And what sort of life could/would exist there? Or would it be a desert. Void of anything. It may be that we will have to re-examine everything we know in science. Dark matter could be a real bug-a-boo.

Of course every child knows about dark matter. Its what goes bump in the night. Its what is waiting under your bed. To grab your foot if you let it dangle over the side.

I was a fool

October 25, 2011

We all asked. Who the hell am I? I tried. But it was boring. I was boring. I never thought that I was very interesting. And when alcohol has loosened by tongue, I found that I was like one of those speakers in Hyde Park, London. Just shooting my mouth off. Once someone recorded one of my alcholic rants in a bar at a staff Christmas party. I heard it the next day. I was a fool. It was the last Christmas party I attended. There’s a law in physics that you cannot find both the location and the speed of an electron at the same time. Investigation changes the results. Thats they way it is in trying to find out who you are. Do good. And leave the rest to others.

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I have tried so hard to forge

my smile in clay

but the damned fool

will not hold still,

and when

I raise my voice

to admonish the brat

he just winks

and laughs.

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