Some Thoughts On Mortality

Books are scattered across the floor. The library has been closed. Down by the mayor. The books are angry in Toronto. Their words are all fed up. Threatening to take away. Humpty Dumpty’s name.

Eyes rolling around. Like dice in the palms. Of pick pockets. On Queen Victoria Day.

I’d like to hear something. Flattering. Anything that I could laugh. Off. Instead of this wonderful taste of temporariness. I wish I had the time. To reread. War and Peace. After learning Russian.

My daughters. Are living their lives. With boys. In another generation. Could have been dough boys. Or dead boys. Now. They seem more like lost boys. How much future is in the rear view mirror.

Written for my mother shortly after my father’s death:


I love my father. Sometimes his love for me, embarrassed me, made me uncomfortable. But he always loved, gave his love without reservation, without expectations, without the need for reward. My dad was a man of innocence. He was mostly a kid. He was afraid of small things – telephone calls, bills, salesmen at the door. But he was never afraid of being hurt. He was never afraid of loving someone or of being loved.

Sometimes my father was embarrassed by affection, only because he was afraid of being overwhelmed by it. He was always surprised by any gifts of affection. Everything my father received in life that was good, he accepted as a gift. He never seemed plagued by doubts about his feelings. One of my uncles told me that my father had been the same since he was a kid. His instincts for kindness and goodness were almost biological. They were never something he acquired.

My dad was never much good at anything. Perhaps this was because of his lack of education, or a lack of opportunity. He could never teach me how to fix a radio, or build a table, or understand Plato, or play hockey. But all the time I remember his pride in me, his love for Sandra and the warmth and playful affection between him and my mother. My father is the one who taught me to love. I am his student and his proud son. I miss him.

The Blob

May 30, 2012

I can’t help myself. He brings the bully out in me. You might call¬† him The Blob. And I know I’m being insensitive. And once again I can’t help myself. Well, I could but he brings this out in me.(This drawing was done by Stuart Immonen. A Toronto artist.) The blob is our mayor. Bob Ford.

You can see the resemblance. Bob Ford amongst other things is overweight. But its just not his weight. Its his appetite. He has eaten most of western Toronto. And is headed toward the CN Tower. He loves meat on a stick or Patychky.

Of course more dangerous than his mouth is that other orifice. Mississauga has been completely wasted.

Okay. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have picked on him. I could lose a few pounds myself. He’s still a jerk, though.

Last Rites

Maybe you could tell me. The steps coming down the stairs. Your shoulders shaking. Too many pills. Chasing you down the boulevaard. Maybe it was something I ate for Christmas.

Listening to each other. The last syllable hangs in the air. Help you on with your jacket. You ask. Did you tip the waiter. I return to the booth. For my teeth. They’re still talking.

Maybe you could die. And I could start over. I’d divorce the first woman I married. And go through the bitter redress of my complaints. You get the children. You get the house. You get whatever is in our accounts. I get the last breath. From your lungs.

Why does life leave you. Feeling used. And worn out. I can hear the feet going down the stairs. Its Christmas morning. And the kids are laughing.

A Quickie In The Shade

Eves dripping. With heat. Dog in the street. The hair over his paws. Stuck to the tar.

She was born. Overweight. Spend her adult life. Worried about her ankles.

A quarter. Lay on the sidewalk. A snail crawled over the face of the Queen.

The scars from the war. Were still waking him up. In the alley. Between those condominiums that were being renovated.

The President is handsome. Aren’t they all.

The t-shirt is stuck to my skin. Won’t come off. Without the use of an Exacto knife. My tears are turning into steam. And the way she looks at me. Is the last thing I can afford.

If you take the time-line of spring. And imagine it from very far away. So that the time-line is squelched. Made brief. Perhaps a few hours. It must seem that some unseen force is reaching out, almost like a rash, and overcoming the planet. Almost like a predator.

And I have to cut it.

The Hole

May 27, 2012

Detective Sam Kelly is in the last days of a long career. His final assignment is to investigate Joe Mackenzie’s complaint that neighbours are dumping garbage down his well. Kelly soon discovers that many locals have vanished over the years. In every case the disappearances lead back to the mysterious hole in Mackenzie’s backyard.

This is a true story based on gossip, unsubstantiated rumors, exaggeration, and the American way.

It is not about a prostitute.

It is wildly entertaining or so says Time Magazine. (About a completely different book. But they did say it.)

Its a bargain at twice the asking price. Its free.



Time to go home

May 27, 2012

Antibiotic Revelry

Went to the dump. Looking for that sled. Rosebud. Or was it Rin Tin Tin. I saw in a film. Maybe there’s no chance of finding it. But then I’m not looking for intelligent life in the universe. I’m just trying to find out if all my suits fit.

I have this overwhelming feeling. I’m going to need a 3 piece. Sounds macabre. But I was in the theatre. When Marlene Dietrich. Fell off the stage. She was 80 years old. And looked it. But she had my attention. Until she ended up in the arms. Of the guy. Who plays the oboe.

I drink revelry. Every time I see an old black and white. Its like living with ghosts. I had a dream. That we were all dead. That all of this was Jesus’s home movie. And he had passed out by the pool. With Dean Martin. In his arms.

Woke up in a theatre. Empty. Except for the girl. In her uniform. With her broom. And her yellow teeth. And she kept repeatin’. Its time to go home. Its time you left all these thoughts behind.

In the 3rd or 4th century A.D. there was a great competition for ideas in Christianity. Sort of like the Super Bowl. Of course, just like in sports, there were winners and losers. Arianism was one of the losers. But there were others. I remember being taught this in our Catholic high school. And how (someone asked) do we know that the right ideas won? Well, God made sure that the winners reflected his point of view. Isn’t that the view of the victors in all struggles? If Arianism had won the struggle and become the predominant notion of Christianity, would it have made any difference in the course of events? You see the same thing happening in the Islamic world. And in all major religions. Even in Protestanism, you have heretics. Always its us… or them. Which I think is why that the only safe place for religion is in a secular state. And why America was considered by many as the savior of civilization.


I’m so ashamed. I didn’t think. I’d ever hear those words. From. Words. Like knives. Points at both ends. Nothing quite bends. Like your skin. When the blood. Makes a break for it. And the air. Rushes in.

Never mind. I’ve forgotten better. Than. Sunlight. Through. All the holes. That were pledged. To me. All I can smell. Is your tears. And your lips on your knees.

Electric toothbrush. Ipad. Microwave oven. A wall. Against the waving trees. Goodbye. You’re afraid of death. I’m afraid of nothin.

Too young. To handle all this emotion. Wish I were back. Somewhere where there. Wasn’t so much confusion. I’m losing. All I know.

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