Yakety Yak

April 28, 2012

power of h Weblog

Strange how everyone has something stuck in their ear, listening to their favourite tunes. And all these folks texting to each other. Emails. Tweets. And yet. I get the impression, listening to the American news programs, that people have lost the ability to listen. To each other. Or themselves.

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I don’t want…

March 4, 2012

The wind in your smile. Is like the look of the trees. When there was a swing. And a boy. And a girl. And your hair was orange. Brighter than the sun’s. And the long grass was weaving. Memories. I don’t want to be reminded of where I’ve been. Don’t want to be reminded of what I’ve seen.

But I don’t smoke

December 9, 2011

I know it is often said, but as a society we are very tolerant toward the insane. There is a man in our neighbourhood who is completely mad. As far as I can tell. He walks up the street. Stops at the same spot. And mumbles. Then proceeds on. Walks up the corner to buy cigarettes. He never walks on a crack on the sidewalk. He’s been doing this for over 20 years. No one pays much attention to him. Of course no one pays much attention to me either. And I step on all the cracks. But I don’t smoke.



Diga Diga Do. Peggy took all the packages of corn flakes off the shelf. Individually. And placed them on the floor. Individually. Then she took each one and placed it carefully back on the shelf. She smiled and sang the lyrics of a song. ‘I take good care… the world belongs to me.’ Her head bobbed back and forth. Her smile hung in the air. Like the seat of a toilet. On a dewy morning. It is odd. To be odd.

“Doing a great job there,” a voice cried. Behind her. And up.

She looked up. And behind. The huge figure of Everest towered over. Like a cloud over city towers. On a sticky afternoon. In July. When you lose your papa. At the zoo. The laughing tangerines. A city floating in a sea of blue shampoo bubbles. Gulls flying about. Lovers sitting. In a swill. Betrothed. Dropping a coin on the city below and making a wish. It can be a strain. To have tu…ber…cu…losis.

“I was in a fight one time with a friend,” Peggy said. And stuck her tongue in her cheek. So that it jutted out of the side of her face. “I can’t remember what we were fighting about. Some people think that’s a crying shame. Not me. I don’t think it matters. We were destined to have that fight. No matter how much we fought it off, we would have had that fight. Destiny. I haven’t spoken to her since. My life would have been much richer if we had not fought. I picked up a piece of ice. So shiny. Like the frozen light from a star. And used it as a knife. She was smiling. Her smile got wider. With pearls of red at one end. She didn’t scream. It was the quiet that taught me a lesson. And it’s a lesson that we could all learn from.”

Everest looked confused.

“My name is Peggy. I may be crazy but I’m a very good employee,” the woman said. She held up one of the packages of cereal. “You need fiber in your diet. It kick starts your metabolism. In the morning. Any of the ‘ism’s really. And it’s good for your bowels. Like straw in horse dooey. Helps spread it around. And there’s nothing a man needs more in the morning than a good bowel movement. The old in and out. Slipping easily into the lake. From that dark recess. Like D.H. Lawrence.”

“I’m a coffee man myself,” Everest replied.

At that moment two young kids came running down the aisle. Everest stepped to one side to let them pass.

“Spoiled little buggers.” Peggy’s face screwed up. Into an ugly frown as she continued to replace the cereal boxes on the shelf. “My mother died of lung cancer at fifty years old. Never smoked a day in her life. If it was up to me I’d nail their little feet to the floor. Little bastards shouldn’t be running around free. They don’t let dogs free. Are you disappointed by life?”

Everest thought for a moment then responded. “Disappointed? No. Discouraged? Sometimes.”

Peggy smiled and returned to her packages. She sang, ‘Beyond the horizon, behind the sun, at the end of the rainbow, life has only begun’

Someone tapped Everest on the shoulder. Everest turned around. It was James Edwards, the pharmacist and one of the owners of the drug store. He was dressed in a three piece suit. Charcoal. White shirt that smelled of frabric softener. Lilacs. And a wonderful cologne. Old Sailor.

“Peggy is quite a show, eh?” Edwards said. His fingers reached for the knot in his tie. And made sure that it was straight. I wish I could dress like a buccaneer.

Everest smiled. “Did you say you’d like to dress like a buccaneer?”

Edwards shook his head. He pressed one of his hands on the other wrist. Taking his pulse. Like a long distant runner. In training.

Everest noticed. Is he expecting to have a stroke?

“She has an odd way,” Everest said. “But odd ways can be tantalizing. I had an aunt who dressed in the habit of a nun. Even though she had never received a calling from God. And gave birth to five children. Four of whom survived their first year.”

Edwards smiled. “I see you in the store quite a bit.”

Everest nodded. “I like your store.” Everest turned his attention back to Peggy. “She seems to enjoy her work.”

Edwards smiled. “I wish all my employees were as conscientious.”

“Has she worked here a long time?”

The pharmacist smiled. “Peggy isn’t an employee. She comes into the store, straightens out a shelf, buys something, than goes home. She’s harmless enough as long as she doesn’t get you into one of her conversations.”

At that moment, Peggy turned to Everest.

“They’ve got Ivory soap on sale. It’s a good deal. I’m going to buy a hundred dollars worth. You can never be too clean. Why smell like fish when you can smell like a cloud.”

The same two children turned the corner and ran down the aisle again.

“I need a hammer,” Peggy cried and stood up. “Sorry Mr. Edwards, I’ve got to go to the hardware store.”

“You don’t like children?” Everest said.

“I like them fine,” Peggy responded. She looked from Everest to the pharmacist. “I had a couple of rug rats myself. Fat little rats.”

Edwards looked at Everest and tried to discourage him from continuing the conversation. Everest did not heed his warning.

“And how are they doing?” Everest asked.

“I cut them up into small morsels and made meat pies out of them.” Peggy giggled. “The girl tasted a little tart.”



Something to chew on

November 17, 2011

McLuhan believes that the Gutenberg ruptured the middle ages sending it into the Renaissance. It moved from an ear culture to an eye  culture.  From a hot involved culture to a cool detached one. What does that say about music created during and after the Renaissance. Is it cool. Classical music has been accused of being detached. As opposed to jazz say where people get off their feet and dance. African music is portrayed my McLuhan as being essentially an ear music. So why is modern life filled with so much music. And music that is hot and invovling like rock’n’roll, beebop, jazz, big band, rap. Are we moving into a new era? Out of modernity?

Post-modern. What does that mean?

‘Postmodernism postulates that many, if not all, apparent realities are only social constructs and are therefore subject to change. It emphasises the role of language, power relations, and motivations in the formation of ideas and beliefs. In particular it attacks the use of sharp classifications such as male versus female, straight versus gay, white versus black, and imperial versus colonial; it holds realities to be plural and relative, and to be dependent on whom the interested parties are and of what their interests consist. It supports the belief that there is no absolute truth and that the way in which different people perceive the world is subjective.’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism)

All realities are only social constructs. Now there is something to chew on.

In my darkest days.

November 2, 2011

Certainly one of the most depressing pieces I have ever written. Fed up with the common place. Fed up with routine. Fed up with myself. I think. Although if you write a poem about suicide instead of doing the deed then there is some optimism. In my darkest days I always tried to remember that I had to hold out for my friends. No use planting some stupid idea in their head. That’s kind of the domino theory of suicide. You don’t want to be responsible for other’s actions… And then something else happened.




bought a blowtorch

at 4 thirty at the hardware

to clear the cobwebs away



found four spiders crawling

out of suzanne’s mouth.

Said that if it happened once more

she would no longer put up with my shortcomings.


Jimi’s buddy is a sniper on our block,

feeds his alligator

slow fingers.


Haven’t filled out my income tax yet

eyes r cryin

arms r cryin

legs r cryin

what’s goin on?


“wonder if its living that makes you sick or gets you better.”

the last words grandpa said


he let the razor rescue him.


We pulled on our rubber galoshes

carried him up from the basement

into the backyard

took him back behind the abandoned cars

and buried him

in the compost heap.

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.

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.

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.


October 25, 2011

Shortest poem I’ve ever written. There is something haunting about it. And also romantic. Tragedy. Death. Yearning. Unrequited love perhaps. Something has happened. And the poet feels empty.





I feel like

a rumour.

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