Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Unstable Life

Life is unstable
Like some theoretical particle
Unobservable, changed if looked at
Constant in its inconstancy

Life is unstable
Like some war zone
Destroying in seconds what took years to build
Sending families fleeing into the night

Life is unstable
Like that first flicker of love
That explodes into red tinged nights
Or winks out some cold blue morning

Life is unstable
Like a city toppled by shaking earth
Washing homes and lives away in a cold flood
Reducing great halls to timbers

Life is unstable
Like life itself
Bubbling up from nothing
To take that first step from ocean to land

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day Cat

In frozen sunshine
I carried flowers to the lake
Where I met an orange feline
Who cried and mewed
And put his paw
On my scuffed leather shoe

I heard his pitiful need
Saw his scarred stray face
But had nothing to feed
I drove up the lake road
To a brimming store
Hurried back with a load

Between my shoes the cat ate ham
As I sat on a bench
And thought how lucky I am
That I have when he has not
And at Christmas time
I could share what I got

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christ Like

That white Toronto Christmas
I dined with my rich aunt
Who gave me fancy bourbon chocolates
To rich for me to eat
As I trudged to the subway after
I met a man sleeping in the street
Who begged me for a loon or a toon

I gave him some coins
Then turned again and said
You want these fancy bourbon chocolates?
I got them from my aunt
Top class fancy things
You can have them if you want
He took them and ate

I don’t feel close
To Christ as saviour
Or as son of god
But sometimes I feel
Close to that carpenter
Whose only wish was to heal
What was wrong with the world

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fictional Fathers

I built this all for you
This star of death
This empire too
I’ve paid in blood
Lost half my hide
So we could rule side by side

Father left me all this
Enemies and racist dwarves
Our land of darkness
And when I am gone
I pass on everything
Making you the hermit king

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter's WIsh

I hope no one's burning in hell
I don't think it serves anybody right
Just wishing we could all get along well
And stop this useless fight

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On Misogyny

Women rise up
When they splash acid in your face
Because you refused their advances
When they chop off your fingers
For going to school
When they beat you with sticks
For letting your hair down
When they whip you
For driving a car
When their laws don’t protect you
Against any of these
Rise up
Do not lay down
Do not let them lay you down

Men rise up
When your brother throws acid at women
Disown him
When your uncle takes away her writing
Turn him out
When your son beats her with a stick
Beat him with a stick
When your father uses a whip on her naked back
Snatch it from his hands and whip his face bloody
When your laws are broken and let her suffer
Mend them as you would a fence or the net you need to live
Men rise up
Women gave you birth
Do not let your brothers give her death

Friday, December 16, 2011

When The Shine Comes Off

Birthday cake waits in the fridge frosted
Downy flakes turn greasy where the wipers crossed
You go first, I bring the bags
Of useless things and colorless rags
Life started the week in this room
This is where life ends it

When the shine comes off it
You’ll never look at it the same again
Love deepens from a chain to a ring
When you give all that’s all you lose

Tired doctor from faraway lands
Fingerprints on eyebrows from his bloodied hands
I lead you away clutching your purse
Containing a jewel greater than this world’s worth
This movie started in color
Now the only one left is red

When the shine comes off it
You’ll never see it the same again
Love hardens from a pearl to a ruby
When you give all that’s all you lose

We roll out to the ocean
Where the grey waves crash and run
Leave mother’s car cradled into a snowdrift
You lead me to the end of the cliff
Don’t need hats or coats
When inside is colder than out

When the shine comes off it
You’ll never see it the same again
Love softens from colors to grey
When you give all that’s all you lose

24 hours later at my family’s place
No one knows sees anything behind the smile on your face
It’s none of their business anyways
This family of two is where it will stay
The greatest gift we have is each other
We’ll keep giving until the end

Haiku Haiku

Perfect poetry
When inspiration is low
Or there is no time

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Veiled Haiku

Wrap your face in black
Windows of the soul enlarged
Humanity shrunk

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ode to Marshall MacLuhan

Literary agnost from the empty plains of Winnipeg
Charged by criticism at Cambridge
To take the husk of English departments
Give birth to the new Muses
Media Studies
Cultural studies
Communication studies
Global studies

Married to your mechanical bride
Shine a light bulb on hot and cold running media
The genius scouts shone their spotlight on you

Your exile was natural
For years you wandered
Reduced to a soundbite on medias and messages
Casual viewin' head buried in the sand
Martyr and messiah of this critical age

Now you come into my classroom
Of kids whose heads are filled
With kanjied propaganda and Hello Kitty brainwashing
Open their lids slowly to the signs around them
Seeing for the first time messages
In TV and radio
In chopsticks and forks
In skirts and pants
In the worlds and words that bind them

Thank you

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ode To Crowded Morning Trains

O morning people
Crammed in with me
That I grind into
While being ground into

Fathers who never kiss their wives
Mothers who never hug their kids
Children who never say ‘I love you’
Hold up strangers
While being held up

I tower above you
You huddle around me
Penguins around a seal
Ants around a mantis
Tree amid the bushes
Growing in the same earth

The ride would be longer
The ride would be lonelier
Without you

On Childlessness

With all the children
In the world

Being used or killed
Being used to kill

In the grand scheme
Us not having kids
Is no great tragedy

It is our little one

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Economies of Thought

Europe swirls around the drain
As America cries out in pain
When their tickertapes come to rest
Will we see the fallen West?

The start of Asia’s hundred years
Realization of a hundred Chinese fears
Between Bear claws and Bull horns
A new world will be bloodily born

Before we rail at Oriental specters
We’d best our own vampires hector
Those who suck the people’s lifeblood
Dried up society’s investing flood

We ourselves asked for trouble
When we set our hopes on bubbles
If in Mammon we blindly trust
We chain ourselves to booms and busts

Perhaps the change from yin to yang
Is fitting for us the Damned
If the East is equally cursed
They could hardly fuck things up worse

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jetlag Hero

Here I am
Body still shaking from the plane
Soul still there
Walking the contrail my meatsack left
ETA before the weekend hopefully
Soulless I still go to work
Students hopefully will not know
That though my flesh stands before them
My sprit’s toes sift sand on Manly beach
And spirit eyes watch the sea and tanned youth

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November's End

Christmas muzak
Wordless for the moment
Cold crisp air
Northern hemisphere
Snowless sidewalks
Booted girls in long coats
Scarf-wrapped boys go capless
Frogs slumber in cold mud
Spider eggs start ticking down to spring
Leaves stripped from branches
Cluttering the streets
Outside the newly wrapped windows
Where kerosene burns the first time
At dark suppertimes
Or reading a book in bed
Before cold mud slumber
Wakes to work in the chill morning

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Jogging home at night
Look for million dollar bills
No one ever drops

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jetlagged Soul

I am here
Body still shaking from the phantom plane
Soul still in transit
Walking the path my meatsack flew
ETA before the weekend hopefully

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The hippiest hip
On the global edge
The worst whites can do
To a bird of paradise
Tattooed, cow-pierced
Bare-footed skateboarder
Too good to work
Not too good to beg for smokes
Or camp protesting in a park

The Maori are still there
Driving buses
Delivering freight
Not really bothered
By the white waves that wash over them
Or the neon Chinese characters
They still see
Paradise there
Under asphalt and traffic lights

Asians and arabs
Arrived and living life
Working hard and smiling hard
Sending their kids to school
Speaking slacker English
Fighting tournaments in internet cafes
Speaking 8 languages to the clients
As they work in their father’s store
Or smoke and chat and run their own

Strange city
Palm trees and gigantic trees
Frozen still behind Victorian brownstones
And walking parks
Buses hurtling up and over
The hills to Queen street
Where she has never been
Where I another strange wanderer
Trudge past your chic shops and beer stores

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Born in the North

My Californian friend
Sat in the sunlight and said
“Get one of those avocados”

I knew but I did not know
What he meant
And shamefully asked
What was an avocado
And how did you eat it

This is what it means
To be born in the North

My Indian friend
Cooking with me said
“Throw those brown leaves out”

I knew but refused to know
What he intended
I carefully hid the leaves
In the cooking pot
And we both ate them

This is what it means
To be born in the North

My Japanese wife
Took out her parasol and said
“You should get out of the sunlight”

She knew but did not know
What it meant
To innocently ask
A body starved for warmth
To deprive itself of sun

This is what it means
To be born in the North

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday Night Sound

Rubbery screech and metal crump
Voices raise in ire
Banshee red siren

Subtle burble of smoking men
Click clack of heels
High pitched hyena laugh

Tinny rock muzak
Early carols
Cellophane snap and change jingle

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


People keep on being sheep
So long as they worship shepherds
They won’t even make a peep
As to the block they’re lured

Dirty looks from stone age books
Keep our bodies in chains
That we learn to hate ourselves
Is as inane as it is insane

Fear Big Daddy in the sky
More than Big Brother on earth
Both turn us into children
Both tell us what we’re worth

Given choice of hells they sell
In this life or after it
No matter how they sing and dance well
I politely refuse to buy any of it

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Rest

Go you to bed
Sweet mothering earth
We treat you much less
Than you are worth
We bully and torture
Take all your best
Now your seasons have turned
So off to your rest
Off now to slumber
Beneath sheets of white
We cannot stop you
You have the right
While with woodland folk
Your brown body lays dreaming
We will rest too
From out cutting and reaming
Give gifts from your bosom
Stamped with love brotherly
The one time of the year
We act with humanity
I will miss your beauty
But I am glad you will go
Would that I could sleep with you
Nestled beneath the snows

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In Morning

Lonely mouse myself
Slides the shoji with no thump
Pulling clothes on pantomime
Takes me twice the time
To ready myself for work
And slip out the door

Terminal autumn sun caresses
Like an older parent
Asshole-in-face waiting
Then asshole-in-face riding
Bang my head
Searching for change

At the office
Second hand dead man’s shirt
And frayed clown shoes
No tie never nowadays
When I’m safely in the pen
Until slaughtering time