Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ode to Naked Young People

I've almost completely ripped out
My faulty north american wiring
Puritanical sensors that tell me
To frown when I see a short skirt
Flashing 'SLUT' in red neon
Or a shirtless young man
Whose form makes me doubletake
Whence the fear of the body beautiful?
Whence the shame and indignation
For that which inspired Botticelli's Venus
And stood tensed for Michaelangelo's David?
In the staffroom tongues clucked
At high school I was taught now teacher
When I studied we hid our dirty parts
In baggy T shirts and jeans
The uniform of New World Disorder
Now that I teach I will be damned
Before I show anything but admiration
For a body beautiful enough to show
Or self-esteem to flaunt what you got

Thursday, April 28, 2011

African Beats

Oo oo
Barefoot in the sand
Eyes closed light pulsing
Generator hums an undertone
Steel guitar twangs with my soul
Sweat beads the drummer’s forehead
African beats in a cold Canadian summer

Oo oo
Words wash over me
Mind doesn’t know but heart understands
Like the heartbeat of your mother in the womb
Every single member of the band moves together as one
Cool breeze heralds the setting arctic sun
African beats in a cold Canadian summer

Oo oo
Reverb against the icy window
The CD bought that day magically plays
Roomate’s speakers woof and tweet and hum on wood floor
I sit warming hands with tea eyes drinking winter sun
A warmth dances at my very center
African beats in a cold Canadian winter

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Hand of Man

 Well-tended gardens
Orderly rows of bonsai and miniature cherries
All thrive and stand by the hand of man
But would be a thousand times lovelier
If it were taken away

If it were taken away
Vines would rise and overwhelm the houses
Trees and grass pulverize the asphalt strips
Tumble down the stone walls
Keeping man apart

Keeping man apart
Is the objective of tree lines and trellises
Subverting leaf and stem and root to our will
Showcasing our unnatural usage of nature
Well-tended gardens

Only Out of Sight

Those who choose to live so far from home
Are the ones who always must phone
The ones who feel the most alone
Canadians scattered across many lands
Reversing the flow that brought their blood
To the frozen north from scattered lands

At strange times they find
Family always on their mind
Faces and voices of their own kind
Grandfather's smile within the Pyramids
Mother's eyes atop the Himalayas
Sibling's laughter in Venice or Paris

Who is to say what's wrong or right
We who chose exiled flight
Must keep alive a smaller light
Do not forget us, for we remember you
You are always with us in our mind
We are only out of sight

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Reflections April 25, 2011

Ode to Schoolgirls
Living in a culture that fetishizes schoolgirls on many levels, I wanted to re-imagine them as if I were their parent.
Old Is The New Young
Meet jaded youth in Canada or hipster seniors in Japan and you’ll see where ths came from.
When The Aliens Come Knocking
I was re-reading Asimov’s early work and the joy and promise of science and sci fi was so beautiful. I do hope we don’t dead end it as a species here, but I won’t be around long enough to see it anyway.
History of Poetry
Read some old canonical poetry and be astounded at how much people knew. Any time I see erudite or well-read, Google or WIkipedia are probably not far away.
Hard Time Friends
I am working on a script about St. John’s in the 80s and 90s. Here’s to you Woolridge, wherever you may be…
Ode To The Bad Salaryman
Although I know a few exemplary specimens, the average salaryman shocks me with his un-Japanese rudeness and neglect of those around him.
For Love Of Palestine
A co-worker from Palestine impressed me with his stories of working for a Japanese NGO helping Palestinians. Not so much a poem as a re-ordering of his words.
Just imagine what kind of an ordered society the birds that share the wire covering by my home must have. They put the orderly Japanese to shame.
Imperial Park Cherry Trees
Although I enjoyed watching the petals fall in Kyoto, the people of Tohoku were not far from my mind. I gave as much as I could, but still wish I could have done more.
The Tomb Robbers
I can easily imagine some post-apocalyptic tomb raiders breaking into reactors that have melted down, ignoring the curse of invisible death that lies there to get to the rods of power that lie there. It is like an old D&D module. The concrete covering of Chernobyl is even called the sarcophagus.
The Mosquito and The Silver Bullet
Read about how malaria is coming back thanks to complacency and arrogance in western aid programs for fighting disease. It is like shooting silver bullets at the pests while sitting in a perforated net…
Spring Face
That first real day of spring puts on a smile and a spring in my step that lasts for a while. Just wanted to pass it along.
Mr Sato
Although the government and banks are bending backward to accommodate the victims of the tsunami, I can easily imagine the red tape tripping them up some time in the near future.
Kyoto Traffic
‘Ted, will you drive me to my exam in Kyoto?’
‘Is that a good idea today, on a sunny Sunday?’
‘What could happen?’
The Ring
Both my marriage and how people need to support each other in times of calamity.
Tora Tora
The story happened as written. Never turn your back on a tiger.
The Wife’s Boxed Lunch
I should put radioactive warning labels on my huge lunch container, it looks that ominous. But it keeps everything warm and tasty that Tomiko makes.
Campus Lives
Admittedly, university as an institution is out of step with the times and needs to change. Still, it is a beautiful fairy world at times.
Too much power in any man’s hands, especially since most men are fools.
Google You
Try it.
Ordinary Workplace
Just wanted to turn this idea upside down. If you ever felt overwhelmed or a pariah at an office, you might get this. If you have excluded people, this is what kind of monster you look like to them.
Sex in Space
I had an exhausting week, poems weren’t coming that night, so I reached deep inside and this is what came out. Pretty impressive for a dirty limerick methinks…
The Tyranny of Things
Too much of this type of shit going on.
Five Stars
Being invited over to the house for a meal is even more special in Japan because it is so rare.
Spring Thoughts
It is that season where spring comes and goes, but you feel relieved every time it pops in. Expect one or two more of these spring-themed odes.
Meeting The Baby
Met Tomi’s newest nephew, Light, on the weekend. Babies are a pretty interesting symbol of where we are going and where we come from.

Meeting The Baby

It is easy to believe
Just a few months back
You were an old man
Mind wandering
Gumming your pap
Peeing your diaper
Whoever wiped your hardrive
Should have scrubbed it better
Because here you are
Doing it all again
Babies are not clean slates
I see echoes of who you were
In who you are becoming
As for me, looking at you
The color of your hair shooting like fire from your head
I realize
My printer has run low
On toner, and white has crept
Around my temples and spotted my crowned
I am happy
To meet you and smell and touch
That aura of immortal youth you have
Of innocence that surrounds you
But not kindness, for that is ours
What you throw back at us daily
I wish you were part of me
As I wish part of me had made you
But I am happy to be part of the small world
That prepares you for the larger world
For as long as I can
Until I am there again
Moving from tomb to womb

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Five Stars

Ranged round the table
Like knights in an ancient fable
Your knee to my knee
This banquet all for free
As many courses as you can pile
All served with a smile
And eaten with many
With seconds there for any
Pouring wine and beer for each other
And ginger ale for mother
Fresher and sweeter than anything on a menu
Followed by sweets and snacks and then you
Have the children play piano
The two songs that they know
Before bedtime we bid good night
To your home's oasis of light
As we drive off in our cars
Lucky to have partaken of your five stars

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Tyranny of Things

When I see you love your car
More than your loving wife
Who is half-mad afraid of scratching your precious
I want to kick in the doors
And take a sledgehammer to the windshield

When I see your eyes bloodshot
For looking into widescreens all day
Shushing and kicking people away
When the have to pass in front to get anywhere
I want to cut the cord with scissors
And throw it out the fourth floor window

When I see you caress your dolls
Dust and display and light them daily
Telling kids they’re not toys to play with
And talking to adults like they are kids too stupid to understand
I want to douse them in lighter fluid
And watch them burn out on a hill somewhere

In truth, I would be sad to lose my things
But I would get over it
And I would never value them more than those I love
I am no Buddhist or angel with wings
Just a man aware of the tyranny of things

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sex in Space

Is it in the future
Or has it happened yet?
Was there any danger
Of getting the controls all wet?
Did the Soviets or the US win the race
To be the first to have sex in space?
If it happened in those early days
The victory laurel goes to the gays
Repressed 60s alpha males all
Twirling in a 69 freefall
But if those rocket men were too stressed
To put their docks and O-rings to the test
Then the mixed shuttle crews were the best chance
Of astronauts getting into each other’s pants
Those flight crew ratios of woman to man
Almost certainly ensured a gang bang
Or maybe skylab visitors scooped them by a few years
In which case once again win cosmonaut queers
But if the great experiment graced the ISS
There would be enough time and room for undress
And if the Soyuz stockers had the notion
To include containers of fragrant lotion
Visitors could engage in weightless mirth
Then post-coitally enjoy the view of earth

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Thoughts

Greening trees peering at me
Pushing your buds into the air
Your infinite movements draw my eyes
Your chlorophyll scented love
Clears chalk dust from them
You stately ebon trunk
Makes me stand straight and puff my chest
I would rather sit beside you caressing your smoothness
Then sit in this chair
Treating young adults like old kids
Scratching words on dead trees

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ordinary Workplace

The new girl in the office
She came here in a rocket
Commuted on the stars
All the way from Mars
The guy in the mailroom
Is a sentient mushroom
Working in the dark
Next to where we park
The grumpy old file clerk
Stops to oil his clockwork
Servos clogged by the dust
And slowed up by the rust
Manager’s Australopithecus
He likes to mingle with us
Comes to show his furs
Off to all the office girls
The CEO’s new secretary
Is a scrawny Greek harpy
She’ll rend you with her claws
If you try to see the boss
The VP’s quite the host
For an avenging ghost
She shows clients around
The pool where she drowned
The boss himself I never met
He hasn’t manifested yet
His form comes into sight
Only when the stars are right
I’m sure you’ll enjoy it here
Although you’re a bit queer
The single human face
At this ordinary workplace

Google You

Google your name and you will find
Electronic doppelgänger of your mind
Ancient binary detritus left behind

First your changing Facebook face
Minutiae and trivia of the world you grace
When gone the blue with black replace

Next comes your working impression
Depths of present job depression
Then abandoned workplace regression

Old offices still use your face unpaid
Followed by life resuméed and displayed
Professional lies and desperate wants arrayed

See every article you’ve ever typed
Never read or published despite being hyped
The book that never sold was tripe

Last appear forgotten one page blogs
Ineffaceable data trails and logs
The internet ignores the space it hogs

This dead digital immortality
Lacks true achievement’s luster or quality
But keeps us alive in civilized banality