Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Forgive the long hiatus, I’ve been packing up and leaving Hornby Island where I’ve been living for the better part of thirty years. Hornby is more and more

becoming a colony of vicious greedheads, evicting cancer patients in the

summer to rent weekly summer accomodations to tourists for three times

what I paid for a month. Then unpacking and settling in to a geezer pen in

Sechelt which isn’t half as bad as I imagined it would be. I miss my friends but

I was getting lonelier on Hornby because a few of them have begun dwelling

in the dirt. As I will probably too soooner than later(still dealing with the cancer

regime) in the meantime I’m going to make the best of it and pass along a

few of my pleasures, progress, and disappointments, though I’ve almost

never written about arts I don’t like, agreeing with Louis b. Mayer i.e., any

publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name write which in

the extreme leads to my believe that murderers should be deprived of the

right to a name since so many of whom are thrilled to see their names in

the headlines. My proposal would be that all rapists and murderers be

required to be called The Shit even after they’ve “served their time” so

the public would be warned and if they tried to assume an alias they should

be returned to jail or better yet banished to antarctica.

The Sechelt Festival of the Written Arts took place about a week after I

arrived, it was good to hear my friend John Pass, the governor generals

award winner. Before he began reading he let us know of the passing of

Margaret Avison who I’d hoped would be the canadian nominee for the

nobel prize since Sheila Watson and Anne Hebert both died before they

were nominated. John is a relaxed charming and humble reader, he read

from the powerful Two Towers sequence from the award winning book.

Stumbling In The Bloom. as well as several enchanting more domestic

poems though he didn’t read this:


What is your neglect of me

to me, my voluble compeers, dumb countrymen?

Whole mountain ranges have overlooked me.

Great rivers pass me by with no glint of recognition.

Forest paths and valley roads have let me slip

through their green lenses unidentified all spring.

Past vistas. Sometimes even my wife ignores me.

But at the margins’ summit, citizenship!

I have been citizen always

of Greater Insignificance, gulping

in every deaf/blind grateful face-full

of cunt or sea-air or succulent

asparagus, immensities,

the poems first oxygen, oblivion:

your eventual reading assignment.

one of my favourites. After the reading John and his wife,

the poet novelist Teresa Kishkan wisked me off to Andreas

Schroeder’s for a quick dindins, then rapidly returning to

Rockwood for a mob reading hastily arranged to replace

the unavailable Wayne Johnson.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Brain Candy

As you've undoubtedly surmised, I'm a bit of a bibliomaniac.
Along with my heavy dosage of contemporary poetry, and
new fiction, I'm addicted to thrillers, whodunits, detective
stories, police procedurals, crime novels, caper novels, p.i's
serial escapades. Over the past couple of years I've been
happy to discover that two of my favourites, Walter Mosely
and Henning Mankel have transcended their genres and have
powerfully entered the realm of world literature. Mosely's slender
fable The Man In My Basement is worthy of comparison with
Doesteyevsky and Atwood and the early work of Robert Stone.
Henning Mankell's protagonist in The Depths is a character
from a 21st century Conrad, part Hamlet and part Raskolnikov,
written with a lyricism reminiscent of Ondaatje.

Henning Mankell

Monday, June 4, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Harrison and Davey

I’m a person who requires a regular dosage of the mental health
supplements, phanopoeia, logopoeia and melopoeia. Ordinarily
I’ll read a review(increasingly hard to find) or an advert more
likely, on the Poetics Listserv, in APR, Geist, BC Bookworld,
Poets & Writers, NYR, the Globe and Mail or even occasionally
The NYT Book Review which over the past two decades sees to
have completely abdicated its responsibility to provide critical
attention to poetry(what a sentence!), of a recently published
book of poetry. I’ll know immediately whether or not I need
that particular medicine and I’ll go seeking to acquire same.
Occasionally tho, poetry I never knew was available (or written)
will sneak up on me, surprising and delighting me. Such was the
case last year when I was staying at the Cancer Lodge(10th & Ash)
for five weeks receiving a daily zap of radiation to shrink the
colorectal tumour making it easier for the surgeon to remove.
I couldn’t walk very far(4 blocks/urban, a kilometer/rural), so I
was happy to find the Book Warehouse was only a block and a
half away. I’d walk over every couple of days to see what I
could afford or justify squandering my limited resources on.
I felt like I’d hit the jackpot when I found Jim Harrison’s
Saving Daylight and Frank Davey’s Back to the War on the
same day, both for less than either’s new price.
Jim Harrison is one of my favourite US American fiction
writers. I’ve been reading his poetry since the 60’s when his
first book, Plain Song, was published. Saving Daylight Copper
Canyon Press
(2006) is Harrison’s eleventh book of poetry and
the best yet. It’s brilliant, funny, true Buddhist writing in the
tradition of Snyder, Kerouac and Kyger. Without a hint of the
overserious pomposity of too many contemporary roshis, it’s
playful and profound. It ought to be required reading for eleventh
graders preparing to grasp the uncertainties. I want to quote every
poem, perhaps these two will suffice to pique your interest:


If only I had the genius of a cabbage
or even an onion to grow myself
in their laminae from the holy core
that bespeaks the final shape. Nothing
is outside of us in this overinterpreted world.
Bruises are the mouths of our perceptions.
The gods who have died are able to come
to life again. It’s their secret that they wish
to share if anyone knows that they exist.
Belief is a mood that weighs nothng on anyone’s
scale but nevertheless exists. The moose
down the road wears the black cloak of a god
and the dead bird lifts from a bed of moss
in a shape totally unknown to us.
It’s after midnight in Montana.
I test the thickness of the universe, is resilience
to carry us further than any of us wish to go.
We shed our shapes slowly like moving water,
which ends up as it will so utterly far from home.

Night Dharma

How restlessly the Buddha sleeps
between my ears, dreaming his dreams
of emptiness, writing his verbless poems.
I almost rejected “green tree
white goat red sun blue sea.”)
Verbs are time’s illusion, he says.

In the stillness that surrounds us
we think we have to probe our wounds,
but with what? Mind caresses mind
not by saying no or yes but neither.

Turn your watch back to your birth
for a moment, then way ahead beyond
any expectation. There never was a coffin
worth a dime. These words emerge
from the skin as the sweat of gods
who drink only from the Great Mother’s breasts.

Buddha sleeps on, disturbed when I disturb
him from his liquid dreams of blood and bone.
Without comment he sees the raven carrying
off the infant snake, the lovers’ foggy
gasps, the lion’s tongue that skins us.

One day we dozed against a white pine stump
in a world of dogwood and sugar plum blossoms.
An eye for an eye, he said, trading
a left for my right, the air green tea
in the sky’s blue cup.

I’d encourage you to request your local library acquire this
handsomely published work of genius and imagination.
If anyone’s reading in the next millennium, they’ll be reading
some of these poems.

Since the days of Tish magazine, Frank Davey has been one of Canada’s most important and prolific writers. Of all of those poets being geniuses together (Bowering, Marlatt, Reid, Hindmarch,
Kearns, Wah, Dawson and Matthews) Davey seems to be the one
with the greatest sense of composing a book rather than a collection
of poems. Back To The War Talon(2005) which took him thirty years to conclude is a recreation of his childhood during the second world war.
Concisely and precisely he limns his family in the convincing vernacular
of the time. A vivid recreation, one of his best, full of his understated
intelligence and wry humour.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nellie McClung

Saw the Jesus and the Buddha
with her own two blue eyes in Ottawa.

The Buddha was on land,
came through her wall in fact
as she was meditating.
And later the same evening,
she saw Jesus
as she floated on the river
like Ophelia.

The revellers who passed her
on board the pleasure cruiser
must have seen her:
just another piece of smooth white ice
drifting on that winter river.

Nellie's white raincoat
buoyed her up and saved her life.

If she'd been wearing black,
those river fishermen
who took the name of Christ in vain &
saved her life
would've never seen her.

After seeing Buddha, she says,
she didn't think
that she could sink.

She's the only one
I've ever known personally
who ever saw them both
on the selfsame evening

That's two for you, Nellie.

Never occurred to you until later,
you might not be worthy.

That's why I stay away
from anything religious nowadays,
Nellie says,
I get carried away, you know.

Jamie Reid

jamie reid

Friday, May 11, 2007

mother courage

mothers day

Mothers' Day Proclamation: Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

Mother's Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their
sons. Here is the original Mother's Day Proclamation from 1870, followed by a bit of history (or should I say "herstory"):


Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons
of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a
great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women,
to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of

Julia Ward Howe


Mother's Day for Peace - by Ruth Rosen.

Honor Mother with Rallies in the Streets.The holiday
began in activism; it needs rescuing from commercialism
and platitudes.

Every year, people snipe at the shallow commercialism of Mother's Day. But to
ignore your mother on this holy holiday is unthinkable. And if you are a
mother, you'll be devastated if your ingrates fail to honor you at least one
day of the year.

Mother's Day wasn't always like this. The women who conceived Mother's Day
would be bewildered by the ubiquitous ads that hound us to find that "perfect
gift for Mom." They would expect women to be marching in the streets, not
eating with their families in restaurants. This is because Mother's Day began
as a holiday that commemorated women's public activism, not as a celebration
of a mother's devotion to her family.

The story begins in 1858 when a community activist named Anna Reeves Jarvis
organized Mothers' Works Days in West Virginia. Her immediate goal was to
improve sanitation in Appalachian communities. During the Civil War, Jarvis
pried women from their families to care for the wounded on both sides.
Afterward she convened meetings to persuale men to lay aside their

In 1872, Juulia Ward Howe, author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic",
proposed an annual Mother's Day for Peace. Committed to abolishing war, Howe
wrote: "Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage... Our sons
shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them
of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of
those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs".

For the next 30 years, Americans celebrated Mothers' Day for Peace on June 2.

Many middle-class women in the 19th century believed that they bore a special
responsibility as actual or potential mothers to care for the casualties of
society and to turn America into a more civilized nation. They played a
leading role in the abolitionist movement to end slavery. In the following
decades, they launched successful campaigns against lynching and consumer
fraud and battled for improved working conditions for women and protection for
children, public health services and social welfare assistance to the poor.
To the activists, the connection between motherhood and the fight for social
and economic justice seemed self-evident.

In 1913, Congress declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother's Day. By
then, the growing consumer culture had successfully redefined women as
consumers for their families. Politicians and businessmen eagerly enbraced
the idea of celebrating the private sacrifices made by individual mothers. As
the Florists' Review, the industry's trade jounal, bluntly put it, "This was a
holiday that could be exploited."

The new advertising industry quickly taught Americans how to honor their
mothers - by buying flowers. Outraged by florists who were seling carnations
for the exorbitant price of $1 apeice, Anna Jarvis' duaghter undertook a
campaging against those who "would undermine Mother's Day with their greed."
But she fought a losing battle. Within a few years, the Florists' Review
triumphantly announced that it was "Miss Jarvis who was completely squelched."

Since then, Mother's Day has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry.

Americans may revere the idea of motherhood and love their own mothers, but
not all mothers. Poor, unemployed rmothers may enjoy flowers, but they also
need child care, job training, health care, a higher minimum wage and paid
parental leave. Working mothers may enjoy breakfast in bed, but they also
need the kind of governmental assistance provided by every other
industrialized society.

With a little imagination, we could restore Mother's Day as a holiday that
celebrates women's political engagement in society. During the 1980's, some
peace groups gathered at nuclear test sites on Mother's Day to protest the
arms race. Today, our greatest threat is not from missilies but from our
indifference toward human welfare and the health of our planet. Imagine, if
you can, an annual Million Mother March in the nation's capital. Imagine a
Mother's Day filled with voices demanding social and economic justice and a
sustainable future, rather than speeches studded with syrupy platitudes.

Some will think it insulting to alter our current way of celebrating Mother's
Day. But public activism does not preclude private expressions of love and
gratitude. (Nor does it prevent people from expressing their appreciation all
year round.)

Nineteenth century women dared to dream of a day that honored women's civil
activism. We can do no less. We should honor their vision with civic

Ruth Rosen is a professor of history at UC Davis.
Reprinted with permission

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

judy copithorne


Not a flier myself are you?
(for Judy Copithorne)

Swimming pools of petroleum
Launch from thousands of capitols
Thousands of provincial towns
Millions lock their seatbelts
And bring their seats to the upright
At any moment the amount of petroleum
Sloshing above the brilliant scarlet of the cardinals
The dried blood red of the towhees breast
Above the cumulous and the curious alike
Enough petroleum to flood
100 soccer stadiums
Doing the dance momentum makes
Of molecules
While we snooze
Calmly thru the flight

Rachel Rose

Rachel Rose, it might be said, inherited elements of her formidable character
From our little community which she left as a fearless five year old barefoot
Daredevil. Her stepfather wrote poems, the fathers of some of her playmates
Were poets and now that she's a parent and poet herself, she's writing some
Of the most vivid poems of her generation, poems so intense they're nearly
Scary, easily passing emily dickinson's test of poetry q.v. making the hair on
The back of your neck stand up.
Elsewhere I've praised her first book, Giving My Body to Science, to the sky.
I'm happy to see, McClelland & Stewart published her second book Notes on
Arrival and Departure. Some of the personal narratives here are even more
Intense(if that's possible, nearly uncanny, the electricity passes from her to
You without diminishment. The documentary narratives are strong occasionally
Repulsive but more detached. In our age of social amnesia these might be
Considered pedagogical in their intent hoping to help us remember this
horrifying history we'd rather forget.
Lots of affection in the aggregat, esp my own fave:


It has all gone according to plan
mine, made when I was ten. My mother divorced the man
who came to take the place of my father

everytime we drove off in her cold car
I held my breath, hoping we'd go so far
We couldn't go home please Mum, I can make you happy

By the time she'd left I'd long since moved out west
And learned to love him more, or her less
Now she comes to visit me alone, stays for a week,

Hides pots in unexpected places, cooks with too much fat
He comes for a single night, hangs up his coat and hat
And lifts his step-grandson. His face has softened with defeat,

As has her own. Each in turn asks me for news of the other
And I tell them the parts that hurt - devious daughter
The parts that prove they were right to part

But finally my intentions are pure I do not tell them how
Between her visit and his I went down
With my son on one arm, clean sheets on the other, intending

To change the bed, but the smell of the roses from the lotion my mother wears
Drifted like a rainstorm up the stairs
And I turned,

Leaving the bed as it was, awaiting his arrival
Her scent of roses a reproachful perfume, a rival
For his dreamtime, a thorn

Or perhaps the scent became the dream itself bouquet
Of ivory wedding.roses dried upon a shelf

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Unlightenment(learn mistake)
for David Bromige

Once I learn mistake
Is more important than intention
more effective
once I learn mistake
is ubiquitous
once I learn mistake
is inevitable
one good mistake
deserves an utter
once I learn mistake
is eternal
once I learn mistake
is an happier instance
that one juicy good misteak
deserts an udder
once I learn mistake
has a glorious future
that success is predicated
on mistake

no mistake
no success

(success is all Miss Takes?
And the runnerup Miss Taken!)

once I learn mistake
means survival
redemption oddly

I never mad another.

david bromige

Monday, May 7, 2007

self portrait with ant

Curing Jerry
(Jerry loved trains)

hundreds of boxcars rattle and roll past the window
cars full of woodchips steaming south
cars full of linoleum and pianos chugging north
BC Rail from and to Prince George
whole lot of shaking going on
helping Jerry Pethick's Self Portrait with Ant
lose some of its marbles, his blue and green marbles
which Jim discovers on the hardwood floor
reseals to the glass and cures
on the bed beside this bed
the green blanket bed I sleep in
when I'm in
before he'll rehang it
outside la salle de bain
in the depressurization chamber
one flight up

jerry pethick

time top

Friday, May 4, 2007

saint leonard

I've been a fan of Leonard Cohen's since before he picked up the guitar,
since I found a used copy of his then current book of poems Flowers for hitler
in a used bookstore in Buffalo New York in 1967. His novel, Beautiful Losers
made a devotee of me. The last few years I've been reading his new poems and
songs on a Finnish web site, some of his scandinavian friends put together
called the blackening pages. Over the past few years, due to some financial
shenanigans on the part of his former manager, he's had to acquiese and
release a new book and several albums to recoup his retirement funds.
While I was in the Jean Baker Cancer Lodge, Cohen's Book of Longing
was published by McClelland & Stewart and thanks to a couple of generous friends
I had it in my hot little hands in weeks and it was much better than I'd anticipated.
Poems, prayers, songs, piths and gists and drawings! Dozens of self portraits that aren't
so much a likeness as a pschological projection. It came at exactly the right time and
enabled laughter to enter the too serious realm of treatment. It fed my head and I felt
better, less alone. There's so many poems I'd love to read to you after dinner on the
bank of the river. One of my favorites is this one:


Out of the thousands
who are known,
or want to be known
as poets,
maybe one or two
are genuine
and the rest are fakes,
hanging around the sacred precints
trying to look like the real thing
needless to say
I am one.of the fakes,
And this is my story.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

new titles

For a tiny community(900plus year round) I couldn't be happier
with our library's) response to my requests.
This week I've read George Bowering's latest collection of poems,
Vermeer's Light published by that workhorse of contemporary canadian poetry
Talon Books and Michael Ondaatje's brand new novel Divisadero
published by McCLelland & Stewart.
This subtle and various selection of poems written or reworked over the
past decade(96-06) might be thought of as George's "pirouette", near incandescent
virtuoso pieces demonstrating a perfect blend of wit and affection. If poetry
were a swordfight Vermeer's Light would be the equivalent of a quintuple touche.
Talon has a new bill bisset collection and a long awaited selection by
Lionel Kearns.
Divisadero is Ondaatje's most U.S. American book, the noirest of all his writing, more violence and more passion. Though Ondaatje names this book after a street in San Francisco, its easy to see why he'd choose this combination of letters. Division is the theme here, extreme separation, separation from love, separation from family,separation from sense, cleft even from memory and skills. And sadero it is indeed, lump in the throat sad, and like the marquis, no good deed goes unpunished, no hero goes unshamed. Undertones of Nathaniel West and strong echoes off Atwood's Blind Assassin. He says so much, so lyrically, with so few words. He's hawking it so be alert he might be reading in a venue near you, he's an excellent reader/storyteller and responsive to his audience, he's sincerely democratic not a haughty bone in his body and always ready to promote the works of others.

Monday, April 30, 2007

bit of me

the ant my slipper hastened
to its next life
soon enough its brother
droning on in the dewlight
will carry a bit of me
back to the queen
thousands of larva nurtured
bit of me become
one with wriggling multitudes
fueling the frenzied
white and black continuum of transformations
--soon squashed
interminable parade of slippers

salmon chanted evening

and when there were no salmon
there were still young fish trade workers
full of hormones
rich robust people who knew
they'd never be mouse people
tried fishing shark
dogfish, fish of last resort
shark and chips fish
but when there were
more frustrations than fish
some of the fishing young decided
they'd have more success
fishing for dreams
it was then they began landing
the strangest fish they'd ever seen
polka dot fish, three legged fish
fish that talked
fish talk fish talkof course
sounds like kissing and lip smacking
no one has found a translator yet
can you eat a talking fish, charming billy

can you poach a dream in a silver pan
what if you supper sang to you
let's take a tuna
down to Laguna
let's get away from it all


every word
of every lie
you'll ever tell
sails out of the cove
of the dictionary
every word
in every plaie
in every poem
every speech
every stage direction
shakespere ever rote
between the covers
of the dictionary
every word of
every love letter
you'll never get
whistles in alphabetic order

every worm in your obituary
wriggles out from the a for apples
of the dictionary

pick write worms
putem write ordure
virtilizem nuturem weedit n weep
maybe thumbday they'll
lock you up
in the dictionary
like Shakespeare


it's easy to see
the brown sky is light years deep
includes many suns
the Little Dipper's in the brown sky
surely the brown sky
is big enough to cover the whole planet
but only 100 miles north
there's a whole nother sky
a blue sky
with twice as many stars


blackberries seiners gillnetters wharf dog salmonberry kale crow cedar douglas fir alder maple blue spruce cherry plum apple peach pear quince apricot fig raspberry jerusalem artichoke potato hen raven heron bald eagle osprey borage chickweed kelp nettle oyster mussel razorback geoduck abalone starfish dentalion amonite glaucous gull harlequin duck lighthouse log strewn beach barnacle limpet cow horse deer corn juniper willow cottonwood balsam watercress mustard burdock chocolate lily tiger lily hemlock begonia rhododendron amanita muscaria morel puffball psylocibin cannabis sage echinacea ocean spray st ann's lace balm of gilead rock cod ling cod dogfish herring mackerel salmon cormorant loon forest cliff arbutus garry oak comus mink possum spagnum moss ivy crocus iris tulip rose skunk cabbage bullrushes pampas grass fiddlehead juncoe pussywillow swallow wren redwing blackbird red tailed hawk grouse towhee dragonfly ferry dock pub coop firehall dental bus medical clinic school library grassy point phipps point spray point dunlop point fossil beach galleon beach sandpiper beach shingle spit bula creek strachan valley little tribune whaling station beans brocoli leek shallot garlick onion mount geoffrey georgia strait lambert channel japanese current crown land sheep recycling depot driftwood shack campsite trailer denman island west lasqueti south texada east quadra north fisher logger painter sculptor carver carpenter gardener farmer deejay potter baker candler jeweler electrician gravedigger highways yard graveyard plumber welder mechanick backhoe rototiller fencepost style canada geese sea lion seal sand shark orca beaver artesian well cistern sulfur water shake roof sod roof stack wood walls thatch roof tin roof straw bale studio cob gallery greenhouse outhouse woodstove propane stove septic tank dogwood sea anemone grape tomato potato compost ant hill pileated woodpecker kingfisher fruit bat barn owl horned owl tree frog rhubarb millionaire counselor single mom tourist grandchildren lawyers doctors judges amazons astrologers bhai buddhist catholic est greek orthodox jew lutheran mennonite muslim orange people prespyterian rasta russian orthodox sikkh unitarian yoga downs point ford cove geodesic dome chicken coop pigpen filberts walnut stuccoer hatchet insulator first responder medical clinic acupuncturist saw mill operator firebreather clarinetist guitarist folk singer jazz singer sailor treeplanter(silvaculturist) treehouse chainsaw environmentalist bagelmaker nurse woodstove conservationist broome lupine freesia wood ears climatus pensioner preschool realtor fault line sting ray jellyfish spaghetti squash zuccini pumpkin acorn squash basil projectionist massage therapist nude beach boatramp vole muskrat fieldmice termite peppermint thyme trail bikepath postoffice turkey vulture gravel pit 4pointer cowichan toque felt bonnet piano player snooker player market player harmonica player accordion player fiddler violinist haida weaving midland weaving quilting wooden lawn chair plastic stacking chair aluminum folding chair slug prawn scallop yew poplar indian princess metis matriarch sundancer bike racer pony club rain rain rain chanterelle shaggy main salal thimbleberry christmasberry cactus holly honeysuckle green hair harmonizer organizer scrubber scrutineer termite carpenter ant spiders leatherjackets wasps honeybees japanese? beetles pine beetles scarabs salamanders newts

skiprope logic (for gino couer de Lion)

martians are beautiful , voluptuous, seductive
Marilyn Monroe was a martian
she turned on the red light at
every intersection in Saskatchewan
and every foyer on Knob Hill
could smell her coming from Vista del Mar
everyone whose name begins with the first three letters of Mars,
it's their recognition code, like Mac for Scots, Mary even,
the mother of god was a martian, every Martin you know
's a martian, all of the Maryknoll priests are martians,
Mark whatshis name who killed John Lennon
was a martian friend of George Bush,
Bob Marley , a rastamartian,
Peter Pan played by a red planet actress, Mary Martian,
Martha Stewart is not living on marzipan
the state of Maryland, next to Clinton's capitol,
is an interplanetary landing/launch platform of Mars,
a marshmallow roast is the martian sacrament,
years ago at the oscars everybody knew Marlon Brando was a martian,
marinating aids the martian digestion of Mary Tyler Moore,
a martini is a martian transfusion martinis are preshaken on Mars,
when people say marvelous simply MAHvulis
they usually are talking about MAHtians
like Marilyn Monroe who never wore underwear
and slept with other martians like Artie Miller and Groucho Marx
and like Marky Mark who wore underwear only
Marvy Marky part of the same martian family as
the Marquis de Sade and Don Marquis
the red planet's their home by yiminy
Marnie left the teethmarks of a Martian in my shoulder
'd emptied my watergun in her face
lost his marbles, claims to come from Marpole
an imposter from Marseille overdosed on marmelade,
Lee Marvin, Martin Buber, Dean Martin and Martina
Navritalova all spell their real names in the same
martian alphabet Karl Marx translated his indecipherable
marsterpieces from. Marshall Dillon and all of the married,
the marines and the marijuana smokers tied up at the marina
drinking margaritas once frequented the bars on mars
like Marcels Proust and Duchamp reading cette bicyclette in the gaslight
and all the martyrs, St Valentine, St. Thomas, Norma
Jeanne d'arc, Giordano Bruno, Albert Anastasia,
my favourite martians, crucified, burnt at the steak sauce

Strictly From Hunger

the ghost ate vomit
needed to eat your vomit
didn't want you to die
just wanted to sicken you
make you eat too much
tied a string around your food
the pink ghost
waited for your gastric juices
to begin to work
then reeled it back
up your esophagus
the well waxed string
pulling the vomit fish
into the ghost boat
the boat beneath your head
the pink boat
half submerged
in your corpus colusum
the pink what
devouring your pituitary gland
before the ghost can take nourishment
and continue your
angry creation.


whaled traditionally
new englanders
even gulf islanders whaled traditionally

i guess it must be everybody's right
to kill a whale
and i would support your right
to kill a whale
as long as you did it
with your bare hands
made it a fair fight

an unkiss?

just a kiss in reverse

she’s getting your goat
she’s getting on your nerves
you catch her hand
in your brotherÕs zipper
you think of all those
beautiful kisses
you shared,
the height of creativity
in your lips
you want them back
they shouldn’t be wasted
on an ingrate
they were your best
and you want to give them
to the real love that’s coming

that’s when you call


i’ll get them back for you
every last one of them

smother nature

remember the trees?
it was a criminal world the world of trees,
my crime was burning(for heat),
others merely read newspapers,
dime, clayboy, vague, peephole, mcleanto,
my other crime was writing
on ground up and dried thin sliced trees
and having the ambition that this writing
be distributed to millions of eyeballs
thus printed on forests and translated
into other far off more vulnerable forests,
some built dwellings from trees
that were heated by burning trees
to keep you warm while you wrote for the millions

Leah Stone(1960-1999)
She Shone

i wish i had stocked up
on leah. i need her.
gloomy days last winter
got brighter if there was any
chance of seeing her smile.
leah lived her life
as if she were the star
of a fred astaire movie
a thrill to partner or view
on the dance floor,
a wildcat, she WAS carmen
rustling her crinolines
in moonlit denman piazza,
had she a little silver bucket
she could have collected
twelve hearts an hour
on the dance floor
her way deep eyes radiated
it's a wonder we didn't
burst into flame
as her gaze fell upon us.
@ 10 cents a dance
she would have died
an exhausted millionaire
panache* could have been
her middle name.
she felt the misery of others
very strongly, never hesitated
when she saw she could help.
she was like a pied piper
like a good witch, all ages
responded powerfully to leah
many saw how vulnerable
leah's compassion made her
and wanted to mother her
but leah was like smoke
slipped thru everybody's grasp,
mothered them in return,
clung to her freedom,
her mobility, her right to whim,
to self ownership.
she could get really hungry.
she liked rice, she liked shrimp,
she liked spinach,
she liked mushrooms,
she liked baking, making pie crusts
w/o recipes,
she stoked the woodstove with gusto.

*(dashing elegance of manner, carefree, spirited self confidence or style, flamgirlance)

st. Ink

maria spelterini walked
fruit baskets on feet
wire strung across niagra falls
and would again
to meet bp in canada and yodel
for kd lang

maria spelterini walked blindfolded
barefoot in snow training
to meet bp at greasy spoons
in tacky tourist knickknack joints
on frozen arboretum trails
in aviaries and apiaries

bp and kd yodeling on cbc
st Ereo reading eeeerie poems
frostbit fort erie audio modulation
maria spelterini ermine trimmed
mini and doeskin toque
fruit baskets like wooden landing craft
her unslippers

unwavering above

dropping current
maid of mist below

o vendor saints go martian in
o vendor saints go martian in

maria spelterini steady in wind
gliding taut cable carrying bp
dead send kisses in swarms like mumblebees
wind in face
bp big as muddy poetry

mazel tov muscle tongue ululates
every noun a kiss

bps carry bp and maria kisses now
ova fibre optic niagra
st. Art knows stick drip slick of mud
brings kiss nanoseconds deeper
st. And and st. Ammers innocently
listen on tombbox

st. All and st. Ripped
deacon st. Ruction and
maria spelterini clambered peace
bridge cables wit bp piggyback
in starless dark
poem after poem learnt and burnt 43

rered dread rereed deed
demon read smelled spilled
spelled smaller big bp spread
generous spirit fundamentally

even welcomt mis-taken attempts
mr kindness knew results
nova ice & no nicer
b4 bp st. Olen in operay
tion o woe o woe
om on lips now

& zen zipn U2me
tree size of c

a lovely day for a bombing//
alders budding/
maples in full bloom/
plum blossoms both sides of road//
like driving threw a cloud of cotton candy//
a lovely day for a bombing//
chilly in sunset/
tide in/
cows on way in/
baaass voiced ewe with devonshire accent/
reminds me to laaawck the ggggaayte//
snow on mountains gleaming/
silver streaks gleaming/
a lovely day for a bombing//
eagle rising beakful /last minute mackerel /
pileated hammers/ ignoring you /one metre off//
holy shit, they bombed the church's outhouse///
they bombed those toy soldiers by the model train tracks//
they meant to bomb the bridge but they bombed the train instead/
65 dead//
jet came back/
take out target not tractor /alas
your dog was yanking on the intestine of a corpse//
when the tractor fell to pieces beside it/
your xdog//
the gates were down /
the autos had to wait their turn to be bombed//
the lights were flashing/
the ambulance was on the way/
they just needed to find a spare tire//
they needed a new carburetor//
siren worked an hour before battery wore out//
don't worry plenty of time to die/ before that ambulance gets rolling//
read your email, cash out your stock, bet it all in a cybercraps game.//
the link to the cyberblood bank keeps returning 404 //
sorry cyberredhead don't menstruate hear anymore /
or she's busy try later//
they don't have your rare blood group.coma at the corner store//
even if they weren't bombed and splashed all over the piazza//
didn't you always hope to be bombed in this kind of sunset //
the only hope for humanity is more sex and less ideas///
unless feathery giant alien predators/
bless their everloving creation//
drive us back to the cave///
back to the lab/ yo!dirtyratz

stuck his neck out
(for joe and charlie)

i love this photo of ed dorn
a ghost before he died
his neck so thin
his tie seemed
his neck

continuing outside his shirt
as if he were neck
clear to his belly button

what i mean is thousands
should have filled the streets
the day of his funeral
if we were truly greeks
real democrats
smashing limousine windows
in his honour, banks in flames
he should have been taken by train back to idaho
by way of gloucester
and kent state and lawrence
and san francisco
and the skagit valley

ed dorn is the poet
chaplin always hoped to be
the poet john adams cried out for
the poet with the six foot ear

the last time i saw ed
over salmon and corn
in bob and mary's backyard
ed caught me assuming
all the world knew and thought highly of
Charles Olson and William Carlos Williams
"billy," he said, "who even heard of these people?'


i am smaller than you
and you've been smaller too
smaller than a mountain
smaller than a tree
smaller than you
smaller than me

smaller than a puddle
smaller than the sea
smaller than a poodle
smaller than a bumblebee
no matter how you try
you'll never be smaller than me

smaller than a mosquito
smaller than a flea
smaller than an acorn
smaller than a live oak tree
smaller than a fish
smaller than a pet

smaller than a kiss
smaller than a sweat
smaller than a whim
smaller than a fret
smaller than you
i'm the smallest one yet

smaller than a drink
smaller than a swim
smaller than you think
smaller than bright pink
i'm as small as they come
a good deal smaller than some

smaller than a cell
smaller than a peek
smaller than a drip
smaller than a leak
smaller than an oyster
in a seagull's beak

smaller than a bubble
in a spakling wine
smaller than the stubble
of a baldie valentine
i'm so small
smaller than a telephone call

smaller than the pain
in a hummingbird's brain
splashed by a drop of rain
smaller than a stain
smaller than a suitcase
on an electric train

smaller than the short
smaller than the long
smaller than the poem
smaller than the song

smaller than a beatle
smaller than a stone
smaller than The Edge
smaller than Stallone

smaller than a penny
smaller than a scent
smaller than a peso
smaller than the rent.

weary of war

Sick of the fight, sick of the fright

I won’t go to battle

I’m weary of war

I always meant to tell you

I ‘m so weary of war

won’t march to slaughter

I’m sick of the herd

won’t be railroaded

Won’t squeeze in that cattle car

Off to the crusty old abatoir

Can’t stand the horror

Can’t stand the blood

I always meant to tell you

The blood is a flood

The blood on the ground

being licked by your hound

bullets don’t fly

they don’t have no wings

I always meant to tell you

Those fingers carress your beloved

Same fingers compress the triggers

The hammers come down

shiny bullets propel

hammers forged in hell.

Rockets don’t glare

They don’t have no eyes

I always meant to tell you

The rockets I despise

Don’t light any skies

They extinguish the light

Red dwarf light big bang light

The million years old light

The light from the galaxies

From the heavens above

Sick of the horror

the sticky darkening blood

I ‘d prefer not to tell you

The blood is a flood

The river of blood

Tsunami of blood

I won’t go to battle

I’m weary of war

I ‘m so weary of war

temporary world

temporary world: peace practice

freedom exists only in action

H. Arendt

donnnn’t hurrrry


winch your heartbeat

slowly up your windpipe

feel your heartbeat flutter in your larynx

feel your hartebate electric on your tonnngue

feel your heartbeat tremmmble in your lilips

releeese your heartbeat

in your kiiiiiisssssssss

feel the beloved’s heartbeat

quiiiivver thru your lips

feel the beloveloved’s heartbeat

inflaaate the capilllaaaries in your paaalate

innnhale the beloved’s heartbeat

let the beloved’s heartbeat

expppaaaand your lungs

feel the beloved’s heartbeat

stirrrr yr blood

start over (repeat as required)

peace is a practice takes eons to perfect

heartbeat esophagus

heartbeat larynx

hartebate tongue

tremmmble lilips

let every kiiiisssss multiply

and each cure the peace deficit

let copycat kkkkkkkiiissers mmmmmmmake the headlines

st. ink

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Shit Harry, you died

and suddenly
there's nine years of corny jokes
i'll never catch up on

and pain
probably more pain than i'd
want to forgetif i knew
the ultimate painkiller signals
and you're carried off the field
won't be rebroadcasting
your fears next season harry
Doctor Dee will be darkening other doorways
visiting other lame comedians

Once, you were as bad as your jokes,
you stood up when the world
was changing a nd you helped it change
hope you knew i was proud of you

now you've left this aching plane
you and change have become an identity
become twelve million particles
of love and struggle
timelessness finally teaching
and old dog's bits new tricks
(interstellar space travel maybe
or oxidation, the sure-fire way
to a slimmer waistline)

see you in hell old dog
save me some salsa calliente y mucho tequila
you loved your daughters too much
and so did i once


have you met them? the dead people?
i'm beginning to know the dead people
people with permanent bad breath
people who drink dirt by the gallon
whistling worm hotels
molecules tartare avec capers
eternity's breakfast
have you met them?
i'm beginning to know them
snort dirt by the shovelsful these
dead people breathe bugs and chalk
and doodoo
the dead people
swimming thru the coffee joints i'm
beginning to know their birthdays
the dead people's addresses
the names of the dead people's animals
the phone numbers
of the dead people's intimates
the dead people jammed up in traffic
swimming from telephone booths
in their no piece bathing suits
from barbecue to bonfire
in no time flat
from saskatoon to squamish
in a blip

tho it's true
the dead people
are in no hurry
the dead people got
time to rot
time to burn
time to get to know you better
you know them?

Pay t riot River

jack and jacky went
way out backy
to fetch a pale of blood.
drink your blood Benjamin
drink your blood Alice
drink your blood Nathaniel
drink your blood Emily
drink your blood Henry David
drink your blood George
drink your blood Edna
drinky it's blood Lucy
drink your blood Ralph Waldo
drink your blood Walt
drink your blood Harriet
drink you blood Babe
drink your blonde blood Norma
drink proud Yankee blood Jolting Joe
dream your blood Martin
wink your blood Mae
dew drink your blood Rose
drink your blood Betty
drink !Mel drink !Blood,
drink your blood Blanche
drink-schmink blood Woody
drink your blood Veronica
Denzel drink power blood
drink your blood Millie
drink yo blood Eddie
blood in yo serial
blood on your toast
front page blood
sports page blood
entertainment blood
contaminated blood
big dividends / blood bank
bargains on bloodstains
floods of blood
bathtubs of blood
fermenting w/lemons
26 laps butterfly
atop the coagulated blood tsunami
forty story wall of blood
blood on the bandwidth
blood on the bridge
blood filled railway cars
tanks full of blood
boatloads of blonde blood
and blonde body bags and rock bottom bombs
blue blue sky blue blue blood
broadcast blood
blood in the air
blood on the wind
blood on your breath
blood underwhere
blood blood brewski
blood in yo hood
blood in your i
drink your blood Shirley
Drink your blood Minnie
drink your blood DonaLD
drink your blood Fats
drink your blood Sammy
drink your blood Wayne
drink the bathtub dry children
drink your blood

Igor likes Eyegore likes
Clinton-Gore likes
Tip Her Canoe and Gore2BeeOne

blood blood blood
all you need is blood
miles and miles and miles of blood

chairman Meow
charm yow
a thousand brooms
sweeping with the sleeper
bloody flowers
sleeping with the beeper
bloody birds clucked
bloody beaks
plucked bloody feathers
bloody talons
bloody wishbones
bloody batterd drumsticks


was it the shmoos
who lived
to be our dinner
wanted only our happiness
pigs without legs
did they roll?
did they bounce?
or did we carry them?
did they procreate
at the dwop of a donut
didn't they reproduce
we couldn't eat them all
if we ate all day
and all night

twenty moth wing engine
generating icons
don't worryyour meat loves you
meat at first sight
tasty raw bloody drippin
goosin your juice
mature nother

LONG LIVE THE DEAD, part 193, the devil's surfing the web

the every kind you oversit, posterior puss
hey cardboard surfing hoodlum,
sizzle to the raining about you
when the cops are stomping your friend
call the cabbies, like jerusalem artichoke
speed off everywhich coordinate
quicker than soon, like yesterday
just go there dont buy it
paste the wealth
copy the vermin
cut the obvious
undo the obvious cut
select all boombox
spit out teeth
boiled horse's head
now you can flame all about it
don't answer the police just nod
why is obediance
so close to obese in the alfabetagame
y is obese?
2 mush.

body piercing

she clamped her keyboard
between her knees and
hummed una paloma blanca
while the allies jets
the canadian jets
drop their payloads
on the laundromats
the incubators
the nunneries
the nurseries,depleted uranium payloads
the daycare bomb
the fountain bomb
the cafeteria bomb
the reservoir bomb
piercing the awnings
piercing the plate glass
piercing the parisol
ricocheting off the plate steel
the bloody covenment


its teeth
in my neck
eleven, a virgin
thawt it was my dog

never had a dog

died when I was six
slid oof the roof
out the dormer, my attic aerie
broke its back
on the picket fence
across the street
from the 18th century boneyard

but mehitable was my muse
no scotty
don marquis my blake
langston hughes' simple
my diogenes


beautiful you
more beautiful than rice
a steaming acre of rice
a glimmering swamp
spiked with rice
a thousand plates
full of burnt spicey green rice

more beautiful
than two years of knitting
needles in the

slanting light

more beautiful
than dirt brown satellite dishes
lined up on the ridge
in the

the wind slashing the seagulls
across the spit

more beautiful
than the gluttonous sea lion
stretched out

on the blue bouy

more beautiful
plus belle meme la lumiere va blanc
the sliver of light
piercing the clouds
above Forbidden Plateau

mange l'orange

forgive me
i ate your orange
on the way from stonehenge
it was tart
dripped down my bare chest
it wasn’t enough
i ate the cucumber samidge
you won’t find next to it
on the second shelf of the fridge
look for your wrench
on the flange
no knife so i used it
to open the canteloupe

MEMORYY (for david phillips)

i remember how frustrated Jesus got
building those tacky villas for the roman yuppies
gentrifying the Sea of Galilee
how his tongue became
myriads of venomous snakes
how he ate mouse sushi
for weeks on end
you could sell him two bushels of mint
it wouldn't be enough

2. The Satin Man
"where's the man could ease a heart
like a satin gown?" -Dorothy Parker

remember that halloween,
jesus put on the red mask
tied the pointy tail to his plaid pants
hoist the rusty pitchfork
and went out trick or treating in the treetops

where the shrieking primates
tossed polished acorns
at his swollen red scrotum

that halloween jesus changed the maples leaves
into currency
made the blue bummed orangutans
eat swimming pools of money pudding

after His tracheotomy
His lips spelled
everything He didn't say

When the Saints

when the ducks
got too greasy to digest
the eagles started
putting on the feedbag
in schoolyards and playgrounds
when the berries and the nuts
got too coated in petroleum
and derivatives
the nearly blind robins
began seeing
human eyeballs as fruit
the salmon lept in schools
swarming and devouring
boatloads of vegetarians in seconds

wedding song (for Elke & Clint, their union)

I dreamt I saw al ginsberg
he was climbing down that tree you know the tree
climbing down the tree
naked as a baby
beckoning to me

billy babe says he
please pass these words
pass these words on for me:

kindness is the poem
can you finish it

what kind are you
all one of a kind

kindness provokes
kindness spills over
kindness returns plenty
kind and kinder
unkindness echoes
kindness is a few words
before kiss
in the dictionary
read slowly
if you don't get the kiss
before you finish


thanks for the swallowtail,
thanks for the smell of the species iris
thanks for the lilac's attack
thanks for the ears
that hear the heron's hoarse compleynt,
the raptors' whistles the loons' hilarity,
thanks for the lips whispering thanks for the tongue
thanks for the kicks thanks for the kisser
and thanks for the nose that brings me back
to the herb and the rose thanks for the womb
thanks for the fingers thanks for the toes
thanks for the coming and going
thanks for teeth chatterin ice cool life

a kid's king no kidding
he stood where no one stood
where no one should
he stood the taste of time
he understood
he didn't want to understand
he wanted to overstand
like his prosecutors overstood
pissing off the smartypants
and the too cute by half
the disingenuous the conniving
the craven and corrupt


every breath of King Panic
is a giggle
his faLSETTO laughter deafens
his jokes
plague the polite
the agreeable
he's so funny
we're afraid we'll choke chortling
our paper legs
will get wet
and soggy

microbes will thrive
to our ultimate dis-ease

the Duchy of Panic
is a chemical soup
we're worried
we can't afford
to know the contents
how many toxic mililitres
float the future

panic cakes for breakfast
panic aches and sore sages
panic aches pour blood
in each successive cereal bowl

someone will kill us
if we udder a truth
we might as well cheat
Phobos will catch us all

Princess Panic hears
she's got gigantic ears
hears every phoneme
transmits your weaknesses
broadcasts your fearsevery black black cormorant
every twittering nuthatch
knows all about you
they've got an eye on you
on all your feathers
every mote of smut
they've heard it all
they'll never tell you nothing
you lack the need to know
no wonder you worry

the leper cons
stole the children
left changelings
in their cribs
we'll never feed them
they won't stop hungering
no volume control
on the shrieking
in the groceteria
you're not eating
all your minimum daily
hundreds of tiny shriekers
at the ice cream freezer
thousands of starving babes
howl from the solar bar b q
no meat on their bones
eyeballs glazed with larva
maggot hatching telecasts
eat our brain no cure for tv

Prince Panic can't go
fast enough
he'll never get there
lickety split he's gone
and missed it again
hasn't he always
mist out on kisses
no cure for the gas pedal

panic cake panic ache
fakers man
fake me a snakethat swallows your tan

nobody talks
nobody wants an appointment
with the Secretary of Panic
they don't fax
they don't call
they don't whisper
in the hall
they're all taking courses
through their modem
Basic Pill
Advanced Conversational Pill
Pills With Windows
The Prescription of the Month
doesn't send you time
doesn't give you life
doesn't hand you home and garden
or health
millions line up
join Anomie Unanimous

tops the pop charts
everybody's scalping tickets
out front of the stadium
the sold out workshop's
going to help everybody
Find Your Roots
In The Medicine Cabinet
entire libraries are replaced
by Beakers of Solutions
The President
hires a full time pharmacist

wash your hands
wash your hands
you'll catch it
you'll pass it to your kids
phenobarbitol leaking
into mother's milk
which burger has the valium
they all have tetracycline
panic aches panic aches
garbage can
piled full of hypodermics
contagion filled condoms
attics full of opium
basements full of cash
sperm in the freezer
blood in the bank

one minute you're cured
the next you're driving
the tank
your neighbour's bombed
and so are you
finish them off
and swallow a blue
don't take a yellow
if you're feeling mellow
face against the screen
ingest a tiny green
arise from the dead
pop three or four red

sick of geting better yet
how nice people treat you
when you're sick
everyone else is sick
don't get left out
buy our purple pill
why should you be deprived
feel as sick as you like
pay now and grimace tomorrow
save on food
take your dosage
in your lunch box

fogive me for injecting
this lukewarm sobriety
let's hope it's not contagious

no Canadian known's
found a cure for the poem

lizzen kidden fyoulish is
of the ezzens even
valuble anticipated even
enabling all mbracing Kayressing chissing zensational
thirty finga whispa thin romeo
translucent gab lubricant jeyev
luce snort sy love iz st range
or pennytrait sundercome
vaginable penisphilia
enviable hysterectal askidental
xeptional njoymeantal st eerieo
ewrecked efecked shiv
ering dryppe dryppe
grip lyppe letter wryppe

f i kun't e mad gin
da smirks
uv da sanktimonyus
xpecially dose 2
baby ide kill myself

f i kun't y ma gin
u thankin
dose rotten baskets
4 dere
krokodil simpathee
how much yd hate me
wit eech cundolens
baby ide kill myself

f i kun't
the chants of u
smilin n dreemz
baby ide kill myself

f i kun't
our innocent young
tormented by pitying
ript from dere dreemz
buy da shreeks
baby ide kill myself

fi kun't imagin
baby ide kill myself

writing like mad: DON'T GET

(for you all honeychilds)

suaves of kitchsilano
did you remember to turn off delight
or is this the make believe dark
the dark you have to imagine

sipping styrofoam and
munching pesticide pie

the fish and the river
forgot their poison
in the spawning

when you make a killing
on the stock market
it's no metaphor
nor is punching the clock

stay unemployed
the longer you stay unemployed
the less production the less production the less consumption

the less pollution
the longer you don't cut down trees
the longer we'll all breathe
the less you drive to work
the slower the global warming
the slower the tidal rising
every day you can keep from working
is another day your grandchildren
will live to enjoy
unless unconscious
others fall fools
exulting victim to overtime
don't succumb to the addiction of employment
don't surrender your poor tired brain to advertising
beat that depraved excess of manufactured needs
don't be a money junkie
we'll die soon enough
get out of the rut hurrying death along stop working have a

help the planet stop working
give yourself a silver star for every day you don't work
a gold star for every week maybe those unemployed longest
get increased benefits and pictures in the paper
achieving the status of local heroes
star in videos How Fred Doesn't Work
How Frieda Doesn't Work
the less time you waste working
the more time you have to think up
a brilliant way out of this predicament
right now you can
stop driving to the store for ice cream
start walking or do without.

Feeding Them Canadians

(for Jim and Rojeanne Allworth)

1. feeding them canadians (for carolyn forche)

one day i'll wake up
and my friend Jim
will be prime minister
and he'll still welcome me
to spend the night
at 24 sussex drive

maybe he'll promote me
make me poet laureate
quadruple my salary
$20,000 here I come
I can't sleep i'm so worried

poor jim
poor ro
would they have to put up
with all those grinning murderers
in their kitschy uniforms on state visits
spoiling their appetites
being polite while General Osmosis
the plenipotentiary of Mudpuddle
chuckles, "of course I have 30
crocodiles, but don't worry
I don't feed them any canadians."

and would I choke on my yorkshire pudding
when Gen O. leaned over and whispered,
"you're lucky, i've fed the crocs some poets
but they didn't like them--too bitter."

2. Jim's a thin man, her love

that's him, prime minister jim
go go go, always on the go
how would he deal with Americans
majority obese
obesity contagion USA
end free trade or
would he catch it
our prime minister, get fat or
would they put it on him
his fat suit
like a bulletproof vest
power padding for unfat cats
suomo CEOs everywhere

and would Ro weep
or leap at the chance
to get fat beside
her love, p.m. jim
maybe they'd be fattening up
a battalion of poets
back in the kitchen
hoping to put the piquante
back in the pecking order

3. the feeding habits
of the canadian
blue assed baboon

for $4 million
brian mulroooney
eats bugs

he catches them
in midflight
then savors a sniff
as they fill their panties
from fear
before he snaps their spine
under his thumbnail
and pops them in
his preposterous maw
cracking them
between his canines
like double bubble

4. p for poet
p for pauper
p for pie minister

these poor canadians
hungry for dessert
don't they deserve a cherry pie
are we punishing paupers
like bad boys and girls
sending them to bed without dessert

a man of action,
the prime minister agrees,
has extra cream puffs made
and hundreds offered
out his kitchen door

the media love to bash the poor
maybe there'll be a scandale
headlines screaming
pamperd paupers
creme puffs fer junkies

pm jim replies, it's only fair
the well to do I feed
in my elegant dining room
beneath the crystal chandelier
but, i'm the pm jim for everyone
not just the happy & rich
equal in law, equal in dessert
no freedom without compote
ro drives up, the apple of his eye
truck full of okanagan fruit

5. accounting for the geese

11,000 angels watched in dismay
as the despised prime minister bm
lyin bryin doing nothing illegal
in his sharkskin tuxedo
opened that Swiss bank account
fondling the box key
in his designer underwear

not the same 11, 000 angels
helping you illuminate
the funnies reading by flashlight
under the blanket after bedtime

and not the 11,000
grandpa accepts hover
alongside just out of sight
I can see your angels
can you see mine?
ascending Ford Cove Hill
higher than the geese.


once you know everything
do they let you go
now you herd it all
herd da verbs
axe sent you eight
da objet
suspectorate da squareup

let her out unpen her

hear at the unnoun shoulder
the tambourine
of the unnoun shoulder

freeze the thyme
caveat emptor
windup her skirt wind up

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Crystal Balls, Or The Idea of Practice
Makes Practice Perfect

[for "you know who" or David McFadden or both]

indulging my weakness for prophecy
can see, for example,
there'll come a time when i disappoint you,
this is simple to see
more mere memory,
hasn't everyone disappointed you?
Speaking personally
i've disappointed everyone I could,
and everyone has disappointed me if they could,
if i disappoint you
right away, we could have that over with
and get right down to the funny business
get down to the refusal of eternity

get down to the calm determined practice

the frenzied practice?

the spontaneous regenerating practice
the heartwarming practice
the cold blooded practice

the practice of the ha ha
harmonious melodious ha has

the syncopated practice

interrupteddisappointing practice

the perpetual amateur and sentimental
practice of love, amateur love

unpracticed unrehearsed practice
poor paid highly ha ha practice
practice of now, pre-petroleum practice

the acknowledged stickum of the planet mama
the resonating rechargeable practice mama
piano practice fortissimo allegro practice
confluent incongruous boogie woogie practice

the inconsolable and consuming practice
the here again gone again practice

practice giraffe practice gingko tree
practice guffaws, practice spelling bee

practice sister practice brother
practice telepathy
hell reincarnation
play Possession Mama
spirit of the self gotten mama practice

mammal practice, four legged practice
sabre toothed practice
sewing practice teeth, rolling practice eyes
hair trigger rapid fire practice finger
jackhammer jalopy practice zippers and snaps

salmon sucking practice

thorough methodical practice

divine practice, imperfectable practice,
pre-season practice

post funny practice, intolerable, longwinded practice

just -can't-quit-this practice
until we're memorized
predictable or prophesied.

stuck his neck out
(for joe and charlie)

i love this photo of ed dorn
a ghost before he died
his neck so thin
his tie seemed
his neck
outside his shirt
as if
he were neck
clear to his belly button

what i mean is thousands
should have filled streets
the day of his funeral
if we were truly greeks
real democrats

smashing limousine windows
in his honour, banks in flames
he should have been taken by train
back to idaho
by way of gloucester
and kent state and lawrence
and san francisco
and the skagit valley

ed dorn is the poet chaplin
always hoped to be
the poet john adams cried out for
the poet with the six foot ear

the last time i saw ed
over salmon and corn
in bob and mary's backyard
ed caught me assuming
all the world knew and thought highly of
Charles Olson and William Carlos Williams
"billy," he said,
"who even heard of these people?"


the sweetest little song
his heart this big

Hornby Island by Goh Poh Seng (for Billy Little, who shared loved spots and fond friends)

Here on the headland by Downe's Point we case dreams to rise synchronous with eagles and gulls, all make-believe, egocentric, near to fanatical, else aim true to roam deep with Leviathan in the ocean's mind, free from perplexities and profundities such as bind the scheduled self Here is the arbutus grove whose trunks and branches tighten like nerves, twisted witnesses, victims of shapely winds which blow in always unseen, sweet from the south or coming cold from the north, from every direction the prevailing force of nature Wish I could emulate the arbutus slough off my thin skin as easily as these natives trees their bark from abrasion, disdain or design, unveiling the bare beauty of strong, hard wood beneath Over on Fossil Bay the rot of herring roe strewn amongst broken clam shells, dead crabs on dirty grey sand, exposed bedrock, thickened the morning air, but gave no cause for bereavement: these millions of botched birthings! And none also for the Salish, no open lamentation for a race almost obliterated without trace from their native habitat save a few totems, some evidences of middens, a score of petroglyphs of their guardian spirits carved a thousand years ago on smooth flat rock by the shore, of killer whales, Leviathans again, to guide their hunts, the destiny of their tribe. Having retraced them gently with finger tips, they now guide mine.

Halo by Patrick Herron (for Billy Little)

half of love plus half of half is halo and I don't believe in angels, no.