Bills to Pay

Fell through the cracks
at the speed of twentyfourhundred dollars a month
to land here
an alien place where the only things that move are the trucks
but not me
I’m as much a thing here as the doors
the garbage cans and the guest workers
rooted with the concrete that is bills to pay
cut rate office supply costing less than the phones I use to call nobody
ignoring the eyes staring
eyes trying to count how much
trying to figure how many trailers to the whore
how many miles per blow job
broke my fingers trying to climb those cracks again
as if there was some kind of chance dragging this broken chair
a fuck you from every fat ass that came through this door to get came on
and stuck to the floor

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Rant 28

The following appears in my journal from the night of April 28. The punctuation and stream of consciousness style have not been edited, even in the face of obvious error.

One of the things that I am going t see outlawed after the successful conclusion of my war on the human race is needless pageantry.  We sit here on the eve of some genetically damaged throwback walking up the aisle in the middle of a spectacle the cost of which could feed thousands, or better yet, educate hundreds.  An unspoken question hangs over the waiting mass of onlookers: How is this one going to measure up to the last one?  It will be a tough act to follow, and the death by car accident finale was nihilistic art on it’s very own.

Does it really make sense to anyone to write such a storybook beginnings to something that ends in the smell of gasoline and death to an audience of bored italian guys with telephoto lenses in a beat up fiat? I think what disgusted me so much about the last time around was how both the grand beginning and the tawdry ending were used to mostly sell products. Don’t fool yourselves, people got paid plenty on both ends. All for wonder and greif over someone who would have had you beaten for approaching them in the street. Underline that, I am sorry she’s dead but you and anyone in your tax bracket were so out of her monkeysphere that she was only vaguely aware that you and your kind even existed.  You idolize people who are here only to consume luxury goods and create gossip.  These are not the rulers of the world anymore. At best, they are the world’s best compensated P.R. men, helping spin the great wheel of distraction and waste.

When you watch it on television remember that most of the people you see there are rich by accident of birth, have little conception of where money comes from, and don’t give a shit about you or anyone like you. You are getting to watch a party that you would never be invited to. A party that had people arrested on the off chance that they might crash it.  Maybe it’s the kind of party that you shouldn’t want to go to.  I don’t think that the Bride or Groom are going to give the slightest thought to what it feels like to be handcuffed and “pre-arrested” by some Met thug. Something like that happens to other people, people much closer to You then They. Are these really the kind of people that you think they are? Even if they are, is the feeling of adulation you get watching them between commercial breaks worth someone else getting dragged down a sidewalk in handcuffs?

If the answer is yes, welcome to the same kind of monkeysphere decisions that these exalted personages would make about you.


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Knuckle Sandwitch

Every so often, something incredibly stupid happens that leads to an act of creation. Most of the time its children born out of wedlock after three dollar highball night. In this case it was some silly little suburban gangster wannabe who was trying to posture on a downtown bus.  Written over the course of an afternoon, this is one of the poems that always kept gnawing at the back of my mind over the past ten years, making me feel empty about neglecting my writing.  Even in my overly self critical way, I’ve always felt that there is some solid potential in this piece. Somehow I guess I owe the preening little fuck a favour.

Knuckle Sandwich
A kid asked me
to write a poem
about his hand a few days ago
I wasn’t really listening
in fact
I was ignoring him pretty well
until he started harassing some girl
in the manner of boy children everywhere
she was carrying a sketch book
and looked the type
who didn’t need his crap
so I spoke up
and answered his stupid questions
distracting him
but binging him back to asking me
to write a poem about his hand
and to tell me that he’d pay me
next time he saw me if I did
I told him that I’d have to be
in the right mood to do that
and gave only the shortest of glances
at that hand has he postured
and rolled it like a prizefighter
showing the scars and cracked knuckles of old bouts
as if he had that history written on it
instead of freckles and cheap mack daddy rings
wouldn’t take a genius to know what that hand would do
it would help itself
and grasp what it’s owner wanted
lift vodka
lift beer
gain some smoke stains
beat it’s children
beat it’s wife
make fists
and never notice the puppet strings
anchored there
and there
and there
spasm when called a coward
hesitate when called to back up a mouth
no it didn’t take a genius
and my eyes must have told him
of what I saw in his future
minimum wage
dishwater wife
and a cheap lawn mower
on the unfashionable side of suburbia
the instinctual reaction to recoil slowly
made me smirk into a book
written before his exact type had been
drawn up
he turned and began on the girl with the sketch book again
asking if everything was a self portrait
and I considered throwing a brick
if I had one

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Alberta Advantage

I don’t hate the provence where I was born, raised, and currently live, at least not anymore.  Anyone who has spent significant time here however, will notice that our fine province is home to certain strange fauna; the exact like of which is found nowhere else. When I was young and feeling very much alien, I wondered exactly how I could be a product of the same place as the people I saw around me.  Alberta Advantage is a product of that time.

Alberta Advantage

Typical young family
had the kid at sixteen
lost all semblance of free will
when the team won the cup
when the acceptable virtues were instilled
belt buckle ball cap
peroxide blond fuck me heels
just the way he likes it
she doesn’t really have an opinion
just the way he likes it
makes me wonder
if the kid has a chance
of ever doing anything differently
then her mother
I’m not laying good odds

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Kicking The Habit Nos. 1 and 2

Two poems from the early part of the century that I am at least a little proud of. Unlike many of the pieces that I’ve found in this old notebook, there two were at least thrown in the general direction of coherent.

Kicking the Habit No.1

It’s not the need I see
but the lack of it
that became a defining characteristic
of what I was
and am
and how can I close a door
on a part of myself
a small collection
becomes definition
self medication
becomes religion
if you let it

Kicking the Habit No. 2
No more eyes
no more lips
no more legs
no more bad trouble on a barstool
drink in hand
and evil intent
served in a little black dress
straight up
with a twist

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The World of Fuck, Purgation, and Sashay

Three shorter items here.  The next couple of posts will be collections that I am a little more proud of, or I at least think hold some redeeming quality.

The World of Fuck

What is offensive to some
is nothing to others
and less then that to me
what new information is lessened
by the jacket that it comes in
it is ignorant to assume
that offensive somehow equals
as if a language compromises
the spirit of what you are trying to tell me
thought is thought
with no need to sugar coat
to make it palatable
the gateway to enlightenment
is a strong stomach


Wind it up
turn the key
and watch it go
as it all filters out
into an uncaring world
that won’t bat an eye
as it goes past


Clean walking shimmy
and the knowing wink of queens
leaves smoking steps in pavement that
should have been warned ahead
twisting straight necks
and encouraging the slaughter of innocents
envy is more definition than description
of how silk is supposed to move
in the proper proportions of wind and walk

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Listener’s Club, Unpaid Debt, Windows, and Staring Contest

I am not really all that proud of a lot of these older works that I am posting up here.  However, I do think they are a good look at where I was back then and that there is something that I can learn from them.  Inflicting them on everyone else is just one of life’s little joys.

Listener’s Club

We hold another meeting
and emasculate ourselves some more
in defense of who and what we are
The people who sit there
and let your worries and wants wash over us
while we nod sagely in the right places
and appear wise
smearing plaster on the cracks in the wall our facades
so they don’t see

the need for a vacation or
the anxiety over unpaid bills
sorrow and despondency
because who has time to listen?

The problem with dealing in intangibles
is nobody sees them
or notices the value of what you are giving away
until they write an obituary

So once again we gather
in the same coffee shops, living rooms, and bars
comparing notes and the things left unsaid
that allow us to continue listening
hoping that one day we’ll be replaced by machines

Unpaid Debt

I am afraid I’m running out of words
like I’m running out of breath
was it too much to ask
that where other people had something
I could have a ready supply of turns of phrase
to describe what it’s like to have nothing
or at least to feel like it
and was there a difference anyway?
Just a little something to keep going
and paying the rent
walking not driving
weeping not laughing
and it worked
at least for a while

but now I feel the bag getting lighter
and the sand is running through my fingers
wondering at the justice of giving me
this most excellent thing
and then slowly drawing it from me
when I need it the most

So now i want it all
the rest of what was denied
the starter home and the loving family
education martinis and casual sex
all the things I didn’t need
until they took away my words
and they owe me


Somewhere I lost my way

and the way I found led me here
listening as it comes at me through this wall
reminding me of what I mislaid
They sound so happy and where did I go wrong?
Live gave me too many chances to slip and fall
so I took one of them
Somehow the climb back up seems a little longer then it was before
and I’m not too sure that I can be bothered
to try it again
but the sounds keep coming
and I can’t avoid what they keep dredging up
so I’ll sit here sleepless
and think about it

Staring Contest

Your disinterest is plain
to any who care to look
past your poorly made disguise
life’s disappointments have beat you down
and anesthetized you
so now that blank-bored expression
is your only trick
and I don’t think that it will ever be popular
No one is saying that we know different or better
but I don’t see the advantage
in swimming in that emotional soup
of depression, obsession and other murk
that is neither nutritious or delicious
is just existing good enough for you
and if not why don’t you try for what is out there
instead of sitting there
bored-blank and growing old

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Roast Beef, Sensorium, and Quibble

What follows are three poems from my notebook dating from early 2002.

Roast Beef

Gave them a day
they took a year
and not without my notice
the sad part of the act is
you have to stick your foot in
to the trap and hop once twice thrice
for it to snap
just to see if the trappers
give a damn

They say that a animal will chew off a leg to get out of a trap while a human will wait and endure to get revenge on the trapper but my shoulder is beginning to look mighty tasty right now



A cube missing two sides
tones inducing nothing but boredom
and eventually sleep
as if the theory went that
anything else would promote violence
Art is outlawed
only vague inspirational photos
everyone knows are fake
Climb every mountain?
If people climbed mountains
they wouldn’t be here

The sounds are muted
anything in a real human voice
would cause ears to bleed
music would make the five o’clock news
reporting the coming arrests

I am sure that the fires of sex
would shock this place off the map
Laughter would at least burst all the pipes


You go on for hours
assuming that I care one whit about
the supposedly pressing matters
you are only vaguely aware of
until I ask you about them
content that you are the authority
on everything that you have never thought about
Somehow I am supposed to be enriched
by this wisdom
Halcyon ecstasy will not come from this drivel
only the conviction that
talking to those like you
is only a waste of thought on both parts

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Some Old Bullshit

Found an old notebook of mine downstairs while going through the bookcases.  Turns out it’s cover to cover full of old work from 2001-2003. I’ve been going over and transcribing the best of it.  Over the next couple of days I’ll be uploading some of it here.

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Evening Prayers

get the fuck out
bedroom refugee camp
get the fuck out
never please leave
or I invite you to dissolve this marriage
just get the fuck out
she taking the fuck with her
did this fuck include two children?
one filled with his own anger
the other living as a secret bedouin
praying to the god that he is assured of
for out
just out without
the fuck
failing that
some quiet

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