Monday, December 18, 2006

a short explanation

just wanted to explain why there seems to be so many poems about drinking, etc. it's not that I only write about drinking, it's just that these poems are the only one's being published. and so far, I've only posted published poems on this blog. in the near future, I'll post some unpublished and undrinking (wha??) poems. I swear.
but I do like to have a drink on occassion. or two.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


my favourite publication that I've appeared in is broke. a nice looking mag. here's 5 poems they took for the Winter 2000 edition. Volume 2, Issue 1.


where else have you lived? she asked
a bar conversation struck by him an
attempt to woo but now he wished he
hadn't the air betweem them might as
well have been a wall.
what? he said.
where else have you lived besides here?
well. just here. how about you?
she was waiting for this
you could tell this was her ace
her question to him was like a feed from
Gretzky because she puffed big and started to list.
here and here and here and for a while here and
Paris isn't all it's cracked up to be and
her geography was tapemeasure endless but he
nodded just the same and to pass the time he
imagined her
spread like a map.

what it takes

it wasn't much but it
was to him, what he had, he collected
tins and turned them in for the deposit and
no one knew where he lived but one night one
of us was in a bar and at closing saw the
bartender let the tin man into
the storeroom and closed up and
whenever we asked him how he was
doing he always said My part of

the sky

is blue.


I didn't eat all
day on purpose and 2 drinks and
I'm feeling ok. now's a good
time. pick up the phone and pause and it
isn't enough. one more drink. not yet. another and
then the phone. no. no. wait. no need to rush. the
clock says it's early yet. she's probably not
even home. she's probably out somewhere
2 quick drinks on that.
still out I bet. still. time for another. hold the
phone in my lap. see what I can say. need some fuel
to think. and then the phone's on the floor
and another
and now the cord out
of the wall because it's too late
to call and I can't possibly talk now my
tongue has become something else and a few more and
who needs her? and it's time to sleep because it
worked for
another night.

if lemmings were drunks

the mistake of this evening
not one particular moment but
them all strung together as
a whole left open for us to
fall into with nothing new
at the bottom of this one either.

2 weeks notice

one day I'll be able
to call work: I quit
I quit I quit I quit I quit
I quit I quit I quit
eye cue you eye tea.
and well
I don't care what
you think it
sure looks
like poetry to

hold the phone, no drinking in this one, what will my public think?

i don't always write about drinking. sometimes i write about wanting to be drinking...this one was taken by Prairie Fire in their Winter 1999 issue, Vol. 19, No. 4.

van Gogh's chairs

he came over and I had no
idea of how to get rid of him
I've never been good at that
I'm too worried about what people think of me
to be rude.
but he was something
he wouldn't shut up
his mouth kept going and
wouldn't stop that happens sometimes when it's
not connected to the brain.
he started on about art he found out I like van Gogh
and he went Have you ever stopped to consider van
Gogh's subjects his shoes for example empty vessels
see? and his chairs. always empty. I think it's
interesting that he chose so often to paint empty
chairs and empty shoes and I think that tells a lot
about a painter as a person don't you?
I didn't say anything and he kept on about it and
finally that
was that
and I thought of something
I can't remember what
I'm sick
I have to go to work
something that didn't offend him
and he left.
me and van Gogh have the same
about our chairs.

uhhh, a couple more poems about drinking. if the shoe fits

due payment

there was one who sat down near the end
near the bathroom always by himself, not
his choice, and he carried a cane but no limp and
sometimes wore his coat just on his shoulders
without his arms through the armholes and
his beard was only on his chin.
he said things like
The sky is now black where it was once blue.
this he said when it got dark and when
someone new was in the bar and said
Who does this guy think he is?
the answer would be I am someone and I am no one.
and he would move his hands around his head like
smoke and every time this would get some eyerolls.
there was a word for this and they all tried to
remember it saying words into the air that were
wrong and they never got it but the bartender
knew it. histrionics. but he never told them
he hated every last one of them and rathered them
stupid and the one near the end recognized this
and gave the bartender a conspirator's nod
but it didn't work because no one here ever
got one on the house no matter what
words they knew.

originally published in Grain Volume 27, Number 4. Spring 2000.

should've stayed home

in a bar a while ago the
bar has been three other things since
then so that tells you how long
ago. had been drinking some so I don't
remember how attractive she was but
she was. this girl I met
we were introduced
shook hands
and I held on a bit too long and
stared into her eyes
something I saw in a movie or
in a book or somewhere else that
allows the implausible
the adjective lingering could apply in
fact I'm sure that's the word that was
used in the book or movie I took the
idea from. lingering. I lingered. we lingered.
but somehow it worked. she was lingering back.
soft focus. tight close up.

obviously her lingering was better because
I'm still writing about it and I didn't
follow up on the lingering and nothing
became of it and I haven't seen her since
but I'm sure you
saw that coming.

also first printed in Grain Volume 27, Number 4. Spring 2000.

modern drunkard

here's a couple of poems that were published in Modern Drunkard Magazine , June 2003.

bathroom ettiquette
the bathtub is a good spot to
sit and think and drink. but
whatever you do don't let the
empty beer bottles float around
you like ducks because that causes
your wife to yell and scream about
you being nothing but a drunk and
doing nothing with your life and
makes her grab her keys and wallet
and leave with the door banging.
makes her sit in the car with the
engine running and the doors
locked and you in a towel pleading
with her for a half hour or more,
so long the neighbours get
tired of watching, and finally she
comes in but won't talk to you just
to her mother and for days it's like
this and when she finally does talk to
you you wish she hadn't so do your
self a favour and use a glass and hide
the bottles behind the toilet tank or
better yet take showers.

last call
so, the taste of hemlock? I don't know
but it couldn't be so bad. Socrates made
it look like a whiskey sour, happy hour
at his trial, waving his glass around and
using it to emphasize a point, teaching
to the bitter end, maybe hemlock is
bitter? I don't think so, that would make
too much sense, poetically, a bitter death,
etc., we try to put a personality on death,
make it evil or justified, but it isn't, you
know, it just is, benign, but even that
suggests something, which we don't mean
to do, it, like history, is innocent, but even
that gives it a quality, which we know it
doesn't have, qualities, good or bad, I'm
sure this is something Socrates knew, or
the hemlock wouldn't have been like a
whiskey sour but a shot of tequila.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

pure vanity

well, of course the reason I created this blog was to self promote....someone has to do it, and the volunteers ain't knocking down my are some poems...


ww2 in
Italy a hot
afternoon under an
olive tree playing
poker using olives as
chips. in the dusk
when the sun is low and almost gone and
so is most of the money hands go into the
tree for more.
they think they can't be seen.
rustle and small
pooms when the olives hit the ground
like bombs not close
but close enough.
everyone small and
quiet and watching
each other and
someone lies and says it's
getting too dark to
play anyhow.

originally published in The Fiddlehead Spring 1999 No. 199


I got old
somehow without me
knowing they must have snuck up on me and
backed me into a corner and pushed me around and
given me a couple of punches to the gut and
a few to the head
enough to cause amnesia maybe and it all
happened so fast I didn't get a good look at them
sorry but they showed me their teeth
jesus those teeth
so what could
I do?

originally published in The Prairie Journal 1998. No. 30

the art of self defence

I was younger and anytime I got into
a fight I would just cover
my eye and say
o jesus hold it you got me in the eye.
no matter where I got hit or if I got
hit at all. always stopped the fight.
kids take blindness
very seriously.

one time my friend
the class bully
hell knows why he picked me for a friend
anyway sometimes
he would come to my defence. he didn't want to
fight my fights
that wasn't his style and I think if it
came right down
to it
he wouldn't have minded seeing me
drummed on for entertainment
sometimes recess could be boring but
at least he always made the
effort to help he would tell everyone
hey he had an operation he's got tubes in his ears.
that worked pretty well.
no one knew what it meant but
it sounded serious enough so
they just stared
and tried to see the tubes and
I would wander
and I know what you're thinking
what a lousy way
to cheat
through childhood.

originally published in ink magazine, volume three, number 4 ,1998

love and happiness

she knew everything there was
to know about him. all of it.
much of it she really didn't care about
or didn't want to know or didn't make
much sense to her
but there it was.
the effort made.
of her, he just knew the outline.
the details were sketchy just
shadows and forms of general ideas and
she never tested him on it for fear
of the truth but
she already knew that too.

originally published in Jones Av. v/1 sept. 1998.


argument we argue sometimes there's
arguments. normal. what it's about
isn't important not really we're
just exchanging blame like tennis
but something different this time.
she says it's yourself you're angry
at not me because you're not the person
you want to be you're not swimming
you're barely floating the water's
at your nose but you think if you
let go of the sides you might sink
so you just go on barely floating
and treading water in circles.

and the argument's over.

originally published in Jones Av. vol/1, sept. 1998.

a phonecall

and it was his wife after their
fight and he said
Funny. I thought I didn't have a wife
anymore. I remember someone saying that to me.
and she said Cut it out and he said You must
have a wrong number because my wife is long
gone. she said Come on, cut it out. I didn't
mean those things. let's put it behind us.
Us? there's no us. I have no idea who
you are, he said and she was quiet and then crying
and said You're taking this too far
and he said I sure did.

originally published in The Antigonish Review, number 120, 2000.

ok, that's enough for tonight...I have half a bottle of wine left and typing makes me spill...

well sure, here it is...Saturday night and I create a blog...about time, too. there's only 47 people left on the planet that don't have a blog. Queen Elizabeth has a blog..."Hello, I'm the Queen...and you're not...Good Charlotte rulz." well, maybe the Queen doesn't like Good Charlotte...she seems more old school, perhaps Def Leppard?
ah well, I didn't mean to pick on the Queen.