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.