Wednesday, December 17, 2008

chapbook

the nice people at chance press are going to publish my first chapbook. it's due out (tentatively) in the Spring or Summer of 2009.

although the final design hasn't been decided on yet, the ideas the publishers have for the format guarantee it won't be your run of the mill poetry chapbook. so, even if you don't like my poems or artwork, the book itself will be something you'll want to have in your very own home!

so, if you really, really can't wait for it to be published and want to ensure you get a copy in your greedy little hands, drop the fine folks a line at: chance.press.books(at)gmail.com.

if I were you, I'd email them right now, because.....uuuhhhh, because...ummm.

christ, I don't know why! why not?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

chance press

there's an anthology coming out soon by chance press. it features poetry by members of bukowski.net.

I'm in it.

the cost is about $10 or $11, and it's going to be a lovingly handcrafted unique affair.

chance press is a new small press run by 2 great people.

order a copy, why don't ya. do it here: chance.press.books@gmail.com

support the small press, because their is no 'i' in small. or something like that.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

science

after 12 a.m. I expect it. the cabbie says Where you headed? I say Dartmouth.
the cabbie says I don’t go to Dartmouth, it’s out of my zone. the next cabbie
stops and looks me up and down and up again to show who’s boss and asks Are
you gonna puke in my car? I don’t think so, I say. the car pulls off, some
cabbies only deal in absolutes. the next cab pulls up and stares and says
Where would you like to go? and me? I’m a quick learner, I say Where are
you going? and he says I asked you where you’re going. and we stare at each
other, Santa glint in our eyes, out waiting each other, gunslinger style,
redefining eternity. we can’t die if we don’t stop asking questions, can we?

from my chapbook, the confusion will be enough for them to leave you alone published by Chance Press, 2009.

Monday, July 28, 2008

fyi

fyi:
writers block sucks.
this is not a poem, just a statement of fact.
but I can understand your confusion, sometimes it's hard to tell with me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

dare

she has one tooth in the front that is turning brown. when she smiles it
looks like a darkened doorway. lights out, shut tight, there was always
one house like this on my block every Halloween. vampire dares ghost to
go on the porch, touch the door. every 9 year old needs a Boo Radley. but
Boo didn’t hide behind teeth. and if you ran up on her porch and
touched her darkened door and she opened up all you would find is her
tongue. but you are not 9 years old anymore, and maybe this is precisely
what you are looking for?

from my chapbook the confusion will be enough for them to leave you alone, published by Chance Press, 2009.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm not a very good traveler

back from New Brunswick,
happy not to be in New Brunswick
anymore.

not that there’s anything wrong
with New Brunswick, it’s just that
I’d rather be here, and here is not

New Brunswick. if it was, I’d leave,
to get back to here. which I hope
isn’t New Brunswick.

Monday, April 21, 2008

she's something else

if I told you I knew a girl like that you wouldn’t
believe me, you’d get angry and curse and, like
that one time when I said I met Chubby Checker
as a kid (me a kid not Chubby), you’d give me the
finger, which seemed a silly thing, me standing 2
feet from you and you with your middle finger up
like I cut you off in traffic.

but if I told you I knew a girl like that you wouldn’t
believe me, you’d get jealous and say O yeah? well
I once kissed Candice Bergen.
why you picked Candice Bergen I don’t know, not that
she isn’t a handsome woman, she is, especially back
in the Carnal Knowledge days, but Candice Bergen? are
you sure that’s your pick out of all the beautiful women
since and before?
but really, this is my poem, and we all know from reading
these types of poems that the you is collective and just an
extension of the me, so yes it’s me who has a thing for Candice
Bergen, not you, so my apologies, you can like who you like,
and if it’s Ms. Bergen we have something in common and no
wonder I write so many poems about you.

if I did tell you I knew a girl like that you wouldn’t believe me
and who can blame you? I’ve been known to fib and make things
up and wander off point like Hansel without breadcrumbs, but
really, I do know a girl like that, so just let me have that and let
me ride this poem
like a cowboy, like a horse, like a cowboy on a horse into the
sunset.

dog

when the last one died, the dog, he
said That’s it. no more. meaning dogs,
no more dogs. no matter how we try to
convince him, no more.
we try to tell him it’ll keep him company,
lower stress lower blood pressure
he has trouble with his blood pressure
he still says No more.
well usually says no more. sometimes
after a drink or 2 he’ll say It wouldn’t be
a lap dog or a yappy dog if I got one, it’d
be a dog dog. and then he’ll say But I just
can’t see watching another one die I don’t
know if I could handle that I love dogs so
much.
and we leave it at that, who could argue
with that?
but one afternoon after no drinks in the rain
before supper he says It won’t be long before
I’m 70 maybe I’ll get one when I turn 70.
and we sit in the quiet for a while, me watching
him doing the math in his head.

the kind of cheese they have in Prague

they just came back from a trip, from
somewhere, make it from somewhere in eastern
Europe, make it Prague because of the cheap beer
and because of Kafka.
think of Prague and think of a bug on its back and
its legs scuttling the air. think of their trip as a
large confused helpless bug.

he said he was going to write but the portable
typewriter never made a sound. he just sat on the patio
that overlooked some part of the city with his feet up
on the wrought iron railing and his face against the sun drinking
the cheap beer. less than 50 cents a bottle if you know where to
find it. I don’t know what that is in Prague money.

he grew a beard and one day said Hey look at this and she looked
and he was resting the beer bottle on a bulge in his stomach that
wasn’t there before. like a little shelf. she looked at him and looked at
his stomach and gave a smile that wasn’t really a smile and said
she was going out.
she came back with some cheese and bread and 3 bottles of wine.
I imagine the cheese to be white and pitted and the bread to be
thin and hard and the wine to have a label showing people
stomping grapes and she drank 2 of the bottles herself and that
was the last night the trip went well. remember the scuttling bug.


after 2 months they came back, alone together, a name of a song
from the ‘40’s. Jo Stafford sang it and it fits here.
he tried to ignore it and she tried to make him not ignore it and
one day she went to him and stroked his Prague beard and said
Let’s get rid of this.
she lathered him and sat on his lap to shave him and he
thought this was the beginning of everything being ok maybe this
was her idea of foreplay?
she finished and handed him the mirror and he stared at the 2
halves of his face. the top half brown with tan and the bottom
looking like the cheese she may’ve eaten in Prague. he looked
at her and said You did this on purpose didn’t you? she didn’t
say anything her eyes were lakewater calm.
he tried to think of something else to say
but she didn’t have to.

originally published in MILK, #1

revision

these words are raw from rereading
raised bloodred from rereading
these words are bloated from rereading
are saturated to dripping from rereading
rereading these words is making them bloated and
saturated to dripping is making them raw red raised
sores
this rereading is making words is making the words
sore and bloody and angry to the point of
raising up redraw and angered
rereading these words
these words are raised and bloated and angry
the anger in rereading these words is raised these
words are words these are words
words are these angry words are these raw are these bloated
are these are these words
words are these words are these words are these
words
are these.

originally published in Alligator Stew, vol. 1, # 1.

but don't blame it on Edison

there is no electricity just a lantern on the table
and her hands are folded one on top the other like blades of grass
and she turns to me twice, once halfway, stops, and looks again,
she turns to me twice, looking at me through the window,
the window has no glass in it and there is no electricity
and her hands aren’t like blades of grass, there is a lantern on the table
and she turns to me twice, her hands
are crossed like cutlery, scissored and shining, and she turns to me twice
looking through the window with no glass, her hands scissored and
she turns to me twice, just a lantern on the table, and there
is no electricity.



originall published in Alligator Stew, vol. 1, #1.

Monday, April 07, 2008

amway

there's no one to blame but me.
I get myself into these situations,
there must be reasons, deep and hidden
that would explain everything
(my mother didn't hug me enough, hugged me
too much, the babysitter stared too long at my
penis while getting me ready for bed, those types
of things)
but I really don't want some things explained, it's
too late now to try and dissect. let's just say
I get myself into these situations and it's my fault
and whatever the reasons are are unimportant,
and leave it at that.

but the situation: one day this phonecall.
hi! we met before. I must apologize, because
you don't remember me, I would guess. but I
liked your style and I'm looking to expand my
business. it's become too much for me to
handle. it's growing too quickly. I need to share
the workload AND of course the wealth. hahaha.
pause.
is that something you'd be interested in?

and because my spine doesn't exist (see above
for explanation, or the reason for lack of one),
I say Sure.

GREAT! let me drop off some info, what time would
be good...etc., etc., etc.

he comes by and
he talks too much
too easily, I distrust social
skills like his, though he seems
nice enough, and on some “T” words
he has a slight stutter that makes him
slightly more human, but the whole time
I'm just wishing he wasn't in my kitchen
talking about the things he's talking about
and I think of the things I should say to
make him leave but nothing comes out.

eventually he leaves on his own and I say
to my wife Don't you think what he does
goes against who I am? what I stand for?
and she doesn't know what I'm talking about,
what I'm saying, she doesn't understand what
I mean and it's not her fault, but what's the
use of having a personal philosophy if
no one knows you have one.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

art imitating life

o yeah? he says when
he finds out I write.
what kind of stuff?

o, you know, whatever comes to mind.

o yeah?

sure. I can't afford to be picky.

hey, he says, that's a good one.
you should write that one down.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

what Edward Hopper does

is like knots in the stomach.
something has happened or is about to.
that moment
I imagine
during the war, when the doorbell
rang and a mother
opened it
for a man
holding a telegram.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

a wishful biography




there’s a tiny dictionary on my desk
Zippo dimensioned but thicker.
pg. 303 is my favourite:

in-sub-or’di-nate refusing to obey
in-sub-stan’tial slight; not real
in’su-lar of or like an island
in’su-late cut off from surroundings; surround (wire, etc ) with non-conducting material
in-su’per-a-ble that cannot be overcome or passed over
in-sur’gent rebel
in-sur-rec’tion rising in open resistance to authority
in-tan’gi-ble (-tanj-) that cannot be touched or grasped by the mind
in’te-ger (-tej-) whole number
in’te-gral of or necessary to a whole

in western movies or novels
the cowboys used pages of the bible or
dictionaries as paper to roll their cigarettes
something about the texture
or pliability.

they can’t have 303. ride on tex.

although they probably wouldn’t want it
it’s too small.

is there something wrong?

of course there’s something wrong
I’m still here and I shouldn’t be, not
that you and I didn’t have a connection,
we did, sure we did, and when I say
there’s something wrong I don’t mean
anything’s your fault, of course it’s
not, if anything, it’s me, I’m the one
to blame.
and not to say what you and I did was
wrong, of course not, nature is nature,
you can’t argue with biology, or chemistry
or whatever, I don’t know, I was never
good at science, the rules seemed too strict
or something, but maybe I was looking at
it with the wrong attitude, going into it
with negativity instead of an open mind,
science I mean, not you and I, what you
and I have is romance, true romance in the
dictionary sense, it defies science and when
I said it was my fault all I meant is it was my
fault that we are doomed for a love worthy of
Shakespeare, and I swear I’ll stay until morning
to see if I was right.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

eulogy

I’d like to be remembered
but not be remembered as I am.
does that make sense?
make something up
something with sharks and alligators and
women who are double jointed and such.
not that the sharks and alligators and
double jointed women
have to cohabitate.
I’m not a tyrant
just a little strange.
not that double jointed women
who live with alligators and
sharks are strange. I am.
I thought I made that clear.
are you saying I can’t make
a lucid point?
I’m the poet, motherfucker,
maybe you’re the one with the problem?
can’t understand a simple sentence.
but it’s my funeral
let’s not fight.
let us bow our heads
and remember the poet
who walked this temporary earth
with alligators and sharks and
double jointed women.
amen.

originally published in MILK, #1

elective surgery

the past is presently
giftwrapped like a pair

of homemade socks from
the aunt you never liked

you know what she did to
your uncle? you do, and

memory is better excised
like a polyp in your colon

before it turns cancerous.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

the first part is the part that counts

I had this dream where you found out
you had cancer and one day to live.
the doctor was certain it was cancer,
the symptoms were conclusive: you had
a slight headache and small fever.
if it was a big headache and a raging
fever it would’ve been something else,
something harmless. but the symptoms
don’t lie, he said. he said I’m sorry. one
day is all you have. don’t waste it.

that one day was spent happily without
sadness and without the feeling that
something was hanging over us, sharp
and weighted.

and then you were gone.

you left without display, just folded into
yourself, like a card table. and I began to
wail. then I woke up and was glad it was
only a dream and fell back to sleep and
back into wailing again without interruption
and then awake again. this happened a few
times, until the wailing became forced like it
was disconnected from the meaning. like
an actor on the 102nd performance of it.

and although the thought of my stage
crying over your death makes me uneasy,
makes me unsure of things, raises questions
of me as a caring human being, I know how
you view dreams like this, I know the weight
you put on interpretations and meanings, I
know how you can be, so I think it’s important
that you don’t put much thought into this and
try not to overanalyze and remember that you
are not really dead and when you do die I
promise to cry like I mean it.

originally published in MILK, #1

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Laurence

didn’t like to be called
Laurence. it was Laurie.

to everyone except this
one girl. she called him Laurence.

and it made the rest of us
nervous, because you just don’t.

but no, he was ok with it, maybe liked
it some, and she knew he liked it some.

he seemed to like it, or maybe he was too
busy staring holes in her shirt to notice.

and maybe she letting him stare holes into her
shirt made him choose not to notice.

but it didn’t matter after this one day, this
fight between them, unfair in a way.

unfair, not that he was bigger and stronger
and louder and uglier.

but unfair that she watched him be bigger and
and stronger and louder and uglier.

and then unloaded with this: Yeah? well
Laurie’s a fucking girls name.

see? unfair. but in the quiet and the noise
and the quiet that followed, nature returned

to its unfair balance.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

posting this one again

this poem was up here before, but I took it down because I thought it was too personal.
but today is the 4th anniversary of my mother's death and I felt I should pay tribute to her somehow because she deserves it.

anyway.....


hands



she was proud of her hands, cut and file
and cutex and polish every few days.
The only thing my mother-in-law liked
about me were my hands she said. small and
delicate and ladylike,
although she didn’t think I was much of a lady, she said.
true or not, she believed it.

psoriasis made her scratch and it got under her nails and
made them tenuous like shingles in a hurricane.
the polish hid the decay.

she got sick quickly, and liked her hands to be held.
My hands were my best feature she said, not sure to believe
it anymore, looking at them now thin
and cold and rough and grey, like driftwood. with a hospital
bracelet collaring one. her birthdate printed there, hard not
to picture the end date, tombstone style.

the last days spent on the end of the sofa
her hands touching her hair, habit. The psoriasis is gone
she said. nothing left to scratch, gone due to the bullying
of other infections.
sifting through her bottles of medication, keeping the
hands busy, squinting at the labels, wondering how
these bright and cheerily coloured pills could
possibly keep her alive. Made up words she said
either beginning or ending with an X.

the last days spent on the end of the sofa
her hands moving the bottles of pills from
the tupperware container and back again.
pills clicking against the bottles like the
ticking of a clock too fast and irregular.
her hands picking them up and putting them down
and doing it again, looking for the right combination.
faster. like a chessplayer, pawn takes queen, moving
faster, anything to keep the hands from being stilled.

Friday, February 15, 2008

but I have insurance

this morning I woke up and showered
and brushed my teeth, didn’t shave, didn’t
have breakfast, didn’t have coffee, and
drove to work.

walked through the door and clocked in
to an unwanted and unwarranted
death.

Monday, February 11, 2008

12 step

after a dozen beers or so I realize
my words won’t change the world.

they won’t be read like Auden or Frost
or Ginsberg or whomever you like.

but I’ll struggle against that, fight it
like aging, like balding, like anything

else inevitable. do anything not to make
it so, prostitute myself, pose for compromising

poet photos, exit a limo with my participle
dangling (old joke, sorry), Britney style.

for a beer I’ll be Ezra Pound, for a chapbook
I’ll be the poet your finger falls on in the Norton Anthology,

even Rod McKuen.

please remove caps and plastic rings and rinse thoroughly

the muse is drained nightly
at least she has a 10 cent deposit.

photo op

ok, look to your right like you’re reading that thing there.

this?

yeah.

ok.

no, more to your right.

but then I can’t read it.

just look like you’re reading it. wait a second, I meant your left.
your nose looks big looking to your right.

if I look to my left, I really can’t read it.

jesus, just pretend to read it!

click. click.

ok, good, now type but look up at me but still type. but don’t look
right at me just in my general direction.

but I can’t see what I’m typing. I’m not a very good typist, so I
have to look.

just type anything, I don’t care. type gibberish.

well, that should be easy, that’s all I’ve been writing for the last 20
years anyway.

short

she went crazy in the kitchen.
the burden of life, or somesuch.
carving the roast with a large knife.
she wasn’t crazy for long.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

keep your day job


here's a painting I did a few years ago. "it's ok things are fine."

so I'm not much of a painter, I just enjoy it.
click on image to see large version. like you didn't know that. I just assume everyone is as tech stupid as I am.
carry on.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

never argue with a drunk

I’m done insisting
that it’s Wednesday.

there must be one
day where it’s not
Wednesday.

of course, more than
one day, more like six
days where it’s not
Wednesday.

but really whether it’s
Wednesday or not isn’t
the problem, it’s whether
I’m drunk and insisting
it’s Wednesday.

it’s Wednesday. stop
arguing. it’s unbecoming.

I love Wednesdays.

2.9.08

patti smith, I like her, you?

patti smith

is waiting for the Lexington Avenue train
it’s 1974 and the hand not clutching her notebook
is at her hair pulling and separating the strands
she’s asking everyone if she looks like Keith Richards
Do you think I look like Keith Richards? she asks it’s 1974
and no one is listening but she keeps asking
sure that someone will agree and that one person
is all that matters but no one is listening and All I want is art she
says and I want to make it, you know? I want to be somebody and
Patti is looking into the tunnel, raising her hands to shield her
eyes against the light of the oncoming train and the shirt she’s
wearing rises up and people are looking at the scars on her belly
like scrawls of her poetry and it’s 1974 and people are looking at
her belly
at the lines of struggle and pain and loss scribbled there
her greatest work
people are looking at her people are
looking
don’t you see?

04.07.07

Sunday, February 03, 2008

what I didn't learn watching El Topo




the other night
I was watching El Topo
and drinking J&B.

at one point I swore a
bug ran up my chest
onto my neck.

I jumped up and brushed
at myself like I was on fire.
stop drop and roll.

I found nothing. but I swear.
and not a case of too much J&B.
just out of the corner of my eye
it was, flat and sleek and
darker than shadow, like a roach.
but this house has never had
cockroaches.

el topo means "the mole", the
movie told me. the mole spends
it’s early life burrowing towards
the sun, only to be instantly blinded
when it finally surfaces.

I don’t know if that’s true or not,
but that’s what the subtitles said.

cockroaches spend most of their
time scurrying away from light.
that’s fact. I have more experience
with roaches than moles.

I don’t know if there’s enough
irony in the idea that moles
search for the light that will harm
them and roaches flee it to make this
a proper poem. I just don’t know.

but then again, I didn’t really
understand El Topo either.

2.3.08.

lazy hygiene

I shave about once
every 10 days or so.
I used to shave everyday
and wear a tie and suit
but when I quit that job
I swore, never again.
same reason I only get a
haircut once a year, but
this is a shaving poem,
not a haircut poem. 2 bits.

when shaving that once every
10 days I clip the hair growing
out of my ears and the ones
creeping out of my nostrils.

most of the hairs are gray.

I wish I quit that job sooner
so that the stray hairs like
weeds in autumn were still
summer grass.

2.3.08.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

father luke

like to take a moment here and not talk about myself and give a warm congratulations to my (cyber?)friend Father Luke, whose first book of poetry is coming out soon. published by Bottle of Smoke Press. BoSP is an excellent small press publisher run by Bill Roberts. he does incredible work, and I'm sure the good Father's book will be no exception.
anyway, nicely done Father, it's well deserved.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

new poem with explanation

here's a new poem that I'll never send out to a mag so I'll post it here. I'm not anti-american (the current government, yes, but not America), but this poem reads as anti-american. maybe i watched too much tv that day. bad habit.
the U.S. has flaws, but a country that big is bound to. strains on health care, education, etc.
idiot quotient is raised based on population?
I dunno.
anyway, if there are any U.S. citizens reading this, vote differently.
christ, shut up! politics aren't your strong point, poet boy!
here's the poem...

america

is cities of
cockroach skyscrapers
and tvs that don't blink
and refrigerator doors
that can't close
not don't but can't
and borders that are
full of people bulging
to get in.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

housekeeping

well, I played with the template and colours, added some pics.
I think now the site is both more artsy AND fartsy!
mission accomplished.
hope to have some more stuff up soon. I may get around to putting up some stories that I've had published, but it's a lot of work and I'm lazy.
o, and I've enabled comments for everyone. you don't have to be a blogger.com member to give your 2 cents. yeah, we'll see how that goes....