Wednesday, 17 December 2014

1 New Poem

Regression Lines

A return of sorts:
to warmth and checkered-line patterns,
to flickering flashes of cathode ray,
to pre-packed bread and wick
burning of candy cigarettes;

the kind I trust in half-step.

Faces too stern to attempt a static,
weakness besets the bravery notion:
the luxury of defeat proffered to
scholars and men of careful tithe.

Far tempting is reflection: on
and on the whistled tune of many
more manuscripts for dissection's eye.

And I give in easy,
lanky as untouched rag doll,
and bordering the calm collapse

of solitude tears.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

1 New Poem


She was born as sea's seventh daughter,
carpentry's flash-fluttering fingers
gave a springtime's animation to corded bone.

She was a past's great grace about her,
not ours but one woven in mist-riddled
novella, more shaped than life could be.

And future's good fortune, too,
wraps a stranded first band of
set carousel finish gilding upon her.

In the open door porch planks,
soaking rain wet in penny-cinema style,
I ran up to confess in knowing

this becomes all history in the end,
the filling pulp of mite-bitten shelves,
selective pages rare to meet fingerprint stain.

But so too does fortune, the stopped spinning
of hobby horses on the pine to show
it is only now that is worth the living.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

1 New Poem

Stage Faces

Light and heavy-roped curtain,
wear of painted plaster cast
construction, the roughly dots of
makeup spinning weave tales in
past-dawn dreary mindsets,

cups of arak and a few suit jacket buttons
from divine possession.

It is then you make those kind
eyes with your mouth;
it is then you make those whispering
cries out to forever's embrace.

And the morning retouching comes:
the fix stitches grandmotherly, imprecise
knots hook-hanging there in
ticker-tape typing as 21st century
ink ribbon.

You think they must have been
so lucky at Berkeley back then:
Jimi & Janis on the hi-fi,
slogans and snifter of placard paint
on the breeze.

While you merely mimic the moves:
balletic, refined.

Monday, 8 December 2014

1 New Poem

Other Suns

There is a warmth heard in these late breeze nights,
kindle-crackling of Lutheran church pamphlets,
of New Republic back issues; the radical kind
of hope that flowers in threadbare stitching.

Up from ashen concrete, up from bloodied faces,
up from craven tempests of time
in their steel shackle indifference:

the kind that is more than hope,
more than mere caviar dreams,
the kind tempered in masonry making,
and made to glance centuries of refute.

It holds no mirrored repose of Urals' beyond beckoning,
stands on no Espejo hillside
for opportunist stock ticker suit-tie clatter:

it holds out only, in the bitter jaws of our winter's half-calm,
for chance of favoured weather

“and, perhaps, to bloom.”

Sunday, 30 November 2014

1 New Poem

The Dying Fantasy

The pyre ash of dreams glows
most brilliant shades of righteous red
in midnights of broken glass symphony,
in sweeping up still crystal mornings;

they cough, wheeze, spit up lung
sulfer sacrements, some kind of

The songbook hymnals hewn of stardust,
secular rhymes of just dying, of lands
just beyond hilltop horizons, of worker's
paradise and history's end

that never arrive but with asterisks,
but with hardened faces, rivers mixed
with blood and life road's ice.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

1 New Poem

Reprise in Blue

The victims of history speak not
to their plight, they speak not
through arrows and gunshots,
through shirt factory fires,
through schoolhouse stands and
rural church steeple bombings.

They do not speak, for they are
gone: no labour law reform, no signed bill
of housing redress, no so-called progress
shall make them whole.

No signal can cut through the
white noise cloth down draping
post-to-post in passage rites,
warnings unheeded by the number-crunching clan,
except in their moments of unearned regret.

Except in their mirrored lenses making
new liberal order of darker voids,
starring deep not long into the cold maw
depths of the thing, but to some
construction of tabulated script, some

monument made in ignorance of due
cost on plains of gold where greater
men than they shall ever hope to be
starved for lack of compass to guide
to berry bush and water spring.

They stare not into grim meaning of
coin collections, nor into spindled red
lines on FHA maps, nor into the
thin ice-water stew they ladle-heap
upon the cups and plates of sickly figures.

They stare not; they cannot face the victims,
the bombings, the fires, the bullets, the arrows,
they cannot face the calm wake of them
all the more.

They cannot stare too deep to history's gaze,
it is too disorderly.

Still, voices emerge from riot smoke,
casting arms and rising as a last
held note of Coltrane, of Shorter, held
in blue midnight shade of strung
Christmas tinsel.

They go unheeded as ever, but
cease not.

It makes nothing the better,
but has some conscience

at least.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

1 New Poem

A Grey Area

You wish, picture upon 19th century
cloud atlas, the cross stations of
pure down drawing on December's
facade; unbreaking, still, blinding

Yet I am memory, impured as
mud-slush strewn with bottle glass,
cigarette ashes, tire squeals,
lead paint shimmer-blankets harrowing

Thursday, 20 November 2014

2 New Poems

Windows Open

If I opened this window, this batter-worn
weather wood in spool iron-twine framing,
the fogged November air of last semester's
oceans would rush to fill space, rush
to cling as dress shirt linens in
cramped, hallowed spaces, folded, creased
with gunpowder starch.

If I opened through this post-adolescent haze,
reaching brassy bouquets of all love and wordly
things' gold embossment, raised print of
names, helvetica signatures writ on water's
ever-shifting slate, there would be no reason
for longing's tender spiral to draw on.

If I opened eyes to the wishing white
blind, to settle upon dying, ruby red
back lights in Station Mall parking
lot snow squalls, the sketched lines
would wave of mercurial separation

stirring below-zero echo of Calvary stain.


There is a charging flame, submerged in fractal
formed winter's skating rink ice, rippling through
the colder air, a kind that stains lung in
tarpit bitter snap, a kind that calls for
summer's breath, the light of Maidan chants,
or some centre square of Budapest.

Alas, alas, these dead-end cheers are no such
thing; the hoary slogan goes, “next time shall be
better, I shall be more noble of strength to
stand, not this rattling colt of shaking leg”,
and one can always speak its half-heard form.

The thrashing-thrown crunch of dead leaf last
call, flaring shout in boot sole time
beneath waves of crystal pattern turning
about, lone flag flapping as
fastened cheesecloth, as imitation
striped stars, sounds out but spirits of '45,

of '68, of '89, in reading of wrenched
machinery gears dripped in bounded blood
unspilled, for the cowardice of my
heart and time.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

1 New Poem

Something Left Wanting

Stirring echoes raw their penmanship
in torrid currents of snowstorm
floral print against dashing backlight
of flickering cola sign, neon green
1970's embellishment.

Stucco ceilings, peeling painted walls press
against my temples in echoed percussion,
tapping like dentist drills of dripping
faucet senses in the bracketed echo of
tempest space.

A headlight procession drags on in
endless ennui, the bored-driven
gasoline streak putting in smoker's cough
torrent; I hear it ring out in open
window pane.

Unobserved, the disconnected carbon monoxide
detector wires laugh out a braying torment,
they threaten a spark, but never do:
they are red as the '68 air, a grin-smile
absent feline.

I tap morse code forms of gospel
hymns on the particle board furniture,
waiting for some sign of Freedom
July, some dusty dress shoe promise
of futures


1 New Poem

In Blue Hawaii

The weeping strains of pedal steel,
echo blank beaches not in Pacific's
growing whirlpool tide, but in
placed of Superior skies,
pebbled sands.

Shades of Lou Reed New York in the deadened
half-reflection of sunglass steam as breathy
sketches on the shopfront windows, painted
in disheveled morning star parallels to traffic

The breeze in these Northern nights run
chilling deep through maple, pine and cedar moss
shines deep as the reconstruction of Antebellum
fables, the tragic falsehood in wishing for
pasts unlived.

There is a supple tinge of rippled water,
then, to these catchings of wafted warmth
from wood-burning exhaust in a land of
darkness breaking just past noons strike: just
the thing

for a second to mistake cracking phone posts for palm.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

2 New Poems


Open window in early winter,
letting cold seep in, swelling
out in blanket covers, quilting
four faulty corners, water-damaged
walls and, in leaky ceiling cynicism,

cross-legged in late morning's light
with nothing much to do but
sort through endless paper categories,
learn some newly thought theory impractical,
I wonder of all the fun you're


I look back on history texts,
the rivers of martyred blood
eroding deserts sandy face
of eons eternal, but I twinge,
selfish still as spoiled royalty

with quaking passion of fearful touch,
the unreality of warping signal
waiting, waiting in deadened pulp
paper passion; but I suppose
we are all but stardust in the


And Then Three Days Pass

A thousand shut doors ago,
when I was but a child in
the freezing of foggy gestures
I'd make to kitchen cupboards
television cabinets,
I was ever hesitant of crooked
hands, solemn looks of plenty
from mother, and the noises
drifting from father's upstairs
with the stained dog shag carpet.

A tempered lampshade purchase ago,
I thought I had found my myth's
becoming, hands to hold in shimmering
Isle light dawning, the carpentry
of fingers to build together some
house of worship.

A flick of the light switch ago,
I opened a thumbed-over volume of
60's confessional verse and stared
blank as the page; its word
holding no less an interest than past,
but in shade of flicking
computer tab screens of some
international relations professor's thoughts
on West Bank settlements I opened
to distract from message I sent in hoping

related reply.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

2 New Poems

Footsteps at Dawn

There is a furnace fog to these mornings
before digital readouts strike backwards
in redoubling of effort, the skipping smoke
rings as childhood pebbles on Superior's
tracing etched water face in looms of
fractured factory whistles rising by
the Essar plant.

There is a reminder in the slow-fading tenderness
of house lights and car engine sputters;
some echo's distance measured in one-way streets
and bilingual road signs, the worn-rubber
creak of dress shoe soles some semblance
of the ruffling starch-collar manner meeting beneath
the Houses of Parliament.

There is a sounding symphony of hymnal in
stained glass, triumphal illusions wine-cider
shades from the naming of apostles in tongues
those fighting figures of fancy we draw tightly
together for cloaks of royal violet, warmed
with memory's bookcase battered, dusty with
the saloon sentiment.

It's Never Like That

In the shaggy span of adolescence
you'd have been altogether otherworldly,
jetting with curly androgyny from
the sidewinding clip of typing message
reflector ribbons in the sensible loose
glass grinding of your spectacle frames;
indeed, I'd have been lost

with how to term these 12-hour naps
and over-breathing fits you spin
as outback dust storms in the
rigid farmhouse corners I leave
unswept for fear.

Any undertaking you could imagine,
the white tusk a glimmer
of ruining rail and patched-engine
passenger buses in the middle places
of this land, in the countrysides
of foreign ones, and I knew I
didn't want to be some lover's dalliance,
some holiday weekend's great distraction,
some postcard placeholder in the
chandelier swinging section.

No, as I reflected

on how these bridal sheets bleach at
but barest blush of strong
moonlight stain, how prom queen
crows chip away in lead paint liberty.

No, as it was breaking at the seams.

No, as you looked up from your sandwich plate.

No, as I studied the lines in wood bench
backing and the steady fizz of Italian
blood orange soft drink.

No, as I reached back to lessons learned
about eyeglasses, androgyny, breath and blinking.

No, as I trammeled words about something
like a love.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

2 New Poems


I want to run into you on some sunny
escapade in Chicago's brick-swelling summertime,
in the wild grins of two blessings hung
splendid aloft in the symbols of broken
thorn, of hanging vine, of flower shop roses
and creaking staircase wood, all those promises
you can make with no worry to have kept.

I want to cross in the blood's swirling air,
the staining Pollock points of traffic yellow
glint backlighting in halo-swan half-haze
looking Bacall, Bergman for the
stitching hour chained, and we were
drawing morning barely-seen through
bleary tears of dewy painter's inspiration.

I want to crash in zodiac formations
of limbs and lips and lover's wish
entangling on the musty shores of mind
imprinted silver-ruby to the twinge-shift
embossment of you and some solemn aching
shadow called myself like Euro coin back
marking of some nation lost to former epochs.

And I want to collide, connect, collide.

Once, Wondrous

This night explodes in dazzle-burn of hanging
firework, the kind I'd watch set off on
the waterfront pier with the wood painted bluebird
shade as a child in sandal stocking feet
tasting first milk-laps of June: calf-footed,
unready to step.

But this is silent, no crackling crate paper
construction dividing in two the winding pages
of dusty historical tomes and newly-scrawled
chapbook lettering of soppy adolescent poetic
theatrics; streaming, all brought together
under threadbare semblance you smile.

I was just wondering: how wondrous one
evening's embrace and the arms of solemn
sleep intoned could be, how brittle-petaled
the woven crown could hem your head,
how lit to flame's flick this tremor
spirit, just and true, in knowing its nature.

Monday, 20 October 2014

1 New Poem

Dancing In Peacetime

When you silence the sputter-chain,
broken fences mended in the cast-cattle
lightning, down-pouring collarbone dress
seem at the ribcage, when you spoke in
those dawns at war's end.

In these ballgowns Victorian, the elegant
glint of sapphire ladies' handgloves, shimmering
of Edwardian day lakes in tea leaf etching,
you becalm beneath the hollow echo of our age,
the smirking devilish necking up of Legion
Hall cacophony, with word it was:

“Let us be young, dancers in long shadow,
in splendid ignorance of callous train speeding,
metal-on-metal embrace of future's foreboding
and, for the nights of washing stone smooth ambiance,
enjoy the peacetime's silence.”

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

1 New Poem

Encounters at Metro Stations

Your lips glance briefly, stop light
flash off the chalice glass, marks
you leave in scents of Christmas ginger,
tastes of honey wine.

As wiry-spun, quick in the moving
shadows' creep of carousel bulbs,
running Rhiannon, you took up
and spoke with washing fire tone:

“love is not written on suburban
grid-maps of city planners,
nor the wandering water droplets
dappling lakeside remnants of

crumbled Gaeltacht castle walls;
it is the spoken clock's conundrum
chime, the rumbling steam train trail
you write of in blazes of interwar

men's coat fashions, women's scarves
trailing celestial, framing aged brick.

And that's what you think?”, smiling.

Monday, 13 October 2014

1 New Poem

Ceilings & Stardust

The ceilings press in four-letter phrasing,
drawing in wailed echoes of cities past,
abandoned steel structures left to
weather's withering rust and postering
placards of ward councilor memorials,
and here in this I thought to ask:

was I cohabiting your heart with the
stucco laundromat lettering, rapid twining
the first fallow Fall night before clocks
are set an hour back and when
bus journeys beggar the daybreak half-sweated,
whether milling rough or bureaucrat smooth?

It was those beleaguered wishes: torn pages
bathed in memories' Paris Exhibition twinkle-light,
diving off one cliff spire as two fractions
defeated, and hear crashing midnight's bell
toll beating in crested waves on bloodied
shore; it was nothing, but I thought I'd be there

when you'd sing from the basements of Bar-Ilan,
spirits beautied, beatified, drawing on dusk's desert
of endless, radiant orange-red, as I

gave way, in finality, to Northern starlight.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

1 New Poem

Going Somewhere More Quiet

Bar lights charged with magnetic heat,
the drifty wooze of sangria coasts
in southern Spain, backpackers' fall
leaf crunch in time beat skipping
to floor drum strike, sign of
crossing celestial seem stark threading
held up to supple sheen of midnight conversation.

Crackling burn of family furniture
for firewood, the crass sweat of
dancehall devilry, cherry Coke revelry
implied in jarring jet of curl shine, soaked
in absinthe bottle spills and sustained
by movements most mystic, invincible to
freezing distance's covering cloaks.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

1 New Poem

Wild As The Night

Starlight catches in pincer pose,
unkempt: a radiant, brown-eyed laughter,
drawn in by the wine stain lipstick
and kept there crisp as dress shirt folds,
sewn linework in suit jacket tailors.

Let's cheer to rafter planks, fiery
filling basement rooms with turbine
tempest of being foolishly young,
arms wrapping in hurricane bleats,
trying out some signal smoke for flair.

Shine on, you, Chilean bike spokes,
glacier crest waves and all
free-dancing wishbones unbroken,
never be so bound up by wishes,
weighted by suit-coated men who could only

draw something wild as you were.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

2 New Poems

Ever Clear

Light floods in the shallow brick square,
brigand tumults in lens flare opulence;
finer jewels, finer shades of longing,
could never be bought, at these
city bus benches and Sally Ann shopfronts.

Glasses chipper in window tinting,
striking but for your difference apparent;
you flutter, errant updraft catching feather,
I ponder, surveying shipknots' tempest.
With the softest chime you mentioned muddy waters but

they were clear as glacial springs to me.

Say Something

I say something scratched, panicked
headlight trauma the core of it;
tries to give warmth, wriggles
dying under lens watch, evaporates.

I say a clattering cliché truth,
winding pattern, wind-like totemic
to pretensions past, making sacred cross
of Popsicle glue, of corkboard pins.

I say to spit an edged shard,
rendered reflective past marches
with fire-print intensifies, petty cruelties
settled as prefab foundations, dug-in.

But unsaid is something in haze-mist,
of spun umbrella, in crackles of
windows open to late spring's dewy breeze
and you, the roses and sill lilies,

the somethings I beat in chest for.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

1 New Poem

Briefest Moments

Blazes of autumnal sunshine bright in
the early-walked heel-shoe mornings
fall through treetops, leaf-fire shades,
rum-stained spillings on sidewalk,
reflected tumbled waterfalls rapping

at the foot of triangular street signs boldly rusting.

You were subtle in dress-drawn hangings,
painting alleyway walls in dripping shadow watercolour,
burning fire flash-flick, cosmetic mirror
and pocket square aligned in fragile spectrum;
there was a word waiting, waiting, waiting

there for you to seize upon.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

1 New Poem

Calling Car Services

The idle splish-splosh of orange-green
cabbie paint shades cuts a night's reflective
bloom in airs of protest signs,
a hail of marching feet, vague memories
of lights uncovered, flickering in
polish-finish of your eyeglass frames.

The times on the waiting porches for them
after five hastily swallowed mixed drinks
when I'd think of holding you between
sky-pine snowfall and errant
atmosphere of electric wire body heat;

the notions pile,
twist as Gaelic flags in winter wind

but they pass as the taxi rain,
as whiskey ice.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

2 New Poems


Your visage watercolours float
to a cinder-bright surface, speckled
trout-like by temperamental rain,
ringed in hallowed marquee of jazz spirit
dancers, the bright caress of shoe taps on
scuffed linoleum.

Renaissance oils streak down coloured
canvas maps, cave wall in simplicity;
the best I can manage on such short
notice, the brief wonders I can hope
of capturing as pointing patterns, as
cutting clicks.

The Whole Thing

Passing out pieces, broken chocolate and
polluted paintchips; it was something for
winter’s half-cloaked mirage of solitude,
something to sustain a broken lip fixture
when the water couldn’t lift to drink,
when the wine was rotten, sickly-sweet.

You gave, gambler’s hands and shaking card
decks one by one turned about to face
florescent skylight, all gold passed from
hand to filled tooth,

and I was clumsy by turns, too much bet
on merely the parts you deigned to show.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

1 New Poem

Nightly Moves

The early-oncoming chill of unseasonable
September slithers around broken
church tenement's cracked oak windowframe,
wraps about my shoulders as patch-patterned
quilting, each square a figment-face lost
in wiry AT&T-Rogers state code

A stench of stoked coal burns through
sinus, infected with a slimmer shape's
possible promise, the hammered smokestack
clang of smelting steel fell silent,
bright as the motel vacancy sign once
could have been before a manger neglected

We fill time as teacup jades,
blackened patterns crawling through the
winded cupboard clatters, of cement
and plaster still finding its settle in
the bony fragment sand.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

1 New Poem


I am unlike these shrubbery leaves,
I did not bend to every fleeting nature's
folly, tap shoe performance in drunken footstep,
but, still, still I am unconquered, split

between this city where the shine from
boardwalk railings wore clean through
long ago, and girders from abandoned waterfront
development are piled in convex, called art

and the wide-collar boulevards where postcard
scenes frame the walls and turncoats spin
to a hat-drop of Monday's news bulletin,
but, too, where you flaxen-affix the

black cat follies of costume painter logic
and I hold aloft these pence rags of feeling:
your gaze sympathetic, but not the same.

1 New Poem

Something Grey

The hinter-scrape of laundromat quarters,
chipping brick paint on draw curtain
windows smeared of blue sky memoir,
notions remaining from faded haunt
as I pen-fritter in tumults endless,
reflection shattered on rain-slick graffiti.

When I draw string-pointed circles
on cheapened matte substance, they
form in blackened felt scratches,
unintended as they are to make the
same struggled overheat of mind,
to make the pointilist facade

of skies robbed of afternoons' light
you brought.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

1 New Poem

With Your Thoughts

Picnic tables on boardwalk planks
balanced dripped in dewy rapids' crystal,
reminisce in muffled tones, knee
pressed close to forehead; I am alone.

The light of paper-stamp lampshade
barely-dimmed envelopes corner-to-corner
the rambling globetrot shoes' sole, the poise
of pictured urbane with you brought; I am surrounded.

1 New Poem


The sidewalk shadow bends, decades-old
in iron-wrought, Hammersmith mill
fell long silent of bleating breath,

long running rumour of skeletal
frame emerging supper plate
rubble, never clearly enough

until in the storefront window
as a newborn bird, flying
through placement pane, unrecognized.

1 New Poem

Bounding Signals

The radio tower's rustwater shimmer,
salty spraying kiss-written shades
upon pale evening air,

gives the off-colour comment of
middle age's sagging bones, the sense
that everything that will happen

has. I turn about, cocooned in half-fine
slumbers, misplacing the wakeful howls
of blackened asphalt rubber somewhere

in a snow-locked fantasy.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

1 New Poem

Names I Remember
The track-marked rhythm of motorbike engines,
every wheeling reel suffused in classic rock
twang, each hesitant quiver at midnight's door
in turnkey slash of tremor haunts.
They push against more wicked in ways,
replacing this all with brick cast and concrete;


I still believe in haphazard promise of
green thrushlings at dawn, the
running waters rush of daybreak,
the thought of sweet scent carried
on winding pine thistles in caligraphic
winds, shaping Superior currents into old