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.