Saturday, 30 July 2016

1 New Poem

In Between Stars

Blue light buzz, spectrum shift
of darkened curtains cut a
Borealis blaze through midday cloud,
takes me darkly from running dogs,
dusty persistence of sunlight screams
dripping tap-pipes as river current

but I take to it: a flick-flutter
of browning wings, false death masks.

You make me move, from wishing to
want, from bald desire to the charm
jam lights of grandee tradition;
how much I look back with piano trills
on handshake nationalism
that once gave us a lifetime’s peace,

that once I thought to be all things
worth the name, medals hanging from
trophy places, all ordered on American boys’
Swedish shelving.

These noise machines, clang-clacking against
boat-swung rope lines, fishing
nets to dredge a through-line for
thinking for ourselves to be made
of, drown it out a bit

with art-sign neon hues, they say:
“no more here, no more there”,

yet, all around.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

1 New Poem

For Freetown

I wish one day your feet will run
as river basins, flowing that war across
again in punched-up signs the mapmakers always
neglect to trace, as long as sun shines
from then on.

I wish one day you will take to air,
helium gas drowning out this wretched
fear of vowed parchment, this cocoon
blanket of outgrown clothes, worn away
theatre poises.

I wish for once, your arms might open
to gather breathless the sand grain
hourglasses leave behind in burnished
rubber reflections.

I wish, just once, your eyes to
come upon ocean’s light, night’s
death at the steer-round clockface,
hands all asunder.

I wish, one time, you saw the
sleep that could have been with
greater grace, sweeter words,
beside not yourself

but something more.

2 New Poems

Wildberry Bush
The cotton dresses of village girls hung
a dusty, sallow frame from clothesline cling
to despairing pittance,

like berry buds struggling up against
dry earth, wiry, plastic cable-like
and, still, not even sparking.

Put for two and two, place settings
harmonious as singing choir stockade
upon river mud-rock seats.

I grab tender handfuls, being of
silent tumult, too crass was a
spoken verse, then

as now, never to taste the
leather-ride hide of grown worlds
only sweetly sublime in its infant’s patter.

Smoker’s Cough

I light up, snuff out, candlebox,
wax burning down both ends of it,
for the finger-running freedom of
what it is to wait for minute-days
at Pancras crooked station staircase,

swell of wrought summer iron,
bar gates construction, post-war tile.

When we met, my skin was
cigarette cellophane, giving thin
cover to toxicity, rapping brush
of shore wave carrying crescent moon tide;

I could have washed the old person away.

But you saw through, past the packet
street litter in August rain,
to be so clutching, unadorned
washing out each other’s colours

to bleached brown PoMo
in train car light.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

1 New Poem

Hearts & Crowns

Missing arena floorboards take years
from me, throwing back to those days
freezing in pew aisle stare,
while canteen fryers sizzle-popped with
prepackaged shapes, cousins and friends
shaking the paved ice slush from
skate shop secondhand wares, that
dingy ding-up before signage
came with its blushed-blue expressions,
cutting ropes of desperate clinging
politicos to the wrangle-shake of voters’

how to go back to those days.

When the anchor wheel would spin with
penny candy bets for curious children
in pick-up impressed jeans ripped-up
jogging , we’d throw down quarters,
shiniest, given from father’s long-worked fingers,
from mother’s cashier apron pockets,
to see what there was in light,
the older boy-girls gesturing with face cards
across oil drum tables, and being so

there anew is something grander,
pulled away, forgotten never.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

2 New Poems

Notes on Greeting Cards

I don’t “love” you.

I want to adventure with you.

I want to learn what it is to know you.

I want to make our own words for “connection”, for “feeling”.

I want to discover what there is beyond sayings.

I don’t want love; I want us.

Rollercoasters, Ice Cream

There once was some fairytale caution in
speech given to the cathedral park waterway,
the slanted hill of unknowing tilt-a-bob
I slid down in time, with kids of ham-hock
neighbourhood plans, split-sprouting bones of
Old Europe last names, being so blankly read
in cross-stitch stares, trundling up with empty
fridge poisons, penny-candy notions roller
disco days, where we get lost in car radio
static, sounds of ’92 Sunfire tape decks

And how the rollercoasters that came in
late June towered above beach stand snack
tables, how they cast long dripping figures
on 12th grade shadows earning at once
their first and last gulps of free air
above pier line jumping rough water,
how policemen waved us on in cheer.

But there is time for ice cream
cones, and time for bitter drink,
and time for huff-puff of drawing close
across shimm-shammy board walks to make
bleary town cryer’s tune, time to take
rid above dampened wood of marina boards.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

1 New Poem

Dry Counties

When everything slips your mind past grace
notes of 50th parallels, way up over the
Bloor Street splendor of gutter punk
mystics dancing shoe cymbal jigs for
silvery leather of policeman’s caps;
how shiny with self-serious contradiction
ae they in atoned posture for dead
names carved on concrete with tree-twigs
that wash away crude scars in lilac undertow.

When you get air-locked out of yourself
as surrounding confidant to all
girls who want to be Joni Mitchell, all
boys who think they’re Neil Young,
it’s there you trick Ashweig water,
shivering suntanned with lazy jumping
children, cotton-balled in nostril and
deeper prided than still your stubby-heated
face is, rounded moon of pleasant symptoms.

When all falls from cast-cradle eyes,
wool scales you weigh morning’s breath
to sagging bone structure, adjustment to
heights of bitter air, slacking sheet-towel
cover of matchbox mattress when you
don’t need some firewater concoction anymore
to feel church chime alarm bells anymore,
just cotton shrouds of sleeping action, weights
of blank memory books for you,

secret message lemon bleach of Northern Store signs.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

1 New Poem


Watch it on televisions, still, movement captured time by
red cowboy hat Stampede dance of all places
coming in and smiling cutting off vacant air churn
of oscillating fans in lodgers’ bunkbeds,
and strange Saturday silence but on enduring.

Then, again, there’s no surprise:
to squeegee wash things with cluttered shoelace,
nervous hand gesture ticks, those softer pleasantries
to help mouth scrub your share history,

to help with sticking a couple pages together.

So, you don’t have to watch the cracked windows on
television, hear the earnest CBC about it anymore;

you can know the scattering of metal,
tang of fifth morning’s oatmeal,

but also to get your own following parade,
of dirty-faced kids, that could have been you,

without only so much choice to watch,
or to live.

Friday, 8 July 2016

1 New Poem

Sun Knows Shade

In basement days, I was shade:
fearful for harm in crunching digital
bit-bobs, silence of heartbeats
still with grease plate sweat, breathing
chain smoke, listening to tap drips,
vinegar washing runs.

I made secrets of crossing wires,
of match-burning twine in thinking
of branch bank clearance, to point
of naked shaking, dull plastic-handle
razor blades.

But I wouldn’t know so long
for that, how much waiting would come:

I wished lighter, less bad dreams,
productive motors’ smooth hum,
antibiotic living.

It’s bursting now, possible pasts,
journeys left locked in lip service,
but drawn to blood thrill,
drawn to the form-function
of light.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

2 New Poem

Glass for Trees

You make your life from spires,
quixotic rush of research-funded
evening on Quays terminal,
drip-drab of international docks,
spouting works of empire:
stuck taps in plane hangars.

I make my life from dirt roads,
backwashing stagnation, kept as
amber glass in summer’s sweat,
lifelines remote for three hours dark
a dying stillness but for chirp of robin:
last outposts left unconquered.

But passing once, winding stream,
as we do, two stones smoothing,

each other against.

Home Team

Bleachers run like steel wire
under concrete,
reflecting a street flashlight
from when I was just fourteen;
you cheer like the home team,
had just one at grand state,
and still in tire squeal
of your mom’s Chevrolet.

When you speak you pass me,
rabbit running away,
there isn’t a word now that
I could really say,
in a world of backwards thinking
sky goes darker than stars
can swallow, even standing
in high school halogen.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

1 New Poem

On First Looking Into Pressed Leaf Preservations

Remember all verdant finery,
lush places, distiller’s passion wild,
that handkerchief tossed from
maiden days to rooted arms.

Remember wilting tilt, shimmer bend
ignored first flushes of rose
petal confusion, for the
dismissed Northern township signposts.

Remember clovers crimson,
fire down below canyon’s train
track tracing, circulatory steel
it turns to in smothered furies.

Remember ash made of dawns,
rather celestial midnight, but
marble still for engraving light,
make some proper time for epitaph.