Wednesday, October 07, 2015

small stories

“Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know” Measure for Measure Act 2, Scene 2, lines 36-37 artwork by Jhenai Mootz
I came alone.
the first time, since.
I came alone. today,
the first time
since we were
we, and from my corner
I watched,
us, side by side,
legs touching, and ankles entwined
telling each the small stories,
telling the small stories that
made up our days.
and then offering
little bits of ourselves,
to each other.
sometimes slowly,
the little
bits of ourselves,
removing a brick,
maybe two, from the walls.
a brick, maybe two
from the walls we had built,
and for a time, putting them down,
entwining our stories,
the small stories that made up our days.
Sun fills the doorway, fills
the doorway,
and I see you,
I see you walk in, the sun
off of those sunglasses
you wore.
I look from your eyes
to your smile
and I tell you my small stories,
the small stories that make up
my day,
the ones left unfinished
the new job, and now,
you tell me your stories, your
small stories, once again
entwining our stories,
our stories
once again.
Sun fills the doorway
the doorway that's empty, and
a brick, maybe two, still
wait on the floor, the space
they once held in my life,
the space,
they once held,
still lies open.
Sun fills the doorway
the doorway that's empty, and
a brick, maybe two, remain
on the floor
I hold my small stories
in one hand, lie the stories
one hand that lies open, a hand
that lies open as I
walk out the door.

Ode to a Man on a Honda

Ode to a Man on a Honda

Shall we dance?
just you and I?
take a ride to our horizon’s end…

shall I wrap my thighs
round yours?
your leather hips -
lean into you
as black ribboned road’s vibrations
consume us -
combine me with
your heat.

can I close my eyes -
and feel your lashing hair
my cheeks,
my eyes
into my mouth?
will it taste
of you?
of road-and-wind-and-sweat.

myself, machine and man -
wide open to the sky
as we blister sunny fields of flowers
their faces turned in awe.

chrome keeps flashing
sunlight briefly
while rubber treaded miles are
into asphalt,
with our blended beads
of sweat
as we race

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

not to touch

I read Neruda with you  
in a dream
worthy of your untamed mouth, 
your heavy eyes 
holding the deep night's velvet,
your hands, impossible  
not to touch 

I woke with you 
my eyelids  
draped, and then 
opened to cold solitude,
an emptiness caressed  
by dawn’s orange fingers 
your touch fleeing on chaste butterfly wings 

my love, a transparent child,
cries soft round tears 
that float up and leave my 
tender kisses in the 
pure whiteness of clouds.

Sunday, June 07, 2015


pretending, I arrange
pillows, I arrange and 
I imagine 
the space
you would fill, your
breath's rhythm, your
mouth's heat
by my shoulder,
in my hair, the
movement on my hip of
a single finger tracing 
my pale skin. 
I imagine
the causal tangle 
of our legs. 
and then
I close my eyes,
lean into you,
and sleep.

Thursday, May 08, 2014


I sit here with the dog, and with the cat and I listen. I listen to the cardinal's coquettishly singing, to the woodpecker's percussion, and to the accompanying consort of chickadees, sparrows, and of one mourning dove. I sit and watch as the squirrel, tail flicking, scolds the dog as he now runs round the willow tree issuing an occasional woof as if to say, I didn't want to catch you anyway. The cat, remains asleep in the red deck chair he claimed as his own, with only the occasional half opened eye to indicate his distain.

My coffee has cooled from the breeze that also makes the willow wisps sway and dance. The very first tiny lilac flower has opened, much like a sleepy child awakening from a nap on a picnic blanket on a warm day.

I would sit in this moment, and I never need another thing.

Friday, March 22, 2013


here we love
and rest our heads, 
here, exquisitely you touch.
here I am unwound,
your lover, and
here our hands unclasp
and now I bid you leave.
and in my hand, one acorn
that you will never see.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

dreams to spare

"And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep." 
                                              The Tempest IV,i  

of course it's 'normal',
part of the 'process'
but after 2 1/2 years, or
30ish months, or
about 9,000 days of
living with someone has several 'regulatory dysfunctions' (doctor's words, not mine)
in his brain
with someone who manifests these 'dysfunctions' with difficult behaviour
(difficult, defiant, dangerous, direful, dreadful, deranged - God how I love a thesaurus - behaviour) 
and even though you have been his only constant parent, and support, his sane, safe place
when he asks you, correction,
when after $4,000 in medical bills - this month,
after hundreds of miles and hours of car trips,
after you've read yourself blind to understand so you can be that sane, safe place
when he screams at you,
from his 17year old ego-bound place
"Do you know what it's like to have to give up on your fucking dreams?!"
for the first time, you can respond like that sane, safe person you work so hard to be,
even after the second and third time,
but eventually what you see is all the parts of you that you did give up,
the parts of you that gave up All of the dreams your 17year old self had,
all the dreams your 25 year old self had, and the dreams
of your 34 year old self, your 41 year old self, and the 48 year old self that is looking
straight into his grief, pain and anger
and as you stand there, with all of the lost dreams wrapped around your throat and your heart,
his and yours, because they are same for you,
will all of the dreams for him and dreams for you that you push aside
day after day after day, after motherfucking day
with all the dreams neither of you will never realize because you're certain you'll be in this hell forever
all your dreams for both of you that you don't even peak at, each, every moment, of you life, right now
because it is easier to pretend you don't want them, than to lose them over and over again,
as you stand there with all of your collective dreams smashed and weeping
on the stupid beige carpet between you
you respond "yes" in a voice that is louder than the sane, safe voice
you tell him "yes" you know "what the fuck it is like", no longer even pretending to be sane,
you tell him "yes" and so does everyone else in the world, and then you pick up new dreams,
and then you suck it up and move on and you do you best, knowing as you hear your voice
that this is not your best,
not by a long shot
but this,
this smashed, weeping, broken person is the best you have to give him
right now
and you toss another dream into heap.

shiny happy people full of naught

'... I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children...."
from 'The Invitation' by Oriah Mountain Dreamer


it's been one week
and I'm too damn tired to slap on
that bright and shiny plastic smile
and say all the stupid pointless, and hollow words,
to pointless, hollow plastic people - with shiny smiles - who don't,
give even the slightest of damns,
to whom,
it has never occurred
to give a damn,
about anyone but,

it's been one week, and
the best I can do is put my head down
to sneak the odd nap,
and hope I don't drool on my arm.

one week, and I still wish they did,
give a damn, that is
I think,
that they
Give-A-Fucking -Damn
that we're in so much pain over here,
HELLO.... can you see me?
can anyone see us?
fuck it.

but thinking and wishing
for people to be different doesn't
do anything but make me more nuts,
and today I quit bashing my head
against that glass wall.
today, I walk away.

today, I made myself some goddamn tea
and lit a goddamn candle,
because, somehow that's suppose to help
I have no fucking clue what.

and now I'm writing word, after word, after Mother-Fucking Word,
that mean absolutely nothing, it's just my
word vomit on a page,
I'll write till I can't anymore, then
I'm going to draw some really ugly lines,
some terrible pictures,
and doodles, that I will hate, and I'll crumple them all up,
and throw them at the wall

and I wonder
why it is I haven't cried yet (except for that one time).
shouldn't I be crying?
shouldn't I be on the floor sobbing?
I mean really, this is really awful stuff, the stuff of every parent's nightmares
and all I can manage is tired
and occasionally snippy?
what the fuck wrong with me?

I'm just so damn tired,
my stomach feels like cold black stone, and
a boot is stomping down, Hard, on my chest, and I can't breath
but no tears, no time for tears.

maybe I'm tired enough to finally see,
really see
who the love comes from,
who is my tribe, who will hold us, and sustain us.

the rest are dross.


"What thou lovest well remains, the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage...."
from Ezra Pound's 'Canto LXXXI'

buy your own flowers

and when you think things won’t get  worse,
that things have turned a corner,
and while it’s not rosy,
at least it’s not hell anymore,
and you dare to hope that there could be a future.

that night when you’d expect to be in bed
you are driving quickly to emergency
you are driving your child
your child with the belly full of pills
and you’re hoping you get there before
it kills his liver, before
it kills him
and in your pajama bottoms you walk determinedly past people
and go to the head of the line
(how very un-Canadian of you)
and you say in a loud clear voice your son has overdosed
and you hand them the bottle
then it’s all motion, and follow me
and take off your clothes and pee in this cup
needles for blood, needles for IVs, stickers for electrodes
monitors and carts with medications
speedy doctors and nurses all talking at once
and you sit, in your pajama pants, and text his father, because
his father who was too fucking upset to do anything useful, because
his father couldn’t even manage to put on his own damn shoes
so, you’re in charge, again
you’re the one who copes, again
the one who holds the family together, again
it’s not that you mind, but
wait, you do mind, you mind a lot
you’re tired, and you’re alone and watching the speedy medical staff
and you have to answer his irritating questions with text messages

later, when it seems your son won’t die tonight,
you go home and talk down his father who is ‘very upset’
and ‘needs to vent’ and likes to
‘process his frustrations out loud’, to you, because he can’t talk to anyone else
and what the hell is he going to tell his family
(don’t answer that)

and when you finally say fuck it and go to bed
3 hours before you get up for work, and
you lay your clothes out on the floor, just in case,
just, in case the hospital calls and you have to rush back
because actually he is going to die tonight
but he doesn’t
so you go to work the next day and do the only thing you can think to do
is write a fucking poem
because that fixes everything
because you sure can’t talk to people about the latest and greatest Swirling Shit Storm
your family is going through

Here are the Swirling Shit Storm Rules:

your son goes to rehab,
no one notices
you drive 700miles a week,
you leave your daughters to fend for themselves
no one notices

your son overdoses,
no one wants to talk to you
your daughters are so tired they don’t want to talk to you
you buy your daughters ice cream and teddy bears and chocolate
but that fixes nothing
their brother is still in the hospital
and they can’t talk about it
they don’t want to talk anymore about it

your son actually dies,
well then, everyone wants to talk
people send you flowers
and bring food
and love, and there is a big get together
and everyone says nice things about your son,
about you, and they actually
talk to you and your daughters
and his father can vent to someone other than you

and there’s the rub,
until your son actually dies,
there’s no one to talk to
you’re buying the fucking flowers for yourself
and the fucking comfort food for your daughters
and talking his father, the fuck down, again,
and again
and again
because you're in this on your own
and you best just get used to it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

where's a musician when you need one

I think it's worse when they are kind, when they are friendly, when they "let you down easy". When they offer a real promise of friendship.

Or worse yet, when friendship was all they ever wanted. 
Sometimes a handshake is just a handshake.

I think that is why I always dated jerks, 
jerk musicians, 
jerk writers, 
jerk artists; 
with a jerk you knew what to expect. 
A jerk would treat you badly, and you would love them more for it. 
A jerk would offer tiny scrap of affection, just when you were about to walk, 
and you would fall for it, again 
and again. 
And eventually they don't even bother to dump you, they just fade away. 
With a jerk you could be justifiably angry, 
you could have a proper snit. 
You could be injured, and cry about it to your girlfriends over bottles of cheap white wine and jars of chocolate icing that you ate with a spoon.

Decent men are dangerous. Decent men, they don't give you that option. When a decent man doesn't want you, you smile, chew on your cheek to keep from crying right away, and pretend your arse off that you are "Just Fine" with this. 

Later, you see yourself differently, and
then head straight back to the nearest motorcycling riding guitar player with a ponytail.