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April 20, 2014

#1606 the eldest

slender and classy, divine
confident and vulnerable, alone
a leader, a daughter, a wife
protecting a time that is disappearing
like water through fingers
she clasps the half-handful
afraid of all it represents
she is forced to ignore reality

April 17, 2014

#1605 resale

the floors are clean
the tables and counters tidy
we walk around inside the box that is someone else's life
critiquing
and being reminded to find the positive
noting storage space, yard size, parking
and
resale

April 16, 2014

#1604 dented mailbox surrounded by shards of class

throwing bottles and tantrums
spray-painting overpasses and school walls
punching windows and kicking cans

telling off parents and turning up music
failing exams and potential
yelling obscenities and whispering prayers

this is where and why poetry lives

April 7, 2014

#1603 the current

my little boy, has a little toy
takes hear takes it there, takes it everywhere
one fine day he took it to the riverside, but the toy fell in the water wide
my little boy he walked home sad as could be, and happy for the memory
sad as could be, and happy for the memory

my little boy, he knows that toys don't flow upstream
the river takes what she takes, and brings what she brings
so that night he hoped that his toy, would find some other little boy
and my little boy fell asleep sad as could be, and happy for the memory
sad as could be, and happy for the memory

#1602 PITA

she frustrated me
pissed me off
made me lose my cool
did the exact opposite of what I wanted
ignored my attempts to help...
all without breaking a single rule
did I mention she impressed me

April 4, 2014

#1601 lame

it's showtime but I got nothing to show
the stands are full and my list is empty
they came to see me
they won't believe me
I got nothing to show
empty

April 3, 2014

#1600 aha

it's just one light
across the street, out my front window,it
flick-flick-flickers
flick-flick-flickers
flick-flick...
AHHHH!
it's been months
they're closed at night
and I never think of it in the day
because it's off
I'm not suggesting that I've ever imagined walking across the street and smashing the hell out of it with a hammer, Smash, Smash, Smash...
no. I'm just suggesting that I would not be disappointed if it got fixed or it burnt out

April 1, 2014

#1599 roots

I was made fun of for being something I didn't know I was
laughed at and kicked
though those bruises healed years ago, they still hurt
if pride and guilt had an incestual offspring
that is the emotion I feel most
self-hatred makes me do things to others
things I will never forgive
even if I learn to love me
who I am
I am at the carnival
alone
riding the scariest ride
but it malfunctioned, fell off it's axis
I'm flying
afraid of the fall

March 31, 2014

#1598 bedtime

happiness and tiredness go together
the pillow puts my head to sleep in minutes
i am spent, happy
these are the days i wish away
and the days i will wish back one day

March 30, 2014

#1597 the journal

my journal is a breeding ground for ideas to change the world
poems and projects and proposals for a better world
but now my ink runs dry
not the ink in my pen, but the ink in my head
some young creative part of me is newly dead

yet the starters are everywhere
in my fingernails
in a dusty lamp
in a slow-falling rain

time to don the poets' goggles
and start seeing again

March 28, 2014

#1596 white noise in politics

if there is enough noise
and it is meaningless enough
loud enough
the noise puts us too sleep
the noise can be bad or lame
as long as it is consistent

March 26, 2014

#1595 thumbing

he raced like the needle wanted to escape the restrictions of the speedometer
stopped twice in our thirteen hours together
once for fuel
once to piss on his front tire
didn't say a word
I hope he sleeps
or outdrives whatever demons are following him at 140 clicks

March 25, 2014

#1594 it must be quite a rush


It must be quite a rush

From monkey-bar playgrounds to pub and bar parking lots

They stand tall and lead with their chests

Hoping for someone to look at them wrong

Then hands turn to fists

The same hands that once so tiny, through reflex

Curled around their mothers’ fingers

These hands swing on the ends of arms like speeding wrecking balls

Aiming for human faces

Aiming for blood and bone and flesh

Are these people evil

These same boys and men go home and do kind things

Do errands for their mothers, kiss grandmothers goodbye

They help others, hold others, love others

Still they hunt, at 3pm then at 3 am

It  must be quite a rush

#1593 of the big blades and the bad boys

so you think you can fix him
think you can find the mysterious potential
hiding beneath the dark cloud
think you can do what the others have failed to do?

my mother told me once
better to let the falling knife hit the floor first
that at best, even if you catch, all you have is a knife
at worst, pain and regret

let him fall


March 23, 2014

#1592 six feet

all I see when I look up from the pedals and the steering wheel
is the hood ornament
a time will sneak up on me
when I see pedestrians and traffic and road signs
hear the radio and passengers and car noise
but today that time is an impossibility
science fiction
the hood ornament moves with me
pulling my eyes toward it

March 20, 2014

#1591 March surprise

spring arrived weeks ago
but last night, after she went to bed
someone laid a blanket on her
a jumbo white duvet
and despite the plows-
grinding forward or beeping reverse
no one can wake her this morning

March 19, 2014

#1590 last name

I am a tumbleweed bouncing through the junglescape
alone, out of place, without roots
I am a branch grafted onto someone else's family tree
I am the lone item in a large lost&found bin

My life is a search for Me
a stream of questions without answers
an echo in an empty canyon
I search for the meaning in me, and the Me in meaning

I am closest to home when I am alone
aloneness decreases my loneliness
rids me of the juxtaposition of others' belongingness
makes me feel like a tumbleweed across a flat blowing prairie road

March 18, 2014

#1589 sunday run

my mind is on a long run down a narrow wooded trail
a carpet of pine needles absorbing its heels
a forest of no one absorbing the sound
how does the trail know where I need to go
my feet delivering mind

my mind is a long run down a narrow wooded trail
the ears hearing the feet, the feet hearing the ears
blood pushing against unseen walls
how often do we hear the workings of our own bodies
the blood delivering the oxygen

my mind is a long run down a narrow wooded trail
the body feeding the soul, the soul appreciating the body
the two sharing a conversation of silence
is this the sunday of my middle life
my mind running down this narrow wooded trail


March 16, 2014

#1588 all in a name

if your name is Mordechai
you better be wise

if your name is Haroldi Angus Groznak
don't try to be too cool

if your name is Caroline
then you better be kind and true

but my name is Adam
and being her first man is what I will do

if your name is Jack
make sure people in the airport say Hello

if your name is Mark
the kids will giggle when the teacher says Answer the question Mark

if your name is Mark
beware at the archery range, ready to run as fast as you can

but my name is Adam
and I will be her first man

if your name is Carmen
someone will ask if you're a mechanic

if it is Bill
that ask you when you're due

and if your name is Jay
expect a comment if you dress all in blue

but my name is Adam
and I know what I'm meant to do

March 15, 2014

#1587 a tangent

i know a mathematics prof
paying alimony and living in a plain apartment
he tried to make his life add up to something
the sum of which was nothing

i know a English teacher
who reads into everything by day
and reads her life away at night
no one to remind her to turn out the light

i know a student of the history
wants to re-right it
doesn't want to let it be
but history repeats, only the story grows

i know a man teaches hat wearing kids in a shop
thinks that all problems can be fixed with the right tool
but the loud tools he uses are just to drone out the one problem in his head
he don't believe in your splinters, thinks they're just inside your head

then there's the principals
pals to the end
trying to force their principles
on their little friends

like the math prof hunting for the square root of the problem
we're all trying to add up to something good
something that can't be divided
something that can be multiplied by hope
isolate the unknown
solve for x

#1586 happy thoughts

whoever said the means are worth the end-
must have been a child who didn't know how means these ends would be
we pay people to build us bigger homes
to fit all our plastic electronic belongings

the five digits on our hand grow soft and pretty
as our income passes five digits on line 150
something's incoming alright
something's incoming

we watch the news to feel good about our own pathetic plight
before we turn out our brain along with the light
the news is old, the old is new
listen to my thoughts talking to you

we recycle everyday
cycling yesterday through to today
looking for reasons to forget
and reasons to pray






#1585 traffic

your green ran out
all your caution got throwed to the wind
all the traffic lights are screamin' red
and you're goin'
you're goin'
you're goin crazy

left turn only flashin 'bove your head
even the traffic light know you can't turn right
you outta you right of mind
and you're goin'
you're goin'
you're goin crazy

you buryin' the needle
go so fast that the world slows to crawl
just so as you can watch them all
and you're goin'
you're goin'
you're goin crazy

February 17, 2014

#1584 leaning west

I thought I woke up before the whole town this morning
but one man must've beaten me to it
between me and the black sky
I could see the mischievous little bugger
had tipped all the chimneys' smoke columns to the west
just enough to notice
as I admire his handiwork
I hear the fresh snow stealing my boots' squeaks
holding onto the squeaks
not wanting to share with the world
an excellent morning for thinking and looking inside oneself
but my conscience was still at home under the covers
so I was content to wander and to wonder
to notice trivial sights and to think matching thoughts

February 13, 2014

#1583 APA Style

if I could put that much gravel and blood, that much Sinatra meets Eminem, that much saliva and tulip into three minutes of words- the world would be lucky. my soul digs in an empty hole, seeking the message I owe the world. but all it hits is pretty rock. give me a sledgehammer and a magnifying glass and i'll destuct a miracle. headaches and tv and facebook fuck human potential, a long comfortable screw. and that is all we are and all we do, all we say and all we aschew. bury me with an American flag, and bury our American dream which has become a nightmare from which we never wake. we sleep through this world like a slow ride down a country road, content not to wake until our destination. but our destiny and our nation are heading, one east and one west, to opposite final stations.

January 31, 2014

#1582 rant

we don't need one more policy policing and polluting our little souls
we don't need to fill this rectangle building with regulations and rules
we need to fill it with love and kindness
with humanity and connection
with friendships and smiling memories
everything we need to make the world a better place can be learned at recess
I love technology and the miracles it can help us achieve
but miracles require hard work
perspiration and late nights
and great seating plans
so don't get me wrong when I say we need less screen time
and that we should be screening our time for that which is important
I love facebook
but not when it replaces books and faces
for the only difference between a future leader and a future dealer
is someone taking the time to make sure the details are taken care of
and the little things are in the right places
c'mon with me people what is a revolution but a circle
so let's take this rectangle full of rectangles
round out the corners and make the rectangle a round circle
a circle of in which learning the right things trumps learning the things right
a place where everyday without a test is a test in how we're doing
we're all in this together
these ain't my children or your children or their children
no, even if you're the end of your bloodline these are our offspring
so let's spring them off into the future
with scraped knees under many, many kisses

some day we will need to turn in our keys to this great globe
and the boss at the time will hand them on to today's children and tomorrow's men and women
so together let's make sure they're ready to outdue their predecessors

January 27, 2014

#1581 stay out of injustice

commit in justice
do not commit injustice
be kind to all kinds
commit in justice
leave injustice to others

January 26, 2014

#1580 42K

she is to late to break the ribbon
too late even to hear the crowd's applause
there is no one
almost no one, just her
mangled toenails and bloody nipples
she put one foot in front of the other
and now she is here
her feet forget how to stop running and she almost falls down after the finish line
there is nothing to do now but walk home
a new person
for people are their own limits
and she just grew new ones

January 25, 2014

#1579 for whom the bell does not

there are crosses outside of the fence
excluded even in death
for failing to fit our boxes
and it happens today
in different ways
falling out of our grad lists
for failing to follow our bells

January 24, 2014

#1578 desks and daydreams

somewhere, in a town that still has the same name, but has changed itself almost beyond recognition
is a large building, an elementary school, that has been knocked down long enough that trees grow there
and in that building that once was is a classroom that saw many students, especially eight-year olds
and in that classroom is a wooden desk that lets you smell its varathane, let's you see its scratches and nicks
and in that desk is a boy who daydreams about what he would say to the world if they would only listen
a message about kindness and hugs and mosquitos
he dreams about the grade 5 boys down the hall, noticing him, letting him join their schoolyard soccer
he dreams about staying in this place where everyone leaves this town as soon as they leave a stage in a funny hat, making the town a place where people come, not leave
he does well on his Friday spelling tests
okay on his math sheets
he loves recess
he doesn't have any close friends, or any distant enemies
he likes the monkey bars and the erect half-buried tires
he likes arriving in the morning, and leaving as the long hand leaves the 3
he doesn't like the hallway crowds, or the occasional boys fighting
he doesn't like when the teacher gets mad at anyone
he likes standing at the teacher's desk
the way four years ago he liked seeing the top of his parents' fridge

January 19, 2014

#1577 best selling book

I was reading your readings
and they left their Mark on me
but I choose to write my own gospel

I bought your bible
but I didn't but the bull
I'm writng my own gospel

I was no closer to god than the man who carries the quran
or the woman who gets the gita
so I'm writing my own gospel

I'm scrapping your scripture
singing some psalms of my own
writing my own gospel

after reading your readings
I want to leave my own mark
godspeed
I'm writing my own gospel

January 14, 2014

#1576 first

find your divinity
prove your providence
make your miracle
move your mountain

but first,
get out of bed

January 10, 2014

#1575 field of vision

my perspective in life
is like my windshield in the car
I have stopped seeing both
I take both for granted
yet they are how I see the world while living, while driving
I don't see the bug stains, the webbed cracks
perhaps I need to leave it at the shop for the weekend
perhaps it's time for a replacement

January 9, 2014

#1574 a toast

may you bite off more than you can swallow
may you have your heart broken
may you face challenges
may you skin your knees
may you fail
may you fall

may you learn to ask for help
may you put it back together
may you overcome them
may you heal
may you learn
may you rise

January 8, 2014

#1573 early high school

a girlfriend would fix everything
someone to hang out with
things to do
i'd be cool
no one would bug me
wouldn't need to be the hottest girl in school
just a good girlfriend
that would fix everything

January 7, 2014

#1572 orange octopuses and purple porpoises

my bathtub has more colour
since he entered my life
bright blues and reds and greens and more

my life has more colour
since he entered my bathtub
bright hues and shades and tones and more

January 6, 2014

#1571 why my tongue bleeds

i am bursting with advice that i cannot give
or if i do, it will not be heard
from, don't let little things get to you
to, use half a potato to remove a broken bulb
but the more i say, the less is heard

January 5, 2014

#1570 bad ass

in the quiet of -20C winter, I run
my sneakers and their spikes yell, SQUEAK
the snow steals the sound
refusing to give it back
echo is a foreign word
the snow makes the sky bluer than summer ever can

January 4, 2014

#1569 a bad day

breathing's not making it past the back of my throat
heart beating faster than it should
muscles tight
negative glasses on

January 3, 2014

#1568

dear santa

i hope you and the elves had a good year in the north pole this year i want to be a better person i want to be kind and motivated i want to spend the next 365 days the best ways possible i want to spend time with the people i love the most i want to let go of old gripes i want to meet new people i want
thank you santa

love,
me

ps also, can i have Lego Minecraft?

January 2, 2014

#1567 field of vision

started as a dot, caused by a pebble
a pebble
i ignored it
easy enough, out of my field of vision
but now repair is not an option
resign myself or replace it

December 30, 2013

#1566 together

bedtime dog walks on cold, wet nights
doing the dishes
cooking
cleaning
the things we dread
are the things we would miss the most

December 29, 2013

#1565 shuffle and mix

shuffle and mix
leave and return
shuffle and mix again
until you love, until you hate
until you start turning the's back to a's again
then release it and ignore it

December 28, 2013

#1564 ixnay

i tried a happy poem
about love and flowers and home
then i deleted the silliness
and wished I was poet who could write happy poems

December 27, 2013

#1563 early spring

the sky matches the snow on the ground
a worn white
we wait, for summer or for new snow
a good day to view through a window
soup on the front burner

December 23, 2013

#1562 Eddie ate dynamite, good bye eddie

just six strings shaking
lean long lines of metal vibrating
speaking to the air that speaks to more air that speaks to more air
finally whispering in your ear
somehow, between ear and brain
those metal strings' trembles
find meaning, emotion
without word
don't tell me there's no such thing as magic

#1561 a special person

Jack doesn't know what day it is
can't even recite the days of the week
Jack doesn't talk and he sure does drool a lot
but he's got it all figured out
smiles with loved ones is what life is all about
good meals and uninhibited happy squeals

Jack doesn't know what day it is
can't even tell you what year it is
Jack can't walk and he sure does poo a lot
but he knows the secret to this life
fight the nap and find the light
where there is noise there is fun
and he's not even one

December 22, 2013

#1560 trader

traded in my father's calloused work ethic
for a soft-handed degree
find myself sitting on a couch staring at an oversize tv
swapped my mother's appreciation of the simple
for a house full of stuff
where we never have enough
traded the best of what they gave me
for soft hands and gluttony

December 20, 2013

#1559 lucky lucky

I can't keep up
the tempo
the pace
too much
I choke
like a 1-year old with a chicken bone
such is life

December 18, 2013

#1558 marx and marks

thoughts
creative and critical
curious
mastery
a lofty goal

the result
empty the mind
quiet
mastery
a lofty goal

December 17, 2013

#1557 early december

outdoors is the day-after ice-cream cake
browns and tainted whites
what was beautiful yesterday
id repulsive today
the ground is exposed
the snow is used and frozen-trampled
we wait
for fresh snow
to hide our ugly present

December 16, 2013

#1556

you cannot change the wave
but only make the most of it
it is not there for you
but you need to be there
be there
water was here before your earliest ancestor
enjoy

December 15, 2013

#1555 adults sometimes

sometimes
adults need to grow up
sometimes
adults need to remember their childhood
sometimes
adults need to ask for help
sometimes
adults need to learn to do things for themselves
sometimes
adults should do more for others
sometimes
sometimes
sometimes adults need to stop giving all their advice to kids
and start following it

December 14, 2013

#1554 world wide ebb

there is a line
left by the receding wave on the shoreline
like someone sewed a crooked line beneath the sand
positive space
delineating the line between beach and ocean
until a bigger wave washes it away
the poet's job is to notice that line
to see a piece of the self in that line
to reflect a piece of the world in lines of the poet's own
and I'm not there
but I did notice the line

December 13, 2013

#1553 feast of kings

he is all set
milk
and some favourite fruit and vegetables
a feast of kings

comingling in one brown puddle of mush
flying one Wright Brothers spoonful at a time
toward his face
which wears more than its share

December 12, 2013

#1552 shared bruises healing

once we were travelling the world together on one unicycle
now we are neighbours in the suburbs
chatting on the occasions when our feet meet somewhere between the bottoms of both our driveways
I chat politely, remembering the day we said we'd never grow apart
we tandemed a unicycle for chrissake
now we talk about weather and make lame excuses to end our lamer conversations
how did this happen

December 11, 2013

#1551 on pizza and the writing process

I began with ingredients that already existed
and a minor twist on an old idea
I mixed the ingredients in a glass bowl until they formed a ball of dough
I pressed the ball down with my palms
floured my rolling pin
and went to work
rolling out the dough
kneading and pressing and stretching
concentrating on working from the middle out
until I had a raw crust
I spread sauce and I sprinkled selected toppings
avoiding over-relying on cheese
slid the product in the oven and moved onto another task
hiding from the torture of watching and waiting

December 10, 2013

#1550 cold ash

the forest is gone
not one full tree left
hope died with the last leaf
that which i most believed
is ash
cold ash
now i busy myself with trifles
blocking reality as well as i can
but the forest is gone
the forest is gone

December 9, 2013

#1549 watching land and water meet

i have not read words yet
half so perfect as a steady surf
once
twice
forever
washing over thoughts
retreating to the sea
yet we still try to write them
like the surfer searches their perfect wave

December 8, 2013

#1548 toothless

and when his smile consumes his whole mouth
and the soother falls
when the smile grows to cover his whole face
still the smile grows
spreads until his body (overcome with the smile)
simultaneously swims and flies
on the spot
noises escpae from his soul through his mouth
giddy cooing
learning to let the joy out
through laughter
that's when the world promises to me that it will try to be a good place

December 7, 2013

#1547 that's her

she stands 60 inches tall
and thinks she stands 60 feet
like an egg shell,
she can handle enormous pressure and forces
but if you know where to apply direct force
she turns into a runnt mess
if she's not boss of the room she's now in
she's making plans to be
she's the most memorable one-of-a-kind you'll ever find
at a party of one-of-a-kinds
she's the one everyone wants to be like

December 6, 2013

#1546 negative feelings

in my town
the thermometer reads -24 C
it's windy
the kind of cold where you don't stop to say Hi
to your best friend
whom you haven't seen in a month
half the town has a sore back
from tensing it to brave the cold
local news announcers warn, Keep your pets indoors
and I am on a beachside vacation

December 5, 2013

#1545 a discarded leaf blown by the wind

he's scrawny
looks like he needs a good feed
and polite and quiet
and troubled
him and trouble have ways of finding one another
he always looks like he missed his last hair cut appointment
and like today is laundry day- and grocery day
but he's here
he's been here all week
second row from the front on the left side of my classroom

#1544 tiaras for sale


She is a queen wearing nothing but a dollar store tiara and a hope for a nation

She daydreams of policies found on kinder garden walls: Be Nice, Respect Others, Have Fun

She knows every character in her head by name

Why she swallowed the pills we can always ask but she can never answer

Did she demystify her own fairy tale into what it was

Did her soul swallow them, tired of being disappointed with the human gap between potential and reality, and take her body with it

Did she tire of finding no one else willing to dance to the tune of their own kazoo
Now she is in a kinder garden
Of smooth stone and small letter t’s and flowers
And well-trimmed grass
A garden of equidistant  members
Standing
Waiting
For an end that’s already come

December 3, 2013

#1543 can you sign this card for the big guy?

God's quitting
he just put in his 2 weeks' notice
he was tired of the politics
tired of not being appreciated
tired of the lack of support
they're looking fora replacement,
but who'd want that job
he was doing the work of twenty

for retirement he's moving to a shack in the woods
off grid
says he's sick of people

December 2, 2013

#1542 the real poets

how do they do
the rhythm, the beat
the syllables, the feet
that's not for me
i say, ignoring defeat

December 1, 2013

#1541 essayez encore

each day is a coffee cup liner
you roll up the rim
and we should be excited each day we get the opportubtiy ti essayez encore/play again
donuts and new vehicles
are shit prizes compared to another day of teeth-brushing and friend-chatting, and stranger-meeting
so roll up your rim
and live life like you might not get the chance to essayez encone/play again

October 14, 2013

#1540 carpenters

we pay carpenters to build these walls to hold our junk
stuff attached to cords that fits in the walls we bought
memories we change by trying to contain
in an 8 by 10 glass and cardboard box we hang on the walls we bought
seats and chairs we think we earned
security is not a word spoken or known by the lion or the rabbit
we push the furnitures so their backs are up against the walls
looking out, not unlike the bear's cave
public spaces are just inside the door we open to strangers
the private we hide at the back
bedrooms and ugly bathrooms

the guns in these vains are discharging
no one hears them but the ears in my aorta
i'm alone in this world of loners
a stone in this field of stoners
the lost and found bucket is full of forgotten possessions
where can i find my passions and obsessions
i speed to speed and work to work
we need a wrecking ball to crush these walls into beautiful rubble
memories of our imaginary secure bubble

joseph was a carpenter
built things from trees with his two hands
with callouses for a source of power

when we fill our walls with stuff made in foreign countries
we move into bigger walls
i say burn the moving boxes filled with toxic
stop
listen to our hearts speak truth at 58 beats a minute
57
56
55
hug a sinner and high five a saint
home is the volume knob turned low enough to listen to our hearts beat
all the human hearts on this here Earth beat-beating all at once
a roar louder than the gunfire in some country we can't spell

#1539 hard truths and soft hearts

you be you and i'll be me me
then our truth shall set us free

you be you you and then we'll see
if we can swallow that bumblebee

you be you, i'll be me
that same day we'll be we

we'll be we and the world will see
our truth will set us free

these shackles are but a dream
know matter how cold and heavy they seem

blink your eyes and throw them away
collect the bill Truth will pay

you be you and i'll be me
collect the bill Truth will pay

#1538 love along the river

i been in love half a dozen times before
but it turned to re-runs and it turned to war
i don't talk to them no more
i bought this here ring for that there finger
promising that our love will always more than linger

when i met you you had edge
dancing blidfolded on some planet's edge
but like a river stone
over time the sharp spots wore down smooth
now i can hold you to my chest

#1537 Christ


And jesus you helped me through my childhood, you and Mother Mary

Like the tooth fairy, You were there when I got my teeth knocked out

You were both lies

That I thought about with my mind on my pre-adolescent pillow

Just some 2000+ year old memory of a man a bit unhinged

A loser with a strange idea

A kid with a strange ideas about men helping men

A kid with a dad with a violent past

I could get some followers if I could use daddy’s magic to walk on water

Then turn the water to whine

Just a flip-flop wearing beard come from a Momma

With the world’s most famous lie

(Joseph got some somewhere)

The tooth fairy give me loose change

Jesus

You left me doubtin my heros and all the saviours

Left me wonderin if teachers and parents weren’t another lie

Like some giant bunny

Or some overweight man who lives north and visits the world once a year, squeezing through chimneys and fireplaces

Jesus you left me with a little voice in head, come from under my pillow

A voice that keeps tellin me how I ain’t worthy and that I’ll never be anything but dirty

Your momma might be the most famous lie, but you are the most powerful

2000years and still I’m trying to please ya despite the fact that I don’t believe in ya

you gave me satan and the lord’s prayer

the words of both, stuck in my head forever

wash my sins away with your wizardry and holy water

Jesus and the tooth fairy, where are you now

I’m laying in a back alley looking at my teeth in front of me on the asphlt broken through by a weed no one notices

And I sure would love to hear a father’s voice telling me I’m worthy


And I sure could use some change, in my life and under my pillow

October 7, 2013

#1536 prooofreader

how was i to know!
how? was i? to know?

in grade school we traded green grapes for storebought cookies
in junior high we started swapping strengths and weaknesses     
i the writer, you the mathematician
words my life, numbers your domain
we were there for each other's losses, keeping one another sane

how was i to know
that your heart was bleedin, not believin
that your thinker was thinkin in ink and
that your veins was rainin pains
how was i to know

how was i to know
that you forgot to indent your three paragraphs
that you split two infinitives
that you mismatched one subject-verb agreement
but more important you broke our agreement

you help me through math
i help you through proofreading
division for revision, revision for division
you broke our agreement
you split me infinitely
put a dent in my forever
how was i to know

your number was not up
nothing adds up like why did you do the take-away and remove yourself from this equation
you knew. you knew that what you did to the left side you had to do to the writer

you showed me a thousand proofs
well here's a proof for you
i'm still here
i'm still here
and...
you're not

we share a past, your life was a present, but my future is a lost tense
the subject verbed the object, you pushed the blade.
left me here alone
sentenced me to a fragment of what i was
depression and suicide are not grammar or math
these two negatives do not make no positive
today we are a vague pronoun reference
lost
i here and you there
and i hear you everywhere

i'd give my life to math to get your life back
if you'd have just given me the fucking letter
i could have fixed your feelings
edited your perspective
instead i'm left solving for X
where X is the unknown like
what was in your heart as you dotted your last period
did you proofread the page yourself
speak the words out loud
how was i to know

the lower case letter in the proper noun, the ir- in irregardless, the letter "a" in the word definately
worthless
worth less than the graphite your pencil sacrificed for your letter
worth less than any one of the tears my eyes cried for the memory of you
grammar and spelling are worth shit. the shit stain inside the toilet bowl that i threw up in after i got the phone call from the school counsellor
why was she calling me

how was i to know
how was i to know

September 15, 2013

#1535 worthwhile

there is a feeling
   hidden in the chords
a truth
   buried in the lyrics
a miracle
   in the pauses

a mix that makes you want to hit repeat
to re-experience the same thing again
in a new way

September 3, 2013

#1534 september

used to be he smiled as he headed down the drive for his first day
now, gone is the excitement, replaced with dread
how do we get the smile back?
how do we pull him in?
how do we send him home telling excited stories?
the job is ours

September 2, 2013

#1533 frock ponds and padded lillies

jump murderer, fly sheriff
master the cards
fabricate heaven

angels melt and snowmen dance
october skies
april puddles

rocking horses meet shotgun blasts
daytime dreams
beat nightime reverie

over an ocean
on the count of three
pulled by older arms
flying

#1532 jowls

behind the cheeks is potential
though one must search deep
behind the cheeks is promise and hope
buried deep
behind the squishy pinchable jowls
is my little man
studying you and everything else in his new world

#1531 spirit bear

in another time, she was a spiritual miracle
now she dumpster dives for Happy Meals
once the thing of prayers
now we've led her to hell
she is the white of purity
covered in compost scraps
and disposable diapers

#1530 all the best

perhaps you should go into carpentry
yes, a carpenter
you are creative and you like to work with your hands
you are a stickler for detail

perhaps you should go into carpentry
yes, a carpenter
you are particular and you enjoy the process
you love being outdoors

yes, a carpenter
but my wife no more
good carpentry is about hiding things
good companionship is not

August 30, 2013

#1529 fall

the sun is growing tired
her days are shrinking shorter
she sleeps in, then retires early
the leaves are stealing colour from her bedtimes

september is a bookend in the middle of a shelf
september is when we start hugging ourselves
no longer summer
winter not in sight

August 28, 2013

#1528 sticking together

God was throwing hockey sticks one day
one left, one right
one south, one north
when by divine coincidence
we ended up on this team of two
an unlikely combination that makes a an all-star team
i would not have chosen you, you would not have chosen me
but now, would i choose you/
i sher wood

August 27, 2013

#1527 thumbing

according to my phone, i've been standing at the end of this on-ramp for two hours
five cars have gone by
one waved
one stared
three avoided meeting my gaze
my mind is running out of distractions
listing the colours of the cars
singing forgotten jingles in my head
counting the change in my pocket
if i don't land a ride soon
the worries i left behind might catch up with me on this highway
maybe i'll walk
try to find an underpass

August 26, 2013

#1526 the one left standing


It must be quite a rush

From monkey-bar playgrounds to pub and bar parking lots

They stand tall and lead with their chests

Hoping for someone to look at them wrong

Then hands turn to fists

The same hands that once so tiny

Curled around their mothers’ fingers through reflex

These hands swing on the ends of arms like speeding wrecking balls

Aiming for human faces

Aiming for blood and bone and flesh

Are these people evil

These same boys and men go home and do kind things

Do errands for their mothers, kiss grandmothers goodbye

They help others, hold others, love others

Still they hunt, at 3pm then at 3 am

It  must be quite a rush

August 25, 2013

#1525 "the system is broken"

outdated and unwilling to change
people and politics and policies
barricading success

the occassional one achieves success
mistaking these barricades for hurdles

#1524 what can wait

the lawn the dishes the bathroom
the dishes the bathroom the car
the bathroom the car the bills

playing catch
writing a note
phoning a friend

#1523 a happy tragedy

music without words
can speak to parts language cannot
a different journey for each set of ears, each soul
music can grab us by the shirt at the sternum and throw us against the locker
of our least favourite year of school
music can hold us in its palm and raise us up above mountains and clouds
a world without music could be a happy world
but a tragedy

#1522 dessert

write on walls
break one beer bottle
when we say be careful, take risks
ask questions
take shit apart before you're sure of how to put it back together
run barefoot
eat dessert first
surround yourself with good people
help people in need
know that refusing to help is sometimes the best way to help
love who you see in the mirror
find and copy heros
find and be yourself
throw rocks in lakes
eat well
enjoy junk food
see the inside of the principal's office once

#1521 buzzer beaters

the senior boys jogged to the end line
ready to run lines
thinking the coach was upset because the coach said
put all the basketballs away
but as they lined up he said
no, play a game of 5-on-5, without a ball
awkward silence
until jerry (the team clown) dribbled an imaginary ball to centre
where he prepared to throw up a jump-ball
the other boys fell in with smiles
three-pointers were hit and missed
fouls were called and accused
benchwarmers deked starters
with ten minutes left, Coach shouts
now add a ball, but don't subtract any of the fun

#1520 hat's off

here's my hat, an old ball cap
i take it off to the young who worry about the world

youth who, spend more time in their head than in their body
to the young who count troubles at night instead of sheep
the mature young
who stress that the world is not the place it could be
who lose sleep to the day's injustices
to the young who feel too much
too much guilt
too much anxiety
too much responsibility
i was once you

(disclaimer: for those who don't want to hear advice
plug your ears and close your eyes)

i was once you, so i have some advice
the worst kind of advice
simple-sounding advice that i never followed

advice #1
go use your body
walk, run
carry, throw
build, haul
whatever
just bring yourself out of your head for a while
the brain is a miracle
so your body

advice #2
physically connect with others
hug all you can
you don't have to be good at it
at least high five
human interaction is amazing
enjoy it
skin-to-skin touch is as important to adults as to newborns

advice #3
smile
look up at the sky or the ceiling, and smile
fake it if you need to
remind yourself that body influences mind
that the brain is one part of the body

let me put my hat back where it belongs- on my head
i hope your body understands what my mouth has said

#1519 late august

the sunflowers reign high in the garden
the remaining peas a fading yellow
squeezing in another backyard fire
we huddle, hoodies donned
as the mountian tucks the sun in goodnight

August 14, 2013

#1518 heartwood

this empire is rotting
from the inside to the out
we grew too big too fast
just for the sake of growing

we are rotting
from our core to our skin
we buy and lie
selling ourselves out and lying to ourselves

the only way to heal?
start over
small, real

August 13, 2013

#1517 as the sun falls asleep behind the mountain

between the mountain's black and the sky's darkening grey
are two bands of more colour
bordering the mountin is a stripe of yellow, brilliant
and between it and the sky's grey, a light purple

no wait
the yellow changed to orange
and the purple grew deeper

#1516 schooling

it's saturday
he's 15, almost 17
cashes his part-time cheque
grossed out by the net difference between gross and net pay
goes to the store
buys the stuff that makes him cool
his spirit taxed by the difference between the price tag and the till
monday, he'll go to school
a place he thinks adults invented to torture him
unaware he is paying for it

August 11, 2013

#1515 balloons

canada day
birthdays
community days
we see the ballons float
up
up
drifting out of sight
i'm left wondering...
where do they all go
is there an enormous pile

August 9, 2013

#1514 fences

words are like barbed fences
keeping people in
keeping others out
marking boundaries
tearing flesh

August 8, 2013

#1513 if

we all do what we can
some days it's more, some days it's less
some days you're the baby, some days you're the man
we can't fix it all
can't always stop what's in motion
but we can nudge and shoulder
change the direction
if we do what we can

August 7, 2013

#1512 pre-adolesence

dilly-dallying along the lake
skipping stones and cutting the devil's throat
growing up along the way
watching ripples travel away from me
rings growing in succession
this world is great
that i were to visit again

August 6, 2013

#1511 life lesson from my dog in the park

i pause
her muscles are tensed
focused
ready
i throw the ball

as it sails
she runs so hard
that i feel the ground shake and hear it thump-thump-thump
a stampede of one
when she reaches the now bouncing ball
she tries to go from top speed
to zero
resulting in a tumble of dog and of dust
out of the dust
i see a high tail
the dust settles
revealing a proud smile

August 5, 2013

#1510 the game winner

i was in the seventh inning stretch of that stage of my life
pressure was building
having fouled off two fastballs
the count as 0 and 2
i dug in my front foot
tapped air twice with the bat
tugged the short bill of my helmet
stepped in with the rear foot
breath
ready

a pitch i wouldn't swing at if the count were revered
an unlikable pitch in the strike zone
i committed
a change-up
i reached out front
contact
that sweet sound
the ball shot up well over and past the heads of the infielders
then apexed
floating down
the leftfielder tracked it toward the track
watching, hoping
but the stitched ball landed on the other side of the fence
success

August 4, 2013

#1509 dollars and common sense

kids need less excess, more macklemore
stop being whore for
the media who putting there name in the mediocre
for to score
at the expense of us jokesters
what's the last thing you bought that you thought
would improve your life
mine was a camera for my wife
1500 i sqandered
now she takes pictures we save but never see
that camera make SLR short for slayer
slaying moments
posin chosen shots frozen
photo-shoppin
reality-choppin
i want
i want
i want
i want to be free of this stuff
we call it a nice little word: interest
what it means is we we payin banks to let us live beyond our means
we all wanna be free
free from stressin alone in the morning at three
mournin our freedom, freedom we never had
we all wanna be free
free of the feelin i get from wheelin and dealin with my plastic visa
does it please ya
my master-card is my master
american express expresses america's ten-lane freeway to disaster
and here in the north we ain't no better
the name of our dollar describes our collective insanity
our lack of humanity
spending our savings accounts
and like a addict i got get back to it
gotta find a bigger hit
we let debt stress us
lie by saying we gotta dess us
to destress we buy stuff
enough is enough
i want
i want
i want
i want to be free of this stuff
enough is enough
free me from the stuff
i want
i want
i wont

#1508 ribbon

the finish line is no great feat of the heart
the feet and the heart not quitting during those 33000 strides
and the many more training strides which happen before
those are the feats
the finish line is an ending
and like all endings
full of joy and loss