• A STRING OF SMALL PEARLS

    Group A Streptococcus
    We are in the throat now.
    Necks

    are the hardest animal
    parts to scale.

    We are in the throat,
    disingenuous

    with the night-time sleeping
    arrangements for ulcers.

    We are in the throat
    now as the caterpillar

    and butterfly parent
    completely partitioned worlds.

    We prick light
    on a throat

    culture
    of entitlement, remarkable

    for its moth-eaten,
    tonsillar birthright.

    Hospitals are being infected
    by their inhabitants'

    throats.
    We are in the throat

    trying
    to make a difference

    to our sporadic communities.
    Insurrection

    is metabolism practiced
    with spit.

    We are in the throat now
    sharing the same spoon.... more »

  • CALL TO ARMS

    The highway rollover wore him
    like a loose jacket, a wind-snapped flag,
    like a rodeo bull wears a cowboy,
    sanded him down until his arms
    were dusted off, re-written
    in fibreglass and hooked script.
    We were frightened by his make-believe hands,
    smooth upholstery knuckles, unflinching
    beach ball smell crossed
    with baked bicycle tires.
    We were frightened of the fishing trip
    and the lightning that welded
    him to the boat.
    We were frightened of those shoulders
    retrofitted into clothes hangers
    for broken handshakes and bear hugs,
    dialled phones and signatures
    packed away into boxes
    for accountants or the poor.
    We practiced our own substitutions,
    acting out ghost stories, declaring allegiance
    to phantom limbs
    while playing high-kick soccer,
    awarding exaggerated penalties
    for handballs,
    offenders chicken-winged
    and forced to pirate copies
    of hoof-and-mouth disease
    for overseas quarantined manicurists.
    We wore hand-me-down turtlenecks
    and packed scavenged finger-food
    for the sergeant-at-arms.
    In the sawtoothed canines,
    masticating above us in climax beech leaf canopies,
    we saw vestigial forests
    of terminal arm hair, small sod
    melanin huts, knob-and-kettle country
    in the vascular ridgelines.
    We took flu shots to change our appearance
    on the inside, planted memories
    of synthetic identities, dusted for fingerprints
    in unauthorized hands.
    Climbing through polite conversation,
    we wore nosebleeds to conceal our altitude,
    fake moustaches to hide harelips we'd affected
    for counterfeit phonemes, and slipped
    into pairs of scissors,
    hiding in roughhouses built by play-facing dogs
    and the first-draft carbon crystals
    of burnt-out engine blocks.
    We raised branches from sticks
    and trained them into tepees and log houses
    for bonfires,
    schooled them
    in the relative humilities for dry rot.
    We placed orange peels
    over our eyes and groped
    for light sockets,
    donned dandelion manes
    and crawled through switchblade grasses
    with sextants certifying the sky
    for seeds.
    Having had our wrists slapped,
    we grew polycarbonate cups
    out of sight in the carpal tunnels
    and drank under water tables
    at night, where we'd beat snowstorms
    to death with flashlights
    and proclaim republics
    on the accumulated evidence of road salt
    and body-counted shadow puppets.
    We wore intestinal flora
    as a countermeasure against
    the invisible hand of decompositional self-interest.
    We hung out with stray dogs
    who did all of our terrifying for us.
    The one with three legs limped along
    like a pitchfork, its tines tuned
    to the hiss of escaped air
    from pierced plastic balls.
    Back and forth its head swung,
    ripping apart a cloud
    or a man's shirt.... more »

  • CARL JUNG STEPS ONTO A PLANE

    Lunch boxes and lipstick
    are our mothers.
    We live in formative melodies
    composed by the organs
    it takes to be awakened
    to emollients and parabens.
    As great as the meaning of fertilizer
    to our victory over the animals,
    so great is also its meaning
    for a motif of flight risk.
    We watch the elevator
    fight the escalator
    as a rite of passage in the arbitrary
    arboretum of the shopping mall.
    Food courts organize appetites
    for deforestations weeping with shelf lives.
    The cost of building a bridge
    to the physical world
    is vinyl siding
    and butcher paper inclined to a life
    of unidentifiable juice.
    Archetypes fatten
    until the fleshy parts are autopilots
    reuniting red-eyes with runways
    and kept-up appearances.
    It'll always be easier to culture mediums
    than to think autonomous
    products of the unconscious.
    The wind informs the wing
    and the coffee mug the hand.
    Goodbye and thank you for having me.... more »

  • HAIL

    Hello from inside
    the albatross
    with a windproof lighter
    and Japanese police tape.
    Hello from staghorn
    coral beds
    waving at the beaked whale's
    mistake,
    all six square metres
    of fertilizer bags.
    Hello from can-opened
    delta gators,
    taxidermied
    with twenty-five grocery sacks
    and a Halloween Hulk mask.
    Hello from the zipped-up
    leatherback
    who shat bits of rope for a month.
    Hello from bacteria
    making their germinal way
    to the poles in the pockets
    of packing foam.
    Hello from low-density
    polyethylene dropstones
    glacially tilled
    by desiccated,
    bowel-obstructed camels.
    Hello from six-pack rings
    and chokeholds,
    from breast milk
    and cord blood,
    from microfibres
    rinsed through yoga pants
    and polyester fleece,
    biomagnifying predators
    strafing the treatment plants.
    Hello from acrylics
    in G.I. Joe.
    Hello from washed up
    fishnet thigh highs
    and frog suits
    and egg cups
    and sperm.
    Hello.... more »

  • HANG-UPS

    I hate my genitals.
    They remind me of communism.
    Who needs another vanguard party
    ascending the staircase
    à la mode?
    Fish hang in chlorinated biphenyls
    like unrequited high-fives.
    I feel fat
    just looking at their bleak schematics
    for common ownership
    and poor motility.
    It's hard not to dwell
    on equipment failures.
    Fur hats get stained
    with gravy trains and show trials
    in all the unlaundered cornfields.
    The problem
    is my Bolshevik asshole,
    my sick-building sensitivity
    to the indignity of not degrading
    in sunlight, or in soil,
    or at the unpollinated end
    of a spring break break-up.
    Allergies are such a squeamish response to sex
    and satellite states.
    There's no use complaining,
    the ombudspeople have already burst into leaf
    and all the lines are bread.... more »

  • HERESAY

    Rumour has it the out-of-towners drove straight up through the heart of Dixie, then north to the future, to the Grand Canyon in its natural state. The golden constitution claims to be the first to celebrate and discover sunshine. All of this makes a Pacific wonderland of aloha, peached to the famous potatoes in their amber waves of grain and big sky dairyland. Given the state of corn, the unbridled spirit is a sportsman's paradise of 10,000 lakes lost in flight over wheat, where iodine is the empire of native America. It's been said in the land of Lincoln that you've got a friend in beef. The flute player sounds good to me in vacationland while I drive carefully through Great Lakes splendour buoyed by hospitality that means show-me-the silver statutes already glistening in enchanted gardens of democratic keystones. The greatest snow on earth is a wild and wonderful lone star stating in full colour, before the ocean, the green mountains, and the evergreens, that the great face of the birthplace of aviation lives free or dies, while cars mate methodically in lots according to mudflapped theories illustrated with unrinsed plates.... more »

  • HORMONES

    None of the customs officers
    can read the receipts new chemists
    wave at the border.
    Passports gullwing on the counter
    as guards ringbill signatures
    in stiff-lip service to regs
    and rebar. Checkpoints
    are the flagships of chalk lines
    and compromised eggs.
    Nucleotides full of acid rain
    slick capital letters
    asleep in their holsters
    and mess up the paragraph
    as a small arms insurgent
    of epidermal composition.
    A complete sentence is capable
    of producing a range of plastic gloves
    based on repeated
    prepositions between
    foreign national, conspicuous consumption,
    and pre-emptive refugee.
    Cities built on shock
    waves of concentric booms
    have eastern blocks indistinguishable
    from each other,
    so that a man who has been drinking
    can make his way into any house
    and find his children
    reading hand sanitizers into the
    endocrine glands of dropped calls.
    Homonyms hunt in hand creams
    looking for out-of-season
    mammories in textiled memories
    that have driven paper-coated milk cartons
    from grocery store shelves.
    Unelected surgeries suspend silhouettes
    for target practice.
    It's pointless to protect
    yourself from ricochet.... more »

  • HYDROELECTRIC WAX MUSEUM

    The line-up is good
    for us.
    It privatizes patience,
    demarcates the vector
    of progress,
    organizes the rest into
    Canadians,
    a photographer will
    capture your place
    as you tributary
    gently downhill in a
    plastic blue rain
    slicker,
    understanding that
    appreciation requires
    a parade,
    that Niagara Falls is
    the molecular
    concourse
    of one lake changing
    into another,
    and one culture eating
    another's
    failed burlesque. It
    looks like
    your shirt has shifted
    and here
    is the line like this.... more »

  • OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE

    make a roof for the people, and the people walk
    down the street with resin for a roof, and the roof
    has magnesium in it, and sulphur, and the people
    walk down the street with resin in their hair, and
    resins are always falling from the sky to the ground,
    and the birds make a people in the sky, a people
    of the resin, and the resin is composed of sky, and
    it composes the sky, and the people walking down
    the street are the strings of resins, and covering
    their hair with their arms, with newspapers, with
    umbrellas, the people are the birds of resins throwing
    their landings in the air like people for whom landings
    are uncommon, like people committed to the ex-
    pulsion of landings, the resins coming down upon
    them like people driven out of countries discovered
    by resins or that have discovered resins in veins,
    in the countertops of suburbs, and people walk
    down the street with resins for hair, with countries
    committed to colour, with the bonds between them
    the birds circling, and people walking down the street
    with hunched shoulders so as not to look up and
    call the resins by name, call the resins in the name
    of the birds, the people, circling and loosening... more »