A Canadian Poet Since You Asked
A Canadian poet since you asked.
I’m madder than the landscape.
Glaciers have scarred me
retreating north like my father.... more »
A Creed For The Desperate
Don't let your bones be softened by fear.
By the time you hear it the lightning has already struck.
Don't listen for the echoes of things you haven't said.
And stop breaking your fortune-cookie skull open... more »
A Day Of Writing
A day of writing, trying to clarify myself
to Alysia, myself, Alysia, to the night rain,
trying to hang the universe on the tip of an eyelash
without blinking, pulling handfuls of the stagnant dimensions... more »
A Feeling In The Heart That Overwhelms Thought
A feeling in the heart that overwhelms thought.
Can the stars feel our pain like distant neurons?
Thorns blunted in moments like this, the hands of time
almost folded in prayer like the wings of a nightbird... more »
A Fluctuation In The Cosmic Void
A fluctuation in the cosmic void,
a wink of atoms,
a fallen eyelash of light,
the seeing of a lifetime... more »
A Good Day And Night On Earth For Me Would Be
A good day and night on earth for me would be
hurling paint at an eight by four foot canvas
propped up on a rusty hay rake for an easel
on top of a hill by the soft basswood trees in late September.... more »
A Grey Music Hovers Over The Town
A grey music hovers over the town.
No people on the streets. Background drone
of furnaces working overtime against the cold.
Space and time on the nightshift and fossils... more »
A Haze Of Dust On The Windowpanes
A haze of dust on the windows at dusk,
cataracts glowing in the epiphanous sun
that leaves the night coming on like a door ajar
for the light to get out on its own like a cat.... more »
A Little Thought In A Big Space
A little thought in a big space, I'm falling
through my own immensities here at my desk,
one of my Icarian propensities for plunging into things.
My voice intimidated by the violence of the silence within.... more »
A Moment Away From The World, Please
A moment away from the world, please.
Denude me of this coat of killer bees.
I have endured its agony long enough
to know there's not much honey in a stinging nettle.... more »
A Moment In The World, With No Regret
A moment in the world, with no regret
I cancel the madness, the sadness, the hurt, the pain.
I cancel the thorns on the footpaths through
the labyrinths of the brain, I absolve the dragons... more »
A Nick Of The Moon
A nick of the moon. Thin smile of circumstance
and the paint rags of the few, modest dreams
I had left, are bleeding out again. Alizarin crimson
leaking like lipstick out of a slashed mirror as my blood... more »
A Paint Rag Of The Masterpiece I Used To Be
A paint rag of the masterpiece I used to be.
Is this humility? Or time to quit? I refuse
to listen to my muse as if she were a whistle
on a graveyard shift. A nightbird or nothing... more »
A Rock In The Current, A Skull In The River
A rock in the current, a skull in the river,
time patiently washing away the sidereal silt of my mind
as if insight were alluvial. You can't keep
what you won't give away so fling it from you... more »
A Scaffolding To Climb Up On And Paint The Worlds
A scaffolding to climb up on
and paint the worlds, my bones.
I climb the ladder of my ribs
like the hull of a scuttled shipwreck... more »
A Seance Of Sprites And Ghouls In The Cabals Of Emptiness
A seance of sprites and ghouls in the cabals of emptiness
as the train whistle mourns across town out of the darkness
looking for its lost child somewhere along the tracks
where last night's waning moon put its head... more »
Acutely Aware Of The Onceness Of Life
Acutely aware of the onceness of life, one
of the many shadows that followed me for lightyears
was the terror of wasting it on myself and not
the mystery of what it is to be here knee deep in starmud,... more »
Adolescent Bridal Spiders Webbing The Doorway
Adolescent bridal spiders webbing the doorway
with laughter and tumescent sex,
waiting for the hilarious rain.
Waitresses with overly bleached hair... more »
A Thing Is Adapted To Its Fate
A thing is adapted to its fate. Not a hair's difference between it and what happens to it. No distinction. Not so us who have eyelids. No perfect equanimity in our stillness. My empty blue glass skull on the windowsill pities the oceans of commotion in my head. The way, when I ruminate, it's always as if I'm living out of a suitcase full of dead flowers. And now you come to me unasked with your platter of poetry, your feast for the dead, and even among spirits you enforce your evangelism about tobacco, and all I can see on the snow plains of your plate, is a few clear cut shrubs of parsley. What did Horace say, Terence, this is stupid stuff. Lettuce-soup. Holy water from the aquifer of the last blister you had a bad love affair with.
And I see you've gone and educated your indifference at a higher institution of learning. Did you get a nose bleed in the ivory tower? Did the capitalists poach it on the way to kill an elephant and saw through the tusks of the moon like a logging company? Did you gather around the death bed of distinguished shipwrecks and pluck the gold earrings from their lobes like heritage jewellery they wanted to be buried with? Was that a seance or an exorcism? More an exorcism I should think, because even the ghosts have been driven off by how antiseptic everything you write is. So many poets like that these days, they lay out their lines like scalpels, mirrors, mouthwash and toe-tags, all unwrapped from a Dead Sea Scroll of clean cotton, a page of twenty-pound number two book paper, as if they were about to perform an operation, but these surgeons can't stand the sight of blood, so nothing ever happens. No one ever gets cut, healed, mended, or pronounced dead. Or even a scar worth buying someone a drink for.... more »
A Thousand Years From Now
A thousand years from now
who will remember me
once I've disappeared from this windowpane,
a vapour of breath with awareness,... more »
A Vision Of Grief In The World
A vision of grief in the world, so vast and varied,
so intimately specific, so peculiar to each one of us,
we stratify it in our brains like the fossil shapes
of wavelengths and membranes layered... more »
A Whole Galaxy Lights Up
A whole galaxy lights up for the sake of a single planet; for
the sake of a single flower, the entire earth turns itself
into a loom and weaves for a million years.
How many oceans have died to hang one dropp of water... more »
Accord Me A Gentle Theme
Accord me a gentle theme, just for a moment, let the world
touch me lightly as if I were a burn victim.
Too much hate and pain, the chronic atrocity
of everyone acting as lame as Jacob, Vulcan... more »
After You Leave
After you leave, a bell
deeper than the sea strikes once
and my blood thinks it's a ghost of fire
and tries to evaporate; gusts... more »
Alcohol, Sex, And This Cold Spring Night In Their Blood
Alcohol, sex, and this cold spring night in their blood,
the rowdies outside the Crown and Thistle have taken
their chilly elations home. Past midnight, the town quiescent,
the moon, Venus and Jupiter set, the silence of the stars... more »