Sunday, June 26, 2011

Old Neighbourhood

This neighbourhood is full of nonsense;

Bells ringing all night long;

Cerebella draped on fence posts,

Ghosts shimmering under street lamps;

Singularities hammering tin plates,

Not to speak of birds preening feathers on electrified clothes lines.

Dear God how can celestial choirs conduct skies

Above this swelter of ludicrous possibilities?

Children run burnt powder streets,

Gripped by extravagant deliriums,

Hang from the diamonds of Austrian chandeliers.

They explode like mercury between grasping fingers.

Ten thousand fireflies from the left,

Ten thousand diving birds from the right,

Winking from deep shadows,

Diving from black skies.

Even dogs shit wherever they want to.

As for old men with brooms – they soon find out.

Useless their calipers,

As water their cast iron lassoes.

And it’s here my father strolls in the evenings collecting for John Knox,

Deranged fedoras gracing the edges of his silver underwear,

Delivering denial to jailbirds and alcoholic beauty queens.

Give it up Dad!

What’s the use of nailing your lower lip to apostrophes?

Dangling your liver before the eyes of the recently dead?

Let them shake their crystal trees.

Let them ride thin rockets to their own Jerusalem.

Once, five in the morning – complete quiet.

Everyone dead and buried.

Then up they spring like jack in the boxes,

Happily blowing reedy noisemakers!

Blessed by feeble skies, clutching blankets,

Hopping from one foot to the other in front of woodstoves,

Who can stop it? Why?

Sun and red jelly, surely cellophane handcuffs are totally useless!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tuesday Morning

Tuesday Morning

Clouds are illustrations,
Or paintings,
Or images downloaded from the internet.
Burrow into my flesh lenses, tangerine clouds,
Headlock my optic nerves until they say uncle.
Nothing as useless as skies and clouds;
Nothing as useless as being human.

Wild ducks occupy the summer kitchen.
I cook and wash for them.
They wake me at night quacking metallic poems.
Awake or asleep, big deal! Arses coldly wet constantly,
How would you like it? No martyrs, no saints among the ducks.
Frogs are chiropractors, uncricking the vertebrae of five billion.
Bright green chamois, heartfelt, longing eyes.
Mud; Flies; Wet grass; Pools.

I’m erect as a fork stuck into garden soil.
Little contact, just the soles of the feet.
And yet what monsters lurk in the caverns of my imagination.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Button eyes. Orange beaks. Pelicans.
When they spy me they share significant looks.
A missionary says one. A belly swagger. They disapprove.
They adjust wire frame glasses.

At home pelicans have bamboo blinds,
Rice paper partitions, Gen Mai Cha.
They spend evenings in polite ontological discussion.

Away, sailcloth sewn into shoulder blades; carpet bags for carry out.
All afternoon, on updrafts, they sail kites in oval swoons,
Inserting themselves - medieval weavers - into the blue silk of the summer sky.
A tall man from wing tip to wing tip, skimming marsh grasses,
Silent as an order of cloistered nuns.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Old Dog

Old Dog

Here he comes,
Dragging a bellyful of broken bricks,
Howling a racket from a sack of moldy bagpipes.
Mouth full of boiled rat; heart holed with singularities.
One leg grinding boulders; others iron rusting in a bog.
Fat, asthmatic. Hips blown rolodexes, congealed in frozen motor oil.
Tacking his leaky rowboat with a useless rubber spoon.
Thus do mighty warriors slide in age
Across a battlefield of bleeding back lane gravel.
Ancient. Ugly. Rheumy. Milk eyed. Wheezing a holed squeezebox.
Staggering from one wooden leg to another,
Unsuccessfully, for halfway to us he collapses,
Dead or resting is hard to tell.

When we finish loading the half ton
He winches himself up with his best leg and barks
“Slap on the greaves lubbers!”
But we are gone by the time he gets there
And he’s left biting afterimages,
Deprived of all flesh save in the fevers of his imagination.