wayward lyric

Vision stiffens in a coagulating funk; I’m still locked in the trunk. The people at the edge can’t see themselves jumping, you and Darlene in the trailer bumping, this is seduction in the middle of a desert--but I don’t wear leather; at least not right now, not in this sticky weather. (Call me tomorrow morning, and things should be better.)


jalopy lovin'

(more from the Dept. of the Profoundly Stupid)

jalopy lovin'

Archie Andrews, 65
Betty Cooper at his side
Archie’s hand upon her thigh
it's jalopifix, viagra pride

rambling, clattering, dusty road
’34 Chev, chugging load
creaking wheels, thin with rims
spare tire bolts to vinyl skin

crazy looks on avenues
boulevard princes slowly cruise
rubbernecking at the view
‘jalopies, man--they're frickin’ cool’

noxious engine, diesel fumes
pipe exhaust in blackened plumes
choking as we hit Main St
jalopies man, they can’t be beat

jalopies are a man’s best friend
sexy rusting metal cans
another romp is round the bend
nostalgia-lopping never ends!


nonsense limerick

(somehow pornographic?)

from the sublime to the grotesque

thickety rickety plop,
effeminate lyrical glop
when driggling a rook
jiggle the shnook
til the ungulate mascula drops

but if reckoning klunder, you huff
at zanzibar’s flunderful muff
then hasten the verse,
(like shaq and the nurse)
because physic is faster, or worse:

the goolies drink wine at the Y
femonade'll be baked in a pie
don't ever flim flam
--that scuzz is a scam--
slick-wickery tickles your thigh

Palladio waxes a niglet
while Romeo yokes with a piglet;
the moons will balloon
with kaleidoscope poon
as they open up Venus to eedgits

so never go wokking abroad
except when evening odds
the reason is this: funicular bliss
—it musn’t be missed—
you'll flimmer and float up to god

and the breath of a geyser is air
which soaks the druidic au pair
whether putzing in forests, or fuzzing caloric
—none of it matters, 'cause
I can get skunked anywhere!

profoundly stupid poem


Salad days

I spent nine years learning to tie my shoes
I spent money on booze—weekends sipping, weekdays quitting
I spent nine months in an underground snooze
But now I’m eating salad

I spent my life in an excuse
I spent summers in a wintry blue
I spent a year trying to chase her too
And now I’m eating salad

(The girls flap purses in neon twilight
before Booster Juice, gossip loose
tongues flappy, tight butts tucked, exposed tummy
there’s a hole in the belly bowl…)

I have a new credo, a way that works
a rejuvenated libido; call me “big turk”
I have a million words to say
turns to phrase, games to play
I’m skipping every stale entree
just let me at that salad!

what if there were no cupcakes? [deleted]

this post has been deleted.

the reason?

extreme suckiness.

apologies; it won't happen again.



daily affirmation

Drivel drifts from keys to screen, I’m phlegmatic and Caucasian
--I vent a lot my spleen. Those evenings at the bar (so much left unsaid) in our social solar system circulating, rumour mills shredding--reputations--who’s out and who is in, and there are flickers of dismay at what used to pass for sin; "we are not surprised at anything you said." (Perhaps we are clairvoyant, or emotionally dead.)

You could ask me a secret; you could spit in my drink, but I can't give you lessons in the roundabout think. With words so rhetorical and overly wise, I derided the unalive, the contrived, rhyming signs in the nonstandard time, I espouse and condone the cacophonic, the fluid flux of slippery syllables, so sly that maybe meagre metrical maids might teeter, quake no longer under the imperial lodestone.


The Saucy Cello

I can't take it any more; the cello in my basement is giving me conniptions!

I pound out most of this cupcake stuff in my basement, see, and there's this cello sitting there, and it's got a blue nylon cover slip with metal zippers dangling off it; it sits atop the brown bookshelf below the east wall of the house and laughs at me. Occasionally it asks for a glass of water, which, since I am a gracious Canadian, I do not refuse it; yet my goodwill and diplomacy is met with vitriol, condescension and (dare I name it) mockery!

I have decided to call this cello 'The Saucy Cello' because of its egregious output of sass. Everything in the world is just a big laughable 'paper tiger' to the Saucy Cello; all life but a fluffy pinata to be poked at with the stick-pins of a frivolous rhetoric. "A pox on vegeterians! How I mock their utopian pedantry!" the Saucy Cello says. "Who's more foolish? the fool, or the fool who writes about fools?" it bellows, and--this last one really crosses the line--"blogging is pseudo-anarchist claptrap; you folks need to get a life!"

Can you believe the effrontery, the impolity? Talk about a load of petulant cra-zap. And what a whiner too. Yesterday I was at my desk, minding my business, contemplating all manner of things--evolutionary psychology, the miracle of transparent plastics, and how Fiddle-Faddle is a preferable alternative to Crunch-n-Munch--when this dad-blamed Saucy Cello resting behind my swivel chair starts whinging away: about how lonely life is when you're an underappreciated cello; how cellos ought to be running the civil service and the RCMP and be given tax breaks on account of not having any arms or legs, etc. "Pity the poor cello," it whinges, "always playing second fiddle to the violin." Self-pity, from a saucy cello? Rot and balderdash, I say.

Then it starts in with the abuse. On several non-consecutive occasions this most noxious viola has called me things like (and I quote) 'a lizard-toed loather of the arts', a 'mealy-mouthed trumpet-blowing suck-wad,' not to mention, the unkindest cut of all--'a preposterous scallywag'!

Me, a scallywag?? Can I get a freakin' witness*?

This very morning the Saucy Cello was all 'up in my face', rhyming off a salvo of saucy limericks, viciously crafted at my expense. Here's an unsavoury sampling:

'There once was a bloke in the basement
whose skull was a mere empty casement
where there should have been brain
is a wasteland moraine
and so I exult in his debasement!'

Enough slander and libel, enough salaciousness; enough confrontation! How much insensible poppycock must I tolerate from this rambunctious orchestral stringed instrument? What measure of reprimand is appropriate for the Saucy Cello? And is there no impound lot or rubbish removal van that will forever cart the bastard away?

Sweet sizzling sausages I say!

*exclamation c/o ABM

Jim and Tony's Adhesiveness Apprehension

(for those who ‘stick it out’ together, no matter how pointless their relationship becomes)

Adhesiveness Apprehensions

It was Tony’s 30th birthday, and his housemate, Jim, wanted to celebrate. Tony was very tired on his special day however, because he had eaten an enormous quantity of raisins the night before, and was trying to digest them—Tony was so full; he wanted to celebrate nothing. Jim was insistent, however; Tony was too much the stick in the mud.

Jim was searching the house for a piece of Scotched tape, to wrap a present for Tony. Now , the tape was lying inside a drawer in their kitchen, but Jim had a phobia for opening kitchen drawers; he was quite afraid of those drawers, how they opened and shut and made a clanging noise. So he left a note on the kitchen cork board. It read, hey 'Ton', I wouldn’t mind some Scotched tape--can you find some, yo? The next day Tony (who finally had digested the raisins) read Jim’s note and opened the drawers accordingly, rendering the Scotched tape accessible. Thus Jim managed to avoid opening the drawer, and at the same time Tony got his birthday present wrapped; such was their life together—mutually beneficial, but equally ridiculous. Jim handed the present to Tony; affixed to it was a note: “Thanks for enabling me to wrap your present, Tony," it read, "sorry if it’s a bit belated.”

Tearing away the wrapping, Tony couldn’t believe his eyes: “It’s a gift certificate,” Jim grinned at the birthday boy, “good for twenty dollars’ purchase at Scotched-Tape World!” (Now Scotched-Tape World was a store that sold quality, much sought-after adhesive products.)

Tony was dumbfounded—Jim is way too obsessed with Scotched tape, he thought. Tony put the gift certificate down in the kitchen drawer, shut the drawer and, ever polite, said “Thank you, Jim--that Scotched adhesive should come in handy”--which was more or less true. It was not a perfect arrangement, but such were their lives: Jim and Tony, stuck with each other, like two strips of double-sided tape.

“Please, don’t shut the Scotched-tape drawer, Tony," Jim pleaded, "your thirty-first birthday is only 364 days away--I’d like to wrap your next present on time for a change!” And Tony rolled his eyes. He shook his head; “Where,” he sighed, “are my goddamned raisins?”


"a cry for help"

(I can recognize one when I see it)


(ps we love you too)


somebody owes somebody an explanation...

So I started writing. I couldn’t tell you why exactly; it just steamrolled, snowballed. There was nothing I could do. But I don’t exist in the words I type; I don’t speak for them; they don’t speak for me: I wrestle them into the text editor where they obediently, expediently die. I write them to disguise/hide/distract me from this voracious, fancy, blankety-blank-blanketing screen, this yet-another one-size-fits-all modernist scheme—like those crisp suburban homes where the psychopaths dwell; those clean-shaven scalps atop mercenary fiends; the cotton pillowcases on IKEA beds--when you’re sleeping soundly, that's when they strangle all your dreams.

(you cynical, jaded, bitter man!)

the artistic bliss


they envy and
fear your
undignified dignity:
crying alone in
public places


math vs poetry

(story of my life)

math vs poetry

its radius is one-half the diameter
the area: r-squared, by pi
for years I was chained to a perfect circle
the Formulae kept me from asking, why?

another midnight

(not exactly hip)

There aren't enough hours at the end of the day; there is little too much loveliness in her way; her aura, cylindrical, oveny, cherubic and comely. I was the one humper riding on this dromedary farm, broader than a firetruck when I pulled the alarm. But drooling police dogs can't sniff me out, because I’ve got political patronage clout. Jackass jackdaws and jackaninny scofflaws, telling tales at the ale barn, half-past eleven, sipping on happy-hour straws in every seventh heaven. The sour-milk mouths, the lemonade droughts; I call you on a payphone but I never ask you out; instead we sit alone on Saturdays and scrub our tile grout... I had a Chinese ex-girlfriend, I think her name was Meryl; it didn't end well--but after the scarring, all the swearing and menacing hind-leg rearing, the emotional carousel, diary entries, pathetic logs, those narrow-minded dogs need not drag me, clinging and kicking, from the bottom of the barrel, cuz I'm already there on the stairwell, kissing you goodbye and wishing you fare well.

(I have a tendency to overthink, I have a tendency to pout. I make my offering in silence; I wish that I could shout.)


236 Lake Drive, Willow Beach

(it's good to get away)

236 Lake Drive, Willow Beach

the lake whispered while I dozed
above the outboard motor coughing at 2.5 hp
below striped bass slipping through wood planks and the sun:
‘the clams hold their secrets in the clay cement’ and

‘the water you piss in is the air they breathe’
Bono the dog shakes dry on the dock
annoyance too casual to embellish
funny, I tell his owner, don’t let him shit on our grass.

rhythm of a life, something worth living
until the sharp September mornings
stenches of mink on death hunts
ripping crayfish to ribbons, casting skulls along the rocks

lost in the sunset and whitecaps
are 25 years of returning,
reconvening at the lake, we wash afresh
and dig up worms, hope for an interesting catch

I must repair the tree house this summer
—it blows down one night in a windstorm—
because kids need a high place to launch water balloons
and pelt each other with crab apples


silver lining

silver lining

(the worst part of starving in a desert
is thinking back to all those mirages you saw along the way
nothing’s more discouraging than another phoney oasis)

the best part of having your heart ripped out
is to watch it beating still in her hand
-it’s just like those cool vampire movies

the best part of being kicked in the face
is spitting out all your teeth
-it makes a pleasant staccato whoosh

the best part of monumentally humiliating yourself
is watching the slo-mo replays in your mind
and pretending to be some kind of relationship ‘football announcer’

remember friends,
there’s always a bright side!

so let’s not act all dramatic
because the best part of being screwed over
is getting revenge.

bobby beholds beauty, beast

basement bobby, bard, barrelchested bloke, borderline beatnik, bottomed-out,
broke, balding, beggarly,
buys banana-banjo, beholds beastliness; begins bashing booklearning blowhards,
bossanova boinkery,
bespectacled bearded buzzword bureaucrats,
boyfriends banged by bread-n-butter bordello babes--bow-wow! brouhaha!--buxom, bouncy, blonde; bobby berates brazenly (bobby benign? bah)--
but baddass braggart bad boys bearing blimpish beer-belly baby-fat
breed bountifully, begetting blemished (blech) brainwashed bastards, blaxploitation bigots, bitchy blighters, because, bobby believes, billion bees--breathtaking beings born besotted, beautiful but bound, bewailing--buzz, bump, bleed, break, blackening bliss.
but bottom-line, before brunch? bugger-bollocks, bobby--beauty busts, beastliness booms, and business best be better.

(100 words; 99 b's, 1 a)


The entertainer

(method to the madness)


The entertainer (Da-da dah dum duh dum dee dumb)

What’s the meaning, you will ask
dares he prance without a mask
smashing zeugma, spitting trash
how dare he break the covenant
and burst out in a rhyme

Get over it, you grey alcoholic toads
you hang ups, mildew sonnets, you Grecian odes
croaking in your poverty;
I am here to entertain
I do it with alacrity

Nuts to you, ascending judge
student master, mental sludge
your granite heart, too stoned to budge
--check thesaurus: ‘boring drudge’--
I come here bearing dynamite.

Sad little thesis, overwrought
bang advisor, if he’s hot
maybe he can put a word in
(spent youth worrying inside words)
that’s not all he’s putting in

I don’t conjure mystic lines
I don’t read Joyce, I don’t have the time;
my message not subliminal
those men are wanton criminals
who destroyed the goddamned language

Words are to communicate
food to eat and celebrate
why do you shrivel?
why do you despise?
get that pen out of my eye.

I spare no mercy for the poets
dead beat fathers, and they know it
washing dishes with their talent
age of 80 in an instant
I leave to them my epitaph:

I did my homework, did the math
but laughter is the road less tracked;
I set out with my map, my pap
through elites I cut a swath
entertaining all my wrath


messages from her

reading reminds me
how i
cannot believe
miraculous is


The truth about Rambunglstiltskin

(back to our regularly scheduled programming...)

A man lived under a log in a bog, a big black bog with his big black dog. Rambunglstiltskin was his name. Rambunglstiltskin (pronounced “ram-BUNG -ul-stilt-skin") was a strange man, a man without a plan, or rather it was a big black, slap-happy, heart attack plan-- but he had to keep it secret. Rambunglstiltskin knew a lot of people, but his two favourite people were Cassidy Von Butterbean and Coleridge Wickfiggins. Here's a bit about these three famous idiots:

-He likes to call people crazy. ‘You’re crazy,’ he says. And he laughs
-Light fires under strangers' toes and scampers away.
-Eats peanut butter from the jar
-When someone says his name, he shouts for joy
-Knows the secrets to spinning gold
-And he uses that secret to charm little girls into buying him snickers bars
-Has really big green teeth
-Knows the words to every song by the Jiminy Slicker Poofs, a local bog band
-Can snap his toes
-Is wiser than wisdom and smellier than stink.
-Is three feet tall, and smaller than small

Coleridge Wickfiggins
-is ‘the straight man’
-is accused by many of having no soul
-has carefully coiffed hair and shiny shoes
-was attracted to R because he needed his help to crack a riddle
The riddle was ‘how much is too much?’
-R’s answer ‘Too much is never enough, and never enough is always right’
-Coleridge often impatient with R
-has a nasty girlfriend named Zelda Strickney, and R feels sorry for them both
-lives in an office building beside the tunafish plant

Cassidy Von Butterbean
-likes to walk all over the place and sing
-never throws away chewing gum wrappers
-calls R ‘Rammy-roo’
-lives in a banana tree and has her radio set to station CUTY 105.2

Here’s a mock-up of a potential story involving Rambunglestiltskin, Cassidy and Coleridge (apologies for the lack of editing—I’ll clean it up later)


The truth about Rambunglstiltskin

R said to Cassidy one day, “I feel like going for a walk.” And so they walked into town; well, R skipped and Cassidy walked: she was so much bigger than R and she kept up with him easily. Cassidy pointed at all the clouds in the sky and whispered ‘How very very shapely and strange they are,’ and R just looked at her and said, “You’re crazy.” And R pinched her in the cheek and asked her vainly for a snickers bar. Cassidy led them onto another road and said ‘maybe we should look for Coleridge in the tunafish factory, because he likes to hide in there and play with his trains.' And well he should: Coleridge Wickfiggins had the biggest train set in the town--it had over 600 cars and 50 cabooses.

At the end of the road the tunafish factory rose up toward the sky, looming above Cassidy and R like a red rumble from the mists of… something. Whatever the comparison, it was the tunafish factory, and it was oozing with fish. “This place is stinkier than me,” said R, “and I’m smellier than stink.” Cassidy ignored R and opened the door and said, ‘the door is unlocked, I just opened it.’ And R said ‘You’re crazy--I already knew that.”

Rambunglstiltskin was more tired than a racoon who had spent all night climbing a tree, and so he said to Cassidy, “Please, no further today my dear,” he was starting to perspire, and the sweat made an X-shaped circle on his pink and purple shirt. But Cassidy was so eager to do this that she said ‘I insist, my dear R,’ for sometimes she was more stubborn than a mule in a hardheadedness contest. And living in a banana tree had taught her to always be as close to fruit as she possibly could, and what better metaphor for a ‘fruitful’ day of walking and exploring than stumbling upon their friend Coleridge in the tunafish factory?

After entering the factory, among other phenomena they heard a loud beeping noise. It wasn’t the sound of tunafish being sliced into mash along the canning row, and it wasn’t the sound of all the robots in the factory trying to foment a cyborg revolution. Rather it was the sound of a grand and glorious train set, humming on all cylinders. Except it beeped a lot too. And so there was Coleridge Wickfiggins, and he was playing with his trains on high speed, and they were beeping away. He was like king of the beeps. And he was so very very tall. And handsome.

“Hidy ho, my comrades; please, meet my train set—the Train Set of Delight,” he said with a mixture of pomp and ease. “Beep ‘em if you got ‘em.” Coleridge could be very officious sometimes, and that is a word that means ‘prick.’

“Comrades, comrades, comrades,” he exclaimed, when he realized the other two were hypnotized by his beeping trains; “Awake from your reverie,” he said officiously, “I need to ask you a favour.”

“Hi Coleridge,” said Cassidy, finally looking Col in the face “Me and R were just out walking and we wanted to come inside to see you.”

“Turn off that beeping train set, Coleridge,” said Rambunglstiltskin. “You’re crazy if you don’t.”

“Ok ok,” and he turned off the train set. There was still a lot of beeping going on, but that was from the tunafish factory, which produced 70,000 cans of tuna every day—think of how much beeping that would require!

“So what’s this favour of yours,” asked R, clearly relieved at the powering-down of the train set. “Do you need help moving furniture? Advice for the upcoming tax season?”

Coleridge smiled at R, who was now into the cans of tuna and gorging himself like a talking great white shark in a lake full of tunafish.

“Actually, my dear R,” he smirked, “I need you to solve a riddle for me, and it’s a lot harder than the last one. If you can spare me a minute from your tuna feast, I think we might make ourselves a little wager or agreement of somesuch. Perhaps we’ll make it a winner take all; perhaps we can lay a bit of tunafish on the line?”

“Do you remember," Col said, "how we first met; the way you enlightened me underneath the bog tree?” And indeed they smiled at the memories.

[aside: When Coleridge and R first met years before, R was sitting beneath a bog tree in a boggy area outside of bogtown, then known as Pittsbog. R held a placard emblazoned with some kind of insignia, and this placard read: ‘Riddles solved, quandaries nullified, enigmas belittled, perplexities rendered inert—five cents only.” So Coleridge flipped the small placard-bearing man a nickel, saying “here you are, my tiny fellow, can you answer me this riddle?” R looked up – he had been sound asleep – and answered ‘Why yes, sire, my name's Rambunglstiltskin and I solve everything I can wrap my noodle around.” Finally, an answer to his question--Col was so happy--and his question was this: “How much is too much?” Well, R looked blankly for a split second; he then shook his head and scoffed mockingly, 'Keep your nickel, sir; I do not wish to rob you, by answering a question that is plain as day!" “What’s the answer then," C said, a bit put off, and R replied, “TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH, AND NEVER ENOUGH IS ALWAYS RIGHT.” Before you knew it Colerige and Rambunglstiltskin were tightest chums. It was so true, thought Col here now in the tunafish factory: even after so many years' friendship with R and now Cassidy Von Butterbean, too much of those two was never enough, and never enough is really always right.]

‘So what’s you newest riddle, Coleridge,’ said R, resuming the story, ‘if you must test me again by posing me a riddle, well then, you know I’m your huckleberry."

And Coleridqe said, “My new riddle is this: wither are spoons, where are forks, and what did you do with the knives?” But Rambunglstiltskin was not able to answer! He tried staring blankly again, like when he solved the last riddle, but it produced nothing of value. He sat there for minutes and minutes, but to no avail. Coleridge had stumped him. R asked Cassidy to take him home, to mull over this latest riddle. He was quite shaken at his inability to solve it: “They call me Rambunglstiltskin," he grimaced, "but who am I if I’m not able to master this riddle?’

Coleridge showed them the tunafish factory door, and he resumed playing with his trains. Although R was his friend, he secretly exulted that R could not solve this cutlery-related riddle, because that is the way of friendships—sometimes you like to screw your friends over. And he turned the trains back on, full throttle. “Beep beep,” the trains beeped, and C, ordinarily doleful, was temporarily gleeful. Beep beep, indeed!

(be honest--wouldn't you want your children to read this, instead of Mr. Mugs???)

ps Happy Bastille Day!


my surprisingly practical subway dreams

One of the few, 'non-bizarre' goals I have in my cupcakey life, is to help build a subway along Toronto's Eglinton Ave, from Yonge St. all the way to Mississauga's Pearson International Airport.

Sadly, the current 'deficit'-obsessed political climate in Ontario means that new subway projects--planned decades ago but achingly slow to fund--will get completed at a snail's pace: we probably won't even have the York University subway until 2012-2015, 25 years after it was supposed to be online. Meanwhile we sit in our cars and trucks on the 400, 401 and 404, pouring $2 billion down the drain every year. It's criminal, really.

To read up on some of Toronto's underground issues, check James Bow's wonderful Transit Toronto page. That link tells of the partially constructed Eglinton West subway, which was kiboshed by former premier Mike Harris' provincial Conservatives during the now infamous era of anti-urban 'rationalization' policies in the mid-to-late-90s. Way to screw over the city of Toronto, Mike!

Look for a new Eglinton Subway blog, authored by yours truly, in the coming weeks. I don't know what it's like to be a transportation lobbyist, but I have a feeling it could be a hoot.

It might take 20 years to build the Eglinton subway; it might take 10--whatever. The more Torontonians (and non-Torontonians) scream and shout, the faster it'll get built. Let's raise a lil ruckus, and get those shovels in the ground.

More to come (no, really). In the meantime, here's another cool TO-transportation site.

vocab seizure

I hussled about, waving a wand before the children of the Adirondack Mountains: but everything was so flimsy, clumsy and diabolically vitriolic and frenetic that idiosyncrasy and diabetic cardiac arrest was ultimately considered the apex of pragmatic flightlessness. So I gave up; I quit; I realized the best way to escort pigs in the calculus equations over the Bridge of Sighs is to have them think their way under a tunnel of doubt and mischief: maybe that would conjure enough rotational viscosity to garnish their philodendrons with adequate success, yes.

Words words words: I need 500 by nightfall, before the vampires come out. (To keep away the demons, collar your neck with dictionary garlic.)


pre-packaged angst (bottled, microwaveable)

The way to get to the root is to give yourself a boot, and then it's clear what it is you fear.

I make you laugh; you are evil, you have no soul. She takes it in stride. "I understand your silence, but I can’t fathom why you put up with me..."

This reads like a bad diary entry:

I’m sorry this is like a bad diary entry

You are so pathetic. I could spill my guts to you. You don’t have an ego.

Promise we will always talk like this

I could live a whole year, just to talk once like this with you

I must look somewhere else

I am fighting the whole world out there

So what?

I need a haircut before I can do anything

I would never fall in love with hair

I think we should have a drink. I know a place on Baldwin street

I am too cold even to look at. One day I will get fat. All I can do is smile

You are in desperate need of a shot across the head

I never wanted to hurt anybody

You don’t need anybody; that’s what makes you a monster

You know it. Women are fickle. Women don’t last.

Men don’t change. Why won’t they change.

Are we not communicating properly?

The pulse in the city. Something grey inside her. Something needy, something empty. I need some response. I am over her; she no longer bothers me. I need to get around the issue. I need to be alone to write about this. I need to study the issue, to come to a clear conclusion.

I wanted to go into the abyss with my eyes open. I wanted to yell inside a beach shell. I wish only to touch your eyelash, and preserve your beauty in a jar. I cannot imagine a sunset without the laughter I gave you. Primped and faulty and jarred awake after a seismic clutch. Poured out with all my emotion, I have no giant plan, I have no right to ask you a favour. But I need that money, I need it so bad. I'm stuck here in a basement, with lawnmowers spitting diesel.

Look out, I have touched a spark, I have the kindling. Look away from the pin hole during an eclipse. Stare open-lidded at the sun.


tranquilizer scansion (gleaming turd)

(this lil turd was dropped way back in Jan; I never bothered to edit/polish/feed it to the cupcake fire til now. you all deserve better--i'll pick it up this week with something fresh ... hope you had a nice weekend!)

A new decision for the mind, a new dose of the tranquilizer, let’s see what it does to me. You took a drink and popped a pill, it dissolved under your tongue. Can your fingers still do the pecking? Can those you speak to contain their wonder? Can the dragons blowing fire in your face muster up the courage to act contrary--to their instinctive flaming exhalations? Deliverance lay in 0.5 milligrams of the odious pumpernickel mini-disc, the benevolent dosage that soothes your hegemonic thrashing; will that fellowship ever realize itself? Unaware of geigerisms and gingerly struck subtleties laying firm, ghoulish souls trek their way to Mecca, it's the hajj that consoles the heart. But yellow blues men jack up the boxes outside the common thought, the swirling ebullience of the poly-glot. But most heathen men can’t swallow their pride--no, they can't, and we're still waiting outside.

Hermaphrodites in the winter night falling gently to my side in a super-slide oversized rug ride; we deride suicide and lean on the trusted cleansing power of Tide detergent. I did not consent to a lack of urgent intervention, or detriment prevention, when convening of previously unmentionable sources of dissension in conversation might augment the edification of a persona hell bent on self-destruction. It takes hold, it does--the euphoric bliss of the opening keys, the agents of neuromuscular tension taking an unwanted holiday, like I take leave of my senses every other day. Ghastly effects on the brain--I have to throw out that box of pills; I'll destroy those little bits of happiness, the small influences, unduly heeded mental guests, those cowardly agents of smoothing out and tension reducing, the limited trunk of the spiced fermented curd; the gleaming turd polished into an acceptable cruising state, the magic of the sentence never yet uttered, the uncomprehending stares of a mind outside your own. We all are outside (we just want to share ourselves with you). So we continue to strive, persevere, open, admit, reject, play, consolidate, grow. Hey is horses, for you and me; say "hey hey hey, man's mighty indeed."



(more greatest hits)


She’s no longer around, not in Kingston town
One extra frown, here in town
Stop the parade and kill the clowns;
Clean the yard and clear the grounds:
She’s not around.
Not here. Nope, outta town.

I miss her by the pole
I miss her two-room hole
on Frontenac St., by the school,
Where the hackey-sackers slacked
(when hackey-sacks were cool.)

I'll see her in the fall, I guess
and she'll buy me a sub and laugh at me
'oh pat you silly mystery'
'less is more, and more is best'
and so we'll play at verbal chess
when breezy trees undress
and colours change and pigdogs fly, I guess

I'll tell her how I wish I was black
how 'not so bad' is really good
and the difference between 'could' and 'should'
between what feeds and what's food
between bad people and bad moods.
And she'd fake a heart attack
when I showed her how I waxed my ass
Oh yes I swear she would

Let's face facts:
i am a hack
a talking ape with a broken back
one-half too intense; at the same time detached
a gasoline inhaler with a strike-anywhere match
'Floom' goes the flame and I torch the past
as I sit in the mirror and paint a new mask.

A mask—that's my task—all complex with colour
That shimmers like a ribbon or a beard on a scholar
a face I could trade for one or two dollars
or a coffee stain and a poet's pen
all new wave funky with dreamy zen
maybe black & blue, or even white-collar
I'll sit still, read, and paint and holler
and smile
sit still and smile
while I track down my friend
and ask her to read this again and again.

(published March 2001 in the queen's journal)


yawning bobby

he doesn’t listen
he just stares
he scratches his belly
in his underwear

bobby talks, he
laughs a lot,
waves his hands
and he smokes up

curses Jesus and
reads the news, so
easily displeased
by contrary views;

numb from nagging
‘why don’t you chill’
—his foot’s asleep
on a windowsill

stays up late
he gets so tired
looks at the telly
flips through ‘for hire’;

now bobby’s skin
is showing signs
hair gone grey
in thinning lines

steps outside,
it’s still raining
‘I just got fired,
so stop complaining’

yawns out for
a caffeine hit:
‘I switched to decaf—
what made me quit?’

but no one listens;
bobby just stares.
he scratches his belly
in his underwear


ouija fingers

(type without looking, or thinking)

She was tall and infirm, like a rotten banana, and it was the end of the cycle of the nordic new year and the tallest fieldest cunningest mouse in the world. I didn't know what to do; I didn't know it was you. Was it you? I was the last pigeon in the marigold bush; I was the only sturgeon in the lackadaisical overlordish swamp, and it was the beginning of the end for me; there was five hundred boxers in the bushes, there was the nougat i chew on with gusto, and that nougat cannot crumble no matter what the pressure. We walked into the barn at the edge of the cliff, and it was the most harrowing tryglyph and metope I ever sang to. Yodel barns are full of the fish calamity known as harrowing swimmery, while otherwise beasts flout conventions with the fecund frederick the Late, the hyena seasoning the dream weaving butcher brained lame tony award winning skim milking drink toting bloated diehard know it alls. Thank the great maker, we are surviving in this catastrophic aftermath. Call me Clarence, I cannot explain myself; call me Kerwin, I will answer. Ah, I've had a bit too much to drink.

Siren, verse 1

(Can I get to heaven before I go to hell?)

Draw me to the water with the lure of your body
I hear your singing, songs through the breaking of the waves
Tumble overboard, jump ship with all your grief
My men and I desperate, months and years upon the deep.


monkey on my back

(to be read ALOUD)

Let's talk about the monkey on my back:

He is fat and has ticks, he's four feet tall and his stuttering makes me sick; he squawks like a parrot, his hands are so hairy, his dialect is Prussian and his accent--oh so scary. He wobbles in the courtyard like a zombified primate, he sniffs at his armpits in olfactuary fits, and his strategies are German--he takes me tanking in the Blitz! This monkey's like a unicorn, rare and tragic; he's perverse, a miraculous exhibit, yet thick with musky odours, like a mouldy catcher's mitt.

This here chimp is (sadly) quite a gimp, a weak noodle hanging limp, a slucker and a sucker, a poodle-fooling moronic mule-minded back-attacking beasty! A most mystifying monkey, clinging so chunkily, is robbing me of all fair feeling as he feeds into my funkery; he's a skunk-rumped gallunk, a nasty growth or a shoulder-hump, a hardy barnacle on my torso, I plead and beg but he just annoys me--he baffles, even more so.

Yes, according to my latest check there's a monkey around my neck; he's force-feeding me this dreck, so why not, what the heck, I should trade him for a gecko or a lighter kind of creature, a wizard-lizard, a courteous kissing cobra (I'd offer one of those a peck), a black mamba I can samba with--not lurch around with an ape, perched atop me clumsily and wonkily, so nefariously stuck. It's some bottom-barrel luck that's plucked me for this monkey; so until I can untie him, if we're whooshing by you'll spy him, the sly gorillish grin on him, his hand over my eyes and blinding me, driving me unto insanity. Yes yes yes! There's a monkey on my back, and alas and alack for poor Patrizio T, he is here laughing at me, a four-footed chimpanzee, adhering to me, married together, we, like horse and harness tethered, glued as one (it's the opposite of fun) unto eternity...


What could a fish garter ever say to the loneliest men in the tobacco cabin by the side of the road? 'I'm so fed up with microscopic particles entering my nostrils,' it might say, but then again we are here to clear the beer. It's the last night for the open bar in the neighbourhood so you can forgive us I imagine for our lack of consideration. We are not easily amused, you are not so easily confused for the mixing and the masterful cremation libations proferred by the centaur men in their gigolo contraptions selling Klondike receptacles like the tallest most impressive stacks of potato chips in the burgundian wine factory. I was a midget who couldn't be conquered.

"A blind man walks into a bar" --that's it; that's the joke.

we freak out like fireflies lighting their rumps by any light touch, we beasten ourselves into the roadside firewalking talk-snorter delirium. I was ketchup in another life, I was slapped on my glass ass and held upside down until i leaked out with my essences.

I was perhaps the best person ever to walk into the woods. Here is the wriggling mortar sandstone joint, and I needed to cross the ocean in the middle of the night. I was flat like the globe, I was all around in every crevice. I was a field hand and I drank root beer on Sundays.


proof of "cupcake authenticity"

The proof is in the Google... the following new sentences (for the stressed out reader) have never been written down in the entire history of the internet:

"My uncle is taller than a peanut."

"I bet you the front porch explodes tonight."

"Toads are a good source of protein."

"This is the stupidest post in the universe."

Ah, the infinite possibilities of stupidity and syntax--ain't it grand?

Ana and the poet

Ana and the poet

I flaked out on you
I never called, you
were too
I had to
spoil it before
things got out of hand

after all, I have
loneliness to protect and
your perfection

yet another gorgeous K

(#58 in a series)

you worked behind a desk
I fell for you once a week
five minutes at a time
as I retrieved a stereo and
asked you for the key
you were too busy
to notice what I was



Today is a sunny day, sunnier than most.

Today I am sticking with the same old font. Today I walked around and not once did anyone point out how worn out my shoes are. I haven’t got it all figured out Today. Today I did my laundry, as I did fourteen days ago. I haven’t kissed anyone Today. Today I got good news. Today I wished I never got old. Today I walked in snow. I am trying too hard to be original Today. Today was lonely. Today I have plenty of friends. Today my parents weren’t right. I really should get a job Today. Today the wind was not so cold, nor the pavement too hard. Today, I am going to play. I wish I could tell you I had something to say Today. Today I was looking for some simple beauty. I cleaned the floors Today--they get so dirty when you don’t pay attention. Today you walked past the house, and I never saw you again. Today you got someone else’s mail sent to your place. Today you didn’t have the guts to tell me off. Today I made you smile. Today dust is collecting on my desk. Today laughter is still free. Today somebody won the lottery. Today planes bombed a city. Today is too obvious for sarcastic people.

I am not gay, Today. I need to shave, Today. Today cockroaches are getting along just fine. Today I looked for Him. Today was “all about Vietnamese cuisine”. Today is as good as any. Today I ripped off Van Halen. Today Today, tomorrow the world. Today the blues are playing in that building--the one with the clock tower. I didn’t just sit around Today. Today your favourite teacher was thinking about you. Today I couldn’t handle the pressure. Today I am for sale. Today your eyes said something different to me. Today you ran, and once you run you will never stop running. Today I almost got run over by a truck, seriously. Today you told me the one about the Pope and Racquel Welch in a lifeboat (“...those aren’t buoys!”). Today I have to go. I am missing you Today. Today is all we got. Today is Sunday.

(march '99)