Writes Alone

My musings & struggles with the blank page…

Birth

Mother Universe
black and starless.
I Hide,divide, abide
until pushed into the light.

Know I-self,
but understand, where
I was conceived
is not where I was born.

A universe of dreams,
among the forgotten.
I was born
Knowing how to die.

4th and Vine

“You’re not listening to me.” said a female voice from behind me. “That’s not what I said, why are you arguing, if that’s not what I said?”
“Hey, wait a minute. I was just sayin’ that-” replied a male voice.
“I’m just not going to talk to you right now, because you’re not listening to me.”
A young couple dressed in beach attire disputing loudly walked passed me, as I stood on the grass waiting for the pug to do her business by the Safeway at 4th and Vine. The young woman had a nice, dark tan and long brown hair swept up in a high ponytail. She wore a light tan sundress with black Chinese writing on it, over a black bathing suit. From her left shoulder hung a silver and purple hula hoop. The young man was black skinned with a modest beard and an Afro. He sported a white football jersey and long, dark blue, shorts and carried a football in his right hand. They both wore flip flops that slapped against the soles of their feet as they headed down Vine St. to Kits Beach. I wondered why she had a hula hoop. I’ve seen a lot of young women carrying hula hoops in the neighbourhood lately and I can’t figure out why they have them.
Then out of the lane behind The Whole Foods across the street from where the pug and I still stood, emerged another young couple. The female in that unit had three hula hoops in vibrant hues of pink, orange, and purple slung from her right shoulder and wore fur boots with pom poms hanging from the front of them I could tell by their grim faces that she and her counterpart weren’t happy. They threaded their way through the cars waiting to enter the parking lots for Safeway and Whole Foods and once on the sidewalk they strode towards 4th Avenue. I couldn’t catch but a few words of their exchange, which seemed to be mostly cuss words that began with the letters f, g, and s. Again I was struck by the Hula Hoops worn very fetchingly from the young woman’s shoulder. The pug peed just after they passed, sniffed the air and then we continued down Vine towards 3rd Avenue.

Seamless Grace

Under the bus shelter,
Out of the rain,
I read a poem.
And became aware of
Another poem unfolding
Inside me.
Word to word the poems
Flowed in seamless grace.

I remembered swing sets
My father built strong,
Like scaffolds
to hang the condemned.
I watched him
Dig deep holes
To sink the beams.
His muscles knotting
And unknotting across
His back, as he mixed
Sand, gravel, and water
To eternally ground
The living wood.

Every house we lived in,
Except the last,
Always my dad hung
Swings for my
Brother and I.
Wood, rope, and dreams,
So much naked hope.

My brother and I patiently
Sifted the displaced dirt
For refugee worms,
Resettled in Grandad’s
Vegetable garden
Around the side
Of the house.
An old farm house in the midst
of the new.
Instead of an apple orchard,
Houses for families
in a brave, new city.
The present reinventing
The past
In seamless grace.

Air like This

When the air clumps,

Cloying, sweet.

A despairing mine of

Unsolved promises and

Dreams spoken once.

The will to breathe

floats submerged.

Drunks walk slant

and blame the

Tilt on forces of

nature too sobering

to consider.

Gratitude is thin and

Forced in air like this.

Just be thankful for

The emptiness within.

The fumes, the dust,

Foul breath, viral issues,

And bad posture cover

Us like dirty blankets.

To forget we must remember,

Remnants of selves castrated

Still keep f***ing us over.

Life Without

Children and Pets are expensive, but life without them would be very poor indeed.

So Far More

So this is what it all comes down to,
impotent explosions of colour
over the waters of English Bay.

Witnessed by,
the law abiding,
the lobotimized,
the lalalala.

Oohing and aahing
slacked jawed mob awe.
The Symphony of Fire.

Brings the trenches to life,
as I hunkered down in
my skull wince at,

Each booming jolt.
Hearing the spectacle
is far more, far more.

So far more, it’s just
so more of far, that I
don’t know if I’ll make it back.

Let Now Be Enough…

I think the hardest thing to write about is now, this moment I’m living in right now. To just pick up a pen or flip open the laptop and begin writing about what’s happening now. To share what is whipping through my mind right now just as it is or describing what is going on where I live at this moment or the parade of living what’s walking past me right at this moment, to write it simply and honestly as it’s unfolds before me. Why isn’t the now enough? Well the answer is pretty damn obvious, because it’s really hard to do. To make something worth reading about nothing but now, means I have to be very vulnerable and honest, because that’s what being in the moment demands. God, I don’t know where this is heading… maybe I’m writing in the now or something close to it anyway?

But what I really want to share with you is the quirky, brilliance of Joe Brainard. He is the master of writing about now and a whole host other things too. I found him because of my interest in poets from New York who were his friends and professional peers. I grabbed “The Collected Writings Of Joe Brainard” from the library just because of this and it’s been the crazy, best read of my summer. He’s a visual artist who designed book covers, painted, drew cartoons, etc… and maybe this helps make his writing so humble and simple, yet so original.

This is not fiction, it’s whatever comes into his mind now. Whatever is happening around him now. He did this manifesto to memories called “I Remember” and it’s so addictive. It’s memories he’s remembering now. As you read it, his memories. become your memories, which somehow stimulate your own memories, and it all gets mixed up together which sounds kind of confusing, but really isn’t when it’s happening, because it’s so fascinating to be reading these bite sized blurbs of things past. This is a piece you’ll want to return to again and again or at least I want to.

The rest of his writings are a pleasant jumble of diary entries, poems, musings, cartoons and other moments he’s put to rest on paper. I’ve enjoyed the whole book for the glimpses into Brainard’s life, mind, creative processes, sense of humour and how it all relates to humanity. This book is so universal and doesn’t shy away from the mundane details or the taboos of quotidian life.His book is an excellent tool for any creative soul, to help get us back into the moment and let now be enough.

God Willing

It seems to me that, Atheists are better able to find comfort in worldly things and can accept that which is before them is all there is and all they’ll ever need. I envy them this, but obviously God cannot and will not be known where there is no faith. I sometimes suspect the concept of God depends completely on us. If we are able and willing to suspend our earthly egos, then this whole mysterious realm opens up to us. To believe or not to believe in God is a very personal thing, sadly somewhere along the line it all very got political.

We’re all struggling to find our way through the confusion of details that bombard us as we serve our time on Earth. I tend to be more of the believing sort, but my faith is shaky. I think for God to have any chance at all, I can’t expect it to do my bidding and solve all the world’s problems, that’s just not how it works. I’m trying to view God as an energy who helps me cope with the harsh realities of life. I can’t and don’t expect burdens to be lifted or calamities averted, I just need this connection beyond the physical realm to help me, as I struggle through my life and if God makes this possible, then so be it. It’s been a tough day and I can see we’re all in this together no matter what we believe.

She still Shines

I still see her as she was,
her light reaching me
years later.
Far across Canada
From Ontario
To here
To now
reaches me and
she is well.
She still shines
like the first star
I see tonight,
wishing hard
with all my might,
but it already died
killing my wishes years ago.

BLING

Bling. This word wearies me. I hear it too much. It seems to be the descriptive word of choice these days and it saddens me. Why does everyone want bling? Is this what the world has come to, bling? This word manages to say it all, by saying nothing, quite an accomplishment really.

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