Friday, May 29, 2009


When James Bond shoots him
and he lays on the ground
with his spiffy casual pants
and sporty shirt,
the stars come oozing out.

We cut our ties with him,
Contracts and vows
nullify and void.
saying see, we will no longer share
and reality will slightly fade.

A biography
like the veins on a leaf
comes flowing out,
the material of memories
breaks up. Ingredients slide into holes in the soil.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

North American Culture

(When the partners
tower over me
and stand too close,
I just want to run.)

Forty years ago
I sat with Elizabeth
at her parents' table
and made unacceptable statments
because I had come
from the wrong place.
It was dark in the room
and we were surrounded by
glistening things in
glass cabinets and deep brown wood.
Elizabeth examined me
without special sympathy.
I was failing all the tests.
But her hands were like
hot magic.

Last night I was a citizen
at another Elizabeth's table,
every bit English.
We dined on glazed salmon,
nothing fancy. I had been
wearing the wrong T-shirt
and my pants were rolled up.
It was the chaotic appearence of the unschooled.
She tells me what I should wear.
We laugh as she guides me through the store
I never knew before.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Notes of a Jewish Vampire

Oy, I'm hungry.

I kvetch as my belly bellows.

View the herd of human beasts
grazing over the concrete
looking for nuggets of what
they naively eat.

I pull up my collar
and approach from the dark lane,
baring my fangs making them all
scared. Oy! That feels good.

Suddenly a priest,
defender of righteousness,
flashes a large silver cross
saying, "away vermin."

Oy! I say.
I don't much care for that.
There is no hell where you can send me.
He was my first good meal in days.

A Moment in May

He makes a quick
glance through his side window
and the glossy
van shoots out of the parking lot.
He relies on fast judgement.

The wind is particularly strong,
spoiling the warm air
and the clouds are drawn out
across the sky as if they are
reaching over him.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


After spending
much of the week
at the retreat
where I am taught
lessons in freedom,
I leave home
to return home.

Then I take to the
rails of my life again,
poking my head out at
11:45 to see if the Earth
is still working. Yes,
the #45 to Transcona
arrives first this time
with the one heading downtown
only slightly late. The
holiday is indeed over
and the clock starts
to tick tock again.

Past the parking lot
I can see the #45
heading for its loop
around the Super Store.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Theories of Knowledge

1. Us

When I was born
I started making maps.
Because the maps were
made out of me,
I could live inside
where everything is explained.

When I discovered you,
wanting to know
where I am and what
I am going to do,
I copied a piece
of my map for you.

When you wanted to be safe from me
you implanted the copy of the piece of my map
into your mind. Then we lived
in the same place and you knew me.
As long as we are sharing
things are real.

2. Ants

Ants just meander around
beating each other on the head
like tom-toms. That's
how they find reassurence
in the dark. But when they
really want to know,
they squirt their insides
into each other's mouths.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Not Quite Right Woman

The wide mouth
smiles fixedly
when her speech stops.
I sense she
doesn't mean it
even as nature hints
deep down
she does. Hair
is in gentle curls
that nobody made up.
I sense she was born
in a family of
south end chatters.
Greets every stranger
who enters the bus
with a question
about the weather.
I sense she thinks
the world is like
a neighborhood.
Tells us
she is not
the weather lady.
Spreads seeds
of civilization
in the street.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


In our 28th week,
we don't laugh every day.
The magic is muffled
but there are
tendrils of memory,
history forming.
I lay here
taking the bed as mine.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Idea of a Stranger

I know her
seeing her on the street.
She will walk around me,
her dogs pulling their leashes
around her legs,
eyes cast down
until her glance meets mine.

We have a long
history together
in a town just carved
out of the trees.
Designers created mind-things here
lawns and flower beds
out of neatness
and good intentions.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I don't like the stirrings human ears are unlikely to hear but do,
what I'm not supposed to hear.
The world is as it is, we all agree in a flurry of nodding. We listen as our certainty leaks, asking if it was illusion to wish it away.
But it comes back more certainly than before. Then the sound makes a crash. And that's what frightens us.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Magic Word Gods of the Forest

The small minor god sits
on the branch of a tall tree and listens.
When you slip
she triggers something
irreversible and bad.

The larger one
spreads herself on a
soft chair in the clearing.
She holds court with deep but finite patience.
You don't see how her patience erodes
until when it reaches its last trace,
she sweeps you away no matter who you are.