Poetry Samples






symbol flow

S-0-+I 0!

i watch

as you scrape the dirt

dragging symbols towards your body

and into a small heap…

there are more than you could pick up

without them spilling out of your arms

and they are precious…

glinting gold…

dripping blood…

and ringing notes upon the ground

they trickle from your head

as you awake

and leave a small trail

as you walk by me

with each word you speak

they sing together

and mute each other

twisting together

to form a symbol never before

or ever

seen again…

one that you couldn’t draw…

one that can not be caught

…or traced…

and yet…

you are intimate

with everything

that went into them

and you can see them

forming in your mind




that’s why rocky ran at dawn

i’m settin’ here

in my little record shop

listenin’ to

1929 recordings of

“kid punch” miller

a little known contemporary

of louis armstrong

and i’m thinkin’

that things ain’t changed much

in the last seventy-nine years


an’ they hardly ever do…

boys are still

tumblin’ into cheap, primitive studios

with their  bottles and smokes

whoopin’ it up

an’ havin’ a ball

makin’ sweet music

to their ears

an’ they’re still

playin’ rent parties

an’ passin’ the jug

an passin’ out on the floor

after chasin’ each other’s women

an’ smokin’ too much weed

an’ they’re still

comin’ to my shop

and whinin’ that

the music industry is corrupt

which it is, but no more

than everything else

themselves included

and they cry that

they don’t know how

to make it

and i know it

`cause i don’t

know how


except for

tryin’ to

work harder

`cause in `29

you could only

get a nickname

like “kid punch”

if you could

cut the mustard








from the parasite papers

(early excerpt)


realize how small you are

a parasite on a host

squash you like a bug

a tiny organism

consuming more than its share

you’re a louse

blood, urine, feces, saliva

parasitic playgrounds

you’ve got your hooks in me


bleeding me dry

don’t bug me

working in the bowels of the earth

i can’t let go

it’s eating at me

i’ll get out of your hair




the story (continues)

…the credits roll…

the story is SO BIG now…               or…              is it?

-isn’t an act of war


and act of war?

what’s to explain?

…thousands of years discussing one urge…

…our little stories… seem to help…

some overcome the urge

but others have to stoke it

-while the solitary author

watches the stars

and listens to the wind

-something soldiers must learn to do

if they are to survive…

when i work alone on my story


war recedes

far into the distance…

how do you dismantle

such an ancient machine?

-warlords band together

to write

their egos

upon their people

-artists converge

to turn the ego

towards the sun

…japanese animators

enhance an italian story

directed by a scotsman

produced by a jew

starring an african

set in spain

edited by a frenchman

with cinematography by a swede

music by a czech

and costume design by a turk

dubbed for release in 28 countries

…the credits roll…

watch the credits




*author’s note… my haiku are written much shorter than 5-7-5 so that they can translate into 5-7-5 in Japanese…





butterfly’s beauty overwhelms

the surrounding concrete



i feel like

that twirling leaf


another full day of work
from morning until late afternoon

and what better thing is there
for an old woman to work towards
than to sit on her porch on a hot summer’s evening

a beautiful wilting flower
amongst the many young ones in her garden

following the big boys

so Michael died yesterday…

and all i have to do is say Michael
and you know exactly who i’m talking about
or at least have him near the top of your Michael death list

not that it made me sad
because i’ve expected weird shit from him for years
and for someone as rich as him to have a heart attack and die at 50

is just weird

so when a fellow record seller
came into my shop and asked if i’ve sold any Michael yet
it took a while for it to sink in that i can charge more for his records now

and when i pulled them
so that i could see which ones i have
i found that i have some great ones that i’ll charge more for

yes i must admit that when
something or someone points out to me
that things are going to be more expensive i follow a little bit

yep i follow a little bit
just like all of the followers following the greats
who reset the standards that most of us wind up chasing one way or another

just like bukowski followed celine
and van gogh followed millet
and beckett followed yeats

and Michael followed James

and you know who James was…

there’s gotta be a better way

hot town
summer in the city
and there’s a



the CUPE Local 79
and TCEU Local 416 (CUPE)
aren’t happy with their city wages
and their regular unionized pay raises
so they’ve decided to strike and shut down
a whole shit-load of services here in hogtown

it’s only in its second day now
but running my kensington market record store
and being president of the community organization
i’m already up to my eyeballs in the business concerns

the cbc doc rep has been by
and it’s his biggest story right now

my friend shamez
owner of la palette was here
and told me of how he and the owners
of all the restaurants on this block will work together
and compile all of their garbage and take it to the dump themselves

which is great
because i like seeing
my neighbours work together
to solve problems and get things done

so a couple of the boys
will go with the garbage to the dump
and our group of folks just trying to help each other out
will meet and confront picketers just trying to help each other out
and they will stare each other down and possibly shout and argue about

what is right
and what is wrong…

as if they all weren’t trying to do what’s right already


gliding on bike

dragonfly keeps pace

building the ship to come in

when i was six
i made a ship
out of small boxes

cereal boxes
macaroni boxes
hairspray boxes
chocolate boxes
all with little doors
leading into each other

for weeks
i kept adding to it
and it got bigger
and bigger and bigger
and got as long as i was
and i took it to school
stretched out on the floor
happy with my
big, crazy, random
house boat complex

a few years later
i started writing
little pieces
little projects
collected together
in notebooks
and drawers
on scrap paper
and eventually

after a while
there were hundreds
and then thousands
of little notes
drawings, poems
prose and ideas
and they all felt
in some way

to some early
idea of self
that sent out
a wave of debris
that i’m still picking through

so when i remembered
the ship complex
with its dozens
of little doors
leading to every room
i thought of
my body of work
and wondered if
it might actually float

closed circles

a young native couple
is having the up and down
and back and forth
across the street
in front of my shop
lunch-time argument

and it’s pretty sad
because its easy to tell
that she’s pregnant
and that they’re both
booze-ravaged souls
who are here for the
busy soup kitchen
a few doors down

looking at their faces
you can see that
they haven’t a prayer
for a life of much of any
normalcy any more
for as long as
they both shall live

the pain and beatings
and berating and blows
are etched in thick stone
upon their muscular faces
as they spit and shout
and throw up their hands
and toss their back-packs
at each other in disgust

they’ve grown up
with generations
of self-destruction
from the wounds that
the short end of the stick
have marked upon them
and it’s as natural to them
to kick in despair
as it may be to you
to mark down
your pension plan contribution
-so don’t sit comfy and wonder
why they block trains
and burn tires on the road
and shut things down
over unresolved land claims

yes, i am truly disgusted
by what is still to this day
borne of this society

where the money
that built what we have
on land that was taken from them
still mostly goes around
in death circles
that pay for
or subsidize
white education
white arts funding
white highways
white banks
white auto makers
white court buildings
white expense accounts
white health benefits

and white lies

pressing on

my japanese wife is about to leave
for a job interview…
this is the ninth or tenth
in a long string of them
and we really need it…
the sub-prime, war-time
low dollar, november chill
has got us dipping
into my credit card
and it fucking sucks sometimes…
(thank god for the love…)
and as i make my coffee
she comes out of the bedroom
really pretty
which i really like
and she gently but rapidly
pats her heart
and says
“chyotto doki-doki…”
which means
“beating a little fast”
and i can’t help but be
instantly transported
to the last time i felt
that particular
nervous sensation…

it’s an animal all its own…
and it’s not the best of feelings
considering it reminds me
of the feeling i used to get
when i thought i might have to
fight someone in the school yard…
and i work for myself now
because being beholden
to other men
made me want to
pull my own heart out
through my throat
and smash it
into my bosses faces
because most companies
are stuck with outdated philosophies
on how to manage
and most people power-trip…

so i give her a kiss
and a big hug
and take a charlie brown pocket book
off of the bookshelf
and tell her to read it
on the bus…

“it’ll help you stay calm”
i explain…
and it will
if only for a little while…

which is all we need sometimes…