Friday, March 25, 2005


The bar was deep with a bordello twist
near the stairs to the washrooms. She
was sitting under a red swag lamp and
I stood there and she looked at me.
The pool table had begun with an actual
pool game but then too many arses
sat on the cushions and then the felt
and then there was a fifteen minute
window when bodies piled on and fishnet
stockings and drinks, one with baileys
and tequila. I found her at the bar
discovering a man's naked waist, the
fascination with sit-ups. Men have
begun wearing gym sweats with good shoes,
or pinstripe jackets with sneakers.
You have to go one way or the other.
We stayed until our host was removed
by three sets of hands and carried
on to the next bar. Advice, she cried.
I need advice. And all I could think
was Wilde: All advice to the young
is bad advice.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

She was reading Don DeLillo on the streetcar

I spent twenty minutes
looking for my keys. So
I left the doors all open.
I was on the subway, feeling
vexed. Then I realized,
because the snow had returned,
I was wearing two coats. The
inside coat, that's where the
keys were. I read at the ROM
and took the subway home.
All the way, and even the last
leg on the streetcar. There
I sat, far away from the packed
She said, You sold
a lot of books tonight.
This woman two seats ahead of me.
I was at the book table, she said.
The woman across from her
pulled out The Body Artist, so
I had to ask. Are you enjoying
It's a bit slow.
Yes, I know what you mean, but I
like that slowness. And I like small books.
Yes, she said, I like small books
I said, The bit I remember
is when our narrator forgets what
the toaster lever is called. She
calls it the toaster thing. Then
two pages later she remembers the
word lever. The whole book is
about that time just before you
recall what all the world's names

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Psalms over a Guinness

Okay sit there. Two Guinness
please. She said, I dont like psalms.
Me: The 23rd is pretty good.
She said, If you pretend youre a sheep.
The shepherd oils your eyes at night.
Does this juke box have any Webb Pierce?
Does anyone know the one song that
mentions both Newfoundland and Ceylon?
The Valley of Death is a place
you have to wait. You wait to go
down when someone is going up.

Friday, March 18, 2005

passport photo

Because I'm tall I sit on a box.
A bright light behind me.
It makes my ears glow.
You like this one?
Well my ears are glowing.
In the apartment
the pink hyacinth
has pushed up six inches.
To answer your question
no I'm not drunk
and I'm paying.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Are You

Are you adored.
Are you lukewarm.
Are you convinced.
Are you really here with me.
Are you so cold.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Three hundred and nine seagulls
dive bomb Loblaws parking lot.
Forty-two pigeons on the
Pizza Nova roof. Thirteen geese
discuss a shiny puddle (four of
their black necks curl down
as though they are looking under
a bed -- two only have one foot).
In a grocery bag: one frozen duck.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

It's a sunny day and I'm 40

It's a sunny day and I'm forty.
There was the ocean and the cold
white hills of St. John's. I woke
up in St. John's. The day before
I was woken suddenly at 4:30 in the morning.
Get up and pack your bags, because
we're going to St. John's. The
Edmonton Roadrunners and writers
involved in the March Hare, all
stranded at the airport. And here I
am in Holyrood, on a public library
computer, typing this. On our
way in a rented car to Brigus.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Spoke Club and a Shopping Cart

There is a line-up around
the corner to use the elevator.
Three floors, but the stairs are
locked. Put your drinks on my
card, a publisher says.
Another: I dont want to sound racist,
but I've never met
a Newfoundlander I didnt like.
The night is young, I say.
There's a woman turning forty
and another turning sixty.
It seems everyone is turning
a solid number this year.
The forties are the best decade,
she says. Youre still young, yet
you feel mature -- and everything
still works.
On my way down in the elevator
the last woman of the evening
picks up a quarter I've dropped.
That's a shopping cart
at Loblaw's, she says. She
is, I know, a millionaire.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

They were heading west

A man in a wheelchair pulled
by two huskies on King Street
he was flying the Canadian flag.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Watching Steve Earle at Club Denim in Guelph

If you ate today, thank a farmer.
The word GENTLEMEN in block letters,
glowing in the basement.
The padlocked box, Ribbed with
Raised Spirals for Her Stimulation.
Earle strums like he's drying off his
It feels not right to push a mandolin
through the drum trauma of
Copperhead Road.
The old man does the young man's
A metal garbage bin is beaten.
A man rolls onto his back in the road.
Another kneels down to light a smoke.
A woman takes off her glasses to
look at the lenses.
The ride home, on heated seats.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Awake at three am

Glasses in the cupboard jingle
Streetcar in the muffled snow
I am almost forty

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

If snow were black

Snow is white, and white repels light
and heat. So snow remains longer
than if it were black and could
absorb heat, and melt. Perhaps, long
ago, there was black snow. But the
white snow won out. Is there such
a case to be made for evolution
in the mineral world?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

kernel of truth 1

You tend to be defined by a weak moment.