sleeping through 911


I remember 911, the CF-18s low
feeding like bats above my little city
& how I dreamt the pilots—
Willie Nelson on 8 track & them
smoking Camels in their cockpits
algebra tapping them on the shoulder

was a house of sirens when I woke, there
was a newborn rage still
green as new shoots in a John Deere field—
people, the enemy of peoples
had spit out a fresh bitter word that
had never charmed a lexicon, a word
that still echoes like falling













it occurs to me
that there’s reality in the gut of this thing
that the voices originate in the purple USB
tucked away in my drawer, the
blue one however is mute but
in it live the animal-eyed men
and I wonder what doves fly between them
when there’s a hush, a
blue full moon street—sorry
it was night behind my own eyes
when I arrived—the
coded Noir, the
fiction I write that screams
for me to stop at every period
that ends a sentence in smoke








the angels of Leviticus


it’s true they came to America
with malodorous smallpox pilgrims—
devoutly genocidal but
please don’t make that face
mine was an excellent root canal &
now we can go bowling
in the land of the righteous buttstock
fake news trailer parks &
all that’s finger lickin good, oh
& #CivilWar2017 postponed
due to obesity & diabetes
on the back lot of Liberty









Gordon Downie


the day Gord Downie died
anger was easy
I was watching my generation age &
it was storming in Vancouver

but then I knew it
that walking away is not the same
as leaving it all behind &
that each of us is immortal
until the gig is over

Well, there’s a rocking little spot next to the Regent Theatre
And if you want to make the scene you’ll make it sooner or later









any Saturday

on any Saturday viewed through a window
see the shadows of aeroplanes in silver subway rivervalleys the
luxury cityblock canyons of sidewalks & itchy fentanyl streetcorners
Chevrolets of gutter quit decades & fat relic finned Chryslers
cops on Harleys & rave in the grain the diagonal weave
alleyways & fireplugs red & ready the big girls & shrill boys
waiting on chance felony & dark they sulk but see you
on any Saturday viewed through a window







Oh! she said

she must have seen something worth Ohing! over
maybe elephants or God for
Oh! they say she said
at the moment of her death—

maybe as in Oh!
please don’t grieve
well not too much
not so much that people say, Oh!
just please stop it or

as in how nice to have Wednesdays free
now finally that I’m passing on, Oh!
my life of Wednesdays could be such a pain the
kids the shopping the middle of the week the bills

the bills, Oh!
Bob Oh! David
Oh! Linda, Danny and Lisa
and Sundays the
arguing the quiets and Christmases
and looking at photographs
I did that sometimes

I was once so young
she may have been saying my
children so happy there was love
after a curious hard fashion, Oh!
did I leave the stove on?








autumn poem

I remember
my father done told me
when he was a kid
every fallen leaf was a sawbuck
beer and smokes were free and
any old key opened any old door
on a cold October night

then he said
“I used to have time on these.”
holding out his working man’s hands and
then kicking the autumn leaves
(I kicked them too) he said
“Rare have become the sawbucks.”