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Down the Line(s)

Version 2

We don’t have to be in lockstep;
side by side is mostly a metaphor
of how we want more.
More time, more smiles, more miles.
When you hurt, I want to hold your hand;
when you laugh, I want to clink your glass;
and when you ask –
I want to walk the journey toward that answer.
Except sometimes you tire me;
today, I’ll run ahead; you’re lagging behind,
looking for something I don’t want to find.
I don’t really want to wait.
You don’t want to wait?
That’s okay; I can relate.
You go ahead; like I said the other day,
sometimes we just don’t want to stay.
We don’t have to be in lockstep;
this journey isn’t a day march.
It’s time and smiles. Blood, sweat, tears,
and miles. Many. Many. Many miles.


White Dashes at the Crossroad

White Dashes.jpg

Your death was my crossroad.
I’d walked for-almost-ever watching the white dashes,
pleasantly ignorant of my surroundings,
the cohabitation of beauty and ashes.
Two decades ago we put you in the ground.
Twenty years ago my glass house shattered.
Too many more like you now live in the dirt,
and only some say that their lives matter(ed).
Two days ago your body buried a bullet.
For cash or dope, I’ll never know,
though I won’t be alone in my ignorance.
Your stories just don’t get told.
So when the hollerin’ and singing are over,
when the floor is cleaned from the splatters,
only too few will tell your story.
Because along the white dashes, your lives don’t matter.


I found the treasure hidden away
in the plain and the mundane.
I remember the shovel and the dirt
and the blood that stained my shirt.
I dug through the shit of promises piled high.
I took those failures and graded a garden at night
for those who might come behind
searching for satisfaction for their minds.
I dug through the glitter of glory packed hard
to find it only a thin veneer hiding something marred.
‘Twas the face of a Thought that ceased to grow,
turned ashen grey having lost its glow.
I dug with my hands through a layer of pride,
finding myself digging through my own insides.
With bloody hands and finger tips rent,
I did what I could until I was spent.
It was only when I stopped and surveyed the land,
when I put down the shovel to examine my hands,
that I saw that what I sought was not without but within.
And now that I found it, I’ll never dig again.

Reflection on Poverty

Poverty has a face. Dusty and dingy. Sad. Grey from last night’s 4 day binge. Tear streaked or sweat streaked. Sometimes both. Matted hair, oily hair, no hair, on furrowed brows over sleep depraved eyes. Poverty has a limp when she walks down the street in clothes too small for her too small body. Track marks in the bends of her arms and knees and toes. Cracked lips from too many dicks. And never just enough change for a fifty cent cigarette, rolled by a lady who rolled from used butts, a lady she can’t remember but bought from just yesterday. Poverty wears clothes handed down from hand me downs. He probably didn’t bus all the way to West Ed to buy that Jack and Jones dress shirt one size too large. Poverty lives in a van, McDonalds bags 2 months old covering the oil stained painted carpet. He listens to CBC before looking for work that barely pays enough to get gas to get home. Home being a new space tonight because ESSO on 106st drove him off when the morning shift came on. And he’s scared because Winter is coming, and his heater is busted, but the booze keep him warm. At least ’til he sleeps. Then wakes to snot frozen in his beard. But the shelter is too dangerous. And where to park his home? Poverty is clean shaven and joviality. He’s eight cups of coffee to keep him awake from the wakefulness of last night’s nightmares. He’s quiet only when he sees the nightmares come to life and he has to sit with the worker who fights with an impatient middle class crisis nurse who will be intentionally late because the nightmares happen every. single. day. Poverty is too many voices medicated by a needle that may or may not have come out of the grate or the street works van or the hand of the man who traded a moment of voiceless peace for a dirty orgasm in the back of an old white beater on the corner of 96st and 112 ave. Poverty is a wrong turn. A bad choice. One barrier then two then three. Then loneliness. Then you. Then me. Save for the prospect of our opportunities.


I’m a little fucked up, far from perfect.
A few steps left of strange, nowhere near deranged.
I smile with a sparkle in my eyes
and cry from pains inside.

I no longer strive to hide my flaws.
Letting them fall, those walls
no longer defend me from you.
Look at me now; see what is true.

I may spill mustard on my tie at noon
or forget that cheese does not make up the moon,
and I may rhyme every line
or leave you guessing with blank abrupt verse.

Because I am far from perfect, a little fucked up.
Happy, melancholic. At times curt or terse.
But I no longer stand in front of mirrors to rehearse
and waste time life stretched toward perfect.


I’ve become accustomed to you.
Like a shadow in the room,
the dust square where a photo hung,
or the noise the refrigerator makes before it dies.
When did we last laugh?
I think you got it this time
somewhere in between the silences.
You were always best at quiet.
And now I just want to breathe you goodbye;
you’re a cruel human being,
a puppeteer seeking a marionette,
but I have no strings and am not made of wood.

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