The Artist’s Winter

urban-13-500x333dust covers every key on the piano
spiders have taken over the easel
no one creates here anymore

rain pattering window’s glass
even on a sunny day
the doors stay closed

no one comes to knock or call
newspapers stacked outside the door
recall how long it has been thus

a cat wanders this floor’s hallway
nobody seems to know where it lives
suspiscions grow it’s been locked out

everyone waits for a dull thud
then the smell in coming days
denoting the prescence of death

I myself, try to believe
the newspapers will disappear
the door will open

typewriter-with-cobwebsthe cat will come home
the cobwebs will be swept
the dust will lift

the rain will stop
the music will start
writer’s block will end

and beauty
will be created



Hammering the Bored

“I have problems,” he says
“Oh yeah?” I say, “Tell me.”
“My wife is driving me crazy,” he says
“You should fuck her more,” I say
“She doesn’t like to fuck,” he says
“You should tell her to get a hobby,” I say
“I also hate my job,” he says
“You should quit and be a farmer,” I say
“My boss is such an asshole,” he says
“You should quit, then kill your boss,” I say
“My house needs repairs,” he says
“You should burn down your house,” I say
“I’m not insured,” he says
“So get insurance, then light a match,” I say
“I don’t like your attitude,” he says
“Then you should stop talking to me,” I say
“You shouldn’t give advice,” he says
“Then stop asking it from me,” I say
… no one speaks
for a long moment …


“What’s that hammer for?” he asks
“To bash my hand in when I get too bored,” I say
“I would never do that,” he says
“I know you wouldn’t,” I say
“That’s grotesque,” he says
“You’re just like the rest of them,” I say
“going on and on about your problems,
not one of you willing to
bash in your own hand
with a hammer.
That’s why you’re all
so god-damned boring.”


It’s How (and If) You Play the Game

This isn’t my game anymore
I was told to go home
I kick the ball around once in a while still
But I stopped playing the game
They don’t want me in
Unless I follow the rules
And make a line for the pros
But it’s not my game
I’m no pro
I don’t follow the rules
I shouldn’t play
It was good that I got out
Before I got injured
Or worse; got really good at playing


I have a new gig, a new game
One with fewer rules
No coaches, bosses or teammates
This is my game now
And when though I’m still a loser
I’m winning


Not Yet

Quit? Ha!

Have I quit yet?


Even when I lost my ID, and my money?
When I didn’t have a home?
When I was sleeping in a train yard?
I didn’t have a dollar, or 18 for the ferry
card-board signs and spider-bites
heartbreak and assault
Haven’t swam in the Atlantic
or eaten a scorpion
or swung on a trapeze
but I’ve lived a life
and I’m not afraid to keep on living

bring it on


because I’m not going anywhere


mind of an idle body in a landscape alive with motion

Alien and somewhat wrong it seems that such an activity,
that is the creative expression from mind to hand and
hand to pen and pen to ink and ink to paper and
ink on paper to eye and back again to mind in endless cycle,
should feel out of place in a setting such as this.

The setting itself, with its extraneously panoramic and inspiring beauty,
you would at first believe perfectly ideal for such an endeavour as poetry
– or, indeed, any art form which takes that which is perceived through
the senses of eye, mouth, ear, nose, tongue and skin and
transposes into communicated bliss, or revelry, or simple contentment
for others to take in and enjoy themselves –
but sadly, one is compelled to think it is not so.

The mountains, ocean, grass, sand and trees
The people, faces, branches, leaves, limbs and voices
The clouds, boats and houses
The sun, sky, land and horizon
Are too adventurous to allow for sedentary observation.

The mountains cry out to be conquered,
teasing glory and excitement to any
with resolute bravery mastered
in which to set out upon their
treacherous slopes.

The ocean holds within its fathomless depths
a universe of untouched wonders
in which to revel, to explore.

The grass offers motherly comfort
to any with the inclination to lay
upon its bountiful bosom.

The sand is the embodiment of time’s enduring
onward march toward infinite rejuvenation
and renewal which may be witnessed
by any with the patience.

The trees stand as pillars of life’s recurring gift,
reminding any with hearts receptive
that they as well hold the power to
become more than what the form
they took at creation bore.

The people, infinitely varied and coloured,
examples of possibilities abound in the
day to day choices that we, as fellow travelers,
are capable of making.

The faces, leaves, limbs and voices
give us tools to use as we taste
all of creation’s wonders.

The clouds bear witness to our plight
and beckon us on to goals
above and beyond the reach
of said earthly tendrils.

The boats tempt us with passage
unto unknown places,
while the houses assure us that
others have embarked on ventures past
and lived long and prosperous enough
to lay down and rest.

The sun, sky, land and horizon are there and always have been,
and they tell us that we are as well, and we always will be.

Abound in this rich setting are other members of my species
who enthusiastically employ their senses, muscles and wills
to climb, swim, plunder, conquer, explore, swing, dive, build and enjoy
to their utmost capacity every tangible inch of the world
in which I plant myself in silent station to observe.

It is not beyond the scope of reason
why one feels the pull of obligation
to do something more
than simply sit,
and watch,
and write in a leather-bound book.