Who Couldn’t Love That Smile?

His cheekbones pronounced, his slight bristle of stubble, his brows immaculately-shaped, he positively glowed from the picture frame.
He could have modeled. Perhaps not on the runway, for his demeanor was too humble, too approachable. He lacked the stark, cold angularity usually reserved for runway types – those exiguous flesh mannequins, paid to shut up and look fierce, or bored, or merely apathetic.
But he could be useful on some poster or brochure selling a car, or a vacation, or a cup of coffee.
Did his girlfriend ever say things like, “You have such a nice face, you should be on television?”
Did he give modeling a go?
Was he chewed up and spit out by the heartless fashion industry?
Did he write postcards from a broken-down Los Angeles motel room?
Or was he simply happy being who he was? A bank manager, newly promoted, newly moved into a two-bedroom, Yaletown address, newly murdered?


page one shot from the muzzle of a snub-nosed gun

Damn my eyes
damn the size of a full-back
blown up on a field of lies

He cuts his eyes on other guys
who still think size is the biggest surprise
they’ll ever see if they pee
off a log in the fog at the edge of a cliff
lifted up high
they look down at the sky
and spit in the eye of a storm.

Cursing form and normal Norms
stuck in dorms to plan out a real plot
or plot out a real plan
to span their scan over lands
flat as can be
so manly
not rippled and dimpled
and crimped and primped
likes babes to be pimped out to Johns
that’s just wrong.

Don’t you know it’s not the words
but your song’s got me twisted
by wrist and tongue to decide how I end
and how I begun?

By the gun, that’s much more fun.

Of by the bell that’s rung
ding dang dong.

You hear the flow?

Did you see it?

Did you know that it’s all for show?

How could you not, bro?

Am I leading the words with a definite goal
or are the thoughts trying hard to keep up
with the ink and the pen
then again, what came first?

The line or the verse?

The forward reversed or the backspin spun forth?

It’s cursing to thirst
for an answer to get only shrugs
on the mugs of blank Joes
who don’t know they’re shmoes
’til they show you their hand
and you mark how it’s bland
and they really had nothing
interesting to remark.

So stall
and park.

It’s getting dark.