Short Unsolicited Advice on Writing Poetry

via Daily Prompt: Observe 

Short Unsolicited Advice on Writing Poetry

write long poems on short days
short poems on long days
you don’t need a drummer
but you do need rhythm
avoid melodrama
your head cannot explode all the time,
there is uncharted territory
between ecstasy and despair
look after your images
they should splash like cold water
on the reader’s face
observe, always observe.

 

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If a Relationship is a Bus

Folf Fest (2)

if a relationship is a bus
why then sometimes
does the bus leave the paved road,
the beaten track,
the path most trodden,
and bump off across
a corrugated desert
complete with tumble weeds
and plural cacti
(the wind is howling
at least, it sounds like the wind)
and that bus keeps bumping along
until it coughs, sputters to a stop,
and the occupants reluctantly step out
onto the desert floor
which is really an ancient ocean bed
strewn with the fossils
of forgotten fish
like the backlot
of some prehistoric sushi bar
they step out
breathe the bone dry air
and ask themselves how,
how the hell
did we end up
in this fucking bus metaphor?

Dog Days

via Daily Prompt: Cur 

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Dog Days

Oscar’s wife, Anka,
declared:
we need to procure
a guard dog
to make our home secure,
a real dog
not some mangy cur
some obscure miniature
some saliva dripping
skinny impostor
looking for a sinecure
a dog that barks
at every knock on the door
and when, Oscar asked,
should this occur?
Yesterday, she said,
or before.

 

Photo taken at the Takashi Murakami exhibition (The octopus eats its own leg) at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Nod to Bob

via Daily Prompt: Bestow 

Nod to Bob

I’m a poet

but I can’t

bestow it.

 

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Talking of Bob, here’s a post from the past

Bob Dylan’s Worst Line Ever

Last week there was a Simon Pegg retrospective at our local cinema and Slim invited me back to his one bedroom apartment after we watched an early showing of “Shawn of the Dead”. Slim had prepared dinner and by that I mean he had peeled back the tin foil edge of a take-out carton of butter chicken, removed the cardboard lid, and handed me a plastic fork and a can of Old Style lager. He then lapsed into one of his silences.

I found myself noticing the beads of condensation on the clear plastic lid of the steamed rice container. The rice was long past fluffy. The evening stretched before me like a Sunday in Ottawa. My only recourse was to ask Slim an irritating question.

“So, Slim”, I said, “who do you think is the better poet, Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen?”

Slim’s  face wrinkled in disgust. “Bob Dylan’s not a poet”, he snapped,“ he’s a poetic songwriter”.

“And Leonard Cohen is…..?”

“Leonard Cohen is a poet who writes songs”.

“Ok then, what’s your favorite Bob Dylan line, verse, whatever”

“I can only think of the bad ones”

“So what’s the worst Bob Dylan line ever?”

Slim blinked once like he was accessing a folder in his brain with an internal mouse.

“John Wesley Harding, ‘As I walked out One Morning’, third verse:

‘Depart from me this moment

I told her with my voice’.

It’s like saying ‘there’s going to be a jailbreak somewhere in this town’”

“But that’s Thin Lizzy”.

Slim looked like he had taken a sip of battery acid.

“My point is they are expressing the obvious just for the sake of a rhyme. It’s obvious that the jailbreak will be at the fucking jail and how else will he tell her except with his voice, they are in a field, for fuck sake!”

“Oh”, I said, reaching for a poppadom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Often ask Myself the Question ( James Comey and other imponderables)

 

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1

I often ask myself the question:
Is James Comey a bit of a wanker
a self-aggrandizing prima donna
who only looks honourable
when compared to Donald Trump?
I often ask myself that question.

2

I often ask myself the question:
can a man
mansplain to a man
or can a man
only mansplain
to a woman, and if so
if one explains something
in a condescending manner
to a member
of one’s own gender
is one, in effect,
cisplaining?
I often ask myself that question.

 

All Bubbles Burst ( 4 haiku)

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All Bubbles Burst

1
white Lexus on lease
new suit, shoes, two day stubble
bubble? what bubble?

2
cherry blossoms bloom
well-dressed ladies from Beijing
pose with hand on hip.

3
cherry blossoms bloom
the air is sticky with greed
houses, for sale, sold.

4
cherry blossoms bloom
the wrecking ball’s lazy swing
petals, debris, spring.

 

Three of these haiku appeared in previous posts at the height of the recent real estate boom in Vancouver; a boom that was driven by speculation, primarily by foreign buyers. Real estate became a commodity. Houses that had been around since the 1920’s were demolished and replaced by larger houses, some with an architectural style that had no context in the Pacific North West (white tiled French Colonial). Around where I live there was constant disruption: dump trucks, concrete trucks, agents knocking on my door, white Lexus’ (Lexi ?) driving up and down in front of the house every weekend, neighbours cashing in and leaving. Then like all bubbles, it burst or to be more exact, floated off to Toronto.

 

 

Luminescence (counter-intelligence)

via Daily Prompt: Luminescent 

Luminescence

The stars are out
luminescence rises
from the surface of the pond
I think of Tommy
Tommy Tumescent and the Hard-ons
yes you could say
they were big in the fifties
yes you could say
they rose to stardom in the fifties
all pompadour and pointy toe
and to counter this puerile nonsense
I also think of iridescence
finesse
obsolescence.

sunrise-4

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/luminescent/

Why did Yeats need Nine Bean Rows? (update with photos)

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee

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Why did Yeats need Nine Bean Rows? (a slimverse)

he could have

had five to

rhyme with hive

contrived? Wha?

 

What brought this on?

A friend of mine told me recently that he had no recollection of studying Yeats at school. When he said this, the above lines from The Lake Isle of Inisfree, sprang in to my head along with “clay and wattles made” and “bee-loud glade” and of course  the opening line “I will arise and go now, and go to Inisfree” which I have heard  so often that it has now taken on an orotund, stage Irish plumminess.

Our  English teacher, Mr Courtney, loved that “bee-loud glade”.

(of course, nine, bean, honey is more musical)

Slim invents a Word / A simple desultory haiku

via Daily Prompt: Frantic 

I’m sitting in front of a pitcher of Blue Buck Ale in The Post Coital Beetle when Slim bursts through the door wearing a lime green cycling jacket, black spandex pants and a maroon cycling helmet balanced on the balding boulder that is his head. Little red and green lights wink on and off on his helmet and shoes; strips of high vis luminous tape decorate his spandex legs.

“Slim”, I say, “you look like a fucking Christmas tree.”
“Safety is job one.”
“All the world needs is another slogan”

Slim ignores this and announces that he has invented a new word.

“I know”, I say, “tumultaneous.”

“No”, he says, “a new one – chillacrity.”

Slim takes off his jacket; he’s wearing a tangerine fleece unzipped at the neck to reveal a tuft of ginger hair. His gut is putting a strain on the fabric; he looks like a soccer player who has stuffed a ball up his shirt in celebration of a goal and a pregnancy. I get a whiff of rising damp and realize that Slim is not wearing a tee-shirt – fleece on bare sweaty skin, a warm pub, this does not augur well. He is as close to animated as Slim gets.

“So, here it is, say you’re walking down a suburban street and you hear the frantic screams of a young girl. You look around, the screams appear to be coming from a house across the road. The door is open. What to do you do? Sprint across the road and into the house? No,…… you look right and left and slowly cross the road taking out your cell phone at the same time and phoning 911. You give the operator the address and note the snow shovel on the porch of the house. The screaming continues, you step over some broken glass, grab the snow shovel and slowly enter the house shovel first….you’re moving with chillacrity”.

The evening has just started and already I’m wondering if it will ever end.

Haiku written sitting in a pub in Toronto killing time

fish tacos, pale ale
menu says pico gallo
what the fuck is that?

Drive / The One and Only Quartet

 

 

Drive

On a strange day

in a life that’s becoming stranger

Myron is driving north of Kona

on a road bisecting the black lava landscape

when Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

comes on the radio,

and in no time at all

he’s picturing himself

on a boat on a river

and marveling for the first time

at that rhyme between

marmalade skies and kaleidoscope eyes

not the skies and eyes

but the lade and leid

and just when his head

is filling with technicolor

the black cloud that’s sitting

on the mountains to the right

moves across the sun

that’s shining

on the blue ocean to the left,

and the black asphalt road

and the jumbled chunks

of frozen black lava

that cover the landscape

suck the remaining light

from the air

leaving everywhere

a dull monochrome.

 

This poem was published in The Galway Review some time back and also previously published here.

Daily Prompt : Quartet

The Toddler King Part (1)

 

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    Orange is the New Bleak 1 (3)

The Toddler King Part (1)

5 am in America

the toddler king
checks his Twitter feed

a five hundred pound ball
of carbohydrate and grease
rolls across the parking lot
of a big box store,
no one notices

assault rifles take stock

the second amendment
thinks about making amends

the founding fathers
find themselves wanting.

 

Identical (In Praise of Extended Benefits)

via Daily Prompt: Identical 

In Praise of Extended Benefits

born identical twins,
they became indentured servants
to Lord Denton,
a wealthy landowner
who believed passionately
in the benefits
of dental care,
consequently
the identical twins
lived a long
indentured life
and never endured
the indignity of dentures.