Neil Gaiman says:

Neil Gaiman says:
pic by Allan Amato

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


"Yet there is a strength implicit in such a situation, for having no one on which to rely, we relied upon no one." --_The Ferguson Rifle_, Louis L'Amour (c) 1973

It is one of those utterly beautiful days of summer; sky like the eyes of a 16 year old blond, sweet wind playfully eddying at 22 C. The thick plum, cherry and oak glisten chlorophylle dreams. The sun bakes the deck and flies hum in cadence with John Keats' verses.

It is wasted on me. All this beauty, and quietude; not even the low roar of a lawnmower to screw it up, or the blatant howl of a leaf blower. No kids mewling and petulantly dropping fire bricks on shiny red car hoods. No dogs in choral bayance. No neighbourly "how-do" "how-do" "how-do".

It is perfect for a pulp novel on a chaise longe, a glass of moderately alcoholized lemonade in a sweating plastic cup. It is perfect for cats, 19 year old skinny with grey tufty fur and bones poking out of non-existent hips and shoulders to lay pancake flat on pavement: drawing in solar power. It is a day crafted for exuberant sloppy bouncy dogs to chase-chase-chase and lie in the shade, sucking on a stuffed plush lobster from Rainbow Valley.

It is one petal of one flower opening, showing a bruised purple face to the sun. Crepe red petals crinkling into memories. It is the antidote to the wet weather, of foul tempered Nature spitting and shitting on suburbia.

It is possible that in rolling my self in this radiance that all the horror, fear, hurt, loneliness, poignant loss, hopelessness, frustration and angst is burnished away: one sandpaper swipe at a time. Until there are just these hands, typing these words on this machine, pointed at the eastern window. The wind flutters eyelids, the leaves chuckle against one another and the neighbourhood is drowsing, drowsing.

It is a prayer against the run of shit luck that has dogged my heels this summer, this year: a barrel-of-monkeys game, where each piece of ill-luck was crazily grinning and clomped eagerly arm-to-arm, tail-to-tail onto the next piece. So, drawing the multicoloured plastic icons from their barrel one winces again and again and again.

It is hanging on to the only good things that are steadfast in this hurly-burly time: family, friends that are as close as family, friends that are on the other side of the country, and a grinning ginger Corgi.

There is pain, desolation and worry in the world five hundred times the height of my sorriest lot. And I know this. But I can only live in my world; my space in my way. The pain is personal, and the News must be set to mute, or off entirely. There is still time to dance in the sun, before she rolls her burning chariot into the blur of November. There is still time, before the time clock strikes 4-0. There is time to love, and laugh and get giddy; pointing at the hapless churning of the great skewed pot, filled to the brim with molding comic books, dripping art work, plastic wasted bric-a-brac riding the coattails of the desolation.

So, this was to be a nice deep wallow. And it is a Halleluja instead. Not a cover, but the rumbled groan of Cohen's razor blade throat over another case of wine, another cigarette, another shadowed Montreal morning in ice-biting February. When you realize that when things are at their absolute worst, one must sing, sing, sing.


Monday, August 17, 2009

The Crunch

The Crunch

too much
too little

too fat
too thin
or nobody.

laughter or


strangers with faces like
the backs of
thumb tacks

armies running through
streets of blood
waving winebottles
bayoneting and fucking

or an old guy in a cheap room
with a photograph of M. Monroe.

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock.

people so tired
either by love or no love.

people just are not good to each other
one on one.

the rich are not good to the rich
the poor are not good to the poor.

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us
that we can all be
big-ass winners.

it hasn't told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place

unspoken to

watering a plant.

people are not good to each other.
people are not good to each other.
people are not good to each other.

I suppose they never will be.
I don't ask them to be.

but sometimes I think about

the beads will swing
the clouds will cloud
and the killer will behead the child
like taking a bite out of an ice cream cone.

too much
too little

too fat
too thin
or nobody

more haters than lovers.

people are not good to each other.
perhaps if they were
our deaths would not be so sad.

meanwhile I look at young girls
flowers of chance.

there must be a way.

surely there must be a way we have not yet
thought of.

who put this brain inside of me?

it cries
it demands
it says that there is a chance.

it will not say

--Charles Bukowski

Love is a Dog from Hell
Poems 1974 - 1977
Santa Rosa Black Sparrow Press 1997