Category Archives: Vancouver Grey

freeverse about, and/or inspired by Vancouver and local environs

noble bus driver

noble bus driver (probably steve or curtis)
said he might
scoop me up when running down
the catch up hill since they roll a minute or two earlier now

might be later he says
cause it might be slow
doesn’t ask me for a pass
7:54 on 29th and
st. andrew’s and the rainy
mountain side greenbough morning

3 Men in Cowboy Hats next to an Irish Pub

Across cobbled rainy road i am alone in the vancouver night i draw closer one is a cardboard cutout of clint eastwood in a spaghetti western kit – poncho – flat wide brim – wide brimmed hat

Another a sculpture, weathered and supported, attached to the building in some manner.  HIs get-up is classic hollywood western – stetson, chaps, boots with painted spurs.  The whole sculptured man’s paint chips, rotting, revealing the manner of plaster or such he is constructed of.  The creases of jeans and bend of elbow of checkered shirt, chipped and eroded as water drizzles settles in the crook and meets the fringe of the leather vest.

The 3rd stands naturally – somewhat slouched – the belly is larger, the shirt more like a sweater – the hat more expressive with a oft-colored trim setting out against the streams of light drifting through the mannequins, saddle, sawhorses, slogans and such not in the window. the middle one draws on a cigarette and exhales.

As for me, moving across a intersected choice of six options.  Alternatives, and me loose , easy and baked, drift slightly south into irish heather – steadying, make way to conservatory room, far back.  White painted bricks along one wall save for standard beer mirrors – Guinness, Kilkenny, Harp, Bass so on … Rest of room is irons and glass – the floor rough, raw alley cobble, old as the city – red-bricked and sloping here and there.  the window behind me is cracked open but all are drafty, wooden and blue or green and all would be open in summerly times – now meditative dripping – needed cool air now.  Perhaps one may enter direct from the mews – popping in to the midst of music or drafts from the courtyard behind after leaving lover or friend with a wave to disappear – I imagine the proper hat to wear. I am not sure.  Long benches, wooden and freshly painted a blue which i want to call charlotte or to match a shirt i had in third grade if i can find the slide.  tables are tiny with smaller stool as though expecting tiny folk.

Pipes and gas lamps confuse which is in and outside.  As most times, i order a dark beer.   Then a cocktail on the menu with absinthe.  I ask as though aloof and tired with woolen coat, clunky leather shows, stitches fresh and hide pebbled, corduroys salvaged from a bad dream.  I’ve earned a moment.  The fellow with perfectly trimmed sideburns and uncommon tan brings cocktail. “Cheers!” he offers incidentally or instinctively.

Hi-ball glass w/ straw.  Elvis Costello sings then Joni Mitchell, the Van Morrison.  I don’t use the straw, drink from the rim, sweet, liquor pungent and smooth – I set it on the strongbow coaster.  2 couples and a table of 3 women all of all talking quickly and personally – i hear indiscretions, incidents and sentiments, apart from the miscellania.

I must be invisible again.

Twisted Scarf, Muffled

She wears the twisted scarf
muffled like an Audrey Hepburn character
the sweater i miss the times when
i’d worn wool buttoned
and misty windows rainy day slippers

First Morning

Like the first morn of
the first day of school

the bus driver doesn’t acknowledge my absence
i cough good morning anyhow

Critically Observed in Passing


Exchanging foreign candies
in a crooked lingo
aboard crowded bus
Excited in the new scene
the Japanese kid
too cool to talk
purple hair reading with
curly glass earrings
the other shaggy haired
and rock and roll leather jacket
and tennis racket
just doesn’t make sense why
Angels recruit in Vancouver


Waiting for a different bus
The Persian woman with an hour-long hairdo
and green skirt suit
hoping for a glance
While friendly fire kills more
the paper mentions in passing
tempting few to wonder why


The key to getting by
is knowing when to move back and when to get off
when the bridge sways on purpose
tethered by twisted cables
driven deep into burning ground
threatens the survival of us
within this toxic time

Refined not Created

The sugar refinery
seems to operate
yet i’ve never witnessed an act
of refining
or manufacturing
yet the trains go in and out
just before
New Brighton
and slightly east of the drive

Is the sugar squeezed
from beets?
but certainly not
sugar cane
tasty when thrashed pulled through ringers
dripping sticky on humid day

refined not created
sugar from the ground
or canes sprouted from Hawaii
half a globe around

All day walking in 1950’s Kitsilano

All day walking
in 1950’s Kitsilano
from my clapboard porch
i see the Lions

Leaving in
Starched shirt
battered hat
in absense on snow

Streetcar ride
near Dunsmuir
near the laundry mart
the store on Georgia
where i work
is expanding
past the brick facade

for Alice Munro

Sulphur Pile

There are just a few things
that i know about the sulphur pile

first, is that i am not sure it is actually sulphur
second, the pile is not harmed by rain
next, the (assumed) sulphur is used for something
somehwere else
trains bring it here, ships take it somewhere beyond

and the pile never changes in size

glowing like Van Gogh’s pool table
under cafe lamps


libra vox bravada
close in seeking treasure
the news box on pender proclaims
“zoo faces charges of cruelty to hippo”
just not something you read everyday

the buses bring touists,
flower hats blocking sidewalks
commuters struggle by
couching earnest glares

resisting urge to interfere
the nervous pleated pants, clip-on tie namebadge

busy time afoot
stained tile wallks
manage reflect sideways
amidst the grime

17th to 41st & Oak
a single coin is often,
indeed standardly,
exchanged for variations of
sustenence &/or convenience