Category Archives: Poetry and Prose

expressionist freeverse, punk rock lyrics, occasional ode to love, digression into nonsense, or possibly vaguely lyrical or rhyming, but not likely – maybe in cycles

“Vanessa of the B Line” (lyrics, alt 2)

Not the B-Line (but that’s not the point)

V.1

I’ve heard that pretty girls

don’t rides buses

but here you are

in Fluevogs and glasses

V.2

You seem to notice that

i’m already schemeing

about English Bay fireworks

and Kitsilano dreaming

Note, I carry a monthly pass (well at the time of this writing) so I didn’t really need a token but you know, doesn’t really matter after all does it?

C.1

Already i call you

sweet Vanessa of B-line

Before my stop on Cambie

I’m gonna ring the bell

and ask your real name

B.1

You and me it’s agreed

already have a history

set in fast-forward speed

i’m already collecting

our future unspoken

just give in quickly

before i need a new token

V.3

I’ll write my Twitter

on the back of the Buzzer

cause i wanna follow you

in all sorts of ways

V.4

You’re looking so smart

but I’m too shy to stare

tugging your ponytail

and reading Baudelaire

V.5

On the back of my ticket

I’ll pass you a note

get off at the Seabus

run away to Deep cove

Refrain

Vanessa act quick now

we’re almost passed the street

i’ll too nervous to tell you

that i think you are

sweet Vanessa of the the b-line …

This is also not the B-Line bus but still beside the point

Senryu / assorted, (rather silly, some not)

Senryu are meant to be (the more formal, serene and seasonal)Haiku’s sillier cousin and in fact pre-date haiku as a form.

Imagine Japanese folks, centuries ago, I’m getting themselves around the heart with short humorous anecdote and having a good laugh.

photo has nothing to do with the poems but put here because it will make it look more Japanese

Either way, here’s a wee cycle i uncovered in a forgotten shoebox, shared here for your possible bewilderment and amusement.

Written, 2003-4, Olympia, WA (likely)

“Spam – ku”
40 million dollars
again and again
offered from Nigeria

But she told me she’d meet me
At the Thai restaurant
downtown!

I already told you
I love you ~
Can I hang up now?

The dog and I
Shared a dinner
Of tortilla chips and beer

Thinking of Amsterdam,
I slip
on rainy cobblestones

Driving the old, old highway
through Central park
Avoiding all the birds

Attenuated Telepathy (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten in Drawers (vol. 8, Resistor)

Attenuated Telepathogram (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten in Drawers (vol. 8, resistor)

“Alchemists” poetry accolade from Muriel’s Journey

Poetry Accolade of sorts: Pleased to be on the prize list for a very interesting poetry initiative with roots in Vancouver’s downtown eastside.

I was selected as the “random” prize which i suppose isn’t flowered with prestige but that’s not the reason i write and share poetry anyhow. Thanks to Muriel’s Journey 2021 And Beyond (FB) for including me.

My poem “Alchemists Confer with Hypnotists” (below) comes from my fcked up #MECFS medical journey of conundrums and unintended reinvention which took me around the world seeking ways to re-create neural pathways and myself as an existing sentient creature. The poem will be included in a chapbook and reading at some juncture.

Anyhow, congratulations to those acknowledged, those who write, submit, deal with illness and also to the memory of namesake Muriel and the organizers of the campaign, especially Isabella J Mori.

{The prize booty is stashed in a Canadian bank account for Ichiro for when the opportunity comes for him to visit his ancestral homeland of sorts.}

Poetry is everything, distilled.

A note about Muriel:

“Muriel was a social justice activist, poet, and spoken word artist of Indigenous heritage from the Gitxsan nation’s Owl Clan who spent a lot of time in the Downtown Eastside. In her work, she always explored new ways of expressing herself, always talked and wrote about what’s urgent and important. Her energy was like fireworks, and her hugs legendary.”

bizen yaki kiln, forging clay into treasure
Alchemists Confer with Hypnotists

Varying days
of bliss and malaise
I'm busy these days
chasing dubbies away

When the ache nears 
the break comes and 
light becomes a haze
your soul is so faded,
no hiding, so worn

The alchemists confer 
and deny the hypnotists’
clinical opinions. 
Retorting,
“He simply needs
more magnesium
injected directly into his bones”

The past-life regression
of painters and pirates 
offered no evidence 
only barroom stories when
posted up envisioning
a distant yourself

Generate kinetic watts 
from my broken soul,
frantic heart and coiled brain
anxiety - I've plenty to power
all of Iowa - roller rinks and  all

Please won't you deplete me
save me from me and help me
tell me, to sleep? And you’ll
insist on my compliance, 
fading into ease.

note: dubbies is a Jamaican word for ghosts

Update from Muriel’s Journey selection committee:

Thanks for posting this. The randomness is important. Judging poetry (or anything literature) has an element of personal taste and is, therefore, biased. When we first receive poems, Kyle Hawke and I pre”judge” them so that our judges don’t have to Wade through too many poems. Then we present the three judges with about 30 poems. This year the judges were Heidi Greco , WJ Kehewin , and Gilles Cyrenne . All the poems are judged blind – nobody knows the names of the authors. By introducing a random price we give the chance to someone who might have otherwise fallen through the cracks. So far, by chance, all the random prizes went to poets who were already in the preselection.

poem: Leaving Saskatoon

wrote a poem (in reply to the great singer songwriter Hawksley Workman who’s playing in #Saskatoon tonight)

boarding pass leaving Saskatoon to Calgary and onwards to Vancouver and Eugene Oregon as an infant (allegedly 10 days old)
Saskatoon
I was born here
but
never lived there (left quickly on a 707)
but
obliged to print on application forms
since–
quite literally hundreds or possibly thousands
there’s never enough room
(especially in Japan)
to write:
b. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Aug, 16 1970

Providence, lost

Sunday, Providence
grey like last week
with my bargain matinee cough syrup nod
candy coated

hold onto my thick head
next wave goes to mars
next even further
watch the clothes spin
in their fluff and dried
nebulae

i’ve tried it all on bended knees
but i’ll just think here and sit about
lost months and misplaced friends
haggard days and ice cream cones

i’ll stand here
holding nothing
try to think
how i got here
then figure where i am

i’ll stand a shady place
counting nickels

and happenstance
empty out my pockets
on the ground
you can’t trade lint
for bread and cheese

“it’s cloudier now than
its been for years”

i’ve spent days moving quickly
years dreaming loosely
and hours watching patiently
and weeks muddling and fidgeting

for the moment that is now
elsewhere
and sometime long before

  • From a lost and found journal) + for John Low on the couch { who says, “Evocative. Took me back. Rich, forlorn, our Providence, your Providence”
  • photo accompanying is desk at Koizumi Yakumo / Lafcadio Hearn’s home/museum in Matsue – there’s a pretty good chance I am him reincarnated

Postal wormholes to elsewhere #haiku 

Bend paper to find
Shortest distance between points
Or apply a stamp

{for Amber}

A Catographer, I Considered (prose poem)

A Cartographer, I Considered

Oct. 2017 North Pacific, bound southward

Spectacled, heavy on a rosy face, hidden among stacks, drawing inventions of maps – delineating frontiers between playful apparatchik and fields where the healthy and husky scrambled games I couldn’t be bothered to learn the constructed rules of play.

Naming regions of gravel and grass in derivations of Iowa towns and possibly Balkan enclaves. Tracing roads across trucking routes and Roman ruins built to the width of chariot wheels-cemented as standards for mine entrance bringing a horse to shores, away from relations to new lives, absent from home still never known beyond memories, Serio-graphed into filtered ideals.

Yet an unsteady hand and overall disconnect, or even indifference, which led to a place to “settle” – build a house from logs, and seasoned by time, after hewn, nailed and assembled by saw blade and heavy sludge, forged by a possible cousin who always remain a stranger. The blade remains anonymous as an un-muttered pithy quote en route to cliché.

Neither did exploding suns, brilliant and fleeting, assembled in patterns, ~ shared by the patient and measured in Newtonian units – still could not muster a journey – hence gazed, but ignored as impractical, nigh impossible.

Translucent layers, super-imposed and stacked, detailing azimuths, trajectories and elevations – separating fertile valleys (though subject to floods) from talus slopes too steep but for mountain rams on the shady flank of Timpanogos. 

Dotted dashed and surveyed, specific dots explained in legend denoting assigned capitals, provincial outposts, and occasionally hamlets determined by polled populations, overseen with constructed superintendents, supported by varying address of retainers. 

Intrigued by absence of obvious order though not my task to chart. 

Instead, as per instinct, selected and committed to memory, devoid of context, thin slices of knowledge swirling in a petri vacuum – accurate as such, but irrelevant 

So i journeyed to wonder about likely motivations which took Normans, Pharaohs and troubadours beyond the point of unknown return. Capes left in wakes with dates and hard-track to fortify a quest alleged to diagram flora.

Among them, I reference guide notes from decades past – as vague as possible to acquire allowing white-space and risk. Packed in burlap next to a survivor’s stove and pouch of seeds and spices and an important black pencil. Only planned to go one way, impartial to return rather to chronicle the unfamiliar.

The familiar left far behind as physics might allow – exchanged possible comfort in normalcy for uncertainty contentment in ambiguity. Meandering concentric routes, devoid of patterns or ready purpose. 

Answers are easier in cliché, ergo:

“I’ll know when i get there” – 

Town to creek to roadside conundrum – I swirled each in mouth , pretending my palette featured a vocabulary to explain to unseeing why I hadn’t settled for seemingly ideal locales, situations and specific circumstance to flourish.

Eventually, after farm toil, beach frolic, rough nights in dangerous morass, leaping turrets of ruins and painful heaving, missed junctions and forgotten aims, at a campfire in a lake-forest with a khaki-scout familiarity, I stumbled through an unfavourable gale, onto the intended coast 

I mocked myself for misnamed non-discoveries, i assumed as fragrant promised lands of plenty allowed to the intrepid erstwhile accidental navigators. 

Teased over misread hieroglyphics and misappropriated meaning to stone wheels quarried a far, hauled by double-hulled craft powered by taro and current and fickle breeze.

I could no longer mock with unearned disdain, the vaunted and faulted explorers, stolen secrets leading to some anomaly errantly pro-claimed as new or proper or divine. 

Earnestly deterred, i occurred to map a universe of flesh and thought. Breath and sounds assembled into meaning. 

The crease on cheek, the measure of brow, the angle of toes, magnitude of halo surrounding chameleon eyes and the mysterious enthusiasm of all which exists between.

Thwarted, not by scenery but by shaking confessions, fumbled after a stealth crossing at an indifferent frontier town. I’d escaped to my holy land I presumed for an instant before minor catastrophe. 

Stalled at an unwelcoming inn where i laid myself bruised and bare to a lover temporarily transformed to a stranger after i let the truth languish, vanquished by the uncertainty of resolved and fear or wounding the occasionally innocent. 

She walked out vested, blithely, pithy saying “I know” unwittingly perhaps offering just enough loft to push a tattered sail across a colour-coded sea mis-named as somewhere calm. 

The explorer hides. Alone, entirely lost and surrendered to fates incomprehensible to the battered. Uncontrollable by the hostage. Yet clinging to an adrenaline determination to manufacture strength to another foray. 

Monk-like, minus faith, discipline, dogma or skill at ringing bells, relying on rice gruel and fragrant hope, the cartographer gathered charcoal, fired for unsteady hands, and a redrew boundaries to conceive an entirely new Pangea with concessions to speculate, plunder and charts assigned exclusively to only two.

daveo, Oct. 2017 North Pacific, bound southward

 

Haiku: Graves & Trains

Graves & Trains

Rubbing faded kanji

From mossy tilted Edo graves

Shinkansen shooshes past

I picked you flowers (painting & poem)

Gravelly Beach, 2005, oil on canvas, Dave Olson

Picked you some flowers while I was out

Placed in a vase, slightly chipped

Perhaps you and the blooms will enjoy the view

I’ll be outside chopping wood