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Improvising Over Hedges – Postcards #38

Pod cover - Postcards from Gravelly Beach - Sumo letters

Busting out a bit of original (un)sung freeverse with guitar-toting pal Bread, a shaker egg, and a stack of freeverse – fortified with improvisational bits about the mortar holding the middle of bricks, leaping over hedges, waiting for airplanes and diesels downshifting and being …
so tired but sometimes
so inspired
bewildered and in love with something
we’ve never met
and history yet unseen

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3 Men in Cowboy Hats

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

Bruised from the Tallest Place

Flugelhorn weeps along with wheels on rain
Pennies won’t derail a train
but might cause a bruise
when dropped from the
tallest place you’ve ever seen

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

Off the Brittany Seacoast

(For Tristan Colbriere, The End, La Fin)

Oakum planks rowboat
Bohemian seafarers
The current pulls towards easy an stride
Oars pull – locks wobble,
dynamics of hollowness and displacement
Expecting the inclement
seeking a forward curl

You and your seafaring dreams
Do you not know about the fever that levels so many?
Deep, gritty slick bottom appeared
before no gracious host
only grey curious gaze

Or a foreign plot lined with the greyest stones
Shipmates and explorers align aside
only to fade
Nigh seamate, hold fast
seek the cove and savour
The salty bracing air dear shipmate

Ships lean, storms crush, sailors scramble and the orphans walk
Mast arched and stretched against
The grain.
Storms pull fro and ships seek harbor
Grimy oakumed planks stuffed with twine –
tapped with purposeful hammer
The hollow serves no purpose
with naught a shoreman aboard

This and That

bad guys in tie dyes
wild oats and pigs and goats
blow the coals
in that there hole
gates locked key lost
left in lurch so go to church
and tread the water little farther
kick it in pick it up
faraway slap bang slap dash
go dutch knee high break a bone
bust a gut tear it up
soup and nuts in a cup
marioni marconi macironi
stalemate tailormade
count to ten  there you go
read your bible so you will know
how to vibrate gesculate
emulate authorities won’t agree
cause you smoke the weed ain’t
no good find the quench
sing the birds trees rocks and things
till you ain’t no hungry
never gonna hurt
know you got the rubber
know you got the beat
platy eight maybe ten
never hurt again
oh oh
hoe hoe dee doe
here we go
stand up sit down
in a corner on the wall
in a snit on a wall o.k.
thumbs up pinch hit
in the morning
you are jah person
jah people say
don’t turn them away
don’t take it hard
green thumb
big jump
quantum leap missing link
kinda dumb dumb dumb
chewing gum
cakes and ale
lion’s share i don’t care
grease your hair
grease your palm
cross cross your palm hair down
naked truth bet your boots
off the shelf raincheck
sugardaddy kinda crazy
stegasaurus brontasaurus
me a saurus you a saurus
politics were made to bore us
strike a bargain strike a hat
hats off to overalls bowling balls
see the stars stars sky
knee high same song
regular guy walk a rope
light a spark bark bark
trailer park big wheel
paper plates and sewer grates
i’m as mad as that hard times
rip offs seperate ways
sewer man super man mr. sunshine
pow wow show down square off
call the shots
pretty girls love your thighs
got the hots no words
world so good polka dots
love love hand in glove
just like new york robert bork
parts is parts strengh is strengh
less confusion less carousing
glad rags and witty jabs
down at he bottom of the well
where is water is not
i was too afraid
try to frustrate cup is full overfull
got to go
loaves and fish beer and beans
in the belly of the whale
where you send gotta go
all the way to mexico
rampage high jinks suits and ties
and butterflies butterflied
yo -yos yo -yo
screaming meenies
beatnik beenies
hairy chests and skating rinks
whitewashed rednecks
iguanas and lizard kids
red red rose bloom boom
watch it bloom
cheap box wine
hoe dee doe there you go

circa 1988

Drowning above water

his ears are stones
his opinions explosions
he doesn’t want to hear
sit and think about it
with distilled inspiration
no one else matters
his mind stares ahead
tells himself he’s happy
as he swallows his damnation

circa 1987

Worm on the Slickrock

Crawl across my foot
my little worm friend.
Together we’ll bake our
wrinkly bodies in the sun.
I’ve nothing else to do all day,
or for an hour, but to
share your sudden life,
sitting, wrinkling.
Just because I want to.
And I can.

I’ll help you pass little worm.
Sweep you in a magic, dizzying way,
back to your island of lichen, moss
and various fungus hidden.
Over rocks, twigs and hills of toes,
for no other reason than none.

But I promise silence
my little friend,
I don’t wish to quake you,
my quietest voice being thunder.

ca. 1990