What do any of us leave when
we leave this world except a
blemish, that is, a smear on the face
of Time that may appear further along
in the sphere of  someone else who recalls
its authenticity in the form of say a word, an
image, a remark, a posture of body that enters
likely by Chance thru a corridor of Memory in
association with other factors  or none
and then passes on again without us really
having had anything to do with it at all? We live on
despite ourselves in pieces and our fame,
justified or not,  prevails.

MEMO TO BILL (for William S. Burroughs)

( William S. Burroughs 1914-1997) 

William Burroughs


Of the afflicted

And the stoned,

I met you

one summer dawn

In a back alley on rue Ste. Catherine

Where a blonde Danish boy read passages

From  Naked Lunch to me

As I was easing my way down

From a tab of Blue Cheer LSD

Circa 1968.

We sat on black iron –grated tenement steps.

In the new light

A cat moved about

Below us.

I recall your prose clearly

Crackling in my brain,

The images searing into it

What otherworldliness this was!

Stranger still than the voyage

I was returning from.

The impression has remained for forty years.

I saw videos of you today

on You Tube

Sad and eternal

In typical proper suit and


And fedora.

“El Hombre Invisible?”


You cut quite a figure,


You outshine the other boys.

I have tried to read all your books.

They tax the mind.


Of course,

We’re tired.

We like Harry Potter.

I know your appeal to me.

Beyond the brilliant prose,

It’s –

The thick-tongued St Louis delivery.

The silver cynicism,

The gangster authority.

You waited

Four months after brother Allen

Crumbled into Buddhist dust

Before leaving  us,


I hope

you are good now

In your dry bones,

Stoned still,




The  Ugly  Spirit


(July , 2008)


After work I like to go right home and have a couple of stiff ones. Then I usually have a drink.

Nobody knows you when you’re down and out. Nobody knew me when I was” up” and” in” either.

I don’t think I would have minded being a knight during the Middle-Ages. It must have been fun  to have sex with all that armour on.

When I look at myself in the mirror I still see a sexy guy. Maybe I should go fuck myself.

I have a love/hate relationship with the mirror, but I always hate myself.

I am between a rock, a hard place and a harder rock.

I always tend to misquote myself.

Life is hell, but I wish I were immortal.

Sometimes I get to the end of my rope and I have to go out and get more rope.

Am I getting paranoid, or is my skin really following me?

Death is a good thing. If I didn’t know I was going to die, I would hang myself.

I went up to a girl on the street once and I said to her, “You never heard of me but you will soon.”  That’s when I got hit by a snowplough.

I really liked this girl. I told her once poetically, “I feel like a candle on fire for you.”  She blew me off.

I was having psychological problems and finding a girlfriend was not easy, I finally met a girl. She tried to help me with my problems. She said to me once, “ Don’t waste time hating yourself. There are lots of other people already doing that.”

I wasn’t the coolest kid in high school. I didn’t have the shiniest bike or the latest clothes. But I had my dignity. I would not ask the same girl for her phone number more than five times.

Nobody liked me at school. At the cafeteria at lunch I would go up to a group of kids and ask can I sit with you? And a kid would say,” What do you mean by sit?”

Girls. I always liked them but I didn’t have much luck. I just loved their long silky hair and pretty fingernails, especially when these were attached to their bodies.

People can be cruel. I told a girl once. “You are the light of my life. ”She said, “Well, I think it’s time you discovered sunshine.”

I have come to the point where I have been disappointed so many times with so many things that I expect to be disappointed, which makes it a disappointment when it doesn’t happen.

Believing in something is important. But I’ve been disillusioned so often. I used to believe in God. God let me down. I used to believe in people. People let me down . Now I believe in animals. I’m an Animal Rights guy. I joined the club. I only hope I don’t get disillusioned with them as well. Where could I go from here?  Take up a vegetable cause?

DEDICATED POEMS (for Anne Sexton)


Your ambition bird will fly on for eternity.


What beckoned,
What called
must have been stronger than
Stale argument.
I imagine
a black rose

A circus barker
A stepping down.

LADY ANNE LEADS  (for Anne Sexton)

Anne Gray Harvey
You touch me plenty,
I’m stalking your ghost.
of the Greta Garbo mold
Sold me on the dark plunge.
You make it look so easy.

I love your words,
“Love” is too mild:
They eat at the core of my

Even if we are family
I would steal your gift
In a heartbeat if I could.
Your casual utterances
And kitchen talk
Make me weep,
Your bullets that go down
in Technicolor.

Why did you get with A.?
Was it for the Sexton?
One day,
lost in a cigarette haze
you couldn’t help yourself.
You queer witch,
You know you always
Needed it.

We were born apart.
Time made us strangers,
You and I.
You’re gone somewhere else now,
The much desired place
While I’m still here
Dying to find out
What you already know.
Is it fun and games?
Is it still hell?
I do hope you’re well.



What on earth do they do there? Ok. You have women, wine, and song? Now is this constantly? You had one woman, you go to another. You can become the playboy of your dreams. Fine. That might work for how long?  awhile?  OK. I could take that. Then there’s  the wine part. We already know that too much wine makes you need to hang around the toilet bowl the next day. Are there toilet bowls in heaven? The song? Well how many really good songs are there? If you are staying there eternally, you’re bound to run out. And who decides which songs will be played? Some angel probably. What if you don’t get along with an angel? Can you request another?  They always talk about it being like a garden. Well, I now live a couple of blocks from a huge beautiful  public garden. But I’ve gone only a couple of times. Then they say there are lakes. I like a good lake as much as the next guy, but how long can you swim? Is there fishing allowed? Who says how many fish you can catch? The angels, right? I’d rather be near an ocean and surf. I’m sure there are people who would like to ski. So let’s say that it would leave a lot to be desired. But paradise has to be perfect. Everyone is always happy.  It’s peaceful. There is no pain. Excellent. Why not just take drugs?


Amanda Todd

There is a part missing

We will never understand

The space inside and the space


The way the signs collide

If there are any signs at all.

She was her mother’s favourite

A child as fresh as a meadow’s breath

With aspirations and infatuations

that made her death


One of those the Fates intended

To fall into strangers’ hands

To be marked for her simple manner

The way she loved and the way

She danced.


The vile reaches of a vacuous public

The product of a bankrupt estate

Ripped at this flower on a constant basis

Until not much was left to chance.


She withstood their brutal plundering

In the shadows of the human touch

A martyr for what is decent

In an age of much mistrust,


She trusted


The lies hurled by rabid children

Against her reputation and grace

wounded her once too often

Touched her in a tender place


And caused a commotion of feelings

To rise up from her core.

She eventually succumbed to the bleakness

She could no longer endure


Yet not until she had relayed her story

In a most public domain

Did anyone go out of their way

To try to understand the pain

Of the ages


The plight of the young

The mysteries of a hatred

That is with us so strong.


I wait for the summons.

When it arrives I comply

And enter the chapel.

I sit like a king removed

listening to the thin silence

Draw me back into the

The mysteries  and wonder

What artwork to expect fashioned

This day by the devil’s mouth,

what shapes will the body of

the snake take on , whether pointed,

or curved like punctuation, or rather

coiled almost seamlessly into an O.

I don’t know.

Death’s needs hold sway,

It’s odors must speak sweet

And fill up the air as in a stable

Or a house of ill –repute.

My back arches like The Thinker

Elbows grinding into tops of thighs.

The light is weak.

Then I jut vertical to open

To give the babies passage

And kick back.

They rush to oblige, creating

A symphony, besides, dropping

plop plop into the drink.

I think, that is enough.

But no, wait, I was wrong,

Another comes along to

join the song.

And yet, another follows.

Oh, my! I sigh, I must’ve had too

Much for dinner.

One day, I vow, I will be thinner.

At least, I’m lighter.

And now the party’s over.

Time to tidy up.

That’s less fun but has to be done.

Scroll down.

The white pages, the tugs and pinches,

the moustache all coated.

Fingers probe, scoop up the soil.

Acknowledge it’s the wet season.

How much to stem the flood? This

Is becoming drudgery! Pad after pad.

But look how bright we’re getting!

Maybe another roll will do it.

Finally, yes, here it is: unblemished. Pristine.

Not a hint of muck. Good as new.

I stand. Roll up. Buckle tight. Proudly,

Focussing down, I lean on the handle

And with sadness wave my goodbyes.


You feel  like a promise.

So you step up to the table

where  you face


a wall in your



every impulse buried

under a carpet of snow.


still ,

there is a need that works

like a constipated machine.

After a while

You think, well, nothing.

Maybe this morning it all went swirling

down the drain like hula hoops.

And you panic.

In time,

Words  do come, in fact

pile up like the newspaper

Saying nearly nothing.

It is getting dark by then.

The afternoon is tired.

It’s winter, remember.

There are days like this

There are days like this,

Lots of them.


Press your finger
Feel the pain.
It’s not right
Until it comes again.

The wash of yesterdays
The fields of blame.
They never let you
End this game.

You stand up to it
Mouth in clench.
Never resting
On any bench.

You laugh and dance
You work the crowd.
You don’t much worry
If you do it loud.

And then you retire
To your cell and ponder
Where and when and how
You wonder.


The situation is
I am living inside a hat
But I’m not a head.
What I am instead
is hard to say.
I have fallen
to reason
Everything is as it always was and it won’t go
The rain pelts the window into pinkness.
What can I do:
Hide inside a cabinet,
Exercise my options?
There is not one good measure that can alleviate
the general disquiet.
Sit in the middle of it.
It will pass.
It will return



All travel is aspiration
Toward The Perfect Place
The Golden State
Limitless space
A remake
Asleep or awake.


                            FOXROCK, IRELAND


                EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND


                       KLISH, CROATIA


                 BUDAPEST,  HUNGARY


         IMG_0646  LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.




For a writer, the only thing scarier than the blank page is the blank book.

If I start from where I am I will arrive at where I’ve been.

Think of all the time wasted thinking about wasted time.

You would think if there really was an afterlife someone would make a long-distance call once in a whil

I think the most accurate metaphor for life is the stationary bicycle.

Life is like a bad party you are afraid to leave.

Why don’t they invent an umbrella that grows out of your head so that you can never lose it?

They should have competitions to determine who is the worst at something. It would cut down on stress.

Fear of failure is a terrible thing. But if you already consider yourself a failure there is nothing to fear.

How come there isn’t watermelon juice for sale? What fruit is juicier than a watermelon? Have to ask my dark friends about that.

I don’t know what happens after we die, but I hope there is an afterlife and in this afterlife we finally find out whatever became of all these people who made a movie or two and then we never hear from them again.

Have you noticed how dumb has become fashionable among adolescents? It is now cool to be dumb, the dumber the better. Where have we come to in civilization when the kid who can fall out of a tree gets more dates than the captain of the football team?

Bears eat people. That’s a sad fact. I am tired of forest rangers saying it’s rare for a bear to attack a human. What good is “rare” to the guy who just got his shoulder chomped off?

Everyone needs love. Even rapists. It is known that some rapists force their victims to say “I love you “ while they’re raping them.  That’s kinda touching when you think about it.

The abused become the abusers. You  always hear that. Why is that? The kid getting the shit beaten out of him is thinking I just can’t wait to have kids of my own and make them swallow their own vomit.

You always hear that we need to control our gas emissions. It’s not that easy. I wish I could control my own gas emissions.

INSULTS. Calling a heterosexual man a cocksucker is an insult to him. But is calling a gay man a cunt-licker  an insult to him?

Masturbation is a great activity. You don’t have to look your best. You don’t have to smell your best. And it isn’t hard to learn.

If you ignore ignorant people, aren’t you also ignorant?

It is possible to be on the same page but at different paragraphs.

If you’ve ever had too much of a good thing, you always want another good thing.

Indigestion is like there is a riot going on in your stomach. Then you burp and all of the rioters go home. The burp acts like the riot police.

There is so much misery around that if misery loves company, it must be very happy.

Do we keep going because we want to find out how it is going to turn out? But unlike in a movie, we already know how it’s going to turn out.

The revised Saint James Bible. “I looked into the abyss and I saw the serpents, and I didn’t want to swim with the serpents, so I bought a swimming pool.”

Names. Everyone wants to give a nice name to their kid. Names like Jade, Crystal, Jewel. These are pretty names but what if the person does not match up to their name. Like some female wrestler called Wispy. I think that if people don’t live up to their names they should lose them.

My woman takes everything I say literally. No sense of irony at all. She doesn’t know the meaning of the word.  She thinks it is some kind of linguini dish.

Girls could be mean. They would give you fake phone numbers to call them at. You’d feel so foolish when you called and it was some chicken wing place, and they would have a good laugh knowing you didn’t  like chicken.

Start a sentence in one mood and finish it in another: “Oh, god! This is simply fan…fuckit!”

Sad clowns are touching; happy depressed people not as touching.

Loneliness is a horrible thing. But it just shouldn’t be that way. Nobody should have to be all alone with all the rude, hostile, ignorant people there are around.

Everyone is happy when a baby is born, everyone except the baby.

Watching people eat is an ugly thing. Watching them chew. Yet people generally eat with others. We even go to restaurants where we can be grossed out by a lot of different people.  I would rather meet people in a toilet.

People always tell me I’m in denial but I don’t believe them.

Survival, I think, is overrated.

The educational system is a factory that manufactures idiots.

Does time really exist or was it made up by the Swiss to sell watches?

Sometimes you just can’t win. You can’t win by winning and you can’t win by losing. And you can’t  even win by not playing

Maybe objects feel superior to us and have no way of showing it.

 Laughter is an accident, two opposite ideas colliding.

The toilet is simply the best sheat in the house.

The perfect smell. What could be the perfect smell? Virgins on vacation, I suppose.

Ancient man had respect for his environment. He believed everything was alive.  Does that mean he said “excuse me” to his shoe?

The difference between comedy and tragedy. Comedy is when you fall in the sewer and tragedy is when I don’t see it happen.


Everybody shits. Everybody! Was there ever a human born who didn’t shit? So why is it that so many people don’t give a shit? Be more generous, people!

The  four – hour erection would definitely cut down on my smoking time.

It’s true that the English are snobs. Notice the pronouns. Only I is capitalized. In other words, I am better than you or him or her or even me.

Sometimes it gets hard to care. Other times it just gets hard. But not often.

The Beatles were banned in Israel in the sixties. It was feared that they would be a bad influence on the youth of that country. That all the young people there would want to hold somebody’s hand.

Was it with small people who have to talk real loud: “You will notice me and if you don’t I will punish you by making you go deaf!”

Let’s tell the truth about men’s and women’s libidos? Men reach their sexual peak at 19 and women don’t get into their stride till their thirties or forties. So unless you want to hook up with a much younger guy or a much older woman both men and women are pretty much doomed to frustration. I mean how much meaner can God get?

Tattoos. Lots of people have them today. One theory has it that it is a reaction against our sterile, overly technological environment. But one girl I know just can’t make a complete break. She got a laptop tattooed on to her stomach.

It is true that geniuses are not always very nice people. Take Picasso. My favourite Picasso quote is one he made to his son. “I am old, you are young. I wish you were dead.” Makes you want to go right out there and see one of his paintings.

We are really quite complicated, we human beings. On the other hand, we are like all other animals. If we aren’t either pushed or pulled, we are not going anywhere.

It’s probably true that the world has always been a bad place. Humanity has always been degenerate. It is just that now even the degenerates are degenerating.

Here’s an idea for a new industry : Second-hand food. If they sell second-hand cars, why can’t they sell second-hand food? Bulimics would be a good source. Puke up and make a profit. It’s all in the spirit of recycling.

There are some things I’m not in favour of. Like telling someone to get their head out of their ass. I would much rather that the person kept their head IN their ass, at least while I was around.

What is stress? It’s being in one place and wanting to be in another. When you get there you realize that you don’t want to be there either. So you move around until you come to the conclusion that there is nowhere that is really that great, and you relax.

You give someone a gift because you like them. Later you find out you don’t really like them at all. Are you allowed to take back the gift? After all, they have enjoyed the gift for the period of time you thought you liked them.

At our school, the kids are so dumb that they have dunceathons rather than marathons. Dunces rather than dances where dunces ask other dunces to dance. “Do you wanna dance, dunce?” is how they ask each other to dance.  “No, I wouldn’t dance with you if you were the last dunce on earth.”  “No chance of that happening here,” the dunce will reply. “Excellent. Let’s dunce. I mean dance. “ “Okay.” And they hop away.

You can’t always get what you want. You don’t always want what you get. You often get what you don’t want. You sometimes get what someone else wants. You sometimes get someone else. You can’t always get what someone else wants. But You CAN always want what someone else gets.

Why do the insane always hear voices that tell them to kill people? Why can’t they hear voices that tell them to do something nice for a change?

A pessimist’s glass is half empty and an optimist’s glass is half full. What about the guy who has no glass?

The other day my bank manager told me that someone wanted to steal my identity, but once he saw a picture he offered to send me a charitable donation

Singing is better than talking. You complain to people about your life, you’re a negative whiner; you sing them a Country and Western ballad and you win a Grammy.

 It’s important I think to always be learning.  I knew a man like that, lived to the age of 97. Every day he learned something new. Then on his death bed he realized he had forgotten everything he ever learned.

Life is rough. But there are also small mercies. You can be wracked in pain and not know where to turn. Then you hit your head on a door knob and get amnesia.

You get older. Inevitably there are problems.  Erection problems.  It’s sad.  But thank God there are now  pills available. I used to have to pay to have sex with other people. Now I even have to pay to have sex with myself.

What is it with women and babies? It makes you want to put on your diapers.

Why is life designed to be so hard? Everything is so hard. It’s like you’re failing a course you never even signed up for.


We assume that the handicapped are nicer people than we are; it’s not true.

It seems that those who have the least want to have the most children.

We can only hope that those who succeed the human race do not resemble it.

People living in a democracy are probably happier than people living in a totalitarian state, but that is not saying much.

People sometimes pretend to know how animals think. It is more likely that they know how we think.

How do I know that I am telling the truth? You can’t tell me.

It is possible that everything I say is untrue (but I doubt it.)

What number comes after a zillion?

Agreeing with someone creates a strange brotherhood that both know will not last.

The wise are always essentially indifferent.

There are never any answers, but it is still our habit (and  duty) to ask the questions.

There is some force in nature, either in the person or against him, that does not want him to evolve.  It is  the genesis of the enemy.

Living is like carrying a hot potato that you don’t know where to drop.

Beauty (or the perception of it) does not last long, and that is one of its chief appeals.

We are particles that collide in moments, separate, and then go off on our own way.

Maybe objects feel superior to us but have no way of showing it.

Being on the right side of history” means to be on the side of democracy, as if democracies have always been right.

The greatest power you can have over somebody is not to need them.

You hold the gun; I ask you to use it because I know you won’t.

Guilt hurts oneself and helps other people.

Heaven would have to be a place with no thoughts.

Pleasure obeys The Law of Diminishing Returns.

The body is the first obstacle to liberation. The body rules, doesn’t it?

It is too easy to automatically adopt an ideology. It is like cheating on yourself.

Truly understanding somebody not only means walking in their shoes but also being them from the time of birth.

Happiness is a biochemical trance.

The only real accomplishment is changing human nature.

You don’t always admire what someone you admire admires.

The heart and the head are natural enemies.

Life is short if you know why you are alive.

The sad fact is that you can’t believe in anyone, not even in yourself.

There are so many diseases available in the world it is a small wonder that everyone is not always sick.

I don’t believe in anything; either I know it or I don’t know it.

For the family man there is engagement but burden; for the bachelor there is loneliness but the space to dream.

To see with different eyes. Everyone needs a new pair of eyes. Everyone.

What keeps us going is the curiosity about what is going to happen. The problem is that we already know what is going to happen.

The next world war should be waged by those who think everything is connected against those who believe all things are separate.

Can we be anyone in our dreams that we are not already? The answer is no.

The most despairing position to take is that it is all cast in stone.

What is the point of encouraging any country to establish democracy when we have seen what democracy is really all about?

Doing the right thing for the wrong reason is worse than doing the wrong thing for the right reason.

Logic suggests there is a reason for something. But what if the reason doesn’t make sense?

Being busy makes time pass more quickly and hastens the approach of your death.

The inmate in prison spends most of his time in a small space on his bed reading, getting up for his meals occasionally. That is exactly what I do.

Once you recognize the futility, you have to start describing it.

Survival is overrated; there are lots of things worse than death.

The only question you need to ask yourself is what you should be doing at any given moment.

The down side about accomplishing something is that you are then in the position of having to find what to accomplish next.

It is better to have too much to do than too little.

Why is unemployment so difficult?  Because it is an unnatural state.

Sometimes the worst torture is more easily endurable than the slightest annoyance.

Faith means that you believe something is true but you don’t really know. Why not just call that “ignorance”?

The educational system is a factory that manufactures idiots.

The only way you can hurt a masochist is to not hurt him.

The truth doesn’t matter. It has never mattered. It was always my truth that was all important.

Man is a defective machine that should be taken off the road.

There is a God and He is definitely the world’s best comic.

Why can’t we realize that we are all just poor, bewildered beasts in a cage?  Wouldn’t that help to bring us together in our zoo.

Families are tribes. They are an excuse to hate other tribes.

The trick to survival is getting used to your own stink.

Sleeping is the next best thing to being dead.

The unfortunates win in the end.

Laughter is a car crash, two irreconcilable ideas colliding.

No religious experience can compete with the first drink of the day.

In the end everything means nothing.

Sex and love can be opposites. Sometimes the best sex is with someone you hate.

Lust is dumb and it makes us even dumber.

What is the point of being able to think if you are not thinking about what counts?

Why don’t the overweight and the underfed exchange places for a month or two?

Don’t we create problems in order to have something to do?

The only real weapon we possess is laughter.

There is no me, really;  there is only my name.

Pleasure is The Grand Seductress.

The hardest part about being human is finding out what it means to be human.

Beware of anyone else telling you what is important.

Public service is our highest calling as human beings. It means being ready to help other people. It is a value that should be taught in schools. Quite the opposite is now the case

There must be a storage space somewhere in the universe that contains all the books that were never written, all the movies that were never made, all the jokes that were never told, all the songs that were never sung.

There is something beautiful about a smile. It is like an invitation into the centre of a flower .

The inmate in prison spends most of his time in a small space on his bed reading, getting up for his meals occasionally. That is exactly what I do

English has to be the most snobbish language in the world. Only the pronoun I is capitalized. I am superior to you and him and her and them, and even me.

It’s amazing how many people don’t want to see other people happy.

Never trust short people who have lots of testosterone.

Intelligence does not always include humour, but humour always includes intelligence.

Help is not a four-letter word.

Why do people talk of their souls? It is like a blind man describing a picture that is in front of him.

The ideal mental state would be to be able to remember everything you needed and forget everything you wanted.

English has to be the most snobbish language in the world. Only the pronoun I is capitalized. I am superior to you and him and her and them, and even me.

What is important in this life is to discover what is important.

The most rewarding activities are said to be ones in which you are helping others. That is because you are gaining the relief of not having to think about yourself.

There is no job that is held in lower esteem in our society than a poet’s.

“What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a poet.”

“Oh, yeah?  Can I scrape you off the floor


ON BUKOWSKI   (1920 – 1994)

Massive stomach

Face full of pocked marks

Red oily skin

A clown’s nose

Cigarette, unusual brand, fixed to lips.

 Bottle unmistakable in hand

The wobbly drunken battleship

Of a man,

A throwback,

The ape as poet.

A Hollywood clochard,

He negotiates

The sunny sidewalks and piss- stinking watering holes of East L A

Expounding on whores and misery and booze,

And the” sissy poets” he he likes to call out.

‘They just don’t get it’ he slobbers…


This night

The poet is beacon.

Megaphone in hand

Bukowski  slurs the message,

Dead eyes

Encrusted in something still human.

Sinking into the sludge,

Leaving us his suicide note in

 Black and white.




 it is not enough.


 It is just not sad enough.

Poems are never as sad as they should be,

Life is always worse.

Look around,


Look around and tell me



tI had an absent father. To be fair, he was present, just somewhere else.  My father was a kind, generous, loving man , only not to me. We didn’t live together most of the time. Dad lived in our house and I holed up in a tent in the backyard.  But it was never dull. Especially after dad got out of prison. All his pals would come over and plan ways to take out a gas station. I didn’t feel left out though when the guys were there because I got to shine their bullets. I would come home from school, spend a little time in my tent and then come in through the screen door. Dad put a lock on but I always managed to pick it. Dad was awful proud of me for doing that. The fellas figured I might come in handy one day when they graduated to bigger things. They were gonna go all out and break into the mayor’s home and force him to do away with special regulations giving added reserved parking spaces to the handicapped. Not that they didn’t respect the rights of the disabled . But dad believed firmly that the handicapped had special needs that should be taken care of by other handicapped people. He resented the fact that every time you go into a shopping center, you have to park so far away from the stores even when it was raining. Dad never liked water to fall on his head when he was out and about, and he always forgot to take his umbrella. It would rile him no end that people in wheelchairs got to park where he couldn’t. The fellas would inquire to dad why a brawny outlaw like himself didn’t just park where he wanted, but dad cut those conversations in the quick by reminding them  to mind their own bizwacks, adding that he might be on the outside of the law, but that didn’t mean he was not a person of principle. He said he wouldn’t be caught dead stealing from the handicapped. His sister, you see, was handicapped. He loved her dearly even if he did sometimes push her around a little bit. Poor lady she was too. Her head had shrunk almost to the size of a walnut, and because the top of it was kind of grooved and  her thinning hair was brown-like, people sometimes mistook her for a walnut.  Dad teased her about it. “Okay. Wa lets shovel you into the vehicle and roll you up to Walmart. Like that, wouldn’t you, now?” And she’d give out a croaky little laugh, and then they’d be off. Those times dad did park in a handicapped space, thanking her for coming with him. On those occasions he would knock himself out rolling her around the store as long as she didn’t talk to him. He did take advantage of those occasions, picking up a few things he needed (box cutters, flares, tape) gratis, shoving the merchandise under Wa’s woollen dress. Who would frisk a wizened, old disabled person, dad figured. And if they did, dad had an excuse handy: He would have assured any law enforcer that she was up to her tricks, and that he’d take care of the old girl himself, but please to excuse her indiscretions. Dad could be quite a charmer when he wanted  to be.


If you were mine

I would advise you

To wear your skin

Like a window

Lightly and transparent


A hard flower underneath

Cultivated thru discipline.

You are just nineteen

And you relish all eyes

On your surfaces

A radiance that sings

like the sun.

What glory to behold

For a moment in the day!

But you can I know

Feel the harsh reaches of time

Already clawing from close- by.

Don’t deny

that you can

And if you can’t you will

be shattered.

So be wise

Be wise and be kind

And find

A  centre.


Why trouble yourself?

It will just be over and you will say:

Was it worth it?

Any of it?

The memories will not even be enough

To keep you aloft.

They will be muddled and dim,

If anything

Inviting derision.

Why bother?


Because what else is there to do?

There is a drill in my head now

And I can’t escape it.

Oh, it stopped.

Oh,it started again.


What next? a telephone call from hell?

I am tired of talking to robots.

I am weary of playing the clown.

I can’t help you.

You can’t help me.

And yet…and yet

What else will there be?