Witching Hours


The air hangs like a finale curtain
a flag at half mast
ghost lights adorning leafy streets, trees
dangle like marionettes
left to their devices.
The world is a breath held
tight between the ribs,
and through all this
he swims up to you.

Waving his hands like he was
warding off mosquito-spry spirits
old limp gnawing off his heel
carrying history in the jukebox
between his teeth.
Give him a sliver of silver
and he’ll spin a snarl of steel-stringed
sadness so sharp
it’ll cut your eyelids off,
so you can see the whole picture 24/7,
like you really did live inside your phone
instead of clawing at the windows with
starving Christmas orphan desperation.

Thing is, though, he doesn’t care how deep
you need to hide, he’s hunting for a witch that can
set his hexes straight
align his stars and unwork
the whiskey curses he breathes
like a bone thin violin
singing like a ghost razor through nights
like this.
It always comes out on nights like this.

But your pockets are empty.
You can’t pay his ferryman
and so he lopes off down the block
swinging at the air, a boxer
in a perpetual prizefight with himself.
In the suspended midnight, all that is heard
is the distant grind of the last train headed homeward
and his morse-code footfalls trailing straight for dawn.

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Stumblethrough

Dress-rehearsals-for-A-Mi-001

Shamble up and over
coffee quakes and tea dreams
pace the floor, shake out the fridge,
notice how quiet it’s grown,
like the part in the movie where something bad
is about to happen
except in this case, it already has.

Saturday sun’s already trying to claw inside
like a nosy neighbour
like a serial killer that wants
to warm you up and go for a walk
to get croissants.
Last night rests in your stomach
like a houseguest on the couch
you’re not sure if you should disturb
with breakfast or gravol.

Put an old record on,
a classic you pilfered from your father’s collection,
sway and saunter through the crackles and pops
and stretch from one end to the other,
picking yourself up as you go.
Find your feet where you left them by the front door.
Find your tongue in the sink with the other knives.
You’re not quite sure how your arms wound up behind the couch
but you vaguely remember losing a wrestling contest with yourself.

Snap yourself back into place like a Lego castle
you cobbled together from four other sets.
Something’s missing, but you’re still all together.
Call that enough for now,
Call that enough pieces
start your stumble through, and remember
it’s okay to pause the scene and ask yourself
“Any notes?”

Project Project: Prairie Storms

Image

So here’s a notion:

Awhile back, I put together a videopoem for a friend setting out on a grand journey. I used a lot of stock footage from the Prelinger Archives, Garageband and some shoddy home recording; the results of which can be seen here.

I’d like to do another one, and this time I’d like to use different sources for my footage. That’s where you, the reader, come into the picture.

Since I’ve been living in British Columbia, I think I’ve experienced one, maybe two good thunderstorms, and that’s one of the things I miss about Alberta the most. I wrote a piece, “On the Subject of Prairie Storms,” about missing those things, and I’d like to lift that off the page a little by adapting it into a videopoem. Specifically, I’m looking for footage of prairie storms, from small showers to huge thundering calamities of nature. Anything from any summer storm, digital footage you shot yourself on anything from an iPhone to a 7D and are okay with letting me slice into and paste together into a new videopoem, which will then be shared online (you will of course be credited for your contribution.) If you have any such footage and would like to contribute, please get in touch with me either via the comments section below, or through email or facebook and we’ll work something out. I’ll be collecting footage as best I can for a few weeks before combining them all, recording the voice track and finding a musician or two to round out the piece. The text for this project can be found here.

And that’s the long and the short of it. Thanks for taking the time to read this little pitch, and carry on bravely.

Scrawl

ImageThe artful sharpie scrawl on the blue bus seat in front of me states, in no uncertain terms, “Kil Cops.”

The etching on the corpse-grey bathroom stall door politely proclaims to me that Kris, with a K, has a “Huge Tool,” and for a good time, I should ring up the digits inscribed below.

And the bold billboard bellowing down from it’s highbar perch is promising me friends, laughs and life fulfillment… if I only just drank a goddamn Coke already.

These are our hieroglyphs, the caveman testament to our invented gods of weight loss, debt relief and bronzed American Idols. And since nobody, I’m told, writes a letter anymore, this will be all that remains, a mausoleum of promises we never kept, histories we never lived and tracks we autotuned until the siren songs were just singles.

When you run your hands along the grooves of history you can feel the hammer strokes, the chip, the chisel, the sweet ache of experience and the joy of breaking that freshest soil. There are no more conquistadors, this planet is all carved up and when the power goes, so too will all our palaces of powered prose, the cellular chronicles of our time, pyramids of photographs and sphinxes of secrets and all we’ll have left is bus graffiti and band posters to mark the passing of our age.

So make more marks, I say, and I say this despite the medium I’m chattering this out onto. Bind books with your rapture and chisel victory in the side of your split level, and leave more etchings in the pavement to note your passing because there are no monuments in the cloud. Because something should outlive us that isn’t easily destroyed by a failing hard drive and a server error.

Because when all this is over, can you really imagine anyone paying admission to wander around a museum reading our emails?