SCREAM CAPS / HABITation

 

Teething wisdom, the citizenry can’t stop /

won’t stop chattering and boxing their ears.

There are no scandals—the sine wave

flat.

 

                                  I imagine the Borg

edge on hard-core in their alcoves, relent

solely to materialize violence. Today

I try to write a poem and pleasure

fissures a blank.

 

                                                           Fed

feelings. Fed struggle. Fed thought. Fed

potential. On dark nights Janet Jackson

meditates. She envisions a colourless

spaceship. She and her brother

scream.

You don’t steer a train

 

1.

 

Because your baby is a hummingbird your hands are camcorder. In the nursery you study them: one reads REC, the other today’s date 16/04/10. Your son won’t stop announcing ballgames, and the players keep updating their wills. The call goes to machine: It’s your mother; she dug another feeder from the attic.

 

2.

 

A couple of wheelbarrow approach with their toddling luggage. They tip their trays and spill a little recognition. You and your partners’ pull-tab noses grin apart your Frisky tin lips. As your child flutters from mouth to mouth, theirs springs its handle and screams out its flight tags, “I wanna go in the trunk! I wanna be packed forever!” The baby-book cools in the fridge.

 

3.

 

Again, you pace towards the window. The fish chum stains paint a trail towards the crumpling society of ants. You remember.

Only one in 10 eligible fathers was claiming parental leave benefits through Employment Insurance

 

The man and woman next to me are done picking at their fries.

The woman has an exposed knee and the man has long hair

(like me).

 

I order a burger and fries, excited by this rare chance to dine alone.

The sexy couple get up in their coats and go psst, psst, psst.

A weed breeze is let in.

 

I am entitled to all the ginger ale I want so long as I never leave

for any reason other than to smoke. All I have to do is ask for more.

The waiter has a cord.

 

My burger and fries come and both are good. A friend out west

texts to say I would be proud of him because he is pushing buttons

at the federal NDP convention in Edmonton.

 

As a white, Jewish, able-bodied, cis-gendered, middle-class man,

I often feel like the character bit by a zombie screaming

SHOOT ME.

 

I am picking at my fries, but my waiter will not ask, “Are you done,

or are you still picking?” I will have put everything on my plate

in a way I read you should.

Blame a hack, 2014

for Brendon

Honor is obviously easiest choice.
Why don’t you put a u in there
insists some schnook,
ah yes—a jibe there.

Build up allegiances. Trade’s important
but what I’ve learned is nice guys go mad
wrestling with why am I so nice all the time?
Experimenting follows.

Now you the substance have trickled off screen;
lolled. Never a good sign. Never,
literally, in ink. What’s become of your passive tone?
Why are you crying?

I’m sorry we were so close. I’m sorry I
I functioned so bravely now more than never.

Two poems after Masaru Emoto

[I gave my talk to the people there]

As for me I’m a missionary of water.
I was at the city nearest to the site.
Now I am on my way home.

As you must know, it is the most beautiful time of the year
with the flowers. On my way home
I stopped at the beautiful place, known for its flowers,
and I felt I wanted to share it with everyone in the world.

[Clearing]

Many kinds of information are swirling around,
and the people wonder and worry what is right.
Reality is more extraordinary than it seems.
There are no rules, but exhaustion.