Simile

The use of like or as to compare one thing to another, as Michael Ondaatje writes “Your voice sounds like a scorpion being pushed / through a glass tube.”

monday thaw

On TV it looked like a high-speed photo of a milk drop

the dying leader of the Pana Wave laboratory cult smack in the

centre.

Acres of white cloth streamered his followers, who

circled him like crown jewels.

 

More and more I'm responding to stark white on black,

letting the morning frost finish for me.

 

Calgary is fur-lined in the sun. Although the cold front

will chop us down to minus, there are hints of a melt.

Dad's three-legged shadow bends blueness

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I’ve known rivers:

I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the

flow of human blood in human veins.

 

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

 

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln

went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy

January 1, Dawn

After the celebrations,

people, TV channels, telephones,

the year’s recently-corrected digit

finally falls asleep.

 

Between the final night and the first dawn

a jagged piece of sky

as if viewed from the open mouth of a whale.

Inside her belly and inside the belly of time,

there’s no point worrying.

You glide gently along. She knows her course.

Inside her, you are digested slowly, painlessly. 

 

And if you’re lucky, like Jonah,

That feeling of my soul getting yanked

That feeling of my soul getting yanked

I wonder where my soul hides when I’m sick

My heart feels as if it’s getting beat up

Is it because the restless ocean is clumping up?

My heart beats regardless of the pain

It beats spewing out red thread like a red spider

A sinkful of red thread gets submerged in water

My heart beats like a girl marathon runner who only had ramen to eat

 

Maybe the soul of the bald girl in a hospital gown hanging by the

The Colonel

WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD is true. I was in his house. His wife carried
a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went   
out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the
cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over
the house. On the television was a cop show. It was in English.
Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to
scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his hands to lace. On
the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We had

from Exhibits from the American Water Museum

99.

From an original rock painting in Topock, Arizona, now digitized on a

wall-mounted monitor:

 

Before this city, the Creator pressed his staff

into the earth, and the earth opened—

 

it wasn’t a wound, it was joy—joy!—!

Out of this opening leaped earth’s most radical bloom: our people—

 

we blossoms from the original body: water,

flowering and flowing until it became itself, and we, us:

                                              River. Body.

 

We Are Surprised

Now, we take the moon

into the middle of our brains

 

so we look like roadside stray cats

with bright flashlight-white eyes

 

in our faces, but no real ideas

of when or where to run.

 

We linger on the field’s green edge

and say, Someday, son, none of this

 

will be yours. Miracles are all around.

We’re not so much homeless

 

as we are home-free, penny-poor,

but plenty lucky for love and leaves

 

Dick Pics

Two dicks, sitting in

my daughter’s inbox,

like men without hats,

waiting for any door

to open. 

 

*

Sighting a stranger’s penis

used to be rare. Remember raincoats?

Like a flash of lightning,

like a Scratch ‘N Win ticket –

sometimes glittering knock-off watches,

sometimes a flapping penis

shivering in the electric air.

 

*

Overcooked hotdog?

Aborted fetus?

Close up of a thumb?

Rolled baloney on a lonely deli plate?

Kindness

Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

 

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