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the smile collector

22 Nov

I told the name of this poem to a co-worker.
He thought it was something sinister,
like a horror movie with clowns or something,
but I promised him it was really just about smiles.
specifically when i’m walking to work.
i see these two kids
first there’s this girl.
then there’s this boy.
we smile at each other.
we’ve made it a habit.
it feels like an electric jolt every time.


the clouds disappear one day

20 May

grandma and grandpa evergreen
wave to the magnolia’s flash of pedals.
they are crumpled up newspapers,
but some events need no clocks and calendars.
they are magnetic.
we humble upon one another.

the fountain of pasta youth

22 Oct

my uncle tried to learn one new word every day.
he said it was the little university he imposed on himself,
to keep his brain cylinders spinning,
maybe to offset the onset of a stroke?

unfortunately, he didn’t live forever.
he didn’t even make it to 85 and the last few years, he couldn’t do much.
most of his mental faculties broke down.

i looked up the word catenary yesterday.
I thought of my uncle as I did it.
catenary – “a wire, rope, or chain hanging freely from two points and forming a U shape.”
i thought about a horseshoe and then at dinner,
i shaped a pasta strand into a U-shape and felt younger.

autumn blues

13 Oct

no one tags leaves to know when they fall,
but sometimes i get lucky and
there i am,
walking among the bombardment and swirl of sudden leaves
as our yesterdays die,
with only snow and its golden blanket of sleep to follow,
like a drunk, face-first on the cement, sound asleep,
a toddler doing the same, atop his stroller throne.

what if…

15 Sep

children learned at least one native american language.

he’s not sunshine

7 Sep

Under methods to diminish stress,
he wrote,
“scribble all the screams inside you onto paper;
get all the fed up-i’ve had enoughs out of your mind,
get ’em like cave painting onto the page with all the beasts as words and letters
and maybe,
just maybe,
balloons will escape a kid’s fingers and soar;
a school of fish will dart in unison and
a pack of birds will do the same as
another moon phase nears completion….

The Dracula Times

3 Sep

*the opinions of this newspaper do not necessarily reflect its namesake Dracula or any of its succubus subsidiaries.

A boy awakes at 2:17 AM from a wonderful dream
-Dreamspace Earth, Moon rise spotting section 3.a9

He dreamed of a dog with four black paws running free and easy across a green field. He dreamed he was hugging Madonna. They were rocking to and fro, hands on each other’s shoulders. They were seated in the Lotus position, face to face, slowly leaning into each other, closer and closer, uncoiling from their stiff electric legs. The risk of flipping over and being swallowed by the space between them was very high. She dared him and dared him some more and then he did it. He flipped them over and they were swallowed,


they flew and flew and it was hard to tell if they were going up or down, but they landed on an old rooftop with a dilapidated ceiling. They were still very high above sea level and he knew he couldn’t endure any more ambivalence of whether to soar or not so he greeted the edge with open wings and soared some more, this time, on his own. He was scared, but pleasantly surprised by the landing… on soft patch green earth.

He felt that he could survive anything after such a great soar. He was at the airport, rejoicing over what he had accomplished. He sat down between two different sets of people. They were sort of speaking French. He was still feeling invincible when one of the groups asked him for directions in a language not at all French. He couldn’t answer but he knew if he could speak to them what he would say. He would tell them to take the bus 747 to Lionel Groulx subway station and take an orange line to where bus 129 began. Then take bus 129 to Cote St. Catherine and walk.

He awoke remembering this dream. It unraveled like an intestinal track. He didn’t understand it, but be believed again in the fliers and coupons that appear in his mail slot once a week. There are good deals on Pizza and temporary garages called TEMPOS for people who drive, park and skid their cars all winter long. He prefers to fly, but didn’t want to go back to sleep so he reached for a beer instead. He worried about the next day, but relished that moment and the rush for rapture. It was 3:05 AM.

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