Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Call Me Cinderfella

Call Me Cinderfella

I'm looking for a fairy god mother. Well, actually, any mother will do. But one a little older. Say 40 plus.

And she needs to hate cats. Make her allergic to them, if that's possible.

Someone sweet. Matronly, but not with the huge boobs, thanks.

Someone who will turn her head when I say something. Or at least shrug a shoulder. It's hard talking to the back end of an older woman who is always busy in her garden or baking for the grandkids.

I need someone to reorganise my life. You see, I've had a run of bad luck lately. My place is a mess and my mind wanders.

But my head is still full of wishes. I just need someone with a little abracadabra left in her to make all those dreams come true.

I'm not alone of course. I guess there are a few other people out there looking for what I'm looking for. But, hell, the line forms here, or rather there, right behind me.

Yeah, call me Cinderfella and bring on the woman who can turn pumpkins into carriages and mice into stallions. I need a little magic even for just one day, a little zoom, zoom, zoom, before the midnight curfew takes it all away again.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Swimming The Breaststroke

Swimming The Breaststroke

No one would ever accuse me of being anti-boob. In fact, quite the opposite is true. I make every effort to see as many boobs in a day as I can. After all, they're everywhere, all dressed up in different shapes and sizes, and I think they're all great. From AAA to EEE, boobs are a part of the great mystery that women have over men. For the most part, they are cloistered in cloth and hidden from view like the Holly-Holy Grail, but the secret life of boobs just seems to make them more sexually alluring, more desirable, maybe even more dangerous.

Dangerous? Yes, dangerous. What other reason could explain why boobs are so taboo, as if the very sight of a boob would incite a riot among men trying to get a better view or be responsible for the non-stop spontaneous ejaculation and the death of an entire generation of pubescent boys?

Perhaps, I exaggerate. After all, once in a while, a boob does pop out from behind its sacred veil and all but winks at you. Celebrity boobs are famous for such behaviour. When such a slip of the nip takes place, the world, as we know it, doesn't come to an end. It gasps, but it doesn't come to an end.

Still, it's time we declassified boobs. It's time we removed the TOP SECRET black sticker from those that show up on television. After all, boobs have a practical purpose in life. They are the faucets to the fortifying, milky elixir only breastfeeding babies get to experience. Suck, suck, suck ... grow, grow, grow. Beautiful. Harmonious. Natural.

Yes, today's breastfeeding mothers are taught and even encouraged to lose their inhibitions about uncovering the boob in public. In fact, on occasion, I have suspected that some women make a point of feeding their babies in the very midst of a crowded subway car or a busy public place. I'm never sure why. Maybe baby is hungry. Maybe it's some political/womanhood statement of some sort. I never bother to worry about such matters, because I simply don't care.

If we can see boobs in one genre, we should be able to see them in any genre. The more boobs out in the open, the better. Let them all breathe a bit, I say. There's no reason to be so uptight.

The battle cry of women with breastfeeding babies is "Anytime, anywhere." So it should come as no surprise to anyone that, in Canada, a woman is challenging her right to breastfeed in a public swimming pool. That's right, not by the pool, but actually in the pool. When the woman was asked by the pool's administrator to stop breastfeeding her 20-month-old daughter while in the pool, she was outraged at the request and is now asking our government's Human Rights Commission to investigate whether her right to breastfeed was violated.

Now, let's put this into some perspective. This is a 20-month-old child who is standing there in the shallow end and topping up her lunch. She is a toddler, not really a baby anymore. I'm not sure why a toddler of 20 months would suddenly need a snack while swimming laps in a public pool, but if she can have lunch in the water, then I can't see how you're going to stop a four-year-old from having a Happy Meal between splashes under the water slide.

After all, it would be a clear example of tit for tat, so to speak. Food is food. I might even be inclined to float a little spa-ghetti into the mix.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Boy And The Bull ... Channelling Ernest Hemingway

The Boy And The Bull ... Channelling Ernest Hemingway

Conzuella sits by the door. She is naked except for a towel wrapped around her head. She is reading a Spanish newspaper. By her feet an espresso cup has tipped over. The dark oily coffee drips through a crack in the floor. At the window across from her, the boy looks out. He turns his head to look at her.

"Mama, the bull is outside," he says.

"Yes," she replies.

"Can I go out and play with him?"

"No. You must never play with the bull."

"Why, Mama?"

"It is too dangerous."

"Because the bull is mean?"


"What has made the bull so mean?"

"It is just his nature."

"Will Ignacio have to kill the bull?"

"No. Ignacio lacks courage."

"Then, who will kill the bull?"

"I do not know."

"Perhaps the American touriste?"

"He is not American. He is Canadian."

"Will the Canadian kill the bull?"

"No. He only shoots monkeys."

The boy sits at a wooden table. He holds his head in the palms of his hands. After a minute, he looks up.



"I have not seen a monkey in the village. Not ever."



"The Canadian is a good shot."

Outside, Luis Miguel's dog growls and barks. In a moment, its fury ceases. There is only the timpani of rain beating on the tin roof.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

the blade of your love ...

the blade of your love ...

the blade of your love
sweats in the starlight
and leaves bright red ribbons
across my body
and i guess other men
would be daunted
by the savagery of your desire
but love asks for complete faith
and so i trust your precision
your surgical passion
that cuts flawlessly into my flesh
as i lay before you
and wait
for the inevitable
fatal mistake


Friday, June 26, 2015

I'm Building An Ark

I'm Building An Ark

It's not that I have any secret foreknowledge of the future. I do, but I'd never admit that in public. I realise that if I made a big deal of my special talent, people would say odd things about me.

Some would say, "Kennedy's a little cuckoo these days."

Others would say, "Kennedy's a wacko, always has been."

Those who don't know me very well would groan, "Ken's a nut."

Those who really don't know me at all would probably shout, "James has gone off the deep end."

The differences are subtle, I know, but the message is always the same: Weird, strange, insane.

I can't say that I would want to argue with any of these conclusions. Being just outside the realm of reality has always served me well. Most people give wackos a fair margin of space. Nobody, in his or her right mind, tries to stop that shabby half-dressed guy on the street corner who is screaming obscenities at the top of his voice about how the world is going to end in just a matter of minutes. Even I don't trust him. But then, I don't trust any revisionist. When I first saw him, I bought into the possibility of what he said, but after a couple of hours wait, I began to suspect his honesty.

But I am not that guy.

I have scientific proof that the world is going to become a giant swimming pool, and unless you're a duck or a fat old koi, then you'll drown in the deep end because there won't be a shallow end where you can stand up and catch a breath.

Oh sure, some of you think you're great swimmers and will be able to tread water or backstroke around indefinitely. Well, that's just a piece of silliness, isn't it? I mean the flood will last for-almost-ever, and you simply won't be able to bob around that long.

Far better to do what I'm doing. Build yourself an ark.

And just think, if enough people build an ark, we can have ark races after the polar caps melt and the water starts to seep into Kansas. So, maybe consider painting a racing stripe down the side of your ark. Not a red one though. I want red for mine. It's a Canadian colour after all.

And be sure to take along some protection. I've no doubt that there will be ark pirates out there on the turbulent blue flood waters. You'll need something to fend them off. I wanted to get a batch of cruise missiles from the US Navy, but that fell through. I did manage to get a few skuds from a guy who goes by the name of Omar.

Of course, you'll want to plan to take some animals along. Maybe not the two-by-two plan created by Noah, but definitely take along some chicken and beef — good for stir fries.

And , oh yeah, take along some entertainment, a DVD player, a TV, and some of your favourite movies. I'm not sure Netflix will be operating, so you may have to actually buy a few movies on DVD. Personally, I like movies that you can watch over and over again and never really understand. The Big Lebowski or Big Fish — movies like those.

Burn a couple of illegal compilation CD's of your favourite tunes as well. Consider the songs of Barry Manilow or The Carpenters, songs without any social relevance or political edge. All that angst of guys like Bob Dylan isn't going to amount to poop out there on the high seas. So, yeah, maybe some Enya, but certainly no Joni Mitchell.

Well, it's been nice talking to you, but I have to get back to building. I can't for the life of me figure out the best place for the hot tub.

I'll keep you posted ...


Thursday, June 25, 2015

the aspen trees ...

the aspen trees ...

come sit by my side
let's you and i
peel blood oranges
in the afternoon sun
and tell each other lies
of how this chance romance
will last forever
or at least until
night's starry umbrella unfolds
and we fall asleep
wet and satisfied
under the moonlit shimmer
of the aspen trees


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Diggity Do ...

Diggity Do ...

I'm digging a hole, a very deep one.

It's the cheapest way to get to China, I think.

I love to travel, but I never knew it would be quite such a dirty undertaking.

I'm even not sure why I want to go to China. I don't like sushi, and I abhor rice. I do like Chinese buffets, but only the all-you-can-eat variety. I don't drink sake. I am unimpressed by Geishas. I have no interest in walking the great wall. I'm sure it's impressive. So is the Eiffel Tower, but I didn't climb its 1665 stairs when I was in Paris.

I'm not really much of a tourist. I don't carry a backpack or have Canadian flag patches sewn to everything I own. I prefer to be invisible. I realise that when I get to China remaining invisible may be a difficult feat. I'll need a shower, and after the layers of mud melt away, I guess no one there will mistake me for a local. Pity. I was hoping to get some real bargains from the street vendors.

All this has me thinking of fortune cookies.

It's a cool idea to have your future written up inside a cookie. I never acquired a taste for the cookie part, I'm afraid, but I must say I like to read the little scrolls of paper inside. The best one I ever got said: “Your future awaits you.” I thought that was pretty profound. Not helpful, but profound.

It might have read: "Your past awaits you." That would have been even more profound, I think, but it would have seemed ludicrous to the supervisor in the Chinese Fortune Cookie plant, and the poor soul who made it up would have surely lost his/her job. After all, people don't want to be freaked out after a bout with lemon chicken, chop suey, and chow mien. Mostly, they just want to go home and sleep.

Well, back to digging. I've still a long ways to go.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Coming of Age on Lamont Blvd

Coming of Age on Lamont Blvd

I'm not sure if her name was Ginger. Well, OK, to be honest, I know for a fact that her name wasn't Ginger. The problem is that I like the name. It's spicy. It smacks of cookies with a Snap! And when I was a young boy with an unbridled curiosity, that's exactly the kind of girl I wanted to be around, a girl with curly, ginger hair, freckles, and long legs that disappeared somewhere beneath her wrinkled, flousie-pink shorts. I wanted to be around a girl who threw caution to the wind, who would try most everything once, maybe even twice, and who didn't know too much about anything.

In a time when a young boy's room wasn't a fortress of solitude, complete with a computer, an XBOX, PSII, and a sound system without equal, my life was spent living on the street. I don't mean that I spent my youth as a homeless street kid, at least not the way we think of homeless kids today, but the kids of my generation were homeless in another way. As long as there wasn't a rainstorm rolling over the neighbourhood, most every kid I knew was banished from the house through most of the day and told to "Play outside."

Outside was the front sidewalk where we gathered on wobbly bikes of various shapes and sizes. Some of the older kids snuck away to the riverbank and smoked cigarettes that they had stolen from their mother's pack of du Maurier. Others rode a few blocks over to Tamblyn's Drugstore where they bought thick, green glass bottles of Coke for a nickel and a couple of five-sided chunks of chocolate that melted in dark creases along their palms. Most of us just wasted our summer years in perpetual idleness, like we were waiting for something that never came.

On even the best days, there was always some kind of tension in the air. I can't say we were miserable, despite the fact that it wasn't uncommon for a couple of kids to square off in a fight once in awhile. These disputes were generated more by boredom than by a difference of opinion. We didn't really have opinions at all, since in those days, we were taught to be seen but not heard, and I don't remember having an opinion about anything until I had to decide between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. At any rate, these little outbreaks were short-lived and normally ended with one kid bawling all the way home and slamming the gate to the backyard to pout alone on a rusty swing set for the rest of the day. Few kids would actually go back inside the house. By midday, you never knew what might be happening inside, especially when you were expected to be and remain outside.

Some years, a fad would rush along the street and hold everyone's attention for a short time. Yo-Yo's would be all the rage for a while, and then, after becoming twisted into knots even Houdini couldn't untangle, everyone's little spinning wooden disk would disappear into the trash. Other times, marbles would roll into our lives, and we'd treasure them like pieces of eight in a Seagram's deep purple cloth sack, which seemed all the more regal because it had the words Crown Royale embroidered in gold thread across the front. Our collections of plasters, crystals, and agates would teach us a kind of supply and demand economics for a semester of street life, as we risked our best alleys and cat's eyes in a game of keepsies. Then, when marbles went out of fashion, there would always be baseball and hockey cards, which we would win or lose by playing closies, flipsies, or topsies outside the back of the Safeway where you could smell the sweet rot of discarded vegetables in a line of open bins.

Sometimes, we would engage in the card ritual of "got 'im, got 'im, need 'im," and kids would trade a Mickey Mantle for a Richie Ashburn or a Gordie Howe for a Wally Clune. Unknowingly, fortunes would be lost and won. I suspect all this play nurtured the demanding life of capitalism that awaited us in the future. Certainly, no one I knew expressed any evil communist thoughts of sitting down and dividing our wealth of marbles or sports cards equally.

Of all the fads that came and went and then came and went again, none captivated my imagination more than the hip-spinning Hula Hoop. On my block, it was the girl we're calling Ginger who introduced me to this explosively popular novelty that swept the nation in the late 50's.

I remember the day almost as clearly as I remember yesterday. It was early evening when I saw her standing on her front lawn swinging and twisting her hips in an effort to keep a bright red plastic hoop from falling around her ankles. The moment was electric, sending a current of energy through my body, and the sight left me with an odd sensation of delight like I had never experienced before. There, in the lengthening shadows of the Steinberg's big house, streams of orange light from the setting sun would catch the wave of her arms floating above the hoop, the spiralling delirium of her young hips moving back and forth in an undulating rhythm, and the cool white pastel flutter of her long legs. This was a toy like no other toy I had ever seen, and if marbles and baseball cards were practice for our futures as relentless capitalists, the Hula Hoop was practice for something just as intoxicating.

Ginger spun a constantly evolving web of ever-changing circles that ran up and down and all around her gyrating body, and for me, that hoop created an enchanted, almost mystical, swirling red boundary that forbid trespassers, but one which I longed to trespass.


Monday, June 22, 2015

last rites ...

last rites ...

their bodies are tender
some crippled with broken limbs
in plaster casts
craned perversely
over their beds
some with sutures
etched in uneven lines
of unwanted tattoos
forever decorating their flesh
some with only
a worried and expectant look
like a dark spot on an x-ray
cancerous and deadly
some angry
some in unrelenting pain
some confused
some discarded
some destroyed
some ...
an alarm wails
and its incessant steady beep
startles me out of
a waking dream
as i turn to see
blurry and indistinct
almost hallucinatory figures
ghost-like in eerie white robes
some spectral reminder of
the coming of the Magi1
carrying gifts
of not gold
and myrrh
but cruel instruments of
torturous intent
long and shiny
metallic and sterile
to prod
and probe me
back to life
and in their frenzy
they deny me
the peace of death
they rip me
like some stillborn Lazarus
from the womb of
life everlasting
and i am torn
from silence into
a cacophony of indistinct tongues
more foreign to me than ever before
as if this room of swirling curtains
mimicked the antechambers of Babel
where i struggle to whisper
"Benedicat mihi pater"2
but no one returns
the blessing i need most
"quia peccavi"3
and before i can continue
i am gagged
with plastic tubes
and bound to a wheel
of perpetual fire
rousted from the soft
and forgiving arms
of a waiting angelic spirit
and forced to breathe in gasps
through foul blubbering lips
shocked with bolts
of lightning seething
from electric paddles
to enrage
this decrepit body
and infuse it with blood
their uneven thuds
compelling stagnant gushes
from the deepest depths
of a heart
already long past
and so i lie broken
helplessly tricked back to life
only to die again
in an unending
rhythm of
hope and failure
in such an obscenely
reverse ritual
of my last rites


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day

Father's Day

First of all, Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

OK, maybe not to the dads who checked out on their kids before the smell of diapers left the bin behind the door in the spare bedroom.

And maybe not to the dads who hung around but who spent their years not really being around because they were too busy getting drunk most nights and watching television on the weekend.

Certainly not to the dads who believed that a 2X2 piece of pine was an instructional tool designed to teach their kids to behave or to the dads who couldn't be bothered with a hunk of wood and just used their hands or fists to brutalize the hell out of everything and everyone around them.

And maybe I'll skip sending my best to those dads who hated life and through conscious brainwashing taught their kids to hate life as well.

Gay dads? Please ... an oxymoron. They made their choice, and I just wish they would live by it.

Oh yeah, one more exception. To those "dads" who aren't really "dads" but who, through the gift of divorce, have decided to step into the role of "dad," screw off.

No, really, just screw the hell off.

There's a reason no one wanted your children, so quit trying to take over a real dad's kids.

I'm not referring to all the great step-dads who understand their minuscule place in the life of another man's child, but to those guys who twist kids into thinking they're "a better dad than the real dad," back up, back off, back away from screwing up a young mind for the rest of the poor kid's life.

Other than those exceptions, I think I'm good.

Fatherhood is a good gig, if you can get it. Not every man wants to be a father, and I can understand that. The support payments alone are a killer, but that's another story.

Still, it's a rare privilege to watch your children grow, and most fathers marvel at how kids change by leaps and bounds every second weekend. Well, don't fret about that visitation stuff. I've been there and done that, and it's not so bad. OK, Sunday evenings at McDonald's can rip your heart out, but what the hell? Kids grow up, and, eventually, they know what's what.

My son and daughter are adults now with kids of their own. I'm not one of those doting grandfathers, so I might see them once a month or so. Hey, they have lives of their own these days, and so do I.

So, once again, Happy Father's Day to most of the dads out there.

© Copyright, Kennedy James. All rights reserved.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

I Ride

I Ride

I'm Lance Armstrong.

I swear it's true.

I know, I know. I may not look exactly like the guy in the photo, and I have never taken steroids, but remember ... appearances can be deceiving.

OK, OK, I may have never known Sheryl Crow intimately or won the Tour de France, but I've known a few other birds, and I once beat all the neighbourhood kids in a bike race around the block.

I haven't beat cancer, but if cancer showed up at the front door this afternoon, I'd kick its scrawny butt and send it packing down the road.

Most importantly, I ride.

I ride my creaky, black mountain bike around the neighbourhood with passion and reckless abandon.

I ride up hills and down hills, into the wind and with the wind at my back.

I ride through steamy days of unbearable heat and through the rolling thunder of midnight storms.

I barrel past kids on their red, white, and blue Hot Wheels with lightning speed.

I laugh with demoniac glee as I zoom, zoom, zoom past men pedalling pastel-coloured Schwinns along the sidewalk, their orange turbans unfurling in the wake of my speedy CCM.

I rocket around corners where cranky dogs wait for me, their bored teeth gnashing at my ankles ... all for naught ... all for naught. Even the sharpest canine can't time the speed with which my goatish feet fly in circles past their hopeless jaws attempting to catch some skin. I leave them in my dust. I leave them growling and whining, spinning in frustration, and snapping idiotically at their own tails.

I streak through the crisp air, where the smell of someone burning burgers on a barbecue tempts me to stop, to maybe say "Hey," to maybe share a scoop of sticky potato salad and a sizzling black wiener on a paper plate with the folks visiting from the city.

I scorn Sunday drivers. I dash around dull Toyotas and shiny Cadillacs with an insane zeal, and through their tinted car windows, I can see mouths gape with disbelief as I carve my way through traffic within inches of steel fenders and plastic bumpers. And, yes, it's no surprise when the kids in the back seat squeal with delight and shout, "Daddy, there goes Lance Armstrong. Catch up! Catch up!" But they never do catch up of course. I'm already gone.

Stars fade and blink out in the night sky. The best fall in mindless battles on distant shores. Loved ones disappoint. Children succumb to the worst of our diseases. Families squabble needlessly and talk of breaking apart the very bonds that have sustained them for years. Homeless kids wander aimlessly on city streets, and some take up weapons or drugs or worse. Things fall apart.

Life. Life is a tough scene these days, and yes, you may have every reason to feel lost, alone, and crushed by it all. You may have every reason to wander hopelessly around your rooms, day after day, always waiting for something or someone to save you from this dispiriting world, always waiting, waiting by the phone, waiting in front of the television, waiting and wondering why ... wondering why you ... wondering why your life has become so stagnant, so paralysing, so seemingly purposeless ...

Or you can ride.


Friday, June 19, 2015

the last waltz ...

the last waltz ...

it's the last waltz at the end of the night
and he holds her just a little too tight
her budding young breasts poking him where
his heart beats fast and he's quickly aware
how warm he becomes with each sudden shift
her small hips make as the two dancers drift
across the floor in the slowest slow dance
tiny steps towards the start of romance
and who would have thought that year after year
these two young lovers would somehow stay clear
of heartache and every painful mistake
that so many lovers are known to make
until after a life of dreams coming true
they danced one last time before saying adieu
to children and grandchildren one by one
this last waltz their first dance beyond the sun


Thursday, June 18, 2015

spaghetti western ...

spaghetti western ...

you bring me a plate
of spaghetti
swimming in some kind
of tomato sauce
with four globs of
mystery meat
perched in
the corners
and for effect
you have added
a sprig of something green
stuck in the middle
and standing erect
something like a flag
signalling your
surrender to
my hunger
for you
a hunger you hope
to satisfy
with sticky swirls of pasta
now that you have lost
your passion
for the sticky intimacy
of love


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

One Day

One Day

One day ...

We all say it ...

One day, I'll have this or that. One day, I'll be this or that. One day, everything will make sense. One day, I'll be happy.

I must admit that I have had my "one day" dreamy scenarios as well. Some of these wishes have arrived quite unexpectedly and, I should add, quite happily.

After all, dreams that come true are the best dreams of all.

Sadly, some of my "one day's" have fallen short of completion, and I've had to leave them by the wayside. I suppose not every wish comes true, not every hope finds its way into our experiences.

The worst of those failures would be my disappointments in love. Time and time again, I have wandered into loving arms without guessing that love is not always pure, that the emotion of being in love can and often does have a second, somewhat unscrupulous agenda.

Hard for a romantic like me to accept, but some people "fall in love" because their bank accounts confirm that they will not make it through life on their own. Other people "fall in love" because they need some kind of emotional security, not love, but some kind of constant companionship to help pass the dark hours of loneliness. Some even "fall in love" for the sex ... imagine that.

It's sad. You see, I still remember, way back in my younger days, when love was so simple, almost innocent. You fell in love without a second thought for all the social or economic wranglings that come with middle age.

But that was a different "one day" — it isn't something you can ever hope for again — just a "one day" long ago that will never return.

Life ... it's just how life happens ...


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

shooting star ...

shooting star ...

i lost you
when the sun dropped
over the brim
and the hope ran out
leaving a hole
in the night sky
where you disappeared
behind the blackest clouds
that spread like fog
over my deepest imaginings
and for one last time
i watched
your razor-sharp lips
slip sideways when
you said
it wasn't something
that i did
wasn't anything
i done wrong
just that life sometimes
spreads out like a Japanese fan
and divides lovers
one by one
and slices through
the me and you

i lost you
in the heat of the summer turned cold
when the claws of a winter night
tore a hole in the fabric
of the stars
and there you disappeared
into the division
leaving me here to watch
the darkness spill
like black widow ink
over my heart
leaving me waiting
against all doubt
for some kind of split-
second last chance
that never came
except maybe for my one
casual glance
that saw
in this night of nights
a shooting star
trail over me
spark and flare
so startling and so bright
but in the catch
of a single breath
it flamed out
and vanished forever
far beyond
the threshold of sight

Here's what I'm listening to this morning ...

Bob Dylan ~ Shooting Star


Monday, June 15, 2015

Scott Free ... A Story

Scott Free

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

In another apartment, someone is playing a piano. The sound resonates through an open window and floats in a wave of summer heat over to where Maggie is fussing with yesterday's newspapers. She doesn't notice the sound even though her head bobs slightly up and down. Her timing is off somewhat, as if she is bobbing in 5/4 time.

She is busy clipping out pictures and articles of her last lover's murder.

I pretend not to notice.

Ignorance is close enough to innocence in my mind.

And to be honest, I really wasn't involved.

I knew Scott by name only. I never really met him.

"It's a bit strange," I say to her from across the room. "A bit macabre, don't you think?"

"What is?" she throws back.

"Well," I begin hesitantly, "I mean collecting all these clippings and what not. Seems just a bit odd, don't you think?"

She turns her face slightly away from me, sideways, and her features disappear in a dark silhouette. She murmurs something indistinct, stands, and leaves the room.

I watch her disappear like a vague shadow escaping the sunrise. And as she passes into the far bedroom, I am left with a rather odd image of bees dancing in the light of the doorway.

Two days ago, Maggie came to me with a letter.

"Look," she said.

"What is it?" I offered.

"It's a letter ..." She tore open the envelope to peek inside. "It's from ... Scott."

"Oh ..."


"What does the letter say?" I ventured.

She pulled several frayed pieces of lined scribbler paper from the envelope. "Read it," she commanded


"Yes, I mean it, read it out loud to me."

"No. I'm not reading your letter. You read it and give me the executive summary."

With a flourish, she dangled the letter in front of my eyes. "It could be provocative ..." she groaned with a low voice.

"I thought you said it was from Scott."

She turned away from me and began reading the letter. "You really do think you're so sardonic, don't you?"

"Not really." Then after a few moments, I inquired, "What does he say in his letter? Is he committing suicide finally?"

"My god, no. It says ..." she paused for dramatic effect and turned her whole body towards me.

"It says," she began again, "that he wants me back. No questions asked. No blame. No fault. Just says he still loves me and urgently needs me to return to him this instant. Carter blanche. Platinum MasterCard."

"Hmmm ... that's good, isn't it?"

"Says he wants marriage, babies, the whole thirty yards."



"Nine. The expression is: 'The whole nine yards.' Not thirty."

"No it's not."

"Yes, it is."

"But it says here 'the whole thirty yards.'"

"Yes, but that's Scott. He's not exactly an intellectual giant."

"Really?" she asked with her eyes narrowing as she appeared to be sizing up my remark.

"Really?" she repeated and then added, "You're an elitist. Did I ever tell you that? You're a goddamn marxist-wacko-republican who refuses to marry me and doesn't want babies. If you're not careful, I really am going back to Scott."

"Good," I offered. "That's good. It's what you've always wanted."

"But ..." she began.

"Don't," I interrupted. "Don't even bother. I will gladly step aside for the return of your soul mate."

"I never said ..."

"Oh, please," I interrupted again. "When he broke up with you, you had to go for therapy. Christ, you went to Europe just to show him how little he mattered, when he mattered in every way imaginable."

"That's not true."

"It is true, and the sooner you actually do go back to him, the better."

"But what about you?"

"Ah, yes. What about me?" I wondered aloud.

"What about the sex?"

"Yes, well, there is the sex."

"Yes, the sex," Maggie exploded with a fury. Then in a softer voice, she confessed, "I love our sex."

She turned away from me and I could hear her sobbing. A part of me wanted to comfort her. Another part told me that I didn't dare go near her. I stood up as casually as I possibly could. I took several steps towards the bedroom when she suddenly realised my attempt to escape the situation.

"Sit down!" she bellowed.

I immediately sat down, and after a brief moment of hesitation, I ventured a glance towards Maggie across from me.

Her eyebrows, thick and heavy as they are, danced above her eyes like fat sausages twitching on a barbeque. She was thinking.

The air became hot and surly.

The next day, Maggie called Scott at his work and made arrangements to meet with him that very evening. They met at a local Burger King for dinner.

When she returned to the apartment later that evening, her face was ashen and her mood was a pall.

"Are you O.K.?" I asked.

"Yes," she murmured in a deadpan voice. "Yes," she repeated in what sounded more like a sigh.

"How did it go?"

"What?" she blurted as if she had just awoken from a deep sleep.

"How did it go with Scott?" I repeated.

"We had sex," she moaned as she turned her face away from me.

"You what? You ... you had sex?" I stuttered.

"Yes, we had sex in the women's washroom."

"At Burger King?"


"Did you say you did it in the women's washroom?"

"Yes. I refused to go into the men's."

"Did anyone see you?

"No. The door was closed."


"The door to the stall. I closed it and locked the latch."

"Well, did anyone hear you?"

"I don't think so. Maybe. No. No, I'm sure we were alone in there."

"This is unbelievable. You're unbelievable."

"It gets worse."


"It gets a little worse."

"What could be worse than screwing someone in the women's washroom at Burger King?"

"He died."


"He died."



"He died?"


"Are you kidding me?"


"Scott is dead?"



"Not sure."

"Did he have a heart attack?"


"But he's dead? You're sure?"


"Didn't you do anything to help? CPR? Call 911?"



"I wanted him dead. Willed that he die right there, right there where he sat on the can beneath me."

"My god."

"I killed him, didn't I?"

"My god, my god, my god, you're insane."

"I did it for you."

"For me?"

"Yes, for you. So that you would never have to be jealous of him again."

For two days now, Maggie has been scouring the local newspapers for any item even remotely related to Scott's death. She has begun to collect them in a scrapbook.

As she returns from the bedroom with a large bottle of Elmer's white school glue, I ask, "Why are you keeping all these clippings?"

She looks over at me with some disdain in her expression. She doesn't answer. Instead, she sits quietly at the kitchen table and begins sorting out the various photos and news items. I watch her methodical arrangements take shape and I shrug hopelessly.

I turn away from her and walk aimlessly around the apartment. At the door to the bedroom, I stop. She has dropped one of the news clippings. I pick it up and read the headline: "LOCAL TEACHER POISONED AT BURGER KING."

She had murdered Scott all right, but sex was definitely not the murder weapon. I quickly skim the article, only to discover that Scott had been murdered by some as yet undetermined poison, most likely injected into the back of his neck.

I turn and walk back to the kitchen and place the article in front of her.

"You've only made it worse, you know," I say sadly. "You've only made it worse."


Sunday, June 14, 2015

the future ...

the future ...

the stray cats in the alley
snarl and howl
and the night air seems ready
to explode into unequal clouds
drifting over
a crescent moon
left forgotten and alone
in a opaque sky of onyx black
forsaken like an abandoned child
hiding behind the draperies
in the orphanage
of loneliness
but here
here in this room
your hands
lift me from the sands of sleep
and carry me
into the floodlights
of your love
where the dark mirror
of yesterday
cracks into a hundred-hundred pieces
and falls from the wall
to become a carpet of stars
that blink and wink
like your spyglass eyes
that look only
along a shimmering path
into the future


Saturday, June 13, 2015

i want you ... take 2

i want you ... take 2

close your dark dishonest eyes
that have turned your promises
into a hundred alibis
stark loops and whorls
scrawled in the notes you left behind
forming cruel words of such solemn goodbyes
i've said this so many times before
i want you so much
but i don't want you anymore

take your suitcase of endless sorrows
that you've secretly packed
to cancel all our waiting tomorrows
and leave before the bow is bent
its string pulled taut
to deliver regret's killing arrows
i've said this so many times before
i want you so much
but i don't want you anymore

empty the vase of bright red roses
wilting like a bouquet of the deadest dreams
and before the final curtain closes
know that my heart is where
rats feed on wounded romantics
where every hopeless hope decomposes
i've said this so many times before
i want you so much
but i don't want you anymore

find strength in every other man
who offers you a softer pillow
just remember if you think you can
how a love so true
collapsed with a sudden end
almost as soon as it began
i've said this so many times before
i want you so much
but i don't want you anymore


Friday, June 12, 2015

i want you ...

i want you ...

i want you
need you
want to pick you up
like a little buttercup
and bee-bop-a-loo you

i want you
need you
want you to say yes
when i whip off your dress
and completely undo you

i want you
need you
want you to climb up and straddle
my J-stroking paddle
and let me white-water canoe you

i want you
need you
want to skip all this talk
and like ol' Fred in Bedrock
i'll yabba-dabba-dooo you


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Oh, For Goodness Sake ... Just Dance ...

Click the damn video, get off yer butt, and just dance ... you know you want it ...


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Jerkin' The Jerk Off

Jerkin' The Jerk Off

Oh my goodness ...

Last night, I went to a barbeque here at the palace of rooms, and the wizards of vittles were serving up what is commonly called Jerk Chicken.

This spicy defamation of our barnyard feathered friends is native to Jamaica, a Caribbean island with weather so hot that there are public showers along the walkways, which allow you to strip down to your nothings in order to cool off.

Apparently, temperatures soaring beyond 100° F are not enough for the folks on that languid island floating in the middle of a coral blue sea. To add to this searing heat, Jamaicans have perfected a dish so hot that it makes the ambient temperature seem as cool as an Arctic breeze.

A tall black man, with a chef's hat tilted slightly askew on his head, plopped a drumstick on my Chinette plate, and warned, "That might be a bit spicy for you, brudder."

"How spicy?" I asked.

"Mistah, dat dere is yer Jerk chicken."

"Jerk?" I mumbled.

"Yaaasss, mistah, it spice you up real nice. Yaaasss, nice and spicy. Good for yer soul."



I sat down at one of those wooden picnic tables, and after just one bite and my eyes lit up like the fourth of July, and the finale of Gioachino Rossini's William Tell Overture was roaring in my ears.

What's worse, in my panic for a fire extinguishing bottle of water, I actually swallowed the infernal, molten morsel, and it lit up my throat as though I had swallowed a fireball from Hell.

Lord, Lord, Lord ... my poor milquetoast tummy did a reverse three-and-a-half backflip and sent that hunk of lava burning its way right back up and into the middle of the potato salad on my plate.

Jerk chicken? No thanks ... as far as I'm concerned, the name says it all ...



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