a logical process toward an illogical event

1.

the winter begins on portage, nowhere ner
the great lakes.

not official till it hits the axis - toronto,
vancouver, tho it never does. not yet.

he says,
they phoned the veterinarian, abt
the calfs head, or something. he was

otherwise occupied near warren,
an hours drive.

i wanted to tell you what had happened.

snow pellets lean the window right to left,
not down. a manga wind
pushing said poem backwards, already

my left eye reading concluding remarks.

2.

two guys walk into a bar.
no joke, it happens
every day.

all the men here look like patrick friesen,
or george amabile. if you dont know what i mean,
pretend.

'go wild for blueberries', the sign yells out.
but i wont, or dont. the blue wind blew,
yellow on the baseboards.

every action is a warning to pet owners.
every moment. once more,
the leaves fall from the trees.

today a letter drop in my mailbox
i might never see. the pointed tongue
long stopped

seeking out those missing teeth,
those phantom bones.

3.

on life & writing, always more to be said. the grocer
doesnt philosophize
on produce. perhaps he should

: the theory of lettuce.

im looking forward to stealing your novel, i told her,
from that large bookstorage chain
i cant mention for copyright reasons.

or reasons of security, more like. mine.

dont worry, she still gets the royalty.

even happy laughter fits
into a spirit of wrongdoing. guilt free.

the leaves fall from the leafy trees. leave.

4.

the stories relate to their own fiction.
relay, like a switch. ten thousand volts.

i left to find a second-hand hat. instead,
i bought a book. wont keep my head warm,
maybe

the inside. leaves, wind, trees. rewrite
your own conclusions, the abacus
of longing, it all
abides.

turns itself on. the self-sustaining,
like solar powered lamps i invented

in my head, at thirteen. they said,
itll never fly. no shit.

5.

i wanted to tell you, what.

the words "this poem is about"
should never be used.

i broke my leg in three places - burlington,
arkansas & mars. or maybe just

my nerve. broke, lost.

the country of the open, leave
your bags please by the cash: dont
carry.

this poem stands at notre dame
& king, in ample measures
& mismatched shoes. at least

im warm inside. the sweater found
in a montreal club,

& washed in toronto. here i
go again, the start.

the countdown capable at every corner,

turn.


winnipeg, manitoba, october 2000
previously unpublished poem from "ruins (a book of absences", a
work-in-progress