where do we go when we want something to do mississauga
all our friends are twenty-three minutes away by car mississauga
an outlet store to the west mississauga
the same store to the east mississauga
houses slapped up with irrepressible urgency mississauga
houses falling down with inevitable precocious decay mississauga
nothing to do nothing to see so we go to a thousand malls mississauga
so we eat american food mississauga
so we buy american clothes mississauga
seven high-rise condos looking for a city centre mississauga
six lanes of hummers breathing down your neck mississauga
five minutes along the four-oh-three and you’re done mississauga
four transit stops from a city mississauga
a great place to sleep mississauga
bury me anywhere where else mississauga

Career Change

Smile that smile for me one more time,
and I’ll carry it to the finish line.

You grin, I’ll bear it,

or more. Sold every last jewel.
Went back to school

and studied you. Passed.
Cast, re-caste,

but I got the part.
Moving picture, art

with mass appeal.
If this is real,

it’s better than the dream.
And… scene.

Three Wishes


I wish I had not
so zealously erased
all the hard drives.


I wish there was a way
to capture the monotone
characters and
write them down.


I wish that I had more
but not too much more
than I have now.

Life Story

The camera speaks in bit and pieces:
definitions and lack of lines.
When did you become
a few small revisions
of yourself?

Not long ago you could
have broken the mould,
disrupted and remade

The camera swivels and
you instead peer through.
The names you chose
swirl around your feet.
Eye of the storm,

Your greatest work:
A river runs through it
to shape the landscape.
Methodical remodelling
in relentless silt.

The camera again swivels
and you are stuffed into a noun,
empty, crumpled, leached.
Broken, like a mould.
Disrupted and remade.

Your small temples emptied
of worshippers and then of gods.

Your greatest work:
a recording of voices,
a photograph of faces,
a video of movements,
a hammer and its nails.

You are in none of them. Or,
you are in them all.

Free Will

Two roads in a wood, divergent.
I could take both, given time.
Or neither. Set up
shop and mime

a man weighing a
couple options.
Comical indecision,

Still, now there
are four paths to choose.
No matter what,
you lose.

The Finer Arts

You, a painting of yourself.
A list of artists.
Form & perspective.
Lines that converge
in the distance, perhaps.

An observer draws something.
A list of qualities.
Thought & perspective.
Satisfaction that converges
on your ignorance of it.

( )

After the war I felt nothing.
I came home to the same
as it had ever been.
Nothing changed.

I breakfasted on scrambled eggs
and maple bacon. I shaved.
I mundaned. I humdrummed.
I fell asleep and dreamed

that a corn field rippled
like a sheet of wind and
woke to eddies of tall grass.
I mowed the lawn.

As if you’re inverted she says.
Six months she says.
Everything different she says.
She says and says and says.

After the war I felt nothing.
I came home to the empty
as it had ever been.
Nothing missing.

Litany & Such

Forgives all abuses forgiveness
Knows no boundaries forgiveness
Can’t be beat forgiveness
Can’t be bought forgiveness
Forgets nothing but the bad forgiveness
All the great men have it forgiveness
Blessed are they that forgiveness
Couldn’t take notes if it tried forgiveness
Stops wars forgiveness
Beats cancer forgiveness
Wrote your mother’s recipes forgiveness
Knows all the lottery numbers forgiveness
Caught a marlin this big forgiveness
My what long arms you have forgiveness
Wrote that fable forgiveness
Invented the internet forgiveness
Always clips coupons forgiveness
Single-handedly stopped the big one forgiveness
Escaped prison with a makeshift paper-clip forgiveness
Wrote the longest line and then some just for the hell of it forgiveness
Invented swearing but doesn’t forgiveness
Sings kumbaya to orphans forgiveness
Is that even a word forgiveness
Has 18% returns forgiveness
Has to end somewhere forgiveness