Live at the Wheelhouse

“started doing heroin so I could get to methadone.

and I drink eight shots of vodka every night, out of a thimble.”

that is what the street laureate of Vancouver, speaking in Toronto, here,

in front of a piano, his tongue rolling out generic Bukowski marbles,

should be saying, if it were me.

i find myself speaking for others.

i finish their sentences.

i put words in their mouths.

“i can’t wash away my problems, cause drinkin is easier.”

why not learn from our successes instead of our failures?

we try to move ourselves away from what we don’t want to be seen as.

how you fart in a room and walk into another, without thinking where

because it doesn’t matter.


i read my astrological advice

“you will find yourself cosmically dead.

you will believe you are empty and dull – as if a small animal

possibly a badger,

why not a badger,

in fact died inside of you.

you will not enjoy poetry. you will not enjoy food.

you will not enjoy movies. sex will be disappointing.

everyone will seem like a fraud.

wholeness will seamlessly circumvent into hollowness.

nothing will solve nothing.

puppies will remind you that you could die at any moment

that your heart has never stopped beating your whole life.

everything will incorporate into margins,

even the margins, especially the margins.

you will not recognize faces, and in the rare instances you do,

you will not like what you see.”

and this message recedes into your own mental back lot,

home to memories of times you swallowed coffee grounds,

times you vomited in strange bathrooms,

and the time you drove home on the wrong lane.

a deep junkyard with no advice

no lessons – only trash.


two months later, spoke to a colleague,

who had invented a stethoscope, that could see thoughts,

“but right now, it’s mostly auras,” he says.

sat in a steam room, for a hangover

the following march with michael.

telling me that the toxins

could only be sweated out or drowned.

drumming my fingers on the wooden slats

using our hands like instruments

finger flutes and thumb trumpets

an oboe from a towel

and i told michael we could sing away our problems

even if i was wrong, i was right,

and so we rewrote, the Lord’s prayer, right there.


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