Romanced

Here's yet another tale of lovers
Who drank each other under the covers
Melted til they felt it
Then poured a couple more

Or, did they meet in the street?
Make eye contact, then weep?
Infatuation at first sight
Perhaps... that first night?

Is naught truly amiss?
With a tempestuous kiss
Can theatrics from 80's movies
Actually behoove ye?

How about instead of beers?
It was letters sent over years
Outpourings of two souls
Tribulations, joys, and goals

But, the idea of a person
Is better, then it worsens
Will things work out fine?
With the litmus test of time?

What's more mature and natural?
An approach: cold and factual?
Checklists and algorithms 
Mathematical driven

My favourite is the path of laughs 
Such arts kickstart the heart
Giggles turned to snuggles
Laughter... to happily ever after

All of the above
Are potential paths to love
We should learn from the past  
Even if the coupling didn't last

Hopefully, these lessons lessen
Growth, with another is the blessing

Bookstore

Such a place of amazement, imagination and possibilities, new and old friends.

I think I usually seek out the old friends first to get the lay of the land so to speak. Figure out just how comprehensive the back catalogue is, whether there’s oodles of extra copies or does it seem like a carefully curated private library begrudgingly opened to the public?

Then it’s a breeze through the classifications / categories. Depends on the type of bookstore really. One of those slick big box stores with dark wood to provide the illusion of history in a space renovated 3 years ago from a clothing store, or was it sporting goods? Maybe a restaurant? I’m sure there’s a tree ring level of investigative possibility beneath the layers of paint coating the structural walls.

Don’t worry, you won’t get lost in one of ‘those’ stores, they’ll all cut from the same cloth with simple wayfinding and numerous non-booky impulse buys. Likely an adjoining brand name coffee place to fill another addiction at the same time. Sheeeit I sound bitter. Wait’ll I rant about online bookstores! (Dirty secret – I spent waaaaay too much online buying comic books, ahem, graphic novels during the Year-du-COVID. Escape, my excuse!)

Okay let’s get back to the communities though. Those special bookstores that carve a niche and foster loyalty despite lower prices (see mini-rant above) at big box or online retailers.

Those are labours of love. Shit, they really are. Some owner just wants to read, share, they’ll gladly order you in any manner of literature you need. Displays linked together thematically, maybe a hot author has a display with some older works for a refreshing deep dive. (To be fair the box stores / online folks have all the appropriate prompting/queuing, etc.) No those places are great and, well, I hope they survive. I suppose I can help that, dammit. Best get on it.

Last though, is my favourite – the used bookstore. Old books, sorted by size, (or priced that way), multi-book deals. Old classics with the covers barely hanging on with yellowed pages. Books stacked to the rafters and remnants of organizational schemes falling to the wayside in the back where the extra discounted ones are. I love exploring them, looking through them, petting the store cat (there’s always a cat). There’s always someone who knows exactly where everything is if you ask.

When I go to a new town and am wandering about it’s a nice respite for me to go spend time in a quiet, unassuming place searching for the perfect book to remember the trip by. (Whitehorse’s Well-Read Books and Jack London’s ‘The Iron Heel’, Edmonton’s Wee Book Inn and “Don Quixote”, Victoria’s Russell Books and… well err a shitload of Batman, and I’ve never actually been there, but justified my online pandemic shopping spree behind the pretense of supporting local(ish) companies online. I will eventually make a pilgrimage whenever I get back to the Island.)

Yep, can’t wait for my next sojourn to find me another bookstore to skulk about awhile. Right up there with museums as a great way to spend an afternoon in a strange city. Then off to a trendy pub with the new prize book to flip through and enjoy!

PS. Gotta pimp a couple more great stores, Whitehorse – Mac’s Fireweed Books (A tiny book of poetry called “A Little Robert Service”). Oh, and it’s not a used store, but…. Wait, there’s used stuff in the back! Err okay it’s Vancouver’s Golden Age Collectibles and I think I got some GI Joe comics there first, hard to say as it’s been a lot of trips back haha. Speaking of Vancouver, I also managed to pick up a pretty cool book about the history of pirates for $2 from a guy having a yard sale from his front step in the Alma neighbourhood as my brother and I followed a path reclaimed from an old railway as we roamed the streets on a sunny Sunday in June looking for an open patio to have brunch at. That counts as a bookstore too cause I think there were 8 laid out on a table.

Strawberries

It's so very cont-a-rary
When I eat a strawberry
It's practically absurd
In case you hadn't heard

I stare in wonder
Near Arctic Tundra
At this strange red fruit
Marveling at its route

Here we are
So freaking far
The end of the road
With a produce load

Amidst ice and snow
Taste the rainbow

Uplift

Will the world uplift?
When we lose The Grift
Any chance it'll heal the rift?
Between the right and the left

I'm a little biased
Hoping for a better us
Like seriously dude
It's terribly skewed

I used to think I was apolitical
Until we reached situation, critical
So from here on out
Without a doubt

I'll make sure I speak
When Fascism leaks

Head-Smashed-In Bike Go Bump

Last thing remembered:
lending parent's friend's kid red and black BMX, 
getting on Dad's old blue ten speed with red saddlebags
Lowering seat to reach pedals
Pretty cool, grown-up

Nothing after tho 
Probably cruised around hood, 
doing jumps off curbs, popping wheelies
 
Woke up in the ER 
Couldn't move. 
Head pain.  Down side too.
Funny little stainless steel
kidney shaped bowl

Light hurt.  
Harsh fluorescent iridescent irritation

Limbs, slowly starting to work 
Reaching up, touching temple
Fingers, drawn back sticky

Mom was there. 
Crying? Maybe a happy gasp?

Tried to sit up
WoOzy
Puked on self
Kidney bowl pushed under chin
Mom's hand on head
Soft murmurs

"Mom, where are your shoes?"
She laughed. 
No time she said
No time.
Straight into the ambulance

Went home that day
Nothing broken
(Except brain)
Trip to the Kootenies next
8 hour drive
Slept in bed, back of van

Grandparent's cabin    
Repeatedly ran into furniture
Joked about my clumsiness

Heard about The Crash then
Hit car going 80 on 80th ave
Frantically pedaling backwards

No brakes
No brakes.

Bounced off hood
Caterwauling: ARooOooA, ArOoooA
Mom ran 4 blocks in socks
Dad's bike, badly bent
Me too

~~

Summer ended
Changed schools
French immersion
Missed my friends
Hated it

Went on strike
Failed everything except math
(Couldn't do that to math)

Detention desk at principal's office
Spurned Bescherelle transcription task
One hour sentence, then, phone call from Mom

Big trouble waiting at home

Didn't go

Rode shiny new silver ten speed down road
Next suburb over
Slept in shed with bike while lighting crashed

Three days in library reading Charlie Brown
Only ate gum
Upgraded bedroom to newspaper bin

Flat tire
Walking past police station
"Shouldn't you be in school?"
Then, recognized

Questions 
So many questions 
Just wanted to go home

On the news
Mom and brother crying
Hugs
Joked she had shoes this time
Laughter

~~

Dented noggin demarcated entry to teens
Explains terrible baseball skills

Looking back now, can better see 
long shadow cast by The Crash

Can't rub dirt on it, 
but can understand, 
and, 
forgive.

Superstition

Okay now seriously, which one of you said “Thank God 2020’s over, 2021 couldn’t be any worse!”

Well, I’ve tried the 2021 seven day trial and I’d like to return it. Anyone know how?

I think that’s the simplest form of superstition. The “Don’t mention the goalie has a shutout or the other team will score kind.” Baseball players are famous for the vodoo-esque lengths the go through to either keep their luck going, or, change their luck, players even going so far as to sacrifice chickens!

For me though, I don’t give a cluck. I’m just not what I’d consider a superstitious person. I mean, yes, I’ve seen a few eerie coincidences in my life, but I just chalk that up to the nature of probability without attributing causality to it.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, things were just fine.

Before man's terror, 
Species extinction fervor
Mega-fauna all gone-a
Pointy sticks and fire
Meat to our heart's desire

Agriculture and language came 
With more of the same
A dearth of mirth 
As bodies hit the earth

The inception of religion 
Caused even more division
But lo and behold a glint of shiny gold
Some precepts and beliefs gave relief
A few vegetarians 
Were murder contrarian

Animal husbandry 
Was telling, you see
Flocks and herds 
Of domesticated animals and birds
We could conserve, 
With a certain amount of verve
If they were tasty, we wouldn't wasty

That's more or less where we are
Killing the planet with fossil fueled cars
The real secret, 
(And I hope you don't keep it)
Well it's those industry titans 
For who nature's bones whiten
The rich are a bitch, 
A plague with death as a wage.
Of course we're not blameless
With our consumption so shameless

Once upon a time, things were just fine.
What are YOU gonna do about it?


Past, Present, Future

I’ve got unfinished business with 2020. I fell off the writing wagon after the
Longest Night (who wouldn’t blame me, it was dark!) so I’ve decided this particular prompt best captures the zeitgeist of this liminal time/space continuum. Or roughly put, some minor reflection with some New Year’s resolutions (Goals, woot!)

TL;DR  
Past - Take the lessons, but leave the bad after addressing what is solve-able.
Present - Exist, enjoy.  Seek balance in all.  Accept the unexpected.
Future - Keep on eye on it, but don't get lost in what might be's.  

Actually now that I see that I’m pretty happy with it and feel it’ll set a nice course for the new year. Yaay 2021!