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co-writing 

i put pants on  

and a new pair of socks  

walk down stairs  

sit and read brautigan 

drink coffee 

madeline meets me to write 

i have written with other people before 

but mostly i am private in my endeavours 

i have never written with ex lovers 

one time i went to a show with one but it felt like the flip side of a dream 

‘she says, ‘what do you want to write about?’ 

‘can we write about my new socks?’ 

‘uhhh’ 

‘i really love the colourful design in the foot but i am disappointed with how the leg of the sock is just blue so that when i wear shoes no body can tell how beautiful they are’ 

‘you should wear flip flops’ 

and that is how our song 

‘flip flop slick socks’ was written

i think it is going to be a hit

 

 

godspeed 

driving west down 107th ave

towards technicare to deliver a lens

that abby was supposed to use to shoot

a recording session that never happened

i used to drive this way with jordan

on our way to a meeting on 124th street

both of us trying to keep from the drink

when i made eye contact with him 

he would tilt his head back

and widen his eyes as if he was surprised

he posted photos of his dog online with only the description

'woof'

he loved soccer

he relapsed and never made it back

i cried that summer listening to ron hynes sing godspeed

while traveling around in my car

'god only knows what takes a petal from the rose

what makes the dark rivers overflow

what makes a lifetime come and go'

sometimes i wonder if jordan looks down

hoping to make eye contact

or wondering how music is going

or why i am driving so slow

'forgive a sweet soul a desperate deed

his was a prison and he was freed

godspeed, godspeed'

 

 

stomach full of roses 

i live above a coffee shop

across from canada place

north of the river

the walls are glass

and the floor is concrete

janice says, 'mind if i sit here?'

i say, 'no'

she pulls out a ziploc bag of maybe a hundred cigarettes

and fills a pack of twenty five

she has four bracelets and one watch

she looks at the time and takes a sip of coffee

she puts the paper next tome and says

'here's the metro just in case'

eric falls asleep again and the barista must wake him

he does it so kindly that my stomach fills with roses

'eric, wake up'

'eric, you have to be awake'

'eric, it's time to wake up'


i wish somebody would do that for me

sushi #1 

a couple weeks ago i made a bit of money on tour with jake morley 

in four days we played in 

airdrie 

vermillion 

grande prairie 

and athabasca 

now i feel rich and i eat sushi a lot 

my favourite is the mango tango roll 

in the last week i’ve been to 

maki maki 

japanais bistro 

and i love sushi 

maki maki is the best because the lighting is dark and it is open late 

when i fall in love 

i wrap myself in seaweed and fish eggs and say 

‘dip me in soy and have your way’ 

most the time i am swallowed whole and i am left scratching at the insides thinkin’ 

‘how’d i get back here again’ 

or 

‘who’s going to water my plants’ 

or 

‘how’d i run out of money so fast’

songs to finish 

stealing flowers

budlight balladeer

kitchen days

perogy eating contest

driving the sound guy home

where did i park my car

i have huge news to tell you (but not just yet)

i'm just here for the wifi

i skipped leg day

may your life be as good as it is on facebook

skin tag companion

earrings on the dash

turn me inside out

 

robert 

i remember walking towards whyte

i was on your right side and slightly behind when you said

'gates, i think you drink too much'

i cannot recall my response in words

but i remember feeling as if you were both right and wrong

last night i listened to my friend talk about quitting drinkin'

with a drink in his hand

i sat there wondering if you still eat a lot of brussel sprouts 

and drive that army green jeep

and hang out with jon and talk about cars and lift weights

my favourite sport back then was to do what dick did last night

sit in the bar drinkin' while wishing i was sober

i can tell you that it is a lot better being sober wishin' i was drinkin'

but i don't do much of that anymore either

i hope you are eating your greens
 

good luck in australia 

'i love you' rolls off the tip my tongue

this time back down the esophagus

into my stomach

joining the mango tango

and the seaweed salad

i wish our lives could be a dance floor

and that the music would never end

oh, but it does

and it will

and now i must find something else to say:

'good luck in australia'
 

it is snowing 

she can almost play twinkle twinkle 

her tone is good for a beginner

she holds the fiddle like she is afraid to drop it

and that is how i hold her

fort saskatchewan 

do you remember when we sat at the tim horton’s 

across 21 from from the high school 

well the high school is now a middle school 

and canada’s java makes me shit my pants 

every time i come back i think about the time we had a lunch time beer at the brant hotel a few weeks after turning 18 

i was alarmed to find an old man rolling a joint in the bathroom 

now that kind of shit delights me and the only thing i drink at lunch time is soda water and cranberry juice 

they say it’s good for urinary tract infections 

anyways 

im coming back for a show at the shell 

the same stage i graduated on 

the only friend i see from back then is my twin sister 

she just had a baby and her whole world has changed 

the only thing i ever wanted then was to be able to write a song and sing it like my neighbour joe was doing 

i didn’t pursue anything else expect for words and melodies and how to play the guitar 

sometimes i wish i had spent the thousand dollar scholarship i received from the alberta midget hockey league on a fourth of a semester’s tuition but it was to be spent before the age of twenty five 

and i am twenty seven now 

win some lose some 

anyways 

i digress 

i will be at the shell theatre tomorrow night 

you can call it a homecoming 

but that won’t be quite accurate 

because somehow it feels like i’ve not left 

half my brain is in a song 

and the other half is in the bathroom of the brant hotel 

and it’s just as dirty as it was on that lunch time squalor 

maybe i’ll see you there