Monday, January 31, 2011

Gen Passes the Bar Exam

To pass the Bar exam

it took him six months

of twelve to fourteen hour days

reading dry books

on top of the years

he spent on law degrees

Looking out the passenger window

at the sun setting on Boundary Bay

he references Tolkien:

You know the boats that the Teleri created,

the kind of work that could never be repeated

because they built themselves into the ships,

that was my Bar exam

I nodded in agreement

and quietly thanked the good Lord

for my marathon of singleness.

Spring Training


I'd rather not

hear about

how marriage and parenthood

are such wonderful blessings

I’d rather

the Mariner pitching staff

warm-up using pool balls

with my crotch as the strike zone.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Looking at Fat Cats, Thinking of You


pictures of fat cats

forwarded by friends

on other continents

and punk rock songs

I listened to in high school

will have to be enough

to keep me from

thinking of you

and wondering

if the stories

about a new Jerusalem

and reunions

on the other side of the Jordan

are true.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


When Journey came on the jukebox

the bartender turned off the speakers

I felt like Odysseus sailing into the harbor of Ithaca

I ordered another Manny’s and left a large tip.

Rosie wasn't a Zombie

There was a sound, and behold, a rattling and the bones came together, bone to bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was not breath in them.

Ezekiel 37:7-8

We buried our dog in a cardboard box

in the soft turf under the Hemlock tree

in our backyard next to the basketball hoop

When lightning struck the tree

the top came off and our dog stayed dead

our back door neighbor brought his chainsaw

cut it into firewood for the winter

My family never had a fireplace

which I guess is why

I never believed in Santa Clause

It didn’t matter much to me

I still got presents

I didn’t need a jolly elf

when I had a Mom who knew

which video games I liked

But I must admit

I was more than curious

and a little hopeful

about zombie dogs.

Spanish Banks

My feet sank into

the bath-water-warm tide-pools

along the Burrard Inlet

as my mom and I walked

through August’s hottest day

Kids were out

collecting shells and flying kites

cargo ships sat anchored

with coastal mountains

rising behind them

My toes wiggled in the sand


Friday, January 14, 2011

Learning to Dance

Just dance

-Lady Gaga

Going swing dancing for the first time

is a time machine back to the 8th grade:

wondering how to talk to girls

what to do with eye contact

what the etiquette for interaction is

Only at 26,

more than just my palms get sweaty

anticipating the foreign and new social situations

filled with awkward stuttering,

feet stepping on feet,

asking strange women

to dance a dance I’m unfamiliar with

And the fear of failure,

of sitting in those chairs along the wall

after failing to get the rhythm right,

or leading my dance partner

into the another couple,

that fear is pants-wetttingly potent

My hope is that the conversations

had in those chairs

are more awkward and unpleasant

than the dances had out on the floor

offering me additional incentive,

and thereby courage,

to dance.

The City of Refuge

You better run to the city of refuge

Rev. CJ Johnson

Tim had a dust mop

I had a broom

the couch was in the center of the room

the mouse was trapped

We held our weapons

like hockey sticks

our enemy shook in his hiding place

We counted down

1. . . 2. . .3

then shoved the couch across the room

the vermin ran to find new cover

my broom came down

smote the beast across the room

it slide till it hit a base board

then ran back under the couch

We repeated our plan

1. . .2. . .3. . .

this time

the mouse had a plan too

he darted out

straight over my shoe

ran to the corner

I lunged with my broom

to cut off the retreat

his end was near

but then

he took to the air

he leaped over my broom

in a Free Willy-esk moment

landing on our heating grate

only to disappear

back into the safety of our floors.

[here is the song ]

Thursday, January 13, 2011


we played catch

on an uneven field

hard with frost

covered by an inch

of old and crusted snow

concealing contours

which worried our ankles

we ran till we lost our breath

our cheeks were rosy

our hands stung

each time we caught

the cold slick ball

thrown in wobbly spirals

when we finished

condensation pumped from our lungs

we attempted to blow rings

while we hobbled back

to the house

for pizza and beer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Answered Prayer

My shivers

prayed for a warmer blanket

and a working thermostat

The coffee

eggs and bacon

were the only answers

I received

and I was thankful for them.

The Fort

my uncle came over to baby sit

while my parents had a date night

my sister and I played in the family room down stairs

while our uncle watched the news in the living room

we stripped our couch

brought our pillows and blankets

down from our rooms

we built the biggest most complex fort ever

with rooms connected by couch cushion corridors

ceilings of Rainbow Bright and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bed-sheets

we filled it with our stuffed animals

Wally the Walrus, three Carebears,

a brown bear missing an eye

the right ear encrusted with dried saliva

after filling the fort and

exploring every nook

we left our creation

ran upstairs

to ask our uncle to come down

and crawl inside with us

hoping he’d see more than a mess.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Monkey Prom

The truth is

if I had the choice

between taking

a human with the mind of a monkey

to prom

or a monkey with the mind of a human

I’d choose the former

This isn’t anything against monkeys with human minds

if the question was

which I’d want to do normal hangout stuff with

I’d choose the monkey

but prom is basically just a photo-shoot with dancing

and I’m not sure how the mechanics would work

as far as dancing with a monkey.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Morning

The sun glared off a frost bitten lawn through my window

on the first day of the year, I didn’t sleep off my demons,

woke up early with cotton-mouth and a smile.

This year started in a sun-shine,

as pessimistic as I usually am

it’s hard not to see a good omen.

But people still die on sunny days,

especially cold ones with ice on the roads,

sun in driver’s eyes, and every one staring at the mountains

because it’s just such a beautiful day.