Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Noah on First and Commercial

A weathered man sits on his ankles.
One good eye looks sideways
at traffic upstream, the other is
clouded over with cataract.

The cigarette is a fragment, a remnant
plucked-up from concrete, saved
from trampling feet. Under
a dripping awning he waits

for the 20: filled with character, unreliable;
an accordion ark that rolls down the safe,
but damp Drive to Hastings. Above
the crows return unburdened.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fall Colors

Like Gatorade—unnatural
aqua water surrounded autumn
yellows and reds scattered
up powder sugar-coated
mountains cuddling a shy glacier.

A small fish struggles on its side
at the surface—youth displayed:
vertical diamonds, iridescent spots
twinkle in the diffused sun trickling
down. Round and round. Then

revived. Into the depths, invisible for a moment.
Then white belly drifting to the clouds. Bearing
witness means clumsy theology applied like
toddler's experiment: how do star blocks fit
triangle holes? Mysteries: rapture or fall?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Is this Normal?

My new GoreTex jacket
hangs in the coat closet,
a handsome grey with
green trim: a silver fox

waiting for rain.

The forecast is near 20
and dry. I check
the active wildfires in BC,
scroll-down the page,


what a hectare is,
how big is a half-million,
why metric still feels foreign,
who was still worried,

is this normal?

200 dollars
for a bike rack—
from Germany, comes with
a 30 year warranty.

Still. . .

A sunny day in October:
the man with a snake and quick gait
walks past the coffee shop
that just ran out of cold-brew.

In Las Vegas: 50+ shot dead

with two dozen guns modified to be
automatic—politicians offer prayer
for victims, congress considers
a law legalizing silencers.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Joe Laughs

Joe paddles backward in the eddy
behind a rock, riffles like fu-manchu
frame Joe as he lingers in the river
soul-patch and checks his fit-bit
equipped with paddle-boarding app—
“6.1 miles” he shouts. An Osprey cheers
from it’s house atop power pole.

Joe is impressed I know
Osprey from Merganser.
Joe lives on this river,
confuses me with ignorance
of names and lack of fear—
standing on shaking legs down rapids
between rocks with igneous flare
like punk-rock bracelets we bought
from Hot Topic. Joe laughs at danger
even as he drops his lower half-in
to warm the river and mark it


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dennis Lake

Cutthroat trout slurp gnats on the surface 
of shoals reflecting the Telkwa Range’s
sloping shoulders, somewhere hidden 
there a remnant Caribou herd munch lichen. 
Two clouds hover above a loon’s eerie call.

Who could give language to this grandeur? 
What name could contain this sacrament? 
Difficult tasks beckon the brave.

A pioneering settler, a century ago, 
ignored first peoples, remained 
unpolluted by native tongues, beheld 
this place and thought "Dennis."

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Drive to Telkwa


Sun slouched upward:
a free-range yolk
over-easy in a dirty
rusted cast-iron pan.


Smoke from the interior
mingled amongst pine
and sage, tawny hills and
sometimes green valleys.


The gas station clerk
said it’s always busy:
no gas either direction
a long ways. And there’s an A’W.


Mountains were marbled with snow,
like a python’s black-and-white self-portrait—
a transparent but ultimately unsuccessful
attempt to appear artistic.


Clouds like white corduroy
dissipated over leather-skinned
road workers. The slow-stop
binary waited for deconstruction.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Something Something Deep Love of Jesus

I asked if she was still reading
Infinite Jest—it’s the only thing
I know about my barista. She is.
I took my coffee and sat-down,
considered the day and worried
that would be my only conversation.

My mom asked me about a bank
account she set-up for my wedding.
I love my mom. I told her to leave it.
It’s good to be optimistic. Her text
tells me she laughed out loud.
Her text did not make me laugh.

I asked about what to do next.
I’d take any instruction: nap,
move to the Yukon, smile
at the next woman I pass.
My mind flipped between
an Eagles song I hate and

a hymn I forgot the words to.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

This Will Be On the Test

Over a month in nothing
but rocks and sand
and shivering then
sweating, fever dreams
for people who wouldn’t
stick around and no one
came looking, it was a long trip,
people had families
and this was his thing,
training, practice
for the final: abandonment

and thirst.   

Books I Read in Highschool

I read a book with
hell as sprawl
like suburbs or
Houston expanding
like space and everyone
moved further and further away
they complained
about public transit
there were no conversations
except self-talk
arguments about neighbors
who lived out-of-sight
and I thought it was clever
and creative but
now I have coffee dates
scheduled a month in advance
with college friends
who will be moving soon to
states with reasonable
property values to
buy homes and
have kids whose names
I’ll forget with faces
seen occasionally
on screens flickering
in a dark but affordable
studio apartment that
isn’t a metaphor.

All Grown-Up

No one ever told me,
that’s a lie (probably),
but it allows some anger
to disturb the lethargy.

People were always droning
on about growing-up.
Warnings I didn’t hear.
I listened to myself, and ska.

I didn’t envision: crying bored,
staring over plain oatmeal
at ugly house-plants, hour-long
walks looping around

gentrifying neighborhoods
waiting for the sun to finish,
an early bedtime and another bowl
of oatmeal to start it again.  


David Attenborough tells me
the Sahara is expanding. There
used to be giraffes and elephants.
Red paintings now. David thumbs

through a thesaurus, desolate:
bleak, empty, forsaken, lonely,
bare. But there is life. Spiders.
A snake. Ants on stilts.

They only come out at night.
Satellite pictures. David flips
to the back, vast: immense,
expansive, massive, endless.

Wind hisses over blank dunes.
Now David tells me about climate change.
The futility of action, drying up of hope,
play lullaby as I slip into an afternoon nap.

Malaise: Jimmy Carter Was Right

A Hyundai—best in class,
used, some version of
off-white, mostly dependable
but starting to rattle.

Kraft dinner with basil
and oregano, microwaved
broccoli, and beer leftover 
from a party left early.

A beta fish named
Joe--for the gorilla,
an inside joke with
a friend who move away.

A Moleskine notebook filling 
with doodles of robots, sad 
thoughts dressed in Sunday
best, and unread reminders:

call Mom,
change oil,
book appointment
with counselor.