When they think they can just say sorry and make up for centuries of red hands then someone has to take a stand so sorry man,, sorry for the ones who are not here today to have their say, it is we who remain who must be the voice for their pain and triumph, fuck Trump and Mein Kampf, and all the years of human oppression, fuck the recession and the epidemic levels of depression leading to no other way out. When you tie your tie and button your collar higher, don’t forget there’s still a raging fire, a towering inferno too high to survive the jump from. You take pride in your flags because it shows another conquered nation defeated, but don’t get too conceited and forget the air on which your own blood relies, it comes from the trees and skies, H20 is more royal than any CEO or sovereignty and don’t forget spirituality and having the responsibility that comes with all that power, or the right to silence when those who are met with violence have no choice but to raise their voices in protest, and hail the civil disobedience, and civil unrest of the slaves of your great nation of corporations, but don’t doubt we won’t take a stand as a people against your plan, because there are things more grand than money on this land worth dying for.
Category Archives: Freedom
When the fireworks sound like bombs dropping on this land and the shouts are like the screaming of our red skinned brethren being torn away from home, when 13,000 years get swept under the red and white carpet, we are banging on drums and linking up arms to say don’t forget we were here and we still exist. You can’t bandage these ancestral wounds. What you are doing to the others that came here from afar, we still carry that scar. They all have a place to seek refuge in our home and Native land, but where can we go to mend?
Who will protect us from our government? It’s a true testament of the Aboriginal spirit that this heart knows it’s own truth no matter how deep you try to bury it.
All the honest ones on the bottom rung,
hunger without a green clue about how to grow food.
Yet our ancestors had the heirlooms, which would later
be bought by corporate leaders to make
toxic morsels, without real sustenance.
They would see dollar signs in the leaves of the trees,
ignoring the animal need in the seed we
received when we breathed our first
naked breath here, when we were taught to
respect here, this wilderness,
and the corrupt ones with their
pockets lined with lies,
grew rich off our trustworthiness,
or took it, with force, when we
were powerless to defend against them.
We watched what was once fecund,
become what is now a wasteland.
An ashy womb of indifference,
too poisonous to bear fruit.
We said mother earth must have
closed her legs and refused,
and yet they pried and forced
a millennia of greed a thousand feet deep,
so that the scope of it,
could be seen to permeate
every sector, from produce,
to health care, to political
sway, still she lay there
unresponsive to their touch.
It’s like I am America
and you are Europe,
like you rush towards me
with bloody hands,
fresh from raping your
own land, and you come here
hungry, looking to build a
new empire, from the ruinous
resin of your burned down world.
Like I have only an arrow to defend myself
against your lead battalion.
The day love turned abiotic is the day my corpse lay in bed and did not move for a century. In that century a sentence was written, that contained the entirety of what I felt. The simplicity of a ray of light, wherein all the sun was contained lay in the secular shadow of the curtains that hung like death waves over my window, each time the wind blew, the tide of my life pulled out, then in, then back away from me, and as some wish to recover this, I did not. I slept for a moment, one could not measure, yet in that moment, eternity, and with it all hope, all desire or need of ever waking. The velvet box in which my love lay, they shoveled upon it the earth, on the outside, metal latches and mahogany, within no scream, no dream, no vision, simply velvet mouth where words never fell, velvet tongue, where thoughts dissolved like acid, turning the light into sharp particles of memory, of a time when we walked near the ocean together, and your hand, as I reached for it, became black molecules of star dust fading. The earth, which I used to revere suddenly seemed absurd for being here all these billions of years. Why did it go on regrowing, regenerating all that dead mass of emptiness and decay, If you were only going to go away? Go away, then return again, as this blade, cutting into me, in the center where my heart once beat like the wings of a bird flying home. I’ll stay here clutching my head, my heart, my body, all these things you wouldn’t hold, these things too big for this world to contain. I’ll choke and hemmoraghe, I’ll convulse, my eyes will grow weary where they once shone. All this will take place in a moment, and in that moment each part of me will surrender and retrace each part of you back through time, until it’s as though neither of us were ever here. I’ll erase those parts you said were forever young, replace them with wrinkles and routine, the carefully constructed silence of these walls, this depth from oceanic to a measured distance of six feet, of a life compacted into fragments and unwanted bones. I’ll do all this alone as I walk and breathe, smile and attentively seem to be here, the world won’t know otherwise. It will be my secret. One day a patient will say, those nurses are all so jaded, it’s as if they’ve seen life, watched it fade away day by day, but never cared to make it stay, and I’ll say nothing, I’ll smile and donate my blood as if I always loved and never knew the feeling of a heart break.
You slam shut like a book, a world to me, I lay open on the bed, unread my hand is the great thief turning pages. Tearing them out, binding them between the covers, like torn lovers, illiterate to eachother. In every story there’s a beginning, middle, and end. We wrote an epilogue to an epic on the verses of love, spanning two continents nearly a decade, and many bad reviews. One girl used it as kindling to carry her through countless cold nights. I had it revised once, edited to suit the publisher’s vision, but it still collected dust in the clearance bin. Finally they removed it from the shelves and we were back to ourselves again, with a bad case of post publisher’s remorse. You swore to never let it go and you don’t, you’re still snatching glimpses of what could have been. I’ve started hitting the used bookstores again, looking for something new to read. I frequent the public library, but I can never seem to find one worthy of dog- earing, once you’ve creased it, you’re pretty well comitted. I even joined a reading challenge and met my goal, a book club, a new set of shelves, a yearly membership, you get the point. Just like you said, you live in the parentheses.
When I graduated as an owl,
they said I’d become too wise for my cage,
so they opened the door and I flew free,
but the world was an aviary.
They fooled this old wise one!
Nowhere is free of bars,
free of the warden,
time to check in,
click, cluck, click, cluck,
tick tock, tick tock.
They can’t simulate the seasons,
or give me reasons to fly.
It’s in my DNA to stray.
I know yes yes when the sun sets sets.
It’s time now to hunt and hunger,
clutching at the moon, slipping under,
If I’d not found my way into paradise,
I’d be another fool on the corner
with a spike in his wing, see, see!
Clutching, slipping, laughing.
Rusted decay bleeds through steel.
None of it is real. Who said it was real?
Fuck your silly falconry, you can’t just hold out your arm and expect me to come.
Where I go, when I arrive, depart, fly!
That’s eager eagle spirit trickery.
I am not a fool, see I’m not the raven.
Don’t you even know what I am?
I’ve landed in the wrong place again.
Let me be. Let me sleep.
This world was not meant for
those who are awake.
Creak, shut, slam.
It’s all a fucking sham!
No glam in enforced freedom.
Razzle dazzle me baby,
razzle dazzle me.
Written about the enforcement of scheduled living , work, enslavement to a clock and thoughts about my uncle who spent his entire life incarcerated. He told me “if I’d not escaped , “I’d be dead with a spike in my arm, meaning a syringe. That’s how my father died. A heroin overdose. It was always my uncle and my father against the world, they had only eachother. Snatched away as children from their parents and put into foster care, they were for their lives, eachother’s only living links to their own history. They fell by the wayside and then my uncle, by the grace of a loving spirit, broke free. He is now three years sober and celebrating his longest stint of freedom from jail and living in a world of recovery. He is studying social work and he works for the government and a major corporation for rehabilitating those who were imprisoned and in the prison of addiction. He is a shining example of how miracles happen. I am also reminded of a wise elder who said “protect your spirit, you are in a place that eats spirits.” This is a reflection of corporate life, where adherence to the routine (rules & regulations ) is valued over individuality, as a result many lose their sense of self and become automatons, cut off from the spirit. But as my uncle says the messages are all around us, who we are is written in the trees, flowers, animals, etc. They can’t take that away, they can’t tame the wild in us.
My blood origin is water but thicker than any oil. We were the people of the rapids, always following the tides in and out, as far as they could carry us in our birch bark boats. My grandfather the great Eagle spirit, who could be called on the wind at will, would carry the message of love across the rivers. My father the feathered dancer, always ran with the shadows, ran with the quick horses, wild across the prairie sky, far on towards the high hills, westward to the mountains. He caught the rapids in his veins, the eagle song rushed through him too fast, and I lost his tracks on the wind, it beat quick through his heart like that rabbit on the rails who cried from the weight of the train cutting across his leg. Love is mercurial this is what I chased. I danced with strangers who I hoped could show me deeper into what I felt behind my eyes, spirits passing by like clouds, dark over my head, deer child in storms, under cover of night, crying to the pleiades, snared beneath a thousand shooting stars, willing forward. This is who we are, these are my kin, wild on the hunt, with a scent in us that says love is of this, caught between these river rocks, these feathers, this sky. We follow that scent towards eachother like wild animals marking their journey home again, we will meet at the shore one day. My father visits me in dreams, speaks through the others, offers symbols to guide me closer to the turtle of truth who rises up towards the light. He told me of the 7 teachings, the sacred ways we follow, a path of shells. The beaver works hard to build up these twig towers of hydro electric power that allow us to connect. But the buffalo speaks of respect, tells me “we all have a gift, don’t waste yours, for if beaver did, he would grow long in the tooth and die,” and then we would have a great loss of life, a loss of light to lead us through these dark times.
He arrives at dawn when the others are gone, soaked in their debauchery, seen as a stain on the city, red speckled sea on the horizon , something we avoid on the morning walk to where we have to be, not where we want to be.
If I had my way I’d marry music, swan songs and oblong stories of our less than genteel history. Here in the North we are sorry, that’s our story, forced manners , like blisters on the fingers of the erhu player, but his country has communism, a cracked schism in the pavement, where I step to behold his wordless poems.
You cry out in the morning, no memory of the night before, no purpose, when your legs are sore from running against the current, can’t keep your head above the water long enough to see the shore.
Each morning you stumble down Portage on your way to nowhere, because that’s all we’ve got sister, that and the man with the blister, whose music makes us forget the pain, makes the suffering more tolerable, but what have we to compete with that?
A man holding a swan, caressing it’s long neck of eternity, you and I are lucky if we last ’til tomorrow but that beautiful sorrow can be heard like an ancient cry to the soul, and his case is full of potential coins for the demon that eats loons and moons from our past dreams. They float up merrily and coo at his fingers, see how he wraps them there, wings soft as straw, another corner conquered by something other than a drunken squaw.
What started as awe quickly turns to indifference and downright bitterness for birds. You start cawing and spitting venomous vitriol at anything that jingles. Where did they put my moon eh? Where’s that crescent thing they promised my people, no one remembers the buffalo, they killed him with the red skins, somewhere near wounded knee, but we got this Eastern melody flooding our streets with beauty.
I’m too ugly and my spirit is a deaf traveler. I’ll strangle that white-necked whore! Be nice to the hand that feeds you, it’s the hand that holds you down. They talk like indigenous means religious, it’s not a political stance, it’s birds in the hands of a dying democracy.
I’m the white and you’re the black on the chess board. They are counting on you poor pawn, they are singing for you sweet swan, together we can make a symphony that rises up towards the parliament in full plumed brilliance and lands on Harper’s lawn. Tell him to quit selling what doesn’t belong to him. Take off that Isis mask borrowed from the president and fuck terrorism when we’ve got heroism in our own hands..
dawn over oil spilled feathers, washing these sorrows pure again.
Birth is that crystallized moment when form emerging from dark is grown mistakenly into slavery, the brutality where we are hopelessly adopted into a pulsing world without love, delivered into the possessive hands of a stranger, encompassing us in liquid mercury, dissolving as we strive to gather cohesively, the quicksilver self that eludes us our entire lives into the fluid freedom of death’s sterling soul.
And the morning rain fell
outside my window.
I recall trying to hook a minnow on a line when I was about nine. My grandfather said this was what one did to lure the bigger fish one hoped to catch, they made a splash and their silver slip of fear is what drew the hungry ones near. So we gathered round and waited by the water. The white rush of waves and the violent current roaring past made it all seem so fast, but the waiting and the hunger persisted. Yet he insisted on being still. My grandfather had the patience of granite on a day of rain, which promised an arch of colour in the grey distance of the sky. Why couldn’t I be like that man? He used to hold vigil with the battalion. When his father died, they hailed him a hero of the skies and named a lake after him here in Manitoba “Lake Barthelette” He spoke broken French and then with a swift pull he filled the bucket of ice with our breakfast. I recall huddling around the fire for warmth and black tea, he always drank his tea so strong. Strength and patience were two of his greatest attributes. Up until a few years ago he was still out catching pickerel, picking wild blueberries and chanterelles, hunting a deer or a rabbit, gathering nuts and fixing something with his rough hands…
Perhaps I have that, the power of lightening bolts in my hands on rainy spring mornings, and the patience of granite as I try to silence this hunger swimming inside of me, silvery and uncatchable. The wave of loneliness overlaps the wave of ecstasy, causing a rush that pulls me under into deep places, where emerging I regain my breath as I ponder life and death before the big swell drowns out my consciousness.
And the morning rain fell
outside my window…
I’m a helpless minnow striving to break free, blood gushing out of me as they track my metallic scent in the water, mercurial, rust coloured and dangling from a hook, this hook that holds me between life and death as the hungry world centers in with a bone-chilling calm in the midst of all this chaos. I am of the sea, of algae and long vines emerging from entwined blackness, pulling me back to the watery remembrance of a wilderness where I was once invincible.
Power lines and the thought that I could climb.
Your hands gesticulating, motioning me back into a feathery bed of passivity.
The pillars of the bridge engulfed by the engorged red, unattainable love I felt, swirling in violent cyclones of possibility. If I stand and watch the swirl of water, like a small child who perceived herself a screaming fish, spiraling down a drain, lifeless. If your mouth could kiss away the death that overshadowed my withering frame in the halls of a consensual prison, we called work, then nocturnal birds would have never watched my mother from the post facing east, and signalled the ominous, the premonitive , what if…
What if she slept and I was the night guard keeping watch over spirits? What if I stood on the boxes in the back room of the building and tempted my fate with a rope and a crate, tied around a beam, leading somewhere I had once been before this life? What if that exacto knife hadn’t opened my arm and caused such alarm among us? What if when she slept I found bottles of Captain Morgan’s and took the keys to one of the vans in the driveway, took a hose from the industrial vacuum and shoved it methodically, one end in the tailpipe, the other in my mouth, with the doors locked and the radio playing what were meant to be the last songs I heard as I stared up at the starlit sky drinking 21 shots for every year I was alive.
What if all of this and still you took me home and held me by your side until that storm subsided? You laughed and chided my attempts at life and death until I had given all I could of blood and sex to you, and it left me in stitches.
Then a girl turned into a woman and kept walking, unconvinced by your feigned displays of love & mercy. A girl who was nothing more than a serotonin depraved burden to your artificial, feel good, polyana ways.
Climbing power lines, shirking the electricity, jumping twenty feet into nothing for you. It never ceased to amuse, you wanted something more substantial, like semen and the demon of a vacuous tube, sucking unborn dreams away.
But what if your fingers were razorblades and your lips were a red abyss and every kiss you gave cut into me with the thirst for something deeper?
Things at which you smirked and slithered away, cowering. With the “oh Gods and what nows” when I played Anathema or Theatre of Tragedy, and you walked out of my apartment unable to bear it.
You were the amusement whose pleasure wore out on me. When you could not abide my pain or sustain my darkness.
I surged on alone deeper and deeper, further and further away from you, towards a city where a tenebrous girl flicked her blond hair and noted the sadness behind my smile, able to see more deep, able to keep shadows.
Remember when I told you I was lost? You said you would send a taxi to find me, but you fell over and nearly dropped the phone when I told you I was across the country, where I’d gone on a whim to reclaim something that never belonged to me. So she didn’t and you don’t and what does, belong to me? The names of constellations, the origin of beauty?
Or just this…what if?
Sparrows slowly swoon in sorrowful silence from the south as winds wither the flowers in her mouth.
Time lies slowly dying for those immortal sparrows.
Deep in a grave of lost love my girl withers also.
Her hands, now bones, no longer able to touch me, flowers fading, kisses gone, bleeding through this living memory, that fades with my ageing body.
But the sparrows remain ceaseless with the passing seasons.
I want to be a vine, be a root, or a branch, that winds through the earth, reaching for her.
I’d like to get some platform boots, a silky pair of black nylons and a strapless strapon. Red and full is how I feel when I see your hard nipple & thirsty mouth, want to take a slow trip South, biting and licking my way through your valleys to the highest peak of pleasure in you, in me, where it hurts, transmit this anti into climax, encircle your shiny pearl with my tongue, the swirl of paradox, the soft endless ness of your velvet body when I enter you slow, rhythmic, then gradually harder, until I need to hold your braided hair, pulling on the reins of paradise, each thrust pushing deeper into you, into me, I need your eyes on mine, so I can journey back and forth between those parallel worlds where you are both woman and girl. My soul pulsing into that death, that emptiness, that place at the threshold, where there’s no turning back. Brush away the butterfly fluttering in me so constantly, the bird trapped in my ribcage, the viper in my spine, all these things that twist & tangle and unwind me, set them free for you, for us
A voice never to be heard. (things absurd.) The giving up of moments into memories, the sacrifice of self into nothingness, like the self was nothing to begin with, and it wasn’t, it is and it is not dependent on mood. But a mood can create & destroy. What was that they told us? First the thought, then the mood, then the action. But what if I was without thought or feeling? What if I was all id, seething along on impulse, impervious to the outcome, recklessly burning the night alive like a dying star? What if that’s all we are? These cellular beams of nothing, creating self from thought & illusion. The play of existence is transitory, so we can opt to live or die, or merge into another self at random, according to our own will, that gets governed by the heart and guided by the soul, which is immortal. Then this body is a choice and so is yours but are we really free or is that also illusory? We carry our prisons like luggage or occupations, from one destination to the next, deep in our inner cores, where we fear to tread. Freedom is a state of mind they say, so I can be locked away and still fly, or I can roam forever and never feel alive. It doesn’t matter either way. I dreamt we had a long conversation. I dreamt I heard your voice. I dreamt you meant to tell me something. We had met for the first time in the flesh, and there was nothing to be said that couldn’t be expressed by our bodies, so you said hello with a long and fatal kiss and in that same breath I said goodbye to life and death, I was born in you, anew. Because real love makes us lose our vision and real love makes us see things as they are, in a way we were blind to before. All that pollutes us from the past transmutes into a white light of undying purity in which we create each other, rhythmically like planets, aligned to a divine order, that appears to us as chaos.
What cycle of the moon would bring us our doom; two fish washed ashore in a forest.
The tide pool offers us a view of birds, previously hidden, but for those moments we would jump above the surface of the water.
They build nests and create something numinous beyond all seeing.
If only we could grow wings.
If only we could find our way
free from this puddle before the sun rises and dries up our dreams.
“But where then shall we go and what will we behold?” Asked the one fish of the other.
When our sadness flows in streams we will drown in the river of our selves, sink deep into the roots of the trees and then branch out to the sky and swim among the stars.
An inferno dying out in your mouth of clouds, the sharp hungry bird crying out at dawn, 18 reasons to stay, 18 to leave, dekaocto.
A girl I watch from your balcony;
years of stifled song, and the wrongs spill out in silence as she bends down, her tight shorts cutting into my agony.
Through the doorway where you call to me after such a long drought, you force my hand down and tell me to touch you now, but it feels like mercy, like persuasion not to fly, like I want to die.
I want to die separate from all the things you know of me, but I cannot because I am a muted bird, and you are blind to this feathery thing in me, which wakes in the night hungry & scorned.
The Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto), most often simply called the collared dove-
The song is a coo-COO-coo, repeated many times. It is phonetically similar to the Greek decaocto (“eighteen”), to which the bird owes its zoological name. It also makes a harsh loud screeching call lasting about two seconds, particularly in flight just before landing. A rough way to describe the screeching sound is a hah-hah.
Red tape, white tape, things to break and be bound by. Seal my heart away in a box, in storage where it stays, incapable of remaining any other place, but categorized under things to take out when unpacking, things to decorate this empty space.
There was a turning door that alternated between dark & light, among all the places she led me. I could not follow her in, could not let myself process the shadowy barrier I would never have the chance to cross.
Her mouth was gentle and breakable by invisible kisses, kisses stained black, white, dark, light & beautiful in their pain.
We cannot get beyond the dusty smell of death in all the old places we stay.
I see a flutter of butterflies carrying stars to the river, to drop them deep in the murky silence & the gush of waves.
Some day I will drown in stars.
Some day I’ll rise silver & moonstruck, to hold her in my arms and stay in a place where my heart is still and my body never defies me.
Can you catch death from an owl, or freedom from a butterfly?
Wisdom & transcendence.
I have walked along the palace walls and witnessed the loneliness of the queen; the things she has seen and been above, and the absence of true love in all the stars we wish upon. Saw princes turn into demons and princesses hide away in dark places, praying to false saviours in the sky.
I have rode trains near ancient remains and felt the sorrow of the broken stone goddesses, who are a testament to the war we wage against all that is different.
I sat with you one winter night and you held my arm tight, trying to catch my pulse. It froze like a piece of glass and lodged into my heart.
Midnight arrives and I skate down the river, to the edge of the city. I stare up at the lights in the sky and wonder if it matters that there’s life on other planets if it’s all the same as this.
When I was twenty I drank a bottle of vodka and disappeared. The truth appeared to be nothing but a blur on the horizon. When I woke up I was sober and nearing forty. I found I had missed nothing. Being awake or asleep, life still carries on in the same way with or without us. We have gravity to blame.
I decided to become an astronaut and float above the world, alone. Out here in the dark no one sees me. I hear the desperate pleas of the lost ones back on earth, crying for something, anything to take it all away. Some pray for little things; like jobs, children, and marriage. Some pray for bigger things; like freedom, truth and love. Not one of them sees how futile their efforts are. Not one of them cares for the things beyond.
In space you are weightless and mute. You can’t hear the sound of bombs going off in the name of love, because bombs don’t even matter and love is only a word. Nothing can touch you when you are free, not even gravity.