Monday, December 5, 2011



Thirteen black cats perfectly skinned

like plastic, multi-layered illustrations

in a Gray’s Anatomy for cats, as if

some surgeon playing Zorro

denuded them with a scalpel,

laid them open to the cold cold sky

like packaged chicken in a butcher-shop.

Back home from a month of reading on the road,

back to my own homely sacred grove,

living space enough to perch a Boeing 767 on a branch

I recognize as my favourite place to land

and stop plunging into beercaps

of phosphorescent red algae

from thirty five thousand feet

as if Toronto were some kind of illuminated cold sore.

No more sliding across city nightscape highways

like a stone in curling

or a ouija board

as if they had no say in where anyone’s going

just one rung of being above them,

one by wheel,

and one by wing.

Thirteen haemorrhaging roses,

thirteen snow cones of cat blood

all along the walkway up to the threshold

of my eery, empty farm house still in a state of shock.

Thirteen eclipses sliced open like the false dawns

of witchy loveletters

that still leave you guessing at the end

why anyone would commit suicide in front of a mirror.

Thirteen new moons, thirteen lunar months of the year

struck from the Julian calendar.

These had swirled among my legs like smoke,

jumped into my lap when they sensed

I was sad about something,

put their paws on my eyelids,

touched my nose and my heart

with a wet dab of theirs

like a tiny valentine with cool nostrils,

reminded me how to relax with perfect alertness,


A fisher.

The Charlie Manson of the woods

trying to start a race war

between thirteen black cats and the snow.

I imagine the horror they must have endured

waiting every night for it to return

like Dr. Mengele to carry on with his experiment,

helpless as the amputated lullabies

of bright Jewish children in Auschwitz

longing for their dead mothers

to help them understand this.

A malevolence lurks in the air

colder than ice can burn

and what was warm and welcoming about life

has flamed out like thirteen black fire pits

in an albino zodiac of ice-floes at a seal hunt.

Not rage. Not grief. They’ll come later.

But pain bared like the fangs of crescent moons

behind an assassin’s cloak

that conceals the flesh piercing steel

I want to feel slowly penetrate a fisher’s throat

like a karmic trapline with a king cobra for bait.

Fuck my love of nature.

This part I hate.

These cliches of anti-poetry

that sink their talons into the hearts of baby lambs

just because they can.

This hour when life knocks the laurels off your head

and puts a wreath of thorns and nettles there instead.

And your blood freezes deliberately

like a sunami of glaciers in a nuclear ice age

or the red thread of a thermometer

withdrawing into itself like a syringe

to prepare a hot fix like a morphine drip

to shoot into the incredulous eyes of those

who like to descecrate lullabies

as I recite I wish I may, I wish I might

with a snakey grin on my face

as they die like snowflakes on a furnace.

Nature red in tooth and claw.

Kill the fisher. Make it suffer as these did.

How can this law

be any less natural than rabies?

All this tenderness squandered

by the bloodlust of a predatory serial killer

who came at my cats

like Robert Willie Picton on a pig farm

desecrated forty nine Vancouver junkies and prostitutes

before he got sloppy

and missed out on making it an even fifty.

Time to add him to the mix of hog swill.

Time to martyr Lucifer at his own black mass.

Shotguns, toxins, leg-hold traps.

I want to see this fisher

eat its hind legs off to get out of

the Saw movie I’m beginning to cast

like a feeding frenzy among great white sharks

or the snakepit of a mammal’s worst nightmare.

Unlucky number.

Thirteen black cats.

Thirteen bullet holes in a mail box of snow.

Thirteen black holes in my zodiac

where some astrophobic maniac

just shot the stars out of my heart.

I shall better the nature of this fisher

by turning into a wolverine

with a progressive liberal education

I just dropped out of like a stealth fighter off the grid.

I will fold the poetic octavo of my will

into a Zen edge of samurai steel

and remember everything my master said

about detaching my feelings

from any thought of winning or losing

when I tear this fisher’s lungs out

like the blood eagle of a Viking bodhisattva

who met this pathological Buddha,

this anti-muse of dark energy in the road

and killed him like an enlightened hit man

whose thoughts cast no shadows upon the earth

when the sun shines at midnight

in the nadirs of paradise.