The Ghost Rider.

Back in 2013, I moved my body,

in different ways,

in new ways

and I moved it to Vancouver Island.

The pursuit was one of happiness.

Some funny things happened though

and some of them happened to me!

 

I've always had a discomfort with being naked

around other men

and other women,

especially in the daylight

and during new “encounters”

and even by myself during a bath,

but mostly in the changing rooms,

of gym class and public pools

being that i didn't grow up playing hockey

or any other team sports,

where the teams meet up after the game

to stretch out their penises

and slap each other’s bottoms with wet towels.

So i was always a bit shy about my naked body,

and not until lately has it not bothered me

(as much)

to be naked out in the world.

So i had just moved to the island

i was living in my truck

and using different pools as my bathtub.

This particular time i was in Courtenay

i had been in the deep end,

watching the aquarobics class

and afterward

just as i'm coming out of the shower

and getting my towel (dry one) from my locker,

an englishman,

who is half way through putting on his briefs, says, 

"you look a lot like Guy Martin, he's an english writer".

While i stand naked in front of my new friend i say, 

"oh, i've never heard of him, what kind of writing does he do? is he a novelist?" 

He laughs and says,

 "No, a RIDER, he rides motorcycles, or did, he's retired now"

“ah" i say, "this is a world i'm not familiar with."

 I put my clothes on and we make small talk

and as i proceed to leave the change room, 

i can't help but wonder,

how does he know what this Guy Martin fellow looks like naked?

spanish boot laces of chinese leather.

(to tie bows in the arrows which pierce our hearts.)

the cat finds its way onto the counter

and is licking the sharp edge of an empty soup tin.

it makes me sick in my stomach,

how i used to write love letters about your boots

about soil and shoe laces

about the cuff of your pants as if it were the caring hands of a mother.

i am in the car now, the stereo is old but it still works, with a bit of a crackle

i push an old cassette tape in and dial the volume knob back and forth,

the terrified parrot, made of wood sitting on my dashboard is not

a dashcam, and no one has mistaken it for one.

a low sigh,

and i can’t remember how to write stories,

and i don’t have ideas the way i used to.

i put the car into reverse and move down the driveway.

as i back out onto the road i close my eyes

and you wait, tension in your hands

for some speeding car to smash into me

or a kid on their bicycle to fall under my bumper.

i put the car into first and set off up the street.

some neighbours are out on their lawn

one of them looks up at me and waves

their hand flops around on the end of their wrist

like a broken spatula with grotesque fingers and

i think of the time you made me breakfast

it was october and at your house in little italy,

your sister had been jailed for something kind of like fraud

while working as a gardener

she had been entering clients homes,

dressing in the homeowners clothing

and video taping herself in their kitchens

conducting interviews and baking bread

as if she, as them, was on a television program with Martha Stewart.

we were sitting at the table on the small balcony

you had made poached eggs and toast

and you told me that you thought you might, do you remember,

that you might like to own an exotic animal of some kind,

i think you said a sloth or an ocelot or maybe a toucan

or some kind of poisonous tree frog.

in that moment you reminded me of my father

and how he used to trap pigeons,

he would bring a cardboard box to the park

and spread out a bunch of falafel that he had infused with his sleeping pills

and the pigeons would come and eat the drugged falafel

and eventually some of them would get really slow

and he would just pick them up, the ones which couldn’t fly away

and put them in the box and take them home

he had this cage in his apartment,

and he lived on the ground floor of his building,

they would wake up

and be in this cage in the window and he had a sign

that he put up just before thanksgiving and at christmas,

“Cheap Turkeys! Butchered To Order!”

we ate breakfast there that day and after we had eaten

you told me that you’d had your legs lengthened when you were 25

and that you had saved about 70 thousand dollars

by having the surgery done in Russia

and that was when you had first seen a Matisse in person, there in Russia

at the Puskin Museum

and I loved you for it and for the eggs as well.

satin song

the bed

i slide in, next to her

her body warm next to mine

blankets wrap around my ass, my shoulders

she reads her book, quickly

as if she doesn't care about the details

nearly skipping full pages

looking for a finish line,

another conquest

i tuck my arm in tight along her side

my hand on her thigh

her pajamas feel like an old wash cloth

thin and pilled

i rest my hand there

she opens her legs

still reading

pages flipping

is she turned on now?

does my hand feel warm through the cotton?

do her nipples harden?

i'm asleep now

i dream of summer,

heat and her breasts pushed against her arms

as she lays on her stomach

her ass in thin lace panties

on top of the covers

reading her bloody book.

 

 

seven sacks of golden grandeur

Where the delusions of youth have not been freed

The writer sits at his desk, his kitchen table

And clatters away at the keys.

Ah, great laughter will conceive

With thoughts of grandeur, culminated praise.

The writer washes his hands, and feeds his cat

The writer thinks, with bricks of golden thoughts

His words form with the guise of a king’s speech

Heavens open, and the rains fall upon him

As it does anyone else.

But harder, and colder and with such significant force that he knows

He is the chosen voice of his generation.

He has been spit on, by a god,

Is that dog slobber on his pant cuff?

And with fingers like chickens with diamond beaks

Glistening from one key to the next, he pecks

Relieving the minds of millions.

Ho Ho.

gold plated regret

What one man was

Never wanting to be forgiven

Asking again with out receiving

Believing nothing and eating everything

Grasping it all inside thin stiff hands

Now removing the film, an image, under exposed.

You’ve sat on the rooftop of your sister’s apartment

Burning because of an poorly lit Christmas tree

And hide in the smoke of the night as lights twinkle with a million sirens shouting your name.

Skate on ice in dreams with your lover, and your family

You as a father, your wife, your child

And avoid the open water

You’re legs are wet now

You’re wearing jeans and the pant legs freeze to your skin

You’re never yourself.

loosing wait.

I don’t remember why we sat under the stars

Your heart close to my palm, my pants undone.

I was loosing weight, and the moment grew around me,

I was taking time with death, while my socks were pulled off at the undertow

And the river was dark and cold and we sank into it, you as a feather, me a stone

And I watched you float away, as the ice formed above me.

The winter was common, it was cold and unforgiving

The days were as years, etched into the concrete of my skin.

Light was there, when it shone through the ice

And the darkness of night was the blanket of your memory.

And when the spring thaw revealed that you had not left,

I cracked in two

And one of me was smooth and new and moved slowly away with the dead leaves of last fall

The other turned to sand, and became lodged between the buttocks of some bathers on the shore, uncomfortably at rest,

Like love at a narrow door.

i sat down

i sat down to write a poem

i sat under the burning fire of the furnace

its lungs pumping heat throughout the house

intent on keep us warm through the night

i felt safe, the growl and gutter my protectors 

i sat under the sturdy beams of the first floor

and listened to the footsteps of no one above

i pulled a blanket over my head and narrowed my eyes at the computer screen

which told me of all the horrid ways we were making each other sick.

 

a sure felt day dream

 i was was watching the shapes

dancing on the back of my eyelids

again,

and thinking about the shapes

all these people

dancing at my dinner party

they smile, their mouths drop open and eyes squint closed

but all they see in that moment is the bright red joy of their egos.

i lay on the bench where the homeless have slept

and i smell what it means to have never been kept.

i watch these shapes, who used to dance in my eyes,

as they swallow up tears

for their will to survive.

 

 

 

 

god

it's apparent to me

that you've over used apparently

while setting the bones

while arranging the tones.

light has been shed 

that you're being over fed

with the things of the day

happening so far and away.

now, back here, and so on

you've washed all the bedding 

and gutted the lawn

seeming almost all naked

and your slippers half on.

we've lost our connection

the one you thought we had

because we had blood

passed on from the dead

so i will give you pause,

when i wash you away

for our need to keep knowing

is greater than to say,

fare thee well, so long.

i'v been wetter.

the fingers that i have kept crossed 

have made it difficult to hold onto things

this is why i pour coffee into my shirt

this is why i lose grip on, on and on

this is why i can't grasp the decisions you have made.

but i have been wetter, 

i have cried to whither,

and thou goest.

i have been wetter, and the coffee runs down my chest

under my shirt and wets my underwear

and i'm unsure of the weather,

and whether its the state of now, or did i just lose control

and wet myself.

 

pt. 3, done dog. a story concluded.

four dogs ran by, they were chasing a yellow cat and it made me feel like i was back in mexico. i started to think about how much i would enjoy a hot tamale but that's an adventure for a warmer day. I walked across the back alley and eye'd the small bbq on the balcony 4 floors up. there was a man singing somewhere inside the apartment and by the boom in his voice i could tell he was wearing no clothing, this could come as an advantage if he had any fear of humour.

so, where i had previously left off, climbing the ladder, is where we find me now and if you have a feeling for iron rungs you will know that what i describe next is of the lesser pleasant feelings involving iron rungs.* 

*publisher's note- the following description is fictional and does not portray the views of  duppydoctor/duppynews inc. any names or feelings included are based on the writers misfired neurons and any connection to real persons is purely coincidental, so relax you neurotic narcissist, you know who you are.

the irons rungs, were cold.

after climbing the ladder onto the actual fire escape itself, the rest of my mission was clearly a breeze. i would climb the stairs and quietly lift the hibachi lid and take half of the hot dogs. i assumed there would be four, because a man cooking hot dogs on a bbq would not waste the fuel to cook only two, one would be ridiculous and three absurd. therefore four would be the most likely, if he had a guest there would be two each and if not he would save one or two for his macaroni later, if he had more than one guest there may be more than four, in that case i would consider only taking a third or a quarter of the hot dogs, dependent. when i arrived at the intended balcony, i opened the bbq to see that there were six hot dogs, as i stated, i had anticipated the higher count but had assumed four and felt a mild fluster because of it, that is often what happens with an assumption, they tend to be completely ungrounded. 

there was a fork there and i used it to get two of the dogs from the grill, i replaced the lid and began to back down the stairs, scott free! that's what i thought too, but i didn't have any buns and i really wanted some mustard, and if there was ketchup...well, i paused.

the dogs on my fork were nearly perfect, a couple bubbles on one side and mostly browned, i figured the singing man would be out to check on them immediately unless he liked his weiners blackened. it was a safe bet to say he didn't, because that is disgusting, and he stuck his head out of the window at that very moment .

years ago, when i was just a small child, i ran into my neighbour's house, stark naked, with my bb gun, i yelled "the king is dead" and shot their visiting grandfather in the earlobe. he was a steelworker from a small northern town and hadn't seen it coming. as i ran out the back door i heard him holler "long live the king !"

the singing man knew immediately what was happening, he had no fear of a humorous episode and emerged from his apartment, naked. i shimmied down the fire escape but he jumped down to the balcony below me, forcing me to move upward again, i climbed back onto his balcony and went through the window, inside i noticed there were buns and condiments on the counter, the singing man came through the curtains quickly behind me, i ran toward the living room, the hot dogs jiggled on my fork. his apartment was very clean and a wall separated his kitchen and livingroom with an entrance to either on both sides. he came around the wall on the other side and i reversed back into the kitchen, i picked up a kitchen chair and threw it at him with one hand, it exploded on the cupboards behind him and lit on fire. i couldn't reach the buns and decided to go back through the window, before i could exit a knife stuck into the wall beside me, i ducked in anticipation of another and one of the hot dogs broke off the fork.

at this point i knew i had to do anything i could to save the remaining dog. i flipped the kitchen table which was beside the window and threw another chair, it caught the singing man on the shoulder and he dove back into the living room. he had knives, i knew that and didn't want to break for the window again, he would expect it. i grabbed a glass off the floor and tucked the fork closer to my side and did an army crawl into the living room, i thought about entering the tough mudder next year. i could easily reach the door if i had cover, the naked singing man and i were on either side of his couch which spanned the wall. i rolled onto my back and threw the glass at the open window in the kitchen, i did a one handed half back handspring onto my feet as the glass shattered and the window exploded in flames, i made for the door.

running down the stairs i could hear fire trucks up the street, i found an exit to the side of the building which lead under a wisteria covered trellis to an adjacent street. i could hear the singing man yelling, in a low baritone, "the king is dead" and i moved faster, for i had to find a bun before my hotdog got too cold to eat. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

this is a story called, "continued corns" part 2. etc

my barefeet were feeling itchy in the grass and it made me wonder if i had left my shoes somewhere unfortunate, like the public change rooms or worse, the auction mart. i walked toward the asphalt parking lot and stepped on something that bit my foot

"MEEOOWCH!!!!!!" 

i hopped up and looked down to see that i had stepped on the butt of a cigarette which was still burning. i licked my hand and wiped the bottom of my foot, three girls on their "cruiser" bicycles pedaled past, the brunette looked at me, i smiled, she didn't.

"nice bike" i mumbled and spit on the smoldering cigarette butt.

i could smell something burning as i walked toward the smokey truck and i wasn't sure it wasn't my skin. there were at least twenty people gathered around the box of the truck where the smoke was coming up, and i pushed through to get a look at the hot dogs.

when i was fifteen i had once walked for four hours after falling off the back of a ford pick-up truck that i had hitched a ride with between two towns. i'm not sure if the driver noticed me fall off but when i hit the ground i rag dolled so terribly that my shoes flew off and he probably didn't want to stick around in case i was dead. i couldn't find my shoes and had to walk the distance barefoot. after about three hours i came across a box of photographs that seemed to have been thrown out of a passing car. there were pictures of a white cat, someone eating birthday cake in a hot tub and someone else playing baseball and in one of the baseball ones i could see my mother eating a hot dog in the background. i kept that one and one of the cat ones, and when i got back into town i asked my mom who the baseball player was and she said it was Henry Ford. i incorrectly perceived all of this to be ironic.

there were no hot dogs in the back of the truck, just someone who had set numerous bags of doritos alight and was attempting to do firewalking across the blue flaming mass. more talk about burnt feet. i left there feeling a slight loss of appetite and with confirmation that the offspring of the caveman will continually spiral like a bunch of toilet matter into the future, i push on with my search none the less.

i had not grown tired of my day at the beach but the continuous exposure to the sun and her doing had given me a mild case of hyper paranoia and i lost trust in the basic. i stole a pair of sandals as i am, by this point in the story, expected to do and "flip flopped" my way into a shady back alley where i watched a cat play second fiddle with a piece of battered cod fish. i sat on the stairs of a vacant building and closed my eyes for a few minutes, catching my breath and feeling the breeze from the lane way move on my facial hair. i heard the sound of a television set coming from an apartment across the way and i looked up for the curtains which i assumed to be moving inside of an open window. there were a few small balconies set off from a fire escape that criss-crossed up the back of a red brick building and among the odd planters and plastic chairs i spotted a small hibachi bbq on the fourth floor with an easily recognizable sizzle emerging from it's cast iron hull. of course, i climbed the stairs. and you will find out what happens in part 3 of this ludicrous train.

 

 

 

 

 

 

this story is called, "CORNED DOGS" part 1.

the small dog sitting on the grass reminded me i had not put on sunscreen and i returned to the bathroom to apply the lotion to my shoulders, face and neck. when i returned to the beach there was a family of about 12 using my towel to wipe their feet before they entered the water, this struck me as very strange but i knew that 12 to 1 would be poor odds because i had just lost a lot of money at the horse track, buying hotdogs.

after reviving my towel i found a shady spot beside a large man, he smelled of sweat and his shirt said "help" on the front. i didn't mind his smell because it kind of masked the scent of family feet on my towel and it also reminded me of being at my grandparent's. they had a large pig named oval and i used to try to dress him in my grandmother's clothes because he sounded the way that she sounded, when she was asleep.

the beach was a funny place to me, mostly because of all the clowns, but also because i have a good sense of humour, so i have been told. i sat in the shade of the fat man and listened to the memories of my grandmother snoring and thought about how much i would enjoy a hotdog. the beach is a wonderful place to eat hotdogs as well. i decided to walk for a while until i found a hotdog. 

there was a group of mathletes sitting at a picnic bench, 8 of them, they were eating pizza. i picked up the pace a little and jogged past them and shouted "I'M LATE!" so as to seem like i had a good excuse for moving quickly. they did not notice me. i could have eaten the whole pizza but they were sharing it, 8 pieces, one each. i was not in mathletes but i knew how to be mathletic.

i kept up the pace jogging for a bit because i felt a bit like i was late for something. i then decided i needed a drink. i saw a young couple sitting on their beach towel, they had their feet in the sand though and they had a cooler beside them. i sat behind them. i found a plastic soldier in the sand and named him General Garbage. i waited for the young lovers to kiss then interrupted them.

"hi excuse me, do you have anything to drink? i think i may have swallowed a piece of plastic"

they were very nice even though i had intruded on their awkward kiss and they opened their cooler to see if they had some soda left.

they did.

"thank you" i said and drank their soda.

"i think that's got it"

i gave them back the empty bottle and walked further down the beach because i still wanted hot dogs. usually there would be lots of people having barbeques and that kind of thing on the beach and you could smell them or at least see the smoke from the coals. i went to a higher spot and looked for smoke. i saw a woman wearing a white dress smoking a cigarette. she had lipstick on and it made it look like her mouth was creeping onto her chin. she was old but not as old as my grandmother. i saw two kids burning ants and pretending to be politicians. i looked back toward the parking lot and there was a large group of people standing around a truck that had smoke coming from it.

 

 

the sound of a small engine

i enjoy reading books

inside

with the windows open

i want to hear the day at ease

maybe not to be 

in it.

On foreign soil,

this america

i'm never at home.

she asked me  "what does home feel like?"

"warm... comfortable... familiar..?"

i don't know, because i have never been.

home to me is to read about the way the pines move

on the breeze in Aix

home to me is the sound of a small engine 

quickly in the street of a northern town

home is a bicycle locked to a fence

a missing key.

the shimmer on the starling's back

the sun, warmer now

moves across the lawn.

still, smoke moves into the daylight

 from the chimneys of the homes down the hill,

and i stay here

because it reminds me of someplace i have never been.

 

 

 

 

 

mirror manics

i watched the clouds 

mountains transform and disappear behind mountains

a mouth giving birth to a tongue full of seeds sprouting flowers eating the rays of the sun through the tubes in their throat.

the moon as a mirror makes light from the sun's left over vegetables and exoskeleton are ground as fertilizer for Jupiter's japonicas.

i pass on pluto

sitting near saturn's sister, stealing glances as mercury moves in on uranus, who turns up topless.

now rhymes with penis can see how the sky isn't all blued on neptune and a savory mars bar loses her nuts.

planet x has come all undone, back on earth.

 

 

 

an update from the wet lands.

i believe it was age 12 when i first heard talk about "finding one's self" and i know we all perceive life and change and "finding' differently. every word can have a hundred meanings. for me, finding has been quite literal and this morning i find myself in front of the fire, which i build every morning and keep stoked throughout the day, it warms us and we cook all our meals on it. i find myself with a heap of work ahead of me and no sure path as to how i will finish it. i find myself indebted to the ones who i love, i find myself tired, out of sorts and hazy. uncontrollably aware of the human condition.

outside, smoke drifts from our chimney and melds with the low cloud cover, a fog,  i watch as it slowly lifts to reveal the small mountain that rests in our easterly view. i see five trumpeter swans fly by with their long necks guiding them, a hopeful weather vain pointing to better weather. we wander around the property, made up of patchy plots with patchy houses connected by a skeletal driveway system. tall trees, fir, spruce, maple, and windbreaks of poplars tower over us.  the dog chases her shadow and sniffs at the winter's rot. a light rain starts and we stop to feel it on our faces, drops drip from my hat and fall to my boots, i follow them as they seep into the glowing moss under my feet. a neighbour emerges from his shed as we pass, his faces tells of hardship and his hands, perseverance. we exchange quiet hellos and follow the gravel home.

the warmth of this mornings fire greets our return and the house smells of coffee, i sit in front of my easel in the old paint splattered chair i found in someone's yard in victoria and i add a few more brush strokes to the painting i am working on.  i think of the porridge and eggs we ate for breakfast and i think about income, i think about the sun and i miss it, i think about output and beauty and i think about frustration and music. i think about ideas and wonder if you are aware of yours.

 

 

blues reviewed.

David Vest with Blue Moon Marquee at Hermann's Jazz Club. November 11th.

I have a hard time dragging my fading carcass out of the house for any good reason these days, let alone to a night club. But as many of you know, I will gladly splay my eyes and ears across any stage that is set to be decorated and gutted by blue-moon-marquee. I have seen these two play a handful to 50 times or more, and on a rare occasion, with a band. On this night they were invited by David Vest and his band to open for and perform with him in his second set of the evening. (please look David up if you don't know)

Blue Moon Marquee has gradually evolved from within their influences in the realm of jazz and blues to produce a sound that is sharp and confident and as gritty and honest as some of the first recordings of blues music itself. They are and play as a duo (comprised of Jasmine Colette, stand up bass, vocals, shimy and drums (simultaneously) and A.W. Cardinal, rhythm guitar, moustache, and cigar smoked, horse trough shotgun barrelled car crash lead vocals) though they play with the sound of a full band, and goddamned. 

Their set at Hermann's was quicker than most I have seen, obviously shorter, but it seems, though I had been drinking, that they played faster as well. With their Gypsy Blues style, a sound unique to them, they delivered their new song "Hoodoo lady" clearly written by A.W. for Jasmine, who apparently practices voodoo in the badlands of Alberta in her off time. followed up by a personal favorite, "Gypsy's Life" a gutting song written in New York City during occupy wall street movement, wait for A.W. to belt out the final notes on this one, then collect your ears and arms from the back  of the bar. "Scotch Whisky" was in there with a resounding woop from the crowd who presumably hadn't heard the tune but were drunk on the substance in mention. The set finished us off with "festers and flumes" and "drifting" which can both be heard on their website and bandcamp page,(Blue Moon Marquee)but do yourself a gigantic favor and take everyone you know to see Blue Moon Marquee play live, anywhere and everywhere you can find them. THIS IS A LIVE BAND, as every band should be, but I have never witnessed sound and feeling quite like this in one night and I have been around the gymnasium a time or two. 

Now I know Mr. Vest has had a thousand reviews by a hundred people with about a million times more intellect than I, so to add to the list I will say, he is just an incredible piano player, the best I have ever witnessed and moreover he has stories of every great he ever met or played with. He's severely talented with a humble sensibility and knowledge about him, a rarity in this day and age.

best regards,

Dr.

i blame it on red wine.

 

 

 

 

i saw the bird go down.

 when i saw the bird go down

tucked its wings and closed its eyes

the ground came fast towards her 

and a heart exploded,

when the bird came down.

i heard the call of a kingfisher

no echo, no reply

just the splash and teary eyes

i saw the bird go down

i went to the wood

and from where i stood

i could feel the ground

it broke in half

when the bird went down

i heard the water moving slow

i told the water not to go

to where the bird went down

just where the bird went down.

and all the shit and mold and must

that gathered on the earthy crust 

sealed me in to where i knelt 

and washed my feet with ash and pelt.

and you

who flew off to new york

with all your silver and gold

you who left us dreaming in the hollow of the night

about your body warm beside us

of your hair, a silent and beautiful army, softly invading my pillow.

you who walks the east river in your ballet slippers 

dancing along to the beat of my existence, rays of an ancient star make you real and i will keep my head in the cloud, where the dog has been performing her art on a broadway stage.

soon some rattling jalopy will be our gondola along the homeward peninsula, where a darkened moon will return its glow in the light of the sun.

a bed in babylon

life as a camel

we cherish our burdens and carry the weight of our sorrows through the thin meat of the day long and hot in a wavering desert. 

life as a dog

sitting on our haunches at the feet of the master, begging for commandment. food for the belly, and our soul, hungry we turn and learn to hide the bruises on our knees.

life as a cat

sitting in a high up place, we look down upon the wretched and dumb, licking our hands clean of the night.

life as a rat

wretched as a gutter, beautiful are the meek 

life as cattle

fattened for the fire

life as a man.