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Subliminal Hackle

hip check hallway
spin turnstile heart
red or white
win or lose
whatsa' matter

delicate wool knit
cardigan brushes
on my bare arm
the bruise deepening
cupboard door bore
the fist
my leg the worst of
corners bite
Like pussywillows
on the trail
Her stream of
perfume like July
in Beaver grass
my trail to the wake
of memory
where the dead sleep

She keeps me in her
heart afraid for me
she confessed
my grip on the neck
of the wine like a
vulture on his vine
stepping down the gravel
rez road in high heels
holding it strong like a
five foot goaltender
not flinching a step

where did she get that
faith in all the muddy sadness
and sorrow and joys lit like
summer heat lightnin'
the only one I allow to lean
in close
from my uncle who would
bring up his fist as a child
I was...but he taught me
never lean into the passing
bullet of the game
He boxed in prison
and worked the hard end
of the mill town
I was too curious
and yet
when I had learned to duck
and once clocked him
good my arms stiff from
hauling cordwood
he got a new respect
and brought me with him
to the bars for a birthday
of a town legend
Someone U never crossed
He was proud of me
and the birthday 'boy'
solemnly put his hand
on my shoulder

She does this too
coming up behind me
so quiet
I told her....'your lucky
I didnt strike'
but she looks at me with
those smouldering embers
of fire green
'you knew I was coming'
and I did

she would lay her head on
my chest when I was exhausted
a four day run to sault st marie
or out to meet the lakers
lay tobacco down for calm lakes
it was the lake we feared most

I could smell her hair and perfume
I would try to push her away
she would 'shh' me finger to my
I knew she was listening to my
heart the way the U-boat men
would listen with hydrophones
her grandfather was Otto
a captian
she had cree cheekbones
and northern eyes
'I can hear the echo of doubt'
if I questioned life and love
she had lost many by then
seventy going on thirty five

'If i stand before you i feel
the heat of your teeth..but
(and she slipped against me
throwing my arm around her
petite shoulders)
here, I have protection behind
your hackles'

the cancer spread quickly
her voice on the phone sparce
and weak
and when I got out she was
already fading
in memory
spread the ashes

I am angry
I am helpless

but I am not alone
I swear she turns
off the light
and leaves the television

I promise to get sober
and chain my anger
as soon as the tears
cleanse the wounds

and I wait for the rains
angry and violent
to rust these chains
of promise


Editing stage: 


This is really good! Some of those lines hit home for me. I don't understand every detail, but i get most of it. I'll keep re-reading this one. Your style of writing really inspires me. It seems so effortless and honest, and really effective at getting to the essence of things. Thanks!

I Burned a lot of tonnage in fall...bags of writing
worth the effort to get here
to this point
most of the writing is off the cuff...
sit down...write a poem on to my life house...running on the pedal
bike..lungs heart in great shape
legs decent..some old breaks etc
but mobile...I like my own table
in the mall kind of action friends
drop on...
got my muses everywhere....
but I had that as a young man in high school
read tons of books titles i forgotten now
listened to radio much to get that flow of sound
many friends..female and male
and a latest mid twenties muse I find most
intelligent and dark enough to my liking
I know she will spark much new writing
for the fall...summer if she sticks around
if shes ballsy enough to not be dragged
into the social boring...yawn* operas
that make up society....
me I am free
like I like to be

well....more DOORS music
and see if my females are up
on the play sites...
nice talking to you desert chum
Boreal forest city man
Mr Esker!

author comment

Desert Chum! I like that. thanks! I cant believe this stuff just pours out of you. Its kinda brilliant. Can I ask you a question? ...When you have an idea for a poem do you form a specific intention or direction, or is just like a stream of consciousness? I guess how you do it is not my business really, I'm just fascinated by what you have to say on everything. its like your random thoughts by themselves are a finished poems already.

Desert Chum, K

when I went underground post 30....three books a day at library
I would walk hundreds and fifty miles there and back but beard..long hair...primitive
face and not ass licking to no system they just drove by me
no matter....I made it there and back...met good people..had
adventures...cave man or pioneer or modern man..we make

titles are the starting point....I try to find titles that are unique
that google search wont just haul up simplicity..
the stream of consiousness is important.....
my mom drank when i was in the heavy
she sobered up...loved me..i met her.i was adopted
issued up but good contacts...up there...both worlds
which saved me years later...
i was a traveller...i meet people all the time....
six one...long hair..long nose..sloped forehead
grey eyes...goatee..weak chin..b ig chest and
gangley legs arms and wearing some kind of
kit...bomber jacket...long leather thug wear
with dress shirts of like today Vietnam style
jungle head band and glasses
circa sixty six style...all a uniform..

there are no finished poems
my mind is ruined
otherwise if it could retain numbers
routine i would be a blackjack dealer
they asked if I could do this at the
casino....with my face..height voice
mannerisms...but alas no ..
nice to be told that though
i could be working crafting coins for
an old company..johnston mathey
making with microscope and crafting artistic talent.
from mid twenties....
turned it down
I could be in secret ojibway society
and belong to the Masonic Lodge
and met a russian jogging in our
resort area who showed me the
chain ring I was his
country there is a secret clasp
he was probablyu speznet
I NEEDed to be free....
but i appreciated all offers
which I told them at the time

it just comes out of me
I love the desert
sultan sea...salton sea on xbox
5.....crazy cat....
would love to live there
but i got so much here
my little pack that needs
me from North Bay Ontario
Canada...cop miitary town
hub of all things
fly ins...
actually pretty cool

thank u FOr ASKING

Mr esker!

author comment

That an epic reply. Lol. It makes me smile. Thanks Esker. It’s refreshing to have an original and honest idea sent your way. I’m not speaking about other comments on Neopoet , which have been great, I’m talking about in general – in life. My lifelong friends, known for 35, barely bother to give me a 1 sentence reply - to some life changing huge situation – nothing as thoughtful and honest as you have bothered with over a poem. Many others on this site do the same – seem to give a shit – about some virtual person thousands of miles away. Its probably true that social media, Facebook, just paralyze people, makes them numb and lazy. Mass contact, 1 inch deep. I don’t know. But thanks for the response and the writing tips woven in there. Title first! Ill try that.

come back to this later. ~ Gee.

There is value to commenting and critique, tell us how you feel about our work.
This must be the place, 'cause there ain't no place like this place anywhere near this place.

likewise my grand friend!


author comment

I truly enjoyed reading your yarn that took me hither and tither--yet it's all well connected and a pleasure to absorb. Smiled at the way you inserted Uncle Otto, the Captain. Great stuff, my man.

lived over on georgian bay way..never met him..
many of the europeans loved coming to Ontario
woods...lakes..creeks....story is a story...
thank U..


author comment
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