Under the bed

In the closet

Behind the wheel

Across the counter

Smiling grinning laughing

Pouring a coffee

Inviting me to enjoy

dust bunnies

old shoes

road kill

Or a Danish

How about a home made cookie?

Telling me how well I look

So firm so ripe

Ready to pluck

But too late for the daily special

Which wasn’t so hot even though


It was my favourite

Long lost sock

Prom dress

Stop light to run

To barrel through a

Group of nuns

[or is that a wimple of sisters?]

Mowed down by that

Monster behind the wheel

That unthinking laughing cruel God

Who spared the drunk

To doom the brides of Christ

Without them

Who’ll perk the coffee?


Little Sisters of the Drip

Bakers of cookies

Wives of the Lord

Lord only knows

But only we suffer

The wonderment the mystery the puzzle

The answer that seems clearer

After the right penance

First the confession

Wrung out drop by drop

Yes I’m the one

The fragments

Black rags flapping on the bumper

Blood on the tires


Yes I’m the one

That’s me hiding the last crusty habit under the bed

In the closet

One in the trunk of my car

One that wouldn’t come clean

Couldn’t wash out the blood of the lamb

The wafer the donut

The blood the coffee

Dunk, we drink together,

We share our passion

For the coffee jockey

We choose the best raisin oatmeal

More cleansing

More roughage

To face this rough age

The age of carnage

Traffic stops and

Sacred relic coffee shops.


November being Remembrance month I’m stepping into the past with some very old pieces that I vaguely remember writing in 1999 when I was getting back into poetry after spewing out City of Valleys, a 600 pages novel.


Monster I picked for this time of year. Sort of a list poem it jumps around oddly concrete abstractions – the notion of monsters under the bed is giving the abstraction notion of fear a concrete image – moving from imagination – under the bed – to the real presence of someone behind the wheel of a car. Fear becomes a tempter, seducer – you can eat another cookie & not get out of shape.

There’s a comic driving game where one get points for running down pedestrians – the points go up when you run down nuns. How nuns ended up in this poem I’m mot sure but there they are. The notion of the cruel God comes from the need to blame what we don’t understand on spiritual forces we don’t understand.

In re-reading this I’m enjoying the shift into the sacred coffee shop – baristas as Sister of the Drip – I’m still struck how quickly coffee shops have become must institutions in most neighbourhoods – once this was a city of churches – even some of them have been converted into Starbucks. It isn’t a far leap from the communion wine & wafer – the body & blood of Christ – to the donut & double double.


The placement of words was worked on when I did my edits at the time i.e. sacred ‘relic’ coffee shops. Many churches in Europe built congregations around a scared relic – the finger of St. Paul sort of thing. At one time there were enough relic bones of some saints to give them dozens of hands.

I haven’t seen a coffee shop go so far as to have the Grail Christ had his expresso from – St. Anthony’s coffee cup, or The Filter of Turin, would be a powerful draw I’m sure. There’s a coffee shop near me that does have action figures & comic books though – action figures being our modern day relics. I wonder if place called The Coffee Golgotha would attract or offended.


By the end I have lost the beginning tread of monsters – the inner fears, the outer threats & end up trying to tie things together & almost succeeding. I see my use of patterning, echoes of reference to things earlier in the piece get expanded so that there almost seems to a logical image flow going on. Though perhaps the sacredness of coffee shops has become a modern monster.soon

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

November 18, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9




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