Shopping Trippy


Shopping Trippy

I ran into the Dalai Lama

shopping at the Dollarama

he was looking for some of those

strawberry scented post it notes

to remind him of what was next

but all he could find were

Hello Kitty pads of to do lists

in shape of bananas

he asked me

‘do you think these

carry the proper sense of

importance and playful utilitarianism

without being so ironic one feels no hope’


to be honest I didn’t know what to say

it wasn’t as if he was the pope

he was just the Dalai Lama

and what difference did

the Dalai’s dilemma make to me


all I wanted was one of those bandanas

with thousand dollar bills printed on it

a gift for a friend of mine

who tried to off himself

because he felt worthless

the bandana would always make him feel

like a thousand bucks

but all I found were ones

with gold maple leafs

and as good as gold

wasn’t a strong enough message for me

so I asked the Dalai Lama

what he thought I should do

I offered to meditate with him

if he could help me


we weren’t on the same page

because world peace was just a fantasy to me

whereas peace of mind for my friend

was a practical reality

and if I could buy it with a buck I would

but I knew it would take more

than strawberry scented post it notes

to change the bigger picture


so I left with a couple of those bandanas

with US dollars printed all over them

while the Dalai Lama

stayed behind trying to decide between

the Hello Kitty note pad

or aroma therapy dish detergent


After all the darkness of the poems so far in the chapbook I wanted to really break out with some fun fun fun. This piece began with the first two lines – I love the punning rhyme, the paradoxical location to meet the Dalai Lama. As you can tell I have been in a dollar store a few times. Although I think Hello Kitty is now retro, it wasn’t when I wrote this. Does anyone remember the Hello Kitty store that was open at Harbourfront for a year or so?star02

The sonic interplay isn’t something I use often – in fact I resist it because it can come off as too cute & ends up calling attention to itself – content gets lost. Here it reflects the distractive nature of dollar stores in general – placed where pet supplies & baby supplies are side by side on the shelf. It is also great fun to perform. I used, for a time, as a feature started because it got my energy up quickly


I’ve always wondered what I’d do if I ran into some famous where I least expect to – what would i say? Nice shoes Mr lama – I don’t image I would say Hello Dalai – he’s probably sick of that joke anyway.  Praying for peace is one of the actions the Lama encourages people to do – meditative direction of thoughts to change. As I’ve said peace is an abstract, world peace such a big notion that I can’t fully grasp how that might be accomplished.


Much like the ‘I’ of this piece I’m better when I act locally & let that ripple our globally. The mug is one I’ve seen at a dollar store, one which went back a few weeks later to buy & they were out of them. I’ve also seen aroma therapy dish detergent – & the notion of dish washing as meditation is ancient so putting the two together makes total sense to me. I’m still waiting for aroma therapy undies.soon

October 24 -Saturday and  October 25 -Sunday attending: Ellen Bass Poetry Workshop: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Harbourfront CentreEllen-Reading-1

Bass Poetry Workshop

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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