Tangier  (from all it would take – marc swan)

‘Tangier is one of the few places left in the world where, so long
as you don’t proceed to robbery, violence, or some form of crude,
antisocial behavior, you can do exactly what you want.’

William S. Burroughs

When I say Tangier,
a small bell rings;
I hear a call to prayer
in language unknown to me, 
think of Burroughs,
Kerouac, Ginsberg, 
Corso, Ferlinghetti—
peripatetic Beats
who frequented those
dusty streets, narrow
alleyways, crowded
slipping into the mix,
doing what they wanted to do,
no permission asked,
no red tape,
just getting there
was all it would take.


Flat One, 6am (from Where, the Mile End – Julie Morrissy)

do those moments belong
to someplace else               somebody else
a giggle I don’t recognize
a dance I’ve never seen
skin against a door
a split second stirred

    half thoughts

            half words

                  half smiles

    hang in air I can’t touch

                        air within––

    cool blue surrounds a kitchen counter
    at unexpected corners, my eyes cry
    the sting of smooth leather

    that counter

                          that counter

                                      asserts itself, resolute
                                      a boat in a basement
                                      the roll and pitch of bodies

       some days I turn the corner
       at Bathurst and Ulster, fall flat on my knees
       palms smack sidewalk


Pennsylvania Back Then (from Do Horses Fly? – Brendan Cleary)


in the 3-sided shed
I’m walking with the dead

running skipping & jumping
walking slow & fast

so in a dream was it?
water from years ago

stopped in mid-air
every splash & trickle


ah the grids
the passing instants

wrestlers & athletes
wrinkles arriving

Blanche Eppler in 1885        
pouring water from a pitcher

unselfconscious & naked
half telling a story

half captured half free
long before the Talkies

before the Lumiere Brothers
their train making havoc

before Chaplin & Marilyn            
before The Matrix

a man with a beard
swinging a pickaxe

splitting the air
in the world above

cutting a shape
into Silicon Valley.