did not foresee a floating, disembodied
choke of technology
supplying 200,000, only refueling every
3 years while serviced every 12
and replaced in a mere two generations
and all for lease as population explodes
murdering the earth and sea, as climate change
becomes the new mythology letting loose
the Frankenstein Mallivirus siberium; witnessed
under microscopes in its gigantium brave
where all still rant and rave, rave and rant
disappointed none will cave to bless
them with superiority as vacation, or small
change from their vaunted inferiority
it’s the Arctic, our new warzone, floating
top of the world, Ma
there nuclear power plants like planets ghost
the civilization done drifting apart
foul ice breaks assuming a control that is not
waiting for a spill, in this
Third World War platform bringing all
together in Asiatic Russian and North American
chill, searching out the longevity of Bacillus F*
that fountain rumored and hinted at
by those explorers and the liars knowing better
looking elsewhere again, Cortez
that Keats* knew and Beatlessang, with
amid the fumes and flames and fright
there Academician Lomonsov does not
bother with Baryshnikov, nor the unexpected majesty of Nureyev a-lift above the stage in
Sleeping Beautyto meet Karen Kain across ages
not meant merely for feet nor an unripe Tchaikovsky
while we anticipate ourselves in everything now
drifting into the business of war we have not left:
one more infection suspending the planet again
It’s been on my mind to allow some things of my personal life to be known, gradually. Formative events, state of the union, so to speak.
This is a very small portion, very much abbreviated with some very essential details left out, of something much larger that I will be writing about.
My father developed prostate trouble in 1997, which led to a semi-botched operation leaving him with reoccurring pain. That trouble was only the symptom.
I made a pledge to him to be there for him. To myself, and to him. We knew doctors, and hospitals.
From 1997-2002, taking care of my father meant merely assisting in things. No problem. Just time. He was always sharp, aware and well read. Doctor’s appointments, other things, etc.
From 2002, the care took a very steep dive into a hurried and fast-paced intensity. I thought it was steep then.
From 2002, my father was in and out of the hospitals on a regular basis. Needing help finally shopping, preparing food, appointments. But always as fiercely independent of mind as ever.
Every day he was in the hospital, I was there. From 10 am til midnight or later, sometimes overnight depending on the state of his health. I worked independently at home so I could afford to be.
If it was in a recovery unit, I’d bring home-made food, newspapers, books; arrive usually around 10:00 or sometimes later at 11:30 am, spend a few hours, wheel my Dad around the grounds in summer, and inside in bad weather.
I’d come back at dinner hour, and we’d do the same thing- and all the while I’d bet checking with the nurses, listening to reports from doctors, etc.
We’d talk, get tea, coffee, sit and read.
It was always a great pleasure to me to hear from various nurses over the years who’d remember my Dad from sight if they weren’t his nurses anymore. And more wonderful to hear every single one of them recall what a great gentleman, and sweet person he had been to deal with during their time.
I’d leave every evening when visiting hours ended, after he was tucked in, set to relax, and then we’d check in over the phone, since the house was only 15 minutes away at the time, when I got back, saying goodnight.
From 2003/2004, the situation got more serious. Then, it intensified.
From September 2005 to May 2006, my father was in the hospital and I was there every day from 10 am til midnight, and often longer; sometimes staying overnight into the next day at midnight.
I still brought food, newspapers, books.
I always waited til things were quiet, til after he’d fallen asleep, and stayed asleep without incident before I left. In the meantime, I constantly checked blood pressure, sinus waves, etc. Noted meds given.
My father was in a few regular rooms, but a lot of the time was spent in intensive care.
Finally in March, he was moved to a rehab centre nearer to the house and it wasn’t a half hour drive to and from the hospital, but a 15 minute one each way.
In May, too early, he was sent home.
I did the usual things. Cooking, laundry, shopping, doctors’ appointment. It left time to talk on the phone once in awhile, make money, lose whatever other friends I might have gained during all those years.
During that time, my Dad’s sister, my last aunt died. There was an uncle I was never in touch with. And his kids. Never heard from them.
Heard from my cousin Harold. He was coming to visit, get on his motorcycle, and we’d get together and visit and cheer my Dad up some with a vanished familiarity.
After a few weeks, and he hadn’t showed up, I called one of my mother’s sister’s remaining sons whom my father had greatly helped through his own cancer. Found out my cousin Harold died in his sleep a few days after we spoke.
Never heard from that uncle again, either.
We had a routine. I’d get up early enough, go check on my father ( his state of awakeness, and desire to get up), have something to eat. Have what amounted to an ordinary day for us.
I’d warm bags containing buckwheat for warmth for his legs, and feet since his circulation was poor ( and he’d been a health nut ever since I got on him in 1974 about what John Lennon said about white bread, etc. – plus his heritage was long steeped in the tradition of herbs and natural remedies), and we’d talk while doing so.
Each evening ended with a ‘sleep well,’ exchanged ‘I love you’s’, and ‘see you in the morning.’ And a kiss on the cheek, with the blankets pulled up, Kleenex nearby, and some water.
Saturday night, I did the same. We did. He whispered I love you, I love Terry(my brother). I said I know Dad, I’ve always known. I love you too, so does Terry. You`re the best father. I said, I`m going upstairs, have a bath, be back in 15 minutes to see how you`re doing.
I`d go downstairs, turn on the slight light in the hall leading to my father`s bedroom, where it wouldn`t disturb him, and peek to see he was doing okay. Chest moving.
I went very silently, slipped the switch. Just as I did, my brother came in to visit.
My Dad was on his back, rather than the usual side sleep. I said, Dad, Dad. As I usually would, very lightly to gauge whether he was sleeping comfortably, or slightly, and might need anything.
Him being on his back was odd. Never had happened.
I stepped into the room. I could see his eyes. Lids half closed.
I said Dad, more loudly. My brother said, Dad, Then asked me, Is he breathing.
Lightning struck. Life itself altered.
I went to him, and he didn`t move despite my raising my voice very loudly, saying Dad.
I touched his right cheek. Cold.
I gave his cheek a few taps. I shook him by his shoulder.
No chest movement. His eyes were fixed.. He wasn`t breathing.
Worlds turned for me.
This blog is not about what I did, but about a father who deserved what I did, and more.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my father.
And my brother, Terry, who is very much alive, and for which I am grateful too.
My father believed in, and was the exemplar of this quote:
“Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unrewarded talent. Education alone will not: the world is full of educated failures. Persistence alone is omnipotent.”
This is the world at 6 a.m. when I am unasleep.
No one to whom I can speak, I smoke endlessly,
drinking water in peace, not subject to the night creatures.
I pay the freight for memories I can no longer afford, which
have become too expensive to keep. I wage a war against
scientists altering their opinions every generation, and
when the shift changes I am on strike against nothing.
Baffled by the culture of opinion for not noticing
I have been singing them out of the maze they
constantly reconstruct for decades, unsurprised they
would rather judge than love, since that is their place
in this Book Of Grudges they call society now.
I know that if by error they happen to read this poem, they
will be on my side and want to seek out those bastards of whom I speak.
If I could tell them, I might join in that glorious hunt.
I thought once there might have been someone in the
darkness, who was calling my name, eager to be found. Yet
it turns out there are many things in which I am mistaken.
They never said they do not want to harm me, and for that
latent honesty I am mostly grateful. I still do not believe we
have anything mutual to discuss and acknowledge.
At least until the next mistake is engraved, my name featuring prominently.
Where they sleep now is my territory, and I can be counted on
to lead them from their silent fears across the plains of night:
encouraging them to leap, allowing that they ought to dream
of sheep who fly off cliffs without knowing they too will awake.
Poor Paul. All he could do was rape. What a thrill
to subjugate. Karla whispered to him, ‘I like to eat
pussy, you know. You can be king, deciding fates.
I will be the Queen of their souls.’ Paul was decided.
Previously all he had done was rape and beat, now
he’d have some fun. Own the instruments of doom,
be their final sun who would love him so: his wife,
mother to the squall of children, would make him right.
To kill, to take the life possessed; absorb the sweet
trembling flesh into his own: finally, born again. All
by the sexy frau revealing greatness: what he’d
been missing by strike and run, rabbit. Gone, again.
Poor stupid Paul. Karla ruling after all. In charge
of schemes where he’d be set to take the major blame.
Misled, beaten, so what the hell: the prizes a once
in a lifetime gift that didn’t have to be replaced.
Solicitous, knowing innocence, hooking fish. Come
with me and see the world of my malignant cunt,
she’d think. I’ve done my sister but the bitch died.
So maybe repeated death repays that mistake.
Sweet blonde, for whom to eat was to die. Feed
that twat like I’d eat your breath. Queen Tarantula
in the web of bliss where slaves obey: yet
disbelieved, must by King Paul’s rope strangulate.
And afterwards shaken up eliciting tears and muff,
men trolled in clubs while cops powerless watch. The beaten
girl in the skirt, the evil bride: o holy slut, you lie.
Put on trial by men who rush to judgement, then she smiles.
Prison camp and more muff. Any who aren’t tough
enough, she’ll rule til they choose or die. Another idiot
afterwards giving children; a paradise of life in
the Caribbean, perhaps Quebec, ticked away in suburbia.
Those girls aren’t women. Even her sister, amidst the
stupid Paul’s crimes. Karla knows the masque complete,
her existence a taunt of defeat, eating ordinariness. Listen,
you can hear her laugh same as when those kids died.
She breathes, she enjoys, the dresses up.
Seductively pleasing, hooked one more willingly who’s
complicitous. Of course it can’t be we’re guilty, too
that she’s on top of the world, minus common work.
But this does please her to be known, alive
with her victims dust. You and I undone, she just hasn’t
yet gotten around to: so sufficient that we rage inside,
against the night she brings to choke the life out of us.
*Paul is Paul Bernardo. Former Scarborough rapist never caught; met Karla Homolka and married. She’d volunteer for ‘his’ ideas to kidnap, torture and sexually abuse teenage schoolgirls.
They also killed her sister by feeding her drugs while Karla had sex with her.
They videotaped it all. Hid the tapes in their house. He was caught; she suspected, with detectives – and journalists present in clubs -watching for days she still picked up men for casual sex.
The government made a deal with her pleading a victim of his: the innocent bride beaten up and manipulated, because the cops did not find the tapes in their house til afterwards.
Given that he raped and ran, did not kill, it’s believed through evidence of the tapes she manipulated him into willful events, and really was in charge of the schemes and murders and didn’t mind taking some beatings to establish that as a fact.
He got life. She did a plea deal for 12 years.
She’s out living in the open, with children. And in the news again.