..from Silence Louder Than A Train… ‘Conquerors’

Don’t take up the alarm about the invasion
Anyone with a sniff of wisdom knows it has begun

That it has been in place for the longest time, that’s
Our sense of fairness, the largess of conquerors betrayed

Do not remind those who have families and friends
That anyone of them could be the enemy, dazzled with false

Idols and the indolent charms of the indebted slaves
Do not speak of the Barbarians at the gate, while the cities

Burn and spark and fires break out everywhere without origin
Do not mention history as a lesson, the abandonment of finery

And charm as the initial state of what the future brings
Where the aliens have occupied what greed left behind, deceit

Kept in place and refined so no final attack need take place
Anymore as the music plays, the dancers ticktock and sway to

The rhythm of the gathering wave soon to surrender us, again
As we gasp and there is no remembering from that place

©Dean Baker


..from Measuring Gravity By Grace.. The P.C. EaTS mY bRAIN

The P.C. eats my brain,
the corpses in the living-room
nod awake: another nerve expires.

I do not complain.
Such fantasies of doom
fail to aid the other liars.

You think you are satisfied
with what’s electric; your city
friends, and their mutual hatred.

This is no more than
few rise to it, though you try.

Pull back the covers: even
your skeleton
stays cold and still and naked.

©Dean Baker

..from Dark Earth… The Word Is Not The Thing

The pain doesn’t need to remain
the permanent guest;
this relationship
coming from the past:
our ghostly searchlight up full.

Is this why I make endless
phone calls,
the animals closing in; and music
seeping from underneath the numbered doors:
of rooms on fire all around me?

©Dean Baker

..from THE POETRY HOTEL.. ‘Amygdalin Notes’

Now that I’ve seen poetry proposed by
porpoises, or dolphins; the stuttering hieroglyphics
where it’s easy metaphor, clever for the moment,
almost an instruction where the equal sign floats
emptily, amid scratched engraven disingenuous notes
I see greatness has left a greater space

I don’t have the benefit of academia – years of
climbing throats, spitting out brilliance
for the absolution of leisure time with old goats,
young nymphs and assorted morons
demanding obedience and clarity – that broken
bottle-neck of charity that drove singular poets

To jump ship, dive into eternity off a bridge –
there’s no tight-wire flip, no challenge in insight
obtained within these lawyer’s briefs: no passion
on the edge of amygdalin threads, leading
in song on a horizon unguessed til it lived:
just the bleating of charm echoing a singular note


©Dean Baker

  • excerpt from THE POETRY HOTEL, 104 pages, $17.99
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Prose poems that are a paean to Musicians, Writers, Artists, & Wingnuts: to folksingers, the troubled and disturbed, open mic nights everywhere.

Boris wandered lost in the crowd, stifling yet another
belch; knuckles sliding along the ground, a ham-fisted
grab-bag of Coca Cola, chips, and a stale cigar clenched
in the other hand.

Corncob was mounting the stage,
the first and last object he’d even come close to mounting
in the last decade.

These were among the real Bloor St. underground
denizens, cave-dwellers, morons, and the intellectually
Each of these unmentionables has participated in a
simultaneous and mutual evacuation that had completely
polluted several layers of whatever atmosphere existed only moments ago.

I sit back here, scribbling these words; praying that
nobody will notice me or call attention to the fact that I
am being what they please themselves to call cynical.

Though I believe it is simply relief that someone
else has taken on the task of description they would not be
able to contain once begun.

I guess it doesn’t help that our peerless leaders are
themselves in dire need of such therapy as this cast of
village idiots provides.

Both were kings of long sustained bursts of silent thought.


©Dean Baker

..from THE ESCHATOLOGICAL DOG… ‘Accepting The Challenge’

It’s not meant to be an old trick. I
found myself, finding
No formula for words to please.

You cannot heal the deaf god.
Consult the lists
of dialog,
obituary notices your spirit keeps.

I came to it broken,
a full stop:
never knowing there already was
no avenue of retreat.


©Dean Baker