Saturday, January 19, 2008


I zip-lined in the canopy of a cloud forest and sprawled out my hands like Superman. I was on the ledge of a soup bowl of an extinct volcano; to my right was Alexander’s belt framed by a double rainbow, to my left was sulphor fizzing into a fuzzy peach of a sun. I swam behind a waterfall in an alcove lined with flapping blue morphos, I drifted belly up, backside down and as buoyant as a lily pad. Then I slipped back into the water and had it haul up over my head like a black sweater. I asked a boy on the beach to cover me in sand, then a whole brigade started heaving piles of it onto my back so that by the end my chest chambers were collapsing and I was carved into a stegosaurus. In the Pacific Ocean I collected 26 sand dollars, which translates to over a thousand-quadrillion Canadian dollars (if the Nicaraguans only knew they might clamber out of the economic pits.) I gallivanted through a dump where the poorest people in the Western hemisphere live, in a human safari bus and refrained from the Nikon-circle jerk. I decided that was possibly the worst day to wear a baby rib fitted short-sleeved purple American Apparel t-shirt. I accidentally told my Spanish teacher that I ate pineapple and cat for breakfast, vehemently. I painted a mural in a primary school of a beach and palm trees with bopping leafy heads. I asked a local girl to splatter on a butterfly; it ended up looking like a raging, red, aquatic, inflated peanut. I wrote a list of all the possible ways I could possibly kill Jason Weiner, thereof including a special addition of “Will It Blend” on youtube. I colonized a sand slug empire. I listened to a man talk about the Moskuito (sp?) indigenous tribe on the Caribbean coast, and a university that offers med students classes in native healing elixirs and magical antidotes. My favorite painting was the bus window. I moonwalked through a Latin-American market, and watched as the clutter unfurled and folded over and the floating curtains breathed and barrels of beans scuttled behind desks and chairs and a menagerie of piƱatas crowed and whooped and a walleyed cod was slapped onto a grill. I dared someone to snuff a coke line of candy powder. I was laughed at and photographed for propping-up my ass with my hind legs when I sleep. I fell off a hammock. I ambled by a tree that had more species of plant hanging off its arms and hemmed into its side and sewed along its seams and eddying inside its nooks and scurrying by its feet than the entirety of England. I had the heady waft of an orchid lick my nostrils, who blossomed only once in its life. I treated each moment as if it were dying. I had a whole cohort of the local Niquinohomo riff raff chant “pocito pene” to my arch nemesis. I asked my homestay mother to dance something of a stumbled Latin dance, whose name sounded like a tropical drink, though she giggled and simpered and elegantly declined as I tried to heave her out of her lawn chair. A local artisan told me to fuck off for having insulted his work. I saw sister horses who were gaunt like New York models. I came to terms with my bowels and recognized a woman’s ability to number two. I haggled a potato-sack-material bag down by over a whole 40 cordobas with a woman as hyper as a Ritalin-pumped fifteen-year-old. I woke up in the middle of the night to the flutter of large insect by my ear, which I figured to be a cockroach but ended up being a giant locust who I trapped beneath a ceramic bowl and found to be dead by morning. They’re supposed to be good luck though. I ate gallo pinto everyday, and plantain that had been stewed into potatoes, and the most extraordinary cheese ill ever eat, so much so it was almost paranormal. I had a crush on a fourteen-year-old named Paola who glittered more than a Mariah Carey music video. I laughed that my homestay had water every other day but managed to squirrel away enough for MTV and four different types of movie channels. I tiptoed into the hallow refuge of a woman’s collective, which polished pottery into wood. I was a dead dog being dragged by its paws off the roads, like a sack of meat. I held my breath when passing by, in our shanty and cramped bus, those crosses potted by the highway, white as a skull bone. I won the scavenger hunt in Esteli. I sipped on Victoria beer in a dim lit tavern with propaganda type portraits of Sandinistas stenciled onto the wall, not to mention a glaring sketch of Stalin. I skipped by a statue of a wartime hero wielding a Molotov cocktail and machete everyday. I bought 25 cigars for 10 bucks. The factory smelled like Organic Chemistry class, or hair dye, or nail polish, and the backrooms were reserved for stuffing white powder into small sacks. I concluded that I should go into ecology and double major in photography, despite my utter lack of credentials. I was that bundle of tattered tennis shoes strewn like a bushel of grapes on the telephone wire.


Single-floored bungalows in Nicaragua are caged-in like tropical skittle-colored birds. Stray dogs with swaying ball sacks meander into the town square, and Sandinista cowboys comb their nearly there handle bar moustaches. Reggae-tone rings out over the rooftops, someone somewhere strangles a rooster, murals feature anti-American slang. I know I look like a gringo. Epiphytes are hemmed onto the electric wires and at night look like small, pudgy, angry birds. If you don’t know what an epiphyte is, tough. Here the moon frowns in the morning and smiles by dark; in Montreal it’s a clipped-off fingernail. Evangelists hold sermons on street corners and plug themselves into amplifiers. I’m staying with a woman called Lucillia. Her house is one drawn-out hallway with rooms biting into its side. She lives with a man who might be her father, or husband, or mechanic, and another who I suspect is her son. He rides a mean pink dirt bike and sports a pink parachute material windbreaker, and once I found him polishing his well-coordinated pink water bottle. He looks like Borat, and his moustache might be made of pubic hair. It’s really unfortunate I don’t know any Spanish.

our reality tour in nicaragua

And our heads stopped bopping as much on the windowsill ridges of the bus, as the dirt road smoothened into asphalt. We made a pit stop at the On-the-Go gas station and walked out casually of the leeched on depaneur, licking the inside lip of cheesy chip-filled fingernails. Then we turned the curb once boarded on the safari bus, past bales of Twinkie wrappings rolling into mandarin hides. This is the Nica-dump. A rivulet of shattered bottle shards slices through the plastic bags as unfolding grass and pasture. Then it was if we, with moth-eaten cheeks, billowed into that ashtray and let that plume engorge like a dry ocean swell. A boy whose arm had been dipped in crude oil grins and talks-up the junkyard giant, who sports a red cap that glowers like barking makeup stained onto an old woman. Now an emaciated horse is sneezed into the hearth, like a blood-run booger. A man as a blind bull elephant trudges behind the waggling bus rump with a recyclable heap slung over his shoulder. Those supposed eagles from far off waver into vultures. Squadrons of frayed eyelashes sweep in from the North. The horizon is one drawn out huff.

Tykes take communion on a marooned bust tractor and toss about a calf bone. Variegated pockets of men weave themselves through the trash to pick out corner store leftovers and siphon exhaust into jars. A cow burps. The air is sour with white ash and plastic. Syringes poke-out as frequent as Montreal church spires. Ink runs beneath a splash of bus tire, a touch of dead dog. The eath is on fire like an exposed wound. We crane our gaping camera lenses to sip then swallow that pong. Desolate as a Sandals Resort. Cemetery for mall food courts.

The bus ambles through a canyon of plastic bags and stacked–on torn pages of encyclopedias. We disembark, a white hand muffles sound, feather of fog licks our lips in an inhale, thirsty snow. The bus windows had been tinted, now all is rubbed out and effaced. Naked toddlers scramble up to our ankles and bloom then scamper away as mice from an opening garage door. A boy clacks his toy together; two metal balls at the ends of an adjoining string, like an applauding vulture, a metronome marking time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008




This city wears a corset. I bend into the curb and dally about the roundabout as if some gadabout kid. The ends of alleyways empty out into the gaping mouths of right whales, the church mice are colluding electrical engineers; our whores are lofty like steeple towers. I’ve decided to reserve my seventies for public displays of insanity, such as scuba diving into metro stations. Even my thoughts are filtered through anti-spam software. Stillness is only ever borne by the trees, those unconscious altruists etching the sky with starlight designs.


This sylvan scene of moss melding into mushroom, where bosky burrows blend into the tawny yawn of sunlight wavering through the pines.


Today a plastic bag followed me home.


I read once that ejaculation could be likened to a small red worm coughing up its own ribcage. I’ve been told that coition was nothing but the thud of dry bodies and the jangle of a rosary dangling off a bedpost. I’ve seen those efficient bodies sling themselves over stripper poles as if sacks of meat


I wish I were part of a cardboard box empire, that the moon would take a coffee break, that squids could be plugged into color ink cartridges, that businessmen held each other’s hands when crossing the street, that eachother was an actual word, that the dingbat was a species of brilliant marsupial, that those kittens under the overpass found a donut box for a makeshift apartment and comforter and deluxe Debbie Travis bedroom set, that freeze brain contests were a recognized sport, that streetlamps could be replaced with strobe lights, that I could sympathize with my feet, that I could find out where all the wires anywhere and everywhere lead too, that naptime was an international holiday, that I could waltz like an umbrella caught in a rainstorm, that listening was a responsibility for anyone who couldn’t see their own eyelids, that CD stood for carpe diem, that the panacea for sunburns, cold sores, and tummy aches was knowing all the lyrics to a Queen album, that the eraser head of my pencil was a micromicrophone, that the asterisk was one of many bougainvillea, and that my mother’s best friend didn’t have to die.

She and he

The low swooning of dusk kept us from the horizon. We bent over the ridge peering onto the highway, shifted our weight and leapt. It was 6ocklock on a Saturday when that drone of the passing-by cars was lulled into a weep under our thudding bodies. And all I remember was the wisp of her hair as our hearts were mirrored in the myriads of small explosions in each and every car engine; that gasp blooming into fire.

We walked along the sidewalk as if it were tightrope artistry. We wrapped two arms around each other as if we were singly a sweater billowing in the fall winds. We murmured “It’s fall, time to fall in love.” I skipped a stone across a swimming pool steeped with leaves, now turbid like crude oil.

Then, she was a bow being bent into a twig. Yesterday I was a chapped lip.

When we found each other between the twang and tangle of burdock leaves and cicadas, when dust spangled in the forest as sunlight alighted onto it, and the moss crept and ants watched their stepping so that the murmuring of trees was hushed, then were we laced into each other.

She highlights her notes with scented markers. She kisses as if sewing a button onto my jacket. She laughs as if water was thrown onto her at a parade. She folds her letters like pleating dahlias. Her smiles extend the horizon.

We bend over the ridge peering into a temple of tides where China seas meld into the soup of the Mexican Gulf. We tell each other that in every fishy handshake and every licked stamp, in every gaping tire swing, and each and every dulcet doorbell do we unfold into each other, and so with one more gasp we unfolded up and beyond the highway.

Garden Keeper

He is reading the palm of my tree’s stump
And I wonder who was it that let him
in through my front gate

I dodder between the sway of bougainvillea
A cobblestone has dislodged itself from the walkway
A cloud overhead is shaped like a swollen kidney
And some puffs of cotton candy have alighted there
onto a fretful daisy, from the nearby carnival

I am lumbering here to my trespasser
Who has now been stammering his feet
And is shuffling his lips into something, well,
Of a hair snarled in a set-to-high blow dryer

And suddenly my nose is formed of that dislodged cobblestone
And that swollen kidney up beyond shrivels into an ear
And that daisy’s disconcertion is suddenly my own

As I have tumbled into an old man – as a flower bed
And he is kicking at my bees
And I am knotting myself around the loop of his tie
I appreciate the benches in metro stations.
When the rakish ramble of men and women
coursing through the underground as a septic
tank emptying out into a sieve, when the gaping
tunnels swallow those carts as if yawning right
whales then tumbling into the oceans beyond,
when the hobble of old bodies wears thin
and we are left with the tattered remains
of a leg lurching itself across the station floor
when the inverted roots from the planet
tangle through the thrill of electric wires
sprawling throughout the upper crust
now thick as leather When I grow dizzy
at least I can sit on those metro station benches
and pretend to be waiting for