Category Archives: poems

Novel reviews are in! And a poem called “Flesh Pot”

Slowly trudging along the dreaded book marketing trail-the main challenge being a lack of both time and money-but so far she’s receiving the star treatment and good reviews:

“The pace is electric, the scenes pulsate with energy, and through the character of Fiona, the reader is pulled into a world that can be beautiful and passionate one moment, and scary and ugly the next. The writing is so honest and direct, and dealing with such powerful feelings and social issues, that it will take your breath away.”-Nick Faragher, author of  The Well and other Stories and No Big Thing. Nick also characterized it as a punk Moveable Feast, which I love.

“You couldn’t ask for a better tour guide. Fiona wants to take you by the arm and show you everything – everything! – and you should let her. She’ll walk you through absurdly dysfunctional families, creatives and poseurs, mountains of cocaine, the thrills and bitter frustrations of band life, a city on fire, and sex that explores a lot of territory: tender, frenzied, exhilarating, surreal, brutal. Fiona tells it all, unflinching, with a survivor’s wry humor. Go on, get in – it’s a ride worth taking. Fiona will drive too fast, and you’ll love it.”-Katy Barzedor

“Don’t let the punk rock scare you; this is a woman’s story of love and adventure and survival. This is about sex and drugs and rock and roll. This is about a woman’s personal journey from young girl to abused victim to scarred survivor. It may begin with the punk rock years, but follows the lead character Fiona through scenes of punk rock violence, to a more insidious violence of personal relationships. Warning: There is quite a bit of sex here, so if you are offended by graphic scenes of sex, stay away. But if you like sex and classic sexy writing, you will love this book. We know that not all sex is good. Sometimes there is a dark side. Poor Fiona discovers this horrible truth as an attraction becomes a trap. The scenes during the LA riots evoke the Jump into the fire scene in Goodfellas, but told through a strong woman’s perspective. Rarely do you read books from a woman’s perspective about sex and music. The Town Slut’s Daughter takes you into the dark side of the music business. Why it makes punk rock seem tame in comparison.”-Dennis Milt

“A whirlwind tale about a girl looking for identity and artistic expression, that takes you from the early Vancouver punk scene through the trenches of rock and roll, life and excess in 1980’s Los Angeles and culminates with the L.A. riots. Intense, passionate, at times brutal, and also funny. The dialogue between characters had me laughing out loud. A rollercoaster ride that raises your hair and lands you back into your seat with a hard bump.”-Tracy Bissonnette

No time to write! But I will be included in several anthologies coming out next year; Love Where the Nights Are Twice As Long, a Goose Lane collection of love letters penned by Canadian poets, edited by David Eso, and a Simon Fraser University anthology of work from their Lunch Poems reading series which I participated in. They selected this one:


Born muscle bound

Backboned, map, matrix-

Mother intact

Into families, slums


Manors, private

Security firms, institutions.

Pirates or the pious

We flourish. Raw teeth, germs,


Clubfeet do not impede us,

Rank and garbled speech fleeting

As tin jeeps, our struggle

Barbie Doll drama, tumult banal,


Pain prosaic, strife fueling ripeness

Gauntlets passed through swiftly

Until the day we drop. Nominated,

Cornered, required to wither


Under the gun,

Succumb, for we remain

That tender, precious human

Flesh terminators aim for.






I rarely enter writing contests but I like the bent of this one, the Tobacco Lit Writing Contest and I like Geist Magazine as well. My entry, from my book, Three Blocks West of Wonderland:


Quit cigarettes too late, just as he bumped

into the pleasures of paternity. Cigar rituals.

Crystal trapezoid ashtray ready on the desk

itchy sedge thin, trumped up gorgeous

delinquent daughter in mind. How did I spawn

such a barren, martini-swacked maladroit?

Off to fiesta every three months, flea circus of slackers.

fasionistas and slap jack suitors along for a free ride.


He’s precise, positions the Cohiba in a double blade

stainless steel guillotine cutter. Scrutinizes the Avedon

portrait, a study in bad attitude. All attitude, filter less

Camel protruding from punk sneer. Karsh of Ottawa

snatched it, snapped rage.


Dreading her return from Wagonga Inlet, he toasts

the tip above a flame, ensuring a good, even smoke.

Took them fishing. For yellow fin. Bream. He draws

rapidly, harshly, locking Bentley convertible keys

in the top drawer. Heading back early. Slow, due to a drop

in water temperature according to the pricey guide.


Determined to cut her off if she doesn’t clean up.

Damned ash tunnels. Should puff gently,

though everything is about to give; the straw house

slanted as a rhombus, his lungs, faded to black.

Could leave it all to charity. Tough love

too callous. Probably rushed–ruined–her too.


Bringing home our inner pseudo commandos

Yes, I have lived many places, known many people. All I can do is write, if I’m lucky, as I struggle to understand human behaviour. While still in mourning for the loss of one of the most loving and magnanimous individuals in my life, somewhat ironically, I am astonished at the capacity of others for spite, as if anger holds redemption. Well, if nothing else, I suppose it provides fuel, though far as I can tell, anger only propels one further and deeper down into a well of despair, paranoia and depression. I’ve resided in isolation. I know how it works, feel fortunate to have surfaced, partly due to the efforts of friends and family who never gave up on me.


Cave apartment.
Lonesome injustice collector,
Lame prospero
Maintains object relations
With others based on envy.
Revenge-romance writer.

Between mean street patrols
And bitch prowling, corrals
The unwanted, hated, feared bits
Of himself, to reassemble,
Form of an enemy
Deserving of merciless rage.

Welcome to the neighbourhood.





The sea never ends.

Ask a trawler.

Every unexplored trench

Propels her to dive

Into urban ruination.

Blonde brick facade

Fails to deter local rapture consultant

Friendly neighborhood ecstatic man

Ecstatic with belief.


Brother Earl pronounces

Each defeat of the heart

Each leave taking

Must ignite a torch song

For Jesus.

Any definition containing the word “God”

Is proof of God.


She protests, demurely.

He persists, naturally.

There is no convincing the devout

You don’t need convincing.

The right(eous) crave victory

More than more than fish and loaves

She his undeserved indulgence.


Piqued, he spends days

Mane taming, grip maintained,

Malignifying every utterance

From of her reluctant mouth

Discourse so acute

She threw up her hand. A signal. Stop.

Let’s restart. Imagine peace.


Expert at diminution

He named her Heathen. Sub-human.

Steeply, speedily Ignorant. Condemned.

Though the pious never cease flaming

Both remain standing. Hopeful.





March mad in February
Ma’s temper heats the window.
A flutter of juncos alight
Plying the bare limbed willow
Like a lyre
Fawn, dove, hare
Sheltered in cedar shade
Frightened still.

Bonded in blarney
She’d weaned me
On clever jive
My conception a farce
Life a fiction.
Let the need to know go
She repeated as if Buddha-wise.

Her demise should illuminate
Every secret, every corner
Every cowering tot
Lit by the pop and flash,
Truth, its triumph at last, though
Revelation offers no resolution.
We are all stories in the end.




Not my circus, not my monkeys.-Polish proverb


Born wrong, he got me right
Celebrates my fanny
Charms, trailer windows, black mind
For comedy. Gutterized beau
Replete with affection disorder
Grog blossoms, cauliflower ear
For doggerel. Broken noise.

Bloviating Master of Ceremonies.
Glitterized stallions. Elastic pratfalls.
Nothing distracts from my To-Do List:
Test trapeze. Reform winter law.
Conduct gravity. Reorient.
Polish tinware. Flush away

Chimp guano. Marvel
At the mess we’ve made, beatify
Our radical slaphappy love
Bless big top bounty
The largesse of my longing.
Remember what matters.


POVERTY BADGE . . . recycled photo naturally. I am nothing if not resourceful.




Redemption. Found?

How can I tell

See through smudge

Survive smears?

New pain. Ancient pain.


Everything hurts.

You never leave.

Chief wound.

Kitchen universe rub out.

Incidents blur into one

Gorgeous fight.


I sanctify slaughter, swine

My pearls so well.

Hire me to steal

Mother your tribe

Whitewash collisions.


Did you eat crow?

Do the required thing,

Resplendent in a martyr’s coat,

Beyond reproach in glaring

Red numbers.


Our woody fruit burst,

Prevailing discovery,

Insensible bed, small

Household forsook.

For sale. Black

Corsette. Never worn.


You and your vapid skanks.

Fellatio’d in the green room

Another score before grace

Our happy hour in shreds.


We may find miles and miles

But the door-poor walk in half.