What makes the bus go? asked the man I’d been talking to, as he prepared but slowly to get off the bus. What makes the bus go? to mostly bored faces. Electricity, says one guy. No! Does anyone know? We rolled to a stop. The wires, said someone else. No! I’ll tell you. Art makes the bus go. Later, after cornering, the silent man with the coat made of stuffed animals smiles. Others mutter, Crazy. The city rattles by all these facades where lives might be, another man suddenly screams It’s my stop! And we do on a route visible only to him, lost in a daydream and caught unawares that the bus would soon pass into dangerous territory. You’ve got to pay attention: Keep Hands Clear: The city is indifferent – these are bus lines not leylines, traplines, songlines – don’t be so heretical, these don’t mean. For your safety, Please hold on.
typing as though on a hammond, the
sparkedplug joints follow along, floating with
each click and stickier key. I find there’s no time
to speak of unfinished sentences, with the way
you move me, so much like water. bringing the noise
that we whisper, of quick hope undiminished. tell me
no stories of souls and smithys, and let’s find instead
a smiley-face balloon, all hot air and latex,
my misspent youth. can we call this working, dear,
and let it go? it is, in fact, a sharpie in my pocket
and i’m happy to see you: both things are true —
I needed both to write this poem.
Mine own private mesozoic dreaming interrupt –
no, I didn’t hear about my extinction
but it’s nice to get the news that
you’re a living fossil. That takes the chill
out of weekends. Thanks, Captain Science.
But sing to me not of being lonely,
it’s tough when even Darwin (pegacorn-killer)
passes you by, me and my abyssal cave –
even when fins hint at legs –
your brief earth, indolent and sensual first:
My scattered sea-floor ocean full of young’uns
lost Pangaea and shipwrecks. Keep your broken robots
and soupy dreams, like me, split –
and please, keep it short.
We’re going to march, Tuesday, February 20. We are Drug Users. We’re marching downtown to the courthouse - through the streets of Vancouver, where the War on Drugs (as is in Canada, as founded by those who continue a great thieving) began. We will gather at Victory Square at noon. Get your people together. Yes, him, and her too, yes and those guys, them too, yes, and your pictures of everyone. Get together and head to Victory Square. Drop it for today. This is important. I know this is fucked up. Everybody knows it and I know it’s such an emptiness and also too much to contain, and everyone is gone and it feels fucked up to be alive but we are. We will gather at Victory Square, you know, Hastings and Cambie, at the Cenotaph, the big monument to the First World War, you know what it says: IS IT NOTHING TO YOU Yeah guess so. It is true, now, even though we said so and tried to warn them, people are dying everywhere, all over, just as we all said. It’s the National Thing. DTES export. It is true, now, things are changing because of that, but this is a battlefield and this is chemical warfare. We will gather at Victory Square, and go to the Courthouse downtown. People will call for Justice. Things will change, slowly. More people will die. This will change. War ends. You know how Wars end. I don’t have to say it. When you use drugs like we do in this place, you get so used to nobody listening that you stop talking. On Tuesday, speak up, because you will be heard. Say what you think because it has to be said. When you use drugs, like this and in this place, you stop thinking about the future. This is about the future. It won’t be the same. - Karen Ward Noon, Victory Square