Some Poetry

Kat wrote a lot of poetry. I will be uploading additional selections as time goes on. This is from a short collection she called “Kat Words,” written in 1999 and 2000. – RB

 

“the happy song”

kenny is like

my second mom

he told me to write myself

a happy song

I hate to admit it

but like my mom

he’s rarely wrong

so here is your god damn

happy song

here is your happy song

kenny

my second mom

I check out the fridge

eat your cookies as you bitch

drink your booze

while you snooze

you kick my ass out

of the door

give me shit

for the mess on the floor

left the lights on

and the curtains down

the tv is your best friend

can’t judge what makes you content

whatever keeps you happy and alive

here is your happy song

cuz what the hell

cud ever go wrong

got a cyst

on my wrist

an abscess of the heart

a rash in my head

that’s just a start

not like me, you never complain

just eat your many pills

watch your game shows

and live

your jeopardy

here is your happy song

kenny

my second mom

here is your happy song

what will I do

when you are gone

vancouver 1999

 

“the brandy song”

gladiators crawl for my dignity

and integrity

vixens float by on inner tubes

drinking my brandy

toasting our affinity

salute,

mon amie

we all know

it’s the devil’s goal

to sell our souls

and who

is the goalie now

and who . . .

is keeping score

I climb to a hierarchy

on to infinity

each rung of the ladder

just makes me madder

as I step on my ally’s heads

I feel the pressure instead

our psyches are not dead

so leave

our souls alone

the devil lends a finger

on the knot of my thoughts

as I play

with the prey in my web

an angel pulls the thread

I’m free to go,

she said

I’m always free to leave

this hierarchy

this hierarchy

we all know

it’s the devil’s goal

to sell our souls

and who

is the devil now

and who . . .

is keeping score

vancouver  1999

wrote when I got fired from film work

 

“perfect spot”

sit in front of a tv tray

the ocean is at my display

uh-huh

parked my van in the perfect spot

it’s not in that parking lot

uh-huh

muff + jane in the boat next door

rainbow flag waves to the shore

it’s hard to believe

it’s the end of a century

it’s hard to believe

it’s the end of

you and me

make my wish

in the magic moon

I know that I will get it soon

tarrot reader said to me

everything will manifest

if you,

become obsessed

said of love,

let it die

with a death is born

a brand new life

went to that party after 3

I was sober as a tree

uh-huh

sobriety

that young thing came on to me

had nice eyes but didn’t seem to be

uh-huh

stopped at jon’s,

still wonder why

kitty is,

my best ally

vancouver jan 1st 2000

 

“metamorphic trip”

headed across the u.s. border in my big purple van this summer on the 4th of July – a freeway of fireworks.  then a gorgeous drive hugging the coast to california. it was my katharsis.

I hit the dunes first.  the great white dunes.  drove in at sunset, the sun spitting into my eyes,

I wake up with sand in my hair

make a coffee

climb in the captain’s chair

drive down the 101

listen to neil young

joni mitchel

true canadians

I sprinkle my wicked words to you

into an oregan wind

like confetti

or a cremation

celebrating love and death

or is it my own salvation

blew into california like the fog.   blanketed.  claustrophobic.  huge trees making me dizzy.  cudn’t breath.  their tops lost in the fog like my ego and thots.  slept under a red wood tree. it promised to protect me.  but not from my tortured dreams.  my bed became too small.  I woke up diagonal.

hit the road again.  trying to get to the middle of nowhere, I heard it’s really warm there.  writing lyrics on my dash, words for a verse.  put on my purple sunglasses and yellow fields turn to blue. 

had beer and bagels in bodega in a bar with 30 deer heads stuck to the wall and 20 red necks stuck to the bar.  a scene from felini.  slept by hitchcock’s bird house by accident.  then drove in every direction but the right one.

I arrive in san francisco with a full moon over the golden gate and the moodiest sunset in my rear view, my past.  it’s done.  now alone w/my optimism, sadness dissipates.

I greet my girlfriends like no time has gone.  smiles hugs and kisses, ice cream, wine and cheese. these women look after me.  I’m so lucky.  blessed with angels, magic wands and the deaths of loved ones.

not long before city stress enters my blood stream.  offered work the nite I arrived in sf.  all my career girlfriends want me to run their lives better than their own or mine.

keep my balance

keep my harmony

there’s a fine line

between a tight rope

and a trapeze

2

they say

leap and the net will appear

they say

have no fear

they say

look in the mirror

my life is a carnival ride

somedays

I just wanna get off

not a peep show

not a freak show

my friends are strange

but they’re okay

in this parade

you’re okay

a strange year.  changes and opportunity and opportunity to change.  on my birthday a great article came out about my debut cd and the work I’ve done with female addicts in vancouver’s downtown eastside. 

needles spoons condoms the works

strewn upon these putrid streets

the scabs the wounds the rotting teeth

if you follow her tracks

you may find her dreams

interviewed women while my friend linc photographed them for his ‘Heroines’ photo essay.  with lincoln’s photos and my song ‘still have my dreams’, we made a music video that aired on much music.

she may be your mother

your daughter

your sister

your lover

now she’s the street girl

the junkie

the whore

when I returned from my metaphoric trip, I was hired to work on a documentary about linc’s work – also called ‘heroines’.  interviewed 6 women and created profiles of them.  my songs may be used on the soundtrack.

3

well yagga yagga.  I do go on.  just an abstract update.  soon I want to pack my van and hit the purple road again and maybe get to texas and then maybe do it all backwards.

living so vicariously

swinging on my trapeze

they say

I don’t aim to please

brite lites,

sitting pretty

I’m dizzy

somedays I’m glad

I am sad

another town, another clown

get’s me down

my life is a carnival ride

somedays

I just want a day off.

peace + love

kat

excerpts from an e-mail to a friend, vancouver 2000

 

“raison pie”

me and my daddy

used to drive across the country

he’d order raison pie

ice cream and coffee

at some crazy café

and now I raise

all kane & abel

and I rain on everyone’s parade

as I look for that pie in the sky

and search for the reason why

and I know

there’s got to be a reason

for raisin kids and pie

and raisin reason

raison pie

reason why

all I want is for you

to have a taste

all I want is for me

to have a piece

of the pie

raison pie

I still look

for the pie in the sky

I still search for the reason why

there’s somethin bout raisin

your kids in the right way

there’s somethin bout raison pie

and I know

there’s got to be a reason

for raisin kids and pie

and raisin reason

raison pie

reason why

now I drive all

across the country

I order raison pie

ice cream and coffee

at some crazy cafe

vancouver 2000

 

“My Life in a Jar”

My moon is eclipsing my sun, my poor sun.  I miss the sun like my guitar and my left arm with a wrist and a cyst that insists that it’s there, but today it’s disappeared. go figure.

I want to be warm and by the sea and I am not. There is no heat which means I want to escape.  I am dying small deaths by a computer in a small room.  The heat goes on –   whoop-te-doo, it’s fake.  I want real heat from the sun by the sea.

Life is a sandwich, a crazy sandwich made with the sweat of my thots.  I’ve taken 3 bites, spit out the first, gagged on the next and still trying to digest the third.  Mixed with bile, wine and tears, it is put to a test and like me it’s not sure which turn to take next.  Into a dark abyss or up the garden path.  I always accept my own self induced wrath.

There you have it, my life in a jar with ‘Purr’ written on the side and the lid rusty from the cold and the rain.  Moths and comets have been caught in this jar and when the lid lifts anything cud escape including a dragon depending on my mood.

Time to hit a purple road.  I am light years from going yet my hand is on the switch and with one sporadic twitch all hell cud break loose and I cud slip down some strange road into a sunset and find my fool’s gold. 

My mom always wonders if I’ll ever be tame.  Tame as the dragons in my mason jar mah.  Tame as the moths and the comets and my crazy thots.  My life is purfect mom.  My kingdom came and went again and left me on a cold cement step.   

Then rain shines on sunny days and rhymes fill my head like chimes till I am ringing and rhyming till the cows come home and then I am left all lonely and numb. 

‘Come on cows’, dad used to say and they all would herd his way with those big round eyes the size of king cobs.  I saw a cow cry once when its calf was taken away.  now I’m convinced that everything cries including worms.  Only we think we are more magnificent.   we all bleed, we cry, and we all say goodbye. 

Life is not a tall white building.  Life is not a crowd.  Life is tomorrow, today and yesterday.  Life is not for rent.  Life is for sale.  Life is on a dump truck going to hell.  Life is an empty shelf I’ve made for myself, for when I am well, for when I am ready, when I’ll have time – someday, another time.

I’m living in a drawer and drawers are for things you have but you don’t want to see. but even drawers have symmetry.

Life goes on. It stagnates in a pond.  It turns inside out on a letter and finds out its spelled wrong.  My life is a song that I’m singing so loud I’ve forgotten the words and I turn backwards to see forwards till I see the moon is eclipsing my sun and me and I’ve come back to paragraph one.   I still need the sea but somehow I’m in a glass jar in a small room in the middle drawer till tomorrow, three days or three weeks from now.

kat e-mail to a friend vancouver oct 2000

My kingdom may never come.  Sometimes line forms sentence. Sometimes I never see what’s on my mind.  Sometimes I say never mind.  Sometimes everything that’s there is scary.

 

“carnival ride”

living so vicariously

swinging on my trapeze

they say,

I don’t aim to please

bright lites, sitting pretty

I’m dizzy

somedays I’m glad

I am sad

another town

another clown

get’s me down

my life is a carnival ride

somedays

I just wana get off

keep my balance

keep my harmony

there’s a fine line

between a tight rope

and a trapeze

they say

leap and the net will appear

they say

have no fear

they say

look in the mirror

acrobatics and dramatics

contortion and extortion

not a peep show

not a freak show

my friends are strange

but they’re okay

Ii this parade

you’re okay

in this parade

I’m okay

my life is a carnival ride

somedays

I just want a day off

vancouver 2000

 

“chasing the dragon”

there’s a freak show

out my window

a freak show

out my window

and my hand

is on the pain

dope sick

and home sick

crying on the corner

in the rain

tweeking

and freaking

barefoot

on a junkie street

I’ll get clean

she said to me

I’ll get clean

she promised me

chasing the dragon

down the street

someone

loves you somewhere

and you,

don’t seem to care

your life

is a freak show

and you,

don’t wanna know

I’ll get clean

she said to me

I’ll get clean

she promised me

chasing the dragon

down the street

I can’t walk a mile

in your feet

cuz you’re barefoot

on a junkie street

chasing the dragon

not your dream

vancouver march 2000

about the downtown eastside

 

“still have my dreams”

needles, spoons, condoms, the works

strewn upon this putrid street

the scabs the wounds

the rotting teeth

if you follow her tracks

you may find her dream

lines drawn on a sallow face

she shakes upon skeletal legs

the haunting look

the hollow eyes

she created her own demise

she may be your mother

your daughter

your sister,

your lover

now she’s the druggie

the street girl

the junkie

the whore

she turns another trick

her soul for a fix

someday she’s gonna quit

someday she’s gonna kick

what is your story

where is the glory

have you found it on

hastings and main

what is your story

where is the glory

she said . . .

I still have my dreams

where is her mother

her daughter

her sister

her lover

where is her father

her son

and the holy ghost

and where . . .

are you

and where . . .

are you?

she said . . .

I still have my dreams

vancouver 1999

about the downtown eastside women

 

“pain and wasting”

I can tell you a story

that wud twist your heart

into a knot

I’ve been thru everything, for a start

josie said

I was a slave

in this human race

see the color of my face

I am hiding behind this wall of pain

the bricks are high and there’s no gate

I’m in pain

I am wasted again

I’m in pain

I am wasting

on hastings and main

we could be your mother, your daughter

or your niece

we are all the same and we all bleed

we are not just sex machines

we’ve been robbed of our self esteem

and we will die if we don’t get clean

do you think this was our big dream

to be a junkie on the street

if I had a choice

if I had a choice

do you think id’ chose this god dam life

if I had a choice

if I had a choice

I’d be a mother to my daughter

maybe a wife

so how can you say

how can you say

I’m a junkie, a whore, a fool

how can you say

how can you say

when you don’t know

what I’ve been thru

I’m in pain

I am hiding

I am wasted again

I’m in pain

I am wasted again

I’m in pain

I am wasting

on hastings and main

Vancouver september 2000

quotes from the women of the downtown eastside

 

“ah men”

how do we give

so much trust

to a man

in a robe

I don’t know

a priest,

our father

hollow is your name

as you trespass

upon us

if this is my daily bread

I’ll take wine instead

if this is the kingdom

where is my glory

my kingdom will come

for thy will be done

you give us your sins

as we forgive those

the power and the glory

are mine

. . . not yours

deliver us

with your evil

on earth

but not in heaven

a man in a robe

a tale to be told

the bible depends

on who tells the story

put the host

on to my tongue

the story’s just begun

here’s to the father,

the son

and the holy . . .

forever and ever

amen

ah men

vancouver 2000

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