Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Bigot

Saturday, January 31, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

The plump English man looked at me

And boomed in a smug, superior voice,

“I’m a little bit homophobic,”

As if he were proud of the fact.

I was shocked and angry but attempted to make light

Of his disgusting, appalling bigotry.

Other people heard his putrid words but no one came to my defence

Or even attempted to shoot down his slurs.

There were jeers in his voice,

During the rest of our conversation.

It seemed obvious that he thought I was shit

And that he was vastly superior to me.

What if I were black and he’d said,

“I’m a little bit of a racist”?

Surely that would not have been socially acceptable behaviour

In enlightened, polite company.

We were in a room full of poets.

The stereotype of a poet is that we are lazy, indolent drug addicts and alcoholics

Who want to party all night and sleep all day

And occasionally write epic poems.

Is this an accurate depiction of the life of a typical bard?

The answer is that we come in all shapes and sizes

And live many different lifestyles.

William Carlos Williams comes to mind.

He wrote poems on prescription pads

Between visits from his medical patients.

We all have our prejudices.

I am one-quarter English

And have to admit that I am not fond of English men.

Many of them are macho bigots

But this, too, is a stereotype.

I’m not proud of this bias of mine

And continually fight against it,

Yet that homophobic writer certainly lives up to this image.

My English uncle, who was a bit of a macho bigot,

Once said to me, as we were driving in a car,

“Real men use a stick shift. They don’t drive an automatic.”

I thought it was one of the most asinine things I’d ever heard.

I imagined poets to be open-minded people

With their fingers on the pulse of the world.

Words of wisdom flow from their pens

And they love all humankind.

Now, what if I were a celibate homosexual

Who never engaged in sexual activity?

Would this zealot still despise me

Because of what I stand for?

I still remember the sneer in his voice

As he kept on interrupting me.

It seemed that my words were totally unimportant to him.

The look of contempt on his face!

I don’t buy bigotry and intolerance of any kind,

Either mine or that of other people.

I had to fight the urge to hit him over the heard

With a baseball bat and tell him he was a piece of shit.

We’re all just human beings fighting to survive

On this treacherous planet full of land mines and spilled blood.

If this ugly little man thinks that what I do in bed is disgusting

Then I have to surmise that his own sex life must be pretty boring,

With the missionary position being his #1 favourite.

After all, in the pitch black of the bedroom,

It could be a man, a woman or a succubus giving you a blow-job

And you couldn’t tell the difference.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

My blonde friend Darinka is a bit of a nutcase

But I like her, just the same.

My friends have always been eccentric or downright certifiable.

Schizophrenic, bipolar, depressives,

They’re always drawn to me.

Darinka spends $400 on a black cocktail dress

But she has nowhere to wear it.

She buys it in a too-small size hoping it will force her to lose weight.

She cries poor mouth then tells me that she has $5,000 in her chequing account.

Darinka talks a mile a minute,

Fantasizing about being a famous screenwriter in L.A.,

Yet I find her poetry to be rather trite, I’m afraid.

This 50-something woman hasn’t had sex in over 20 years.

She doesn’t want to go out in the evening

And leave her frail mother at home.

My parents both decided to check out

Before they became a burden to their 5 children.

Darinka makes dates with me then cancels, at the last minute, because she is depressed.

I’d be suicidal, too,

If I hadn’t had any cock in 20 years

And stayed home every night with my mother.

Who wouldn’t?!

I met Darinka on a film set in Cambridge, Ontario.

We were spectators watching a marathon race in “Saint Ralph”

Starring the venerable Gordon Pinsent.

It was raining and I had holes in my hard, uncomfortable shoes.

By the middle of the first day,

My feet hurt so bad I could only walk on tiptoe.

We saw each other on sets over the next few months

And she started phoning me.

Darinka always says, “I’ll call you in a few days,”

Even though I don’t want to talk to anyone that often

Unless I’m regularly gnawing on their succulent flesh.

This woman has a kind heart but she frequently tells untruths.

She sometimes doesn’t show up for film shoots

And makes up bullshit excuses to her agents.

My friend spends $650 on a Fendi bag that, to me,

Is the epitome of ugliness.

To each his own!

Then Darinka says she can’t afford $25 for a Tarot card reading.

This middle-aged woman thinks she will never find a boyfriend

Or get laid ever again.

We all have our beasts to slay

But I’ll gladly take my troubles over hers,

Any day of the week.

Forgive me for these words.

Now, what would she have to say about me,

One wonders?

“You can do so much,” she tells me.

“I don’t understand why you don’t make $50,000 a year.”

Darinka has never lived away from home.

It’s a hard way to make a life.

Bedbugs Are Gods

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

These celebrities think they’re so grand.

Little do they know,

But there are celebrity-stalker bedbugs on the red carpet.

They jump off the clothes of the cheering, dirty, poor people in the stands.

They crawl across crimson wool and jump on Kate Winslet’s leg.

They crawl up, tenaciously, and cling to her silk underwear.

As she is telling “Entertainment Tonight” about her love life,

They start munching on her inner thighs.

That’s why the stars always appear fidgety when they’re being interviewed.

Movie stars are caviar to a hungry bedbug

And they don’t even know it.

When Halle Berry became the first black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar,

She had a bedbug chewing on her armpit at the podium.

If you watch the clip on YouTube,

You’ll see her hand move close to her underarm.

Halle is trying to resist the urge to scratch her pits

In front of one billion people.

Bedbugs are everywhere.

A famous Canadian actress had bedbugs

In her mansion condo in Toronto’s Yorkville district.

She had to fly home from her movie shoot to arrange to have them murdered.

My bedbugs are my only real friends.

They keep me company at night.

They fulfill my exhibitionistic tendencies

When I bring home my beautiful buff lovers.

The creep-crawlies applaud our acrobatic lovemaking

And whisper encouragement in my tasty ears.

A cheeky man with a foul-smelling sprayer

Came and killed all my bedbug friends.

I’m still reeling from the pain.

I pay a high-priced escort to beat this guilt out of my system.

Bedbugs take a long time to die.

They wail like a martyred saint and swear like Vietnam vets.

I mourn the death of my bedbug lover.

He used to hop on board and accompany me to dance clubs,

Riding on my shoulder as I hopped around the dance floor.

My bedbugs serve as an alarm clock to save on my electric bill.

They love to feast at dawn, I’m told.

Every morning, they bite my sweet butt at 7 a.m.

So that I never oversleep for work.

Bedbugs are such loves.

They nibble on my earlobes and kiss my rosy cheeks.

They boost my confidence when I’m alone.

Let’s face it.

You’re never lonely when you have bedbugs.

They always come out at night to feast and greet me.

I don’t have to feed them, either,

Or change their litter box

Or walk them three times a day.

Bedbugs are the best thing that ever happened to me.

They changed my life.

I’m sorry,

But I’m getting all choked up

So I can’t continue this discussion.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Friend Douglas

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

Douglas lives in total squalor.

You would not believe your eyes.

Years of dead cockroaches hidden under

Stacks of old Playboy magazines.

You walk into his living room

Tripping over junk scattered on the floor.

Mostly film books, porn mags and movie magazines from the sixties.

The kitchen is a mess of dirty dishes and filth,

Probably left over from many years ago.

How could he live in such a pig sty?

All he needs is a vacuum,

Some boxes and five or six bookshelves

Reaching up to the ceiling.

Then everything would be in order.

Doug just turned 65 but won’t apply for pensions,

Which makes no sense to me,

Because he desperately needs the money.

Yet I’m not allowed to touch his precious Madonna “Sex” book,

Placed regally on the back of his couch,

As if it were a tiara from the Crown Jewels.

Doug bought a TV set over a year ago,

Which sits, unpacked, in his crowded hallway.

Dyed jet black hair,

Major health issues that have never been dealt with.

Self-loathing oozes out of every pore in his body.

A childish, explosive temper that lost him a good friend

Because of an argument over some Elvis Presley trivia.

I think life stopped for him when he was 15,

And Doug never moved forward.

Dirt, decay and minor madness

All rolled up into one major mess,

But he’s so much fun to talk to, on the phone,

Late at night,

When the topic of classic movies and old-time movie stars

Comes up.

He knows the life stories of dead celebrities

That most people have never even heard of.

Douglas is a mass of neuroses and major contradictions.

We even had sex, a few times,

Way back in the good old days,

When we were both young, slim and hopeful,

Not knowing what lurked around the sharp corners

Of aging and such.

I wish I could shake him out of this trap.

Get the rusty motor working, again.

Perhaps he sees me as a dreamer.

My friend frustrates me

But I can’t live his life for him.

Please take us back to a happier time.

Winter Thoughts

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

The words are percolating inside me

But he sometimes won’t let them out.

Emotions boiling up,

Like a hot, scalding pot on the stove

Ready to explode.

He needs more sunlight to make him feel good,

Putting healing herbs on Bonnie Parker’s shot up leg.

Winter horrors are here, again,

Sitting in a chair like a rotting zombie.

Dreaming of meeting Joni Mitchell

And misunderstandings at parties.

He wants to stay inside,

Sit beside the non-existent fire.

Touch the cold, hard rads and look at the dark chocolate ass

Of the handsome maintenance man.

He’s addicted to fantasies and the Internet

And always wanting things that he doesn’t have.

A new friend asked him why he didn’t move to Southern California,

Which is much easier said than done.

Standing on a hot, wet beach

Gazing out at the glorious ocean.

He wishes for a glass house in the Big Sur,

Making pottery and painting by the tides.

Spending half his life outdoors.

Wishing he had inherited wealth

Like so many of his friends.

Weary of the years and decades of rejection.

Oh, yes!

Give him some success and money,

All the colours of the rainbow.

Talking dolls with real jewels around their necks

And a well-polished Academy Award to sit on his mantle.

Someone to wake up with in the morning.

No giant bedbugs to bite his ass when he sleeps all day.

He needs to look up at the sun,

To feel the healing qualities of violet light

And art created by Old Masters.

Try some witchcraft and affirmations.

Say hello to a cute stranger on the street.

No more bar stools or telephone blabbers

Or bored psychiatrists who give you no decent advice.

They just yawn in your face whilst collecting outrageous paycheques.

Going to art galleries will give him a boost,

Pretending he can afford to buy an original Monet

On auction at Sotheby’s

Instead of Dollarama angel figurines.

He used to walk for hours in the snow,

When he was younger,

Just to keep fit and ponder where his life was headed.

He wondered when things would get better.

When the pot might be full, again,

With a warm, comforting stew

Bubbling on a stovetop that actually works.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bedbug Blues

Monday, January 12, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

What a way to start the New Year!

Bedbugs are the scourge of the planet.

Just when I got my place all nice and cozy,

Tchochkas all over,

My collection of miniature high heels, crystals and angels sitting happily

All over the apartment.

Now the evil sprayers have to come and kill the little shits.

Those hideous bugs crawl all over you when you’re in bed.

Suck my blood.

They shit in my clean sheets.

All I’ve been doing is laundry, laundry for weeks,

It seems,

Trying to kill those ugly, wicked bed bugs.

Now I have to dismantle my ordered life

To let the Pest Control people

Enter my den of iniquity to spread poison all around.

I itch and scratch and scream inside my head,

So freaked out by these tiny beasts.

My mind spinning,

My life in turmoil.

The jacks thrown into the air and nothing has landed

Except bedbugs crawling and creeping over me

In the dark.

I’m afraid to go to sleep.

Don’t know what to do.

The blood is being sucked out of me.

I have no pills to overdose on.

No money for a new bed.

Nowhere to go to hide.

A giant bedbug held me down and raped me.

Bit off my cock and ate it for lunch.

I feel like the mother corpse in “Psycho”

Sitting lifeless and rotting in a fruit cellar.

I need order and serenity.

I love peace.

A place for everything and everything in its place.

This is not where I want to be expending my energy.

Take me away to my house by the sea.

With no money worries.

Shooting movies in Chile and living off the land.

I read a book where a bourgeois woman from the States

Went to live with Native People in the South American rain forest.

Everyone had lice, including her.

How hideous, I thought.

Little critters crawling all over your body.

Biting your skin.

Sucking the life out of your veins.

One day, this will be over, I hope.

No more upheaval or chaos.

Despair rushing down to the earth,

Like a lanced wound draining pus out of the bowels of my brains.

This is not the way to begin a New Year.

I’ve fallen into a David Cronenberg film,

With Alfred Hitchcock as my advisor

And Stephen King as my mentor.

I love listening to Bessie Smith sing,

“Mean Old Bedbug Blues”.

Little did I realize that one day I would live

Smack dab in the middle of that lowdown Dirty Thirties blues song.
Give me a pig foot and a bottle of beer

‘Cause nobody knows you when you’re down and out.

Bessie, honey, I got them lowdown, no good,

Mean old bedbug blues,

Just like you.

Bitter bugs aging me.

Putting dried up wrinkles onto my actor’s headshot.


My bedbugs are Olympic champions.

They jump off the towel rack into the bathtub

And sprint across the wide expanse.

They run relay races across the carpet

When I sleep on the floor to avoid the horrors.

I even saw one do a back flip, after a particularly sumptuous meal.

But my favourite was the one in pink satin drag

Wearing “come fuck me” pumps.

His wig was blonde and crooked

And made of my pubic hairs.

Yes, they can get very industrious while you sleep.

I also saw a Bedbug Awards ceremony

One tawny, sleepless night.

The top prize was “Best Bite” won by a waddling, blood engorged old pro.

He farted out blood at the podium

And his peers exploded with applause.

Seeing a bedbug in a beaded Armani gown on the red carpet

Is quite the dazzling sight, I must say.

But what I want to know is this:

What purpose do they serve,

In the scheme of things?

Except maybe to make people miserable

And to disrupt our domestic lives.

I’d rather be bunted by a playful dolphin

In the warm Pacific Ocean at sunset

On a mystical day in Paradise.