Monday, November 29, 2010


Monday, November 29, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

Outside Buckingham Palace,
A Little Person terrorist dresses up as an 8 year old girl.
He hands a bouquet of explosive-ridden violets to the Queen.
In response, Elizabeth smiles serenely.
Both people are blown to bits,
Along with hundreds of screaming spectators.

Blood and green guts fly through the air,
As well as silver helmets and horses’ hooves.
The Queen’s diamond tiara lands on a Bobby’s head.
Eyeballs rocket upwards and in every direction.
Welcome to the 21st Century.

Manned spaceships land on Pluto.
Scandinavians, in particular, like to vacation on Jupiter’s rings.
Vaginaplasty operations become puzzlingly fashionable in hot climates,
Replacing scarlet Mohawks as a youthful fashion statement.
Who would’ve thought?!
Welcome to the 21st Century.

Severed limbs rejuvenate themselves
As the result of new wonder drugs.
Millions of people have their pubic hair removed by electrolysis.
Teleportation is the only way to fly.
Welcome to the 21st Century.

Wars and disease are a thing of the past.
We all speak in a politically correct manner.
Racial prejudice ceases to exist.
Jesus and Buddha and Adolf Hitler all rise up from the dead.
Welcome to the 21st Century.

Homophobia is a distant memory for one and all.
Slasher films are banned.
All copies of “Night of the Living Dead” disintegrate.
Liquid love is poured into the drinking water.
Teenage lust runs out of control resulting in millions of unwanted bastards.
Welcome to the 21st Century.

Actors are no longer forced to take hideous telemarketing jobs between gigs.
Everyone on the planet has more than enough to eat.
Pure spring water is in abundance for all.
A band of pure love and truth surrounds the planet.
Crime is a thing of the past.
Welcome to the 21st Century.

Depression vanishes.
Mental illness is no more.
Child slavery is gone in a puff of smoke.
Menstrual cycles are no longer necessary.
Anyone can live in a warm climate, beside the ocean, if they really want to.
Poetry is the new language of the masses.
Welcome, welcome, welcome to the new century.

Clear skin is the order of the day.
Sexual fulfillment reigns supreme.
Everything and everyone is perfect in every single way.
Hitler soon melts, like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Judy Garland songs are played in hundreds of thousands of elevators and malls.
Through extraordinary technology, new Marilyn Monroe movies appear almost every day.
Welcome to the new digital century.

No more famine, sex slavery, oppression or exploitation.
No hunger or pain. No overdue credit card bills.
No unpaid mortgages or weeping widows.
Blinding sunlight illuminates Earth,
Putting a Vitamin D smile on our faces.
A tofu chicken in every aluminum-free pot.
Welcome to the 21st Century.
Welcome to the New Millennium.
Welcome to a Republican’s worst nightmare.
Welcome to my hopes and dreams.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Thursday, August 26, 2010/Friday, August 27, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

It’s a busy early evening in Marilyn Bell Park.
Hunky young joggers are getting in shape.
Bicycles whizz by.
Couples parade along the boardwalk.
Mothers are holding babies in the sun.
I’m walking very quickly,
Trying to keep in shape, soaking it all in.

The swans look gorgeous as they drift along the waves.
What do animals think about,
Besides food and mating and staying safe?
I guess I’ll never know.

Now, I’ve moved on to a secluded bench, beside the water.
Marilyn Bell Park is not even visible from here.
In this lagoon, near the Legion Hall,
There are very few people around.
Sailboats and yachts rest on the lake.
Some are on land, as well,
Asleep behind a chain-link fence.

A cute dark-haired guy and his wet dog keep running by,
Back and forth,
Irritating the hell out of me.
I wish they would just leave me in peace.

The lake is very calm, today.
It’s a deep blue shade.
Very placid and still.
The sun beats down on my exposed arms and face.
It feels so soothing.
I want to drink in as much as I can before it sets.

Farther down the beach,
An Asian woman stands on a large fallen tree,
Close to the shore.
A small sailboat lifts anchor and wafts slowly away.
Thank God the man and his dog finally leave.

The sun’s reflection looks like huge diamonds floating on the surface of the water.
The sand shifts beneath my feet, when I move.
I just want to be alone with the warm sun and my chilly thoughts.

Two young women in black T-shirts burst through the bushes.
They hover near me,
Then make their way out to a boulder in the water.
Their chattering grates on my nerves.
Is this the only place they can find in the whole beach
To enjoy the fading day?

I move away to the fallen log, further down the beach,
To find a little peace.
The tides are silent, at this moment.
Seagulls scream as they fly in circles.
Waves of strong emotion pour over me.

Two boys on bikes greet the young women
And join them on the rocks.
I’ve had enough of this spot,
For one day.

I can see the stones resting in the silt at the bottom of the lake.
If I were alone,
I would be much happier.
Yes, it’s definitely time to get up and continue my daily trek.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Sunday, August 22, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

I’m remembering Tennyson Down on the Isle of Wight,
Back when I was 17.
I went there, in the summer of 1971,
With my best friend from public school, Ian Dennis.

He moved back to England in 1967,
When I was in Grade 9,
And I found no one to replace him.
I learned, at a young age,
To fend for myself.

On Tennyson Down,
The water sparkled like rare diamonds.
Undines danced on top of the waves.
It was a magical, mystical place.
A sacred site, if ever there was one.

Walking on the hills,
Stepping over the omnipresent goose shit,
I felt pure peace and serenity,
As if I were truly at one with the Universe.

I stood on the cliffs,
Looking out at the ocean,
And felt wondrously in touch with the Divine.
The Goddess was whispering in my ear.
Pan was prancing across the hills,
Playing his joyous music.

Today, almost 40 years later,
It’s wet, overcast and gloomy in Toronto.
The dark clouds pray on my heart and soul.

I wish I were walking on Tennyson Down,
Right this very second,
With not a care in the world.
My heart full of the mysteries of life,
Communing with the undines and the water sprites.
I swear I actually saw them
Glittering and dancing on the tides in the warm sun.


Friday, August 20, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

Today is a very grey day.
The melancholy sun is hidden behind clouds.
The lake doesn’t sparkle as much as usual.
It’s chilly outside.

It’s still August.
The first day of the CNE.
But I smell fall in the air,
That leads to hideous winter,
A season I’ve never come to terms with.

The blues are washing over me.
I thought a long walk would pick up my spirits.
Alas, it’s not to be.

I sit beside Lake Ontario,
Worrying about the future.
Dreading another miserable winter to live through.
Even in the south of France,
It can be chilly after dark.

I wish the sun would peek out from behind the thick clouds.
Two ducks have swum to shore.
They’re cleaning their feathers,
A few yards from my feet.
One of them has a lovely patch of deep purple
Mixed in with the grey and white down.

I feel honoured just to sit and watch them primping and cleaning themselves,
As if I was privy to a private moment of theirs.
There are no people swimming or walking on the beach.

I’m wishing I had a new life.
Less struggle.
More money.
Some security.
It’s funny how a cloudy day can spin out your moods
Into a delicate, fretful place.

Today, the tides still sound beautiful,
But I’m wishing I was somewhere far away.
Fifteen years ago, I used to come here
And read Occult books about Witchcraft, Wicca and Voodoo.
I’d lost the confidence to write.

The seagull sits on a rock,
Perhaps hoping I’ll feed it.
She has no knowledge of this blackness
That’s descended on me this early evening.
If I don’t snap out of it,
I may burst into tears.

I recall the way I felt as a child,
When summer was near its end.
I hated going back to school.
Boring homework,
Taunting schoolmates,
Sadistic teachers.

The sun is finally peeking out
From behind the dark clouds.
In the distance, the water is sparkling, at last, near the shore.
Today is a bleak, mournful day.
I don’t want the summer to end.


Thursday, August 19, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

The ducks sit contently by the shore of the lake,
All puffed up,
Happily sunning themselves.
I know how they feel.

Two of them stand near me in the sand,
While the tides tickle their webbed feet.
They’re not fearful when they look at me.
I say hello and they turn their heads in my direction.
Wish I had some food to give them.
One of them swims out a little further to join his friends.

The sun beating down feels marvellous on my skin.
A perfect moment in the city.
I’m sitting on my favourite bench,
Four feet from the water.

Further down the beach,
A gaggle of boys swim in the lake,
Their skin burnished by the sun.
The traffic on Lakeshore Boulevard, behind me,
Is like white noise.
It doesn’t bother me.

The slap-slap of the tides
Tingles my innards,
Like an hour of Hatha Yoga.
I feel as if I were lying on a mat in class,
My back against the floor,
Breathing slowly,
With New Age music wafting softly across the room.

The white boats bobble in the water.
I miss the hot sun so much in the winter.
Life would be so different if every month were summer,
Like this.

I could sit on this bench, by the lake,
For endless hours,
Drinking in the warm rays
And listening to the calming sound of the tides.
The gentle clanging of the masts,
Jangling in the breeze,
Sound like Asian wind chimes.

I’m not lonely or sad.
Just sucking in the beauty of mid-August,
In a troubled world,
With a few rain clouds over-head
To keep me grounded on this earth.

The water looks almost white,
From where I sit,
With some swirls of grey.
Life is good,
At this moment,
But tomorrow is another day.


Monday, August 16, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

The lake is such an extraordinary colour, this evening.
A shiny blue-black shade of slate
With splashes of light dancing on its surface.
Oh, what Emily Carr could paint, if she were here!
The sun is starting to set
Behind the roof of the Boulevard Club.

I am flying high!
If I close my eyes,
I can pretend I’m in the beach house
In the Joan Crawford film noir, “Mildred Pierce”.
I adore old movies as much as I cherish this lake.

Two placid ducks splash by.
I’m sure they never discuss, through telepathy,
How polluted the lake has become.
If it were 1737,
The water would be cerulean blue, topaz or azure coloured.

A plastic food container and an empty pop bottle bob around near the shore,
Telling me for sure that I am not a Native North American,
300 years ago.

Listening to the tide is my current drug of choice.
The sound makes my heart chakra speed up and spin.
Water is the most glorious thing in the world
To an Aquarius, like me.
I get some great ideas just standing beneath the shower
In my tiny jewel of an apartment.

If I shut my eyes, right at this moment,
I can drift off to another place:
Hawaii, Tahiti, the Amazon, Malibu,
Or I can simply be content to just breathe in the essence of this very place.

Every cell in my body is vibrating at a higher frequency,
Speeded up by the adrenaline of my daily walk.
My love for this lagoon is very strong,
Plopped down, as it is, on the edge of this wild and crazy city.

This has been a wonderful summer,
Primarily because of this lake
And the peace and joy that it gives back to me.

I can’t afford a plane ticket to exotic locales,
At this present time.
It doesn’t cost a nickel to
Haul my ass down to the water’s edge
In the heat of the day.

I wish I could describe how these tides make me feel.
“Happy” is one word that seems to fit.
I used to think I needed so much more than this.


Sunday, August 15, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

The geese are quacking and squawking like crazy,
As I walk along the grass, not too far from the lake.
Do they feel that I’m intruding on their turf?

A sudden downpour forces me to take refuge in a cramped, smelly Port-A-Potty.
Better that than being drenched.
These daily walks in the bright sunshine fortify my soul,
Down to the marrow.

When I walk through the CNE,
I always stop to pray at the stone sculpture of Pan,
My very favourite God.
Pan enjoys his existence,
Scampering in the forest and playing his merry pipes.

Now, I sit on a park bench.
My shoes are two feet from the tide.
Someone moved it to this present and glorious location.
It was never this close to the water, before.

I look out at the boats and yachts in this beautiful lagoon.
The sun has gone behind a huge, grey cloud.
I’m drifting back to the sea at Cannes,
During the film festival.
Some of those yachts looked like the Queen Mary.
The constant parade of people on the Croisette,
With the hucksters and the buskers,
Reminds me of the CNE in late August.

Here, in Toronto, beside the lake,
The water soothes me.
Calms my silly storms.

I wish I had a house by the sea,
With no financial worries,
And constant love and contentment swirling inside its walls.
I feel like sitting here for decades.

These moments are so pure and pristine.
Smooth and supple as a baby’s skin.
No negativity to stain and electrocute the air.
It would be lovely to paint this scene, one day.
Green trees, sparkling water, the white of the boats.
The deep browns of the sand.

I’m transported to other places,
If only for brief moments, here and there.
Life is constant struggle,
When I leave this sacred space.
Pan, please answer my reasonable prayers.
You are my hope and salvation.

The sun comes out, again,
Leaving spots on my eyes,
When I look into its core.
The waves slap against the shore.
I love the gorgeous, lilting sound.

I don’t want to leave this safe place, though I must.
My life awaits me,
Back in the real world.
Soon, I must get up and move.
Thank you, Goddess,
For this momentary refuge.


Thursday, July 22, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

In romance, all the best ones are taken.
What’s left are the abusive, coke-addicted sociopaths.
Why get involved with sticks of dynamite?
Maybe it’s the blind, hot sex.
Or, sometimes, they’re the only game in town.

It’s very gorgeous sitting beside the lake
With pen in hand
And the hot sun beating down upon me.
The water is a deep, inky, blue-black colour.

Helicopters fly over-head.
Geese quack as they float by.
Words fly out of my brain.
I can pretend that I’m rich,
In the south of France,
Buying expensive trinkets to take back to my villa by the sea.
Or I can just sit here,
Soaking in the exquisite melting beauty of the July day.

Learning lines for a play,
Is not as much fun as doing lines with a straw.
The former is better for your brain, though.
Life is a very quirky deal.

The geese are squawking away,
Like a symphonic cacophony.
They sound like singers warming up before a show.
What has thrilled them so,
As they drift by in the dirty, murky fluid?

This enormous lake must have been incredibly pure and perfect
Two hundred years in the past.
Those were hardy, trying days
For the people who lived beside it.
No machines to make life easier.
No electronic entertainment.

I’m hearing the strains of sweet music in my head,
At a down-home barn dance long ago.
Woven straw hats.
The smell of hay and a Mr. Greenjeans look-alike
Playing the fiddle and tapping his foot to the beat.

That was the equivalent of Internet dating,
Meeting a new beau to the sounds of bluegrass music
And the swelling aroma of sage.

Georgia O’Keefe liked to use pastel shades in her work.
Pinks and blues and yellows.
Emily Carr was more like Van Gogh.
Pulsing colours and swirling, vibrant hues.
O’Keefe’s paintings are calming and sexual.
Carr’s are passionate and in-your-face.
Wish I could afford to buy their masterpieces.

The cars whiz by on one side.
Lake Ontario sits laughing on the other.
It knows it’ll still be here long after I’m gone.
My ashes will be poured into its soothing liquid,
Just like my mother’s were.
Ashes to cigarette ashes, as Jackie B. says.
It’s time to continue my walk.


Thursday, April 22, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

The oak tree speaks to me with incandescent whispers.
Jewels of delight pour from the depths of her marrow.
Sapphires of wisdom shoot from her roots straight into my thumping heart.
I’m disappointed, as usual,
For we don’t always speak the same language.

The blue-grey water saunters by,
Minding her own business.
A nasty, aggressive goose keeps attacking its fellow citizens,
Angry for some unfathomable reason.
Its squawking disturbs the tranquility of the lake.

Seagulls scream when they discover food.
A pure white swan dives for fish or just watches the world go by.
Pretty under-dressed women rollerblade along the pavement,
Chattering and gossiping in a loud, annoying manner.
Dark, spooky rainclouds hover ominously in the distance.

Despite the drizzle,
The sun peaks out,
Every once in a while,
Just for the hell of it.
Far away are tall, swaying buildings.

The Goddess manifests herself in blinding sun rays and light blue mist,
Way out by the horizon line.
I sit pondering the Afterlife and good friends I have known.
My dwindling bank balance hovers over my tense shoulders,
Preying on my jangling monkey mind.

A siren screams in terror as a fit young man rows by,
Followed by a bossy guy in a motor boat.
A red-winged bird shouts and prances as it digs for food,
Calling out to its cohorts.

All is calm and peaceful,
Despite the highway and the city cacophony in the background.
My mind suddenly becomes as still as a meditating yogi,
Down by the shimmering lake that I love.

We’ve gone through so much together,
Over the years.
You are my dear companion.
Water is my favourite element.

Speak to me, again,
Beautiful oak tree.
This time, I promise to decipher your profound, secret code.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Saturday, April 10, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

I did a performance-piece, in the summer, about depression.
I got a great review on the Net.
Now, word has gotten around that I’m mentally ill,
That I suffer from clinical depression.
People are afraid to hire me as an actor,
Because of this.

I’m mentally ill!!
I’m a nut job!!!
Now I can get away with murder.
I can tell people to fuck off,
When I really want to.
I can be mean and evil.
I can wear weird clothes
And act foolish and be bitchy.
I’ll just blame it on my illness.

“But, your Honour, I’m mentally ill.
That’s why I slapped that asshole.
I can’t help myself.
I’m nuts.”

This is fun.
I can steal things from variety stores.
I can spit at people on the street.
I can even expose myself on the subway,
If I so desire.

I’m loony.
I’m bonkers.
I can get ODSP from the government.
I’ll never have to work in shitty call centres,
Ever again.
I’ll get government grants for sick artists,
I can show my paintings in lots of exhibitions with other nut cases,
I can appear in documentary films about crazy writers.
I’ll be famous.

This is great.
I always wanted to be a star.
From now on, I’ve got it made.
I’ll never have to go to a food bank, ever again.

“Don’t hire that guy.
He’s crazy.
You can’t take a chance on him.
I hear he’s clinically depressed.”

I’m in the Twilight Zone.
You get Welfare.
You pay MasterCard, rent and phone
And you have $7 left to last you
Until your $94 paycheque comes in two weeks
From your shitty little part-time job,
And Welfare deducts half of that from your next fucking cheque.
Who wouldn’t be depressed!?

Loony tunes, nut bar, dingbat, whack-job.
On top of that: gay, semi-vegetarian, overweight, middle-aged, male artiste.
A tragedy has turned into a Sandra Bullock comedy.
A one night performance can change your whole life.
One review on the Internet can brand you for eternity.
An opportunity to perform can mark you forever.

“I’ve never seen him depressed.
He must be on medication.
He’s totally disabled.”

Hey, I’m not bonkers.
I’m just a slightly eccentric guy
Who likes to wear jewellery and purple shirts.
Who likes to write and paint and act.
Now I’m “mentally ill”.
Well, then, call up the loony bin.
Get out the butterfly nets.
Clean out the padded cell.
I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.
Take me away to bliss and eternal nirvana.
Throw away the key.
This situation is truly, truly crazy.


Sunday, April 18, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

Emeralds are shooting out of my crown chakra.
Tiny rubies fall gently from my tearing eye sockets.
I’m spitting deep blue star sapphires from my mouth.
There is no pain,
Just jubilation and sparkling colours.

The bitter old man was tarred and feathered with vicious lies.
Vile allegations of dark troubles and misplaced fears.
The twang of deep-rooted illness hovered over his head.
It was all profoundly untrue.

The paintbrush shook in the artist’s slender hand.
Indecision and self-loathing prevented him
From diving into the sea of discovery,
The bejewelled well of creativity.
The critical dialogue in his head played, repeatedly.

Listen to the wonderful words of dance legend Martha Graham.
Don’t question or criticize.
Just do it.
Let it flow.
Use your Goddess-given talents without fear or crippling uncertainty.

Create the new dance.
Sing higher than you can.
Dive off the mountain without a net.
You will surely land in a safe place.

Let the spirit of Rembrandt or Rimbaud inhabit you.
Throw out the soiled detritus.
Sometimes the world won’t understand or even care.
March forward to the sound of the soothing music in your head.

You might fall into that bleak rabbit hole, one careless day,
The bottomless pit of despair,
Hitting the hard sides of the abyss, as you tumble down, down.
Listen to the faint, cheerful words calling out to help you.

He put on a wig of sunflower yellow.
A sleeveless black dress with silver overlay.
High-heeled shoes covered in rhinestones and sequins.
Glossy lips of ruby red.

The fit young man danced like a dervish on the float in the parade.
He flirted with musclemen and twinks.
He gossiped and giggled, had the time of his life.
He’s dancing in the Gay Pride parade.

Baby-faced gym rats, transgendered delights.
Bull dykes and fem boys and bears.
Drag queens and leather men and PFLAG moms.
They’re all marching in the Gay Pride Parade.

A diamond popped out of my ear canal.
I attached it to my lobe with a piece of golden wire.
Freshwater pearls swirled fashionably around the width of my over-fed neck.
Pink pearls hung round my slender wrist.

The middle-aged man got in a pale blue car and drove to the Pacific Ocean.
He lay on the beach and lapped up the soothing breeze.
The tiny white bikini he wore attracted no crowd.
Solitude engulfed him like a warm cocoon.
He captured the glorious seascape on his artist’s canvas,
With layers and swirls of acrylic paint.
Blue, pink, yellow, mauve and lime green.

The ephemeral fish tank was full of delights.
Shells of every colour and design.
Semi-precious stones were shimmering placidly in the hot sand.
A sense of peace and calm soothed his tense nerves.
A tiny quartz crystal sat right in the middle of his Third Eye chakra.

Just breathe in the vibrations of the stars.
It takes no effort whatsoever.
Think of the timeless questions of the infinite Universe.
Living your life is the hard part.


Friday, March 26, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

Never use the word “I” in a poem.
“I”, as in, “I am so deliciously happy.”
It’s too personal.
Not intellectual enough.

Your audience only wants to hear obscure, abstract concepts,
Like love and romance
And things that even you, the writer, can’t comprehend.
People don’t want to hear your fears and secrets.
They like to hear about inanimate things,
Like daffodils or starfish or sunsets.

If your audience doesn’t understand your poem,
They will be ecstatic.
People with University degrees can sit around at Starbucks
Discussing what you really meant when you wrote,
“Epiphanies of pink sunsets
Dithered by sheltering orange umbrellas
In dire juxtapositions.”

Of course, they will be totally wrong in their interpretations.
They’ll never know that you were being devious.
You deliberately wrote some silly nonsense,
To confuse and stimulate them.

Get out your Thesaurus, writers.
Open the dictionary.
Find words that no one has heard of,
Like “genitive”.
Stick that in your poem.
That’ll thrill your audience.

Don’t write:
“I felt so desperately lonely when I was young.”
Mix it up to confound them.
Write: “Young felt desperately I,
When confound them lonely was.”
You will be helping teachers all over the world.

In English class when they study your poem,
And of course they will,
It will give teachers a chance to include an essay question
Asking students what the poet really meant
When he, or she, wrote those lines.

“Gibbering giblets glopping glockenspiels
In tethered tinkling tantrums over tittering tetracycline.”
What is the poet getting at?
I don’t have a clue.
But that’s what it’s all about, people.

Of course, there’s no need to mention the “f” word
In your poetry, either.
People have been known to mess their pants
When they hear that word at poetry readings.
Perhaps you, the poet, could sell “Depends” diapers,
As well as your chapbooks,
At the merchandise table.
You will become even richer.

Yes, keep them guessing.
Don’t write:
“I attempted suicide when I was 16”.
That’s too simple and concise.
Reality will shock them.
Try this, instead:
“Suicide was a silly anachronism,
When 16 was a bricklayer’s paradigm.”

What does it mean?
Who knows?!
Let the audience figure it out.
That’s their job.
Or give it to your professor.
Get her to explain it to you.

Well, that’s it for today.
Thank you.
Boy, I really fucking enjoyed that.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

I placed a hunk of amethyst inside my mouth.
I thought it could cure me of Tourette’s syndrome.
It felt cool and delicious,
Like orchids in a crimson crystal vase.

I’m in love with amethyst.
The deeper the purple, the better.
I buy it by the truck-load.
Brooches, rings, pendants, uncut chunks.

I long for a really good tumble in the hay.
Sweaty, passionate, messy, sweet.
Devouring my partner like a rich bar of dark chocolate.
Slurping, gobbling and rolling around.

Diamonds cascaded from the ceiling of my bachelor apartment, one magical night.
They dazzled and blinded me, as they fell to the floor.
I almost choked, there were so many.
I know they won’t accept them at the grocery store.

Tumbled semi-precious stones, every colour of the rainbow,
Sit inside 2 glass pyramids on my kitchen table.
My psychotic ex-lover might get coked up and smash them to bits.
Thank God I only see him once a year.

Art covers the walls of the actor’s tiny co-op.
Watercolours, coloured pencil drawings, acrylic paintings, photographs.
If he were rich, it would be works by Monet, Renoir, Dali.
No matter: it’s great to support Canadian artists.

Richard Burton loved to buy exquisite jewels for Elizabeth Taylor.
A king’s ransom for every stone imaginable.
Emeralds, rubies, citrine, jade.
Diamonds drip from her like a waterfall.

Most artists struggle and starve.
Working boring shit jobs, on Welfare, teaching.
Still, they churn out their magnificent art.
Nothing stands in their way: only the inner critic tearing things to shreds.

I’m an ass man.
I adore a hard bubble-butt.
Silky and smooth as a baby.
It’s like eating watermelon on a hot, stifling summer day.

If I commit suicide,
I might come back as a diseased baby in Africa,
Dying of malnutrition.
Better to stick around here and face the daily battle.

My beautiful piece of finely cut amethyst
Sits in a delicate, carved gold setting.
Wish I knew when or where the brooch was made.
My heart quickens every time I look at it.

As you get older, you get to know your doll frame body so well.
What it likes, doesn’t like.
What it needs, can live without.
If you could read my mind, you’d slap my face.

Bury me in a coffin full of chunks of raw amethyst.
Throw in some sapphires and quartz crystals.
Burn me on a funeral pyre in Varanasi.
Then scatter my ashes to the sea in Hawaii.


Saturday, April 3, 2010


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2010 by Philip Cairns

My life was hand painted on Dresden china.
Pale blue, magenta and violet hues
Swirling boldly,
In dips and swoops.

I was watching “Lois Nettleton TV” on YouTube.
One of my favourite actresses.
Bleach blonde hair,
Perky laugh.

Paint splattered onto the bumpy rag paper.
My hand was frenzied, unfrozen,
Moving in simple, swirling directions.
Always the nagging doubts and dreams surrounding the creative urge.

Lois died from lung cancer.
We never met.
I still have the autographed picture she sent me
When I was a discontented teenager.

The eroticism of the 60s film, “Woman in the Dunes”
Washed over my psyche.
The lead actress bathes a handsome man
She has trapped in her house in a sandpit.

I once had the blind date from hell.
Nothing went right.
He walked out of that art house movie because he said he didn’t like people being mean to each other.
It was an allegory which he didn’t understand.

Lois hit her career stride in the late sixties and early 70s.
She never seemed to age.
That bubbly, gurgling laugh and slightly crossed eyes.
I wish I knew more about her private life.

What did she do when she wasn’t working?
She dated Frank Sinatra, briefly
And cared for her ailing mother.
Did she have an active sex life?

The events of the day sometimes spill over into your dreams.
Reoccurring frightful nightmares that continue for decades.
Driving down the darkened road, at night,
With no license and no exit ramps.

Lois went to 2 “Twilight Zone” conventions before she died.
I wish we could have met.
Who inherited her 2 Emmy Awards
Or did they have to be returned to the Academy?

Wish I could unload all my possessions, one day,
Giving me a heightened sense of freedom.
Clippings from the past, stones, jewellery, books.
And debts that sit smugly on my firm shoulders.

Jackie, Lois, Cloris, Anne, Carrie, Lee.
Actresses that meant so much to me,
Over the years.
They have no idea.

It’s like listening to a favourite album.
Being touched, deeply, feeling a strong connection,
But the creator of the work is not there.
They have no idea that you ever felt that way.

Someone reads your work and weeps.
They read it again and again.
It changes their life, a tiny bit,
But you never know because you haven’t met.

I sold a painting, once.
Don’t know who bought it.
Is it valued by the owner?
Does he joyfully gaze upon it, every day?

Lois Nettleton has given me such joy.
She’ll never know.
Endless hours of admiration and respect.
Like most actors, she fades into obscurity.