2015 – 2017


dry apple mouths
mealy taste buds
wax senses opaque
eyes round lenses
glare passive ingest
without mental construct
clearly vapid shells
human behaviour

imagine a movie theatre
the curtain’s drawn
canvas blank :unanimated

seats are full of
blind viewers
brains glowing out
the sockets flashing
dead cameras

hands move to feed
face tongue lick fingers
are they waiting
for something
to happen?

laugh track tells them
when to open maw
belch out recognition
television program
dumbed down to explain
actual behaviour
on some level
they know
it wouldn’t make sense
in its proper language

which is obvious
when their intelligence
is threatened

they tantrum

as though their
thought reactions
are emulations, and not
their own

fucking ignus.

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.


women are not
majestic creatures
bathed in the power
of goddesses
they do not
take flight as doves
or light belltowers
with magic fire
please understand
I’m trying to be romantic
I wish to write the truth
young men are boys
possessed of a profound
fondness for themselves
in the way they wish
to make women move
at their touch
to hear women scream songs
to their devoted captors
and boys surrender willingly
to be mutilated
by predators
this exchange of wills
is a dance
with uncountable steps
though it ends
the same way
with fragility, and
the minstrel
tormented by
his muse

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

When Pigs Fly

one day
people will stop pretending
they’re intelligent
the brains will all
cast withered glares
that will suffice
to prison the
thought deaf
to the border gloam
and obvious curvature
to paint their
pretty eyes

one day,
pretentious will be
a crime, all
books will be written
by the honest collective
and freedom
will no longer be
a prayer

one day
the corporate houses
will be brought down
brick by brick
and removed of
their foundations
and the vipers
milking cash cow
dollar futures
will be marched
into the city squares
to be crucified

we will warm
our souls
in the gold glow
of the cinder
will be outlaws
beyond salvation
and we’ll all be
kings and queens
without kingdoms
or, silver spoon
to stir divide.

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.

River Road

vanilla cone
ice cream
chin palms
shade cool
shrill laughter
brave girls in
lawn sprinkler
hula hoop
hopscotch rhyme
popsicle stain
running shoes
leaping in
ditch water
chasing frogs beneath
sorbet sunset
sidewalk chalk
water balloon
tree sap
hair bubblegum
bedtime always
too early

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.


go to the theatre
see them put on a show
a comedy
about the accidental
between god and man

implement and implementation

action and result

Spy, versus a network of spies
antithesis rewritten

where are all the people?
the ordinary shoes
from Godzilla
the ones, and zeroes, the
caught in harm’s way
within the expected fallout range
infected breeders and feeders
the screaming pedestrians
the nonessential extras
the shaken
the un
able heart beat
rebirthing heroic cataclysm

how about a story
like that?
not directed by Michael Bay
that doesn’t feature those
obvious, boring parodies

the one man army
the revolution against reform
the insurgent
that takes down a corporation

the rebellious, outnumbered by
the overwhelming mass of
oblivious drones

every archetype is a cliché
a reimagined love triangle

why do we even bother?
we know
the boy
gets the girl no matter the obstacle

the hero
deactivates the bomb
before the timer goes off
the miracle is manifest
tragedy averted
beauty is remembered, and
everywhere the actors
as best they can


© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

Schmoozing With Mobsters

this Lipton Tea
has a curious design flaw
the boxtop
lays limp
does not seem to allow
sealed-in freshness
naked bags no sachets
a default to ensure
it is up to me
the consumer
to enlist a third-party product
Glad, Ziploc, Tupperware
the resealable plastic people
to ensure my Lipton
the cellophane package wrap
a strong earthy-green aroma
following me from
to cup
with visions of Victorian
timber ships sailing from East India
to Halifax for my

perhaps the War Treasury is dependant
on Lipton product fail guarantees?
luminous over mountainsnow
teacup & smile

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

5, 7, 5 A Five-Haiku

morning comes for me
today a dying man, I
shattered vessel go

to discover Earth-
love again for the first time
she weeps for my dust

I, for her wounded
heaven a scar in my brain
together we bathe

soak in the oceans
exhale arid desert lung
imbibe mountain air

good, better, cleansing,
mortality however…

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

Never Truly Alone

i thought i saw a girl
in a faded red sweater
standing on the third floor
though i looked again
and saw a Canadian flag
whose movements in the wind
i mistook for
flicking cigarette ash
to the ground below
i smiled at this
painless confusion
as my eyes are weak
and the laundry exhaust
obscured my sight
then a magpie flew
overhead, and as he
dipped his wing to turn away
he cawed in that familiar tone
that sounds
like laughter

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

First-World Problems

chicken breast
skinless, garlic salt
Malabar pepper
hardly gourmet topped
w/a can of Campbell’s
egg noodles
russet potatoes, rice
long grain white
available alternatives
tin of tuna
flake light
limp celery
jalapeño Havarti
margarine various

watered down

my rummagings turned up
a forgotten, half empty
bottle of

I would kill
for ham and mustard

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.


don’t you hate it
when they make
dedications, and declarations
of love
“I will shout your name
from the highest mountain!”
what nonsense
typically occurs immediately
before he beds her
or long after
when he realizes
he can’t replace her
they’ve all
seen those movies
and he decides
it’s time
to take those guitar lessons
and make
an embarrassing public display
because girls always
have balconies
and depression sounds best
in the rain

so he sings terribly
and she appears
“what are you doing?”

“I love you!”
he says
the spell is cast
she finally realizes
it was him
all along

and we feel sick
after reading
eight stanzas
of nothing

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.


Jack Link’s premium cuts
beef Nuggets
tender cuts of beef steak
low fat/ high protein
the only thing this product needs
an advert featuring a man in a track suit
jogging near the beach
w/ that chiseled Gillette chin
dimpled smile
just try not to think
you’re palm feeding from a treat bag
lil’ doggie

the Product itself is a visual representation
of how the Corporate Mind views the consumer
my purchase confirms their opinion
success assures futurity
an evaluation of Market economies
will determine growth/ advancement
the release of future product variants,
or the merging of product lines
potato Chips now in Cheeseburger Flavour

the detergent in my Toothpaste does not
increase teeth-whitening effectiveness
market research has shown
people like bubbles

you are the experiment
Subject 0
blip on a Sales Graph
irregularity in commercial investment
look around you
your immediate space is a visual representation
of Corp. product allegiance

is it possible
that your ideas are not your own,
that the way you choose to present yourself
is merely an assemblage of market options?

if i may offer a suggestion to the Jerked Beef people
at Management
: up the portion size
take a hit on the price
gamble with your sales research
customers that habitually purchase similar products
will endorse your Brand name
the potential of new customers from the fence

the bite-sized chunks were easy to manage
flavour was good
& i didn’t have to reseal a chewed sample in the bag

eagerly anticipating Teriyaki, Pepper, and Honey BBQ

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

Call Them What They Are

they congregate
in coffee houses,
smoking filtered cigarettes, complaining
about the world
without Kafka,
without Elliot,
grown portly, in their opinions
of what exactly constitutes
wallflowers in modern eclectic
designer fascism
bought from the internet markets, and
super consumer niches
away from the mainstream
elitists, in safety
they claim the avant-garde
is dead

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.


exotic destination
obsessively pursued
to facilitate escape
from the developed world,
a getaway inarticulately
described as romantic
by commercial advertisers
that desire a return
for their investment
from naive consumers
still desperate to believe
that foreign cultural magic,
and undiscovered mysteries
will offer salvation
from the megalopolis
they helped create

why else do we enjoy
horror movies that depict
well-intentioned vacationers,
mercilessly hunted
by the sleeping monsters
time forgot, if but
to mock our hubris
through metaphor?

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

Snow Art

night walking small town

some eager households
X-mas lights up already
one yard had a snow-man-thing
looked more like a crooked whistle
poked with holes
everywhich way where stick arms
and carrot noses must have
now a lonely grotesque interpretation
snow art?
four similar sized spheres balanced
one atop the other
-could almost imagine their childish
delight “bigger, bigger”
reminds me of this ice cream kiosk
at the Mall
when i was a kid
they’d let you have three scoops of
any flavour
i’d always get the same
chocolate, bubblegum, and tiger-tiger
a strange ice cream that
i think it was black licorice & orange
when they melted together
you got mauve
which was actually
pretty gross

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

Japanese Oranges

Skin spits
as my fingernails
into the supple peel
in my powerful grip
I’ve seen this before
only differently
a snake
lay with half its face
melted off
on a train track
in my boyhood
must have been sunning itself
I picked it up
feeling genuine pity
it was frightened
had paid this creature
a visit, and would
be back before long

Looking about
for a safe resting place, I
might’ve cried
had the damnable thing
not bit
the hand of sympathy

I left it to its fate
but never forgot
that contorted

discarded flesh

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

Folie à deux

you claim to hold
in me
a reverence
even as you
waylay my foot path
with trifling expectation

what more is there
to feed you, that
the worm you set upon
my wisdom
has not chewn to a
cavernous hollow?

contented, in
my partisan portion
hands clasped together
yours, and mine
side by side
your anima suddenly excited
drawing hurried attention
if to produce
a reaction, from me
to reinforce, within you
an understanding of comfort
that I am mutually invested
even this you will intrinsically distrust.

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.

Like Cats

at each other
sunning our stomachs
in late afternoon
drowsy-eyed spoons
and talking
to midnight
crazy as lovers
with insects
for our cynical

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

Rubble Town

they have Honeycombs
cereal on sale
at the little store
and the old woman asked
about you
“you had a friend
with you, last time”
i smiled
looks like spring
the foreign kids
are riding their
western bicycles
and playing a game
of stick ball
that i don’t pretend
to understand
i feel invisible
as i walk through
the entropy
sun is bright
the wind is cool
small birds are busy
in the brush
a squirrel on a power line
watches me
i hear a mother hiss
a warning at her child
“don’t pet strange cats”
gathering her littl’un
woodpecker snare drums
in a fir-tree
dog barks
and somewhere
an old Chevy struggles
to turn over

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.


in an attempt to tie up loose threads
after my lover had set herself to drift
on the cradling currents
of a slow inviting dream
I found myself at desk
tracing parchment kisses to her forehead
singing lullaby and morning back to me

I love
that you allow me
to treat you like a princess,
though not so delicately
as to encourage
a patronizing compromise

that I can be firm
feet planted, and you
together, locked in mutual struggle
inclined to burn brightly
for you and I, for each other

that all forgotten passages
are there; relit
or burned to their foundation’s
until nothing stands
that we had not built together

hands clasped, at arm’s length
heels close together, we spin
dependant on gravity to generate rotation,
glowing brilliantly, and
steadily more luminescent
a spark
set against the vacuum
of impossible night.

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.


and ice cream and root beer
not all at once
I was just remembering that thing
about last night
opening umbrellas indoors and
chasing black cats from
salt shakers
as you danced
a little skin in the flourscent
backsplash, kitchen
red wine and chess

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.


night lamps
swim in lateral
one and one
hem the liquid
substance of

as they go
in their stop
and go function
weaving in and
out around
the great trunks
of opaque alien

blinking to each
other as fireflies
dance in morse code
one need only marvel
at the intimacy
of their momentary

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

The Merlin

He, in turn, seems as oblivious
as the rest of them
though I know better, for I have
his lesser,
once before. A pity, they
don’t realize
in whose presence they stand

For, it was nights ago
I watched him
hat, and cloak, and beard
and all, arranging,
with ritual practice, strange
oddments, and artifacts
about his weathered table,
then all at once
he disappeared, his body remained
I could see quite plainly
that in his head
he was wandering (someplace
unknown to me), then
with writing utensil in hand
before candle flame,
and dark
he wrote from within
that place, that
inner madness, I never knew what,
for I did not dare disturb him

eventually, and
with great exhaustion,
he returned, and
his eyes found pleasure
in what he’d done
,and laughed.

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.

5, 7, 5, A 4-Haiku Morning

smelled the morning milk
reminiscent of barn cows
shrugged, poured my coffee

anyway, sighed I, ah
today shall be whatever
momentary bliss

rinsed a dirty spoon
stirred in a scoop of sugar
dreamed, differently

sat with book and pen,
arranged a meditation,
rang a clearer bell

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

Late Nights Without

it’s the middle of the night
bed empty
sheets warm

can’t sleep

been awake forever
seems like
head keeps buzzing with thoughts
there is no
my terrible device

last thought of you
stars in your hair
where the snowflakes fell, white
on Irish auburn

i am a fool
and have managed somehow
to capture you

dry i feel inside
jug without water
bottled air

i want something, i sense it
but i can’t focus enough
for the shape
to coalesce

it’s there
beneath the skin
fire in the clay

magic in the madness

push me, push me
steam engine roaring
on a last chance run
the mountain

i will climb to meet exhaustion
head on
a wink of light
in an all too familiar

sobriety needs no introduction

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.


and so, he
with his heroic aplomb
believing he could win
that if her heart, or want
were equal to his own
for her
beginning then, at this
unending desire, unbound
by disaster, two
inseparable forces
each exciting pull
and thought
of solidified return
each there being
an activator for the other
a new design
is formed
allowing her expectation
to be rescued, and
that it is him
it is

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.


wonder in the flame
candle slowly devoured
time bleeds wax minutes,
slide down the
sweat red drop

and take shape
eyes roll teeth lip
breath brittle as petals
in a cloudlet of stones
by the water’s


© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.


i fear that i may never
rap my knuckles
on the dome of the universe
in that vibration
the immutable hum of

the breath of life
elastic, invigorating
as the pull
of charismatic speech
or the company of

that i resigned too soon
to the fates of
and did not pursue
among the pantheon of
learned men

poor was my vestment,
my scabbard
and pen
with it i created,
and will die

i may never know a life
than the that i’ve lived
or have loved
the small bit of earth
that i’ve owned

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

Love is


is surrender to the unknown
is hope against certainty
is an illness worth dying for
is a reason for attachments
is an illusion made real
is temporary insanity
is struggling for one last-
breath trapped in the cabin of
a sinking ship
is speeding down a midnight highway
in hurricane weather
is going one more round
when the fight is long since decided
is an addiction, like any drug
is pushing back the final inevitable
begging for one more sunrise
is a ditch water sanctuary from
an unrelenting fire
is the wisdom of a stray dog
is sparing an enemy while
holding a winning hand
is turning away to indicate
where the knife should be placed
is listening instead of
the obnoxious alternative
is building a bridge with
trial and error engineering
is anxious, and wanting, and willing
to make impossible bets against dangerous odds
is gifting the Moon from
a N.Y balcony to the most heavenly
creature you hadn’t dared dream real
is the ashes of heroes
is standing instead of sitting
is running hand-locked through
fantasies where the Sun never sets
and everything tingles
of ancient metaphors finally understood
is staying true to the dream when
the Sun does go down and the outside is
entropy and monsters
is creating new truths to cover up old lies
is bailing water out of a doomed vessel
is a coke with two straws
is an old man at the end of the bar
drinking with shadows
is holding the dog that bites you
is found between bodies
is a force that unites while dividing

Love is this,
it is, and endlessly further

is who I was ready to be
when She was ready to come looking

is searching within for an answer without

is reading all of this and not feeling

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

Reality, and other Falsehoods

I have stood
arms outstretched
palms open,
offering my secrets
to everyone
and none

to urchins
and charlatan faith healers
to street magician doctors
and on

I have seen psychiatrists
pull demons
out of preachers

I have seen snakes
claim their venom
is gold

I have seen ants
bring dead soldiers
back to monarchs

I have seen horses
carry heroes
back home

I have stood
on the doorstep
of believing
watching empires
that never existed
live on

I have seen madmen
paint sanity
out of reason

I have seen
with hearts
for loved ones

I have seen
the righteous
and the wicked
all between them

but, I have
never seen
an honest man

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.

Those Who Hunt Ghosts

headaches now,
allergies, I don’t remember
being susceptible
though I’m reading all the time
so, I spend less time outdoors
than I used to
lowered resistances, maybe (?), yet
there’s my astigmatism, and I don’t use
reading glasses
I can feel my pulse
at my temples, rubbing
index, middle-finger circles, throbbing
my body feels warm all the time
I’m thirty-three, six-foot four
210 lbs.
my memory seems shorter, or
is it that I reorganize my thoughts
not certain
my recollection: an arrangement
of events, differently from others
perception, but is it so simple
aren’t there mysteries
still being uncovered (?)
discoveries of long dead life
a new beetle unearthed
in some rainforest, or
emerging from deep-sea silt
coelacanth species obliterated
during the cretaceous extinction event
some sixty-six million years ago, caught
on 18 October, 1974
Pluto is no longer a moon, the
Bermuda triangle sees no more disappearances per year
than the rest of the world, famous
big-foot photograph privately admitted to be
a hoax in 1963, was actually WA native, Bob Heironimus in a suit,
Gerald Ford supported Nazi Germany,
Hoover kidnapped the Lindbergh baby,
America was built by the Mafia,
The Universe is full of galaxies,
science has finally destroyed God
flying metal cylinders crowd the sky, full
of human passengers,
Da Vinci invented the Wright brothers, invented
computer microchip navigation systems,
satellites, Galileo to Armstrong, the impossible is now (!)
Moscow, May 24, 1994, Doctors
are blaming a rare electrical imbalance
in the brain for the bizarre death
of a chess player whose head literally exploded
in the middle of a championship game.
hyper-cerebral electrosis, HCE
every generation believes
that everything has been learned,
discovered, that there are no more
One generation’s science kills the last
generation’s God, the new religion
has always been
to rewrite how we got here, to grow
fat on the minerals of ancestors
and seed our offspring in the excreta
there are prescription drugs for everything,
and everything is extra-strength
paranoia is the new self-defense mechanism,
ignorance is bliss
phobias for everyone (!)
televising the search for supernatural
entities will successfully encourage the consumer class
to question the credibility of
the biblical hereafter,
to pedestrians, demons are ghosts,
if ghosts aren’t real, then neither can
angels, or heaven, be
if so, then too, social formula
tested, proven
there’s so much wrong with everything
Hollywood will blame their inability
to scare us on desensitization
my faith will be restored when
is reborn, gods don’t take Malkovich from us, I
will build golden idols of Kubrick
and pray
to whichever neo-dogma, or universal energy
for his reincarnation,
another goose to kill us
with its golden egg.

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.

To an Editor regarding (my) Abject Disinterest for Short Form

I was never one
for bending, just
because the wind blows.

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.

The Department Of Redundancy Department

Hot off the presses:
Delicious tears!
Precious fucking feelings!
Inarticulately expressed
observational conundrums!
Obvious attempts at significance seeking
sympathetic ignorance
rife with clichés, and
wobbly rhythms
of mangled poetry.
12:14 a.m, the Talking Heads
convened a roundtable discussion
where it was decided that
the idiots, using a kind of pseudo-English,
have been misbehaving on
social media platforms. This idiot activity
has been the unmitigated cause of frustration
among the intellectual supergroup.
Though what their idiot feelings are exactly,
remains uncertain as their verse is
defensively designed -seemingly to prevent
a vulnerability to criticism.
Yet, they write with obfuscating imagery, and
elaborate non-descriptions,
counter-intuitive to their belief
that they are creating art.
However nonthreatening, the facepalms continue.

The talking head roundtable
ended early this a.m. when
several notable heads from
the Probable Percentages Division
issued this statement:
“90% of today’s writers
are complete shit. While the remaining 10%
are further divided into
professional, and semi-professional groups
that manage to wind up on
The New York Times Bestseller List,
for some bullshit reason, or another.”

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

Banter isn’t Cute

who is there to impress
at 3 a.m., 7-11
they walked in
arm in arm, as though
they owned the place
and they bantered
with each other, in a
loud and obvious way
that was clear
they thought they
looked cute together,
in acid-washed tight
jeans, and running shoes,
long sleeved T that covered
the nape, a boyish mess
in ankle boots, black tights,
long brown summer hair
streaked with something
youthful, black leather
turtleshell purse
and olive pea coat,
gods knows what else
underdressed for mid December,
image whores,
it was a social dance
He looked me up and
down first
it was his masculine
duty to perform
a threat assessment check,
I ignored,
stood ambivalent, and stared
instead at the Subway sandwich
menu, then She
took her turn
perhaps to assess her
relationship, there are always
bigger fish
I cut a smirk, in my dirty
jeans and well worn hoodie,
toque and mitts,
and listened as He barked
his order at the immigrant
employee, “More of this,
he said,
less of that.” She cooed
at him and I thought to ask
them both
“Were you the ones
that drove up
in that busted-ass minivan,
early 90’s model Chrysler?
You know,
you have a headlight out.”
I decided instead
not to bother
Why show them a mirror
with which to see?
they will, or
they won’t, a couple
of self-entitled
I’m certain they glow
more brilliantly
than their friends.

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.


can I feel you?
may I,
reach my hand out
will you not recoil, but
press your skin to this
open palm
lean into me

will you allow me to
explain my Self to yours
in word dialogue symbols
mind to mind?

may we find where we
complete the other,
allowing that it were possible
to momentarily transcend
the insipid frenzy?

would you find me there
worm seeking

would your self-designed walls
come apart,
would you let me in, were that I
compatible invader?

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

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