Greg MacPherson

1000 Stars

A thousand stars, blue, leaving faster than anyone can think. I’m looking out over the water where it’s dark enough to see all of the best things. Oxygen, balanced on a pin. 9, 7, 5, 3, 1000. I sat beside the river where there used to be a beach, watching over while a satellite rose slowly in the east. With waves of conversation or staring back at me, taking pictures of the clearest night of the year. Pictures on the clearest night of the year.

Buy A Ticket

Buy a ticket and get on. Sail out into the great beyond. Write me if it’s any good there at all. Fly out over the sky and the ocean. Look down upon the memories and the ghosts and try to see another side of your self. Save up all the money in your checks. Try and find yourself another place to live and transportation back home when you fail. Send me a picture of you in your place but don’t worry about a smile for your face, I know the grass is greener when it rains. If you really want to be somewhere else I guess you gotta go but don’t pretend the people that you meet are any better than the people that you know when you go away. Look up the names of all the great men and if you can’t find mine, look it up again… I know it’s in there under the tried and the failed. Don’t do it for me, do it for yourself. Pick up the receiver, put it to your mouth and tell me you won’t be coming back here for a while.


Nobody wants you here but everybody looks you in the eye and says they don’t mind that you’re here. It’s nothing personal, it’s just they guess they can’t get hurt by someone they don’t really know. They don’t really know. I’m only as good as I think you think I am and you’re only as good as you think I think you are. They’re not invisible it’s just that they all look away before we have a chance to say hello. I can’t talk to you, I’m shallow, I’m invisible, I’m looking for a whole to fall into. You can’t see through what I don’t want to show you. I’m only as good as I think you think I am and you’re only as good as you think I think you are. She’s only as good as she thinks we think she is. They don’t really know.

West St. James

I was already on the plane. I met a man from west St. James. We talked about the explosion at Orest’s barber shop and St. James high school. I looked down at Saskatchewan like a yellow green tile floor we were standing on… “did you know the west coast is gonna fall into the ocean someday?” (simpler down there) He said, “My friend I hope you don’t mind but I have to ask you, are you leaving behind something that’s not worth coming back to? We’re the same collection of thoughts and accidents no matter where we are.” (simpler down there) She was a picture of frustration standing all alone in an empty bus station. Another summer gone. After a 7 hour delay in Saskatoon yesterday. I’m looking out at the clouds and we’re flying over a storm and a dozen little farms. There’s a fire station at the top of her street and three rinks where… (simpler down there) One leaves for something else to say. One looks around and walks away. One hour from now I’ll be looking down at the rocky mountains. (simpler down there)


Who’s that out on the lawn old and forgettable and all liquored up? Sometimes it seem like the farther you climb the further you fall. Go away. Are you looking at me? I’m older than you. I don’t mean to say that I’m always this way, it’s just something I like to do. I’m looking out windows watching my days away, waiting for a change to come around. Soon I’ll be on the lawn. I’ll be upside down, bent over laughing my life out, in deeper than the rut I’m in right now. You lock yourself up inside your head with your hands down at your sides and all the things you never did piled up beside you. It’s your own life and there’s no reason why we should sit here and watch ourselves fade away. You’re only as old as you want to be.


It wasn’t so cold yesterday. I walked along the river path down where the water starts spinning like car tires. I wore the sweater my father wore… the one he got from his girlfriend before he quit his job and met my mother. There’s a train that runs from here to Churchill MB. I never knew that Churchill was so far away. There’s a woman on the bridge from my street… I just nod my head, I don’t think I remember her name. There’s a whistle that blows everyday at 4. I met my brother yesterday outside the place we went to school and he said he thought I should be running out of patience. We walked for hours until it snowed, out past the cemetery gates where you can stand and watch the plains taking off. There’s a face that looks exactly like yours does. “It’s all I’ve got,” he said, “it’s really not that bad.” There’s a reason why I’m here I can’t remember. The past few years have been the shortest years I’ve ever had. There’s a whistle that blows everyday at 4. The sound of train cars loud as the crying from the house I live next door to.


People stretched out over kilometres of vinyl with lives to match. In fear, in love. Caffeine and the road. It’s colder than usual up the 401. Map? The car pool parking lots are empty and the pace of the street slows down. Slow, the colour of the day. Last in a long line opened up and left to blow away. Sound bounces of the windows in the skyline down the stairs to the train, to the concrete. The decision that was given works out, the car opens up and the dream spills out. The dream… processed and frozen, sifted and boiled, (all eyes on the minute hand) shipped out in the flat bed truck that pulled out and passed me in the far right lane. The dream…

Summer’s Over

Summer’s over. Calming down. All of my long sleeve shirts are too big for me somehow. Out on the staircase their eyes are closed counting the seconds down until they fall asleep under the stars. Like radios on quiet in cars drifting down the last hill of the night. There’s a place I’d like to see, outside the summer and the law. The perfect number’s out there balancing between the spring and the fall. Summer’s over. The last few seconds weren’t so bad, 22 degrees and the stereo upstairs is nice and loud. Cymbals crash. I’m going out now but I’ll be right back. There’s a place I’d like to see, outside the summer and the law. The perfect number’s out there balancing between the spring and the fall. There’s a place I’d like to see.
Genuinely Frozen

The sidewalk’s cracked and the people don’t look so good on my street. Our fences are so tall there’s not much hope anymore left for the neighbourhood. I’ve been away, I’ve seen other cities where the bus runs all night long. I’m tired of walking, I want to get out from under the broken dreams outside. Somewhere out over the skyline and out past the city lights, over the bridge you can’t look at the river from there’s a broke down farm where my mother was born. She said they were only ever young. With an open conscience and their whole lives ahead of them spelled out in the truth and a golden car fueled by the mystery of the dark and the falling of the night. Genuinely frozen by the fear of growing older and picking out the colours of these broken dreams outside.


Ceilings tell stories, thin walls tell you more. The old man upstairs just took off all his clothes. There’s a face in the window, a car on the road, the man with the face just knocked on a door. Excuse me, I’m sorry for the inconvenience, I’ll only be awhile. Wait for me, my clothes aren’t quite dry. What did she do then, of course, please come in. And me alone. Sleep soon, close both my eyes. Warm in the red glow of digital time clock … somebody knocked, somebody’s out in the hall. Phone conversation words sift through my wall.


A voice said … hidden on the wind. Said get out again, get out while you can, and you’re gone away for awhile. Something different is your beacon. The border is your goal. And where you go from there man I don’t know. Go where it isn’t cold and it doesn’t snow like it is in the winter in the background here. For eight months out of the year the wind blows in your face like it’s blowing at your back now. Go where it isn’t cold and it doesn’t snow like it is in the winter in the background here. For the best part of the year the wind blows in your face like it’s blowing at your back now. There’s something in your life – and a hole is what it is. And knowing what it is is what’s driving you away. All you warm-blooded people in this northern city, wish the winter go but don’t listen to the wind sing. Fallow me away.

← Back