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Nov 2014 · 5.7k
Jonny Bolduc Nov 2014

A graveyard of empty whiskey bottles,
curled, browned labels coated with dust.

A farmer drank in this dirt basement, alone,
wind chapped face illuminated by a kerosene lantern,
swollen fingers forever  clutching the
glass neck of his half drained bottles.

I drink ***** in the renovated kitchen,
lit by dimmed lights, gentle shadows
dancing across the glossy hardwood floor.
I look out at the dark bodies of trees
swaying, uneasy in the night breeze.

Sometime after midnight,
the farmer’s ghost
stumbles up the creaking staircase behind me,
to our bed.
Nov 2014 · 2.9k
the superstore line
Jonny Bolduc Nov 2014
I wonder what language you were speaking.
Was it pure ******-babble?
Were the words pure? Were you
reciting the words to a song?
Were you singing?
Could I see your beauty?

Were you even cognitive, were you thinking
underneath the muttering, heavy clamor of words
that jail-broke from your mouth and streamed into existence,
flooding the men and woman
carrying bags and carts under the
artificial lights and long lines

Did you think that *****-mumble-speaking all over a single Korean mother
and her young child
was imposing or threatening in anyway?
If you’d have taken a step closer to her I would have had to step in,
but she quietly left her place and dragged her shy looking
boy with her as he stared at the ground-
and we did our best
to turn you into a ghost, clattering pipes in the empty walls-

I wonder how many rugs you’ve been swept under.
How many times people have tried and failed to plug up the holes in
your leaky brain.
How many times you’ve tried help yourself.
How many times someone has failed you-
how many times you’ve failed someone else.
How many occasions
exactly like this
people ignored you as you rambled on about nothing in a Superstore like a broken record skipping unpredictable sick scratched torn
Nov 2014 · 2.8k
Jonny Bolduc Nov 2014
Every thanksgiving,
My family gets smaller.
Gone to college. Gone traveling. Gone to another woman. Gone to Florida. Gone to prison.
Gone to see the lord.

Funerals are how
I visit the lord. God is drawn to eulogies.
He’s there, a fixture,
almost a cliche,
like a great aunt with a black veil
weeping into a floral

Today, at this funeral,
a thin layer of snow and ice
has frozen the ground.
Black dress shoes
press ridged footprints into the

Every funeral I’ve ever
been to has been cold. Dress
clothes and peacoats
aren’t thick enough to keep
me warm during a funeral.
I keep my hands in my pockets and hunch forward,
watching my breath hit the winter wind.
The winter wind is
an evaporated sadness, like god.

During thanksgiving, the gravy boat
on the counter
let off hot, thin steam.  While pouring it thick
on my potatoes,
A shadow in the corner of the room caught my eye.

The days after a funeral are
filled with a confused, hopeful mysticism. Every moving shadow,
every unexplained noise
is a visitation.  

So I ****** my head towards the corner of the room. Nothing.
Glancing back at the table,
I look at his empty seat, reminded

how much I’m him. I’m quiet, like he was.
laugh like he laughed.
My teeth are as bad as his were.
I drink like he did when he was
my age,
days, nights at a time, stumbling home from dark pubs,
watching, with blurred vision,
my whisky breath hit the winter wind,
and evaporate, almost as fast as God.

After the turkey and the pie and the coffee,
I go down to the basement
and I pour myself a stiff
*** and coke.  

I drink, in silence, to the gone.
Nov 2014 · 2.3k
Jonny Bolduc Nov 2014
Last Christmas grandmother told anyone who would listen that she quit the wine. She said it once as my father cracked open a bottle of ***. She said it again serving the ham; mentioned it in passing while gramps polished off a bottle of Malbec;

she said that last summer in the hot-tub at Laurie’s she had a bit too much Sangria and got out and fell on the pavement, cutting up her knees real bad ---

she said that she couldn’t even believe it was happening, she couldn’t believe that she drank so much. I could believe it.

Gram had always been a bit of a drinker; her sober stinging words caught you good enough even when she was on her best behavior. Imagine when she was unhinged! Talking while her teeth were all red was like getting sucker punched by a kangaroo; Gramps got all loose and loud, Gram got all hot and bothered and mean.

Don’t get me wrong. If I could, I’d drown in a pool of whiskey, choke on the amber stream from the tap.
But I don’t lie about it! I don’t talk about it; I don’t lie about it.
I’ve been sneaking sips since I was 14,
and I’ve been drinking pools of the stuff since I was 17 and if you asked anyone they might not believe you.

I wonder if punching people in the face and choke holding them into doing what you want them to do is a past-time. Most people drink to get nice.

People like her drink to get mean.
Sep 2014 · 2.2k
Jonny Bolduc Sep 2014
My alone, and the alone
you have in your heart
are the same. Sometimes, alone

doesn't make  any noise, it just sits
watching, deep, silent.

But sometimes, alone

is on fire, and alone is screaming,
and alone is bent, beaten --

and I wish my alone could
fly out of my mouth and become
fog-- but the fog has an alone,

everything has an alone, and everyone has
an alone. I can’t throw
my alone away. It belongs to me.

Sometimes, my alone sings into
the gently dropping sun,  and sometimes,
my alone floats up with
water, in the verdant trees,
the high birds,

and I know that my resting alone
is  also resting in the heart of the world.
My alone,
the only alone thrashing in  my heart,
is always thrashing in the  heart of the everything…

we all want silence,
we want to say ,

‘my alone can be only this loud,’
‘my alone can only ache this much’
‘my fire, it must be stomped out,’

our alone knows every secret.
We can’t throw it away.

Once the fire of alone sets

we break mirrors, and sleep all day, and smash
body against body;

but we can’t hate our alone. We can hate the fire, we can
hate the pain, but we can’t hate

our alone.
Sep 2014 · 5.8k
Jonny Bolduc Sep 2014
Let’s look together, in the tight, dark corners.
Look in the tough, raw twilight--
Once, I thought I found a bed, under a dome of stars.

I tried to sleep.

The world is always fresh. Everyone is always looking
for somewhere to sleep.

Sleep is a sort of end, and the stars are
a high, steady beginning. If you  find
our  new bed, or even a pile of straw hay, tell me.
    We’ll find a bed, make it, and lie in it.

A nest is a new beginning, and dust is the worn down end.
Let’s look high, in the open, bright wings.
No-- We don’t have to find dust. It’s right here.
    Don’t cough. We’ll nest  in the sky.

Sunrise is a beginning, and sunset is an end.
Eventually,  both lose meaning.
We’ll forget to look, once we find our bed--
    Once we find it, we can rest.
Apr 2014 · 2.0k
To Be Awake
Jonny Bolduc Apr 2014
To be awake,
to be blind,
I’ve never understood the difference.

On a parkbench,
on a streetcorner,
silent, idle, waiting

for sadness, or the lack of it,
for the excess of it;

to be awake, to not know
is there a difference?
In the water,
floating, sinking, drowning

in sadness, or the lack of it,
by the excess of it;

When I awake, I am blind,
When I awake, I do not know,
When I wait for the bus,
on the street corner,
I am blind.
When I am sinking, baptized, or drowning,
I am dumb.

I am always
drowning in sadness, or the absence of it.
I am always
drowning in sadness, or the excess of it.
I am always floating
in the not knowing,
always smothered
by the dumbness of it all.

Do you feel the same? Choked to death
by melancholy?
Does some thick smoke cloud up
your lungs?
Is it the melancholy? Is it the
Feb 2014 · 1.8k
Jonny Bolduc Feb 2014
FISHTHOUGHTBLOOD                                                                                                            JON BOLDUC

When I was a boy,
Father taught me to ice-fish.
Here’s a memory;

Father drills a hole,
the auger bounces, vibrates, roars,
shaving ice– soon
the  blade connects with winter water,
           –the engine fades off.
I fish  floating ice chunks from the hole with a skimmer
Father sets the trap, ties the sinker, and hooks the minnow
thru its side.
He lowers the line
gently into the fishhole; the bait plunges to the lakebed.
Father reels up the slack, pitches the three legged trap
above the exposed black water
and we wait for a trout, or a snarled toothed pickerel.

I have learned

to fish for thoughts
with an ice–trap. When the flag
springs up, I reel
slippery ideas up from deep darkness.
As they flop, I pull the hook out from their lips,
knock them in the head,
throw them in a pail; gut them, I spill fishthoughtblood on the white snow.

After the low sun sets,
My friends and I fry caught fishthoughts
in my dim cabin.

Hughes,  Plath, Ginsberg, and Eliot
talk around the fireplace
as the pan sizzles, as the oil jumps. Soon
we feast on flakey poemfillets;
we talk about the  dark english rain,
the crowded zoos, electroshock therapy, bald mediocrity.

After we have eaten
and finished the wine,
and all my friends have gone home
I look down at empty plates

and somehow,
“the page is printed.”
Feb 2014 · 1.2k
Lovers As Places
Jonny Bolduc Feb 2014
Lovers as Places

There’s a place inside of me saved for lovers,
a space to be filled–

sometimes a parking space,
lovers, like traffic, zip out, zoom–rush hour.
Sometimes a vacant lot
lovers, like weeds, peek up from broken glass.

sometimes a perch on a hill
sometimes a rocky island
the places change as lovers come and go–

I’ve always asked, in silence,
“What place is your heart?”
“Will you stay?”

But you, lover
are the most
beautiful place I’ve been
Jan 2014 · 1.7k
Jonny Bolduc Jan 2014
I have friends who went,

to Bethlehem, to Paris, to Spain.
Left for London, Beachy Head.
Those friends came back,
back to Halifax, Portland, Bangor–

My friends go.
They go
to the bar for a pint.
They go
to the South for the summer.
They go
to plant trees in Alberta–

The friends who go
are the friends who went.

But I have friends
who are

who are
cannot go
to the bar,
to the South,
or to Alberta.

Some friends have left–
through some door,
in the night, in the day,
in a car, on a bed,
on a stretcher, in the street–

and yes, they are

Where will I go when I am
Will I be with my friends?
Perpetually traveling
to the South, to Alberta,
to the bar for a pint?

No. I will not go.

I cannot go, once I am gone. When I go, I will be

I could go anytime,
night or day,
In a car, on a bed,
a stretcher, or street–

Yes, I could go. And when I go, when I leave–
I will be

Friends who have
where I cannot go,
they must know–

that we all will go, we all leave–
soon, yes, soon. Now,
in the pause
in the  quiet space
of a last



all are

May 2013 · 1.3k
Jonny Bolduc May 2013
I stumbled down the street one night,
streetlights beckon'd me;
an endless drop; a void that pulled
me towards eternity

I saw nothing, only shaky thoughts
in my somber, drunk'n mind
of all the happiness I forgot
all the somber lies

A crumbling tunnel of dirt and rust
a light that calls you forward;
a misery in your gut that cuts
with thoughts consumed, abhorrent

I stumbled down the street tonight,
streetlights beckon'd me;
an endless drop; a void that pulled
me towards eternity
Mar 2013 · 1.8k
rabbit soul scared
Jonny Bolduc Mar 2013
Why are you acting as rabbit
when you could howl like a wolf?
You’re always hiding. Always regressing.
Never really going anywhere.

You channel these thoughts, yes. You manifest them. On a page.
On a stage. Like a smiling circus clown,
like a trapeze artist, flying, stumbling
through the realm of obscurity. A forgotten juggle. A lost tape.
It does not matter.
Why do you do these things?

Why are you so scared?
They are not grand thoughts. They are not ideas
meant to change.
They are private insights. Jittery. A look into the eyes of  some scared soul.

Your poems are minutiae, insignificant details. They are
the trembling lip. They are the shaking hand. The confused daze.
They do not know who they are,
but they know that they are small.

You want to be a monolith, but you refuse to build,
you refuse to haul the black stones. You do not have the power.
You are a caricature. You are as scared as Paris,
as two-faced as Iscariot- you could kiss with passion.
You could rule with love. But you bow out. You take
responsibilities with you, and slink into the dirt you
arose from. You are clay. You are dust.

Why are you dust? You don’t have to be.
Why aren’t you angry- you should be roaring!
Why are you quiet- you should be singing, singing
with the cicadas- chirping with the birds,
howling with the wolves; you should join the tumult,
the uproar;
but you sit. You play with your toys like a petulant child
and scream when they break. That’s the only noise you ever make.

You could be a wolf. You don’t have to be the prey.
Mar 2013 · 1.5k
Death song
Jonny Bolduc Mar 2013

War garbles a tune, spits up


Bodies, empty pits

of eyes and entrails

break like a birch branch.

White waste flits down like snow.

An archetype, copied, laboured forever

melts into a meticulous concoction.

The apocalypse sets in with a daze, drawing

drunken curtains over the survivor soul.

The crow is a warrior,

with his black machine gun eyes.


God coughs, the countryside,

elegiac to start

hacks with a demon.

The smoke pulls, harsh, and takes the tab.

It's all a waste of white ash.
Mar 2013 · 1.7k
On Loss
Jonny Bolduc Mar 2013
On Loss

We’re always losing something.
Seconds, days take some french exit.
Time quietly shuffles out the back door.
Doesn’t even say goodbye.

Once we realize
our moments are gone,
we want them back. Maybe we can replay
them and take a second look, but the record skips and the tape jumps
and the film is splotched and some teenager spilt
wine all over the keyboard
long ago;

So we jump
from memory to memory like patchwork
realizing we don’t even remember the important things.

We don’t even know why we thought what we thought.
We can’t even explain ourselves to ourselves.
Our consciousness can’t muddle through it’s own muck;
our mind doesn’t even know how the mind works.

It’s not just an existential crisis.
We lose the small things, too. We lose cellphones.
Wallets. Innocence. Virtue. We pass some
tests, we fail some tests, we replace and are replaced
we stop loving  and are no longer loved,
but eventually, bigger things. Friends. Family. Lovers.
Ourselves. Our potential.
Eventually, we slip away from the most important thing.

I’ve heard a bit about death. It’s a lot like sleep. You don’t even know it’s happening.
It’s a lot like
slipping into the unconscious;
it’s a lot like putting your head down; you don’t thrash about. You see the holy gates,
maybe. Maybe you’re pulled from your body
like a handkerchief. Maybe you don’t lose anything;
maybe you get found.

If this is melancholy, I’m sorry. I’m allowed to be melancholy. Likewise, you’re are allowed  to be melancholy.
You are allowed to question-
you are allowed to dance, sing, shout, cry
know, love, forget;
You are allowed to lose. You are allowed to remember. What’s stopping you?
Who’s holding you back? No floodgates; you aren’t a flood.
There’s no sweeping metaphor; no sweeping generalization. You aren’t
a path, you aren’t constrained, chained bound or gagged;
confess if you must;
drink wine if you have too;
do some metaphysical exercise; transport your mind to some realm
explode, manifest, conquer,

Prepare to lose it all. Or let it happen. It’s a choice.

If I could, I’d help you through your heartbreak. Guide you through
it all,
make you smile. Make you happy.
But I keep losing things.
I keep playing all the songs I used to enjoy.
I keep reading all the things that used to make me happy.

Moments come and go, hours gently float away
Night will wash the palate clean, clear-coat the day;
I will love, and I will hate;
I will sing, and I will dance
I will grieve, and celebrate
I will shout, and by some chance,
I cease to be.
I will not be me.
I will go somewhere;

a dark room.
Somewhere where I am safe.
Nowhere at all.

Somewhere, sometime, somehow, a vauge
mirror you cannot avoid
Jan 2013 · 5.3k
Friends of Friends
Jonny Bolduc Jan 2013
Friends of Friends

A cup of ocean, steaming like an elixir-
boiling empty water like a primordial sauna.
We drink to the thought of a flawed philosophy.
Cuttting all the corners as we skate around our grey garden.

We are friends. We are the friends of friends. We drink thoughts, slurp insight-
trip on _ to Plotinus, dig to Polycarp, copulate
in the stretched shadow of a specter, a long
skeleton Marxist,
beard coated in Ketchup-
Butcher entrails. **** the saintly each other.
Never stop. Ingesting. Breathing in. Spitting out.
Friendly manifestos, heartfelt wine grinning slipping spitting
blood forever-

You’re a fat cherub. Coated, winking, grinning, sleeping, *******-
you are not special.

On the average day,
Laziness takes a grip and forces you back into the bed.
The blankets have a magnetic pull-
Head pounds. Throbbing like a siren, in and out.
You are-
You’re slushy, like a spring day. Lethargic. Sleepy. Reading.

The day soon transforms-
the restless night comes catcalling-
The slurred voice, indiscernible- indescribable
an existing ode, folklore describing the lonely confines of an empty savior.

Not a hymn, but a dirge. A lonely gysm.
A struggling complex-
a grimy,  violated existence of crust. A damp home, a purlieu,
a place to occupy, a dug tunnel dug bed-rest, burrowing in filth like a worm-

Eyelids drooping. Socks wet. Keep them on-
you’ll get sick, but that’s alright.
Bled out from the scrapes and cuts.
Doing nothing ever ever sure does drain the life outta you.

There’s a little stick in your finger where a pin pushed through.
Bood peeked out like little specks,
like crimson blotchy roses- you smeared, painted
the front of an empty milk carton,
turning the white cardboard
It’ll get infected. You should- no, you won’t, because-
you are a tiny splinter. An infection. A tapeworm.
Eating, feeding, relentless, biting-
the cold draining storm. The white fleck
landing on a bushy eyebrow and sticking-
drinking. For the warmth. For the cold. For the love of nothing,
Whiskey. *****. Sprite, Sprite and Whiskey, Sprite and *****, Salt Lime And Tequila, Gin Tonic *** Coke, endless libations to only gods you know-
an existence, expansive in scope,
covers the ****** of every friend of friend, every sick sad joke-
acquaintance, take it- cadence, leave it-

call a cab with a friend
or a friend of a friend on a lonesome morning,
stumble and fall and ***** perhaps.
Stick the head in the endless *** and
call the bray of the donkey an ******* shrill.
It's not a fib. It's not a lie.
It's an exaggeration.
Blast the mix-tape-
Dig to Hobbes- shuffle out the door while
some Neoplatonist ******* you feign to
understand loops around twists stabs maliciously inside
the skull of the your own Neanderthal
Jan 2013 · 1.7k
exit bag
Jonny Bolduc Jan 2013
exit bag

It's easy enough to peer through the underside of a hearse-
easy enough to **** those gears.
Easy enough to try it once or twice or give up or spit it out like a bad fruit.

Easy enough to shiver in bed
Easy enough to last it out and sleep all day

puff on the bag and go somewhere else

A quick, easy blur. Negation
hand in hand loyal love with sleep. A handshake, low,
tossed about with a final farewell, a quick gulp
in the arms of a surrendering light- a face-mask.

It's easy enough to stick it and last.

So level out with a spliff, take another chance-
a homespun remedy will extract the saccharine
days and take out the "too sweet" sweat of a poison

it's easy enough to do it quietly.
It's easy enough to have a pay-order-death.
Spit-up, a final Sampson barber drain. You'll never
sleep through another day if you put on
that exit mask and breathe
slowly until you can't

until the surprises stop coming
until the wounds stop laughing
until the only obdurate straight man will stop his act and take you home and lay you on a couch and drape a clean blanket over you like a white sheet
and cover your eyes with cloth and pennies and
gently weep when no one's making a joke anymore

— The End —