Broken Key

A miztake from Zkid-Row

That drinkz too much

Zmokez too much

and thinkz too much

A miztake that’z been “On the road” too long

fightz hiz demonz with a zmile on

and zpit in the eye of God

A miztake that knowz hiz way to Hell

and will never leave this dirty hotel room

A miztake that’z Lozt in hiz typewriter

Juzt a Miztake that can’t be earazed.


Copyright © 2011 by Henry Doyle

Published in V6A:  Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

edited by John Mikhail Asfour and Elee Kraljii Gardiner (Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver 2010).


Underground Room

Trying not to disturb sleeping madness

In my little underground welfare room

Drinking yesterday away and hiding from today in my typewriter

I look into a black hole of  depression

Typing out a lost life spent in society’s wasteland

Hating myself with evidence

and yes you also

I head out into the dark rains of January

In steel boots to the slave labour pool

I walk into a stale-aired office to put my mark on the worksheet

The place is packed like rotting sardines

and old man sleeping in his his workboots has pissed himself

Moving seats

As I watch in disbelief

While skinny rat-faced drug atticts get all the jobs

I end up on a construction site making $8 an hour

Working beside some kid half my age

He tells me he’s making $22.50 an hour

With hated eyes on me

Society has tried to stop me from becoming a loser

Not understanding

It’s part of my destiny

It hangs it’s heavy signs on me as I march through rush hour

Heading for the downtown Eastside

Just to pick up a cheque for $64 minus the $12 goverment fee

I head now for the bar

Sit in a dirty fish bowl smoking room

In the corner behind blue eyes

With pen, paper and write down sleeping madness of poetry.


Copyright © 2009 and 2017 by Henry Doyle

Published in Geist Magazine and in Thursdays,2.  These Words: Writings from the Carnegie.Edited by Elee Krajiii Gardiner and John Mikhail Asfour, Otter Press,Vancouver, BC.