DEATH Isn’t Lonely

Death isn’t lonely

In the downtown Eastside

People wait

for him

in long lines

I hide in my typewriter

hoping that Death is lost tonight and

won’t be banging on my hotel room door

By midnight

I finish off another six-pack

and hope he will takes over the world

so I don’t have to drag my ragged self to work at five a.m.

Putting on my old, sad steel-toe boots

I walk with Death now

keep him company through the DTES

He tells me his nightmares and how hard works is lately

Have a good day at work. See you later, Henry

I walk with my own

nightmares as he goes

A yellow sheet covers just another homeless man

His wheel chair sits on Hastings Street


Copyright © 2015 by Henry Doyle

Published in V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

edited by John Mikhail Asfour and Elee Kraljii Gardener



The cops have capured just another simple drug addict mule

Her skinny ragged body shivers fearfully in the high afternoon sun

The handcuffs on her wrist melting off

A black lace purse is on the hood of the cop car

With its contents scattered out

A crack pipe, syringes and a fresh baggy of rock cocaine

Like a wild animal in a hunter’s trap

She shivers fearfully for her ragged life

Not because she is going to jail

She’II be released in the morning with a court date

She shivers fearfully

Looking across the street at the

Untouchable drug dealers

That gave her the fresh baggy of drugs to hold on to

They inturn look back at her like hungry wolves

She’II be lucky if they just beat on her in that dirty third world hotel room of hers

Praying that they won’t strip her naked and throw her backwards out the window

With her running shoes being tossed out twenty seconds later.


For Ashley Machishinic.

Copyright © 2015 by Henry Doyle

Published in the Megaphone, Vancouver’s street paper, Issue 67. November 26. 2010.

Published in the Carnegie Newsletter, January 15, 2011.

Lucky loser

I find a half pack of stale smokes

behind some novels of

Bukowski’s drunken knowledge

look into the night with a smile

walk through the rains of January

too the bar

without stepping on any lines

I do that at times

when there’s a poem in me

that wants to escape

the madness within

I head for that smoke room

sit in the corner

with pen and paper

two mugs of beer

I drink alone

I let that poem escape

onto blank paper.


Copyright © 2015 by Henry Doyle

Published  in  STORYBOX:  an anthology from the Thursdays Writing Collective.

Edited by Elee Kraljii Gardiner,  Otter  Press, Vancouver.B.C

Pain and Wastings

A city tour bus from Vancouver’s air port slowly drives through Main and Hastings

Women look like witches in Polanski’s Macbeth

Men as starved vampires

Shuffle down East Hastings as though with feet of clay

Some hide in the shadows of the Carnegie Library

Lighting up their crack pips or shooting up herion

Their drugs try to bring them to Heaven

But they only wake up in the DTES of Hell

On beds made out of cardboard

They sleep, shit, piss, fuck in the back alleys

Screams of pain and waste

Wake me up at 3am

I hate them but pray for them in one breath

Looking out my small bachelor apartment window

Under looming darkness

They light up their crack pips and shoot up their heroin

As a little piece of their souls burn into the night.


Copyright © 2011 by Henry Doyle

A version of  this poem was publish in MEGAPHONE, Vancouver’s Street Paper

Issue 62/ September 17th 2010


The Down Town Eastside Alarm Clock

If the drug crazed screams don’t wake me up at 3am

City fire trucks screaming around the corner of Main and Hastings

to skid-row hotels and back alleys will

Cop cars circle like hungry wolves

Addicts and drug dealers scatter like white tail deer

I get up from my bed stagger like a wounded soldier to the fridge

to get my hangover beer

Put a blank piece of paper into my typewriter

To try to hide

5am shadowy crows head west

In painted darkness, like Thunderbirds

Spreading their wings under street lamps

The DTES alarm clock go’s off

Comfortable alone, I hear inside my head, Poe’s

Quoth The Raven Nevermore

I look apond the streets below

Unpersons wrapped in blankets

Shuffle down to the Bottle Depo

With shopping carts full of beer bottles

A song of glass sings down sidewalk cracks.


Copyright © 2011 by Henry Doyle 

A version of this was published in Megaphone Vancouver’s street paper, Issue 55 June 11 

and in POETRY IS DEAD magazine. issue 02 volume 02 summer/autumn/2011



Typewriter Grave Yard

I have a grave yard

Full of dead-broken down


They hide together in darkness

Like abandon souls

Wishing only to be

Burning words

Once again

Into a blank piece of paper.


Copyright © 2011 by Henry Doyle

Published in STORYBOX: an anthology from the Thursdays Writing Collective

Edited by Elee Kraljii Gardiner, Otter Press, Vancouver. B.C

Rooming House Blues

I sit here at my TV lost in this little dirty underground welfare room

I turn away as a pizza commercail comes on

Get up like off of fly paper from my garbage bin La Z -Boy

I look into the rooms’ full size frigde

Discovering only sad lonely 3 day old Kraft Dinner

Stail brown bread and penut butter

Just a skid-row survival kit

I head out into Januarys dark rains for the meal line at U.G.M

Just another organization that sells their religion for a free meal

I stand there in hunger and maddness

With a piece of cardboard for an umbrella

Feel like a refugee in my own country

I take a seat beside a native dude

That’s only in his 30’s put looks 50

Smells like and open bottle of Listerine

My next seat is beside this little old man

Curled up on his chair like it could be a bed

Smelling of urine

He shiver’s the cold streets off of his ragged dirty skinny body

Looking around with wide lost saucer eyes

As if bombs are going off near us

I stand up agance the back wall

Wishing I had a blindfold on and that last cigarette

We’er pack in there like hungry cattle

On the way to Vonnegut’s slaughterhouse

The old dull brown sad ottatorem

Smells like moldy dirty laundry

As us cattle have to sit in anxious hunger now

and listen to an amateur Jesus freak for 30 minutes

before we sit down to a 3 minut meal

He’s a well-to-do doctor

and for show-and-tell he brings his picturesque son on stage

Like he just won the lottery and leaves exit stage left

The doctor starts his long old deep welled story

Like his soul was for rent

Always mixed in with it

” If you don’t accapt Jesus Christ you’re going to Hell ” Kind of shit

His suit and hair cut is worth more then what I make

At the $8 hour slave labor pool in six months

Getting to the bottem end of his deep welled story

He tells us that the other day he had to let this women know

That her husband of 37 years was dieing

With arms wide open

Like he’s on top of a mountain

He tells us that the women and husband are Buddhists

Giving us a picture in words

Of him watching this women now praying

Beside her dieing husband

and he shaking his head thinking to himself

That thay are both going to Hell now

Because they don’t beleave in Jesus fuckin’ christ

I would have got sick rate there

But I didn’t have anything in my stomach

I should have brought ear plugs

and that Bukowski novel I was reading

Notes of a dirty old man

From just another dirty old man.


Copyright © 2011 by Henry Doyle

Published in the MEGAPHONE,  Issue 50/April 2, 2010  Vancouver’s Street Paper.

Also The 24 hour news paper. May 26/10

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