Such a Gas That it’s a Blast

A natural gas explosion in the middle of the night
had flattened the entire structure
of a house down the street.

I pass by it every day.
Well, not anymore.

The family had escaped unscathed.
I’m not sure how
when I look at where it’s been.

So now I had received an invitation
to a community open house:
“An informational update
to Activa Avenue neighbourhood residents
regarding the investigation of the 429 Activa Avenue
home incident and a discussion on what you can do
to be safe in your home.”

There will be presentations by the Fire Chief,
the Fire Prevention Officer and
the Manager of Customer Relations from the utilities company.

They will probably tell you that it’s okay,
you probably will not blow up
but here are certain measures
that you can take to ensure
that this does not happen to you
like it did right outside your window:

Do not stuff cats into the vents.
Do not fart when standing too close to the furnace.
Do not fuck your wife on the stove.
Make sure your children get good grades.
Pay your utilities bills on time.

Of course,
people are scared
so they need reassurance
that their families
will not suddenly disappear into a fiery abyss
while they sleep,
that their house now on second mortgage
will actually remain standing when they awake
and that their furniture, their TV’s, their wardrobes
and DVD box sets
-everything they have collected over all of time
will not be decimated and lying about the street
in pieces for all to see come 6AM.

If you follow these instructions
you will remain safe
this will never happen to you
now go back to sleep
rest assured
and don’t think about the fact
that sometimes
even with the best intentions
even when everything has been checked
and well-maintained and checked again,
breakdowns can still occur.

They should have me on the panel
as a guest speaker.
I only need a minute right at the end
to leave them with that.

In fact,
I would like to hold my own community open house
on how to use stop signs
and acculturate.

You know,
a couple years ago
a man that lived a couple blocks down
paid two guys from the same neighbourhood
to kill his wife.

That had also rocked the local community.

I don’t recall receiving an informational update
about that.




19 thoughts on “Such a Gas That it’s a Blast

  1. arjun bagga

    I had brisk business in fact from your neighborhood, keeping track on quite a few women. After that incident all my client’s, the husbands backed off. They said whatever it is don’t tell us.


      1. arjun bagga

        Stars don’t shine
        Like how you’ve been told
        They’re mere bulbs
        star-shaped, lit up
        What a waste!

        Poor sun out-does them every morning
        they appear the moment
        He retires for the day

        At the local bar every night
        we shoot them down, random
        Fools make a wish
        they say it’s lucky omen

        That’s not all!
        They flaunt on the red carpet
        in Armani, Gucci
        Name the gay
        Brands need Brands
        To make fumbling speeches
        Dear daddy, momma, sis, neighbor’s wife…
        sob sob

        Hold on –

        Walks in the dude!
        Daniel Day Lewis
        Hear the applause!
        and Meryl’s smile…
        Oh yes, every Oscars, I wait for her
        Oh yes
        Oh no
        Oh yes
        I’m such a waste!


    1. HJM

      Man I love that poem. You have a great style that is truly your own and I’m always excited to see what you’re going to throw down next. I would post it. It’s timely.


  2. S.

    I used to live in a house for a few years, it was cute and the neighborhood was decent. Until a guy had the bad inspiration of getting two other guys to murder his wife. In front of my house. 2 minutes after I left the exact same spot. Then after a while, I moved. Another place, cute house, decent neighborhood. Until a house blew up down the street. And now everybody is scared, vultures are making profits from selling new furnaces to freaked out people and so on… The question is: does trouble follow me or do I follow it?! 🙂 I think trouble may just be everywhere actually…
    I would come to your community open house, you seem to have a lot of things to say. All interesting 🙂


  3. DFL

    Hey Hernan

    Good one. I remember years ago my friend and I used to buy our guitars on Harbord Street in TO. Across the street was a clinic which people were constantly protesting at. One day we came by – just a pile of bricks. Someone had bombed it.

    I know the story of the guy hiring to kill his wife. Very sordid and tragic. Also played out as completely farcical as a Coen brothers movie, say “Fargo.”

    I like this piece.

    Your friend,


    CEO, Bureau of Surrealist Research


  4. wisperin9shad0s

    that’s pretty funny. it’s easier to say things are preventable when they’re “accidents” i suppose. you know how people like to tell people that they’re responsible for their own emotions? i think the whole community is responsible for neglect during childhood if there is a serial killer


    1. HJM Post author

      Hahaha…you’re dead-on and I couldn’t agree more. The absurdity of it is stifling and what’s even more ludicrous are people’s reactions when you try to point it out to them.



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