Friday, March 28, 2014

I Leave Notes To Myself About Music I’ve Heard

After all, what is sound but memory,
misplaced regurgitation, reflex reaction to
a slant of moonlight, the way shadows
have learned the dance, the end of a game of
hide and go seek, a bee, river, sleep,
trees dancing with wind, scattered leaves
on a November road, a sigh.

When we dance, who controls the metronome?
I ask myself that, in the middle of
a twist which shows me the bar, then the table
two left from ours, the woman with the
low-cut black dress, so simple, so like a
major chord, a waltz, one, two, three,
repeat until the music stops.

And when it does, then what?  There’s
that awkward moment of transition,
when we both are still in the song,
full-stopped, lost, as though inertia
pulls us in two different directions —
our chairs, or another dance.

I love to listen to the music of
moving feet, dissonant jazz, the sevenths
cascading waterfall, the way each
instrument has the stage and not just
a single note in the spotlight, wailing
as though the world owed that one crisp
note a living, a reason for existing,
a stage upon which to be performed.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Are You

still there?  I wonder about  you
sometimes on those dreary days
when rain pelts at the crust of
events and through a murky
window I see your smile — then
I  build a cat’s cradle of reasons why
divergent paths are the death of
who we might have been.

Clay, a café, streetcars clicking by,
conversation blocks, emotions
trying to connect — it is never
enough.  Toronto will never be

I dream of so many things and
rearrange what history I have
managed to cobble together, like
a shoe which will allow me to walk
through the gravity pulling me down,
relentless — coffee with Skinner,
chocolates at F2.8, the frozen
waterfall, sunset deck and wine,
a modest cascade of perhaps and why,
a bifurcated dream.  What is this
stream flow pattern?

At eight to six and later, at moon
to sky, at lights to dark, at doors to
locks, at eyes to staring into space,
the minutes pass, eddy, untroubled
water, that age between the first
raindrops in Thunder Bay, and a
tidal pool on the shores of
Baie Saint-Paul, in whose water
events still ferment and memories
of genesis still crawl.

Friday, March 21, 2014

I Demure

afraid of the violence,
the runoff from the war,
the fact that nothing
would ever be good enough
to survive.  Bullets from
nowhere, planes like crows,
cawing, strafing, diving into
more soul than flesh, more
tomorrow than today.

In the rain, the bodies risen
rot, a riot of desecration,
a murder of bullets and
philosophy.  Madmen,
madmen load the guns,
aim them, chose the
targets.  And when they fall,
madmen bury them,
obliterate.  History is a
story, a mumble of reasons

why what happened must
have happened, why the
deaths, the reconstructions
meant a great victory, a
righting of wrongs  History is
a window, a chair, rain slanted
and the imagination of empty
days, a raised finger, the many
and the many with few choices.

On An Evening

When the sun screeches down
to land and we drink Pekoe,
do the tea leaves lie, do they
tell tiny tales, tattle on their
brothers outlandishly named
evidence, facts, truth — do
the tea leaves have a conscience,
an ethical backbone, or are they
the quick fix evening news,
the tales between houses, the
speculative crossword puzzle of
convoluted clues, an old woman
sitting on her porch, trying to
dress an unintelligible world
in antebellum rags — a few
vows, a few beaus, a few rivers
flowing past a young girl
sitting on the riverbank imagining
a world which never appeared.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

For World Poetry Day

This begins in the womb,
that sense of sailor, the sound
of — is it ever music? — this
motion — and are they words? —
these building blocks, one
upon the other upon a
choice between — 

and if we ever could,
would we pull up anchor
and depart along these
rivulets, this tsunami, into —
and if our eyes ever asked
for trinkets, would we —
a priori — hum a rhythm — 

to how we always imagined—
even when the sun has set
and the moon lows to
indistinct trees and we grope
for distinction, for our
emotional arrival at the next
dock, the next raising of the anchor.