Friday, May 30, 2008

Buggies and SUV's

Three horses stand in snow,
snort, shuffle their hooves

in Hawksville, Ontario,
where Mennonites reside.

We're on another Sunday drive
through countryside,

from Kitchener
and its crumbled
facades and habitues

and mated Waterloo, where
condo’s sprout, are consecrated

for each and every student
able to afford to get ahead.

There is a University
Of Waterloo initiative

for outbreak, innovative
new-science businesses.

Three horses stand in snow,
snort, anxious to move on.
Anne’s Song

The wrong faces in a crowd,
the displacement
in juxtaposition and coping
with fact and fantasy –
when neither will give up
and end – when pebbles
are too weak to form a beach
as crucible for charging waves
and midnight cannot pass
into another day because
decisions are still dying
on the clothes-line in October.

the craft of sentence is place-
marker between sentience and
the construction of myths/
how concrete is a lower
caste to tooled gold
and morning robin and worm
are scorned by war-monger hawk
alighted on up-drafts

power to deconstruct quickly/
power to initiate laws for behaviour

but you said/say the small
things/describe in bite-
sized bits/so this morning/
lying in bed/sun revelation
to a grackle chorus/these birds
blind to history/I looked behind
your curtain of ‘if you really loved me’/
saw the winches and the sweat/
your struggle to be powerful
Circle #2

dead places/with memories
and words with neither gender nor time

a south-facing chair while sun sets
and lines stretch/dark cadavers of unravelling history

life is
a sentence/
life is
a door

in evening breeze/a carnival is closing soon/ acrobats/shooting galleries/
the lady who can’t exist/sand dunes creep across the meadow of important things/

tents a-falling down/child’s laughter/a simple song/the shadow of a janitor
sweeping with indifferent stroke/shreds of events cling to undiscovered corners

life is
a promise/
life is
a bus stop

bus leaving for faith

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Circle #1

we arrive at
train station/cold/sun
carrot soup spilling
over rooftops/love
knot of/coffee
inhabits paper
cups/heat of running
for something flushes
our faces/we arrive
having worked out
the dictionary/having
slept/having been too
hungry to think/cold
disembarkment from
red wine/we arrive
under a flag of
truce/bitter at how
the war evolved/believing
in the Disney book
of history/sprinkling stories
over stale croissants/at
20:13h/when the islands
of heaven have drifted
away and I hold
your hand yesterday

Monday, May 26, 2008

You go to your Corner, I’ll go to my Room

t’was now on an unrelated matter
between glasses of Pinot Grigio –
gourmet meal with mosquitoes and traffic –
and I wanted to say to you that –
but chose poetry as the bullet (no fatal
shot there) which left a wound

possibly mathematical symbols tattooed
on the silverware would have sufficed
though I can’t imagine how – shotgun
scatter of outcomes for each event –
or a smattering of smart philosophy
leaning heavily into the Kant be done

If the complexity of a buck’s rack
were based upon the age of the deer
our marriage would be impossible
to unwind or lift – as are all the words
and phrases we’ve burdened with
so much meaning and intent

that they’ve become meaningless

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Voice and Other Vices

voice – use it you said unspecific
about the body parts words shed –
snake skin onions
and olive oil in the frying pan –
sizzling with the heat of rumours

last Monday I wrapped an adjective
around that lamppost down
there where our street converges
with the next and we rise
in the stream-flow index –
mercurial voyage downtown

where we drink decaf in the afternoon
before wine with dinner
conversations reliving
the building-blocks of each hour
spent and not forgotten
with all the meaning of Hallmark cards

use it you said – expressive
and expansive searching the veins
of our siamese existence
for that deadly virus neither of us
really want to flush
The Artist

Their refuse was recycled with character –
haunted wine bottle eyes, copper chest sinews,
gaping soup can mouth, all welded loosely
to a sprocket brain by wires and child-like whimsey.

Oil-drum feet were moored in concrete
ponds. Art reached into the front yard
trees with aviator arms, disdainful of all
neighbourhood protests and pleading petitions.

On sunny days, the artist climbed the old maple
to sit beside the behemoth’s chicken soup
grin and spy into nearby alleys,
where dilapidated hookers lounged.

Long into red sunsets, he contemplated new-age
art and the inflated price of decent garbage.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How Many Sides Does an Argument Have?

With music, the first bad note comes just before the certainty the sheet music is correct and my eyes can see direction in a dot.

How could that certainty exist when I never play a song the same way twice? And the tepid air in my room never pushes the keyboard’s sound to the same places each time I sit down to play a tune.

In poetry, each revision is a new poem, or a lost poem I thought I’d found, as though I hear a voice I’ve heard before – a voice I can’t associate with a conversation I’m certain we’ve had.

In the same way, you and I are a daily recreation, though so many parts seem not to have changed since we first met. And the arguments remain the same – drum breaks between the violins.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Waging War

change is the fairytale told
and hung on a clothes-line

I get up in the morning
the sun slithers between

Lackner Boulevard and
Lackner Woods

in the morning you can't
sit on the front porch

this is a place for evenings
and light faintly trickling

to the bottom of the driveway
as though seasons occur daily

one day a squirrel disappeared
beneath the wheels of an SUV

yesterday i cut down a tree
and the birds were silenced

when I turn on the computer
there is war everywhere

mimicking the latest PC game release
and the political of a country at war

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Certain Words

in certain words I hear the sea/the waves in full iambic poetry
against basalt outcropped like noses sniffing sentence wind
riffing/riffing detritus from the history of sea

and I perceive in the muted movement poetry of hands reaching
across tables/the air in treacherous rooms/sunlight confused
by windows/I see the plots novels love so well in evolving

moments/infant/child/a maple tree beside the drying river
in August/farewell encased in concrete/asphalt as a
forgive me card/road sign stamp on forgetfulness

and I imagine the way we’ve lived our lives together to a fault
the way a casual acquaintance would imagine us after
reading our names in the newspaper under accident victims/

lost in a fire/divorced/proud grandparents/lottery winners/
opening a business/losing a loved one/writing a novel/
in a tsunami swept out to sea/clinging together/praying

in the language of relationships/only choosing certain words

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

May 06, 2008

Through the window now open
after the cold of last week,
I hear our neighbour’s gas
lawn mower as he works
the spinning blades
across his front yard.

It’s four in the afternoon,
he’s home from work.
This morning, in the still cool,
I mowed our yard.
You’ve asked me to define
retirement. This is it.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Reading Poetry 325

Hosted by Alex Waters, Internet Poet.
Published online, not in print.
Has his own blog and is a force
on Facebook, where his wall
is constantly assaulted by fans
of his direct speech concerning
the will of words directing language.

His primary focus is on family
and friends as they influence
the dichotomy between the pressures
of work and children.

Expect to see language both
explode and implode around
the ties between the kitchen and
a back alley. Learn what modern
poetry concerns itself with.

Be prepared to offer both fresh
poetic creation and critique.
Be prepared to be ignored.
Go on living and do not expect
a good mark simply for
attending and for being alive.

Remember that all the poets
before you have accomplished
everything that you could ever
imagine. Be prepared to explain
why the poems about you
are not. Then go on to live
in that way.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Wine Poem One

If I could
take a piece of wood
and sculpt it into
the Madonna giving birth
I wouldn’t need to
ever write another poem.

Or scour the depths of a dysfunctional language to discover
time’s ectoplasm and suspend it in effigy above each piece
of stitched together memory called history.

But these are more banal times devoted to an abused remote
and big screen HDTV philosophy along with MP3 and the
mystery of on-line gambling feeding frenzies free.

In the modern
dumping-ground of utility,
the next millennium's
anthropologist will find
the working grist of
self-immolation jn ecstasy.