Sunday, August 31, 2008

Leaving With Snowfall

here's your coat - snow is falling
on the same countryside
again this year - everything as different
as deja-vu - except the drapes
have been replaced
the puppy has wet
in the corner by the sink
and where the sun strikes
the kitchen table
the flowers are gone
as temporary as summer
clouds hugging sunset - placed
there to collect colour for
a moment - just that -
a moment of sustained note
in an aria speaking to lost
love and life and hope against
that mood which crushes
my heart - that mood which
makes us roll apart as though
we are lepers or the whores
of need - that mood which
propels us in circles -
a hawk on autumn wind
discerning mouse from brown
leaf and natural shivers -
history laughing at
its limited repertoire of tricks -
one cat skinned in one
thousand and one ways

Friday, August 29, 2008

I am

street wo/man schlepping a cart of words
down avenues I’ve known since sentences
first gave birth to stories

rumours and smoke signals on a summer breeze

I sit

against bricks and the fantasy needs create
to validate to oil progress
against all advice

a civilized world has decided is law

I cry

for the unrealized loss
as though life and potential
have again been aborted

for the sake of stories with recycled words

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Take One Giant Step

Nothing we said was true. In the same way
sun seems confused in some windows
and rain rallies in the ninth inning
of separating clouds. Or waves lie
when going through customs on foreign
beaches. We were part dream and part
realization that reality has never existed.

Our senses were abstraction and August
wind rattling through the blinds of ‘67
leaving rat-print tracks on the curve
of the second-hand dresser and green walls
and your passionate shoulders in moonlight.

In the morning there was a residue of truth
and the odour of the past burned away.

We began new constructions from ruins.
Destroyed and created like mad urban planners
unwilling to commit to one path and one
style. We made little progress
stuck in the muck of memory and fantasy.

This afternoon you sit and accept
the sun alighting on your shoulder
and the sun is an old friend
and confidant in a life where shadows
contain truths we have never
found a way of expressing.

Everything we say has become the way to
another truth. There is no room for lies
no room for a progression in which
we might live and be.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Slow Service

Don’t know (want to know) the coffee stain’s
history on white tablecloth
a formal stain in an informal situation
in the eddies events almost create
like doused arguments leaking potential
fire in a café corner.

Or the sun almost singeing your face
with glare (you sparring like a fighter)
and the air has become
a drumbeat of words. Secret messages
from the before you
of tomorrow and today?

Or lost potentials
(the island having risen to become
a continent again subsiding)
such as autographs nearly collected
concerts nearly heard downtown
something imagined nearly conceived.

We wait patiently for the waitress
to clear spent dishes
and lipstick-smeared coffee cups
a napkin become used origami
so we can order over coffee stains
and mark this spot as again having been.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Smudges on White Paper


red fox was always slow / teeth protesting extraction
in so few words /and the confusion of light
continued to become

vowel / consonant /consonant / vowel / pretty pattern

something to sing or hear /in footsteps / in tree branches / a leaf
against cloud sky / wind rhumba
a failing of smiles / and a casual hand / hard table top

soft food / cold drink / white tablecloth / knife / fork / fallen spoon

and concrete earth / below sensual breath / red for beef
and sweet deserts / slow red fox / behind the pack and unable
to catch up / knots confusing meaning

before you came / leaving already in the air / like October in July

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Emigration’s Endgame

On the recliner in her Waterloo den,
she senses Europe and

nothing has changed now for ever more,

nothing at all, though her language becomes English
and the books she reads track the foreign territory
of love swirling in an American drink.

In a Slovakian drink, she dances
with all the soldiers and all the prejudices
we now can’t acknowledge,

can’t believe are real,

those phantoms on the face of a changing moon
prowling a crippled night,
when the eye sees no land but homeland.

She accuses me of being the confused traveller
born, but fallen out of time, my soul
sinking into the quicksand heart of a Kitchener street,

foot heavy on the gas pedal
cruising a crumbled downtown,

dreaming of nothing
that ever existed in her here.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Last Day of Poetry

we were detained and wordless / directed
to an island where waves washed ashore
no new ideas alive /we were

questioned concerning the glue we used
to bond one word to the next / and how a line
drawn on downtown sidewalk could become

a soul riding storm clouds / we were
inn guests in an innless world / abandoned
on a pier / brushed aside like a spider’s web

which stands between one point and the next
on everyman’s walk through time / we were
the sweaty dream on an August night

that pushes a wedge between a dollar
and the sound of the perfect word
dancing with the perfect note

we were misunderstood