Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If I’ve imagined dawn Degas

(and oh, the camera will lie
along with me)
dancing to Blues-Ette

and our relationship a warren
in the folds of concrete
draining down from this flat

in trumpet rills that fragment
into voices and a river of words
which congeal in caf

where we congregate
in a crowd of two
over a cup of coffee or wine

Then I’ve imagined the bond
between your hand motioning
at a passing limousine

and the  old woman who tacks
these tables relentlessly
using a tongue we try to ignore

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The View

My chair is twenty slow paces
from the kitchen,
which still leaks
the odour of micro-waved supper.
The journey to the hallway
requires seven steps.
Another six brings me to
the washroom door.
It's been a week since
I last walked the distance
to the entrance.
On my right, the open window
gives me a view of the gardens,
beyond which the parking lot
is almost empty.
Muffled Ravel wafts through
the window screen,
and like black flies,
feasts on my ears.
The book I've read
and I'm reading is cracked open,
a crustacean's carapace.
The stars are snow,
the moon a drift
to the window sill,
the curtains a night
which waits to be drawn.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Having gone to Yellowknife, though not
above the tree line and having walked
in Yellowknife on streets bisecting
the now and then and having seen
the scraping of the earth’s carapace
against a sky with clouds, water with
boats and planes two-legged at exactly
the demarcation point between
earth and air, I wonder how anything
can exist there that is not a playing card
flipped down on a table piled with chips,
an open bottle of vodka, a primed rifle,
the promise of an unborn child, chill
northern lights, a hand reaching for
a hand, the winter cold that cauterizes
pain, a desire extended beyond the snow,
into the warmth of a ferocious love.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


With money, jet-setting through
fragile clouds and the runway appears,
beacon and umbilical cord
Icarus severed as he ascended.

By car down the spewing artery,
towns truncated in the rear-view,
signs singing the pleasures of,
a cheap motel, a clean bed.

With camera and gray purpose,
recording each step as though
film noir, exaggerated magnitude,
denouement in the middle of

cathartic climax
— lost tourist,
reaches for the expectation
and finds a woman who serves
him a glass of wine, baguette,

cheese, smiles with the same
smile as the girl at the meat counter,
Saturday morning, farmer’s market,
the corner of King and Cedar, home.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Canadian Music

did I mention the northern lights
a walk along dolomite cliffs and
a Massasauga slinking sunrise

just when the refuse trucks begin
picking up on Queen Street
and Lake Ontario shimmers —

did I footnote tainted handguns
crawling into deep pockets
braying against a thousand pasts

like banshees of outdoor patios
and what you hear from someone
at the last spring wedding —

did I include a footnote for taxes
and insert a sip of cottage craft
beer as the sun slips out

and lands on treetops by the river
humming a native song
about native crafts and cigarettes —

did I do all that and retain
what Canada is — a community
of people milling around

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And You Said Rename Me

In this photo you smile, your eyes
wander west where the sun catches
tenements and a river tease. There’s
a hint of heat in the way flags hang
as limp as promises. Out of focus
doors are neither open nor closed.
I drove that day, for the first time,
after you unravelled into
a thousand unresolved revolts
during our journey to Sauble Beach.
It was nothing, just a gesture
of faith in the afterlife of events.

The camera wanders the fields
and footsteps between then
and now, you perched on a rock
almost falling into the Grand River,
you holding our daughter,
you finishing a 10K run, exhausted,
you in Egypt, in front of the Sphinx,
you sitting across from me,
breakfast served, not an event
on the line between the maiden
and the matron unrecorded.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dust Storm

Own dust, own wind, own a hand reaching
for a glass of water and voices
eating history at the casual table
beside the casual roadway — observe
one traveler and another pass lost
and seeking direction under an unrelenting
sun — one page in a long novel open
to reveal a plot which is a snippet of
time — a snippet of a man found near
railway tracks watching a receding train
agitate Queen Anne’s Lace, kick up dust.