Saturday, April 30, 2011

Baby Boom

Listening to Dylan
in a dark room, the future
unfolding in the semaphore
of street lights, grackle
defines the sun low,
blowing off a spring day,
and I never crossed Canada,
never left my mind
dangling on a street light,
a hydro line linking
one side of desolation
with the other, never saw
reality through the fog
of smoke and beer, never
strolled the politics
of love and war, never
carried flowers to the altar
of coffee on Yonge Street,
five o’clock, Bay Street
emptying and all the musicians
tuning up for another night
leading into morning,
just before rush hour,
just before the TSX begins
to spin out the fairytale
story of wealth, though Bob
always had another idea
of the meaning of life,
yet it’s so hard, so hard
to leave the present behind
and accept a future of
lyric-driven reality.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Acid Rock Accordion

this is a note for you / this is text to you / this is Toronto
spring and rain canters / down Queen Street / a robin hugs
black limb reverently / hippies battle beats battle / the
boredom of technology in a coffee shop / honey-glazed

doughnuts sit / settled in smoke sermons to the street / steep
and step into a song / singer at a traffic light stopped / singer
in a bar / singer on / the concrete beach / speaking
in a certain way / about certain things / and this is when
Jimi Hendrix never / owned a guitar / never riffed / with
strings / but owned an accordion in a beat-up case / battled
the polka into an urban wail / turned the gut / the caustic
chords into / the way words break / and convolute and
hum / and swell and cascade B&W montage / a flicker-step
a flicker-thought / a flicker-poem posed / on that cliff
dividing / the next polka wedding song / and the freedom
of an acid mind / lost in the moment of / acid rock accordion

Thursday, April 28, 2011

West Montrose After Rain

River's spilling over its banks,
Canada goose on her nest.

This is a contest between
nature and dams,

the season of drought
and vacationers in boats.

Wilderness is not a time,
but rather a place.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Year, Detritus

leaves refuse to be
blown away
as do memories
and the way I continue
to return to
all the known paths —

reruns, reruns
and nothing changes
even though the weight
of our passage destroys —

in every new flavor
a taste of the past

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dear M

you wonder who I am —
well, I’m mostly music
with wine — and time
is a cravat for informal
occasions, such as

this, when you phone
late at night, catch
me by surprise,
and I imagine you

asleep and wishing for
tomorrow to fracture
your reality just a little bit
and you ask

for his number so you can
talk to him, as though
he isn’t dead —

for three years now,
and we went on
when you remained —

loyal, innocent, dropping
the leaves of your life
as though it is December
and a storm
with snow is moving
across the texture
of our descent.

Return Home?

On the way to work,
I drive down a street where I lived,
when I was an initiate Canadian.
The house in question sits
beside a spur-line connecting
Kitchener and Waterloo.

I recall walking those rails
on the way to downtown Kitchener
and it was a surprisingly hot
December day, my twelfth birthday.

Five of us were off to see a movie.
We placed pennies on the track,
waited for a train to turn them
into thin copper sheets.

There is inertia in the movement
of boxcars supplying commerce
and time is impossible to stop,
turning reality into shivers
of what once occurred.

Like the slope across the road
from that early home,
where I tobogganed the winter
of 1953. It was an Alpine slope,
today just a dip, easily negotiated
by a good Sears lawnmower.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It Began to Rain

And it was hell at work,
the kind of day when everyone
separates into a thousand
parts of maggots racing

And I consumed too many
minutes, too many faces,
too many contractor names,
too much ink keeping records

Things drifted and shifted
into new shapes without
permanence and then it was
time to go home

The car began with a start
and I shed skins for skins

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wash Day

described as ramp
though I imagine washboard —
Upper Beamer Falls
is fat with spring run-off

it’s a scramble down
muddy slope to dolomite,
then hop-scotch to
the water’s edge

a slow shutter speed
transforms the flow
into thick, lazy milk
and doesn’t record what

I touched — something
to bring on this leprosy
infecting my hands —
this immune system malaise