Saturday, 19 January 2019

2 New Poems

Soda Fountains

It springs back, Coca-Cola fizzy,
through moments I never
lived except as a split-screen
drive-in triple feature;

Sticky sweet the summer mist
of insert cut-clips scissor
snipping and hasty tape.

It’s not Victory Garden harsh:
bare root vegetation and
careful-measured state loaf
I took a strange fancy to
after years;

But something lively, pressed to
tongue and offered grand,
withdrawn too quick from base
and bucket.

It wasn’t wanting, the infinite
universe of pop-snapping sounds
that made up the glass work
spaces contained;

A red velvet shade that
takes over dreams, seeps
to the staining cracks
like billboard light

That still trails me on
street corners.

Montreal Rose

You make me think about
the steam bagel heat outside
of Saint Viateur on sidewalk slabs
before nights begin,

Being so unexpected, yet welcome,
yet wafting through a lazy
summer breeze with dodging
of bicycle spokes and
selling of cold drinks outside.

You come in like McGill
ivy, timeless in elegance,
traced too deep in impression
for an easy forgetting.

The way you harbour so much
of wounded worlds and
grew still, clanging against
city brick and northern waterfront

You make me think of the
tussle motions that happen when
bars would close so late

and I’d switch Greyhound tickets
for early morning routes,
thinking something would stick
around against the wish-wash of rain;

You’re more like the flower garden
piece outside the modern art gallery,

Most of all,

You make me wish I was
Leonard Cohen,

so I would have some worthier
words to send you.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

1 New Poem

Painted Radiators

It’s ticking like a metronome,
this worried thought running
between two potted plants and
the mattress-blank walls,
that gives me a peace

Yet kills all the same
a vibe the room had before
we showed up, blew it apart.

It wasn’t like me to slip
into things so quiet, fish skin
and rowing up boats to

Not like me at all, I’d say,
protest of hanging lamps,
gaslights flickering blankly
against the painted-over heat
switches that keep me worried
about how much power it took,
keeping things warm so long.

When we ice-crackle, snow-crunch
outdoors between lights and music
spiral twisting in the breeze of
mountain slush;

I had a timely expression,
one that might have borne remembrance.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

1 New Poem

Paths That Cross

We started so deliberate, along
the followed page scraps crossed
up with ink, compass-exact
strokes against dying candles,
closing walls, to chart a way

Swiping about,
smearing fingers through
facades and oil print; when
it comes across as knife
edge to throat, it is a
darkening of presence.

We were not burning, blazing
testaments to higher-lived
purpose, not speeding toward
some sitting in light-streaked
field at the quadrangle piece;
only a touch of spark.

Shutting off, zig-zag coiling
electric lamps in antique clutter
that drives us away from
finishing what was started;

Talking into one another’s
straightened lines.

Monday, 8 October 2018

1 New Poem

Forever Summer

The washing in of late afternoon
comes tidal in still glass of
warm shades, soothed calm with
bright-breaking whispers in
windowsills over and against the
dawn fires, a wafting trash burn
that flicks unnoticed against
pale blue spaces, like sullen
damp through air bricks.

When all is calm, relieved, bound
again in immortal palm green,
it gives feeling to impossible time
drifting past on electric rumour.

In a second of gutter-running rain,
there are no masters, no reasons
for disbelief in magic’s presence,
save the unpaved tumble it was
to the sickly slick of carved-off
roadsides, the tossed metal clang
being thrown to-fro in bleached
sheet breeze sweep.

It looks like much more, or less,
than this, frozen in eye-dropper
place by the worst of memory,

But, most of all, it never went
on as long as the sun,
setting even against tricky haze.

Monday, 24 September 2018

1 New Poem

Ghost Stations

All bright in stonework:
polished, immaculate and
winter soaked.

It comes on, rushing,
dreams in the windy room
made of open windows
and dying breaths.

With kingdom come and
the traffic flow,
glasses tinged modern
with sculptor’s care
in 1973.

Still and begin ahead, looping
music boxes to tune of
shuffled loafers with nothing
to prove in holding.

Sounds pass, no stopping,
against skin points in tight switch
harmony, rummaging around
in dust, Clark Bar wrappers
for lying proof across
walls in nameplate etching:

Something great, because useful,
here once stood.

Monday, 10 September 2018

2 New Poems

Separation Anxiety

Rum, ice, tea in glass,
they take together in
peculiar form, burnishing
off the white floor tiles
and helping with tremors.

Or, helping could be too strong,
there isn’t much beyond greenery
to share at, making sense
of if this fire or that was
set deliberate, merely down to
careless matches left amid
dry brush.

There isn’t much calling these days,
spirits won’t do for you when
tasks are as simple as eleven
numbers, dot-dashing through
bending horizons playing gold
against tin roof cats.

There is, though, an echoed clasp of
skin to memory, deliberating ‘round
an oaken cabinet table through
rapid descent to first principled
buttoning, shutting off, shutting down
those possible pasts I kept
mulling through damp screen light.

Components of a Tricolour

Your mouth makes shapes that
call to work, the kind most freely
taken in good spirit where sun
shines freely in heated miracle;

How much beloved to take it on,
the hearty pickaxe shade
it takes to shelter beneath.

Your eyes call forth ships to
battle brotherhood, that many-thrown
sacrifice to names that came
close before this crass age;

How much obliged to carry up
the dead-weighted pole of
rotten expectations, clich├ęs on banners.

Your hair flip-flowers with ripples
of freedom, keys jangling long
into brackish swamp of
summer nights, touching door locks;

How much closer to signed, sealed,
stamped, delivered these visas to
real life seem in such moments.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

1 New Poem

The Unfinished Country
I draw the lines, they trace themselves
straight, true to paper scaffold
crackling up against a vision

Of lands great and beyond sky’s reach,
sumptuous, possible and laid before.

Too coloured from rain to grip
quills again, if I weren’t
so sullen I’d do it
myself without a moment’s

Mulling over the shape
air makes over borders.

As if skipping lightly, traversing
taps through boiling last lances,
my shapes are not so undefined;
capitals have roots to road,
set down on high, from distracted hands.

In that they weren’t so different,
in delirium tremors,

Than the last time I stepped
out into newfound soil,
terrain yet to be overrun with
razor wire and shadow figures

That rode and came along
through buses and Buicks to be here.