Monday, April 05, 2010

Better Late Than Never

April is the cruellest month...mixing
Memory and desire. (T.S. Eliot)

For those of you whose memory serves them right, this blog was once brimming with poetry. Whether or not these poems had/have any real intrinsic literary value, I leave to your judgment. I have not been writing with the frequency that I once did. But then again I state the obvious.

For those of you who still read this blog on the off chance that there might be something to glean from recent entries - I offer you this. I have ceased to be fixated on publication in book format of my poetry that has appeared in literary magazines. I would like at this point, in light of the fact that this is April and the month that we have set aside to celebrate poetry, to present to you a retrospective look at my published poetry -- for the duration of this month.

In order to make amends this first installment offers five poems (April 1st - April 5th):

Old Keyboards

My daughter likes to tie old keyboards
to my chair, as though to tether

the words to their source. They orbit
my sphere where tropes unite.

The cables interconnect my thoughts
to the hub from which she suspects all

must emanate and that I am the harbinger
of the - Truth is - she is my compass.

first published: fall 2002 – Another Toronto Quarterly

A Marmot in the City

A marmot in the city seemed odd,
like Bermuda shorts in a Canadian winter;
yet there it was in the tomato patch,
between the rock garden and scotch pine.
It sniffed at a San Marsano ready to be picked,
but settled for shoots of parsley.

It seemed uncertain as it ate; the new kid
in class, all our eyes on the back of its head.
Then one morning my wife noted its form
among the forget-me-nots,
I went out to inspect and it scampered
into a hole burrowed beneath our landing.

Days later our youngest complained
about an odor emanating from its lair.
The S.P.C.A. came but couldn't dig it up;
so there it lay sepulchered,
a lone carcass in its tomb. What if
others crawled inside to their demise?

I imagined that a future archaeologist
might excavate the site and think
that this primitive culture buried their pets
in a communal plot close to their hearths.

What were Neanderthals at Le Moustier
really thinking as they buried their dead
in the caves of Les Eyzies' shallow pits,
a boy's remains surrounded by wild goat horns?

Winter 2003 – Verse Libre Quarterly V: 3 e: 1

Her Particular Disposition

Inviolate, in her satinette housecoat
her arm's secrets safely hidden, she walks
him to the door, the broken screen reminds
her of a room and of time spent at the wall
of ignorance at the hospital's psych wing.
Don't forget tomorrow's session with Dr. Marx.

She nods and allows anxiety to seep
through the careful presentation of self;
derailed by the exhaustive effort, she runs
her fingers raw across the screen's
ragged edge. Smiles him out, lips pursed
to snap her pupils into a dance.

He hears the door's lock click behind him,
as he steps out from under the eaves
and off the stoop, between the dank
sedges on an uneven walkway, looks
back over shoulder to see her beneath
the light, behind the door, her face
pressed against the torn mesh.

April 2003 – The Breath E-Zine


He stepped past the police cordon,
put on the mandatory surgical gloves,
pulled out his notepad and pen
and considered why,
they had asked a poet
to visit the scene of a crime.

The force of the explosion had strewn
about human parts. The cadaver's pride
was on the commode. His vanity
hung by the mirror. The libido sat
exposed on the loveseat. Gobbets of guilt,
were hidden in denial behind the door.

But most telling, his stupidity
was splattered on the wall
behind the writing desk in particles
of dura mater and blood. And there
in front of the corpse was the culprit:
a journal of love poems in the victim's handwriting.

September 2002 - Electric Acorn #13


What is the Sound of a Single Hand? When you clap together both hands a sharp sound is heard;
when you raise the one hand there is neither sound nor smell...

Hakuin Ekaku Zenji (1686-1768)

She speaks to me - a foreign movie
without subtitles; a dubbed version
of an English feature - snippets of dialogue
recognizable amid aphasic speech. Audio
and visual feed out of sync in dyslexic pattern;
the face familiar, the words incomprehensible.

It is in the eyes that I read her meaning,
double projectors they impress
on cognitive screen. Imploring her
to slow the reel of words, she shrugs,
breathes deeply and retraces her steps;
rewinds the sequence of gibberish through
dysfunctional dendrites and starts over.

Unexpectedly, there is a freeze frame,
the spool unravels and all goes blank.
She attempts to splice severed synapse
of film; grabs an HB pencil with balled fist,
scribbles and pushes the pad towards me
with the lead firmly implanted into the paper:

When I speak, it feels like I'm one hand clapping.

March 3-9, 2003 - Poetry Super Highway