from the busy living room
to the balcony
you stand defiant
slender foot in water dipped
your face turned to the sun
you take in the scene
of cars intertwined
through the cloverleaf
you breathe in
the invisible bay
obstructed by construction
oh Lily you still have time
but not much
others would hurry
but you will stand there
'til the memory of
being cut down
will bloom and blister
like a fiery vision
so precariously leaning
in the instant of
will gather your whitebrown skirts
coyly dipping your head
as if abashèd
by the sound of the roaring sky
across the way
just as they're
the sound of cars
on granville cloverleaf
like the sound of surf at night
(what silly word this surf
that is the beating of the shore
back in the bedroom
you flicked off the light
here in the office
I have turned a page
about my quiet disbelief
your claim that
simply put you can't recall
the painful words you told me
time is the slimy unguent
my mother vomits Nabokovian verbs
in bright primary colours
the arts & letters are laid bare
(true art is the ability to not
but distort colorectally
flanked by crazed messiahs in rags
on all sides begging for some sin
a woman observes me lasciviously
from a white panel van
behold the man o pleas enjoin his wail
a truculent recrudescence tantamount to riparian wit
the man is a battery of pain
walking the perfumed rows he discharges it and meanwhile
my eyes are the framed mirrors of want
I sit in the Sanguinarium and
wait & soon come yelloworange dreams to me
a bale of hay neatly tied on the back of a blue pickup truck
the same red coffeecan honda turns the corner
over and over and over and over and over and o—
On Seymour Street I walk to work, and oft
I pass the time reciting sundry verse.
In traffic I can speak—quite loud or soft—
As I my memory's confines rehearse.
I know by heart my favourite—"Kubla Khan"—
Followed by "Ozymandias" alway.
Next comes "The Second Coming"'s denouement
And "Richard Cory" then, without delay.
"The Tyger"'s blazing head I soon describe
And, to conclude my spirited parade,
I launch into King Richard's diatribe
And walk into the office, thus allayed.
This morning, near a crossing of two roads,
While waiting for the traffic lights to change,
A man spied my poetic episode,
And seems to have assumed I was deranged.
So on we walked to work, a foot apart:
He, glaring quietly at his new foe,
And I, performing interloper's parts
In my recitativo's cadent throes.
To clarify: I did not hound or troll
The man whose morning I by chance debased.
I counseled then my thoughts—"Dive to my soul!"
And he, to make escape, took up his pace.
What use is the defensive stance to man?
One crouches like a snail, stands still as wood.
What purpose to be gained in mending sense?
All things must pass, and none are quite so good.
What use is wasting breath on being right?
One makes the body small and backs away.
What purpose to be gained in rhetoric?
All things are heartache, sullen lachrymae.
What use is talk, or writ, or page, or word?
One is as mute as if one's all but gone.
What purpose to be gained from constancy?
All things must be destroyed, unmade, undone.
But I'm still here; my work still here remains.
The night still hastens, and the day still gains.