Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You put the high in high school

How dare you finger me with greed?
You come down here and smoke my weed!
complaining, when you find a seed
-- you think this shit comes guaranteed?

Don't shame me if I bum a ride
when I'm the friend who gets you high.
Don't smoke my joint and then deny
me something that you had to buy!

You don't appreciate my tone?
You come to me to get you stoned
then say my weed's as dry as bone
-- well next time damn well bring your own!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thompson Park

That winter in university
I sat listening to my professor
explain Hobbes's state of nature
the natural condition of mankind
how he described life within it
as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish,
and short." Afterward, I cried
while in line to buy a sandwich
and feared I was going mad.

I craved sunlight that winter
and took long walks outdoors, my lashes
white, my footprints scarring new snow.
My thoughts ran cold and heavy
      if there is no God
      the purpose of life is
      to live, enjoy, experience
      but what if you lack
      the capacity?

except in Thompson Park, where it was quiet
where low willow branches were clouds
over the paved horizon. It was
the only place the sun would shine
that winter.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The water bearer

Astrology is bullshit,
unless Fate intervenes
and I happen to catch
just your sign and mine
read between strangers
on the streetcar.

Sometimes Fate blows me a kiss
and sends me a rainy Monday
like a tin of homemade cookies.
The streets are dark and quiet;
my mind breathes easy.


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Friday, September 25, 2009

Learning a Joni Mitchell piece by ear

The song is beautiful, murky water
and I have to fish around
blindly, patiently, until my ear
brushes the piano line...

then I reach in deeper, grabbing
at slippery, wriggling notes
with my clumsy fingers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

see you next summer


the sparrows on the lawn
are catching up on a summer that never was
setting their flags on front steps
perching in the holes of a chain link fence
like a nest made of cupped hands
retreating to low treetops
when strangers pass close by
and then reclaiming

my cat watches from the window
and shares their immersion
in one last kiss goodbye

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

bitchfest

yes, as a matter of fact
we are all on our fucking periods
and having mean fantasies
about cracking certain skulls together
and screaming at our superiors
don't yell at us because we'll yell back
we're not bitches, we just want chocolate
and for everyone to FUCK OFF
no offense
in fact you should be pleased

you're on the exclusive list
of people we don't want to kill today.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Changing roles

This poem has been taken down for submission to a publication. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Monday, September 21, 2009

nifty nifty Myrna's fifty


Mom makes beergaritas
(beer, tequila, lemonade)
they sound disgusting
but go down sweet and smooth
especially compared to whiskey shots
five shots poured and five guys here
and guess what that makes?
drunk volleyball

Mom's best friend runs streamers across
the kitchen windows like crepe paper horizons
sets up inflatable palm trees
presents my mom with
a plastic tiara, lei, feather boa
and Mom goes all weekend
without taking them off
gulping her beergarita down
and crying this is the best birthday ever!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poems from Rome



First night in Rome


This poem has been taken down for submission to a publication. Apologies for the inconvenience.





Nonbelivers in Vatican City


I gain a new perspective on the Vatican
after walking three hundred and twenty steps
encased in sweaty strangers
along narrow staircases with slanted vertigo walls
to reach the cupola of St. Peter's Basilica
and look down on the Square.

I gain a new perspective on the Vatican
through the tales of Michelangelo,
who painted an optical illusion
in the Sistine Chapel; no matter where I stand
the Christian God will always moon me.



Overactive imagination


I rouse Andrew
after two hours lying awake
to inquire about the consensus on
vampires and hotel rooms.

“I think they can come in,” he says,
but the subject of his worship, Joss Whedon,
is not the definitive source in my mind.

I tuck away my Stephen King book
and perch my drawing of an ornate crucifix
on the ledge above my bed, reflecting
on the absurdity of fearing vampires
in Rome, of all cities.



The pigeons in Rome


The pigeons in Rome are so bold
they make their cousins back in Toronto
seem positively skittish.

At a sidewalk cafe by la Fontana di Trevi
I tap my toe while waiting for Andrew
to return from la toilette, not out of impatience,
but to ward off the cement grey birds
who leisurely stroll the narrow aisle between tables,
who trot unseen under chairs, pecking
crumbs between patrons' feet.

The stomp of my sandal
deters a bird from my chair, but he bobs
his head along elsewhere, unphased,
as his family has done in this city
since before water streamed
beneath Neptune's marble horses.



Cab ride to Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci


This poem has been taken down for submission to a publication. Apologies for the inconvenience.




Monday, September 7, 2009

buzzed

This poem has been taken down for submission to a publication. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fixing my hair


Maybe I am daring, sometimes:
Two days before my wedding
I decide to cut my own hair
with clunky kitchen scissors.

Hairstylists just don't seem to get
what I'm going for. No, no,
not smooth! not straight!
Jagged! Ragged! Like rats chewed it!
I hold the edges in a tight fist
and saw through the hair
like snapping ropes
like severing ties.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

plot twist


I love her for disagreeing with me
when I say I’m not very adventurous or spontaneous,
for citing paper airplanes with secret messages
and the hidden passageways that comes to wanderers
as examples

I wonder if she ever resents me
because my story is built of choices
and hers of duty, necessity
because I am Bilbo, who sought adventure
and she is Frodo, who bore it


Yes, Andrew, I referenced Tolkien. Well, it's classic stuff, even though it's dangerously boring.