Friday, April 27, 2012

76. Small Town Woes

Small town charm,
Small town charm:
Little houses
In a row;
Small town charm,
Small town charm:
Aging couples
In the sun.

Small town joy,
Small town joy,
Baby girls and
Sunday school;
Small town joys,
Small town joys:
Halloween and
Harvest time.

Small town loves,
Small town loves:
Family and
First desire.
Small town love,
Small town love,
Neighbour’s tea
And potluck treats.

Small town woes;
Small town woes:
Silent days and
Empty nights.

Small town woes;
Small town woes:
Idle gossip,
scheming wives.

Small town woes;
Small town woes:

Small town woes;
small town woes,
prejudice and
old routines.

small town woes;
small town woes:

small town woes:
small town woes
peek beyond
the Cold Veneer –

Small town woes,
Small town woes.
small town woes:
small town woes.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

75. Cognate

It is like a selective camera
which captures everything
but only remembers certain

Synonym taboo:
burn pictures,
erase all signs of
previous life;
but it is not entirely

each July, somewhere,
something reminds me of
your – day –
I have never been there;
I could never be there.

Obvious as usual,
surrounded by your countless friends,
what was I to you?

A passing blot of ink in
a thesaurus, used for reference sake one day,
forgotten the next;

only this time, the word
cannot be found…
it is lost,

74. Blandine Verlet,

When your Chromatic Fantasy and
spun its sinewy lines around
the tickled folds of my
enamoured brain, I –
bliss tangled its webs around
my mind.

Bach never seemed so fresh, alive!
You inhabit and characterize
each prelude,
toccata, partita, sinfonia
with such a kaleidoscope of
brilliance & beauty;
my synesthesia eye danced
to your metallic

Never has an outmoded
instrument, a vestigial of the
seemed so present, so
full of “joie de vivre”.
Indeed, the clavier
smiles, “Well-Tempered”
once more:
what need have we for
pianistic ruminations
when such subtlety, illusion
of dynamic contrast,
coy rubato enchant our
modern ear?

Take us back, illusioniste,
to the time when
meadows sang
in rapt, enchanted

Blandine Verlet performs Bach's Partitas:

Buy on Amazon (Canada)

Buy on Amazon (US)

73. Skeumorphism

In a simpler time,
I smiled easily.
Littering the paths,
the sunlit grass,
smiles charmed the
wakened earth.

Follies of my innocence:
unrequited smiles
traverse the emptied
I am alone today,
reflecting on how times have changed:
smiles do not come easily anymore,
and when they do –
they are relics
of a simpler time,
when I was young
and love flowed easily.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

72. Early bird

Photons underwhelm me;
I am inundated
and wake silently.
It is a slow, effortful awakening,
as if it will be my last.

It is quiet in the house;
the babies are still asleep.
I did not dream last night;
my head is wrung dry of

Sounds materialize from beyond my
window –
I have risen with the birds.
I do not believe I have ever
waken early enough,
while an adolescent sun is still
starting to dawn
and the robins are courting
in the dewy

The blinds draw sleepy stripes
across my back as I
I would like to listen to these
creatures for a while.

There is such a primal
sense of nostalgia,
of melancholy,
as their songs fade away
and morning begins.

Why do the birds stop singing?
A few precious notes are caught
by the scant
daylight and left to glitter on the buttercups
as the prima donnas’
exclusive contract ends and all the little
divas shoo their divos
back into nests and become once again
ordinary little songbirds;

until the next day, and day
when I will no longer hear them,
until their voices one day
shut up in their throats
and not even the early
can ever hear them sing

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

71. Postmodern Playmates

A beached boat,
a bronze huntress
in the middle of the park:
welcome to the actualization of our
contemporary world.

At least the sunshine is
still the same as it was for
illuminating the pair of playmates
in the same coy and dappled way
it has for millennia:

it could be a lord & lady like any
leaping over a resurrected
metal dinosaur
in a game of catch.

Not until the wind slaps me into
that I realize that they are in
T-shirts and tank tops,
in jeans,
playing Frisbee
in a world of endless
where bears beg and
rows of heads spin,
on discs of sun-baked

Brian Scott: Stray Plow (1993)

Cynthia Short: Lightmare (1989)

Scrap Art

Carl Skelton: Canadiana/Begging Bear (1989)

Evan Penny: Monad (1990)

Donald Forster Sculpture Park
Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Photographed by Hanneorla:

70. In a moment

From the epicentre,
a note rings, born from her
assertive hands.

Metres away, so close
to hear her breathe,
I hang from Loge 13, Seat A3;
I can only see the back,
her floral-printed black

Enslaved by each phrase,
each mordent, trill, and
the subtleties of the
da capo.

Why is it this one second
of rapture is forever captured by my
mind’s eye:
this one movement,
this one bar, this one
Reverberating forever
like some God-sent
miracle –

artistry personified
in a micromoment of

On hearing pianist Hélène Grimaud perform her Resonances programme at her 2011 Royal Conservatory début.
Buy CD here.
Download MP3 here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

69. Paging Dr. Freud

I think it was in 8th grade
when my English teacher noticed
I leave out “that” a lot.
It is not really an error, she told me,
but it isn’t entirely correct

I still find this in my writing today:
I wonder if it is some bizarre
Freudian slip.
The more I think about it,
the harder it is to gather what
its significance

At least now I know what to look for,
specifically; though I am finding
I forget even sometimes
to check for this
omission –

I have lost so many things,
but perhaps you cannot really
lose what you never had.
I think maybe I
am a little envious:
I feel I should have had the
normalcy, the happiness,
the security others have.

So maybe,
Dr. Freud,
that is why I am always
missing these “that’s”,
and those “that’s”.

But what do you know, sitting
in that chair,
in this office,
about me?
I am always reclaiming,
and you are always
collecting, collecting
fees, fees.

68. 2:05 P.M.

This is my second time in the
human anatomy lab.

I am all alone this time;

I need some time to process
what we learned today –

Or maybe just time to come to terms
with death.
In high school
we did things with
sheep eyes, pig foetuses.
But a human: a donated
human body
could be me,
could be my own

Ah, death:
we become spare
graciously to
labs, to Body Worlds,
to patients needing
organ transplants:

I held a brain in my hands today,
and I cried.
I cried
for the temporality of life,
for my own mortality.

All alone this time in the
human anatomy lab,
it is quiet, and
Preservatives fill my nose;
I am intoxicated with

Always alone,
after the crowds and lines have gone,
on a cold metal
foldable tray,
stuffed away in some
morgue, some cemetery, some lab;
and we become spare
and we cry,
for the temporality of life,
for our own mortality.

67. The Good Samaritan

I told you your bag was open
because I was worried
your keys, pencils, notes
would fall out of your
I told you because it
was probably left open by
mistace mistake

Instead, you looked at me,
asking if it bothered me.

I dress well,
I am well-mannered,
but I don’t go around
correcting things that I think
are out of place,
This is my last act of sympathy:
make your futile statements;
leave your bag wide open
for all to see
how much of a rebel you are:
while haplessly, your
essay, due Friday,
falls out,
splats in the mud;
rolls away and
drifts, lost,
with the wind.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

66. Waiting

I am waiting for a friend today.
People keep asking what I am doing, sitting
and I keep saying:
I am waiting for a friend today.

Saying it over again,
over again,
will somehow make it come true:
repeating it as my fervent mantra
over again
will cause you to solidify from my
into life
and you will appear before me,

All these things I tell myself
to pass the time,
to delude my fears, dilute
my yearning:

You did not come that day,
nor the next.

No, I did not ever see you
ever again.
Not that day, not the next,
no – never again.

It is so strange,
si – è strano!

You gave me the greatest 1 month
and 4 days
of my life,
but it seems that another lifetime
and forty days
could not fill the
emptiness, the grief I feel
at the would-have-saids and
should-have dones.

Time puts us further
yes –
but even years cannot put the
distance away
from this perennial
heartache, this
permanent loss.
I still miss you today;
I will forever love

Sunday, April 1, 2012

65. Oiseaux exotiques

4 slightly restless tourists,
all smiles          gaze around
you can tell they are not lost,
but curious.

we do not know how far
they have come
to buy a cup of coffee
and donuts.

In one moment, they are
fascinating, strange
in their foreign movements,
odd costumes;
curiosity fades though
as they fly from sight,
though not from

64. I cannot know you

Those punishing eyes:
I scarce know where else to look;
unzipping me, up and down,
assessing my foreignness –
things seem not so simple,
there are other characters