Kent State – The View From Here 1970

In going through a box of papers I came a cross a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. I was using a cheaper, yellow copy for many of these – the paper hasn’t yellowed with age. Enjoy 🙂

Kent State – The View From Here 1970

I never knew them

but still I cried

I never will know them

now that they have died

 

but even if I could have

I doubt if I would have

for with apathy it’s easier to sigh

than get up & try

which is what they did

no longer content to be hid

by things yet to be said

now they are four dead

 

they never knew me

but still I cried

they never will know

now that they’ve died

hopeless dwarf desperation

overcomes giant hesitation

as I feel it’s my time

to move to the front line

to replace those that fall

or can’t relate to the call

then I wonder if I’ll see the end

alone or with a friend

 

I never knew them

but still I cried

I never will know them

now that they have died

now that they have died

‘Four dead in Ohio’ another Neil Young inspiration while he was part of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The shooting in May 1970 stunned me & my friends. Many were musicians & angry protest songs were part of their repertoire. I was more flower-child than rabble-rouser. The found the hippy movement too heterocentric & unwashed for my sensibility. 

This is one of the few, perhaps the only, pieces I wrote then that reflected life outside my own muddling through life. There were student protests everywhere it seemed while I was started in my Cape Breton Ghost Town reading about it in Rolling Stone or seeing it on TV. What music filtered to the east coast was about as counterculture I got. Let’s face it even the  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were millionaires.

At the time I felt a sense of loss though. Loss & futility because the shooting made it clear the entrenched would always be with us & always in control. I see it today around the world. People calling kids who survived a mass school shooting ‘cry babies’ for wanting gun control. 


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Sunshine Corners 1971

In going through a box of papers I came a cross a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. I was using a cheaper, yellow copy for many of these – the paper hasn’t yellowed with age. Enjoy 🙂

Sunshine Corners 1971

summer day small & dangling

little blue suns from the bigger ray

falling adream in the middle of the day

with pieces of pie & cups of tea

long time cashed in by ups & me

cashed in for a boat ride

sold for a smile or a simile 

to sail away to

hidden treasure island innuendos

fastly teasing eyes & ears

 

hiding hiding

in sunshine corners

early days early days

late night mourners

streets of cars

eyes of ice

making the turn

signalling for a full stop

talking word after word

catching the bus

falling in a heap

like leaves on retreat

 

red night falling from behind

unaware of the feelings in the place

beneath the ground around all

I have to offer is a million marvels

a circus to some

an escape to others

a relief to be inside

the other side of the seesaw 

the scale that will never tip

 

in the air

in the air

in the air

the snow filled air

the thousand

never ending 

ever melting

fleeting flakes of snow

finding brief rest in sudden death

patterns in paper ribbons

or

sparkles

in dark hair

on moonlight August hills

in little corners of restaurants

where we ate the fun of it

drank the hell of it

finally left the rest of it

floating

in the air

in the air

in the air

 

it’s the moon in mystical mood

shining angular

on the fields of harvest stubble

on weather grey houses

on shadows as the crow

flies off for home 

or orchard 

or lingers to scream you awake too soon in the morning

you were saving for this moment

only to have it mocked by a black jester

who has never spoken to her sister

who shines for hours all day

while the moon bides her time

hidden in a cloud’s back pocket

 

there was a sun

bright & shining

now there is the blind man

feeling the sun on his face

feeling the water tugging his knees

deep in the other way of missing

building up

higher screaming hammering

all at once

empty

in silence each note unechoed

each temptation resisted

dry laughter

little sounds within

the big sound

daring 

repercussions of daring 

to be alone

doing this

for the first time

wondering if the 

telephone is too out of time

to use

 

falsely afraid

for the beams

cannot burn

cannot shatter

afraid that they might

security afraid

but hoping to be let down

 

somebody claims to have found him

in my writing

in my searching

but for 

some reason he

he does not seem to be

what I am searching for

he I have found but feel there is 

something besides all this besides

some velvet guillotine to stop the 

interloping tangents from regressing into

solenoid spheres & exaggerated 

laughing fits of yesteryears

falling 

jagged like music

in clumps of smooth & rough

harmony & discord 

 

breaking forth

after expending so 

many days of violent 

turbulent struggle

into a soft hello

or a tender glance

or even the merest thought of 

becoming unwithdrawn

to the point

where helloes & glances

take no energy at all

 

so tell the darkness

that this sound can be heard

even while the warmth comes

as waves & veils over & down

head to toe

reflected in a window

neglected in a cellar

full of madness

desperate afraid angry

lonely

yet aware of loving

every minute of it

 

there is only the flight of the gull

to cut across the face of the sunset

there are only my tears

to wash down my face at sunrise

 

still feeling the tingling

of the right notes up my back

as the engines shift into hyperdrive

while I wait for the

passengers to climb aboard this

rocket to the sun

Let’s get this influence up front: ’I dreamed I saw the silver space ships flying/ In the yellow haze of the sun.’ There’s no denying the influence on early me by the early lps of Neil Young. ‘Ghost Town’ is clearly a variation of ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.’ ‘After The Gold  Rush’ was the same with all that longing & fragility.

There are many reference to my daily life here as well. Drinking tea, eating pie with friends in my comfy basement room, drinking in restaurants, waking up hungover & feeling like harvest stubble. The emotional build up to finally say hello, or in my case, never saying it. I love & cringe at the same time, at some of the melodrama ‘there are only my tears/to wash down my face at sunrise.’

I have two versions of this piece. One handwritten with drawings & the other typewritten. I don’t know which came first but there are slight differences between the two. This one is the typed version – line breaks & all. 

 


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Cutthroat Circus 1970

In going through a box of papers I came a cross a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. I was using a cheaper, yellow copy for many of these – the paper hasn’t yellowed with age. Enjoy 🙂

Cutthroat Circus 1970

Tickets

bleeding

needing

someone to laugh

in this empty garden

somebody to shut the windows to the night

somebody to open the box of toys

hidden so long

 

topaz shatterproof whispering thief

finding his way into the locked room

tiptoes then dynamites the hanging

fearing to find escape outside of

becoming another fugitive figure

flung fatally into one of the frames

 

mixed relaxations

reactions

interactions

of sitting & rocking

the childminder asleep

like a tighter thought leaping

across the room at my throat

 

Ringmaster’s Intro Speech

 

realized confinement

time & tomorrow waiting

with a box full of everyone

wishes for their giving to

secret plans & dangling

free frozen in the act

of trying to be a lover

or another testy fake

 

beneath satin sliding silk

sticking sucking slender

silent

waiting then leaping

at your throat

knife sharp

cutting

steel swift

shining sinking into

flinching flesh

bursting bleeding

bravely saving sighs for songs

as duty demands this sudden

stealthy

dubious death

 

The Show

 

cautiously

carefully

itemized perfections

petrified pain

aware merry-go-round

 

circus

charmer looking for Mesmer

trying for the bigtop jackpot

scarcely leaning jagged seat-edged

watching amazed as

the trapeze swings

empty

as

the trapeze swings

full

oriental curving through

a thousand falling feet

to the thudding ground

netted protected below

unaware

timid almost

blushing

shy for once

pleased & proud

confused aloud

almost sure these

hands reached for

across the crowd

might prove to be gone

plunging again

but knowing full well

it’s merely a trick of the band

 

the trombone

tension getting device

as the drums beat faster

& the trapeze bar mirrored silver

fogs with perspiration 

slipping hands

feeling thousand hands hounding

grabbing you out of mid-flight

& dragging you

gracefully arching

to the aching 

safety of home

 

gaunt & tall

removed & aloof

the savage tamer

of the tigers in the room

the charming knife thrower

electric pulsating neon

through pink spotlight

cage bar shadow rippled face

loses no time

in hurling rockets of steel

flashing through sawdust air

to trembling spangled buxom target

coyly smiling as she walk

from the spinning hazard into

your eager spread-legged dream

of night & thrill

in the trailers

in the tents

in the bandwagon

in the centre ring

the major attraction of all time

together

you might & majestic

while she

so calm & serene

& able to walk way

alive after having been burst upon

by your crimson dagger

 

simple acts of contrition

rings one & two

no bells are heard

but the leper’s bell

as the choir bursts forth

with discord after harmony 

 

chime

chime

chime

the centre attraction 

is cutting himself to shreds

the knife thrower stands small in the wings

the centre attraction

is taming himself with whip & chair

s c r e a m i n g

dan

g

l

i

n

g in the air

swings by his teeth

twisting & turning in erotic agony

as the bareback lady rides her

mount so heavily over

the sweating

distressed

finish line

 

clowns in fire engine

save the crying child

the crowd roars wild

 

the choir finds a fatal note

rapture

applause

laughter

spotlights flash aimlessly

uncontrolled

over

the

tent top

sky

as beyond

fireworks

filled

as the final fugitive elephant

is prodded back into chains

is lured back into his corner of the circus

 

fleeting & everlasting

steaming rows of

honking seals

screaming rows of terrified children

as the tigers leap

thrashing

at the cage bars

trying for freedom

foreheads bleeding & dripping

clowns playing

in frenzy to hide the

deep inside mastery of the circus

 

circus tickets

laughing futile 

flight through time

again the choir

singing some

faithless mass

the organist trashing his peddles

the guest soprano

leading through

new augmented chords

all united as all

lions leaping through flaming hoops

horses dancing the arias

cadenza

pianist handless

rhythms 

pumping faster

the fire engines futile whine

 

while in the centre ring

I lead them all in

one final chorus of

laughter

At the time wrote this I felt it was a magnum opus. This is one piece were the enjambments were a carnival in & of themselves. ‘dan g l i n g’ stretched across the page, as well as down the page, with each turn of the typewriter roller dropping the letters down one line after the other.

‘topaz shatterproof whispering thief’ wtf? It clearly shows the influence of surrealism and Dylan Thomas. It creates, to me, an image that almost makes sense while being mystifying meaningless. ‘fugitive figure/flung fatally into one of the frames’ what the ‘f’ is going on 🙂 I do love ‘bigtop jackpot’ for the sonics.

The trapeze symbolized my sense of trying swing through life while keeping from being unbalanced by my expectations & sexuality ‘alive after having been burst upon/by your crimson dagger.’ The pumelling images almost reflect some of the melodramatic turmoil I was struggling with trying to get a sense of my own future.


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Try to Shine 1971

In going through a box of papers I came a cross a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. I was using a cheaper, yellow copy for many of these – the paper hasn’t yellowed with age. Enjoy 🙂

Try to Shine 1971

father of lights

father of lights

we try to shine as lights in the world

but what good can we do

with your every greater light

outshining us as every dawn

must we wait till your dusk

before we can shine at all

& if we wait what will we do

as it gets nearer the dawn

nearer the dawn

 

the fever shook the country

sometime in December I think

or seem to recall

things were pretty hectic

my back against the wall

the fever took quite a few

I felt it too

it ripped up & down my spine

tore my life to pieces

but for some reason

didn’t take me with the rest

I’m still here

keeping the record of the dead

of the fever followers

who will never return

perhaps the next fever will be mine

 

spring comes in promises

silver nuggets here & there

in first forest clover

but well

it seems so distant anyway

xmas & all

a few little glances

a smile & a call

never getting further than before

never getting nearer than the dawn

 

words of warning or warming

written for a few you’s

who stayed till dawn

nearer than before

in other summer days

we’ve lied & tried

& yet no dawn comes

to reflect the snow snuggled ground

 

it seems so strange at times

to be relating to a voice as a mouth

on the other end of the telephone

rather than the whole of you

it seems so strange at times

to be relating to thoughts as eyes

at the receiving end of a letter

rather than the whole of you

 

it’s not the empty morning that I’m afraid of

I can sleep

or read fortunes with oil on water

swirling sticks & liquorice

I’m afraid of loving

only to find trick of time

did remove me

into some other ticking type of clock

that chimes in disharmony

though perhaps there is another way

for me to wind up

 

I was hoping to meet

in the street by chance

meet you & free myself

of the longing to remember who you were

when I met you last

meet you & free myself 

of longing to meet you once again

in the street

only in the street

for in the street we both have room to escape

& no need to really be there

for longer than a smile & light

& maybe plan for some later meeting

which if happens will

make us even further apart than ever

 

nights after nights

& days after days of words

wandering on & on

not looking really

just wandering

fitting a few & losing a few

wandering closer & further from

hoping & despairing 

the eventuality of time

when I will have to stop

& say which is which

for both can only exist if I intend to

wander on & on forever alone

forever alone

 

father of lights

tell me a fantasy

tell me a meaning

let’s plan a meeting someday soon

each time it becomes harder to find

reasons why

but easier to find ways how

soon perhaps

it can happen

with no reasons at all

 

another start

where the same endings

never seem in sight

Bob Dylan’s New Morning ended with the song Father of Night. In the song he repeated ‘Father of   ….’ with variations of what the father was father of. The religious reference was toyed with ins ouch way that it lead me to write this piece. Direct religious references in my writing are rare but there are subtle ones that pop up frequently.

There’s a bit of story in this piece. ‘the fever’ refers  to the decisions of ‘you’s’ friends of mine to get out of the ghost town & move on with education, employment & even relationships. I felt stranded in Sydney writing letters & making long-distant calls – which reduced us to voices & eyes. 

One of closest string friends was un university & sometimes visited his parents or his girlfriend unexpectedly but didn’t always get in touch with me when he did. It drove me crazy. Such is closeted life.


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Ghost Town 1972

In going through a box of papers I came a cross a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. I was using a cheaper, yellow copy for many of these – the paper hasn’t yellowed with age. Enjoy 🙂

Ghost Town 1972

1

I wanted to catch that feeling

of stars tossed by the wind

a fistful clutched of glass

twinkling sparkling stars

suddenly flashing so fast

through the blackest night sky

that wind

feeling its caress

its warmth

scurrying flurries of fragment silver

across an evergreen tree 

 

take that wind

moan it through a saxophone daydream

through empty shuddered grey-wooded saloons

stables jails & whorehouses

through the dry dust bowl of a ghost town

 

I wanted to taste that surge

of power released by the sun

a mouthful savoured of laughing

bubbling flooding power

suddenly bursting so loud

through the brightest sunrise

that taste

feeling its lingering

its invitation

escaping teasing lure of memory

in a black oaken cask

 

take that sun

moan it through a clarinet daydream

through empty shuddered grey-wooden saloons

stables jails & whorehouses

through the dry dust bowl of a ghost town

 

catch that wind & sun

then let them drift away

softly into your treasure trove

gently into your everyday

take them before they return

to the ghost town

2

calico bonnets & wooden sidewalks

a street turns to mud in the rain

some youngold prospector with gold in his socks

& a boy who talks of cotton & grain

a good old town

small getting big

caught by the sudden boom

discovered down by the lake

or in them were hills

the word flashed around

thousands to dig

so little to take

stomachs aching with greedy ills

 

calico bonnets my mother wore

jars of candy in the everything store

gone all gone never even mine

just an image I found just in time

of a bustling deal come to shore

landing firmly in this ghost town

 

a shoot out at noon

cattle drive by night

smokey kitchens baked beans

hand clappin’ revival

& other church picnic scenes

grabbed up for survival

for some pleasure of mine

movie over too soon

leaving traces of flight

across the rocket ripped room

 

slinging gun so low

red Indian moonshine glow

buffalos moved to make room

with little babies waiting for birth

coming across tv screen dreams

hazy & grainy & end of the show

turn it down

who wants any sound

in this dust windy ghost town

3

flies buzzing into windows

stumbling through the street

horse drawn wagons & stages to meet

widows starving on

childless fathers drinking on

shadows flickering into the night

hoping for the sheriff or the cavalry

to save them from the Indian fight

 

speak softly now

lights down so low

nowhere better to be

no need to go

linger & long

in this dust windy ghost town

About this time I was collecting the Time-Life series on the Old West. The set had wonderfully embossed covers & I’d get a new volume every other month. Wonderfully illustrated & unexpectedly detailed they fuelled me with a sense of the real West, as opposed to the TV & movie version. I was a fan of the books, not of the movies.

Though such of the imagery here comes from tv & movies, with that dash of surrealism i.e. ‘saxophone daydream.’ The ‘I’ speaks from being there, of having experienced this place using the accumulated details to sound more authentic. Then the reveal ‘just an image I found’ – so the piece is about imagination as an escape. Imagining one ghost town to escape from another ghost town. Sydney, my home town, being the real ghost town.

Going though this now I enjoy the images, even the use of alliteration isn’t as heavy handed as it got is some pieces – ‘scurrying flurries of fragment silver’ has a nice flow. 

I have been back to Sydney, & will be there again this summer. It has pretty much become a ghost town – most of business exists for the many cruise ships & liners that stop there for the ‘quaint’ factor. “Ooo look beer fudge.” I look forward to visiting my old haunts.
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My Renaissance Teapot

TOpoet

I was walking along the Danforth on a sunny Saturday in 2015 and as I passed the Renaissance Cafe I noticed that the doors were wide open with Randy in the midst of a sell-off of the old cafe’s stuff – cutlery, china, menus – even the tables & chairs.

renpot01

Renaissance Teapot: 400 ml

The Ren was where I made my way into the spoken scene in Toronto thanks to the Cafe’s dedication to local musicians and writers. Even the staff were performers. I remember hitting the Cryptic Chatter stage way back in 2000 & how badly I had to pee the minute I stood behind the mic. By the end of the year I did my first feature there.

renpot02

Renaissance Teapot/ my morning tea mug 750 ml

I have so many vivid memories of people I met, heard and even still know today. Valentino Assenza, Kevin Fortnum, Jeff Cottrill…

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Sea Story – July 1971

In going through a box of papers I came a cross a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. I was using a cheaper, yellow copy for many of these – the paper hasn’t yellowed with age. Enjoy 🙂

Sea Story – July 1971

1

it’s been a rough passage

lies & all the lightening skies

I keep wondering when the southbound breeze

will kick me in the head & knock me to my knees

it tries & tries

so hard to please

dangling sweet smelling smiling hope before my eyes

but I must maintain my mainsail

avoid the sacrilege

of sacrifice

bear up proud & strong

to keep sailing toward no end in sight

the trunks have been abandoned long ago on the wharf

all are empty now

looted of their costumes

I must sail with sails my disguise

I must ride the blizzard inside & out

finally realizing that time has come

to hunt down the criminal vagabond

who attacked my fine silks with spilt wine

dirtied my sparkling mirror with

the expression of his eyes

all ravaged & hopelessly left loose

lying on the edge of time

while I so calmly remained removed & longed

to keep sailing toward no end in sight.

2

sultry slow children playing

back & forth

running from the tents

to the trees

unaware of their warm ease

as the sky pans by

a million fathoms empty of stars & moon

but full of powdered blue aside

no outside

clouded sprightly &

moving the grass

whispered at last

that windows could be opened

for this sailor to peer outside for awhile

there are no mistakes to plead correction for

only moments of flight

to long reflying for

only knots to wish retying for

only by gone crying & laughing

to languish in with pianos playing

over & under every longing & wish

we feel to return to dry land

violin strings sea storm

harp winds wailing

forever & ever warm wind sailing

towards the new ending

towards the maybe loving making in some Singapore shanty

that cannot open its doors

till we arrive with no more longing

to keep sailing toward no end in sight

flashing flashing fitfully warning

with sudden outbursts of lighthouse lunacy

trying so hard to cut the night in two

hoping for some sounding to come rebounding

to warn of hidden dangers murky depth

& silent glowing slithering by happiness

luring the wary into nets of stars

flying them off at a thousand miles per minute

toward the fatal swiftness of the sun

3

we played at being hopelessly lost one dusty morning

snow like dust on the decks

spinning down from eternity

we played at being hopelessly lost

our prow pushing forward into thick air

seemed to be leading nowhere

foreward foreward

the icy wind pushed us

the sails frozen such that we couldn’t take them down

foreward foreward

steering deeper deeper into

the equator’s sunshine blizzard

foreward foreward

following the smiling nude sea

into some deathless canyon ribboned on all sides

with impenetrable sheets of snow & rain

& laughing surprise packages as we each

opened our eyes to another fine morning

here in my little room

so far from the sea

so free from the sea

so removed in anguish from the diadems

of speech that somehow I manage

to keep sailing toward no end in sight

One of the drawbacks in transcribing these pieces has been the loss of enjambments 😦 Even if I duplicate them here – they disappear when I cut & paste a version into another program – Word Press strips everything away except italics. With the old typewriters I would only have to turn the roller one line down & start without having to go back to the beginning edge.

I have to admit I was probably a bit made with enjambments anyway but I loved the way they look don the page, I loved how you drop a word down on the next line, or phrase, for emphasis so it was like an aside to what was just read, as opposed the the start of a whole new stanza.

In looking back at Sea Story I see it influences by Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker’s lyrics. There’s no denying ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ plays into this piece – it was a poem I studied in high school.    It’s hard to miss all the alliteration ‘sweet smelling smiling hope’ plus some sonic wordplay -‘the sacrilege of sacrifice.’ I lived by the ocean but rarely wrote about the sea.


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Lady of Sand 1968

In going through a box of papers I came a cross a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. I was using a cheaper, yellow copy for many of these – the paper hasn’t yellowed with age. Enjoy 🙂

Lady of Sand 1968

awkward eventuality descends

the stairway nude & she depends

on the shock of flesh so bare

to make all her lovers care

about the little emotion she’s feeling

we only laugh & send her reeling

 

completely devoid of original thinking

perhaps her ideas have been drowned by drinking

to make her body look white & pale

so she can sell it at some discount sale

along with the little emotion she’s dealing

only no one buys & this sends her reeling

 

abstracted tomorrow’s frustration

drained her heart as we stood in the station

with her young body full but unsure

because she knows I’m not pure

taking all the little emotion she’s feeling

so I don’t wave goodbye which sends her reeling

 

so now I come back to you my Lady of Sand

to tell you that I finally understand

the warmth of your body the touch of your mind

you were the truest love I could ever find

& I see how much emotion you’re feeling

she turns her head & sends me reeling

Here I am playing with structure – six line verses, rhyming couplets, with each verse ending with a similar couplet with variations. The final couple being a twist on all that went before a supposed to a summation of all that went before.

I’ve never been that fond of forced structure or of rhyme or even meter. I’m too undisciplined for that kind of composition. If it happens it does without my trying. At times I have even edited accidental  rhymes out of piece.

Part of the inspiration of this piece was Marcel Duchamp’s – Nude Descending A Staircase. Lines like ‘completely devoid of original thinking/perhaps her ideas have been drowned by drinking’ are a reflection of my own drinking though 🙂 ‘abstracted tomorrow’s frustration’ is fine purple poetics as I use words for effect rather than meaning 🙂


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Razor Songs 1971

In going through a box of papers I came a cross a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s in Cape Breton. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. Enjoy 🙂

Razor Songs 1971

1

dancing in the snow

our bones clacking fixedly

in time with the dripping wax

that means our time will soon be black

& we will have to dance blind

never to see each other again

only feeling the cold slicing of the snow

through the satisfied winter air

 

in some distant hour I’ll fall into bed

roam through thwarted sleep

finding quick comfort with idle hands

now I am sleeping in a way

drifting in & out

filling cups of tea

in hopes of not looking up

to find myself stir a feeling

that feeling when I see you

shuffling through pencilled pages

mindful but busy

mindful but disbelieving

for I have lied before

am I lying now

2

words are like rain

like tears

like you

all I need are my words

the rain

my tears & you

but to have you I must

overcome my fear

of falling

into the abyss wherein lies

a pool of rain & tears

out of which no words can pull me

 

fantasy favours the wind swept tarns

sheer cliffs

sea beaten

ship wrecked

golden moors & haunted sounds

creaking doors & dangling diamonds

reality favours the sighted

 

I can see you now

reading

in a big backed chair

or in a hurry for your next frustration

happy to hear my voice as words

now know how frustrated I feel

knowing we are not in harmony

in bravery or even in person

 

I saw you then

heartless

on the edge of the bed

or between the sheets

happy to feel hands on you

happy to hear sighs of passion

knowing that you weren’t in harmony

only searching in the wrong person

for the right bravery

3

there is room somewhere for laughter

the cage cannot contain its sound

only its maker

bit I feel at times my sound

escapes this cage

only to be trapped by yours

a pocketful of laughter

spent by the time you

feel like seeing me cry

 

I’m letting myself sink

deeper & deeper into dust

no caring

for dust

like opium

removes my caring

my anxiety

replacing them with sighs

that tired aching arms cannot lift

so I must go on forever

hoping this is anger

hoping this is anger

anger to fight for fists

to beat away the anguish

of being warm for too long

but never caring enough to freeze

 

I fancy myself trapped

with dungeon rats

mouldy walls

& stagnant cistern water

waiting in anguish for the priest

but it is mere fancy

for here in this dungeon

I’m far too comfortable

to enjoy such a luxurious escape

4

an hour or so of being near

rips my pattern to pieces

I can pull together in a day or so

destroying the power the hour releases

in the form of frantic fear

I try to hand some joke line

about wanting you

when I really do

or am I lying

 

is each word

each motion

another step  in my

futile attempt at sexual conquest

before I find my fantasies

more tantalizing than the sun

on her naked body

drifting on the water

walking over hot sand

demanding that I take

it all now or sometime later

when it won’t mean as much

to either of us

I was rather fond of numbered sections thanks to T.S. Eliot who wrote several poems with number sections. I never became as reference heavy as he did though. I was also fond of long pieces which were often shorter ones strung together & then edited with echoed references to create a sense of unity. I see my fascination with images, paradox & melodrama. Chalk the title up to melodrama.

 ‘I see you/shuffling’ is an actual moment of being with one of my male ‘crushes’ – who was an artist. I’m sure my sexual longing was apparent to him but it was never directly acted upon or communicated. A fear I never overcame, at the time. 

The ‘her’ at the end, as opposed to ‘him’ was out of the fear of discovery by someone reading the piece then. I left it as written. Scholars sift though the writing & pasts of great closeted poets like Langston Hughes looking for clues that they were in fact queer. There’ll be no need to sift through mine 🙂


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Morning Allusions 1969

In going through a box of papers I came across a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. Enjoy 🙂

Morning Allusions 

the bravest breath of morning’s

prophetic dawn came whispering

through the frost glazed glass

of my window to the sun

 

cold hardwood floor damns my futile

attempts as last moment warmth

by taking my thoughts

& turning them into creaking

inflexible bone-cutting steel

 

the hissing sound of man made

warmth

slowly fills the cold empty

cavern with its welcome promise

 

in other rooms

of far off worlds mumbles

suddenly hush as they all are gone

except me who is tangled in the last

fleeing dream, before I fall, startled

awake for the fourth & final time

 

up some mosaic staircase

my feet rush

to make their way outside

where another stream of thought

strikes & the morning is lost

In inputing this piece I tried to stick to my many 1970 edits on the original. I did drop some of the punctuation. My bedroom at that time was in the basement of my parents’ house. I had a ground level window & the room was a bit of a cavern. The ‘man made warmth’ of the furnace would start up frequently. I easily sense the influence of the spoken section of The Moody Blues Night In White Satin. You also detect my enjoyment of alliteration. 


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet