Monday, August 31, 2009

Verse: Harmonize

Our song
is just enough
for us to sing

this unrehearsed
little trifle
we make up
as we go along

neither of us
if others should
decide to
for this
is our song

It goes
like this

Verse - Inside the creative process

Okay. If you were on here yesterday, you may have seen a verse I wrote inspired by Peggy's Cove. I removed it. I really wasn't feeling it. I blame distraction by Kevin O'Leary on Shark Tank. Guy's compulsive viewing. What can I say. Anyway, I reached out for indpendent verification that it wasn't working and in a pique of contempt, I removed it. But then something happened. First, here is what I put up here on Sunday:

How strange
Those formidable
Columns of waves
Advance relentlessly
Toward these
Impassive, ancient
Scarred shores
One after
The other
Intent on
Nothing short
Of surrender
One after
The other
Reduced to
Little more
Than sweet
Slender fingers
Of clotted cream
Caressing and cloaking
This barren
Granite earth
For a moment
Before reluctantly
Letting go

Not so hot, huh? Well, one piece of that verse appealed to me. And I thought, I can do better than that. So, along came attempt #2:

The waves
taste like fear
but I remain calm

one after another
like an advancing
army they approach
but I remain calm

shatter upon contact
like sheets of glass
but I remain calm

scouring and scaring
my shivering skin
but I remain calm

the sweet succor
of foam
like clotted cream
fills my pores
my mouth
feels like
a benediction
and I
remain calm

Still not quite feeling it, but you can see what the constant is. So, we come to attempt number three. And I've put this all up here so you can see how an idea develops when allowed to breathe. I call this, La Mer:

La mer
the French call her
it sounds like
the word they use
for mother

how lovely
how apt
even though
I have no
ancestral memory
I yearn to float
and form in
her ceaselessly
undulating belly
once more

she who is
stirred by the cycles
of the gelid moon
stoked by insatiable gravity
though roiled
even now
I long for her wet
wispy embrace

even now
I long to be suckled
and swaddled
by those clean
slender fingers
of clotted cream
that tenaciously
clutch the shore

and to know
however briefly
what I was
before I was
what I am

a sort
of reunion
a baptism
a benediction

I'm still not sure that I wound up somewhere better, but I at least feel more peace with the the last version. As I often say, this didn't turn out quite as I expected, but now you see the path I traveled to get here...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

verse: Dragonfly

And summer
was not aware
of you

tensed and
just below
the water's
dark shivery

how long
have you
been there
like a dancer
as a mother
the tender
mercy of your prey

I could never
be so patient
but then
I could never
shed my skin
no matter how
hard I tried

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Verse: Ocean

If the ocean
does not remember me
I will not be surprised

it has been
so long
since I
last encountered
its tremulous

but I never
asked to be
a river

I was never
so certain
so direct

Look how
my mouth
and dissolute
is swollen
with senseless
with indigent rain
and yearning

but if I
were to
approach you
If I should
advance, unmasked
I know you
would only
swallow me
without hesitation
without regret

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Verse: Nowhere

It isn't there
at least
not yet

but soon
and almost sudden
it will appear

a rogue wave
of insistent
roiling instances
each more impatient
than the last
infinitely unfolding
and unnamed

like paralysis
a fever
of yearning
then time will
at last turn
on itself
with a venomous

but, no
and earth
and all their
strange magics
do repel me

saying only
it's not here
what you seek
at least
not yet
and not
for now
for you

Monday, August 24, 2009

Verse: Embryonic

We tenuous
and untitled
and mortal
as a moment is

not foresaken
but perhaps
generic or
gentle as
a notion
and genuine
as humility

before lust
or luster
before quarrel
and qualms

we sang
before we had
even a song
to sing
and talked
we had anything
to say

now enticed
to dream
now entangled
in delights

we wait
only for
an embrace
we wait
only for
you to
recognize us
to sweep us
up in your
quilted hands
like you would
the dust of chance

Friday, August 21, 2009

Verse: Tag

We will start
at Oxford
and if no one
recognizes us
we can say
we're incognito

If they should
call our names
we can pretend
we are incommunicado

If they should
notice us
we can cover
our faces
like celebrities
or scatter
like fugitives
agreeing to meet
someplace later

If they should
approach us
we will not
and if they
lay hands on us
we will not
go under

For if they
should kiss us
with their
grotesque mouths
with lips that
are moist
and swollen
with want
we will surrender
in an interminable
instant of sighs

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Verse: unmanned

you called us

not the nomenclature
I would have chosen

at least not
for you

while I sully
clean white sheets
with impetuous
and inchoate ardor

while I toil
at torturous
little bibelots
and solecisms
that I deny
and abrogate

you, with
laser precision
adorn the tenuous
night sky with
cool ebullience
tiny satellites
impervious to time

You would not
have it so
but I would call you
poet, priestess
many other things
imprecise things

all this
so you know
that when you
do offer your
uncannily indelible

it is like
in my
inarticulate heart

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Verse: Orion

you say
like it is
a given

you, solicitous
do ally yourself
with countless many
bodies who
in sleep
are abject
and do ossify

given to turbid
while I fulminate
but dreams are
just that

like a star
yoked to
a crescent moon
in the early
morning hours
they are nothing
without you
nor am I

but I
will be up
all night
learning how
to hunt
and my aim
will be true

Monday, August 17, 2009

Verse: tempus fugit

as I am
I am not
one to insist
on infinity

Not in the
secret susurrations
of summer breezes

Nor in the sweet
benefaction of
the night sky

And certainly not
in the capricious
whims of
invidious winter

No, if anything
these are things
that, instead
entice me
with the tender mercy
of the temporary

When it is ephemeral
or cursory
or adumbrate
Then, and only then
does it have
value or appeal

Let it all
fade away
and I
will be
the constant
I will light
this world
with my song

Friday, August 14, 2009

Verse: Frisson

The universe
mysterious and cool
eludes us
as a magician would
swallows us
in a clandestine kiss

but you will not
inhale it
but you will not
resolve it
but you will not
cosset it
and taciturn

the querulous wind
does not hear
the senescent sun
does not see
the lugubrious ocean
will not tell you
you are loved
they only abnegate

All that you are
is all that dreams
are made of
you are brief
and swift
and hard to pin down
but fragments do
reveal you
and presently

I ask only
that you come to me
now and
do not delay
I am lost
I am ugly
I am gone

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Verse: flux density

This moment
goes here

the next
is uncertain

to define

too close
to be objective

too fluid
to embrace

I harbor
injurious thoughts

cradle them
when love
is ingravescent
and meek

and the night
and ingurgitating
my soul

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Verse - Serenity

Ruffled feathers
And floating
Through the air
Lost like a lonely

The milkweed seed
Brushes by me
Entering the
Antique store
Seeking relief
From the venomous
Pangs of summer

And tumbles
Into a singing bowl
Silently tickling
Its burnished
Belly with its
Soft quilted fingers
Intensely intoxicated
By the steely resolve
Of its terse
Perfect skin

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Verse: Daylillies

They arrive
In a burst of
Rapturous life

How they
Command attention
Like an offhand

And warm
In their
Fiery countenance
As the ember of
A memory often is

More glorious
For being
And yet mild
Like kindness

What do they
Know of anticipation
Of love, serenity
Surrender or wonder

Of those who would
who take pleasure
In their presence
And are overcome
With unspeakable
At the cruel
Fragile brevity
Of beauty?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Verse: Needle

(don't know if this quite works, but here you are. If you know me, you can spot the reveal a million miles away...)

How many times
have I sought
solace and
escape in
the needle?

held it in
my eager
trembling hand
ready to insert it
into that perfect
singular dark ribbon
of vein?

waited with
palpable desire
for it to
at last
take hold
and let me
drift into
a heavy-lidded
flurry of
outrageous bliss?

say what
you will
of my affliction
but you
should know
that no less
an authority
than Bob Marley
once said
something to
the effect that
when the music hits
you feel no pain

A slave
to the needle
I know
in those moments
I touch
something eternal
something beyond
or expression
something pure
and true
and egregiously divine
it pierces
my heart

I know this
and that
when it's over
I crave
another hit

Friday, August 7, 2009

Verse: Freeze

as we called it
was the best
because it had
zesty cheese Taquitos
and every variety
you could imagine
of Hostess potato chips
just twenty-five cents
and my silent vow
to try each
and every one
was only broken
the summer that
they introduced
their infamous
fruit flavors

Not forgetting
the canteen
on Fraser Road
where you could
indulge in
trade Love Hearts
and flip Bottle Caps
and Fizz
on the way home
from school

But the best
treats to be found
were either
the fudge
my nan made
only when the weather
was right
or the plump, wet
slices of watermelon
and the rainbow
of Mr. Freeze flavors
mom would offer us
in summer
after lunch
when even the trees
seemed to weep for
just one cool, sweet bite

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Verse: Willet St.

At first
it was hard

there was
the constant
braying of
and trucks
chasing each other
through the

the inelegant
insect drone
of the steadfast neons
and the electrical wires

the chorus
of drunken angels
who lamented
the empty isolation
of the early
morning hours

and, true
the incessent
tapping of rain
that always seemed
to arrive
before we were
firmly ensconced
in dreamland

but after a while
they all became
a kind of
white noise
a strange lullaby
that set me
spiraling Letheward

and the only
to my sleep
were the heat
of your breath
on my neck
you blindly
seeking me
while lost in
random reverie
and the excitement
of hearing
your heart
beating like wings
within your
soft, serene cage

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Verse: banquet

this is the first verse I've written with a built-in apology about the quality.

You know
this was
in haste
and yet
I hope
it's to
your taste

I know
it will
not sound
like much
but I
melt like
chocolate at
your touch

I know
I should
be more
but I
grow soft
as you

I know
that it
does me
no favors
to say
your kiss
I savor

I know
I tend
to exaggerate
how your
emerald eyes
do coruscate

But I
swear I
know no
to compare
with your
cinnamon skin
which I
do deeply

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Verse: untitled

This is not as I'd hoped, but offered in case you find some merit in it:

Sudden girls
bold as fate
that talk
in pairs
by the gate

come forth
come swift
and soon

where you will

your impatient
song while you can
sing your song

calm as milk
possessed by faith
as relentless
as cancer is

you cannot see
that you are
and unbound

and you will be
until you are
caught unawares
and permenently scarred
with deep, outrageous
penetrating love

Vintage Commercial of the Day - August 4, 2009

Today's vintage ad features my very first television crush, Elizabeth Montgomery. Sadly, my love for her was unrequited. Here she is for Kindness Hairspray, which appears to have been powered by chemicals, not by magic.

Song of the Day - August 4, 2009

Two years ago, or so, I heard St. Vincent for the first time. And when her new album, Actor, came out earlier this year, I was quite excited and delighted to reconnect with her and her quirky, whimsical pop. There's a dark undercurrent to what she does that I find agreeable. So I give over today's Song of the Day honors to Her and the first single from the album, Actor Out of Work:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Verse: Everything That Touches You

NB: The title was borrowed from an Association song; and three words from @cr8tiveCandy on Twitter:

that touches you

the prosaic hues
of a warm evening
breeze kissing
your cheek
in summer

the quick, vulgar
blemishes of
a bitter rain
in late winter

the blossoms
that strain
to run their
eager fingers
through your
honeysuckle hair
in glorious spring

the bored
desiccated leaves
that crumble
like corn flakes
under your feet
in autumn

the songs
you sing
like anthems
when you think
no one is listening

the familiar
scent of lavender
in the weekend market
and even
the sweet warmth
of fresh cherries
on your breath
first thing
in the morning

they are temporary
fleeting disdains
and delights
that do not know
your limitless desires
your quiet resolve
your beautiful name