Libretto

I wrote this after seeing Leonard Cohen in concert, which was sometime in 2011 I think. His voice seemed so frail, it made me rather sad. The reference to the golden voice is from his song ‘Tower of Song’

 

Sit with me and my sweet libretto
I will tell you
Under columns of light
In my golden voice
One by one
These are all the girls I have lost
Their names on scraps of paper
I snared them with music
And broke them with words
Like barbs
Like arrows
And how I hated them
For being beautiful
I never shouted
(Except in Greek)
For fear that I might ruin
That golden voice
Is
Now all stone
The girls are all gone
Only the words are left
Like barbs
Like arrows
Pointing nowhere

Vancouver shipping forecast

I have a particular dislike for local poetry that basically consists of name-dropping and then automatically gets published as a result. When I was asked to write something about where I live for a class, this is what I wrote.

North Vancouver, West Vancouver: leashes, silver, glibly aspiring
West End: flirting, muscled, decaf latte, stiff breezes later
South Granville 16 to 44: boutique, fixtures, haute cuisine, gently rising
Main Street: Ironic, laptops, canvas, Mao on t-shirts
Commercial Drive: Assorted, candles, Kerouac, discreet baking, Joy Divided
Kitsilano: Sodium, picket fence graveyard
Point Grey: gouging, drapery, blissfully rectal
East Hastings: ignored, hasty, skirted, darkly pulsing.

Despair Prevails

Strike the day
From the list by the bed
Despair prevails
Insistent as a switchblade
Writing thin red scrawl
Musings, simply musings
Nothing so coherent
As a stream of consciousness
The pages all torn out
Wrapped in wire and ribbons, dark under my skin

It seems you have opted
For vanity fairgrounds
And golden cups
I am behind the blackout curtain
I think it may be daylight outside
All that grows on this side
Are the uncurling tealeaves
And discarded films
Spiraling mazes left unsolved

There is little time left now
We pull apart the muscles
And grind down the bones
Try to find that divine spark
Like making fire
By rubbing skin on skin
Turn aside for envy
Press out the light against the wall
Every just-glimpsed tress
The only desire left
For a rhyming couplet
Despair prevails

Do not stop to pack bags

 

Roll on
roll off
loop this sound
endlessly
in the open shut
infinite legato
blink your eyes
cardboard cutout
propped against the wall
you are hidden
can’t see it coming
go visible
no longer gaussian blurred
no longer concealed
aiming to be perfect
the pen hovers over you
multiple choice
moves on
always moving on
without anchor
launched frozen waste
into
blank space