It is not that easy to remember
why you left the
keys in the door,
only that it was cold
and that it was early winter
and you were unused to it,
and that other things were
on your mind, things you’d forgotten
But there it is, regardless,
hanging aloft, shining its
fangs, as if it were a small animal
gripped in a trap,
unsure whether escape points
to the left, or whether right
is the answer, or that it’s best to
stay still as possible so that
when the door opens and asks,
you will know what to say.
You will, of course, say
there no answers,
only decisions you
never quite made, that you
rather recklessly blotted them
out with ellipsis
so enthusiastically so
that you could lend their excess
to dot highways.
But, that, of course, is rather melodramatic
for a night where the universe,
for the first time in history,
has reversed itself so that snow
is reflecting the white of the moon
and in it the tiny, tiny footprints
of meteors.
This is why you know that
it’s clear, no matter how late it’s become,
that the thing that held you in the beginning,
holds you, as you walk right through it
to the very end but simply
never, ever have the word to say it
so that not even the moon can hear it,
even with its mountainous ears bent toward you,
even with it brightening your face.


i read lorca, first,
ezra after that

inside a broken mouth,
the dark magnolia’s

fluttering 4 percent

rendering her text,

as petals caught
in a teacup’s bitter thicket.

just because it’s dark
does not mean

anyone’s there.

november 27

november 27

Light, cold rain

Wind-shield wiper swipes
the geese overhead.
It’s nice, now I need
not persuade, nor make believe
it’s possible
to stay.
The needle will cross over again,
to the north.
When winter’s scrubbed away,
geese will conduct
the sky.

Ghazal, pt. 2

This is the same portage. I lift the canoe.
I look for treelight scraping into creeks.

Down there words shimmed for love are damning up
the river and the comets are coming up to breathe.

Trees stand steep as migrants in boats.
Landings are farflung blazes, stepping stones.

Dreams of blisters and the waypoints of addicts.
And seventh and eighth and ninth printings.

The nylon tent takes a breather from darkness.
A caterpillar readies its glow.

She couldn’t have said it better, or worse.
I have passed everything all over, and failed.

The world is run-over and, naturally,
my boots choke on the taste of clay.

Ghazal, pt. 1

The goldenrod lay hunched and sour and in ravines where snow
had softened in alder trees and red deer calves teetered.

He shoulders the canoe on windy cedar, red-waved knuckles
half-holding nails on gunnels, salted dents.

She lugs a pack, macintosh and strawberry, liquorice and wine,
and the trees swoon against her, shivering wingmoss, flour.

Speaking of flowers, white and impalpable, and birchpelts,
and my need to tarnish with beauty every crooked stone.

Do seasons retry, does god hibernate, wrestle with bears, knead snow
into muscles smooth and light with his soft and with shattered claws?

Tom Thomson’s Sketches

– necklaces of leaves on slaughtered necks, crumpled stumps
– fire pits welling up red-pine limbs, bubonic, cannibalistic
– 2 dogs wrestling, black & white
– birch & smoke
– eels of heat from snouts, fur, paws, shit
– rusted trees, minus 3rd degree burns, welts of tamarack
– parade of women in fabrics of speckled trout on floats flying the Turkish flag, waving
– splashing in the ice-lake, pulling on the crescent of the wind-loosened canoe
– the spitting image
– the other, Tom Thomson drowned in your basement when the water heater seized up
– strips of socks and sleeves of fish frozen on the roots of an upturned tree
– smoke, the grey erasure-smudge of wind
– story retold re: two weeks of warmth in Jan. colouring trees with buds before being silenced with snow
– rocks as ballasts scraping across the lake
– a country of gem-stoning
– the lost map the treasure buried in the glitter-heated thunderbox
– and from here, to cross through into Winter, heaving the body



Fog in the Trees



Peculiar how the voice
is first
to trail off,
as the new body
that’s left
vanishes into
and I grasp inside
the ache of it
as it assumes
the silky weight
of the newly drowned.
it is never quite in my hand.
In my palm,
it is the near
weightlessness of a
bird from summer’s
waterless grass.
However, now
it is winter,
and I am standing at this open door
your name as I
listen within it
for mine.
It is waiting to ask, where am I
that I must call out
for you.
I need you to answer
because I do not
the manner in
me and you,
in one way or another,
lost you and
in the very same place.


I am sitting on the edge of the mattress.
The sheets are white as a hospital bed.
The window takes me to transparent dark.
The computer’s at its place on the table, like an unused plate.
In this city, there are words, like bees,
Travelling from mouth to mouth and
Worlds continually fade, like bruised lips.
Outside, the men have started a fire.
I will be silent and listen for winter.
It will come so that everything becomes the same.
It will cover every shadow with nothing.


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