Nith Bar. Men like him, unseen. The beer he can’t bother with. Wordless talk, tasting less and less.
Deer Creek. Snow falling on trees is the sign language of soft birds above alder trails. Haunted in the sun shattering off the milky sheets of grass.
Driving away. Motes of snow melting from his shoes to the floor of the car. Perfume of past time. His computer humming on the passenger seat.
The seatbelt indicator glowing. Everything’s more real if two can see it.
The man downstairs is watching
the Titanic movie at full blast.
Upstairs another man is talking to himself,
the way the hummingbird does in the morning
when she knows we must be listening.
Outside he sees the darkness that holds
the yellow smiles of wet on leaves.
The wind is like the sea, we all know that,
and all the noises surrounding silence
are the reincarnated birds we are,
the bodies full of waves.
Nith Bar. Men like him, unseen. The beer he can’t bother with. Wordless talk, tasting less than it is.
Deer Creek. Snow falling on trees is a sound itself. A song that sings in a whisper. A song about soft birds above alder trails, slick as enamel. Haunted in the sun that shatters off the milky sheets of grass.
Driving away. Motes of snow melting from his shoes to the floor of the car. Perfume of past time. His computer humming on the passenger seat. The seatbelt indicator glowing.
Everything’s more real if two can see it.
of the road,
made for that,
Late November. It is morning.
My daughter and I drive through the soaring
Snow outside of the town
In the white and opened ground
Past the fields’ fallow larches.
Surrounded we are mostly lost.
On the road winds criss-cross.
Pale moss glosses glass.
Mennonite horses pass.
I steer behind their tick-tock marches.
Girl, time pulls and unconsoles.
It whips your glowing neck, the cold.
It falls so soon, so soon.
It will ruin.
My daughter, through it the car charges.
Breezy and raining.
In the city this morning, rain crawls up
shoulders of empty buses,
and a man muddles by, a staff in either hand,
like a prophet, and his dog,
upstream on the sidewalk,
strays as each jagged scent
separates, empties and clears.
When I was young, I rode
the streetcar from one end of the city
to the other, looking out into
the swish of words.
Now, I walk over my reflection,
the heel of my boot against its throat,
teaching water to be air.
I wander around the house
like a ghost, like a mouse,
like a bird. Looking for what
I once was.
“What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music…. And people flock around the poet and say: ‘Sing again soon’ – that is, ‘May new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before, for the cry would only frighten us, but the music, that is blissful.”
― Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or
Thursday evening the dogs run ahead
through the unraked cheeks of leaves. I’ve let things stay,
and circle around too much. I’ve lost the air
for other things. The drive into the city for winter tires,
the tail-lights that need repair, the brakes
I’ve been riding too long.
I stand here at the door a little while more,
and let the dogs feed scraps of barks into the breeze.
I suppose, to them, its seems alive, shuffling along,
casting out and resurrecting the dead. But dogs
shouldn’t dream. Night’s here, it’s the end of the week.
In a few minutes, winter comes.