Use me as a Motif

Listening to subscribed channels about loving myself

is probably more harmful than actually loving.

You can abandon people and they are still in the dark

even if I research the best methods of unloving someone

it can’t be done. Rooms wait for people to walk into

and as long as I wait for you, you can’t come in

to see me.  It’s fine.  I prefer it that way.  Death beds

are such beautiful places to end up in. Heaven

is a place you described once, while I wasn’t

in the room. I can see you there talking to her

and pretending I don’t exist. It’s fine. It’s not fine.

I’m absent from this part of the story.

You can use me up until I say no more. It’s coming.

That day you dread.  Death sucks up love at will.

You can go about your silence. It has no guilt.

wandering by the port

you wandered inside my mind

and got lost. you asked me

why do you write? because

i feel the words the way

you feel the sunshine on

your skin. because i want

to tear apart the demons.

because the words i hide

are the ones that come back

like a magician’s tricks.

because i told you, i have

no fucking choice. he woke me

up at midnight with violent

blue eyes and soft gently hands

only to thunder my soul with want.

i don’t want to read your poems.

i love everything about you and nothing

to do with what you write.

you know half of me.

you know all of me.

you know you can’t escape

yourself, baby.

he makes me crazy

with wanting and i tell him

everything. truth serum is

my vodka at scarlet

restaurants with

mobsters ordering

salmon tartare as if

they know everything about

fine cuisine, but nouveau

riche stay under the radar

no matter how their lambos

look in valet parking. try harder.

want less. the trick is to

keep breathing in tiny

made up gardens looking

for truth in empty champagne bottles.

it’s bullshit and Old Montreal is

holding my memories the way it

held my heart. we walked into

the pub and once again

I was the barmaid and you were

my man. nothing much changes,

just rust is added, some wrinkles,

some new buildings, old joints

still around to draw me closer

to you. i can’t escape anything

about your manic attraction.

i don’t know who i’m trying

to fool.

Muddy Boots

The damp earth moulded you,

two souls side by side like produce

in an aisle,

roasting Easter lamb above our heads.

There they are, she says.

It is when the coffin settles, the sculpted wood

evaporates,

the mud dries on our boots,

the alarm clock rings,

then life grabs you.

Shakes you.

Nothing stands still but the tulips

on my table. Days and hours

mingle like strangers at a party,

a place you get lost in. Moments

when nothing is relevant anymore.

It hits you again, slaps you, whispers in your ear:

you’ll never laugh again the same way as you 

did with him 

the joke seems stale now. Dry on your lips.

heavy on your heart. But you say it

you continue to say it. Believe in it.

No crowd roaring as the list

of the dead keeps growing

like our needs.

Still how your beauty wakes me

turns my pain into poetry

my Good Friday into symmetry.

I will always write

do not worry your beautiful mind

about me. I am as you say

messed up,

drinking Metaxa with too much glee

creating words you will never see.

just another poem about death

hashtag death, make it concrete,

or damp like the earth

or kill the spirit

with the typewriter

but oh, how the clicking sound

lifts my soul

closer to yours.

I wiped my boots

clean again,

ready to write poems.

Sitting in my car

If you want to know what I thought
all you have to do is ask
and when I said
well nobody walked out of the theatre/
most of the audience don’t know why
they laughed on cue/
rolled their eyes when needed/
and romanticized all/
because what can you do
in denial of your life
bring out the ties and sex acts
one by one
you can butt plug your existence
or pretend you know why he doesn’t want to be touched
like most men do
or why she likes her ass slapped
like most women do.
I can offend but a prompt is just that
and fan fiction is still fiction
and New York movie critics
need a sundown on this topic
and Madonna needs an opinion
all wait for the review
just have your own fucking nonsense bottle of wine with their logo
plaster it all over the sites
like someone wants to be you.
How is that
no one cares about what the waiter said last night
arguing with me while he knows he is wrong
didn’t high school end?
Never
it goes on
with every new Leader
or heartbreaking news story.
Watch the news in pain
as literature drowns
and best sellers float
but my book will not bring out all the kings and queens
and if you read or not
nothing changes
it’s still Friday and tomorrow is Saturday
drinking and waiting for The Hip to feed the soul.
Another -33 day in love with the guitar and sounds
of refusal
to sell out.
Sorry, to disappoint
but it has to be done
every once in a while
to see how
there is nothing closer to fiction
than reviews.
Every reader
wants to escape,
I hope my rope
is long enough
to touch the ground.

Emergency in two parts

1.

If regular days exist

I want to have one

without trauma rooms

injections, life threatening

false alarms and real tragedies.

Spend a day in hallways

rooms which monitor

heartbeats

instead give science lessons

about the four chambers of the heart

(the heart, the body, the soul, the mind)

you just made that up, Mama

I suppose I did.

It is the nasty smell of sickness

versus Gucci floral scents

Diesel pour homme

how we fight the system

sign away organs

cry under smiles.

At least the walls are a warm beige

and the no service on my phone

gives me time

to reminisce

as my mom and aunt describe

myself at four, five, nine, sixteen

I did that?

How other people’s memories

of you

are not even your own

how family

is stuck together

in hospital waiting rooms

taking turns to eat

or smoke or think.

This is how your childhood

smacks you

with scenes

from a forgotten movie

you vaguely recall.

You made Greek coffee at nine

(wow, such an accomplishment)

as their definition of a woman

and mine clash once again.

Yet times means nothing

and memories

are a dream now

what was real, invented,

told to you

what you are doing

in a hospital for twelve hours

when there is absolutely nothing

medically wrong with you

so I write some poems

about moments

slipping away.

2.

Working at a hospital at sixteen

does open up your heart

toughen your soul

evolve your mind

wear out your body

and all that smoking

in staircases discussing the importance

of art

theories

writers

seemed like Nelly and I

would change the world

with our artsy degrees

idealism in science

what a fucked up

paycheck.

Lest I forget him,

how he knew where to find me

when I hid

and took me to every quiet

nook

to ravish me

and wake up parts of me

my young heart

still searches for.

Sitting in a waiting room

is not

my favorite place

but we must

do it

the only thing left to do

is remember

think some more

remember some more.

Say goodnight, good morning

find patience and vending machines

coffee moka awful blends

sour cream and onion chips

suddenly there are no candy bars

going crazy looking for snickers

remember the way

back form the cafeteria

memorize letters

get lost in basements

ask at least two strangers

for directions

and count my change.

Say good night again.

And start over.

Ticket Train

Look up and watch the fall sky.
I keep on waiting
for the perfect day
to burn the notes
but they remain intact
an abstract Pollock painting
locked up
in some burgundy chest
bought at Winners.
No one holds the lock and key
as tightly as you do.
Even if you knew me then
against the high school wall
or now
as I wait in the sky
or in the future
writing you in my life
none of it would matter
except half-hour dates
and minutes to destiny
as love affairs
come and go
like snowstorms
leaving me under
to feel the freezing water
waiting to melt
at his warming touch
and thaw out
under his skin.

Murders in Montreal
rapists in hiding
driving on Sherbrooke Street
looking for tattoo parlours
to imprint your soul
upon my skin
as if it could even
be done.
None of it is real.

What a lively imagination
you have
just listen and maybe
you will hear the birds too
in -20 degrees
Tiffany did, she told
me so this morning.
I lit a candle for her
for her cat-scan
for her life.
I keep on praying for others
who will ever pray for me?
I know the dead do.
The only ones I can rely on.

Fresh face

Wrap you up in my lovely lies
lay you down in horrible highs
deceive you with myself
bands that have that
sound
like The Pains of Being…
you could probably fill in the gaps
know how to walk backwards
in a forward world.
I meant to lie only to the
tiny parts that screamed out
but know you’re in
in on my conspiracy
my own warped way
when lights go off
as dark as the forest
the deep ocean
with only the moonlight
guiding me
the place where I recognize you
lower case magic
upper case rules.

So many layers
you can never imagine
how many lights I have shut
how many still flicker
how many highways divide
or
snowstorms collide
you can hear me in the silence
it’s a rare gift
passed on from generation
to generation
but only the few have both
the lock and key
sometimes there is only one
without the other
but when I was high
I saw them both.
Who needs sleep
when you have all this love
these dance moves to show
how I dip
how we fly
I am living in another world
while parked
waiting for
the doors of my dreams
to open.

Floating Above My Deadline

If you want fire
light up a smoke,
it’s been too long
since I inhaled
your toxic words.
I am lounging
around, letting the cold air
fill my lungs.
Dragged from one city
to another in a state
of loss. Loss of the
astute ways you nudge
my knees apart
from the outskirts
of your town. Walls restrict
and leave me to build
fondness
admiration
of your fossilized words
that can bury me
under the frozen rivers
of this province.

I dreamed that you loved me
as you were meant to,
that you spoke to me,
as you would like to,
clearly
I saw your lips move
first in front of mine
soon after they traveled
along my frontiers.

It seems uncivilized to chase
a fox
yet honeyed words
will make most women
contradict and fool
even themselves.
She should stop.
She should go.
She should stop and go.

I teach my son how to drive
how to treat a woman
how to love
how to surpass men
and reach out and touch a soul.
He can do it. I have faith.
I cross my fingers as I wait
to see if my breasts
will continue to bring me
joy or pain.
I float above all my deadlines
punching numbers
and faces of years gone by.
I suppose it is best to dig up
the skeletons
tell you
how they sleep.
Best to add mortar
to my brick walls
peek through a crack
as I fade
paint
a new landscape
from my third eye.

Old past loves
never wave good-bye.
His last true words
carved into my heart
like the couples’ initials
forever on Mont-Royal.
Ink my name
on your skin
you talk about it so often
just do it
so you can be
reminded of how
I broke your heart.
Share a drink with me
one more time
give me everything in one hour
to last
years
meet me at the corner of Rue d’Amour
and Rue Je t’adore.
It exists
somewhere
we have never been before.