Renaissance

If I ever had writer’s block you would see me dead

at some corner in a bar with your typical

bottle of Jack and burnt notebooks. I swear

if  I lost the ability to think through poetry

and write about my ripped up demons,

my past haunts, my future encounters,

then I would be dead inside for sure.

I can barely breathe now with how

real life sucks up my soul in conference

meetings, evaluation of employees,

frustrated children, parents who

neglect, my faults piling up

as I see how awful I could be

when confronted with life,

car crashes, headaches, aging,

poems pouring out like coffee

from a pot.

I took a class at Concordia

called The Renaissance

the History professor

proved that all these statues

had a story, all these white perfect

Roman gods had the same life

as the Greeks, changed a name

deleted a column, added an arc

and revived humanity.

If only I could do the same with poetry

make it my battle

rebirth

to the art that few protect.

Grab your pen

paper

raw words

and create

a new renaissance.

What else is there to do

except your nails? or your hair?

or your membership at the gym

needs renewal,

don’t forget to post pictures

of you and hubby at so-so restaurant

yes, I’ll be over here,

writing poems

and showing you my heartache.

You never knew I could write.

I know.

You thought I was just another wife,

but you saw it in my eyes.

You told me that once

I remember everything.

 

Tears and Confetti

I stopped thinking about how you would

react to something I do years ago. The red

cardinal bird reminds me all the time

of the brown color of your eyes. Death descends

and takes away hope. It takes away

all the achievements you have missed

while sleeping. If only I could

combine my tears with confetti

to celebrate your death and my life

in one afternoon. I could sit

with your ghost and tell you

about all the stories you missed.

Besides myself, first thing I would

tell you is thank you for protecting

my son from being hit by a car,

from his injuries, I know it was you.

(and so does he)

Thank you for watching over us

and wiping my tears when I drive.

I know it was you. Thank you

for reminding me of what is

important even when I cannot

hear your voice, it still echoes

inside me. Thank you for the

realization that being your

daughter made me proud as well

and when people came to

tell me what you have done

for them over the years

I saw you in another light

that brightened up my world.

All these facets, I miss.

All these journeys we never took.

That time you stopped the car

on the way to New York City,

took picture of the fall trees

in the middle of the highway,

Mom shouting we would get killed

your arms around my back

smiling at the camera.

I know it was you.

 

Angels and Devils of Eden

We created a garden out of poets

placed letters to sprout words and sentences.

Each poet wrote with fervour and conviction

one said he saw angels in his sleep,

another claimed to be a devil in torment,

a woman came by and said she rhymes her poems.

Most mocked the poet who kept to himself

and claimed to escape his prison

to create a sanctuary.

They felt his talent threatened the crop

they wanted him out, exiled

but no matter how hard they tried

to kill his psyche

he always sprouted a new poem

that left them envious for his fall.

Plot and scheme. Point fingers at him.

Until their sheet of lies became

truth. They convinced themselves

of their deceit. But the poet found

a fresh crop of poets in a hidden garden

where they  planted words

and treated them as jewels.

The others possessed one object

that the poet could never hold. It was hidden

under their crops, it gave them fuel

it whispered secrets, it fed them poison

to continue their decent into killing a soul

with no water. The poet knew where the

snake lived, but he never gave it

ammunition nor guns. He fought his own

demons instead.

The battle never ends with angels and devils

of Eden.

The poet keeps on writing.

 

Footsteps yet taken

I suppose when you think about someone’s life

and its variables

you can make an equation

as to its sum of all matters.

I am not a pianist, or a mathematician,

I do not even claim to be a writer. I feel

inadequate at the most. When I think my

worst work is my best, I still

close my eyes. I listen to

instrumental music to block

out all lyrics, all of his poems

that keep me grounded. He says

I am everything and nothing

in the same sentence.  I can

turn to dust on all the footsteps

yet taken. Turn around from the

walk on the beach

and enter the snowstorm of the

year. Play you a song you will

never forget. Write you a poem

you will read over again.

Not from a book, or a blog,

but from my heart.

The ones that make you

think more than you ever

wanted to. The poem that

blends into the next.

The one that refers to the

same person you never

forget.

All these paths

lead me to the same

entrance.

Band-aid and Bruises

It is a dream you are selling

to the neediest girl,

about fancy rides in cars

admiring every part of her body

pretending she is the only woman

on earth that matters

besides your wife

and numerous lovers.

All these band-aids and bruises

you cover up your roles

like a thespian.

Tell me have you discarded morality

as much as you profess?

Have you discovered the ego

is the only thing worth stroking?

Have you forsaken even god

to kiss the devil?

I am too old for fancy cars

and precious poets

who claim to

love me from afar.

When I was eight

I covered up my bruises

with band-aids

they healed.

Now they are invisible.

Who can see the cuts now?

Truly not you,

with your line-up of women

at the door

and your presumption

that I like anyone you have ever met before.

I am not even close

to anything you think I am.

I have not been married three times,

I do not have children from different men

I loved.

I do not have a mental illness,

I do not care for the car you drive

or the clothes you wear,

I do not care about the money

and what I have in my life

I cherish

I hold dear.

And what I’ve lost

I hold even closer.

Your tricks do not work with me

so stop trying.

 

Hymns for the Hopeful

I will make this a Hellenistic hymn to all my ancestors

who believed in the twelve Olympian gods. We had to

memorize them in Greek school, learn how to write

them, practice our diction to continue the traditions

of people I never met. We learned that  Zeus and Hera

were the Queen and the King and everyone that came

after did so with intentions to create this world of caves,

darkness, silent roads,  mountains that reach the

sky. I learned to see mirrors in rivers. I was taught that

stories can corrupt my mind into believing myths

as real. So young, even Hercules became my idol and

my hero. Who can compete with the gods? No mere

mortal man could ever win my heart. I wanted the

top of the echelon. I wanted my own Zeus, who created

the world out of chaos. Who else could tame my soul?

All these hymns for the hopeful left me breathless

for such intrigue and adventure, not even Aphrodite

could have the visions of beauty I imagined. She

took hold of my body and showed  me how to dream

the imaginable. Could you see how I became another

person in my mind, the one that spoke to Goddesses

in Ancient Greek and touched the sky with her

fingertips? Artemis guided me to the moon, to hunt

for my solitude, to hide from all the demons claiming

to be on my side. I learned about deception, betrayal,

brotherhood and sisterhood through the ancient ways

and much like others I became invisible. People mocked

me, sold their adventures to me as golden tickets. All

these leaps, I have taken for no one but my ancient

soul that saw the constellations up close from a

chariot in the sky, along with eleven other friends.

 

Brand New

Every dress she wore

had a hole in it. She used to sew

but they always came apart,

she was never as good as

her grandmother. Now it is

a stand she takes

to break down

the hold he has on her waist

on her tight fitting dress,

she refuses to make it

brand new

preferring the tattered one

for it is the perfect shade of black

she paid five-hundred dollars

and still has the receipt.

It never fades. Everyone knows

she loves that dress,

but his jacket covers her moles.

He could buy her more,

but having names on her ass

means nothing to her

if it is not poetry.

She believed in old hockey cards,

the ones she found in his attic,

The Rocket

close to his heart,

she competed with dead hockey players,

he competed with dead poets.

She found his hockey skates

in a crate dated 1977

an expo hat that his uncle

from Greece left behind

in a rush to get back to the olive trees.

He found nothing of hers 

ever

this pained her

this idea that he would discover her soul

in death,

this burial of all her poems

only to be unearthed by him.

If only she had driven him that night,

he would be here

reading her words

and not under the frozen earth

and she using words like

Forever

Always

and meaning them.

The Arch of 2016

 

It wasn’t up until the year ended that I thought of all the things I replaced you with. It was how the sun sets from my balcony

how the sun sets when I drive

It was how the day never ends early enough. How the night is so long that even sleep does not help.

I have been writing before you existed and when I do not reply to the calls,  I have stopped the sucking of my soul.

I hear the crying, but lock myself in rooms and escape. Make fun of me,

joke about my art

watch me drive on black ice

never  buy my book

you were the first

and the last

typical cliche

horrible poetry being written

on the other side

and sometimes I compromise

other times I stand tall.

Why didn’t you kiss him hello? I’m moody.

That’s not an answer.

My daughter tries to get me

but she questions my motives

I have no reply sometimes.

I don’t conform sweetie, that’s all.

She breaks the rules

and here I am

trying to guide her

in this mess.

No answers to the arch of 2016

but do not want to see death

this year

want to bury the past

and conjure it up

in fragments

in poems.

Never challenge me

I break down

too easily.

Change my mind

like the Montreal weather.

You deplete me

with your absence.

No more fight in me.

Focus on my books

and bury the year under the rubble

of regret.

People on the other side

of the screen

mostly want

to bring you to your knees

and point fingers

at your weakness.

it’s toxic in here

in my head,

in my world

but it’s a new year

and I must charge up

my battery

or I’ll be drained by

the scavengers

that hunt for the art they can’t make.

 

 

mental blocks

How do I flee?

tell me  how to get rid of

mental blocks

show me how to stop

the voices

trust me when i say

i want you

to curse me

prepare my will

for all these walls

keep me locked inside

myself.

every time i want to escape from you

you bring me back

clean the snow off my car

let go of the facade

and i can complain

about mental blocks

come here, you say, i’ll show you

exactly how to get rid of them…

but you never realize that

these blocks keep me sane

to stop the intruders

from sucking my soul

and fucking up my brain.

No Way Back (day 2)

The further you push me away

the closer I get to myself,

the new year has me spinning

in metaphors

sleepless nights and writing storms

I dreamt of poetry in all its deathly colours

you spoke to me from afar

it was barely a whisper

but I could read lips when I sleep

No way back

you said.

The sea so vast

and there I am at the shore

scared of the deep end

and you said,

you can do it

I’m watching you, don’t worry

I’ll be here for you.
True to your words

you kept me safe.

then  you disappear like the dead

and there’s no way back

to the start

when

time goes forward.

You can sing me a song

write me a book

pay my bills

create art out of nothing

find fault with my cooking

love the artist in me

but perfection is an ideal

I’m not a statue

stop pretending

I am.

I love how the ocean feels

against my skin

it reminds me

of how we placed our

feet in the water

the first time we met.