Spilt Wine


Start the night with wine

in my hair, on my dress,

in my stockings

brand new shoes

bare shoulder

and a few broken

apologies. I saw it

coming too,

and just watched it.

Kind of like life

that was yesterday.

Tonight,

now another bar

another jazz singer

singing the blues

under copper tiled ceilings

and feathers in her hair

you’d think it was suddenly

1920 art deco Paris.

But no,

it’s the house of Jazz

in Laval, Quebec.

Hanging with the girls

who sold my life away.

Cosmos and red chandeliers

blue bottine in the vitrine

and it’s a wonderful world

in here.

The only thing missing is you

with me.

It makes me cry

you’ll never see

what I see.

Not even pictures

do it justice.

Rita called me

she’ll be 20

minutes late,

god damn Montreal traffic.

It’s fine.

I’ll order another Cosmo

write a poem.

Listen to the jazz singer

and lament

you.

November sun

I waited in line

to buy a frying pan

two notebooks

four journals

and organic chips.

I go places but get distracted

with all the things I don’t need.

You would think all the women

behind me

were having their nineteeth

nervous breakdown. No, this

is how the world looks at eleven

o’clock in the morning at Homesense.

The unhappy line

although I was pretty focused

for five minutes. I did what I

had to do. It feels as if a

Parallel Universe, yes the Mandela

effect, is here. Global warming

is at hand. Trump is President

and everything is possible

in A-M-E-r-i-ca

even reality hosts

can rule the world.

My worries are meaningless

my anxiety slapped me again

on highway thirteen.

Apple store is a drug that lures

you in and eats your soul.

Yet this November sun

has a way of warming me up

like the thought of you does.

You are in my poem now

you are in my phone,

even when I close it

you still exist.

I learned to detach again

to not give everything I got

in sixty seconds. I will sit

back and stop reflecting.

I promise to enjoy the

rays you

send my way.

I promise to be honest.

I try to understand

why years later

you still want me.

Chances

Chances are that I will sell my soul

for some peace

for a room of my own

to eat fruit out of a bowl

but here I am

with my new job

and efficient ways

of being the best employee for the

first time in twenty-one years.

I can carry all the weight

to your room

put my skeletons in the closet for you

if you bring me a cafe latte with a flower on top

omg I am too easy to please

I will call you and tell you

the silliest thing and crack up

laugh at myself like I am the best joke ever

laugh at how you laugh at me.

he hired me before I could resign

and here I am with nothing to lose

I marry my fate

and bend it around

to kiss my needs away.

Chances are you will meet me again

and chances are

you might not.

I hate my urges but without them

I am nothing

but a robot

and if there is one thing

I know about myself

it’s that I never

follow guidebooks

or recipe books

I add my own spice

to life.

Chances are

you know everything about me

before I do.

So I will enjoy my favorite city

and ask strangers to take pictures

of me overlooking the spot

we never made it to.

I am leaving the chances

up for grab.

Once

I videotaped the bridge and the sunset

I wanted to be a director

make movies. I have all these

ideas of how I would begin my movie

the perfect song, kiss, walk,

the sunrise of actors. It feels

as if my dreams keep on copulating

instead of dying. Almost half way

through my life and I feel seventeen.

Stuck at that age that took me

for granted. I love your art and music

and style, the way you kiss me

in the middle of the street. I love your

sixth sense, how you still love her

how you break walls with words

no need to even touch me

you did it first. so masterfully.

I keep on fantasizing about

directing movies, my other lives

coming to life, my poems

ripped up and in the ocean

so you could read them

one day

when you’re lying on the beach

with your beautiful family

and remember

I was just a piece of art.

 

More

I want more

of what I cannot have

and less of what I have.

It is always the poem of the day

that brings me joy

written in some notebook

or on a piece of paper

from an obscure poet

that I research in the middle of a lineup

of free coffee.

Where do you come from?

I tried to answer that question once

but failed miserably.

Such vagueness requires a multitude

of tides

each with its own seashell story.

I try to be normal

but fall flat on my face.

I am raising my children too freely

I should restrict them

deny them

border them up

but I show them to fly instead

and when they leave me too

I will cry

for not holding them closer

than I should have

like all the Greek mothers before me.

I know I speak too much of this and that

and I probably bore you

and it’s so easy to move onto the next poet

who rhymes and meets your IQ requirement

but I left my soul at the beach again,

death recited lines

lit a candle for the dead again

prayed for other’s lives.

My third eye aches

wishes to go blind,

one disappointment after another

another brain cancer tumor

and all the memories flood back

holding everyone else up

with courage I never even thought I had.

I come from places I’ve never been to

and people I’ll never meet.

I want more of what you have. 

 

 

 

 

The Accident

I can relive it every other day

of how I almost died in broken glass

but I am not dramatic like that

do not label me a hero

because the angels came to save

the three little girls

as they whispered in my ear

give her oxygen

lift the car

run to pick her up

I picked up her tiny body all blue

from under the tire

it’s weird how these images

never escape your mind.

 

 

Hey, you’re bleeding, the paramedic said.

 

I bent down and just then notice the ripped pants

and bleeding knee.

Oh, I shrugged.

 

I held her hand in the ambulance

so who really cares about some broken glass

in my knee

or in my heart

as Blondie’s premonition

eluded me.

It was not a regular day

as CTV news waited hours

for my account

 

 

I saw you on the news, strangers at Bath and Body Works

so now all anyone

has to say to me

the accident

and memories of how I hit a

glass wall at the Starbucks

hit me, and I cried waiting in line,

and that night all I did

was hit that Jack Honey

and hugged my pillows

as buckets of vomit

cleared my mind

of everything.

 

Life is a miracle though

for those three tiny girls

just entered kindergarten this year

 

November 12, 2013. You can google it

if you want to.

This is a true story.

Nothing to deconstruct her.

Where I lay my nest

Along the shores of my bank,

I spotted this seashell; it was

the color of my childhood.

In a tiny plastic bag, knotted twice,

I was given ink-colored rocks

along with a note,

written by his aunt,

Greek tiny writing.

 

These rocks are from Voulagmeni Beach. For you with love,

so you could always have a part of Greece with you. 

Your aunt, Tasia. 

 

I did a DIY and recycled

glass lime pies

cute decorative bowls

I could not throw away,

along with Petite Maman jam jars.

Covered the note under them

like a lost treasure.

 

Who will find it next?

 

The dead

have so much more to say

after their death.

Tiny handwritten notes,

photos from 1956, first passport

upon entering Canada,

more recipes,

my own cards with no dates.

 

It was my father’s birthday yesterday,

he would have been 76.

I said Happy Birthday to you,

to the ice cold day, parked in

front of the cemetery on my way

to Starbucks.

I lay my nest in all the places

where I lived.

On Stuart Street, 1974,

running across the street

to elementary school

while the bell rang.

Grade four, suburbia nightmare,

large backyards

and poker parties.

I lay my nest

where my children are

my husband’s hand

my dead father

my mother’s midnight panic attacks

my brother’s sweet soul,

while

everyone else

begins and ends my days

with artful quotes

maniacal attacks,

while everyone begins to think

they are just a character in my next

novel. The truth is

no one exists

for that long

except characters.

Lay my nest within

for soon enough

everyone will be gone.

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

I am in an interview and everyone wants to know

why? why write? why omit? why publish?

why self-publish? why do anything at all?

I am at a wedding and everyone wants to know

what my book is about,

how about you buy it and read it

my sarcasm

getting the better of me.

I am at retirement party and everyone tells me

I saw you on TV. How’s the little girl?

You’re a hero.

I roll my eyes,

grateful to have survived at all. Drink up.

I wouldn’t be here if time held me hostage.

I am at a staff meeting

and everyone wants to know

how did I save that boy in 1999 with an EpiPen shot.

I am at the movie theater

I tell my daughter,

hide me from my ex-boyfriend.

I am at Starbucks flirting with a twenty-year old

I could be mid-thirties

so I nod my head, quick smile.

I am at the red light,

crying.

I wonder why being alive

has to hurt so much.

I wonder why I liked you in the first place

when I cannot stand you now.

And no, it is not a song lyric,

it is my poem.

 

Revival

On the days I feel I have nothing left to give

a root sprouts with verse. I have to be

a psychologist with no degree, give so much

to get nothing sometimes. Appreciation

flushed down the toilet. Revive me with

an oxygen of words. The revival of

the artist within

with raw poetry

in my veins. I have nothing else

to give you or make for you

but Greek hand me down recipes

that I botch up. My tired legs

and lifeless soul need ventilation,

pass the glory of self-publishing

into modern technology

reap no rewards. I try to revive

myself when the alarm rings

with caffeine and poetry.

Pack the lunch, make breakfast,

start the car, reminders,

doctors, appointments I forgot,

trace the outline of my body

with imaginative chalk

as I hold onto poetry

for dear life

and let everything else

fall apart.

Lessons Learned

You once told me

you’re my lesson learned

or some other nonsense

that upon hindsight

deciphers how your soul

is as blind as mine.

I rarely keep my eyes closed

watched a movie

in a catatonic state

only to wake up to analyze

the ending in a forty-five minute

discussion about Mexican cartel.

I taught high school,

adults, children

all those degrees on the wall

are some type of lessons

I carry with me to the cafes

we used to visit

across the university campus

where a Philosophy major met

an English major

and we never stopped talking

you could never kiss me

you loved me too much.

You tried that one time

to invite me to a party

but I said no.

I was lying on my bed

with the telephone wire

wrapped around my finger

Depeche Mode was playing on my turntable

and you said

c’mon, bring your friends.

My friends had no place with yours.

We were a semester of illusion

discussions

as you played me the guitar

I sat on your bed

and you talked about Descartes

and when I ran into you at Loyola Campus

you came running down the stairs

to stop me

come see what I’ve written now,

you said,

come sit with me a while.

I have class,

I said.

But we both knew,

our time passed

and you had me on your bed

your roommate gone

and believe me I waited.