In the bones

Most times I try to hide it under my grief

but when I think of how eleven years pass

and how scientifically the skin and body

becomes all bones and maggots, this

freaks the fuck out of me. I think

of how his skin once touched mine and

how his love made me feel completely

human. Most days, I struggle to get

out of bed and feed my medical

condition. I hate the daylight

it sucks up my dreams. I hate the night

time, it eats up my worries. I hate

locks, they control me. I know how

my mind works under this umbrella,

it takes hold of all my bones

and caresses them while I’m alive.

You are not scared of death

he had told me, while lying there

dying from a freaky accident

that he should have never

even had. It was my fault,

I wanted him to get me

a burger and fries at eleven at night

on a slippery Montreal night

and the police officer said

all the things you don’t want

to hear, while waiting for

your husband and the food

and the love he will bring.

Death has holes.

The funeral was a blur

as are the memories now

and the sound of his voice

which I have long

forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Name

 

“The minute you publish your own name you lose freedom.” -Ted Hughes.

 

What we find in a name

is the mystery of a person.

Five letters or ten,

syllables,

you play over and over

to a mantra or a tune of a song

you have never heard.

 

Is it the one you imagined?

 

I give my letters for free,

but you hide yours under

sand castles that break.

I should have changed it,

walked among the normal

and let the secrets lie in

alphabetical order.

 

I meant to

 

but my father died and

everything changed.

Legacy and names

became as relevant

as building inspectors

handing you notices

of an evaluation of a lifetime.

Write, read and produce words

like a factory produces t-shirts

that hold in the warmth

of your soul. Made in China.

Made in Canada. Erupted

recession in California dreamers

wanting to hug all those trees

of

recycled hearts.

 

Poets with fake names

and broken stems

flowered bookmarks

library cards

take your name

and stare at it a while.

Remember when you counted

the letters in your name

 

eight plus seven equals fifteen 

 

adding them up

and making up numbers?

Was that just me?

Memorizing claps.

Rewriting history

with lies.

Names reveal too much

and that alone is the essence

of writing.

 

 

At it again

I woke up early to collect data for poets

that know how to write but not how to read.

I woke up from dreaming about you,

to pointed fingers and mirrored poetry.

There is this effect of how the sun

reminds me of cool sand gliding through

my fingers on a black beach.

 

I lie down

and stare at the blue sky in awe. Nineteen

years old, dark tight skin, golden reflections

in my hair, I was a brunette then, pure olive

love. One foot is on a rock, flat belly

yellow striped bikini, puffy eyes behind

liquored nights. You’re an ellinitha

the Greek men would say and admire.

 

I write poetry for fun apparently, but you

do not know how it hurts. I submit to be

recognized and sell my soul some more,

but you do not know how the perfect amount

of ice, vodka and cranberry can knock out

the slips. I forgot how to type to remember

how to think. I hope you understand

all the secrets can only be spilled

over eyes on eyes

feet under the table

hands holding a glass of envy

it is the ways of the social media underworld,

the selected few

who have the perfect tattoo,

smile, angst, whiskey breath,

it is the epitome of everything

we are against.

Trust me, you are better off

not knowing and judging

from afar.

 

Thank you for taking the picture.

Anytime, he says and winks

in that flirting, I’m on vacation way

where nothing matters

but the temperature.

 

I am at it again,

the addiction rising.

The morning coffee stirring,

the need to find all the information

at my fingertips, except how

to get to that sky again. IMG_9615

 

Less you, More me

From above if you were watching through

a fine telescope

my wise ass remarks

would help you to understand

that it means nothing

to die. One life to create memories,

one breath to forget. Then Alzheimer

kicks  you and sets you on fire

with nonsense. I try to laugh

to cover up my turmoil of

uneasiness at these awkward situations

when the brain ceases to speak,

when the mind is muddled with

words you never thought

would make you cry.

 

Hold on 

to that patience, you will need it.

 

There was a time I lost everything in you.

Now I speak to my soul and repeat

less you, more me.

All this to convince myself that I still matter

somehow, before the memories fade

or the cancer grows

or the breasts disappear.

It’s Hawaiian day at work

and I will wear my hula

tell all the teachers how I appreciate

their soul

hug a child

and try to forget about the telescope.

 

Hold on to your soul,

you will need it. 

 

Chasing Wanderlust

The most important part of poetry

is how it makes you travel through time,

place. I have my spacesuit on ready

to touch stars. meet me at the ocean.

you’re so ridiculous, did you see i did the dishes for  you

love me now

fill up my glass

oh, how i love you now

the way you come through the door

and kiss space with two grand steps.

telling me how my beauty is so deep

even you have to dig

that’s why you love me

because every day i give you the shovel.

living and knowing you has been the best part

of my life

how could i have done anything without you?

this is my poetry

how quotes mean nothing

until i whisper them in your ear.

remember when we went to Puerto Plata

and i wore those fuck me boots

and short shorts? remember the party

in the basement with strangers

everyone grabbed our asses

we laughed and touched each other

in the back seat of the cab?

we keep on chasing wanderlust

in the front seat of sanity

with our seat belts off.

speaking foreign languages spreading love

through sand castles,

it’s the 70’s

and my foot went right into the Tupperware

when the car crashed and our necks snapped.

 

you know the grammar rules

now try to apply them

to your life.

 

 

Here and Now

It is how the poem never ends

when you write about how

you loved her so much

in such a brief time

with so much passion.

It is how my poem always ends

when I write about how

he loved me very little

with not enough passion.

It is how you let her

close enough to hurt you

and how I let him too close

to burn me

and he certainly did.

I suppose as she burned you

with her fire.

He had this way of making me feel

like a poet

and nothing else.

Never keep up with stranger’s intentions

let them all walk on broken glass

as we sit and watch the show.

We will talk about how they

knew nothing about poetry

and French philosophers

and designer cafe lattes

we will turn the tables

on them

and watch them fall down

or be brave enough to sit and discuss

what we are even fighting for

when all the fight in us is long gone.

In the here and now,

I will let you close enough

and be prepared

for your desertion.

 

Sonnet #2

If ever anything was true for me

It was your vision I once dreamed about.

It is the way you arose from the sea,

and entered my life filled with more self-doubt.

The changing direction of the soft wind

you walked with a confidence I once knew,

and left your footprints wavering behind.

You spoke with a whisper the faint breeze blew.

If ever anything escaped my life,

it was the words you uttered that bleak day.

You might as well stab my heart with your knife

than abandon my ocean so far away.

I scraped my knees on the sand covered beach

crying out for a touch, kiss or a reach.

Weeds

It must have been three or four in the morning

jumping from one naked bed to the next

imagining weeds growing out of my broken wing

and how some people leave them in the cracks

while others pull and trim.

Every soul needs a rim

every love a first and a last hymn

I don’t want to rhyme today

but the other half is in your sunny ray.

Someone pulled me out of my dream

he was tall

and spoke eloquently

with words of a poet

was it you?

Did you feel my naked skin?

The weeds are under the snow now

still -10 in the wind

as well as my heart.

Lying down in examining rooms

being spread out and memorizing

centimeters and numbers

cyst sizes and wild frontiers.

I imagine I would be pretty as a blonde

but I’m okay.

He looked so worried

talking to my old high school teacher

in a waiting room of women

with pretty robes and panoramic views of the city

from the tenth floor.

I’m okay.

I feel like a weed though

I feel stuck between the cracks

and I’m not so sure

if I’m okay at all.

song

You talk some trash and watch me vacuum in my knee socks

phone in my back pocket

my headphones on so loud can’t hear the soccer scores

you like my ponytail

ignore the players

and end up all over my spring blouse

unbuttoning my friendship buttons.

We walked on St.Paul all night

chasing our dreams

together

and kissing in cabs

I remember everything

the flashing reasons

I love you blow up in my face

erase the scars and build new castles.

You know how to fall in love with me

for decades, finding new things

to love

not being pulled in by my witty lines

my poems

but my real legs

on you.

You know exactly where I was when I lied

and you loved me anyway

chasing me down

showing me how you are the only one

who can handle my locked up days.

Play me that song

none of that new crap

but the one you sang to me

at your bar

in front of a live audience.

This is what keeps me close to you.