Tuesday, November 28, 2006

twenty eighth

cold bus ride up somerset to bank
toques woollen mitts
the seniors have taken over
the grocery store
this is not the day to rush
seven varieties of apples
but no russets
more than enough chocolate
take a deep breath, close eyes
roll cart on
winter’s urge for beef
steaks burgers meatpies roasts
around childhood dining table
youve forgotten the recipe
for yorkshire handed down handed down
nanan’s treacle pudding and bakewell
tart the season custard and spirits
not liquid kind

pics to go with twenty four to twenty seven

twenty four to twenty seven

eastward sleeps an hours sunlight
the last time your feet won’t be sore
in three days
coasting in to central station
bland where train riders
in montreal
you wish for something
grand like arrival
plush red carpeted sound
like the champagne you keep cold
in an ice bag in your suitcase
with the broken wheel and the zines
a change of clothes
that afternoons wander thru the parc
la fontaine and on saints laurent
and dominique
portuguese chicken
the highway a lumberyard complete with totem pole
this is how you arrive
in outrement straight into the sun
a mirror against the wall
every angle refracts an ache
for something

you are distant here from you
and others thats a given
yield to traffic and jaywalk with the rest
rachel bakery and velorestaurant
coffee supposedly stronger than
an old couple having breakfast
he brings a large mug to the table
eggs benedict a days breakfast

the church basement
dogs running around
hip sayings on pins and slogans
you gawked at more than thirty
years ago
maybe you time traveled on the train
someone slips pyschodelia in your water
because this is a throwback
to something you never were part of
and all this time you thought
you were moving forward

old montreal champ de mars
stained glass rainbow sixties
a guy sings at the harp sign
off key
homeless in the tunnel covered
in white threadbare blankets and
garbage bags
down the street from chateau ramzay
where the history is preserved better

boutique hotels where old banks used
to be film crews where boutique
hotels used to be
theyre tearing down this old city
theres a good view of the port
with no ships waiting to dock

venetian slats slip light over you
sleep early sound of sitcoms blues
effective tonic more than gin
there are no cats on this street
just dogs and old men who hear
voices on mont-royal and shoe stores
and accents like bedding not language
you accessorize

twenty three

vacant unremembered
many things could have
you woke up at some point
oh yes, there was laundry
and staying home
weatherered nothing
sometimes you want it simple
as washing, drying
the spin cycle
no leaks, no hanging
clothes outside for that fresh air
just loonies and quarters
slipped in slots
a button pushed
the timer, a buzz
and folding

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

pictures that go with twenty two

twenty two

centennial public recess bell
first frost in snapshot sky
last winters fall thin sheet of snow on ice
on gloucester
laurier cardboard nest for the homeless
once you saw yourself there
severity of escape the last

fibreoptic for holes
to drop into
to float through connect
streets papered with reuters ho hum
christmas wreaths wrap wellington
how many shopping daze before
how many winds and snow storms before
this year ends on a sunday
eleventh hour is now
is to lie at the bottom of the deep end
will you ever dive again

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

twenty one

topiary christmas crescents
bus rides in slovakian, asian and italian
the number 3 is late again
you warn her
all the crumpled bungalos
and townhomes jigsawed together
a family a missing piece
turn a corner for the duplex and sprawling detached
the two car garage and landscape art
then again on merrivale
the big box stores
st. ritas students
raol wallenberg in the middle of this unremarkable
affects you most


a dark café and jazz in the late afternoon
rush hour traffic still an hour away
the whispered conversation of two
who are not lovers
his latest chapter and her
a winnipeg cowboys contribution
and too many oatmeal cookies


a tavern concrete down
crowds to listen
opera and a well celebrated
man sways his words
around the room
you must
at the end
absolutely stand
and applaud
this rapscallion out
shakespeares shakespeare


santa parade every year down bank
closes laurier elgin
last hard ground
and the cold and the tarmac already white
suburban folk unused
to walking block Lord Elgin
taxi stands
pretty soon snow will fly
wish i had a river
i could skate away


oratio sun scarcely a cloud hallelujah
restaurant unbelievably closed at lunch
this is what
happens in movies
dundonald park a spy’s hideaway
you bench it blue
leather jacket yellow beret
your soon to be lover across the street
is good with his hands
an afternoon of listening to the high winds
what matters most is those fingers
and their ability to curl slowly

Friday, November 17, 2006


stoned on sinus pain two
cups irish breakfast
for indoors
and banished pigeons shelter
beneath balcony table disturb
a cold draft
writing to be done
stories just below
apartment chant of
water drip and fridge
the flush above
high heels high heels high heels
possibilities of soup
crumbs in sheets
still more rain against bedroom window
to sleep

Thursday, November 16, 2006

pics to go with fifteenth

fourteenth and fifteenth

escalator relief canes and motorized
scooters wide familiar
where are the 1800s
two languages instead of twenty
sandy hill quaker state garage
deli stores
moss coats trees
at cathcart and cathcart
dalhousie so many hands
out for money
last warm days occasional
patio ceremonies plastic leaves
perfume of woodsmoke
on clothes
turn corner on cumberland
so many art galleries hair studios
a woman is painting her nails
in the window
your friends
masochism tattooed on her belly
sideline acquaintance
doesnt meet
your eye
fallen petals dead maples
neon words
sussex lunch crowd bypass
your destination
the angel

ninth to thirteenth

ottawa to toronto
quad seats where bureaucrat gamblers bicker
morning beer increases machismo
and toilet stink
speed of
aluminium siding
no longer field no longer fallow
bellville brockville kingston cobourg
in every small city a kfc
glints of water scarborough bluffs
nuclear green water
union barrel vault windows
and tennessee marble
distorted arrival
red arrow to city
1927 prince of wales alberta ticket
katherine goviers fables
sooner or later every one lives
on brunswick avenue
future bakery cabbage rolls
what is it with this city
and cabbage
corner of jarvis and church
one spark of waiting
streetcar touch of wire
ten pm pours concrete
distillery lager under lamplight
we dont have at home
rum raisin
polite commuters
the underground
film crews and furniture stores
on king

a fog to leave behind
and lake ontario chill
leaf then no leaf is like moving
backwards through time
eyes closed
a civilised railway vodka and orange
rocked to sleep red
barn interruption
wave goodbye to 401 traffic

home is an empty station
where no one waits
a small bus on the queensway
in the dark
warm rain on bronson with your suitcase
of books
negotiate election signs puddles
sense of while you were gone
something happened

unmade and rotten fruit welcome

Thursday, November 09, 2006


view down queen
streetcars used to travel
constructions new tall buildings
shoot up mushroom like
block julianna sight lines
his apartment
sandalwood smoke an ovation guitar
ponytail and three ex wives
small bottles of glenfiditch on window sills
fog thick with ghosts of former lovers
the number sixteen a pothole distraction
and theyre gone

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

walkabout photos - for yesterday


past mary
down metal steps
st vincents orderlies and nurses start their shift
bottom of preston
back room arabic, english, french, spanish
espresso borgia with orange peel
complications of coffee in little italy
so near the hospital
surgery conversations and cancer
second day in a row you hear
the word to walk
out sadness

geese honk sole dows lake sound
motion november most shades of brown
bundles of leaves nested breath for later
in the pub men talk of war
your shelter is the table, this beer you drink
the small silences your body contains

Monday, November 06, 2006


james st. leaves in bags
sun blinds at somerset and bank
long shadows
james correa heaven has a bright blue sky
applies today
your body warm
how to get winter out of bones, joints
humour, one of the four-water in lungs
sylph invisible element in air
always red couches large garbage day
this is the day for joining pieces
a poet you never heard died friday
love against best evidence he said
sunsets pink tonight
for once you leave the light


warehoused toxic
snow settles over weeds
st. laurent wind tunnel
idling fumes
tin can buses saved for eastern
bingo hall evangelical
trucks end to end
outbound to 417 to montreal, to vermont
diners, donut shops
gas stations both sides at hudson
day rates and mattress for an hour

Saturday, November 04, 2006


at seven am a woman rakes leaves
on somerset they’re cleaning brick
by the ruined duke and inevitable pigeons
funeral day at st patricks cathedral
celtic cross, a ditch below door
and tarnished copper steeple
a saturday morning ramble
splurge of magazines you carry home
with the tea and throat lozenges
an almanac remedy for november


morning birds flicker walls
truck brakes squeal at bottom of ashburnham hill
this is how you wake
smell of cold slow morning to move
must be a thousand coffee shops
the one you save for late afternoon
number three bus winds through new edinburgh
stucco pink fortress beside yellow brick
river every blue
stanley park ottawa style
a man with a chainsaw clears away old logs
once a city built on bytown lumber
one hundred metres from rideau hall
the sign says
canada and the world
rockliffe and a bad sewage system
parliamentary puppet strings gone wireless

Friday, November 03, 2006


all souls day blue and storm pending
window display a fashionable fall on ice
this is the hour for staying in place
pinot noir and soup the cello whispered
conversations clatter beneath
restaurant of white linen napkins
a cherry wood armoire is open
wine shines like stained glass
the cathedral of trench coats
clash with butternut squash
former record store
an ancient limestone building
the place for hitching horses
walls a haunted travelogue
itinerant canal workers bought whisky, their veg
from market stalls
ogilves department store when you arrived
women on buses wore fur and hudsons bay coats
modern voyageurs or coureurs de bois

today on the ninety five
boy with studded lip
seniors cheeks pink from a sparks street wind

struggle to listen
this walking spell an alchemy of wine
burgundy dragon
the snow falls finally

Thursday, November 02, 2006

beginnings of november long poem


all saints day from ground up
contemplate mothers poisoned bone
pass a makeshift tombstone
plaid handymen prepare storm doors
trample last marigolds
a glebe walk away

old ottawa south ladies discuss october wind
turkey necks clenched
proper way to steep tea (is to brood)

paintings of fields easy curves imprisoned by lines and their brief
flowers cornered
you wonder about restless
men capture
your eyes
know well enough to look

ungathered in light are the ghosts
glass shattered stories twenty five down
glisten moments like these

her indian silk gifted by sister
matches café
music bells for no reason
blue haired kindred draws words over paper
what is it to yearn

here are too
many women urge to walk

chrysanthemum yellow at fairbourne and belmont
halloween webbing on riverdale hedges
every house a veranda
each veranda with wind chimes
stones smooth over terrace
exclusive hills

between echo drive
and canals other side
you are concrete
balcony spiderweb dream