Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Old Poet Tree

I've been going through my old files. Kind of interesting to stumble on poetry so unlike anything I would write now. This was one of the first poems I workshopped, the first one I read in public (at the Art Bar open mic, and again at Flywheel when I first got to Calgary). I thought I would put it up here, because nostalgia for the "lyric", "confession", "authenticity", "emotion", and also ripping off ("referencing") Neutral Milk Hotel.


The gun rests in the cradle
of my palms an incalculable
load pulling through my arms to
shoulders stooped towards the loaded gun in my hands
pointing at the ground between my toes;
in moments it will turn its Roman nose
to point between my eyes piercing
a hole through which my mind will


Small treasures
from your sewing box.
We search for an instrument of repair:
you love the way  the scissors
sparkle silver; I never forget
they are surgical steel.


You stumbled into the room ghost-faced and trembling
liquid blots like breadcrumbs behind you trail back
to the open box—your arm a pincushion
forgive me pulling them from you gently
as I could, shining red and ruined.


We’d sit on the floor
trimming ribbons.
The ritual
snip of scissors
biting through silk,
bright streams around us.


A stain paints your
conscious left cheek:
how could I help but match
my lips to the colour of it?
The snakebite of your scissors
when you decide
to be the cartographer
mapping me
in resemblance
of you.


The only girl I’ve ever loved
put delicate pennies on her eyes

breathing a sigh,
she sunk deep into the bath

cleansed at last,
the copper glinted like new.

When I sleep she’s warm in my arms,
her hair on my cheek,
the taste of a penny on my tongue.

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