Saturday, January 15, 2011

for GS

The weak solder
of Solidarity--Zonko's
"Hang the Sock-reds!!"
in his best Queens in Victoria
under the gaze of Victoria
who looks like a young Mary Tod
or a bomb-wielding Avignon pope,
under the gaze of the rank & file
who can't wait for Jack Munro
to come out of the snow
to get them off the hook
& back to Nanaimo.

"when the poets start
it's time to leave"

A farewell
no less permanent
for its awkwardness
& accompanying banners.

The island highway
is the tinnitus
of the landscape,
fifty words for wet snow
words over wetter snow
breaking a stick
off another stick
on my breastbone
then banging
the lichen loose
a layer of something
is the thing
slurry under slush
steel toe cow catcher
but its not the North
not the dog of the North.

This snowball smells like fish
& down the same railroad cut
which carries the ascending whine
& keening rumble of traffic sometimes
bacon, smokes, coffee, acetone
pigshit, cowshit, frying chicken
(if less of the burger onion
startup combo casserole
than years since)
weed, the horse-farm
goat, always the greenwood smoke
at the bottom of the bowl.

Yellowed Penguin pages
ordinary leaves of Don Allen
failing transmissions from off-island
subject to frequency modulation
& infant theft, the last
ethered sunlight of Grade 11
a slice of lemon pound cake
from which the rind
had been removed.
Morse code
from a coffin.

Idea of North
Protestant North
no California lemons
bareknuckle bonhomie
pubs heated by sweat & breath
& pickled egg farts
terrycloth tonsure
cards 'til daybreak
a winter without hugs or drugs
hockey fights & hockey kisses
the rolling greyscale
of a cheap TV
into which the test pattern
has been burned--
conditional recognition
not so much as a poet
as one marked off

as that injured aldermanic raven
walking bent through the snow &
toward the fence
with an entitled eye
to the point of death.