Monday, November 28, 2005

morning observation #40

washing hair is never as enjoyable alone

your fingers pulling through locks
the squeak of well rinsed strands

a carefully positioned showerhead
warm water, a cascade

morning observation #36

there is no you
& you
or you, only I

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Friday 18 November 2005 (III)

I told you that I don’t trust memories to photographs

something so static could never capture
anything so fluid

but didn’t finish that thought

a photo will never express
the late afternoon grit of a Roman summer or
wandering lost in Trastevere

I need to draw a map on your chest

my apartment building(s), the morning market(s)

the cemetery in San Lorenzo where I napped
under trees and shared my lunch with stray cats

press against you
a sun so hot it sears your skin
cool tiles & thick shutters that balance the heat

a picture will never be
the sound of an old woman
screaming into the courtyard every Sunday morning at six

the sound of an old woman
screaming on the midnight train from Venice

I’ll need to circle your ear
murmur you from a deep sleep
eyelids fluttering to a far away voice

I will describe watching Badlands in a park
my tongue writing words
along the roof of your mouth

mark the lines of your hips, small nips
for riding bus 64 between termini and the Vatican
notorious for pickpockets and molesters

but we move to the next photo the next gallery the next day

with me only reaching part way and you not wanting to pry

A welcome wagon quandary

Is it irony if, while waiting for friends at the airport,
a man walks past wearing an

If ASSHOLES could fly
this place would be an AIRPORT t-shirt?

An oxymoron?

A premonition?

A man who is comfortable
telling it like it is?

Electric Eden

Two lifeguards blow their whistles for beach infractions. I walked on to the rocks, I sat in the ‘clear area’. I look like the hick I truly am.

Three women, lying on beach towels, trying to light their smokes on a windy day. One woman has the bright idea to stick her head in a big bag – flicking the lighter in her plastic tent.

An old couple wading into the water. He’s very skinny & wears a bright yellow bathing cap not pulled down over his scalp. Bunched loosely on top of his head, it looks like a cock’s comb.

People come in all shapes and sizes but Speedo’s, apparently, come in only one.

To ride the Cyclone you must ‘secure all hats, wigs and jewelry’. An old man, hunched into the booth, takes our tickets. We suspect he’s like a goldfish – or square watermelon - and has grown to fit his environment, shaped by his very small space.

I only hold the safety bar half of the time. I scream for most of the ride.

I am brave enough to pee in the washroom (not as dirty as you might think/ not as clean as you’d like) of a Coney Island freak show.

We are old time gullible enough to pay an extra dollar (U.S. funds) to view the ‘Freak Show Hall of Fame.’ It’s a video montage – mostly images pulled from episodes of ‘Biography’ & the Tod Browning film.

A Carny calls us ‘Baby Mommy’ & ‘Baby Daddy’. He pulls us in by yelling, ‘Only other thing you get for $2 is stamps & cigarettes!’ We wonder if his booth is also a time machine.

On a rooftop patio in Brighton Beach, a Russian man uses a Snapple bottle to open our beer. His entire table cheers as foam spills on the concrete floor. Our beer, and their vodka, is technically illegal. No one seems to mind.

I sleep naked when drunk

Dance at inappropriate times

laugh with a troubling amount
of volume

ask questions I don’t want
answers to

trip over things no one else
can see

my heart beating too close
to the surface

Basement Apartment

I like to think of you outside.
We were better people in the sunshine.

Rooms cluttered with picture frames and books.
Garage sale purchases lined the shelves.

Half my mornings were spent in the dark.
Moving quietly through the room while you slept.

You said this was a sign of weakness.
I think, for a clumsy person,

I had a surprising amount of grace.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

morning observations #35

I love a boy’s belly
so different than a girl’s

well, different than mine
certainly not so soft

a half moon hill
smooth curves
warm to the touch.

I love when a boy
rolls on his back
rounded belly exposed

lets me rest my hand

open palmed

when we both know
I could never do the same.

Trust is following someone through the NY city subway system

Into tunnels that only descend

through the stagnant air of a heat wave.

We don’t attempt deep breaths

happy for the small amount we can consume.

‘No,’ you say, ‘I’m sure this is a shortcut’

but we’re forced to backtrack and start over several times.

You re-check the map, whispering station names

a private prayer of navigation without the aid of stars.

Our reward is emerging into a rain storm

that drives New Yorkers into doorways

destroys your shoes

soaks us so thoroughly water streams along your hallway.

Puddles form as we stand

still, if only for a moment.

Lessons we should have learned from disaster movies

Pride will get you nowhere
whether it’s tall buildings
or big ships, dirigibles
or cities

it can all turn to dust

“but you keep building
them higher,” fireman McQueen
tells architect Newman

even the bible (the greatest
disaster story of all)
spoke against

the hubris of mortals
reaching the heavens

as God crushed
the Tower of Babel

the Greeks had
Icarus and his waxwings

Shakespeare his MacBeth

and there was still a race
for the highest steeple in Christendom

radio towers competing with birds

a stack of offices
like building blocks

“There’s one place
I’m worried about,” say engineer Heston
to policeman Kennedy

“We never should’ve
gone so high.”

morning observations #14

so much important information     arrived
over a bowl of shreddies

john lennon’s death     terry fox’s
death     john belushi

our yellow & brown kitchen      my mother
in housecoat preparing lunches     stirring my father’s
red river cereal     me



I am glad

I never made you dinner

or read aloud my favourite passage from Jayne Anne Phillips or

told you the whole story of scars.

I never left a toothbrush or contact case
in your bathroom
because wouldn’t that be embarrassing.

I said a polite thank you, tried not to blush
whenever you complimented me or
said something terribly sweet
and I’ll try not to blush now.

That I didn’t straddle you on the kitchen chair
wrapping my legs around rungs for leverage
pushing you deeper inside
because that would have been next on the list.

That I asked questions when I did
because that would have felt a lot like love
in a very short time.

That I’ll never have to refer to this as a break up
only a near romance or

a close call

a space so new that we didn’t know
if walls were going up or
coming down

that I can easily escape.

morning observations #33

rosary & latest Playboy
within arm’s reach

which comes first?

will you cleanse the way
or ask for redemption?

morning observations #24

your cum tastes like toothpaste & beer     or maybe
the night before     mixes with the morning
after     cleanup following the downfall
my desire     ignoring all savoury
concerns before coffee

Activities for a saturday afternoon

I keep notes as we pass the cases marking

‘coffin for a hawk’
‘coffin for the bones of a kitten’
‘coffin for an egyptian mongoose’

in my book

I lose sight of you
somewhere near the scarab beetles

while you search for bones
and I make a quick sketch

of regenesis

morning observation #32b

you have the mannerisms     of an ex-smoker     the span
of your fingers spread wide      always conscience
of what’s missing     like you’ve left a coat
or a girl behind

morning observation #32a

your neck     red after shaving     as if
you’ve just learned     how to use a razor     stroke up
or stroke down     your neck     still cool from the water