Mastiff

She walks with quick, little steps,

Arms stiff,

Wooden, as if

Fearful of calamity.

 

Her breasts, however,

Parting the world before her,

They have a life of their own,

And she,

She is walking them,

As she would an unleashed

Mastiff,

Nervously aware

Of the danger they present.

 

 

The Old Ram Rod

I am told,

As I push 70,

That I should show some subtlety,

Some finesse,

Be less obvious,

That it is somehow wrong,

Even unbecoming,

At my age, or any other,

To write of sweet curves

Welcoming thighs,

Glistening lips…

To write of the misdeeds

Of that old, bald-headed rogue,

Who always grins his

You can’t fuck flowers motif.

But,

While that billy still butts,

I’ll give the birds,

And the bees,

And the cigarette trees,

Lovely blossoms waving in the breeze,

And tired old Decency, itself

A bye.

 

Models

(after  about hearing advice about how I could finally get with that novel if I found some models to inspire me)

                                         Models

I like to use models for writing;

Tall, fair, with well-defined buttocks.

A Dark Lady will do in a pinch;

I am not prejudiced.

 

(Somehow, I do not think my well-meaning advisors had that in mind)

Pepsodent Smile

Some time ago, I posted “Lambs”, about a beauty parlour for little little girls.  The girl in this piece could be a survivor of that.

 

Little girl, straight from 1955;

Striped summer frock, cardigan,

White shoes, bare legs, and

Elegantly coiffed.

 

Mother to the woman,

She will stand beside her walk-in closet,

And say, “Tah-dah!”

 

Or just maybe,

She is a spy in the house of convention,

Lying in wait with her Pepsodent smile.

 

 

Sex, Lies and Writing

In 1994, guitarist/singer Martin Simpson, hitherto known for luminous versions of British ballads, and blues,  released a cd “A Closer Walk With Thee.”  A cd of instrumental versions of American gospel tunes…a stunning collection, by the way.  I saw him at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, later, and he told the audience that after release of ‘A Closer Walk…’ he was approached by fans and friends who asked “hey, Martin, you haven’t become one of those, have you?” to which he responded, something like…I sing a lot of british ballads about murder, robbery and incest, and i don’t believe in any of those, either.’

To which there was a sincere round of applause.  But it put me in mind then, and recurs today, of that thorny issue….where does the art end and the artist begin?   Are they one?

 

They are not.  Just because an actor plays villains and wife-beaters, it does not mean that he is one himself.   Altho some actors are persecuted as if they were.   It is a part he plays…live with it, folks.

 

Writers use whatever material is at hand…observation of people….books read….movies seen…their own experience….and, of course, those dark images percolating up from the subconscious.

 

From these disparate elements, the writer cobbles together a tale or poem.  The chances are it is not real, folks.   At least mostly not real.   There is always some element of observation or experience, or there would be no trigger for the creation.

 

When i write about people, I have images in mind.  Usually, they are impressions of friends, people i see in coffee shops, or memories of childhood.  These mix together in the context of the poem or story, and altho you might think i am writing about a specific someone, that is rarely the case.

 

I meet a neighbor in the street…she asks where i have been…and after the conversation is past, i sit down to write, and she, or the image of her, becomes part of the story.   The story is not about her, she is not in the story, it is just made up.  And if “I” am in the story, it is not me, it is simply using first person as a powerful means of telling the tale.

 

The creation is not the creator.   The creator is simply reflected in the creation…and, in a mirror, you see things in reverse, and you don’t see what’s behind the image in the glass.  I have written about rape, but, of course, never done it…considering it, next to child abuse, as  the most odious and unforgiveable violation of the person.   I wrote a story about being in love with a boy who had a crooked smile just like Harrison Ford’s, and having a crush on a beautiful girl named April, but, i am not the woman telling the story, not a woman at all, and I have never loved a man with a smile like Harrison Ford’s, or, much more depressing, a girl named April.   I guess i am in that story, somewhere, but, I defy you to figure out what the story says about me.

 

Art is about truth…right?   But it is also about lies.  The biggest truth emerges from the lie.  If i write a poem or a story which disturbs, look to yourself.  What truth about you has the story evoked?  The story is not necessarily about me at all;  it very well may have no foundation in fact at all;  I am just a storyteller, using whatever grist is available for my mill.  (So, watch what you say around me, or you might just see it in someone else’s mouth in a future story!)

 

My writing is not reportage. 

 

Okay, we have looked at lies and writing….kind of.  What about sex…That third part of the title of this post? 

 

Sorry.  I just used it as a come-on….(and a take off on the title of a well-known film).  Live with it.

 

Next….in future posts….naughty limericks (is there another kind?)…and a poem called “Gratitude”,  coming up soon.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossolalia

I drink French brandy, and can hardly

Speak a word of the language.

 

I am the same about Norse sagas;

I can’t order a beer in Icelandic.

 

I would like to go to the Black Forest,

Even if it is full of white people.

I am not prejudiced;  they are German-speaking,

When they are not Turkish.

 

I bought mexi-fries from Latin Americans,

But they spoke Spanish to each other.

Why would they not speak Latin?

Is it because it is a dead language?

 

Is there a special place in the bardo

For dead languages, a place full

Of obscure phonemes and glottal stops,

Where the languages converse in Tibetan,

(Not itself dead, but much beset)

While they wait for rebirth among speakers.

 

Is Manx waiting there?

Cornish?

Beothuk?

Hittite?

 

My brain hurts from this linguistic cogitation;

I find languages stupefying.

 

I am, however, deliriously happy

That despite all this, I can drink French brandy.

I have even learned a word of gratitude:

Merde.

Isn’t that nice!

Macbeth Does Not Remind Me of Pasta

I walked 40 minutes to stand in line for a coffee and confetti

sprung to my mind.

I never think about confetti, or spaghetti, or yeti;.

Perhaps it is the last two syllables…

An unusual allergy for which there is no remedy.

No remedy for love, or lust, either, one of them most of all.  Ah,

Those things for which there’ll be no remedy, no cure, no surcease,

Until the last two syllables of recorded time…for instance,

That enchanting young girl with the big shoes,

It is the shoes which cause despair, all else

Endurable if it were not for them.

To live is to embrace what you cannot endure, and, therefore,

Tread water frantically,

Knowing you shall soon be spat upon by a noodle end;

Life is pasta sauce on a clean shirt,

Only noticed at its most embarrassing.

I think that, unfortunately, a wookie is really a yeti,

So I can no longer watch Star Wars,  just as

I can no longer use a three-hole punch…

The little bits all look like confetti,

Impossible to vacuum—thus, I avoid weddings.

Yet, (or yeti) all things being unequal in nature,

I am driven to confront those last two syllables

Just in case, recorded somewhere on mp3 or granite

Desperately twirling the spaghetti about the great fork of existence,

Knowing you shall soon be spat upon by a vagrant noodle end;

Life is pasta sauce on a clean shirt,

Only noticed at its most embarrassing…

I think a wookie is really a yeti,

So I can no longer watch Star Wars.

Nor can I use a three-hole punch,

The little bits all look like confetti.

I spurn weddings, therefore.

Yet, or yeti, all things being somewhat unequal,

I am driven to confront those last two syllables,

Of time, recorded on mp3 or granite slabs on Sinai,

Just in case the end of the world is spaghetti;

I must, therefore, devise a sauce.

 

Almost baba rumdummy

The Leonard Cohen verse about “when you’ve done a line or two”…reminded me of one notable occasion with a dollar rolled into a tube.

 

I did a couple of lines

listening to Be Here Now,

and I was there, then.

Everything is profound

when you breath through a dollar.

I never noticed it cease is weightiness.

Perhaps that is significant.

See!  despite all

I have not rid myself of perhaps.

So, just

perhaps

I never snorted those lines at all,

or,

perhaps

it was just icing sugar

and I am thinking as through a layer cake,

or perhaps,

my brain has become Turkish delight

and,  damn it! damn it!

I cannot determine

if I am lemon or rosewater.

But I take heart

that if it is indeed frosted over

I am protected from inedibility

by the words of Baba

filtered through a cloud of unknowing

by that line of whatever it was,

it was,

and thank karma there were two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look Across

My  alter-ego Balthusian finds himself in a moment of tender realization.  (he recovers, and will be back) 

           Look Across

These two wipe mudless feet, pawing like mares.

Their sweatpants shift in that almost dance.

They stand in that oh so easy, so

Artless, strange contortion.  It’s

A mystery that, known only

To  young girls waiting at a counter,

There celebrated, and only there.

They see the large man and the small girl.

The small girl holding his hand, gazing up.

They smile at the small girl.

They were there, once a dream ago,

But now they tete a tete,

Sipping cold water through straws,

Smoothing cream cheese on toasted bagels.

That large man with the small girl,

Balthusian knows his days are numbered.

Too soon, the small girl will not look up;

She, too, will look across.

Boulevard

It’s Saturday, and the coffee shop

Is overrun with young girls,

And this is not even a school day.

 

It is most confusing, strange.

 

In the background, someone is singing:

Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

 

Balthusian has no broken dreams;

He harbours no dreams at all.

 

All he has is a coffee.

He refuses to notice the young girls;

He studiedly ignores them;  he says,

“They are of no interest to me.”

He pays them absolutely no attention.

 

Don’t kid yourself, Balthusian!

You think more of them, as you ignore them

Than if you recalled them, summoned them

As if from a broken dream,

 

And this

Is not even a boulevard!