Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Is there anybody out there

I haven't posted in a while. It hasn't been because I haven't been writing.


That's a lie.

Having a child kind of sucks all the poetry out of you. Unless, of course, you are trying to rhyme something with the word "drool." The fact that I haven't slept a proper night's sleep in over two years may have something to do with it. I can feel the brain cells drying in my head. It could have something to do with the fact that I am in constant back pain most of my waking hours since giving birth.

It could also have something to do with the fact that I just don't see the world like I once did. Don't get me wrong, I love being a full-time mom. It's just that my creativity seems to be used up during my son's day on things like stories based on random objects (example: "Mommy, tell me a story about a basket." Huh??!!) or imaginative play (example: "Mommy, let's make a robot today!").

The other lack of motivation is that I am not really convinced that there is anyone in cyberspace that really gives a crap about what I am writing. Other than me, that is. If art is made in the forest, and there's no one there to appreciate or critique it, is it art?

An old friend once said that it takes seven-years for ideas to percolate. If you write about anything before that time, you have no perspective. This may be true (damn it!) since my mind has been wandering back in time recently. One day words may come, but still nothing yet.

Happiness is also not very motivating. And frankly, I have never been happier in my life than I am right at this moment. Sadness, despair, drunkenness (thanks Buk) all seem much more interesting topics to write (and read) about than happy happy happy happy. I can't think of anything more interesting to write about it than:

I'm so fucking happy I could burst.

Which, while profound in it's own right (how many people can actually say that?) doesn't really equal a poem.

Maybe it's all these things. Maybe it's just an extended writer's block. Maybe I'm over thinking it. Maybe I should just write down some god-damn words and see what happens...

Friday, May 16, 2008


I love you
in the quiet moments
in between breaths
the lifting and falling
of skin
I love you
in the quiet moments
following a path
set out from dawn
I love you
in the quiet moments
cool rain on
hot nights
I love you
in between tastes
lips pressed on crystal
I love you

Sunday, February 03, 2008

six years since the fire

six years since the fire and still the planning what happens if this time next time it happens again last time it was him this time it is you don't sleep naked it takes time to put on clothes last time jacket purse keys coat boots out this time there is more pets albums rings memories packed into a duffle bag jacket purse keys coat boots you won't leave without you too much more to lose this time which route down the back stairs through the front stairs stand on the balcony screaming best laid plans for next time

Saturday, February 02, 2008

a poem for Groundhog Day

first light
rays filled with hope
disco ball dazzle
across the new snow
with a yawn
and a stretch
he awakens
wonders about
the commotion
go in search of
the morning chill
on the nose
and then
what's this
what light casts
shadows around
a roar
a cheer
a gasp from the crowd
six more weeks
of winter

Friday, February 01, 2008

motivation for a poem-a-day

write like your life
depends on it
write like your soul
will escape your body
if you don't produce
at least a word
write like your love
will leave you
without that morning ode
write like the place is on fire
as smoke fills the room
force out your last thoughts
just write

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Inspiration from page 658 of the Canadian Dictionary

moonbeams dancing on snow
moonboots crashing through ice
moonfaced men surround us
moonfish stars in the sky
Moonie marriage in the park
moonlight through the window
moonlit evenings together
moonquake in the night
moonrise in late afternoon
moonscape of his face
moonseed twists around us
moonset takes us to morning
moonshine cures what ails you
moonshiner mama at the back door
moon shot on tv
moonstone eyes gaze
moonstruck at the thought of you
moonwalk along the boardwalk
mooney over you

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

reflections on memory: selective

memory fades
but you remain
not the
definitive stroke
but the
fuzzy outline
of what once was
by time
so they are

Monday, January 28, 2008

ode to coffee

hot tar sticks slides glides
electric pulses through veins
alerting alleviating the mind
tickles the brain

Saturday, December 29, 2007


today i will wake up
for you
i will open my eyes
put two feet on the ground
take one step in front of the other
until the day ends
for you

tomorrow i will wake up
for you
i will breathe in and out
eat enough food
drink enough water
until the day ends
for you

i will wake up
for you
because it is
too hard
to wake up
for myself

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

what is left behind

nails in stomach
drops of rust
slow at first
then torrent
curl into a ball
maybe it
won't happen
it's christmas
maybe we'll see
a miracle

wash the clothes
put them in a box
push it way under
the bed
maybe next time
some little one
will wear them
but not for a while
maybe donate to
but don't have
any left

the idea of you
is too much to bare
consumed by memories
that never happened
yet imagined
way off in the distance
now fades
in the horizon
leaving cold nights
and empty arms

there was a present
that went missing
from under the tree
i thought we could
open it together
i was wrong
santa doesn't always
bring exactly
what we want

each day is one day
closer to better
on the road
towards fine
but not today
it is taking pity
finding solace
seeking refuge
watching the clock
at five in the morning
wishing the day
was done
by now

what is left behind
is this

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Well, it seems that someone out there likes my work. Three of my poems were accepted for publication in the Fall 2007 edition of Notebook Magazine. You can pick it up at various locations around Edmonton, or read it online at www.notebookmagazine.ca.

There is also a launch party will be on Sunday, August 26 at Sapphire on Whyte Ave. at 7:00 pm. If you are reading this, feel free to come out!

Cheers! - Elvira

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ode to a shower after a long hard workout at the gym on a beautiful Saturday morning

make it hot
really hot
one hand in
just to test
move the curtain
pull the trigger
foot to mat
all in
pours over
lean back
close eyes
open mouth
catch some
hydrogen oxygen
loosen up
make it hotter
lather rinse
breathe in
get out
wrap in cotton
blood forced
through veins

Monday, February 26, 2007

our people

they are not
our people

our clan
our brothers and sisters

our contemporaries
drawn together

by ideas, ideologies
dogmas and destinies

they are not
our people

we flock together
band, bond

by reasons beyond

move in packs, heards
huddle for comfort

they are not
our people

separate from
the those around

the gangs of other others
like us but not

with their own sets
sects, divisions

no better, no worse
than those around

removing themselves
from our noxious presence

we are not
their people

Thursday, January 11, 2007


His wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
Genesis xiv. 26.

questions from children
'who's that?'
no details, flip the page
'an old friend'
wonder if photo paper
can be recycled

check the obituaries
just in case
you would think someone
would call to inform
or at least e-mail
admit checking in hope
more than concern

black hole
seven years of lost time
vague memories float
with no emotion attached
just something that happened
and learn

once in a while
i dream
you're there
come to take
everything away
your form is deamon like
and if i were to see you
i would hide

i used to dream of salt
as a child
people made of the sea
i would hold them
and they would slip
through my fingers
kept them in a jar
to protect them
i don't dream of salt anymore

Thursday, November 09, 2006

long distance (for L.)

i called this morning
to cry with you

so you would know
that you were not alone

i called to tell you
everything would be fine

even if you didn't
believe it true

i called to offer a laugh
an echo in your darkness

a break in the sorrow
if only for a moment

i called because i know
what it is like to loose a hope

to cling for only a moment
on a dream not meant to be

i called because i love
and wanted to make sure you knew

Saturday, October 14, 2006


egg plucked
from warm nest

little bird gone
before drawn breath

I was watching
waiting for you to hatch

incubating, gestating,
rounding and firming

salacious life

your presence
consumed me

and for a time
you were utterly mine

breathing love
deep into my veins

feeding my soul
with your tiny spirit

but eggs get counted
and choices are made

and now only
a ghostly shell exists

filled with
your memory and my longing

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

my grandma looked like the queen

my grandma looked like the queen
everyone said so
her high slim cheek bones
thick dark hair stiled up
in soft curls
friendly eyes and
delicate thin lips
my grandma looked like the queen

my grandma looked like the queen
when Elizabeth visited Winnipeg
with her father King George
my grandmother went to see
she kept all of the clippings
from the local newspaper
in a special scrap book
and would bring it out
for me to see that
my grandma looked like the queen

my grandma looked like the queen
she had many young beaus
come across her door
she kept all the letters
and cards of admiration
but she chose my grandfather
as he shipped off to war
to defend England
and stayed by his side
when he returned half alive
a pilar of dignity and grace
my grandma looked like the queen

my grandma looked like the queen
her family sent away to Europe to buy
the white silk for her wedding dress
and paid off the catholic priest
to marry a Polish girl to a Ukranian boy
it is said that people disapproved
of Prince Phillip too due to his
lesser station in life
she kept clippings of their wedding too
my grandma looked like the queen

my grandma looked like the queen
she had two daughters and a sprawling garden
the queen had three sons and estate grounds
they both had their troubles in life
my grandfather yelled, drank, belittled
my aunt raged, got pregnant, became absent
my mother demured, cleaned, got out
my grandmother cried, gardened, prayed
the queen lived through war
saw her children go off, get married
wept behind doors for the tragedies
kept strong in the face of adversity
my grandma looked like the queen

my grandma looked like the queen
but arthritis took her body
her hands crippled and mishapen from
years of working the oven and the dirt
feet gnarled and deformed from years
of wearing the latest pointed high heels
back and spirit bent with time
from carrying the burdens of life
and her heart once strong and stable
kept beating with pills and pleading
my grandma looked like the queen

my grandma looked like the queen
sleeping beauty in her bed
at the end of the aisle
as the procession played
catholic hymns for the dead
surrounded by mounds of flowers
while the queen grew old
in her castles with her corgies
and carried on her reign
hair greying, walk slowing
never knowing that she
the queen looks like my grandma


and Van Morrison
through the radio
who knew
six am
could be so beautiful

and Van Morrison
out over
the covers
bathed in light
warmed by summer

and Van Morrison
discussing plans
sharing stories
looking forward
to the end
of the day

and Van Morrison

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


here's how it all started as they say it started with a look a smile a few steps made across a crowded bar patio and so it began you talked to me I talked to you and we talked and talked until our friends had to separate us but not for long as you thought about me and I thought about you and all those times between when we first met even before that day on the patio back back back in the day as they say when you came to interview me for an article you were writing and then again and again you returned for years to interview talk watch as I walked up the stairs to the second floor of the art gallery but that was back then and you were with her and I was with him and so you disappeared and so did I until that day oh right that day we ran into each other at the video store you still with she and I still with he as we smiled and parted again forward forward into the near past after the gallery the newspaper the video store the patio to the coffee house now we are there and you walk in and I turn at the same moment and blush as the energy overtakes the packed house no he no she just us and a room and the heat of the summer making my way out back to light up a cigarette and you follow and all the years come crashing in an implosion of karmic energy creating a vortex from which we can't escape ending in a hotel off some strip of street for hours talking touching laughing at the way life unfolds unfurls spreads its wings and takes flight

lunch hour poem

if this were Paris
I would be allowed
to drink a good Bordeaux
with my open face sandwich
and have a cigarette or two
without offending anyone

if this were San Francisco
I would be allowed
to eat down by the bay
sharing my sour-dough
with the seagulls
as they come by
to say hello

if this were Mexico City
I would be allowed
to come home for a
good meal in a warm home
and a cool nap
as the world outside
slowed down

but this is Edmonton
and I am not allowed
my drink
my smoke
my nap
without pissing off the boss
so I eat some Corn Flakes
and a granola bar
before I head back out
the door to a meeting

Monday, June 12, 2006

business trip lament

morning lament
your plane has just taken off
I miss you already

afternoon lament
no messages on the phone
I miss you still

evening lament
the silence of an empty home
I miss you again

midnight lament
roll to your side of the bed
I miss you more

morning lament
still counting the days
I miss you.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

granny square

make four chains slip stitch in first chain / each stitch in this blanket / make three chains make two double stitches / I place a memory not yet made / in the ring make two chains / silent prayers for the future / make three double stitches in the ring / that may never be heard / make two chains three times slip stitch and / so I keep to myself in the top / make three chains / as I count off each wish / make two double stitches in the chain / make note of each dream / space make two chains make three double chains / as this coverlet grows / in the same chain space make two chains / to keep me warm / skip three stitches on the last round / with the idea of you / make thee double stitches two chains / so strong when I close my eyes / and three more double stitches / can see your face / in the next chain space repeat two more times / appear from nowhere / make two chains join with a slip stitch / conjured from faith / in the top of the chain make three chains / golden ringlets / around two double stitches in the first chain space / rosy white skin / make two chains make three more double stitches / emerald eyes filled with mystery / in the first chain space make one chain / as you reach through the lace / skip the next three stitches on the last round / of the soft cotton swathe / make three double stitches in the next chain space / to grab hold of my hand / make one chain skip the next three stitches / and smile / in the last round make three double stitches two chains / each stitch in this blanket and three more double stitches in the next chain space / I place a memory not yet made / repeat two more times repeat one time / silent prayers for the furture / join with a slip stitch on top of chain three / that may never be heard / fasten off.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


my back tickles
at the thought of you

small hairs on end
dancing on my skin

listening for your shoes
up the creaky steps

my back tickles
at the thought of you

small hairs on end
dancing on my skin

key click turning
rumbling in the lock

my back tickles
at the thought of you

small hairs on end
dancing on my skin

five o'clock on Friday
the heat of supper in the oven

my back tickles
at the thought of you

small hairs on end
dancing on my skin

glancing out the window
listening for your car

my back tickles
at the thought of you

small hairs on end
dancing on my skin


my heart beats
at the sight of you

a resonating bass pounding
through my body


my heart leaps
at the touch of you

catching my lungs
taking my breath


my back tickles
at the thought of you

Saturday, January 28, 2006

In response to: I'd love to see Chicago

today you took my photo
in front of the San Francisco Library
a neoclassical monolith rising from
the waves of the city

we ventured inside to see
the original manuscript of
Kerouac's "On the Road"
splayed beneath plexi
rolling in one endless rant
across the silence of the space

"That was amazing" I said
and took your hand
as we crossed the street
"Thank you for taking me."

Friday, January 20, 2006

I’d love to see Chicago

this is your favorite photo you say
and pull out of the box a moment of you

taken outside the Chicago library
your church rising in the background

columns of concrete
forming a colossus

and I wish for a moment to possess
the ability to crawl inside the image

take your hand and go for a walk along path
which lead up the stairs, counting each one

placing our palms reverently against the oak
and releasing decades of words

in a cloud of pulpy musk, aging leather
and dried bookbinding glue

but instead I reach out, take the photo
hold this relic carefully and say

“It looks beautiful in the fall.
Maybe we can visit sometime.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I am the deep guttural moan escaping from my lover’s lips I am the hum from the bass cello vibrating through the body I am a hot pink morning a cool blue evening and a ruby red night I am the dirty little secret you share with only your best friend I am the rose tattoo scaring an old lover’s body I am a bad habit easy to take up and hard to break I am the dew damp morning air after a summer night rain I am a tall cool pint of imported beer on a hot summer day I am red silk a gentle caress upon the body I am a flannel blanket forgotten in a cedar chest waiting to be cuddled I am a favorite book dusty on a bedside table I am the race horse breaking free of her stall I am a pair of black lace underwear hidden under old comfy jeans I am the word ‘crave’ whispered at two in the morning while looking in the refrigerator I am a prayer plant unfolding towards the sunlight through the window in the morning I am long thick hair unkept and unmanageable stained by sunlight and flying in the breeze I am the soft silent sound of snow falling freely in a field I am the voice floating over the water I am the siren I am me

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

the devil wore red cowgirl boots

we knew she was the devil
the day she decided to attend the rodeo
one man died
his eight seconds up
and three were sent to hospital
from the beer gardens
one of a heart attack
two of heat stroke
in the rain

we knew she was the devil
she was walking fire
the red flames of hell
shot from her ankles and across
the soft black leather of her boots
up the roundness of her body
flashed across her parted lips
and over took her hair
in a blaze which blinded
and burnt those who ventured
too close

we knew she was the devil
the way she danced
in front of the band
twisting turning twirling
a prairie asp in the tumbleweed
luring us to her apple
inviting us to take a bite
as we watched from the stage
speeding up the set
in anticipation
of getting off

we knew she was the devil
when the bass player disappeared
in a spark of smoke
and a haze of hops
appearing the next morning
grinning from ear to ear
on the side of the road
cowboy shirtless
cowboy bootless
looking for his missing mount
and money

we knew she was the devil
but we didn’t care

Friday, October 21, 2005

prairie women

I live in a house on the lush wild prairie with golden grain as far as the eye can see. I didn’t know how to milk a cow or ride a horse, when I married my husband. Growing up in England, there wasn’t much call. But the Scottish blood still flows in my name and now I can plow a field and give birth to a son, all in one day. My husband was a fine looking soldier. All of the women at the dance were looking at him. I lost my heart, then I lost my head, then I lost my country. But Canada is beautiful, and is not scarred by wars. And Winnipeg is a buggy ride away.

I can see how they look at me. They think ‘filthy jew’. They whisper ‘filthy jew in her fur coat’. They don’t know it’s the only nice coat I have left. We came to Canada to escape this. There is this man they call Hitler that my husband said would bring us nothing but sorrow. He said he knew that this man hated the Jews and that if he ever got into power, that would be the last straw, and we would leave Germany. Three days after the election, my husband came home with tickets for some boat leaving in two weeks. Just like that. He made me leave my family. My mother and father were heartbroken. The children were pulled out of school. They were inconsolable and seasick on the boat. And then, to land here, in this little town of Brandon. So few Jews. So little help. They don’t care that we are being murdered back home. They don’t care that I haven’t heard from my mother and father in almost six months. They don’t care that their children throw rocks at mine. They only care that my husband’s bakery serves the best doughnuts in town.

We all came together. Mama, papa, Branya and I came on a beautiful big boat. My big brother Branya made sure to show me all of the interesting nooks and crannies on the ship. Little did he know that I would be curled up in my hiding spot the afternoon he tried to kiss Lucia. My giggling soon alerted him to where I was. He was so mad he actually turned red. I felt so bad. I love him so much, I would never want to hurt him. When I grow up, I will marry a man just like him. In the Ukraine, he went to school, but here in Canada, he works in Dauphin with father and I go to school. The school is two rooms. The older students are to the right, and I am to the left. The toilet is outside. I was so scared the first day. Everyone knew English, and I didn’t. I like my teacher though. She is so pretty with long blond hair and she is so nice to me. She gives me books to read at home so I learn English faster. I read all the time now. She doesn’t laugh at my accent or my clothes. Not like the other kids. They tease me and laugh at me and I don’t understand what they are saying most of the time. I once said one of the things they yelled at me when we were all sitting at the dinner table. I wanted someone to explain what it meant, but Papa just got up and dragged me to the washbasin and made me eat soap. One day I’ll get even. One day I will know what they are saying and I will yell things back. Or maybe one day, I will be a teacher, and make their children stand in the corner.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


memory is
a flash of light in the darkness
sending long ribbons of colour
cascading through air and water
blood and flesh until they dissipate

memory is
a touch a scent a word
trapped under a rock
crushed by the weight
suffocating slowly

memory is
an exaltation to life
sung under the breath
a hymn to the past relished
with every passing moment

memory is
a rip in the screen
letting in flies and wasps
polluting the air
leaving dust

memory is




Monday, October 17, 2005

talking to lovers at 3 am

did ya ever
wake up from
one of those
Freudian dreams
with tunnels
and trains
where you
were tied
to the tracks
and your
so-called friends
and ex-lovers
just sat in
and waited for
the inevitable
and laughing
well honey
that train is death
and we are
all tied to the
same track
so go back
to sleep

Saturday, October 15, 2005

ode to candy rockets

high pitched taste
vibrating in my mouth
tickling smell of sugar
carnival carousel colours
popping pink, blasting blue
fireworks for the cranium

a traveling circus for the senses
the feeling you get from a roller coaster
step right up! step right up!
pay your penny and enjoy the ride!

stomach in mouth, eyes wide open
the free fall of the parachute ride
the euphoric lift and the startling drop
not for the timid, not for the faint of heart!
pay your penny and hold on to your stomach!

rockets are not tofu
they are not spongy and tasteless
rockets are not broccoli
they do not taste better with cheese

rockets are a placebo
a sugar pill pick-me up
rockets are an addiction
you can’t unwrap just one

Friday, October 14, 2005

East Glen Hotel at dawn

she awakes to the warmth of his great bear skin
body soft against her face buried in fur

his steady heartbeat tribal in her ear
as it echoes of the night’s rhythms

the sun mocks them through the cave cracks
taunting the mendacity of the day ahead

he stirs under her and reaches a paw to brush
her hair from the tangle of his morning stubble

feeling the landscape of her head her breasts her stomach
stretched out across him, creating its own gravity

opening one eye to confirm she is still truly with him
and not a residual illusion from some delicious dream

each hoping this will not be the last time
they feel this way in the chill of the blue dawn

each thinking this could be the last time
they feel this way about anyone else again

so they wait; not wanting to be the first
to break the magnetic force holding them together

Postcard to my husband

The lake beats on the shore like the heart of the forest. I lay awake for hours listening. I just can’t sleep without your chest under my head. The old quilt still has that musky smell that made you sneeze. At night, covering our naked bodies from the chill in the wind and the heat in the air. During the day, flying like our flag on the clothesline. I don’t dare hang it outside this year, for fear I may lose you again along with the scent.

I wish I had brought the children this time. But the grandkids would have distracted me. Standing knee deep in the water, as the sun spilled over the horizon reminded me of the times we went skinny dipping, when the children went to bed, and then after they had grown. This is our last time in the lake together.

It was a marvelous dip. I waited for a wind, and took the lid off your urn, and thrust you across the air. You twisted and turned and dove towards the water, disappearing through the currant, as you had so often done off the pier. But this time, you would not surface. I waited there, for you to materialize from the water, and after a time, I realized you wouldn’t and walked back to the cabin, wondering what to do with the urn now.

Wish you were here

Sunday, October 09, 2005


drunks dancing
that meandering
waltz of the desperate
as the band
looks away
from the inevitable crash
at their feet

she with skirt too short
exposing cellulite
flesh and black cotton underwear
he with mullet too long
for good taste
and pants too tight for imagination

not a good looking
one in the bunch
this group of misfits
that met on-line
in some chat room
and now they sit
conversing loudly
in computer code
over bottles of Bud
and Alabama Slammers
in pitchers

women playing
musical chairs
men squeezing out
every line they know
in the hopes that tonight
it won’t just be
them and their
up all night
if you tip
the waitress well
at the beginning
of the night
she will be sure
your glass is never

this waitress
could give a damn
the men tip her well
and she still ignores them
there are just too many
people here tonight
she has a headache
and the country music
the band is playing
is bringing out the
red-neck in the bikers
as they ask her to dance
and try to find out
what time she is off

walk the gauntlet
to the bathrooms
take the 6’2” boyfriend
if need be
self preservation
for your ass

prepare the comebacks
in advance
thanks but I think my big
burley boyfriend would mind.
do you kiss your mother
with that mouth?
take your fucking hands
off me please.
niceties just don’t work
in a place like this

do I really need to
wash my hands
that badly?
“that bitch was all over
your man
I think you should
kick her in the cunt”
says the one in the
tight Pleather skirt
ass suctioned to the
linoleum wall
“when we get back
to the table I am going
to drag her outside
by the hair”
says the other one
as she applies blue
war paint
to her eyelids
in the small mirror
above the dripping
stained sink

“you’re much
better looking
than her anyhow”
I say in a commanding
voice from behind
they turn their
big feathered heads
at me
“fuck yah she is!”
says Pleather
and raises her Bud
blue eyes nods
her head
“I’m gonna kick
that bitch’s ass”
and turns on her
4” heels and
storms out
Pleather teeters
out after her

I move into
their little space
and wash my hands
sometimes its best
to make friends
in bathrooms
than enemies
in bar rooms

Karma wore blue jeans

I remember the first time
I met you
you were in blue jeans
and a black t-shirt
showing off every magical
womanly curve
you shook my hand
and ran your hand
absently through your
long almond hair
and adjusted your glasses
to look up at me
and smile
that smile
that took my breath away
small nude lips
parted slightly
and turned upwards
at either end
to flip the switch
that lit up your cheeks
your eyes your face
and savoring the moment
you turned and walked away
hips swaying to a music
only you could hear
it was that moment
that returned to me
three years later
when I walked into the bar
and saw through the smoke
your smile beaming
light through the room
and thought

dear john

the coffee cup

still with lipstick

rings upon paper

back to listen

Bukowski's Widow (for Linda)

how did you do it?
all those nights you never knew
when he would be home
if he would be home
or even worse
knowing who he was with
and not being able to find them
the days at the tracks
and the nights of Chianti
then in his final days
taking care of him
wiping his vomit
watching him
this great beast of a man
grow hollow and cold

because there you sit now
in the pew close to his casket
surrounded by drunks and degenerates
that you both called friends
you don’t cry
you don’t laugh
you just sit
in the plain black dress
with gartered stockings
and heels too high

and I wonder
did he beg you for death?
did he drink and curse?
did he lay just one more
bet down on the number 8?
did he want to fuck you
in that dress
one last time?

the morning after the ball

Where are those glass slippers? Have you seen them?

No, I remember you were the one drinking grog from the left one, not me. Oh! Here it is. A bit sticky, but none the worse for wear. But where did you put the other one? Oh, wait, there it is, on top of the armoire. How did it get up there?

What time is it? Doesn’t this castle have a sundial? Saints above! I’ll be late to light the fire. And then my step-mother will really tan my hide.

No, you can’t tan if for her. But you can help me lace up this infernal corset. A girl needs a fairy godmother to get into one of these things!

My smile? No matter. Just wait until my nasty step-sisters hear about this. No, I won’t kiss and tell, but they did see you dance with me all night…and then, when I didn’t come home… Well, it could be worse. One of them lost it to a troll. No, really, an actual troll. I don’t know, some kind of fetish she has.

No, I can’t stay for breakfast. I’ll have my Earl Grey when I get home. Besides, I really don’t want to meet your parents looking like this.

There. Not as good as when I arrived, but acceptable. Say, do you know of any good Pumpkin Carriage companies? I think mine split.

What? Announce our engagement? Woah! Take it easy Princely! Why would I want to settle down now? I’ve got everything I want; looks, wardrobe, a few sheckles in my beaded purse, and these kick-ass dancing shoes. But feel free to send a carrier pigeon round to me, if you like. Address it to ‘Cindy’.

Tonight? Oh, I don’t know. I was thinking about calling on Beauty. See if she wants a night away from that horribly stuffy Beast.

So, yeah…maybe I’ll see you at the next Grande Ball. Take care of yourself Prince Charming. Good luck with that whole finding-a-Princess thing. Send me an invite to the wedding.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Longrider ladies

Longrider ladies
with their white haired cowboys
glide across the
hardwood and hay floors
while the band
rambles on
in that Hank Williams way
consuming them in memory
of dances at the
community hall on
arid summer nights
petticoats and periwinkle roses
made from crepe paper
and the smell of the boys
after a day of ranching
hidden under cheap cologne
from the five and dime

Longrider ladies
with their white haired cowboys
dance as if they were
a hundred years younger
and a million miles away
tonight’s suitors decked out
in well worn boots
and Johnny Cash suits
for a moment forgetting
the husbands who passed
and the wives they lost
just a short time ago
twirling tornados
kicking up the dust
which settles on them
and sending the reaper
back to the bar
for another

Longrider ladies
and their white haired cowboys
are the stars of the room
leaving space on their dance card
for just one more gentleman
laughing and lingering like little girls
escaping papa’s watch
tossing their Emmy Lou hair
while sipping gin and tonic
long jean skirts and
smooth satin shirts
Revlon ruby red
flashing across
pretty Porcelana skin
tonight they remember
what it was like
before the birthdays
and burials were booked
back to back
tonight they are
the pure blue blood
pulsating life through this
dying honky-tonk bar

Longrider ladies
with their white haired cowboys
please take a bow

what I learned from a bowl

I learned that if I am open to receiving
I will be filled with what I need

I learned that in times of weather
I can shelter something more fragile than I

I learned that although I may look it
if I am dropped I will not break

I learned that I can hold a lot in me
and pass it around to share with others

Inspiration in awkward place (for Raymond Carver)

Make use of the things around you.

The drunk English professor
at the end of the bar.

The screaming child
and the crying young mother.

The sound of the phone
ringing at three in the morning.

The wanton lover
void of all love.

The pawning of trinkets
for just one more round.

The hissing whispers hovering
over the couple at the next table.

The empty creak of the plaster
in the house at night.

Put it all in.
Make use.


the day the baby died
he came home to find
the lilacs in bloom
millions of tiny
purple kisses
opening their lips
and exhaling
the sweet smell
of life
he thought of
picking a bunch
and bringing them
back to the hospital
for his wife to see
knowing they would
expire before she
got the chance
to enjoy them
but instead he went
deep into the house
closed all the blinds
opened the windows
lay on the floor
and wept
as the smell
of rotting leaves
filled the air

You don't take anything

Screaming at 6 a.m. jars me from my sleep. Echoing down the halls of the apartment, the wails of terror push through the smoke and haze of morning. Help me. Help me. Like the cry of a beaten lover, the sound resonates through my heart, bringing it to my throat. It takes a minute to register the sound of the fire alarm through the darkness of the apartment. This is real. This is not a test. The alarm cries out for us all to get up and move. Do something. Do something. Now more voices, but the most shrill still overpowers us all. I turn to my partner. He opens his mouth but no words pierce past the blanket of sound that covers us. We launch ourselves from bed, scrambling for clothing. Yoga pants. Tank top. Grey sweater. Wool socks. More screaming. Get out. Get out. The alarm begs us to go. Winter boots. Winter coat. Purse. Keys. It is wrong what they say about deciding what to take in a fire. You don’t take the albums. You don’t take the art. You take yourself and the one you love. Touch the door, like they taught us in elementary school. It’s not hot. Black smoke pushes its way under the door like an unwanted flyer. Go away. Go away. The alarm blinds us in the hallway. The smoke and white noise makes it too much for the senses. I slip on the stairs. My neighbour catches me like mouse in a hawk’s claws – drags me outside. I open my mouth to call out. I am choked. Just like the dream where you call out and nothing comes out. But this is real. This is not a dream. The alarm reassures us. You are nearly safe. You are nearly safe. Follow my voice. We emerge into the icy February morning, pushed by the sirens inside and out. Crying from all. Flames eating the building alive, consuming the torment. You are safe say the stars. You are safe.

Monday, October 03, 2005


she looks like a Lucille
so that’s what I call her
she has never introduced
herself but I see her on the
corner of 104th and Jasper
all day every day no taller
than a child never with
anyone never holding
a hand or brushing a hair
from someone’s face
no one but the buildings
and the bums surrounding
the white haired pulled
back in a long braid down
her bent back crone tits
sagging under her
good-will sweat shirt with
happy kittens frolicking
on the back down cascading
down to her wide waist not
wanting a thing from anyone but
at the lawyers the secretaries
the bike couriers the man about town
and the woman on the go
and I always stop and wonder
is there something she knows
that we don’t?

Magpie Woman

magpie woman
circles swooping
calling trailing
her long white
plumes across
the cold grey
parking lot
magpie woman
cackles shrill
bounce between
the buildings
screeching pain
pleading with
the mammals
magpie woman
calls for a dime
or finding
by chance a
bright quarter fallen
among the blades
magpie woman
circles again
coils into a
death roll
pulls up
tosses back
her feathers






he hums hymns of Jesus
as they pass
low guttural breath
resonating through
his barrel body
he hums hymns of Jesus
as they pass
on their way to work
quickened pace
as they pass
he hums hymns of Jesus
between whispering
‘good morning’
through blue lips
in December
as they pass
he hums hymns of Jesus
in July
keeping cool in the shade
of the deserted
Army Navy building
sweat trickles down his lip
as they pass
he hums hymns of Jesus
as years pass
standing on a corner
selling papers
dimes for dinners
as they pass
he hums hymns of Jesus

Act Soon. Expect Nothing.

I guess I started this blog because I am:
(a) too lazy to submit my writing anywhere
(b) such a procrastinator that I usually miss the deadlines anyhow

I've had a few things published, and done a few readings, but frankly, sometimes it seems that, in my head, getting around to submitting anything ranks just behind taking out the garbage - I know it needs to be done, but still never get around to doing it. This seems to be a quick and easy solution to the whole publishing guilt...and will keep my wonderful husband from bugging me about "getting out there".

The title of this Blog comes from a quote from my wall o' quotes by my work station. The full quote, from the book "Saint Jack" by Paul Theroux goes as such:

"His life said: Act soon. His death said: Expect nothing."

I guess this sums up what I will be doing with this whole little process - posting stuff when I create it, expecting nothing.