Dog

A yelp,
a long growl,
she lies on
my mother’s bed,
fighting with her own dreams.

Eyelids flicker
over another set
of pink blinds.

All she does is sleep,
goes out when I let her,
snarls at the male
when he gets in her way.

What could happen in
a dog’s nightmares?

Jewel

Your glance is surrounded, buoyant.

Were my arms trebled

in length and number,

I could never so surround you,

though you call yourself my own.

You don’t do it for victory,

kissing your beauty with my lips.

You don’t closet yourself from anger,

leaving me to mind my own.

I’m alone in uncertainty, delicious,

where the learning

has just begun.

Study: Lapointe Fish

Blood changes colour
as fingers ease over
tiles.

Joint
pale and pink,
drying,
tips rounded
and brilliant
in accumulation.

Whiting have nothing
but guts, not even
bones to speak of.
Prying fingers impale
the skin easily,
body-length brains
ease out
for under a buck
a pound.

There are the other
fish, of course.
Glaring pink and perfect
under
glass,
against
white disposable
aprons.

Customer! Customer!
Red lights change
as they stand
until closing.
We throw water
to get the corners
clean,
not caring
about soles of leather
or soles with holes.

Ottawa, Byward Market, 1984.

Lost

Thinking about Perdita,
wintery lost-child!
A literary neighbour
named her daughter,
full of Shakespeare
and symbolism.

She was right
about the symbolism.
Perdita is twenty-two now.
She’s says it’s lost
on her,
and she doesn’t give
a shit about literature.

Dream of Nakedness

I was handsome, I was strong,
I knew the words of every song.
Did my singing please you?
The words you sang were wrong.
-Leonard Cohen.

I dream of nakedness, of stories
sung at podiums
without benefit of tailors.

My song drawing eyes
from between my legs
to stubbled lips
turning to pastel.

I must use caution.

The musk from my crotch
still pervades, still catches
nostrils incapable of twitching,

reminds all:
my song
could be wrong.