songanddancegirl

"It's about words, and words are all I have…"

MOTHER

THE MOTHER & CHILD REUNION

IS ONLY A MOTION AWAY

Yesterday a picture  sent from a pre-menstrual niece:

It’s a godless world   said she  And I don’t know why

I can’t stop weeping   Post menses  she is sweet +upbeat

Can even recite  The Epic of Gilgamesh  at will   Did her

dissertation on it

 

The picture: from the land of innocence  40 yrs. since family

sliced+diced   Faces un-scarred  Bodies un-scalpeled   Dew

on the grass  (Yes! they even had dew in the 70’s..)    Alas

youngest child in the picture dead   Too many night sea

journeys   Other 2  now mothers of 4 children   Oldest woman

also dead   Lungs infected by filthy pigeon  Jackson Square

New Orleans

 

Niece wondered if we will meet again   Plaintive howl  via e-mail

Can there be a better place old frizzled auntie?  Not only is there

a better place  but  what we once have been   we shall be again

When skin+bones are highly theoretical  +we swim with the fishes

(not a mobster reference)

 

I answered: Love is immortality   Sounding like a cross between Jesus

and CSNY   No such positivity had left these lips since 1976   when I

had no knowledge of death   It too was theoretical   Just kiss a rock-like

brow in your parent’s condominium  +that horse has left the barn   But

I will leave you hopeful  as too many of you grow sickly  + are a strange

shade of yellow  from following this blog too closely

 

Little Tameeka came for therapy   Kidnapped in Africa by her father

Fierce little warrior girl   Escaped genital mutilation too   Dogs at Pearson

International sniffed her   Separated form her father +sent to fostercare

At first she suckled therapist’s knuckles   Then gradually developed a smile

too big for her tiny face  +a laugh that echoed through the ethers  to the

room of her mother in Ethiopia

__

 

 

Fall  2017

 

 

 

 

 

DOWNIE

THE DAY GORD DOWNIE DIED

All the young hipsters so beautiful and free?  Buying

their coffee at Balzacs  All duded up  Stylized snapshot

of urbanity  Bye Bye Gord Downie  probably not their

poet anyway    Don’t tell me what Atticus is doing

 

This morning on the phone a friend I’ve known  forever

said: My funeral guy.. I actually have a funeral guy!  3

members of her family have died  since last July   Father

Husband   Brother   We talked long +loose about ashes +

survivor’s guilt

 

She is the last woman standing   Estranged from her junkie

brother  whose ashes will remain with  funeral guy   On the

shelf where he keeps: un-claimed sisters  dogs  +infant skulls

Ready to transmute into the next: Bowie  Downie   +The Artist

Formerly Known as Prince

 

So  if your ashes remain un-claimed  have you really lived?  Or

is your death rattle: an unheard cry for meaning?   No bereft

shining granddaughter to visit your town in Romania  Trying to

come to grips with the madness of ovens   It is a bit like the tree

falling in the forest question

 

If one is pushed  bullet riddled  into an unmarked grave of 100,000

strong at Babi Yar  does it make a sound?  While we don’t recommend

you go around believing in: Never Again  We do recommend  that to

one child at a time  you recount the history of  gassed +un-gassed family

Especially of those un-claimed

 

The ashes on  funeral guy’s  shelf  mixing with dust +mouse  belong to

a human being   He who had such promise at birth  that upon his death

the angels lined up to rent clouds of glory  +howl Kaddish at any Gods

within a 5 mile radius

__

Strange to think of you,  gone..

While I walk the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village..

And I’ve been up all night reading the Kaddish aloud..

Dreaming back thru life,  your time and mine  accelerating 

toward Apocalypse..  (Allen Ginsberg  Kaddish  1959)

 

Fall  2017   RIP   Gord Downie

 

WEASELS

LOVE IS A HELLHOLE FILLED WITH NIGHT WEASELS

A  snarly girl with giant breasts  approaches as I write about

love  at the Tampered Press   George Saunders  brilliant and bent

is exactly where I want to get   In  Escape From Spiderhead  George

proposes an experiment  using convicts imprisoned for murder

 

First George gives them a drug that makes them love  Kind of like our own

oxytocin  but less prairie vole  +more vampireliplock   drawingbloodevery

timetheyfuck   Suddenly they’ve known each other forever  soulmates in

many previous lives  +will continue to meet ad infinitum   ad nauseam

( jaded? hell yes )

 

When the drug wears off  they fall out of love  Now cadavers   empty  +wreaking

of a stranger’s sweat  (who does not know the horror of this?)  George then forces

one of them to kill the other via a drug called Darkenfloxx™️   He refuses  +kills

himself   The scientists cheer  psychopathy can be cured    A conscience grown in

a petrie dish

 

My own experiments on human subjects: the dead eyes of abused 7 yr. olds taught

me some things   You can take the child out of the locked room  but you cannot

remove the smell of feces  +mould  from nostrils   What you can do is place said

child in front of windows looking out onto trees  onto sunlight    A hawk  +the full

moon  come night

 

He cowers there for 2 yrs.+300 days   He looks like Jesus  palms out  stigmata

flowing   One day hundreds of birds gather in the trees  +start to sing  (he does not

take a hammer   bash out the glass  +begin shooting)  He notices the window  + says:

 I don’t think I want to push you out    And then he rests

____

 

 

Fall  2017

LIVING

AS I LAY LIVING

What could Vardaman Bundren have possibly meant when he said:

My mother is a fish   You know  the 8 yr. old  Vardaman   in Faulkner’s

As I Lay Dying   His mother Addie has just died in her bed  as an older

son works an adze for days   Making the coffin that will carry Addie to

her grave

 

Just prior to Addie’s final breath  Vardaman kills  +guts   a fish   The 2

converge in his 8 yr. old psyche   The dead fish + the dead mother   In the

lore of the Fisher King  the grail legend posits:  the wounded Fisher King

is the healer  the grail being one’s own personal healing elixir  made from

suffering a life

 

What wounds you will heal you   The gutted fish + the cancer ridden mother

teach the boy that there is only 1 simple truth   And the fisher of men said it

best: the truth will set you free    Fearing death is fearing life   Life  the bardo

state   the in-between  the waking-dream   For who is truly alive?

 

The cuckholded husband  who meets his wife’s lover +doesn’t punch his lights

out?  And why not?  He came to suffer the truth of what was missing in their

marriage   The answer: feeling alive   So get hold of the water of life  +whatever

it is for you  tie it in a bundle +place it on a stick

 

If it is music  also memorize the silences   These pauses  before what is coming

are important   crucial in fact to prepare you for the   great wide open    The

longest pause  where you won’t have to: mind the gap   That curious sign  posted

as you step onto the subway   Here in life no one wants you to fall through the cracks

 

Society is set up to protect you   Mostly from yourself    Should you get to know

yourself too well  you might hoist the yoke  +make a beeline    Who then would

inherit the kingdom of heaven?   Freedom is not for the meek    But then you’ve

heard it all before:  aging is enlightenment at gunpoint*

__

*But only if yer kicking+screaming

 

Learn to die and thou shalt learn to live,  for there shall none 

learn to live, that has not learned to die.  

(The Book of The Craft of Dying  Comper’s Edition)

 

 

Fall  2017  RIP John Lennon   77 today   somewhere

 

 

 

BROKEN HEARTS

ALL THE GOOD GIRLS ARE AT HOME WITH BROKEN HEARTS

First he was dead  then he was clinging  but no one could ever say

he was good looking  Heroin thin  long of face  Great white hair  a la

Johnny + Edgar Winter   But his nasal drawl  +poetic mainlining  made

you think:  I’ll take him home  We’ll raise a couple of stringy white haired

kids    Move to Malibu  where Thomas Earl Petty died    Yesterday

 

Massive coronary  66   Free falling on life support  until 8:40 pm   Add him

to the list:  Lou  David  Prince  Greg  Walter   As Pete Townsend once said:

All my friends are dead   And who has not been touched  by the mass exodus?

Which one of us not held their breath  over biopsies  +CT’s   Well it’s either

cancer  or it’s nothing   Stress boiling blood   Breakdown  cannot be far away

 

60 something refugees  kicked around  by marriages  gout  +dreams abandoned ?

But still here +Tom there  Meeting up with George  et al.   A long cold lonely journey

To a place where the inverted sun  casts shadows  over resurrected rockers   Entering

that final hall of fame   While back on earth  guitars weep   +madmen with guns  enact

carnage   Concerts now mass graves  in the war that has:  No borders   No meaning

No jingo

___

 

 

Fall  2017   RIP  TOM PETTY 1950-2017

AFTER ALL

WHEN AFTER ALL IT WAS YOU AND ME

Hef died yesterday  at 91   When the late Barbra Frum somewhat

prissily remonstrated: what you’re really selling is a high class

dirty book  Hugh threw back his head  +laughed    We have the

most cutting edge writers  philosophers  artists  he said   Sartre!

Nabokov!  Vonnegut!

 

But when you’re 7 or 8  it’s the Vargas Girl cartoon  +all of the large

breasted  honey haired Goddesses  who beckon   A warm lap  read you

a story  Maybe marry your father or brother should they divorce   Some

of their nipples were the size of saucers   They’d lie back and enjoy it   +

look into your girl child eyes   They promised you a certain kind of power

Especially the centrefold    Your first GIANTESS

 

So why do the feminists hate him?  Susan Brownmiller suggested he wear

bunny ears + a tail   In the end he bought the plot next to where Marilyn is

buried   His first Playboy cover bunny   It all seemed so innocent   The thrill

of finding that hidden bunny on each month’s cover!  Those were simpler times

+Marilyn had yet to suicide

 

She who had numberless uterine surgeries for constant pain   +miscarriages   An

orphan girl  numbing herself with countless barbiturates   A mad mother  + sexual

abuse in childhood too   There she was on the cover  Playboy Goddess  Cartoon

voice   Soul eviscerated pursuing fame  +the ultimate safe daddy-haven

 

It was Hugh after all  who sold us  a back-lit-lay-on-this-magic-carpet  kind of dream

Of soft thighs  +pneumatic breasts   And despite my years of higher education  I just

couldn’t hate him   I’d still longed to be one of the giant woman-babies  lying back  +

smiling  well into perpetuity

__

 

 

 

Fall  2017   RIP Hugh Hefner  1926-2017

DEVIL

DEVIL IN DISGUISE

A man approaches me naked  to the waist   I do not

want to make his acquaintance  Another steamy day

in the Great White North  I blame this on the death of

Willie  The Wiarton groundhog who has seen his last shadow

 

My own shadow  though analyzed by one of the preeminent

Jungians of the late 20th century  remains in a state of gnarly

carnality   Often rude  filling my closets with numberless shoes

+ghosts pressing me for truths  Especially the ones I refuse to admit

 

Denial  my opiate of choice   The truth is not all it is cracked up to be

It has been known to cause ruptures   Arterial melodramas    Atonal

fibrillations   Rather be a mellow obfuscater  as my mirror cons me

O You are fair!  A real contendah!  A poetry giantess!

 

Back away from me slowly   Even my own mother has been known to say:

Your poems are spicy  full of swearing  I hope no one I know reads them

*Well so do I     It’s not the swearing per se   A well placed fuck can give a seismic

shock to the psychic Richter

 

And for an old crone  verging on witch   Altar stuffed with talismans  + one

small statue of Elvis   My Personal Dionysus  The words fill crevices otherwise

populated by tumbleweed  +creosote  Detritus of 6 decades   But getting oh so

close to being slipped the answer upon God’s tongue

__

 

*(definitely don’t show any of your friends this one!)

 

 

 

Fall Equinox  2017

FANNY

FANNY AND ME

Her face was leathery+lined+dignified   She’d always

seemed ancient to me   Though my first memories from

about 3  place her squarely at my age now   Ancient?  Me?

Maybe    Leathery skin   Degenerated knee  +discs

Grey creeping in

 

Memory seeping a yellowy liquid  when worked too hard

Shards of glory days penetrate the purple haze   But wait!

They may be  NOW   in this intermezzo   this purgatorio

Before something wicked this way comes   Ungentle +crouched

in cells

 

Fanny once said to me: Why are you embarrassed?  Some people

live above stores   We’d been talking about my father’s rusted out car

Tiny + black    Crowded in the back   With: sweating  bleating  brothers

I hid   Especially from nouveau riche kids   The boy with an Elvis ducktail

 

Well if everyone lived above stores  I wouldn’t be embarrassed   But

they don’t   So I am   In her mind’s eye  an open palm slap  to my

morphing face   Soon to have her cheekbones   My father Lee  said she’d

never touched him as a child    Stoic woman  missed her mother   who

died at thirty three   Sent her to the Mayo Clinic but couldn’t save her

Ovarian treachery

__

 

..how when people suffer just so much they get mean and ugly

and something dies in them..  

(The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter  Carson Mcullers  23)

 

 

Fall 2017

VANISHING

I TURN ONLY TO SEE THEM VANISHING

AT THE DAMP EDGE OF THE ROAD

My first real job circa 1979   Probation+Parole  Regent Park

21 yrs. old   Befriended Premier Of Ontario’s daughter Nancy

Said she’d never met a Jew before me   I thought this novel   My

father was incensed: What kind of racist bullshit is this?

 

Nancy  on her 1st visit to a Jew’s home  regaled me with stories

of:  sailing regattas  her boyfriend Potter +his buds hanging at the

Granite Club  where Jews were banned   I wasn’t invited to the

wedding she’d called  a merger    Yet I still thought Nancy swell

+pretended not to focus on her moustache

 

Our boss Mary Gunn  a 70 something Scottish matron  commented

frequently on my suntanned legs  ( I belonged to a golf+tennis club

for Jews)  My father  intuitively with a growl: She’s a lesbian Aprill!

When Mary asked me to take her to Eaton’s for bras  +slid her hand

along said suntanned leg   I marvelled at my father’s facility for laying bare

one’s secret proclivities

 

He would have made a most excellent spy  +infact through tips from

turncoat brother/weasels  found me at 14  in an opium den  Bestfriend

Joni’s father  a one handed butcher  in constant phantom pain  fell victim

to the poppy  She quit school in grade 10  +married the trumpet player from

Lighthouse  My father banned her from our house  While older brother said

she stank  but followed her movements closely

 

The only other woman in the house was my gorgeous mother  who at 93 continues

to wax enigmatic: There is nothing like the excitement of dating mobsters!   My father

had married a moll +hid her away in a dull suburban backwater   It did not matter

Her best friend:  a Chanel wearing  tangerine Cutless driving  race track lady    She

had a gravely laugh  +lit her cigarette like a trucker    I tell you   those 2 dames

they walked  on water

__

 

I am growing old.

A bird cries in bare elder trees.

Whatever it was I lost, whatever I wept for

It is here.

(James Wright  Pulitzer Prize  1972)

 

 

 

 

Fall 2017

SIMPLICITY

IN THE MYSTERY OF LIVING MATTER

AND THE SIMPLICITY OF DEATH

Today someone sent 6 pizzas to my house at 4pm via Uber Eats

I was not home   When I asked the driver to call me  he texted:

I am deaf sorry  not calling   It is also New Year’s eve   5,778  at

the stroke of midnight    Mercury must be in retrograde?    So

many crazed happenings   World spinning off of axis for a change

 

Yesterday waylaid on traffic circle  driving it for 20+yrs.   Still circling

when pizza call came   2 quakes in Mexico    Yesterday’s on the anniversary

of the last 8.1   One brother hunkered down there in tequila territory  Jalisco

Quake by-passed brother  +thousands of agave plants saved   (woo hoo!)

 

3rd hurricane shredding Caribbean islands   Fake news shows us the eye of

hurricane God nightly  from special hurricane planes   Visited all of the islands

when young  +beyond the grasp of by-pass horrors  that would visit father  2 yrs.

hence   Stout boy with bad hair  a.k.a. Rocketman  launches nuclear missiles over

heavily populated areas of Japan   Yellow haired vulgarian threatens to decimate

heavily populated areas of Korea

 

I contemplate the complex million fold division of cells   The centre will not hold

Late summer envelops city  31 degrees  40 with humidity   The judges of this year’s

arts council grants think themselves too good for these generalizations  +are

unmoved   As my self esteem plummets  I continue to collapse  +re-form

 

My hope chip irrevocably altered by the near losses of 5777  (a.k.a. 2017)  +the fact

that 6 rotting pizzas await my homecoming    A cool breeze wafts  + the reflecting

pool at the Thompson Hotel reflects: a wizened face +electric red frizz   1st fall

leaves  floating on surface   Ice man cometh   As I make furious plans for escape

I hear the sound of God laughing

__

 

Man makes plans.  God laughs.

(Maternal Grandmother  Sarah Marlieb)

__

 

A veil of haze protects this

Long-ago afternoon forgotten by everybody

In this photograph, most of them now 

Sucked screaming through old age and death

(John Ashbery  Pulitzer Prize  1975)

 

 

Fall 2017   Ere of 5778

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