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



Sticky note on cover of Al Purdy’s: rooms for rent

in the outer planets  1962-1996    Note says: go see

Al Purdy’s statue  Queen’s Park   So here I sit  at

stone Al’s feet    Al Purdy  Poet  1918-2000  carved

into concrete


Long bobbed hair  all in black   shirt sleeves rolled up

Cool deshabille   Al gazes off into now ochre trees   That’s

poets for you  autoerotic pencil flailing  in lonely parks +

freezing cafes


This poet sits on Al’s left knee  gold Chanel shoes glinting

in November rays   Al missed Justin’s swearing-in today  by

15 yrs.  Don’t know how impressed he’d be with the ceremony

There was Sophie G.T. clutching her heart   blonde locks

flapping in the golden girl breeze


2 tiny throat singers all shock+awe  as our Governor General broke

into loud gaffaws   Al won the GG award twice in his lifetime  Born in

Wooler Ontario  died in Sidney B.C.  Someone called his poetry: effortless 

gratuitous magic   Not a poet certainly   Now I wipe word-sweat off of

stone Al’s brow   if he could move he’d surely seduce me


Al thought love: a comic disease  yet I kiss his cold cheek  + squirm on

his knee   Too late to resist becoming poet-cliché   Sun now setting  time

to climb off of statue   When Al Purdy groans  +hauls me back  2 french bullies

begin to howl   as I succumb to advances of giant stone Al



she stands above him as a stone goddess   weeping tears and honey

she is half his age and far older  and how can a man tell his wife this?

(Married Man’s Song 1970  Al Purdy)


al purdy statue



Fall 2015





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