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



There were things he could only say to a horse  in silence

He was oveja negra  through and through   What jewish

girl from the burbs has a father who is a real cowboy?  I do



Took me to my first rodeo  where the love of my 5 yr. old life

Mark from  The Rifleman  rode giant dung smeared bulls   Dad

why are the bulls covered in ..   He later bought me a ring with

my name inscribed   Still fits smallest digit


The carnival atmosphere of this life has not diminished one bit

Today a roofer named Rob  large+bitter  tried to lure me onto

the toppermost roof of the leaking stucco townhouse I co-own

I’m afraid of heights   Rob just glared


I don’t think I will give him the $17,500 he demanded  Rob said:

It’s not a question anymore of repair  It’s about REPLACE   How

about restore Rob?  Restore the discs in my neck  Restore the glory

days when parents aced mental status tests  If a snake is 6 ft. from

head to tail  how long is it from tail to head?   Fuck you!  father screamed


Replace: the painted carnival whores  the smarmy psychiatrists   One who

did push ups in her front hall  +over billed OHIP before they were allowed

to   He was likely 1/2 in love with her   Replace: the scaffolding   The edifice

is creaky  +we’re spending the treasure to restore a version of the story that

never existed to begin with


The one where the nuclear family survives!  So what was it that killed the nuclear

family in the first place?  The industrial revolution?  Television?  The Pill?  Does it

matter?  For when one is the last woman standing  after the numberless deaths of

her kin  it is beyond hard to get the hang of it  (Psychiatrists with notepads  Take note)



But a dog who’s been beaten

is slow to go back to happy barking 

– and that’s an animal, not a person.


(Adelia Prado   Divine Wrath  1987

Lifetime Achievement Award  

Griffin Poetry Prize  2014)


Summer 2017



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