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

Archive for the day “May 11, 2018”



There was a birdbath in his yard   My taciturn uncle’s   It was

among the most magical totems of childhood  Ditto  my mother’s

hairbrush   200 strokes each night   Rapunzel-like hair  down to

there   Uncoiled from bun   Spun golden brown


Unlike Rapunzel  no princely suitors   No gentleman callers  climbing

Rather locked away   In a place of suburban decay:  a plaza  a school

+a pile of plump nouveau riche wives   Sans the luminous hair


At the base of the birdbath lived a toad   Tiny  +bewarted    I loved it

passionately    And did not exactly kill it   Just played with it to death

My own hands bewarted over time   These days I am not as partial to

frogs   Even my young cousin had a run in   His with an amphibian herd

On a slick rural road


There were hundreds of them  +it was pouring  +the car was thumping

Over them  +through them   Frog-matter everywhere!   Windshield + hair


Today I sit at a birdbath of sorts  secret garden U of T   Lawns emerald green

Squirrels shifty   One eyes me hungrily  as men on rooftops used to do   There

are 2 Canada geese  I feel unkindly towards them immediately    +cast unholy

aspersions with a kicking motion   The larger of the 2  squawks apocalyptically


He grabs the hem of  H+M dress  +nearly rips it off of me   With this I

become murderous  wrapping fingers around a throat  so smooth +iridescent

I am reminded of the womb    Where the sound of brushing  entered psyche

Mother-goddess metronome  lulled me into trance  so what was coming wouldn’t

hurt as much   Except it did







I once worked with a 7 yr. old girl   Her mother a deaf mute

Ran away when she was 3  +her most vivid memory  a hair

brushing ritual before bed   For 2 years much of therapy

consisted of silently brushing her hair  And keeping her from

assaulting me   She + I  counter transferentially  returning the

world’s lost mothers to daughters open arms + gnashing teeth

It would be a long long recovery



Heal the patient, heal the world   C.G. Jung


Mother’s Day 🌸   2018



When Tracey K Smith ( Pulitzer  Princeton prof.  poet )  sits down

to write  ( Vogue April 2018: husband poet literati  daughter a

deadringer for Tracey  brownstone done in heathers + blues

hues associated with heaven )  does she become distracted by

the neighbour’s yapping dogs?  Old one died covered in sores

Couldn’t jump up into SUV anymore    Carried like the Christ

up+down the stairs


I called police when barking led to meandering thoughts of murdering

husband  or her  or her demure mother   She doesn’t speak to us (!)

apparently   In tight white jeans  she glares  As every dimple calls out

for more   Or is Tracey distracted  by feeling so good  that anything is

possible?   Probably   People  +especially poets like Tracey  are

particularly dear to those of us who have only wasted a year or 2



She poured doubles like an angel, right up to the lip of a cocktail glass,

no measuring. You had to go down on them like a hummingbird over a

blossom. Birth should have felt like that.  ( ..not written by Tracey K Smith..)




Spring 2018

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