Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Galleon on the Mantle

The mantle sits in the center of our home,
between the kitchen and television: the spiritual core;
The altar in a bachelor temple; where in December,
stockings would hang if we were a family.

On the mantle is a pile of National Geographics from the 1980’s
filled with pictures thumbed through impatiently on indoor days,
a dieing formerly pink rose whose countenance is downcast,
and a thrift-store treasure: four mast wooden galleon, with bow facing out.

If the ship turns out to be enchanted, most thrift-store galleons are,
when the faery-winds change the ship will leap from it’s mount and begin
its voyage; over the flat-screen television playing season after season of
AMC’s Breaking Bad, round the rhododendron sentry outside the window,

through the Burrard Inlet, up and over mountain after mountain,
and on through oceans of flat in Canada’s belly. The sailors will sing
songs of faery-wives and children in tiny artic cottages
waiting around fireplaces glowing with green pixie-flames.

When the winds change the faery-ship crew will be dispersed
across North America; amongst the disparate places they’re from.
Soon enough the mantle will be bare, the ship will be empty,
and this house will not be our home.

Monday, June 17, 2013


The yard is over grown: plants
I don’t recognize, a wisteria choking
a decrepit fence that a herd of rats use
on their evening commute to graveyard
shifts over a drooping garage.

But our strawberries a bright,
and there is a rose plant, and apples.
Miscellaneous life groans impatient.
Who is to judge wheat from tares?

Our fence drops lifeless
limbs into the alley.
The neighbors must be talking. Still,
I am untrained in pruning, and can think of more
pressing matters than weeding—seven seasons of Star Trek:
The Next Generation on Netflix for instance.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Daydreams of Putin

I hid behind sunglasses,
when tears pushed through
I thought of Vladimir Putin shirtless.

My thoughts were cloaked,
but I’m not so sure she didn’t guess. I wondered

what dreams the Russian president let go,
if he made mixed tapes
for American presidents
but kept them for himself,
if he saw Chechnya as a metaphor
for some recurrent heartbreak.

My thoughts bent around
cheap plastic rims, back
to the problems I’d been avoiding:

there was no outcome I could label success.
She was my Chechnya.