we act like that won't happen to us like our lands haven't too been ravished because we gave that up for the safety of our family. we rejoice at nightmarkets festivals that dot the landscape like stars in the sky but we forget that fireworks quickly turned into fires thunders and when we deny the violence that happens abroad we inch our way further from home. we're american canadian something new but the people who make our clothes but the people who grow our food they look just like us.
if your life is a song, then every moment is a note that sometimes strings together other memories that remind me of the moment that remind me of the memories an open note a reminder of the rest depending on my mood.
Have I always lusted for the past? Always longed to walk down Rouen Avec une baguette in tow. Always wished my present moment Were coloured and blushed With the pigment of nostalgic memory Glossed with centuries-old ink. Do the shards of heartbreak fester like a quill Or does the spirit heal over them? Dissolving like glass into glass. Until the vase's cracks have reached perfection. Stained windows, glowing in the moonlight. A great intelligence, cursed by a speck of sadness.
now i look across this life under the glowing memory of days gone by hanging like a setting horizon upon an endless turning sea, austere aquamarines hanging like a kite string slightly slipping ajar from fingers uncurled gone in the wind unto an endless burning sky, orange-crimson nylon dye hanging like smoke rings always carried in the breeze, hanging like sacred smudge auspicious tiny swirls hang on the frayed ends of my clothes, little hooks hanging like pictures of a special uncle hanging like soft white coals of incense
if the house if you live in the house or condo or hut or tent or street (because, we all once came from the house) if the house burnt down what would you remember? what would keep you on the verge of tears what would keep you from spilling and poring for answers what pile of ash would be your family portraits grandpa's violin christmas cards head tax receipt lost belongings. proof of life. proof of belonging. what would be left if the A-frame closed in on itself, if dad could not save the roof with a hose if water lost to flame would the sidewalk bare ashen prints ? or would thebroken lot bear ferns & grass. & seeds. &vines þs &twigs &trees, your ruins & flowers
Be warmed by the fires of love.
Be rocks drearily coaxed into slow, radiant heat;
bask baking bare to the breeze. Be the middle of the circle. the centre of family.
the baby born into the arms of grandmother and grandfather.
Be the beat of feet and soft bed of palms turned up to the sky.
Be the whispered moment. Be the background voices and the sound of mom. ear to warm chest,
like the ear to a shell. it is the ocean calling.
Be seen in the dancing shadows. Be the delighted shrieking children.
Be the hunters drinking mead.
Be the warm mug of coffee, cigarette in finger,
hands wrapped ’round glazing clay; looking down
into a bowl of stars.
inspired by audre lorde
why do we write things that we know we will forget why give our memories a place to die why these scars things i cannot change stripes on my skin (on the page pens scrape sharp as teeth) in a forest where i fiercely dwell the tiger's kill moans and swells always a sound sleep in a silent stalked grass atop a green blushing hill belly full and howling moon trees hold a solemn silence pieces of my ear tossed into the mouths of wolves scent lost in the wind under the shroud of night a naked body wrestles in the sheets a distant trail of ants converge over the hill a claw uncurls into the sky lamps flicker:eyes open
when i am near you the numbers on streets and clocks are right the sound of rain upon the sidewalk is a complete refrain to a childhood melody at night the stars burn like candles, when blown, bow and tip their hats when i hold you in my mind the expanse of heavens dreamed in forlorn ancient texts reveal themselves like a vast, turning sky & you, like desert canyon walls, are a fountain waiting for rain.
There is NOTHING like the joy on grandma's face when i speak my broken cantonese. what little i know. one grandson among many.
i still dream about you, see you in all your elegance never a stronger smile nor a closer embrace though we've left each other in life - at least for now - you continue to grow in my sleep meeting me at full moons turning from shadow to soul a light and a glow slowly fading into a deeper hue. like a song your measure and composure are still refined and though your transcendental poise escapes definition though we may never cross paths like stars are apart, (though i hope - like a comet - we are merely moving further on an elliptical journey..) i (still) go to sleep at the light of a candle & the thought of you.