EDITED TO ADD: my phone and internet connection are down. who knows why – i have paid my bill, but the universe is telling me in no uncertain terms that i am supposed to fly solo for a while. they tell me, hopefully, things will be in full-swing again by tomorrow at 6 pm, but PLEASE forgive me if i don’t make an appearance until late in the day. thank you. have a delicious day.

dost thou love life? then do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of.
-benjamin franklin

i have been burying myself in poetry over the last day or so. my own words are slow in coming, but they feed on the humus of other writers – this is something i take comfort in, and offer up to you again this week.

steven heighton came to talk to my high school writing class the year that his book the ecstasy of skeptics came out, and RIGHT AWAY i fell in love, in that adoring young girl kind of way. i thought he was beautiful, i thought his words were beautiful, i loved the way he took off his cardigan and closed his eyes to recite his poems by memory.

the ecstasy is still one of my favourites. its poignancy remains almost unmatched in my collection.


by night on my bed i sought my
beloved…. but i found her not.
-song of songs

—you grew with earth into the years
that crumble, form in cirrus clouds and merge
in tides at the river mouth, and rush
above you like starlings in the wind’s gorge
so now i barely brush against you
without a tang of damp foliage rising, your body
yielding up its musk of turned earth and berries—

you came down through timber into stone ranges
that farms forgave, found the world
is in love with imperfection
so now as lips, open to kiss, shape the zero
that circles two round – twins bellied – i find no
symmetry no system i could record
for later repetition.

you see life as a scholar even poet
never has—you’re the storm they measure, earth
they travel in shoes—you see
i confuse you with things i thought other—

the halogen planets born of roadkilled eyes
the salmon’s leap in a flame of a welder
green sinews of the river, flexing under ice
the metro quaking into underworlds along the iron
strings of a lyre—

an afternoon i was barely listening
i first heard the cataract upstream, and keepers
frothing at the heart’s walls, breezes
in the drumbeat gorges of ears
and though i was not looking
i saw the garden by its smell
from over the barbed wire and floodlit wall:

consists in the breaking of skin
and some hour feeling next to dying, stir
to the snowfall drifting through you, turning to rain

in the interior, pooling
into hollows and the grave
sockets of eyes—

“as i came down to her
a wind rose off the lake
though i descended it was like climbing a steep trail
my legs trembled as i looked for her
and i was afraid of seeing.
i searched everywhere along the shore but found no sign.
i went to the end of the pier and saw nothing
but islands, white sails, and the far shoreline
then i heard her speak.”