SASKATCHEWAN …… has more poets per capita than any other province in Canada. ----Saskatchewan Culture of the Arts leaflet Walking on water is easy. The miracle is not in the journey but in choosing when to return. On the prairies, winter is about patience - white falling, white falling on white - moon turning it blue. Winter is silence - all things dead or dreaming the beauty of nothing - no colour, no smell, no life. The only warmth ice on your tongue the cold demanding everyone be kind. Everyone here is a poet the homeless sleep in libraries the abandoned read between dreams.
To the Deadfor Dom Move on. Change your friends. Your job. Your family. Sing sad love songs and change all the pronouns. Watch Late Night TV and while you watch, read bad novels, furiously, fingers ready to turn the next page. Avoid Talk Shows. Don't write letters. Drink. Fall down. Smile at strangers. Cook with garlic and onions. Ring me. This time I might answer.
not drowning - Bloomsbury 2008for Malcolm In this group of wildly cautious poets organic is good, but good elderberry port goes untouched sloe gin is too fast our motto is nothing gained: good somewhere in Paris Kiki is dancing we are not there.
Lives of the Poets: Poets in ResidenceThe problem with artists as house-guests Is they don't go away. You can't fold them up in their suitcase And take them down to the station. They arrive with one bag or two of their own And leave with three more of yours And take you with them To carry their luggage And broken trolleys All artists have bad backs. So do I. The problem with artists as house guests Is they want you to listen to their rants Over breakfast, through your favourite show, At three in the morning when they Come into your room with tequila and salt And bounce on your bed. The only time they are silent They are tongue-kissing your lover. The problem with artists as house guests Is they are all larger than life And spend most of it trying to end it: I have nothing to live for, Just let me die. Oh please, please please I'd be better off dead Until you agree Or they cry because they can't have children With you. Artists as house-guests need feeding Three times an hour If you leave them any longer You find them hungrily Eyeing the baby. The problem with artists as house-guests Is when they sleep, they burn your carpet Or their beards or set fire to your bed Dropping lit cigarettes They all cook either badly or well But they all cook using every pot in the house They drop fag ashes Beating eggs for the omelettes And roll joints for your mother And after they wash up All your non-stick pans Stick. And the damn thing of it is: The problem with artists as house guests Is that when, eventually, they go away You miss them.
For SerenaYou are there baking for Christmas, siphoning wine in the afternoon laughing at The Singer Not the Song your first schoolgirl crush in Sales I see your colours: Cinnamon, Spice, Terracotta, Rust I put them back for someone else breathing in the Blackened Orange the small ache of cloves Red Sand; Dust. ('for Serena' published in Painted, spoken, number 14 (London:Richard Price 2007)
ONE YEAR ONThe reading-corner you made me is still there bright red table, red chairs picture railings, dove-grey stairs still lit by west light There are no sounds in the house I remember no one calling no one called no one there the cedar of the floor still smells sweet as the light from the window turns to dark ('One year On' published in DIVERS (London: Aark Arts 2008)
IMAGINE ROSE DANCINGRose Hacker's Dance Performance in Bloomsbury February 24, 2007 Imagine Rose dancing white lace at her throat dark dress falling shoulders to floor the lights catching stage dust the slow curve of thin wrists suspended Rose dancing, still turning heads each breath that she takes lemon-sweet imagine Rose dancing to one-hundred-and-one imagine Rose dancing and dance!