Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

a hawk, a raven
or the 13th giant blackbird
or a crow

too faraway to know

blushing, wanting robins, daffodils, and sparrows
uneven petaled daisies in a field 
of sentimental hoeing down
among the gay’ish signifying cornfields of his youth

but he saw a hawk, a raven
or a blackbird or a crow
close enough for kinship
too faraway to know

my MEDS on the roof at the MET


beau fleuve (like a buffalo)

the first person he ever loved
was a Canadian expatriate
living in Buffalo
and working at a Ford Motor plant - shift work
transferred from Brantford Ontario
in the early 1960’s

one wife, two daughters
his wife had a twin sister
it was a perfect transnational
border-crossing life
shot through with the conflict
of being a gay man trapped in a straight man’s body

like wallpaper in a pup tent
like pillows in a rock garden
like swag lamps hung from cliffs
like diamonds in the mud
like caterpillar soup
like rust on a crinoline

like children in a smoky room
like cigarette butts in a piece of half-eaten birthday cake
like clowns at a funeral
like promiscuity at a wedding
like chastity at an orgy
like sex in a chapel

like nuns in a speakeasy
like sequins in the war
like boas in the rain
like mink stoles at the zoo
like monkey’s in a rage
like ferrets in a huff

like lemmings gone astray
like fire and hay
like a stack of closed bibles holding open doors
like a party girl in a room full of bores
like crystal bulls in china shops
like vegetarian matadors

like a postcard of a buffalo

with words printed on the back
claiming that the word buffalo was a mispronunciation
by aboriginals when French settlers
looked at the Niagara River and said “beau fleuve”
and natives thought they had said buffalo

a city borne of something that it isn’t
a marriage born of something that it couldn’t be
a beautiful river that drops suddenly
into the butt end of an overflowing escarpment
like his mother’s twin sister
married to the first man he ever loved

a Canadian expatriate - a beautiful river of misidentified love flowing between borders, like too many similes caught in a windstorm…

like a white buffalo in a china shop 

Origin of the name Buffalo

It is believed that the City of Buffalo received its name from the creek of the same name[citation needed]; however, there are several unproven theories as to the origin of the name of the creek. Early French explorers reported the abundance of buffalo on the south shore of Lake Erie, but their presence on the banks of Buffalo Creek is still a matter of debate, so the origin of the name of the creek is still uncertain. Neither the Native American name ("Place of the Basswoods") or the French name ("River of Horses") survived so the current name likely dates to the British occupation which began with the capture of Fort Niagara in 1759. The British engineer John Montresor mentions the name Buffalo Creek four times in his journal of 1764, indicating that the name was in common use at that time. Another argument is that the creek is named after a Native American who once lived on the bank of the river, but there is no evidence to support this theory. The claim that the name is an Anglicized form of the name Beau Fleuve (beautiful river), which was supposedly an exclamation uttered by Louis Hennepin when he first saw the stream, is the least likely explanation. 

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