Tuesday, July 23, 2013


when I turned thirteen
my aunty told me
that I should be afraid of thespians
because she thought they were lesbians with vaginas that lisped

she got all the queer stuff mixed up
and had a deeply profound disconnection from traditional forms of human language based interaction

she would touch her temples four times on each side of her head with her thumbs
and lick her palms at dinner
I think I caught OCD from her

so I kissed her husband ten times deeply with my tongue lashing out and into his throat behind the garage by the wild orange lilies

then ran in the back door giggling
and later by the pool table we did unspeakable things
that I would never stop speaking of through beyond in spite of and because of middle age

but that was years later before I stood in front of that little round beveled mirror with the translucent wildflowers carved into the glass in our little entry way
to the storey and a half house where so much blood was drawn

raised by wolves in a badly furnished den of heart hungry thieves
I stood and waited patiently practicing
watching my tongue so carefully as I repeated the five hail Mary’s
of speech impediments

relentlessly in pursuit of some tongueless toothy grin
some god like pronunciation sanctioned by Queen and country
“is that a thistle in your mouth or are you just unhappy to thee me?”

aunty warned me that if
I didn’t do my speech exercises
I would become a little fairy, or worse, “just like Paul Lynde
or Charles Nelson Reilly”

so I would repeat all those
sacred vowelized utterances
I had been taught by the speech therapist
with an s in front of them

- a e i o u - say see sigh so soo -

crossing myself with the sibilance
of those letters throbbing
fearfully with asymmetric phobias
being dangled before my dainty brain

“speak up little fairy and deepen that voice or you’ll be nothing but a laughing stock fit for bit parts on sitcoms on game shows and fops in regional productions of any given  Moliere masterpiece”

so there I stood swiftly saying

‘sally sits a sewing’

over and over and over and over again

‘she sells seashells by the seashore’

scissors seething slightly sinking slowly snipping softly sipping seething sloth

shit sally shit selling seashells on
the shitshore sally shit sally shit

who knew then what my tongue would be up to so many years later
what with little mirrors languid on glass coffee tables streaked with cumulonimbus tracks
of white cloudy atmospheres

but those are much bigger words than I had ever used by then but now
what with my slight lateral lisp
only making special appearances
when I become careless and exhausted and the tongue will flop a little
lashing up against the roof of my mouth dangling long enough to thicken every
snake like ’s’ that slides
slyly seeking solace
swiftly sucking swelling throbbing

what did they expect of me as a child?
was I supposed to pretend to be a prince
when back-hoed princess
was all men ever asked of me

and now that I am too old to die young
I remember you on my way
to the Kentucky Fried Chicken
that large lit up slowly twirling bucket
at that car accident prone corner of Chemong Road and Wolsey Street

mom and dad
before they left for shitsville
would hear the crash and drive me over to that corner to watch the aftermath unfold I always closed my eyes

and then we would go
to the dairy queen for a Mr. Misty
and then along the river road
and I would cry out

“I want to go to the flirtation plant to see the monkeys!”

I pronounced filtration wrong
and the community Riverside Zoo
was on the same sight
as the filtration plant
and I thought they were
one in the same thing
until I was twelve just before my first boyfriend died in a tragic car accident

and there he was
at Chemong and Wolsey
pinned behind the wheel
in the front seat of his father’s car
having backed over him as his dad  raged into the driveway
after he and his mom escaped

daddy suffered broken ribs and his mom was air lifted to Sunnybrook and lived to die again so many times

blood coming from his nose and ears
and I just sat and cried
on the grassy meridian
feeling like Jackie Kennedy
grabbing for pieces of my lover’s brain

and I remembered how
in black and white snapshots of our impossible lives
you took me to the park after school and we sucked smoke from that punctured
Tahiti Treat pop can and you made sure I wasn’t too crack hungry for a little boy

and then you did unspeakable things to my red red rose and the bright green palm trees on the Tahiti Treat can
always made me long for
beaches and summer love and Tarzan bathing suits with a flap in front
and a flap in back

and those memories never left my pelvis they still shudder there
on the tip of my tongue or any part of me that you initiated into lust

I will never forgive you for all that love
how can I ever repay the debt we owe one another
it has given me far too much lust
for the kind of lust for life that breathes in the swell of deaths magic allure

your lies made me an artist and if you had never died I would have been happy to be your wife at twenty and blow away our dreams in a bungalow
designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
in a trailer park planned by Icarus
in a handpicked nightmare called
my very own

I may one day have to amputate my own ear and paint starry nights and lather thick impasto crows plucking eyeballs from innocents as Hitchcockian Valentines litter the edges of my heart hungry for a drumstick and that ethereal cole slaw the colonel dripped along the edges of my youth

and I would roll little mounds of that sugary cabbage in the grease laden leathery folds of his Kentucky fried white skin baked chicken parts and imagine them a kind of southern fried sushi and fear for all those headless pluckless de-feathered chickens being electrocuted in southern pens and the cooped up lives of the most delicious white meat I ever tasted

but I did always have an inbred tatse for those  greyish succulent mounds soaked in a tinge of beige along the marrow deepening into the dark shadowed folds of flesh that were so unwelcome on the racist streets of the tiny towns I inhabited as a child I have run from those streets and into every arm of every body I could find

but then, yes, we danced after school
in Jackson Park by the bucolic orientalized shades of the pagoda bridge and you told me of all the restaurants you would take me to in a few years when we came of age and could
run away together to Calgary

because you deeply loved Buffy’s Indian cowboys and their big white hats
“big wide smiles” and you promised we would go to Ming and Pong those posh little martini bars that years later made me feel like I was a character in a racist movie of my own private life

and you had googled photos of the hot springs at Banff and spoke of
sacred ground overcome
by artist residencies

you told me how those Calgarian bars were lined with photographs of chairman Mao and furnished with chairs shaped like the palm of a hand just like the weird furniture in Clockwork Orange

and then you would pretend to kick me senseless and raw as we danced home from grade eight in a downpour and sang singing in the rain and lusted after
Gene Kelly’s stocky frame

then back in Ontario ten years prior
you bought crack cocaine in the
parking lot of the Brookdale Plaza
where we saw Aunt Jemima at the Dominion grocery store selling pancakes with what claimed to be the real boat from the African Queen in the back of a truck from a back lot in Manhattan touring  small  town Ontario from Wawa to Peterborough to Petawawa to Penetanguishene to Wasaga Beach 
and back again

and we laughed and laughed and laughed and you held me in your little fifteen year old arms I was a year younger than you and felt like your virgin bride
and you said we would live near a seven eleven  on 17th avenue in Calgary where we could always get purple slurpees and hard pepperoni  sticks and diet cherry coke and smoked oysters
any time of the day or night by the time we turned twenty

we would stagger blithely home to our condo and dance naked on our countertop with the faux leather
Ralph Lauren backsplash  and the Jacuzzi tub with little round spots on the side for our pina coladas

and we would gorge our selves on week old pizza drowning in polluted Venetian anchovies and kiss and kiss and kiss and kiss and kiss until our tongues rolled themselves into saliva splashed love duets

as we lapped prosecco from the gorgeous deep ravines of our full 
post adolescent rumps as bubbles slithered rivulets and little waterfalls
into nether parts

but sweetheart I just couldn’t seem
to get by the fact
that you wanted a pint of my urine
for your pet iguana after watching Richard Burton and Ava Gardner on that makeshift screen and I rode you home
on your bike and rode you again
in a little bed under a Walt Disney comforter and grabbed your ass
and called you crusty the clown under my breath for years after

I had already given you so much
so when I saw you dead in that car
on my way to buy four snack packs
and three extra orders of cole slaw
for my aunt and uncle and me
and the half dead border collie
chained to the dog house
behind the garage who yelped so quietly as I kissed uncle doom
when I was fourteen going on forty five

and aunty and uncle doom
they were raising me since mom and dad had disappeared into the septic tank of my pre adolescent dream of escaping from this shithole and running away to a brothel in the foothills
where kindly gentlemen would make me a little porn star

well I felt very sad seeing you there like that because as hard as I tried I could not bring myself to feel sorry for anyone
but myself

and that kind of self indulgent sentimental crap that I write and write and write always makes me feel sad and angry and unoriginal

you were dead and gone but I was stuck there on the corner of Wolsey and Chemong still waiting to cross the intersection through the flashing lights of police cars and your mother’s screams

because I knew the dooms of love I cherished would not forgive me for coming home 
bucketless and empty handed but I was wrong they loved me
in their decrepit way

and it was always me who was fresh out of forgiveness and baked in bitterness before the playground stopped being a breeding plot me and Julio and all this stringy half imagined narrative
I would never see you again since it was a closed coffin and I got a day off school and you got the rest of my life off school

and my aunty dressed me up in my robins egg blue seersucker short sleeved shirt and a little navy blue suit with gold insignia and a white bow tie that even then I found very inappropriate for a funeral

and I slipped on favored penny loafers
at the last minute
with no god damn pennies and now  pennies replaced by loonies and two-nies are gone form earth and heaven in this penniless country

and aunty handed me hand written directions to Comstock’s funeral parlor and set me off alone at thirteen to my  best friends fucking funeral

I tore that fey little bow tie off five fucking minutes after I left the house and raced crying up to Jackson’s Park and dove into the arms of the first parked car I could find by the pagoda bridge and there I slept in someone’s arms with my boyish briefs over my head and smiled thinking you must be happier in hell than this buttfucked earth

but the taste of blood frozen in an ice cream cone crushed at the bottom of a trash can at the drive-in dairy queen is like a fairy sucking the life out of a silly dream through imagined crack pipes pop cans and the woven fictionalized tales wrought from images and memories of a childhood where he never should have touched me
where his racism never should have punctured my pink ears

it should have been you
little adolescent white boy
with your dreams of sloth and glamour
and taking me away from all that I would never be

in 1969 we weren’t quite old enough to be hookers not quite wise enough to runaway to become
a part of stonewall history
but we were young enough to be
the brokenhearted infantalized heavy hearted whores
our families made us hate and love and covet

yes, it should have been you as I peered across the classroom during the lords prayer and god save the drag queen and I knew you were winking at me in your heart I knew it I did I knew you were
but I’ve killed you haven’t I

I’ve written you into my bony false fried poem where there is so much that is true in my fake nostalgia for a past wrought with less banal trauma

I want my memories to stink
because the stench I have
come to terms with
has left me in the cold

he never should have touched me
I never should have been deemed
to dream of kissing him
so many times beside that dog house
not far from the long gone
twirling canister of
fowl cackling body parts
as I tell tell these purpose laden
accidental tragic lies

having tired of the dismal lurid truth
 that I have come and come and come
to love and love and love
to write and write and write
to weave and weave and weave
to mend and mend and mend
to fry and fry and fry
into the greasy corn fed
tortured bony chicken parts
of my carefree winsome youth

tra la...

No comments:

Post a Comment