This year marks the seven hundredth anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy
A CANADIAN TRADITION
The crazy Canuckness of Kerouac and Cohen
Searching for a road-wise sunrise
And the crack in everything
where the light gets in
Not to follow seems a sin
“Bukowski, in his grave, dead as hell
reaching for one last beer, and almost making it.”
A childhood so warped it could have led
to mass murder or a Bush cabinet post
leads only to alcohol, poetry
and mass appeal
POETS OF AUSTIN
(for Thom and the gang)
Just keep writing, just keep writing
the results are not for us to know
Just keep sowing what you sow
Nobody holds it against Johnny
that all the apple seeds didn’t grow
THE LADY WHO EATS SNOW
There is a lovely sad lady in Texas
who eats snow in her dreams
writes about young wolves
and the order of the hunt
During the long dark winter
the lady who eats snow
grows larger and nearer to herself
The ice of the river is in her glass
she is two margaritas short of a howl
Soon she will dream
of Alpha wolves
The Kubla Khan’s from minds
broken loose by
and all too soon broken by drugs.
The alcohol that so many have found as
the key to their heaven and their hell.
And all the wounds of daily battles with
truths wrestled to a fall
Makes me wonder if writers
sometimes lay down their bodies
that their children
SHEEP IN THE NIGHT
It was in the old Taos Hotel in New Mexico. I had just spent
the night there on my way back from the Light Institute in
Santa Fe, and picked up a book in their little reading room.
It contained this wonderful description.
A poet is something strange and apart, a favourite of the gods, who have bestowed on him an extreme sensitiveness and sensibility,
like open doors and windows, to subtle and delicate impressions that but bruise themselves against other men’s walls; these he captures ad coaxes to sing to him, and intoxicated by the beauty of their melodies builds for them a golden cage and feeds them on honey from the sweetest flowers in his garden: till they in their happiness become so musical, fancying themselves in heaven , that Jove confers immortality on them, and swinging in their golden cages they sing sweetly forever, lifting up the hearts of men in every clime and generation.
As I read in the lobby a lady sat down opposite me in a comfortable old sofa, about four feet away across a gently rugged coffee table.
I had heard the desk clerk greet her as she entered and ask her how the writing was going. We smiled at each other as she sat down. There was a warmth and a recognition in the smile and a knowing that we would each have liked to say something, but we didn’t.
I really would have liked to share the paragraph with her,
but I didn’t.
Later I passed her and a companion having lunch and we again shared the , “Hi, old friend I’ve know forever,” smiles, but didn’t speak
A couple of hours later I was sprinting across the street on the way back to the hotel when a car stopped to let me cross in front of it. It was her again. This time we both laughed and smiled and went our separate ways.
Maybe we were laughing at fate and it’s three good tries, and
our ability to ignore them all, or the lack of courage that had
allowed us to pass – like two sheeps in the night