Rizzuto's Lullaby

From here you can see
the arteries of light.

A thick, hoary—and almost
ominous—blanket of clouds descends
to smother Montreal.

A city dirty with techno-
coloured October leaves
gasping for chlorophyll.

A ville sullied by language.
A big smoke where mobsters still
meet silver screen-calibre endings.

The heavy greyness singing
the murmuring town to sleep,
putting out fires,
calming Rizzuto,
unplugging police.

From here you can see
the arteries of light.

Pockets of people
that huddle together,
while hating one and other
for keeping the heart-
ache at bay.

Or rather for reminding them that
heartache is stitched into us;
a seam we constantly
pull; a thread
that no one dares.

Sowing Pangaea

It started with our boats. They carried thread
Across the breach. They carried thread
While their crews and captains wasted and weathered.
They carried thread to darn Pangaea whole again.

Earth worms, fat and succulent, gathered for a baptism
Performed by a father on his son, helped reinforce the stitches.
These night crawlers are reprobates. Secret soil defilers,
They planted our needles deep in the earth.

They planted the needles between roots and rocks.
They refused to let the earth lie fallow,
And so they furrowed ditches for loosestrife
plucked from Ophelia’s water grave.

They pushed purple loosestrife into foreign soil hoping that
When the New World birthed her own Ophelia she would have
A proper burial. When the New World birthed Ophelia she was wiser:
Rather than picking poppies she plucked worms, fat and succulent.

Rather than purloining poppies Ophelia attempted to rip
The seams we had sewn between this world and the old.
This time her body would lay eternal and whole
As bodies did before the ships carried thread.


We cauterized the image of Nero
fiddling as Rome burned into ourselves.
Once the stench of burning scattered we
embroidered it into our imaginations,
but then forgot about Caligula’s
cacoethes for nectarines.

What a shame—
there was left of orange thread, too.

Caligula indulged in nectarines.
He despised the way his tongue felt
pressed against peach pelt. When fondling breasts
and choosing fruit he would leave
sticky thumbprints. Sticky bruises. Sticky kisses.
Caligula suckled on nectarines—corpulent
and firm—big as the sun setting over Gubbio
when August bleeds into September.

And there was orange thread.
And there is orange thread.


The clock was of Teutonic origins.
I am adamant about this fact despite
the lack of empirical evidence.
Based on specious reasoning I have concluded:
that clock cannot be the product of native hands.

The pedantic hands that built you were not,
and could not, be the same hands that cut off
eel’s heads. Night after night after night
after night I am kept from dreams of
Governor Ferguson. Steeped in heat

I was finally granted admission;
the bureaucracy of sleep is a
mysterious force. Ferguson leaned over to
me while we ate stale Oreos & drank
dog rose tea & in something between
a whisper & mastication told me that:
If English was
good enough for both
Texas and Jesus Christ
It was good enough for me.

German hands push, pinch, prod, squeeze, tweet, and twinge.
The Governor is falling down the stairs.
The Governor is falling down the stairs.
The Germans pushed him and claimed that: he was
a casualty of unknotting the messy expanse of night.

His Own Vine and Tree or Fig Flower

The glory of God: not found in the sky;
Nor in the portrait of naive Hydra,
bathing in the pitch sea next to that sly
Crater crow. No, God dwells in the umbra
Of grandeur— fresh figs cut open reveal
Flesh, skin and broken seed rings.

No, God’s smaller yet, lodging in plump peel:
A pupil-sized wasp that has lost her wings
Forcing through the fig’s mouth, pollinating;
Blind and limbless the dance begins anew.
Flesh deep fig flowers and larvae are growing,
With greed-bead-eyes that crow begins to coo.
Despite all this splendour, Adam and Eve sew’d
fig leaves together and made coverings.


A bloated hand follows hosiery to a crease
which joins two lean legs. Muscles clench in
response, synapses echo, her head tilts —a smile—
the bottom lip tied back.

“My friend and I had a joke.”

She had quit before we met. The first time
we finished she told me breathily ‘I wish I
still smoked, fuck;’ and I kissed her and we laughed,
we held each other naked and laughing.

“when we were out late and the birds started to sing
I would always tell her that ‘I wish I
had a gun.’ We would laugh.”

The heavy thumb presses down, just
left of the clit: it rocks back and forth,
forth and back—digging into muscle. A moan
buried under breaths shadows his self satisfied grunt.

“That one’s a chickadee—”
“You’re an ornithologist?”

She’s been a non-smoker longer than I have
been her husband. Her ash drops onto the cotton
sheets— fingers that’ve forgotten the rhythm—
the smell of ash and bleach gnaws at the silence
which I can’t help but perpetuate … at least
the cigarette is phallic.

“No, I learned about them from one of those
Protect Vermont’s Ecosystem commercials.”

A pair of smacking maws collapses on neatly
rouged lips—they respond. A stewardess refrains
from offering the occupied couple a beverage.
The lithe figure of callysto rises and drifts
down the aisle to a recently evacuated stall; trailed
by the plodding hunter, zeus.

“Is that a chickadee? The one that’s staring at me.”

An exhale of smoke joins the cacophony
of bird chatter. As each freckle of light fades
back into the pigment and grey stretches
over the horizon. Tracing the outline of her body
my eyes rest on her cigarette.

“What was it?”

callysto stands on the closed shitter
with the posture of a heavy headed peony
in midsummer—petals spread and waiting.

“Fuck if I know.”

Ash drops into a bedside glass of tepid water,
disturbing bubbles— I taste the bitter pith:
jealous of her cigarette. Her lips smacking against the filter.

“What about that one? It sounded like chimes.”

The behemoth pushes himself in;
his extraneous rolls thunder and reverberate into the door
injunction with a heavy-moist-exhale, managing
to condemn her: OCCUPIED.

“… I only remember the chickadee’s call,
because she says her name—the narcissist—over and over again.
I hardly even know what she looks like.”

I think she is either watching the plane
force its way through the clouds or
ursa major as she grows faint.

The Greenline

shirt’s riding up, again, exposing
a naked onion belly to the harshhumming
of metro lights. here i don’t have
an audience, other than the harshhummingmetrolights.
as a result i begin to lose track of my

present character choice. the lights
are still there, watching— i pull
down my incorrigible outerskin (i believe
i asked a grade school teacher what
incorrigible meant, at one time— i believe
she told me it was what little boys
are. this memory may or may not

have been part of a book or
movie). hitler liked male architecture, no
curves. after building the große halle
did he plan on levelling the alps, just to
keep things balanced? at belzec

the jews got off the train. at charlevoix
metro station people got off the train
heading east. most, probably, went home,
it nearing two am and all. at lionel-groulx
i went east when i should of gone west,
and only stopped to notice three stops
too late. now, while most people have
probably gone home, i wait for godot

to come rescue me, in train form
preferably. just outside of berlin
there is monument to the jews
who got off the train. an empty platform
and an out-of-commission stretch

of railway, with countlessly countable jewish
names engraved onto the tracks. at belzec
the jews got off the train, and were asked to tie
their shoes together (to make them easier
to find later, they were told), and throw them into
pyramid pile. later-later, naked and aware that a
nazi would soon probably be wearing her shoes,
their shoes, jewish shoes, Sarah turned to her brother

Abraham and kissed his lips: “they never fitted you
properly, anyways,” she laughed
as the line began to get shorter and
the completely tiled room closer. a metro
employee in a uniform one or two sizes too small

trespasses the fourth wall, ‘je
m’excuse cherie, mais la dernier metro a
deja passé,’ she says, smiles, and ascends
the stairs. i sigh, collect my things,
adjust my incorrigible shirt (which
is probably one or two sizes too small), shove
my feet into awkward shoes and ascend
the stairs. in the showers as the tiles began to

press in against people and gas, people climbed
over each other, attempting to escape. when
the proctors went in, later-later-later, they
no longer stood in awe of the jewish testament
to a pharaoh longpassed. “every time,” mumbled one,

two nodded as three and four began to move bodies.


The trees have succumbed to
spring’s firm grip,
allowing lacy flowers
to decorate their awkward branches.
And a humming bird prods
willing apple blossoms
searching for the remaining sweet sips,
which have been forgotten
by the droves of bees.

What if I were to call
these frail flowers masculine?
Would this change the meaning and
make this image deeper,
more sexually charged?
Would supple petals become stiff,
and the hummingbird wince
when forced to swallow sour nectar?

Flowers are merely sex organs;
the sky splits open and
they crumble.


They’re almost here;
you can feel the tension.
It’s been mounting since the first day
that mound of snow in my back yard
began to melt: a mound so monstrous
that it needed to lean against the length
of my house’s brick belly
to heave up its great weight.

That was five weeks ago.

It’s not so much that I want the leaves
to come back(though it would be nice)—
it’s simply that the trees are tired of being naked
and you can tell.