Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Creative Process


1.

snowmobiles
          scream by


2.

birds
          disappear in the spruce


3.

silence
          zips behind


________________

Once upon a time, or today at approximately 2:30 pm give or take, this was a haiku. That's when I had the bright idea of perhaps approaching the arts council or the town to fund the placing of a poem on one of those portable signs that do their neon best to sell you things or get you to attend this or that. They're everywhere. I thought maybe a haiku would work. It could be a community thing, I thought. Then the word community took over. Creighton Community Haiku! Maybe I could convince the town to run haiku on the digital sign at the five corners. I could see it: Scrolling haiku! Or maybe add a haiku element to the upcoming winter festival: Ephemeral haiku written on the snow with wood ash! Or with mountain ash berries! I put aside the idea of geocached haiku right away as the audience for that would be too small and specialized, and for all I know maybe geocaching is no longer that popular. Besides it seems wrong to even think of squirreling away a poem under some rock or log. I put aside the idea of a community haiku blog. I dismissed the thought of a community haiku Facebook group. By 3:30 I had taken the haiku idea apart.     

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Investment Property


It’s like you now have two brains to flip or rent.
Each brain, to code, has two doors. Just think.

On weekends you whip open both brains
to air out the lobes and prevent mold. High-end,

your brains have granite countertops, vaulted
ceilings, hardwood floors. You remortgaged

the original brain so you could afford to build
the other. Alas, the new brain is at a standstill.

The builder of the brain installed a sink and went
on to another job. The sink does not match the tub.




Monday, December 15, 2014

Winter Owing


When fortunate enough to get any specimens of Mice I will put them in Rum. 
          – Donald Gunn to Spencer Baird. Feb 20, 1856.*


O fur of fortune
slicked back

post-molasses
bottom of the cask

grave half-closed
amber eyes

short-lashed
smashed

O white-footed
swig

distilled post-squeak
spirit grog

O naked
swizzle stick

Ho ho ho
oak swish

pink post-lick
tongue

______________

*The title and epigraph are from Donald Gunn’s letter to Spencer Baird in The Modern Beginnings of Subarctic Ornithology: Northern Correspondence with the Smithsonian Institution, 1856-68, edited and introduced by Debra Lindsay. Winnipeg: Manitoba Record Society, 1991. A fascinating book.