Friday, March 14, 2008


Belly filled train cart, then a jolt. Totting tot topples over, wheeling round woman like a whorl, the fox trot and click of a metro rail jerk and joggle. The red-nosed man swells like a coffee pot, thrown over with the surge, then the geriatric ward jig of wayworn bodies shaken to shambles. We unpeel. Then a heave, hefted from the undertow of a gullet, hands sprawled out like ferns, bent-backed, furrowed brow and stern. Regenesis on the railway, we unfurl back into uprightness and rearrange, reassert ourselves, and the tunnels swallow us back into that gorge. I’m that reflection there, light diffused on the other side of a Plexiglas window. That disorder of small body noises, hollowed out cavities like a turkey dinner. But it changes now, between Atwater and Lionel, arguably bumpier than any swath of Montreal asphalt. I pour into him like water into a bay, even if it’s just the press of my back into the denim of his jacket, it’s a secret kept inside a chest and the crowdedness offers some gauze of pretense. And in that one drawn-in inhale of the metro submerged between stations, the flick of his zipper nearly makes me keel over dizzy in a tizzy. Then the snap back and clack of a briefcase, the outpour, the disembark, the shuffling of Dock Martins, the sloughing-off of our underground skins, Lilly-white in a bus terminal, behind us the chuffing carries on. The STM parade, a nether-world cavalcade, just an asteroid belt of moonish mugs circled round and round again in the digestive track of the city, churned into mulch. Skyscrapers sway like boat boughs, those masts; sidewalks matted with cigarette bud pâté. No more balloons, just plastic bags caught and swollen in tree branches. We carry on.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


The cappuccino machine is blowing its nose. Then a clamber, the rosary like jangle of a spoon tossed into a cup, gaping windows stencilled by the heavy palm of a pine bush with white light poking through, looking like linen dressed over a tabletop. Overpriced blood brownies. Swell of scurf as an air born sun flower. There’s twenty dollars somewhere in my knapsack. Breathing deep into the atmosphere of the brew feels like a kiss, like the steeped water is murmuring back. I can’t believe I spent over five bucks on a brownie. Coffeehouse as the crossfire of a thousand sideline glances, like a shooting range staccato, like cicada popcorn, one step through the door and your pop pop pop. Who washes these carpets anyways? Dimpled doll face with auburn hair like a dream. Salt and pepper pappy with unnecessary v-neck. School teacher’s son sporting Dock’s with mangy frock and enough facial fuzz to give a boy hives. Finding the focal point of a spoon with my nose. Waiting’s metaphysical indigestion. I turn it over, he should be here. I shouldn’t be.
Twiddling thumbs turns to finger tip masturbation. Nape of neck like the oily underside of a grit filled frying pan. Tear at your eyelashes for a wish. Breathing the brume of the brew again. Sip it in with a pucker. God dam it.
Crazy crosswalk woman pours through the door, she’s vibrant as a snow cone, smeared lipstick, Blue Morpho eyeshade, a vaporized Mimi Bobeck, the lot. Hair carries an electric current, enough to power surge the West Island (though, not much does). She is as frumpy as an old couch, orders two to go, door swings behind her. The door sways and shuts. The walls are sublimating.
Plate scattered with crumbs, I launch for a lunar mission and scour the remains. A sigh slumps, a heave hefts, staying put like a chair after closing hours. Wrist watch as vicelike, a rabbit snare. Who’s watching? I know I’ve been here ten minutes, go back to the melodious legato of your laptops. Droning away like the Easter vigil of bent-back Brits. Space, tab, and click. Wikipedia as the consciousness for a nation. Hillary wore purple pumps the other day and won the vote of the East village, somewhere. At least Tim Horton’s would have seemed like a truck stop, I could’ve just sidled out through the door as if I were heading back off onto the 40 with a bulk of bovine as shipment. But no sirree, this here’s a classy joint that let’s you sprawl out over a coterie of chairs, lulls you in with it’s pretence of homeliness, and then clomps down at you like an oyster. Here I have a place, an identity, rising from my chair calmly would ensue in the lifting and aiming of a squadron of magnum-pointed eyebrows; I’d be bulleted like Pyle in the head.
I choose to wait. The lampshade flickers like a fly wing. There’s a scone bopping along in the ocean of her chest. I wonder what misanthropic actually means. I am a cappuccino clairvoyant, the bowels of that mug muse of one yellow rain jacket, something to do with a half-eaten sandwich, but then the foam rolls over my grainy scriptures before I can resolve my predicament. I whine a bit, I pine, then bite down on my lower lip till it bleeds.

Play It Again Sam

Sunday, March 2, 2008