New York #5

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After Laura’s funeral
I couldn’t write
I couldn’t eat
It was like
I just couldn’t function
I suppose
No one is easily
Prepared for loss

I had all of these drafts
Ready
But I couldn’t turn any of them in …

There was this one lunch
Sara and I had
Sitting in a cafe
About 3 months after ….
The traffic moving outside
I just grabbed a piece of paper
And started writing
And slid it across the table
To her …
She stared
And then wrinkled her nose
And covered the paper with her red hair
Blocking my view
And slid it back to me

This was a lot like texting
I guess
But closer
The time it took to write it out
It felt …closer
And we went on like that
For the course of the meal
We never said a word
We just slid that paper across the table …
and somehow
It was like
A dam broke
And I was able to breathe
Again
For the first time
I cried right there
Beside that old stop light
Where the bbq hut used to be

And Sara walked with me to the
Theatre
where we dropped off my drafts
And then we went home
climbed in bed together
And fell asleep
Nothing else
Just …sleep.

New York #4

Artist
It’s said
Always want one thing
We want to be heard
We want to be seen
We want to be understood

we say we feel things
Differently
We see things differently
Things coming together
Just to come apart
Like entropy
The only difference
Between us
And everyone else
Is that we not only see it
We feel it ….
And we are jaded
Sometimes before it even
Happens

A stair case
A closed door
Snow coming through the window
Paint chipping on the walls
You see it all
But you’re outside
Standing with
Sara telling you to go
Take a chance on
Laura
Even after your fight
Your drop down drag out
Fight

God Laura …
Her blonde hair
Pulled back
Her hoodies
And loose clothes
Her violent schedule
Working with
Local theaters
And dance studios
And writing her
Screenplays
You could see the
Scars along the inside
Of her arms …
The first time we slept
Together
She was nervous
It was like a map for me …
Pieces of doors and windows
That only she could open
If she wanted to
Tell the stories
Behind them

But the staircase
And that door
My heart didn’t feel right
There was an echo to its beat
As I walked in
The fan (spinning lazily with a slant)
The heater (burning)
I could hear the shower
On the other side of the door
I opened it…

Doors like boxes
And safes
Hide things
But it’s really just a psychological
Thing because we have the ability
To look inside them
there are always secrets
There will always be secrets
Your father wasn’t the guy
You thought he was
Your wife is a lesbian
Your boss is actually into
Hard core porn
And Herion ….
Secrets are little rooms
That we have a hard time
Opening
But when it opens
It’s open
And all you can do
Is read it
Even though
It sometimes
More often than not
Is like the aftermath of a storm …

the shower (steam and water hissing)
The mirror (fogged over)
The curtain (torn from its hangers)
And Laura …
on the floor (facedown)
Naked
Trapped between the toilet and the sink
She’d suffocated from a seizure ….
No one there to help

It’s been said that artist
Always want one thing …
Sometimes all you have is
The need to be seen
I guess that’s what we have
In common
That need …
Artist just say it louder
We feel it
Maybe or
Maybe we keep it in….
like Laura
Who never told me about
Her epilepsy
It’s just a room
Waiting on the
Courage it takes
You to open it
With files and folders
we foolishly think only
We can read
but it’s there

It’s not a door
It’s our lives
It’s a window
And everyone is looking

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New York #3

Right here
At thanksgiving
It’s freezing
And all I want is my muffin
That’s it
But a hand flashes in front of
My face
And takes it from me
“Hey!”
It’s Rachael
jumping ahead of me
With my muffin
All full of energy
She owns her own
Gym and nutrition place
Or thing
It’s very foreign to me
“If you want it
You have to work for it
Come on!”
She’s laughing and running ahead of me – backwards…
“Dammit…” I breathed
“Shhhhit! Come on its negative 20 out here ! if I move I’m going to tear something I much rather prefer
Slowly freezing with my muffin.
It’s more acceptable than breaking
Like porcelain ….”
She pouted,her nose crinkling
With disappointment
“Oh fine Achilles …have your muffin
You are quite the warrior”

“I’m Not laughing,I’m not laughing…
I’m ready to get to the bar so we can eat Annabel’s food and wrap things
Can we do that? Let’s do that.
No one dies from death temps
And exposure.”

“Oh christmas it’s overrated
I hate the cold but I still run
I make this body what it is.”

She was messing with me

“Listen you communist,I love Christmas and muffins
And fires
I like the cold
I just happen to be aware
Of when my blood is
Frozen,chipping
Like ice…
Where’s your american spirit?
This is a time for sleeping
And getting fat
Not running and health.
Indulgence! Dammit.
That’s euphoria!”

“Yeah,sounds like diabetes
and no sex to me..I don’t like it”
She laughed and ran
inside my sister’s bar …
I sighed,Jesus I need to find some dudes to start hanging out with…

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New York #2

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Women + Men

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“I don’t know…”
Sara was staring straight ahead with her camera …taking shots of old people in the park
And animals …
Her flaming red hair spraying out
From her hoodie
I looked at her for a second
Shaking my head I asked again
“Are you really ok?”
“No…we were together for 7 years
And then he just left…
I don’t know if I can do this again…”
She was always the strong one
In the group
Her British accent
Tattoos and camera
She seemed untouchable
Until she started dating again
And then reverted back to
This …person…
Who couldn’t make a decision
But in her defence
Her previous relationship
Had been something else
“Jared looked at me like he didn’t know me …and then he just left…”
She took a shot of an old couple asleep on a bench ….

I sighed …
“Well,you can’t stay in bed all the time…you have to get out more …
Turn these pictures in…”
I kicked the curb ….sending pigeons flying around in a panick

“You turn in your manuscript??”
She was genuinely concerned
“No…I can’t finish it…”
“Are you still seeing Laura?”
“Yeah,but I don’t know…I think so…she’s a screen writer …I mean we essentially do the same thing …and I don’t know…it seems to be going well…”
“I think I’m a lesbian…”
I stopped …
“What? I helped you pack when Eric cheated on you…you just got through telling me about jared having a hard time because…”
She laughed
“I know I know…but I don’t know how to be myself in a relationship…
But with women …I can do that…it’s very freeing…I can breathe …”

“Well,I’m not telling jared..”
“Neither am I …I’ll just let it run its course..”

“You are fucking insane …”

“Maybe but at least I’m not afraid to turn my manuscripts in or ask a girl to marry me”

I grabbed her camera and shot a bar across the street
“That’s just unnecessary cruelty …I’m not getting married anyway…
You need to talk to Jared
He needs to understand what’s going on he fell in love with
A strong woman who made decisions
And now you’re afraid of upsetting him …you have to talk to him about
What’s going on .”

She stopped setting the camera down
She started to cry …
In 5 years I had never seen Sara cry
So I just held her
And said nothing

New York #1

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When you think of New York
You don’t think of buildings
Or population
Of the weather …
The smell of asphalt
Wet and burning
Which makes the people
Feel more like
Rodents running
No,no,
You think of
Opportunity
At least I did

I was telling my sister
This at her bar
I great little place
A hole in the wall
I love coming here to relax
play piano at the window
Watching all the people
Moving in and out

She just looked at me
With that expression
And then said
“That’s a whole lot of hyperbole
My bar is getting taxed to death
I can’t pay rent for my apartment
So I’m staying here now …
There’s something to write about.”
Then she stopped and shaking her head poured me a drink.
“Vodka make sure that’s vodka
I said pointing (she hates people pointing)
Don’t give me Rum like last time
I almost died …I could see the world just beginning
As I was falling out …I think that’s actually a quote…maybe?.”
I was only giving her a hard time

It’s vodka …she said dryly
Shooting it down the bar

I always admired her talent

“What’s really bothering you?”
I asked as seriously as I could

She just looked at me
So I went to the piano
And stopped
There
On the seat
Was a box
Macadamias …

Sara shouted from the bar
“Hey, Annabel came by
she had been baking…again.
She said you seemed upset
So she brought
Cookies!”

Annabel
Was great
The baker and holiday
Coordinator
A great find
To be in New York
Fortunate
To us
it’s where her degree
Brought her
And everybody loves
A city

I sat down at the piano
Shaking the rain out of my scarf
Watching the people outside
Shuffling in all their hurry
I began playing my favourite
melody for rain
Chopin’s
Prelude in E minor

Counting the colours of scarfs
And shoots of red hair
Poking out from hats
I wondered if anyone
Ever regretted moving here?
You can’t always go backwards
Even something like this
Can sometimes
Leave you isolated
I needed to start writing
I needed to do something
But instead
I stayed
And I played
Until my sleeves
We’re rolled to elbows
My jacket on the familiar floor
And I was on Prelude D flat
“Rain drop”
As the night shuffled in …
Down the alleys
And the corners
And the rain
Long had given over
To snow