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Letter to the Night

We are
A distance

Tomorrow
The door opens

I’m
Walking backwards

Shutting doors
You’re

Asleep, on
Odysseus

Your dreams
Are blank

I am
An ocean

Later, the
Fog

Gulls circle
Then plummet

Into your
Outstretched

Cauldron
While I breathe

Into a paper
Balloon

And let it
Float

On the wind

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If I Were Conrad Black

If I were Conrad Black I’d be a
corpse glittering
on the slopes of a far-off
cliff
or a carpet of
dead kicked underneath
a humming.

If I were Conrad Black
I’d remember every
facial muscle
or column of fresh white
goose flesh
bathed in the fading light
of an apartment.

If I were Conrad Black
the slightest
cough
or camera shutter
would twist my
frightened horses.

Pictured from left to right:
Matthew and Diane
Conrad Hilary Barbara
and Galen

It’s not hard to imagine
a stiletto wound in the centre
of each of our friends.

Exist only
to be smooth-faced or cragged
scarred or scraped-free
of inconvenience or
continence.

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I Don’t Want To Be Indulged

Maybe I am a ghost sitting up in a log cabin
Or looking out the window
Maybe I am a ghost wondering
If I believe in myself
And using electromagnetic vibrations
To phone someone
And I am whispering something that can’t be heard
About wanting to prove that nothing is real

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It’s cold, but the day is bright and the air clear. I’m sitting in a field, behind a long row of trees that block my view of the road (St. Clair). The reason it’s so cold, probably, is because of the wind, which keeps the trees constantly in motion.

A woman interviewing for a job (on her cell phone) moves from a table near me, in the shade, to one in the sun. I am not keeping close tabs on her, but as I look up, to confirm the preceding sentence, I see that she has moved again, alighting on a park bench further away from the second table, where two people have gathered. She’s very far away, now.

I don’t know if anything I wrote yesterday is true. My therapist, today, raised the question of whether or not “acting like an aristocrat” isn’t just intellectualizing my sadness, in other words another way of putting it aside. I think that’s right, but I felt better writing that blog entry than I think I would have distracting myself with anything else. Even if I’m wrong, it’s worth it, I think, for the feeling of productivity, and to engage with my feelings on any level. My writing, anyway, can always be revised.

She also wondered whether sadness can really be “noble”. I agree with her that sadness is a feeling like any feeling and that it should not be fetishized or prized above others. I think I feel that it is noble to express sadness because sadness isn’t a feeling I’ve had much familiarity expressing; I may feel, even though I know it’s wrong, that the reception to sadness is necessarily hostile.

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Now I’m working in a museum in the middle of the country (volunteering). Do I know enough now to write, “Today he worked at the museum, a quiet museum that was often empty”? Or, now that I am working at a museum, will it become too difficult to refer to museums, will museums come to occupy a place of special importance and personal significance, as well as becoming banal and unimpressive, as all things do, when they become routine? Will I no longer be able to write about museums, at least quiet museums, until many years have passed and my life has changed and the time I worked at a museum passed into fiction? (Or into a kind of fiction?)