1. not beauty, not failed
2. not stating, not answers
3. not 'of it' but around,
4. not a giant question,
5. not de rigeur, but special
6. not glitter but gotten
7. not Vancouver, not here
8. not for further, sheets
9. shot, ridden attempts
10. to reclude, the house
11. always winds, thunder
12. an abode over hills
13. we all hide under, but
14. not stucco, dear god not stucco
failed what? nature intrudes,
not nature, what? we glam our
outsides, fashion wooden sheen
to inner fire, that, we say,
remains our prerogative.
privileged to avoid the special,
easy to be meagerly above or
below. what failed? a design
shines, an alignment reminds
disparate tastes that they exist.
what, what if not nature
to enshroud, to occlude, to provide
a proper domicile, even if a failed
mimicry? are we not all stucco
and boards; a hidden inside
pretending to burst out, a gigantic
rainstorm slamming the beach,
disrupting the leaves, setting
the trees to wildly wave? a shore,
a house against the rising tide
gets gentrified or surrounded.
what we call progress...
balcony, i say, a balcony for my kingdom
gets going, gets stucco, gets incomparable
to a white castle, what if not a Vancouver
special illuminates the untidyness we gloss
when we say 'activist'? what reactionary
fluff gathers to the screen between
status symbol and cultural cliche? what
unencumbered signal waits to carry our noise
blissfully into music and what music exists
to organize our noise with or without consent?
my east, my condo pantomime, i'm yours.
what easy direction could the trees line?
what simple flagrant boundry would suffice?
a flat screen, a compass buried in the yard,
a bird tethered to a spiked fence, gets beyond,
get together, get a reason to apply, get your
home in order, your papers, get east, a bank
approval and citizenship, what more do we need?
it isn't the basement suites, the sheets ripped,
wine-stained curtains and barbells, it isn't
the effect of talking to peers, or a radio
playing 'kokomo' over and over again into the night,
it isn't a derth of capable responses that satisfies,
rather it would be something in the need for order,
the rather obligatory shuffling we witness
every morning, every damn day toward an aimless
poetic with a balcony, downstairs door and stucco.
picture after photo after snapshot after jpeg
after canvas print after scanner art after
charcoal drawing after stagecraft after logo
after icon after web graphic after house on the corner
after shoot after symbol after picture after photo
flash slideshow click through 1976 and then what movie?
the stucco is holy the balcony is holy the downstairs
door is holy everywhere is holy every special an angel
the notepad is holy the other options never followed
holy a choice and a necessity what difference?
holy the enlarged olympic terror magnified backwards
over several decades, holy holy holy juggarnaut
of the middle class past, holy what city we desire
is the city we receive, holy distance and wage, holy
salary and dividend, holy having space, holy city of
awnings, holy police, holy garantuan quadrangle
in which we all hide, behind closed doors, inside
shuttered windows, glaring in our mind's eye
at the stucco inside, inside where the rain
twangs our skulls between high def channels
and regular vhs recordings, holy spangled
original wanting a bursted vessel to carry us to sea
Who? who? who? who? we're looking at you. we're looking
at us. we're looking at each other across a candlelit
table with the rain smashing down outside. we redneck
accomodate and shuffle into a mortgage, smiling and
joining together 'against the neighbours' for their
poor taste at the fence. what who? who? ivory flashing
and benefits, a wide-angle smile to say 'don't
enter my name in your rolodex' or 'i'm not
your people.' the bank says yes, keep going, the bank
says keep going. not a million, yet. we're
under the weather, we're rising, okay. not my neighbour
yet also my friend, not my friend yet also
my yoga instructor, not my neighbour yet
also my dog walking buddy, not my dog yet also my real
estate agent's boss, not my boss yet also my condo
board president, not my choice yet also my tacit nod.
What is the sum of 8 and 9:
It's your turn! Move into the poem. Renovate it. Knock down its walls. Put your spin on it. Make it your own.