Canada Day, July 1

When, once again, I consider
the existence of the dream-land:
Canada.

Holiday

Everything about this is better than real.
Real happens everyday, real is the click
of the wheel of the subway train; real
is the constant delay of dying—this is
better. This is the world where stars reside,
a place where moments collide with red
wine, a moment with you when I look
at you and think you are all I want and
you look at me and tell me you are mine.

To battle the wave is a good thing
(for Deborah)

1
To stand on the shore, to ignore the push-back,
to stand on the shore, one can only watch.
To stand on the shore, to be safe with sand which
got between your toes, with nowhere to go.

2
The swimmer rests at the centre of the bubble;
the swimmer winds the bubble about herself. She
propels against water, wind and wave. The bubble
cannot resist its discontent, and confronts the current.

3
The wave appears a mountain when seen from
the surface; it is a mountain to be smote one stroke,
one kick at a time; the wave will part for those prepared
to swim; but, first, you must not remain upon the shore.

Santa at the Beach

Fat jolly looking gentleman joins us at the beach one day.
His wife pleasant and plump, winsome in her own way.
They make quite a pair in matching red swim suits
his enormous white beard, her old fashioned granny boots,
but no one pays attention—it’s a beautiful day—
after all—it’s the beach.

The day is balmy, sunny, warm and blue
sandwiches crisp, sand ready for castles, before us a perfect view.
The waves roll endlessly in the thrall of a gentle wind
that blows all cares away.

Well, me in my kerchief and Ma in her cap
are watching the children run this way and that.
Beach balls, horseshoes, frisbees and golf—
there’s all kind of stuff winging about.

I smile at the old couple, “Kids, what can you do?”
The old gent smiles, “You know … let me help with a few.”
Well, what happened next still fills me with fear,
‘cause when I jumped I musta spilt a 6 pack of beer.

The old guy, dressed in his red flannel swim suit
makes a toy gun of his fist, you know, forefinger points out,
thumb up, rest like this, and takes aims at a beach ball
sights over his thumb and goes, “BLAM!”

The beach ball explodes.
He cocks his thumb again and now that finger is pointing everywhere and
BLAM! kites fly away
BLAM! umbrellas unfold
BLAM! water wings take flight
BLAM! frisbees fricassee
BLAM! horseshoes take off at a gallop
BLAM! sandcastles catch fire
BLAM! whistling footballs screech ‘til they croak
BLAM! seadoos sink (scores of ’em)
BLAM! waterskiiers bounce along the water like skipping stones ’til out of sight
BLAM! beach noodles cook

THEN this red-suited white whiskered old gent holds up his forefinger,
trailing smoke, and say’s “Light me Mother”; his wife pops a big Havana in his mouth, holds his still burning finger to the cigar and kisses him,
passionately, on his jolly red cheeks as he starts to puff and chuff,
grinding as she kisses and whispers “Please Nicky— that’s enough.”

But the most frightening thing had yet to unfold:
my kids sat down for hours, and did what they were told … .
AND,
after that,
that couple never spoke to us again,
and we NEVER bothered them.

Mental note: no more cookies and milk,
the gentleman definitely requires something stronger.

play at 33 rpm

Words to my audience — to understand the following you must picture
the lazy float of the Frisbee thrown in the late summer afternoon heat… ;
understand the clay pigeon flies stillborn until the gun of the marksman speaks;
behold this childhood reverie — the early spring dance of bubbles in a tiny stream,
momentary cul-de-sac of melting snow that forms a whirlpool filled
with crystals of air, frost, black and blue, all and nothing, the abyss … .

And so … a record; now antique term reborn again, so it is with the record, it will play
back, itself the act and the act nouned with no apology— first, cylinder — then flat
at varying speeds, in various strata. By itself, the knowledge of memory, continuation of
all world history, politics, geography, law, religion, culture, philosophy, and recipes—
not to mention the music that danced the Frisbee between long haired hippies and the waiting future—

… floats lazily on a summer afternoon, stylus head bobbing, dipping in its own time, and before
the record runs out — we bounce and step upon a stream of sound that whirls us into
a spiral that builds us an ocean and we the shore the waves of time beat upon …

…the time of hippies – of rockers and surfers, folkies and classical freaks, hope headed jazz freaks;
the time of remembering when you got the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dead, Dylan, Joni, Laura,
and everyone knew it was all about Huxley and the Doors of Perception and magical mysteries
that revolved around a little chrome post in the middle of a plate that turned the disk that
held the next phase of the world on its back as if the mythical turtle that bore all creation
had been reborn and the Gods Made Love upon a standing wave of guitar generated feedback….

I see the toss of lazy summer afternoon, as radio plays and a Frisbee hangs in the air, spins
amidst dance of long puff haired head band mustachioed cut off jean tank top groovers
and it is all that it should be — moment defined as it is sails from hand to hand, heat shimmers
upon the land, everywhere is green, whether leaf or tambourine, and we are creating space
not between us, but new space, new places, there is nothing this record cannot dream.

Does serendipity create, no, guarantee excellence? of course it does.
Does the stage get any bigger now it is so crowded? of course it does.
Can the creative still be affirmed when it loses physicality? of course it does.
Can the loss of love join, fall apart and join again or afflict a community,
or build one? of course it does.

… the day —Frisbee revolves in that instant, I go round and round remember
the sound — the people the play the moment when anything was possible and time
turned in our hands and it was called a record.

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