It helps that she’s pretty.
It hurts that she's right.
I can think of a a bawdy line next, but I think you want to keep it clean.
It helps even more that she's also a robot.
You can change the little words but appliances see with their skin.
And that she's pretty helpful too.
grotesque & macabre eccentricities revealed only after the vows
but it's scanning her lines that I love
Even if named Betty
but what if she weren't?
The frown has somewhere to hide.
in candid wisdom and air
The sun shining in her hair
It helps that she's pretty
If not, would be a terrible pity
avoid death by advertisement
this blossom, that anchor; take a seat.
and if her teeth are straight
If her kayak's curves are polished of their winter dust
Although 'prettiness' is a construct
So cynical and witty.
It helps if she's right-handed, double-jointed, or even just unusually flexible. It all helps. If.
but it helps more if you aren't
In the way your father's fate needed help being sealed
neither one is camouflaged
be the satellite friend, orbit the divine
pretty purdy petty yeti spag--
So much in demand
And really, who has seen the wind except under a microscope of black storm?
the use of interjections to establish authenticity is effective
You can make a boat out of ocean if you are willing to drown in trees.
sand in the eye, soap in the mouth
wind rattles the windows the microscope loses its scope
Who is exposed, loneliest and pale for the explaining
And I replied, "Who has seen the stars except through a mist of pain?"
she liked to believe that ghosts would explain themselves
you stand there in your good shoes, lips squeezed free of blood
pale exposed 'ulnerable. ility.
Who is opposed, homeliest and frail for the restraining.
you bring the oxblood leather cuffs, i'll bring the reinforced chain
housed in her fragile skull, a new darkness
Who learns own strength by the cracks that do not fracture and fall but find their use in their own movement.
We get what we deserve
and some of us deserve to be outsourced by sparrows
it's the nerve that gets us pinched
but not what we're worth,
a warm debris, a music box of calloused skin
brings a wall of mewling sharks and snivelling politicians weeping into their ontological oatmeal
What lay ahead
when this season ends
whirlygigs, bad perfume, jaguars chasing after mad women wearing scarlet boaters
who comes from a house on fire
my head is the kind of lawn in which the divot maker rejoices
whose commentary's accepted
expect the unsuspected
But whose tongue surrounds the stop sign
swallow the stones, by the spoon, by the fist
the Little Red Hen made soup from stones
make an empty room to stack their teeth and snipped eyelashes
or fill your pockets like Virginia Woolf and watch yourself sink.
replace, politely, your bib to your tits
Before this esteemed gathering lose their wits
to hell with decorum & being well tucked in
woefully lower - the ravages of gravity
Replace your snivel with the snail of your gentleman's Katmandu indefensibility
The stars snort beyond time or breath
and all its soft-born shell, blue-ceilinged risk
if the mucus won't come to Mohammed
concerned but not panicked
troubled but not distressed
try not to be keen even in your emotions
discerning but not CERNing, the insistence can't be turned off even knowing the naked eye with goosebumps of cararracts needs to be redressed, arctic thicknesses of magnitudes to see well enough be stripped back enough to be ready to perceive.
cucumbered but not pickled
To see my sister so manic
running from bugs with a surplus of legs
The spine considered as a secret, a cloud, a noodly song
Kafka says we cannot be unbeetled. do you agree?
legging it like eggs, every arrival in a Orkan transport promising sheer gloss and not a whit nor wit of protection,
when I wrote my Master's Thesis
fuck you beardee
My taxes taxes are the taxes of my enemies, the birds or else worms
three fingers of guilt
Little cuts sting, big cuts ache, shedding more skin than before
for every finger of scotch & a fistful of both
I’m not drunk, I’m just disoriented.
Which means I can't find Asia even with this pint-sized Columbus handshake
fading in the sun like the concrete curb we crouch on
If my bones were made of iron this compass would have more than the moon to contend with.
the rust would mingle with the rest and you'd taste copper on your tongue
But I navigate by starling, microwaved burritos and the mesmerizing scent of my stale heart
I would be even less likely to fly, wings or no wings
and RA with his knuckleball has resurrected me--
but I'm talking about how far the stars have to dig to feel grounded
and I'd have a no need for directions. Getting lost would be bad habit
no word for flâneur, we translate as to lose ourselves, the art of getting lost. to be errant. to err
a sort of directional dyslexia. unlike Thoreau my feet aren't sure magnets pointing west. they spin some epileptic dances where each toes has its own ipod tracks.
and habits are those for which we are made
But you can fuck me sideways on Sunday.
made of the Habs and the Leafs, the 20-year upstarts in the league, and the a-sportists, and the have-nots with their leases and pleases and thanks, and the haves who just as much own a cut of tax-owned tanks and the digital arms of the watershed laws.
well okay then
approving or sarcastic tone, you decide
A zither? I thought it was bird sinew and regret.
As I stood in the flood water placid and calm...
Time wavered on edge-- so equal and raw...
Don’t lose out, just lose it
Wiggle the tooth into a new dimension
the spider hangs loosely from the web
If I had a shopping bag for every goose, I sell migration or the wind.
the moss of consciousness was all around us.
it had bark but no bite
we picked it from our beards; we were left directionless
we found no cereal and ate the moss for breakfast
I slung the sky over my shoulder, and continued to waltz
Don't rest on your sorrows. The next moment is now, now. No, no, don't rest. The next is the rest.
a thought is a lichen when it drives a bus, but slowly
Wilde played with sparrows. or did he?
Everyone plays tricks
Ask of the night, knowing what you know of its restless ways,
the rabbit is quicker than the I
yet still we remained unconsciousness, numbed, unfeeling to truth - like a rolling stone, too busy moving - to think.
It said I love you, in sloppy cursive, next to a picture of boobs
the snickering hammock wherein my doubts were slung: yes, my philosophy was a slug
few blades of grass unaware of their difference forced their way through the mass
its dark underbelly dank and damp tickled its velvet green surface
Invalid entries spoke to our future, selves
like children awaiting birth, our selves float in the tidal fluid
dans toutes les langues
the syllabled cry of who and what and why
when the tongue is the moon, the stars glisten, the horizon gapes.
No words can express the truth I see in your eyes
I see it that way, too
All your kaleidoscopes shall be rewarded
said the sock to the well-worn shoe horn.
(but please, say it with feeling)
from the light it made upon its arrival, from its finally having arrived.
Cardboard cut-out mayfly wings don't move.
haunted by their friend
O poetry you take my exquisite corpse and blind me to what others have said before;/ before my eyes the incorporeal toque which crowns in rust like sunset your acquisitive tour
But I have eyes in the back of my head
what is seeing, then but a yelp and a flinging out of arms
but just for now.
Just tell me how to do this.
your balls are showing
2016 Journey Prize longlist, Alex Leslie's story "The Person You Want to See"
National Magazine Award Nomination, Poetry, 2016, Julie Bruck, Issue 8
Best Canadian Poetry, 2016, "Flipped," Julie Bruck, Issue 8
THE RUSTY TOQUE