Weeping Windows

Driving can be an art, too
Especially from the passenger side
where the follicles of tree trunks are open to be combed
and the brambles are open to be trimmed
into the forms of moose, absent gravestones, and gaudy arms
Museums of identity
"The politics of remembering and forgetting" are of no consequence here
Where the mustard fields are your blank pages
and the pine needles fall into their inky place


Equilibrium Collision

A collection of the dregs
Cowboy hats, hoods, and over-sized ball caps
A pocket of hotels line the highway
competing in their luxuries
The concrete pours over spruce and pine
The steel and glass enfold the passengers - enveloped by polyester and plastic
Snow lands on salt and sand
While snow lands on dirt and branch


Roland Barthes with a Remote Control

A transport truck totaled with an anonymous driver
All that matters is the content of the cab
56 Dead
1036 Injured
9563 Missing
~ 6 billion Jaded
The death of the author, the subject, the dialogue



Hear Those Sleigh Bells Ring-a-Ling

Purple Skies on the 407
a Christmas Tree of a city
blazing and terrifying
the lights stretch on its plastic limbs
Walmart on a Black Friday
like angry cottagers pinching heels
with shopping carts
a seething race to the checkout
A minivan derails

swings through an intersection
thuds into the snowbank
All because of the falling snow

sprinkling on the passenger seat window
The child dreams of Father Christmas



Puzzle, Part XXI

Those moments of beauty that strike you just as you walk into them
A back door left open in Autumn with no fear of entering mosquitoes
A lover's eyes open in the morning, waiting for yours
Sun hitting the house plants you had taken for granted
The clunk into first as Dad senses the light will turn green
A wet highway, an evening in early November
The glow of lamps through the windows of strange houses
Feet that squelch on snow-wet pant cuffs, the cold from the open door
falls down the stairs




When your parents work nights,
yours is a house of stillness and silence
The hum of the refrigerator and the flushing of the toilet are the only acceptable 
The house is always November
the in between month
with barren trees and mouldy leaves
with gray skies
and silence
tending to your stillness



The Reminder

The manic shifts between the beauty of reality as a photograph
I can see it, but I don't
feel it
to putting down The Cinnamon Peeler and to breathe Ondaatje

Sitting dazed on the toilet,
overwhelmed by the natural poetry
of the laminate floor tile
toothbrush and hand towel
the whole world as a painting waiting to be repainted
waiting for you to pick up the brush

Weeping over your canvas
the bathroom sink
So happy this feeling has come back to you



Plea to a Long-Lost Editor

You used to edit for me and I miss it

Especially hearing
"Damn, I like that line.
I wish I had thought of it."
Best compliment ever
You know, I never really knew you
But now I lack an editor and I miss it.
You probably would have edited this piece out



But Could You Elaborate?

It's nothing bad.
I meant I wonder if you see me in the ways I see you
Stop still and notice the shadows of the blinds, fractured glints through your hair
I mean more than the beauty and the aspirations
This is not meant to be a puzzle
You shouldn't take things so seriously
The curve of your shoulder arches into a wave across your back
Your one eye opens
I'm not just fucking with you.
Your body is a puzzle
I piece
I only meant that I look at you like poetry



"You're a Slave to Money, Then You Die"

Well, yes of course I want it. How can I not? How can I sit here in Waterloo, Ontario, writing for a university magazine without it? I can hypothesize about fleeing, but it is ubiquitous. Run naked into the woods to escape it. The thought of being free – free from the desire, the work, the reward, the desire, the work, the reward – is tantalizing, but a fiction. Your talent is a lovely cog that fits plainly into the machine of your life. We’re built into this, what could anyone else expect? Oh yes, it’s evil and it’s a trap and it’s a corruptly spun lie to convince you of your need – but we obey, and we fear falling outside the blueprint.
Let’s just ignore this thought. Perhaps we can exist and function alongside it, and not be defined by it. Let’s do other things. Let’s paint and act and scrapbook and have children and photograph and start working out to find our purpose.
I need some money for paint.




You look like someone's ex-girlfriend
or abusive uncle
or best friend from high school that they haven't seen in years
You look like someone's dead grandmother
or coke-addled son.
All I'm saying is,
someone saw you today, and had a bad day


"Do I have douche bag magnets in my pockets?"

What I came to realize is that you
like me better depressed.
You really do.
You like me better when I'm depressed without you.



Clear Skies

He keeps me out of that dark place
that I gravitate towards
Staying up 'til 5, sleeping in 'til 2
His wholeness keeps me out of melancholy


These Guys..

These guys are all pathetic
and love to drunk text when depressed
Parents stopped coming to their shows
ages ago
No one wants to hear their shitty metal band anymore
tired of their justifications for dropping out of high school
and why they're not addicted
(while they smoke a bong)
Working at some fast food joint - or construction for the summer
Unleashed mania on their girlfriends,
who got tired and gave up
When really, their issues aren't issues
They're really not fucked up
They're just stuck.


A Contemplation

An alabaster Chevy soaked white hand on
A darling newglass windowframe

Lines too good to remember
The mind makes protest through twitching fingers to the body
Don't fall asleep
Art and teenaged girls
A transcendence
An alabaster Chevy heavy tentative hand on
A condensating newglass windowframe
Lines too far to remember
A heavy mind makes for twitching limbs, a body in limbo
Walking out to an overpass to
feel the breeze
with your feet
A lightswitch on forehead
Reach up, switch off, and go to bed.
Art and a sleeping partner
A contemplation




Okay, how can I explain it?
It's like you're driving in a car
and you look out the window and everything seems flat and fleeting
All the trees and grass are just hypothetical
But then, all of a sudden, you realize that the trees are real and whole
and if you weren't driving, you could stop and touch them
They're full in their figure and form
So, you're in your car and feel as though you could lift up those trees from the roots,
gather all their molecules and hold them
Well, that's how I felt the first time I saw you
Like I'd been driving and tree after tree had passed and I felt nothing
I saw you and wanted to hold you, only you
I wanted to hold you down while everything else drove by

Michigan Nightmares

Banging paper sheathed plastic straws on a particle board restaurant table,
A Big Boy in some Upper Peninsula tourist town
Grey fog and simpering classic tunes, computer rendered
Brown laminate flooring and stained glass lampshades
Salad bars and battered everything
Giant stuffed Nickelodeon figures suspended from the ceilings
A berry festival for every town
A sweater for every state
Too friendly girls in yellow shirts refill coffee cups
Garlic bread made out of hotdog buns, prison style

Novelties and sunglasses and blue-red-white ribbons
Strained and blatant patriotism
Tired and numb and nauseous
Second day on the road



Uncomplimentary Colours

I can't stand next to you
I'm green, you're blue
My colour's much too close to you.



When the haybales look like gravestones,
and you piss me off far too exquisitely to ever let you go..



Another 2-lane Canadian Highway
Driving 50 in an 80
Forced to enjoy the beauty the pavement dissects
The endless train of fuming cars
behind the lead who refuses to check her mirror
Condemns the grain
Blurs the spruce
Smears the wonder



The more I teach you,
the more I teach you to live without me.



Hope for change; expect the same.

Jealousy breeds a radioactive heart.



I'm not an answer to your problem

I'm not the key to your redemption
I'm not your messiah
to deliver you from exile

I can only
you find your answer
and salvation
so that you may be your own prophet
and lift yourself from the loneliness
you've created


I love you

How many times do you have to

say it before you mean it
Imitate the feeling
Imitate the motions
Hoping the motions will take on the meaning




The acorns and wooden fruit
House plants and mirrors with wooden frames
The wicker baskets and coffee table books
The sun pouring into the house in splashes
The paintings and old Christmas cards and bottles of sand
The slanted ceilings and the wooden walls
The candles and boxes and stained glass
The quiet imagery of a person
How you love the buds on the trees
it seems
more than you love the leaves


Big, Tall Window Pane

Little child on the bus, chin on windowsill
sees a train
sees a tower
cries to cows
and cries to flowers
calls attention to the landscapers,
notes their busy work,
over bridges and under tunnels
her eyebrows twitch and perk
knocks on window pane to the drivers who can’t hear
leans her forehead to the glass and kisses her reflection, dear
While mother poised to her wakened angel next,
mother sits, stone legs crossed,
mother sits and texts.



The pools of damp leaves frame your newly cleared sidewalk passage
their islands trace the mundane journey to a place you don't care to understand
Keeping to the dry spots, you and the general You funnel through this trickled pathway
to kick aside the crumbled leaves
and make a clearing for those behind



Force the Strain (In Lieu of End-Of-Term Essays)

Pumping out words until they have no meaning
This stupid metaphor
the feelings of a non-existent presupposed reader.
It is apparent that
Through the use of
In sum
In conclusion
The art has become a machine; The writer, a robot. 


My Father, the Painter; My Mother, the Potter

Distilled into a renaissance of apathy
Pg. 41-61 Pg. 141-161 Pg. 231-238 Pg. 302-304
Exercise your word legs
‘Why is this significant?’
Framing of a representation
Binary opposition
This is just my interpretation
The ambiguity says it all

How you never understood that you had
a sense of an autobiography
while sitting in a community center youth self-portrait art class
Or an ability to process imagination
on stage, on paper, in form
by applying complimentary colours and the various levels of tableau
honing your craft

You scan the scene for meaning.


Technology Stagnation

Sitting in a southern Ontario university lecture hall or yet another representation of the same essential Starbucks
And wondering if it’s better to live closer to the land or
to enjoy the multiplying conveniences of technology stagnation
Dreaming of sleeping through exams and labyrinthine passagescan’tfindmyclass
when the dreams used to be running through sacred dark forests where the animals help you on your journey
The streetlight floating orbs speckle our journey along the 401
suspended through the caked salt stains
We drift on wheels catatonic numb and moving at our inhuman speeds
while the fields of smokestacks dilute into the cabs of transport trucks
The oncoming headlights ebb and flow in their repetitive nauseating train
Fresh slews of creams and powders and v-necks stitched in
an anonymous mechanical daydream
when beach burned and dirt smudged used to be your ubiquitous garb and no one seemed to mind
but now you are clean and reliable and reachable through as many means of
buttons and screens
the pounding and the pixels replace the song of your voice
the breath of the soil
the root of your roots


Wednesday morning
the guts of a university
Waste management workers bring coffee to each other shining
spring light
Library assistants shelve books only named by number sullen
grey clouds
Students of various hue and disposition trudge and stretch the campus
still in darkness
looking for daylight or sunset or raincloud or hurricane
balancing along the ridgepole of the farmhouse
attempting to reach the weathervane


We are the river flowr’s, gliding next’ the river rowers
And on the banks that lower,
We mark the sand-trod roamers
We are the trees who vow, ‘mong the climbers aim our prow
That with each the setting bough,
To unearth our dreams, somehow
We are the fields of grain and grass, that raise from dew our guiding mast
To travel ‘mong the shadows passed,
We are the forms from which they cast
We are the blues and greens that fade, past horizon on horizon lain
That brew the colours never made,
We are the shimmering shades, sustained.


The smell of coffee and hardwood
When all the curves in the road look the same
and moving forward,
you never find yourself in any palpable place
So used to the beauty
in your grown-up eyes

And the lakes are black
which cast iron-orange shadows on our bodies as we
The white water then carries us downstream
the force pushing us past the blackflies
and the feelings of non-identity
As we enter our coffeehardwood surreality

Copyright © a contemplation (Emily Jones) 2013. All rights reserved.