Every speech act will necessarily incite another
Every essay breeds the next


An Orientation toward a Yearning

a gathering fragmentation \ of
daily moments
a desire to narrate

to sear and silver
rip open, extract
rearrange, rape

form a p/oem
_collapse_ [squish]|press|
your moments into meaning
life --> story        
thought --> speech
word = poem

I am on a quest to construct the perfect sentence:





Performance dangles on my skin
spreading legs into webs of lace
a weaving less of Madonna/Whore
and more a spiral
of you spitting questions
and me swallowing response
as though I’m a reptile in a cage:
“Tell me, have you shed your skin lately?”

It’s hard to move when we decrease each step by 50%



Find tranquility

Buy things and be happy

Focus on a project

Get organized 

Obsess and restart 





One whispered conversation
as I make shit up on the piano
whatever sounds nice
“and she’s only 8..”
sister says to mother

And this is the moment where I know
they expect things, talent
that I am worthy

At 23 I don’t play anymore
I’d go to lessons and sight-read
Theory was so tedious, as theory is
And what have I done
except collect a freezer full of memories
from which I pick the most embarrassing
and slap myself, say NO. no no.
Don’t think of that.

Plunking shit out on the piano
typing words on the keyboard
isn’t so impressive when you’ve passed the age of expectation

And yet that whispered conversation drove me here
to round that fragment into sentence
That whisper of hopefulness and shock
a piece of kindling shook loose from the fire
Catch it for good luck
to burn and shake you


Write some poetry, ffs

because prose is too long

and depression too tedious 



The Transfiguration

There are those that spin a bowl out of the concrete streets
         Pull and tease the city limits, use what they find 
The parkour artist throws his body into brick
         Gothic, I see you, I fit inside you
         I work with the shining glass
         scale the fire exit like a sliding fish,
         I speak your phrases, I tangle your nuance 
         I sense when you slam your door, wordless
              but you forgive when I vault the air conditioning unit 
              and sink my solid feet into gravel 
         I feel you perk and spread, arch your back and push
         I respond to your movement
              I worship your nooks, your neglected places
              I glaze your grey space red


Another poem about your body

I reach my hand to yours and it melts there
The limbs of the city stretch into an indifferent, placid embrace
The lights scamper down Westmount
tickle the aching thighs of the city limits
Parks and graveyards spread like pools of warm milk
poured over your contours 
Museums open and children learn about dinosaurs 
from plastic
they see into dimensions, they are there
encased and safe 
It is April and the sweet salt stains race across 
your legs, streak to your feet
beneath the sewer line
where warm rivers run and connect each quiet box 
each lonely apartment

your pink, soft veins trek downtown
I massage your barrel back
the construction worker pours fresh concrete 
linesmen repair the wires that suspend our
delicate secret language 

I lean toward you like a crane easing,
the breeze from the whirring cars moves you inward
your temple finds my lips
a duck settles on a glowing lake
           ripples stretch down the stairwell



Talking Cure

I told you that I had a tattoo scratched down my arm
black flames scorch the outer angle
Each set of eyes that passed would grimace and confirm
     “yes, you must have this removed”
The idea of being clean again 

The child’s face fell upwards into mine
cheeks gushing clear glass
plastered permanently wet
    “I had a nightmare about you”
we can’t find an adult to help us
and frustrated tears stretch to waking
accompanying a spinning, grasping freeze

Use your grounding technique:
I am steam pouring over the edge of the bath tub
I am boiling to the surface a floating dumpling
ready to be lifted out and buttered
nothing, everywhere

I am the gap in your arching, soft neck
your warm, pooling skin
My hands are here
my fingers dig through your skin, past your sinews and bones
and I reach through to my thighs
My thighs are here
            not here

and then my brain is an anvil that crushes my blood
and I shrivel, retreat   run
I swaddle myself in folding blankets
a fetus born on a faux-velvet red recliner

How can this image sit next to a sunset, incompatible?
How can I feel that your hands are love again?

I don’t say this to bother you, to ask you for an answer
I don’t say this to show you
I say this because I have to say
and say
despite the boiling vomit rising
and the aching faux-velvet red creeping to fill my edges
and the nightmares
and the

I write this because I told myself this
was the only thing I cannot write. 




Shifting and sorting through the bodies and packages of meat at the grocery store, my eyes dry out in the stale, sterile air. I blink to see, my eyes watering and I hope that the people, floating and swirling, don't think I am crying here.

I've lost him in the aisles, I am aimless in the stream. Bursting and calling out to me, each bright box, each advertisement screams, coupons shriek. The shoppers nip at each other's heels: we only came here to get out.

I see into the life of things: each box folded, each piece parted, each story assembled on the line. Buying you is enfolding you into me, you grow and adapt to my skin like scar tissue. The hum, buzz of the shattering carts, the breathing shoppers. All we want to do is go home.

I locate him by recognizing the items in our cart. Then debit or credit, pack and push. We pull ourselves home along the line, we paddle along the horizon to bring home our goods, our sustenance. We have brought you things; regard the things we bought you to see your smile. We love you. Have a juicebox and string cheese. We love you.

Let us settle into the mold of the couch and dream of our next trip and what will we get next time. Such colours, stories, and happiness. I am comfort, I am well. I am on a perfect stream of warm, tingling peace. We meditate at each commercial break.



Graveyard Shift

"time to dig, time to dig and bury my mistakes"

My face is heavy and hot with a radiation that only increases as I wipe with my hands
Smearing my brow that is plastic, like putty
I dig, I dig
I toss their bodies and relish my final violence, silence
I can go back to my hometown without worry
that they'll walk out of the bank as I walk in
I said I loved them once and tried to fix them
All that effort ties into this work like sweet syrup
manic and dripping
I never have to worry 
I killed them before they killed me


Rework Work

Words keep dying every day:
Fight fire with fire
It is what it is 
To be, or not to be
Work of art


Unpack the suitcase


Touch / Crumble


All past, all memories
All broken pieces
all fragments
Every moment before this is glinting sun through water
is a shadow under rock



Driving in the far right lane

You assume you're secure
let the others pass and explore
I've found my niche 
my nook

I'm not aching to get there

Some might say this right lane is monotonous
But you still could slip, skitter over the edge
there is still danger

From our cozy lane,
we might also take the next exit
to a town we only enjoy saying
and make the hypothetical real
Better yet,
we might turn the 4-Wheel on
and really touch those fields




Okay, it needs to be said
I'm a perpetual student
I can't help but deflate like a wimpy, empty balloon
when words on the evaluation are
"You need to"
Followed by a number slapped on your ideas, your presence, your voice
I can't help but question my existence 
my worthiness, my worthwhileness
when every idea of myself falls through a trapdoor
replaced by nothing
but a teary, shaking, dusty force that says
"You suck, you were wrong and every nice thought you had about yourself was ill-founded."
Though I know this was not their intention
I know they did their best to be objective and constructive 

But, there is a serious problem
when you are tied to something so
shifting, imaginary, arbitrary 
your whole body floats on a blinking platform that
collapses as much as it rises
I don't know what I need to do to change this
I wish I could trash this anxiety
and emerge without feeling like a silly, vulnerable child

Maybe I'll add to this poem when I have an answer
Maybe you could answer me in verse

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