If you've never been to the Geist Poetry Workout, then you've never known what it's like to have your brain sweat. Not only did Gillian Jerome and Elizabeth Bachinsky have us create poetry through a variety of excercises that included everything from cutting up magazines, to running around Robson St. equipped with a pen and a pad of paper, they also proved that you can still get that cramp in your wrists— the one you haven't felt since elementary school; before computers.
The inspiration was abound and the poetry was flowing. One brave soul, Cara Sinclair, was kind enough to share some of her work born from that intensly fun and productive afternoon inside the Listel Hotel. (And for suppport, I've included a few of my own [gulp] )
3 poems by Cara Sinclair
He smokes from the side of his mouth Like a Rockstar truck jacked up on the curb ‘No Smoking’ sings bright by the karaoke bar Black Hummer, Nails & Hair foreign to the gum-boot toddler picking her nose They stare at the menu, toes a curl in day-glo flip-flops Oyama Sausage Selection Seafood Sampler Decide against all and wander downstream, towards tall tree tops Crushing butts & leaves, hunger & plans along the way The cheering Lab Rat seas words Pouring over every mirror Training Fast and Silence Marvels to Run Canadian bandit Sighs of Relax 58 Signs of muffles, of eyes, black & brown
Life gets more splintered.
Why is the blue-headed guy with the yellow guitar laughing at me so hard that
his checkerboard jaw hangs agape?
The kids have left, to Ontario and Tucson. My mother is slowing fading to black.
The notes on the music sheet say nothing: 4 bars only.
The guitar man’s pants look like the wardrobe of a courtjester – there to laugh at.
My sisters want to put Mom away.
“Surely there, in a home, she’ll learn to be more open-minded?” One laments.
On the far right the Grim Reaper holds the music stand that signifies nothing;
no tune; no melody – not even a swan song.
His mom is drinking herself to death. His dad buying up the world. She struggles to stay clean.
There’s a wild coyote looking away from the pack;
his ears Black Tusk pointy, his mouth open – waiting.
The youngest says he’ll be moving to Edinbourgh.
“Fookin love the Scots. Aren’t I 80% scot, Mom?”
I nod. You’re only 17.
I can see the coyote’s tail; it’s tickling the court jesters’ legs. Maybe it’s that kind of laughter.
His hands strumming between frets like lightening.
Mom says she doesn’t want to be managed. Doesn’t want to be managed. She repeats herself now. Speaks only of herself, her past. She’s says sorry she did such a lousy job.
Oh, Mom, you did a great job. Where was Dad, anyway?
The guy in the middle, the one with the flute, looks like Zorro – but he’s not playing really.
He’s pretending to be one of the musicians.
The Reaper has no shoes on.
Is there a “no-shoes” policy in hell?
2 poems by Dan Post
Lounge around, for glory on a damp day. It doesn't matter if the climate is calling. Scrounge up the energy then lock it away like raindrops pounding the planet where they burst into flowery fountains: a lamp of luxury. They create a chain as droplets bump into droplets. Jump with them eat air with them. They are the meat of your lazy, mid-day breakfast Ekphrastic (freewriting) New city for you; big city When all you've ever known is small town. Construction & development over static and unchanging Work is routine. Make coffee, collect paycheque. Routine is death to creativity; no room for improvement. All those cars represent someone elses wealth; the money to take trips whenever you like. We took a trip once : the big one that brought us to this booming city where at first we made blueprints then went out building ourselves; our images Strong buildings? or Shabby shacks with a nice paint job? Now, future is stalled: traffic jam. Too many cars all trying to get to the same place What if we never make it to work? Will we get fired? Will we lose our home with the balcony and ocean view? What about our spare time— we will have more of it now, but only to use feeling bad about ourselves Rarely each other. Look at all that glass on the side of the bank. It reflects us as tiny squares. Could we lay out each square and make a perfect picture? What if one square is out of place? Do we really have the money to fix it? Behind all of it (the glass, the cranes the industry, the autonomy, the grey the concrete, the hard); is the green, the open, the soft the never-ending, and then mountains (the grey, the stone, the hard) Somewhere in bertween both greys is a green, lush paradise full of picnics and laughing, and rolling around and never-ending: joy. No responsibility, except to each other. We have to make each other happy; that is our only task, our only entrance to the freeway. All other entrances are blocked and this road only goes to better times. Even the clouds above this city are pregnant with rain, and some days they don't burst but they always loom and always threaten to rain disaster and fear upon us.