Old Quebec

We occupy the time it takes
to discover how to live a life:

confinement, searches, empty boxes,
trails, fresh fruit, the gift you riff on,

and on while something closes
way too soon, the deck tilts, missing cards.

Then coming up for air in an ancient city,
cobblestones shining in light rain refreshes
the palate.

The boombox in the sunglasses store
drove us on to the bistros & bars.

On the plastered windows a language spoke
of what I could only imagine: Rimbaud muttering
to himself.

Past tense continues to slog in the shadows
while about to arrive holds off the message.

I wait for you to grasp the gist of experience
to pull the rabbit from the hat & save us.

Everywhere we are all tourists and have aged
the land with collateral damage.

We march, sing, cry into the wilderness
carrying our sorrow before us, trashing
the remaining Caesars.

Yet quiche Lorraine in a deli on Avenue Cartier
as the rain ceases
soothes the spirit, lets much fall away if only
for a sliver of time.

Published by William Cowan

I'm from the East Coast, have lived in SoCal and now Northern California for some years. I've been writing quite awhile, published in 1992 in a literary quarterly: "Suspicious Humanist," vol. 2, #2, (20 pages.) Best job: fm on air personality on a now defunct station, "Evening Eclectic" music show, and a weekly poetry reading show. I played jazz and free/improv I enjoyed. Read Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, etc. and commented on the poems. I have read once at a local coffee house. Love the Bay Area, wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I am going to appear in an east coast anthology of best new poets of 2010 by the end of the year, published in Pennsylvania. I'm reading once a month at a brewpub in Marin with a group of fellow poets. We read to each other our work, and personal favorite poems of authors we enjoy. It is a pleasure to share with a community of fellow enthusiasts.

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