(more greatest hits)


She’s no longer around, not in Kingston town
One extra frown, here in town
Stop the parade and kill the clowns;
Clean the yard and clear the grounds:
She’s not around.
Not here. Nope, outta town.

I miss her by the pole
I miss her two-room hole
on Frontenac St., by the school,
Where the hackey-sackers slacked
(when hackey-sacks were cool.)

I'll see her in the fall, I guess
and she'll buy me a sub and laugh at me
'oh pat you silly mystery'
'less is more, and more is best'
and so we'll play at verbal chess
when breezy trees undress
and colours change and pigdogs fly, I guess

I'll tell her how I wish I was black
how 'not so bad' is really good
and the difference between 'could' and 'should'
between what feeds and what's food
between bad people and bad moods.
And she'd fake a heart attack
when I showed her how I waxed my ass
Oh yes I swear she would

Let's face facts:
i am a hack
a talking ape with a broken back
one-half too intense; at the same time detached
a gasoline inhaler with a strike-anywhere match
'Floom' goes the flame and I torch the past
as I sit in the mirror and paint a new mask.

A mask—that's my task—all complex with colour
That shimmers like a ribbon or a beard on a scholar
a face I could trade for one or two dollars
or a coffee stain and a poet's pen
all new wave funky with dreamy zen
maybe black & blue, or even white-collar
I'll sit still, read, and paint and holler
and smile
sit still and smile
while I track down my friend
and ask her to read this again and again.

(published March 2001 in the queen's journal)

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