When alcohol rewires the brain
jumbles all ramshackle the way
windstorms pile gray pick-up sticks
together on a snowy beaver swamp
Is this just cheap Zen?
or pickled knowledge
of hotwired truth
all mystics perceive
When anger rewires the brain
thinking of Milt, now, not you Big Al
is this Stalingrad barrage
the same truth? or something
more ... or lesser
when alcohol rewires the brains
of two best friends
in a deserted A-frame
on a lonely lake
years later we all benefit
Standing with my small dog
admiring pick-up sticks piles
brain fueled by alcohol -
one lone beer -
I think of you both
as synapses barrage fire
and I stumble into the swamp's cold creek ...
Chris Faiers ... and Chase Wrfffffffffffffffffffffffff!
email from Katherine L. Gordon
You have caught that grey clutch of deadwood, the swamp we struggle in.
We suspect that beyond the debris of this plane there are rainbows. Just a glimpse can light
the soul. Long ago the wine of Bacchus blew the brain into other dimensions, old cultures
found the plants that changed vision. It is not satisfying to see only this dull sphere that muffles
all the senses. Zen is a magical tool when we learn to use it, but many a great poet
has found some way to deaden the pain and futility that often chains our spirit on this dimension.
You have written this in true People’s Poet style, brought us close to the anguished moments of these great men.
Their poetry is a sacred wine that feeds our hope, gives us flashes of the many dimensions around us,
even an access to them. No wonder they live always with us. Your empathy speaks to the union
of all longing humanity.
Katherine L. Gordon
Thanks for the kind words, Katherine : )
I felt very close to Milt & Al yesterday when their vision & these words came to me.
Chris ... and Chase Wrfffffffffffffff!
Thanks! Great write-up on the A-frame. I visited there with TO poets Kent Bowman & Mick Burrs last Saturday afternoon, Jan. 26th. We wandered around the A-frame grounds,
& Chase (my shih-tzu-on-steroids) & I relieved our chilled kidneys in the brush. Kent & Mick took loads of photos, some with the frozen surface of Roblin Lake for a background.
Chase risked the ice (after all, he has 4-wheel drive!), while we humans watched, leaning against a huge old 'totem' hardwood. One hut of brave ice-fishers was silhouetted against the cold sky.
The teensy A-burg library was open for once (it was Sat.), & we got to admire the display case with Big Al's Order of Canada, Order of Ontario, & some other honours & memorabilia. Kent & I donated books to their meagre (non-existent) poetry section.
Then we drove the block to the entrance to the small conservation area where Al is buried in the pioneer cemetery. I poured half a beer over the grave, & we each took an
honourary swig to toast Al. I clicked my dragon tsing-shas together 3 times for a goofy invocation, & lit a stick of incense propped on top of Al's bookish grave. We took turns reading Al's poetry, & while Mick read a flock of tiny birds (nuthatches?) flipped branch to bare branch in the bushes by the millpond. They disappeared as Mick finished his poem - he didn't believe me when I told him about his feathered & appreciative but fickle audience : )
three freezing poets
read Big Al's poems
to fickle feathered ones