Monday, November 15, 2004

The Powerful Toronto Launch

The silver elevator opens onto a movie set of men
in red shirts and blue suits weaving their
knees through the shimmer of skin-coloured
dresses, women holding martinis aloft, not
spilling a drop, the DJ rubbing records from
the 80s, I think I hear the English Beat,
even my first girlfriend is here -- yes a
piece of Corner Brook, Newfoundland has
found its way into the posh Spoke Club on
King Street. There's a couple having sex
in the large bathrooms at the back, there
are three men at the bar hungrily devouring
dark drinks, everyone looks like theyve
had a haircut and been inside, alone, for
three months, dying to have a party, to tan
their faces under recessed lighting. Yes,
that's it, there's a hunger here to celebrate,
to let loose, to lock eyes and say I love
you I'm in love with you let's have sex against
the upholstered wall let's oh my god what's
that, the bar is closing it's last call
but we havent yet toasted we havent yet
made love to everyone yes I've signed books
and I'm hoarse, my god I'm running a fever
take me home I've so enjoyed myself and
thank you friends thank you for blowing
the roofs off your own heads it was great
while it lasted a long high ride I've
landed I'm skidding to my Gate I am home
with my baby in bed.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

All the Pink Per Diems Plastered on the French Door

In the crush I saw him smoking outside. The jazz trio
pumping out a bass line, the fortune
teller in the back room saying, You have
travelled a long distance. The Mexican
writer, who looked broken on the ferry
earlier, is ebullient and saucy in his
orange shirt. I saunter over
to the poet smoking outside. There is something we are trying
to do. Trying to love each other through
the glass door. He pulls at his zipper.
I nod. He rubs his fingers together. I slap
a twenty on the door.
What are you doing.
He needs more money.
He is nodding and rubbing his fingers.
Suddenly four pink fifties are
whipped out of wallets and pressed
against the glass. These are fifties
we get every day in Vancouver -- our
per diem fifties.
He drops his pants. To tremendous
But when he opens the door the fifties
Later, draped over the bed, drinking
out the minibar, the international
authors admit it was wrong to haul
away the pink per diem bills. It
was wrong, they feel chagrin, and they
are willing to live with chagrin.