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i saw a girl today

June 22, 2009

Old poetry from my twenties…some still stands up, some doesn’t, but I like these.


She likes my shirt

French flags painted on her cheeks,
cherry red, vanilla white, berry blue,
black hair, black shirt, black jeans, black nails,
frilled in black,
her cheeks the only splash of colour
other than her smile.
She laughed when she said she liked my shirt
but even that was black.
Later I sat down and ordered a coffee.
“Milk, sugar?” the waiter asked.
“Black”, I said.

Do you believe?

Do you believe in magic, she said, dancing along the overturned oak, brushing her hair to fly at odds with nimble step.

Hew shirt flew and spun, playing hide and seek with trees. She pirouetted around the knots in the wood. Occasionally an oak chip would come loose, launched into the sky.

Do you believe in hope, she said. Do you believe in fantasy? Breathless now, in her dancing.

Do you believe in dragons that read T. S. Eliot? Do you believe in gumdrops? Do you believe in haunted woods? In witches leaving great trails of mischief sweeping out past their brooms? In death that traipses after you? In green fairies whooping it up? In the light that plays across your eyes? In stones that offer precise refutations to your arguments? In the dissensions of rainbows? In lesser gods that dress up for the evening? In the flames that run flimsy across your hands when you brush her face? In secret knowledge that passes unnoticed in autumn breezes? In notes rising pristine over the bar? In jasmine? In magicians of the senses?

Do you believe in your funny bone? In abra cadabra and foofy and supercalifragilousexpialidocious? In the lightning arc that runs across a book when opened? In muggy dream tides that drift you back and forth between places and phantasms? In a purple ogre that only eats twinkies and only when it rains? In the sad dune line that paints grains of distance across your horizon? In a wish bone compass? In the freshness of clutter? In potions of love that make you jittery and tiptoe through the rain with daffodils and chocolate carnations to surprise her with gleeful murmurings and an umbrella of rose petals on your tongue?

She came to the edge of the log. She put her hands on her hips, twisted around on one foot, and hop scotched her way back over to where I was studying.

She pushed her face forward, and stuck out her tongue at me.

Well, I do.


I was painting a self-portrait
For my valentine.
I asked her,
Would you prefer it
If I highlighted my face?

She dwelled on me,
Then chuckled,
And said,

Men. No.
I would prefer it
If you were

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