poetry

Yvette Walker

 Winter 2001


These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

Cowgirls On A Fence

Cowgirls on a fence
Oil and acrylic on photo linen
Four inches by seven inches.
This is what I would've sent you
If I'd been more organised
From Santa Fe, 30 Balsa Road.

It is the hats more than the girls
The girls visiting a row of hats
Along a blue steel fence-
That's you.
Don't forget our bonding over B.B. King
Big Bill Brunsie.
I've always wanted a hat the size
Of the sky
Covering me from life-
You too
And to be able to plant your legs
Freely in space in meaningful shoes
Shoes coming and going, always
Talking
Always saying Something
Leaning forward just to say
Smiling in the bright light
Your face
Never waiting
Always first in line
Diving into- Caroline,
You're seven thousand phone lines away
I can feel the distance in nerves
In still stinging air.
Here there are no natural springs
No living water
No way to send a postcard
That could possibly mean
Anything to you--
Our friendship is not a place


visit: for sandy
i'm coming to visit your life -
to fight with you about the right
way to slice a white onion,
to draw  my mouth around the back        

of your neck (which i love,
by the way - i've never told you),
to listen to you laugh at the end
of every sentence, tragic or comic,                 

to find out whether you love me
beyond holding my hand,
whether it's more than strange,
blue-eyed looks, because I love you.

your too many blue t-shirts
your simple, handsome hands,
your certain, loveable arrogance
about your own attractability.

the way life bounces off of you
like a speeding bullet,
the way nothing is more important
to you than the silliness of something --
its circus tent possibilities.

is it possible that I can come
to you in the old-fashioned    
night, dressed in anything you wish --
moonlight, lampshade, electric bulb;

and you can know that the mask
of tears about my face is paper-mache,
as easily torn as a paper moon,
that my gone-on-for-too-long grief
is leaving like an old radio song,
dying in the night, dying in space,
leaving you radical, true life love.

Self-Portrait

I am not who I think,
Bursting quietly out of a BA
Into glorious anonymity
Scrabbling around on the pebbly beach
Of the world for a word worth keeping.

Virginia Woolf weighed herself
Down with rocks, solid stones
Grand enough to drown with,
And, at this point,
I'd be happy to have come
Into the world as part
Of that English rubble.
At least, in some small way,
A ripple of literary history
I could have made,

But I'm making light
Of a disaster greater
Than the titanic,
I'm attaching my fleeting
Morbidity to a far more serious

And heart breaking event.
But hell, if I was one of
Virginia Woolf's stones,
Could I have evolved,
Ever so quietly in that English river,

Waiting out the war and James Joyce,
Could I have woken up one day
In the late nineteen nineties
And in an anti-Opheliaian gesture,
Walked full formed in quaint

Bloomsbury cardigan
With matching flowery frock
And taken to Virginia's
National Heritage desk to write?
All of this is surely possible.


Lesbian Concerto (K.17)

A lesbian is a woman
who wears watches
borrowed from the thick
wrists of noonday lovers

A lesbian is a woman
who carries her
embalmed heart
in an executive briefcase

A lesbian is a woman
who wears lipstick
the colour of her
red-cloud kelpie

A lesbian is a woman
who collects wine glasses
and baseball caps

A lesbian is a woman
who makes eight pieces
of toast to fill in the gaps
of her tarot deck 

A lesbian is a woman
who writes with a
vodka ice cube
in her mouth,

A lesbian is a woman
who is neither queer,
gay, nor homosexual

A lesbian is a woman
who gives a firm
handshake to an armed world.

Fallow Moon

Inspired by the painting "The Apprentice" by George Rouault (1871-1958)

seeds of paint explode
move over the thigh
of fibre and space

the frightened neck
longs for a way out
of the hard lines

but she can only look
sideways at life
beyond the frame

in this death of blue
there is nothing
sheets of raining paint

depict the night alone
the fallow moon of her face
the concealed agony

into her
the loving creeps
and turns her neck just so

to be her and to be
silent is no pity
the bells are silent

in the beginning
and bounded by a frame
of freco she is waiting

for a whole ceiling
of possibilities
contagious love

the holding of bodies
together in a space
that explodes frames

demands canvas
too big for the sky
too real for paint

the death of the blue
is the beginning of the white
I can see it now


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