we wanted to let love come in

after hey, that’s no way to say goodbye
for edmonton poetry festival, birds on a wire event, april 2017

remember what our bodies craved, when we were newly healing
blueberries and honey tea,  that sleepy, river feeling
we mapped out tender places, stolen moments for the taking
no greater gift than kissing you, sweet lover, upon waking
we wanted to let love come in, what made us so afraid?
the girl inside you sang back then; my sad piano played

we found a quaint discreet hotel, without much of a view
we left the maid our morning sheets, they smelled like me and you
we wanted to let love come in — like light, it finds a crack
for me that was your blessed skin, your freckled upper back
for you it was my winter eyes, you said they saw right through
you said they made you realize we can’t always be true

you opened me like beaujolais, and sipped until i came
and when the chimes of midnight rang, i cried out your old name
i paid you back in poetry, i paid you back in rhyming
yet despite how deep we loved — we loved! — we always blew the timing
we tried to set up house in greece but never got it right
dinners began with sambuka and ended in a fight

i want to be your hero knight, but i can’t be your man
we navigate the distances the only way we can
i asked you once, where did you run? you said we’d meet in france
now that it’s time to part again, you still owe me that dance
the clock is set for leaving, is there something i should know?
you’ve made it so damned clear to me, you’re really gonna go

we found a thousand crazy ways to make each other cry
you couldn’t be nobody’s wife; i had to paint the sky
still, remember what our bodies craved when we were newly healing
blueberries and honey tea, that safe and floaty feeling
no greater gift than kissing you, sweet lover, upon waking
we fed each other’s hungers with the morning gently breaking
we wanted to let love come in — like light, it finds a crack
and now you’ve gone, but hey, i’ll never stop wanting you back

© laurie macfayden, from Walking Through Turquoise, Frontenac House, 2017

macfayden 2

 

 

 

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poetry immersion 101

it’s national poetry month — and what a month it is!

on april 3, i had the pleasure of sharing the stage with michelle boudreau, mary pinkoski and jasmine whenham at a music & poetry shindig at the axis cafe.

on april 10, edmonton’s raving poets celebrated 10 years of spoken word wonderfulness with a big bash at riverdale hall. i was one of 10 featured readers selected to help represent the decade of debauchery & drinking — two things the RPs have helped define (or is it refine?) over the years.

the highlight for me comes near the end of the month. a year ago my debut poetry manuscript, white shirt, was selected for dektet 2010, a 10-title collection being published this month by frontenac house in celebration of their 10 years of showcasing canadian poetry.

the book is now a reality.

if you’re reading this blog and happen to be in the vicinity, you’re cordially invited to attend the edmonton launch of dektet, featuring white shirt, on tuesday, april 27 at stanley milner library theatre (7 sir winston churchill square) beginning at 7 p.m.

all 10 dektet authors will be there, reading from and signing their books, and all 10 titles will be available for purchase ($15.95 each).

two nights later the dektet festivities continue in calgary (thursday, april 29,
7 p.m., john dutton theatre, macleod trail) in conjunction with the calgary international spoken word festival.

to help promote the dektet collection, i’ve been invited to talk poetry with george bowering, canada’s first poet laureate, during the edmonton poetry festival’s ‘book chat’ at CBC centre stage, city centre mall, on thursday, april 22 starting at noon. this event is not being broadcast live, so if you want a front-row window on the conversation, come on down and be part of the audience. it’s free, and audreys will have a book table set up featuring the works of pofest authors.

the rest of the pofest sked is available here.

spread the word.

p.s. my poem ‘things you need to know before you give yourself to a poet’ appears in the lists edition of the new quarterly (TNQ) literary journal. look for it on magazine stands in early may.

mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be poets

if you missed it … too bad. we can’t get it back. you’ll just have to trust me that it was freakin’ awesome.

we’re now living in a post-po-fest world … and those of us who stopped by the ARTery last night are all the better for it.

Po’Fest … WORD!

The Edmonton Poetry Festival is upon us. It kicked off Thursday night with the third installment of Revenge of The Killer Blinks, 30-second missives delivered in rapid-fire succession by 40 local wordsmiths.

Tonight (Friday, Sept. 12), brace yourself for Insomnicidal Kleptomania, An Evening of Sound Poetry featuring Doug Barbour, Michael Gravel and Christian Bok, the Artery Artspace, 9535 Jasper Ave, Edmonton. They’ll start blasting the doors off at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 13 features an eclectic menu starting with The Reflective Side of Poetry at The Cafe Readings from 2 to 4 p.m. at Java Express (10355 Jasper Ave.), Three Bananas Cafe (Churchill Square) and Stanley Milner Library. (I’m in the grouping from 2 to 3 p.m. at Three Bananas.)

If mayhem is more your speed, fasten your seatbelts and steer your hepcat self into the Hoedown Smackdown Poetry Sweatshop. Billed as “90 minutes of writing, booze and riding crops,” this event, hosted by my pal Jadon Rempel at the Jekyll & Hyde Pub (10209 100 Ave.), is not for the faint of heart.

The whole thing comes to a smashing conclusion with the Leviticously Deutronomous Finale starting at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Artery. Host Michael Gravel and the Raving Poets Band will rock the rafters with a lineup that includes Edmonton Poet Laureate Ted Blodgett, Yvonne Blomer, Shauna Paull, Mary Pinkoski, Brendan McLeod, and yours truly.

Hear you there.


Edmonton Poetry Festival 2008 September 11, 12, 13 2008