Walking Through Turquoise launches Sept. 19-20

WTTcover2

Walking Through Turquoise, Laurie MacFayden’s third book of poetry, continues to explore the secrets and flirtations mined in her previous titles, White Shirt and Kissing Keeps Us Afloat. The sweet, clumsy intricacies of relationships; things you want to shout from rooftops but can’t; that tickle in your gut the first time she calls you honeyMacFayden ponders a one-way trip to Mars, the turmoil of clouds, the majesty of moonstone. ‘How can desire survive the tragedy of human aging?’ she asks, never losing sight of the joyous, wet, throbbing hallelujah. Walking Through Turquoise is a celebration of the glorious, swirling twine that binds us to things of this earth and beyond.

 

can you be buried in a canoe?
can you paddle on through
and come out the other side?
if the dog jumps out will the vessel tip?
at the bottom of the lake
will your toes find mud or bone?
between the shore and the floating dock,
whose sad, lonely cry swims you home?
— excerpt, red canoe

 

Published by Frontenac House, Walking Through Turquoise is part of Quartet 2017 which also features A Tincture of Sunlight, Vivian Hansen; The Riparian, Lisa Pasold; and This Wound is a World, Billy-Ray Belcourt.

Calgary launch: Tuesday, Sept. 19, Wordfest space, Memorial Park Library, 7-9 p.m. Author readings and refreshments.
Edmonton launch: Wednesday, Sept. 20, The Almanac, 10351 82 (Whyte) Ave., 7-9 p.m. Author readings and refreshments.

the map of our world has no beginning or end
our cartography tells us not where we’ve been
or where we need to go, merely:
where we are joined is at the chest,
the welcoming corner bone of hip,
the intersection of dusk and constellation
joined by alchemy, spirits of the woods,
by hobo roads and caution stones
— excerpt, world map

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map of the world

moonstone

i draw for you a map of my world
it starts and ends with moonstone
the sky is north and night indigo
whispering violet
until it’s not
and your fingers are dancing on my left arm

the map unfolds to the right
rolls out like murmurs from our common tongue
the map is fluid
except when it is not
fluid except when it is on fire
the map is conflicted
and sometimes we have to just
let it burn

the map contains trail marks. street lamps.
paths worn down by some who came before.
some, but not many, have come here before
the map is worn in places that might surprise you.
my map, our map, rolls out like mussed sheets on a bed,
with creases, some comfortable and slow
some fast and pleasingly hard

your map meets my map
at the creased corners of that cool lake
there’s a cabin that’s all windows
no doors
no doors
it’s all just open and serene

my fingertips tracing the soft of your cheek
my eyes marveling at the light in your eyes, your eyes
that see all the things in me
i thought no one could ever be persuaded to see

some maps indicate depth or mileage
or where the mountains are.
our map has legs.
maybe creaky knees. definitely happy toes.

our map divides nothing.
our map celebrates tree lines, not boundaries.
the map of you indicates trestles and ground under repair.
the map of you includes water
the map of you begins and ends with bench marks of me

the map of our world has no beginning and has no end
our cartography tells us not where we’ve been
or where we need to go, merely:
where we are joined is at the chest,
the welcoming corner bone of hip,
the intersection of dusk and constellation
joined by alchemy, spirits of the woods
by hobo roads and mystic pebbles

the map, this map of your world intersects me in places
only the green-eyed cat understands

the map of my world has hidden pathways
only you are allowed to enter
you know the way in
you knew it from the beginning, lover
you knew it from the beginning
the contours, the backshore, the floodplain
the need to respect the meander line

 

things that make me crazy

first crazy

snow.
snow in april.
snow in may.
snow that gets in my eyes, on my eyelashes,
in my boots
and under my skin
snow that gets into my heart
and refuses to melt
mosquitoes.
dampness.
toffee when it sticks to my teeth.
magpies yapping.
chickadees mourning.
crows cackling.
dog hair on the rug.
white dog hair on black pants.
people who talk on their cellphones while driving.
cellphones.
people.
people who take up two seats on the bus
and grunt when asked to make room for someone standing
buses that are late
buses that are so early you miss them
(rare but it does happen)
forgetting.
forgetting how i made a certain paint colour.
forgetting the names of people whose names i swore i’d never forget.
forgetting keys in doors
forgetting to lock doors.
family.
feeding the cat.
the cat.
the cat’s indifference.
when there’s no milk for the coffee.
racism. sexism. homophobia.
anti-feminist assholes.
modern jazz that feels metallic and disharmonic and headache-inducing
and i know the reason it makes me crazy is because i don’t understand it
and i hate that.
not understanding makes me crazy. not getting it.
not being connected.
being too connected.
the internet
the computer
the cable company
the system
the election
the spammers
the spam
the starbucks baristas who ask if i want room for cream in my coffee
and then don’t leave any room.
(yes i once made one cry)
the chaos in the tupperware cupboard.
anything loud.
anything digital.
turnips.

things that make me crazy in a good way:

chickadees
crows
magpies
cats and dogs
that perfect shade of blue, trying to re-create it
water
poems by just about everybody
email
‘the artistic temperament’
potato chips
coffee rings
coffee culture
coffee
sunrise. sunny days.
don draper.
ipod photo apps.
breakfast burritos.
road trips.

(warmup write, sometime in 2013)

i dreamed this gorgeous thing

gorgeous3

i dreamed this gorgeous thing
assumed it was you
but maybe it was just a sunflower
masquerading as a star

maybe it was another black bird
with metallic purple highlights
and a nest of shiny spoons

maybe it was someone from the other side,
an aunt or a gifted grandmother
pushing across waves of candyfloss love
with a hint of lily of the valley

maybe it was space creatures picking at my brain,
pretending to be a healing stone
and faking the gorgeous feeling
maybe it was the brandy nightcap,
colouring the gorgeous with a slow amber burn
and balloon lifting

maybe this gorgeous thing was my own heart,
singing its own gorgeous song
the one it sings when it thinks everyone has gone away

maybe this gorgeous dreaming thing
was a dream within a gorgeous dream
and edith piaf was floating above my pillow
crooning in my ear about regrets and her gorgeous lover
maybe piaf was trying to tell me
it’s time to paint the sparrows

maybe the gorgeous thing was all about the waking
maybe we are all gorgeous, gleaming souls
and need to be reminded of this
maybe the soft air
maybe the cats on the end of the bed
maybe the creaking roof, the kitchen sprites

maybe my gorgeous dream thing
was a big clue with regard
to the rest of my big gorgeous life
maybe it was the collective unconscious
feeling the need to inflict
a playful nudge nudge, wink wink
maybe it was god or someone of that ilk
sprinkling a smattering of divine glitter
onto my flannel sheets
so i would think all is right with the world
even as the dream’s frozen edges
revealed themselves to be grey and sombre blue

maybe that gorgeous dream
was not meant to be analysed to death.
maybe just accept its gorgeous fleeting presence
and move on.

maybe put away the butterfly net
maybe sleep will come again
and i will dream another gorgeous thing before i die.

 

march 24, 2012
prompt: i dreamed this gorgeous thing: franz wright

_______________________________

Below The Line:

Gorgeous is not something you can hold in your hand

Daughters

The daughters wore saddle shoes.
The daughters read Nancy Drew and Freddy the Pig.
The daughers played with jumpropes and hulahoops.
The daughters got glitter paint sets and beads for their birthdays.
The daughters watched All In The Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
The daughters listened to transistor radios under the covers and bought Beatles 45s.
The daughters hung out in Keenans’ music store and didn’t tell their mothers
they’d bought Son Of A Preacher Man because they just knew there was
something about Dusty Springfield that would meet with disapproval.

The daughters rode around with boys in cars and listened to 8-tracks
and bought cokes and chips in the Woolworth’s cafeteria.
The daughters smoked Rothman’s behind the Mac’s Milk store
when they were supposed to be at the library.
The daughters rode 10-speeds to the private beach
and pretended their fathers were members of the club.
The daughters convinced their mothers to let them wear bikinis.

The daughters were told they could be whatever they wanted to be.
The daughters were encouraged to go to law school and Paris.
The daughters read Livesay and Atwood
and took Polaroids of their friends.
The daughters snuck into the bar with fake IDs
and got their family doctors to promise not to tell their parents
they were on The Pill.

Feb. 12, 2011