mardi 29 juillet 2014

'The Canadian' (In Verse) - Layover

Douglas’s Banff:
7 people and 3 Chairs.
1 worn Couch
10000 bums have been.
My heyday was in the early 80s, my prime
teen years when
Everything had a new, firm, shiny skin.
Now my liver-spotted Carpets and
My drooping cushy Chair of my generation
Against the daily monotonous visits.
When will they all go home so I can retire?

5° in July.
white, white blue water.
The reservations are for 9 but it feels like dawn.
swimsuit still wet from night before, clinging to bbody like a tongue on a steel post.

Put on a wetsuit,
they say,
No cotton, it will make you cold.

steel black wetsuits wet from months gone by
sweat, fear still dripping; like athletic shoes.
Did he say there were gloves?
On the boat.

Too much talk; must move, yah?
2 Daves; 4 boats.
We paddle fast; we don’t need to –
improves circulation.

Feet still numb; need ski heat pack.
It would break apart in water
someone shivers. Figures.

We hide behind the men in front,
not because we are 1870 women
they are only bunkers for the white white blue water.

“Portage Shotgun”
Dave makes up the names of sections of river long forgotten,
pushed out with the originals into the
white white water.

We see a sink hole,
Hole we yell
and we go down again into the white water.

The boat is rubber so it bounces back
bounces onto the top of an old school bus
no heat, radiator broken.

We change quickly, fighting against wet cold rubber that
sticks to our skins like leeches.
hard to find holes of pants, of shorts
of socks to cover the growing bubbles on our skin.

Here’s a hamburger.
Cold, but it silences the stuttering in the head.


17 souvenir shops and the same t-shirts in each:
Canadian flags, moose chasing humans, bears chasing humans, the evolution’ of the Canadian, mosquitoes, tents, ‘rules of hockey’, ‘why beer is better than women’, it’s all there – the philosophy of a nation for just $9.99. Or two for $10.
Sometimes there is a ‘50% Off Sale!’
Up to …in small print.

We take photos of the big black bear in ‘OK!Gifts’; he seems harmless.

A horn sounds and a concert begins.
‘Save the Bison’ in the square.
Pull up a plastic chair, and a hamburg.

Sweetgrass is for sale for smudging ceremonies, but it’s not doing so well:
2 for 1!
Double the smudging; double the spirit.

There is a dollar store around the corner, but you can’t buy anything there for a $1.
We buy a flashlight for $1.50, and a package of ‘tongue tattoos’. Try them out later.

Sun sets and the beer scent is stronger. You can take a taxi home, but the price in Banff is twice as much because the drivers dress up.

Banff: home of the arts.

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