Nostalgia is vicious; at least, it’s vice.
Its hours come contaminated with Loss,
And liquor—a killer (like Rilke)—kicks
The mind into coma—perverse preserve.
No more days like those—eh?—when twats were tight,
And dames came gold-freaked and honey-tasty,
Spudging betwixt greasy sheets as topsy
Turvy as nerves uncircumscribable.
Hell is wholesome for the lonely. That’s good:
We approximate Dante’s model Hell,
Save we’re living Zombies, naked mummies—
The categorically catatonic.
I prefer—I do—not to toast past pain,
Or pleasure, but shout our sweating oneness.
An angular body, yours, in the night,
Unfurls scattered whiteness amid shadows,
Appoints Urgency our staple. I lean,
Slender, upon your slim form’s thin plushness.
Your step parades suggestive gravity;
There’s a lilt—elegant—in your posture.
That first night when you undressed: Your shoe, was
It black or brown, flamenco or tango?
I see the sashay of seas in your glide—
A magnificent Arrogance, startling,
Or Sweetness sheathed, svelte, in luculent silk.
Do I fetishize—aestheticize—you?
No, even torn out of your clothes, my Muse,
You tumble forth my poems to God and back.
Union and Dissolution
Which now should I prefer? The Venetian
Republic or the Ottoman Empire?
Venice or Istanbul? It all depends
On Love, and where it is most satisfied—
As in choosing a wife, a singular,
For one can’t have two: One for progeny,
One for Passion and its satisfaction….
Thus, two-faced, one faces a dilemma.
Divorce takes two—unless a couple’s one.
Never ever, ever, ever, ever,
Should one desire to marry or divorce.
Let us mate, separate, pair, disappear,
And take no count. “E pluribus unum”
Erects republic—and evens empire.
The nights fall fast; the cold comes faster still.
Leaves mount, burying vision, so even
Stars are blinded, blundering through branches.
Finally, chill rains glaze the wind-bared trees.
November now: October’s Amsterdam
Eyed the shimmering raiment of your skin;
Sunflowers beamed at Van Gogh, their artisan,
While cool mists bristled with eagles and crows.
The canals streamed glistening indigo
Plus gold leaf daubs. We tucked in while waiting
For clouds to break; let warmth—a degree—stay.
Let’s imagine Istanbul, our future;
Let blustering flurries fall, unflustered.
Amsterdam is late light, fissured by leaves:
Beauteous ruin. Gilt leaves curl and lurk like light,
Aureate with autumn and Plenitude—
The beaming gold of Van Gogh’s tradition.
Transcendent—and volatile—is Desire;
Its economy is carnivorous. Monsters
And animals, it makes us—a gorgeous
Menagerie, our thighs singing, sooty.
Down sidewalks of litter and saliva
(Concrete jaundice-coloured), umbrellas flower—
Black and slick as a rotten banana.
Desire sired us: Let’s make of Lust some new
Athens where we pacify conundrums,
Everywhere, anywhere, starting right here.
How I love to crave you and then have you,
And have you again and crave you again,
And take gold cognac that gleams like honey,
And break bread after breaking backs in bed;
And what we do for dessert has no match,
Love, except our doubtless, matchless oneness,
Prodigious Having—that no one else has,
Unstinting Craving—that no one else has….
It hurts me blatantly when I must crave
And not have: A promiscuous poet,
My monogamous satyriasis
Craves monomanic nymphomania….
The niceties of Poetry solely suffice
When rampant sex complements compliant sex.
A mosquito buckles the room. Outside,
Haunting wetness—a monsoon of mist—floods
Night’s inevitable velvet, the sea’s
Indigo swells, preliminary thunder.
I can’t sleep. I whine like that mosquito,
With Desire: A woman, next door, is lush
With thinness, shows classic legs in classy
Nylons, and she’s elegant and joyous.
There’s no greater loneliness than travel:
So, I route à true gamine (enigma).
Stagger her kiss at daggers with my lips:
She seems affluent with much mead…. I’ll dream
Until dark dawn awakes light, and grey sun
Penetrates 9 a.m., steeping Desire.
Salim Gold once of Lebanon, now of Montreal, is not quit of Beirut, although Canada is a settlement. His trade keeps him neither here nor there."
Volunteers for Issue 8
For copy-editing this issue of MTLS thanks:
- Amanda Tripp
- Carmel Purkis
- Rosel Kim
- Julia Cooper
- Lequanne Collins-Bacchus
MTLS is grateful to Jean-Pierre Houde for his hard work on web management.