12 Aug Jeffrey Mackie
MONTREAL: For those who stay
At 6:30am light shines off the ice on the snow bank
The only light in our city,
(You can’t see the cross from here
These days you cannot see the cross from anywhere)
So, I am not sure where it comes from, the moon is too faint,
No cars passing on this turnoff, at the next stop
Dark figures waiting silently, it is too cold to talk
Some mutter into cell phones on the bus
Though who you call at 630am is beyond me
Expo (s) gone, Olympics gone
Oh city, you are an old beauty
Who no longer gets invited to parties
Your marble is plaster, your arches crumbling.
Is it a place of no future,
A city of the past,
Where even the past is destroyed?
Nobody comes here to work
But to do their thing, perhaps school and then move on
The citizens are that married couple who know it is over
These homes we prize were once as generic as the suburbs you despise
You moisten your lips in the bitter winter wind to kiss the city goodbye.
To gravitate to another place of opportunity and sustenance
And then brag about your time in the old city.
Keeping your eye on the scene and the politics
Keeping our eyes on the seen and the politics
City, you have drained skies in summer
Drained emotions in winter
Drained bank accounts
Drained all sense
And we’ve almost lost our minds at street corners
Remembering when we were last here
Remembering when we last made something that mattered
Speaking fractured languages, sometimes we laugh
Sometimes we raise our voices, sometimes we try
Sometimes we give up.
Too much heat in summer, too cold in winter
Franglais an acceptable in between
But we have;
More friends than enemies
More hope than fear
More parks than freeways
More dreams than nightmares
Lost moments, lost love. lost points
That should not be all you think about
Sometimes the city is all you think about
In history, in novel form, in transit
Reading ‘The Watch that Ends the Night’
And they don’t even know
And we don’t even know
Not most of us what gone down here.
It is all changed you see
There is no longer any quality
In today’s world
Every grasping hand
Every crumbling block
The streets are garbage, strewn
Alleyways are piss stained
We are at a loss
A loss of industry
Of anything to make
We cannot even make do.
“I write poetry and that is what makes me interesting” -Vladimir Mayakovsky
Jeffrey Mackie is a poet living in Montreal, Canada. He also does a regular literary feature on CKUT radio in Montreal.