Thursday, March 15, 2007

today is my 37th birthday

& I feel four hundred million years old. A year, perhaps, of boiling down. Thirty-seven years on this earth, as of 8:15am today, born in the building now the hole in the ground replaced with something else, what was once Ottawa's Grace. Will I ever learn what happened in those first ten months?

I've always wanted to make a cd of birthday songs, from The Beatles to the Dik Van Dykes (how I miss them) to Weird Al Yankovic (do you remember that one?). Ann-Marie keeps telling me (and the child, now, too) about one by the Arrogant Worms, but I just haven’t heard it.

Here's the newest of my annual "birthday" poems, with the (earlier) long draft after a few days of notes:

elegy (birthday)

a winter made of bruises, mark
each day-dream broken in the field

at thirty-seven, I can talk
aware, to garner

or segregate the trees; knows just
what missing

an elegy another day, an answering
of what we wont remember

if at beginning surely felt

would pitch a tent at what we never

I am no longer expecting questions
an answer will provide

it is only another birthday; leaning forty
more beside

from ghostly variation & the distance
of a starving break; we know

the foot hold fact will scar

a concrete poem concrete wrapped
& let go in the water

an allegory mountain
astern the ladle boat

artifact & ask

am held together sum; concern
as far the page

w/ ribbons crossed, & coloured stream

erased it day by endless year
, wide at first would narrow

the smoky blind

a prayer should ask

mother me back in bare & staple; maple lift
& literate a weedy scene

intemperate, a hungry microphone ghost

image bleed upon the pale

bone is something grown
And here's what it ended up turning into:

elegy (thirty-seven)

it is only another birthday

bone is something grown
On Saturday my sixth annual Carleton Tavern birthday party; upstairs this year, since the downstairs was getting too crowded. Max Middle turns my age in three weeks, & apparently Una McDonnell had a birthday a few weeks ago. I suppose I'll be my next birthday in Alberta? It's a strange thing to think about. Where will I be in a year's time? Or two?

Just got an electronic birthday greeting card from Sheila Murphy; why is she so good at remembering? How sweet! Last night a late late night phone conversation with the lovely Lea Graham (or, an early early morning conversation, perhaps); later thisafternoon Kate & I visit my mother in hospital. Drinks tonight potentially with Brockwell at my favourite watering hole...

related notes: what I was on about last year; what I was on about the year before;

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