08 January 2014


So I have this old friend. 

We met in 1990 and were very, very close for a long time. Then a few years back, we had a falling out. I won't bore you with the details other than to say that I was very angry and because of that, he and I have had no contact for the past 3 years. Recently, I started to regret the harshness of that decision but didn't know how to reach out in a way that wouldn't be messy and awkward. 

A few months ago I started to get heavily back into a favourite poet, Gwendolyn MacEwen. I remembered seeing a good edition paperback of her masterwork, A Breakfast for Barbarians, at a used book store in his town the last time I visited him. "A double opportunity for contact," I thought.  I emailed my friend, saying hello and asking if he could perhaps have a look. Was there an off chance that it might still be there? A few weeks later, I received in the mail, a hard cover, first edition of the book. He had sought it out on the internet and had it delivered to me.

Moved. Blown away. Amazed. 
Humans are endlessly surprising.

Since then, we have been tentatively working our way back to friendship. It may never be as intimate as it once was but we're trying to figure it out.


in that sublayer of sense
where there is no time
no differentiation of identities
but co-presents, a static recurrence
(that wolf is stone, this
stone is wolf)

your bones have interlocked
behind my brow
your meanings are absolute
you do not move
but are always moving

in that substratum I hold, 
unfold you at random;
your eye is a giant 
overfolding me;
your foot is planted
in the marrow of my bone, 
today is tomorrow.

vision does not flinch
perspective is not jarred
you do no move
but are always moving

you do not move but are always moving
Christ O Christ no one lives long
along that layer;
I rise to see you planted
in an earth outside me, 
moving through time
through the terms of it, 
moving through time again
along its shattered latitudes

Gwendolyn MacEwen, A Breakfast for Barbarians
The Ryerson Press, 1966

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