ditch,

the poetry that matters

Kevin Craig

Kevin Craig was born in Toronto; his childhood was split between there and New Brunswick. Now living in Oshawa, Ontario, he writes fiction and poetry when not freelancing. His memoirs have been published in the Globe and Mail as well as recorded for CBC Radio Canada. Kevin’s poetry, which often reflects his tumultuous days as a punk rocker in the early ‘80s, has appeared in Regina Weese, Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, Jones Av. Journal and Inscribed. His first novel, Sebastian’s Poet, was awarded 1st Place in the 2007 Muskoka Novel Writing Competition and is currently being considered for publication.

Our Clanging Feet

We were alive on Queen Street,
Traced our living through tussled sheets,
Clothes wrapping our hidden wings,
And Doc Martens clanging,
Ringing out the proof
Of our staggering,
Swaggering flesh.
We had so many tinctures
Alighting our limbs,
The vampires of Kensington
We were, fishnet madness,
Lifting our morning senses
With the ripeness of fresh-sprayed markets,
Rainbows running in rivulets
Down the littered gutters,
Marching, we were, soldiers in black,
Balaclavas hiding our laughter,
Looking for flop-houses,
Straining our limbs to bury
The night’s grey madness,
Take refuge in the beds
Of Queen Street,
Those simmering lofts
Awaiting our arrival,
Night dancers with the constant edge
Of sadness seeping in our drug-pumped veins,
Willing a way to slow the flow,
Unwrap our hidden wings,
Strip the addiction
Long enough for refuge
To make us new,
Ready for the next night’s glow.
Tied up in callow rapture, we were,
Listening to the soft rat-a-tat rhythm
Of our clanging feet.

 

Clickety Insect Limbs

We practiced nirvana
With our heroin cries,
Walked the Montréal streets
With our clickety insect limbs
Lifting us higher,
Making awkward angel shadows
On glistening morning sidewalks.
And cobbles, we clicked with precision,
Flaunted our knowing through dark
And veiled eyes.
Mascara making vigilant Madonnas
Of our innocent laughing faces. In repose,
We lifted our thoughts to nightclub wonder,
Sang the arias of our shivering dreams.
And Annie, lifting the white
On a nail divine, would suck the wind
Through her lungs and hum,
Her clickety insect limbs scratching nirvana
With staccato reason. She, like a masked Madonna,
Lifted on cobbles, laughing. And I,
Wanting only the wind,
Could not be lifted without her.

 

Leather Messiahs

I laugh when I think of then,
Those times when we froze
In our own little era of Now,
The Marilyns statuesque
In picture-still cameos of life,
The harbingers of doom
Eyeing the next big stiletto queen
Dragging plastic limbs
Into motion with quiet wonder
And almost practiced nonchalance.
Those limbs covered in fishnet,
Leather Messiahs meandering on wings,
And crystal vision
Brought to life by the intake of sound,
Blue Mondays and tinsel-eyed demons,
How that Now has passed us by,
Made us frozen to the laughter
Now caught up
with the passage of days,
of time unspent,
of neon angels prancing,
lifting themselves through memory.

 

Tuesday is a Cigarette

Tuesday is a cigarette,
a sidewalk-café-morning,
sun burning city’s dew to mist,
a spike of laughter
lifting above the traffic’s din.
The burnt edge of Monday,
whispering theatrics
between leathery latte sips,
hands clapping
at a punch-line moment,
the stirring of passersby
caught in the drift of time.
Tuesday is a lemonade,
the slap of a leaving lover,
lingering ever so slightly
to witness the pinking of flesh
before fleeing.
The seared rim of Thursday,
stretching its tip-of-tongue promise,
the voluptuousness of  time wasted,
the exhaust of a thrown-away Friday,
the slow, clean burn of a blistering comet
come to stop in a moment of time—
catching its breath in a Tuesday café.

 

 

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