Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,500 poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press); ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy; (Cawing Crow Press) and ‘Like As If” (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).
A Word About Words
The past is a place in northern England where the left-handed are gibble-fisted or coochy-pawed or left-kaggy. In another time and place, where freckles were frentickles or branny-spackles. When daddy long-legs were once called harvest men or long-legged tailors. Old words like yestermorn and overmorrow. And new worlds and words, like lamestain, hatewatch, flamebait, humblebrag; cobbled together out of need and urgency. And words I fail to understand – seriatim, raillery, apotropaic. Or words I fancy the sound of making – belvedere, chromatopia, propinquity; and how to fit them into conversations. Though a dog would hear the song of barbarous barking, the human voice is of deeper value. Words, the meaning of which increases reason. And we speak of more than meaning. We speak of ourselves.
Silence after silence. World after world. We met before there was history and the invention of the wheel, two voices rubbing warm, two names under one incision. We met at light speed, the way atoms collide. As if musical notation, we made noises to dance among. We met in house fires, black masses, car accidents. As if the cosmos had plans for every molecule on every planet. Our hearts were tired similes. Love was a metaphor for dying. For every emotion that was added another was taken away. My ghost. My seer. We met in what would be our remarkable future.
The morgue is a beehive, a factory making dark honey. It’s where we store the raven’s feathers. Where death goes when it’s sleepy. The morgue is a hole nicknamed Corruption. Former gods come here to marry their errors and it stinks of disillusionment. Such a divine abode, its reluctant citizens the colour of old money and tartar. They who only whisper when they speak. A hoarse cough in place of laughter. A bone that crumbles very like a sigh. Death has painted every drain and knife the colour of mothers mourning.