it’s 2014, high june
i tour to toronto
i am not a rock star
i will not become a rock star
but i am paid to make poems.
i meet up with zooey
we started out together
in our creative writing class
like mice or bees, the way we moved
made our profs itchy, twitchy, nervous
too much laughter, too many puns
lacking in cerebral chill detachment.
in senior year, when our prof refused
to come out to our indie coffeehouse
we folded our tents, eased out
into the star and sand night.
zooey moved east,got a trillium grant
for a documentary about bees, does
a lot of other arts work there, but
when i meet him in the danforth
i look among the flowers.
khaki satchel, scruffy jeans
there he is, i could always see
the little old man he’ll become
and that guy is still there, waiting
toronto hasn’t sleeked him
he grins, and we slope off
to hipster burgers, move on
when the stanley cup comes on.
we find a coffee shop not too far
from the 80s, and of course, a storm
blows in like 87, sure enough
tornado out in ajax, here torrential
why is it? zooey grins, whenever
we get together he has no umbrella.
we protect the books and programmes
there is no help for my well-bred shoes
despite the storm, people come out, some for me
some for a creative writing prof, he sits
surrounded by his students, who sit
with a gaze zooey and i could never have assayed.
but i take the stage, and the muse takes me
the way, the work, the ceremony
come and touch us, and the night
fresh washed, abides.