Exile in Nanaimo

The burned out and boarded up buildings
of downtown
mirror my memories of this place
memories with all of the happiness bled off
in an October rain
and nothing left except husks.

Driving through a physical manifestation of
old thought
with every glance calling up
something from the past.

I make a cup of tea in my parent’s kitchen
and look out at trees
that have nothing of mine attached to them
no old romance blowing on decaying leaves
no bitter resentment crippling their trunks.

I’m trying to relax
I’m trying to exile myself from the muses
and the poems
but it’s too hard in a place
where those things are the only defence
against a record of offences and misdeeds
spent chances
blown shots
drunk nights with awful endings
and worse mornings.

So I turn to the poetry again
throw up my walls of words
and hope that I can use them as a tool
to rewrite acidic thought into cool water
that flows under a downtown bridge
off into the straight.

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