Winner of the 2001 Alberta Prize
A SPEECH ABOUT THE MOON
I think, “The moon is mine and all the craters are mine.”
Then I begin to think, “I am covered with drizzling grief.”, “I have all the ice blue sinning birds.”, “I control the sea.”, and “Everything sticks out of the sea.”
Then I plunge my hand into the air and say, “I want to eat the fighting swordfish in the sea who stick their swords in boats!” And, “I want to eat their swords.”
Plus, “I like sultry avenging birds.”, “Terrible birds with moisturized wings over the sea.” and “I want to fight.”
Then I think about the hazel waves of the ocean and the hot creamy lemon grasses of the moon.
I think, “I am going to sleep” and “I am dreaming about grey hair.” and I lay very still for awhile. I think, “I can strew daisies in grey hair…”
Then I start to cry and the tears flow down to my teeth. I think, “Everyone has to bite silver mesh.”
I constantly try to think, “Fish are resting in the sea.” or “Some fish are just hanging in the sea.”
And I lie very still and tell myself, “…In the middle of the night…it is totally quiet…no crabs are coming towards you…”
Then I sit up and cup my hands over my nose and shake my head slowly back and forth.
The world rises up on both sides of me. I think, “I have to die.”
Then I lay in a position for awhile.
The moon is flapping and curling around me.
I think clearly, “I have to lie face down.” or else “The moonlight is smoothed on my back like the map of someone who is trying to leave.”
Then I reluctantly think, “Dominating bluebirds.”, “…that fly…”, “around” and “…melon raptors…” and “Tricolor murder hawks.”, “…with their songs.”
I lie on my side so that the tears from one eye slide into the other eye.
I say, “I have to invent warm tawny roses that have never been seen before…”
Then I fix the sheets which are twisted around my ankles and think, “I have to be tormented.”
Then I continue to think things about the moon, like, “The moon is a silver hitching ball…shorn…off the trucks of the world…”
I tell myself, “…late at night…a placid sea monster…is rising out of the sea…with kelp on its head…to look at me…”
I think about the moon again. “The moon is a silver legiron”, “My entrails are the color of moonlight.”
Then I think about the circulating birds.
I rub my hands on my stomach and think “oh no” and start to cry.
I pull the long tears out of my eyes and look away.
Slow blinks crash down.
Then I hold my wrist very tightly and watch the veins rise up so I become vascular in the moonlight.
I think, “Birds are automatically beautiful” and twist around.
I am dragging the satin around in my mind and thinking of my displeasure. I roll over.
I cry more tears that spread across my face and think, “No, no, no”, “Fish are biting the ocean.”
I think, “The thoughts are like terrible ballet teachers with canes.”