Monday, July 07, 2008

Yvon Cormier

Yvon Cormier writes from an insatiable nomadic intelligence which obsesses over what is unsaid and the seemingly invisible aspects of daily life. His work is rooted in drawing life pictures where words owe a greater debt to what they represent rather than the reverse.
He has been published in Long River Run, 2007, The Diarist's Journal, Oct. 2002, and in Covert Press # 2 (in print & online), Nibble a poetry magazine, and Heroin Love Songs. His chapbook of Jazz & Blues influenced poetry & prose is titled Life Sketches in Blue (Select Edition)[D/E/A/D/B/E/A/T/ Press].

Yellow Paint

Canary sunset on white sand stolen from the goddess of a tropical island

Mango banana light layered on this abode, layers brushed by many hands.

Silence exudes from this lemon surface with empty windows wide,

split clapboard showing bottomless slits where paint never hid,

pillows untouched on an empty bed. A chimney with no smoke and

a train track where trains never stop.

A porter with memories of that same house when it was blue

A tale not told of raw rum, smoky light, slurred notes, and mason jar gin,

sipped through sloppy grins. Gumbo perfumes intoxicated minds and hearts,

with a thirst in spiritual lust. Candles dwindled while lovers kindled.

All before dawn having to run out back to not get shot leaving the Sugar shack-

as lemonade gin fizz spilled down the steps.

A framed matting with three spotted feathers on a wall in the back hall hung

by a person no one knew who hung those same feathers from a hunting trip,

to commemorate this as a train stop.

No new soul will ever know the three feather ceremony, the juke joint scramble,

the porter whose mind rambled reminiscing of brighter times from blue days or

the brightness outside concealing the darkest brilliance inside. These were exceptional

moments of impermanence.

As birds inflect their clarinet warble and throaty rattled speech, the train whistle blows

and shakes the earth, the shack a clamor as the Metro North rolls on.

Cracked as a clay riverbed, a yellow once risen soaked into hungry walls where

amber tints remain. By night the Milwaukee Special rests in stockyards of Mexico.

Only its ghost light steams past this quiet cobalt friend, this now hollow sunflower dwelling, in the forever night.


Compelled by excitement of our shared experience, you tell your family of me, while I sit quietly scanning a response, perhaps an acknowledgment that I really exist. To them I am an abstraction, a mere anecdote at the dinner table, something to wonder about but never tangible.

As I sit questions come from them as though I could whip out a resume of hipness and things that might spark approval in their eyes. Here I sit like a lion caged behind blue eyes, being poked and prodded for signs of life, only entertainment to them based on potential, a figment of cartoon expectations and all seen are reduced to a caricature. A former self I’ve felt but never met.

Reduced to a shaggy beast who swats flies with his tail, and only wants water rather than a few last minute zoo-goers, mocking him by poor imitation and gesture. Their foolish attempts to incite response nearly compelled my reaction.

There are those situations one finds oneself in where people act out the role of who they think you are and summon predictable responses. You’ll go back to those times of childhood even as an old man-- you’ll always be your mothers’ baby. These reflections were safe only for a few moments.

The “Family” in front of me tailored questions which demanded direct interaction. They were unavoidable. At unawares, they bore fangs of friendship, to see what makes me tick. Like the forever child, I felt compelled to give this family what they thought they wanted. At the same time, part of me resisted becoming the dancing monkey and my friends’ kind words about me acted like the grinders’ clarinet.

The regal mane and golden fur were all still here just without attached meaning by these family members because I was still king of a jungle they would never know.