on the difficulty of describing bill bissett

if i sed - 5’11” 2-25 75 years 56
           books uv poems

if i sed - the latest of which
           is titled    ths is erth, thees ar peopul
           that the painting on the cover was his

if i sed - 2 hours at 754 dundas st.

if i sed - shoulder length grey hair
           twiggy a cocked ball cap green with yellow mesh
           spectacles deep under the brim
           the bulbous nose
           black t-shirt and a paunch
           blue jeans with their belt tight and shaggy loafers

if i sed - the kind of man you’d hate to see your daughter with you thought
           bad knees back an overlap of knots
           a lilting voice in speaking
           a baritone in song

if i sed - he sed i was told
           the salmon talks have been moved
           to early next week. and i sed
           at least the salmon are talking!

if i sed - he concluded his set
          with a single short phrase
          which he repeated like a chant or an omen

if i sed - the phrase was
          “is it time to leave the hotel, yet?”

if i sed - to give you a sense
           that between two particular songs
           the audience
           or some of the people in it
           were talking about what he was
           and what he wasn’t
           and somebody had said     decisively      in that way that tightens the walls of a café
           that he was a performer
           and that from the stage
           he said “You think?” and chuckled

if i sed - as the front door of the café swiveled inches open     inches closed     in the
                                                                                                           brusque wind
           as the music with its exotic percussion instruments and piano
           and bill reading and singing alternately
           that the chime of the bell over the door seemed to want to join in
           or that maybe the wind and he were joined then
           somewhere over the door

if i sed - see the stage   dark floorboards   reds and yellows in a painting on the wall
           the bright january blear in the window pane behind
           the musicians huddled into their instruments of tapered steel or wood

if i sed - gnarled elegance

if i sed - he was holding two white sheets of printer paper
           stapled together and very white and he holding them
           that shaggy big man who if your adult daughter pointed him out down the aisle
           at the supermarket as hers when you ran into her incidentally might elicit from
           you without having spoken with him the phrase “i’m ordering chinese for
           dinner; come over tonight; it’ll be just us two; i feel like i haven’t seen you in
he    reading a poem about a past lover
a poem about a past perhaps written with his knuckles and throat
holding them with one hand     the two sheets with the poems

if i sed - a bird sensing gentleness had settled there and he was reading from both of its
                                                                                                       wings until
            like that     the music roiling     rolling home
            like a tide        that washy rolling
            and the musicmakers becoming musicians again
            and the poet becoming a man again
            and the bird with its wings now flapping gently around the café
            returned to the music stand
            and became pages stapled with words and stiff

if i sed - some know that we love
            and some love that we know
            and that he would identify with the former
            and love the latter the same
            we were there when we were there then
            and now we are when we were there
            or trying to be
           and this is memory

if i sed - to give you a sense
            it was an animal in motion
            without the vicious
                       it was a sense of motion
                       an animal with the giving
            and like any honest mortal performing
            it was full of the past tense already
            even without the stopping
             it was long in the brevity
            and brief in the long
            a meaning motion      then
             without the vicious      an animal

in the brevity     in the long

i sed
to give you a sense
 it was.

Kevin Heslop didn't know it was going to happen until BOOM, it happened.

Published On: July 1, 2015
Permanent Location: http://www.forgetmagazine.com/150601.htm

Volume 8, Issue 2
July 1, 2015

Canada Day

on the difficulty of describing bill bissett
Kevin Heslop


Canadian sadness
Pasha Malla

follow the fellow who follows the sea
Adam Lewis Schroeder

Forget Magazine's Hockey Cards

Feb 12, 2001 - Present

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7


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