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Leonard, the War is Waged. Now I Sure Could Use a Resuce: Part I
By Leah Bailly


hey leonard. i write from the kitchen table. here
in the centre of the world. i write to you
because from this kitchen table, there ain't nobody
gonna' help me but you. ain't no body
who knows what sort of filth
there is underneath the yellow
tablecloth, what sort of grime there is in the cracks
between the strips of linoleum, peeling away, the bits of orange
dried up hard and left over on the counter, only
you can tell
what the hell
i put up with here, you can write it out
in those sexy loose words of yours.
to get them to stop grinding shit in the carpet,
to get them to stop me
will be impossible, with you on my side
i could get the hell
outa here.


Dearest X.
I am no longer at my best.
I don't think I'm in any shape
To help you.


leonard. i got this one book. this one
slow read of your poems. something about
the final outline of your breasts
like two deep fossil shells which remained all night long
and probably forever
. and leonard,
that's how i knew
we are the same,
you and me,
because i wrote that leonard, that same
thing about the fossil shells on Sadie's tits,
because the day i saw them
through that pink dress with the ruffles, i thought
those nipples are ancient,
there is something ancient in those nipples, something
like god
and these nipples are only for you and me leonard.
and man, i wanted so bad
to put those nipples in my mouth
and roll them around and around,
i wanted to bend her over and kiss
her little ass-hole
but knowing Sadie,
she wouldn't even look at me over her shoulder.
leonard, i need
a big city under my belt
but i need your help
to get there.


Here in Montreal.
Unsure if it is me
You want.
Too busy,
Here in Montreal.
I need
The mercy of my own


found your poems
two days ago, leonard, and already
i feel better. found them tucked behind
the old cafe, where some hitch-hiker must have stopped
to take a dump, thinking the place was empty, and that hitch-hiker left
a huge pile of steaming shit
and you;
this thin white book, the picture
of you on the back hauling
on a fat cigar, leaning tough
against a wall with your hand in your pocket
so it looks like you're touching
yourself through your pockets
but you don't even care if anyone sees you
you like yourself that much.
your face is dark,
like you get lots of time in the sun
lying on your back at the top of the mountain
right in the middle of the CITY OF MONTREAL,
writing poems
and your shirtsleeves are rolled, like me
like when i'm down in the corners of the house
scrubbing and scrubbing
or like when george has one too many
and i gotta roll up my shirtsleeves
and pop him one,
put him out
before he screams after me with the belt.
leonard, we gotta come up
with some kinda plan.
'cause next time
i'm scared
i'll pop 'em for real.


Dearest X.
We are alone.

Until the times change
And those who have been betrayed
Come back like pilgrims to this moment
When we did not yield
And call the darkness poetry.


there is a war on
between me and the bunnies that fill up the old
cafe, the whole place stinks
like bunny ass and bunny shit,
and since george put in the septic
for the RV's up top of the highway
that smell seeps down and down
and smothers the little shit house
full of 3 little kids and the smell of their dirty little mouths
and the windows of the old cafe are plywood
the white-wash falls away in chunks
and leaves the smell of old musty plaster
like dust and mould settled too long in the dark.
there is a war on,
between me and the girls from the mill
who sit all day on their full asses
in wool skirts and pumps
and don't even want a good squeeze
down at the pub when me and george have a couple
too many. and man do those eyes sting,
those glaring eyes. but now i know all i should say
is 'miss, i'm just sad', and they won't believe me until i read
your words, whisper them real soft
so my breath touches their ears like a hot hot tongue
stroking them, stroking them:
if you surrendered and i forget
let me be your bright new toy
i am the first to wear your shackles like a bracelet


Perhaps it is because my music
Does not sing for me
I hate my music
I long for weapons.

Some men find strength
By going their lonely ways
Let us be what we can to them.


so. dr. lennie.
that's it.
george lost it for real this time, all that rye
went straight into his fist, and shot out in hard bursts like artillery fire,
and he went for his girlfriend and all those snotty
kids and they when they scattered, bolted from the little house with three rooms
and scrambled up the bank up to the RVs
(that george just manages, doesn't own at all),
they cried and cried some fat lady from Florida
(a pink track suit drinking spritzers and minding our warfare)
called the cops on george.
his girlfriend, the one with the frizzed out bleached hair
who smokes packs and packs of Players light smooth and always burns breakfast
wailed behind the house, all out of grenades,
head tilted to the sky and the sky all starry and clear, not calling back to her at all,
and the shattered woods around our place and the highway sounds roared like
passing tanks and it all squeezed her so tight that she fell,
into a pile into the dirt,
wailing and wailing, with her kids running wild,
and george chasing them on shaky feet, his fists
swinging around and around him.
i was just crouched, low by the old cafe porch,
hacking butts, listening to the wail of the lady
and the shriek of the sirens and george cursing the world
cursing and cursing the whole world
with you dr. lennie
your perfect prescription hugged tight to my knees
repeating over and over:
Love is a fire
It burns everyone
It disfigures everyone...


It is the world's excuse
for being ugly.


Leah Bailly will be back with more shortly.






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