Tag Archives: gabrielle bouliane

Thought About You

Okay, a singularly unoriginal title for my experiment.

The last writing workout was writing about loss. I had wanted to write a poem for a friend on the anniversary of her death, so I experimented by writing snippets, thoughts, images, mememories of her out on cards over the whole weekend and then collaging them into a poem.

At one point I had gone out for the evening and forgot that I was “remembering” Gabrielle over the weekend until the next morning, then felt guilty for forgetting. So that’s in here, too.

Thought About You

For Gabrielle Bouliane, One Year Gone

I’m done baking and remember you.
Remember that I’m supposed to be remembering.

I want to say I’m sorry for every minute gone by,
but that is mortal guilt and not for angels or sunflowers.

Your candle lit in the livingroom and I must leave the house.
Someone once told me
never blow out reverent candles,
but snuff them with metal.
I hear you laugh through my superstition.
Motorcycle lipstick, coming down at me love.

Is it better to leave a candle nub or burn it to the end?

I think about my old motorcycle,
wonder if I’ll ever be that daring again.
I bet you ride sharp and clear like a sting.
I bet you leave star dust, kicking into cosmic gear.
I bet your kiss could wrap humanity,
and we’d all grow suddenly hungry.

Oh, Gabby, I’m afraid
the world has gone crazy.

I wish there were more of you
of your voice    of your word
I can hear your tone your eyes your stance
I can hear the waves of you on stage
I can hear you working next to me,
cranking through ideas.

First day on the job at The Poetry Factory,
you spilled a coke on the new Mac keyboard
and it didn’t work for a day.
But it was just us, and we could laugh it away.
What isn’t done in the sticky hours isn’t what strikes us down.

Oh, Gabby, the only thing I fear
more than this crazy world
is not living in this crazy world.

To be alive is to get uncomfortable,
to get up on stage and tell the world
I’M DYING and you’re all coming with me,
my friends, my beautiful beautiful friends.

You caught us with our genius showing,
a challenge dancing in the wind.

You came into this world gifted and aimed,
and I can’t help wondering
what target would you have hit
in your Golden Days?

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Filed under every day angels, monday poetry thang, poetry, writing exercises

Weekend Workout: Writing About Loss

I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds it challenging to write a satisfying poem about a loved one who has died. What words can fill the space the person held?

In honour of dear friend and poet Gabrielle Bouliane, who died of cancer one year ago today, I wanted to write something to/for her this weekend.

This workout is something I’ve never tried before, so I’m experimenting with it. I’ll post the results after the weekend.

Instead of sitting down to write a poem or letter or story in one go, eeking out inadequate language for a heart-ripping loss, I’m going to keep Gabrielle in my thoughts all weekend and carry several index cards with me wherever I go. Any time a thought or vision or image or anecdote comes to mind, I’ll write it on a card.

It doesn’t matter if I’m at the library, in a movie, on the bus, or at a party – the thought, image, etc gets written on a card.

On Sunday night or Monday morning, I’ll go through my cards and form the poem (or whatever it turns out to be) from there.

Unintentionally, the first few things I wrote were addressed to her, so perhaps I will stick with that.

The first thing I wrote on a card was:

You were so you, more you than I me. When I cry to you, you don’t suffer my foolishness.

~   ~   ~

There’s a TOAST in honour and memory of Gabrielle happening at 10 PM in Austin, TX. So 8 PM here on the West Coast. Here’s the FACEBOOK INFORMATION about it.

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Filed under poetry, weekend workout, writing exercises

for Gabrielle Bouliane (1966-2010)

Gabrielle’s last live reading.

The poem below is the best I can do right now… and it doesn’t feel like enough. How, ever, can words communicate what is ripped from the heart. I feel like I should watch this video every day, so that I remember how to live.

for Gabrielle Bouliane
(1967 – 2010)

you disappear on a full wolf moon but not really
in the age of a technology you shaped from, created you
send messages across miles and friends echo
that feisty stance, fiery angel,
oh, poet, gift-giver, love-master, my hours
in your presence are locked, sealed and
delivered  – – my dream-memory
days and nights spent on projects for literary minds
together building a factory to keep those hearts alive
smoke breaks outside the office in rusty Seattle
mother hens to spoiled wordsters all worth
while, our while, through earthquakes and madness
and divorces and spilled salt
we know life turns, tears, surprises for the
girls next door, tomboys and hippies and
drive, you had it, rode long highways, following
a bliss only shadowed by your gracious love

I can’t say good-bye, not here, not now
not with those wide-eyes in mine —

I’ll see you backstage, poet, that’s a promise
and meanwhile, this light you lit, I’ll shine.

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Filed under aw... poop, every day angels, music / poetry videos, poetry, spokenword, truth and beauty