… the spoken word. One of the best perks of being part of this blog is the opportunity to showcase the art of our readers. Today, I’m sharing a new form of art for us. About a month ago, I posted a poem called The Mall, by Canadian poet Evelyn Lau. Dakotagreasemonkey (Rick) then took the time to record himself reading it aloud for us. He has a deep, resonant voice and I found his reading touching. I think he may have a future in dramatic arts and I hope he explores his talent and finds other ways to express himself. I’m sure you’ll all enjoy it. I’d also like to take a moment to thank Marcus (Stderr) for his technical assistance. (The photo in this clip is mine. It’s a place called Plage Nord and it’s across the street from my mother- in- law’s home in Perce, Quebec. Jack and I spent a lot of happy time there.)
Today I chose it over the ocean.
Over the trees, their fall leaves
a flock of orange parrots perched on branches.
Over the chandelier of sunlight broken
on blue waves, over flowers
shaped like teacups or trumpets,
over the jade garden where once I dreamed
I wore a green velvet dress
clasped tight at the waist
like the grip of a man’s hand.
I walk toward it like a Zombie,
this strange planet suspended in time,
a space station in the rainforest
inhabited by teenage girls wearing glitter eyeshadow
and slippery lipgloss. I skate
along its arid walkways
as if on an invisible track, away
from my life. Here it could be day or night,
the walls stripped of clocks,
music moaning a mindless refrain,
not a window in sight.
The stores hold their mouths open
like seductresses, radiating heat and light
and a bright array of wares,
a sorbet rainbow of merchandise
delectable as pastilles.
Outside, the lives of grasses
and insects and breezes go on.
After a day at the mall,
stepping back into what’s left of the world,
the sunlight will sear your skin,
and the gallons of fresh air
will pour over you like pain.
by Evelyn Lau