Tag Archives: poetry

Travelogues (For my friend Michelle)

20 Apr

There was a real bittersweet period of my life

from 2009-2014

where I constantly overthought things

and analyzed them until my brain was exhausted.

 

I salvaged my sanity through music, painting, writing,

playing basketball, and traveling.

Occasionally I sprinkled in a lady or two,

partly for psychic  needs,

partly for hormonal curiosity,

partly for a good story,

and mostly for vanity.

But like most medications,

it was too easy to get addicted to them

and they were better in small doses.

 

Places were no longer places,

they became memories.

Women were no longer fantasies,

they were opportunities–and eventually became people.

I learned how plunge, binge,

and withdraw—riding those rails across the Rockies,

scribbling emotions into notebooks

and running through possibilities

in my mind.

 

The smells and sounds of each city

told me everything I needed to hear.

Old diners and dive bars

interested me more than clubs and fancy restaurants.

They called “bohemian,

drifter, gypsy, deadbeat, hipster.”

But I wanted to know things.

I needed to see things.

So I learned to indulge, purge, withdraw, and observe–

while ping-ponging across the map

towards my next lesson.

 

 

 

~Edward Austin Robertson

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Captured by the Moment

20 Apr

It could have all been a dream

created by a lungful of hashish,

but I couldn’t have imagined

an evening of weirder moments

than the ones I experienced that night.

A Robot Themed Wedding

was the draw.

And after taking a quick perusal around the bar,

I felt compelled me to propose

to my best friend’s girlfriend (with his permission of course)

and the rest is history.

But anytime one can join a Conga line

wearing a Darth Vader Halloween Mask,

dancing to programmed robots playing

“Hot Hot Hot”,

one doesn’t overthink the circumstances.

My only worry at the time was “how could I possibly top this?”

Which pretty much summed up my life up to that point:

Surreal, sublime, and absurd.
~Edward Austin Robertson

 

 

Time Stamp (For Wen and Aili)

9 Jun

There was something very old world about the moment.

This beautiful Taiwanese mother-and-baby tandem

sat playing Chopin on the old bar piano

in an intimate, dimly lit tavern.

We all watched in awe and quiet reverence

with an unspoken agreement that we were witnesses to an event

that was far from the ordinary–something that required ticketed admission–

on par with the legendary Red Panda;

flawlessly juggling saucers, plates and teacups while straddling atop a unicycle.

An instant so surreal that even the faintest whisper could break its magical spell.

Chekhov himself couldn’t have written a better wedding scene.

 

~Edward Austin Robertson

The Naked Bike Ride

9 Jun

I’d allowed myself to get lost in the mirth and euphoria

of hula hoops, glow sticks and naked bodies.

We were “jamming on it” to Newcleus under the Hawthorne Bridge,

the night’s air chilling the celebration

of our all city ride to a traffic of cheers.

Seemed like a good idea when the sun was up.

But I forgot pack something to cover myself up

for the long sobering ride back to the (deep) Northeast part of town.

Two words: Poor Planning.

 

 

~Edward Austin Robertson

 

 

Beth Marie’s

9 Mar

Marble counter tops

and checkered tiled floors.

How can you be in a bad mood

with the smell of waffle in the air

and frozen sugary milk melting in your mouth?

Its impossible not to smile at this point.

 

~Edward Austin Robertson

 

 

 

 

The House on Tennesee Street

8 Mar

Too close to one of my worst years to be one of my best years

but it was certainly one of the liveliest,

most pivotal of my adulthood.

 

It was my reaction to a period of deep dissatisfaction.

My brother went off to fight in the war and

my professional mistakes bled into my personal life.

No longer certain of my purpose,

I reversed direction

and spent a year shirking responsibility–and delinquent payments—

taking a massive pay cut to sort things out

in a long overdue gap year.

My brain need a break and

my psyche needed to shut down.

 

I leaned into being in that small town.

Remaking Dangerfield’s “Back to School” in my head

and taking advice from Bill Lee and Bill Murray.

Back to square one.

I rediscovered my joy through play and paint:

 

kicking and shooting and passing and jumping and sweating,

smiling and laughing and dosing; popping and locking, ponging and bonging,

puffing and sipping, napping ,fapping, crapping and snacking

shagging and packing, slapping and stroking–and lounging in cut off shorts.

 

 

An unsustainable cycle

of coffee, cannabis, naps and payment plans.

I knew at my age that it couldn’t last.

Watching the time evaporate

like the smoke building inside my lungs

and the clouds blowing out of my bedroom window.

 

~Edward Austin Robertson

 

 

Michael

6 Mar

 

It felt like everyone on the subway was talking about him.

I was at the Dundas station heading to St. Clair West

when I found out.

The phone call from her only added to the sense of time and place.

There was the city wide festival

and a surprising summer romance,

but what I remember most was that no matter where I was

for the next two days, someone was playing his music

in their cars, out of the apartment windows, and in storefronts.

I may have even let a tear drop into my corn soup

when Human Nature came on the radio

at the Jamaican spot I was hanging.

Perhaps it was the sad irony hitting me,

that even at the height of his powers

he never really got to freely enjoy the fruits of his labors.

He was finally free now to smile beautifully forever

as a young, black talent where no one could

hurt or disappoint him any longer.

We all collectively failed him

and yet he never stopped giving to us.

Maybe we didn’t deserve him.

 

~Edward Austin Robertson