Canadian Poetry Online top banner link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page

Telling Lies

Carolyn Smart
From:   Stoning the Moon. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1986.


Drugged with light, the lack of it
or longing, she stays on later than she thought,
charmed by streets familiar with you,
any building haunted by surprising grace,
nostalgia's dusk or autumn, but it's later than that:
she's just waiting for the sight of you

Who wants to hear this,
her wanting you, being tired of it,
the smell of traffic from other lives,
her so static, therefore lying
about anything, whatever holds back loss:
a memory, the narcotic you have become

Her stiff with denial and silence,
drinking it dull in the shade or breeze,
drunk and alone saying to the dream
Shut up    Come in off these mazy streets
it is only one more world's end    lying,
her believing in measureless, fantastic light

A frivolous heart beating once, twice, erratic,
shocked by dependence on you, this need she has
for the sight of you, sound of your voice,
always her watching, windows with their dusty stare,
the dark outside and no-one awake to listen:
she telling lies, truth's a phantom only visible at night



Carolyn Smart's works copyright © to the author.


Canadian Poetry Online bottom banner link to University of Toronto Libraries home page link to Digital Collections home page link to University of Toronto Library catalogue link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page