Mike Freeman was raised in Dundas, Ontario. He writes poetry, short fiction and screenplays. His first full-length book of poems, Cigarette Salad, was published in the fall of 2006. His work has appeared in many literary magazines like Contemporary Verse 2 and Carousel and is currently featured in the latest issues of Kiss Machine, Misunderstandings, Rampike and The New Chief Tongue. He has appeared in his own segments of TVO’s book show Imprint and Bravo! News and can be seen on CityTV’s Speaker’s Corner performing his poems, He also hosts a weekly poetry reading series, Bibliopunk Poetry Podcast, on iTunes and at
THE FOUR SAY-SO’S
The blue’s all sparrowed up.
The peaceful natters riverly.
Cedarish, the swaying
Cattish, the fence.
The garden? Pure tulipian.
Everything is sundayful.
You skip across the water’s surface like a stone
suddenly freed from its own heavy thoughts.
Me plodding along the beach beside you,
a city still strapped to my back.
Seagulls burrow tunnels in air.
Your hair is a dirty-blonde breeze.
Mist encircles the rock
as your lips encircle my name.
Water rushes up to kiss you,
sun, embrace you
and you linger there to let them do so.
Sands beneath your feet
spilt from a broken hourglass.
Fly away, Scarecrow! Let the crows roost.
Fall back! Fall back! You Army of Hours.
Heaven’s closed up shop with shutters of steel.
Leaves hemorrhage spectrums and trees explode.
These are the months that rhyme with “remember”.
Crumbling mementos of girls named April or May.
Time flicks his finger and nights fall like dominos.
Who will save us from the cold, dark harvest?
The slumbering Earth abandons the fight
and buries her face in a pillow of snow.
She will not wake up
though clouds, tubercular, cough up blizzards
and fanatical winds holler angry rants.
Here life turns inward, exists as pure potential.
A dream of what this world could be—
a world where hope is green
and birds convert St. Francis.
April-starved habitué of frost-spangled windows,
quit your snow-blind gazing—look within.
The thing you seek is a seed inside you.
Springtime is already here.
COPING WITH THE WAR ON TERROR
Today they took away the tiny man
who lives inside my refrigerator.
(You know, the little guy who
turns the fridge light off and on.)
My neighbour tells me he’s
been called an Enemy Combatant.
And though we never met face-to-face
I’m gonna miss that shy little guy.
Now the fridge is always dark.
I can’t find my low-fat mayo.
THE GLASS HOUSE
I stand inside The Glass House, shaking hands with its owner. His hand is delicate and cold. I scan the room. I can’t understand how the house got its name; it looks just like a typical family home. The man senses my confusion and says, “It is difficult living in The Glass House—the walls, floors and ceilings all look normal but are actually made entirely of glass and the rooms are filled with furniture that is made of glass as well. Even so much as a loud noise could cause the whole thing to come crashing down, killing me and my family instantly.” He motions to me to sit down on the couch, cautioning me to be gentle. I slowly sink down into it and am surprised at how soft and pliable it is despite being made of glass. And so natural looking. All the while he shuffles around in padded slippers and barely talks above a whisper. He tells me he never leaves the house for fear that harm may come to his family and home if he is not there to stand guard over their fragile dwelling. A beautiful woman enters the room. The man introduces her as his wife. He hears a low groaning noise coming from deep within the house and excuses himself to investigate. I say to the woman, “It must be quite stressful living in The Glass House.” She leans in and whispers: “This house isn’t really made of glass. It is my husband who is made of glass. We had to lie to him. He could never handle the truth. This way he feels that he is protecting us and because he is so careful trying not to destroy the house, he never harms himself.” The man returns and I notice the red colour of his dress shirt is actually blood flowing beneath a paper-thin layer of glass skin. “False alarm,” he says and grins. I imagine what he would look like shattered: a jagged heap of shards and blood.
She rose up into the air and the jilted earth let out a sigh.
She rose up and the almond scent of her skin filled the breeze, then faded like a song.
She rose up past telephone poles and rooftops of houses where the earth-bound hid.
She rose up sleeker than the sparrows that swirled around her like a jubilant cyclone.
She rose up, confounding Air Traffic Control with her unidentified, tiny, red blip.
She rose up and scrunched her toes as though the sky beneath were a fresh-mown lawn.
She rose up and with a swish of her fingers parted storm clouds like a plastic bead curtain.
She rose up, shooting through the ozone with a tangerine shower of sparks.
She rose up, past satellites and every cell phone down on earth rang out at once.
She rose up but remembered to politely wave goodbye...
The tide went out for half the world when she gently bumped her head against the moon.
Stars got caught in her weightless, dirty-blonde hair.
MY THREADBARE BLACK ARMBAND
“Never that which is shall die.”—Euripides
& always will be is
is will never be was
even when is is was
when is is was
is is is!
& always will be will be
when will be is is
& is was