Log Cabin Chronicles

HOME WAS ELSEWHERE

STANLEY FEFFERMAN

This book of poems was published by Quattro Books Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
www.quattrobooks.ca
Home Was Elsewhere can be ordered from Amazon.ca
or from Quattro Books


Odor of Lovers

No Consolation

There are still wild horses in Colorado
with shaggy coats the colour of earth.

There are still hairy lavender flowers
with hearts of gold closed against the rain.

You are still in Colorado
probably trying too hard and crying
like the day I hugged you and said
"It's like hugging the whole earth."

Our love affair did not go well
we could not console each other, Janet.

Tonight I'm hugging myself
in a car in Caledon, Ontario,
smoking, watching the stars,
watching the milkweed sway
in the half-moon light,
letting the wind soothe me.

There is no consolation, Janet,
not even hugging the whole earth.

It's getting early now.
My cigarette is finished.
The birds are beginning to cheer themselves up.
I'm going to get some sleep.
Good morning, Janet.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Stanley Fefferman writes and make photographs in Toronto. He writes:

MY TEACHING CAREER: ROOTS

The deepest root of the poet and professor of literature I grew into taps a luminous memory of my mother sitting on the edge of her bed in our rented room, reading nursery rhymes to me as I stand holding onto the bars of my crib. One morning. a few years later, I recited to my Kindergarten class more rhyming stanzas than even the teacher had in her head: Jack and Jill, Three Blind Mice, Wee Willie Winkle, Ding Dong Bell, Little Jack Horner, Little Bo Peep, Little Boy Blue, The House that Jack Built. As I recited, I was filled with the luminosity of the Mother Goose characters who roamed the nursery rhyme landscape created in my mind by the music of my mother's voice as she performed her ritual repetitions to me of those verses.

My father had no patience for stories. When I'd ask him for a story he'd go: "I had a little doll, I stuck him on the wall, and that's all."As I grew into the world of school and the street, I was the one who told him stories. Why was I late? Why didn't I finish cutting the grass? How did I rip the knee of those pants that cost so much money? Did I chip that tooth in a fight? I invented fictions to protect myself from punishments. Being a roofer, if my story was not watertight, my father found the holes in it. He nicknamed me 'Alibi Ike', after the eponymous maker of excuses from a Ring Lardner story popularized in a Joe E. Brown movie trilogy. He honed his inquisitorial skills, I honed my fictive manouevres. Like "Father William," the lawyer in the Lewis Carroll rhyme who gained lifelong strength of his jaw by arguing cases with his wife, through alibis for questionable behaviours that I argued before my father, I developed skills that inspired me to test them on the floor of the lecture hall.

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Copyright © 2017 Stanley Fefferman/Log Cabin Chronicles/05.17