*I’ve been listening to a LOT of 90’s-00’S Hip-Hop for my “Montreal” project so this kind of poem flow and rhymes at a MUCH faster pace than my usual stuff. It’s different and somehow feels like my 20’s are relevant again. I like it. So there!
Cutting Corners in the Metro
Dodging and ducking keeps my mind going, mind-blowing moment of creation and the noise in my headphones adding to the pressure on my temples creates a temple of noisy noiselessness no less the beats and mcess frees my mind, sheltering me from the sea of trains spitting out endless rows of endless crowds and I navigate the flow of people like traffic cones slow moving in my face well below my pace. I understand now what it means to be a writer, to be a witness. I’m in needing of the city and I’m in needing of the stress. committing to the page and I’m stuck, couldn’t do it without fifty thousand motherfuckers fighting for my spot.
And I swift through the place aiming for a space to land, a square foot piece of concrete free for me to stand in and wait and, wait and wait and write the whole scene feeling no need to withhold the weapon of the word, Invent new worlds, take a deep breath and feel the pressure on my chest every time every line, looking for the entire world in the insides of a narrow rhyme or a flawed statement about the status of men and the fingers are my pens, fuck the clock, the electronic piece can’t keep up with what I’ve got.
Then the next train come in and I cant help but see my suicide, every time, every night, eighteen years ago but it’s still on my mind, the double head lights in the tunnel still printed on my mind. No way around it, no way to forget the single step too many so easy to take and the wind slapping me on my face so fucking close to death. But I didn’t die I managed to fly by and escape the corner of my mind that would have let me fall and die. Got my heart racing and it hasn’t stopped since. Chose this life that chose me and I stuck with it.
Short on sleep
Short on food
Low on fuel
Money is few and far between
But the words keep coming and I’m committing to the page.No end to the flow and no end to the need to spit them at your face, hour after hour ain’t nothing I can do about my case so I push on the volume, beats are relentless, going loud and pushing it louder, blowing off my ears till you’re all drowned out. Fuck the World, screw the herd, but I need the contradiction of the crowd and the artist as a man. No need to travel when you living inside your head the world never ceases to amaze when you’re free to shape it, feel it, free it, commit to it. I need to be my own thing, something somewhere anywhere or simply just right here.
The train is my kingdom and you are all my subjects. Figuring it out every now and then. The train is my kingdom and you’re all my subjects. Yeah, the train is my kingdom. It hasn’t killed me yet.
Écrire Montreal c’est tough en criss. La langue a switch tout le temps. It’s even worse in Frenglish and the only way I can explain it is that if an Idea (a thought, a concept) feels better explained in French, then we’ll switch to French, if it’s better explained in English, then we’ll switch to English.
Mais le Franglais reste une “langue” parlée. On switche naturellement d’une langue à l’autre au fil des pauses dans la discussion. C’est un peu plus compliqué côté écriture.
When exactly do you switch?
It’s really hard to understand such a “young” language. Because it is THAT… a YOUNG LANGUAGE. Still.
Ces temps-ci, j’essaye d’écrire une nouvelle litéraire appelée “Montréal” ces temps-ci et c’est difficile sur papier mais une fois de temps en temps je nail une scene comme la suivante où je suis vraiment content. Alors voilà!
I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Excerpt from MONTREAL :
“Ah ben criss,” he heard and it snapped him out of his thoughts. It was his father walking back home with a Canadian Tire bag in his hands.
“Heille! S’t’une osti de belle surprise ça le grand. Comment ça va?”
“Hey dad, what’s up.”
“Ah! Parle donc en Français un peu.”
Eli wasn’t about to do that even if he couldn’t really tell why anymore so he just said, “We’ll see.”
“Ça fait tu longtemps que t’attends? Qu’est-ce tu fais ici. T’a tu faim, quelque chose?”
“What’s up with the car?”
“Forget the car, let’s get inside.”
But Eli didn’t exactly feel like going in, so he tossed his dad a bone instead by speaking French and said, “Assis-toi.”
“Pourquoi pas,” he replied and the accent was thick.
“Heille, Tu parles vraiment comme un Anglo asteure.” his dad replied.
It was almost enough for him to up and leave but he didn’t. “My mother’s an Anglo,” he replied instead and that was the truth. “Assis-toi.”
“Alright, alright! Ok!”
“What’s in the bag?”
“Une coupe de cossins pour le char.”
“So the car is fucked.”
“Nothing I can’t fix.”
“Pis la job?”
“Bin’ d’la job?”
“Pas plus que d’habitude. On a une coupe de grosses commandes qui s’en viennent. Les chiffres sont bons.”
“Les comptes sont payés. Pis toi.”
“Meh! New day, Same bullshit,” he said, picking up a tiny piece of gravel from the porch and tossing it away. He didn’t know why he was here anymore. It felt heavy and awkward and shit. He just looked at a distance to nothing at all really.
“Les comptes se payent?” His dad asked.
“Un a fois.”
“Alright!” his dad replied. He didn’t know what to make of this neither. Ben! Tant mieux,” he tried but that didn’t stick. “Comment va ta mère?”
Eli wasn’t about to talk to his dad about his mom so maybe it was time to cut to the chase.
“I got offered a contract.”
“A contract? Doing what.”
“I sold a painting.”
“Pour vrai?” his dad replied, sincerely excited about the news. “Combiens?”
“Enough,” Eli said. “A lot,” he admitted. “It’s a pretty good paycheck.”
“Mais t’a pas l’air convaincu.”
“I don’t like the guy?”
“Rich idiot playing art collector.”
“T’aime pas le gars fait que tu prendras pas son cash?”
“Osti que t’est con,” his dad laughed, calling him an idiot. Eli almost said ‘what?’ but his dad laughed out loud. “Osti t’est vraiment con. Tu fait quoi dans vie, Elliott?”
“Exactement! Exaaaactement que je’l sais,” his dad continued he was in a really good mood. The kind of fuck the world mood you couldn’t fake unless you had been poor and working class all your life. “Laisse moi t’dire queck’ chose. Tu sais quoi, le char, là? l’osti de char! Tu sais qu’est’ qu’y’a le char?”
“Non,” Eli replied. But he liked it. He needed to get his head slapped right now and his dad was doing just that metaphorically speaking of course, but a good slap just the same.
“Tsé, le p’tit bras qui tiens sur les bornes de la batterie? Ben’ le p’tit bras est loose. La vis a serre pus’ fait que quand j’pogne une bosse, le p’tit anneau y pop’ pis’ ma batterie à marche pus. C’est niaiseux en criss, hein. Pis tu sais quoi, ca coute 70$ changer le p’tit criss de bras mais J’ai pas 70$ dans le compte drette là pour le changer fait que tu sais quoi? j’ai marché jusqu’a Canadian Tire me trouver un boutte de tuyaux de copp’, pis j’ma le squeezer entre l’anneau pis la borne pour que la vis a serre dessus.”
“Faut etre pauvre pis fatigué en tabarnak pour avoir a faire ca, Eli. How much is he giving you for your painting?”
“QUATRE MILLE PIASSES?” his dad shouted. “Eli, Tabarnak!”
“Please tell me you’ll take the money.”
“I’ll think about it.”
“Elliott!” he insisted.
“It’s the only answer I can give you now, dad.”