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Banff Program
Postcard Poems
Golden Beret'
Word Travels
Design Contest
poetry contest
Graeme Clarke

Raised lakeside in an arid bc valley, graeme clarke has just moved to Calgary after a winding and briny stint on the coast. he is both saline and porous.

hashish and shisha, ah

ah, hashish and for how
we navigated the bar-crowd streets, one a.m., heads light with poetry,
bodies sizzling through the muggy night with
audible hiss, as if made from fire.
for how we padded with assassin feet and wove through drunken shouts
like bright Persian threads until
out of the rain and into a booth
and heavy like stone lotus
and body heavy head heavy arm heavy
and air also heavy with shisha smoke
and the gilt glass hookahs now weaving toward us through the room
and ah
and then    ah and
ah for the breath unfurling like a drying leaf, and
ah for the purely mathematical horizon of wall-hung rugs,
ah for the red light soft, the brass, the lazy smoke, and
ah puff of warm words for shared breath the
cloudy closeness of this night's conversation, and
ah hand, ah hose,
ah cloud of honey and
ah cloud of rose.

and shishah,

and as i drift back into the cushions my perception wavers,
and the hookahs seem to bend, like gilded maharajahs
leaning in to discuss something
and finding themselves
in perfect agreement.




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