Winter's Difficult Tongue

February 27, 2007

She is unwieldy and unconcerned. She knocks at doors, does not identify herself, and demands entry. She waltzes in with white locks trailing and bleached tattersal gowns. She plunks herself down on the couch and asks for a vodka tonic with lots of ice and easy on the lemon. She throws her arms over the couchback with a distressing, uninvited confidence. She lifts her skirt and shows flakes of alabaster around her ankles and black ice trails up and down her thighs. She gives a hint, a stook of a warm spell, but is reticent to deliver anything but cool calm. She backs up her eyes and draws her mouth, her difficult tongue all over everywhere and smelling of freshly crushed ice. She is beautiful at wild and still more beautiful when viewed from a temperate shore; quaint even. She is a postcard with a caveat, a spell with an uncertain outcome, a white lover with no agenda and loose morals. She wraps herself around and digs in with disturbing intensity. She gives much worse than she gets and offers no quarter. She does not leave when asked and delights in over-staying her welcome. She leaves unclean and teases her return at every opportunity. She cleaves years from those who breathe her – twelve months for each day of suffering. She exits at will and dissipates; green, water, and growth her chronic legacy.

Vignette #169

2 reader comments (closed)

1

Handel

A beautiful and sad piece, Mr. Gravel. My compliments.

Feb 27, 2007 • 09:16

2

Gravel

Thanks, Handel! Glad you like.

Feb 27, 2007 • 16:58

LRT Bridge from the High Level, Edmonton, Jan 07

LRT Bridge from the High Level, Edmonton, Jan 07

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StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.

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The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?

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