Tag Archives: nostalgia

Rewrite

I could rewrite my days

following crumbs back

through mysteries

I’d use different words

or fewer

but it would be the same story

 

David Trudel     ©   2013

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Friends

There was one evening when my dad came home late

Which was hardly unusual

In those days when doctors still did house calls

This evening he was carrying a box

With some excitement and childlike passion

Look, Big Little Books,  he said

We had no idea what the big deal was

Since they no longer existed and we had never heard of them

But they were the comics of his youth

Chunky little books

One page of action packed text

The other an illustration in black and white

The right hand corner of each page had postage stamp insets

Animating a sequence magically into a mini movie

There were dozens in the box

Tales of GMen and cowboys

Movie star personas with more backstories than you could ever imagine

Titles that had survived in the papers or morphed into comics

Like the Green Hornet or the Lone Ranger

Which is the one I have here in my hands

The Lone Ranger and the Great Western Span

A little tattered and faded but still intact

Still a connection, even if he only carried in the box from the car

I’m not sure if he ever had the time to read them all again

But I did

Around the age he must have been when they first came out

So we were able to be friends in imagination

Across time and role

We hung out in Our Gang clubhouses reading Big Little books

Floorsprawled in depression dust

Sharing these homilies and parables

That made sense of the time

Time that I hadn’t seen but now could

Through these simple pages

Where remembering turns into discovery

 

 

David Trudel  ©  2013

 

 

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Nostalgia

I don’t miss the racism

When I think about the past

Sure I’m nostalgic for the good old days

But they weren’t all good and golden

We taunted everyone back then

Watercooler jokes bit deep

Certain nationalities were pilloried with regularity

Enough to fill a Polish suitcase

And god help the brown skinned

So we would shout paki or camel jockey slurs

Across schoolyards or cafes

Not caring that we cut to the quick with meanspirited ignorance

So blind to our transgressions that we would point fingers

At South Africa or the deep south and decry the bigotry there

Self righteously proclaiming our innocence

Only because an African heritage was rare in our tarnished world

I don’t miss the bad cooking

When the Joy of Cooking was the only book in the kitchen

We boiled and stewed the same plain foods into daily submission

Thinking salt and pepper were the only spices necessary against bland

And if we watched Julia Child with amusement

It would be a rare day that her recipes would end up on the table

I am not nostalgic for the constant smoking

Blue hazed offices where each desk held overflowing ashtrays ad nauseum

And parking lots being used as garbage cans

Drivers upturning car ashtrays into shared space

Cigarette butts a constant presence carpeting our walks

More prevalent than the flowers we couldn’t smell over the stench

I am not nostalgic for misogyny

Which sadly hasn’t gone away entirely

I don’t miss the catcalling taunts or times

When every man or boy felt dutybound to visually strip each female in view

Giving free rein to saddle romping fantasies

Those times when stereotypes were a given and not questioned

I don’t miss the hidden abuse

Open secrets never spoken of

Bruises that flowered unquestioned

Times when silence was permission to continue the violence

I am not nostalgic for pesticides that we sprayed with abandon

Not caring that the green lawns and flower borders

We so blindly protected were an artificial construct of oppression

I don’t miss polyester double knit suits

That never wore out but should have

I don’t miss blue rinsed big hair

Buzzcuts or ducktailed tops

I am not nostalgic for the pain of the repressed

Or laws that forced love into closets

Or into the bloodstained offices of back alley butchers

I don’t miss ignorant hatred

How can I, it still exists

But the next time somebody celebrates forgotten freedoms

Of a golden past

I’ll take up a knife and scratch the gilt off

To expose the brass

 

 

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

 

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Trains

I was three years old

The end of the age of trains

Even though nobody knew

I wore an engineers cap

Striped overalls

Was the darling of the porters

Who knew the mysteries of transformation

Changing open windowed couch vistas

Into halled havens

 

Later

Along trackside curves

We belly watched as our coppers were flattened

Spat out from heaving rounders

The best were the ones you could still read

Barely, slightly curved

 

Then came the panorama car

Drifting at speed through mountain passes

Or through interminable prairies

Grain elevators

So many

Who knew?

 

Throughout it all

Whistle

Plaintive and unavoidable

Annunciation and warning

Get the hell out of dodge cause we ain’t slowing down

Kind of whistle

 

Imagining the cowcatcher

Which is long since gone

Fulfilling its function

Smells of train

Unique

Shuttered steam diesel

Unwashed flesh

Rich odiferous narrowness

While the images flash by

Of a country ignoring itself

 

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

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Friday Afternoon

Nothing smells like a Friday afternoon

The cusp between work and recline

When responsibility hands it off to freedom

And leaves rustle from collective exhalation of sighs

Of relief

Followed by a deep intake of anticipation

A tendril of woodsmoke on the wind

Stirs campfire memories and Fridays that meant camping out

Putting up the tent in the dark

Half cut, saying don’t worry we’ll fix it in the morning

Or Fridays that smelled like the cornerstore

Stepping through the door to sugared treasures

Your allowance in your pocket and it smells like a promise

Because Friday afternoons smell promising

And if the rewards are sometimes stingy

There’s still the next Friday afternoon

To win that lottery

Nothing smells like a Friday afternoon

When you’ve been paid and you’re finally ahead

Even the grocery store is more fragrant on a Friday

And Friday afternoon smells like getting ready for a date

Hunters and prey precociously preening

Waiting for the race to begin

On a Friday afternoon that smells like hope

Smiling at the audacity of limitless expectations of promise

So breathe deeply on Friday afternoons

Inhale the scent

Let it fill you with happiness

Nothing smells like a Friday afternoon

 

 

David Trudel  © 2013

 

 

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Ceremony

No Saturnalia for me, this hinged moment

Fringed with nostalgia

Hollowed by regret

The cold flagstones of vaulted transepts

Cool any thoughts of libidinous excess

While ethereal voices march in measured unison

Through scented air

Chaliced genuflections rumble the room

In the midst of chaos

Of doomed cries

Rivers of tears

We seek the comfort of redemptive ceremony

Even if it’s only half as much as we need

It’s a step

Forward, in the right direction

And in this muffled peace

I find a place to dream my prayer

And release it

To the heavens

 

David Trudel  ©  2012

 

 

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