THE DEBUT OF MONTREAL’S NEW ‘AZUR’ METRO TRAINS, 7 FEBRUARY 2016
The train approaches the platform,
all the people clap. A stooped old
woman in a patchwork shawl tells
le maire how it happened
that hallowed day back in ‘67
when all the grass turned green.
She was young then; she
wore a little red skirt, carried
a little white bag and spoke
fluently out both sides of her mouth.
All of us still remember, or
the joie de vivre with which
she embarked that hallowed day.
Doors finally open, all the people
clamber inside to take their places.
Chantieres—some young, some old,
others completely ageless—
occupy the front seats playing
guitars, harmoniums, fiddles,
sing of golden days both future and past
while Richler and Groulx make sweet love
in the back.
Oh look! Oh look! Someone’s taken a hand!
Oh look! All the Montrealers & Montréalais
have taken hands and begun to dance!
All the people, at long last hand in hand,
promenade down the aisle, train passing
smoothly under their tortured dreams
and l’Autoroute du Souvenir.
They’re beautiful in the shining light
of every shining station passed,
in the dark between they’re all
remade half and whole.
THE OLD BIKE IS GONE
for Matt BT
Last night we took the old bike,
that one we never used,
out of the closet
and led it out to the alley
behind our building—
abandoned it there,
placed it outside our lives.
It’s still sitting there,
will always be there.
It’s going to be designated a public art installation
by l’arrondissement du Plateau-Mont Royal
and will remain in place for generations.
It will come to symbolize this place, this time,
somebody will link it to Leonard Cohen
and his final years. They will say that
it was the bicycle he rode home on the last day of his life,
carrying groceries in the basket. They will debate
what produce he bought; how many eggs, how much milk.
Everyone will forget that he died in Los Angeles—
they will instead repeat the story enough to make it true
for legions of young dreamers
making pilgrimages from across the Earth.
Later still, it will be held up
as an example of the life and beliefs
of us inhabitants of 21st century Montreal
by people who will not know what a bicycle is.
It will be declared either a hood ornament, a trellis
or a religious icon. They will see the faces
of holy men and women in the chains of our bicycle,
and there anoint them.
But for now all we have is more room in the closet.
We’ll move furniture and clothes
into this vacated space.
We are freer now, cleaner,
a great weight has been cast off.
Perhaps we can fly now,
emerge out of time,
pull something immortal from this cold, empty here.
TAYLOR GRAY MOORE was born in Vancouver, BC, in 1992 and has lived there for most of his life. He attended McGill University in Montreal, where he obtained a B.A. in English Literature. His work has previously appeared in The Lark, Pulp Magazine and the Spadina Literary Review.
Copyright © 2019 by Taylor Gray Moore. All rights reserved.