Snowing on West Broadway

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My phone tells me that it is snowing on West Broadway.
Even though I haven’t been to Winnipeg in eight months,
the app never fails to alert me to weather conditions on your street.

I still think about your shithole apartment,
and I wonder if you ever cleaned the wax off the mattress from that time we played with the Shabbat candles,
and if there is piss still on the bathroom floor,
and if the food-encrusted dishes are still piled high in the sink.
I can recall the smell of cheap weed and dirty laundry that hung in the air like an unanswered question,
the sound of sirens, honking cars, and breaking beer bottles that accompanied our conversations in your bed
– the only available free space in your whole home-
and the way the cobwebs of your depression glimmered in the sunlight that shone through the dirty windows over our heads…
in the corners, but always present.

Sometimes, in my dreams, I still wheeze and limp my way up the huge flights of stairs in your building,
looking for the apartment with the giant grease stain in front of the door.
I knock, but I always wake up before I hear any signs of life within.
Would you answer? Would you let me into your messy space once more?

It’s snowing on West Broadway again.

I hope that you are warm.

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Photograph by Winnipeg Transit

 

 Creative Commons License
This work, “Snowing on West Broadway” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Oh, Right! I Have A Blog!

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Hello, my Precious Blueberries!

I come to you from the land of social isolation, during these times of Covid – 19.  It’s April  1st today, the first day of National Poetry Writing Month, and although I always fail to make it through the entire challenge, I am giving it the old college try once again, because I  need something creative and constructive to help me occupy my time.

I haven’t really written anything since the fall. I have still been busy performing and doing workshops, but I didn’t feel the urge to write. In fact, I felt the opposite. But recently, I am starting to feel the urge once more, which is good, because now that I am quarantined, I need something to do. 

A few months ago, someone told me that love poems are cliche, and that they don’t offer anything “new” in terms of contributing to the zeitgeist. Perhaps that is true, but I am a romantic at heart, and I happen to enjoy a good love poem…and this is MY blog, so phooey on them. Enjoy this love poem.

He Asks What I Want to Talk About

“I choose to love you in silence, for in silence I find no rejection.
I choose to love you in loneliness, for in loneliness no one owns you but me.
I choose to adore you from a distance, for distance will shield me from pain.
I choose to kiss you in the wind, because the wind is gentler than my lips.
I choose to hold you in my dreams, for in my dreams you have no end.” – Rumi 

When my eyes are tributaries
tears leaping like spawning silver, pink-bellied salmon
I want to tell you that I need you like beech trees rely on each other for survival
but my voice always cracks like wood splitting in a fire
and smoke builds up in my lungs causing me to choke.

You ask me what I am afraid of
I don’t know how to tell you that the space between each of your breaths is the loneliest silence
and I want to wail mournfully at the top of my lungs like a loon paddling a glassy lake at dusk
calling for her mate to sing back to her, to tell her that she’s not alone
I don’t know how to tell you that I want you to sing back to my calls songs older than words
I want you to reassure me that you will return like dawn
inhalations and exhalations painting the indigo sky flaming orange.

I want us intertwined like gnarled old roots
I want you to wash over me like ripples of water on cattails
I want to be as near to you as resin on bark.

I would like to say that I can resist my feelings for you
that I can form an invisible line indicating the separation between protected wetlands and urban sprawl
but the truth is that you permeate me like minerals in rock
even though I am as inarticulate as lichen.

You ask me what I want to say
What I want to say is that I love you
but my berry-stained lips cannot form the words
out of fear that you will turn cold like summer fades to autumn
out of fear that you will leave me like geese migrating south.
So many others have left before.

But to not speak a thing doesn’t mean it isn’t true
falling cedars snap like lightening even when no one is there to hear them
I am trying to graft words to my tongue
trying to sprout courage from last season’s pine cones.

In the meantime, I weep like a flooded creek in spring
soaking the land around me while my heart melts like the snow
Some day, I will be oak-like
standing tall in my truth and ancient in wisdom
impervious to rejection
Until then, I write a world of forests to obscure my vulnerability
much like a doe lays her fawn down in an overgrown thicket.

Until then, accept these wildflower words that I picked from the meadow of my mind.
May they allude to the beauty that comes after  rainfall.

gnarled-tree-roots-spread-across-the-ground-S06KD7
Stock photo.

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This work, “He Asks What I Want To Talk About” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Flashback to Hillside

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Hillside Sun Stage Photo courtesy of Sherri-Lyn Finlay (2019)

Hello, Precious Blueberries! It’s been far too long, hasn’t it? I promise that I think of you often, even though I am terrible at uploading this blog. So much social media, so little time! 

I thought that I would show you this little picture of me achieving one of my poetic goals: performing at the one and only Hillside Community Festival in Guelph, Ontario! Hillside is a famous festival celebrating music and art that takes place every year over the course of a weekend, and people come from miles around to engage in a lovefest at the festival grounds, which happens to be in a conservation area.

And guess what?! I had to take a flipping BOAT to get to the stage! WHAT! That’s right, the Sun Stage is on an island, and to get there, I had to step onto a floating dock and take a little boat. I’m not going to lie, Sweethearts: I was more nervous about the transportation than I was about the performance!

Fortunately for this poetess, the Hillside crew were totally kind and did their very best to assure me that I was not going to fall, sink, or blow away. I didn’t cry or anything! High fives all around!

I took to the Sun Stage with my comrades from the Guelph Poetry Slam Team, where we shared some of our unique and diverse poetical stylings with the crowd, who loved us! I performed “F.A.T.” and “Tongue”. 

It was a great day, made even greater by the fact that my friend Sherri was able to join me and cheer me on as I did things like bob on floating docks and grab my breasts onstage. 

It was totally worth the sunburn.

S and I Hillside
Selfie!!!!

Pontoon Dock Photo courtesy of Sherri-Lyn Finlay (2019)

Regina Word Up Slam Finals Feature!

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Hey there, Precious Blueberries of Regina, Saskatchewan! I will be in your neck of the woods featuring at Regina Word Up Slam Finals on April 11th, 2019 and facilitating my workshop, “Raw Like Sushi, Tender Like Tomatoes: Ferocity and Vulnerability in Spoken Word” on April 12th.

Please come out and say hello! I’ll have copies of both of my chapbooks, Postcards From Heaven to the Citizens of Hell” and “4 A.M.” for sale (only $10?!)

Facebook Event Page

 

4 AM and my Hand

Interview With Reclaiming The Wild: Hump Day Hiatus

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In case you weren’t able to catch my interview with Reclaiming the Wild for her Hump Day Hiatus podcast, here’s a recording for you to enjoy! It includes an impromptu performance of my poem, “F.A.T.” and some juicy discussions about body positivity.

Prairie Tour!

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Hello Precious Blueberries!

I am reaching out to you because I am currently fundraising to get my tuchus out to the Canadian Prairies, where I have been asked to do some performances and workshops, as well as to fund my newest chapbook, which is chock-full of the earthy, sensuous, feisty, feminist, confessional poetry that you love.

I’d sure be grateful if you could spare a buck or two (or, hey, maybe a little more) in order to help me make this dream trip a possibility. I’m really overjoyed and honoured to be asked to share my poetry in other provinces, so I want to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Bethy’s Fundly Campaign

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Pictures from the Bentway Variety Show!

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Hello, Precious Blueberries!

I hope that you enjoyed a lovely long weekend with family and friends! I spent my Sunday in Toronto at the Bentway Variety Show. It was a tremendous time, filled with all kinds of wonderful performers: hip hop acts, poets, singers, and comedians. Despite the cold and rainy weather, there was a great audience turnout. I never thought that I would perform underneath a highway…and there I was, performing right underneath the Gardner Expressway!

Here are some pictures of me doing my thing, courtesy of photographer Sherri-Lyn Finlay.

 

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The Bentway Variety Show

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Hello, my Precious Blueberries!

It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Have you missed me? I’ve certainly missed you! If you are longing for me the way that I have been longing for you, please come see me in this wonderful show that I will be performing in come October 7th, 2018. Rumour has it that there will be chapbooks and other merch for sale…so you can take a little piece of me home with you.

Bentway

Check out the event page on Facebook here.

 

Questions

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The older I get, the more questions I ask, and the harder those questions are to answer.

Once upon a time, I asked things like, “why is the sky blue?” and “where do babies come from?” Now I ask questions like, “why am I so blue?” and “why do babies die?”

Sometimes, I feel like nothing is certain. I’m not sure that G-d exists, but I pray to the Creator daily. I’m afraid to be alone in the Universe – I don’t even like to sleep alone. I am relatively certain that the ocean tides are pulled by the moon, but I can’t decipher the ebb and flow of my own body. When will my period come? Why does my womb bleed when really it is my heart that hurts?

I recently heard the term “skin hunger” to describe people who have gone too long without human touch. I think I might be starving to death because it has been so long since someone has held me that I can’t remember the last time I tasted the salt of skin other than my own.

All my life, I’ve been told that I am too much, but I’ve always felt that I’m not enough.

I’m longing for someone to reach out to, for someone to share my life with, but I’m afraid that I will crush their spirit like a fragile eggshell in my clumsy desperation not to die alone. I’m scared to say what I really feel because I don’t want to be abandoned. How do I say what is in my  heart without scaring others away?

questions Is this your image? If so, let me know so that I may credit you.

 Creative Commons License
This work, “Questions” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.