Along the Lakeshore: an incantation for John & Paul


As you shuffle along the lakeshore you may find yourself wondering whether you are between a rock and a hard place, between a mean and a sweet face; you may wonder whether you are between a fish or fowl, between Ginsberg and HOWL, or between the oyster's shell and the pearls of hell.  You might find yourself between the swan and ugly duckling, between the sand and bronco bucking, wondering whether to turn water into wine or turn perfume into slime, whether you're between the head or the heart, between a crayfish and high art,

along the lakeshore you may find all the tea in China and nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina, between the moonshine and the ocean, between a yodel and devotion, between the whale who puked up Jonah and a graph that is a phono, between Neptune and a spoon, between the spoon and June, between a dog-day afternoon and a Saturday typhoon, between the origin of species and a bag of crunchy cheezies;

you may wonder whether there are many lost souls asleep in the deep or never a tea too green to steep, or whether his majesty is a creep; you may find yourself  between the patti-cake and the Thames, between the champagne and the gin;  you may find yourself shuffling between the beverage and the bone, between the dolly and the clone, between the oil spill and the clam, the siren and the dam.

Along the lakeshore you may find yourself between the sizzle and the steak, between the catfish and the hake, between Aquarius and the lawn, between the shadow and the pond, between the Tigris and Euphrates, between Afghanistan and Hades, between the desert and a soak, between the molten and the fried, between the Sunlight and the Tide, between The Father and The Son, between the plowshare and the gun, between a website full of porn and the riders of the storm, between forgiveness so divine and the olives in the brine, between the whirlwind and the Wookie, between Mr. Christie and his good good cookie.

Along the lakeshore are you a bat out of hell between a monkey's uncle and  an old cow  bell, between the Ark that Noah built and pajamas made of felt, between the soil and the seed, between the thought and the deed, between the bladder and the spleen, between midsummer and a night's dream, between the thirsty and the slaked, between the totally- and half-baked, between fighting fire with fire and the gimble and the gyr, between Dostoyevsky's fits and a diamond as big as the Ritz, between the wreck of Exxon-Valdez and something up your sleeves, between assassin and the Pope, and just enough rope between Love Potion Number Nine and a stitch in time, between the turkey vulture's beak and a place to take a leak, between the early bird and worm, between the shelter and the norm,

on the lakeshore, between the tip of the iceberg and the thunder of the herd, between the thorn and thistle, between the clean and whistle, between the tortoise and the hare, between the ferry and the fare, between flying a kite and love at first right, between eclipses of the sun and thinking outside the bun, between the evening dew and a bicycle built for two, between the rune-poems of the Druids and precious bodily fluids.

You may find the lakeshore itself between the continental shelf and the fish that gotta swim and the rain that’s gonna fall, and meanwhile we all cast our bread upon the waters.

Jeanne Randolph lives in Winnipeg; her fourth book, Ethics of Luxury: materialsim and imagination, will be published by YYZBOOKS in 2007. This poem was commissioned for the gallery newsletter to accompany the exhibition "Lakeshore" curated by Marine Fleming at Gairloch Gardens, Oakville Galleries, Oakville, Ontario, 2007.

Og2 (3.5), Oakville Galleries (November – January 2007)

John Armstrong
Paul Collins