Les Tendresses pour Yonge Street ( Tokens of Affection for Yonge Street )Posted: March 10, 2013 Filed under: Alexander Best, English Comments Off on Les Tendresses pour Yonge Street ( Tokens of Affection for Yonge Street )
LES TENDRESSES POUR YONGE STREET #1
( TOKENS OF AFFECTION FOR YONGE STREET…..)
Playoffs had begun; things were looking up for The Leafs…
Ten young guys, walking south to Carlton Street. Jock-ish
In their jerseys, ballcaps, space-age sneakers.
Cases of beer: treasure borne on shoulders and heads.
The creature of them halted in front of a shop-window: leopard-bikinis and
Lacey things. Big noise from the boys, sports-monkey-like.
Two teenage girls appeared on the sidewalk, slowing down, unsure.
(Awkward experiment: elegant hair, in the style of Marie-Antoinette, combined
with denim ensembles, ‘racing stripes’ down the sides of their pant-legs.)
The guys turned from window-display toward the girls, emitting a lusty
One of the girls (shy one) couldn’t help but grin, showing
Microchip-circuitry of railroad-tracks; her mouth was a mess. The boys
Paused — taking in this ruination of her face — glanced among themselves,
Then voiced an even huge-r Oh Yeeaahhh of instinctual approval.
Girl’s friend rummaged for an itzy-bitzy disposable camera, held it out, simply
Aimed it at the mass of boys, and clicked.
Females, a-giggle, clumped north in their trendy ‘big-foot’ shoes. The
Manimal continued its way down the street.
. . .
LES TENDRESSES POUR YONGE STREET #2
“Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.” / “I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me.”
(Publius Terentius Afer a.k.a. Terence – Roman playwright, 195–159 BCE)
I waited for the streetcar, in Monday’s midnight mist.
Cabbie pulled up, East-African guy, insisted I get in.
No money, I told him. Shift was over, he said. “You and I, we go in the
Same direction,” he assured me. Small as a boy, he was confident like a man.
Inside the car, passing the famous hockey-arena…
“Do you know this is a ‘gay area’ where you are standing on the corner?”
“Oh, really?” my mild response.
Left hand on the steering-wheel, he extended his right and placed the tips of his
Slim fingers on the vulnerable spot where my neck joins my breastbone.
“Let me see you” — his tone was oddly reverential.
I unbuttoned my shirt. He ran his hand over my chest and stomach.
“Ah,” he said gravely, “I am touching you, beautiful forest!”
The car skirted a grove of highrise apartment blocks, swinging onto the bridge that
Leads to a more sky-wide part of the city.
He patted my zipper: “Show me this one.”
He held my sex; it changed size. Chain of lights moved north, another south, on the
Riverside-highway below us. He considered me, in the palm of his hand:
“Alabaster plus two jewels,” he said. “ — but not so hard!” he added, joy flashing in his
Eyes. Our road lay arrow-straight, and luck – the traffic was serene.
I began to touch him, at the navel-gap in his shirt.
“No. This cannot. I am married.” — he spoke in a hush.
“Maybe I’m married, too,” I said. “You are wearing no ring,” he observed.
“True.” And I touched him again.
“Please do not,” he said firmly. Then, with a radiant smile showing teeth of
Stained ivory: “You will make us an accident…We must not have such a
He refreshed me with these words. The car smelled of fake pine; radio-voice
Rhapsodized about a computer.
He caressed my thigh with his free hand. I told him my name; he, his; the
Bible came into it. When I was let out, he tapped a
Farewell-flourish on the car-horn.
A poet wrote: “It is only the sacred things that are worth touching.”
Thank you, stranger of the City, for revealing my body as sacred again.
In touching it you touched my soul.
LES TENDRESSES POUR YONGE STREET #3
It was along by the Zanzibar Tavern…
Delivery van struck a man. Soft-hard sound, and he
Flipped through the air as if juggled.
Magnificent. People spun ’round.
He wasn’t out-cold; dusted himself off, embarrassed.
He began to walk; straightaway teetered, fell
Crumpled against a newspaper box.
Blood on his neck; humanity gawked.
An efficient person called the hospital on his pocket-phone.
The van-driver was sorry, impatient.
An old man and woman — he reedy, she petite — approached the
Injured one: “What is your name, dear?” said the woman, bending.
“What is my name? — What is my name?!?”
“Don’t, now…you’ve had a shock,” she said.
The man’s accent was distinctive; words in the shape of fear.
He’d’ve hailed from a dozen lands — to be precise.
The woman gestured for her mate to lean down with his good ear:
“He can stay with us…The children are gone — they needn’t know.”
Her husband’s eyebrows went up; held themselves aloft; settled down.
“Yes…I don’t see why not.”
The nameless fellow was arranged into the ambulance by two delicate,
Burly attendants. The couple was helped in next; one guy taking the
Old lady’s patent-leather handbag, the other the
Old gentleman’s cane.