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This is an excerpt from

Inside Norwood Hotel

by Denis Robillard


Pine Creek Mason Jars

dedicated to Jason Heroux

In the house we found boxes of mason jars with written labels
on them, scrawled in an almost Gothic hand. The jars were stacked
one upon the other in a very careful manner. It was evident that much
care and concern had gone into this. The labels indicated a date and location.

For example, the one I pulled out from the top row read:

“Pine Creek, Montana June 12, 1978”.

And there was a symbol underneath. The funny thing is that all of
the jars, upon inspection, looked empty. However, this is where the un-trained eye is mistaken, if eyes can be mistaken. We later found out that
these jars did indeed contain something. This something was air. The
labels indicated air samples culled from different locations. Like a bee
farmer going to his hive to extract only the finest specimens of honey.
Except in this instance these jars contained the fragrant honey smell of

rarefied air. And instead of pickles or ham hocks or blueberry jam, these
were air preserves.

Cigarette Hole Eyes

Dedicated to Nancy

Her searing eyes come to me now
stark and naked in their reflective beauty
like the diamond chakkra
of a docile doe
caught in the mechanical headlights
of my longing.
IN my mind they linger and dance
a constant flame
that burns a cigarette hole
long and deep dragged
into my regret.


dedicated to Joyce

Her gentle almond eyes
occupy my brain movie
in my cloud space I renegotiate
snow banks and
the ghosts of past lives.


the snowplough grates
the sidewalk across the street
a microsurgery of dark sound
painsound painsong
ransom bone.


a pair of soft hurt eyes
peeks from a blanket
unsure of her destiny.

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Inside Norwood Hotel excerpt ©2005 Denis Robillard

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