Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Most Beautiful Deception - Melissa Morelli Lacroix (University of Alberta Press)

Today's book of poetry:
A Most Beautiful Deception.  Melissa Morelli Lacroix.  University of Alberta Press.  Edmonton, Alberta. 2014.

A Most Beautiful Deception indeed, to write poetry of this calibre is always a deception of sorts.  The tapestry of misdirection.  It's the same with the best magicians.

I don't know much about classical music so I'm sure I'm missing some of the references Lacroix is making to musicians and to particular works.  This is of little concern.  It doesn't matter because Melissa Morelli Lacroix uses music as a diving board to jump into a much deeper pool.  One where we all swim.


see you later I assured
with a squeeze of my hand
before they took you away

simple they said
cartilage and bone removed
plastic and metal put in their place

but there were complications
unforeseen reactions
between anesthetic and medication

oh   your knee healed
but your lungs swelled
filled with themselves

bronchiolitis they said
organizing pneumonia
their solution to your pain

the dawn was lost you said
in the mist
and I could see it
hear it in the music you played
the Chopin from Majorca
cold and rainy
fog and darkness rolling in

the music stopped in the twilight hour
our golden dreams were nothing
but coughs   gasps
air you could not catch

see you later I whispered
as you went away
see you later you choked
in reply


These compelling poems contain an orchestrated lament, a poetic howl with a cultured voice.

Lacroix is all about asking herself and the reader some big questions.

Variation IV

people love for many reasons
to become immortal
because their heart happens to be open
because they have heard sounds that beguile the heart

people love for many reasons
to become immortal
because their heart can still nurture a hope
because they have looked into a pair of beautiful eyes

depthless pools of stars
through which my joy and agonies
have flown away
in night and wind

in my delusions   my hallucinations
I know you always
cross the distance
to which you have dedicated our life

we make love in our minds
we make love in satin beds
on flowering summer stone
veiled by night sky

people love for many reasons
but I love
for only


A Most Beautiful Deception talks about the nature of creativity, love, immortality and so on.  Lacroix
does this with a wicked good sense of humour, a gallant charm.

The Sunken Cathedral

it is a dawn mistaken for a sunset
this deep calm
this harmonious haze
this legend
I am the princess who was never
cut out to be a saint
corrupt and selfish   I
open the door to the storm
to flood the fires of my soul

with an expression that becomes more
grandiose   I sink while Claude rises
from the damp ruins of my life
like an echo   I am
parts of all that came before me
music   food   intestines
oblivion disguised as art
I am the most beautiful deception of all


Melissa Morelli Lacroix is quite fearless and tackles many demons most lesser mortals would leave undisturbed.  Not Lacroix.  She brings humour, warmth and intelligence to every dark omen lurking in the shadows.

Lacroix is not hesitant to turn her rapier eyes on herself with equal vigor.  What fine poetry.

Melissa Morelli Lacroix

Melissa Morelli Lacroix is an Edmonton-based writer and writing facilitator. She studied French, Translation and Creative Writing at the University of Alberta and has a master's degree in creative writing from Lancaster University. In addition to writing, Melissa has taught piano for twenty years, which infuses musical themes and lyricism into her writing.
Melissa's work has appeared in Canadian, American and British print and on-line publications such as Crave It, World on a Maple Leaf, Family Pictures, Ars Medica, Other Voices, In the Red and The Dawntreader. Her fiction and drama have been read and produced on CBC Radio, at the Walterdale Theatre and by Rabid Marmot Productions.

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