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Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

Going for Ice at the Motel on Ocean Boulevard (South Florida in 1966)

Marc Plourde


Just before dusk the sign ignites;
green neon burns in a haze of bugs
like black confetti settling at Edwards’ motel
on Ocean Boulevard, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
Over the neon, insect smudges flutter in the heat
while the Art Deco script unfurls, flashes
and repeats, Mel Sara … Mel Sara Motel by the Sea.
Not by the sea: The motel was on the boulevard’s other side.
Mauve, horseshoe-shaped, two storeys high,
it looped round an illuminated pool.
I’d dodge through cars to cross the road,
then walk planks through sand and weeds
down to where the rocks slid into the waves
and the insomniac sea thrashed and shifted under backlit clouds,
under a pellucid sky, as waves arrived collapsing
under their weight and were pulled back out.

* poem, in its entirety, is available in the printed version of the current issue.


Marc Plourde was born in Montreal and has been writing and translating poetry for over 50 years. He has worked as a literary translator and as a college English teacher and has published collections of poetry and short stories. He co-translated Gaston Miron’s selected poems, Embers and Earth, with the poet D.G. Jones. His most recent book, Borrowed Days: Poems New and Selected, was published by Cormorant Books in 2016.